SmackDown’s champions need challengers!
Apollo Crews puts his WWE Intercontinental Championship on the line, but who in the SmackDown locker room will dare to challenge him? Plus, will Seth Rollins derail Cesaro from challenging the Tribal Chief, Roman Reigns?
- Daniel Bryan & Cesaro VS Seth Rollins & Jey Uso; Bryan & Cesaro win.
- Nia Jax w/ Shayna Baszler & Reginald VS Tamina w/ Natalya; Tamina wins.
- WWE Intercontinental Championship: Apollo Crews w/ Commander Azeez VS Kevin Owens; Apollo wins and retains the title.
- Rey & Dominik Mysterio VS The Alpha Academy; Rey & Dominik win.
PLAY BY PLAY
SmackDown opens with Cesaro!
But before he can even speak, Seth Rollins makes his way out! The Architect has a mic and says, “There he is, the man of the hour! ZAZARO! Give it up, ThunderDome!” But in all sincerity, Cesaro, Rollins is here to congratulate him! Cesaro finally did it! He finally fulfilled his potential! And do you know why? He knows, right? If he doesn’t, Rollins will tell him: Cesaro was in the ring at WrestleMania with Seth Freakin’ Rollins, the NEW Mr. WrestleMania! Rollins took Cesaro from waaaay down at the bottom, and brought him up to the match of his life and into the promised land! So where’s Rollins’ thanks? His adulation? Because he hasn’t heard a thing!
What we have heard is that Cesaro wants to move on from Rollins? Cesaro has his sights set on the Universal Championship? Seriously? Rollins said it once, he’ll say it again: “This isn’t over, because nothing is over until I say that it’s over!!” So Rollins will tell Cesaro something about WrestleMania: If Mother Nature and God Himself hadn’t given us a rain delay that threw Rollins way off, Cesaro wouldn’t have stood a chance! All things being fair and equal, Rollins on his worst night and Cesaro on his best, Cesaro couldn’t beat Rollins.
Is that so? Then is Rollins having a good day? Cesaro’s having a great day. And what would make it better is Rollins getting in the ring so Cesaro can prove he can beat him. So that’s a challenge then? Maybe Rollins should use tonight to teach Cesaro a lesson! But here comes Jey Uso first! Jey says Cesaro needs to listen to Rollins. Cesaro challenged the Head of the Table, and got brushed off, because he doesn’t deserve to be in the ring with Roman! Cesaro can’t beat Roman, Jey or Rollins! Jey is gonna do the same to Cesaro! He’ll show Cesaro tonight! But Rollins tells Jey that if he goes in there, Cesaro has the high ground. They can work together, surround Cesaro and strike.
Jey and Rollins are in agreement and Cesaro is ready for a fight. But before the 2v1 gets underway, DANIEL BRYAN appears! The Goat won’t let the Swiss Cyborg fight this alone, especially if it has something to do with Roman Reigns and his crew! Bryan gets a mic and asks where Rollins and Jey are going. Oh, of course They weren’t here for the reasons they said they did. Cesaro is here because he wants a title match with Roman. Rollins came out because he is embarrassed and upset that Cesaro beat him at Mania! And Jey came out probably because Roman told him to. Bryan is here because… OH, right! He’s here to make sure Cesaro finally gets what he deserves!
So there’s a reason Bryan hasn’t done this for Rollins or Jey. Bryan has infinite respect for Cesaro because Cesaro has worked harder than everyone! Harder than Bryan, or Rollins, or Jey, and certainly harder than Roman! The only reason Roman is where he is today is because of family connections and Cesaro hasn’t gotten a single break his entire career for a world title! Oh, does Rollins disagree? Then what now? Are Rollins and Jey going to fight them over the things Bryan said? Is Roman going to accept the challenge from Cesaro?!? Oh, probably not. He doesn’t like to wrestle.
But Bryan has it figured out: Roman will come out and then the three of them will attack Bryan and Cesaro. Well if it’s 3v2, there’s no one he’d rather be beside than Cesaro! Whoever wants to fight, come on out! Rollins claims he has nothing to do with this, but here comes Roman after all! He and Special Counsel, Paul Heyman, walk down the ramp and Jey stands by Roman’s side as the #RightHandMan. Roman gets a mic and he says, “DB, you out here talking about hard work? C’mon, man. You should be talking about that work I put on you at WrestleMania.” And what’s sad is that Roman said what would happen: smash ’em, stack ’em, pin ’em. He says it, it happens, they make a shirt.
And look! Bryan’s on the bottom! That means Bryan is a loser! And the fact that Cesaro is letting a loser talk for him makes Cesaro a loser. But these two aren’t losers to everyone. To fans, they’re legit. But to Roman, they’re top tier losers! Main event losers! Main event at WrestleMania losers. Cesaro is like a casino loser, a loser with bad luck. A stupid loser. Bryan is talking smack when he’s surrounded by people who want to whoop his ass. Good luck with that. Roman takes his leave, so it’s still 2v2! Will Rollins help out Roman’s Right Hand Man after the break?
Daniel Bryan & Cesaro VS Seth Rollins & Jey Uso!
SmackDown returns, and playa, we are getting a tag match! Or rather, a brawl! Cesaro is after Rollins, Bryan gives Jey YES Kicks, but Jey hits back! Cesaro throws EuroUppers and chases Rollins out of the ring. The ref gets things sorted out just a bit, and Bryan lets off long enough for the bell! Bryan hits Jey in a corner, snap BUTTERFLY suplexes, then covers, TWO! Bryan wrenches, tags Cesaro, and they double scoop SLAM Jey down! Cesaro drops an elbow, covers, TWO! Cesaro DECKS Rollins off the apron, then drags Jey up. Cesaro suplexes Jey and holds him up for a count of 10! And then 15! Then he slams Jey down! Cover, TWO!
Cesaro grabs at Jey, brings him away from Rollins, but Jey hits back! Rollins tags in but Cesaro knees and EuroUppers! And throws off more hands! The ref counts, Cesaro ROCKS Rollins then whips him corner to corner. Rollins dodges, comes back and SLINGBLADES! Cover, TWO! Rollins clubs Cesaro down, rains down furious fists, then stomps him in the stomach! Rollins gets Cesaro up, bumps him off buckles, and tags Jey in. Jey and Rollins mug Cesaro, then Jey runs in to HIP ATTACK! Cesaro flounders, Jey throws clubbing crossface forearms, then stomps him in the side. Cesaro throws body shots, Jey ROCKS him with haymakers!
Jey drags Cesaro over, tags Rollins in, and Rollins runs to drop a knee onto Cesaro’s head! Rollins keeps Cesaro from Bryan with a chinlock, and he grinds Cesaro down. Cesaro reaches out for Bryan as fans rally on their screens. Cesaro fights up, throws body shots, but Rollins kicks low. Rollins whips, Cesaro reverses but runs into a boot! Rollins goes up but leaps into a tilt-o-whirl BACKBREAKER! Hot tag to Bryan! Bryan goes up top and leaps to missile dropkick! Bryan dropkicks Jey off the apron then unleashes YES Kicks on Rollins from all sides! Bryan powers up, but Rollins ducks the buzzsaw to PELE- Into an ANKLE LOCK!
Rollins flails and reaches but Bryan reels him in, GERMAN SUPELX! Bridging cover, TWO! Bryan keeps his focus and he aims from a corner. Rollins gets up and Bryan takes aim, but Rollins catches the Knee Plus! Jey tags in before the BUCKLE BOMB, and adds on an USO SPLASH! Cover, Cesaro breaks it in time!! Rollins and Jey mug Cesaro, throw him out, and Rollins pursues to keep after him. Jey joins in, and they double suplex Cesaro to the floor! The Architect and “Main Event” Jey have control of this opening match as SmackDown goes to break!
SmackDown returns and Rollins bends Bryan against ropes and apron! Jey talks trash, the ref counts and Rollins CLUBS Bryan in the chest at 4! Rollins drags Bryan back to the apron to run and BOOT him! Cover, TWO! Rollins seethes as he circles Bryan like a vulture. Rollins glares at Cesaro and talks trash, but Cesaro keeps cool. Bryan sits up but Rollins clamps onto his chin and hair. The ref counts, Rollins gets Bryan up for a DREAM SMASHER ELBOW! Cover, TWO! Rollins tries again, TWO! Rollins tags Jey, they mug Bryan with a stiff kick from Jey, and then Jey stomps Bryan’s stomach! And again!
Jey gets Bryan up to ROCK him with an uppercut! Rollins mocks Bryan about his neck, Jey digs his boot into Bryan’s face, and the ref counts. Jey lets off, but Rollins gets his claws in! The ref storms over, Rollins lets off, Bryan throws hands on Jey! Bryan DECKS Rollins, but turns around into a SAMOAN DROP! Cover, TWO! Bryan is still in this but Jey is seething. Jey drags Bryan over and tags in Rollins. They mug Bryan with stomps but the fans rally with “YES! YES!” fingers. Bryan gets up, Rollins bumps him off buckles. Rollins digs his knee in, the ref counts and Rollins lets off. Rollins says Bryan disrespected him by saying Cesaro works harder than him!
Rollins whips Bryan corner to corner but Bryan goes up and over and keeps moving! Bryan ducks and dodges, DOUBLE CROSSBODIES collide! Both men are down, they head for their corners, hot tags to Jey and Cesaro! The Swiss Superman flies in with EuroUpper after EuroUpper! Cesaro throws body shots, more EuroUppers, and then runs to DISCUS! Cover, TWO! Jey survives but Cesaro isn’t deterred! Cesaro gets Jey up for a SPINEBUSTER, and then has the legs! Jey scrambles to get a ropebreak, and he kicks Cesaro away! Cesaro blocks a kick and spins Jey but gets the DRAGON WHIP! Cesaro dodges the clothesline to springboard FLYING UPPERCUT! Cover, TWO!
Cesaro gets Jey right up, reels him in, but Jey back drops! Cesaro lands on his feet to POP-UP UPPER! Cover, Rollins breaks it! Bryan goes after Rollins but Rollins knees low. Rollins runs in but is tossed out! Bryan builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit at the ramp! Jey CLOBBERS Cesaro out of the ring! Jey builds speed, but DIVES into an uppercut! Cesaro hurries to the corner and to the top rope, and leaps into a SUPERKICK!! All four men are down and the fans are going nuts as SmackDown goes to break!
SmackDown returns again and Cesaro brawls with Rollins! Cesaro gets the edge with a strike fest but Rollins knees low! Rollins turns Cesaro but no Dream Smasher! Cesaro trips Rollins but Rollins twists for a victory roll, TWO! Rollins runs but into another takedown! Cesaro steps through for a SHARPSHOOTER! Rollins endures, Jey gets in and he SUPERKICKS Cesaro from behind! Cesaro is down, Rollins crawls for his corner, hot tag to Jey! Jey climbs a corner while Rollins walks it off, but Cesaro EuroUppers Jey down! Wait, is Rollins just walking away? Jey sees that and Rollins shouts, “I don’t need this! I’m Seth Freakin’ Rollins!” Cesaro gets Jey up for a DEAD LIFT SUPERPLEX!
Hot tag to Bryan! Bryan aims at Jey, KNEE PLUS! Cover, Bryan & Cesaro win!
Winners: Daniel Bryan & Cesar, by pinfall
Cesaro celebrates with Bryan as they win one hell of a fight! Bryan gets a mic to call out “RO~MAN~! Oh, RO~MAN~!” Didn’t he say something about someone coming to get them and whooping them or whatever? Is Roman going to do the whooping? Is he even here? Jey goes after Cesaro but gets caught for a SWISS SWING! And they said Bryan was stupid? Cesaro spins Jey for at least 15 counts! Maybe 20! 25? 30?! Who knows! But what if this happens to Roman? EUROUPPER! “So here’s the thing, Cesaro, I don’t know if Roman’s coming out to accept your challenge.” Maybe Roman is afraid!
Cesaro gets a mic to say they’re waiting. Guess this shows what kind of champion Roman is! He wouldn’t even save his own cousin! Is he not a family man? Well that shows what kind if man Roman is. Here’s one last test. Swing Jey some more! Then maybe Roman comes out to save him. Will it work? “YES! YES! YES!” Cesaro gets Jey again for another SWISS SWING! Jey goes for another 10, 15, 20, and Bryan says Jey’s saved Roman all this time, why wouldn’t Roman do the same? In total, that’s 60! Aw, Roman didn’t show. “Oh no, Roman. Are you afraid?”
Bryan knows Roman couldn’t beat Kevin Owens without Jey’s help, or beat Bryan without Edge, or Edge without Jey. And that means Roman can’t beat Cesaro! And the reason why Roman won’t come out is because he’s afraid that if Cesaro faced him 1v1 for the Universal Championship, Cesaro will be the NEW Universal Champion!! Fans agree, “YES! YES! YES!” but will Roman say yes to a title match just to prove us all wrong?
Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville talk backstage.
They’ve never seen this side of Cesaro or Daniel Bryan. And those points are all valid. But Head of the Table is- Apollo Crews and Commander Azeez barge in! Sonya leaves this to Pearce and Apollo asks what this nonsense is! He has to defend his title tonight?! Apollo won at WrestleMania and we all know Big E does not deserve a rematch. Does Pearce think Apollo was kidding last week? If Apollo has to face Big E again, Azeez will give him another Nigerian Nail and send him back to the sidelines. Yes, Big E will eventually get his rematch, either against Apollo or Apollo’s opponent tonight, Kevin Owens. Will the Nigerian Prince make the Prizefighter pay for Pearce’s decision?
Backstage interview with Jey Uso.
Kayla asks how he feels after Rollins ditched him in the tag match, and how Cesaro swung him so many times. He’s about to throw up! He doesn’t care about Rollins or Cesaro, he’s had it with the disrespect! If Cesaro steps up, he’ll get put down!
Nia Jax w/ Shayna Baszler & Reginald VS Tamina w/ Natalya!
The Irresistible Force has her sommelier boy toy back in her corner, and the Queen of Spades isn’t happy about it. But will Shayna be in a better mood when Nia takes care of Tamina and ties the series?
SmackDown returns as the Daughter of Superfly and the Queen of Harts enter. The bell rings and Tamina circles with Nia. They tie up and Nia powers Tamina right to a corner! Nia rams her shoulder in over an dover, then lets off to headbutt! Nia whips Tamina corner to corner, and runs in to corner SPLASH! Tamina flounders, Nia drags her up to headbutt again! Nia pushes Tamina around, talks trash, and says, “I do this for you! You made me come to your show!” Tamina fires off forearms! Nia shoves her, Tamina THESZ PRESS! Tamina rains down furious fists, keeps on her with forearms, and won’t let her get up!
Tamina ROCKS Nia, and Shayna grabs at her! The ref reprimands, Tamina tries to scoop but Nia elbows her away! Tamina shouts at Shayna, then stomps Nia at the ropes! Nia bails out, Tamina is after her and throws her into barriers! Natty glares at Shayna to keep her back, Tamina dares Shayna to do something as she DRIBBLES Nia against barriers! Tamina drags Nia, puts her in, and storms over. Reggie is up on the apron, Tamina swipes at him! Shayna tells Reggie to stop, Tamina KICKS Shayna! Nia CLOBBERS Tamina but Shayna is pissed! Shayna blames Reggie, and he is scared. Reggie falls on the steel steps and Nia is distracted. Nia turns around, into a SUPERKICK!
Tamina rolls Nia up, gets her deep for the cover, and WINS!
Winner: Tamina, by pinfall
Nia is stunned, Shayna is beside herself, and Reggie just wants to make sure Nia is okay. Nia tries not to explode on her team, but Natty says this is what you get when you mess with the bone breaker, title taker, statement maker duo that she and Tamina are! Will Natty & Tamina do all that and more as we head for #WrestleManiaBacklash?
Backstage interview with Kevin Owens.
The Prizefighter could again be WWE Intercontinental Champion, and it’s been years since his last match for this title. He’s been waiting for so long, to say he’s thrilled is an understatement. Kevin will even go so far as to say he’s delighted! And surprised, because he didn’t expect this. He won’t turn it down, because there are a lot of people who want to get the belt of Apollo. Kevin will gladly be the one to knock Apollo off his royal perch. But then Big E come sin and laughs. Big E explains that what Kevin means to say is he is jumping the line, because he is a “habitual line jumper.” Oh, well maybe a couple years ago… Because we all know this is actually Big E’s match, and his title?
OH, because of WrestleMania? Well, Big E might be right. He probably should get this. Probably? Alright, totally. But guess what? The rematch isn’t tonight. Tonight is Kevin’s opportunity! And it’s next! So Kevin is going to go win the belt, and he will have fun because then it’ll be HIS title. Kevin and Big E “share” a laugh, but who will have the last laugh over the Intercontinental Championship?
Daniel Bryan meets with Adam Pearce.
Bryan wants Pearce to make the Roman VS Cesaro title match, since we all know Cesaro deserves it. Yes, but we also know it’s not that simple. Pearce doesn’t just snap his fingers and make it happen. But he will try to get Cesaro that match. Do more than “try.” Bryan leaves, but will Pearce pull through for him and Cesaro?
WWE Intercontinental Championship: Apollo Crews w/ Commander Azeez VS Kevin Owens!
The Nigerian Prince doesn’t like that he must defend this title so soon after winning it, but admittedly this title has been known for workhorses and fighting champions. Will the Prizefighter #StunTheWorld and have this title back after years of being away? Or will he simply feel the steel?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and a prize is on the line between two certified fighters!
Kevin and Apollo circle, tie up, and go around. Apollo puts Kevin in a corner but Kevin turns it around. The ref counts, they move off the ropes and separate. They go again, Kevin trips Apollo and has a standing toehold. Apollo keeps his shoulders up but Kevin drops on him for a headlock. Azeez watches like a hawk as Apollo works on getting up. Kevin says Apollo is grabbing at clothing. He eggs Apollo on, Apollo fights his way up, and Apollo powers up only for Kevin to hit a headlock takeover! Kevin makes it a cover, ONE as Apollo gets his shoulders back up. Kevin grinds Apollo, Apollo works on an escape, and he rolls to a cover, ONE!
Kevin lets Apollo go to kick low and get another headlock! Kevin grinds Apollo again, but Apollo fights back up. Apollo powers out, Kevin rams shoulders but Apollo stays up, so Kevin dropkicks him down! Kevin CHOPS Apollo in a corner, follows him around the way and CHOPS again! Apollo fires a forearm but Kevin gives him five back! The ref counts, Kevin lets off but Apollo kicks low! Apollo headlocks now, Kevin powers out and things speed up. Kevin clobbers Apollo with an elbow then drops a back senton! Azeez doesn’t like this as Kevin clotheslines Apollo out! Kevin builds speed, but Azeez stands in the way! Kevin says if that’s how it’ll be, he’ll step outside. But Apollo trips him!
Apollo gets Kevin in the ring, drags him back up, and snap suplexes! Cover, ONE!! Apollo drops ax handles and drags Kevin up by his beard. Apollo throws down sharp hands into Kevin’s forehead! Kevin gets to ropes, Apollo throws haymakers and stomps him into the corner! The ref counts, Apollo lets off, and Apollo drags Kevin back up. Apollo throws Kevin out of the ring, follows him out, and whips, but Kevin reverses! Apollo goes up to the apron, MOONSAULT! But Kevin gets clear and SUPERKICKS Apollo down! Kevin puts Apollo in the ring, goes up top, SWANTON BOMB!! Cover, TWO!! Apollo lives, and here comes Sami!?
The Great Liberator wants to be the perennial agitator for Kevin as he heads down the ring! Sami might even join commentary, as SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns, Kevin has Apollo up top, but the two brawl as Kevin climbs! Kevin ROCKS Apollo, reaches the top, and Sami is on commentary. Sami is claiming conspiracy again because, though he was scheduled to join commentary for this match, he gets the cheap headset and a folding chair. Apollo resists the superplex to throw body shots and a headbutt! Kevin teeters but stays up top to hit back. The brawling continues, Kevin throws an elbow to then get Apollo up! Apollo still resists, throws fast body shots and another headbutt! Kevin stays up a little longer but a third headbutt sends him down! Sami says that’s what Kevin deserves!
Apollo adjusts, Kevin gets up, but Apollo leaps up and over Kevin! Apollo runs back in, but into Kevin’s SUPERKICK! Cover, TWO!! Apollo survives, Kevin is a bit frustrated, but Kevin goes to a corner. Sami says he doesn’t really like Apollo right now either, because Sami still believes this title rightfully belongs to him. Kevin goes after Apollo with a CHOP, then whips, but Apollo reverses to FLAPJACK HOTSHOT Kevin! And LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! Apollo is growing angry but he stalks Kevin as he gets up. Apollo reels Kevin in but Kevin throws back elbows. Kevin whips, Apollo holds ropes and BOOTS back! And ENZIGURI!
Apollo hurries to GERMAN SUPLEX! Apollo holds on, Sami cheers him on as he hits another GERMAN SUPLEX! Apollo holds on and hits the third GERMAN SUPLEX! Cover, TWO!! Kevin survives and Apollo is furious! Apollo sneers and catches his breath to then fire himself up. Kevin is in a corner, Apollo runs in but misses the splash! Kevin comes back to GERMAN SUPLEX Apollo in return! Apollo flounders to a corner, Kevin runs in to CANNONBALL! Azeez grows worried as Kevin hits another CANNONBALL! Kevin drags Apollo to a cover, TWO!! Sami claims that was a fast count. Michael Cole says Sami is back of the line for this title, by the way.
Kevin stalks Apollo, kicks, but no stunner! Apollo lifts but Kevin counters the Olympic Slam with an arm-drag! Kevin kicks, but still no stunner! SUPERKICK! Kevin gets Apollo back up for a POP-UP POWERBOMB!! Cover, TWO!!! Apollo survives and Sami says that was another rushed count. Kevin goes to a corner, climbs up top again, but Azeez helps Apollo get out! Apollo is on the floor, so Kevin goes to the apron for the FROG SPLASH!! Azeez panics a bit as Kevin puts Apollo in! Azeez gets on the apron to grab at Kevin, Kevin gets away, but Apollo rolls Kevin up! APOLLO WINS!
Winner: Apollo Crews, by pinfall (still WWE Intercontinental Champion)
Kevin gives Apollo a STUNNER! But Azeez gets Kevin for the NIGERIAN NAIL!! Sami says, “You love to see it!” Sami says that was so good, ignoring that Apollo’s bodyguard helped him retain the title. Will Azeez continue to guard Apollo’s treasure? Sami gets in the ring to dance like a fool over Kevin, but will any of this help Sami get back to “his” title?
Backstage interview with Paul Heyman.
Will Roman accept Cesaro’s challenge tonight? The Special Counsel says Kayla is as probing as she is beautiful. But Roman accepting the challenge? Heyman admits he likes Cesaro, appreciates Cesaro and respects Cesaro, admires Cesaro, and in a purely professional sense, loves Cesaro (despite everything he said last week). How could you not? Cesaro made a name for himself with just one name! Like Drake, Madonna, and Elvis! Cesaro mi bueno amigo, Cesaro ichiban! Of all the Cesaros in the world, WWE’s Cesaro is Heyman’s favorite. So will Roman accept the challenge? Well, customer satisfaction is number one on the Island of Relevancy.
So let’s give a predict- No! Let’s give a spoiler. “By the end of tonight, right here live on SmackDown, everyone in the Tribe will hear from their Chief, and he shall give you all his answer to the challenge, an answer direct from Roman Reigns.” Heyman says he’s proud of Kayla’s work, then heads out. But will the answer to the challenge be to everyone’s liking? Or just to Roman’s?
Backstage interview with Apollo Crews.
Megan Morant gets word from him, the very happy Intercontinental Champion. Azeez is cleaning the tears of Kevin Owens off of the royal lance. Apollo asks if WWE vetted Megan, he doesn’t just talk to anyone. But he wants her to listen. That is the sound of his ancestors celebrating Apollo as he sucked the hope out of Kevin Owens and leaving him angled in the ring! Because who knew that hope could be cracked just like a bone? And let that sound stop anyone foolish enough to daydream about the title! But then BIG E attacks! Big E roughs up Apollo and throws him into road cases!
Referees and officials hurry over and drag Big E away, but he shouts, “You thought I was done with your ass?! You think I’m done with you?! I ain’t done with you yet!” Azeez shows up a moment too late, but he is furious over what Big E did to his leader! Will Azeez put one last Nigerian Nail in Big E’s coffin?
Aleister Black speaks!
Candles light a darkened room, and Aleister sits in a chair. “Most people aren’t honest with you. So I’m going to open a vein because I want you to know the truth.” Aleister opens a book, Tales of the Dark Father, to the first chapter: The Dragon. “I attended many funerals as a child. Father would bring me to these celebrations of life and death. He could do with me because I was too little to understand. But as I grew older, father became older and more distant. And that’s when it started to become apparent: I was not taught how to defeat the dragon; I was taught how to become the dragon.
“Because father was right, I could never be like you weak-minded fools. You, gawking at the screen right now. You are the monsters, and I am nothing like you. And I would never help you. You are the ones who revealed the true, rotten nature of man. With your lies and your deceit, you transform your own children into bigger monsters than you are. What you do is vile, and it should be condemned. Like rotting crops, you should be scorched from the earth, to make room for more… fertile things.” Will Aleister be the one to burn away the chaff?
Backstage interview with Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode.
The Dirty Dawgs are still SmackDown Tag Team Champions after going 2v2 with the Street Profits. But tonight, Rey & Dominik Mysterio take on The Alpha Academy, so who do the champs think will win? Rey is one of the greatest of all time, he and Ziggler tore it down for the Intercontinental Championship. But Dom has big shoes to fill. So letting bygones be bygones with Otis, Ziggler votes for the Alphas. Then who is next to face the champions for the titles? It doesn’t matter who’s next, they’ll-
But here come the Profits, and says that you have to hand it to the champs for getting away with underhanded tactics. But when Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins were champs, they kept getting bugged by Ziggler & Roode for shots. So how about the Profits get next? What? This is takeback season, so take your asses to the back of the line! The Profits and the Dawgs get face to face but Bayley interjects here and says they can cut the tension with a knife. Bayley says some people just don’t get it, huh?
The Dawgs and Profits let off and DING DONG, HELLO~! Bayley is the ultimate Role Model, longest reigning SmackDown Women’s Champion, and is here to dish on her opponent at WrestleMania Backlash, “the ungrateful rookie,” Bianca Belair! When Bianca first came to SmackDown, Bayley saw how scared she was and being so sweet, she took Bianca’s hand and gave her the chance to work with her! They took the training wheels off, Bianca made history at WrestleMania, and is now champion! And did Bayley get a thank you? NO! Bianca is rude, selfish, spoiled and will regret ever treating Bayley like that!
At WrestleMania Backlash, Bayley will take back what is hers: the title, and the top spot in the division SHE built! Go tell Bianca that! Well, Ford is right here so he has Bianca on the phone. Bayley is really talking up a storm., Who? Bayley. Y’know, THE Bayley. Oh? Well Bianca will be right there. Bayley’s fine with that. She’ll say all this to Bianca’s face!
SmackDown returns and Bianca is here!
So Bayley can say all that to her face now. Oh Bianca doesn’t think she’ll repeat herself? Bayley will. No she won’t. Bayley says she was just saying she wanted to congratulate Bianca on making history at WrestleMania, and she is honored to be her first challenger. Bianca really showed the WWE that Bianca IS the EST. Bayley keeps replaying the match in her mind and how she picked up Sasha and walked up stairs, wow. It will be an honor to face her at WrestleMania Backlash. That’s it. Bianca is surprised by that, but then Bayley adds one more thing: Bayley LAUGHS in Bianca’s face for her even remotely believing her! Will Bianca get the last laugh when she faces the Role Model one more time?
After attacking Apollo Crews backstage, Big E’s title shot is happening NEXT WEEK! Will Big E get his revenge for WrestleMania 37? Or will Apollo crush what is left of Big E’s spirit for the pride of his ancestors?
Rey & Dominik Mysterio VS The Alpha Academy!
Father and son still want to win those SmackDown Tag Team Championships together, but they have a big obstacle in their way! Will they be able to get past Chad Gable and his star pupil, Otis?
The teams sort out, Gable starts with Dom, but Otis wants in! Gable obliges and tags Otis in, and Otis shoves Dom to then bulldoze him over! Otis gets Dom up fast for a scoop and SLAM! Otis runs to then FLOP as Dom moves! Dom throws haymakers, runs, but Otis CLOBBERS him! Otis is fired up and Gable cheers him on as he paces around Dom. Otis drags Dom up, scoops him again, and carries Dom around just to rub it in, before he hits a POWERSLAM! Otis tells “Rey Rey” that Dom’s “gettin’ this load!” Otis goes to a corner, but Rey gets Dom out! Otis bails out and runs around the way to CLOBBER both Mysterios! Gable hurries over to get Rey up for a GUTBUSTER!
Otis puts Dom in the ring, Gable and Otis are fired up, and SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns again as Gable goes after Dom’s arm again and again! Cover, TWO! Gable gets Dom up, whips him to ropes, but Dom dodges to hit Otis! The ref has to keep Otis back, Dom gets Gable for a victory roll! ONE, and Gable TIGER SUPLEXES! Bridging cover, TWO! Dom escapes but Gable DECKS Rey! Gable gets Dom up, tags Otis, and they mug Dom with body shots! Gable shoves Dom down, Otis glares at Rey, and Otis drags Dom away from Rey to whip and CLOBBER him again! Otis drags Otis up for another fast scoop SLAM! And a big elbow drop! Gable says, “That’s my number one guy!” Otis drags Dom back up, whips him to a corner, then runs in to RAM his shoulder in!
Otis keeps throwing in shoulders, Gable tags in and Gable throws in shoulders! Otis tags in, he taunts Rey, and then runs in to SPLASH Dom down! Gable tags in, covers, TWO! Gable clamps onto Dom’s arm and grinds him down. Fans rally as Dom endures, and Gable grinds the arm. Gable gets Dom up, Dom throws body shots, and then runs. Gable hits a BELLY2BELLY! And rolls through to BELLY2BELLY! Gable keeps going, shifts Dom around to then GERMAN – Dom lands on his feet! Dom FLAPJACK HOTSHOTS Gable down! Both men flounder, Dom tags in Rey! Rey dodges, fires off forearms on Gable, then whips but Gable reverses.
Rey kicks, whips, and follows Gable to tilt-o-whirl headscissor! Then he hops on for a SUNSET BOMB! Cover, TWO!! Rey keeps his cool, gets Gable up and whips him to a corner. Gable reverses, runs in, but Rey drops to send Gable into the POST! Rey gets up top, but Gable throat chops! Gable climbs up, fireman’s carries, and pops Rey up, but Rey SUPER STEINERS! Cover, TWO!! Gable survives, but Rey tags Dom in! The Mysterios get Gabler up to whip and toss to the apron! Rey slides under to trip Gable, Dom runs to slide and SUNSET BOMB Gable into barriers! Dom puts Gable in, tags Rey back in, and Rey DECKS Otis!
Dom and Rey whip Gable again, drop toehold onto ropes! Dom PLANCHAS but Otis catches him! Dom slips off to send Otis into the announce desk! Rey hits 619 on Gable! Rey goes up top and hits a FROG SPLASH! Cover, The Mysterios win!
Winners: The Mysterios, by pinfall
The Alphas are seething, but they got outsmarted by Rey & Dom! And now, Bryan and Cesaro make their way out, one part to congratulate the Mysterios, and the other to hear Roman’s answer in person! Will the Mysterios head for those SmackDown Tag Team Championships? Will Cesaro get his Universal Championship opportunity, too?
SmackDown returns once more, with Bryan and Cesaro in the ring.
Cesaro has the mic to say, “Alright, Roman. I’m out here. We’re all waiting to hear your answer.” He and Bryan wait but get impatient. Roman can either come out here and give us the answer, or they can go back there and get their answer. Roman’s choice. Finally, Roman’s music hits again! The Head of the Table walks out with Heyman and Jey by his side again. Roman leads the way down to the ring, and he gets right in Cesaro’s face as he says, “You’re going to challenge me? You? You’re going to challenge me? Who’re you? What do you think you’ve done to be in the ring with me? You don’t deserve it. You hadn’t earned it! I’m the Tribal Chief around here! The Head of the Table!” The answer is no and it will always be no, because Cesaro will never be on Roman’s level.
The Universal Champion issues the challenges around here. And the challenge… is to Daniel Bryan?! Roman doesn’t like Bryan, never has, and will never like him. But he gives Bryan one last shot at this title. Take a hard look because this is as close as Bryan’s ever going to get. Next week on SmackDown, Bryan gets his last opportunity. What does he have to say? Bryan hesitates, but Cesaro says Bryan has to take this! Bryan takes the mic, but Roman says first, Bryan needs to know this. If, or rather when Bryan loses, Roman never wants to see Bryan again. Bryan needs to vanish from Roman’s show ever again. No more floating around SmackDown ever again, understand? Bryan accepts that challenge!
Roman holds the belt up and says they’ll never have this. It will always be his. The Goat either becomes champion, or stops being a SmackDown superstar! Which way does the Tribal Chief’s challenge break on a big fight Friday night?
This was a very good episode, with a very interesting way of arranging the matches. I’ll say right now that next week is going to be big with two titles on the line. We got a great promo segment to open SmackDown that transitioned smoothly into an awesome match that then transitioned just as smoothly into a second great promo segment. I am surprised that Cesaro isn’t taking a full detour back to Rollins, but they do have a clever way of delaying Roman VS Cesaro. Roman using his sway as champion to say no to Cesaro and of course give a match to someone he’s already beaten, controversial or not, is of course what he’d do. Roman VS Bryan is going to be an awesome match but naturally Roman will find a way to win again, so that Roman and Cesaro can battle at some point later.
Having the WWE Intercontinental Championship as the main event was a bit of a surprise, too, but it did allow for Apollo and Kevin to have room to breathe and put on a great match. Of course Azeez gets involved in his own way, a bit of a copy-pasta from some of the stuff AJ Styles and Omos have done, but in a vacuum, it was a way for Apollo to win without it really hurting Kevin. Sami doing those obnoxious dance moves over Kevin was hilarious, and I suppose of all the possible (and inevitable) rematches from WrestleMania for Backlash, Kevin VS Sami one more time will be another crowd pleaser. Sami will likely win at Backlash since he’s been on the receiving end of much of his, and they can have yet another rematch at Extreme Rules, perhaps under Extreme Rules.
The Women’s Tag Team Champions and Natty-Tamina are definitely headed for a WrestleMania rematch. It was quite the surprise for Reginald to return in quite a wild looking suit, but they’re oddly back on track for what I was expecting: Reggie is going to drive a wedge between Nia and Shayna, that is why they lose the belts, and they’ll have a big rivalry going while Natty & Tamina give SmackDown a turn with the titles. Too bad Vince let go of some great candidates for teams, like Billie Kay, who could’ve surely found a way to make something of her partnership with Carmella. Maybe someone backstage wizens up and hires some of these free agents back.
We got good stuff in the interview promos, too. the Profits getting in the faces of the Dirty Dawgs keeps their feud alive, but I would really like to see if WrestleMania Backlash gave the tag title opportunity to Rey & Dom, just to see what comes of it. Dom is getting there, being with his dad, Ziggler and Roode can definitely carry him to a big moment. And Bayley being two-faced but then immediately obnoxious to Bianca’s face properly brings back the feud heat they had from before Bianca was challenging Sasha, and their match at Backlash is going to be really good. Bianca solidifying her reign over Bayley is great for her, she could go on one of the greatEST runs since Bayley’s.
My Score: 8.4/10
Mitchell’s NJPW New Years Golden Series Results & Report! (1/20/22)
So much more than a dash!
NJPW starts on a new journey!
NJPW starts a month long journey that will culminate in an IWGP World Heavyweight Championship match of Kazuchika Okada VS Tetsuya Naito!
- Great-O-Khan VS Yuto Nakashima; Khan wins.
- Hiromu Takahashi VS Ryohei Oiwa; Hiromu wins.
- Togi Makabe & Tiger Mask VS Taiji Ishimori & Jado; Makabe & Tiger Mask win.
- Six Man Tag: Tomoaki Honma, Satoshi Kojima & Toru Yano VS Suzuki-Gun; Honma, Kojima & Yano win.
- Six Man Tag: Master Wato, Ryusuke Taguchi & Hiroyoshi Tenzan VS Suzuki-Gun; Wato, Taguchi & Tenzan wins.
- 8 Man Tag: Chaos VS House of Torture; Chaos wins.
- Six Man Tag: Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Yuji Nagata VS Los Ingobernables de Japon; LIJ wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Six Man Tag: Tomoaki Honma, Satoshi Kojima & Toru Yano VS Suzuki-Gun!
It’s a Great Bash Heels reunion as Everyone’s Kokeshi, Bread Style and The Producer are taking on Taka Michinoku, Taichi and the Meanest Man in the World himself! Yano wants to get the KOPW 2022 trophy, but will he even survive Suzuki at the start of this series?
Yano gets impatient during Suzuki-Gun’s entrance, seems he doesn’t hold the same reverence for the theme song as fans do. Suzuki and his team wait for the introductions to finish, and then the attack! Taka is after Kojima, Taichi chokes Honma in a corner, and Suzuki stomps Yano! The bell rings to get this on record, and while Taka throws Kojima out and Suzuki sends Yano out, Taichi keeps on Honma in the corner. Suzuki throws body shots on Yano, then uses his own spray bottle against him! The ref reprimands Taichi and Taichi stops choking Honma to argue with the ref. Honma kicks back but Taichi kicks, and Taichi gets the edge.
Taichi snapmares to KICK Honma in the back. Honma gets up to forearm but Taichi kicks his leg. Forearm, kick, forearm, kick, repeat! Taichi gets the edge again, eggs Honma up, then chokes him! The ref reprimands, Honma breaks free! Taichi tells him to shut it and sobats! Taichi runs, but Honma dodges the boot to run Taichi over! Fans fire up with Honma as he runs, but he waits for Taichi to roll out of the way before he drops the KOKESHI! Kokeshi gets the better of Taichi, and then tags in Yano! Yano fires up and he goes to the corner to untie the pad! Taichi tags out to Suzuki and Yano turns around to face a nightmare!
Suzuki kicks, whips, but Yano holds ropes and dodges the boot to SLAP Suzuki! Yano whips, Suzuki reverses and Yano hits bare buckles! Suzuki boots Yano, snapmares and PENALTY KICKS! Taichi and Taka go after Honma and Kojima while Suzuki drags Yano out. Suzuki sends Yano into railing, then smacks him off the apron! Taichi and Taka do the same to the others, then Suzuki goes looking under the ring. Suzuki drags Yano up, wraps his arm around railing, and cranks on the arm! Suzuki even claws Yano’s forehead and fish hooks the nose! The ring count starts, Suzuki leaves Yano behind and fans rally up.
The count is 10 of 20 and Taichi taunts Yano while he’s on the floor. Taichi stomps Yano, Yano still gets up at 17 and in at 18. Suzuki powers Yano to a cover, TWO! Fans rally, Suzuki tags Taka. Taka stomps Yano, sits him up and digs his knuckles into the forehead! The ref reprimands and counts, Taka lets off with the other hand! The ref reprimands more, counts again, and Taka lets off to scrape his soles on Yano’s face! Taka puts Yano in the corner, throws an uppercut, then tags Taichi. Taichi chokes Yano! The ref reprimands and counts, Taichi stops at 4. Taichi drags Yano up to snapmare and CHOKE! The ref notices and reprimands Taichi again!
Taichi lets off, but then he chokes Yano again! The ref reprimands, so Taichi says that’s not a choke. THIS is a choke! The ref warns Taichi, he lets off, and fans rally up as Taichi drags Yano up by his hair. Taichi feeds Yano to Suzuki’s boot! Suzuki tags in, he stomps away on Yano, then has the leg! Yano has the ropebreak but Taka stands on Yano’s neck! Taichi gets in to intercept Honma and throw him back out! The ref restores order, fans rally up, but Suzuki drags Yano up. Yano rakes eyes! Yano whips Suzuki, Suzuki narrowly avoids hitting bare buckles! Yano runs in but Suzuki dodges and Yano hits buckles!
Suzuki runs, but Yano gets him for an atomic drop! Yano hurries over, fans rally up, hot tag to Kojima! Kojima hits the Suzuki-Gun corner before he stomps Suzuki to a corner. Kojima fires off the MACHINE GUN CHOPS! Suzuki just snarls and turns things around for machine gun forearms! But Kojima turns it back for another round of MACHINE GUN CHOPS! Kojima whips Suzuki into the bare buckles, then hits a forearm smash! Kojima throws Suzuki down, but Suzuki gets right up to kick low! Suzuki brings Kojima out but Kojima fires forearms! But Suzuki knees low! Suzuki wrenches, Kojima kicks, but Suzuki blocks the cutter to a SLEEPER!
Kojima fights up, fights free, but Suzuki talks trash. Kojima CHOPS, so Suzuki CHOPS! Kojima CHOPS, Suzuki CHOPS, it’s a CHOP fight! Kojima gets the edge with forearms, then hits a ROLLING ELBOW! Kojima runs, but Suzuki shoots around to DECK Kojima! Tag to Taka, he DECKS Honma then stomps Kojima. Taka whips Kojima in to the bare buckles! SHINING WIZARD! Taichi adds a corner clothesline, then he runs Kojima to the corner! Snapmare, to a SHINING WIZARD! Cover, Yano and Honma break it! Suzuki and Taichi throw them back out, and Taka drags Kojima up. Taka scoops, but Kojima fights free! COZY CUTTER!
Kojima throws off the armband and runs, but Taka goes the other way to BOOT! And SUPERKICK! Cover, TWO! Kojima survives Taka’s Super K, but Taka runs. Taka ducks the lariat, Kojima throws a low kick but Taka hits a CALF KICK! Kojima still hits COZY LARIAT!! Cover, Great Bash Heels win!
Winners: Tomoaki Honma, Satoshi Kojima & Toru Yano, by pinfall
Suzuki-Gun’s Blue Playmaker fumbles again! And somehow, Yano has cuffed Suzuki to the ropes! Yano dares Suzuki to do something about it, but obviously he can’t without the key. Taichi gets in with his mic stand so the Great Bash Heels take their leave. Will Suzuki be unable to do anything as Yano goes after the KOPW 2022 trophy?
Six Man Tag: Master Wato, Ryusuke Taguchi & Hiroyoshi Tenzan VS Suzuki-Gun!
The Way of the Grandmaster joins forces with his mentors as he takes on Douki, Yoshinobu Kanemaru and El Desperado! Wato is rolling towards the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, but will the Rogue Luchador turn the tides?
The teams sort out and Wato steps up to start against Desperado. Fans rally for this IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship teaser, but Desperado trips Wato. Desperado runs, Wato stays low, but Desperado steps on him! Desperado stands Wato up to CHOP, then whips him to ropes. Wato holds ropes, Desperado runs in but is tossed out! Wato runs to FLY! Direct hit with the tope conjilo! Fans fire up as Wato puts Desperado in, covers, TWO! Desperado sits up, Wato KICKS and KICKS and KICKS! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, Wato tags Taguchi. They drag Desperado up, whips, double drop toeholds and double basement dropkicks! Taguchi covers, TWO!
Fans rally, Taguchi throws point blank hip attacks! Desperado gets up but Taguchi bops him again and again and again! Taguchi winds up to BOP Desperado into the corner! Tag to Tenzan, he talks trash on Suzuki-Gun while Taguchi digs his boots in. Tenzan tops it off with a stomp, then a headbutt. Tenzan fires off Mongolian Chops on Desperado in the corner, and fans rally as Tenzan headbutts Desperado down. Tenzan whips corner to corner and hits a corner clothesline! Fans fire up as Tenzan calls his shot, and hits a TENZAN BRAINBSUTER! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, Tenzan ROCKS Desperado and kicks him at the ropes.
Tenzan whips, Desperado reverses, and Douki trips Tenzan! Douki drags Tenzan out and rams him into railing while Desperado blasts the corner! Kanemaru goes around the way to go after Taguchi! Desperado goes out to bring Wato up and ROCK him with an elbow! Douki chokes Tenzan with his metal pipe! The ref tries to restore order but Desperado whips Wato into railing! Kanemaru does the same to Taguchi! Douki keeps choking Tenzan, Kanemaru returns to the corner and Desperado tags him in. Douki sends Tenzan in, Kanemaru sits Tenzan up to throw an elbow into his head. Kanemaru then runs to basement dropkick! Cover, TWO!
Kanemaru stomps Tenzan, drags him up and elbows him on the neck! Tenzan fires up! Kanemaru throws hands, then rakes eyes! Tag to Douki, Douki snapmares Tenzan and runs to DOUBLE STOMP! Cover, TWO! Douki reels Tenzan into a grounded cobra twist! Tenzan endures, grabs at Douki’s head and powers out. Douki stomps Tenzan, feeds him to Kanemaru’s boot, then tags Kanemaru in. Tenzan kicks Douki but gets mugged! Kanemaru rakes eyes, he and Douki whip Tenzan to the open corner! Douki runs in but Tenzan runs him over! Kanemaru kicks low, runs, but into a MOUNTAIN BOMB! Fans fire up while everyone is down!
Tenzan crawls, hot tag to Taguchi! Taguchi runs at the ropes to give Kanemaru a hip attack! Then he runs to give Douki a hip attack! Then back to Kanemaru, then back to Douki! Taguchi slides to apron GAMANGIRI Kanemaru back in! Fans rally, Taguchi springboards, MISSILE HIP! Cover, TWO! Taguchi kips up and fans rally as he calls upon the powers of Strong Style! “ORYA~!” But Kanemaru dropkicks the legs out! Kanemaru gets a leg to SMASH the knee into the mat! Then steps through, but Taguchi KICKS Kanemaru away! Taguchi runs, but Kanemaru counters the hip attack with an atomic drop!
Kanemaru hits an ENZIGURI, but Taguchi ENZIGURIS back! Both men are down and fans fire up! Kanemaru and Taguchi crawl, hot tags to Wato and Desperado! Wato BOOTS, Desperado CHOPS! Wato KICKS, and KICKS, and KCIKS, but Desperado blocks to spin Wato, but Wato fights the back suplex! Wato then runs, but Desperado goes the other way to SPEAR! Desperado gets Wato up for a BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, Desperado stomps away on Wato, then drags Wato by a leg. Wato kicks Desperado away with the free leg, then gets up to kick, kick and sobat into a front kick, then SUPERKICK! Cover, TWO!
Wato grits his teeth and fans rally as he drags Desperado up. Desperado resists the Mouse Trap, spins around and rakes the eyes! But Wato kicks and whips, only for Desperado to reverse and SPINEBUSTER! Fans fire up while both men are down! Desperado tags Douki in and he hits Wato with a corner clothesline. Douki runs, Wato gets around but Douki fights the waistlock. Douki goes to run but Wato reels him in. Douki breaks free with his leg, mule kicks and ENZIGURIS! Wato wobbles, Douki reels him in, DDT! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, Douki drags Wato up and torture racks, for a swing, but Wato slips out!
Douki knees low, runs, but into Wato’s SCREW HIGH KICK! Fans rally up, Taguchi runs in to knock Desperado and Kanemaru down while Tenzan stomps Douki! Wato whips Douki to the corner, then runs in to back elbow. Tenzan adds a clothesline, Taguchi hits a hip attack! Double whip feed to Wato’s scoop, T T D! Cover, Desperado and Kanemaru break it! Taguchi and Tenzan go after them, throw them out, and Wato fires up! Wato goes to the corner, climbs up top, R P P FLOP! Douki Oklahoma Rolls, TWO! La Magistrol, TWO! Wato gets up but Douki HELL STABS! But Wato fires up!
Douki still dodges the roundhouse, Gory Especials, but Wato sunset flips! TWO!! Wato has Douki caught in a BUTTERFLY STRETCH! Douki endures, but he taps! Wato and team win!
Winners: Master Wato, Ryusuke Taguchi & Hiroyoshi Tenzan, by pinfall
The Way of the Grandmaster is victorious, holds on a little longer, but then lets off as Desperado storms back in. Desperado swipes at Wato but Taguchi and Tenzan back him up. Desperado still pie faces Wato, Wato gives it back, and then things turn to hair pulling and mask pulling. The ref tries to keep the peace but it takes Taguchi and Tenzan to break this up. They assure their young ward that waiting for the title match will be worth it. Wato and Desperado are on a collision course, will the Rogue Luchador survive the rising tide?
8 Man Tag: Chaos VS House of Torture!
Hirooki Goto, Yoshi-Hashi, Tomohiro Ishii & Yoh are far from through with Evil, Yujiro Takahashi, Dick Togo & Sho! Will Chaos strike back for WrestleKingdom 16? Or will Darkness Fall again?
The House of Torture Low Sweet, but Chaos attacks first! Yoh is after Sho, Hashi has Yujiro, Goto has Dick and Ishii has Evil! Yoh keeps Sho in while Goto, Hashi and Ishii throw the others out, and the bell rings to get this on record. Ishii CHOPS Evil, Hashi CLUBS Yujiro, Yoh stomps away on Sho, and Goto POSTS Dick! Yoh drags Sho up, but Sho bends Yoh’s fingers! Sho CLUBS the arm, headlocks, but Yoh powers out, only for Sho to pull hair! Sho headlocks, Yoh throws body shots and powers out. Things speed up, Yoh keeps things moving to drop toehold and basement dropkick! Fans fire up and Yoh tags Hashi.
Hashi and Goto get in, they and Yoh hammer Sho down! Yujiro gets in but he gets hammered, too! Evil thinks about it but he stays away. Dick does, too, but Ishii throws Dick in! All four Chaos members surround Dick, but then Dick plays dead! That doesn’t stop them from dragging Dick up and hammering him! Fans fire up as Chaos controls the ring and Evil is furious. Hashi drags Sho out from the corner, CLUBS him and CHOPS him! Hashi brings Sho around, bumps him off buckles, then digs his boot in. Ishii and Goto add on, the ref reprimands and counts, and they all let off at 4. Hashi drags Sho back up but Sho bends the fingers!
Sho whips Hashi to the House of Torture corner, and tada! Evil removes the blue buckle pad! Hashi hits bare steel, Sho hits Yoh off the apron! Sho also knows Goto and Ishii down, Dick chokes Hashi at the ropes, Evil SMACKS Ishii with the blue buckle pad! The ref is busy with everyone else, Dick digs his boots into Hashi. Sho then digs his boots into Hashi while Evil stands on Ishii. Dick tags in, he drags Hashi up to throw hands. Dick drags Hashi up to CLUB him down, then brings him around to snapmare. Dick runs to drop the fist! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up while the House protests. Evil tags in, he drags Hashi up to wrench and wrench and wrench.
Evil whips Hashi into the bare buckles! Hashi staggers and falls, Ishii runs in but he’s send into bare buckles! Evil grins, Sho keeps the ref busy with Ishii and Evil claws Hashi’s eyes! Yujiro tags in, he talks some trash but Hashi throws body shots. Yujiro CLUBS Hashi, snapmares him then runs to basement BOOT! Cover, Yoh breaks it! Yujiro hits Yoh back and sends him out. Sho PENALTY KICKS Yoh from the apron! Yujiro drags Hashi up, but Hashi fires off forearms! Yujiro knees low, puts Hashi on the ropes, and runs but blocks Hashi’s boot! Yujiro throws Hashi down to run and basement boot!
Yujiro drags Hashi back up, fisherman, but Hashi fights free to suplex! Fans fire up while both men are down! Hashi and Yujiro crawl, hot tag to Goto! Goto rallies on the House, but Yujiro kicks low. Yujiro runs, but gets run over! Goto fires off forearms, whips Yujiro to a corner, then runs in to MURAMASA! And BULLDOG! Cover, TWO! Goto drags Yujiro back up but Yujiro breaks free, only to swing into a suplex! Yujiro fights that off by BITING Goto’s hand! The ref reprimands, Yujiro whips but Goto reveres and fireman’s carries! Yujiro slips off, Goto elbows him but Yujiro throws a forearm. Goto forearms back then whips.
Yujiro holds ropes, dodges Goto, and Evil hooks a foot! Yujiro BOOTS Goto down! Tag to Evil, and he has the ref watch Ishii. Evil and Yujiro double whip, but Goto DECKS Evil! DISCUS for Yujiro! Evil kicks and runs but Goto follows to LARIAT! Fans fire up while both men are down! Goto crawls over, hot tag to Ishii! The Stone Pitbull runs in to clothesline the King of Darkness! Evil reverses the whip, kicks and runs but gets run over! Ishii snarls, runs in and clotheslines Evil at the ropes! Ishii whips, Evil reverses, and Sho trips Ishii! Evil runs, but Yoh trips him! Yoh and Sho get in, Yoh dropkicks Sho down!
Evil runs, Yoh feeds him to Ishii’s forearm! Yoh dropkicks, Ishii GERMAN SUPLEXES! Yoh PLANCHAS to take Sho out! Fans fire up, Ishii runs, but Yujiro is there with his pimp cane! Evil waistlocks, Ishii fights the lift, but he runs into Dick’s cheap shot! Evil trips Ishii and gets the legs, SCORPION DEATHLOCK! Fans rally and Yujiro keeps Hashi out but Ishii endures. Ishii fights his way over, ROPEBREAK! Dick tries to make Ishii let go, but Ishii has an iron grip! Dick tags in and stomps away on Ishii! The ref reprimands and counts Evil, Evil lets off at 4. Fans rally for Ishii but Dick keeps stomping. Dick talks trash and kicks Ishii around but fans rally harder.
Dick drags Ishii up, eggs him on, and Ishii reels back, but Dick pokes him in the eye! Dick whips, gets a sleeper, but Ishii powers up. Dick blocks the back suplex with punches, Sho blasts the Chaos corner! The House whips Ishii to a corner, Dick runs in to back elbow! Sho runs in to clothesline, Yujiro runs in to boot! Evil hits a clothesline and FISHERMAN BUSTER! Dick covers, TWO! Fans fire up, but Yujiro distracts the ref and Dick uses the SPOILER CHOKER! Sho has his wrench, but Hashi SUPERKICKS him down! Dick runs at Hashi but Hashi DECKS him! Yujiro kicks Hashi and runs, but into a LARIAT!
Evil returns, kicks Hashi and rakes the eyes! Goto runs in, Evil waistlocks, but Goto ducks for the HIDDEN FLASH SUPERKICK! Fans fire up, Goto and Hashi glare at Dick but he wants them to take it easy. But Yoh is there, too! Yoh EuroUppers, Goto fireman’s carries, Yoh and Hashi DOUBLE SUPERKICK into the USHIGOROSHI! Ishii adds a SLIDING LARIAT! Then Ishii gets Dick up for the BRAINBUSTER!! Cover, Chaos wins!
Winners: Chaos, by pinfall
Direct Drive, Fierce Warrior, Head Hunter and Stone Pitbull combine to break the Spoiler! And they add insult to injury by stomping Dick and throwing him out! Is the House of Torture going to be demolished and lose the NEVER Openweight titles? Or can they find a way to survive Chaos?
Six Man Tag: Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Yuji Nagata VS Los Ingobernables de Japon!
The Rainmaker is IWGP World Heavyweight Champion and The Ace is IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion. But they have Tetsuya Naito and Sanada coming for their gold! Will the dream team and Blue Justice stand tall? Or will Uncontrollable Charisma, Cold Skull and Rampaging Dragon make this golden series tranquilo?
Tanahashi shows off the muscles and fans applaud. The teams sort out, LIJ fist bumps, and Sanada starts against Tanahashi. Fans rally for this US title preview as the two circle. “LET’S GO, ACE!” “SA-NA-DA!” They tie up, Sanada waistlocks but Tanahashi switches. Sanada wrenches but Tanahashi drops to get a leg pick. Tanahashi floats to a facelock but Sanada wrenches out. Tanahashi arm-drags but Sanada drags Tanahashi back down. Sanada keeps on the arm, Tanahashi fights up, but Sanada wrenches. Tanahashi wrenches back and headlocks. Tanahashi thrashes the headlock, Sanada powers up and pries at the hold, but Tanahashi clamps it on tighter.
Sanada endures the grind and throws body shots. Sanada powers up but can’t power out as Tanahashi holds tight. Sanada powers out the back, headlocks Tanahashi in return, and holds on tight as Tanahashi tries to power out. Fans rally up, Tanahashi powers up but Sanada hits a headlock takeover. Tanahashi headscissors, Sanada kips free but roles reverse as Tanahashi hits a headlock takeover and Sanada headscissors. Tanahashi kips free, but then roles switch back the other way as Sanada hits a headlock takeover and Tanahashi headscissors. Sanada kips free, roles reverse again, but Sanada holds tight as Tanahashi tries to kip up.
Fans cheer for the technical exchange, but Tanahashi moves around. Tanahashi headstands and pops free to then get a headlock. Sanada headscissors, Tanahashi kips free, and the two clinch. Tanahashi gets the headlock and the takeover, but Sanada headscissors again. Sanada holds tight again, but Tanahashi turns Sanada over and pops out to have the legs in a figure four. Tanahashi then floats to a headlock, but Sanada fights up to his feet. Tanahashi grinds the headlock, but Sanada wrenches out. They fight for control, and fans fire up as the hold starts to tip one way or another! Sanada gets the headlock takeover, but Tanahashi headscissors, and now Tanahashi holds on tight!
Sanada kicks around, but Tanahashi puts on more pressure. Sanada keeps kicking, turns and headstands but Tanahashi works to keep him down. Sanada hops and hops and handsprings free! Fans cheer the technical exchange as the two stand off. Tanahashi even air guitars. Tanahashi throws it to Sanada, and fans cheer for Sanada to try. Sanada strums it a couple times, then gives it to Red Shoes. Red Shoes carefully sets it aside, and Okada tags in. Sanada backs off and Naito tags in. Fans rally up again, “O-KA-DA!” “NA-I-TO!” and the two tie up. They go around, Naito puts Okada on ropes, but Okada turns things around.
Naito turns it back around, lets off slowly, and then pats Okada on the shoulder. But then Naito arm-drags Okada, only for Okada to get up before Naito can rush over. Fans cheer as the two reset and circle again. they tie up, Naito gets a leg, and then turns it into a cradle! ONE, they move around, ONE, and Okada gets a lateral press. Naito keeps his shoulders up, so Okada lets off slowly, and then scrambles for a waistlock. Naito rolls to get a headlock and he grinds Okada down. Okada fights up, powers Naito to ropes, and Red Shoes calls the ropebreak. Okada lets off slowly, and he doesn’t even fake the chop! Fans cheer as Okada takes Naito seriously.
Okada backs away to tag in Nagata, and fans rally for Blue Justice. Naito tags Takagi and now fans cheer as Blue Justice circles with the Rampaging Dragon. They both fire up, tie up, Nagata headlocks but Takagi powers out and the two ram shoulders! Neither falls, Nagata eggs Takagi on and Takagi runs, to RAM Nagata. Nagata stays up, they each egg the other on to run, so Takagi kicks and whips. Nagata reverses, BOOTS, then snapmares and KICKS! Takagi gets up and eggs Nagata on! Nagata KICKS and KICKS and KICKS Takagi to the corner! Nagata gets Takagi up, whips him corner to corner, but Takagi reverses.
Sanada runs in and back elbows Nagata! He sets Nagata up for Takagi’s corner clothesline! Takagi throws Nagata down, Naito and Sanada double basement dropkick him! Takagi knocks Tanahashi and Okada off the apron and fans rally as LIJ controls the ring! Takagi drags Nagata up, suplexes high and hard, then covers, TWO! Takagi drags Nagata up, Nagata blocks the back suplex with elbows, then he fires elbows. Takagi fires back, and it’s a brawl! Fans rally, Takagi throws more forearms but Nagata KICKS and KICKS and KICKS! Takagi blocks a kick to CLUB the leg! But he runs into an EXPLODER!
Fans rally while both men are down. Nagata tags in Tanahashi! Tanahashi fires off on Takagi, whips, but Takagi reverses, only for Tanahashi to FLYING FOREARM! Tanahashi decks Naito and Sanada, dodges Takagi and dropkicks a leg out! Then he gives Takagi a DRAGON SCREW! Fans fire up with the Ace as he runs at Takagi. Takagi ducks the slingblade but Tanahashi denies the suplex. But Takagi ELBOWs, JABS, and YUKON feints to DDT! Hot tag to Sanada! Sanada rallies on Tanahashi, arm-drag and back suplex BACKBREAKER! Tanahashi bails out, Sanada PLANCHAS! Fans fire up and Sanada encourages them to get louder.
Sanada puts Tanahashi in the ring, covers, TWO! Fans rally up, “SA-NA-DA!” “LET’S GO, ACE!” Sanada fireman’s carries, but Tanahashi fights free. Sanada ducks the shotei to steal the SHOTEI! Sanada fires off forearms, but Tanahashi ducks the rolling elbow to a SLEEPER! Then a DRAGON SLEEPER! But Sanada fights it to a dragon sleeper of his own! Tanahashi fights through to TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Tanahashi holds on to drag Sanada up, but Sanada suplexes and puts Tanahashi on the ropes. Tanahashi kicks away to hit TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Fans fire up while both men are down! Hot tag to Okada!
Okada drags Sanada up, fires off forearms, then whips. Sanada reverses, but Okada CLOBBERS him with an elbow! Okada glares at Naito but he stays on the outside. Okada whips Sanada corner to corner but Sanada dropkicks Okada’s legs out! Okada grabs at Sanada but Sanada still tags Naito in! Naito fires off on Okada, whips him to ropes, then hip tosses for the basement dropkick! Naito whips Okada to a corner, ROCKET KICK! Leg sweep, COMBINACION CABRON! Takagi DECKS Nagata, Naito puts Okada up top. Naito climbs, SUPER STEINER! Fans fire up as Okada flounders. Naito runs in, CORRIENDO SHIKI- MONEY CLIP!
Okada squeezes tight but Naito endures! Naito powers Okada into buckles and is free! Naito runs in, but into the Alabama lift and REVERSE NECKBREAKER! Fans rally up, Okada drags Naito up. Okada gut wrenches but Naito blocks! Naito CLUBS Okada, Okada uppercuts! Okada whips, Naito jumps, but into a waistlock! Okada ripcords, Naito dodges, but Okada DROPKICKS! Ripcord, but Naito ducks to ENZIGURI! Okada staggers, Naito whips, but Okada reverses. Naito reverses back and uses the ropes, TORNADO DDT! Both men are down and fans fire up again! Hot tag to Nagata! Nagata storms up to Naito and KICKS and KICKS and KICKS!
Nagata has Naito in a corner and whips him corner to corner. Nagata runs in to BOOT! Naito fights the exploder off, but Nagata ROCKS him with a forearm! BUTTERFLY SUPLEX! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up, “NA-GA-TA!” “NA-I-TO!” Nagata drags Naito up, suplexes, but Naito fights free. Naito wrenches to throw back elbow after back elbow! But Nagata hits a kitchen sink knee! Nagata drags Naito back up, suplexes, uno amigo! Another suplex, dos amigos! Nagata gets Naito up again, THREE AMIGOS! Cover, TWO!! But Nagata clamps on the NAGATA LOCK II! Tanahashi DECKS Takagi while Naito endures!
Takagi gets past Tanahashi to CLUB Nagata, but then Okada CLUBS Takagi! But Takagi spins Okada around, suplex SLAM! Tanahashi returns, Takagi dodges the basement dropkick to SLIDING LARIAT! Nagata is up, Takagi hits an ELBOW! JAB! YUKON LARIAT! Fans fire up as LIJ regroups! Sanada and Takagi whip him to a corner, Sanada uppercuts, Takagi clotheslines and Naito atomic drops! PUMPING BOMBER! Rolling jackknife! TWO!?! Nagata escapes, but Sanada and Takagi keep Okada and Tanahashi down on the outside. Naito wrenches but Nagata fights with back hands. Nagata BOOTS then ENZIGURIS!
Fans fire up as Nagata whips, but Naito hits FLYING FOREARMS! Naito gets Nagata up, wrenches through, DESTINO!! Cover, LIJ wins!
Winners: Los Ingobernables de Japon, by pinfall
Blue Justice falls as the ungovernables stand tall! Takagi gets Naito water while Sanada stares down with Tanahashi. Will the Cold Skull have a leg up on The Ace going into their US Heavyweight Championship? Or can Tanahashi turn it around in the rest of this Golden Series? Tanahashi, Okada and Nagata leave, so Naito gets the mic. “Beunas noches, Korakuen Hall! It might be awhile, but please listen to what I have to say. Last February, I was opposed to the unification of the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental titles. I worked to try to stop it. But I lost my challenge to Ibushi and now we have the IWGP World title.”
Naito will be honest, he has no attachment to the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship. So why is he challenging for this title? He has three reasons: first, he wants to take on the top guy in NJPW, and that is Okada; second, he wants to beat the top guy in NJPW; third, he wants to be in the Tokyo Dome main event next year, January 4th, 2023. Fans cheer all those reasons. Naito says that, “For nobody’s benefit other than my own, I will go for the win in Sapporo.” Now, today obviously begins a new series, and there will be several warm-ups between Naito and Okada.
“Who will have the title after February 20th? Everyone, speculate, enjoy, and of course, until the title match in Sapporo on February 20… TRANQUILO! Assen na yo!” Now, they’ll see everyone here back tomorrow, but they’ll end the kickoff the only proper way they can. “Bushi, Sanada, Hiromu, Takagi, y Naito. Nosotros Los! Ingoberrrrrrnables! DE! JA! PON!” The New Years Golden Series has only just begun, but will it end with Naito taking the world title from the Rainmaker?
A great event here, even though I did skip the first few matches. The very first two were against Young Lions so of course Khan and Hiromu were winning. But I did skim through, it was pretty neat for Hiromu to wrestle in his old Kamaitachi mask just to make a point about the Young Lion not being ready. I also skipped Togi Makabe & Tiger Mask VS Taiji & Jado cuz Jado is basically one step up from Young Lion and he ended up taking the loss. But there were a lot of great tag matches here to get momentum going from after WrestleKingdom 16. Suzuki-Gun losing both Six Man Tags was surprising, but it gives Yano some momentum going towards a KOPW match with Suzuki, and I liked seeing some edge in Wato as he gets ready to face Desperado.
Chaos VS House of Torture was on par with the usual NJPW 8 Man. Chaos winning is also a good way to give them momentum as we’re going to get WrestleKingdom rematches for the NEVER Openweight singles and Six Man titles. I don’t know if Evil is only going to be Mr. NEVER for only a couple months, but at this point, he might as well keep that going until Jay White returns and we can finally get Bullet Club Civil War take two going. Then the Six Man main event was really good, we got to see everybody face everybody, and LIJ gets momentum for their coming title matches.
Naito has a good promo to frame his role in the IWGP World title story, but he himself said there will be a lot of these Six Man tune-ups. I probably won’t worry about covering these next few dates, they’re going to be VOD only anyway and those always seem to take forever to show up. I’ve already skimmed through the coming Golden Series dates, and it’s rather fitting that February 7th is the next one NJPW is advertising for livestream. That’s the one I’m thinking of waiting for, and then it’s all the February events, even just in part like I did here.
My Score: 8.5/10
Andrew’s IMPACT Results & Match Ratings: 1.20.2022
We’re coming to the end of their first set of tapings. So I wonder what IMPACT has cooked up since the Florida tapings are supposed to have a few Bullet Club favorites. Let’s find out!
We’re coming to the end of their first set of tapings. So I wonder what IMPACT has cooked up since the Florida tapings are supposed to have a few Bullet Club favorites. Let’s find out!
Another week with Tom Hannifan as the play by play, and he just sounds right. We’ve got Charlie Haas’ first match in IMPACT, Tasha Steelz versus Chelsea Green and Steve Maclin is aiming for the ROH Heavyweight Title.
There should be other things, but those take most of the initial attention. Let’s see what else goes on!
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) January 21, 2022
- Tasha Steelz w/Savannah Evans vs Chelsea Green: Tasha wins via Crucifix Bomb – **
- The Influence (Tenille Dashwood & Madison Rayne) w/Kaleb vs Decay (Havok & Rosemary): Influence wins via Kiss Kiss Bang Bang – *
- The Learning Tree (Zicky Dice & VSK) w/Brian Myers vs Massive Cassidy: Cassidy wins via BQE – SQUASH
- ROH Heavyweight Title: Steve Maclin vs Jonathan Gresham (c): Gresham retains via Rope Assisted Figure Four – *** ½
- Doc Gallow & Joe Doering w/Karl Anderson & VBD vs Heath & Rhino: Gallows & Doering win via Double Chokeslam – **
- Charlie Haas vs Josh Alexander: Alexander wins via Ankle Lock w/Grapevine – *** ¼
Tasha Steelz w/Savannah Evans vs Chelsea Green
Tasha is jawing with the crowd as the bell rings, Chelsea goes right at her and hits the Shotgun Dropkick as Tasha is turning to face her opponent. Chelsea stays on the offensive, baits Tasha to the apron, drops her on her face, Curb Stomp, attempt at an Unprettier…but no counter into a Codebreaker from Tasa and we see Chelsea’s momentum slow down a little.
After some back and forth with Tasha having a lot of advantage, Chelsea makes her comeback. Chelsea hits a middle rope Crossbody but Tasha continues to rotate and rolls it into a pin attempt. Chelsea kicks out and pulls off a Package Flatliner, but only for a near fall. Chelsea goes to grab Tasha, Tasha kicks her to stun her, looks to get caught in a Crucifix, but turns it into a Crucifix Bomb. Tasha picks up the win with the Crucifix Bomb again.
After the win, Tasha cuts a promo that doesn’t seem to really fit. Trying to portray herself as a savage, from the wrong side of town, but she’s a smack talking 5 foot nothing brat. So the second half of the promo works a lot better than the first. She also took some shots at WWE’s women’s division being Barbie Dolls, NWA, Nick Aldis and then brought the son into the mix, so of course that got Mickie fired up. Things look bad for Mickie, but Chelsea Green manages to recover and make the save for Mickie.
Video Package courtesy of Ring of Honor showcasing some of Charlie Haas’ work with Shelton Benjamin and CM Punk involved in certain clips.
The Influence (Tenille Dashwood & Madison Rayne) w/Kaleb vs Decay (Havok & Rosemary)
The Influence attack while Havok and Rosemary are distracted by Kaleb. Rosemary clutches her shoulder after the mugging, the doctors throw up the X and tell her she can’t go. Rosemary asks if Havok can go, the doctor says yes, so Rosemary tells Havok to go destroy the Influence.
Havok put up a valiant fight but the heels prevail! Cross Rayne into a Spotlight Kick into…whatever their tandem finish is called. I’m going to call it Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.
The IInspiration have a reactionary video promo which is pretty solid. I do enjoy their work. Hopefully their match ends up being pretty solid because I’d like to see The IInspiration start getting over their abilities in the ring as much as their abilities on the mic.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) January 21, 2022
The Learning Tree (Zicky Dice & VSK) w/Brian Myers vs Massive Cassidy
The highlight of this match is Hannifan and Myers on commentary. There was a like 4 second spot where the Learning Tree landed a move, but then Cassidy kills them. So we’re in and out, double Pinfall murder happened.
Post-Match the Massive one goes on his search for Moose, D’Amore stops him in the back and says he’s got a title shot coming. Then we see the OGK ROH invaders have tickets this time around, and I’m going to be sick saying this…but Matt Taven is pretty great in this segment. Jesus Christ, I popped for Taven. Shoot me now.
ROH Heavyweight Title: Steve Maclin vs Jonathan Gresham (c)
Early on it looked like Gresham was toying with Maclin as he forced early rope breaks, but Maclin returned the forced rope breaks in kind. Maclin eventually started coming into his own when he utilized the one closed fist warning rule. Maclin really worked over Gresham’s back after a Butterfly Backbreaker, Boston Crab, Camel Clutch, and a lot of back work.
Gresham was really on the back foot until he managed to force Maclin to use his final rope break. Then we saw Gresham hyper extend Maclin’s knee, and keeps working on the knee. It all made sense as we saw Gresham utilize the Figure Four for the victory. It was entwined in the ropes, Gresham used it for leverage and Maclin’s will power gave out as he couldn’t get his shoulders up fast enough and succumbed to the three count.
IMPACTPlus Flashback Moment: No Surrender 2009: Sarita & Taylor Wilde vs The Beautiful People – Innaugural TNA Knockouts Tag Team Championship Match
"We're gonna see ourselves out"
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) January 21, 2022
Doc Gallow & Joe Doering w/Karl Anderson & VBD vs Heath & Rhino
So Good Brothers and VBD looked really sloppy. Gallows got rocked by Rhino, Doering was caught off guard often by Heath and there was just a ton of odd moments where it looked like they tried to regroup and until we saw the extra members get involved, Heath and Rhino dominated the legitimate tag team aspects.
I’m wondering exactly how much of a shift the Guerrillas of Destiny will have in the tag scene and if we’ll need to see the Good Brother and VBD implode first before we get the Bullet Club foundation match.
Charlie Haas vs Josh Alexander
They start with a classic grounded start with headlocks, hammerlocks, leg picks and positioning advantages. Alexander managed to take some early momentum before the commercial break, but when we come back we see Haas pop over out of the corner, striking Alexander’s knee and starts focusing a body part. A very methodical attack on knee comes off far more aggressive and cruel than Haas usually goes for. Haas locks in the Indian Deathlock, and they begin slugging at each other. The hold breaks, Alexander goes for the Finlay Roll but Haas counters into a Crucifix Cradle for 2.
Alexander locks in the German Suplex, hits 2, obviously going for 3 to make a point, but Haas blocks the third. Haas pulls off 2, before Alexander blocks and hits one more German before Haas grabs the ropes, feeds in for a lariat but gets caught in another German Suplex this time with the bridge but only for 2.
Haas manages to charge Alexander in the corner, stumbled a bit but lands in the legs that he’s been aiming for, and then goes back to the other corner and hits the mid-section. Haas looks for a leg pick, Alexander counters into his own Ankle Lock. Charlie tries to counter it a few different ways but Alexander holds on and locks in the Ankle Lock with the Grapevine so Haas taps out.
Things moved a little too quickly, so it was alright but could’ve been better. After the match they shake hands and the ROH invaders hit the ring. Haas, Alexander, Chris Sabin comes in, then Rich Swann and Willie Mack, Heath and Rhino…finally Eddie Edwards hits the ring with a kendo stick and drives the ROH guys out.
Overall Score: 6.25/10
I think Maria named the invading stable as Honor No More, so I suppose for like a Pop Punk or Emo band that sounds cool…but it’s a bit dumb for a faction name. Can’t really chant it, the abbreviation is dumb, H.N.M. sounds like a clothing company, but I guess this is them distancing themselves from ROH.
Either way, this was kind of a janky episode. The matches weren’t great, a lot of stories were touched upon but left wide open, and the next major event being No Surrender on Feb. 19th, feels like a lot of time to fill. So maybe it was just a little too redundant, maybe it was also that the general match quality was down to further storyline angles…not sure. This still wasn’t bad, just definitely felt extremely lacking.
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