Mitchell’s NJPW Summer Struggle Osaka Report! (7/23/21)
LIJ VS Tekkers, round two!
This isn’t a replay, Osaka, it’s a rearrangement!
NJPW liked the idea of LIJ VS Dangerous Tekkers in separate singles matches so much, they’re doing it again! But now, Sanada and Naito trade opponents!
NOTE: NJPW no longer wants to feed AXS TV now that it is with Anthem and Impact Wrestling. But never fear, I will cover NJPW in the spirit of AXS in providing the most important matches of the show.
- SANADA VS Taichi; Sanada wins.
- Tetsuya Naito VS Zack Sabre Jr; Naito wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
SANADA VS Taichi!
The Cold Skull and the Submission Master caught each other in a double pin draw just 24 hours ago, so that only bolsters the confidence of the Sliest Wrestler in the world! Will Taichi sweep Los Ingobernables de Japon’s golden duo? Or will Sanada make up for falling short with his second at-bat?
Much like yesterday, Taichi takes his time with the elaborate ring gear, and shows off the dancing pecs. Unlike Naito, Sanada is done rather quickly, and Red Shoes does his checks. The bell rings and the fans cheer as the two stare down. Taichi and Sanada slowly approach, Taichi does more dancing pecs just to show off, and then asks Sanada to do his. Sanada also has dancing pecs! Sanada passes it back to Taichi, so Taichi shows off with the alternating movement. Taichi again passes it back to Sanada, and he gets on the corner so more can see! And Sanada again passes it to Taichi. Fans rally up so Taichi climbs a corner. Sanada takes his turn without being asked!
Fans cheer as the dancing pecs keep on dancing! They finally hop down off the corner and they go down to ask commentary who has the better pair! Well obviously Yoshinobu Kanemaru is going to be on Taichi’s side. But they go back to Red Shoes, and Red Shoes determines the fan applause to be in favor of… SANADA! Taichi is upset and he chokes Sanada into a corner! Red Shoes counts, Taichi shifts to digging his boot in, but Red Shoes counts again. Taichi lets off and argues about the pec contest results. Red Shoes says the claps were honestly in favor of Sanada! Maybe this is a case of popularity over skill?
Taichi goes back to Sanada but Sanada gets around for a BIG atomic drop! Sanada gets the legs, then the arms, but Taichi kicks Sanada away. Taichi blocks a kick, trips Sanada up, and considers stealing Paradise! But Sanada kicks him away before then! Sanada gets up but Taichi chokes Sanada again! Taichi puts Sanada on ropes to use those to choke him, but Red Shoes counts. Taichi lets off fast, and then gets the arms and legs! Taichi is going to use the ropes in Paradise like Sanada sometimes does, and it makes for a good fix. Taichi has the fans fire up, also like Sanada would, and then Taichi gets a three point stance. Taichi runs in to basement dropkick Sanada out of Paradise!
Sanada falls to the floor, Taichi goes out after him. Taichi hopes Milano liked that one. Taichi gets Sanada up as fans rally, and he whips Sanada hard into railing! Sanada slumps down while Taichi paces. Taichi gets a camera cable to choke Sanada! Red Shoes goes out and reprimands, then counts. Taichi lets go with one hand but Red Shoes makes him let go completely. Sanada sputters but Taichi digs his knee in. A ring count begins, Taichi lets off on Sanada and paces about. We’re at 10 of 20 as Taichi gets Sanada up, then 15 as he puts Sanada in. Taichi takes his time getting Sanada back up, and he hides a choke inside the chinlock! Red Shoes knows this trick, he counts!
Taichi lets go, but smirks as he stalks Sanada. Taichi gets Sanada up to snapmare and choke! Again, Red Shoes has seen this trick enough, so he counts. Taichi lets off, to choke with both hands! Red Shoes counts again, so Taichi stops. Taichi mockingly applauds as he paces about. Taichi gives Sanada toying kicks, but Sanada gets up to throw forearms! Taichi just takes them, kicks low and snapmares to KICK Sanada in the back. Taichi gets Sanada in a standing cobra twist! Sanada endures, even as Taichi thrashes him about. Fans rally, Sanada fights, but Taichi clubs him in the ribs! Sanada still endures as Taichi mockingly asks, “What’re you gonna do?!”
Sanada powers up and gets the ropebreak! Taichi lets off, brings Sanada back and reels him in, but Sanada blocks the lift! Taichi CHOPS Sanada on the back, but Sanada back drops free! Taichi gets up fast but Sanada dropkicks one of Taichi’s legs out! Both men are down as fans rally, “SA-NA-DA! SA-NA-DA!” Sanada stands, gets Taichi up, and throws more forearms. Sanada whips, Taichi reverses and gets a choke grip! But Sanada breaks free to choke grip back! Sanada whips, hurdles, hurdles, and dropkicks Taichi out of the ring! Fans fire up and Sanada takes aim. Taichi stands, but avoids the Plancha!
Sanada is on the apron, he ROCKS Taichi, then springboards, but Taichi dodges! Sanada blocks a boot, and trips Taichi to put Taichi in Paradise! Fans get louder and louder as Sanada encourages them, and he likes what he hears. Sanada runs in to dropkick Taichi out of Paradise now! Cover, TWO! Sanada keeps cool and drags Taichi up to a fireman’s carry. Taichi fights free, Sanada switches but Taichi resists the slam to PELE! Both men are down again and fans rally back up. Sanada gets to a corner while Taichi sits up. Taichi runs in, clotheslines, then whips corner to corner to clothesline again! Snapmare and cover, TWO! Sanada is still in this but Taichi keeps focus.
Taichi raises his arm and the fans get louder as he powers up. Sanada rises, Taichi builds speed, but Sanada ducks Ax Bomber! Sanada comes back, Taichi boots his clothesline then ROUNDHOUSES! Taichi runs, but into a fireman’s carry! TKO! Cover, TWO!! Taichi survives and both men are down as fans rally up again. Sanada stands up, drags Taichi up but Taichi kicks from below! Sanada staggers, but he comes back to give Kowata Kicks! Taichi gets mad, mostly because they weren’t that strong. Taichi kicks low then gives Sanada his Kowata Kicks! Sanada shrugs those off?! Sanada throws a forearm, Taichi KICKS a leg!
Sanada grits his teeth to throw another forearm, but Taichi KICKS again! Forearm, KICK, repeat! Fans fire up as they go faster and faster back and forth. Taichi gets the edge and fires up. Taichi eggs Sanada on and Sanada EuroUppers! Taichi staggers but comes back to BOOT! Sanada stays up and he comes back to boot Taichi! Taichi boots back, so Sanada boots him! Fans cheer as both men stay up and Taichi boots Sanada again. Sanada boots Taichi, both take a moment to catch their breath, but Taichi fires up to boot, only for Sanada to block and EuroUpper! Taichi gets right up to wrench and HOOK KICK!
But Sanda’s right up to ROLLING ELBOW! AND TIGER DRIVER!! Cover, ONE?!?! Taichi is right up, and he reels Sanada into DANGEROUS SAIDO! But Sanada’s right up!! Both men are dizzy and they both fall over! Fans are fired up while Kanemaru is surprised on commentary. Taichi slowly sits back up and crawls towards a corner. Taichi fires himself up and fans rally behind him. OFF COME THE PANTS! Taichi powers up, aims at Sanada, but Sanada dropkicks him first! And ROLLING- Choke! CHOKE SLAM! Cover, TWO!! Sanada survives but Taichi powers up his left hand? Taichi drags Sanada up in a choke grip, reels him in and back suplexes, but Sanada lands on his feet!
Sanada shoves Taichi to a corner, Taichi dodges Sanada and comes back to GAM- No, Sanada blocks to QUEBRADA, and dragon sleeper! But Taichi slips out to SEITEIJYUJIRYOU! But Sanada arm-drags free before it locks in! Sanada spins Taichi to SHIRANUI to dragon sleeper! Fans cheer but Taichi fights free again to Alabama lift! Sanada fights out, SOBAT! Sanada runs to tilt-o-whirl into the dragon sleeper! Borrowing a bit from Naito’s Destino there! SKULL END! Taichi is caught, but he flails and reaches as Sanada squeezes tight! Fans rally up, Taichi scoots around as best he can, but he is fading! Sanada squeezes more as Taichi reaches for Red Shoes!
Red Shoes checks on Taichi, Sanada lets him free and goes to the corner! ROUNDING BODY PRESS to Taichi’s back! Sanada flips Taichi over, goes back up top, ROUNDING BODY onto knees! Taichi saves himself and fans fire back up! Sanada and Taichi stir, go to opposite corners, and Sanada grits his teeth as he gets up. Taichi stands in the other corner, Sanada runs in but into a boot! Taichi runs in but into a boot! Taichi mule kicks, Sanada fires up but Taichi ROCKS him with a forearm! BLINDSIDE AX BOMBER! Sanada staggers and rebounds off ropes into a GAMANGIRI! Taichi roars and fans are thunderous now!
Taichi gets Sanada back up, reels him in, gets him up, TAICHI STYLE LAST RIDE! DEEP high stack, TWO!! Sanada survives but Taichi is too tired to be surprised. Fans rally up again and Taichi gets up. Taichi vows to end this now, and he drags Sanada back up. Alabama lift, tuck, but Sanada springs out to O’Conner Roll and- No bridge, Taichi turns it to GEDO CLUTCH! TWO!! O’CONNER BRIDGE! SANADA WINS!!
Winner: Sanada, by pinfall
Taichi can’t believe it! He was so sure he had Sanada, but Sanada snatches victory from the jaws of defeat! Now the singles series is 1-1-1, an absolute tie! Taichi is in denial but can he make up for this at the Tokyo Dome?
Tetsuya Naito VS Zack Sabre Jr!
As we just saw, LIJ and the Tekkers have one win, one loss and one tie in their miniseries so far. It all comes down to the Uncontrollable Charisma and the Submission Master! Will Naito make up for his loss to Taichi by helping LIJ sweep the night? Or will ZSJ make him #JustTapOut to end the action in Osaka?
Naito again takes his time with the entrance gear but ZSJ stays patient. Wait was there more to it this time than usual? With that done, Red Shoes does his check, and the bell rings! Fans rally up already, and Naito insists it is “NA-I-TO!” Naito and ZSJ circle, approach, and Naito keeps changing the test of strength on ZSJ. ZSJ is annoyed by this but fans cheer. Naito and ZSJ circle again, approach, and ZSJ gets Naito on the ropes. ZSJ lets off, Naito kicks him and throws him out! Naito then waits on ZSJ for the test of strength. Fans cheer but ZSJ paces outside. ZSJ returns, circles with Naito, and still Naito wants a test of strength.
ZSJ and Naito finally tie up with knuckle locks but Naito kicks and throws ZSJ out again! ZSJ throws a fit against the railing and fans cheer. Naito waits as ZSJ goes around the corner, and Naito grins as he waits on ZSJ. ZSJ says Naito is very amusing, then he gets in. Naito kicks and throws ZSJ out again, ZSJ rushes back in but now Naito bails out! Fans cheer as Naito trolls ZSJ and asks him to tranquilo. ZSJ paces around in the ring and Naito has Red Shoes keep him back. Naito then returns, only to roll back out. ZSJ goes out and chases Naito around, Naito gets in the ring and Naito hits an atomic drop! And dropkicks the bad leg out! And still Naito wants the test of strength.
ZSJ of course refuses since he’s on the mat, so Naito stomps his bad leg! Naito still wants the test, but he stomps ZSJ again. ZSJ gets to ropes so Naito stomps him to the apron. Naito goes out but ZSJ grabs his hair, so Naito rakes ZSJ’s eyes! Naito throws elbows into the bad leg then drags ZSJ out to RAM him into railing! Naito keeps ZSJ up, wraps the bad leg around railing and pulls. Red Shoes reprimands but Naito pulls the leg more! Red Shoes counts so Naito BOOTS the railing! ZSJ falls over and Naito goes into the ring. Fans rally up as a ring count starts. ZSJ has to scoot and hobble over at 10 of 20 and hop in at 12.
Naito stomps the bad leg again and ZSJ gets to a corner. That doesn’t stop Naito from stomping! Naito snapmares ZSJ, ties up the legs, rolls him over, and has a Trailer Hitch! ZSJ endures as Naito keeps on the bad leg. ZSJ reaches back, but Naito pushes up to add leverage! ZSJ moves around, gets the ropebreak, but Naito insists he’s stuck. Red Shoes tries to figure this out but then Naito “accidentally” falls! Naito blames Red Shoes for tripping him! Naito stomps ZSJ’s bad leg, gets him up but ZSJ resists the shin breaker lift. Naito kicks the bad leg, gets ZSJ’s leg again but again ZSJ holds off the lift! Naito CLUBS the leg, runs, but ZSJ dodges the dropkick to NECK TWIST!
Fans cheer as both men are down, and ZSJ works on his bad knee. Naito clutches his neck and shoulder as he goes to ropes while fans rally up. ZSJ hobbles over and puts Naito in a headscissors. ZSJ pushes up and moves around to twist Naito’s head, and then ZSJ mocks the LIJ fist salute. ZSJ gets the legs, too, he’s modifying Cremation Lily a little. Naito endures so ZSJ grabs ropes to push up and crank the headscissors. Red Shoes counts, ZSJ lets Naito go and Naito bails out. ZSJ goes out after him to fire off EuroUpper after EuroUpper! Naito falls over and fans cheer as ZSJ goes back in the ring. Fans rally as the ring count starts again.
The count is 10 of 20 before Naito sits up. Naito crawls around at 13, gets to his feet at 15, and gets in at 17. ZSJ stands on Naito at the ropes, wraps the arm around ropes then digs his boots in. ZSJ lets off to give toying kicks. Naito gets up to CHOP ZSJ and fans like that. ZSJ EuroUppers, Naito forearms, repeat, and fans rally up as ZSJ EuroUppers and runs. Naito elbows, atomic drops, and dropkicks the leg out! Fans cheer again as both men are down. Naito gets up first, gets ZSJ up to fire off hands, then whips him to ropes to elbow him down. Naito runs to basement dropkick ZSJ in the back!
ZSJ gets to a corner, Naito whips him corner to corner and rocket kicks! Leg sweep and slingshot, but ZSJ guards. But Naito was faking him out! Naito dropkicks the bad leg! Fans cheer, and Naito takes his time going back after ZSJ. Naito stands ZSJ up to throw a back elbow, kick the leg, and repeat! Naito then CLUBS ZSJ down and eggs him on. ZSJ gets up, Naito snapmares him, then Naito goes for the bad leg. Naito drops an elbow on the knee! ZSJ fights back with a chinlock but Naito pulls on the toehold. Fans rally up as the two fight with holds, and ZSJ pulls at Naito’s nose. Red Shoes reprimands, Naito pulls on the bad leg! ZSJ scrambles to get the ropebreak!
Naito lets ZSJ go and ZSJ gets to a corner. Naito kicks at ZSJ, and kicks, and eggs him on. ZSJ gets up but Naito hammerlocks an arm. ZSJ resists Gloria to snapmare and NECK TWIST! Again, Naito clutches his shoulder area as fans rally up. ZSJ puts on a full nelson, uses that to lift Naito, but Naito fights free to arm-drag! ZSJ drops in to get a leg, then an arm, but Naito avoids the Pele to dropkick the leg out! Naito hurries after ZSJ and gets the foot for a SHORT LEG SCISSOR! ZSJ endures and fans rally up as Naito thrashes the knee! ZSJ pries at the scissors but Naito pulls on the leg. ZSJ drags himself and Naito over and gets the ropebreak! Fans cheer as Naito lets go.
Naito gets back up and paces to make sure his own legs are still good. Naito gets ZSJ up, throws more back elbows, then kicks the bad leg out! Naito dares ZSJ to get up but ZSJ dares Naito to come after him. Naito stands ZSJ up for even more back elbows, and then he kicks the leg again! Naito tries again but ZSJ dodges! ZSJ forearms, Naito forearms, ZSJ PELES the arm! ZSJ whips, catches Naito’s leaping forearm and has a GUILLOTINE! Naito stays up even as ZSJ body scissors, and Naito puts ZSJ in a corner. Naito fires body shots, whips corner to corner but ZSJ reverses. ZSJ runs in, Naito dodges, but ZSJ goes up and tornado DDT’s into a GUILLOTINE!
Naito is caught in the center of the ring as fans rally up! Naito moves around but ZSJ shifts from Guillotine to Triangle Hold! ZSJ squeezes as tight as he can and Naito is fading! Red Shoes checks but Naito gets a ropebreak with a foot! ZSJ lets go and fans rally up, “NA-I-TO! NA-I-TO!” Naito stirs but ZSJ gets him up. ZSJ throws a hard EuroUpper but Naito stays up. ZSJ shoves him so Naito CHOPS! ZSJ EuroUppers, Naito CHOPS! ZSJ comes back to EuroUpper again and Naito CHOPS again! Fans cheer as the two stay up, ZSJ EuroUppers but Naito kicks the bad leg. Naito eggs ZSJ on and ZSJ comes back to EuroUpper again. Naito just kicks the bad leg again!
Naito keeps egging ZSJ on, ZSJ scoots over and stands back up. ZSJ EuroUppers, Naito kicks! Naito stomps the bad leg, stops to line up a shot, but ZSJ blocks it! ZSJ EuroUppers, whips, but Naito reverses to TORNADO DDT! Fans fire up as both men are down again! Naito gets up, drags ZSJ up, and hoists him to the top rope. Naito climbs up to SUPER STEINER! Fans fire up again as Naito aims from the corner. ZSJ rises, Naito runs in, but ZSJ BOOTS him! Naito tries again but ZSJ BOOTS! ZSJ whips, Naito reverses to kick and ENZIGURI! Naito gets ZSJ up, hammerlock and lift but ZSJ slips out to SLEEPER! Naito snapmares free but ZSJ throws EuroUppers!
ZSJ swings but Naito catches him and spins him. ZSJ spins through the neckbreaker to backslide! Naito slips off but ZSJ NECK TWISTS again! Fans rally up as both men are down again and ZSJ gets to ropes. Naito rolls towards a corner, ZSJ runs in! ZSJ hits a EuroUpper, shoves Naito out, then gets a SLEEPER! Naito rolls but ZSJ holds on tight! ZSJ traps an arm, then another, then has a DRAGON SLEEPER! ZSJ might be inventing a new hold before our very eyes! Naito endures and reaches with his legs but he’s caught! Naito manages to move his arms but ZSJ drags him back! ZSJ lets Naito out of the arm trap to pull on the dragon sleeper harder!
ZSJ then scoops Naito, but Naito slips out and dropkicks the bad leg from behind! Both men are down again but fans rally up. ZSJ and Naito go to opposite corners again, and Naito stands first. Naito runs in and dropkicks the bad leg out! Naito gets ZSJ up at the corner as he climbs, ESPERANZA! Cover, TWO!! ZSJ survives and fans fire up as Naito goes back to the corner. Naito eggs ZSJ on, ZSJ stands, and Naito runs in, tilt-o-whirl, CORRIENDOSHIKI! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up as Naito gets ZSJ up again. Naito scoops, ZSJ slips out and SNAP DRAGON SUPLEXES! But Naito is right up to SNAP DRAGON SUPLEX ZSJ!
ZSJ staggers up, runs but Naito spins and fires off elbows and kicks! ENZIGURI! ZSJ rebounds to PENALTY KICK! Both men are down again and fans are thunderous now! ZSJ drags himself over to Naito as fans rally up. ZSJ stands Naito up, but Naito scoops to VALENTIA!! Naito fires up, fans join in, and Naito gets ZSJ up to wrench and tilt-o-whirl, DESTINO!!! Cover, Naito wins!!
Winner: Tetsuya Naito, by pinfall
And LIJ walks away with the singles series, 2-1-1! Sanada comes out to join Naito, but Taichi appears to join ZSJ. It’s quite the switch from just last night. Naito applauds ZSJ’s efforts as ZSJ and Taichi take their leave. Naito and Sanada watch the Tekkers exit completely before Naito says, “Buenos tardes, OSAKAAAAA~!” Taichi last night, ZSJ tonight, both of them Sunday, they’re really busy. But first, he thanks everyone for being here the last couple of days, even with everything that’s been happening. “Gracias, amigos!” He knows that they know just a couple weeks ago in Sapporo, Naito & Sanada won and became the 90th IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions.
Now, he and Sanada will have to defend the titles against Taichi and ZSJ in a rematch. “They both seem to have it in for me,” but Naito still likes wrestling them. So Taichi, Zack, if you can hear him right now backstage, Naito wants all four of them to really enjoy themselves in the Tokyo Dome, cabron! Who will have these belts when NJPW comes back through Osaka later this year? Everyone, please look forward to that time! But of course, until then, TRANQUILO~! Assen na yo! Fans cheer and Naito hopes to see everyone again in Osaka for G1 Climax 31’s opener on September 18th and 19th! But NJPW Summer Struggle Osaka has to of course end with the role call!
“Bushi! Sanada! Hiromu! Takagi! Y Naito! Nosotros! Los Ingoberrrrrnableeees~! DE! JA! PON!” LIJ is going strong into the Dome, but will they be able to stay golden into the Climax?
Another good event for NJPW, but yes, I did skip a lot of stuff. I will say, Bullet Club gave us a unique combo in an opening Six Man. JADO of all people gets a pin on Ryusuke Taguchi to slow down the Mega Coaches ahead of a Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship match. But other parts felt like rehashes, such as Tokyo Pimp taking another loss so Ishii and his teammates can be strong without hurting Evil or Kenta. The United Empire gets another win as Jeff Cobb gets another pin, just not on Okada, and Takagi & Bushi win another one against Honma & Wato. The math is all about the same there as I felt it was yesterday, really.
But the real math was in the LIJ VS Tekkers singles swaps. Both matches were a touch dragged out but they both still fired up at the end. Sanada and Naito both getting wins here was a big surprise. Naito was of course going to win to stay even in his own rights, but Sanada was perhaps the bigger surprise. NJPW doesn’t usually give us a case where the winners in the go-home then lose the title match, but it isn’t so easy to call it anyway. Naito & Sanada could lose and then go back to chasing singles titles, or the same could be for the Tekkers where they lose and go after singles titles. Either way, this match will be great, as will the entire Wrestle Grand Slam Tokyo show.
My Score: 8.9/10
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Mitchell’s AEW Rampage Results & Report! (6/2/23)
Champions are on a Rampage!
Four championships on one Friday night!
AEW Rampage hosts FOUR (non AEW) championship matches on one night! Will the champions make it through with their titles?
- AAA Mega Championship Triple Threat: El Hijo del Vikingo VS Komander VS Dralistico; Vikingo wins and retains the title.
- NJPW World Television Championship: Zack Sabre Jr. VS Action Andretti; ZSJ wins and retains the title.
- NJPW Strong Women’s Championship: Willow Nightingale VS Emi Sakura; Willow wins and retains the title.
- ROH Pure Championship: Katsuyori Shibata VS Lee Moriarty; Shibata wins and retains the title.
PLAY BY PLAY
AAA Mega Championship Triple Threat: El Hijo del Vikingo VS Komander VS Dralistico w/ Jose!
Two of these men teamed up just last night on ROH to win a Six Man Tag, but now they are opponents for the top title in AAA Lucha Libre. Meanwhile, La Faccion Ingobernable’s Prince of Silver and Gold is hungry for gold, will he take it away from Vikingo?
The bell rings and the three circle. Fans rally up for “LUCHA! LUCHA!” and “LUCHA LIBRE!” Dralistico swings, Vikingo dodges, but then Komander ducks Vikingo’s kick! Dralistico picks Vikingo up, throws him at Komander, but Komander throws Vikingo back. Vikingo wheelbarrows and arm-drags Dralistico but handsprings through. Vikingo dodges Komander now, shoves him to ropes, but Komander springboards! Vikingo gets under the crossbody, Komander tumbles and rolls but Dralistico jumps over, and then Vikingo jumps over Dralistico. Komander jumps over Vikingo, Dralistico jumps over Komander again, and they cycle continues!
Fans fire up for jump after jump, and then the three stand off. Dralistico raises the LFI fist and the three circle. Dralistico shoves the other two to then DOUBLE SHOTGUN! They bail out, Dralistico runs to FLY! Dralistico wipes both men out and fans fire up! Dralistico RAMS Komander into steel steps, and then he runs and RAMS Vikingo into railing! Fans cheer, Jose pats Dralistico on the shoulder and Dralistico goes back to BOOT Komander down. Dralistico puts Komander in, aims and springboards, to SWANTON! Cover, TWO! Dralistico wants a faster count but the ref says his count was fair.
Dralistico stomps Komander but fans taunt him. Dralistico bails out, tells the fans he’s done with them, but then they boo. Dralistico goes back to the ring, brings Komander up and tells everyone to hush. Dralistico CHOPS and Komander sits right down! Fans cheer as Dralistico says one more time, and he CHOPS, and CHOPS, and whips Komander. Komander reverses, runs in but is put on the apron. Dralistico swings, Komander blocks, and then Komander CHOPS! Komander slingshots up but Dralistico trips him! Dralistico ROCKS Komander, puts him in the ropes, and then goes up the corner.
Fans fire up as Dralistico WOE STOMPS Komander to the apron!! Fans fire up but then Vikingo gets in to go up and up and AIRHARA MOONSAULT! Direct hit on Dralistico and the fans are thunderous! Vikingo gets Dralistico and Komander in the ring, and then runs in at the corner. Dralistico stands up into the GAMANGIRI! Vikingo goes up the corner, to IMPLODER DRAGON RANA!! Fans fire up as Vikingo keeps Dralistico in the ring to then go up the ropes, OUTSIDE-IN PHOENIX SPLASH!! Cover, Komander breaks it! Fans fire up as this continues, they love “LUCHA! LUCHA!”
Vikingo GAMANGIRIS Dralistico, Komander adds a knee, and they double whip corner to corner. Vikingo sends Komander in but Dralistico TOSSES him out! Vikingo and Dralistico step up face to face, and Vikingo CHOPS! Dralistico CHOPS! Vikingo CHOPS again! Dralistico drops to a knee, and fans rally up. Vikingo throws forearms but Dralistico gives them back. Dralistico then SOBATS, KNEES, and runs, but into a SCREW HIGH KICK! Cover, TWO! Dralistico survives and Vikingo is a bit surprised. Fans continue to rally as Vikingo sees Komander on the apron. Vikingo storms up to throw forearms on Komander while Rampage goes picture in picture.
Vikingo GAMANGIRIS Komander down to the floor, then he fires forearms on Dralistico. Vikingo gets the fans fired up as he whips corner to corner. Dralistico reverses, runs in, but Vikingo puts him on the apron. Dralistico bumps Viking off buckles, ROUNDHOUSES him, then springboards, FLYING CODE BREAKER! Cover, TWO! Vikingo is still in this and Jose is upset. Dralistico drags Vikingo up, pushes him to ropes, then goes out to look under the ring. He brings out a TABLE! Jose helps Dralistico set that up at ringside, then Dralistico goes to fetch Vikingo. Komander is there but Dralistico ROCKS him and RAMS him into railing.
Dralistico CHOKES Vikingo against the railing, Rampage returns to single picture, and Dralistico puts Vikingo in the ring. Fans rally up, Dralistico runs to SUPERKICK Komander in the corner! Dralistico tranquilos on the top rope and fans are torn. Dralistico runs side to side again but Komander avoids the boot wash to GAMANGIRI! Komander springboards and double jumps, FLYING RANA!! Not the cleanest but fans fire up. Vikingo returns, Komander goes Matrix to then arm-drag Vikingo around! And dropkick! Fans fire up again as Vikingo brawls with Dralistico on the outside, and Komander climbs the far corner!
Komander tightrope walks to double jump MOONSAULT! “This is Awesome!” as Komander puts Dralistico in the ring. Komander goes up the corner again, tightrope walks again, 450 SPLASH!! Cover, but Vikingo DIVING DOUBLE STOMPS it apart! Fans fire up as Dralistico flops out onto the table. Vikingo whips Komander, Komander reverses, but Vikingo goes up and Komander hits buckles! Vikingo then springboards to FLYING POISON-RANA Komander down!! Vikingo puts Komander out on the table with Dralistico, and then runs the ropes! Fans fire up as Vikingo goes up and 630 SENTONS through the senton!!
“This is Awesome!” but Dralistico avoided disaster! Dralistico puts Vikingo in, slashes his throat, POWER- RANA!! Cover, VIKINGO WINS!!
Winner: El Hijo del Vikingo, by pinfall (still AAA Mega Champion)
Dralistico is furious that victory was snatched away from him in an instant! But this is why you cannot underestimate El Hijo del Vikingo! Will his AAA Mega reign continue through the summer?
Backstage interview with Team Triple J.
Lexi Nair is with Jay Lethal, Sonjay Dutt, Satnam Singh, as well as Jeff & Karen Jarrett, “and the talk all week has been that you, Sonjay Dutt, and your group will be suspended.” WHAT?! Fined? Suspended? The only ones who should be facing that is AEW itself! They backed Triple J into a corner and they came out swinging like any real fighters would! Lethal feels that there should be consequences for Aubrey Edwards! She’s been against Triple J since the dawn of time! Something needs to be done about her! Jeff adds that there’s been enough talk these past five days. Should the heat go on the promotion? Should the heat go on Briscoe? On Aubrey?
The reality of the fact is, these five people are walking, talking, fire-breathing heat! But wait, here comes Mark Briscoe! He wants everyone to simmer down. There will be no suspensions, he assures us that. Mark talked with Tony Khan, Tony promised them there would be no suspensions. Because if Triple J is suspended, then they can’t be here. Because if they aren’t here, then they can’t get the ass whooping they deserve! Lethal wants Mark to hold on but Mark tells Lethal to shut up! We ain’t talking about Lethal! We’re talking about Jeff and KAREN! What?! “We?” Who is “we?!” AUBREY EDWARDS!!
Triple J cannot believe this. Aubrey wants Karen? Then there’s nothing but air and opportunity between them. So then Aubrey CHOKES Karen!! Karen and Aubrey start scrapping and Triple J, other refs and security rush in to stop this! When and where will Double J & the one true Karen have to face off with the Sussex County Chicken and one pissed off zebra?
NJPW World Television Championship: Zack Sabre Jr. VS Action Andretti!
Speaking of just last night on ROH, the Frontman of TMDK just defended this belt against Rocky Romero to prove a point to “Samoan Joseph” about who is the better, harder working Television Champion. And here he is again as part of this championship edition of Rampage! Will the ZSJ Show continue on into the summer block? Or will NJPW have some #LightsCameraAction?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we see if Action gets his 15 minutes of fame!
The bell rings and we’re on the clock. The two circle, fans rally, feel things out, and ZSJ shoots in to waistlock and full nelson. Then he spins Action to a cravat, but Action pries at the hold. ZSJ facelocks now, Action wrenches out of that but ZSJ rolls and slips away. Fans cheer this opening exchange and the two reset. Action shoots in but ZSJ avoids him. They tie up with knuckle locks, ZSJ bridges back and wrenches around to then wrangle Action with a top wristlock. Fans cheer and ZSJ digs a knee into the shoulder. Action rolls, cartwheels, arm-drags, but fans cheer as ZSJ holds onto the wrist!
ZSJ twists the wrist, bends the fingers, drags Action up and wrenches the arm to wrangle him again. Action keeps his shoulders up, fans rally, and Action kips up to wrench and MONKEY FLIP! But ZSJ still holds onto the wrist! Fans rally, ZSJ bends the fingers and he tortures Action’s arm. Action fights up but ZSJ keeps after the fingers. ZSJ flexes but Action stands. Action spins, flips and arm-drags free! Action then CHOPS ZSJ, then knuckle locks to go up and up and FLYING ARM-DRAG! ZSJ flounders up, Action DROPKICKS him down! Fans fire up as Action runs to IMPLODER TORNILLO! Cover, TWO!
ZSJ is still in this but he goes to a corner. Action runs in, but ZSJ dodges. Action goes up, leaps, and FLYING RANAS! ZSJ bails out, fans fire up and Action builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit into the railing! Fans are fired up with Action and he brings ZSJ back up. Action puts ZSJ in, slingshots, but ZSJ shoves him! Action lands safe but swings into body scissors, which ZSJ makes into a HANGING TRIANGLE! ZSJ did this to Rocky last night! The ref counts, ZSJ lets go at 4 and he drags Action back in, to WRING the arm out! Fans sing “OH~ Zack Sabre Junior~” as he stalks Action. ZSJ sits on the arm, hammerlocks it, and TWISTS!
Action writhes while fans are torn over the savagery. ZSJ gets Action’s leg, steps over to get the arm, and he STOMPS the arm! “OI! TV Tekkers, mates!” ZSJ stalks Action to a corner, brings him up and UPPERCUTS! And UPPERCUTS! “This is Awesome!” and ZSJ knuckle locks to wrench Action. Action endures as ZSJ twists the wrist more, and then ZSJ KICKS a leg. Action stays up so ZSJ wrenches and twists the wrist. Action throws body shots and CHOPS! ZSJ jumps on to drag Action down to a DISARMER! Action endures, reaches out, and fans rally. Action kicks around, ZSJ pulls on the arm, but Action gets the ROPEBREAK!
ZSJ lets go in frustration but he storms up to drag Action up. ZSJ has a double wristlock but Action endures. Fans rally, ZSJ jumps on to body scissor! Action stays up but ZSJ keeps on that arm. Action throws body shots, then suplexes high and HARD! Both men are down and fans are thunderous! Action roars, runs, springboards, BEAUTIFUL DISASTER! Cover, TWO! ZSJ survives and fans rally up again. Action brings ZSJ up, but ZSJ fights the torture rack to wrench and PELE the arm! And then he drop toeholds Action so he can STOMP the arm again! Fans are torn while Action clutches the bad shoulder.
ZSJ drags Action up, but Action blocks the Pele to ENZIGURI! Action puts ZSJ up top, CHOPS him, then climbs up after him. But ZSJ gets the bad arm to twist it! And YANK it! Action throws body shots, forearms, but ZSJ DECKS Action! ZSJ eggs on the fans, the fans cheer, and Action kips up! PELE!! Action runs corner to corner and jumps up to SUPER STEINER!! Cover, TWO!! ZSJ survives and Action can’t believe it! Action drags ZSJ up, torture racks, but ZSJ has a SLEEPER! Action sputters, he starts fading! But Action powers up! ZSJ lets go, slips free, but Action drops to victory roll! TWO!!!
ZSJ KICKS Action in the leg! And then KICKS him in the arm! ZSJ is mad now, but he runs into a SUPERKICK! Action goes up, POISON-RANA!! ZSJ flops around, Action runs in again, “This is Awesome!” as Action SHOTGUNS ZSJ down! ZSJ is in the drop zone, Action goes up, SPLIT-LEG MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO!! ZSJ survives again but Action goes right to the apron. Action springboards, but flies into a TAKEDOWN! FUJIWARA ARMBAR!!! Action flails around, but ZSJ gets the other arm! Modified Rings of Saturn, into JIM BREAKS ARMBAR!! Action verbally quits, ZSJ wins!!
Winner: Zack Sabre Jr, by submission (still NJPW World TV Champion)
Action’s 15 minutes of fame were really just over 10 minutes as The Frontman does it again! But now he moves on to defend this title at NJPW Dominion on Sunday against Jeff Cobb in a highly anticipated rematch. The Mighty Don’t Kneel, but will ZSJ get crushed by the Imperial Unit?
NJPW Strong Women’s Championship: Willow Nightingale VS Emi Sakura!
The Babe with the Power, too sweet to be sour, is the very-first NJPW Strong Women’s Champion after a powerful run at Resurgence. But will Willow make it through her first defense? Or will the Queen of Joshi take Willow’s throne already?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and one way or another, we witness a historic first defense!
The bell rings and the two RAM each other! Fans rally up as Emi and Willow RAM shoulders again! And again! Emi eggs Willow on so she says okay! Willow runs, RAMS Emi, but Emi roars! Emi runs, Willow follows and runs Emi over! Fans fire up and Willow waves. Willow brings Emi up to snap suplex! Willow runs up to CHOP Emi in the corner, then follows her along the ropes. Willow CHOPS Emi in the other corner and fans rally up. Willow puts Emi in the third corner, CHOPS, CHOPS and MACHINE GUN CHOPS! Fans fire up but Emi avoids the big chop. Emi runs in but Willow goes out to the apron.
Emi stops from hitting buckles, but Willow still counter punches her! Willow then brings Emi up, and fans fire up as they go up the ropes! Emi fights the suplex, tries to suplex Willow, but Willow fights to try again. But Emi rakes the eyes! Emi runs to BODY CHECK Willow off the apron! Emi goes out, signals to media to move, and laughs before she TOSSES Willow at railing! Fans rally as Emi runs in to SPLASH Willow against the railing! The ring count climbs as Emi drags Willow up and Rampage goes picture in picture.
Emi puts Willow in the ring, taunts the fans a bit, soaks up some heat, and then takes her time going up the steel steps. Willow sits up, Emi steps in, but Willow throws body shots! Emi CHOPS Willow, Willow goes to ropes, and Emi CHOPS her again! Willow goes to a corner, Emi soaks up the heat, and she storms up to CHOP again! And again! And again! Emi swaggers around, storms back up, but Willow CHOPS! And CHOPS! And ROCKS! Willow CHOPS again! Willow falls, Emi hurries to sit her up into a DRAGON SLEEPER! Willow endures, fights around, but Emi cranks the hold!
Fans rally, Willow fights but Emi pushes her to a cover, TWO! Willow is free of the hold, but Emi CHOPS her! And CHOPS her again! Willow eggs Emi on but Emi pokes her in the eye! The ref reprimands but Emi just grins. Emi brings Willow up to HEADBUTT! Willow staggers but she throws body shots. Emi eggs Willow on and SLAPS her! Emi brings Willow around to reel her in and hook the arms. But Willow fights with body shots! Willow fires off but Emi CLUBS her down as Rampage goes to break.
Rampage returns and Willow has Emi in a corner. Willow goes corner to corner to back body block! And clothesline! And snapmare to then go up. Emi stands, Willow MISSILE DROPKICKS! Cover, TWO! Emi survives, maybe even got Willow’s eyes again, but Willow comes back. Willow fireman’s carries but Emi slips fere to the DRAGON SLEEPER! Emi laughs, to TWISTING DDT! Willow staggers to a corner, Emi grins and runs in, BODY CHECK in the corner! Emi goes up top to TWISTING VADER! Cover, TWO!! Willow survives and Emi is frustrated. Emi reels Willow in, hooks the arms, but Willow fights again!
Willow Alabama Lifts but Emi sunset flips! Willow rolls through to BASEMENT CROSSBODY! Cover, TWO!! Emi survives but Willow just runs in, only for Emi to sidestep and roll-up! TWO, but Emi steps over. Willow powers out of La Magistrol, and DOUBLE LARIATS collide! Willow fires up, DOUBLE LARIATS collide again! Willow fires up again, swings, but Emi gets around to CHOP LARIAT!! Both women are down and the fans fire back up! The ref checks and both women are still in this. Emi drags Willow up, fans rally, but Emi underhooks the arms. BUTTERFLY FACEBUSTER!! Emi fires up, she’s not done here!
Fans are thunderous as Emi waits on Willow to rise. Emi then CHOPS, CHOPS, and CHOPS again! MACHINE GUN CHOPS, but Willow shoves her away. Emi CHOP LARIATS, then whips corner to corner. Willow comes back to POUNCE Emi into the corner! Fans fire up as Willow runs to CANNONBALL! And then she drags Emi out to high stack, TWO!! Emi is still in this and fans fire up! But the straps come down and Willow fires up! Fans fire up with her, she reels Emi in to gut wrench, but Emi fights the lift! Emi slips free to SLAP! SLAP! And SLAP! Emi runs, but Willow CLOBBERS her!
Gut wrench, and BABE WITH THE POWER BOMB!! Cover, Willow wins!
Winner: Willow Nightingale, by pinfall (still NJPW Strong Women’s Champion)
Now that’s a first defense for the history books! How much better will Willow make this inaugural reign if this is just the beginning?
BREAKING NEWS for Dynamite!
After their encounter with Dralistico and Preston Vance last Wednesday, #JungleHook reunites for a TEXAS TORNADO TAG MATCH! Will Jack Perry & The FTW Champion tear apart La Faccion Ingobernable?
BIG news for ROH!
On Friday, July 21st in Trenton, New Jersey, ROH returns to PPV with Death Before Dishonor! Tickets go on sale next Friday, June 9th!
Mark Henry welcomes us back to Rampage.
“Tonight, two technical masters go face to face when Lee Moriarty takes on Shibata for the ROH Pure Championship.” Nigel McGuiness says a competitor like Shibata can pick you apart, one body part by another. But Tony Schiavone and Taz say not enough is said about just how talented Moriarty is for such a young wrestler. It looks like there’s been enough talk. It’s TIME for the main event!
ROH Pure Championship: Katsuyori Shibata VS Lee Moriarty!
The Wrestler defended this title just last night on ROH against his student, Alex “The Android” Coughlin. But now he faces #TAIGASTYLE, who has come close to snatching this title for his own not too long ago. Will tonight be Moriarty’s night? Or will Shibata make it through this Pure Wrestling Double Header?
The introductions are made, our judges are BJ Whitmer, Christopher Daniels & Jerry Lynn, and the belt is raised as we see who is truly THE Wrestler!
The bell rings and the clock is ticking on this 60 minute time limit. The two feel things out, Moriarty shoots in but Shibata holds him off with a sprawl. They clinch on the mat, Shibata slips to a waistlock and then a chinlock. Moriarty slips free but Shibata pushes him to a cover, ONE! Shibata wraps Moriarty up with his own arm and then goes for the armbar! Moriarty clasps hands but ends up in a TRIANGLE! Moriarty falls onto the ROPEBREAK, that is his first of three. Shibata even lets Moriarty know it as they reset. They knuckle lock, go shoulder to shoulder, clinch, and Moriarty tries for a leg.
Shibata powers Moriarty down, gets around to a waistlock, and they stand up. Moriarty pries the hold, fans cheer this technical exchange, but then Moriarty elbows free! Moriarty stomps Shibata into a corner, the ref counts, but Moriarty digs his boot in. Fans boo, but Shibata powers up to back Moriarty down! Shibata throws the foot down but Shibata ROCKS him! Moriarty runs to dropkick the legs out! Fans boo while Moriarty grits his teeth, and then the fans rally up for Shibata as Rampage goes picture in picture.
Moriarty mocks the applause as he stands over Shibata. Moriarty then says they can stop all that, and he grabs a leg to DDT the foot! Moriarty kips up, air guitars, and he ties up Shibata’s legs into a unique crisscross toehold. Then he sits with it for a modified stump puller! Shibata’s shoulders are down, Moriarty is practically stealing Darby Allin’s Last Supper! TWO as Shibata kicks out and Moriarty argues the count. Moriarty drags Shibata around, stomps a leg, then stomps it more and more before another DDT to the foot! Moriarty mocks the clapping from the fans, and then he drags Shibata around for a spinning toehold!
Shibata endures as Moriarty ties up the legs into another cross toehold. Moriarty puts Shibata into an Indian Deathlock, then he knuckle locks Shibata for a cover. TWO as Shibata gets an arm up! Moriarty pushes the arm back down, TWO as Shibata gets the other arm up! Moriarty pushes that arm down, TWO as Shibata gets both arms up! Moriarty CHOPS Shibata, pushes on the legs, then lets Shibata go. Moriarty gets a leg, hooks it, and ties Shibata up in another cross toehold, only for Shibata to trip him! Shibata gets Moriarty’s legs, steps through, but Moriarty fights the figure four! Shibata powers through to sync it in!
Moriarty endures, reaches out, but his shoulders are down. TWO as Moriarty sits up, Shibata keeps on the pressure, and Moriarty falls back onto his shoulders. TWO as he sits up again! Shibata has the extended leg caught in a heel hook behind his back! Moriarty falls back again, shoulders are down, TWO as he sits back up! Moriarty endures, reaches out, claws at the hold, and he pries it open. Shibata works to keep it on tight, Moriarty is down again, TWO! Moriarty sits up, Shibata thrashes around, and Rampage returns to single picture. Fans rally, Moriarty drags Shibata along as he reaches back, but Shibata drags him from the ropes!
Moriarty scrambles and goes to the opposite side, ROPEBREAK! That’s his second, he has one left, and we’ve only just past six minutes! Shibata stomps Moriarty’s bad leg, has him in a corner, and he fires off forearms! The ref counts, Shibata fires again and again, but lets off at 4. Shibata runs corner to corner but Moriarty follows to KNEE him in the corner! And then HALF HATCH BRIDGE! TWO as Shibata fights out of the “pancake.” Moriarty HAMMERS away on the back of Shibata’s head! Fans rally, Moriarty suplexes, but Shibata blocks! Shibata powers out but Moriarty kicks low!
Moriarty runs but into a kitchen sink knee! Fans rally, Shibata stomps his legs into working, and he storms up on Moriarty. Shibata drags Moriarty up to whip him to a corner and BOOT! And he fires off more forearms! The ref counts, Shibata runs corner to corner, HYDRAULIC DROPKICK! Fans fire up for that Shibata signature and he drags Moriarty up. HALF HATCH! Cover, TWO! Moriarty is still in this but Shibata clamps right on with a chinlock! Moriarty fights to the ROPEBREAK, but that’s his last! Shibata waistlocks. Moriarty switches to roll up, TWO! But Moriarty rolls with to get the BORDER CITY STRETCH!!
Shibata endures, Moriarty pulls him back, but fans rally up. Shibata rolls things to a cover, TWO! Moriarty ROCKS Shibata, winds up, but Shibata ROCKS Moriarty! And then SLEEPER!! Shibata sits Moriarty down, runs, PENALTY KICK!! Cover, Shibata wins!!
Winner: Katsuyori Shibata, by pinfall (still ROH Pure Champion)
Just past nine minutes and Shibata finishes things off, but wait! Daniel Garcia is here! The Dragonslayer is a former ROH Pure Champion, and he’s walking out right to the ring! Garcia steps in, he swaggers up to Shibata, and it is clear this is what’s next for Shibata. Shibata raises the belt to signal his accepting the challenge, will The Wrestler put down this sports… enner-tay-ner?
A great Rampage here, though I’m surprised this wasn’t just a Battle of the Belts special. Excalibur said it himself on commentary in the main event, but it was great to start off with the epitome of lucha libre and finish on Strong Style technical wrestling. The AAA Mega Championship was a great opener, and was definitely another instance where I’m grateful we can pause things because they were going fast and furious. Or maybe at Flash speeds, since that’s a Warner Brothers movie they could plug. But as I figured going into this, all the champions retained, since none of these were AEW titles (directly, since ROH is a subsidiary of AEW now).
The NJPW World Television Championship continues to be a great title to watch because of the 15 minute time limit speeding things up. Likewise, ZSJ is always a great wrestler to watch, but so hard to write for cuz he has the biggest collection of named signature moves/holds of any wrestler I’ve seen. I had to double check what he was using to make Action tap, because I keep thinking things are Clarky Cat when they’re not Clarky Cat. ZSJ is setting a very high bar for this title, maybe he retains against Cobb at Dominion or maybe he loses, but it’s going to be hard for the second-ever NJPW World TV Champion to match what ZSJ has done.
Great first title defense for Willow and this title, she and Emi put on a great match. I wonder when Willow has her first defense on NJPW Strong, and who she’ll be facing. And we got a great Pure Championship match to finish, and I’m surprised it was so quick, even compared to the NJPW World TV Championship match. But great win for Shibata, I like that Garcia is stepping up, and that’s going to be an awesome match. I don’t know if they’re going to wait until Death Before Dishonor in July for that match, but knowing AEW and ROH, they can find a way to stretch things out. Especially with Garcia also busy being part of JAS and doing JAS things.
My Score: 8.7/10
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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (6/2/23)
Is the Bloodline finished?
SmackDown celebrates The Tribal Chief!
Roman Reigns celebrates 1000 DAYS as WWE Universal Champion, but what does it matter after Jimmy Uso betrayed him at Night of Champions?
- Six Man Tag: The Brawling Brutes VS Austin Theory & Pretty Deadly; Theory & Pretty Deadly win.
- The Good Brothers w/ The OC VS Hit Row w/ B-Fab; The Good Brothers win.
- Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match Qualifier: Zelina Vega VS Lacey Evans; Vega wins and advances to MITB.
- Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match Qualifier: LA Knight VS Montez Ford; Knight wins and advances to MITB.
PLAY BY PLAY
Paul Heyman speaks.
“Roman Reigns, your Undisputed WWE Universal Heavyweight Champion, stands at the apex of sports entertainment. Nearly three years ago, Your Tribal Chief reclaimed his Universal Championship. And as time passed, Roman’s title reign has surpassed legends, icons, hall of famers. On the Grandest Stage of Them All, the Head of the Table smashed and stacked his competition. Then humbled a Hall of Famer, and sent a 16-time world champion into the Ocean of Obscurity. Every contender, unable to withstand Roman’s sheer dominance and forced to…” ACKNOWLEDGE him.
“Challenger after challenger, crumble at his feet. And at his second Showcase of the Immortals as your reigning champion, Roman Reigns conquered The Beast, unifying the WWE and Universal titles on his 581st day as the champion in WWE. His power persisted. His Bloodline strengthened. His legacy flourished. Greatness on a different level. And on his 945th day, the greatest champion of any era made history by retaining his championship for the third straight WrestleMania. And now, it’s time to acknowledge the longest reign in over 35 years, over 1000 days. Roman. Reigns…!”
Austin Theory is in the ring.
The Now may not have reached even half of what Roman has achieved, but he is the United States Champion. He welcomes us to Austin Theory Live but the fans boo. Theory says they don’t need to have an attitude. Tonight is a very special night. “Tonight is the celebration of your Tribal Chief, Roman Reigns’ historical title reign. But you know what’s even better than that? If you took Roman’s title reign, and you combined it with the greatest United States Champion of all time… wait for it… Austin Theory’s reign, and you’d have… What is that? A total of 1,209 days! That is impressive. And not only that, it is very inspiring.
“It is almost as inspiring as being the guy who beat John Cena at WrestleMania.” Fans boo but Theory says we should face it. Let’s not be idiots! We all know Theory will have his 1000th day celebration for his title, and a 2000th, and maybe even a 3000th. Probably a 4000th. But if they just keep giving him guys like Sheamus, he’ll be the US Champion forever! “Guys, you really can’t boo me because I’m 25 and I’m the greatest to ever do this. And when you’re this great, everybody wants to gravitate towards you, they wanna be a part of it.” That brings Theory to the guys he wants to bring out.
These two guys did what was right! Theory presents none other than Pretty Deadly! Kit Wilson & Elton Prince make their entrance, and their theme song has a new remix, and they join Theory in the ring. They get mics, and Kit tells Theory, “We came here to tell you, that it was a pleasure destroying those ugly gremlins, the Brawling Brutes.” Elton says that unlike Sheamus, Theory is a champion the people deserve. They wanna show Theory their appreciation for such a good champion, in a way that only they can! “YES BOY~!” And they point to him! Feels good, right? But wait, here come the Brawling Brutes!
Fans fire up as Sheamus leads Ridge Holland & Pete Dunne out to the ring, ready for Fight Night! The ref hurries in to keep the peace, but will Theory & Pretty Deadly be leaving in pieces?
Six Man Tag: The Brawling Brutes VS Austin Theory & Pretty Deadly!
The trios sort out, Ridge starts against Elton. Elton headlocks, Ridge powers out and he CLOBBERS Elton! Fans fire up as Ridge UPPERCUTS Elton, then HEADBUTTS him to a corner. Ridge adds a clothesline, then bumps Elton off the buckle, KICKS him in the back and CLOBBERS him again! Ridge drags Elton up, tags in “Butch,” and they coordinate, suplex dropkick combo! Dunne drags Elton up, wrenches, but Elton throws body shots. Elton RAMS Dunne into the corner, tags in Kit, and Kit runs in to UPPERCUT! Dunne clutches his jaw while fans boo. Kit drops elbows, rains down hands, then covers, TWO!
Kit sits Dunne into a chinlock. Dunne endures, fans rally for Sheamus, and Dunne fights up. Dunne powers out, drops then hurdles to then drop and CLOBBER Kit! Fans fire up, Dunne stands on Kit’s hands, then STOMPS them! Kit ducks the buzzsaw and scrambles away. Tag to Theory, fans boo, and Theory tells Dunne he wants Sheamus! Fans fire up because they want that, too! Dunne tags Sheamus in and the Mohegan Sun Arena are fired up! These two circle, but then Theory bails out, and SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns and Elton has Dunne down with a top wristlock. Fans rally, Dunne endures and he fights up to his feet. But Elton throws him down by his hair! The ref reprimands and fans boo but Elton grabs at Dunne. Dunne grabs Elton’s fingers! Dunne bends the fingers, Elton screams, but Elton CLUBS Dunne down! Tag to Theory and he runs to BLAST Ridge! Theory taunts Sheamus, stomps Dunne, then brings Dunne up to CLUB him down. Fans rally for Dunne but Theory flexes on him. Theory drags Dunne over, tags in Kit, but Dunne kicks at Theory. Kit stomps Dunne, stands him up and UPPERCUTS him down!
Tag to Elton and Theory CHOKES Dunne behind the ref’s back! Pretty Deadly stomp while the ref is busy with Sheamus. Elton drags Dunne up but Dunne CHOPS! And CHOPS! And CHOPS again! Elton ROCKS Dunne, then runs in, but into a BOOT! Dunne goes up, leaps, FLYING DDT! Fans fire up while both men are down! Dunne and Elton crawl, hot tags to Theory and Sheamus! The Fella rallies on Theory! And clotheslines in the corner! Whip corner to corner for another clothesline! Scoop and POWERSLAM! Fans fire up as Sheamus ROCKS Pretty Deadly and has them both on the ropes!
But Theory rolls Sheamus up! TWO!! Sheamus gets Theory with an IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER! Then an IRISH CURSE for Kit! And then an IRISH CURSE for Elton! Fans fire up and the Brutes return. Everyone fireman’s carries someone, for a TRIPLE WHITE NOISE! Fans are thunderous and Sheamus has Theory all alone! BROGUE!!! Cover, but Pretty Deadly drag Theory out! Sheamus hurries up top!? Ridge BLASTS Pretty Deadly, Sheamus steadies himself, and he FLYING LARIATS Pretty Deadly back down! Dunne goes up, everyone gathers, ASAI MOONSAULT onto Theory & Pretty Deadly!
Fans are thunderous as the Brutes prove they can fly! Sheamus commends Butch for topping things off, and SmackDown goes to break.
Elton stomps Dunne. Elton brings Dunn up but Dunne gets around to GERMAN SUPLEX! Kit runs in but into an ENZIGURI! ENZIGURI for Theory! GAMANGIRI for Kit in a corner! GAMANGIRI for Elton in a corner! Tag to Ridge and SPLASHES Elton! Then Ridge brings Elton up, Dunne joins in, BACK SUPLEX BOMB COMBO! Sheamus tags in and goes up for a KING KONG KNEE DROP! Cover, TWO!! Elton survives but Sheamus keeps his cool. Sheamus drags Elton up, reels him in, Canadian rack but Elton fights free of the crucifix! Elton BOOTS Sheamus, tags Kit, then gives Kit the boost, CRY MARTINI!
Theory tags in, drags Sheamus up to ROCK him and torture rack him! TOWER HACKER BOMB!! Cover, TWO!! Theory is furious and he rains down fists! Fans boo while Theory seethes and looms over Sheamus. Theory talks trash, brings Sheamus up, but Sheamus blocks a body shot to LARIAT point blank! Elton gets in but Ridge gives him an OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! Kit DROPKICKS Ridge but Dunne ENZIGURIS Kit! Dunne runs at Theory but Theory shovels him up and out! Theory somersaults, into a KNEE!! Cover, TWO!! Theory survives and Sheamus is too tired to be upset. Both men crawl and fans rally up.
Sheamus and Theory reach out, hot tags to Elton and Ridge! Kit tags in, but The Fridge picks Elton up! Kit saves Elton, but then Ridge picks them both up! DOUBLE back drop! Fans fire up as Ridge kicks Kit to the apron. Sheamus has Theory, and Dunne has Elton! Fans fire up for the TRIPLE BEATS OF THE BODHRAIN!! The Brutes all go to 10, though Dunne gets a little extra. Ridge then scoops for NORTHERN GRIT! Cover, but Theory breaks it! Dunne swings on Theory but into A-TOWN DOWN! Sheamus clotheslines Theory out! Sheamus pursues Theory, but Theory POSTS Sheamus!
Kit and Elton coordinate, they pull a sneaky move by hiding Elton under the apron skirt. The matching outfits make Ridge think that’s still Kit! Ridge drags Elton in, and surprise! Kit CHOP BLOCKS Ridge! Kit tags Elton, they get Ridge up for SPILT MILK!! And tag to Theory so he can cover, Theory & Pretty Deadly win!
Winners: Austin Theory & Pretty Deadly, by pinfall
The three of them hurry away before Dunne returns, having pulled another fast one. Will Kit & Elton be heading towards the tag titles? Will anyone be able to take the US Championship from Theory?
Paul Heyman is backstage.
The Wise Man is holding onto both the black WWE Championship and blue Universal Championship belts for the Tribal Chief as he walks up to the private suite. Heyman walks inside, is he going to discuss the celebration plans with Roman Reigns during the break?
SmackDown returns, and Heyman’s talking with Solo Sikoa. The magnitude that has never been accomplished before in the WWE. This needs to be special for the Tribal Chief, especially given what happened at Night of Champions. Heyman wants this to be special for Roman Reigns. And he knows Solo feels the same way. Heyman will go talk with Adam Pearce to make sure that Solo’s brothers, The Usos, are nowhere to be found tonight so that this is the night that we acknowledge Roman… Reigns! Heyman smiles and heads out, how does Solo really feel about what Jimmy did to Roman?
The OC talk backstage.
The Good Brothers are worried but Mia Yim says it’s fine, tonight is his birthday. AJ Styles walks in and they say happy birthday! Yes, it IS his birthday! And he apologizes for losing at Night of Champions, he ruined their night. No, no, it is not his fault. But you take the L, keep it moving. The OC has their back. But did anyone else see the “diss” track by Hit Row? Yeah, but Styles would rather see the Good Brothers drop Hit Row. Too Sweet, baby! And that match is happening next! Will Top Dolla & Ashante THEE Adonis think twice before opening their mouths next time?
The Good Brothers w/ The OC VS Hit Row w/ B-Fab!
SmackDown returns as Hit Row makes their entrance. The teams sort out, but Adonis ambushes Karl Anderson! Fans boo and the ref counts while Adonis stomps away, but then he lets off at 4. Adonis whips to CLOBBER Anderson, then he taunts Luke Gallows. Anderson goes to a corner, Adonis drags him out and tags Dolla. Hit Row whip Anderson to a corner, then Dolla whips Adonis in to RAM Anderson! Dolla talks trash on The Machine Gun, then reels him in for an ELBOW! Dolla talks more trash, drags Anderson to the ropes, and he CHOPKES him! The ref counts, Dolla lets off and tags Adonis.
Adonis runs to STRADDLE ATTACK! Adonis sits on Anderson while smoothing his hair, but lets off as the ref counts. The ref argues with Adonis and B-Fab sucker punches Anderson! Michin storms up and B-Fab backs off. Adonis covers, TWO, but he clamps onto a chinlock. The ref has Michin and B-Fab back off, and fans rally as Anderson fights up. Anderson throws body shots but Adonis CLUBS him! Adonis whips, Anderson reverses, SPINEBUSTER! Fans fire up while both men are down. Fans rally, Anderson hot tags Gallows! Doc BOOTS Adonis, BOOTS Dolla, then DECKS Adonis!
Gallows ROUNDHOUSES Adonis to a corner, runs in and back elbows! Then he keeps moving, FLYING UPPERCUT on Adonis! Fans fire up as Gallows scoops to AK 47! Tag to Anderson, the Good Brothers get Adonis up, MAGIC KILLER!! Cover, Good Brothers win!
Winners: The Good Brothers, by pinfall
But Dolla BOOTS Anderson! And CLOBBERS Gallows! But Styles springboards in, PHENOMENAL FOREARM!! Fans fire up as the birthday boy gets him some, and The Hit Row? They don’t want none! Will The OC be too sweet all the way to some gold?
Adam Pearce is on the phone.
Yes, he is very excited, this is perhaps one of the biggest nights in SmackDown history. He excuses himself and ends the call as he sees Heyman walking in. Pearce tells Heyman right now that the Usos’ travel was canceled, they were told they weren’t needed tonight. And as requested, should The Usos want to show up, security has been doubled. The Usos are NOT getting inside the building. Heyman smiles and puts a call into Roman Reigns. Will nothing go wrong during the 1000 Day Acknowledgment?
BREAKING NEWS for Raw!
Seth Rollins put out the open challenge for his NEW World Heavyweight Championships on social media and it was quickly accepted by Damian Priest! Will the Judgment Day add more gold when the Punisher brings down The Visionary?
SmackDown presents an all new Grayson Waller Effect.
The 21st Century Success Story, “The Dynamite from Down Under, the Moment Maker, the Aussie Icon,” gets the big introduction once again as he’s already in the ring. And he says, “What a week it has been here in the WWE, and we’re gonna keep it rolling with the most honest talk show in WWE history.” Waller brings us the biggest and the best, and he’s done it again tonight. So please welcome the NEW Raw Women’s Champion, ASUKA~! The fans do like that as the Empress of Tomorrow walks out with the belt on her shoulder. She joins Waller in the ring and at the desk as he welcomes her to the show.
Waller says, “Congratulations, what an incredible performance against Bianca at Night of Champions. In fact, let’s see exactly how you got it done.” Waller and Asuka look to the tron as we all see a Progressive Match Flo recap video of that match. Asuka used blue mist fingers to finish Bianca, and Waller says wow. Asuka laughs and smiles, and in Japanese, she says “I told you saw! I’m the Raw Women’s Champion!” Waller says he could not have put it better himself! But he can’t help but notice the briefcases above the ring. There’s no shortage of people who think they’re ready for Asuka. They’re gonna climb the ladder, win the briefcase to be Miss MITB, and maybe cash in on her?
Waller says Asuka’s gotta keep her head on a swivel. Nevermind that Bianca’s gonna come looking for a rematch. Asuka is amused there. She reenacts how she spat mist on her finger, got Bianca in the eyes and made Bianca cry. Waller is amused, too! He says that was so true. And so smart! He can’t imagine the pain and suffering Bianca went through. Asuka’s even drooling some blue mist right now. Waller looks a bit worried, but also maybe excited. But then IYO SKY shows up! She tells Asuka in Japanese that she’s nothing special for what she did. And Iyo won’t even need MITB to take that title from! But she’s still gonna win it, and then Iyo will be the new champion!
Asuka laughs, and tells Iyo she’s a child, the way she’s storming up in here. Iyo tells Asuka to shut up, dammit! Asuka calls Iyo an idiot, Iyo calls Asuka a scumbag, and they go back and forth like that. Waller has them stop, this is HIS show, he did not approve a second guest! But wait, here comes BAYLEY! The Role Model says Iyo said that after both Iyo and Bayley qualify for the MITB, one of them is winning the MITB briefcase. Though it is every woman for themselves, and Bayley’s won it before, so either way, DMG CTRL will win the title- Wait! Here comes Shotzi!
Fans fire up as the Wild Child says, “Awww, Bayley! There is NOTHING that I would love more than to crush your dreams with the help of some cold, hard steel! Because, if there is anyone made for the pure chaos of the Money in the Bank Ladder match, it’s me!” Wait, here comes Lacey Evans! The Model Soldier is embodying Sergeant Slaughter and she tells Shotzi to shut up and salute her! Fans boo but Lacey says none of these nasty things are taking the briefcase anywhere, it’s coming home with her. But first, she’ll take her Cobra Clutch, wrap it around that “shrimp,” Zelina Vega, and-
Wait! Here comes Zelina! Fans fire up as La Muneca says there is only one problem with everyone’s plans. They are all underestimating Zelina. And y’know who else did that? Rhea Ripley at Backlash. Because Zelina was this close to becoming champion! So “Shrimp?” Keep that energy, Lacey. Because to be honest, even if Lacey got her hair done, her nails done and traded in those “piss soaked boots” for red bottoms, you still wouldn’t be half the woman Zelina is. So please, underestimate her. Everyone do that. Because it will be that much sweeter when she wins. Because that is how she is going to become Miss MITB!
Bayley laughs and says they’re all idiots. Waller says this is the best day of his life. Bayley asks him what kind of show he’s running here, and he’s hoping for more ladies to show up. Asuka slips away to say, “Hey hey hey hey! NO ONE is ready for Asuka!!” But then Bianca storms up to ROCK Asuka with a forearm! They brawl on the stage and fans fire up! Referees rush out to stop that scrap, only for Bianca to break lose and hit Asuka again! The refs and even some producers get in to separate them again, but fans wanna “Let Them Fight!” Will the angriEST Bianca be coming after the Empress?
Cameron Grimes talks with Adam Pearce backstage.
They watch a replay of Baron Corbin ruining Carmelo Hayes’ moment just last Tuesday on NXT, and Grimes said that’s exactly what Corbin did to him last week. Is Corbin even here? No, and with his free agency status, the next time we see him will be next Tuesday on NXT. Grimes says Melo will handle that. But the next time Corbin shows his face on SmackDown, Grimes will handle that. Pearce nods, will the Carolina Caveman crush Baron Corbin?
Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match Qualifier: Zelina Vega VS Lacey Evans!
Since everyone was already at ringside, this match is happening now! And Vega is already clutching her jaw, it seems the Model Soldier got a cheap shot in while everyone was watching Asuka and Bianca. Will Vega still be able to humble Lacey for underestimating her? Or will another Woman’s Right simply take Vega out?
The bell rings and Lacey stomps Vega into the corner! The ref counts, fans boo, but Lacey lets off at 4. Lacey stands on Vega’s hair and salutes, then lets off to SWINGING BRONCO BUSTER! Lacey pushes Vega around, covers, TWO! Lacey sits Vega up, and clamps on the COBRA CLUTCH! And she SWINGS Vega around! Fans rally for Vega but Lacey TOSSES her away! Lacey dusts off her hands, runs in, but Vega goes up and over and rolls Lacey, Schoolgirl Kick! Cover, TWO! Vega whips, Lacey reverses but Vega KICKS her! Only for Lacey to LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Lacey dribbles Vega off the mat, then smirks as fans boo.
Lacey salutes but fans boo, and Vega hits low. Lacey BOOTS Vega, drags her from ropes and stands on her for a cocky cover. The ref says it’s on the throat! Lacey steps off to argue with him, and then Lacey clamps onto Vega with a chinlock. Fans rally but Lacey throws knees into Vega’s side! Vega still endures, fans rally up, and Vega kicks from below! Lacey drags Vega up but Vega RAMS her into a corner! And again! Vega smacks Lacey off buckles, headlocks and springboards for a headlock takeover! Lacey runs in but into the tilt-o-whirl and CODE RED!! Cover, VEGA WINS!
Winner: Zelina Vega, by pinfall (advances to MITB)
What did she just say about underestimating her? Because there’s the proof! Lacey toyed with Zelina but got played, will Zelina soon be La Muneca en el Banco?
The LWO celebrates backstage.
They are so proud of Vega! Latinos around the world are going to gather in celebration! And next week, when Escobar wins his qualifier and win the MITB contract, oh he can see it now. She can see it, too. Rey Mysterio can see it, too! It is only a matter of time before the entire locker room refers to them as Santos y Zelina, Mr. and Mrs. Money in the Bank! Will the LWO soon take over London?
Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match Qualifier: LA Knight VS Montez Ford!
The Mega Star told the Street Profits that if they want the smoke, he’ll be the one to burn ’em! Is that not an insult but just a fact of life? Or will #KingTez be the one saying “YEAH!” on the way to London?
The bell rings and the two circle. Fans rally up, the two tie up, and Knight wrenches to a hammerlock, and he slaps Ford around. Fans rally for “L A KNIGHT! L A KNIGHT!” The two circle, tie up, and Ford headlocks. Knight powers out the back to hammerlock, but Ford switches it onto him. Knight switches back, Ford switches again, Knight switches again. They keep going, Knight gest the ROPEBREAK, but Ford slaps him around now. Fans are a bit torn but Knight gets heated. Knight shoves, Ford shoves, repeat! Fans are on Knight’s side as the two tie up again but Ford headlocks. Knight powers out but Ford runs him over!
Ford actually seems to enjoy upsetting the Knight fans, and things speed up. Knight hurdles, but Ford whips him away to keep things moving. Ford hurdles, Knight hurdles, but Ford DROPKICKS! Fans are salty as Ford clotheslines Knight in the corner. And then in another corner! Ford whips Knight into the corner, runs in but Knight puts Ford on the apron. Ford ROCKS Knight back! But Knight BLASTS Ford! Fans cheer Knight while Ford crawls and SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns and both men collide! Fans rally up while both men are down, and then Knight stands. Knight throws haymakers but Ford gives them back! They go back and forth, “YEAH!” “BOO!” “YEAH!” “BOO!” “YEAH!” “BOO!” Ford gets the edge, whips, but Knight reverses, only for Ford to LARIAT! Ford rallies on Knight, ducks ‘n’ dodges to LARIAT again! Knight gets up, Ford hits a BIG back suplex! Ford kips up, fans fire up, and Ford flexes to MOONSAULT, but Knight moves! Ford lands on his feet, swings but misses, and Knight torture racks! SWINGING NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!
Fans rally up, Knight stalks Ford and fans duel. Knight stands Ford up but Ford elbows him! Ford runs in but into an elbow! Ford falls over, Knight tries a springboard, LIONSAULT FLOPS as Ford moves! Ford ENZIGURIS Knight, then fires up to clinch and ROCK BOTTOM! Cover, TWO!! Knight survives and Ford is seething. Fans fire up as Ford drags Knight up. Ford whips, Knight KICKS back! Ford doges the lariat, both men run, DOUBLE LARIATS take them down! Fans fire up again while the ref checks both men. Knight and Ford crawl to each other, and Knight throws a haymaker. Ford gives it back!
Fans rally as the hands go back and forth, “YEAH!” “BOO!” Ford CHOPS, then DECKS Knight! Knight stands at the ropes, Ford runs in but is put back on the apron. Ford GAMANGIRIS Knight then goes up a corner! But Knight ROCKS Ford first! Knight climbs, Ford throws body shots then shoves Knight away. Knight returns and springs right up! But Ford shoves him back down! Fans fire up as Ford comes in, FROM THE- NO, Knight moves! Knight kicks low, BF- NO, Ford O’Conner Rolls, TWO! Knight O’Conner Rolls with ropes!! Knight wins!!
Winner: LA Knight, by pinfall (advances to MITB)
The Mega Star snatches that one away from Ford, but the fans still love it! Knight then brings a ladder out and sets it up under the briefcases. Knight climbs, says this is what we’ll see, because whose game is it? Will this really be what happens when LA arrives in the UK?
Alba Fyre & Isla Dawn speak.
“Sanguis rubeus luna et exponentia exitio.” That phrase repeats as we travel through a snow covered forest. Translation: “The perfect moon will spell your doom.” The Unholy Union is here, what will they do to the landscape of SmackDown?
SmackDown sets the rest of the qualifiers!
For the Men’s MITB, Baron Corbin returns from NXT to take on “Butch” Pete Dunne, and Mustafa Ali returns from NXT to take on Santos Escobar! And then, as announced during the Grayson Waller Effect, DMG CTRL is in the mix as Bayley takes on Mia Yim and Iyo Sky takes on Shotzi! Will DMG CTRL look to take control of that briefcase one way or another?
Triple H is here!
Fans fire up for The Game as he heads to the ring! It seems even he is here to celebrate Roman Reigns’ 1000+ days as Universal Champion! What will HHH have to add to the occasion? We find out, after the break.
SmackDown returns and HHH is in the ring with a pedestal and a familiar looking cloth. HHH has the mic to say, “On rare occasions, an athlete comes along that is so dominant that they change the entire face of their chosen sport. And when it happens, they will be talked about for generations to come. In boxing, it was the Great One, Muhammad Ali. In basketball, Michael Jordan. In the WWE, right now, we have the privilege of witnessing that greatness live. Believe me, you will talk about this for generations, so please help me welcome a man who has passed 1000 days as champion. Please help me welcome a man that you will tell your children and your grandchildren about.
“Please help me welcome the Tribal Chief, the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion, Roman Reigns.” The Head of the Table makes his entrance with fans torn between boos and throwing up the ones. Roman has Solo and Heyman with him, the brand new “1000 Days” branded jacket and shirt on as he holds up the belts for the pyro. The Bloodline, if this group even still counts as that, continues on into the ring. Roman then shakes HHH’s hand and Heyman fetches a mic. Heyman also shakes HHH’s hand, and then HHH tells Roman, “On behalf of the WWE, and on behalf of the entire WWE Universe, I would like to congratulate you on surpassing 1000 days as champion.”
That is something that hasn’t been accomplished in the WWE in almost forty years! Truly an epic accomplishment. So to congratulate Roman and celebrate this historic achievement, it is HHH’s honor to present him with a brand new Undisputed WWE Universal Championship belt. HHH takes the cover off to reveal the same home base design, but with a GOLDEN face plate! Heyman removes the belt Roman is wearing on his waist so that he can hold up the new belt, for more pyro! HHH then helps Roman put that belt on, then Heyman hands Roman the mic. Roman smiles while fans are torn between cheers and jeers.
Roman says, “Pennsyl- No, no, no. I mean, c’mon! That’s not good enough anymore. The entire universe…! ACKNOWLEDGE ME!!” Wait, the USOS are here?!? How?! Heyman heard from Pearce that this wasn’t supposed to happen! But Jimmy & Jey do walk out and Roman glares at Heyman. Heyman defends he was assured this wouldn’t happen, but it is! And we see what the Usos are going to do, after the break.
SmackDown returns and the Usos are now in the ring with Roman, Solo & Heyman. And Jimmy’s staring Roman down. He even glances at the brand new Universal Championship blet. Jimmy has the mic, but Roman speaks first, telling Jey to kick Jimmy in the face! Fans boo but Roman says it again, kick Jimmy in the face. He didn’t stutter, do it now! That’s what Jimmy did to Roman. Jimmy took Roman’s tag team titles away from him, so Jey has to fix this. Jey has to kick his brother in the face! Fans boo more, and Jey just paces. Roman is not happy about that, and he tells Jey this is the last time: KICK HIM IN THE FACE AND FIX THIS RIGHT NOW!
Jimmy speaks up to that the only one who needs fixing is ROMAN. Fans cheer that! Roman scowls but Jimmy says Jey can’t fix this. Jimmy kicked Roman in the face, “The Kick Heard Worldwide.” And Jimmy did what he did in Saudi not to be the Tribal Chief, not to lead the Bloodline, but because Jimmy was being a brother. Brothers treat each other with love and respect, and as of lately, you ain’t been such a good brother, Roman. What kind of brother manipulates, betrays and hurts his own family? What kind of brother does that, Uce? Roman has gone crazy! CRAZY! This right here is Jimmy’s brother! It is embedded in Jimmy to protect Jey.
In fact, SOLO is Jimmy’s brother! He’ll protect Solo, and he’s gonna tell Solo right now, that after Roman’s done using you, he’s gonna abuse you, betray you, kick you to the side, and put you in the dirt! Jimmy IS Solo’s brother, that’s why he’s saying this. Fans cheer that, too! Roman tries to laugh it off but Jimmy tells Solo to listen to him. Fans rally for the “USOS! USOS!” and Roman says that’s because of ROMAN! Roman is the Tribal Chief! You see him? Tribal Chief. This here is an imposter! Jimmy talking like he’s the leader, like Solo don’t have a voice. Let’s hear it from Solo who Solo is loyal to!
Roman hands the mic to Solo and fans boo. Solo looks at the mic, thinks about it, and fans chant for “SOLO! SOLO!” Solo says, “I acknowledge you, My Tribal Chief.” Fans boo and Roman smiles. But then Solo says, “But these two right here… They’re my brothers.” UH OH~! Roman is shocked and the Usos smile! Solo hands the mic back, to stand with his brothers!! Roman can’t believe what he’s seeing! Jimmy says hey, hey, so what’s it gonna be, Uce? Does Roman wanna run this thing together with respect? Or just end up on the Island of Relevancy all by himself? Roman tells Jimmy to shut up, but Jimmy pie faces him!!
Heyman is shocked and cowering in the corner! Fans fire up as Jey and Solo are both tense. Roman registers what just happened, then gets up in Jimmy’s face. Jey stops them both, and he wants to keep the peace. It’s not going like this. Jey needs them both, they cannot start fighting! They’re better than that, okay? Jey gets Jimmy to understand, and Jimmy cools off. Stronger together, Uce. But see, Jey is Jimmy’s brother, and Solo is Jimmy’s brother. But so is Roman. Roman’s always been family. So be a brother, have respect, and run this place like they’ve been doing! But TOGETHER! Bloodline, right? Family, right? They are still the ones, right?
Roman wipes sweat from his brow and takes a breath. Fans want Roman to accept what the Usos are saying, but he seems unsure what to do. Roman and Jimmy HUG!! Fans cheer, and Jey is relieved. Roman then says, “No.” WHAT?! Heyman is shocked all over again! Roman lets go and Jey is upset again! How could Roman say that?! And then Solo SAMOAN SPIKES JIMMY!?!? Jey is even more devastated!! Roman takes his leave, Heyman and Solo following behind. Is the Tribal Chief’s iron grip that powerful? Heyman then asks Roman, “What about Jey?” Roman says Jey will do what he always does and fall in line. Just give it time.
Fans boo as Roman refuses to share love and respect with his family. What will it take for The Usos to change that?
An awesome episode to follow Night of Champions with! Granted, a lot of that comes from the Bloodline story, which once again continues to be the top story. And with this story already having set a high bar, they find a way to raise the bar again. Great video package narrated by Heyman to open the show, good promos backstage to expertly set up what we got in the closing segment. I did appreciate that since they’re not undoing the unification, Roman now just has one actual belt to hold onto and he can just keep the other two at home. Naturally, they just kept the cookie cutter shape they’ve been using, but I like the gold backing on the logo there, it really stands out.
And naturally, the Usos DID show up, and what an amazing emotional rollercoaster there. After all that, we are definitely getting Usos VS Roman & Solo, and that will be the moment of truth where I would think Solo really does side with his brothers. Then it’s on Roman to either “fall in line” and accept his family as family, or he ends up all alone with just Heyman. Either way, this is all great stuff that can carry the story into the Summer, maybe even to SummerSlam. And what would really put a cherry on top: if Roman, no more pawns to get in the way, gets beat by a Mr. MITB cash-in.
Great opening Six Man from Theory & Pretty Deadly VS Brawling Brutes, and I figured the Heels would find a way to win. I would think Pretty Deadly finds a way into the Undisputed Tag Team Championship scene for the summer, as those titles are meant to be on both Raw and SmackDown. And who wouldn’t love seeing a promo between Kevin, Sami and Pretty Deadly? At the same time, The Good Brothers should also get in on some of that, they got a really good win off Hit Row. Happy birthday to AJ Styles, maybe he can find his way to a title match of some kind. Him and Theory wouldn’t be half bad for MITB.
Really good Grayson Waller Effect segment, though not really because of Waller. If this same stuff happened with The Miz and MizTV, it’d amount to about the same great stuff. Asuka and Iyo getting at each other and then arguing in Japanese seems to be their thing, but I would love if we got Iyo to turn Face. Between her and Asuka being longtime rivals, and DMG CTRL about to fall apart at a moment’s notice, Iyo could come out a top Face for the SmackDown Women’s Division. But I also do like that Bianca went after Asuka, that was a logical move. I just wish we got to see the sucker punch from Lacey live and not in a replay.
The MITB qualifiers were both good matches, but Zelina was a very obvious winner given Lacey’s attitude and how Zelina seems to be on a great push. Ford VS Knight was a bit closer, but the fans are just loving Knight, so it makes sense Knight won here. We’re also going to get great stuff out of next week’s matches, and I’m thinking Bayley, Iyo, Escobar and Dunne win. Bayley and Iyo because of the DMG CTRL breakup story they’re giving us, Escobar because the LWO tease they gave us, and Dunne because it won’t be Corbin since he’s got stuff brewing in NXT and Grimes just isn’t gonna let him win.
And what a spooky vignette from Fyre & Dawn. Just as it isn’t clear what they’re planning with having the Smackdown Women’s Championship on Raw and vice-versa, I’m not sure what’s going on with the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships still being up here on main roster. I don’t think they’d unify, nor do I want them to unify, mostly because Fyre & Dawn probably wouldn’t beat Ronda & Shayna. Well, Shayna didn’t do well against spooky given Twisted Alexa during pandemic era, but I still don’t think using supernatural elements would be enough to take out Ronda. Though it would be pretty funny to see.
My Score: 8.8/10
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