Will Bianca Belair choose the Raw or SmackDown Women’s Champion?
After weeks of deliberation, the Women’s Royal Rumble Winner is ready to decide! Will The EST of the WWE choose Asuka of Raw or Sasha Banks of SmackDown for a WrESTleMania moment?
- Rey & Dominik Mysterio VS The Alpha Academy; The Alpha Academy wins.
- Apollo Crews VS Shinsuke Nakamura; Crews wins.
- Liv Morgan w/ Ruby Riott VS Tamina w/ Natalya; Tamina wins.
- The Street Profits VS Sami Zayn & King Corbin; The Street Profits win.
- Daniel Bryan VS Jey Uso; Double Count-Out, Bryan does not receive a Universal Championship match at Fastlane.
PLAY BY PLAY
Roman Reigns heads to the ring!
The Head of the Table is still WWE Universal Champion after the stacked deck sham he put together for the Elimination Chamber PPV last Sunday, and is still flanked by Paul Heyman and Jey Uso. But after putting a battered Daniel Bryan down, Roman got SPEARED by Edge! And after pointing to the WrestleMania sign, it was clear what Edge wanted next! Pyro goes off, fans give thumbs down on the ThunderDome screens, and Heyman hands Roman a mic. “I don’t think it’s a secret: SmackDown needs me.” The same for the Elimination Chamber PPV needing him. So Roman answered the call, because that’s what the Tribal Chief does! He saves the show! So Roman defended his title against the Chamber winner!
And then what happened? Roman SMASHED Daniel Bryan in “the most exciting ass whooping of the year, maybe the decade.” That is who Roman is in this life. Anyone else in his shoes, anyone else in this role, they’d boast and brag and throw a party. But not Roman! Roman is above that, and operates at a higher level. No one else understands. It was nearly perfect. But it wasn’t perfect, because of one man: EDGE. So yes, Edge got one on Roman. A Spear in Roman’s ring on Roman’s night. Then Edge had to go and point at the sign and make it official: Roman VS Edge at WrestleMania!
But Roman is telling us all right now, Edge doesn’t want that. Edge doesn’t need that in his life. So Roman will give Edge another opportunity: back out. Go home and never look back. Edge has a beautiful family, is a father and husband. Roman doesn’t want to hurt Edge. Roman likes what Edge stands for, respects the legacy and the comeback. But Roman doesn’t want to hurt Edge. “So understand this, get it through that thick head of yours.” A man like Edge doesn’t stand a chance against a man like Roman. But here comes the GOAT, Daniel Bryan!
Bryan says “nearly perfect” huh? That’s how Roman describes his title defense? Bryan felt the need to come out and say, from his perspective, that’s true. How “magnanimous” of Roman to face someone who went through an Elimination Chamber! Roman DOES deserve a celebration! But there have been some rumblings about some people who think differently. That Roman coming out immediately after the Chamber was cowardly. To take a man exhausted from fighting five others and going through hell, and start a match right there, that person isn’t a real champion at all.
But Bryan isn’t saying that! No, he isn’t complaining! He’s just addressing what others are saying. But Bryan was a bit baffled by was for the Head of the Table to defend his Universal Championship in the second match. Wouldn’t he want to be the main event? Or would that have given the winner too much time? So the thing is, Bryan was in this ring against Roman in his very first match in the WWE, and Bryan always saw Roman’s talent! Roman wants to create a legacy, so here’s a chance to make it all right, so that there will be no doubt and no comparison between them, because there have been a lot. Bryan challenges Roman to defend that title one more time, 1v1, at Fastlane.
Jey Uso snatches Bryan’s mic and asks what DB is doing. All Bryan has is excuses! Bryan lost to the Best of the Best! Back of the line, Uce! If you want to get to the Head, go through the Right Hand Man! Be careful or you’ll get got! Bryan asks Roman if Jey speaks for him now. Roman says after what he did to Bryan, Bryan wants to get hurt again? Jey DECKS Bryan! And then throws him out of the ring! Jey goes out to TOSS Bryan up and over barriers! Roman smiles and laughs with Jey about what they did to Bryan just now. But will a simply blindside be enough to keep Bryan down?
Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville discuss the BiggEST Decision.
Bianca VS Asuka, Bianca VS Sasha, both are huge. Edge comes in, though, and is pretty sure they were listening to Bryan just now. Is Bryan going to get a match at Fastlane before Edge gets his at WrestleMania? He wants to talk. What will the Rated R Superstar and the WWE Officials come up with in regards to Bryan wanting another round with Roman?
SmackDown returns as The Bloodline talks backstage.
Roman has Heyman take the belt and Jey apologizes for jumping the gun. But DB was disrespecting them! Roman says there’s nothing to apologize for, so long as Jey gets the job done. That’s what matters. Roman tells Jey to handle this, but will he get the Goat?
SmackDown now returns to Edge’s discussion with Pearce and Deville.
Edge arrives and is hearing people talking about Roman VS Bryan at Fastlane, but last thing he heard from the officials is that there would be a tag team match. Which is it? Pearce knows it was on the table, but that was all tentative. Now Bryan is issuing his shot and Jey stepped up, this all fell in their laps! But see, if Bryan beats Jey, they’ll make the title match at Fastlane. And no disrespect to Edge, but the Universal Championship is a big attraction. Oh, no disrespect, huh? Edge leaves perhaps feeling disrespected. But will Edge really protest Bryan taking the title from Roman? Or is it something else Edge wants that facing Bryan can’t give him?
Rey & Dominik Mysterio VS The Alpha Academy!
Just last week, the Mysterios were just as shaken up by Chad Gable getting the Blue Collar Brawler to transform into a menacing machine! Gable gets on the mic and has us relive that in replay footage. The Dozer did not show mercy to Rey, and for purpose of “film study,” they use slowmo on the last part, where Otis hits a huge second rope splash. Gable has Otis pumped up and ready to go again, will we just see a replay in real-time this week?
The teams sort out, Otis and Rey start and Gable tells Otis to stick to the plan. Otis rushes Rey but Rey trips him up! But Otis turns around to run Rey over! Otis drags Rey into position, and runs to hit an elbow drop! Otis stalks Rey, scoops him, and then TOSSES him to a corner! Gable keeps coaching Otis and Otis runs corner to corner to RAM into Rey! Otis throws clubbing forearms but Gable has Otis cool off and bring Rey over. Otis does as ordered and Gable tags in. Gable fireman’s carries Rey to pop him up for a GUTBUSTER! Gable bumps Rey off buckles, RAMS into him, then runs, into a BOOT!
Rey reaches for Dom but Gable fireman’s carry takeovers! Gable drags Rey back but Rey ENZIGURIS! Hot tag to Dom! Dom rallies on Coach Gable! Back elbow in the corner, whip corner to corner but Gable reverses. Dom goes up and over and wheelbarrows Gable into buckles! Dom hops up, walks the ropes and hits a TORNADO DDT! Cover, TWO!! Gable survives but Rey tags in! Dom lifts Gable up, SEATED SENTON SPINEBSUTER! Rey DECKS Otis, Dom catapults Gable to ropes, DOUBLE 619!! Rey climbs up, bad ribs and all, for a FROG SPLASH! Cover, but Otis breaks it in time! Otis CLOBBERS Dom!
The ref reprimands, Gable tells Otis to go out so he can tag in. Otis again does as ordered and tags in, to catch Rey’s springboard, to a POWERSLAM! Gable tells Otis to finish Rey, and Otis puts Rey in a drop zone. Otis climbs up, for the DOZER SPLASH!! Cover, Alpha Academy wins!
Winner: The Alpha Academy, by pinfall
Last week, Otis and Gable lost because they went too far! This week, they win by sticking to the plan! Will Gable and Otis bulldoze their way to a SmackDown Tag Team Championship opportunity?
Apollo Crews heads to the ring!
A change in mindset is accompanied by a change in ring gear. Apollo sports new gear after unleashing aggression and frustration on both Shinsuke Nakamura AND Big E last week, where Big E was left injured! Big E is home recovering but Apollo is here smiling at what he’s done. Part of Apollo’s new gear is a long scarf, that he takes time to put on before getting a mic. “A lot of people have been wondering what’s been going on with me lately.” This isn’t the Apollo they knew. Well to be honest, no one ever knew a thing about him! For far too long he’s been nice, humble and respectful, yet has not received the same respect. Being who Apollo is and who his family is, that is unacceptable.
Apollo isn’t from the hood or from suburbia. He is from Nigeria! He is a “REAL African American”, and this is the REAL Apollo! His ancestors are ROYALTY! His great grandfather, Akume Uhaa, ruled the Tiiv Nations and controlled some of the richest lands in Nigeria! Akume spent his days draped in gold, and his nights with his five wives! FIVE, imagine that! Akume’s word was law, and his power was feared. This is who APOLLO is, and what he represents! He wears the colors of Nigeria, for they represent wealth, dominance and power. Big E found that out firsthand last week, because just like great-grandfather Akume would say, if your enemies defy you, you show them the steel.
Big E was defiant, telling Apollo to go to catering. But what Apollo did was go back to his roots, to tell us how his great-grandfather would’ve said it! “I showed Big E the steel, and I guarantee you he will NEVER disrespect me again.” And as for the King of Strong Style, he will suffer the exact same- Shinsuke Nakamura interrupts! Will he make Apollo regret what he has done?
Apollo Crews VS Shinsuke Nakamura!
But Apollo doesn’t let Nakamura finish his entrance! Apollo attacks from behind, drags him up and throws him out! Apollo grabs the steel steps!! The ref gets in the way but Apollo tells him to move! The ref refuses so the steel is thrown aside while SmackDown goes to break!
SmackDown returns, the match has started, and Apollo drags Nakamura out of a corner to reel him in and CLOBBER him! Apollo makes sure his scarf is neatly set on the corner, before he whips Nakamura corner to corner hard! Apollo drags Nakamura up, snap suplexes him and covers, ONE! Apollo grinds Nakamura down with a chinlock but Nakamura endures. Nakamura fights up, throws elbows to get free, but Apollo grabs hair and pulls him in for a GERMAN SUPLEX! Nakamura landed on his knees and comes back with a DYNAMIC DROPKICK! Both men are down as Nakamura shakes out the cobwebs.
Apollo drags Nakamura up but Nakamura KICKS him down! Nakamura KICKS and KICKS, then whips Apollo to the corner. Apollo reverses, but Nakamura dodges to KICK him in the back! Nakamura hangs Apollo out to dry to AX KICK him down! And then SLIDING KNEE! Cover, TWO! Nakamura stomps away, wraps Apollo up but Apollo fights out and GERMAN SUPLEXES! He holds on to GERMAN SUPLEX Nakamura again! Apollo wants the hat trick, and he GERMAN SUPLEXES again! Cover, TWO! Apollo grows annoyed with Nakamura, and drags him up to whip. Nakamura reverses, Apollo ducks one kick but not the windmill!
Apollo gets to a corner, Nakamura runs in but blocks the boot! Nakamura spins Apollo into ropes, and hits the SLIDING GERMAN! Cover, but they’re too close to the ropes! Nakamura has to let off, but he aims from the other corner. Apollo bails out to avoid Kinshasa, and Nakamura is frustrated. Nakamura pursues, runs around the way but into a kick! Apollo whips Nakamura into steps! Apollo puts Nakamura in, drags him up, and lifts but Nakamura slips out! Nakamura has a sleeper hold! Apollo gets to the corner, and uses his scarf to save him from being dragged out of the corner! And then Apollo uses the scarf to YANK himself in, ramming Nakamura’s head into buckles!
Nakamura staggers back, Apollo ENZIGURIS him! Apollo drags Nakamura up for an OLYMPIC SLAM! Cover, Apollo wins!!
Winner: Apollo Crews, by pinfall
Apollo’s heritage has helped Apollo win! Will it be long before Apollo adds gold to the green and white he now wears?
Roman sits in his private room.
Heyman walks over to say he saw Pearce make it official: If Bryan wins tonight, he gets a title shot at Roman at Fastlane. So no tag team match? Well it’s only if Bryan wins tonight. Roman thinks on that. Does he have a way of making sure things go as originally planned?
Liv Morgan w/ Ruby Riott VS Tamina w/ Natalya!
Things got a bit odd last week when Billie Kay came out bandwagon-ing the duo of second generation superstars, thereby distracting the Riott Squad. But how will things turn out this time, minus the distractions?
The bell rings, Tamina powers Liv to a corner, but Liv avoids a haymaker! Liv tries to roll Tamina but Tamina swats Liv away! Liv goes Matrix to avoid the clothesline, but Tamina sweeps the legs! Tamina drags Liv up but Liv kicks her away! Liv dodges the stomp, throws hands but Tamina swings on Liv. Liv dodges again to RANA Tamina to a corner! Liv runs in but into a SUPERKICK! Ruby coaches Liv but Tamina shouts at her, “Is this what you want?!” Tamina drags Liv up and DECKS her! Natty cheers as Tamina dribbles Liv into buckles! Tamina TOSSES Liv across the way! Tamina runs to HIP ATTACK Liv in a corner! Cover, TWO!! Liv still lives but Ruby is worried for her.
Liv hits Tamina back but Tamina CLOBBERS her with a back elbow! Liv sits up in a daze and reaches for Tamina. Tamina slaps Liv’s hands off her then drags her up. Tamina suplexes Liv up and over hard, then covers, TWO! Tamina is annoyed but she drags Liv back up. Liv throws body shots, but Tamina throws Liv down by her hair! Tamina looms over Liv, pushes her around, and drags her up to whip to ropes. Liv blocks the hip toss, goes for a backslide, but Tamina flips her up and over! Liv ENZIGURIS Tamina back! Ruby rallies up as Liv dodges Tamina in the corner and dropkicks her back! Liv fires off, the ref counts, but Tamina throws Liv into the corner.
Liv BOOTS Tamina, hops up, leaps, and missile dropkicks! Down goes Tamina and Liv covers, ONE!! Natty shouts for Tamina to “FINISH HER!” Tamina dodges Liv in a corner now, and then fireman’s carries to the SAMOAN DROP! Tamina roars, drags Liv right up again, and whips her into a scoop! SWINGING SIDE SLAM! Cover, Tamina wins!
Winner: Tamina, by pinfall
Ain’t nobody meana! Will the second generation stars soon shine in a Women’s Tag Team Championship opportunity?
SmackDown returns with Deville and Pearce in the ring.
Pearce says “Bianca Belair has been called the future of the WWE.” “And tonight,” Sonya adds, “she’s going to make her WrestleMania decision. The future is now!” They welcome the 2021 Women’s Royal Rumble winner and the EST of WWE, Bianca Belair! Bianca heads to the ring, gets a mic for herself, and she says it’s been exactly 3 weeks, 5 days, 2 hours and 6 minutes since she won the Royal Rumble and her life changed! And that’s just the beginning, because now she gets a WrestleMania main event against a Women’s Champion of her choosing! So will it be Raw’s Asuka? Or SmackDown’s Sasha Banks?
Bianca knows everyone’s been patiently waiting, and as silly as this might sound, her mom always told her life is about choices. A good choice is all good, but a bad choice haunts you forever. The choices you make define you, so her choice is clear. Wait, Reginald is here to interrupt! Mother Belair is right, this choice will define Bianca’s legacy. Bianca made a choice to team with Sasha, and so she knows how Sasha thinks, attacks and counterattacks. Bianca was elevated by Sasha’s genius. Reggie knows how hard Bianca has worked to get here, and that journey is inspiring to so many. Bianca is special, and we are all in awe because she is living the dream!
BUT, Reggie knows deep down, if Bianca chooses Sasha, the dream will dissolve into a nightmare! When Bianca is down on the mat, broken, defeated, haunted by her bad choice, she will hear her mother’s words ringing in her ears. Her choices will define her, and she will be nothing but a loser. But here comes The Boss! Bianca can’t help but laugh as the SmackDown Women’s Champion struts to the ring. Sasha snatches Reggie’s mic, pats his head, and says he was to NEVER speak for her! She pushes him aside and says, “Enough of this!” Bianca, Sasha is more than just the champion! She is the standard! So if EST wants to make history, and to become the conversation, she will choose Sasha.
Bianca is the EST of the WWE, but Sasha disagrees. Sasha is the BEST. Sasha is number one! That just makes Bianca… second best. Sasha laughs, holds up her title, and smiles. Bianca says, “Girl, uh-uh.” Sasha standing here with a lot to say but she’s gonna eat her words on the GrandEST Stage of Them All! Bianca will take the title, and show she IS the strongest, the fasted, the roughest, and the B-EST ever! “So Sasha…” Bianca points to the sign! “It’s on.” The decision has been made, whether Reggie likes it or not! But who will come to regret this more come WrESTleMania?
Sami Zayn meets with King Corbin backstage.
The camera crew is annoying Corbin but Sami has them back up a bit. Sami asks Corbin to answer truthfully: What does Corbin think of the conspiracy against Sami? Corbin thinks the crew needs to get to the bottom of this: WHY are they teaming together? That’s Sami’s idea, actually. What? Why? Well, they don’t get along, yes, but they had great chemistry in that Elimination Chamber qualifier. Plus, Sami could use a win! He was robbed of his Intercontinental Championship, and of an Elimination Chamber victory. Sami thinks he and Corbin could easily beat the Street Profits, and then move on to becoming tag team champions! Sami’s brain, Corbin’s brawn, they could take over! They can be the New CanAm Connection! Kingdom of Liberty! Sami’s just spit-balling.
Corbin stops Sami with the names, and agrees that yes, they could easily beat the Profits and then run the SmackDown Tag Division. Is that on record? But Corbin doesn’t want Sami telling him what to do, and he wants Sami’s camera crew to stop recording him! Just be professional. Sami says they can just edit out that last part…
The Street Profits VS Sami Zayn & King Corbin!
Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins are ready to prove to Sonya Deville that they ARE ready for a tag title rematch! But as we just heard, the Great Liberator and Wolf King might be thinking of going for the same gold! Will the Profits be up? Or will the yet-to-be-named duo drag them down and out of the running?
SmackDown returns as Corbin makes his entrance, followed by Sami’s. The teams sort out, Sami starts against Ford. They circle, tie up, and Ford powers Sami to a corner. The ref counts, Ford lets off but Sami gives a push. Sami also uses the ropes as a defense while protesting Ford was pulling hair. Sami and Ford circle again, Sami kicks low and throws a haymaker! “That’s what cheaters get!” Sami CHOPS Ford, whips him corner to corner but Ford goes up and over and shows off his agility! Ford then arm-drags Sami down and clamps onto the arm! Ford goes to tag Dawkins but Sami gets away, and the SmackDown Tag Team Champions are watching backstage!
Sami protests again and then tags Corbin in. Corbin and Dawkins circle now, tie up, and Dawkins headlocks. Corbin powers out, Dawkins rams him but Corbin rebounds to run Dawkins over! Things speed up, Dawkins hurdles then hurdles again, to whip Corbin for a dropkick! Corbin staggers, Dawkins wrenches an arm to a wristlock, and keeps Corbin from Sami! Sami wants the camera crew to watch this ropebreak not being enforced! Corbin whips Dawkins but Dawkins reverses! Corbin slides out, but can’t slide in because Sami’s crew is in the way! Corbin yells at them, they move, but Dawkins ROCKS Corbin with a right! Ford gets in, PROFITS IN MOTION!
Corbin hits the barriers, Sami protests but Ford dares him to get in! Sami chooses not to and SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns and Corbin rains down elbows into Ford’s shoulders! Ford is dazed, Corbin tops him off with more elbows, then tags in Sami. Sami and Corbin mug Ford, Sami chokes Ford on the ropes, but Sami stops when the ref counts. Sami brings Ford up, bumps him off buckles, and tags Corbin back in. Corbin throws knees into Ford, whips him corner to corner, and then runs in, only for Ford to boot him! Ford enziguris Corbin but Sami tags in! Sami drags Ford, Ford hops and hops and still gets the hot tag! Dawkins rallies on Sami, and hits a leaping back elbow! Dawkins runs in to CYCLONE SPLASH in the corner! Then a BULLDOG! Cover, TWO!
Dawkins brings Sami up but Corbin gets in, only for Dawkins to dropkick Corbin! Dawkins throws Corbin out, Sami gets Dawkins with a DDT! Cover, TWO!! Sami complains about the count, the film crew bugs Corbin! Corbin is furious at them and he DECKS one! Sami is upset with Corbin, Ford FLIES out to take Corbin down! Dawkins gives Sami the ANARCHY SUPLEX! Ford tags in, and flies in FROM THE HEAVENS! Cover, the Profits win!
Winners: The Street Profits, by pinfall
And the comeback continues! Will this convince Sonya to give Ford & Dawkins a rematch with the Dirty Dawgs on the Road to WrestleMania?
Backstage interview with Daniel Bryan!
Kayla Braxton asks him about his opportunity at another Universal Championship match, and maybe even become a WrestleMania spoiler. Is there a chance Bryan faces Edge as champion at Mania? Well that’s looking a little too far ahead. There’s first Jey Uso tonight and Roman Reigns at Fastlane. But the chances are looking good. In fact, Bryan’s chances at beating Roman might be better than Edge’s. Bryan has an infinite amount of respect, because of his career and also because what Edge did to get back. Edge beat Randy Orton at WrestleMania 36, then came back again at this year’s Royal Rumble. But with that time off, Edge might be a bit rusty. Bryan has always been honest with Edge, so Edge might not have what it takes. Edge is a hall of famer but-
Oh, Edge is here now. Edge heard everything Bryan just said. Edge beating Roman seems doubtful, yet Bryan is confident he can easily beat Roman at Fastlane. No one said “easily beat Roman.” Well, to be serious, Edge VS Bryan at Mania, who would win that? Bryan smirks and says he’ll keep that answer to himself. But talking about possibilities means nothing if Bryan doesn’t win tonight. Bryan goes to make final preparations, but will they be enough to get Bryan to the starting line?
WWE celebrates Black History Month.
“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” – Maya Angelou
Seth Rollins heads to the ring!
The Savior of SmackDown is all smiles, but surely he is still seething about the disrespect shown by the rest of the roster. Rollins’ legal action is pending, will he give us an update after the break?
SmackDown returns and Rollins says he is here “to share with you some incredible news.” The letter he wrote on our behalf to complain to management got a HUGE response on social media. Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, all that, it was all trending. But wait, Cesaro interrupts! And he’s throwing his shirt off because he wants to throw down! Rollins says they do have to talk things out, let bygones be bygones. Take it easy, Cesaro! They’ve been friends a long time so hear him out! Just trust Rollins! Cesaro stops but Rollins says this was all just an accident. Rollins didn’t mean Cesaro was a loser, no! Twitter blew that out of proportions! Cesaro was in a bad situation, that’s what Rollins meant.
Rollins wants a chance to make this right. Cesaro just needs to stay put right there in the middle of the ring, like the star that he is! Rollins wants to make this up to Cesaro. “Who says you can’t grab the brass ring?!” This is a star right here! Cesaro is strong, probably pound for pound the strongest ever, and easily one of the most technically gifted performers. Cesaro has it all, so Rollins’ question is, “Friend to friend, why is it that you always seem to come up short?” What is Cesaro missing? Rollins will tell him what it is, because HE has it! “Killer instinct!” Rollins has it, and he can give it to Cesaro!
Rollins came back to lead SmackDown into the future, and if Cesaro will let him, it starts with leading Cesaro! Rollins grabbed the brass ring, shattered the glass ceiling, and accomplished things in the WWE that Cesaro has only dreamed of! And Rollins wants to give that to Cesaro! Imagine them working together side by side! They’d be UNSTOPPABLE! So instead of turning on Rollins, they wouldn’t even be having this conversation! Cesaro would’ve won the Elimination Chamber match, he would’ve beaten Roman Reigns, and he would’ve won the Universal Championship! But Cesaro turned his back on Rollins.
“However, it is never too late to start again.” All Cesaro has to do is #EmbraceTheVision! Let Rollins lead you! What does Cesaro say? And Rollins knows Cesaro doesn’t have to answer. Cesaro can take a week, maybe two, think it over and give “us” the answer. Cesaro doesn’t wait, he trips Rollins up! Rollins tells Cesaro to stop, but nope! Rollins goes for a SWISS SWING!! Around and around and around, and then some more! Rollins’ suit jacket flies off! This is at least 30 revolutions! Cesaro tosses Rollins, and Rollins staggers about in a dizzy daze, until Cesaro DECKS him with a EuroUpper! In other words, “No thank you.” Will Cesaro become a star his way?
As Cesaro exits, Bryan enters! They fist bump for luck, will Bryan be able to get another golden ticket to WrestleMania?
Daniel Bryan VS Jey Uso!
SmackDown returns and Jey makes his entrance. The bell rings, Bryan and Jey rush each other and the hands start flying! Jey CLUBS Bryan, headlocks, but Bryan powers out. Jey runs Bryan over hard, things speed up, and Bryan hurdles to hip toss Jey down! Bryan brings Jey up to wrench the arm, and hit an elbow breaker! Bryan kicks, Jey forearms, Bryan EuroUppers! Bryan throws more uppercuts, wrenches again, wrenches more, and digs knuckles into Jey’s elbow. Bryan hits Jey low, whips him corner to corner, but Jey reverses. Bryan goes up and over, takes a moment to speed up again, and he ducks and dodges Jey to hit a leaping lariat!
The fans rally on their screens as Bryan fires up! Bryan runs corner to corner to dropkick Jey! Bryan throws Yes Kicks, but lets off as the ref counts. Bryan bumps Jey off buckles, hoists him up top, and climbs up to join him. SUPER STEINER! Cover, TWO! Bryan keeps cool as he stomps Jey. Bryan gets the arm, wrenches and hammerlocks it on the mat to STOMP it! Bryan drags Jey up but Jey scrambles away. Jey clutches his arm, the ref starts a count, but Bryan DIVES into a SUPERKICK! Jey takes Bryan out of the air and then drags him up, to give him a SHIN BREAKER to the desk!
Bryan is down, Jey refreshes the count, to drag Bryan up and POST the bad leg! Bryan is down and SmackDown goes to break!
SmackDown returns and Jey stomps Bryan then gives the leg a DDT! Bryan clutches the leg, Jey gives it another DDT! Bryan writhes, Jey goes for an arm, but Bryan drag shim down! Bryan wants the Yes Lock but Jey hammers the leg! Jey pulls the tape off the leg but Bryan gets away to ropes. Bryan gets up and throws EuroUpper and kicks! Bryan runs, into a SAMOAN DROP! Cover, TWO! Jey seethes, goes up top, and leaps, but the splash FLOPS as Bryan moves! Both men are down, Bryan works to get his bad leg moving, and he pulls down the knee pad. Bryan gives Jey YES KICKS from all sides! Jey flops around as Bryan keeps giving kicks!
Bryan stomps Jey, brings him up, whips him to ropes, but Jey drops to uppercut! Jey runs but is dumped out of the ring! Bryan builds speed to WRECK him with a dropkick! Bryan gets on the apron to LEAP for a FLYING KNEE! The ring count is climbing as Bryan gets his bad leg moving again! The fans are fired up on their screens as Bryan puts Jey in the ring. Bryan climbs, but Jey stands, to get under the missile dropkick! Jey RAMS Bryan into buckles, then STOMPS the bad leg! Jey turns Bryan over for a HALF CRAB! Bryan endures but Jey sits deep! Bryan crawls, reaches, but Jey drags him from the ropes! Bryan finds space to roll through and kick away on Jey’s face!
But Jey turns Bryan over to the Half Crab again! Jey sits even deeper, but Bryan powers up to slip through and throw more kicks! Bryan scrapes Jey off and both men slowly rise. Jey goes after the leg but Bryan BUZZSAWS him! Cover, TWO! Bryan keeps his focus as Jey rolls away to a corner. Bryan goes to the other corner, powers up with Yes Fingers, and fans follow suit. Bryan runs but Jey CHOP BLOCKS the leg! SUPERKICK! Cover, TWO!! Bryan survives and Jey is beside himself. Jey goes to a corner, climbs up top, but Bryan trips him up! Bryan climbs up to join Jey again, brings Jey up with underhooks, for a SUPER BUTTERFLY SUPLEX! And then a roll into the YES LOCK!!
Jey reaches, but Bryan gets the other arm! They end up in the ropes and Bryan has no choice but to let go. Bryan goes out after Jey and whips him, but Jey reverses and sends Bryan into steel steps! The ring count is climbing past 5! It’s 7! Jey gives Bryan a SHIN BREAKER to the steps! The count reaches 10, they’re both out!!
Double Count-Out (Bryan does NOT get a Universal Championship match at Fastlane)
Jey kept him from winning but he isn’t finished with Bryan! He puts Bryan in the ring, but Bryan gets Jey down for a YES LOCK! But ROMAN REIGNS attacks!! Roman hammers away on Bryan, drags him off Jey and SLAMS him back down! Roman grabs at Bryan again, but Bryan drags him down! YES LOCK! But Jey SUPERKICKS Bryan off!! Roman and Jey are furious with Bryan’s defiance, and Roman SPEARS Bryan! And puts him in the GUILLOTINE!! Roman chokes Bryan out, and then holds up the title! Is this what Edge will have waiting for him at WrestleMania? And what are the plans now for Fastlane?
A pretty great episode that moves things towards Fastlane. The SmackDown Tag Division seems to be rebuilding slowly, but we got good tag matches out of Rey & Dom VS Alpha Academy and Profits VS Sami & Corbin. More the latter match, as Otis and Gable win pretty handedly over the Mysterios, which seems like a shame, really. That match should’ve been very competitive but it was very short. And it was after a Double 619, which should really only be used when you know the Mysterios are winning. The Profits get a win because they’re clearly heading back to the titles and the Dirty Dawgs, but I did find it amusing that Corbin hates cameras being that close on him, and Sami’s “documentarians” were in his way.
Tamina gets a win over Liv without any appearance by Billie Kay to establish that Tamina and Natalya are definitely moving up the SmackDown side of the Women’s Tag Division. As they should be, really. Tamina and Natty seem to be the more underrated superstars in the WWE for how long they’ve been around. It will be very telling where Tamina & Natty stand once we’ve seen Nia & Shayna VS Dakota & Raquel, and then at some point, Naomi & Lana. If no other time during the year, WrestleMania should be where the Women’s Tag Titles have a Triple Threat or more, one team from each brand. Tamina & Natty can definitely make a case for being SmackDown’s contenders post Fastlane.
And speaking of, while we didn’t get Carmella this week, we got more Reggie hanging around Sasha. It makes a lot of sense for Bianca to challenge Sasha for WrestleMania, and I can already see Reggie telling Mella he was setting things up for her. Bianca has chosen SmackDown’s champion, and Mella is on SmackDown. Mella can try to take the title from Sasha one last time, in hopes of going on to WrestleMania to defend against Bianca. Then at Fastlane, maybe Reggie is why Mella loses, she dumps him and Sasha rejects Reggie, Reggie goes to 205 Live. Sasha VS Bianca is going to be really good, and could go either way at this point.
Apollo completing his Heel turn tonight was great stuff. Right from his promo before the match, he is exactly how he should be. He is pumping himself up over his strength and agility, but rightfully so since he can back it up. He gets a dirty win over Nakamura so that he stays strong without looking too strong, as Nakamura is of course Nakamura. I’m sure Nakamura will want payback, he and Apollo might even have a Fastlane match. Big E will surely be back in time for Mania, so Apollo wins at Fastlane to earn a title match, and Big E will be more than happy to go against him for payback. At this rate, I feel like Apollo will find a way to win and use the IC title as vindication.
The Universal Championship story, which is also Roman’s story, was another great one this week. Bryan rightfully points out Roman taking advantage of things, he and Jey have a great match, and it actually works perfectly that it was a count-out draw. Edge seems half-in, half-out about Bryan winning at Fastlane, because Edge surely wants to be the one to dethrone Roman. Bryan having this draw, that can be used for a classic, “I didn’t win but I didn’t lose,” and therefore he deserves one more chance at earning a title shot. Then there’s still the tag team idea to fall back on, where Edge and Bryan can have tension and dysfunction, and maybe Roman takes advantage so he and Jey can win that. Of course, the math then says Roman would lose to Edge, and I’m not sure that happens, even at Mania.
My Score: 8.4/10
Mitchell’s NJPW G1 Climax 32 Results & Report! (8/13/22)
Breathe with the Switchblade!
Will the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion keep the “Jay1” going?
The biggest G1 Climax in NJPW continues on and Jay White is spotless at 4-0! But will Taichi change all that this close to the ending?
- 8 Man Tag: Hiroshi Tanahashi, David Finlay, Tama Tonga & Jado VS Bullet Club; Bullet Club wins.
- Bad Dude Tito & JONAH VS Tom Lawlor & Royce Isaacs; Tito & Jonah win.
- Six Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Suzuki-Gun; LIJ wins.
- Six Man Tag: Chaos VS House of Torture; Chaos wins.
- G1 Climax, C Block: Aaron Henare VS KENTA; Kenta wins.
- G1 Climax, A Block: Toru Yano VS Jeff Cobb; Cobb wins.
- G1 Climax, D Block: Shingo Takagi VS Yujiro Takahashi; Takagi wins.
- G1 Climax, D Block: YOSHI-HASHI VS Will Ospreay; Ospreay wins.
- G1 Climax, B Block: Taichi VS Jay White; White wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Here are the current standings!
- Kazuchika Okada: 4-1, 8 points
- Lance Archer: 3-2, 6 points
- JONAH: 3-2, 6 points
- Jeff Cobb: 2-2, 4 points
- Bad Luck Fale: 2-3, 4 points [ELIMINATED]
- Tom Lawlor: 2-3, 4 points [ELIMINATED]
- Toru Yano: 1-4, 2 points [ELIMINATED]
- Jay White: 4-0, 8 points
- Tama Tonga: 4-1, 8 points
- SANADA: 3-2, 6 points
- Taichi: 2-2, 4 points
- Chase Owens: 2-4, 4 points [ELIMINATED]
- Great-O-Khan: 1-4, 2 points [ELIMINATED]
- Tomohiro Ishii: 1-4, 2 points [ELIMINATED]
- Zack Sabre Jr: 4-1, 8 points
- Hirooki Goto: 3-2, 6 points
- Hiroshi Tanahashi: 3-2, 6 points
- Tetsuya Naito: 3-2, 6 points
- EVIL: 2-3, 4 points [ELIMINATED]
- KENTA: 1-3, 2 points [ELIMINATED]
- Aaron Henare: 1-4, 2 points [ELIMINATED]
- Yujiro Takahashi: 3-2, 6 points
- David Finlay: 3-2, 6 points
- Shingo Takagi: 2-2, 4 points
- Will Ospreay: 2-2, 4 points
- YOSHI-HASHI: 2-2, 4 points
- El Phantasmo: 2-3, 4 points
- Juice Robinson: 2-3, 4 points [ELIMINATED]
G1 Climax, C Block: Aaron Henare VS KENTA!
The Ultimate Weapon and the Fang Revived are both out of the running, but this is about pride! Will Henare conquer Kenta? Or will he #GoToSleep instead?
The bell rings and fans rally up as the two circle. Kenta gives testing kicks, as does Henare. They keep testing each other, but neither man gets a clean shot. Kenta tries a palm strike but Henare ducks it to give some kicks. Kenta tries kicks but avoids the roundhouse, and fans applaud this great kickboxing exchange. Henare moves to using hands and he gets some body shots in! Kenta bails out and fans applaud Henare bringing the fight. Kenta takes his time returning, and he circles with Henare again. Henare anticipates a kick but Kenta rakes the eyes! The ref reprimands, Kenta fires off haymakers and puts Henare in a corner!
The ref counts, Kenta knees low as he lets off, and runs in, but into an elbow! Henare goes up to FLYING CHUCK! Fans fire up and Kenta staggers up, but he avoids the heel kick! Kenta bails out again and fans applaud. Henare goes out after Kenta and CLUBS him down! And again! Henare HEADBUTTS Kenta, then KICKS him against the post! And again! Henare fires up but Kenta ducks, the kick hits POST! Kenta kicks that leg then POSTS Henare’s shoulder! Kenta hurries to wrench and ELBOW BREAKER that arm, then he kicks the bad leg! Then another ELBOW BREAKER, and another kick to the bad leg!
Henare falls over and the ref reprimands but Kenta KICKS Henare in the leg again. Kenta hammerlocks Henare and RAMS him into railing! Fans cheer the savagery while Kenta stomps the leg. Kenta puts the leg in the railing and stomps it more! The ref reprimands and backs Kenta off, so Kenta drags Henare up and into the ring. Cover, TWO! Kenta is annoyed but fans rally up and Kenta gets Henare’s bad leg. Kenta has the standing toehold but Henare endures. Kenta drops an elbow on the leg and has a seated toehold. Henare tries to fight the hold but he reaches out for the ROPEBREAK instead.
The ref counts, Kenta lets off slowly, and he stomps the bad leg. Kenta drags Henare up, but Henare throws body shots! Kenta kicks Henare low, then stomps him on the back. Henare wrenches the arm to ELBOW BREAKER again! Kenta is just picking apart that whole left side! Kenta joins the fans in clapping, and gets them to stop clapping all at once. Kenta stomps Henare down, drags him up and fires off haymakers! Henare just snarls through them! Kenta KICKS but Henare snarls. Kenta CLUBS Henare but fans rally up as Henare stands. Henare roars but Kenta kicks the bad leg! Kenta runs, but into a KICK!
Henare falls over because the left leg is a weak base right now, but he growls and gets back up. Henare gets that bad leg moving, KICKS Kenta’s own left leg, and KICKS away in the corner! The ref counts, Henare lets off at 4, and he hobbles back to snapmare Kenta for another KICK! Kenta writhes and fans applaud. Henare runs in at the corner to SHINING WIZARD! Henare fireman’s carries for a RUNNING SAMOAN DROP! Fans rally up and Henare snarls. Henare drags Kenta up, HEADBUTTS him down, then goes up the corner. SECOND ROPE SENTON! Cover, TWO! Henare is annoyed but fans rally as Kenta is still in it.
Henare drags Kenta up, stalks behind him and reels him into the full nelson! Kenta fights it, throws elbows, and he ducks the lariat to spin Henare to a DDT! Fans fire up and Kenta KICKS Henare in the back! And again! Kenta stomps Henare on the apron but the ref counts. Kenta lets off and drags Henare up to drag him through the ropes! BRAINKILLER! Fans fire up and Henare sits up in the corner. Kenta runs corner to corner to BOOT Henare, then he goes corner to corner to SOARING DROPKICK! Kenta goes up top as Henare is in the drop zone, COUP DE GRACE! Cover, TWO! Henare survives and fans fire up again.
Kenta slashes his throat, vowing to finish this! Fans rally and Kenta drags Henare up. Henare blocks the lift, CLUBS Kenta again and again, but Kenta BOOTS him! And LARIATS! But Henare stays up! Henare swings, misses, but he catches Kenta for the BERSERKER BOMB! Fans fire up as both men are down, and Henare pounds the mat. Henare calls his shot, clamps onto Kenta, ULTIMA!! Kenta grabs the ref with a body scissors!! The ref reprimands and they all end up by the ropes! Henare throws Kenta down, which also throws the ref down! Henare argues with the ref but fans rally up. Kenta rolls Henare, TWO!!
Kenta hurries back up, and Henare runs in, into a POWERSLAM! Fans fire up and Kenta roars! Kenta drags Henare up, fireman’s carries, but Henare fights out! Henare ROCKS Kenta, Kenta ROCKS Henare! The forearms go back and forth and fans rally up as they pick up speed! Henare gets the edge, but Kenta CROSS COUNTERS! Kenta fires off haymaker after haymaker, but Henare hits a body shot! And the HEEL KICK! Fans fire up with Henare and he drags Kenta back up. Henare fisherman’s to the torture rack, but Kenta claws Henare’s face! Kenta drags Henare down into the armlock, but Henare rolls out of Game Over!
But Kenta shifts to get a TRIANGLE HOLD! Henare endures and fans rally, and Henare deadlifts Kenta for a POWERBOMB! Fans fire up as Henare goes to a corner. Henare shakes out his bad arm, takes aim at Kenta and runs in, RAMP- KNEE! Kenta drags Henare back down, GAME OVER CROSSFACE!! Henare endures as Kenta pulls back, fans rally up as Henare starts to fade! Henare taps, Kenta wins!
Winner: Kenta, by submission (gains 2 points; Henare earns 0)
The Ultimate Weapon’s first G1 run ends in defeat and with a 1-5 record, but it was all a valiant effort. Will Henare come back next year even stronger? As for Kenta, he has momentum as he prepares for another match tomorrow! Can Kenta tear down The Ace and spoil his chances?
G1 Climax, A Block: Toru Yano VS Jeff Cobb!
The Producer is also out of the running, but the Imperial Unit still has a chance. Will Cobb take Yano on a Tour of the Islands to keep on sailing in the G1?
As Cobb makes his entrance, he’s cosplaying Toru Yano! “Funny Jeff” has a Hawaiian shirt over his merch shirt, he has a DVD case, and he has a chair! He even gives the ring announcer a very long introduction to read off, just like Yano! And to copy Yano’s disinfectant bottle, Cobb has an air freshener spray! As for the real Yano… Wait, where is he? His music is playing but Yano isn’t walking out from the ramp or anywhere else. Cobb waits, but is he going to get a win by forfeit? The bell rings, Cobb tells the ref to start already, and the count begins. So either Yano shows up before the 20 count or he’s done!
Cobb is impatient, we’re only at 7 of 20. Wait, Yano runs in from the far side! He slides in, rolls Cobb up, TWO!! Yano panics and apologizes for his prank! Cobb runs in at the corner, Yano dodges and Cobb hits buckles! Yano shoves the ref, then sprays the disinfectant at Cobb’s face!! Roll up, TWO!! Cobb escapes but Yano brings him up to throw him out! Yano hurries after Cobb and whips, but Cobb reverses! Yano hits railing hard! Cobb wipes the spray out of his eyes, but he walks into an atomic drop! Yano tucks Cobb’s arms into his singlet, then wraps him up in the apron skirt! Yano shoves the #Cobburrito down and gets in the ring!
The ring count is rising, Cobb struggles against the skirt wrap, and we’re at 9 of 20! Cobb asks for help but we’re at 13! A Young Lion finally hurries over and helps Cobb get to his feet. Cobb wiggles into the ring at 18! Yano stands on Cobb to surf! Fans applaud as Yano hangs loose! Then Yano hurries to untie a buckle pad from a neutral corner. But Cobb comes back to kick! And kick! Cobb asks the ref for help but Yano kicks Cobb low. Yano runs, but Cobb manages a DROPKICK! Fans fire up as both men are down! Cobb finally gets his arms out of his singlet and fans rally up. Cobb drags Yano up to ROCK him with a right!
Cobb whips, Yano reverses, Cobb stops from hitting buckles, and then dodges! Yano hits the buckles, then Cobb hits an OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! Fans fire up and Cobb drags Yano up. Yano waistlocks but Cobb switches. Yano grabs at the ref but Cobb blocks the mule kick low blow! Cobb spins Yano, kicks and then pulls Yano’s shirt up over his face! Yano is blindfolded and he staggers around, into a SUPERKICK! Then a TOUR OF THE ISLANDS!! Cover, Cobb wins!
Winner: Jeff Cobb, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Yano earns 0)
“Funny Jeff” still got serious in the end, and he is still in the running! Will Cobb be able to survive to the semifinals? Or is his fate in someone else’s hands?
G1 Climax, D Block: Shingo Takagi VS Yujiro Takahashi w/ Pieter!
The Rampaging Dragon isn’t done in the G1 just yet, but to think the Tokyo Pimp would be leading the block! Will Takagi be able to drag Yujiro down? Or will Yujiro’s G1 run have a happy ending?
The moment the introductions are over, Yujiro rushes Takagi! Takagi blocks the boot and throws Yujiro down! The bell rings and Takagi drags Yujiro up to put in the corner. Takagi fires off forearms over and over, and fans fire up as Takagi ROCKS Yujiro again. Takagi whips and KNEES Yujiro at the ropes, then runs to run Yujiro over! Fans fire up and Takagi runs in at the corner. Yujiro BOOTS, but Takagi powers through to clothesline! Takagi then reels Yujiro in to suplex high and hard! Fans fire up but Yujiro bails out of the ring. Takagi pursues, brings Yujiro up and RAMS him into the apron! Takagi then whips Yujiro into railing!
Yujiro flounders away and Pieter checks on him. Takagi storms his way over but Pieter stands in his way. Can a bunny tame a dragon? Takagi is intrigued but Yujiro rushes in! Takagi blocks the sucker punch to ROCK Yujiro back! Pieter scampers away and Takagi scolds her before he CLUBS Yujiro. Takagi POSTS Yujiro, then tells the ref to hold on. Takagi smacks Yujiro off the apron, then again, and again! Fans rally up and Takagi puts Yujiro in the ring. Yujiro crawls away to the far side and bails out again. Yujiro goes looking under the ring and he gets a chair! Takagi takes his time walking over, and Yujiro JAMS him with the chair!
The ref reprimands and takes the chair, and Yujiro knees Takagi low. Yujiro whips but Takagi reverses. Yujiro stops from hitting railing, and he drop toeholds Takagi into the railing! Then REVERSE DDT to the floor! The ref reprimands Yujiro and he apologizes before getting in the ring. Takagi stirs and the ring count starts. Takagi stands up at 6 of 20, he gets frustrated, and he gets in at 10. Yujiro stomps Takagi over and over in the corner then digs his knee in. The ref reprimands, Yujiro brings Takagi up and snapmares for the basement BOOT! Cover, ONE!! Yujiro is surprised and annoyed, but he rains down fists!
The ref reprimands about the closed fists and Yujiro lets off. Yujiro drags Takagi up and bumps Takagi off buckles. Yujiro knees low, throws back elbows, but Takagi clinches! Yujiro digs his forearm into Takagi’s eyes! Yujiro lets off, runs in and BOOTS Takagi again! Fans applaud that bit of agility and Yujiro snapmares Takagi to drop a leg, drop an elbow, and drop a headbutt! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up for “TA-KA-GI!” but Yujiro brings him up. Takagi eggs Yujiro on and Yujiro throws a forearm! And another forearm! And another! Takagi JABS, JABS and JABS, to then DOUBLE CHOP! Fans fire up and Takagi drags Yujiro back up.
Fans fire up as Takagi says it’s go time! Another suplex, but Yujiro wrenches out and BITES the hand! The ref reprimands, Yujiro lets off to fisherman, but Takagi BITES back! Fans cheer the turnabout being fair play but the ref still reprimands. Takagi lets off and wretches from the bad taste. Yujiro ROCKS Takagi then runs, but into the ELBOW! JAB! YUKON LARIAT! Fans fire up again and Takagi pounds the mat. Fans rally and Takagi aims from a corner. Yujiro stands, Takagi runs in to run him over! And then scoops to SLAM, for a SENTON! But that’s not all! Takagi drags Yujiro up, hooks him up, but Yujiro fights the Gory Especial!
Yujiro throws back elbows, but Takagi spins through to suplex! Yujiro fights that so Takagi hits a SWINGING NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! But Takagi says there’s still more! “OI! OI! OI!” Fans clap along and Takagi drags Yujiro back up. But wait, here comes Sho! Takagi sees Sho and his little wrench, but Yujiro sneaks up! Takagi elbows Yujiro away, whips him to ropes, but Yujiro holds ropes. Takagi rushes in, Yujiro dodges and distracts the ref as Sho grabs at Takagi! Yujiro runs in to BOOT Takagi! Yujiro reels Takagi in, INCOLLE SLAM! Fans fire up as both men are down, and Yujiro crawls over to drag Takagi up.
Fans rally for “TA-KA-GI!” as Yujiro fireman’s carries, MIAMI SHINE! Cover, TWO! Takagi is still in this and Yujiro is frustrated. Yujiro drags Takagi back up and reels him in, but Takagi says no to Big Juice! Takagi throws body shots, wrenches out, blocks a haymaker and he HEADBUTTS away on Yujiro! Both men wobble but Takagi runs, only for Sho to be there with a chair! The ref reprimands, Takagi goes back to Yujiro for boxing elbows! Fans rally as Takagi runs again, but into a BOOT! Yujiro runs, but into a clothesline! Takagi runs but Yujiro distracts the ref again, Sho SMACKS Takagi with the chair!
Yujiro reels Takagi in, PIMP JUICE! Cover, TWO!! Takagi survives the screw job and fans fire up! Yujiro pleads with the ref but two is two! Yujiro drags Takagi up but Takagi blocks Big Juice again! Takagi powers up to power out and he ELBOWS! JABS! YUKON feint to the DDT! And SLIDING FOREARM! Fans fire up again as Yujiro flounders around. Takagi gets up and headbutts the buckles to fire back up! LARIAT! But Takagi gets Yujiro up to a MADE IN JAPAN!! Cover, TWO!?!? Yujiro survives and even Sho is shocked! Takagi gets back up as fans rally again. Takagi stands Yujiro up to pump handle and torture rack.
Yujiro wriggles and gets free to the apron to rake eyes! Takagi runs back in but Yujiro dumps him out! Yujiro staggers over, gets Takagi up and whips him into railing! The ref has Sho stay back as Yujiro goes over to bring Takagi around. Yujiro whips Takagi into more railing, and then he wobbles and hobbles to get Takagi back. Takagi fires off forearms in return! Takagi whips, Yujiro reverses and Takagi hits railing even harder! Takagi falls in a heap, Yujiro and Sho both shout for the ring count. The ref starts, Yujiro sits Takagi up, but no Pimp Juice Basement BOOT instead! And then FISHERMAN BUSTER to the floor!
Yujiro gets in the ring at 12 of 20 but Takagi is right after him! Takagi fireman’s carries for a DEATH VALLEY DRIVER to the floor! The count is 16 of 20!! Takagi staggers up and in at 18! Yujiro is down but Sho throws him in at 19.5! Fans fire up as this keeps going, and Takagi runs in at Yujiro with a clothesline! Takagi pump handles, torture racks, but Yujiro BITES again! The ref reprimands, Yujiro throws Takagi’s arm into him! The ref staggers but stays up, Yujiro shove Takagi into him! The ref goes down, Yujiro hits a REVERSE DDT! Fans rally but Sho sends a chair in! Yujiro gets the chair, takes aim and runs in, and he JAMS Takagi low!
Yujiro then reels back to SMACK Takagi on the back! But Takagi LARIATS through the chair! And CHUCKS the chair at Sho!! PUMPING BOMBER!! But that’s not all! Yujiro deserves this one! LAST OF THE DRAGONS!! Cover, Takagi wins!!
Winner: Shingo Takagi, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Yujiro earns 0)
Well, well, well! D Block is looking like a real rock-paper-scissors scenario! Yujiro beat David Finlay, who beat Takagi (and quite a few others) but Takagi just beat Yujiro! What will this mean for the semifinals with another D Block match up next?
G1 Climax, D Block: YOSHI-HASHI VS Will Ospreay!
The Headhunter and the Commonwealth Kingpin are both still alive in the block, but the window is closing! Will the NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Champion shock the IWGP US Heavyweight Champion? Or will Ospreay make sure Hashi does NOT #GetBackUp?
The bell rings and fans rally up. These two circle and tie up, and are in a deadlock. Ospreay finds a point of leverage and he powers Hashi to ropes. Ospreay talks some trash as he lets off, then he pats Hashi on the side. Before he knees low and hard! Ospreay headlocks and grinds Hashi but Hashi throws body shots. Hashi powers up and out to reel Ospreay into a headlock! Fans applaud the exchange, then Ospreay powers up and out. Hashi runs Ospreay over, but Ospreay kips right back up! Fans applaud again the agility, then Ospreay gets Hashi with a “made you look” and SLAP! Hashi CHOPS back!
Ospreay staggers away, stinging from that back hand. Hashi runs in to CHOP again! And whip to CHOP, then mule kick! Hashi turns Ospreay to hit a NECKBREAKER! Cover, ONE, but Hashi keeps cool. Fans rally up and Hashi brings Ospreay up. Hashi CLUBS Ospreay on the back and Ospreay goes to a corner. Hashi stomps and CHOPS Ospreay and Ospreay shouts in pain! Hashi stands Ospreay up and reels him in to suplex. Ospreay slips out, shoves and fireman’s carries to then HOTSHOT! Ospreay runs to BOOT Hashi down! Fans fire up for the agility but Ospreay needs a second from the stinging in his chest.
Ospreay drags Hashi up and bumps him off buckles. Ospreay CHOPS back and Hashi sputters now. Fans fire up and Ospreay wrenches Hashi to whip corner to corner hard! Hashi bounces off buckles and hits the mat hard! Ospreay grabs the bad arm and sets it on the apron, to drop a knee right on it! Hashi shouts in pain and clutches that bad arm. Ospreay drags Hashi off the apron, wrenches the bad arm and then YANKS Hashi into the post! Hashi staggers away and leans against railing from the pain, but Ospreay leaves him behind. Fans rally up for Hashi and the ring count begins. The count is 8 of 20 as Hashi gets in the ring, and Ospreay mockingly applauds.
Ospreay drags Hashi up, but Hashi throws body shots! Ospreay gets the arm for an ELBOW BREAKER! No mercy from the Kingpin as Hashi writhes again. Ospreay tells Hashi this is his last chance to give up now. Hashi refuses so Ospreay omoplatas the good arm. Ospreay CHOPS Hashi in the side then grabs the bad arm! RECLINER ARMLOCK! Cover, but Hashi slips off before Red Shoes can count. Ospreay mockingly applauds as Hashi goes to the apron. Ospreay drags Hashi back in and wrenches again for the snapmare and top wristlock. Hashi endures again and Ospreay digs his knuckles in. Red Shoes reprimands but Ospreay pulls at the arm!
Hashi endures more, even as Ospreay is bending him across his knee! Hashi fights up, throws body shots to get free, but Ospreay CLUBS him down! Ospreay whips Hashi to a corner, runs in, but Hashi dodges! Ospreay hits buckles, but he BOOTS back! Hsahi swings but into a spin from Ospreay! Ospreay suplexes, Hashi fights it off, and Hashi suplexes to get the NECKBREAKER! Fans fire up while both men are down! Hashi and Ospreay both stand, but Hashi CLOBBERS Ospreay with elbows! Hashi whips, Ospreay reverses but Hashi comes back to dropkick the leg out! Then HEADHUNTER! Fans fire up with Hashi as he gets back up!
Ospreay gets to the ropes, Hashi runs in to CHOP! Hashi brings Ospreay up to suplex and hang Ospreay out to dry. Hashi runs side to side to DROPKICK Ospreay down! Then Hashi sits Ospreay up for a basement dropkick! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up and Hashi gets to his feet. Hashi brings Ospreay up and reels him in, but Ospreay wrenches out. Hashi ROCKS Ospreay, kicks him and whips him, but Ospreay handsprings to a NEURALIZER! Direct hit with that kick! Fans fire up as Hashi bails out, Ospreay hurries over to PLANCHA! Direct hit and both men are down! Fans fire up again, and Ospreay slowly sits up first.
Ospreay drags Hashi up and puts him in the ring. Ospreay aims, springboards, PIP PIP CHEERIO! Cover, TWO! Hashi is still in this and fans rally up! Ospreay keeps his focus, he drags Hashi back up, and he reels Hashi in to turn him. Hashi resists, so Ospreay gives him a Kowata Kick and a big CHOP! Hashi staggers to a corner and Ospreay runs in, but Hashi BOOTS back! Hashi runs in but into an elbow! Ospreay runs but into a CHOP! Hashi runs but into the Tiger Wall Kick and ENZIGURI! Fans fire up again as both men are down! Ospreay drags Hashi up, scoops him and SLAMS him, then goes to the corner.
Fans rally as Ospreay climbs, but Hashi rises! Hashi ROCKS Ospreay, CHOPS him, then climbs up after him. Hashi brings Ospreay up, but Ospreay fights the superplex! Fans rally as Ospreay and Hashi trade body shots! Ospreay fires off HEADBUTT after HEADBUTT, then SUPER GOURD BUSTERS Hashi down! Hashi hobbles up, into the FLYING FOREARM to the back! Ospreay gets Hashi up to a FALCON ARROW! Cover, TWO!! Ospreay is surprised Hashi is still in this, but Ospreay snarls and waits on Hashi to rise. Ospreay then calls his shot, springboards, OS- NO! Hashi full nelsons to a SNAP DRAGON!
Fans rally up again as both men are down. Hashi sits up first but Ospreay follows. Hashi fires up and runs, but Ospreay swats the lariat! So Hashi CHOPS! And aims, to SUPERKICK! Fans fire up and Hashi drags Ospreay into the full nelson. Spin and pump handle, but Ospreay fights Karma with elbows. Ospreay ROCKS Hashi with a forearm, but Hashi comes back with a forearm of his own! Hashi eggs Ospreay on so Ospreay ROCKS him again! Hashi ROCKS Ospreay, but Ospreay ROCKS Hashi! Fans rally as the forearms go faster and faster, and then Hashi CHOPS! Hashi CHOPS again, then again!
Ospreay CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS! Hashi reels Ospreay in but Ospreay throws a forearm! Hashi HEABUTTS! Ospreay ROUNDHOUSES! Both men fall over and fans are thunderous! Ospreay roars and drags Hashi back up, but Hashi ducks the roundhouse! Pump handle to KARMA!! Hashi has to crawl to the cover, TWO!! Ospreay survives and fans are thunderous again! Hashi is too sore to be upset so he just gets up. Hashi roars, runs, and LARIATS! Ospreay flips around, Hashi gets him up, pump handle and KAR- STUN-DOG MILLIONAIRE!! Fans fire up and Ospreay grits his teeth! Springboard, OSCUTTER!! Cover, TWO!?!
Hashi survives and fans can’t believe it! Ospreay can’t believe it, either, but he drags Hashi around. Ospreay prepares his arm, takes aim, but Hashi ducks the Hidden Blade! SUPERKICK! But Ospreay dodges the lariat, to OS- SUPERKICK!! Hashi gets Ospreay with some anti-air and he hurries to add on! DESTROYER!! Cover, TWO!!! Ospreay survives and fans are thunderous again! Hashi pushes himself back up, sits Ospreay up and clamps on with a SLEEPER! Ospreay endures, fights up, but Hashi spins him into the pump handle. Ospreay slips out to HOOK KICK! Hashi runs in to LARIAT! But Ospreay roars!
Ospreay swats a lariat, ROLLING ELBOW to the HOOK KICK, tot he LIGER- FACEBUSTER from Hashi!! Hashi gets Ospreay up to the KUMAGOROSHI!! Cover, TWO!?!? Ospreay survives and the fans are electric! Hashi stands and fires up! Hashi runs, but into a SPANISH FLY! Cover, TWO!! Ospreay drags Hashi right up to turn him, DREAM SMASHER ELBOW! And then from the corner, HIDDEN BLADE!! Cover, Ospreay wins!
Winner: Will Ospreay, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Hashi earns 0)
The Kingpin wins, and the D Block picture is still a mess! Can Hashi recover to have his last G1 match tomorrow? As for Ospreay, will he settle things with Juice Robinson on Tuesday and make the path forward a bit clearer?
G1 Climax, B Block: Taichi w/ Miho Abe VS Jay White w/ Gedo!
One way or another, The Holy Emperor finishes his run this weekend, but if he wins here, it might not even matter! Will the Sliest Wrestler in the World be able to snatch a golden ticket off the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion? Or will he breath with the Switchblade as the Jay1 goes 5-0?
White and Taichi both have quite a bit to put aside, from jackets to belts. Taichi shows off the dancing pecs and even White applauds. White gets his moving, too, so he isn’t out of the NJPW Dancing with the Pecs running. White gets impatient with Red Shoes and he Too Sweets with Gedo. The bell rings and fans rally up as White and Taichi stare down. White and Taichi circle, tie up, and are in a deadlock. Taichi finds a point of leverage and he puts White in a corner. Red Shoes calls the ropebreak, Taichi pats White on the shoulder then backs away. Fans applaud and White dusts himself off. Taichi and White reset and circle again.
Taichi offers White a sumo style showdown. Fans rally up for that and White says okay, but how does it work? They crouch, then Taichi does the sumo stomp. White asks Gedo if that’s how it’s done. White returns the stomp, and they square up at center. But then White pulls hair and RAMS Taichi into the corner! White stomps a mudhole then throws forearms. White mocks the sumo then whips corner to corner. Taichi reverses and runs in but White bails out! White says nope, Taichi isn’t getting the better of him. White wants Red Shoes to keep Taichi back so he can get in. Taichi does back up and White returns.
Gedo grabs Taichi’s foot! White CLUBS away on Taichi, mocks the sumo then whips, but Taichi reverses. White holds ropes and bails out, but Taichi rushes out after him! White slides back in, Taichi pursues, but White facelocks. Taichi RAMS White into a corner! Red Shoes calls the ropebreak, Taichi slowly lets off, but White avoids the cheap shot to CHOP! Taichi just snarls and CHOKES White! Taichi has White in the corner, Gedo protests but then Taichi tells Gedo to shut up before he CHOKES Gedo! White rakes Taichi’s eyes to make him let Gedo go! White fireman’s carries and HOTSHOTS Taichi to the floor!
White applauds mockingly and he smirks as he mocks more of Taichi’s sumo style. White drags Taichi up to CHOKE him on the railing right in front of commentary! Red Shoes reprimands, White lets off and Taichi falls over. White borrows some camera cable to CHOKE Taichi! Red Shoes reprimands but White talks trash on Taichi. White lets off, tells Miho to shut it but she’s all the way on the other side of the ring. White drags Taichi up and into the ring, then puts him on the apron. White CLUBS Taichi in the chest again and again! Gedo likes it as White SMOTHERS Taichi with the apron skirt! Red Shoes reprimands, White tells Miho to shut up, but he does let off.
White is polite enough to put the skirt back where it belongs and he wipes the sweat away with his towel. White drags Taichi to a cover but Red Shoes refuses to count! Gedo and White ask why, but it’s obviously because of the shenanigans with the skirt! Gedo distracts Red Shoes with his dramatic whining so that White can CHOKE Taichi with the towel! Miho protests, Red Shoes sees something’s up, and White lets off on the towel. White tells Red Shoes to relax, it’s just his towel! The towel is taken away, and White gets the fans to clap again. “TA-I-CHI!” “JAY WHI-TO!” White mocks Taichi but Taichi kicks back from the ropes!
Taichi whips White, White reverses and kicks low to throw Taichi by his hair! White CHOKES Taichi, much like Taichi would. Red Shoes reprimands, he won’t count the cover. But White says Taichi does it all the time! Speaking of, Taichi CHOKES White from below! Gedo protests, White stomps Taichi into letting go, then stomps him more! White sputters and coughs at the ropes but fans rally up. White sits Taichi up into a chinlock but Taichi endures. White grinds Taichi down but Taichi kicks around. Taichi pulls White’s hair, stands up, and he throws elbows. Taichi KICKS White’s leg, KICKS it again, then blocks White’s kick to KICK again!
White hobbles away and fans fire up! Taichi storms over but White knees low. White Too Sweet CHOPS! And Too Sweet CHOPS! White whips Taichi corner to corner, then runs in, but Taichi dodges the chop! Taichi CHOKES White again! Gedo protests, Red Shoes reprimands, and White tries to choke Taichi back! Taichi breaks that grip and shoves White into the corner to GAMANGIRI! Fans fire up as both men fall down! White stirs and gets out of the corner while Taichi sits up. Taichi stands and storms up on White to KICK him back down! Fans fire up while White sits back up. Taichi KICKS him down again!
Gedo grows worried for White as he manages to sit up again. Taichi KICKS White down again! Taichi taunts White, looms over him, then drags him up to snapmare and KICK in the back! White writhes and fans fire up as Taichi stalks White to ropes. Taichi drags White up, whips but White reverses. Taichi reverses back to DANGEROUS HOOK KICK! Fans fire up and Taichi looms over White again. Taichi drags White up to reel him in but White fights off the saido! White CLUBS away, fires off forearms, but Taichi KICKS the leg! White hobbles and drops to a knee. Taichi runs in at the corner, White dodges and fireman’s carries, DEATH VALLEY BOMB!
Fans fire up and Gedo cheers, but both men are down. White sits up and clutches his chest while fans rally. Taichi rolls away to a corner but White runs in, UPPERCUT! White brings Taichi out to suplex for BLADEBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Taichi is still in this and White is frustrated. White drags Taichi up, reels him in, but Taichi fights the urenage with elbows Taichi wrenches, White ducks the roundhouse and hits a COMPLETE SHOT! White then shifts to a waistlock and he deadlift GERMAN SUPLEXES! Fans fire up but Gedo is the most excited about that one. Fans rally up, White drags Taichi up and reels him in, URENAGE! Stacked cover, TWO!
White is frustrated and Gedo is furious but White sits Taichi up. White wraps on the SLEEPER, then he drags Taichi up! Taichi backs White down but White sends him into the buckles! White runs back in but into a BOOT! Taichi rushes but White ducks to CHOP! Taichi SOBATS, White UPPERCUTS, Taichi ENZIGURIS! Both men are down again and fans fire up! Taichi and White stir, Taichi sits up and fires himself up. Gedo shouts to White to get up but OFF COME THE PANTS! Taichi powers up in the corner and takes aim, but GEDO GRABS MIHO! Gedo’s got Miho by her hair! White waistlocks to SAIDO!!
Gedo says White should finish this, and he’ll keep Miho! White taunts Taichi with his “damsel in distress!” White makes Taichi look, and then he stands on Taichi’s head. White mockingly asks if Miho is okay, and Miho is almost in tears! Fans rally for Taichi but White CHOPS him! And CHOPS him! And CHOPS! Taichi stands up, White CHOPS, and Taichi just glares at Gedo! White wants Taichi to pay attention to him, so Taichi DECKS him!! Taichi goes out after Gedo and Gedo lets go of Miho. Gedo apologizes but Taichi doesn’t care. And in storms Yoshinobu Kanemaru! Suzuki-Gun doesn’t take kindly to mistreating a lady!
Gedo turns around and he sees he’s surrounded! Gedo scurries into the ring but Taichi rushes in after him. Gedo still wants mercy but White full nelsons! Taichi arm-drags White away, and DOUBLE AX BOMBERS! Fans are thunderous and Taichi gets White up to the LAST RIDE!! High stack, TWO!!? White survives but fans are thunderous again! Kanemaru coaches Taichi up while keeping Gedo down. Fans rally up and Taichi snarls. Taichi then roars and fans fire up with him! Taichi aims from the corner, for JYUTEN- NO, White drops down! White uses his opossum technique but Taichi says this isn’t much of a world champion then.
Taichi kicks White around, taunts him, and drags him up. White CHOPS back, but Taichi withstands it! Taichi eggs White on, so White LARIATS! Taichi rebounds, but swings into the SNAP SLEEPER SUPLEX! But Taichi’s right back up! White gets around but Taichi turns things around with a DANGEROUS SAIDO!! Taichi crawls to the cover, TWO! White is still in this but fans rally behind Taichi! Taichi and White rise again and Taichi slashes his throat to say this is done. Taichi Alabama Lifts but White sprawls to block! White brings Taichi up but Taichi breaks free and BUZZSAWS! And then Taichi hooks up the arms!
Wait, Taichi backs off on the Gedo Clutch because actual Gedo is getting in the ring! Taichi KICKS the ropes to low blow Gedo! Gedo falls down but White gets Taichi, BLADE- NO, Taichi throws White down and GEDO CLUTCH! TWO!?!?! White escapes by mere nanoseconds! But Taichi runs in to Alabama Lift and- White slips off! White blocks the kick, reels Taichi in but Taichi elbows free! Taichi clinches and SUMO THROWS! And then Taichi sets up, YOKOZUNA- BLADE- NO! YOKOZUNA ELBOW!!! Cover, TWO!?!?!? White is still surviving by the skin of his teeth! Miho is mad and she wants White to pay!
Fans are thunderous, Taichi slowly stands back up and he roars! Taichi drags White up, reels him into the Alabama Lift, but White sunset flips! BLADE- NO!! DANGEROUS SAIDO!! With bridge, TWO!?!!! Taichi is getting mad now and he drags White up! Alabama, but White wrenches! BLADERUNNER!!!! But White can’t make the cover!! Fans are electric as both men slowly stir! White flounders his way over, he drags Taichi back up, but he can’t get that dead weight up! White has to use the ropes, but Taichi throws haymakers from below! And CHOKES White! White still powers through to BLADERUNNER!!! Cover, White wins!!
Winner: Jay White, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Taichi earns 0)
White is FIVE AND OH! And in one fell swoop, The Switchblade eliminates both the Holy Emperor and the Cold Skull! Their records are not enough to take the block, will they just have to have better luck next year?
But as Taichi is taken away by Young Lions, Kanemaru and Miho trailing after, White gets the mic to say, “Hey! Hey! Come back! Come back!” He even adds in Japanese, “Don’t discriminate.” White then demands ice from the Young Lions, and they bring him a few icepacks. White puts them all on his chest given those sharp kicks from Taichi. He also claims he still has heat stroke like he did earlier this week. MORE ICE! “Shimoda! Shimoda-san, more ice!” Even more ice is brought while some fans are leaving. White again says, “Did you guys not hear? I had heat stroke, I need ice to cool down.”
White chuckles a bit and says, “Heat stroke? HEAT STROKE? I live in Florida! Do you think a little bit of sun, and heat, is going to bother me? How gullible and stupid can you all be?! But I appreciate the days off in Hiroshima, the days off those pointless matches worth zero points in the Jay1 Climax! It was nice to have that rest so I could be well-rested for matches that do matter, like today, and like against one Tama Tonga.” But that’s not what White wants to be saying. He wants to say, “Thank you all so much for all of your heartfelt messages and well-wishes and prayers, saying, ‘Jay White, please get better. Jay White, take care of yourself.'”
That really brought a tear to White’s eye and he wouldn’t be here tonight to fight his heart out for all the fans, if not for all those lovely, lovely messages. White pretends to cry over this but he can’t help but laugh. “Still my ear! Undefeated! Switchblade Era!” Jay drops the mic, but will he keep this momentum going to a spotless 6-0? Or will he drop the ball in the final round against The Good Bad Guy?
Here are the NEW standings!
- Kazuchika Okada: 4-1, 8 points
- Lance Archer: 3-2, 6 points
- JONAH: 3-2, 6 points
- Jeff Cobb: 3-2, 6 points
- Bad Luck Fale: 2-3, 4 points [ELIMINATED]
- Tom Lawlor: 2-3, 4 points [ELIMINATED]
- Toru Yano: 1-5, 2 points [ELIMINATED]
- Jay White: 5-0, 10 points
- Tama Tonga: 4-1, 8 points
- SANADA: 3-2, 6 points [ELIMINATED]
- Taichi: 2-3, 4 points [ELIMINATED]
- Chase Owens: 2-4, 4 points [ELIMINATED]
- Great-O-Khan: 1-4, 2 points [ELIMINATED]
- Tomohiro Ishii: 1-4, 2 points [ELIMINATED]
- Zack Sabre Jr: 4-1, 8 points
- Hirooki Goto: 3-2, 6 points
- Hiroshi Tanahashi: 3-2, 6 points
- Tetsuya Naito: 3-2, 6 points
- EVIL: 2-3, 4 points [ELIMINATED]
- KENTA: 2-3, 4 points [ELIMINATED]
- Aaron Henare: 1-5, 2 points [ELIMINATED]
- David Finlay: 3-2, 6 points
- Shingo Takagi: 3-2, 6 points
- Will Ospreay: 3-2, 6 points
- Yujiro Takahashi: 3-3, 6 points
- El Phantasmo: 2-3, 4 points
- YOSHI-HASHI: 2-3, 4 points
- Juice Robinson: 2-3, 4 points [ELIMINATED]
A great event for the G1, and what a great variety in these blocks. Henare VS Kenta was a great match, even with both men out of the running. But Kenta winning makes the most sense, as he’s the veteran and he needs the momentum to take on Hiroshi Tanahashi tomorrow. There is a chance Kenta wins that, as both revenge for their IWGP US Championship No Disqualifications match, as well as clear the way for Naito or Zack Sabre Jr. That win would be a big feather in Kenta’s cap, who knows if it happens. Yano VS Cobb was a ton of fun, but of course Cobb wins to keep going. Cobb VS Lawlor is tomorrow, both their last one this G1, Lawlor could get a HUGE spoiler right at the end here.
The D Block is hilariously chaotic here, and NJPW is brilliant for finding a way to make this work. Yujiro VS Takagi was a very good match, but I figured Takagi would win. Hashi VS Ospreay was awesome stuff, Hashi is continuing to look awesome, but I figured Ospreay would win. Yujiro is right smack in the middle, but he has one of the more important wins since he beat David Finlay to start this G1 before Finlay went on that wild run. Finlay has a win over Takagi, Ospreay and Juice, but ELP also just beat Finlay, and there’s still Finlay VS Hashi tomorrow. No one really knows what will happen if all seven men end up 3-3, so I would think one person has to go 4-2 and then that guy, whoever it is, is D Block’s guy.
Taichi VS White was awesome stuff, and it really felt worth of someone facing the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion. It felt like Taichi could’ve taken that win but in the end, White stays spotless. It will still come down to White VS Tama on Tuesday, “win and you’re in,” and either way, that result is going to be wild. Tama can get the golden ticket and go strong into the semifinals, or White runs the block (granted a smaller block) to look almost unstoppable.
My Score: 8.8/10
Andrew’s IMPACT Emergence Results & Match Ratings: 8.12.2022
ALEX SHELLEY VS JOSH ALEXANDER! CHAMPIONSHIP! TONIGHT! ‘NUFF SAID!
OKAY! So we all know I’m just hype to get to the main event and hopefully see Alex Shelley win the title. So I’ll do the whole “here’s my picks” cheap way to do an intro, and then into the coverage.
- X Division Match – Bailey retains (because I hate Jack Evans)
- Maclin vs Callihan – Callihan wins (because Moose needs a reason to get involved)
- VBD vs Motor City Time – VBD win (because they need relevance)
- Honor No More vs Bullet Club – Honor No More win (because Impact made me like Matt Taven)
- Bandido vs Rey Horus: Bandido wins (because he’s already got more name recognition)
- Knockouts: Jordynne Grace vs Mia Yim: Jordynne wins (because they hot shot belts to new people too much)
- World Title: Alex Shelley vs Josh Alexander: Alex Shelley wins (because I want him to)
Now on to the show!
It's MAIN EVENT TIME!
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) August 13, 2022
- X Division Championship: Speedball Mike Bailey (c) vs Jack Evans: Bailey retains via Ultima Weapon – * 1/2
- Steve Maclin vs Sami Callihan: Never Happened
- VBD (Eric Young & Deaner w/Joe Doering) vs Motor City Time (Kushida & Chris Sabin): EY wins via Piledriver – *** 1/4
- AAA Attraction Match: Bandido vs Rey Horus: Bandido wins via 21Plex – ***
- NODQ Anything Goes: Steve Maclin vs Sami Callihan: Callihan wins via Cactus Driver ’97 – *** 3/4
- Honor No More (Mike Bennett, Matt Taven, Vincent, PCO & Eddie Edwards w/Maria) vs Bullet Club (Doc Gallows, Karl Anderson, Hikuleo, Ace Austin, Chris Bey): Taven wins via Climax into Trash Can – *** 1/4
- Knockouts World Championship: Jordynne Grace (c) vs Mia Yim: Grace retains via Grace Driver – *** 3/4
- IMPACT World Heavyweight Championship: Josh Alexander (c) vs Alex Shelley: Josh retains via C4 Spike – *****
X Division Championship: Speedball Mike Bailey (c) vs Jack Evans
It should be no surprise from previous coverage, I like nothing about Jack Evans. Bad look, no psychology, all stupid flips and cheap heel gimmicks. I’m ecstatic that we get the match with the worst wrestler out of the way immediately.
Evans dives at Speedball’s legs, tries to get some cheap Roll-Ups, typical heel powder, bait into the corner, cheap shot but Bailey manages a Top Wristlock to slow down Evans. Evans Cartwheels out, two stupid High Risk misses, a few more dumb spots and then they meet in the middle with dueling Crossbodies. The early goings, really looks slow and stupid.
Kick Fight, Bailey gets the best of it, Dropkick, Dive, throws him back in, powders out, another dive, throws him back in, another powder and Bailey hits the old Will Ospreay fake dive, before trying to get Evans back in. Baits Bailey to the rope, catches him and then Slingshot Jecht Shot into a Muta Lock, but again, these are just moves with no real story. So congrats he’s agile and flexibile I suppose.
Random Snap Suplex for a 2. The match slows down to molasses in a mayo jar, Bailey tries to counter an Irish Whip, but Evans catches him. Still a super slow Rocket Launcher attempt that Bailey counters and kicks Evans in the face. A few more kicks and then a Corkscrew Shooting Star for 2. Delayed really dumb Cartwheel Back Elbow from Evans, into a Suplex and then Falcon Arrow. But Evans’ offense is just bad, he’s like if you ordered Kid Kash on Wish.
An awful and slow Double Kick spot actually has me laughing at how awful this is. I really enjoy Speedball, but god he can’t carry a match with a wrestler not worth the hot dog or handshake he was promised. Lame Dropkick from Bailey, Escalera Moonsault gets the sympathy pop from the crowd, but this needs to end soon. Apron Triangle Kick from Evans, throws in Bailey, Blockbuster gives Evans a near fall. Evans to the top, Bailey tries to cut him off, Evans fights him off twice, but Bailey keeps rising. Sloppy Spider Suplex from Evans, Evans goes for a spot, Bailey moves, Evans heads to the corner, Tornado Kick spot that Evans takes poorly (might’ve been a receipt for the bad Spider Suplex), Ultima Weapon from Bailey and he retains. Thankfully.
Honor No More segment with Eddie trying to fire up the troops. I’ll say this, he’s become a better talker, but he’s still not close to good. I would like Honor No More to win, but it feels like the way to write them out. Here’s to hoping even if they lose, a few of them stick around as official Impact wrestlers.
Steve Maclin vs Sami Callihan
Maclin attacks Sami during his entrance, and they just brawl. The bell never rings, Sami grabs a chair, the referee tries to stop him, Sami shoves the ref but Maclin counters. Maclin tries to use the chair, the referee tries to stop him and Sami and Maclin both bully the referee and shove him to the ground before continuing to brawl.
They just go out through the crowd, continuing to fight as commentary claims the match never took place but the show must go on, so we go to the tag match!
VBD (Eric Young & Deaner w/Joe Doering) vs Motor City Time (Kushida & Chris Sabin)
Kushida and Young start off, the crowd starts the Kushida chant and Young hops out to admonish the crowd for chanting for Kushida. EY slides back in and pushes Kushida into the corner and muscles him over a little before tagging Deaner in. Deaner tries to go for the Deaner DDT early, but Kushida counters with a few short arm tackles, a lot of wrist control and then quick tags and fun tandem work.
Tandem Forward Roll Body Scissors into the Kushida PK Kick to the left arm already starts the foreshadowing on the Hoverboard Lock. EY sneak attacks Kushida during a rope run giving Deaner the opportunity to tag out, EY a few quick spots, then Kushida kicks him over the top rope, Flair Flop and stumble to the turnbuckle, a little shenanigans and EY ends up with the advantage still. Rude Awakening style Neckbreaker for a 2 count from EY before tagging in Deaner and hitting a Double Boot Face Sandwich on the apron against Kushida.
VBD keep peppering in quick tags against Kushida, and it’s working pretty well. They keep him in the corner and do their version of the Unicorn Stampede, as Kushida tries to fight back but EY drops Sabin off the apron. Fastball Special punches as both VBD men are doubled over, Kushida literally runs up and over the men, rolls off to tag in Sabin. Clears house a bit, hints at Cradle Shock on Deaner, but EY gets him. EY tries to do the MCMG reference of the 5 Hole Dive, but Kushida breaks it up and they pull off their own version. Cradle Shock/Pele Combo gets a 2 count because EY slides in to break it up. EY takes control, sets up Deaner to receive his tag and things he can land the Piledriver on Sabin. Double Neckbreakers, into the Canadian Savage aerial moves before Kushida breaks it up. VBD almost slows him down before a back hand spring Double Back Elbow has everyone laid out for a moment. Rising Fighting Spirit spot, VBD take short cuts, but get Irish Whipped, Do-si-do, doesn’t matter, High Speed Dirt into a Cravat/Cartwheel Dropkick. Deaner grabs a weapon, Doering bonks Kushida and EY gets the job done with the Piledriver.
VBD needed the win here, so I’m glad they did what they needed to, to have them remain a somewhat credible force before it all eventually implodes.
VXT gloats a little after their Knockouts Tag Title victory on the pre-show. Deonna is gold, so it’s always nice when she’s wearing some.
Kenny King comes out to try and bait out Heath. I don’t mind Kenny, but his promos can be corny as hell sometimes. Some cheap shots at the Bears, then a little reference to Chicago stuff, but Sami and Maclin make their way back through the crowd to distract Kenny. Heath runs down the ramp when Kenny ain’t looking, Wake Up Call after a missed Chairshot and Kenny gets left laying. Gia grabs a quick interview with Heath and the crowd responds well to him. He says he’s not gonna interfere in the 5v5, so here’s to hoping that Honor No More win, since Heath can’t continue his Wake Up Call Revenge Tour if they disband.
AAA Attraction Match: Bandido vs Rey Horus
Bandido looks like he’s having to slow down by a step or two in the early goings. Horus is just not ready to go at the speed Bandido is and its evident from Horus not ducking in time so he eats a boot while he’s obviously trying to dodge. It’s a bunch of moves pretty quick, and honestly I can’t tell what’s actually being countered, missed or just mistimed. So this early portion is not starting off good.
Things finally start to slow down when Bandido hits the Plancha, tries to continue into the ring and eats a Dropkick. Three Amigos from Bandido with the Eddie Shake before dropping down into a Worm, Handstand Senton for 2. Bandido on the outside, thought he was clever walking away, but Horus changes his angles and then jumps over the corner to land on Bandido. 180 Frog Splash from Horus for 2. Bandido has to try and fire back up, and does so as he counters the rope run with a Single Arm Gorilla Press, into a Running Leg Lariat for 2.
Horus hits a Avalanche Satellite Tornado DDT, but the worst thing is it just looked too cooperative. Was it cool? Fucking yes. But it was just too much and looked kinda dumb at the same time. Outside-In Lifting Avalanche Vertical Suplex from Bandido onto Horus for a near fall. Pop Up Cutter is a little sloppy during the run, run continues as Horus hits his own Body Roll Cutter, then a double knockout kick takes us to a 9 count (in Spanish) and a double sit up ala Kane and Taker.
I’ll be honest, if I shut my brain off and just watched, it’s definitely entertaining and fun. But the match has been one hell of a mess at many points. Popping Satellite DDT from Horus gives him another 2 count. Horus goes to the top, Bandido cuts him off, Benadryller from Bandido, 21Plex for the win!
I can give it a 3 for entertainment value, but holy hell was it a mess.
Moose gives an interviewing denying being in cahoots with Maclin again, but Sami attacks Moose and the fight is continuing. Moose is now mad so he adds himself into this crazy brawl. D’lo finally calls in security to stop the brawl in general. SCOTT D’AMORE music hits! Scott makes it a NODQ Anything Goes match, but Moose is barred from Ringside.
Steve Maclin vs Sami Callihan (con’t)
Sami smashes Maclin’s head into the steel steps and takes a bow after the bell officially rings. Maclin is busted open and Sami is relishing in this whole situation until Maclin moves near the guardrail, Callihan gets put in the Tree of Woe and Caught in the Crosshairs on the guardrail! Suplex and then Maclin lands a Knee Drop from the apron right onto Callihan’s face.
Maclin pulls out 3 chairs and a Swiffer, Chicago pops for the Swiffer. Maclin asks if they want it…and then he throws it away, flips them off and grabs a chair to a chorus of Boos. Small “We Want Swiffer” chant but Maclin eats a T-Bone Suplex into the chair. Sami Sabu’s a chair into Maclin’s face. Another chair, another Sabu, but this time he gets the pony because it wraps around Maclin’s head like a necklace.
Thumbs Up, Thumbs…nope Low Blow. Maclin goes to down driving a chair into Sami’s ribs. Maclin grabs an equipment case with Wire Cutters, Zip Ties, Cables…it’s a box of goodies. K.I.A. from Maclin and Maclin refuses to end the match like that. He’s psyching up and looking to Zip Tie Callihan. Low Mule Kick gives Callihan the advantage. Sabu the chair a third time, “My Balls, your balls” and Sami just stomps the shit out of Maclin’s balls. Deonna is gonna be very upset with Sami after this match.
Sami goes for the Zip Ties on Maclin and has him with his hands tied behind his back. Maclin stays defiant to the end, spits at Callihan, Cactus Driver ’97, and Sami wins.
Honor No More (Mike Bennett, Matt Taven, Vincent, PCO & Eddie Edwards w/Maria) vs Bullet Club (Doc Gallows, Karl Anderson, Hikuleo, Ace Austin, Chris Bey)
It goes without saying that Honor No More should remain, plus with Bullet Club randomly using Hikuleo who hasn’t been on Impact television since GoD was still part of BC, he’s probably the fall guy. Even Vincent has more worth to Impact right now than Hikuleo.
Bell rings and we get an ole 10 man donnybrook. Just slugfests and a few people get thrown out piece by piece before starting to pair up and then take the neutral corners. Good Brothers are double teaming Vincent early, but OGK slide into interrupt it. Gallows hits the Double Lariat to try and slow things down, but Gallows is in pain after his PCO match 2 weeks ago. Eddie cuts off someone, Bey and Ace double team Eddie to give BC a short advantage before Vincent comes back to life.
Big Triangle Kick from Ace wipes out Vincent. Ace of Beyse stand tall until they try and go after PCO, now they have problems. PCO and Hikuleo have their monster face off. One of Hikuleo’s strikes are worth about 3 of PCOs. Hikuleo dumps out PCO, Bey launches off of Hikuleo and takes out most of the HNM members. Hikuleo is about to dive, but Taven cuts him off just to get Yeeted into a pile of bodies. Ace hits a Diving Fold on a climbs Taven, into most of the dudes.
Weapons come out, and more chants for the Swiffer to return. We have hit clusterfuck level for this match. 10 people is bad enough, little to no referee control, weapons and showboating to different camera cuts. Not a bad thing per se, but definitely makes things messier and easier to turn into garbage. Funny camera cut has Eddie Edwards crotching Ace with the ring post. Just revenge for when he tried to bang his wife. OGK has been doing a lot of the in ring work, but with trying to keep attention across 10 people, it’s just too much to watch. PCO misses the PCO-sault and Gallows drags him up the ramp just to eat Double Superkicks from OGK.
They drag Gallows into the crowd, we have no clue what else is going on, but Gallows fights back as PCO gets back up to his feet. Gallows and PCO fight amongst the people, Gallows tosses PCO over a second floor railing and into the Shadow Realm or something. Technically it’s 4v5 for now. Vincent Redrum’s Gallows through a table. So…someone is dead there. Eddie grabs Kenny and beats Karl with Kenny. Something oddly specific about that, but Gallows gets back up with the adrenaline surge, throws some fists and garbage cans before crumpling down. Gallows arm gives out for the Magic Killer, they wipe out Anderson, Taven hits the Climax on Gallows into a garbage can and Honor No More win!
The match totally fell apart, PCO getting sent to the Shadow Realm was a pop that didn’t really do anything aside from pop the crowd. Bey, Ace and Hikuleo weren’t really seen for the last 5 minutes of the match, at least. So yeah, over booked, sloppy, but…God dammit it was fun and the right team won.
Knockouts World Championship: Jordynne Grace (c) vs Mia Yim
Both women go for an almost Japanese Junior style of stalemate wrestling. No real power advantage from either, not strikes thrown, both are just looking for leverage and opportunities. Poor Mia tries to anticipate a Leap Frog and eats the Manhattan Drop into Low Dropkick and then a Bridging Suplex for 1. Mia slides around with a trip, Low Dropkick of her own, Hesitation Dropkick, Jordynne powders and then Mia goes after her with a dive. Slides her back in for a 1 count.
Mia is getting a little cocky with the Snap Kicks. Jordynne tries to Suplex out of Mia’s offense, but Mia body scissors and locks in a Guillotine. It takes Jordynne a hot minute to power through the Guillotine to suplex counter it. Jordynne tried to Sunset Bomb, but Mia does a great job fighting it. Kicks her legs, holds the ropes, really looks like she’s trying not to go over, but eventually falls victim. Slow rise, and strike spot. Mia trades a few Forearms, then starts responding with Round Kicks. Jordynne keeps popping up, they trade, Sole Butt, Kawada Kicks and Jordynne shoves Mia a bit too hard so she falls into the ropes instead of bouncing off right, but it doesn’t look awful.
Jordynne goes for a Muta Lock of all things, I didn’t know she could do that, though I feel like she pulled it off once before, it’s still not something she does a lot. Mia counters and they have one another in Reverse Chinlocks and just slap the hell out of each other. It takes a headbutt from Mia to actually cause a recovery spot for both. Step Through Tornado DDT from Mia, for 2.
Classic Tornado attempt, held on, Muscle Buster from Jordynne, but Mia kicks out! They fight to the top turnbuckle, Mia gets the best, Avalanche Code Blue for…2.9! Nice reference back to her Jade days. Locomotion Cradles, Eat Defeat counter, Protect Ya Neck counter and Jordynne turns it into a Grace Driver for the pinfall victory!
Masha’s music hits right before Mia and Jordynne shake hands and she hands a death warrant to Jordynne Grace. I wasn’t sure if they’d sky rocket Masha to the top…so now we see if she stays as a Wrecking Machine or if Grace knocks her down a peg.
IMPACT World Heavyweight Championship: Josh Alexander (c) vs Alex Shelley
GIVE ME AN ALEX SHELLEY WIN! You can’t steal my Cheerios! Just let me mark out a let you jerks!
Josh and Alex start slow, the normal feeling out style, but as Josh tries to apply his power, Alex grinds in a headlock and keeps things slow. A few quick strikes, Frakensteiner, Josh’s head gear fell off and Alex has a little fun.
Inverted Indian Deathlock as Alex claws at Josh’s face just rubbing in the advantageous position. Alex ducks into the ropes to break the Arm Wringer, Josh didn’t so he ducked back in to use the rope to trap Josh’s arm and get in a cheap but clever kick. Josh evens things up after a few run through Shoulder Tackles since Josh is really focusing on Alex’s left arm. Now Josh is finally grabbing at the legs, which makes more sense.
Gory Special into a backslide for a quick count and then Shelley keeps a few precision strikes at Josh’s arm to soften him up for the Border City Stretch. Naciente into a Border City attempt, but he couldn’t quite lock it in. Alex is enjoying going after the different injuries that he made sure Josh knew he was aware of, so Josh retaliates with that Low Diving Crossbody.
Knees, Hamstrings and Dragon Screw attacks from Alex as he’s really trying to dissect the champion. He could be trying to do too much, but it’s smart. Seated Cloverleaf into a Koji Kimura Lock combination. Alex is putting on a clinic at the moment. Rolling Elbow shades of Kotaro Suzuki in how he did it. Josh almost starts a comeback but Alex stifles it.
Power Struggle in the middle, but Josh eventually pulls off the Fisherman’s Suplex as they both take a beat to recover. Alex tries to stop the onslaught of Haymakers, but just gets molly whopped. Exploder Suplex from Josh sends Shelley to the center, Josh goes for a King Kong Knee Drop and misses. Shelley lays out Josh with a Tornado DDT, goes to the top, shrugs, Frog Splash for 2 and then Josh hooks the Ankle Lock but Alex gets to the rope.
After this point I just got engrossed and watched instead of typed. This was a hell of a match. Needs to be searched out by anyone who enjoys great wrestling and in-ring story telling.
Overall Score: 8/10
So there was something charming about this show, even if it started with one of my least favorite wrestlers in all of wrestling. The match that turned into a brawl for like an hour than finally a NoDQ match was VERY old school TNA and I enjoyed the camp of the situation. It was definitely an oddly paced show with a few consecutive segments of non-wrestling and just gimmick or interview, but the last few matches saved things for me.
Lucha in general is a car crash style of wrestling that I’m very hot and cold on, but when it’s done well, it’s fucking beautiful. Bandido versus Rey Horus, was more like Jersey Shore. I can’t stop watching the awful situations, but I leave amused and feeling okay about myself; so I suppose generally positive outcome. Back to back hardcore matches are usually bad booking, but Maclin was committed to his match and that made it beautiful; while the Honor No More match was a mess, but checked enough “sports entertainment” boxes to be more than just a correct finish. Jordynne and Mia worked their assess off, there were just a couple clunky spots that stopped me from getting totally hype. And of course, the Shelley vs Alexander match was actually objectively fantastic. While I loved Sabin vs Shelley, there was definitely nostalgia and general marking out for both of them going on; I would put this match against anything else in anyone’s MOTY pool.
The wrong guy won, but damn was it a fantastic match. Solid PPV, started slow, but when it picked up, it went at the speed of a freight train. Good stuff.
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