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Mitchell’s NJPW WrestleKingdom 15 Results & Report! (1/4/21)

WrestleKingdom 15, Night 1!

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NJPW WrestleKingdom 15

NJPW gives us another massive double event to open the New Year!

Once more, NJPW WrestleKingdom is a massive TWO-DAY event! And Night One is big with the IWGP Double Championship main event, Naito VS Ibushi!

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • New Japan Rambo: ??? are the final four, and will compete in Night Two’s KOPW 2021 Fatal 4 Way.
  • IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship Contender’s Match: Hiromu Takahashi VS El Phantasmo; Hiromu wins and challenges Taiji Ishimori for the title on Night Two.
  • IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: The Dangerous Tekkers VS Guerrillas of Destiny; Guerrillas of Destiny win and become the new IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions.
  • IWGP United States Championship Right to Challenge Match: KENTA VS Satoshi Kojima; Kenta wins and retains the Right to Challenge contract.
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Great-O-Khan; Tanahashi wins.
  • Kazuchika Okada VS Will Ospreay; Okada wins.
  • IWGP Heavyweight & Intercontinental Double Championship: Tetsuya Naito VS Kota Ibushi; Ibushi wins and becomes the new Double Champion, will defend the titles against Jay White on Night Two.

PLAY BY PLAY

New Japan Rambo!

2020 is over, and Toru Yano finished as Mr. KOPW! But now with 2021, the challenge is to see who stays Mr. KOPW for an entire year! With 22 wrestlers being whittled down to four, will Yano have a shot at going back-to-back?

First out is the Crown Jewel of Bullet Club, Chase Owens! Second is Chaos’ Stone Pitbull, Tomohiro Ishii! And Ishii fires off on Owens before the bell! Ishii whips, Owens reverses but Ishii bounces off buckles only to run into a kick. Owens fires off a strike fest but Ishii dodges the Jewel Trigger. Owens dodges back to try for a backslide, but Ishii rolls off, so Owens tucks him in! Ishii avoids the package driver to spin Owens around but Owens avoids the brain buster. Owens boots, Ishii forearms and then catches Owens’ clothesline! Owens rolls out of the armlock but Ishii runs, only for Owens to avoid the sliding lariat! Fans cheer as the two stand off.

Owens and Ishii circle, Owens kicks low and bumps Ishii off buckles. Owens stomps away and even chokes Ishii, but the ref counts. Fans cheer as the third entry appears! And it’s Minoru Suzuki! Owens wants a time out and slips under the ropes to safety. The ref reprimands but Owens is taking full advantage of the rules to take a breather while Suzuki heads to the ring. On the flipside, Ishii is ready the second the Meanest Man in the World gets in, and they fire off forearms! Owens gets in to get in on it, but Ishii DECKS him! Suzuki and Ishii brawl, Owens comes back but Suzuki DECKS him!

Owens fires up and throws forearms on both of them! But neither flinches! Suzuki ROCKS Owens, Ishii DECKS him! Then they go after each other again! But another entry shows up already, and it’s Yuji Nagata! Blue Justice heads to the ring but Suzuki stomps Ishii over and over. Suzuki also BOOTS Owens, but turns his attention to Nagata as he enters. Now these two brawl back and forth! Suzuki chokes Nagata while Owens stomps Ishii! Nagata hits back but Suzuki knees low over and over! Owens CHOPS Ishii but Ishii doesn’t flinch. Owens keeps throwing CHOPS but Ishii CHOPS and forearms back!

Nagata turns things around on Suzuki only for Suzuki to rake eyes and turn things back around. Fans fire up as the CHOPS keep flying and the fifth entry appears! It’s Toa Henare! The Hammerhead hurries into the ring as Ishii fires off on Nagata and Suzuki, and Henare goes after Ishii! Ishii hits back, whips, but Henare reverses, only for the two to collide! Ishii and Henare bob ‘n’ weave with each other, Henare ROCKS Ishii and runs, only for Ishii to stop him flat! Henare suplexes Ishii and gets him up and over! Fans cheer as Henare stomps away, but Owens clobbers Henare from behind. Suzuki and Nagata brawl with each other again and fans fire up.

Entry six is here, and it’s Hirooki Goto! Suzuki dodges Nagata to get a SLEEPER! But Nagata fights out to get an elbow breaker! Goto makes his way into the ring as Suzuki drags Nagata up a corner in the sleeper! Ishii goes to push them both! Suzuki and Nagata stay on the apron and DECK Ishii! Suzuki and Nagata brawl, but Henare runs over and BLASTS them off the apron! Henare ELIMINATES BOTH Suzuki and Nagata! That’s huge for the young stud! But at the same time, Suzuki and Nagata don’t care, they just brawl with each other at ringside! Goto gets in and goes after Owens while Henare stomps Ishii.

Ishii hits back and brawls with Henare, but then Ishii just leans into Henare’s forearms. Ishii ROCKS Henare, Suzuki and Nagata brawl all the way back out of the arena, and Goto bumps Owens off buckles. Henare forearms and CHOPS Ishii in return, throws some knees, but Goto hurries over to help his teammate. Owens hits Goto, runs but Goto follows to LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Goto snapmares Owens, and another entry is here! It’s Yujiro Takahashi! Bullet Club’s Tokyo Pimp hurries to reinforce Owens as Goto covers, TWO! Goto stomps Owens, Ishii stomps Henare. Goto grinds Owens’ head with a boot but Yujiro gets in and goes after him!

Yujiro throws forearms but Goto kicks. Yujiro blocks, trips Goto up and runs to basement boot! But Henare SPEARS Yujiro! Ishii comes back and brawls with Henare, and he withstands the clothesline! Ishii fires elbows from both sides, but Henare Tomahawk elbows then HEEL KICKS! Ishii wobbles, Henare runs in but Ishii tosses and ELIMINATES Henare! Owens and Yujiro work together on Goto with a double whip, mule kick, stomps and then knees. The next entry is here, and it’s YOSHI-HASHI! The NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Champions are all together now!

Yujiro and Owens stomp Goto and Ishii then go after Hashi as soon as he’s in! They stomp and CHOP then whip Hashi to a corner. Owens whips Yujiro in but Hashi dodges to CHOP Owens, then he comes back to CHOP Yujiro! Hashi whips Yujiro, Yujiro reverses but Hashi dodges and he hits a spinning mule kick! Goto runs Yujiro over! Now Chaos takes over and they stomp Bullet Club down! Ishii keeps Owens down while Goto and Hashi hammer away on Yujiro. Owens turns things around on Ishii, and another entry appears! It is Togi Makabe! Hashi and Goto CHOP Yujiro, double whip, then combine but Yujiro dodges the hip toss senton!

Owens BOOTS Goto down then goes after Ishii in a corner. The Unchained Gorilla gets in and throws forearms on Owens! Yujiro hits Makabe and whips but Makabe reverses to put Yujiro in a corner. Makabe goes back and forth with clotheslines and fans fire up with him! Makabe goes after Hashi and Goto, and DOUBLE CLOTHESLINES them to DOUBLE ELIMINATE them!! Ishii goes after Makabe and CHOPS! Makabe forearms back, Ishii CHOPS, repeat! Makabe ROCKS Ishii, digs his boots in, but Yujiro goes after Makabe with a rake of the eyes! Yujiro goes to the ropes but Makabe resists being thrown out. Owens helps Yujiro but Makabe still holds on. Ishii goes after Owens!

Owens hits back, and another entry is here! Tomoaki Honma heads to the ring! Owens goes after Ishii’s legs while Yujiro tries to throw Makabe out. Honma goes after Yujiro with clubbing forearms but Yujiro keeps trying to throw Makabe out. Honma keeps trying, but he uses a HEADBUTT to knock Yujiro down! Honma and Makabe see Ishii coming, Ishii clotheslines Makabe but Honma goes after Ishii. Honma CHOPS Ishii, Ishii CHOPS Makabe, repeat! Honma shows high five, but he uses that to sucker Makabe in for a kick and CHOP! Another entry is here, and it’s HIROYOSHI TENZAN! Fans cheer as Tenzan returns to action!

Honma whips Ishii, then whips Makabe. Makabe reverses, Honma gets around, Tenzan gives Makabe CHOPS! Honma HEADBUTTS, and is working with Tenzan to throw Makabe out! They ELIMINATE Makabe, but then Honma goes after Tenzan! Honma’s definitely in this for himself! Ishii puts Owens on the apron, Owens BOOTS him back and slips under the bottom rope. Honma goes to throw Ishii, but Tenzan clubs Honma on the back. Owens clubs Tenzan, runs, but into a headbutt! Tenzan CHOPS Owens down! Tenzan throws hands and CHOPS and stomps on Owens as another entry appears! It’s Rocky Romero! Rocky fires off on Owens!

Rocky whips, Owens reverses but Rocky RANAS! Fans cheer as Rocky fires off on Honma but Honma rocks him back. Tenzan stomps Ishii, Rocky picks Honma up but Honma fights him off! Honma bumps Rocky off buckles, and goes to throw him out! Rocky holds on, Yujiro slides back in after using the loopholes to catch his breath. Tenzan goes to throw Owens out, Owens holds on but he’s put on the apron again! Owens scrambles to get the bottom rope, and another entry appears! It’s Douki! Honma tries to throw Tenzan out while Rocky goes after Yujiro. Rocky and Ishii whip Yujiro to run him over! Douki gets in with the stick!

Rocky hits Douki first, kicks and uppercuts, and fans cheer as Rocky whips. Douki reverses but Rocky hits another rana! Fans fire up with Rocky as he runs in, to corner clothesline! Infinite clotheslines on just Douki! But Douki dodges to STICK SMACK Rocky! The ref DISQUALIFIES Douki! Douki ELIMINATES himself, but he just wants to choke Rocky! Owens goes after Ronma, but here comes another entry! It’s SHO! Rocky’s protege rushes in to save him from Douki! SPEAR! Douki finally leaves and Sho makes sure Rocky is alright. Owens goes after Sho while Honma and Tenzan mug Ishii. Ishii just eggs them on and CHOPS! They CHOP back!

Sho throws Owens over the ropes but Yujiro makes the save. Yujiro stomps Rocky, Tenzan turns on Honma and goes to throw him over. Honma holds on, Owens is after Sho, but Ishii storms over after Sho. The next entry is here, and it’s BUSHI! Death Mask takes his time letting the others stomp away, and Chaos gives Owens a DOUBLE SUPLEX! Honma hurries to cover, TWO! Ishii takes offense so he and Honma brawl. Bushi finally gets in but Yujiro kicks him first. Yujiro whips, Bushi holds rope then dumps Yujiro out and ELIMINATES him! Owens kicks and whips Bushi, but Bushi dodges to DIVE out onto Yujiro! That was a tope suicida so Bushi isn’t out of the match. It did take a bit out of Bushi, though.

Owens checks on Yujiro then goes after Ishii. Rocky brawls with Tenzan, Honma stomps Sho. Another entry is here, and it’s TIGER MASK! Owens mocks Tenzan’s Monglian CHOPS, Bushi gets back up, but waits as Tiger Mask ROCKS Rocky! Tiger Mask goes up top and hits a CROSSBODY! Rocky rolls out and gets Tiger by the wrists, but Tiger Mask hits a flipping mule kick! Tiger Mask covers Rocky, TWO! Sho knocks Owens down, Tiger Mask KICKS away on Rocky, but Rocky pushes Tiger Mask to a corner and throws knees. Tiger Mask gets away, Bushi helps Honma from the outside drag Ishii up onto the ropes!

Rocky goes after Bushi, but another entry is here! It’s BAD LUCK FALE! The Rogue General storms over as Tiger Mask and Rocky mug Bushi. Fale whips Ishii to a corner but Fale dodges to kick low. Ishii tries to suplex Fale but Fale suplexes Ishii! Owens helps out and gets Ishii on the apron! But Ishii dumps Owens out to join him! Owens gets up, Ishii ROCKS him, but Fale BLASTS Ishii off the apron! Fale ELIMINATES Ishii! Fale also helps Owens get back in, only for Honma to scoop slam Owens. Honma runs for the falling headbutt! Another entry is here, and it’s a Young Lion, Gabriell Kidd! Bushi is after him on the outside and they brawl!

Fale scoops and throws Honma out to ELIMINATE him! Tenzan CHOPS Fale, runs, but Fale CLOBBERS him in return! Bushi isn’t letting Kidd into the ring?! Bushi CLUBS Kidd, but Fale throws Tenzan out and ELIMINATES him! Sho goes after Fale, Sho and Rocky DOUBLE KNEE Fale, then hurry to pick him up! Tiger Mask helps out, but Owens makes the save! Bushi still keeps Kidd out with clubbing forearms and stomps. Tiger Mask gives Owens THE Tiger Driver! Sho hits a PENALTY KICK, Rocky adds a back senton! Cover, but Fale breaks it! The next entry is in, and it’s another Young Lion in Yuya Uemura!

Uemura helps Kidd fight Bushi off while Fale throws Rocky out and ELIMINATES him! Sho waistlocks Fale but he can’t lift Fale. Sho runs, into Fale’s arms! Fale tosses and ELIMINATES Sho! Tiger Mask kicks away on Fale but Fale pops Tiger Mask up! Fale throws Tiger Mask over and out to ELIMINATE him! The Young Lions finally get in and go after Owens! Kidd whips and dropkicks Owens down! The Young Lions go after Fale together with stomps in a corner. Another entry is here, and it’s another Young Lion, YOTA TSUJI! The three Lions club away on Fale! Dropkick after dropkick, and then Tsuji runs, into Owens’ LARIAT! Owens BOOTS Kidd, and waistlocks Uemura.

Fale gets up but Uemura dropkicks him away! Uemura elbows Owens, Owens kicks back and runs, but Bushi drags him out! The Lions go after Fale again! Owens RAMS Bushi into railing but fans rally as the Lions have Fale up! Fale fights off, and the last entry is here! It’s of course Mr. KOPW 2020, TORU YANO! Fale clobbers the Lions as Yano makes his way to the ring. GRENADE for Kidd! GRENADE for Tsuji! Fale dares Yano to get in as he gives a GRENADE to Uemura! Owens throws Kidd out and ELIMINATES him! Yano is very cautious as Fale throws Tsuji out and ELIMINATES him!

Bushi makes sure they have Uemura, and they throw him out to ELIMINATE him! But then Bushi slips in, and all Yano has to do is get in! They’re the final four! They’ve already made it to the next round!

Winners: Chase Owens, Bad Luck Fale, Bushi & Toru Yano (advance to Night Two’s KOPW 2021 match)

Well, one thing Owens can say is that he lasted the entire match and is now moving on to tomorrow! But with the odds in their favor, will Bullet Club make KOPW 2021 #TooSweet?

 

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship Contender’s Match: Hiromu Takahashi VS El Phantasmo!

The Best of the Super Juniors 27 winner challenged the Super J-Cup 2020 winner, with the right to challenge The Bone Soldier Reborn on Night Two! Will the Ticking Timebomb blow #ELP away? Or will he self-destruct this close to a golden opportunity?

ELP shows little respect to his own fancy Super J-Cup jacket and mockingly applauds the winner of BOSJ 27. The bell rings and ELP bails out to disrespect the BOSJ trophy! ELP shows off his jacket but he wants to rub it in Jushin Liger’s face. But Liger isn’t around, and Hiromu leaps from the apron to missile dropkick ELP into railing! Hiromu goes back to the ring and climbs up as ELP staggers up. HIROMU BOMB! Direct hit and Hiromu mocks ELP’s hand shaking. Hiromu puts ELP in, drags him up and fireman’s carries, for a CORNER DEATH VALLEY! Fans fire up with Hiromu as he brings ELP back up. ELP slips out and scrambles away to the outside.

ELP wants a break to breath and Hiromu says “No problem.” But then Hiromu runs to sunset flip! ELP flips through and lands on his feet! Hiromu ducks but ELP uses him as a step back into the ring, and runs to come back and SUNSET BOMB HIROMU! Fans cheer that boldness of ELP to steal one of Hiromu’s favorites! The ref checks on Hiromu but ELP wants the count out! The fans rally for “HI-RO-MU!” as Hiromu stirs. The ring count is already 10 of 20 and ELP rests on the corner. Hiromu staggers up at 14, but ELP walks the tightrope to ASAI MOONSAULT! Direct hit at the ramp!

ELP shows how the hand signs are down and then demands the cameras stay on him as he gets up. ELP hobbles a bit, perhaps he still tweaked his ankle. ELP puts Hiromu in, rains down rights, but the ref reprimands about closed fists. ELP opens his hands to slap Hiromu around. ELP taunts Hiromu, Hiromu gets up and CHOPS back! And CHOPS again! And again! ELP spinning back kicks and Hiromu is down! Hiromu goes to the corner and claims ELP has loaded boots. The ref checks doesn’t find anything, and ELP drags Hiromu up. ELP throws Hiromu out, then Terminator kneels! He’s shouting out The Cleaner!

Fans follow along, and ELP runs to then roll and do his hand signs. Hiromu gets in to JOHN WOO ELP into a corner! Hiromu brings ELP up for a FALCON ARROW! Cover, TWO! Hiromu clutches his ribs again as he gasps for air, and he brings ELP up. ELP breaks free to stomp a foot! Hiromu falls over as he clutches his leg and still claims something’s up. ELP stomps Hiromu’s other foot, then has a cocky pin a la Jericho. ONE, but ELP drags Hiromu up. Hiromu CHOPS, ELP CHOPS back! Hiromu falls over but ELP drags him up with a clinch. ELP CHOPS again, lets out a “WOO~!” and then CHOPS again! Hiromu CHOPS back and CHOPS again!

ELP catches the hand, puts it on the mat and STOMPS it! Hiromu clutches his fingers but ELP gets the hand again to drop knees on it over and over! ELP tortures the fingers, twists the wrist, and brings Hiromu up to put Hiromu on ropes. ELP CLAWS Hiromu’s back deep and long! ELP puts Hiromu in a Tree of Woe, and digs his boot into the groin! The ref reprimands but ELP hops off, to bring Hiromu up and onto the ropes. ELP has Hiromu recline and CHOPS him, then goes up top! TOP ROPE SENTON!? What in the world?! Cover, TWO! ELP keeps cool and fans fire up for Hiromu. ELP drags Hiromu up, knuckle locks and CHOPS to go up the corner.

ELP springboards around to show off a bit, then he goes Old School and a little more, to then have the fingers and bend them! But Hiromu BITES back! The ref reprimands, Hiromu SUPERKICKS ELP down! Or rather, back onto the corner. Hiromu climbs up, brings ELP up, and hits a SUPER VICTORY ROLL! Cover, TWO!! ELP survives but fans fire up for Hiromu again! Hiromu brings ELP up, fireman’s carries but ELP throws elbows to get free. ELP tucks Hiromu in but Hiromu resists, so ELP BITES Hiromu’s fingers! And SNAPS them! ELP tucks Hiromu back in, brings him up and wants the Clash?!

Hiromu fights out of it, fireman’s carries again, and hits the DYNAMITE PLUNGER! Cover, TWO!! ELP survives but Hiromu keeps focus. Fans rally up, Hiromu drags ELP up, hammerlocks one arm and suplexes, but ELP slips out and SLAPS Hiromu! Hiromu SLAPS ELP but that was his bad hand! Hiromu drops to his knees as he clutches the hand, and ELP shakes out the bad foot in the corner. ELP aims, Hiromu gets up, but Hiromu dodges the superkick to give a SUPERKICK! VICTORIA! Cover, TWO!! ELP survives again and Hiromu grows frustrated. Hiromu fires up and fans join in! Hiromu dragon sleepers but ELP fights that off to victory roll, TWO! SUPERKICK from Hiromu to ELP!

Hiromu dragon sleepers again, inverted suplex, but ELP slips out to half straitjacket and torture rack! But Hiromu fights out of the spin, only for ELP to fight off the sunset flip! BASTARD DRIVER! Cover, TWO!! Hiromu still lives but ELP is too tired to be frustrated. Fans rally up, ELP drags Hiromu up and puts Hiromu in the corner. Hiromu pushes ELP away to SUPERKICK again! Hiromu drags ELP up, fireman’s carries, and goes up the corner!? ELP throws elbows to fight this off, but Hiromu keeps going! ELP slips off to ENZIGURI first! ELP climbs up again, brings Hiromu up, but Hiromu fights him off!

ELP drops down, and bumps into the ref! Was it on purpose? Who can say! But ELP punches Hiromu’s bad hand, then STRAIGHT PUNCH LOW BLOWS! ELP climbs up, brings Hiromu up, SUPER STEINER! ELP is right back up top, for a BIG SPLASH! Cover, TWO?! Hiromu survives and ELP is shocked! ELP drags Hiromu up, tucks him in, but Hiromu back drops and sits down! TWO!! ELP gets Hiromu up, STYLES CLASH!! Cover, TWO!?!? Hiromu survives and fans are fired up! Fans rally behind “HI-RO-MU!” as he and ELP end up on opposite ends. ELP aims and says BANG, to run in and V-TRIGGER! Another Cleaner shout-out, followed by the Electric Chair! ONE WINGED-

NO! Hiromu rolls through, rolls to fireman’s carry and CORNER DEATH VALLEY! Hiromu powers up, drags ELP back up, fireman’s carry to- ELP sunset flips and bridges! TWO!!! Hiromu narrowly escapes but ELP stomps the bad hand then BUZZSAWS! ELP drags Hiromu back up, reels him back in, and again wants his take on the Clash, but Hiromu RANAS and covers, HIROMU WINS!

Winner: Hiromu Takahashi, by pinfall (advances to Night Two’s IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship match)

BOSJ 27 beats Super J-Cup 2020, and now the Timebomb has a rematch with the Bone Soldier! Will Hiromu sweep WrestleKingdom to prove he is THE Best of the Super Juniors?

 

IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: The Dangerous Tekkers VS Guerrillas of Destiny!

Zack Sabre Jr. and Taichi have a chance to avenge the loss during World Tag League 2020, but Tama Tonga and Tonga Loa look to finally prove they can go from WTL champions to tag team champions. Will the Submission Master and Sliest Wrestler in the World make GoD #JustTapOut?

The Tekkers are prepared as they come out. To counter GoD having Jado, they’ve brought Douki! GoD give the Low Sweet, the title belts are finally given over and raised, and then the teams sort out. Taichi shows off the dancing pecs as he steps up. Tama wants the ref to be wary of that pouch Taichi has, and then he snatches it from Taichi! The teams brawl, Douki goes after Jado, and the bell rings as Taichi chokes Loa! Tama goes after Taichi, hits and whips, but Taichi dodges in the corner for ZSJ to EuroUpper! Taichi chokes Loa again, then sees Tama coming, to CHOKE! The ref reprimands, counts, and Taichi stops at 4, only to choke more!

Taichi stops at 3 to then drag Tama up and put in the Tekker corner with a choke! ZSJ adds on, the ref counts but only ZSJ lets off. The ref pulls Taichi away, Taichi tags ZSJ, and the Tekkers use their boots to choke Tama. The ref counts, Tekkers put their hands up. That’s not the problem! The ref counts, the Tekkers put their hands up again, but the ref pulls their feet away from Tama. Taichi chuckles and acts like he doesn’t see what’s wrong. ZSJ drags Tama up, spins him around, snapmares and ghost pins, TWO! ZSJ is right on Tama with an armbar! Tama clasps hands and gets the ropebreak with his feet!

ZSJ lets go at the count of 4, but he brings Tama back up to EuroUpper to a corner! Taichi grabs Tama’s hair, ZSJ throws more EuroUppers, but Tama throws forearms back! Taichi grabs Tama by his hair again and ZSJ runs in to BOOT Tama down! Taichi tags in, he snapmares Tama to CHOKE! The ref can tell the difference and has Taichi stop. Taichi chokes again, the ref counts but Taichi lets off at 4. The ref warns Taichi as he chokes yet again, and Taichi lets off, Taichi kicks at Tama, runs, but Jado swipes at him! Tama drags Taichi back into a TONGAN TWIST! Douki and Jado go after each other but Jado gets the edge with his kendo stick SMACK!

Loa RAMS ZSJ into the apron and Tama hits a DDT! Tama crawls to his corner, tag to Loa! Loa rains down rights on Taichi then stomps him! Loa drags Taichi up, scoops and slams him, then drops a BIG elbow! Cover, TWO! Fans cheer but Loa grins as he drags Taichi back up. Loa whips Taichi into the corner then hits a big clothesline! Tama CLUBS Taichi, Loa stomps, but the ref has to keep ZSJ from leaving his corner. The ref reprimands GoD but Tama tags in. Tama drags Taichi up, throws fast hands from all sides and even some stomps! ZSJ protests but the ref has to keep him back again. Tama gives back the choking with his boots, then lets off to loom over him.

Fans rally but Loa tags in. Tama scoop slams Taichi, Loa slingshot sentons! Tama slingshot sentons, Loa comes back to cover, TWO! Loa taunts Taichi to go tag ZSJ and Taichi crawls, but Loa drags Taichi away. Loa back suplexes Taichi, carries him around, then slams him down! Cover, TWO! Loa drags Taichi up into a chinlock and squeezes tight. Taichi endures, fans rally up and Taichi fights up. Taichi pulls hair, the ref reprimands, but Taichi gets to the ropebreak. Loa brings Taichi right up to ROCK him with a right! Tag to Tama and Tama talks trash to ZSJ. Taichi kicks from below but Tama chokes him!

The ref counts, Tama lets go and Loa says it’s only fair since Taichi did it to them. Taichi kicks Tama again so Tama CHOKES Taichi! The ref counts, Tama lets off at 4 and then he stalks Taichi to a corner. Tama drags Taichi up and throws body shots and haymakers. Taichi eggs Tama on so Tama headbutts and whips! Tama runs in but Taichi boots from the corner! Taichi chokes Tama, Tama breaks free to forearm! Taichi dodges the corner splash to GAMANGIRI! Fans fire up as both men crawl for their corners. Hot tag to ZSJ! Loa runs in, fireman’s carries ZSJ and spins, but ZSJ slips out to wrench and PELE the arm!

ZSJ runs in to EuroUpper Loa, then corner to corner to EuroUpper Tama! ZSJ goes back to Loa and tornado DDT Loa down! Tama runs in but into a shoulder. ZSJ headlocks, Tama powers out, things speed up and ZSJ snatches Tama out of the air! EURO CLUTCH! TWO!! ZSJ is fired up as he brings Tama up for more EuroUppers! Tama fires up but swing sinto a spin, and the IRON OCTOPUS! ZSJ digs his elbows in, bends the fingers and arm, but Tama endures! Tama works his way to ropes for the ropebreak! ZSJ lets go and calls to Taichi. The Tekkers loom over Tama, talk trash to Jado, then double whip Tama.

Tama slides out and Loa gets in to BLINDSIDE LARIAT both Tekkers! Loa drags ZSJ up and holds him as Tama gets back in. They mug ZSJ with a big dropkick! Tama crawls to his corner and tags in Loa. Loa chokes ZSJ in return for what Taichi did, but lets off at 4. Loa clubs ZSJ, whips him, and Tama comes in, body shot and uppercut to leaping neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Loa looms over ZSJ, drags him up, and ZSJ eggs him on so Loa DECKS him! ZSJ says that’s not good enough so Loa brings him up to DECK him again! Loa taunts ZSJ, brings him up, scoops, but ZSJ slips around to a sleeper hold!

Tama clubs ZSJ off Loa, whips ZSJ to ropes, and back drop tosses ZSJ to Loa’s POWERBOMB! High stack, but Taichi breaks it in time! Taichi kicks away on GoD, but Tama spins him around, Loa helps out, TONGAN TWIST! Fans rally up as GoD focuses on ZSJ. Jado says Super Bomb so that’s what they’ll go for. Loa hoists ZSJ up and rams him into a corner, and Tama corner splashes! Loa goes up, Tama drags ZSJ up and suplexes him to Loa, for the SUPER- No! ZSJ guillotines on the top rope! Taichi gets Tama with a dragon sleeper cobra twist! ZSJ adjusts, calls to Taichi, and they argue just a bit, but they combine for a TOWER OF DOOM!! SUPERPLEX BOMB takes down Loa!! Cover, TWO?!? Loa survives but the fans rally up!

ZSJ tags Taichi but Tama is there! Taichi BOOTS Ttama, back kicks and clotheslines! Then a clothesline for Loa! Tama dodges the lariat, but Taichi DOUBLE AX BOMBERS GoD! Taichi fires up, circles Loa, and BUZZSAWS! Cover, TWO! Taichi keeps his focus as fans rally up again. Taichi drags Loa up, reels him in, but Tama goes after Taichi! ZSJ sleeper holds Tama, then feeds him to Taichi’s BOOT! EuroUpper, BIG forearm, and then TENSHO- No! Loa intercepts Taichi, Tama suplexes ZSJ but ZSJ fights out of Magic Killer! ZSJ CRANKS Tama’s neck! Loa CLOBBERS ZSJ, but Taichi GAMANGIRIS Loa! All four men are down and the fans fire up!

ZSJ rolls out of the ring, as does Tama. Loa and Taichi get up on opposite ends, and Loa calls Taichi out! They collide with clotheslines! But neither falls, and Taichi eggs Loa on! Another double clotheslines but only Loa stays up! Taichi rises back up, but he side steps Loa into the corner! ZSJ BOOTS, Taichi ROUNDHOUSES! PENALTY KICK from ZSJ, and then fans fire up as Taichi drags Loa up. Taichi reels Loa in, Alabama lift, but Tama hits ZSJ with GUN STUN! Loa lifts Taichi, Taichi fights out of the bomb, and fights off the Gun Stun!

Taichi gives a ROUNDHOUSE to Tama! Loa gives a ENZIGURI to Taichi! Loa runs but Taichi gets around to hit DANGEROUS SAIDO! Cover, TWO!?! Loa lives and Taichi can’t believe it! Off come the pants!! Taichi aims, but Jado gets in! Taichi shoves the ref out of the way to LOW BLOW Jado! Douki drags Jado out but Tama has the iron fingers! Douki tries to warn Taichi but Tama CLOBBERS Taichi with the iron fingers!! Loa scoops Taichi for APESHIT!! Cover, GoD wins!!

Winners: Guerrillas of Destiny, by pinfall (NEW IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions)

First World Tag League, and now the entire Heavyweight Tag Division! Tama and Loa are truly the GOD of NJPW Heavyweight Tag Team wrestling! “We told you! By any means necessary!” Now they’re SEVEN-TIME champions! Will 2021 become the Year of Guerrilla?

 

NJPW hears from JON MOXLEY!

The Death Rider has a message from NJPW Studios in America! “Many men have vied for that US title contract. They all thought they were gonna get off easy. They all hoped and prayed that the United States Champion would never return. But I am the Bogeyman, and NJPW, I will get you eventually. So whoever walks out of the Tokyo Dome with that contract, make no mistake about it. I’m coming for ya.” Have the stakes just been raised on the next match?

IWGP United States Championship Right to Challenge Match: KENTA VS Satoshi Kojima w/ Hiroyoshi Tenzan!

Jon Moxley still has the IWGP US title and The Fang Revived wants it! But the King of Cozy Style does, too, and sticking it to Kenta at the same time is just the cherry on top. Who will have the briefcase and be headed for a head-on collision with the champion in the new year?

The contract briefcase is presented, the bell rings, and Kojima is ready but Kenta uses ropes for defense. Kojima backs off but approaches, then backs off again. Kenta goes from one corner to another, then circles with Kojima. Kenta still stays close to ropes to keep Kojima back, then he circles with him again. But then Kenta bails out and goes around the ring. Tenzan is there and Kenta tells him to go away. Kenta gets in the ring but Kojima stomps him down! Kojima stomps Kenta to a corner, brings him up and headlocks to grind him down. Kenta endures, fights up, and tries to power out but Kojima holds on tighter! Kenta tries again but Kojima still holds on.

Kenta pulls hair, powers out this time, but Kojima runs him over! Fans cheer for the dancing pecs as Kenta bails out. Kojima waits on Kenta as the ring count climbs. Tenzan tells Kenta to get in the ring but Kenta tells Tenzan to shut up. Kenta shoves Tenzan but Kojima goes out to attack Kenta! Kenta knees low and throws Kojima into Tenzan! The ref reprimands but Kenta kicks and DDT’s Kojima to the floor! Kenta says this is Tenzan’s fault, then he stomps Kojima and puts him in the ring. Cover, but the ref sees Kenta’s knee is on Kojima’s throat so he stops. Kenta stomps Kojima, drags him up and turns him for a neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Fans cheer but Kenta tells Tenzan to shut up.

Kenta stomps Kojima, brings him up and throws elbows in. Kenta snapmares and KICKS Kojima in the back! Kenta mocks the fans applauding before he drags Kojima into a headscissors hold! Kojima moves around, reaches out, rolls around, and gets the ropebreak! Kenta claims he can’t untie the hold so the ref does it for him. Kojima gasps, Kenta tells Tenzan to go away and then he gives toying kicks to Kojima. Kojima gets up and grinds foreheads with Kenta. Kojima CHOPS, Kenta rakes eyes and KICKS Kojima down! Kenta roars, glares at Tenzan and tells him to shut up and go away again. Tenzan tells Kenta to just worry about Kojima.

Kojima kicks Kenta and gives him Mongolian CHOPS like Tenzan! And shouts “TENZAN!” as he hits Kenta again! Kenta is down, Kojima stalks him to a corner and CHOPS him! And then he unleashes the MACHINE GUN CHOPS! Kenta withstands those to fire off machine gun forearms! Kenta whips, Kojima reverses and runs in to forearm smash! Fans fire up with Kojima and he goes up top. Kenta runs in to ROCK Kojima with rights first! Kenta climbs up, brings Kojima up, but Kojima resists the superplex. Kojima throws body shots but Kenta resists the gourd buster. Kenta RAKES eyes, then SUPERPLEXES Kojima down!

Fans rally up as both men are down and Kojima goes to a corner. Kenta runs in to forearm smash! Kenta rolls Kojima and shouts that he’s going up! Kenta climbs, leaps, FLYING CLOTHESLINE! Cover, TWO! Kenta kicks Kojima to a corner then stomps him on the apron. The ref reprimands, Kenta drags Kojima up and through ropes, then SLAPS Kojima on the head. Kenta goes out to join Kojima, but Kojima blocks the suplex for dear life! Kojima throws body shots, knees, and brings Kenta in for an APRON DDT! Fans are fired up as both men are down on the outside! A ring count starts, and it reaches 9 of 20 before Kojima is up.

Kojima drags Kenta up and in at 13 and fans cheer. Kojima drags Kenta up, cravats, but Kenta throws body shots. Kenta spins Kojima around to a DDT! Both men are down again and fans rally up. Kojima goes to the corner, Kenta runs corner to corner, for a FLYING BOOT! Kenta keeps moving, HESITATION DROPKICK! Kojima is in the drop zone, Kenta climbs back up top, for the DOUBLE STOMPS! Cover, TWO!! Kojima survives the coup de grace but Kenta won’t stop here! Kenta fireman’s carries but Kojima fights that off with elbows. Kenta boots, spins, but Kojima swats the clothesline to hit the COZY CUTTER! Fans fire up as Kojima powers up the arm!

Kenta rises, Kojima runs, but Kenta hits a POWERSLAM! Both men are down again as fans rally up. Kenta bails out, grabs the briefcase, and slides inside. The ref warns Kenta, grabs at the case, but Kenta shoves the ref away. COZY LARIAT swats the case away! Kojima keeps moving, Kenta boots the lariat away, but Kojima LARIATS from the other side! Cover, TWO!! Kenta survives but Kojima is too tired to be frustrated. Kojima gets up, fans fire up with him, and Kojima brings Kenta up. Kojima whips, Kenta dodges, SHOTGUN BOOT! Both men are down again and fans fire up.

Kenta fires himself up, drags Kojima to the fireman’s carry, but Kojima fights out with forearm after forearm! ROLLING ELBOW! Kenta is down, Kojima powers up! Kojima stands Kenta up but Kenta ROCKS him with counter palm strikes! Kenta runs from a corner, to PSYCHO KNEE!! Cover, TWO!! Kenta drags Kojima up, fireman’s carries, GO TO SLEEP!!! Cover, Kenta wins!

Winner: Kenta, by pinfall (retains the US Championship Right to Challenge Contract)

And so now we know who is aiming for Moxley! Will the Fang Revived sink his teeth into some real gold when he finally gets his shot at the title?

 

Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Great-O-Khan!

The Ace owes The Dominator a beating for the way World Tag League went down! Will he get revenge on the biggest stage on NJPW’s calendar? Or will he be conquered for the glory of The Empire?

The bell rings and fans rally already. Tanahashi and Khan circle, feel out the grapple, and Tanahashi avoids Khan shooting in. Khan sits down to use a leg guard, but then stands up as Tanahashi reaches for him. Tanahashi baits Khan to go after the leg and still gets away as Khan reaches in. They circle, tie up with an elbow ‘n’ collar, and Khan resists Tanahashi going around. Khan wants the leg but Tanahashi floats to a headlock. Khan slips out, gets the leg, but Tanahashi blocks and moves around. Khan scrambles to avoid the facelock and fans cheer as the two stand off. Tanahashi and Khan reset, circle, and Khan uses a unique stance to both bait Tanahashi in but also reach for a leg.

Tanahashi stays back, goes for a foot but Khan slips out. They knuckle lock, Tanahashi gets around but Khan rolls to thook a leg. Tanahashi stays up, lateral press, ONE, and Tanahashi headlocks. Tanahashi grinds but Khan powers up, only for Tanahashi to hold on as he powers out. Khan tries again but again Tanahashi grinds him down. Khan pulls hair, the ref counts and they end up on ropes. Khan powers out this time and runs Tanahashi over! Tanahashi is up right away but Khan CHOPS him down! Tanahashi is back up but Khan scoops and SLAMS him! Fans cheer the showing of strength as Khan roars. Khan stomps Tanahashi’s face, drags him up, but Tanahashi throws forearms!

Tanahashi runs, but Khan side steps him to throw him out! Tanahashi skins the cat, but Khan Mongolian CHOPS his hands away! Khan goes out after Tanahashi and stomps him down. Khan drags Tanahashi up, and POSTS him! Fans rally for “Let’s Go, Ace!” but Khan bumps Tanahashi off the apron. Khan walks around, brings Tanahashi up and around to the ramp. Khan CLUBS Tanahashi down and soaks up the heat. Khan stands Tanahashi up to scoop SLAM him to the ramp! Khan leaves Tanahashi behind and a ring count begins. Tanahashi slowly stirs but Khan also fetches a chair? The count is past 10 of 20 as Tanahashi crawls towards the ring! Then past 15!

Tanahashi gets up and hobbles over to get in at 19! Fans cheer and Khan nods as the “Let’s Go, Ace!” returns. Khan drags Tanahashi up, pulls on his ear then CLUBS it! Khan drags Tanahashi up, but Tanahashi fires off forearms! Khan Mongolian CHOPS then picks the leg to get a KNEEBAR! Tanahashi grits his teeth as he crawls and drags Khan with him, to the ropebreak! Khan lets go at 4, looms over Tanahashi and stomps him down! Khan mockingly asks what’s wrong, then eggs Tanahashi on. Khan digs Tanahashi’s face into his boot, but Tanahashi powers up! Khan grabs hair to smash his knee off Tanahashi’s face! Tanahashi blocks the boot to DRAGON SCREW!

Fans rally with “Let’s Go, Ace!” stronger and stronger as Tanahashi gets back up. Tanahashi drags Khan up, throws forearms and has Khan in a corner. Tanahashi whips corner to corner, Khan reverses but Tanahashi comes back with flying forearms! And then more! Tanahashi keeps moving, and fans fire up with him! Tanahashi drags Khan up to scoop and slam him down! Tanahashi hops up the corner for the sunset senton! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up as Tanahashi watches Khan rise. Tanahashi runs, but Khan turns the Slingblade into an atomic FACEBUSTER! Both men are down, fans build to another rally, and Khan drags Tanahashi up.

Tanahashi throws a forearm, Khan throws it back and they brawl faster and faster! Fans rally up as they go back and forth, neither man backing down! Tanahashi gets the edge, but Khan knees low! And uppercuts, then BOOTS! Tanahashi is down but Khan drags him up. Khan hits another Mongolian CHOP! And another! Khan powers up to Mongolian SHOVE Tanahashi down! Khan fires up more as he drags Tanahashi up and reels him in, for a LIFTING COMPLETE SHOT! Cover, TWO! Khan gets the leg for a standing kneebar! Tanahashi endures and gets the ropebreak! Khan lets go at 4, fans rally up, but Khan toys with Tanahashi.

Khan whips, reels Tanahashi in, and OVERHEAD SUPLEXES Tanahashi! Tanahashi holds onto ropes, and skins the cat! Tanahashi blocks the chops to throw palm strikes! Khan kicks low, but Tanahashi gets around the chop to TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Both men roar, Tanahashi dodges Khan to SLINGBLADE! Cover, TWO! Khan lives but Tanahashi fires up more! Fans rally as Tanahashi goes to a corner and climbs up top! Khan clamps on the CLAW! Khan drags Tanahashi off the corner, but Tanahashi resists the lift! Khan waistlocks, then changes it to a cobra twist with the claw! Tanahashi endures, fights to move around, but Khan INVERTED EXPLODERS Tanahashi away! Cover, TWO!! Tanahashi is still in this and fans fire up!

Khan drags Tanahashi up in a dragon sleeper, but Tanahashi resists, only for Khan to still get him up in the inverted suplex! Khan grabs the chair he brought in earlier, but the ref reprimands. Khan puts the chair down and says that’s the target! Khan clamps on the claw and drags Tanahashi up! The ref reprimands but this isn’t about winning anymore! Khan lifts, Tanahashi slips out to get a sleeper hold on! Khan fights free, but Tanahashi TWIST ‘N’ SHOUTS him down! Tanahashi sees the chair, and picks it up! The ref reprimands Tanahashi now, and Tanahashi puts the chair away. Tanahashi brings Khan up, full nelson, DRAGON SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!!

Tanahashi hurries up top, leaps, HIGH FLY FLOW to Khan’s back!! But Tanahashi isn’t done! Tanahashi goes back up top, aims again, HIGH FLY FLOW!! Cover, Tanahashi wins!!

Winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi, by pinfall

The Ace is high and the Dominator could not dominate him! Will Tanahashi rise back up to former glory in 2021?

 

Kazuchika Okada VS Will Ospreay!

The Rainmaker has just about had it with people betraying him, and the Aerial Assassin’s was perhaps the worst of them all! Will Okada crush Ospreay’s hopes of being NJPW’s new alpha?

The bell rings and Okada already gets fans rallying with his claps. Ospreay and Okada stare down from their corners as fans rally up more. They approach but still stare down. They tie up and are in a deadlock, but Okada finds a point of leverage to push Ospreay to ropes. Red Shoes calls for the break, Okada and Ospreay are wary of the other was they do, and Okada fakes the hit to pat Ospreay on the shoulder. Ospreay throws a forearm but Okada gives it back, and they’re fast and furious already! Fans fire up as they get 2fast2furious! Ospreay bumps Okada off buckles, rains down fast hands, then lets off as Red Shoes counts.

Okada comes back with forearms, Ospreay throws more then knees low. Ospreay whips, Okada dodges and ducks to elbow Ospreay down! Okada whips Ospreay to a corner, runs in and back elbows to then kick and DDT! Fans cheer while Ospreay scrambles away and to the outside. Okada pursues, kicks Ospreay and clubs him, then throws forearms at the railing. Ospreay CHOPS back, elbows Okada but Okada ROCKS him in return! Ospreay kicks and clubs Okada, CHOPS him again, then smirks at commentary. Okada RAMS Ospreay into railing and Bea Priestly has to get out of the way before Okada puts Ospreay in. Ospreay BOOTS back, runs, but into a BOOT!

Ospreay bails out again and Okada runs to FLY! Direct hit at the ramp! Fans fire up with Okada but he does take a moment to catch his breath. Okada brings Ospreay up as fans rally, and he throws more elbows. Okada puts Ospreay in, but Bea talks smack to Okada. Ospreay BOOTS Okada down in the distraction, then runs to WRECK Okada off the apron! Red Shoes reprimands Bea and tells her to stay far away. Ospreay pulls up floor mats at ringside?! Ospreay is exposing bare wood of the Tokyo Dome! Ospreay brings Okada over, reels him in and lifts, but Okada fights off the bomb to put Ospreay on the apron!

Ospreay avoids the draping DDT to RAM Okada into railing, then whip him into more railing! Ospreay reels Okada in for a NECKBREAKER to the floor! But not bare floor, so what padding there is spares Okada. Red Shoes reprimands and wants this to get in the ring, and fans rally up as Ospreay drags Okada up and into the ring. Ospreay puts Okada on the apron to elbow away on neck and shoulders! Fans still rally for Okada as Ospreay stands on him, then drops a GUILLOTINE KNEE! Okada flops down and Ospreay grins as he looms over him. Ospreay puts Okada in, covers, but Red Shoes refuses because of the extracurricular activity.

Ospreay is annoyed but he brings Okada up. Okada throws forearms back, but Ospreay gets around to back suplex high and hard! Cover, TWO! Ospreay is annoyed but he keeps on Okada with bumps off buckles. Ospreay CHOPS Okada, then makes Okada looks him in the eye before he CHOPS again! Okada leans against ropes but Ospreay stomps him down! Ospreay stands on Okada’s head while talking trash but fans still rally for Okada. Ospreay drags Okada up, scoops him and hits a BIG BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Ospreay sits Okada up for a chinlock and digs his knee in his back. Okada fights up and throws elbows, but Ospreay CLUBS Okada on the back!

Ospreay whips Okada corner to corner, then runs in, but Okada boots back! Okada runs, but Ospreay follows to elbow him at ropes! Ospreay runs, but into a BIG BACK DROP from Okada! Bea is worried about Ospreay but the fans cheer! Okada and Ospreay are both down as fans rally up, and Okada glares at Ospreay. Okada rallies with big forearms and elbows, then dodges Ospreay to FLAPJACK him almost as high as that back drop! Cover, TWO! Okada rallies the fans with clap-clap-clap-stomp, then he Alabama lifts Ospreay. Ospreay fights out and kicks but Okada blocks to BOOT! Alabama lift and tuck, REVERSE NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!

Okada keeps his cool while fans rally. Okada wants the Money Clip but Ospreay powers him to a corner! Ospreay is free, runs back in but is put on the apron. Ospreay ROCKS Okada with a forearm, springboards and hits PIP PIP CHEERIO! Cover, TWO!! Ospreay grits his teeth but he gets up and looms over Okada. Ospreay dragon sleepers, but Okada fights free! Okada walks into a stiff body shot! GERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO! Okada escapes but Bea coaches Ospreay up. Ospreay drags Okada up, reels him in and underhooks the arms, but Okada back drops free! Ospreay gets up and elbows Okada away, but he springboards into Okada’s fireman’s carry! DEATH VALLEY BOMB!

Both men are down and fans rally up while Bea coaches Ospreay again. Okada and Ospreay slowly rise, and Okada throws a forearm from the mat. Ospreay throws the forearm back, but Okada forearms again. The two get to their feet and the forearms continue to fly! Ospreay CHOPS, Okada ROCKS him with a forearm! Ospreay CHOPS, and then he eggs Okada on! Okada EuroUppers and Ospreay wobbles! Okada whips, runs in but Ospreay boots! Ospreay hops up but Okada dropkicks him down to the floor! Fans fire up while both men are down again! Bea coaches Ospreay up but Okada goes out to fetch him.

Okada whips Ospreay into railing hard and commentary has to watch out! Okada runs in but Ospreay blocks the boot! Ospreay BOOTS back, then BOOTS again! Ospreay uses the railing as a springboard but Okada gets under, to SHOTGUN DROPKICK Ospreay down! Fans fire up as both men are down yet again! Red Shoes checks on both men but they’re okay to continue. Okada is up and he puts Ospreay in before a ring count starts. Okada takes a moment to steady himself, then climbs up and aims at Ospreay for a BIG shotgun missile dropkick! Bea shouts for Ospreay to get up but Okada is on him first. Okada gut wrenches but Ospreay resists!

Ospreay fights out, gets to a corner, and Okada runs in only to be put up top! Ospreay tucks Okada in, CHEEKY NANDOS! And then dragon sleeper to BLOODY SUNDAY! Cover, TWO! Okada survives but Ospreay keeps his focus. Fans rally up as both men rise. Ospreay glares at Okada, and he SUPERKICKS! Then HOOK KICKS! Ospreay drags Okada up to underhook and rack, but Okada slips out to dropkick! Okada whips but Ospreay holds ropes! Okada didn’t commit to the dropkick, so he’s ready for Ospreay’s return! Okada gets around to GERMAN, but Ospreay lands on his feet! SUPERKICK! Ospreay whips, Okada reverses, dropki- POWERBOMB!! Cover, TWO!!

Ospreay was so close and neither he or Bea can believe it! Okada gets to ropes and drags himself up, and Ospreay runs in to CLOTHESLINE Okada and himself out! And they’re back at the bare patch Ospreay made earlier! Ospreay likes that, and he hurries to bring Okada up and in. Okada resists the lift but Ospreay throws body shots. Ospreay gets Okada up but Okada fights free of the bomb to UPPERCUT! Okada gut wrenches but Ospreay flails and Ospreay ends up in the timekeeper’s area! Ospreay clubs Okada, and decides to go for the next best thing! But Okada fights off the suplex, scoops Ospreay, but Ospreay slips down and shoves him away.

Ospreay ROUNDHOUSES Okada, brings him back up and suplexes, to SLAM him on the table!! Ospreay doesn’t have the best landing, either, but far better than Okada’s! Bea checks on Ospreay while Red Shoes checks on Okada. Okada is somehow okay to continue, as is Ospreay, and the fans rally up. Ospreay grabs at Red Shoes but Red Shoes tells him to let go. Red Shoes goes back to the ring to start a count. Ospreay sits up and starts heading to the ring, but he reconsiders and goes back to Okada. Ospreay drags Okada up at 9 of 20, brings him around to ringside at 13, then puts himm in at 16. Ospreay goes up top, because he wants to end this properly.

Okada stands, Ospreay leaps, BLINDSIDE PIP PIP CHEERIO! Cover, TWO!?! Okada barely survives but Ospreay isn’t going to stop! POWERBOMB! High stack, TWO!! Okada survives that nasty bomb (that’s not a nickname) and that infuriates Ospreay. Ospreay kicks Okada to the apron, and brings him up. Ospreay underhooks and Red Shoes says not to do this, but Okada holds onto ropes for dear life. Ospreay kicks away on Okada’s face then CHOPS him! Ospreay uses the post to launch, but Okada blocks the cutter! Okada gut wrenches, for an APRON TOMBSTONE!!! Both men go down again as Okada has evened things with Ospreay!

Fans rally up as both men are down and a new ring count begins. The count is 10 of 20 before either even sits up! Okada is first to use railing to stand, and he is in at 15. Ospreay finally starts to sit up here, Bea shouts at him to move, and Ospreay is in at 18, for a LARIAT! Okada has the wrist, and he drags Ospreay back up, only for Ospreay to BOOT and BOOT and SUPERKICK! Okada swings, Ospreay dodges, but he runs into a DROPKICK! Then the MONEY CLIP!! Okada wants to make Ospreay suffer! Ospreay flails and claws, but Okada gut wrenches to the JUMPING TOMBSTONE! MONEY CLIP!!

Ospreay endures, Bea shouts for him to fight, but Okada leans on the hold as much as he can! Bea gets on the apron, Ospreay fights up but Okada shoves Ospreay into Bea! BACKBREAKER, to MONEY CLIP!! No mercy for the Empire! Ospreay is fading as he’s fighting, but Okada CRANKS on the hold! Ospreay grabs at Red Shoes, but he’s turning red himself! Okada CRANKS harder! Ospreay grabs at Red Shoes more, reaches with his feet, and somehow gets the ropebreak! Okada lets go in frustration but the fans are cheering the resilience! Okada gets up and looms over Ospreay as he dares him to get up. Ospreay sits up but Okada stomps him down.

Okada again eggs Ospreay on, and Ospreay throws hands, but they don’t do much. Okada DECKS Ospreay, then dares him to get back up. Ospreay rises again, tries to hit Okada but he barely has anything. Okada ROCKS Ospreay, and he didn’t even hit that hard. Okada clubs and stomps Ospreay, then drags him up again. Ospreay SLAPS Okada but that just amuses Okada. Okada EuroUppers, scoops and slams Ospreay! Okada goes back to the old formula and climbs up top. Ospreay hurries over to intercept but Okada throws more forearms. Ospreay grits his teeth and both men growl at each other. Ospreay forearms, Okada throws them back, and they brawl up top!

Okada sends Ospreay down but Ospreay comes back to BOOT Okada! Ospreay fires himself up and he climbs to bring Okada around. SUPER SPANISH FLY!! Cover, TWO!?! Ospreay almost had Okada but he won’t give up yet! Ospreay runs, springboards, OS- NO! MONEY CLIP, but Ospreay arm-drags free! Okada EuroUppers, but Ospreay dodges to ROLLING ELBOW! Springboard, OSCUTTER!! Cover, TWO!?!? Ospreay is beside himself as even his old tried ‘n’ true doesn’t end it. Ospreay mounts Okada to SLAP away, then grabs wrists for DANIELSON STOMPS! Red Shoes wants Ospreay to stop but Ospreay shoves him away to just STOMP away more!

Ospreay drags Okada up, turns him, and then BLINDSIDE FOREARMS! Ospreay tells Red Shoes to move from the corner so Ospreay can take aim. Ospreay prepares the arm, Okada slowly sits up, but Okada dropkicks Ospreay first! Fans fire up as Okada goes back to bring Ospreay up and in. ROLLING- NO! Ospreay dodges, goes up and up, SUPER- DROPKICK! Okada spins for ROLLING RAINMAKER! Okada brings Ospreay back in, for MONEY CLIP!! Ospreay reaches desperately, but Okada flips him, only for Ospreay to ROLLING ELBOW! Okada runs in, into a gut wrench! TOMBSTONE!!

Ospreay steals the Rainmaker Pose?! And the RAINMAKER!!! Cover, TWO!?!?!? Okada survives his own move!! Ospreay is losing his mind, but he has one more thing to try! Double underhooks, lift, but Okada fights out again! Okada lifts, gut wrenches, MICHINOKU DRIVER! And then THE RAINMAKER!!!! Cover, Okada wins!!

Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall

No one does the Rainmaker like the Rainmaker!! Okada is still the top of the mountain, will there ever come a day when he’s knocked down from his throne?

 

IWGP Heavyweight & Intercontinental Double Championship: Tetsuya Naito VS Kota Ibushi!

The Switchblade didn’t win the G1 Climax but he did cheat the Right to Challenge contract out of the Golden Star’s hands. But joke’s on him, the Double Champion is still giving Ibushi the title match he earned! Will Ibushi make Naito regret his generosity to go after Jay White? Or will Naito settle the score with one rival to then go after another?

As is Naito’s way, he takes his time going to the ring, and taking off his entrance attire. The introductions are made, the belts are presented, and fans cheer as Naito finishes his routine so that the Double Gold Double Header can finally begin!

Naito and Ibushi stare down as fans rally up. Naito loosens up and circles with Ibushi. They approach, but Naito backs off, as is also his way. He and Ibushi circle more, feel out the grapple, settle on knuckle locks, and Ibushi shots in. Naito gets the arm, then the waistlock, but Ibushi pries at the hold. Naito rolls him, hooks the leg, but Ibushi gets up to bend Naito’s leg in a toehold. Ibushi shifts positions, has the toehold with his legs but Naito counters with a chinlock. Ibushi fights out, Naito floats over but Ibushi slips around to hammerlock. Naito rolls and has Ibushi’s arm to wrench. Ibushi rolls, trips Naito but Naito tries to headscissor.

Ibushi still gets a toehold but Naito wants the full nelson. Fans cheer the exchange as Ibushi lets go of the leg and Naito rolls to a cover. ONE, and Naito has a waistlock. Ibushi fights up, switches, but Naito wrenches to headlock and hit the takeover. Ibushi headscissors, Naito pops out and Tranquilo! Fans cheer and Ibushi shrugs it off to reset with Naito. They circle, fans rally up, they approach and Naito kicks low. Naito throws forearms and elbows, headlocks again, then grinds Ibushi down. Ibushi tries to power out but Naito holds on tight. Naito grinds the headlock more, Ibushi fights up but Naito hits a takeover.

Ibushi keeps his shoulders up, Naito grinds the hold, and they stand up. Ibushi powers out this time, hurdles then drops to RANA Naito to the outside! Fans rally up as Ibushi builds speed to the corner, GOLDEN- No, Naito goes in. Ibushi bails out of the jump but Naito sweeps legs! Naito has Ibushi on the apron for a draping- NO! Ibushi flips out of the neckbreaker, but Naito blocks his boot. Ibushi dodges the back hand but Naito yanks Ibushi off the apron! GERMAN SUPLEX to the ramp! Naito takes a moment before he goes to the ring. Red Shoes starts a ring count and Ibushi stirs at 3. Ibushi gets up at 10 of 20, hurries over, and is in at 15.

Naito keeps cool as he stomps Ibushi down at the ropes. Naito drags Ibushi up, snapmares him then puts on the headscissor hold. Naito uses leverage to squeeze tighter but Ibushi fights. Naito squeezes more, Ibushi moves around and gets the ropebreak. Naito adds all the squeeze he can but lets go at the count. Ibushi crawls but Naito brings him up to RAM him into a corner. And again! And again! Naito throws back elbow after elbow, then brings Ibushi out for a scoop, into the reverse DDT! Cover, ONE!! Naito is annoyed but he drags Ibushi back up. Naito cravats, Ibushi endures, then Ibushi throws body shots! Naito fakes Ibushi out to kick low!

Naito smirks as he whips, but Ibushi reverses, only for Naito to reverse back! Ibushi fights off the tornado DDT, Naito kicks low but Naito runs into a dropkick! Both men are down, Ibushi grits his teeth and gets up. Fans rally, “I-BU-SHI!” “NA-I-TO!” as Ibushi brings Naito up. Ibushi fires off forearms, whips, but Naito reverses, only to run into the FLYING KICK! Fans fire up and rally behind Ibushi, and he hits a standing moonsault! Cover, TWO! Ibushi keeps his cool and he waistlocks. Naito resists the lift, throws elbows and backs Ibushi into the corner, for MORE elbows! Ibushi runs but Naito whips him to elbow him down, then basement dropkick!

Naito puts Ibushi in a corner, whips him corner to corner, then runs in to rocket kick! But Ibushi CLOBBERS Naito out of Combinacion Cabron! Naito lands off the apron and to the floor but Ibushi goes out to fetch him. Ibushi drags Naito up, reels him in, and lifts, but Naito fights off the bomb. Naito spins Ibushi around to hit a neckbreaker to the floor! Fans cheer while both men are down and Red Shoes checks on them. Red Shoes starts a ring count, Naito and Ibushi stir but Naito is the one up at 6. Naito brings Ibushi up at 10 of 20 to put him on the apron, DRAPING NECKBREAKER!! And then back into the ring, for a BACKBREAKER, and leg hook nelson!

Ibushi endures as Naito hammers his own leg to add pressure. Ibushi fights up, moves around, kicks and reaches, and manages the ropebreak! Fans cheer, Naito claims he needs help so Red Shoes frees Ibushi. Naito drags Ibushi up, Ibushi throws feeble forearms, but Naito hammerlocks and lifts. Ibushi fights off Gloria, but Naito back elbows and whips. Ibushi reverses, gets around Naito to GERMAN! But Naito is right up, only to run into DOUBLE STOMPS! Fans rally as both men are down again! Ibushi and Naito go to opposite corners, and Ibushi shouts at Naito as he runs in.

Naito boots Ibushi away, then boots him again, but runs into the POWERSLAM! Ibushi rolls to MOONSAULT, but Naito catches him to the PLUMA BLANCA!! Ibushi endures the modified Koji Klutch, throws fists where he can, and moves around again. Naito cranks on the hold, Ibushi reaches and gets the ropebreak! Naito lets go in frustration but fans cheer. Ibushi gasps for air but Naito is on him first. Ibushi throws a forearm, then another, and another. Naito eggs him on then throws the vicious back elbows! Naito brings Ibushi back up for more elbows, then even more elbows! Ibushi staggers, Naito hammerlocks and lifts, GLORIA! Cover, TWO! Ibushi survives but Naito keeps his cool.

Naito steadies himself as he stalks Ibushi to a corner. Naito brings Ibushi up, hoists him to the top rope, then climbs up to join him. Ibushi resists so Naito clubs away on his back. Ibushi throws body shots, Naito clubs more, but Ibushi ROCKS Naito with that shot! To then PELE Naito down from the top! Naito is on the apron but Ibushi goes out to join him. Fans rally up as Ibushi brings Naito up. Red Shoes says not to but Naito resists Ibushi’s lift. Fans rally up as the struggle continues, and Naito back drops Ibushi to the apron! Ibushi grits his teeth and shakes his head as he gets back up, but Naito elbows him again, only to walk into a RANA OFF THE APRON!!

Fans fire up as Red Shoes checks on Naito. Naito’s leg somehow ended up in the railing and he gets it free. The ring count starts again and the two stir at 6, then start to stand at 8. Ibushi is in at 11 of 20, Naito uses railing and the table to get up at 17. Naito is hobbling and in at 19.9! But Ibushi is after him with kicks and stomps at the ropes! Ibushi drags Naito up from the apron and waistlocks, for the DEAD LIFT- No, Naito fights out with uppercuts! Naito throws more uppercuts until Ibushi is stuck up top, then he clubs away with forearms! Naito hurries inside, and CLUBS Ibushi from behind. Naito climbs up and brings Ibushi into a SUPER POISON RANA!! Cover, TWO!?!

The fans are thunderous as both men are down again! Naito aims from a corner as Ibushi flounders up. Ibushi looks for Naito, but Naito runs in, into a ROUNDHOUSE! BUZZSAW! Ibushi fires up and brings Naito up by the wrists. Naito avoids Kami-Goye to tilt-o-whirl, DESTINO!! Cover, TWO!?!? Ibushi survives but Naito won’t let that deter him. Naito drags Ibushi up, wrenches and tilt-o-whirls, but into Ibushi’s BASTARD DRIVER!! Ibushi can’t hold the cover and fans are fired up as both men are down! Fans rally with “NA-I-TO!” “I-BU-SHI!” as the two slowly sit up. Naito heads for a corner but Ibushi grits his teeth as he follows.

Ibushi sits Naito up to throw a forearm, but Naito gives it back! Ibushi forearms again, and eggs Naito on. Naito forearms Ibushi, and Ibushi gives it back. Ibushi smirks and Naito forearms again! The two are starting to enjoy this, and they stand as they keep giving forearms back and forth! Ibushi forearms, Naito forearms, repeat! They pick up speed, fans rally behind them, then Ibushi gets the edge! Naito SLAPS Ibushi, then ROLLING KICKS! But Ibushi LARIATS in return! Ibushi drags Naito up, reels him in, but Naito fights, only for Ibushi to still LAST RIDE! KAMI-GOYE!! Cover, TWO?!!? Ibushi is stunned but the fans are loving it!

Ibushi drags Naito around to a drop zone and he goes up top! Ibushi PHOENIX SPLASHES, but FLOPS as Naito moves! DESTINO!! Cover, TWO?!?!?! That was 2.99!! Both men are down but the fans are thunderous again! Naito grabs Ibushi’s wrist, brings him up, wrenches again but Ibushi goes to gut wrench! Naito fights that off so Ibushi throws elbows. Naito throws elbows, suplexes, but Ibushi slips out to ROUNDHOUSE! Ibushi sits Naito up, has the wrists, KAMI-GOYE!!! Cover, TWO!?!?!? More like 2.999!! Ibushi and Naito have survived each other’s best, but Ibushi isn’t going to give up because of that!

Naito resists the wrist hold, and throws elbows, then an ENZIGURI! Scoop, VALENTIA!! Naito fires up, aims at Ibushi, wrench and tilt-o-whirl- NO! Ibushi blocks the rest, and V-TRIGGERS! KENNY! KAMI-GOYE!!!! Cover, Ibushi wins!!!!

Winner: Kota Ibushi, by pinfall (NEW IWGP Heavyweight & Intercontinental Champion)

INCREDIBLE! No, that’s not even enough to say what this was! Ibushi has reached a new level and is now on top of NJPW! Ibushi is in such a daze he isn’t even sure he’s won, he tries to pin Naito again. Red Shoes tells him that he HAS won, and the emotions finally start to pour in! Ibushi manages to get up slowly with the ropes, and the title belts are brought into the ring.

But Naito gets up to grab the belts from Red Shoes first. The former, first and only two-time Double Champion holds onto these belts for one last moment, before he officially hands them over to Ibushi! And he even raises Ibushi’s hand in victory! Fans cheer this amazing display of respect for his rival! When and where will Naito come back for at least one of those titles?

Ibushi looks at the Heavyweight and Intercontinental titles, and fans cheer as he raises them both high over head! But to rain on the parade is Jay White! He grabs a mic to say, “Hey, congratulations, huh? How about a round of applause? Should we get him some ice?” Even though we all know Ibushi isn’t the real champion, Ibushi should enjoy his moment! It’ll only last 24 hours! Tomorrow, White takes the titles and everything from Ibushi! Ibushi say she’ll become a wrestling god? No, White exposes Ibushi as the fraud that he is! “Every time that you are about to reach the heights that you so desperately aim for, I will always, I promise you I will always be there, to pull you back down.”

But tomorrow, Ibushi has a vital role to play in White fulfilling HIS destiny of becoming a wrestling god, aka becoming IWGP Heavyweight & Intercontinental Champion. Tomorrow, Ibushi breathes with the Switchblade forever. White drops the mic and Ibushi applauds what he had to say. White takes his leave, and Ibushi takes his turn with the mic. “Excuse me, Jay… I will not be just a single-day champion. But before I continue, hold on. Naito, thank you very much.” Back to Jay, Ibushi can picture himself “standing victorious in the red corner after the match tomorrow.” Tomorrow, Ibushi ends White.

Ibushi knows times are tough but he thanks the fans for being here. But he is NOT a one and done. He will absolutely defend both titles! He is holding the greatest and strongest titles right now, and he will KEEP them! Does everyone understand? They cheer, as he again says he will never run away, quit or betray the fans. Ibushi will beat White and become a wrestling god! Ibushi again holds the belts up high, then goes up the ramp, to the stage, and lets the pyro fly in celebration! But is this the beginning of Ibushi’s ascension? Or the beginning of the end?


My Thoughts:

This was great stuff and for only the first night! The New Japan “Rambo” was pretty unique in that eliminations could be by throwing opponents out or by pinfall, but clearly it was going to be more by over the ropes. It was hilarious for Yano to be part of the winning four and not even have to do anything. Yano, Fale, Owens and Bushi make for a fun combination, but anyone could be the first Mr. KOPW 2021 at this point. Hiromu VS ELP was a very good match, but considering ELP and Ishimori are both Bullet Club, it just seemed obvious that Hiromu was going to win. I’m surprised NJPW didn’t consider that when putting Super J-Cup together, but perhaps they wanted someone fans in Japan were already familiar with to win and give Hiromu a strong match.

Dangerous Tekkers VS Guerrillas was a really good match, too, and I like that Douki accompanied his Suzuki-Gun teammates. Sucks that he didn’t really cancel Jado out, though. GoD winning makes some sense, as they’ve been a team for longer, and are a bit more united than Tekkers seemed to be by this point. ZSJ had to keep shouting to Taichi to help with coordinated moves, maybe the Tekkers are going to take a break to go back to singles title pursuits. Maybe they go back to feuding with Chaos’ trio to go after the Six Man Tag Championships. I like that we got a message from Moxley, and Kenta retaining the contract just makes sense, as those two could have quite the physical match.

Both grudge matches were great stuff. Tanahashi beats Khan to prove he’s still got it, and similarly so does Okada, but I feel like Ospreay should’ve won this time. I know Okada isn’t on his way out or anything, but The Empire should feel formidable, and that namely means their leader should be the one to watch out for. Ospreay may not be the kind of Heel that cheats, but he should have found some way to sneak that win. Some kind of secret he knows because of how well he knows Okada, or maybe something Okada knows about Ospreay that Ospreay then turns around to surprise Okada. There can still be a lot to the rise of Ospreay’s faction in the coming years, but winning here would’ve already cemented that group in NJPW.

Naito VS Ibushi certainly cemented both men’s legacies in NJPW as far as I can tell. They each gave as good as they got, with maybe just a little bit of reference back to previous match-ups between them. What was most powerful, aside from the false finishes, was Naito wanting to be the one to present the belts to Ibushi. Naito is top tier in NJPW, but he acknowledges on screen that so is Ibushi. Of course, it’s fitting that White has to get his part in this, but I would really think that Ibushi does win out on Night Two. That match will put it beyond shadow of a doubt that Ibushi is deserving of the belts, and that he could be the one to carry out Naito’s plan of defending both belts separately, as opposed to simultaneously. If NJPW wants 2021 to be the feel good year compared to the literal feel horrible year of 2020, Ibushi needs to retain and White needs to get his comeuppance.

My Score: 9.4/10


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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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