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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (3/12/21)

Time to sign on the dotted line!

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Coverage SmackDown 2021

SmackDown picks up speed towards Fastlane!

Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns sign a contract, SmackDown Women’s Champion and challenger are guests on the KO Show, and more as WWE continues down the Road to WrestleMania!

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • 8 Man Tag: The Street Profits & The Mysterios VS The Dirty Dawgs & The Alpha Academy; The Profits & Mysterios win.
  • Cesaro VS Buddy Murphy; Cesaro wins, by disqualification.
  • Tamina & Natalya VS Sasha Banks & Bianca Belair; Tamina & Natalya win.
  • WWE Intercontinental Championship: Big E VS Sami Zayn; Big E wins and retains the title.

PLAY BY PLAY

Edge returns to SmackDown!

The Rated R Superstar is back again because he knows that while he has a Universal Championship match at WrestleMania, he doesn’t know who he’s facing! “Big contract signing tonight between Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan, but there are some things that I need to address.” There are quite a few people who keep talking about him, starting with Roman. Roman said a man like Edge shouldn’t face a man like Roman. Edge has a family, kids, but those are excuses for Roman. But Edge finds that amusing. Edge picked up on something that everyone else missed: Roman and Paul Heyman are spin doctors.

For weeks, Roman wanted Edge to acknowledge him as the main event of WrestleMania. Then Edge makes his choice and does pick Roman. Then Roman felt what Edge brings to the table. Roman is the Head of the Table but Edge is the carpenter of that table! But Roman starts backtracking, and takes a detour down Daniel Bryan Boulevard, and Roman got played. That brings Edge to Daniel Bryan. Last week, Bryan came out and said he deserves to be at WrestleMania more than Edge, because Bryan loves wrestling. Because Bryan’s wrestled more than Edge in the last few months. But Edge will remind Roman, Bryan and the younger fans just who Edge is.

Because back in the day, while Bryan wrestled maybe once a week, Edge was here, in the WWE, wrestling 5, 6, 7 times a day against guys like The Undertaker, John Cena, Dave Bautista, Randy Orton, Eddie Guerrero, Mr. Perfect, the British Bulldog, Terry Funk, over the timeframe of four DECADES. Edge is back here not because he has to be, but because he loves this! So don’t base a hypothesis off love or work rate. But like everyone else, Edge just has to wait until Fastlane to find out who he faces at Mania. But then Daniel Bryan makes his way out! Fans give the Yes Fingers on their ThunderDome screens as Bryan gets a mic and stands with Edge in the ring.

“Wow. Uh, you talk about Roman Reigns getting sucked in. I think you got sucked in.” Honestly, that wasn’t even Bryan’s intention. As the Ultimate Opportunist, Edge would respect Bryan “going into business for myself.” But to set things straight, Bryan has infinite amounts of respect for what Edge has done and who he has faced. Bryan sees how hard Edge has worked for this and how much he loves this, and how hard he fought to get back to this. But let Bryan be completely honest, when Bryan wanted to challenge Roman for the title, it wasn’t about Edge. Bryan is down at Elimination Chamber, watching Edge point at the sign, and it demoralized him.

But it was not about the work rate, but because Bryan allowed himself to go into his last WrestleMania on the back burner. And that is when Bryan decided to throw his one last shot! If this is his last shot, then Bryan is going to give it everything he’s got to make it! Edge has his spot, so this isn’t about him. For Bryan, if he wants to main event Mania, he has to go through Fastlane, face Roman and take the title, so that is why Bryan went into business for himself. Oh, so the air quotes cancels things out? Edge will make this clear: Roman beat Bryan at Elimination Chamber. Yes, it was right after another match, but a win is a win.

And talking about wins, Edge won the Rumble by outlasting 29 others, as #1, and Bryan was in there with him! Edge also has respect for Bryan, but he doesn’t like how Bryan did this. Bryan is better than this, but not better than Edge. Edge drops the mic and takes his leave. But will Edge have no choice but to face Bryan down the line?

 

8 Man Tag: The Street Profits & The Mysterios VS The Dirty Dawgs & The Alpha Academy!

Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins are fired up to be teaming up with Rey & Dominik as they all try to get after the SmackDown Tag Team Champions, as well as Chad Gable and the Blue Collar bulldozer! But as they make their entrances, they all get blindsided by Roode, Dolph, Gable and Otis! Otis THROWS Dom into the LED apron, the Dawgs throw Dawkins into barriers! Will Ford, Dawkins and the Mysterios be able to regroup while SmackDown goes to break?

SmackDown returns and the teams have sorted out, Roode starts with Dawkins, and at the bell, Roode rushes Dawkins but he dodges to DECK Ziggler! Roode headlocks, Dawkins powers out, hurdles and hurdles to dodge and BULLDOG! Dawkins dropkicks Roode, Gable gets in to get a dropkick, too! Tag to Ford and the Profits whip Dawkins. Dropkick, then a tag to Dom, who combines with Ford for a wheelbarrow leg drop! Cover, TWO! Dom drags Roode up, Roode knees him low! Roode drags Dom over, tags in Gable, and they mug Dom. Gable wrenches an arm, whips Dom to ropes, but Dom ducks and comes back to RANA Gable!

Otis tags in and hits Dom with a hard body shot! Otis whips Dom, Dom goes up but Otis catches him! Dom slips to the outside and forearms Otis away, to then springboard, but Otis CLOBBERS him out of the air! Otis tags Gable and the Academy mugs Dom. Gable taunts Dom as he looms over him, then drags him up to whip to a corner. Dom bounces off buckles into a BUTTERFLY SUPLEX with bridge! Cover, TWO! Tag to Roode, Gable YANKS Dom’s leg then Roode drops an elbow on it! Roode pulls back on a deep toehold, then drops knees on Dom’s knee! Roode paces around Dom, Rey and the Profits coach Dom up, but Roode drags Dom up for a suplex!

Dom fights free with knees, then gets a headlock for a TORNADO DDT! Both men are down, Roode shakes out the stars flying around his head and crawls to his corner. Dom also crawls, hot tags to Ziggler and Dawkins! Dawkins rallies on Ziggler, hits Gable, then goes back to FLYING ELBOW Ziggler! Dawkins scoops Ziggler for an EXPLODER! Dawkins DECK Otis, but runs into a stiff elbow from Ziggler! Ziggler runs, into the ANOINTING! The spinebuster takes Ziggler down, Ford climbs up, but Gable distracts and Roode shoves Ford down! Ford crashes to the floor and Rey is furious, but the Dawgs and Alphas have the advantage again as SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns and Ziggler has Ford trapped with a chinlock. Ziggler pushes up to add leverage but Ford powers up to stand. Ford throws body shots, is free, but Ziggler shoves him to dropkick him down! Ziggler pushes Ford to the corner, but Ford fights out! Ford throws hands on Ziggler, but Ziggler dodges the enziguri! Ziggler hops on for a sleeper hold! Ford spins around but Ziggler is on him as a backpack! Ford stays standing and heads for his corner, but he starts to fade! Ziggler squeezes tight and Ford drops to his elbows but he powers up! Ford gets his second wind to reach, but Roode runs in! The ref doesn’t see the tag!!

The ref keeps Dawkins back, Ziggler drags Ford over and Ford gets mugged by the Dirty Dawgs and Alpha! Roode tags in with the ref watching and he stomps Ford down. Roode drags Ford up for a BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Ziggler talks trash, Roode tags in Otis and they mug Ford more. Otis drags Ford up, whips him to a corner hard, and Ford bounces off buckles! Otis runs in but Ford dodges and Otis hits buckles even harder! Gable tags in, he hits Dawkins, then drags Ford up for a GERMAN! Ford lands on his feet, leaps over Gable, hot tag to Rey! Rey rallies on Gable, whips but Gable reverses, only for Rey to tilt-o-whirl headscissor!

Rey DECKS the Dawgs then whips Gable. Gable reverses, Rey goes up and over and keeps moving to tilt-o-whirl DDT! Cover, but Otis breaks it! Dom climbs up as Otis hauls Rey up into a gut wrench. Rey escapes, Dom LEAPS, but Otis catches Dom! Rey goes up to SEATED SENTON! Otis goes down, Rey goes up and around to rana Gable onto ropes! But Roode tags in to give Rey a SPNEBUSTER! Cover but Ford breaks it! Ziggler SUPERKICKS Ford! Dawkins gives Ziggler the SILENCER! Roode throws Dawkins out hard, Dom and Roode talk trash, but Rey dropkicks Roode onto ropes! DOUBLE 619!!

Dom LEAPS onto Gable, Rey tags to Ford so he can LEAP onto Otis! Ford FROM THE HEAVENS!! Cover, the Profits & Mysterios win!

Winners: The Street Profits & Mysterios, by pinfall

Ford covers Roode, and the Profits could be in line for that long-awaited tag title rematch! But will they be given that by Sonya Deville and Adam Pearce?

 

WWE announces the first inductee to the 2021 Hall of Fame!

It was The Bump that had Shane “hurricane” Helms on, and he got to tell Mighty Molly Holly that she was the one! Molly Holly is so honored, and everyone feels #YouDeserveIt!

 

Jey Uso walks up to Roman Reigns’ room.

Jey says hey to Paul Heyman, and Heyman asks where he’s going. Jey was gonna holler at Big Uce. Well, has he talked with him lately? As far as Jey knew, it seemed like things were cool just a few days ago. Heyman says that they know how Fridays can be. There’s certain pressures and tensions. Jey tapping out to Bryan in the cage… Oh, well, uh, Jey’s gotta handle stuff anyway so he’ll come back around. Heyman is sure Roman will be in a better mood by then. Jey leaves, and Heyman looks more stressed than anyone. Are things (not) okay with the Tribal Chief?

 

Backstage interview with Seth Rollins.

Ever since his return to SmackDown, Cesaro has been the thorn in Rollins’ side, but Kayla Braxton cues up a replay of Cesaro swinging Rollins around. Rollins asks why this is still an issue. Everyone forgets Rollins was trying to help Cesaro, a guy with all the potential in the world. Cesaro has had some success in the WWE. Not as much as Rollins, but still. But Cesaro hasn’t been a leading man, and Rollins wanted to help him. But Rollins was embarrassed, disrespected and mocked! So Rollins is down with Cesaro, the biggest waste of potential in the WWE.

Kayla says it seemed like Cesaro lived up to his potential in is match with Buddy Murphy last week. He also might impress again in his rematch tonight. A rematch, you say? Rollins is oddly interested in that now, and then heads off. Will Rollins try to force his vision on the Swiss Cyborg later tonight?

 

Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler take Reginald shopping.

Nia knows Reggie has had a hard time lately, but she’s got him. He can have whatever he wants in the store. Reggie starts a fashion montage as he tries out new suits. Nia even helps him with the collar. Reggie can even still move smoothly in these suits. Shayna is bored. Nia likes the red so she gets some quick pics. This is GQ worthy. But Nia really likes the spikey gold slip-ons. Shayna, stop looking at your phone. The montage keeps going, and the winner is the grey plaid. Reggie sits on Nia’s lap and says in French, but then in English, that this is all wonderful, so what could he possibly do to repay her? Nia gets a big smile, and she seems to have an idea.

 

Cesaro VS Buddy Murphy!

The Swiss Cyborg may seem like a waste of potential to Rollins, but he’s far from that, and will prove it as many times as he has to! But will the former disciple prove himself worthy in tonight’s rematch?

SmackDown returns and Murphy has already entered the ring. But now, Rollins makes his entrance to take a seat on stage. The bell rings, Murphy rushes in but Cesaro dodges the knee to fire off EuroUppers and body shots! Cesaro lets off as the ref counts, but Murphy rams Cesaro into the other corner! Murphy fires off, the ref backs him off, and Cesaro DECKS him with a EuroUpper! And another! Cesaro keeps Murphy down for a moment before he bumps him off buckles. Murphy hits back, Cesaro BOOTS him out of the ring! Cesaro goes to the corner and drags Murphy up from the apron, only for Murphy to shove him away and get to the barriers.

Cesaro goes out, runs in but Murphy KNEE TRIGGERS Cesaro down! The ref counts, Murphy puts Cesaro in at 4, then climbs up top. Cesaro dropkicks him down first! Cesaro hurries back up, drags Murphy up and DEAD LIFT SUPERPLEXES! Rollins is only mildly impressed, but that could just be his bias. Cesaro EuroUppers, whips Murphy corner to corner and EuroUppers again! Then back the other way, but Murphy boots and enziguris! Murphy hops up, leaps, but into a capture! For a SWING! Rollins runs in and attacks Cesaro!!

Winner: Cesaro, by disqualification

Rollins rains down furious fists and stomps for being made fun of by Cesaro! Rollins throws off his jacket, runs and CURB STOMPS Cesaro down! “You think you’re better than me?! You want to embarrass me?! You want to disrespect me?!” Cesaro thinks he’s on Rollins’ level!? Stand up, Cesaro! Rollins calls Cesaro a coward, but Cesaro gets up, only for Rollins to kick him down and CURB STOMP him again! Rollins says Cesaro will never be on his level, and then he goes to get another chair! Rollins puts the chair in as he tells Cesaro has continued to embarrass him.

Rollins puts the chair around Cesaro’s head, hammers him on the back, then shouts, “NOBODY EMBARRASSES ME!” Rollins wants to make sure Cesaro never embarrasses him again, but referees and even backstage official, Jamie Noble, get out to stop him! Cesaro gets free of the chair and tries to stand up, but he can barely sit up!

But backstage, Rollins encounters Shinsuke Nakamura! The King of Strong Style is not happy about what just happened to his friend and tag partner. Will he avenge Cesaro?

 

Kevin Owens is backstage, and crosses paths with Sami Zayn.

Just the man Sami was looking for! Oh, really? And the camera crew, too? Sami has been thinking, and Kevin’s known him for the longest, and Kevin knows all about how the WWE has conspired against him. For years! So Sami has decided he wants Kevin to be part of the documentary. Oh really? Well he has his talk show to do first so… Sami says Kevin is blowing him off. Kevin will want to be a part of this! They’re going to blow the lid off all of this, and post it everywhere and do massive numbers! Logan Paul numbers!

Kevin says he’ll consider it, but he has to do his show first. Keep this blank index card, Kevin doesn’t need it. Kevin considering it is good enough for Sami, but will Kevin really help Sami “expose WWE’s conspiracy?”

 

Jey Uso encounters Edge backstage.

Edge just wants to talk. They’ve known each other for a long time. Edge knew Jey when he was 10 and they’d all get in the ring and just bounce around. So talking man to man, what is Jey doing? In 2015, while Edge was mourning his career like it was dead, he saw the Usos. That woke Edge back up. Jey was part of that, but now he’s part of this, head down and shoulders slouched like a subordinate. What does Jey’s dad think about this? Being lap dog to the Big Dog?

Jey doesn’t want Edge talking like he knows him. The family runs the show so fall in line. In fact, go home to enjoy your own family. Because when Roman gets him at Mania, Edge won’t be enjoying anything. That’s real talk. Edge tried real talk, but Jey didn’t listen. Can anyone get through to Jey about how Roman really is?

 

SmackDown presents the Kevin Owens Show!

KO is in the ring and welcomes us to his show. It feels great to be back and many have wondered why he was gone. The last few months have been very rough both physically and mentally. A real roller coaster ride. He thought he was at the top but came crashing down tot he bottom. But he’s not done because as he says, he will #JustKeepFighting. But enough about him, tonight’s guests are the two women fighting for the SmackDown Women’s Championship at WrestleMania, and will be teaming back up at Fastlane to try and take the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships from Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler!

First up, the 2021 Women’s Royal Rumble winner, The EST, Bianca Belair! Bianca makes her entrance, and then the Legit Boss, Sasha Banks, makes her entrance! The belt tries to do things its way but Sasha keeps it close. Kevin digs the pyro. Kevin thanks Sasha for being here and getting him a paycheck. And he knows these two are going to be opponents at Mania, but they could make things even bigger because they could walk in as the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions! And the only two people that did that before were John Cena and Shawn Michaels! Two of the best ever! So if these two do that, that goes a long way to cement their legacies as two of the best ever.

But of course, that means beating Nia and Shayna at Fastlane, which they didn’t do at Elimination Chamber. Sorry, but maybe that’s just because of tension they haven’t addressed. There is obviously respect between them but they’re both very proud women and want to prove they’re each the absolute best. So given how Chamber went, there could also be the thing with Reggie and- No no no. Kevin, Sasha can’t help that she looks this good and that Reggie has a crush> Bianca says that right there is what it is. Reggie isn’t good for her, she doesn’t want him but she keeps entertaining him and that is why he keeps coming back. He is going to be a problem for them in their match.

Sasha says Bianca doesn’t need to worry about the match. Sasha has won many titles. She’s like the Michael Jordan of the Women’s Division! So maybe one day, Bianca will be the LeBron. But do you think the EST could achieve so  much if it weren’t for the road the B E S T paved? Uh-uh. Bianca corrects Sasha: It’s “Girl, uh-uh.” Second, Bianca respects her accomplishments and that is why she chose Sasha for Mania. But Bianca’s accomplishments are her own. Sasha wasn’t in the gym with Bianca. Sasha wasn’t there helping Bianca win the Rumble. Only because Sasha wasn’t in the match. And if she was, she would’ve stopped Bianca. Oh is that what Sasha thinks? No. Sasha knows so.

Sasha says what she’s worried about, or no, what she isn’t, is that Sasha is walking in and out as #TwoBeltsBanks when she beats Shayna & Nia. Sasha holds up her title but Bianca says, “Good! Good, good, great.” IT’s good to have their eyes on the prize. And Bianca might be walking the road Sasha paved, but she’s in her own lane. But here come Nia & Shayna! Kevin says he did not invite them. Oh, Reggie is with Nia & Shayna in that new suit they bought him. The tag champs and Reggie walk down the ramp, but then here comes Natalya & Tamina! Because there’s a match already set for tonight!

Tamina & Natalya VS Sasha Banks & Bianca Belair!

Given what we just saw starting to develop, the tension between Boss and EST might start to create cracks in the foundation! The tag team champions join commentary to watch the second generation stars take on Sasha and Bianca, will the Road to WrestleMania get very bumpy for the #LegitEST duo?

SmackDown returns and Sasha starts against Tamina. They circle and tie up, and Tamina throws Sasha into the corner> Tamia fires off, tags Natty, and Natty whips Sasha to ropes. Sasha reverses, drops then hurdles, but Natty leaps over and comes back, for Sasha to CHOP her! Sasha knuckle locks, goes up and up and arm-drags Natty out! Natty cools off as the ring count climbs, but Sasha baseball slide dropkicks Natty down! Sasha glares at the champs on commentary, gets back in, but Natty CLOBBERS her! Natty puts Sasha in the corner, throws hands and tags in Tamina.

Reggie struts for the cameras and Nia says she had to do the best for her “babe,” but then backtracks on if she and Reggie are an item. Tamina tags Natty in, Natty stomps Sasha, then drags her around for a snap suplex! Cover, TWO! Natty keeps Sasha down with a chinlock but Sasha fights up to jawbreaker! Shayna is annoyed about the Reggie antics while Natty drags Sasha away! Sasha kicks Natty away then tags in Bianca! Bianca rallies on Natty with dropkicks, then whips Natty to a corner. natty reverses, Bianca goes up and baits Natty in to jump over. Bianca gets Natty up to SPINEBUSTER! Reggie distracts the ref while Bianca covers!!

Bianca is upset with the ref but then Natty gets up. Bianca stomps Natty in the corner, Natty boots her away, and hits a DISCUS LARIAT! Reggie struts his stuff again, Tamina tags in, but Sasha storms over! Sasha and Reggie are both on the announce desk, but the chase is on! They end up in the ring as Tamina fireman’s carries Bianca! Bianca sunset flips but the ref is busy with Sasha and Reggie, and Natty CLOBBERS Sasha! Bianca DEKCS Natty but Tamina rolls Bianca! Tamina and Natty win!!

Winners: Tamina & Natalya, by pinfall

Nia pretends to be shocked, but this was the plan all along! Bianca is upset with Sasha, and says this is her fault because she keeps leading Reggie along. Nia and Shayna applaud Natty & Tamina, but will this all lead to the Boss and Bianca falling apart at Fastlane?

 

Bianca and Sasha argue backstage.

Bianca doesn’t want any part of Reggie’s trifling, but Sasha says Reggie is being petty because Bianca told her to get rid of him. Well she didn’t tell Sasha to slap Reggie or slam doors in his face! Sasha says she is not taking the blame for the rookie losing. Sasha storms off, and Bianca is beside herself. Will the EST make sure Sasha doesn’t get any of the credit when it comes time to face Nia & Shayna?

 

Big E returns!

But he’s in a neck brace, sling and walks with a crutch… But then he throws them all away because he doesn’t need them! The Intercontinental Champion is fired up to be back because the damage done by Apollo Crews is no more! Big E gets a mic to say, “As I laid up in a medical facility because of you, Apollo, and those steps, I had plenty of time to think.” Big E hopes and prays that Apollo knows what he did. Because Apollo crossed the Rubicon! He opened Pandora’s box, and there is no going back. There is no “sorry” that fixes this! “You can’t put the genie back in the bottle, because you… You, Apollo… You made me go biblical! I gotta go Old Testament on you!”

Because now, Big E vows it is eye for an eye! Take one of his, he takes two of yours! Apollo wanted to hurt Big E, so Big E is going to maim him! Apollo steps on Big E’s lawn, Big E will bulldoze Apollo’s house! Big E, pitying Apollo? No, that’s not enough. Now Big E has to END Apollo!! “You want what I worked for. You want what’s mine. Fine, good. Because now, now I’m ready to give it to you.” Big E is going to give Apollo what he deserves. And there’s no need to wait at all! Right here, right now, Apollo can get his ass out to Big E and get what he’s been wanting. Big E waits but Apollo doesn’t come out. Big E shouts that if Apollo wants it, he has to come get it now!

Still no response, and Big E isn’t surprised. But Big E has all dressed up to defend this title, and that is what he is going to do. So if Apollo ain’t gonna get his, let’s officially extend an OPEN CHALLENGE to whoever wants it. Big E throws down the gauntlet, but who picks it up? King Corbin! Corbin tells Big E to calm down, he’s acting crazy. But if Big E is opening up a challenge, Corbin sadly isn’t dressed to fight, but has no problem tearing up a $10,000 suit- Sami Zayn accepts!! Sami skips Corbin in line because Corbin didn’t actually completely accept. This isn’t about Corbin, this is what Sami has been owed for months, and it works perfectly for his documentary! You snooze, you lose!

Big E tells these “fools” that whoever gets in the ring first gets the match. Sami bolts into the ring, and there you have it!

WWE Intercontinental Championship: Big E VS Sami Zayn!

“Sorry, Corbin! Not today!” But then Big E fires off on Sami with haymakers! Sami dodges only to run into a BELLY2BELLY! Sami bails out and Corbin tells Sami that’s what he deserves. Will Sami recover from that opening salvo while SmackDown goes to break?

SmackDown returns and the belt is officially raised as this match officially begins. Sami and Big E tie up, Big E powers Sami to a corner, but the ref counts. Big E lets off at 3 but dares Sami to come back. Sami claims hair pulling, but he comes back to tie up with Sami. Big E blocks the hip toss to throw knees, then brings Sami around for even more knees. Sami goes to a corner, Big E storm sin but Sami kicks low. Sami headlocks, grinds Big E down, but Big E powers out. Things speed up, Big E hurdles and elbows Sami down! Cover, TWO! Big E stalks Sami to a corner, whips him corner to corner hard and Sami bounces off buckles to hit the mat!

Big E fires up as he shouts for Apollo to keep playing games. Big E runs in but Sami knees him away, then clobbers him from behind! Sami rains down fists but lets off to catch his breath. Sami puts Big E on the ropes to choke him! The ref counts, Sami lets off and Big E sputters to a corner. Sami drags Big E up, brings him around and bumps him off buckles! Sami pushes Big E away to hop up and then leap, for a flying elbow! Cover, TWO! Sami argues the count but the ref says it was fair. Sami goes up the corner again, and leaps again, into a BELLY2BELLY! And then another! Sami knows a third is coming so he bails out!

Big E chases him down, throws him into the apron, and then shouts, “Apollo~!” Big E CLUBS Sami, goes to the apron, refreshes the count and shouts for Apollo again. Big E runs but Sami moves, Big E CRASHES onto the apron! Sami has turned things around and SmackDown goes to break!

SmackDown returns again and Sami is up top, but Big E stops him! Sami throws hands as Big E climbs, then clubs away on Big E’s back! Sami adjusts, sunset flips to SUPER SUNSET BOMB!! Cover, TWO!? Sami again argues the count but the ref says that was fair. Sami drags Big E up, tells him that Big E is still not the real champion! Sami SLAPS Big E, and SLAPS him again! “YOU FRAUD! Give me back what’s mine!” Sami fires off more slaps, then drags Big E up to whip, but Big E breaks through the clothesline to CLOBBER Sami! Big E scoops Sami for a BIG ENDING!! Cover, Big E wins!!

Winner: Big E, by pinfall (still WWE Intercontinental Champion)

And he is still shouting for Apollo! But here he comes! But Big E is wary that it could be an ambush. It is, but not from where Big E expected! Apollo came from the ThunderDome screen side and CLOBBERS Big E, hammers away, and then hits an OLYMPIC SLAM!! Apollo dares Big E to stand up now, but drags him up to hit ANOTHER OLYMPIC SLAM! Apollo says this is what Big E wanted. But the only thing that will happen is continued beatings! Apollo goes back to get the steel steps! Apollo puts the steps in the ring, and demands Big E stand again! Big E slowly rises, only for Apollo to RAM him with the steel!

Big E flops out of the ring, clutching the arm. Apollo stands tall on the steps, but will he stand atop the WWE with the gold soon enough?

 

Backstage interview with Reginald and Nia Jax.

Nia tells Kayla she’s being rude, they were in the middle of a conversation. “Who raised you?” But her bae looks so good. And it was funny to see Sasha and Bianca all upset. And then Sasha thinking she’ll be a double champion. Reggie says Nia should challenge Sasha next week for the SmackDown Women’s Championship so that Nia can be double champion? Nia loves that idea! Nia shoos Kayla, but will Nia get that shot and become the #IrresistibleDoubleChampion?

 

Roman Reigns heads to the ring!

Paul Heyman and Jey Uso accompany him as always, and it is time for the contract signing! Will things stay civil between the Head of the Table and the man challenging him at Fastlane?

SmackDown returns and Bryan makes his entrance again. Adam Pearce presides over this contract signing, and we all know why we’re here. He has the contract for the Universal Championship match of Roman Reigns VS Daniel Bryan at Fastlane. It has been looked over and there are no complaints, so who would like to sign first? Roman insists he again sit at the literal head of the table, so Pearce moves aside and lets Roman take a seat. Roman looks at Bryan and says, “You don’t want to do this. I get it. You did everything you were supposed to do.” But then last week and Talking Smack, all that, Roman agreed to it. This week, Roman isn’t feeling it. This is a no, he isn’t signing this because Bryan doesn’t deserve it.

Well, okay. But Bryan is excited about this so he’s signing. Now who would’ve thought Roman wasn’t a man of his word? The Head of the Table, afraid to fight Bryan? Oh but it makes sense after last week! Because for years, everyone thought Bryan was better than Roman. Bryan did, too. But Roman didn’t, because he had confidence. Yet Bryan proved it because he did something Roman never could: make Jey quit. Does that “stick in your craw,” Roman? Does that make Roman doubt himself? Make him afraid? Is Roman afraid? That can’t be if Roman’s Head of the Table. Maybe Bryan should be the Head of the Table! Shut up. Bryan goes on and on, but Roman asks for a pen.

Heyman hands one over, and Roman signs! Bryan can’t believe it! Maybe Roman isn’t afraid! The contract is handed to Pearce and Bryan says that’s good, because now he has a message: “I’m gonna tap you out just like I tapped out Jey Uso.” Uso TOSSES the table and gets in Bryan’s face! “Enough with the disrespect!” Jey tells Pearce that this match needs a special guest enforcer to make sure this is fair and square! And that person will be JEY!! Roman tells Bryan this is what he gets, but here comes EDGE! Edge says that is a great idea! But next week, for the first time in 11 years, Edge has a match on SmackDown! Edge VS Jey, winner is the special enforcer!

Pearce likes that idea, and makes it official right now! The spot of enforcer will be up for grabs next week on SmackDown! Edge gets in, tosses his mic to Roman, and then he and Bryan attack the Bloodline! Bryan fires off on Jey, Roman and Edge brawl, but then Bryan throws Jey out! Bryan goes after Roman but Edge pushes him aside! Roman runs away, Edge turns around into Bryan’s KNEE PLUS!! Bryan told Edge this isn’t about him, but is it about to be about all three of them at Fastlane?


My Thoughts:

A great episode for SmackDown this week, and it really upped the ante towards Fastlane. The 8 Man Tag was a lot of fun, and the Faces winning works for story. The Street Profits are heading for a SmackDown Tag Team Championship rematch, Mysterios are heading for a blow-off with the Alpha Academy, and both of those matches could go either way. Cesaro VS Murphy was almost a good match but Rollins got in there after him. Rollins’ attack was very strong, gets good Heel Heat, and oddly enough Murphy wasn’t as much of a factor tonight, but surely he’ll try to talk with Rollins next week.

Nakamura glaring at Rollins was good, we definitely need Rollins VS Nakamura 1v1 in a great match before Cesaro even remotely gets involved with it. Then we can get Cesaro & Nakamura VS Rollins & Murphy in a tag match before the Cesaro VS Rollins blow-off. And please don’t make it Nakamura who turns on Cesaro, Nakamura was going strong as a Face so let him stay that way. Sami reaching out to Kevin was a natural move in Sami’s story of conspiracy and instability, and at the very least, we’ll be getting another awesome feud of Sami VS Kevin. I also like that Sami and Corbin were both trying to answer the same open challenge. We don’t get that enough, it all comes off to civil, like everyone just agrees, whoever gets their entrance first is the challenger.

Big E had a powerful promo, Big E VS Sami was a really good match, and it was a good detail that Big E was being distracted by his own anger towards Apollo. Apollo coming out from a less common spot was a good twist on the ambush, and naturally Apollo uses the steel steps again to attack Big E. Their match is going to be incredible stuff, and I almost feel like it should be No Disqualification so Apollo could use the steps but Big E can turn that around on him. The KO Show was very good with it stirring up things with Sasha and Bianca, and their back and forth was also really good stuff. Reggie’s shopping trip with Nia and Shayna, however, was… ugh…

But Sasha & Bianca VS Natty & Tamina was good stuff, even with the one-too-many cuts to Reggie strutting his stuff for Nia. But Reggie being a distraction to Sasha and costing her team the match was a good detail, as it is driving a further wedge between Bianca and Sasha. Their post match promo backstage was also good, and Bianca’s reaction to Sasha calling her “rookie” was great. It seemed pretty clear before that Bianca and Sasha weren’t winning the tag titles, but it’s even clearer now. As for setting up Sasha VS Nia for the SmackDown Women’s title next week, that is quite the twist. I don’t see Sasha losing that, but there could be some good antics that help Sasha win. I could go on about how WWE could’ve had a big Women’s Tag title match, but that’s just crying over spilled milk now.

And once again, the Universal Championship story is some strong stuff. Edge and Bryan had a great interaction to open the show, as did Edge and Jey backstage. Bryan goading Roman was a great detail in the contract signing, and it seems to be Bryan’s thing lately. Bryan likes stirring up trouble now that he’s going for what he wants, and he had a good shot with that line about making Jey give up. Jey putting forward the “enforcer” stipulation, then Edge pouncing on it, is all sadly stacking things against Bryan. If Jey is the enforcer, then Roman is definitely getting a sneaky win on Bryan.

But since Edge is going to face Jey in a match, Edge is totally winning, becoming the enforcer, and after that knee Bryan gave him, Edge could totally sway things in a way where Bryan loses. Or better yet for Edge, he attacks Roman so that Bryan wins, the title stays with Roman, and Roman VS Edge still happens for Mania. Either way, it doesn’t seem like Bryan is going to get YEStleMania 2 at WrestleMania 37, but I’d be pleasantly surprised if WWE figures out a way so that Bryan still gets his chance.

My Score: 8.6/10


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AEW Coverage

Mitchell’s AEW Dynamite Results & Report! (8/17/22)

American Dragon VS Dragonslayer!

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AEW House of the Dragon

Dynamite becomes the House of the Dragon!

AEW has an epic rematch between Bryan Danielson and Daniel Garcia, in a Best Two Out of Three Falls match! Will Red Death truly slay the American Dragon?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Best 2 out of 3 Falls: Bryan Danielson VS Daniel Garcia; wins.
  • Gunn Club VS The Varsity Blonds; win(s).
  • Toni Storm VS KiLynn King; wins.
  • AEW World Trios Championship Tournament, Opening Round: La Faccion Ingobernable VS The Young Bucks & ???; win(s) and advances.

PLAY BY PLAY

CM Punk is here!

The Best of the World is back and the fans in Charleston, West Virginia are fired up to see him! Especially since he has THE AEW World Championship belt on his shoulder. No stage diving this time, though, he’s being a bit more careful this time. Punk goes to the ring and gets the mic as fans chant his name. “I’m trying to put my tough guy game face on before I came out here, and you guys just ruined it all by making me smile. I don’t got the prettiest smile. What I do have is the prettiest belt! Haven’t been here in some time, and I’ve got some business to attend to. Some things very, very important. Some things not so important.

“I want to get the not so important things outta the way. Where are we? Where are wee tonight? There’s somebody from around these parts that I would like to challenge to a rematch and I would like to do it right here, right now, for you beautiful people.” Fans cheer for that, they wanna see it, too! Punk sits down cross-legged and tells Hangman Adam Page, “You want that rematch, you got it right here, right now. Let’s go!” Fans are fired up for the “Cowboy Sh*t” that could go down, but where is he? Punk checks his mic, but no Hangman, and fans boo. Punk says that’s why this isn’t important. That isn’t Cowboy Sh*t, that’s Coward Sh*t!

“A little bit of advice that I suggest you take: The apology must as loud and as public as the disrespect!” And if anyone else has a problem with THE CHAMPION, Punk suggests they come on down! “Everyone wants to be the champ until it’s time to do champ sh*t!” Fans agree with that as they chant Punk’s name. “Ladies and gentlemen, I understand that Jon Moxley’s got a lot of fans. And he can be number one in your heart, but he’s not number one in this ring. I am THE AEW Champion!!” Punk knows what it takes to be the best, to talk a big game and say you’re the best, and to breathe that into existence.

He also knows what it is like to lose. Punk has lost big, but Moxley has always been number two, there has always been someone who has Mox’s number, and it’s Punk! Boo if you want, but let him know when he’s lying. “Jon Moxley is the third best guy in his own group, and that seems to be a reoccurring theme in his career.” Fans are stunned to hear that. Punk says, “That doesn’t make him a bad guy, but that doesn’t make him the best either.” Punk is the best, but yes, Mox has been carrying the torch when Punk broke his foot. Moxley talks about breaking bones and drinking blood, but between the two of them, the only one’s who has broken bones is Punk! It was his own, but still!

So again, tell Punk when he’s telling lies. Moxley has been INTERIM AEW Champion. Look that word up, it means “temporary.” And Punk is willing to test himself against Moxley, but is Moxley willing to test himself against his best friends? Let’s talk about those friends. Mox’s best friend is the third best Eddie that Punk’s ever faced. And the second best Kingston! These people aren’t number one at anything! Tell Punk when he’s telling a lie! Fans have to admit, he’s got a point. Punk says he’s missed the fans, and he’s missed competing in the ring. He’s been wanting to defend this title on a PPV, and that will be All Out, September 4th, Chicago, Illinois!

Punk is ready to test his belt against Moxley’s “number two with a bullet.” Punk is willing to test his foot! The funny thing is, heading into Chicago, Moxley isn’t even the first Jon/John that Punk beats in Chicago for a title! And he’s certainly not number one there, either. But say his name enough and here he comes! Jon Moxley is heading to the ring but Punk taunts Moxley over the time he takes to make it to the ring. Punk does “mat angels” as Moxley and his AEW World Championship belt go through the crowd. Moxley does make it to ringside, he does get a mic and he does get in the ring to stand there across from Punk.

Fans cheer for Moxley, and Moxley says, “Look out, ladies and gentlemen, CM Punk is dropping pipe bombs! Doing what he does best: writing checks with his mouth that his body can’t cash.” Moxley makes sure to point at Punk’s foot with that. And Moxley tells Punk he’s living in a fantasy land! In Punk’s mind, he’s the best wrestler in the world. But most times, Punk’s not even the best wrestler in catering. Punk thinks his mic in his hand is power. But this is the real world, and that’s just a microphone. And all the words Punk says into it don’t mean sh*t. That belt on Punk’s shoulder don’t mean sh*t. Punk says, “Who’s living in a fantasy world now?”

Moxley says, “To be fair, right now, this belt don’t mean sh*t. Not until I beat you!” Moxley says he IS the heart and soul of AEW, and every time they call him “Interim,” he thinks of Punk and that makes him sick! Punks says, “Good! You can be the ‘heart and soul’, I’ll bet he dollars and the cents!” Both men throw the belts down and inch a bit closer. Punk asks Mox if he’s done talking. Mox says we all know Punk only came to AEW because he ran out of money, so don’t give Mox that. “Being the best is about heart and soul and guts and fighting spirit, and we both know that you ran out of fighting spirit a long time ago.”

Now both men are face to face! Mox says if Punk wants to prove him wrong, then do something about it. But Mox doesn’t think Punk’s gonna do sh*t. Punk says they have a match at the PPV, which Punk will soundly defeat Moxley in. But if Punk touches Moxley now, Punk’s afraid Moxley will just start bleeding all over him. They get forehead to forehead, Moxley puts his hands back behind him to give Punk an open shot. Punk pushes Moxley away, but Moxley comes back with a peck on the cheek! AND A SLAP! The haymakers start flying and fans are fired up for it! Moxley and Punk scrap, security and officials rush in, and fans boo!

Moxley and Punk are separated but Moxley throws off his shirt! Punk eggs Moxley on, security is a wall between them, and fans boo more. Moxley tosses his belt out of the ring, then eggs Punk on! Punk tries to get after Moxley, and Moxley LEAPS onto the pile! The scrum continues but is quickly broken up. Fans want to “LET THEM FIGHT!” and Moxley gets a chair! Moxley tosses it into the ring, and Punk uses it to take a seat! Punk eggs Mox on again, and Mox slides in! They make contact, but the security pulls them apart again! Fans boo some more, but Moxley finds an opening on the other side of the ring! The brawl is back on!

Wait, security just pulls them apart again. Fans boo as the ebb and flow just keeps going, but it seems we’ll all have to wait until Sunday, September 4th. What happens when Punk and Moxley go all out to determine an UNDISPUTED AEW World Champion?

 

Backstage interview with “Powerhouse” Will Hobbs.

Tony Schiavone is with Hobbs and references what we saw last week concerning himself, Ricky Starks and The Factory. Schiavone thought Starks & Hobbs were friends, so why did Hobbs betray Starks? Hobbs says he doesn’t need friends! “Ricky Starks, you proved to the whole world, your true colors came out, you told the world that you were okay with losing. I’m not okay with losing, Ricky! For two years, you got to walk around here and parade around like you’re some God’s gift to this business. You got to hide behind Powerhouse Hobbs’ back, because you knew I would get the job done.”

Hobbs was hired for one thing: make sure Starks stayed champion. And Starks couldn’t do it! Now Ricky, Hobbs not only breaks backs, he also breaks necks. And as far as The Factory goes, Hobbs has something for them, too! Will the Powerhouse turn into a juggernaut and demolish everyone in his way?

 

Best 2 out of 3 Falls: Bryan Danielson VS Daniel Garcia!

The American Dragon fought hard against Red Death, but was screwed over by The Wizard! Sounds like Game of Thrones, but it’s pro-wrestling! Or as the Jericho Appreciation Society calls it, “Sports Entertainment.” However, Bryan dares Garcia to look inside himself and decide: Is he the Best Technical Sports Entertainer? Or is he the Best Technical Pro-Wrestler? With Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat as the special guest timekeeper, will the Dragonslayer slay the American Dragon? Or will he JOIN the American Dragon in the Blackpool Combat Club?

But first, Chris Jericho joins commentary! Fans sing Judas for him as he joins Excalibur, Taz, and Good ol’ JR, then Bryan makes his entrance. Bryan shakes hands with Steamboat, then Garcia makes his entrance, complete with a new Dragonslayer logo on his tron. The bell rings on the first fall and fans rally up. The two circle, feel out the grapple, and Bryan shoots in to get a leg. Bryan trips Garcia but Garcia fights back and trips Bryan. Garcia goes for a leg, but Bryan trips him back and rains down forearms! Garcia guards but Bryan moves around. Garcia slips out, back mounts, but Bryan stands up.

Garcia is a backpack but Bryan snapmares and rolls! It’s a rough landing but Garcia holds on, then he drags Bryan around. Bryan slips out, throws body shots from above, then has a KNEEBAR! Garcia moves around to stand up, and he has a HEEL HOOK! Bryan endures, stomps at Garcia’s face but Garcia gives those back! They stomp and kick each other back and forth, but Bryan puts on a HEEL HOOK of his own! Fans cheer this technical exchange and the two end up in the ropes! The ref counts, the two let each other go, but then Garcia BOOTS Bryan into a corner! Garcia eggs Bryan on while fans boo.

Bryan stands up, they reset, tie up, and Garcia puts Bryan in a corner. Fans rally for Bryan as Garcia smothers him, but the ref counts. Garcia lets off to SLAP Bryan! Bryan keeps cool as AEW goes picture in picture.

Garcia taunts Bryan but Bryan puts his dukes up. Bryan KICKS Garcia’s leg, then eggs Garcia on. Garcia returns but Bryan KICKS the leg again! They tie up, Bryan SLAPS Garcia now, and Garcia wobbles a bit. Garcia throws some testing jabs but Bryan shrugs those off. Bryan throws body shots, then SMACKS Garcia! Bryan suplexes high and hard, covers, TWO! Bryan drags Garcia around by a leg, turns him over and hooks up the legs. Bryan reaches for the arms, brings them back, and then up and up and ROMERO SPECIAL! Garcia endures being held overhead, then Bryan sets him down to fishhook the nose!

The ref reprimands but Bryan throws haymakers onto Garcia’s head, then ROCKS him with a forearm! Garcia falls forward, out of the leg hooks, and fans rally up. Bryan paces, watches Garcia get up, and then KICKS him in the chest! Garcia is right up to CHOP! Bryan smirks and Garcia eggs him on. Bryan CHOPS back, so Garcia CHOPS again. Bryan smirks, dusts that off, and fans rally up more. Bryan and Garcia talk some trash, Garcia SLAPS Bryan! Bryan squats and Garcia kicks at him. Garcia eggs Bryan on, Bryan snarls and stands back up. Bryan stares Garcia down as AEW returns to single picture, and the forearms fire off! Bryan KICKS away on Garcia in the corner!

Fans chant “YES! YES! YES!” with every shot! Bryan goes corner to corner to DROPKICK! Bryan puts Garcia up top, climbs up after him, then SUPER STEINERS, but Garcia rolls it to a sunset flip! TWO! Bryan EuroUppers, Garcia CHOPS, but Bryan EuroUppers again! Garcia CHOPS, Bryan EuroUppers, Garcia kicks low then EuroUppers back. Garcia whips Bryan to a corner, Bryan goes up and over, then keeps moving! Bryan ducks and dodges but Garcia spins him for a BUTTERFLY SUPLEX into the ARMBAR! Bryan sits up, fans rally up, and Bryan clasps hands. Bryan fights but Garcia pushes him down!

Bryan rolls through, leg capture and BACK SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Garcia escapes but Bryan goes for the legs! Bryan ties the legs up, rains down forearms, and then hooks an arm! REGAL STRETCH!! Bryan makes his mentor proud while Garcia endures to make his mentor proud! Garcia crawls, reaches out, ROPEBREAK! Bryan lets off, Garcia bails out, and Bryan builds speed! Bryan WRECKS Garcia with a dropkick! Then he goes to the apron to FLYING- NO, Garcia dodges the knee to SAIDO to the floor! Fans are torn as Garcia stands back up. Garcia drags Bryan up with a facelock and he puts Bryan in the ring.

Fans rally and Garcia looms over Bryan. Garcia sits Bryan up for HAMMER ‘N’ ANVIL ELBOWS! That’s a very BCC move! Fans boo but Jericho loves it! Garcia gets the legs, SHARP- NO, Bryan spins it through! Bryan kicks Garcia down into the TRIANGLE HOLD! Garcia is caught but he stands up. Bryan throws hands but Garcia hooks Bryan up! PILEDRIVER!! Omoplata and DRAGON SLEEPER!!! Bryan is fading, the fans rally, but he’s OUT! That’s the first fall to Garcia!

Bryan: 0; Garcia: 1

The ref checks if Bryan is okay to continue, but Garcia says this is just the first fall! This isn’t over until he has his second! The ref starts a standing count, if Bryan can’t answer it, he’s lost! Garcia backs off to watch Bryan, and we’re past 5 of 10! Bryan crawls and stands at 8, so Garcia CLOBBERS him! Garcia stomps a mudhole while fans boo! Garcia lets off at the ref’s count to soak up the heat, then he storms back up on Bryan. Garcia stands Bryan up, EuroUppers, and CHOPS! Bryan looks dazed but Garcia brings him up to CHOP again! Garcia soaks up more heat while fans boo and he goes corner to corner. Garcia runs in to SHOTGUN Bryan, and AEW goes to break!

 


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Coverage

Mitchell’s NJPW G1 Climax 32 Results & Report! (8/17/22)

And then there were four!

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NJPW G1 Climax 32

The G1 Climax’s Final Four face off!

A VS B and C VS D, the biggest G1 Climax in NJPW history reaches its semifinals! Will Tetsuya Naito make Will Ospreay trainquilo? Will Kazuchika Okada make it rain on the Good Bad Guy?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • 8 Man Tag: Chaos VS Suzuki-Gun; Chaos wins.
  • Royce Isaacs & Tom Lawlor VS Dangerous Tekkers; Dangerous Tekkers win.
  • Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe VS Bad Dude Tito & JONAH; Tito & Jonah win.
  • Six Man Tag: The United Empire VS Bullet Club; Bullet Club wins.
  • 8 Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Bullet Club; Bullet Club wins.
  • 8 Man Tag: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Toru Yano, David Finlay & KUSHIDA VS Bullet Club; Tanahashi, Yano, Finlay & Kushida win.
  • G1 Climax 32 Semifinal: Kazuchika Okada VS Tama Tonga; Okada wins and advances to the finals.
  • G1 Climax 32 Semifinal: Tetsuya Naito VS Will Ospreay; Ospreay wins and advances to the finals.

PLAY BY PLAY

G1 Climax 32 Semifinal: Kazuchika Okada VS Tama Tonga w/ Jado!

It’s A Block VS B Block, Rainmaker VS Good Bad Guy! And in G1 Climax 31, Okada lost to Tama! Will history repeat itself? Or will Tama have to fall back to the golden ticket he got from beating Jay White?

The bell rings and fans rally up already as the two circle. Tama and Okada shake hands to show there’s respect here and fans cheer more. Okada and Tama tie up, are in a deadlock, but Okada uses his height as leverage. Okada puts Tama on the ropes and the ref calls for the break. Okada lets off, pats Tama on the shoulders, but Tama rushes in. Okada kicks low, headlocks, but Tama powers up and out. Okada runs Tama over and fans fire up. Okada runs, Tama gets up to arm-drag Okada around! Then Tama dropkicks Okada down! Fans fire up more as Tama brings Okada up. Tama CLUBS Okada and follows him to a corner.

Tama throws body shots, but Okada throws forearms! Tama knees low, Okada throws body shots but Tama CLUBS Okada down. Fans rally as Tama whips corner to corner, but Okada reverses. Okada runs in but into a back elbow. Tama runs at Okada but into the FLAPJACK! Fans applaud while Okada catches his breath. Jado coaches Tama while fans rally up. Okada drags Tama up, ROCKS him with a forearm, and Tama goes to ropes. Okada brings Tama around to CLUB him on the neck. Okada puts Tama in a corner and throws a back elbow. And then another! And then another! The ref counts and Okada lets off.

Fans rally, Jado coaches Tama, but Okada brings Tama up. Tama throws body shots but Okada knees low. Okada turns Tama for a NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Fans rally and Okada sits Tama up for a chinlock. Tama endures while Okada squeezes tight. The fans rally up more as Okada turns and twists Tama. Tama fights up to his feet, throws elbows, but Okada knees low. Okada throws Tama out of the ring then follows after. Tama staggers up into a kick and DDT to the floor! Okada leaves Tama behind while fans rally up. Jado coaches Tama while the ring count climbs. We’re at 5 of 20 but Tama is still down.

Tama pushes up off the floor at 10 of 20 and crawls his way over, and he drags himself up at 16, only to fall! Tama springs up and in at 19! Okada walks over and kicks Tama around while the fans rally up. “O-KA-DA!” eggs Tama on, so Tama fires off forearm after forearm! Okada eggs Tama on, Tama keeps throwing hands, but Okada DECKS Tama with one! Okada whips Tama to a corner, but Tama comes back to CLOBBER Okada! Fans fire up and rally again as Tama drags himself up the ropes. Tama rushes Okada to LARIAT, and ELBOW, and scoop SLAM! OFF COMES THE VEST! Fans fire up with Tama as he claps, “TA-MA! TA-MA!”

Okada is in the corner, Tama runs in to STINGER SPLASH! And then a BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO! Fans continue to rally as Tama paces around. Tama brings Okada up to CLUB him down, then he throws body shots. Tama dragon sleepers but Okada fights free! Tama throws a body shot, an uppercut, and then whips. Okada ducks ‘n’ dodges to CLOBBER Tama with an elbow! Fans rally and Okada whips Tama into a corner. Okada runs in to back elbow, then kicks and DDTs! Cover, TWO! Fans clap for “O-KA-DA!” “GOOD BAD GUY!” as Okada watches Tama stand. Tama staggers into the Alabama Lift! But Tama fights it off with body shots!

Okada ROCKS Tama, but Tama ROCKS Okada. Okada EuroUppers but Tama EuroUppers back! Okada swings but into the TONGAN TWIST! Fans rally up again as Okada bails out of the ring. Tama goes out after Okada and brings him up, but Okada throws body shots! Okada whips Tama into railing, and Tama bounces off into a scoop! But Tama fights that to a TONGAN TWIST to the floor! A bit of payback from earlier! Fans rally up while the ref checks both men. Both men are able to continue and Tama stands first. The ring count starts and Tama drags Okada up at 5 of 20 to put him in at 6. Fans cheer as this match continues.

Tama stalks Okada while the fans clap. Okada stands, Tama rushes in, VENENO! Cover, TWO! Tama paces around then brings Okada back up. Tama fireman’s carries, but Okada fights free and spins Tama. ROLLING- NO, Tama ducks the lariat to fireman’s carry! S R C! Tama heads for the corner and fans fire up! SUPREME FLOW! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives and Tama grows frustrated, but Jado calls the shot! Tama and Jado pound the mat, and fans clap along. Tama watches Okada rise, then he rushes in, GUN- NO, Okada turns that into the BACK2BACKBREAKER! And then the MONEY CLIP!!

Tama endures and fans rally up! Tama reaches out and gets the ROPEBREAK! Okada lets go in frustration but fans fire up more. The fans continue to rally, “O-KA-DA!” “GOOD BAD GUY!” Okada drags Tama up, scoops him and SLAMS him, then goes to the corner. Okada climbs up and fans rally for the MACHO ELBOW! And of course, the Rainmaker Pose! Okada drags Tama up, wristlocks, but Tama throws back elbows. Okada CLUBS Tama, EuroUppers and runs, but into a DROPKICK! Fans fire up as Tama takes Okada down! Tama drags Okada up, but Okada fights off the suplex to shove and DROPKICK Tama in return!

Okada drags Tama back up, ripcords, but Tama ducks to slips around, BLOODY SUNDAY!! Shoutout to the Prince! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives but Tama just reloads and brings him back up! Double underhooks, but Okada fights free to LARIAT! Not quite the Rainmaker but Okada holds onto the wrist! Fans rally as Okada slowly rises back up. Okada drags Tama up, for a short arm LARIAT! Okada fires up and the fans follow suit! He drags Tama back up, ripcords, but Tama ducks and runs, into a DROPKICK! But he gets back up! Tama is roaring, fans are fire dup, but Okada scoops for the LANDSLIDE!!

Okada then ripcords Tama, GUN STUN!!! But Tama can’t make the cover! Jado shouts to Tama, he crawls over to Okada, pushes Okada over for the cover, TWO!!! Okada survives because of the delay! Fans are thunderous while both men are still down! Tama rises and he drags Okada back up. Tama reels Okada in, underhooks the arms, but Okada fights the lift! Tama CLUBS Okada, CLUBS him again, and fans rally as Tama CLUBS Okada one more time. Tama brings Okada up, reels him in again, but Okada back drops and sits on the cover! TWO!! Tama swings, but into a waistlock! Tama fights the suplex, throws elbows, and then whips.

Okada reverses but Tama dodges the dropkick! And he hurries to underhook, but Okada slips out! GUN- NO, Okada holds it off this time, to then get the wristlock! Ripcord, GUN- NO!! Okada turns it into a MONEY CLIP!!! Fans rally as hard as ever, and Tama turns clip into cradle! TWO!!! Okada escapes, BOOTS, but Tama PELES! Tama reloads fast and waits on Okada to stand! Okada is up, Tama runs in, GUN- NO!!! Okada fights it again, to ENZIGURI! And then pump handle scoop, POWERSLAM!! Ripcord, RAINMAKER!!! Cover, Okada wins!

Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall (advances to the finals)

Tama put up one hell of a fight, truly worthy of the biggest G1 Climax ever, but it just wasn’t enough to stop the Rainmaker! Will Okada not stop until he has that Right to Challenge briefcase once more?

 

G1 Climax 32 Semifinal: Tetsuya Naito VS Will Ospreay w/ Great-O-Khan!

It’s C Block VS D Block, Uncontrollable Charisma VS Commonwealth Kingpin! We know Okada awaits in the finals, will he be facing one of his great rivals in Naito? Or will it be one of his great enemies in Ospreay?

Naito takes off his elaborate entrance attire while Ospreay takes his time with his coat and two title belts. Fans rally, “NA-I-TO!” “O-SU-PREAY!” and the bell rings. Ospreay encourages the fans to get louder so they do, and Naito says that’s nice. The two then circle, Naito goes back and forth to toy with Ospreay, but then they tie up. They’re in a deadlock, but Ospreay finds a point of leverage. He puts Naito on the ropes and Red Shoes counts. Ospreay pats Naito but Naito turns things around. Naito has Ospreay on the ropes, but then pats Ospreay on the shoulders. To then kick low and CLUB him on the neck! And again!

Red Shoes reprimands but Naito whips Ospreay. Ospreay reverses, Naito holds ropes and BOOTS Back, to then RANA! But Ospreay handsprings through! Naito ducks the Penalty Kick, avoids the Standing Moonsault, then arm-drags Ospreay! Naito ducks a roundhouse and tranquilos! Ospreay smirks while Naito bails out. Fans rally up while Naito stares Khan down. Khan keeps his distance and Naito takes a walk around the ring. Khan tells Naito to get back in so Naito does. Naito and Ospreay circle, feel out a knuckle lock, then circle some more. Ospreay blocks Naito’s kick! Naito tries to reach Ospreay but he can’t!

Ospreay ROCKS Naito with a forearm, then another! Ospreay whips, atomic drops and CHOPS Naito down, for the STANDING SHOOTING STAR! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up and Khan cheers Ospreay on. Ospreay drags Naito up, ROCKS him again, then bumps him off buckles. Ospreay CHOPS Naito in the corner, then stalks him to another corner. Ospreay CHOPS again and Naito staggers. Ospreay whips him but Naito reverses, only for Ospreay to go up and over. Naito dodges, blocks a kick and puts Ospreay in the ropes for a DRAPING BACKBREAKER! Naito then whips Ospreay to ropes for a hip toss! And basement dropkick! Naito keeps going, NECKBREAKER!

Fans fire up while Ospreay clutches his neck. Fans rally up and Naito brings Ospreay into a chinlock. Naito grinds Ospreay down with an almost bulldog choke but Ospreay endures. Fans rally up more, Ospreay pulls hair but Red Shoes reprimands. Naito lets off to snapmare Ospreay into a headscissor hold! Naito pushes up to put pressure on the neck but Ospreay endures. Ospreay rolls around and gets the ROPEBREAK! Red Shoes counts and Khan protests, and Naito lets off. Fans rally up as Naito brings Ospreay around. Naito ROCKS Ospreay but Ospreay ROCKS Naito, repeat! Naito then CLUBS Ospreay on the neck!

Naito CLUBS away on Ospreay in the corner, then whips him corner to corner. Naito runs in to JUMP KICK! Leg sweep, SWINGING DROPKICK! Combinacion Cabron! Fans fire up as Naito poses, then covers, TWO! Fans rally up and Naito stomps Ospreay around. Naito brings Ospreay up to cravat and neck wrench! Ospreay endures, drops to a knee, and fans rally again. Ospreay fights back up, throws body shots, but Naito ROCKS him again. Naito whips, Ospreay reverses but Naito reverses again. Naito swings into a full nelson, but he arm-drags free! Naito dodges and whips but Ospreay handsprings to NEURALIZER!

Fans fire up while both men are down. Ospreay sits up and grits his teeth. Ospreay waits on Naito to get up, but Naito is slow. Ospreay fireman’s carries to then SNAKE EYES and BOOT! Ospreay goes to the apron and fans fire up with him. Ospreay aims at Naito, springboards and PIP PIP CHEERIO! Cover, TWO! Ospreay is annoyed but fans continue to rally. Ospreay drags Naito back up, reels him in, but Naito resists the lift. Ospreay keeps trying but Naito flails. Ospreay CLUBS Naito, throws a quick Kowada Kick, then CHOPS Naito off his feet! Naito gets up but Ospreay reels him in, only for Naito to fight the bomb!

Naito ducks the lariat to BACKBREAKER into the LEG HOOK NELSON! Naito slaps Ospreay around but Ospreay still endures. Ospreay moves around, but Naito drags him from ropes! Fans rally, Naito puts on more pressure, but Ospreay kicks his way around! ROPEBREAK! Fans fire up as Red Shoes counts, and Naito lets Ospreay go. Fans rally as Naito stands and Ospreay drags himself up the ropes. Naito hammerlocks and half nelsons but Ospreay fights off the lift! Naito ripcords but Ospreay ducks the elbow. Naito CLUBS Ospreay, dodges a haymaker, then ROCKS Ospreay! Naito runs, into the Tiger Wall Kick and ENZIGURI! But Naito rebounds, into a SPANISH FLY!!

Fans are thunderous as both men are down again! Ospreay and Naito sit up, talk some trash, and then get forehead to forehead. Naito throws a forearm but Ospreay gives it back. Naito grins and forearms Ospreay again! Ospreay ROCKS Naito back! Ospreay eggs Naito on so Naito ROCKS Ospreay! Ospreay roars and fans fire up, and Ospreay throws another forearm! Naito gives another, and they go back and forth! Fans rally up as the speed picks up! Ospreay fires off a flurry, then CHOPS!! Naito staggers and Ospreay waits on him. Naito comes back to SLAP Ospreay! Ospreay grins and fans fire up!

Ospreay blocks a kick, ducks the enziguri but Naito dodges Hidden Blade to TORNADO- NO! Ospreay blocks to suplex and BRAINBUSTER! But Ospreay holds on, brings Naito back up, suplexes but Naito RANAS! Cover, TWO!! Ospreay escapes in time but Naito gets him for the TORNADO DDT! Fans are thunderous again while both men are down. Naito and Ospreay stir and Naito sits up first. Naito crawls his way over, drags Ospreay up, and throws heavy back elbows! Ospreay drops to a knee, but Naito brings him up for more heavy elbows! Ospreay drops again but he grabs at Naito. Naito brings Ospreay up for even more heavy elbows!

Ospreay falls over backwards, and the tape on his shoulders is coming off! Naito hammerlocks, half nelsons, and hits GLORIA! Cover, TWO! Ospreay is still in this but Naito is still smiling. Naito brings Ospreay up again, wrenches the arm, but Ospreay RAMS him into the corner! Ospreay runs in but Naito alley-oops him into the corner! Naito then sits Ospreay up on the top rope backwards, and climbs up behind him! Naito goes up to SUPER POISON-RANA!!! Cover, TWO!!! Ospreay survives and fans are thunderous! Naito aims from the corner as Ospreay rises, then he runs in to CORRIENDO SHIKI- NO, Ospreay blocks Destino!

But Ospreay also holds Naito up! Ospreay ties up the legs, MAGIC CROSS DRIVER!! Cover, TWO!! Fans are thunderous again as Ospreay aims from the corner! Naito sits up, Ospreay rushes in, HIDDEN BLADE!!! But Ospreay isn’t satisfied with that, he drags Naito up! Underhook and lift, STORM- DESTINO!!! Naito turns things around but both men are down! The fans are electric as both men stir on the mat! Naito crawls over to Ospreay, drags him up, but Ospreay BOOTS! Naito ENZIGURIS! Naito scoops but Ospreay slips out to HOOK KICK! Ospreay calls his shot, springboards, but Naito ducks the OsCutter! SPINEBUSTER!!

Naito hauls Ospreay up to wrench and- NO, Ospreay turns it, CHELSEA GRIN!! Fans fire up as Ospreay aims again! Ospreay runs in, but Naito ducks the blade! CORRIENDO SHIKI DESTINO!!!! Cover, TWO?!?!? Ospreay survives and no one can believe it!! Naito roars, drags Ospreay up, and tilt-o-whirls, DESTI- NO!! Ospreay slips out to HIDDEN BLADE!!! Cover, TWO?!?!?!? Maybe 2.999!! The fans can’t believe it, Khan can’t believe, commentary can’t believe it! But Ospreay drags Naito back up, reels him in and underhooks, for STORMBREAKER!!!! Cover, OSPREAY WINS!!!

Winner: Will Ospreay, by pinfall (advances to the finals)

After fighting back from an 0-2 start, after fighting his heart out here, Naito falls before the Climax! If this is truly Naito’s last G1 Climax, if this is truly his last year with NJPW, has it all ended here and now? Or can Naito find another path to Wrestle Kingdom?

As for Ospreay, he holds up his IWGP US Heavyweight Championship and Rev-Pro British Heavyweight Championship high as he stands over Naito, and then again as he stands on the corner. Khan waves the banner of the United Empire, then brings the mic to Ospreay. The fans applaud, but Ospreay says, “Louder, Budokan! Louder!! Motto! Gentlemen, I said MORE! I want more!” Fans applaud louder, and Ospreay is happy. “Naito, good showing. One more, onegaishimasu. This doesn’t get spoken about enough. In May, I nearly died! I had a kidney infection that nearly killed me! And in three months, three months! After saying I could’ve died, I’m in the G1 Final!”

Fans applaud that heart, and Ospreay says his opponent “is a man who seemingly, I can’t beat on my own. In the seven matches Ospreay and Okada have had, Okada has one SIX of them. SIX. Everyone is now doubting me, because they think I can’t beat Okada. I’ve seen it done with my own eyes! I have seen AJ Styles beat Okada. I have seen Tanahashi beat Okada. I’ve seen NAITO beat Okada! Hell, I’ve even see Jay White dethrone Okada. Know what makes me different? I know in my heart, I know I’m better than all those guys! I know I’m the best wrestler in the world today!!” Fans applaud that, he has a case for it.

Ospreay lists off his accomplishments: Best of the Super Juniors; the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship; the New Japan Cup; the British Heavyweight Championship; the NEVER Openweight Championship; the IWGP US Heavyweight Championship; and the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship!! There’s just one more to go! “And believe me. Believe me when I say this. Believe me, I’m not gonna lose. I will beat Okada! I will lead NJPW out of the Dark Ages, and I will bring it back tot he light! Okada, matta ashita <I’ll be waiting tomorrow.> See you at the top!” The Kingpin vows to go from Grand Slam to ULTIMATE Champion in NJPW, will he succeed?


My Thoughts:

A great event as the penultimate night of the G1 this year. Yes, I skipped a lot of matches, and I wish I had time to see that 8 Man with Tanahashi, Yano, Finlay & Kushida, because it saw the return of the Good Brothers to Japan. But Tanahashi’s team won thanks to some sneaky moves from Yano. I wonder if anyone from Tanahashi’s team will go after Karl Anderson’s NEVER Openweight Championship. Any one of them would be a great opponent for Anderson, but especially Tanahashi.

But we got awesome G1 matches, as to be expected. Tama has been running strong, but it sure seems like everyone knows how to counter the Gun Stun… It makes sense that Okada wins, he could potentially go back-to-back as the G1 Climax winner. But given that, I don’t think he will. Ospreay VS Naito was a great choice to be the main event between the two semifinal matches, and honestly I didn’t think Naito was going to lose. This is supposed to be his last year, so I thought he’d get to the finals before losing and having to worry about what’s next.

Ospreay has a great promo and he does make a great argument for winning the finals. Ospreay’s checked off almost everything to do in NJPW as a singles wrestler, even more than what Okada has done. Ospreay getting the honor of being the first to check everything off the list would be huge.

My Score: 9/10


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