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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (6/18/21)

What the hell, SmackDown?!

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Coverage SmackDown 2021

Is SmackDown going to Hell already?

Rage has boiled over! Rey Mysterio doesn’t care about the PPV, he wants Roman Reigns NOW! And so, SmackDown steps inside HELL IN A CELL!

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Kevin Owens & Big E VS Apollo Crews & Commander Azeez; Apollo & Azeez win.
  • Battle for the King’s Crown Match: Shinsuke Nakamura w/ Rick Boogs VS King Corbin; Nakamura wins and is the rightful owner of the crown.
  • Otis w/ Chad Gable VS Angelo Dawkins; No Contest.
  • WWE Universal Championship Hell in a Cell Match: Roman Reigns w/ Paul Heyman VS Rey Mysterio; Reigns wins and retains the title.

PLAY BY PLAY

The Cell is in the ThunderDome already!

Though the Hell in a Cell Pay-Per-View is Sunday, the King of Lucha Libre is walking out now, and walking right to the sinister structure! Rey Mysterio told the world that he can’t wait any longer, and Roman Reigns accepted the modified challenge. For the first time in Rey’s career and for the first time on a Friday Night SmackDown, we will have Hell in a Cell tonight! Rey Mysterio says any parent watching knows the feeling of pain, hurt and sadness he feels right now. Rey told Dominik about the risks that come with competing in the ring, but this is his dream. Or perhaps was. Dom can walk, but who knows when he’ll wrestle again.

Roman Reigns picked Dominik up, the very son Rey held in his arms as a baby, and TOSSED him out of the ring like a bag of bricks! Rey will never forget the sound, and the helpless lock in his boy’s eyes, as he suffered in pain. And Rey will never forget the man who did this to him: ROMAN…! REIGNS…! And so, Roman, Rey isn’t waiting one more day! This match is tonight! The revenge is tonight! Inside the most diabolical structure in the WWE! Rey knows Roman accepted this via Twitter, but he has to hear it from the mouth of the so-called Head of the Table himself! Rey even unstraps his mask as he demands, “Get out here, you son of a bitch!”

Wait, the Cell finishes lowering?! And Roman Reigns makes his entrance! Paul Heyman carries the title for the Tribal Chief, but first hands over a mic to him. “We don’t have to do this. I don’t want to hurt you. This ain’t my fault. Let’s be honest, you’re not ready for this. You don’t want to be locked in there with me?” Roman throwing Dom was PG compared to what’s happening tonight. So Roman is giving Rey one last chance to reconsider. Is Rey sure he wants to do this? Rey’s never been more ready in his life! Roman nods and says he tried it Heyman’s way, being diplomatic. “Now we do it my way.” Roman turns to leave, leaving this fight for the main event.

Rey takes one last look around. Will this Friday be the end or a new beginning for the lucha legend?

 

Kevin Owens & Big E VS Apollo Crews & Commander Azeez!

The Prizefighter and the Powerhouse of Positivity won last week because the Pride of Nigeria was “burdened” with Sami Zayn. But now, he has someone who is on his side in his elite guard commander! Will this be the final Nigerian Nail in the coffin of Kevin’s and Big E’s Intercontinental Championship aspirations? Or will Azeez’s in-ring debut be ruined along with Apollo’s parade?

SmackDown returns and Big E talks with KO backstage as Kayla Braxton walks over. Azeez has repeatedly devastated them both, aren’t they worried about this? Well they are facing something intimidating. Azeez is huge and dangerous but Kevin isn’t worried. Big E is the strongest man on SmackDown. Plus, this is a tag match and Big E is a NINE time tag team champion. Big E says Kevin is very talented. Wow, really? Kevin showered Big E with praise. Yeah but wounds are still fresh. Oh, okay.

BUT KAYLA~! Tonight, they shall not be deterred! They shall not be moved! Azeez and Crews are gonna FEEL~ OUR~ POWAAA~! Kevin likes that! Big E makes his entrance first, then Kevin enters. The teams sort out but Sami makes his uninvited entrance. Apollo and Big E start, Sami distracts a little as he heads for commentary, but Big E avoids Apollo’s attack! Big E clinches for an OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! Snapmare, tag, and a BIG SPLASH followed by a BACK SENTON! Sami critiques things, hoping this is all legal, and Pat McAfee confirms it is. Kevin puts Apollo in the corner, throws body shots, throws elbows, then tags to Big E.

Big E gets Apollo up but Apollo lands on his feet out of the back suplex. Big E still reel shim in for a BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO! Big E looms over Apollo, brings him up and suplexes, but Apollo knees free. Tag to Azeez and he’s finally in a match! Azeez throws knees, CLUBS Big E on the back, then BOOTS him down! Sami admits, Azeez is big and strong. Big E flops out of the ring, Azeez pursues. Sami wants Big E and Azeez to stay at a safe distance, but Sami hops up out of his chair to the barriers as Azeez scoops Big E! Azeez SLAMS Big E, and roars as he stands over him! Apollo’s commander has taken command of the action as SmackDown goes to break!

SmackDown returns again and Azeez leans on Big E with a cobra clutch. Big E fights up, throws body shots, but Azeez CLUBS him! Azeez suplexes Big E up and over! Apollo is fired up as Azeez drags Big E up and bumps him off buckles. Azeez digs his forearm into Big E’s face, but lets off as the ref counts 4. Azeez drags Big E up and suplexes again! Apollo likes that, as does Sami. Azeez digs his hand into Big E’s face to smother him, then he rains down a right forearm! Azeez runs but Big E avoid the big elbow drop! Apollo tags in and DECKS Kevin off the apron! Sami really likes that but Big E shoves Apollo! Apollo stays on his feet to ENZIGURI Big E down!

Big E goes to the apron, Apollo goes out after him and fireman’s carries. Big E fights free, but Apollo mule kicks. Big E blocks a suplex to APRON GOURD BUSTER! But Big E falls off the apron, too! Big E gets Apollo in, then tags in Kevin! Kevin climbs and aims, SWANTON BOMB!! Cover, TWO!! Sami freaks out over the count, but Kevin fireman’s carries. Apollo fights free, waistlocks, but Kevin elbows free. Kevin runs but into a BOOT! Apollo runs, but into a POP-UP POWERBOMB! Cover, TWO!! Azeez is a little late to that, he almost hit Apollo! Azeez DECKS Big E, Kevin hits Azeez but Azeez HEADBUTTS him down!

The ref reprimands but Azeez gets Apollo to their corner. Azeez tags in and Sami is fired up as Azeez CLOBBERS Big E on the outside! Sami wants that for Kevin but Azeez takes his time returning to the ring. Kevin fires forearms but Azeez headbutts him again! Azeez runs in but Kevin dumps him out! Azeez lands on his feet and drags Kevin out, to POST him! Sami is loving it as Azeez gets back in the ring. The ring count is climbing as Sami eggs Kevin on. Kevin drags himself up, flounders, but still scares Sami off. Kevin gets in at 7 of 10, into a NIGERIAN NAIL!! Cover, Azeez & Apollo win!!

Winners: Commander Azeez & Apollo Crews, by pinfall

The commander wins for his general, but Sami is the one celebrating. But then Azeez drags Kevin up for ANOTHER NIGERIAN NAIL!! Kevin sputters and coughs while Sami cheers and shouts! Sami goes to Kayla backstage to watch “this beautiful sight” of “karmic justice.” Kevin can’t breathe but Sami is laughing. Sami says he could do this forever! But will karma come back around to get Sami for what he’s doing to Kevin?

 

Sonya Deville and Adam Pearce talk backstage.

They both agree that tonight is the biggest night in SmackDown history. But Kevin Owens comes in, gasping and coughing. Somehow, he manages to say, “Give me Sami!” Is he sure about this? Kevin says it again but stronger, “Give me Sami Zayn!” Well, okay then. He can have it on Sunday. Kevin nods his thanks and heads out. Is this the karma turning the corner?

 

Battle for the King’s Crown Match: Shinsuke Nakamura w/ Rick Boogs VS King Corbin!

The King of Strong Style has challenged the royal authority of the Lone Wolf King, and it has been symbolized by who leaves the ThunderDome with the crown in their possession. Enough is enough, and there can only be one! Who will be the one true king of SmackDown?

Boogs the rockin’ bard once again introduces Shinsuke NakamurrrrAAAAA~! Corbin makes his entrance, the bell rings, and they tie right up. Corbin gest around to roll Nakamura, TWO! Corbin KNEES Nakamura low, CLUBS him on the back, and he brings Nakamura up for a haymaker! Nakamura is in the corner, he dodges Corbin to ROUNDHOUSE him to the back! Nakamura goes corner to corner, blocks boots and spins Corbin for a SLIDING GERMAN! Boogs rocks for Nakamura as SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns and Corbin rains down elbows onto Nakamura! Corbin clamps on a half nelson and chinbar, but Nakamura endures. Nakamura fights up, throws body shots and gets free! Nakamura runs, ducks and dodges, but runs into DEEP SIX! Cover, TWO! Corbin is annoyed with Nakamura as he drags him around. Corbin tells Boogs to watch as he throws down furious fists! Corbin tells the ref to shut up, then he drags Nakamura up to scoop. Nakamura slips off and hits a BACKSTABBER! Then wraps on a SLEEPER! Corbin endures and fights up, but Nakamura is a backpack! Corbin throws Nakamura off, blocks one kick but not the ENZIGURI!

Nakamura snapmares and runs for a SLIDING KNEE! Cover, TWO! Nakamura keeps focus and waits for Corbin to rise. Corbin blocks the kick to BACK SUPLEX! Cover, TWO!! Corbin is losing his cool as Nakamura survives again. Corbin drags Nakamura back up, reels him in, but Nakamura shoulders Corbin! Then hits an STO! Cover, TWO! Nakamura rams KNEES into Corbin’s head and shoulders while putting him in a corner. Nakamura goes to the other side, fires up, “YAO~!” But Corbin LARIATS Nakamura inside out! Both men are down after Corbin put his all into that one! Corbin crawls to Nakamura, drags him over to a corner, and makes him look at the crown. “That’s MY crown!”

Corbin hosts Nakamura up top but Nakamura fires off forearms! Nakamura elbows and GAMANGIRIS Corbin down! Nakamura goes up, Corbin rises, FLYING KNEE! Corbin is still standing so Nakamura goes back up! FLYING KNEE! Corbin staggers, Nakamura is up on a corner again! FLYING- NO! Choke- KNEE! Nakamura rocks Corbin, aims from a corner, “YAO~!” KINSHASA!! Cover, Nakamura wins!!

Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura, by pinfall (officially owns the crown)

All hail the King of Strong Style! Nakamura sits on the throne and Boogs places the crown upon Nakamura’s head! Has Corbin finally lost his kingdom?

 

Bianca Belair is here!

The EST SmackDown Women’s Champion is here just days before she and Bayley face off for that very title! “Gurl, let me tell you! It felt so good to put Bayley in her place when Ding Dong Hello turned into Ding Dong, Good-Bye.” And coming this Sunday, Bayley can kiss her championship hopes good-bye. It’s just like a bully to not be able to take what they dish out. And this is Bayley’s cue so come on out. Bianca waits, but Bayley doesn’t appear. Okay, okay, more games, huh? Whatever. Bianca gives Bayley credit. The games almost work. When someone laughs in your face, it hurts. It triggered Bianca a bit, putting her back into her childhood when bullies tried to make her feel like less, when she was already so much more than they could ever be.

There was some second guessing, but Bianca isn’t that little kid anymore. Bianca won’t let anyone else define her, she defines herself. She fought and scratched and clawed to get here, so she is loud, proud and unapologetically Bianca! And at HIAC, Bayley will give it everything she’s got both physically and mentally. Bianca wants to say this to Bayley’s face but Bayley keeps dodging her. So here it is: “Bay, Sunday, I don’t just want you in the ring. I want you… inside Hell in a Cell!” And Bayley really thinks she’ll get the last laugh, huh? Bayley won’t be laughing when Bianca drags her by her hair and scrapes her off all four sides of that Cell!

Bianca vows Bayley won’t be laughing, Bianca will body slam her again and again and again. Bianca will make Bayley beg her to stop. Bayley won’t be laughing when the bell rings and the match is over, Bianca still SmackDown Women’s Champion! First, they try to ignore you. And second, they try to fight you. And then you win. But only now does Bayley appear! Bayley gets in the ring, swing son her, but it is a scrap! Bianca clubs away on Bayley, Bayley shoves her away and kicks her low! Bayley whips but Bianca reverses to toss Bayley! Bianca goes out after her and bounces Bayley off the announce desk!

Bianca drags Bayley up to TOSS her over barriers! But Bayley grabs the ponytail! Bayley reels Bianca into the barriers! Bayley hops back over, snarls and gets Bianca up to CLUB her on the back! Bayley puts Bianca in the ring, runs in and KNEES Bianca down! Bianca slowly sits up but Bayley reels her in for the headlock! ROSE PLANTER! Bayley grabs the SmackDown Women’s Championship, stands on Bianca’s braid, and holds up the belt. And, the ThunderDome screens change into the snapshot of this moment! Will this be how Bayley has the last “laugh” on Sunday?

 

Roman Reigns sits in his private room.

Roman brings out the golden glove, but an Uso walks in. Roman stands up, and it’s Jimmy! “What up, Uce?” Jimmy thought about what Roman said last week, about representing the family as the bets here. And Roman is right. They might not agree on everything Roman says, they might not be 100 on everything Roman does, but they’re blood. Then where is Jey? Jimmy hasn’t heard from him all week. No calls, no texts. Jimmy swung by his house and nothing. But tonight, Jimmy volunteers his help.

Roman tells him, “No. I need you to find your brother. I need your brother.” They need his brother. The family is best when it is complete. Don’t worry about tonight, Roman will handle business. Just do him a favor: figure out where Jey is. Jimmy heads out to look for Jey, but will he find him? Will Jey see things their way?

 

Otis w/ Chad Gable VS Angelo Dawkins!

The Dozer demolished Montez Ford last week, and he wasn’t even his opponent! The Street Profits are down a man, will Otis make sure they’re done for, #ForTheAcademy?

SmackDown returns as Dawkins make his entrance. His arm is taped up from last week, but he’ll fight through it to avenge Tez! Dawkins and Otis are face to face but Gable SLAPS Dawkins! Gable leads Dawkins on a cat ‘n’ mouse, Otis CLOBBERS Dawkins on the outside! Gable tells Otis to show Dawkins their “teachings.” Otis and Gable gets Dawkins up to RAM him into steel steps, bad arm first! Gable goes onto the apron, Otis isolates the bad arm, Gable hits a FLYING KNEE to the bad arm! Gable mockingly asks how the arm is doing, but Dawkins refuses to stay down. Gable leaves it to Otis now, and Otis is like a Terminator!

Otis puts Dawkins in the ring, Gable helps get Dawkins up, DISCUS GERMAN SUPLEX!! Dawkins is dazed as he flops out of the ring! Gable is smiling, so proud of his student. Otis has unleashed his inner Alpha, and his inner demolition machine! Will things only get worse for the SmackDown Tag Division from here?

No Contest

 

Roman Reigns finishes preparations for his match.

He has his wristbands on. The Cell awaits, will he use it to wreck Rey one last time?

 

Backstage interview with Cesaro.

Kayla Braxton sits with him to talk about the escalation in the rivalry between him and Seth Rollins. Is he concerned at all that this has gone too far? Cesaro says that it hasn’t gone far enough. Rollins stomped his head into a ramp and put him on a stretcher. This is Cesaro’s life. Cesaro loves what he does. He worked a long time to get here and earn what he has. Rollins has tried to take that away from him because he does think Cesaro deserves this. But then Rollins appears! Rollins wants Cesaro to hold on. They have their match this Sunday, so he isn’t here to fight. He is a professional and a gentleman, he wants to talk, one on one, man to man. So if Kayla doesn’t mind?

Kayla hands over the lapel mic so that Rollins can take over. Rollins and Cesaro sit, and Rollins tells Cesaro, “I just came here to tell you, that you disgust me.” Everything Cesaro does and stands for is a disgrace. And after last week, Cesaro doesn’t deserve even a single ounce of respect. This Sunday, Rollins will show Cesaro and everyone like him what they do deserve, “when I put you in your place.” Wow, Rollins. Cesaro didn’t think he had it in him to stay professional like this. Cesaro respects that. Cesaro respects everything Rollins says and does. So see you on Sunday. Then Cesaro shoves Rollins out of the chair! Rollins gets up in a huff, but he’ll have to wait two more days! Will these two tear down the ThunderDome?

 

WWE Universal Championship Hell in a Cell Match: Roman Reigns w/ Paul Heyman VS Rey Mysterio!

The Tribal Chief demanded success from his cousins to the point that he crossed the line with the King of Lucha and the Mysterio Family. History will be made, as this is the first HIAC match on network television! Will it be even more historic as Rey turns rage and vengeance into a championship victory? Or will Roman stay the Reigns-ing, Defending, Undisputed, Uncontroverted, WWE Universal Heavyweight Champion of the world?

SmackDown returns as said champion makes his entrance. Roman holds up his belt for all the pyro, then hands it over. The introductions are made, the referee raises the belt, and this blood feud of bloodlines hits its boiling point!

Rey hurries right out after chairs! Roman hurries after him but Rey JAMS him! And SMACKS him! Roman blocks the next shot to throw Rey away. Rey hurries back out, Roman pursues, but Rey is ready with a FIRE EXTINGUISHER! Rey blasts Roman in the face, then CRACKS him with the canister! Roman staggers back up to get CRACKED again! Roman staggers further along, Rey pushes him into the ring. Rey gets in, drags Roman by an arm, but Roman holds onto the ropes. Rey goes out to get Roman back down, and then fetches something else. Roman steadies himself, Rey CLOBBERS him with a toolbox!! The champion is down as SmackDown goes to break!

SmackDown returns and Rey JAMS Roman with the chair against the ropes! And again! And again! Roman sputters as he sits on the apron but Rey sets the chair up behind him. Rey runs to dropkick the chair into Roman’s back! Roman’s eyes are wide in pain as he leans against the steel. Rey brings Roman back against the apron to dig the chair into his neck! Roman gasps and sputters but doesn’t give up, so Rey lets off to put the chair around Roman’s head! Rey RAMS Roman into the steel! Roman sputters more, Rey RAMS him back in!! Rey brings Roman around to POST him!! Roman is sputtering and Rey brings him back around again.

Rey stands Roman up but Roman choke grips Rey! Roman gets the chair off around his head and HEADBUTTS Rey! Roman still has to catch his breath as Rey staggers away. Roman runs, but Rey moves and Roman SPEARS a table! A table was set up in the corner and Roman goes into it! The ref checks on Roman but Rey clears the wreckage away. Rey hobbles as he drags Roman back up. Roman KNEES low and hard, then CLUBS Rey on the head! Roman puts Rey in the ring, but Rey KICKS him! And SLINGSHOT SUNSETS, but Roman holds ropes! Roman CLUBS Rey, gets down to get Rey up, but Rey fights the bomb! Rey tries to rana but Roman blocks it!

Roman stands in the corner of the Cell, so he can swing and SLAM Rey into the side! Then the other side! Roman then hauls Rey up to Atomic TOSS Rey into steel! Roman leaves Rey behind while he continues to catch his breath, and SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns once again and Roman stalks Rey in the ring. Roman says he is the Head of the Table for a reason, and Rey is learning what that means. Rey gets to a corner, Roman gets him up, and throws KNEE after KNEE into the ribs! Rey is a rag doll but nothing stops Roman because there are No Disqualifications! Roman THROWS Rey across the ring, then takes aim from the corner. Rey staggers up, Roman locks ‘n’ loads, SUPERMAN PUNCH! Roman shouts, “Acknowledge me! And tell the world who the baddest fool is!” Roman lets out the battle cry, runs in, but Rey SHOTGUN dropkicks the Spear away!

Rey runs, but Roman kicks him low! Roman gets Rey up, but Rey fights and RANAS Roman onto ropes! Rey dials it up, but Roman UPPERCUTS! Roman disconnected the call and steadies himself as Rey flounders to another corner. Roman runs in, but Rey moves! Roman POSTS himself! Rey hurries, dials it up, CORNER 619! Roman staggers, Rey gets a chair and SMACKS Roman on the back! And again! And again! And again! Rey presses the chair down on Roman’s chest, stomps it in place, and heads for a corner. Rey climbs, leaps, FULL METAL FROG SPLASH!! But that proves to be double-edged, and Rey can’t make the cover!

Roman writhes, Rey goes back to the corner! Rey climbs again, leaps again, for another FROG SPLASH!! Cover, TWO!!! Roman survives and Rey shakes his head in disbelief. Rey gets back up, thinks on what he must do, and goes back to the corner. Rey climbs a third time, but Roman stands! Roman catches the Seated Senton and makes it a POWERBOMB into the steel!! Roman threw Rey like he did Dom and even Heyman is in utter shock of the brutality! The ref check son Rey but Roman says this isn’t done! Roman puts Rey in, drags him back up, and wraps on a CRAVAT GUILLOTINE! Rey taps, Roman wins!!

Winner: Roman Reigns, by submission (still WWE Universal Champion)

Roman didn’t have to end it that way, he wanted to end it that way! Heyman brings him the title, and we must all acknowledge Roman as champion.

But wait, Jimmy enters the ring! Jimmy raises Roman’s hand to show he has accepted Roman as Tribal Chief. Heyman is happy to see the dysfunction between them has been repaired. Roman has Heyman hold the belt, and has both Heyman and Jimmy stand aside. Heyman begs Roman not do this, but Roman stalks up behind the gasping and sputtering Rey Mysterio. Rey could not avenge Dominik, and Roman puts him BACK inside the Cravat Guillotine! Rey taps but it doesn’t change anything! Roman drops Rey, snarls and holds up the Universal Championship. Roman tells Rey to never defy him again. Oh, and Happy Father’s Day. If not even a living legend can stop Roman, who can?


My Thoughts:

A very good episode, though there were Go Home Syndrome levels of breaks and recaps. It was obviously surprising that we got the Universal Championship tonight. It was a powerful main event, and Rey looked great in his first ever HIAC match, but I figured Roman would retain whether it was here on on PPV. It was also a unique detail that Jey wasn’t here. It keeps things interesting, but I feel like maybe Jimmy switched sides too soon. Now it feels less like we’re getting Roman VS Jimmy and more we’re getting Roman VS Jey II. But Jey fighting for his own freedom makes sense, as this has been about him being independent of Jimmy, and perhaps that gives the Usos the boost to be a team again, as well as tag team champions.

Speaking of which, Otis and Gable really upped the intensity and it feels like they’re going to be right back in the tag title scene. The Profits both got brutalized, the Mysterios both got brutalized, who is going to stop Otis and Gable from bulldozing to the gold? The Profits could come back for revenge once the Alpha Academy have the titles for two-birds-one-stone, and that could make for a big match in front of live fans. It might be good that the match for the crown wasn’t in front of fans, that was the right result but not the right pacing of the match. That thing should’ve been a barn burner but instead, it was just some midcard obligation.

With Roman VS Rey happening here, it makes sense they’d want to put another SmackDown match inside the Cell. I like the last minute face-to-face of Bianca and Bayley, it was a good brawl, but I don’t know if I would’ve put their match in the Cell over Cesaro VS Rollins. There has been just as much animosity between Cesaro and Rollins, maybe even more so, those two could’ve really given us something. Same goes for Sami VS Kevin, which I’m glad we’re getting, too. Kevin & Big E VS Apollo & Azeez was a good tag match and Sami had a good part to play, so it just makes sense that Kevin and Sami have a match to keep their feud alive.

My Score: 8.4/10


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Coverage

Andrew’s G1 Climax 31 FINALS Day Results & Match Ratings: 10.21.2021

Kota Ibushi looks to 3-Peat, Kazuchika Okada looks to win his first G1 in 7 years! Who will win?

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Kota Ibushi looks to 3-Peat, Kazuchika Okada looks to win his first G1 in 7 years! Who will win?

So we get a fairly basic card. A few undercard tags, the semi-main contains Shingo and most of the main players not in the Finals. Jeff Cobb goes from a shot in the Finals to the opening match, that’s a big blow to the ego.

There’s a few interesting threads that can be pulled at, but the major draw is the G1 Climax 31 Finals. So let’s get to it!

Ratings:

  • Ryohei Oiwa & Kosei Fujita vs El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru: Kanemaru wins via Boston Crab @8:40 – **
  • United Empire (Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan) vs Toru Yano & Yuji Nagata: Yano wins via Roll-Up @8:29 – **
  • House of Torture (EVIL, SHO & Yujiro Takahashi) w/Dick Togo vs Hirooki Goto, YOSHI-HASHI & Tomohiro Ishii: EVIL wins via Everything is Evil @11:20 – * ½
  • KENTA, Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa & Chase Owens w/Jado vs Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma, Tiger Mask IV & Hiroshi Tanahashi: Chase wins via Package Piledriver @10:41 – ** ½
  • 5 Minute UWF Rules Match::Katsuyori Shibata vs Zack Sabre Jr: Time Limit Draw @5:00 – *****
  • TenCozy, Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato vs Hiromu Takahashi, BUSHI, SANADA & Shingo Takagi: Shingo wins via Pumping Bomber @12:17 – *** ½
  • G1 Finals: Kota Ibushi vs Kazuchika Okada: Okada wins via Referee Stoppage @25:37 – *** ¼

 

Results:

Ryohei Oiwa & Kosei Fujita vs El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru

Commentary doesn’t even really try to hide the fact that these Young Lions are very early in their careers and have no real chance. They are in this match to learn, build endurance and get experience.

Nothing special in this match, they give the Lions a few flash pinfall attempts but again, we all know better. More just moments of surprise cause the Suzuki-Gun duo were playing with their food. Still far too fresh in their training to show anything more than basics, and all I’ll say is, they didn’t embarrass themselves, so that’s a positive.

United Empire (Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan) vs Toru Yano & Yuji Nagata

So one of the most successful teams and singles wrestlers this year, against a clown and a veteran. I mean Nagata is no slouch, but he’s not in a position to be upsetting two rising stars. Maybe Yano pulls off some thievery, but I’m not really intrigued.

Early on we see the usual Yano stuff of shenanigans and turnbuckle pads going missing. Nagata gets tagged in and we get some real wrestling. However, Cobb and Nagata square off outside when they aren’t the legal men, and Yano executes the miraculous shot to the Ding-Ding, and Rolls-Up O-Khan for the win!

This does continue the weird story between O-Khan and Yano, so at least there’s a thread of story, but it does definitely leave Cobb in a weird spot.

House of Torture (EVIL, SHO & Yujiro Takahashi) w/Dick Togo vs Hirooki Goto, YOSHI-HASHI & Tomohiro Ishii

Early on SHO starts with the mind games having a CHAOS towel in the ring and wiping his body with it, and being generally mocking. Things start quick, turnbuckle pads are taken off, people get wrapped into ropes and I suppose this is a more tolerable usage of EVIL. House of Torture can torture the 6 man division with bad wrestling and cliché paint by numbers heel work.

Togo uses the garrot on HASHI, but HASHI and Goto manage to hit GYR on EVIL, but Dick Togo of course gets involved to distract the referee. Chairs lay out the CHOAS members, Everything is EVIL on HASHI and yeah yeah, House wins and challenge for the six mans. Ugh.

KENTA, Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa & Chase Owens w/Jado vs Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma, Tiger Mask IV & Hiroshi Tanahashi

So wait, we get all Bullet Club members against the veteran Hontai Squad? I mean Tanahashi has looked extremely mortal lately, and he’s not really bringing a ton of back up. When Makabe is the second best one on your squad, and he’s barely wrestled this year…you gotta wonder.

Makabe starts things off and we can see his back and waist heavily taped. So it looks like Makabe’s part time schedule could have something to do with injuries. Injured or not, Makabe gets the most of Loa, brings in Honma, then Honma eats some offense from Tama, until Honma counters and lands a big suplex. Tiger Mask IV comes in and actually cleans house, it takes a little bit before Tama does the Double Leapfrog Haku Chop to start taking control.

Bullet Club smacks around Tiger Mask until KENTA eats a Tiger Driver (ironic, I’m aware) and then Tanahashi gets tagged in. Tanahashi works to get a measure of revenge on the Bullet Club, but  then we get some spam moments. G.o.D. tries to take out Makabe, but Makabe wipes out G.o.D. easily. Makabe brings in Honma, Honma takes it to Chase Owens, but no avail. A missed Kokeshi, a blocked Brainbuster attempt, and then C Trigger into Package Piledriver gives Chase the win.

Chase looks to be setting up a challenge, but KENTA blindsides Tanahashi with the belt. KENTA and Chase play tug of war a little, Chase tells KENTA he pinned him, KENTA says he doesn’t care, and Chase relents. He says KENTA can get the first shot, but he got next.

5 Minute UWF Rules Match: Katsuyori Shibata vs Zack Sabre Jr

This…this is amazing. Shibata gets his first match in 4 years, and it’s against the most perfect wrestler for Shibata to have a technical and safe exhibition match.

Since its UWF this is usually done in a points system like the old IMPACT Grand Championship. But a 1 round exhibition doesn’t allow for anything beyond a Draw, but this is wonderful. It’s a technical marvel with counters, submissions, references to Inoki’s classic on the ground pose that we saw Great-O-Khan reference back to during the G1. This is just a great moment, and hard to do any real play by play, but it’s a technical marvel. Hell, Shibata looks better than he ever has.

WAIT – After the match Shibata says “Next time I’m in the ring, I will be in my ring gear”. He punctuates the line with a hard flat back bump and a kip up. …Shibata is back? SHIBATA IS BACK?!

TenCozy, Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato vs Hiromu Takahashi, BUSHI, SANADA & Shingo Takagi

Taguchi and Hiromu start off with a good bit of comedy, before everyone not named Tenzan starts doing the Mongolian Chops, much to Tenzan’s chagrin. Wato has some nice spots early before LIJ do their wonderful Bum Rush. BUSHI comes in, uses the shirt and then LIJ starts dominating Wato. Wato manages to get a little space and get Kojima in and we get Machine Gun Chops on SANADA in the corner!

Hiromu tries to block it, gets shoved in the corner for his own chops, BUSHI tries to stop it, and gets put in the corner for the Triple Stacker of Chops. Shingo looks, and then drops off the apron and decides he’s just gonna let them play. Shingo does cut off Kojima before he does his signature Elbow, so Shingo didn’t ignore his team, just decided he wasn’t gonna fall into the dumb spot.

Signature spams, LIJ pain train, signature spam again, and then we get solid call backs. Shingo and Tenzan are the last two, Shingo uses Mongolian Chops, Tenzan responds in his own way. Some haymakers thrown, a Headbutt from Tenzan, the attempted Flying Headbutt, but Shingo cuts him off, Pumping Bomber, and Shingo wins!

G1 Finals: Kota Ibushi vs Kazuchika Okada

So they feel each other out early, and have the usual fast pace wild swings that get dodged and end in a small rest moment where they just smile and absorb the energy of the match. Before Ibushi can really get anything going, the arrogance of the Rainmaker returns. Very deliberate shots, perfectly rolling through his Slingshot Senton, and his single foot Dropkick. It’s really interesting to see Okada reverting back to his old self. The 2017 form is further exemplified by Shibata’s return since it helps to bring everyone back to “brighter days”.

Okada goes for his corner Hip Attack, but now Ibushi gets to start a comeback. Dropkick, Roundhouse Kicks, Standing Moonsault and Okada powders. After some fighting on the outside, Okada takes control again and hits a DDT on the ramp, which has Ibushi pretty much out. Okada waits in the ring until about 18, before he decides that’s not how he wants to win. Drags Ibushi in, tries the Money Clip, Ibushi won’t go in comfortably, Okada rocks him, whips him into the ropes, hits the Million Dollar Dropkick, and finally gets the Money Clip sunk in. Okada is in a different aggressive form that we haven’t seen since 2018 when his nearly 2 year title reign ended and he went balloon crazy.

Savage Elbow, Rainmaker Pose, Zoom Out…Wind up…Rainmaker misses and Ibushi returns with his own Lariat turning Okada inside out. Now they stand up for the strike exchange. Okada falls into an old Nakamura trap, where he starts winning the exchange, taunts the challenger and gets rocked. Ibushi grins, hits the Frankensteiner sending Okada to Powder. So now it’s Moonsault time for Ibushi, and lands perfectly on Okada.

Going back inside, Ibushi looks for Kamigoye, Okada blocks and then ducks the Round Kick, goes for a Backslide, but Ibushi rolls through and kicks Okada. Okada then eats a V Trigger and a Kamigoye…but it’s only 2! Okada flips Ibushi over when he attempts another Kamigoye, Double Legged Cradle, but ibushi kicks out. They lay each other out, Ibushi crawls to the top rope, Phoenix Splash and…Ibushi lands weird. He immediately grabs his arm, Red Shoes goes over to Ibushi, and after a few moments Red Shoes calls for the bell.

Okada wins the G1 off of Ibushi missing the Phoenix Splash and possibly dislocating his right arm.

Overall Score: 7.25/10

There’s a dark poetry in the ending to this year’s G1. Starting with Naito’s injury and ending with Ibushi’s injury, just makes this a fairly cursed year which plays into the cursed aspect of this World Heavyweight Championship. In a way, this works out for the best since if this tournament was supposed to make a newer wrestler and ended the same way, there would always be an asterisk. But it’s Okada, he’s a proven commodity and no one will really question his victory. I really appreciated the fact that he always loomed close while Ibushi was struggling with the doctor and through his injury. He held his hand many times, even seemed to tell him it’s fine, we’ll do it correctly 1 more time in the future.

Katsuyori Shibata returns, Kazuchika Okada returns to the a level of prominence by winning the G1 Climax 31 and this is a nice way to remind people of the names that many of the current crop of IWC fans know. New Japan grew quickly because of AJ Styles and Kenny Omega’s Bullet Clubs, but in the last few years we’ve seen many of the names we know fall to the back or go to different companies. This could be a return to form finally for New Japan.

Even if it ended off a failed Phoenix Splash, it could help New Japan rise from the ashes of community favor like a Phoenix.


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Andrew’s IMPACT Results & Match Ratings: 10.21.2021

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Bound for Glory is on Saturday! How does IMPACT! hype us up for one of their crowning PPVs of the year?!

We get to see Mickie in an IMPACT ring for the first since 2015, Heath tries to get answers out of Rhino and we’ll probably see a lot of Josh Alexander and Christian Cage fleshing out the last little bits of the World Title match.

Aside from that, do we get anything of note to talk about, or is it just an appetizer for the real show on Saturday?

Ratings:

  • Bullet Club (Chris Bey & Hikuleo) vs FinJuice: NO CONTEST/Double Pinfall – ***
  • Jordynne Grace & Fallah Bahh vs Tenille Dashwood & John Skyler vs Chelsea Green & Crazzy Steve: Tenille wins via Spotlight Kick – ***
  • Pick Your Poison: Savannah Evans w/Tasha Steelz vs Mickie James: Mickie wins via Mick DDT – *** ¼
  • Alex Zayne vs Trey Miguel: Miguel wins via Meteora – ** ¾

 

Results:

The Insiders Stream on YouTube didn’t start until about 9:00pm, I’m not sure why IMPACT constantly has issues, but YouTube is not a hard platform to utilize. These delays are inane and embarrassing.

Bullet Club (Chris Bey & Hikuleo) vs FinJuice

Bey and Leo try some trickery early, but Finlay keeps pace. When Leo gets back into the match he starts throwing Finlay around a bit, which opens up opportunity for Bey. Bey looks to get flashy, but Finlay manages to get Juice in and Juice comes in hot. He nearly flips Bey out of the ring, takes Leo off the apron and tags in Finlay for some tandem work.

Leo breaks up the pinfall and then throws out Juice. Finlay grabs Bey in a Backbreaker/STO combination but Bey’s feet bump the referee. Leo chokeslams Finlay, puts Bey on top, but it takes the new referee too long to show up and it’s only a two count. We see Hikuleo trying to finish things, while the new referee tries to wake up the original referee. Leo gets double teamed, Juice Rolls Up Leo and then Bey Rolls Up Finlay, both referees count a 3 count for the different pinfalls. So we get a little call back to Beer Money and Motor City Machine Guns if we’re staying within TNA Universe.

This will probably end up a triple threat, unlike the MCMG/Beer Money double pinfall which ended in overtime.

There’s a long segment with Josh Alexander giving us his story. It’s not a bad segment, but the only advantage to the show starting late means I got to rewind for the match and speed through most of this. Alexander is a great story, but I already mostly know it, and would really like to see him win at Bound for Glory. Get the title back on a wrestler on the actual IMPACT roster.

Jordynne Grace & Fallah Bahh vs Tenille Dashwood & John Skyler vs Chelsea Green & Crazzy Steve:

This is a Digital Media Championship preliminary match. I find it interesting that there’s 3 men and 3 women. So instead of one or two for “inclusion” it’s actually an even spread. The way the teams are broken apart is interesting too where it’s Power vs Crazy vs Opportunistic.

The gimmicks actually paid off in the match. Jodynne massacred kids, but then things started to get a little messy. Fallah gets a handle on things, squishes the world, and then looks to BAHHnzai Drop on Tenille but Kaleb gets involved. A little more confusion, Steve hits King Kill 33 on Fallah, but Skyler pulls Steve out of the ring. Tenille hits the Spotlight Kick and the Opportunistic team win because well…there was an opportunity.

Pick Your Poison: Savannah Evans w/Tasha Steelz vs Mickie James

Mickie takes a moment to absorb the accolades from the crowd first, and then we see a quick strategy twist. Savannah looks for a few Haymakers and using her reach to her advantage, where Mickie just finds a few quick strikes and interesting angles to land some offense. Mickie looked to be building some momentum, and then Tasha got involved.

Savannah starts to dominate after the assist from her second. Big Bear Hug in the middle has Savannah just ragdolling Mickie until she can land a few choice Forearms. Mickie fights out, Sole Butts, a few nice attacks and Mickie hits the Avalanche Thesz Press, but only a 2 count. Deonna’s music plays as Savannah kicks out, Mickie is distracted and then we see Savannah lay in some big shots. The Full Nelson Bomb only gets Savannah a 2. Mick Kick rocks Mickie and then Mick DDT for the win. Hardcore Country wins the match.

Deonna walks down, mouths off…actually pushes Mickie…so I’m confused about the no contact clause…but then Rehwoldt shows up behind Mickie and wipes her out.

Alex Zayne vs Trey Miguel

The Sauce against the other guy who can’t speak but likes to try to use food analogies and sucks at it, aka, Trey Miguel. He’s like a Young Will Ospreay with less ability to talk…so no upside at the moment cause Ospreay was pretty awful up until a year or two ago.

So this is just a lot of counters, blocks, Arm Wringers, not much direct offense, just a lot of choreographed spots. This feels like a much slower paced version of a Ricochet/Ospreay match from 2016. Zayne is a more fluid wrestler, and he just makes everything look good. Miguel does a weird Cradled Octopus but Zayne responds with a Handspring Frankensteiner, as an early highlight spot.

Miguel in Ospreay fashion hits the Cheeky Nandos, into the corner stuck Tiger Feint, Meteora and Trey wins.

Thankfully Maclin attacks Trey after the match so I feel generally better. Bullet Club comes out and take out both Maclin and Trey. El Phantasmo just baby faced himself in my house.

Show ends with the usual talking segment hyping the World Title match. Alexander gets a “You Deserve It” from the crowd and portrays himself as the everyman fighting for his boys. Christian’s music hits and Captain Charisma vacuum shows up to stir a pot that doesn’t need to be stirred.

Christian taking the experienced thrives under pressure condescending veteran angle is…annoying. Like I said a few weeks ago, the boxes they are trying to play in, I don’t love. Alexander does flip the script nicely talking about how people classified him as nothing more than a Tag Team guy, and “sounding familiar” strikes a chord with Christian. Small scuffle as Christian tries to snip back, but it’s fairly paint by numbers.

Overall Score: 5/10

Low key? This was a pretty lame episode for an Impact Go Home. The matches weren’t really anything special, with the most happening during Pick Your Poison, but it effectively being a non-issue. The YouTube delay of course hurt my enjoyment of the show, but even without the delay, I don’t really feel like this would’ve registered much higher on my scale.

I am looking forward to Bound for Glory because of who’s in the matches, but this episode didn’t help sell it. Thankfully it’s already sold out, and most people probably decided if they were purchasing it by now.

When it comes down to it, I’m expecting quite a few title changes, even though I’m figuring that Mickie’s involvement is more of a one off to give the rub to younger talent and cement her dominant reign. Alexander I would love to see win the belt and The IInspiration would do wonders and put an immediate spotlight on a division that has floundered behind a lack of real teams and no real direction.

So I’ll see all of you on Saturday for Bound for Glory!


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