Is the Rated R Superstar going to challenge the Tribal Chief?
The SmackDown After Royal Rumble will have the Rated R Superstar, EDGE!! Will he put Roman Reigns on notice for a WrestleMania challenge?
- King Corbin VS Dominik Mysterio w/ Rey Mysterio; Dominik wins.
- Daniel Bryan VS Cesaro; Cesaro wins.
- Bayley VS Ruby Riott w/ Liv Morgan; Bayley wins.
- Chad Gable & Otis VS Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler; Roode & Ziggler win.
- WWE Intercontinental Championship Triple Threat: Big E VS Apollo Crews VS Sami Zayn; Big E wins and retains the title.
PLAY BY PLAY
WWE and SmackDown mourn the loss of “The Natural,” Butcher Reed.
Roman Reigns heads to the ring!
The Tribal Chief, the Head of the Table, and still WWE Universal Champion has Paul Heyman and Jey Uso with him again after outlasting Kevin Owens in the Last Man Standing match at the Royal Rumble. Heyman fetches Roman a mic while fans give thumbs down on their ThunderDome screens. Roman says he’s not “big on the past,” or a fan of recapping. But if you didn’t see The Rumble, Roman beat Kevin. Just like he said he would, because he’s a man of his word. But enough about the past. Let’s talk the future. Apparently, the future could be Edge. Winning the Royal Rumble match gets you a first class ticket to WrestleMania. And last time Roman checked, he’s the main event.
“Which brings me to my issues. I have two issues here. Me, the Tribal Chief, the Head of the Table, the best of the best, THE WWE Universal Champion, the main event. Why in the hell are you going to visit Monday Night Raw? Why are you going to waste your time on Wednesday going to NXT, when you already know you should bring your ass right here, to SmackDown, Roman Reigns’ show. You should grovel at my feet, beg me, sell me, on why I should allow you on the Island of Relevancy.”
And that brings Roman to his second issue. Why the hell is he out here first? Where the hell is Edge? Roman says Edge makes the mistake of disrespecting him all week long, but Roman is a gentleman, and will let that slide. But now Edge is making Roman wait? The Head of the Table has to wait? He’s here, isn’t it? Then get his ass out here, Paul. Heyman tells them to play Edge’s music, with the pyro and everything. But the crew says Edge isn’t here yet. Heyman relays this to Roman and Roman is noticeably annoyed. “Edge isn’t here?”
So then Edge must think Roman’s a fool. Is Roman a fool? Does he look like a fool? Does he look like a man who wants to wait and play games? Why is Edge playing games with Roman?! “The last man that played games with me… His name was Kevin Owens. And he’s no longer here anymore, because I whooped his ass. He’s history, he’s gone, you’ll never see him again.” Fans give thumbs down even harder now at that idea. Roman tells Edge “nicely” that Edge needs to understand this. This is Edge’s only chance. “You’re going to give me your decision by the end of the night.” Roman repeats that to make a point. But will he have no choice but to play things the ultimate opportunist’s way?
King Corbin VS Dominik Mysterio w/ Rey Mysterio!
Is the third time the charm? We’ll find out as the Son of Mysterio tries to battle the Wolf King yet again! But wait, Corbin attacks during Dom’s entrance! He CLOBBERS Dom, then hits Rey! Corbin goes to throw Rey but Rey blocks, so Corbin knees him low! Corbin TOSSES Rey off the stage, and Rey hits spare boxes on the way down! Corbin KICKS Dom in the side, then leaves him behind. Will Dom be able to have this match after what just happened?
SmackDown returns and Dom IS going to have this match! The bell rings, Corbin runs in but Dom drop toeholds him into buckles! Then dodges again! Corbin slides out, in, but into a dropkick! Dom goes after Corbin at the rope but is thrown out. Dom gets right back up to shoulder in then slingshot and roll up for another dropkick! Cover, TWO! Corbin is after Dom by a leg, drags him up and SPINEBUSTERS him! Corbin rains down fists, lets off as the ref checks on Dom, but then hits Dom again. Corbin puts Dom in the corner to choke on the ropes! The ref counts, Corbin lets off, and we see medics are checking on Rey.
Corbin whips Dom corner to corner hard, then runs in to corner splash! Cover, TWO! Corbin sneers as he stalks Dom and drags him up. Corbin throws elbows into Dom’s shoulder, then clamps on with a chinbar and half nelson combo! Dom endures, fights up, and throws elbows to get free! Dom runs, but into an elbow from Corbin! Corbin mockingly applauds as he looms over Dom. “I thought daddy’s been training you!” Corbin sits Dom up to DECK him! Corbin digs his knees into Dom’s face while pulling on the arm! Dom endures, fights up again, and throws body shots. Corbin knees low, whips Dom to ropes, but Dom kicks back! Dom baits Corbin in to dump him out!
Dom aims, springboards, and CROSSBODIES! Both men are down, and Rey finally stands! Rey hobbles over to coach Dom and Dom stands as SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns and Dom is fighting Corbin off from the corner. Dom leaps, but Corbin catches him, to then pop Dom up. Dom fights out of the suplex and hits a SWINGING NECKBREAKER! Standing moonsault! Cover, TWO! Dom grows a little frustrated but Rey coaches him. Corbin choke grips, but Dom slips out of the slam to roll Corbin up again! TWO, and Dom dodges Corbin to send him into ropes! Dom dials it up, but Corbin blocks the 619 with a DEEP SIX! Cover, TWO! Dom survives and Corbin is frustrated now. Corbin drags Dom up, whips him corner to corner, then runs in.
Dom dodges, Corbin only gets buckles, but Corbin blocks the monkey flip! But Dom body scissors to throw Corbin out! Dom builds speed, DIVES and sends Corbin into the desk! Dom hurries back in, but where did Rey go? He pops out to anchor Corbin! The ring count climbs, Dom hits a 619!! Corbin is in, Dom climbs up top, FROG SPLASH! Cover, DOM WINS!
Winner: Dominik Mysterio, by pinfall
That was a very Latino Heat way to win! But one win might not be enough, can Dom find a way to keep Corbin down on his own?
Backstage interview with Big E!
The Powerhouse of Positivity has to face both Apollo Crews and Sami Zayn in a Triple Threat, how has he prepared for this? “All my life I had to fight! And that’s exactly what I signed up for when I won THE Intercontinental Championship.” Much like Lady Liberty, Big E wants them to bring him your hungry, your tired, your poor, your bearded and your bald! Sami and Apollo are those last two. But tonight, for the prize, they’ll do just that! They’ll FIGHT! But they ain’t ready~! Will Big E be ready in tonight’s big title bout?
Daniel Bryan VS Cesaro!
Though neither won the Men’s Royal Rumble, the YES Movement still owes the Swiss Cyborg for their match a few weeks ago! Will Bryan say yes to a win in this Road to Rumble rematch?
SmackDown returns as Cesaro makes his entrance. The bell rings and both men rush the other to tie right up! Cesaro powers Bryan to a corner, Bryan dodges the chop to give KICKS! Cesaro throws body shots, Bryan gives EuroUppers but Cesaro gives those back! Bryan drop toeholds Cesaro and PENALTY KICKS an arm! Bryan is after that arm with a wrench, elbow breaker and whip. Cesaro reverses the whip but Bryan kicks back! Cesaro runs at Bryan but Bryan tosses him out! Bryan climbs up, aims and leaps, and CROSSBODIES Cesaro down! Bryan gets Cesaro back in the ring, then climbs up again. Cesaro turns around into the missile dropkick!
Bryan fires up, fans clap on their screens, even give Yes Fingers, and Bryan gives Cesaro Yes Kicks! Bryan wrenches, Cesaro claws at him but Bryan hits another elbow breaker. Bryan waistlocks, Cesaro switches and back suplexes, but Bryan lands on his feet. Bryan runs into a pop-up but he catches the EuroUpper to a backslide! TWO, and Cesaro BLASTS Bryan with another EuroUpper! Shinsuke Nakamura is watching from backstage as his teammate, Cesaro, and rival, Bryan, are battling. Cesaro brings Bryan up to throw more EuroUppers! Bryan catches one to throw Cesaro down! Cesaro holds off the armbar but gets caught into an omoplata!
Bryan wants the crossface, Cesaro fights the YES Lock off, and gets free to roll Bryan around! Cesaro powers Bryan onto his stomach to throw knees into his side! Cesaro drags Bryan up, Gotch holds, but Bryan back drops! Cesaro lands on his feet, runs and springboards, into a YES KICK! Bryan aims and powers up, BUZZSAW! Cover, TWO!! Cesaro survives but he has blood from the side of his head! Bryan shakes his head as he looms over Cesaro. Bryan drags Cesaro around by his wrists, for DANIELSON STOMPS!
Bryan aims from a corner now, powers up with Yes Fingers, but Cesaro catches the running knee to a tilt-o-whirl and TORTURE RACK! Then a BACKBREAKER DROP! And the Swiss Swing!! Bryan goes for roughly 20 rotations, Cesaro steps through and puts on the SHARPSHOOTER! Bryan endures, reaches, Cesaro sits deeper! Bryan TAPS, Cesaro wins!!
Winner: Cesaro, by submission
Two times these two have battled in just the last month, and two times Cesaro has won! Is the Swiss Cyborg finally breaking through to be at the top of the WWE? Cesaro even shows respect to Bryan with a fist bump! What will this mean for Bryan as he personally feels his in-ring career is winding down?
Backstage interview with Bianca Belair!
The EST is the 2021 Women’s Royal Rumble winner, and she’s gotten so much support and congratulations from the WWE Universe. Most of all, her parents were on Instagram through Bianca’s account, and they were literally jumping with joy! Her dad even fell over the couch! Bianca says her family has been there for her in the good and the bad, so she wants to make them proud. They might not be there at WrestleMania in person, they will be there in spirit. But then who is she going for at WrestleMania? Raw Women’s Champion, Asuka? Or SmackDown Women’s Champion, Sasha Banks?
Bianca knew that question was coming. But this is the biggest decision of her life! Many have told her to take her time, think it over, but this is WRE-STLE-MA-NI-A!! If she was listening to those who told her what she should do, she wouldn’t be here! So the EST is going to be put in WrestleMania her way, so expect her decision very soon.
The Savior of SmackDown is going to return!
He returned in this year’s Royal Rumble match, and the greater good is still on the horizon. Next week, he returns!
Bayley heads to the ring!
The Role Model is clearly upset that not only is she not the Women’s Rumble Winner, but also that it is BIANCA who won! But she’s going to stake her own claim, after the break!
SmackDown returns and Bayley is in action! Will this be the first step on the road to redemption?
Bayley VS Ruby Riott w/ Liv Morgan!
Billie Kay is also on commentary even though she is “allegedly” out of the Riott Squad. The bell rings, Bayley ties up with Ruby and they go around. Bayley puts Ruby in a corner, brings her back out and just shoves her back in. “I’m strong as hell, that’s why I eliminated you!” Bayley rubs that part of the Women’s Rumble match in and she throws Ruby down again. DING DONG, Ruby ROCKS Bayley! Ruby wrenches and RIOTT KICKS!! Cover, TWO!! Bayley survives and shocks Ruby but Ruby clubs away on Bayley’s back. Bayley shoves Ruby away, Ruby drags her up and whips, but Bayley reverses to send Ruby into a corner!
Ruby elbows back, hops up, but no Deadly Nightshade! Bayley has Ruby on her shoulder to LAWN DART Ruby back into the corner! Cover, TWO!! Ruby survives, Bayley snarls, and Billie is very concerned. Bayley stomps Ruby, grabs Ruby’s legs and drags her to an elbow drop! Cover, TWO! Bayley is after Ruby’s bad arm and clamps on. Bayley grinds the shoulder, pulls on the arm, but Ruby endures. Ruby fights up, rams Bayley into buckles, and then gets space. Ruby runs back in but Bayley dodges. Bayley turns around into DEADLY NIGHTSHADE! Ruby hoists Bayley up top, Bayley hits her away, but Ruby goes up and hits a SUPER ARM-DRAG!!
Both women stagger up, Ruby runs but Bayley catches her! Ruby slips out to roll Bayley up, TWO! Bayley ROCKS Ruby then throws her right into ropes! Ruby sputters, gets to the apron, and Bayley slides out! This is the move Bayley used to eliminate Ruby but Ruby fights it off! Ruby mule kicks Bayley away, but Bayley HOTSHOTS Ruby back! Billie thinks Liv needs to do something, but Bayley put son a KEYLOCK CLUTCH! Billie distracts the ref with her antics, Liv argues with Billie about it, but Ruby throws Bayley down to cover! TWO, and Ruby wrenches. Bayley steps over, ROSE PLANT! Cover, Bayley wins!
Winner: Bayley, by pinfall
Billie says that’s not her fault, she was genuinely trying to help. But then Billie bandwagons and asks if Bayley will consider her as a partner. Will Billie ever find the place she belongs?
Bianca Belair is headed to gorilla position!
She said she’d give us her decision soon, is it this soon?! We find out after the break!
Edge finally arrives!
The Rated R Superstar says hey to Sonya Deville on his way through. Will the Ultimate Opportunist take Roman’s ultimatum seriously?
Bianca Belair heads to the ring!
The EST is perhaps the happiest person in the world right now given her Rumble win. She gets the mic, takes a breath to calm the nerves, and says, “When I won the Rumble, my whole life changed overnight. And ever since Sunday, I’ve been doing press nonstop, my phone’s been blowing up,” and she’s had to just respond, “New number, who dis?” But choosing an opponent for WrestleMania is a huge decision. Asuka from Raw, her undefeated streak and her other championships. Not just the Empress of Tomorrow but the empress of all day, every day! And of course, SmackDown Women’s Champion, Sasha Banks! A Grand Slam Boss, whooping bounty hunters in a galaxy far, far away! There’s a reason Bianca is so excited every time she’s teamed with Sasha.
But if Bianca wants to put the EST in WrestleMania, then she has to- Wait, who is this interrupting? Reginald is here to say before making a decision, here’s some advice. If Bianca chooses Asuka, he can see that, and understand it. He is quite certain Bianca could defeat Asuka. But if Bianca says Sasha Banks, well… Reggie doesn’t see it. To put it this way, as he slides right into the ring, “You know damn well you can’t beat Sasha. You can’t even beat Carmella!” Speaking of, here comes the FABULOUS Princess! Mella says her sommelier is a wise man. Even when he gets a little overexcited.
Mella says let’s not forget about how Mella beat Sasha in her very first match against her! That means Mella beat Sasha TWICE! And despite all of Bianca’s hype, Mella is certain she can do the same thing to her. But speaking of, here comes the champion! Sasha Banks stands on stage with a mic of her own to say, “Carmella… With all due respect, I’m gonna stop looking in my rear view, and start focusing on the road that’s ahead.” And for Bianca, she has Sasha’s attention. Sasha has seen Bianca has been in two Women’s Rumbles and setting records each time! And she lasted nearly and HOUR to stake her claim in the main event of WrestleMania!
Sasha’s been watching closely. Bianca picked up Otis, so she IS the StrongEST. She chased down and beat Bayley so she IS the FastEST. But the BEST? Sasha doesn’t see it. So if Bianca is going to choose Sasha, then choose her. Because Bianca has it all, but not the title. Sasha holds the belt up, Mella just rolls her eyes, but Bianca nods. Reggie steps in on Mella’s behalf and says Bianca got lucky in the Rumble. If she does choose Sasha, she will lose. Bianca about to pop off and even Mella thinks Reggie should just move along. Bianca LASHES Reggie with her hair whip! Be gone, fool! Even Mella thought that was funny. But will it be no joke when the EST finally does choose a champion to challenge?
Roman Reigns talks with Jey Uso in their VIP room.
Paul Heyman comes by to say, “It’s confirmed this time. Edge is finally here.” Will the Head of the Table make moves to force Edge’s hand in this game?
Backstage interview with Sami Zayn!
Kayla says Sami has been the “thorn in the side” of Big E, and Sami cuts her off to call her a corporate shill! Now she’s twisting the narrative to make him a bad guy! Ever since his title was robbed from him in a Lumberjack Match he never agreed to, there have been countless injustices! He can’t even list them all! He has his film crew here capturing it all, and tonight we’ll finally get a happy scene! Sami will reclaim HIS title and become the UNDISPUTED Champion of the People!
Chad Gable & Otis VS Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler!
The Alpha Academy is still going strong, and are ready to show the Dirty Dawgs that they are good champions, but they will be tested like never before! #GetTheseHIPS! But with a new theme, are the SmackDown Tag Team Champions going to be… GLORIOUS?!
The teams sort out, Gable starts with Ziggler, but the Street Profits get in on this by being special commentary via video! Ziggler and Gable circle, goes after a leg, but the Profits heckle Ziggler for trying that on an Olympian! Gable blocks, rolls to a press, ONE as Ziggler gets a rear mount. Gable fights up, Ziggler uses a facelock and fisherman, ONE! Gable facelocks again, Ziggler wrenches and gets a wristlock, but Gable rolls and bridges to then handspring and wrench back! Gable headlocks, flips and drop toeholds! Ziggler scrambles to ropes and Gable lets off. Ziggler kicks out of the ropebreak, then shoves Gable to the champions’ corner.
Gable fights out but Ziggler DROPKICKS him down! Ziggler drags Gable to a cover, TWO! Tag to Roode and Ziggler feeds Gable to Roode’s knees! Roode drags Gable up, whips and KNEES him, then reels him in for a suplex! Cover, TWO! Roode clamps on with Gable as Profits say that’s some 8K confidence right there. Hi-definition, no commission. Roode keeps on Gable with a clinch but Gable throws body shots. Roode knees low, whips Gable to ropes but Gable sunset flips! TWO, to an ANKLE LOCK! But Roode powers free, hot tag to Otis! Otis rallies with big elbows and shoulders! And an EXPLODER! ZIggler runs in, for a FLAPJACK!
Otis runs and DISCUS LARIATS! The Profits are fired up as Otis corner splashes Roode! Roode is down, Gable coaches Otis, for the CATERPILLAR ELBOW! Tag to Gable, but Ziggler POSTS Otis! Ziggler gets in to superkick but Gable blocks to CHAOS THEORY! But Roode hits Gable with a GLORIOUS DDT!! Cover, the Dirty Dawgs win!
Winners: Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler, by pinfall
The Profits admit that was good and applaud. But the Dawgs are dodging the Profits, but you can’t dodge forever! Roode & Ziggler get away from an angry Otis, but will they only have so much time left to avoid Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins?
Hulk Hogan looks back on The Main Event, 2/5/1988!
33 years ago, 33 million watched The Immortal Hulkster take on the rotten, cheating Andre the Giant! That makes Hogan think on Edge going after either Drew McIntyre or Roman Reigns! Both men are in big trouble, because Edge has the love of the millions of Hulkamaniacs! So what’re they gonna do when Edge picks one of them, and Edge-O-Mania runs wild on them?!
Edge talks with Shinsuke Nakamura backstage.
Is the Rated R Superstar getting advice from the King of Strong Style on who to choose?
WWE Intercontinental Championship Triple Threat: Big E VS Apollo Crews VS Sami Zayn!
It’s time to #ThinkBig and fight hard because the Powerhouse of Positivity is up against both his rival and his antagonizer in one match! Will Big E still be the champ when there’s no champion’s advantage and no knowing what’ll happen?
SmackDown returns and Sami makes his entrance, with his camera crew following behind. The introductions are finally made, Big E’s legs are splayed until the belt is raised, and the stakes are higher than usual as the bell rings!
Sami talks trash but Big E chases him off! Apollo rushes in but Big E elbows him away. Apollo still gets a roll up, TWO! Apollo headlocks, Big E powers out and things speed up. Big E hurdles then elbows Apollo down, and now Sami strikes! Sami throws hands, CHOPS, and whips. Big E reverses, and then back drops Sami hard! Sami bails out, Apollo runs in again and headbutts Big E! Apollo GERMAN SUPLEXES but holds on, to GERMAN SUPLEX again! Apollo hits a third and covers, TWO! Sami CLUBS Apollo down then throws hands. Sami whips, Apollo reverses to CLOBBER Sami! Sami scrambles away, Apollo glares at Big E and runs in to SPLASH!
Apollo goes the other way, to SPLASH! Big E dodges to SPLASH back! Then Big E CLOBBERS Sami! Big E runs into Apollo’s mule kick! Apollo whips but Big E throws him out! Big E sees Apollo on the apron, runs, but Sami trips him up! Sami drags Big E out, throws haymakers, but Big E blocks a bump to bump Sami back! And again, and again! But Apollo FLIES to take Big E out! All three men are on the outside but Apollo hurries to bring Big E around. Apollo goes to the apron, takes aim, and SUPER MOONSAULTS Big E to the floor! Apollo staggers up and Sami CLOBBERS him! The “Champion of the People” is fired up as SmackDown goes to break!
SmackDown returns and Sami clubs away on Big E in the ring! Sami pushes Big E onto ropes and chokes him! The ref can only reprimand because there are no disqualifications. Apollo gets up but Sami knocks him off the apron! Big E runs in but Sami drop toeholds Big E into buckles! Sami drags Big E up, Big E blocks the lift and Apollo gets in. Big E fights Sami, dodges and the missile dropkick gets Sami! Apollo runs at Big E but Big E dodges to OVERHEAD BELLY2BELLY! And again! And then the SIDE BELLY2BELLY! Big E swivels the hips but Sami gets in to jump on! Sami has a sleeper hold but Big E throws him down beside Apollo! Big E runs for a DOUBLE BIG SPLASH!
Big E claps it up as Apollo is alone with him in the ring. Big E spins Apollo around but Apollo ENZIGURIS! Apollo runs at Big E in the corner, but gets put out hard on the apron! Sami runs in, into the Urenage-E! Cover, TWO! Sami survives but Big E keeps his cool. Big E stalks Sami to the apron, stands on him for a moment to then stomp away! Big E takes aim, smiles as he runs back, to APRON SPLASH! But Apollo SHOTGUN DROPKICKS Big E down! Apollo pushes Sami to a drop zone, goes up top, FROG SPLASH! Cover, TWO!! Sami survives and Apollo is frustrated! Sami sputters, Apollo seethes, and Big E is somewhere on the outside stirring.
Apollo fires up as Sami goes to a corner. Apollo runs in but into an elbow! Sami boots but it’s blocked! Big E adds on, GERMAN SUPLEX EXPLODER!! All three men are down and the fans are rallying on their ThunderDome screens! Apollo crawls to the apron to save himself from a cover, so Big E looks at Sami. Sami also goes to the apron, Big E builds speed, but Sami KNEES Big E away! Sami realizes he has an opening, sees Big E in a corner, HELLUVA KICK!! Cover, but Apollo drags him off! Sami is furious, that should’ve been three! Sami fires off fists on Apollo and then he argues with the ref! But there’s nothing that can be done, Apollo goes after Sami!
Sami begs for mercy, but Apollo ROCKS him with haymakers! Apollo military presses Sami to TOSS him into the timekeeper’s area!! And Apollo goes back to Big E in the ring! Big E scoops him, BIG ENDING!! Cover, Big E wins!!
Winner: Big E, by pinfall (still WWE Intercontinental Champion)
Did Sami cost Apollo? Who can say! But in the end, it was a big win for Big E and he is still the big man on campus! Will Apollo figure out what it is that isn’t working?
Edge heads to gorilla position!
The Rated R Superstar has had all night to think, is he going to answer Roman’s request, or rather, demand for a decision regarding WrestleMania?
SmackDown returns, and Edge heads to the ring!
Finally, after waiting all night, the Rated R Superstar is in the ThunderDome for Friday Night SmackDown! “You can’t accomplish something you’ve never dreamed of.” While grinding through rehab, Edge was dreaming. Every mile that he logged, he was dreaming. Edge dreamed of coming back here. Coming back home. Of winning the Royal Rumble and main-eventing WrestleMania! Of taking back something that he never lost and should be his! So at the Rumble, he came in at number 1 and outlasted 29 of the world’s best today! And now, Edge finds himself on the precipice of the main event t Wrestlemania.
Which begs the question: Who does he choose? It is an embarrassment of riches! Does he choose Drew McIntyre and the world title? Does he choose Finn Balor and the NXT title? Or does he choose Roman Reigns and the Universal title? Edge asked his family and gets one answer. He asks friends and gets another answer. On his way here, Edge saw some dude, asked him and he gave a different answer! By the way, that guy was named “John,” a real nice guy. At the end of the day- Roman Reigns interrupts. Edge watches the Tribal Chief, with cousin and counsel by his side, head down the ramp.
Roman and Heyman go to the steel steps, but Edge is wary of Roman’s hitman, Jey. The Bloodline enters the ring now, and Edge keeps his distance. Heyman again fetches Roman a mic so that Roman may speak. Edge asks why he had to bring back-up. Is Roman already sweating Edge? Because Edge is out here alone. Roman says man to man, Roman gives Edge his word. Without Roman’s blessing, Heyman will not make a move. Roman smirks because he thinks that’s funny. Edge says he’s already in Roman’s head. He can see it on Roman’s face. That’s why Jey’s here. Roman tells Jey they’ll regroup at the buss, Roman has this.
Heyman and Jey leave the ring, so now it’s just champion and possible challenger. That is Edge’s one pass. Edge disrespected Roman so he disrespected the family. Roman will only say this once: “Acknowledge me.” As both the main event of WrestleMania and as THE champion of choice. “Say my name. You understand me? Say my name.” That is Edge’s cue to say his line, so go. Edge smirks back, and then Kevin Owens shows up outta nowhere! STUNNER!! The Prizefighter has the last word tonight as Edge just drops his mic and walk away. Will Edge choose his opponent on his time? And what will Roman’s response be to the defiant Kevin Owens?
This was a really good episode to follow the Royal Rumble, and even the rest of the programming from the week. It was a great move for Roman to actually be upset that Edge isn’t outright choosing him and is going to Raw and NXT first. It brings NXT up, as WWE should because there shouldn’t be this “main roster” line drawn between the three brands, even with NXT still having a tie to the developmental aspects of WWE. Edge’s promo before being interrupted also did that by saying Edge isn’t just choosing between Drew and Roman, but Drew, Finn and Roman. Roman interrupting and demanding, only to be shut up by Kevin, was also a great detail. It’s just good story-telling to keep things up in the air like this, even with reports coming out that a decision has been made backstage.
The only cheap part of the decision-making angle was Hogan. He was hyped up as reminiscing on The Main Event from back in 1988, and how he would suggest or predict Edge’s choice, only to do none of that. He barely touched on the Main Event match because they played a really fast moving video package, and then he rambled on more about how HIS fans are now Edge’s fans. Ugh. Bianca’s side of things were played a bit better. She has a great interview with Kayla, her part in the promo segment with Sasha, Mella and Reggie was good, and I’m glad she brought back the hair whip. Mella isn’t going away so maybe she and Sasha have one last go around, winner faces Bianca at Mania.
I like that the Dirty Dawgs, Roode & Ziggler, have a new theme that blends their themes together. It makes them more of a tag team now. Profits doing their own commentary was great, and of course Roode & Ziggler defeat Otis & Gable. Obviously the story is that Profits will rest up, be right back and have their rematch, for an awesome match at whatever PPV it ends up being, hopefully Mania. Bryan VS Cesaro was a great match, and it is great that Cesaro won. Nakamura watching backstage is also curious. This surely foreshadows Nakamura VS Cesaro at some point, and I would actually like if their first match is before a tag team break up. It should be sold first as friendly competition, maybe it turns, and then we get a more intense rematch closer to Mania.
A rematch we didn’t really need was Dominik VS Corbin. I like that Dominik won because Rey helped him cheat, and I hope they circle back and say the person Rey and Dom needed to go see was Eddie Guerrero, and they did it through footage of Eddie’s career. It could even be done as a plug for the WWE Network going to Peacock, as much as I personally don’t like that particular business decision. Point being, Rey should have Dom learn from his kayfabe “real father” in Eddie, so that Dom can become the best of both the Guerrero and Mysterio styles. That is how this story can be redeemed since there apparently won’t be any more Knights of Wolf King involvement with the release of Steve Cutler.
Bayley VS Ruby was a good match, even with Billie getting involved like she did. I like the idea that maybe, just maybe, Billie teams up with Bayley. It could work as a quick tag title story going towards Mania, and it can be a great way to get those titles showing up on SmackDown again. I feel like with WrestleMania being two nights again this year, we need to have a Triple Threat for the Women’s Tag titles, with Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler representing Raw, Billie & Bayley representing SmackDown, and then the Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic winners representing NXT. Billie might even cost Bayley somehow, and then they feud post-Mania. Either way, it’s a big move up for Billie, which she is proving she deserves in my opinion.
The Intercontinental Championship Triple Threat as the main event match was a great move. It was such a good match, with not so much story since Sami didn’t try a sneaky trick, but it did instead give us some progress for Apollo. He getting rid of Sami only to be the one that loses adds to his frustration, and I am definitely looking forward to Heel Apollo happening as he snaps on Big E and just goes nuts.
My Score: 8.3/10
Mitchell’s New Japan Cup Results & Report! (3/6/21)
New Japan Cup, day 2!
Will the Rainmaker redeem himself in the New Japan Cup?
Kazuchika Okada vows that it is time he returns to the top of NJPW! But this is only round ONE of the 2021 New Japan Cup! Can he make it to the end?
NOTE: NJPW no longer wants to feed AXS TV now that it is with Anthem and Impact Wrestling. But never fear, I will cover NJPW in the spirit of AXS in providing the most important matches of the show.
- Six Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS The United Empire; The United Empire wins.
- 2021 New Japan Cup Opening Round: Tomoaki Honma VS Minoru Suzuki; wins and advances.
- 2021 New Japan Cup Opening Round: Juice Robinson VS KENTA; wins and advances.
- 2021 New Japan Cup Opening Round: Kazuchika Okada VS Shingo Takagi; wins and advances.
PLAY BY PLAY
Six Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS The United Empire!
Tetsuya Naito lost in the first round of the NJCUP, Bushi couldn’t win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship, but Sanada is still in the running! Will LIJ be a powerful obstacle in the way of Great-O-Khan, Jeff Cobb & Will Ospreay?
But as soon as LIJ gets in the ring, the Empire attacks! Cobb throws Bushi out while Ospreay goes after Sanada, and Khan keeps Naito in the ring to revisit their recent NJCUP match. The bell rings, Khan drags Naito around but fans rally up. Khan clamps onto Naito with a chinlock but also adds his claw into it! Sanada sends Ospreay into railing while Naito and Khan brawl with forearms! Khan ROCKS Naito then Mongolian Chops him at the ropes. Naito reverses the whip to atomic drop, Bushi dropkicks the legs out and Naito basement dropkicks! Fans cheer and Naito grabs Khan’s ponytail! Naito drags Khan around by it, fans rally up and Khan grabs the ropes.
The ref counts, Naito lets off but tags Sanada in. Sanada climbs up and drops ax handles on the ponytail! That still tweaks Khan’s head and fans fire up again. Sanada drags Khan up while Ospreay protests, and Sanada headlocks to punch Khan down. Sanada throws haymakers, brings Khan up for clubbing elbows, then tags in Bushi. Bushi clubs Khan, drags him up by the ponytail, and bumps him off buckles. Bushi CHOPS Khan, puts Khan’s leg on ropes and dropkicks the leg out! Cover, TWO! ans rally, Bushi drags Khan around and tags in Naito. Naito clubs Khan, drags him up and cravats for a standing neck wrench. Khan endures, reaches for the Empire, but Naito keeps him away.
Khan throws body shots but Naito throws an elbow, into a standing katagatami! Khan kicks a leg out and drags Naito down! Cobb and Ospreay attack Sanada and Bushi! They brawl on the outside, Naito gets a ropebreak but Khan holds on! Khan cranks on the hold, the ref reprimands and counts, and Khan lets go at 3. Brawling continues outside but Khan drags Naito around to stomp away on the leg! Naito clutches his knee and fans rally up, but Khan drags him up first. Khan tags Cobb in, the Empire mugs Naito, and Cobb gives Naito a headbutt! Naito ends up in a corner, Cobb whips him out to whip him back in hard! The Empire likes that and Cobb scoops Naito to carry him around.
Cobb taunts LIJ by holding Naito out to them, but then throws in knees! Cobb puts Naito in the Empire corner, tags in Ospreay, and then sets Naito up for Ospreay’s DRAPING DOUBLE STOMPS! Ospreay BOOTS Sanada, Cobb RAMS Naito back into the corner, and Ospreay digs his boot in. The ref reprimands and counts, Ospreay lets off to throw haymakers and more stomps! Ospreay digs his knee in, the ref reprimands and counts, but Ospreay lets off again. Ospreay snapmares and wraps Naito up in a chinlock. Ospreay grinds Naito down, fans rally up, and Naito endures. Khan keeps ropes away from Naito but the ref reprimands.
Ospreay drags Naito away, cranks on the chinlock then shifts to a facelock. Khan tags in, and Mongolian Chops Naito on the back! Khan drags Naito up for more Mongolian Chops! Khan mockingly asks what’s wrong and he eggs Naito on. Fans rally, Naito throws haymakers and forearms! Khan knees low, whips, but Naito reverses to tornado, only for Khan to block the DDT! Naito fights out of Khan’s grip, elbows him, then spins him for a neckbreaker! Both men are down and fans fire up! Naito sits up but Khan follows. They both go to their corners, hot tags to Sanada and Ospreay! Sanada rallies, whips but Ospreay reverses, only for Sanada to reverse back and RANA!
Sanada dropkicks Cobb away, then blocks Ospreay’s boot to trip him! Sanada ties Ospreay up in Paradise! Fans fire up as Sanada encourages them to get loud. Sanada runs in and dropkicks Ospreay out of Paradise! Cover, ONE!! Fans rally for “SA-NA-DA!” as he drags Ospreay up. Sanada fireman’s carries, Ospreay elbows free and waistlocks, but Sanada resists the lift. Sanada elbows free, runs in but Ospreay puts him up top! Ospreay tucks him in, for CHEEKY NANDOS! Ospreay hurries and tags in Cobb! Cobb runs corner to corner to LEAPING back elbow! Cobb scoops Sanada, pops him up into the suplex, holds him up, but Sanada reverses to snap suplex!
Fans fire up again as Cobb goes to a corner. Sanada crawls and hot tags Bushi! Bushi runs corner to corner but Cobb dodges. Cobb runs in, Bushi slips out and swing kick shim away! Bushi goes up, missile dropkick! Bushirooni! Cobb runs back at Bushi but into a basement dropkick to the legs! Bushi basement DDT’s and covers, TWO! Fans rally and Bushi brings Cobb up. Cobb throws forearms, whips Bushi to a corner, then runs in, but Bushi dodges! Naito rocket kicks and leg sweeps, COMBINACION CABRON! LIJ whips Cobb, Sanada elbows and snapmares, for a TRIPLE BASEMENT DROPKICK! Cover, TWO!
Naito dropkicks Khan down but Ospreay drags Sanada out. Bushi has Cobb, but no Fisherman Screw! Ospreay hits PIP PIP CHEERIO on Bushi! Sanada dropkicks Ospreay, but Khan BOOTS Sanada! Naito dropkicks Khan’s legs out, then dodges Cobb, only for Cobb to LARIAT him! Cobb goes back to Bushi as fans rally up. Bushi kicks, Cobb blocks then ducks the enziguri but not the mule kick! Bushi runs in, but the Code Break is blocked and popped to a GERMAN SUPLEX! Cobb drags Bushi up, reels him in and hits a TOUR OF THE ISLAND! Cover, the Empire wins!
Winners: The United Empire, by pinfall
The Hawaiian Hulk is building up power and momentum towards his NJCUP battle with Evil! The Dominator is also already in, and the newly deemed “Global Kingpin” Ospreay has his battle tomorrow, March 7th! Will the entire United Empire advance towards the finals?
2021 New Japan Cup Opening Round: Tomoaki Honma VS Minoru Suzuki!
These two have been warming up in tag matches and finally get to throw down 1v1! Will Everyone’s Kokeshi be able to knock the Meanest Man in the World out of the tournament? Or will Suzuki brutalize and leave him behind while going for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship?
2021 New Japan Cup Opening Round: Juice Robinson VS KENTA!
The Flamboyant One and Fang Revived are back in Japan in time for the Cup! But who moves on towards the next round and faces [winner of last match]?
2021 New Japan Cup Opening Round: Kazuchika Okada VS Shingo Takagi!
The Rainmaker said at Castle Attack that it’s about time he returns to the top of NJPW! But in his way is the Dragon! Will Takagi end Okada’s road back to redemption already? Or will Okada slay the dragon and head back for the gold?
Andrew’s New Japan Cup Results & Match Ratings: 3.6.2021
Another day of New Japan Cup, and this time with 3 Cup matches! Less undercard means a bigger focus on the tournament, so I’m always a fan of that.
Another day of New Japan Cup, and this time with 3 Cup matches! Less undercard means a bigger focus on the tournament, so I’m always a fan of that.
Tomoaki Honma is on the way back and it’s great to see. Before quarantine he was very aware that his injury made him slower and he felt like he was dead weight. Between all of his interactions teaming with Golden Ace, facing different Los Ingobernables members, and this current build with Minoru Suzuki; it really feels like Honma is returning to form. Let’s hope it continues!
The main event has most people abuzz because of the quality of both first round competitors. Kazuchika Okada versus Shingo Takagi is a big match, most years it’s a shame to get it over with in the First Round, but very recent news may have explained why. Assuming it’s not slightly kayfabed, Okada has a back injury, so this could be a good way to eliminate him early to allow him time to recuperate while giving a win to someone very much deserving of the push.
Let’s see if the dirt sheet news was true!
- Bullet Club (Chase Owens, Taiji Ishimori & Jay White) vs David Finlay, Toa Henare & Yuya Uemura: Ishimori wins via Bloody Cross @9:38 – ** ½
- The United Empire (Great O-Khan, Will Ospreay & Jeff Cobb) w/Bea Priestley vs LIJ (BUSHI, Tetsuya Naito & SANADA): Cobb wins via Tour of the Islands @10:55 – ** ¼
- New Japan Cup: Tomoaki Honma vs Minoru Suzuki: Suzuki wins via Gotch Style Piledriver @14:54 – *** ¼
- New Japan Cup: Juice Robinson vs KENTA: KENTA wins via Game Over @17:16 – *** ½
- New Japan Cup: Kazuchika Okada vs Shingo Takagi: Takagi wins via Last of the Dragon @23:58 – **** ½
Bullet Club (Chase Owens, Taiji Ishimori & Jay White) vs David Finlay, Toa Henare & Yuya Uemura
Nothing inherently wrong with this match, and driven mostly on the Henare versus Jay first round match up, but it didn’t add nearly as much as yesterday’s undercard matches. Jay called Henare out to start, and actually locked up, but he did his best Yano impression by sitting between ropes and calling for breaks, until the referee was out of position and Bullet Club could start some tactics.
One funny part was when Jay tagged out to Ishimori, Henare shrugged off Ishimori and kept going at Jay. So later in the match, Ishimori took cheap shots on the outside and you could hear Jay telling the referee “Hey remember when I wasn’t legal and you didn’t stop that”. Which oddly enough seemed to appeal to the referee and he waited for Ishimori to have his fun and dump Yuya back in.
The Young Lion eats the pin here since he’s one of two no in the tournament, so it was written in the stars. Not a bad match, just a very basic opener with Jay White driving most of the entertainment.
The United Empire (Great O-Khan, Will Ospreay & Jeff Cobb) w/Bea Priestley vs LIJ (BUSHI, Tetsuya Naito & SANADA)
Well this was different since Naito is already eliminated, and the Empire made sure to rub it in during entrances and then attacked Naito as soon as he got into the ring. Naito went back to going after O-Khan’s hair, walked him around like a dog in the ring to get control and then LIJ went into some organized attacks.
Generally speaking, this was more basic than the first match. Bea tried to pull ropes away, Ospreay sideswiped BUSHI with a Pip Pip Cheerio, Cobb then caught BUSHI in midair, flipped him around for a Suplex and then hit the Tour of the Islands. Cobb has done a good job in 2021 so far, but this was a generally uninspiring match.
New Japan Cup: Tomoaki Honma vs Minoru Suzuki
We start off right where these two left off, exchanging chops and strikes, trying to out tough guy the other one. Early on Suzuki seemed to be toying with Honma a bit trying to get something out of him that we haven’t seen in a while. An early GSP attempt resulted in Honma blocking and starting to put together some offense. Short range lariats, Kokeshis from different angles, and we had the lovable underdog that people appreciated from a few years ago.
This match was the best Honma’s looked in a long time, hell he attempted the STF when a middle rope Kokeshi didn’t finish Suzuki and even pulled out the old Turmeric Clutch, which I haven’t seen him do since his All Japan days.
Everyone probably penciled in Suzuki as the winner immediately, but this is the Honma we all remembered and loved from the stacked NEVER years with Makabe and Ishii at the top. Very nice effort, and Suzuki helped to make Honma look good as well.
New Japan Cup: Juice Robinson vs KENTA
We saw a lot of elements of KENTA’s personality in this match. Early on he rolled out, grabbed the ring bell, and hit Juice when Juice grabbed through the ropes to try and retrieve him. However, I’m pretty sure Juice got clipped by a corner there since he was really holding the side of his face and it left a noticeable welt as the match went on.
It took a little time to pick up, but both men had great flurries with signatures. Juice’s Cannonball Spot, Punch Combination, hell he even countered the Kobashi style Spinning Back Chop into the Juice Box. KENTA hit the Green Killer, pulled off the hesitation Dropkick, but every time he went for Go 2 Sleep, Juice had a way around it. So as both were jockeying for position, juice kept going for Pulp Friction, but KENTA spun out, after enough stand up attempts, KENTA spun out, but twisted the arm and drove Juice down. KENTA locks in Game Over in the middle of the ring, and after a little bit of a struggle, Juice finally submits.
New Japan Cup: Kazuchika Okada vs Shingo Takagi
Well it looks like Takagi was paying attention to the preliminary matches and saw the news report that came out a little before the match that Okada had two herniated discs in his back. Everything Shingo did either focused damage on the back, or forced Okada to have to contort in a way to strain the injured area.
Shingo added his arrogant flair to a lot of things in this match, including the Rainmaker pose that Japanese Commentary called the “Pumping Steel Maker”, which also worked well when Shingo countered the Rainmaker with his own Pumping Steel Maker. Even injured this was a great slugfest between the two. Okada still hit a good number of his classics, but he was visibly hampered as the match wore on. Shingo managed to escape the Money Clip twice, which was an important element since Shingo passed out to the Money Clip in the G1.
Superplex, Noshigami, Made in Japan and an Uranage Backbreaker were some of the bigger moves towards the end that swayed the momentum for Shingo. Shingo went for Last of the Dragon a few times, but Okada usually had an answer. At the end, Okada slips behind the Last of the Dragon, winds up the Rainmaker, but Shingo ducks it and continues the momentum to lift Okada to his shoulders and finally hit his finish to win the match!
Overall Score: 8/10
You may be asking yourself; “How did this score higher than yesterday with overall lower match score” – I will explain. This show flowed better, felt like a real tournament show where the undercard didn’t last very long and the main event was the big thing to build towards. Also should be noted, that we didn’t have to sit through a typical Yano tournament match as well.
Honma did a great job proving that he’s at least back to where he was a few years ago when GBH was a solid tag team and he had a few notable matches in the NEVER division. KENTA getting past Juice is good since that sets up a single match nearly 16 years in the making. Last time KENTA fought Suzuki one on one, was 2005 in NOAH. Suzuki was the murderous free agent, KENTA was still young and full of fire, yet to find his stride, so Suzuki took advantage of the young wrestler in a rather lackluster match. I doubt KENTA has forgotten that match, and expect him to try to exact a measure of revenge.
Shingo getting past Okada is beautiful for multiple reasons. Okada can get his injury tended to, it evens up their singles record; so Okada has a tangible thing to fight for in their next meeting and we get a Hirooki Goto vs Shingo Takagi rematch next round! Shingo having to work through another member of CHAOS adds to the weight in that match, but the potential of Shingo vs Suzuki again or Shingo vs KENTA is just one of those magical match ups assuming no shenanigans go on.
The show ended great, the build was fun and everyone in the Cup over performed given the stagnant vibe that New Japan has fallen into lately. Good stuff.
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