Who gets lucky in Best of the Super Junior’s seventh round?
It’s round seven for Best of the Super Juniors 27! Will Taiji Ishimori keep his losses limited to one? Or will El Desperado prove he’s already worthy of a title shot?
NOTE: NJPW no longer wants to feed AXS TV now that it is with Anthem and Impact Wrestling. But never fear, I will cover NJPW in the spirit of AXS in providing the most important matches of the show.
- Best of the Super Juniors 27: Yuya Uemura VS DOUKI; Douki wins.
- Best of the Super Juniors 27: Ryusuke Taguchi VS Robbie Eagles; Eagles wins.
- Best of the Super Juniors 27: Master Wato VS BUSHI; Bushi wins.
- Best of the Super Juniors 27: Taiji Ishimori VS El Desperado; Ishimori wins.
- Best of the Super Juniors 27: SHO VS Hiromu Takahashi; Sho wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Here are the current 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]
Yuya Uemura VS DOUKI!
So what if both the Young Lion and Japones de Mal are out of the running? This is about pride! Only ONE man can be completely winless! But who will be the Worst of the Super Juniors after this round?
Douki shoves the ref aside to rush Uemura but Uemura is ready! Uemura throws forearms, the bell rings, and Uemura whips. Douki reverses but Uemura runs him over! Uemura drags Douki up, scoops and slams him, then covers, TWO! Fans cheer for Uemura’s fire as he stomps Douki and throws forearms. Uemura runs, Douki boots him back, but Uemura comes back, only for Douki to dump him out! Douki goes out, whips Uemura but Uemura reverses and Douki gets railing! Douki goes down in a heap and Uemura is on the apron. Uemura leaps for a crossbody! Direct hit and down goes Douki! Uemura fires up and fans cheer as he drags Douki up and into the ring. Uemura covers, TWO! Fans rally as Uemura stomps Douki.
Uemura drags Douki up for forearms and CHOPS Douki against ropes! Uemura runs, but Douki flapjack hotshots! Douki drags Uemura up, throws him out then pursues. Douki whips and this time Uemura hits railings! But Douki keeps going, and whips Uemura into more railing! And again, into even more railing! Uemura writhes and flounders as Douki gets his pipe! The ref tries to stop Douki but Douki shoves him aside! Douki SMACKS away on Uemura with the pipe! Douki drags Uemura up, takes aim, and RAMS Uemura down with the pipe! Fans rally for Uemura, but Douki leaves him behind. The ref starts a count, Uemura stirs at 8 of 20. Uemura crawls to railing at 12, slowly stands at 16, and hobbles to get in at 18!
Fans cheer but Douki stomps Uemura down. Douki stands on Uemura’s head and talks trash before he stomps Uemura more. The ref checks on Uemura, but Uemura hits Douki back with forearms! Douki knees low, scoops and slams him, then runs to DOUBLE STOMP Uemura down! Cover, TWO! Fans cheer but Douki grows annoyed. Douki scuffs Uemura with his boot and talks more trash. Douki slaps Uemura around but Uemura just gets mad. Douki reels Uemura in, but Uemura blocks the suplex to suplex Douki! Douki fights out and rakes eyes! The ref reprimands but Douki brings Uemura back up for a suplex. Uemura slips out, but his dropkick misses!
Douki shakes his head and then slaps Uemura around. Uemura gets mad, and he dropkicks Douki down after all! Fans fire up as both men are down! Douki and Uemura go to opposite corners, and Uemura runs in corner to corner, to back elbow! Fans fire up with Uemura as he fires off more forearms in the corner! The ref counts, Uemura stomps but then stops as the ref backs him off. Uemura drags Douki up and whips him corner to corner, to then run in and dropkick! Douki flops down, Uemura covers, TWO! Uemura keeps his focus as he grabs Douki’s legs! Uemura keeps Douki from ropes and turns him over for the Boston Crab!
Douki scrambles and gets the ropebreak, so Uemura lets go. Uemura waistlocks, lifts, but Douki fights free! Uemura reels Douki in, Douki mule kicks, front kicks and enziguris! Douki runs, but Uemura gets around, only for Uemura to victory roll the German Suplex! TWO, and Uemura throws forearms! Uemura roars and runs, but into a LARIAT! Both men are down again and fans rally up! Douki stands and gets to the apron. Douki waits for Uemura to rise, then slingshots, but Uemura holds Daybreak off! Uemura has the arms, for the TRAPPED ARM OVERHEAD SUPLEX! And then Uemura turns Douki over for a BOSTON CRAB!
Douki endures as Uemura drags him from ropes and sits deep! Fans rally as Douki crawls and Uemura sits even deeper! Douki keeps reaching but Uemura brings him back again! SO DEEP! Douki is fading, but he gets a second wind! Douki claws his way over, but Uemura brings him away again! Douki finally gets the ropes, even as Uemura tries to block! Uemura lets go in frustration, but the damage is done! Fans fire up with Uemura as he drags Douki back up. Uemura traps the arms again but Douki fights the suplex. Douki pulls hair but Uemura throws forearms. Douki ROCKS Uemura with an uppercut! Douki runs, Uemura traps him again! Uemura lifts, but Douki counters to ITALIAN STRETCH #32!!
Uemura fights to stay on his feet but he’s fading fast! Fans rally as Uemura gets HIS second wind, but Douki pulls harder! Uemura moves around, kicks his legs, and gets the ropebreak! Fans are fired up as Douki lets go at the count. Douki drags himself up with ropes, goes to the apron, and aims at Uemura again. Uemura flounders up, into DAYBREAK!! Cover, TWO!?!? Douki is shocked! Uemura is defiant but Douki vows to finish it! Douki drags Uemura into the wheelbarrow, full nelson, SUPLEX DE LA LUNA!! Bridging cover, Douki wins!
Winner: Douki, by pinfall; now 1-6, Uemura is now 0-7
The Young Lion was so close and yet so far! But now, he is the one winless wrestler in BOSJ 27! Will Douki be holding this over him for a long, long time?
Ryusuke Taguchi VS Robbie Eagles!
The Funky Weapon is on the bubble, but the Sniper of the Sky could shoot him down! Will Taguchi keeps his run in the round robin alive by the seat of his pants?
Eagles is wary of Taguchi’s rear but the ref checks, it’s not loaded. The bell rings and the two circle. They tie up, Taguchi puts Eagles on ropes but lets off cleanly. Fans cheer and the two reset. Eagles and Taguchi tie up again, Eagles wrenches to a wristlock but Taguchi reverses to wrench and wristlock Eagles. Eagles rolls, wrenches back to a wristlock, but Taguchi rolls and gets a leg pick. Taguchi has the toehold, fans cheer and Eagles endures. Taguchi traps the leg, but Eagles headscissors out to go after the arm. Taguchi clasps hands to fight off the armbar then rolls to turn Eagles over. Taguchi gets the legs and pulls on the deathlock. Eagles pushes up but Taguchi shifts to lean on the hold! Eagles scrambles and gets the ropebreak!
Fans cheer and Taguchi lets off for Eagles to get up. Eagles and Taguchi circle, tie up, and Eagles headlocks. Taguchi pries against the hold but Eagles grinds harder. Taguchi powers out but Eagles runs him over! Fans cheer as the two stand off. Taguchi messes Eagles’ hair, Eagles trips Taguchi! Taguchi gets up again so Eagles trips him again. Things speed up, Taguchi keeps dropping, but Eagles sees the fake out coming and stays put. But then Taguchi still dodges the basement dropkick! Taguchi bops Eagles, point blank hip attacks, and then hip attacks again. Taguchi elbows Eagles, whips him corner to corner, then runs in for a big hip attack! Taguchi runs again, into an atomic drop! Rolling chop block to blindside lariat! Cover, TWO!
Eagles stomps Taguchi’s leg, and pulls Taguchi into a toehold. Taguchi fights against it but Eagles cranks harder. Taguchi CHOPS and CHOPS but Eagles keeps on the hold! Taguchi reaches for ropes and gets the ropebreak! Eagles lets off and fans cheer. Eagles drags Taguchi back up, CHOPS him, then snapmares him to run and basement dropkick! Cover, TWO! Eagles sits Taguchi up to wrap on a chinlock and grind him to the mat. Taguchi kicks and flails to get around but Eagles leans on the chinlock. Taguchi throws body shots, but Eagles knees low. Eagles whips, Taguchi reverses but Eagles dodges and ducks to sunset flip! Taguchi stays up, and pantses himself!
Eagles holds off the Funky Weapon but Taguchi sits down to cover! TWO, Taguchi ends up on ropes and Eagles dropkicks him out! Fans fire up as Eagles builds speed, but Eagles has to stop himself as Taguchi slides in! Taguchi runs but Eagles avoids the hip attack! Eagles 619’s Taguchi in the butt! Eagles springboards but Taguchi dodges, only to hip attack into the atomic drop again! Eagles runs, into the hip attack! Both men are down and fans rally up! Eagles bails out, Taguchi takes aim and builds speed, to triangle jump! Eagles gets clear and Taguchi lands on the apron, to FLYING HIP ATTACK! Fans fire up as Taguchi hits his target!
Taguchi drags Eagles up and puts him in. Taguchi aims, springboards, MISSILE HIP! Cover, TWO! Taguchi keeps his cool and brings Eagles up to snap suplex! Uno amigo! Dos amigos! THREE AMIGOS! Fans cheer and Taguchi covers, TWO! Taguchi powers up and goes to the corner. “ORAYO!” But Eagles runs in, only for Taguchi to dodge his basement dropkick! Taguchi gets the leg for OH MY ANKLE LOCK! Eagles endures, rolls and throws Taguchi off. Taguchi runs into Eagles calf kick! Taguchi goes to a corner, Eagles runs in to double knee! And then the METEORA! Cover, TWO! Taguchi survives but Eagles keeps his focus.
Fans rally up and Eagles goes up top! But Taguchi rolls away to the other corner. So Eagles hops down, stomps Taguchi in the drop zone, and goes up this corner! Fans fire up, but Taguchi rolls back the other way. Eagles stomps Taguchi again, goes up again, but Taguchi has already started rolling. Eagles storms over, but Taguchi catches him to a cradle! TWO, Eagles knees but Taguchi enziguris! Eagles ROUNDHOUSES, HEEL KICKS and PELES! Taguchi goes down and fans fire up! Eagles and Taguchi are in opposite corners but Eagles runs in, only to be put on the apron! Eagles kicks Taguchi away, springboards and dropkicks the legs out!
Fans fire up as Eagles gets the legs but Taguchi kicks him away. Eagles comes back with the running enziguri! Eagles has the legs but Taguchi rolls him up! TWO, Eagles blocks the kick but Taguchi blocks the backpack! Taguchi chicken wings the arms but Eagles victory rolls! TWO, Taguchi sits, TWO! Eagles, TWO! Taguchi, TWO! They roll and roll and roll and roll around the ring, and then keep rolling! Taguchi has it now, TWO! OH MY ANKLE!! Eagles endures, Taguchi leans as hard as he can, and then drags Eagles into the chicken wing! DODON- Victory roll to RON MILLER SPECIAL!!
Now Eagles makes Taguchi suffer! Eagles drags Taguchi from ropes, Taguchi threatens Eagles with his ass! Eagles pushes Taguchi down then cranks harder on the legs! Taguchi taps! Eagles wins!!
Winner: Robbie Eagles, by submission; now 3-4, Taguchi is now 3-4
Taguchi’s bubble has popped! Eagles makes him give up his chances at the top, but will it be little solace when the Sniper of the Sky has missed his own shot at the BOSJ trophy?
Master Wato w/ Hiroyoshi Tenzan VS BUSHI!
The Way of the Grandmaster and Death Mask are both firmly in the middle of the block! With time running out, who scratches and claws their way up towards the top?
The bell rings and Wato circles with Bushi. Wato tests the waters with kicks but Bushi stays clear. They tie up with knuckle locks, Wato shoots in to get the waistlock but Bushi switches. Wato switches back, Bushi facelocks but Wato rolls. Bushi tries to make that a cover but Wato gets away, and fans cheer the exchange. Bushi and Wato reset, tie up, and Wato headlocks. Bushi throws body shots and powers out, then things speed up. Bushi hurdles, Wato leaps over, and Wato dodges to fake Bushi out! Wato kicks and KICKS Bushi down, and fans fire up with Wato! Bushi gets up, Wato KICKS away on the legs then KICKS Bushi down again!
Bushi ducks the buzzsaw and bails out, but Wato builds speed! Bushi moves so Wato stops and changes course, but Bushi avoids his plancha to then sweep the legs! Wato tumbles down, Bushi gets in and builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit into railing! Fans fire up as Bushi stands. Bushi has the ref keep an eye on Tenzan before he brings Wato up. Bushi whips Wato into railing! Bushi stomps Wato, drags him up and whips Wato into more railing! Tenzan coaches Wato but Bushi stomps him as the ring count starts. Bushi takes his time and brings Wato up at 8 of 20. Bushi whips Wato to more railing at 12 of 20! The count is 15 and Bushi goes into the ring. Wato hurries up and in at 19!
Bushi drags Wato back up and hits a neckbreaker. Cover, TWO! Fans rally as Bushi stomps Wato down. Bushi drags Wato back up, bumps him off buckles, then CHOPS him! Bushi stomps Wato, drags him up and CHOPS him again! Bushi kicks at Wato, CHOPS him again, then brings him around to snapmare for a chinlock. Bushi claws Wato’s eyes but lets off to put on the headscissor hold. Wato endures as Bushi squeezes tight. Tenzan coaches Wato and Wato moves around, to get the ropebreak! Bushi lets go at the ref’s count of 3, and finally takes off his shirt, to choke Wato with it! The ref reprimands and counts, Bushi lets go with one hand. The ref counts and Bushi lets go with the other.
The ref throws the shirt aside and Bushi brings Wato up. Bushi back suplexes Wato high and hard, then covers, TWO! Fans rally for Wato as Bushi looms over him. Bushi brings Wato up but Wato throws body shots and forearms! Bushi eggs Wato on and Wato hits more. Bushi blocks the kick, elbows the leg, but runs into a KICK! Wato drags Bushi back up, Bushi body shots and knees to whip. Wato reverses, hurdles, and back elbows to back hand and sobat! Bushi bails out, fans fire up and Wato builds speed to TORNILLO! Direct hit into railing! Wato fires up and fans rally behind him!
A ring count starts and Wato drags Bushi up. Wato gets Bushi in at 7 of 20, then aims from a corner. Fans rally, Wato springboards, flying uppercut! Cover, TWO! Wato keeps his focus as he drags Bushi up and wrenches. Wato reels Bushi in but Bushi fights off the Mouse Trap. Bushi runs, but into a tilt-o-whirl BACKBREAKER! Wato sits Bushi up to KICK and KICK from all sides! Cover, TWO! Wato keeps cool, clubs Bushi with elbows, then waits for him to sit up. Bushi ducks the buzzsaw to shove and dropkick Wato down! Bushi drags Wato up, reels him in and hangs him out to dry! Bushi clubs Wato, goes to a corner and leaps to dropkick Wato down!
Bushi drags Wato up and through the ropes now, for the APRON DDT! Wato is stuck and Bushi goes back in to drag Wato up. Wato shoves out of the fisherman to DREAMCAST KICK! Both men are down and fans fire up! Bushi crawls to Wato, drags him up by his hair, but Wato throws forearms! Bushi forearms back, so Wato forearms again! They go back and forth, faster and faster, and fans rally with them! Wato gets the edge but Bushi gives those forearms back! Bushi brings Wato back up but Wato BACK HANDS! Wato fires up, reels Bushi in and scoops, but Bushi fights off TTD, only for Wato to sobat! Wato wrenches, reels Bushi in, MOUSE TRAP DRIVER! Cover, TWO! Bushi escapes and fans fire up!
Wato goes to a corner, climbs up top, RPP FLOPS! Bushi avoids the impact and is in the corner. Wato gets up in the opposite corner, runs in but Bushi dodges again. Bushi runs in, blocks the boots and turns Wato sideways for the DRAPING BACKSTABBER! Fans fire up as Bushi watches Wato rise. Bushi runs from a corner but no Code Breaker! Wato ROUNDHOUSES Bushi down! Wato drags Bushi up by his mask tail, reels him in and lifts, but Bushi ranas out of the bomb! Cover, TWO! Bushi ENZIGURIS Wato and Wato wobbles, into the CODE BREAKER! Cover, TWO! Wato survives and fans fire up again!
Bushi goes to the corner, hops up, and Tenzan warns Wato! Wato gets up, and dropkicks MX out of the air! Fans rally as Bushi writhes, and Wato brings Bushi up again. Bushi again ducks the buzzsaw, Wato ducks the enziguri but not the mule kick! Bushi brings Wato up, for the DESTROYER!! Bushi goes up to the corner again, calls for it and, M X!! Cover, Bushi wins!!
Winner: Bushi, by pinfall; now 4-3, Wato is now 4-3
The Death Mask is still alive in the round robin! He now has a tiebreaker over the Grandmaster, will this be a pivotal point in the homestretch?
Taiji Ishimori VS El Desperado!
The Bone Soldier lost to the Ticking Timebomb, but the Timebomb lost to Despy! Will the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion complicate the rankings by beating the man who beat him? Or will Desperado double down on why HE is the Best of the Super Juniors?
Ishimori shows off his title but Desperado holds up both his and Yoshinobu Kanemaru’s tag titles. Desperado then throws his towel at Ishimori’s face to blind him, before hitting a dropkick! The ref reprimands but the bell rings and Desperado stomps Ishimori out of the ring. Desperado whips Ishimori into railing! Desperado talks trash as he stalks Ishimori around the way, and whips him into more railing! Ishimori sputters and curses as he flounders but Desperado just mockingly asks what’s wrong. Desperado brings Ishimori up to POST him! The ref reprimands but Desperado stands on Ishimori’s head! The ref counts and Desperado stops at 3.
Desperado taunts Kojima on commentary before he drags Ishimori up. Desperado pulls on Ishimori’s ear as he brings him around the way, then puts him back in the ring. Fans cheer as this continues inside the ring, but Desperado grabs Ishimori’s title. The ref says to put that back, but Desperado digs it into Ishimori’s face! The ref reprimands and takes the belt from Desperado, but then Desperado covers. The ref refuses to count because of Desperado’s antics. So Desperado chokes Ishimori! The ref counts, Desperado stops at 4 and drags Ishimori up. Desperado whips Ishimori to the corner but Ishimori slips out! Desperado runs over, Ishimori slips around him and back outside, Ishimori rams into Desperado! Ishimori then springboard seated sentons!
Fans fire up as Desperado kicks and writhes. Ishimori drags Desperado up, throws him out and then whips him into railing! Desperado doubles over but Ishimori keeps on him. Ishimori whips Desperado into more railing! Desperado shouts as he flops down and writhes some more! The ref starts the count, Ishimori drags Desperado up and into the ring at 9 of 20. Fans cheer as Ishimori stalks Desperado and pulls him back from ropes. Ishimori drops elbows on Desperado’s arm, then drops knees! And more knees! Ishimori has the Disarmer to pull back, but Desperado gets the ropebreak! Ishimori holds on until the ref counts 3. Desperado sits up but Ishimori stomps him back down!
Ishimori wraps Desperado’s bad arm around ropes and fires off fast elbows! The ref counts, Ishimori stops at 4, and he paces as Desperado clutches the arm. Desperado tries to fight back but Ishimori knees him low. Ishimori wrenches the bad arm, throws elbows and uppercuts, then wrenches to an ELBOW BREAKER! Fans cheer the aggression as Ishimori covers, TWO! Ishimori keeps his cool as he looms over Desperado. Ishimori RAMS Desperado’s bad arm into buckles, then RAMS him again! Desperado shouts and flounders, Ishimori covers, TWO! Ishimori goes after the bad arm with elbows again, but Desperado throws body shots with the good arm.
Ishimori CHOPS, wrenches and whips, but Desperado sunset flips! ONE as Ishimori pops through to get his own sunset, TWO! Desperado has the prawn hold, TWO! Ishimori gets the ghost pin, TWO! Ishimori tortures the arm again! Ishimori YANKS back! Desperado flops over in pain, who knows what state his arm is in! Ishimori grins as he looms over Desperado. Fans rally up as Desperado throws forearms with the good arm, but Ishimori CHOPS him! Desperado rakes eyes, but Ishimori BOOTS the bad arm! Ishimori runs, Desperado uses the ref as a shield! Ishimori avoids the dropkick to his legs, and then gets around to NECK TWIST!
Fans cheer the aggression, and Ishimori stalks Desperado to ropes. Ishimori drags Desperado up, elbows away on the bad shoulder, and then whips him to ropes. Desperado manages to reverse and then SPINEBUSTER! Both men are down, fans cheer and rally up, and Ishimori goes to a corner. Desperado is in the other corner, runs corner to corner, and blocks a boot to put it on the ropes. Desperado dropkicks the other leg, and gives it a DRAGON SCREW! Ishimori writhes, Desperado gets the leg for a STRETCH MUFFLER! Desperado can only use his one good leg and Ishimori gets the ropebreak! The ref counts, Desperado keeps cranking but he lets go at 4!
Desperado grabs at the leg again and stomps away, drops knees, then splashes down! And back to the Stretch Muffler, but he uses that just to turn Ishimori over. Ishimori fights off Guitarra so Desperado kicks the leg! Ishimori still slips out of Guitarra but Desperado rolls Ishimori, to get the STRETCH MUFFLER! Desperado manages to get an arm for NUMERO DOS! Ishimori reaches, Desperado drags him away, but Ishimori uses that to drag Desperado into the YES LOCK! Desperado endures, crawls, reaches, and gets the ropebreak! The ref counts, Ishimori holds until 4! Desperado clutches the bad arm but Ishimori gets up to elbow away. Desperado kicks Ishimori’s leg! Desperado runs, into a tilt-o-whirl, SHOULDER BUSTER!
Desperado kicks and flails, Ishimori gets his bad leg working, and then Ishimori runs to tilt-o-whirl takedown! YES LOCK!! Desperado endures, fights his way over, and fans rally, but Ishimori rolls Desperado away! Desperado uses that to get NUMERO DOS! Ishimori endures even as Desperado adds leverage! Desperado cranks as hard as he can on the arm and leg, but Ishimori uses his free arm to get the ropebreak! Desperado lets go, but both men are down from sore limbs. Fans rally up as both men stir. Desperado sits up first but Ishimori follows. Desperado throws a forearm, Ishimori foreams back! Desperado hits back, Ishimori hits back, too!
They slowly rise to their feet and the forearms continue to fly! Ishimori gets the edge, throws some elbows, then runs, but Desperado wrenches and reels him in! Ishimori slips out of Guitarra, waistlocks, but Desperado switches! Ishimori switches back, but Desperado grabs at the ref! Ishimori dodges the low blow, runs and tilt-o-whirls, but Desperado resists the takedown to get GUITARRA DE ANGEL!! Cover, TWO!?! Ishimori survives and Desperado is furious! Fans fire up as Desperado brings Ishimori into the double underhooks. But Ishimori ranas out of Pinche, to then scoop Desperado to CIPHER UTAKI! Both men are down again and fans rally back up!
Ishimori aims, BANG, and he drags Desperado back up. Ishimori half hatch but Desperado fights that off, and rams Ishimori into the ref! Desperado dropkicks Ishimori’s legs out! Ishimori clutches his knee, Desperado grabs Ishimori’s belt! Desperado aims, but Ishimori KNEES Desperado first! Ishimori drags Desperado up but realizes the ref is still down. So Ishimori decides he can get away with the same trick! Wait, the ref is now coming to and he sees Ishimori has the belt! The ref takes the belt from Ishimori and Desperado LOW BLOWS Ishimori! Then STRAIGHT LEFT! Desperado shouts to the ref, reels Ishimori in, PINCHE LOCO!! Cover, Desperado wins!!
Winner: El Desperado, by pinfall; now 5-2, Ishimori is now 5-2
Desperado has pinned the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion! He has a victory that will surely prove decisive in the final rounds! With the Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships still in hand, will Desperado truly become the BEST of the Junior Heavyweight Division?
SHO VS Hiromu Takahashi!
High Voltage is only a step behind the Timebomb, but he has to be careful not to step on a landmine here! Will Sho survive to keep his own chances of the finals alive? Or will Hiromu keep his promise to make the BOSJ finals more, more, MORE fun for everyone?
The bell rings and both men rush each other! They ram shoulders, Hiromu falls over but gets back up to ram Sho again! They keep ramming shoulders, and Hiromu’s leg bothers him. Hiromu dares Sho to run, and things speed up! Hiromu clotheslines Sho at ropes, but Sho returns the favor! Hiromu clotheslines Sho again but Sho returns the favor, again! Hiromu clotheslines, Sho follows, and clotheslines collide! Hiromu staggers to a corner as fans fire up! Sho rains in forearms, but Hiromu follows him as he runs to corner clothesline! Sho again returns the favor to clothesline Hiromu in the corner! Sho runs, Hiromu follows again but is put on the apron!
Sho sweeps legs, runs side to side but Hiromu goes up and over! Hiromu then comes back to sunset, but Sho holds ropes for dear life! Sho then drops down to get the ARMBAR! Red Shoes reprimands and counts, Sho lets go at 3! Sho then aims from the apron to PENALTY KICK Hiromu down! Fans fire up as Sho brings Hiromu back up. Sho whips, Hiromu reverses and sends Sho into railing! But Sho comes right back to CLOBBER Hiromu! Fans fire up with Sho but he still needs to take a breath. Sho drags Hiromu back up, whips him, but Hiromu reverses again! Sho hits railing, and Hiromu shotgun dropkicks Sho back into railing to keep him down!
Red Shoes checks on both men and they’re both okay to continue. Fans rally, the ring count starts, and Hiromu puts Sho in at 7, only to drag him back out and whip him into more railing! And then into more railing! Sho bounces off and writhes while Hiromu walks off. Hiromu aims from the far side, runs back in, JOHN WOO! Sho hits railing again and the ring count returns. Hiromu stomps Sho, stands on his head, then brings Sho up. Hiromu puts Sho in at 14 of 20 and fans cheer. Hiromu kneels on Sho for a cover, TWO! Hiromu keeps cool as he brings Sho up. Sho throws forearms, Hiromu ROCKS Sho back! Hiromu CHOPS Sho, CHOPS him again, then whips Sho corner to corner. Hiromu runs in to hit a corner clothesline, then he runs and hits a basement dropkick! Cover, TWO!
Hiromu reels Sho into the headscissors squeeze! Sho endures, moves around, but Hiromu grabs the arms to add to the pull! Sho keeps moving around, kicks and reaches, and gets the ropebreak! Hiromu lets go and starts to talk some trash. He stands on Sho’s head but Sho pushes him away. Sho throws forearms but Hiromu gives them back. Hiromu throws more forearms, and elbows, but Sho grits his teeth. Hiromu elbows Sho’s neck again, then brings him up to reel him in. Sho resists the suplex, to then suplex Hiromu! Hiromu fights it off, tries to suplex Sho again, but Sho wrenches, only for Hiromu to ROCK him with a forearm! Hiromu runs, Sho dodges and ducks to redirect and SPEAR Hiromu!
Fans rally up as Sho and Hiromu stir. Sho gets to a corner, Hiromu goes to the other. Sho runs in to corner clothesline! Sho whips, Hiromu reverses but Sho reverses back to kick, kick and KICK Hiromu down! Fans fire up as Sho aims at Hiromu, and KICKS him again! Cover, TWO! Sho keeps his cool as he drags Hiromu back up. Sho wrenches to an elbow breaker! And another! And another, but Hiromu hops on to be a sleeper backpack! Sho throws Hiromu off, ARMBAR, but Hiromu rolls around! Ropebreak, and Sho lets off. Sho drags Hiromu up in a waistlock and dead lift, but Hiromu elbows off the German suplex.
Hiromu runs, Sho KNEES him, then runs, into the wheelbarrow, COMPLETE SHOT! Both men are down but fans rally up. Sho and Hiromu again go to opposite corners, and Hiromu runs in to clothesline! Hiromu runs, but he knows Sho follows! Sho still avoids the back elbow, whips Hiromu, and then LARIATS collide! Both men stay up but Sho keeps moving, Hiromu OVERHEAD SUPLEXES Sho into buckles! Fans fire up as both men are down again! Red Shoes checks Sho’s neck and fans rally up. Sho says he’s fine, the match continues, and Hiromu drags Sho up. Hiromu fireman’s carries, DYNAMITE PLUNGER! Cover, TWO!
Hiromu grins as he gets back up and drags Sho around. Hiromu fireman’s carries and CORNER DEATH VALLEYS! Fans fire up with Hiromu and he grins as he drags Sho back up. Hiromu fireman’s carries but Sho fights back! Hiromu still gets Sho up, but Sho fights more! Sho throws elbows, but Hiromu tries again. Sho slips off, blocks the superkick and fires off forearms! Sho wrenches but Hiromu CLUBS him on the back! And SUPERKICKS! Sho wobbles, Hiromu runs, but Sho side-steps to REBOUND GERMAN! Fans fire up as Sho grits his teeth. Sho fires up, dead lift waistlocks Hiromu, and GERMANS!
But Sho holds on, drags Hiromu up again, ANOTHER GERMAN! And then the pop into the ARMBAR! Hiromu clasps hands, but Sho pulls on the arm and gets it free! Hiromu flails and gets the ropebreak! Sho lets go and keeps his cool as he stands. Sho smirks as he scuffs Hiromu at the ropes. Sho brings Hiromu up to throw forearms from all sides! Sho point-blank LARIATS, and again, and again! Sho runs, but Hiromu clotheslines back! Hiromu runs, fakes Sho out and dumps him down! Hiromu runs, sunset flips and POWERBOMBS Sho to the floor! Fans fire up while Red Shoes checks on Sho. Sho is okay to continue and fans rally up. The ring count begins as both men stir.
The count reaches 10 of 20 before either sits up. Hiromu goes to the apron and is in at 15. Sho sits up at 16, slowly stands, hobbles, but gets in at 19.9! Fans cheer as the match continues! Hiromu stands, brings Sho up, but Sho throws a forearm! Hiromu forearms back, but Sho forearms again! They go back and forth, and fans rally up as they pick up speed! Sho wobbles but comes back to hit Hiromu again! Hiromu staggers, fans rally up again, and Hiromu throws more forearms! Sho roars to fire off forearms from all sides again! Sho runs, Hiromu swats the lariat away! Hiromu fires forerams from all sides now! Sho ROCKS Hiromu back!
Sho grits his teeth and runs, but Hiromu spins him around and around to huricanrana, into D TRIANGLE! Sho endures, reaches with legs, but Hiromu turns him away from ropes! Hiromu squeezes tighter, Sho fights up, and Sho dead lifts to BUCKLE BOMB Hiromu down! Fans fire up as Sho is free! Fans rally as both men are in corners again. Sho runs in but Hiromu LARIATS first! Hiromu fires himself up, runs at Sho and dropkicks him through the ropes! Hiromu drags Sho up, fireman’s carries again, but Sho grabs at the bad arm! Sho has the double wristlock! Hiromu is blocking with clasped hands behind his back, then breaks free to ROCK Sho with a forearm!
Hiromu fireman’s carries, Sho fights off and runs, to tilt-o-whirl, and takedown to the KIMURA! Hiromu endures, flails, reaches for ropes, but Sho drags him away with a gator roll! But Hiromu fireman’s carries, for another CORNER DEATH VALLEY! But Sho holds onto the arm!! Sho drags Hiromu around and has the KIMURA again! Hiromu endures, fans rally, but Sho shifts around to keep on the arm! Hiromu refuses to quit, kicks around, and gets the ropebreak! Sho lets go, fans rally up again, and Sho brings Hiromu up. Sho crosses the arms, but Hiromu tries to rana out of the driver! Sho powers Hiromu up higher, for the POWER BREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Hiromu survives but Sho still has his bow!
Sho drags Hiromu up and reels him in, then double pump handles. Hiromu flips through to roll Sho, and dragon sleeper for the inverted suplex! Sho slips out, throws forearms from all sides again, and then runs, but Hiromu gets around to SNAP GERMAN! Sho sits up in a daze but he powers up! Hiromu runs in, and LARIATS Sho first! Cover, ONE!?!? Sho LARIATS back and covers, ONE?!?!? Both men flounder about as fans fire up! Hiromu runs at Sho, but LARIATS collide! Sho stays standing but Hiromu anchors his legs. Sho fires up to run, but into a POP-UP BOMB! Hiromu drags Sho back up, VICTORIA!! Cover, TWO!! Sho survives and fans are thunderous!
Hiromu fires up as fans rally, and Hiromu drags Sho back to the fireman’s carry. Sho fights off, dragon sleepers, but Hiromu reverses to suplex! But Sho slips out to BACKSTABBER! Hiromu staggers, Sho runs and clotheslines him against ropes! Sho runs again, to BLINDSIDE LARIAT! Hiromu staggers but Sho runs, and LARIATS Hiromu down again!! Sho powers up, reels Hiromu in to cross arm PILEDRIVER! Cover, TWO!?!?! Hiromu survives and shocks everyone! Sho is furious but he again takes aim with his bow! Sho reels Hiromu in, double pump handles, for SHOCK ARROW!!! Cover, Sho wins!!!
Winner: Sho, by pinfall; now 5-2, Hiromu is now 5-2
High Voltage has another shocking upset on his resume! Will this completely change how the BOSJ turns out?! Fans cheer as Sho gets the mic! Sho thanks the Osaka fans for their support, and he tells Hiromu that “that match with you was a great thrill.” Sho says some fans here and watching around the world might not know this, “but I’m actually not a good talker. So I’m just going from the heart. I’m really happy to beat Hiromu today. Really happy.” But Sho won’t be satisfied with this! “This year, of all years, I will be the one to win this Super Junior!” Sho asks that we join him, and all the other Junior Heavyweights, “in turning up the voltage!” Does Sho still have the power to make it these last few rounds?
Here are the NEW Best of the Super Juniors 27 standings!
El Desperado: 5-2
Hiromu Takahashi: 5-2
Taiji Ishimori: 5-2
Master Wato: 4-3
Ryusuke Taguchi: 3-4 [ELIMINATED]
Robbie Eagles: 3-4 [ELIMINATED]
DOUKI: 1-6 [ELIMINATED]
Yuya Uemura: 0-7 [ELIMINATED]
A great round for Best of the Super Juniors! Douki VS Uemura was so good because they were both fighting so hard not to be last place. For a moment, I thought Uemura was going to pull it off, but no, he’s still a Young Lion so he gives Douki his first win in the tournament. I have a feeling Uemura won’t win at all in this tournament, unless it’s against one of the others out of the running. Taguchi loses and now he’s out of the way, but Bushi bringing Wato down was an interesting move. But I suppose FOUR wrestlers at 5-2 right now was more than enough. Desperado beating Ishimori and Sho beating Hiromu were two amazing upsets, and the last two rounds are going to be great stuff.
With Ishimori having lost twice, thereby owing two matches, Desperado and Hiromu are the obvious choices for the BOSJ 27 winner. And then the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship will pull double duty at WrestleKingdom 15, so that Desperado and Hiromu both get their shots, regardless of who wins or loses the tournament. I think the best sequence would be for only one of them to be a finalist, so that they can meet again on WK15 Night 2 after one wins the title off Ishimori. And chances are, the one pulling the double duty at WK15 would be Hiromu to add Face heat and story because of his beat up body.
My Score: 9.1/10
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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