SmackDown is in Knoxville and celebrates the EST!
Before battling for the SmackDown Women’s Championship, Bianca Belair is back home in Knoxville, Tennessee! Will it be the greatEST homecoming ever? Or will The Man come ’round and rain on the parade?
- Big E & Finn Balor VS The Usos; Big E & Balor win.
- Rick Boogs w/ Shinsuke Nakamura VS Robert Roode w/ Dolph Ziggler; Boogs wins.
- Kevin Owens VS “Happy” Corbin; No Contest.
- Zelina Vega & Carmella VS Toni Storm & Liv Morgan; Storm & Morgan win.
- Dominik Mysterio VS Sami Zayn; Zayn wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Roman Reigns starts off SmackDown!
The Tribal Chief leads the Bloodline and Paul Heyman out as always, and they hold up the titles for the pyro. SmackDown recaps last week, with Heyman finding himself stuck between a Brock and a hard place as the Beast wants his shot at the WWE Universal Championship. The Bloodline saved their Wiseman but the Usos got brutalized for it, and to add to Roman’s stress levels, Finn Balor resurrected THE DEMON! And as was announced earlier today, should the Head of the Table exorcise the Demon at Extreme Rules, he’ll be defending his title against Brock Lesnar at Crown Jewel!
But that is all Roman’s future. In the present, hem Heyman and the Usos have made it to the ring and they raise the belts for another round of pyro. The University of Tennessee is divided between cheers and jeers, but Roman asks Knoxville to #AcknowledgeMe. Then Roman has “Wiseman” educate the Volunteers on how to do that. “Ladies and gentlemen, I have acknowledged this man’s greatness since he was just a little boy. And even I am in awe at the greatness that stands before me.” For Roman takes no Sabbath day off, does not duck any man, and defends his title and his position as Head of the Table every single day, week, month and mega event after mega event! Ever microsecond of every day, Roman Reigns defends his position of being YOUR Tribal Chief!
And do you know why? Because Roman fears no man, no Beast and no Demon! “But they all fear Roman Reigns!” And don’t boo that when you all know it’s true! Balor fears Roman! If he didn’t, then why did he tap into his “inner demons” to challenge Roman for the Universal Heavyweight Championship? BRRROCK! LESNARRR! Fears Roman Reigns! Heyman has known Lesnar intimately and professionally even more than his own family these last 20 years and Heyman has never seen fear in Lesnar’s eyes. Not in the WWE ring, not in the #Brocktagon, not in the operating room. But last week in Madison Square Garden, Heyman saw- BIG E!?
Big E is back on SmackDown, even after cashing in on Raw and becoming the NEW WWE World Champion! Knoxville is fired up and so is Big E! Especially with him wearing Vols orange, white and black! Roman is amused, though, as Big E runs around and shows off his top title. Big E slides into the ring, holds his belt up, and then he smiles at Roman. Roman is handed his belt, fans chant “You Deserve It!” for Big E, but Roman holds the Universal title up. Big E nods and says, “All day.” But before the Usos can step, here comes Finn Balor! He’s the Prince for right now, but he’s still got eyes locked on The Tribal Chief as SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns and holla holla, we have a tag match!
Big E & Finn Balor VS The Usos!
The teams sort out and Balor starts against Jimmy. They circle, tie up, and Jimmy puts Balor in a corner. The ref counts, Jimmy lets off but Balor dodges to ram his shoulder in again and again! The ref counts, Finn lets off and he wraps a leg around the ropes. Finn pulls, lets off as the ref counts, but he sees Jey sneaking in. Jey backs off but Jimmy kicks low. Jimmy CHOPS then whips but Finn reverses. Jimmy sunset flips but Finn rolls through to basement dropkick! Cover, TWO, but Finn rains down rights! Big E wants in, Finn wrenches Jimmy and tags Big E in! Fans fire up as Big E CLUBS Jimmy’s arm, then wrenches to reel him.
Jimmy elbows the cobra twist away, then headbutts! Tag to Jey, but Big E is ready and hurdles to back elbow! Fans fire up as Big E drags Jey to the apron. Big E CLUBS away on Jey’s chest, lets off to get on the apron, and fans fire up for the APRON SPLASH! Jey writhes and sputters, Big E puts Jey in to cover, TWO! Big E brings Jey up but Jey powers Big E into the corner! Tag to Jimmy and the Usos mug Big E! Fans boo and the ref counts, but Jey lets off and Jimmy ROCKS Big E with an uppercut! Jimmy digs his knee into Big E to choke him on the ropes, but lets off so Jey can get a cheap shot in! Fans boo but Jimmy says #WeTheOnes!
Tag to Jey, the Usos double suplex Big E! Cover, ONE!! Big E is still strong but Jey CLUBS him down then stomps him. Fans rally up for Big E as he rises, and Big E throws hands! Jey RAMS Big E into the corner, Jimmy tags in and the Usos mug Big E again. Jimmy stalks Big E to an open corner and ROCKS him with a right! Jimmy mocks the finger guns then runs at Big E, but only gets POST! Tag to Balor, Big E elbows Jimmy then Balor GAMANGIRIS! Balor trips Jimmy to DOUBLE STMOP! Finn DECKS Jey, CHOPS and whips Jimmy to CHOP again! Jey tags in before the whip, Jimmy reverses and Jey trips Finn up to drag him out!
Jey RAMS Balor into barriers, Jimmy DIVES and takes Balor down! The Usos are back in charge as SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns again and Jimmy keeps Balor away from Big E with a shove. Jimmy runs in but gets BOOTS! Balor then runs but into a fireman’s carry! Balor fights it but Jimmy RAMS Balor into buckles! Cover, TWO!! Fans fire up as Balor survives but Jimmy wraps on a chinlock. Jimmy grinds Balor down but fans rally up behind Balor. Balor fights up to JAWBREAKER! Jimmy still keeps Balor from Big E but Balor throws forearms! Balor tries again, Jimmy forearms him, but Balor PELES! Both men are down, fans rally up with “NEW! DAY ROCKS!” on behalf of Big E! Hot tags to E and Jey! And Big E OVERHEAD Belly2Belly Suplexes Jey all around!
Big E has Jey down, he swivels once and runs for the BIG- SAMOAN DROP! Jey was ready and he fires up now! Big E is in a corner, Jey runs into the Urenag-E! Jimmy runs into a LARIAT! Big E runs to BIG SPLASH Jimmy! Big E throws Jimmy out and sees Jey on the outside. Jey gets on the apron, Big E runs, into a BOOT! Jey climbs up and leaps, but Big E gets under! Big E runs back in, into a SUPERKICK!! Cover, TWO!! Jey is beside himself but he tags Jimmy. The Usos coordinate and aim, but Balor returns! Jimmy runs at him but gets POSTED! SLINGBLADE for Jey! Balor goes up top, Big E scoops Jimmy! COUP DE GRACE AND BIG ENDING!! Cover, Big E & Balor win!
Winners: Big E & Finn Balor, by pinfall
The new WWE World Champion gets another big win on SmackDown alongside the Prince! But after Extreme Rules, will Balor be Universal Champion, set on a Survivor Series collision course with Big E?
Roman Reigns watches backstage, and is disappointed.
Roman asks Heyman to sit with him. “Is there something you want to tell me?” Heyman says, “No, sir.” Is he sure that there’s nothing Roman needs to know? No, nothing. Then how about Roman knows that something. Heyman will just tell him again. Heyman says this with all the respect in his heart. Heyman knows what Roman is getting at, and Heyman defends he did NOT know Lesnar was coming to SummerSlam. Lesnar fears Roman, because why else would he make up such a preposterous false narrative? It is all a cover! A mask! For the first time in his life, Lesnar is dealing with fear, and he does that by lying about Heyman knowing! That is how Heyman knows Lesnar fears Roman.
Roman thinks on that, and asks if Lesnar will show up at Extreme Rules. Heyman says no, but how does he know? Heyman sputters as he says he is under the impression if Lesnar fears Roman, then he wouldn’t dare show up then. Roman doesn’t pay Heyman to be “under the impression.” Roman pays Heyman to know in advance. Then is Roman asking Heyman to talk to Brock Lesnar?
Rick Boogs w/ Shinsuke Nakamura VS Robert Roode w/ Dolph Ziggler!
The rockin’ bard still gives the King of Strong Style his rockin’ entrance, but it’ll be all on Boogs to defeat the GLORIOUS One tonight. Will Boogs sweep the Dirty Dawgs in back to back weeks? Or will he be the one getting rocked?
SmackDown returns as Roode is already in the ring. The bell rings and Boogs circles with Roode but Ziggler swipes at him. Roode CLUBS Boogs from behind, chokes him on the ropes then claws Boogs’ face! Ziggler talks trash as Roode lets off, then Roode knees Boogs in the corner. Roode bumps Boogs off buckles, CHOPS then throws haymakers and stomps. The ref counts, Roode lets off and he whips Boogs corner to corner. Boogs reverses, runs in but Roode BOOTS him! Roode hops up for a BLOCKBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Ziggler is annoyed but Roode dares Boogs to get up. Boogs stands, Roode kicks low but Boogs denies the DDT with a fireman’s carry!
Fans fire up as Boogs hits a squat to a SAMOAN DROP! Then Boogs clinches Roode for an OVERHEAD Belly2Belly, then gets him again for an EXPLODER! Roode is in the corner, Boogs clotheslines then BULLDOGS! Boogs rocks and kicks Roode to pump handle. Boogs gets Rood up for the POWERSLAM! Cover, Boogs wins!
Winner: Rock Boogs, by pinfall
Nakamura and Boogs join the commentary desk and Pat McAfee rocks out with the champion and the undefeated Boogs! But then BLAM, Commander Azeez blindsides Nakamura! And he choke grips Boogs to throw Boogs into the steps! Apollo trophy lifts Nakamura to DROP him on the table! But he and Azeez aren’t done, they RAM Nakamura into the side of the table! Apollo picks up the Intercontinental Championship, looks at it, then drops it on Nakamura. It is very clear what the Nigerian Prince wants, but Azeez gives him a mic to speak. “Is this your king? King Nakamura, huh!? You have made a mockery of the Intercontinental Championship, and I am here to demand a rematch!”
Nakamura snarls as he sits up and looks at Apollo. Will the King of Strong Style give Apollo what he wants? Or just what he deserves?
Kevin Owens VS “Happy” Corbin!
Before heading out, Megan interviews Kevin about Corbin, but he stops her right there. He can’t stand another word about that guy. Kevin isn’t happy, he’s mad! He’ll even go so far to say he’s furious. A few weeks ago, Corbin was on Kevin’s show, invited his idiot friend and then got Kevin with a cheap shot. And Kevin hasn’t forgotten about that, or about how he was trying to help that trash. That all backfired, but Kevin will use that anger as fuel to beat the hell out of Happy Corbin. And that will turn Kevin’s frown upside down, and it’ll turn Corbin’s smile upside-down.
But what’s a good rhyme for smile? Eh, it doesn’t matter. After tonight, we’ll have something better than Happy Corbin: Happy Kevin! Will Kevin #JustKeepFighting until Corbin’s humbled?
But as Kevin makes his entrance, Corbin ambushes Kevin on the ramp! Corbin rams him into barriers, then throws him into the LED apron! But Kevin hits back with forearms! Corbin knees low, choke grips and APRON CHOKE SLAMS Kevin down! Corbin dusts off his hat, grins and takes his leave, not caring about the match. Kevin gets up to his feet, when and where will he finally get even?
Paul Heyman walks around backstage.
Kayla Braxton again spooks him as she walks up and asks for a moment. He wants her to stop doing that, but she says sources are saying the WWE Draft could see Lesnar going to Raw. Is Lesnar aware of these rumors? And what are his thoughts if he is? Heyman isn’t sure what’s more laughable: Kayla thinking that he’s still Brock Lesnar’s Advocate, or the notion that she has legitimate sources! Did the sources tell her he’s NOT Lesnar’s Advocate anymore? Kayla has no sources! What she has is this sapiosexual lust in her heart for an old man like Heyman. Well she can’t be with The Wiseman so stop flirting! Stop poking and trolling him! LEAVE HIM ALONE!
But then Big E is there as Heyman turns around. Big E shows Heyman the world title, and Heyman says, “Congratulations. Of all people on the SmackDown brand to become the WWE Campion, you sir, are the one. And I applaud you, because you made the smartest decision of your entire life by realizing you would never have successfully cashed that briefcase in, that contract in, on Roman Reigns, and you went after a champion you knew would be vulnerable. Congratulations, Big E.” Big E says we’ll see when Big E faces Roman at Survivor Series. But, will Heyman’s guy be Roman, or Brrrrock, Lesnarrr? Or maybe, will the Demon ruin all the best laid plans because he was overlooked?
Big E laughs, but turns around into SUPERKICKS from the Usos! The Usos mug Big E, gets him up and THROW him into trunks! Then they go after him more! The mugging continues, talk trash, “You playing with the wrong ones!” WHAM into another trunk! The Usos continue to beat Big E down and then continue to bark at him. Roman then walks in as Big E sputters and writhes, and he leads the Usos away. Will Big E’s rage only build from now until November, waiting for the chance to get at the Tribal Chief?
Seth Rollins is here!
Despite being “conflicted” about what he did to the Rated R Superstar, he seems in a much better mood tonight in his all metallic silver suit and matching shoes. But will the Savior of SmackDown have any answers for what happened last week? Or will he simply answer for his actions?
SmackDown returns to the ring and Rollins has a mic. Rollins says that was unfortunate for Big E there, someone should’ve helped him. But on a more important note, last week, Rollins had one of the greatest matches of his career when he defeated WWE Hall of Famer, Edge, in Madison Square Garden. We’ve had time to process our feelings in regards to how it ended and if Rollins is being honest, that was all unfortunate, unsettling and even scary. What happened at the end to Edge was scary, when Rollins’ boot came down right around here, across the back of Edge’s neck. Rollins heard a pop, and he felt a crunch, and he isn’t sure how to describe that.
“Do you guys know when you step on a cockroach, and you’re not exactly sure what you stepped on, but you can feel it’s body break and you can hear that crunch underneath your boot? And you know when you pick up your shoe, there’s gonna be a lifeless body underneath?” A rather morbid visual… But Rollins wants us to watch the footage. The recap package shows Rollins cheating to get the low blow, and then hitting Edge with Superkick after Superkick until the Rated R Superstar was in position for the vicious and final Curb Stomp, as well as how distraught the MSG audience was seeing Edge be stretchered to the back and to an ambulance.
Back in the present, Rollins himself seems a bit unsettled. “Now I know that’s difficult to watch. It’s difficult for me to watch, as well. And I understand why you guys are booing, I really do.” But Rollins has a question that he’s been asking himself all week, and it’s very simple. “What did you think was going to happen?!” Seriously, what did we think!? Someone give Rollins an answer! That was one of the greatest wins in Rollins’ career, and he didn’t have even a second to enjoy it! The moment he’s backstage, everyone’s looking at him. He sees social media calling him a monster and going #WhySethWhy? This company even said what Rollins did was “unconscionable” and that he went too far!
Rollins asks the fans, did he go too far? “YES!” Oh, really? Because what Rollins did was use a legal move in a legal match and won it the same way he’s won matches for the majority of his career! So did he go too far? “YES!” No, the one who went too far was EDGE! EDGE went too far as a family man. Edge knew the risks and the consequences and still got in the ring! So who’s really to blame? Fans say “YOU! YOU!” but Rollins tells them to look around. Rollins says the FANS are to blame! This entire time, the fans goaded Edge into goading Rollins. If you don’t believe him, remember when Edge called Rollins “Edge Lite?” And what did the fans do? The fans CHEERED it!
What about when Edge dumped black gunk on Rollins’ head and ruined his suit? What’d they do then? Don’t be shy! You laughed at Rollins! Or what about when Edge beat Rollins at SummerSlam? What’d they do then? Cheer! So Rollins didn’t do anything wrong! If anything’s wrong, it’s everyone in this place and watching at home! But Rollins is the villain, oooh~! Well if you didn’t like that, you won’t like this. Rollins isn’t done with Edge, either! Not by a long shot. And here’s why: A few nights ago on NXT, Edge’s wife, Beth Phoenix, said that Edge was at home recuperating.
“So Edge, if you’re at home recuperating, I imagine you are watching right now. And I know what you’re thinking, because I would be thinking the exact same thing.” So Rollins asks Edge this question: “Are you physically capable of getting back in this ring? More importantly, are you emotionally capable of getting back in this ring?” Rollins saw the look in Edge’s eyes when he got loaded onto the stretcher and into the ambulance. And that look was fear. For just one second, just one single, solitary second… Rollins actually felt SORRY for him!! And that feeling is eating Rollins alive, and he cannot live with himself feeling sorry for someone like Edge! Rollins has to move on!
But Rollins can’t do that until he finishes Edge. So either Edge holes up in his cabin and Rollins storms over there to beat the life out of him in front of the family, or Edge crawls his way back into the ring and they go one more time. “For my own sanity, I have to finish you, one way or another.” The Architect has designs for the true ending of Edge’s comeback, but will he heartlessly dismantle the Hall of Famer in or out of the ring?
Backstage interview with Becky Lynch.
The Man, the SmackDown Women’s Champion, is asked about Bianca Belair’s homecoming celebration and if it might give Bianca some momentum going into their title match. “So, momentum is a tricky thing, because it’ll keep going until it meets an opposing force.” Bianca had a lot of momentum before meeting Becky at SummerSlam, and the outcome at Extreme Rules will be the same. But tonight is Bianca’s night. Though, Becky’s never been to a homecoming. She might check it out. Is that the Man putting the EST on notice?
Zelina Vega & Carmella VS Toni Storm & Liv Morgan!
La Muneca and the (self-proclaimed) Most Beautiful Woman in the WWE seem to be sticking together as a duo. But will they both be struck down by the Lightning From Down Under and the LIVing End?
SmackDown returns as Liv and Toni are already in the ring. The teams sort out and Toni starts with Mella. The two circle, Mella sucker punches Liv and laughs! Liv is furious but the ref keeps her back. Mella talks trash on Liv but then she dodges Toni’s haymaker! Tag to Vega and she shoves Toni. Toni kicks but Vega blocks to CHOP! Vega dodges now but Toni BOOTS her this time! Toni runs at the corner but Mella distracts. Toni stops and Vega JUMP KICKS then shoves Toni down to KNEE her down! Cover, TWO! Vega brings Toni up, hammerlocks and hops on but Toni endures the hoverboard to throw body shots. Toni powers up to suplex Vega high and hard!
Vega crawls, tags to Mella, but Toni tags Liv! Fans fire up as Liv fires off forearms on Mella! Liv has Mella in a corner, whips her corner to corner but Mella reverses. Liv boots back, then wrenches to WING SNAPPER into the BUCKLES! Mella claims her nose is broken and shrieks as Vega checks it for her. The ring count is climbing, but Mella refuses to get in. But we don’t even see any blood! Mella is just giving up and the other team wins!
Winners: Toni Storm & Liv Morgan, by count-out
Liv is not satisfied and says, “Wow~, really? Oh my gosh, Carmella sweetie!” Did she do that? But y’know what? Liv isn’t sorry at all! And it’s because she’s tired of Mella running her mouth to then run away. Liv challenges Mella to a match at Extreme Rules! And if Mella accepts, then Liv will make Mella look as hideous on the outside as she is on the inside. Will Mella accept the challenge for this malicious makeover?
The Street Profits are fired up!
But why? Because they’re in Knoxville, Tennessee! The EST is H O M E so tonight they celebrate~! Everyone will be on the guest list for the after party! Shotzi & Tegan are even bringing the tank, big bank! But while they gonna eat good tonight, what they’re really hungry for is the gold. Because the Usos~ are scared. Running scared from the scary Profits. They distracted from the fact that they ’bout to lose their titles. Because the Profits are UP, and #WeWantTheSmoke! Will Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins burn the Usos down and make their seventh title reign go up in smoke?
WWE Medical checks on Mella’s nose.
Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville are there as she finally pulls her hands away. No blood, not even a dislocation, and Vega assures Mella, she’s just as beautiful as ever. Mella is still upset that “that little lowlife” tried to turn her into a 5 outta 10 like her. It’s one thing to be jealous, but it’s another to try and deface the most beautiful woman. So at Extreme Rules, Mella accepts that challenge! Even more so, Vega will take Liv on first. Will Liv gladly break The Doll before getting at the bratty Barbie on PPV?
Finn Balor speaks.
“Everyone wants to know where The Demon comes from. You see, unlike Roman, I wasn’t born into a wrestling family. I don’t have a bloodline. I was born into a family of railroad workers. I’m not supposed to be here. But this is what I chose. And I scratched and I clawed and I fought, and here I am. The Demon comes from inside. The Demon is a manifestation of everyone that’s ever told me no, or doubted me, or disrespected me. The Demon unlocks a rage inside of me that cannot be controlled. I don’t summon the Demon. The Demon summons me. Now Roman and his cousins, their disrespect is just adding fuel to the fire.
“But Roman will see that the fire that burns inside of me burns much brighter than the fires that burn all around me. You are looking at the face of Finn Balor, the challenger. At Extreme Rules, you will see the face of The Demon, the Universal Champion.” Things heat up and Balor transforms before our very eyes. Will Balor finally have vindication as he dethrones the Head of the Table?
Sonya Deville is on the phone, arguing with someone.
She wants Karen to notify her as soon as- Wait, Naomi walks over and demands Sonya get off the phone. Sonya hangs up and asks Naomi what’s wrong. Naomi has been more than patient and more than respectful, so where is her match? Sonya says there just isn’t that much time. They’ll try again next week. Naomi isn’t sure what this issue with her is, and she doesn’t care what it is, because she’s had it. Naomi has been here longer than Sonya, accomplished way more than Sonya, and feels Sonya acting like Naomi doesn’t belong is rather bizarre. Naomi is a two-time SmackDown Women’s Champion, and one thing Sonya doesn’t know is that Naomi never quits.
So mark her words, one way or another, Naomi will get her match. Does Sonya feel that? Sonya stays quiet and Naomi walks away. Will SmackDown #FeelTheGlow in a whole new light?
Dominik Mysterio VS Sami Zayn!
The King of Lucha Libre promised his son to not be in his corner for this third chance, but Rey does show up for commentary. Will Rey respect his son’s wishes and simply watch as we see round three of Dominik VS Zayn?
SmackDown returns as The Great Liberator makes his way to the ring. The bell rings and Sami goes right out to get at Rey on commentary. Rey tells Sami to focus on his son. Dom falls for the cat ‘n’ mouse game and gets stomped as they go back into the ring. Rey says this is the stuff that Dom has to learn for himself, the things that are hard to teach. Sami whips and CLOBBERS Dom, covers, TWO! Sami throws crossface forearms as Rey defends that he isn’t being a “little league dad,” as Michael Cole puts it. Rey knows Dom will be even better than him one day, but Sami keeps on Dom. Dom blocks the bomb to wrench and forearm! And forearm again! And again!
Dom goes up and up and springboards to RANA Sami away! Sami gets to a corner, Dom runs in but into a BOOT! Rey stresses as Sami gets Dom up, knuckle locks and SLAPOS him! Sami goes up and up but Dom trips him up! Sami going lucha backfires and Dom dropkicks him down! Dom goes up and TRIANGLE CROSSBODIES! Direct hit and Rey fires up! Dom has control as SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns again as Sami throws hands on Dom. Sami brings Dom up but Dom blocks the back suplex. Dom elbows away on Sami’s head! Fans fire up for Dom as he runs, but Sami reels him in to BLUE THUNDER- RANA!! Dom counters and Rey is fired up! Cover, TWO!! Dom is in a corner, Sami runs in but into an elbow. Dom goes up to TORNADO DDT! Cover, TWO!! Dom feels how close he is and he brings Sami back up. Dom dodges a clothesline to ENIZIGURI! Dropkick to put Sami on the ropes! Rey shouts GO, Dom dials it up to 619!! Dom hurries up top and Rey wants him to go faster! FROG SPLASH but onto knees! Cover, Sami wins!
Winner: Sami Zayn, by pinfall
The master strategist rubs it in that he is 3-0 against Rey’s son. “He’s not on my level. He’s not ready, Rey. You’re not the coach that you thought you were.” Rey may have to swallow his pride, but what will it take for Dom to finally get another win on his own?
Because of Naomi’s intimidation of Sonya, management is fining her under “insubordination.” Further details are available on WWE’s official website.
Plus, after the attacks seen tonight, some major matches are made! For next week, the WWE Intercontinental Championship will be on the line as Nakamura accepts Apollo’s challenge! Will the King of Strong Style still reign as a champion? And with the rising animosity between the Bloodline and Big E, Monday Night Raw will have a HUGE Six Man Tag! Big E, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods ride again as the 100% New Day against Roman Reigns & The Usos! Will the Power of Positivity get payback on the Universal & SmackDown Tag Team Champions?
SmackDown shares footage from Bianca’s return to Knoxville.
The EST says this was a whirlwind day, but in a good way. Knoxville’s her pride, her home, where she feels safe and loved. Plus, it was great for her to go back to her high school while it’s homecoming week for them, too. The students were excited to see her, she is proud to be a #Knoxvillian, and that is who she will continue to be.
KANE is here!!
Well, he’s Glenn Jacobs right now, but that’s the same thing! And on top of all this, he gets to preside over the EST Homecoming, after the break!
SmackDown returns and Kane gives us one more flame burst from the ring for old time’s sake! Kane then has the mic to say, “That never gets old.” Fans cheer but as Mayor of Knox County, Kane says it is his honor to welcome back to her hometown, Bianca Belair! Bianca makes her entrance and Knoxville is thunderous for the EST Lady Vol! And of course, her family is right up front for it, too! Bianca is already emotional as Kane asks her how it feels to be back. It’s amazing~! There is no place like home and she’s so happy to see her family and friends here tonight. But they say that everything that happens in the past shapes your future. Knoxville made The EST.
It was right here with Daddy Belair that he told her that if someone starts something with you, you finish it. And Becky caught Bianca off guard at SummerSlam. Bianca’s always fought her way right back up to the top, so Extreme Rules will be where Bianca takes back that SmackDown Women’s Championship. Kane says, “Here’s the deal.” After Bianca wins that title back, she better come back to Knoxville for a HUGE celebration in her honor! But speaking of honors, it is Kane’s honor to also present Bianca with a Key to the County! Fans cheer and Bianca hugs Kane. She picks up the biggEST Key and fans chant “EST! EST!”
Bianca thanks them all so much. From her family to Austin East High to her alma mater, the University of Tennessee, she is proud to be Knoxville made! But enough about her. Time to celebrate Knoxville itself! And there’s only one way to do it: sing some Rocky Top! Here we go! One, two, three! Rocky Top~, you’ll always be, home sweet home to me~. But here comes Becky! She sings her own take on Rocky Top and says this is so awesome. Congratulations to Bianca for this, but uh, Kane’s lying to everyone thinking Bianca’s gonna take the title. But at least she can be Knoxville’s Champion. Not THE champion, but a champion.
Aw, these pictures are nice. So fast, so smart. Becky’s never been to a homecoming. Oh, and she got a key? Well Becky’s got the title on lock, so… Girl, Uh-Uh. Why you even here? Becky is standing here and she don’t even go here~! Fans chant that for Bianca, and Becky knows she doesn’t go here! She isn’t here to steal anyone’s thunder. But Bianca’s getting a lot of attention in Becky’s shadow. But hey, SummerSlam was Becky’s night. Extreme Rules will be Becky’s night, too. But tonight is Bianca’s night. She wanted to show Bianca some respect. Becky offers a handshake, points out all the kiddies looking up to Bianca, but she isn’t gonna shake The Man’s hand? Becky’s trying to be the “bigger man” here.
Bianca smiles, fans don’t trust this from Becky, but Bianca shakes. And then she’s the one who keeps Becky where she is! Becky takes a swing, but swings into a torture rack! Becky fights free, reels Bianca in, MANHANDLE SLAM! Becky smirks and takes her title with her as she leaves. Fans boo but Bianca gets back up. Will Becky be able to keep Bianca down a second time? Or will Bianca make this the extremEST match of Becky’s career?
This was a good SmackDown but things just felt backwards as far as the match card. All the excitement was in the first part, with Big E getting to essentially have his farewell to SmackDown match alongside Balor, in a really good tag match with The Usos. Big E and Balor win to get some momentum, both Big E as the new world champion and Balor as the next immediate challenger to Roman. And it’s pretty big that Raw is going to give us a Six Man Tag, The New Day VS The Bloodline, even though that totally uses up the idea I had for Survivor Series. I suppose this could be a sampler for separate World VS Universal Champion and Raw VS SmackDown Tag Team Champion matches at Survivor Series, though.
Now obviously, there’s a lot being set up for Roman all at once, with Balor at Extreme Rules, Lesnar already slated for Crown Jewel, and of course Champion VS Champion at Survivor Series. Balor’s backstage promo was alright, but I feel like his newest explanation of The Demon flies in the face of past ones. But whatever, Vince doesn’t expect any of us to remember that, since Vince doesn’t think continuity is important. And obviously there are many reasons, both socially and financially, as to why Crown Jewel wants the Tribal Chief VS The Beast over anything else, so we basically have the roadmap all figured out for us for the next eight weeks.
But at least Heyman’s part is still a lot of fun, with him almost getting heart attacks from Kayla surprising him, and his loyalties still being questioned. Still hoping Heyman just gives up working for either Roman or Lesnar and returns to being a sort of king maker and choosing the next Paul Heyman Guy as opposed to being bossed around. Then there was still some general excitement for Boogs having his match with Roode. Boogs wins quick again, but again the Dirty Dawgs are kinda the chumps of SmackDown right now, and then we get that title match set up. I’m thinking Nakamura retains and this is one last go of it for Apollo before the Draft moves him and Azeez to Raw.
Corbin making the match a No Contest is another clear sign that we’re getting something at Extreme Rules, and that probably includes Logan Paul being back for that. Sami’s beat Dom three times, can he move on from that and join Kevin in this so we can at least get Kevin & Sami back as a team again? Speaking of Dom, is he going to ever snap on his dad pressuring him? We need Rey grilling Dom on his mistakes as a promo, with it leading to Dom shouting and storming off. Dom isn’t going to get anywhere in kayfabe or with the fans if he doesn’t take a real stand and start to define himself. If they don’t want to make him Dom Guerrero, fine, but we just need to see who Dominik is.
I swear Vince trying to drag all his brands back into the past. Vega & Mella VS Liv & Toni felt like we were traveling back in time to the Land Before #GiveDivasAChance cuz that match was short, rusty and had a sad ending. Mella VS Liv is probably also going to be sad as a match they’re just throwing onto Extreme Rules with such a half-assed build where there was barely any fire or venom. Where are Shotzi & Tegan when it comes to being in the ring? Aren’t they SmackDown’s contenders for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships? I said this on Raw, I’ll say it here: those two need to roll up to whoever are champs after Natty & Tamina VS Rhea & Nikki and literally shoot their shot.
One of the better things tonight was Naomi getting in Sonya’s face. She gets a kayfabe fine for it, but I really expect The Bloodline’s influence to start kicking in here. If Jimmy finally came into the fold, so can Naomi. Whoever is champion after Extreme Rules, I can see Naomi being backed by the Bloodline going after the title. And speaking of that title, you can see that Bianca is a star in even the WWE’s eyes with them giving her the homecoming segment. Bianca is definitely someone who is worthy of the “You Deserve It!” chants, so this was truly a great moment overall. But of course, Vince doesn’t let hometown heroes stand tall in their hometowns, Becky gets her with the slam. But this could also be a way to get the math in Bianca’s favor so that Extreme Rules is a big victory for her. Maybe.
My Score: 8.2/10
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?
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!
- 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
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.
Andrew’s IMPACT Results & Match Ratings: 10.21.2021
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?
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) October 22, 2021
- 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
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.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) October 22, 2021
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.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) October 22, 2021
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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