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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (4/23/21)

Who will Apollo Crews make feel the steel?

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Coverage SmackDown 2021

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?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • 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?

 

BREAKING NEWS!

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?


My Thoughts:

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


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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?

 


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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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