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Mitchell’s NJPW Report: AXS TV New Beginnings in Sapporo Part 2!

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This review of NJPW: New Beginnings in Sapporo Part 1 will be as broadcasted by AXS TV.
Therefore, all images are courtesy of AXS TV.

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • From January 27th, 2018- NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships: The Bullet Club’s Bad Luck Fale & Guerillas of Destiny VS Taguchi Japan’s Ryusuke Taguchi, Toa Henare & Togi Makabe; Bullet Club wins and retains the NEVER Openweight 6MTTC.
  • From January 28th, 2018- 10 Man Tag: Chaos VS Los Ingoblernables de Japon; LIJ wins.
  • IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: The Young Bucks VS Roppongi 3K; RPG3K wins and become the new IWGP Jr. HTTC.

PLAY BY PLAY

AXS TV & NJPW take a look at what led to tonight’s main event.

Formerly known as “The Tempura Boyz”, Sho & Yo reinvented themselves and captured the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championships. They would defend them at Wrestle Kingdom 12 against Matt & Nick Jackson, but the newly minted Roppongi 3K were no match for the Young Bucks. The Bucks became record-setting 7-time Jr HTTCs, but that was not the end of the rivalry.

Rocky Romero, after being attacked by the Bucks himself, coached up his new team to be ready for this rematch. Can Sho & Yo gain back what Matt & Nick took from them?

 

From January 27th, 2018-

NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championship: The Bullet Club’s Bad Luck Fale & Guerillas of Destiny VS Taguchi Japan’s Ryusuke Taguchi, Toa Henare & Togi Makabe!

We join this match just as Tama Tonga hits a corner to corner stinger splash, then covers, TWO. He drags Henare over and tags in the Underboss. Fale brings Henare to a corner and bumps him off buckles. Fale sucker punches Makabe, then Taguchi. He returns to Henare and unloads body shots. He whips Henare corner to corner, then runs in, but Henare dodges! Henare crawls, hot tag to Makabe! The fans fire up as Makabe rallies on Bullet Club. The Gorilla corner clotheslines then whips Fale for another clothesline. Makabe climbs up and rains corner punches on Fale, then tries the northern lights. Fale is too big and strong for that, he clubs Makabe and grabs his throat with both hands. Makabe breaks free of that, but Fale rocks him with a body shot.

Fale runs, but Taguchi runs in to hit a hip attack. Makabe runs Fale over, but Tonga Loa breaks the pin. Taguchi goes after Loa, throws him out, then keeps on Loa while the fans rally. Makabe tries to bring Fale down but Fale only stumbles. Makabe runs again, but into Fale’s Samoan Drop! Both Fale and Makabe are down, but the fans rally for them. They roll, hot tags to Tonga and Henare. They speed up, Henare fakes Tonga out then runs for a BIG shoulder tackle! Henare is all fired up as he gives forearms to Tonga. He whips but Tonga reverses, Tonga reverses but Henare dodges. Henare runs in but Tonga puts him on the apron. Tonga gets away but Henare climbs up to the top, for a flying shoulder tackle! Cover, TWO!

It was close, and he fires up again. Taguchi returns to kick Fale out, and Makabe does the same to Loa. Taguchi’s trio targets Tonga, putting him in a corner. Taguchi & Makabe double whip Tonga corner to corner, then they begin the corner train: Taguchi whips Makabe in for the corner clothesline, then Henare in, then Makabe again, and Henare again. Taguchi does a Running Man Dab while he directs his men in the clotheslines.

Henare, then Makabe, then Tonga is fed to Taguchi’s hip attack. Henare hits a spear, covers, but Loa and Fale break the cover just in time. Taguchi throws Fale back out and Makabe brawls with Loa. Henare returns to Tonga, headbutt after headbutt, then fireman’s carry. Tonga slips out and shoves Henare to ropes, fireman’s carry on the rebound for a Samoan Flapjack! Cover, TWO!! That was so close, the Bullet Club is shocked. Tonga keeps on Henare, single-leg crossface, the Cobra Twist!

Henare taps out, The Bullet Club wins!

Winners: The Bullet Club’s Bad Luck Fale & Guerrillas of Destiny

It is rare that the champions successfully retain, even in the short track record of the NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships. Is this Too Sweet combination just right for reigning supreme over the entire division?

 

From January 28th, 2018-

10 Man Tag: Chaos VS Los Ingoblernables de Japon!

There has been a grudge growing between these two NJPW stables. It reached a new level when Chaos leader Kazuchika Okada wanted Sanada to speak for himself in relation to the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship. However, Cold Skull wouldn’t do what Okada wanted, so the Rainmaker decided to show the “punk” now to disrespect him, in the form of a Tombstone piledriver and a mouth full of cash. Thus, we now have this star-studded, title-loaded 5v5 match for stable supremacy!

The teams stand in the ring together, but before a bell rings, a brawl erupts! They all pair off and spill out of the ring, leaving Yoshi-Hashi in with Tetsuya Naito. Hashi clubs Naito in a corner while things continue on the outside. He rips Naito’s shirt off then stomps on it, disrespecting #Tranquilo. Hashi stands Naito up for chops and forearms, not letting up until Naito is on the ground! He then grinds a foot into Naito, but stops with the ref’s count. Hashi drags Naito up, whips him corner to corner and hits a running chop. He then hangs Naito up, Goto holding him in place, for Hashi’s running dropkick!

Hashi keeps stomping Naito, showing no mercy. He chops Naito, then chops again, before running, but into Hiromu’s cheap shot. Hiromu gets a forearm for that, then Hashi blocks and counters the kick from Naito with an elbow to the knee. Hashi keeps on Naito with forearms, then runs, but into a kick. Bushi sunset flips outta nowhere, and sits Hashi up for Naito’s low dropkick. Evil and Sanada come in to go after the other members of Chaos, with Hiromu tripping up his rival, Will Ospreay. LIJ and Chaos brawl past ringside and into the crowd!

Meanwhile, Naito chokes Hashi with what’s left of his shirt! The referee sees this and reprimands him while Evil bumps Goto off chairs. Okada and Sanada are interrupted by Bushi. Naito puts Hashi in a Tree of Woe, and he stomps away. He even shoves the referee so he can keep going. Naito backs off, baseball slide dropkick to Hashi’s face. He tags Bushi in, then drag Hashi up and out. Okada protests but Bushi still missile dropkicks Hashi. While Bushi gives us the Bushi-roonie, Naito hits Hashi with his own dropkick in the corner. Naito sweeps Hashi’s legs, then gives him a wrecking ball dropkick!

Bushi brings Hashi up, snapmares and stretches him back before stomping him. Bushi puts on the STF and the rest of LIJ stands guard. Hashi endures, then crawls for ropes, but he’s still so far away. Bushi changes his mind and gives Hashi a neckbreaker. Cover, but Okada breaks it. Evil goes right after Okada and throws him out, Bushi tags in Hiromu. Hiromu stomps Hashi, then brings him up. Hashi fights back on Hiromu and Naito but dividing his attention allows Hiromu to attack from behind. Hiromu drags Hashi up and chops him to a corner. He whips Hashi corner to corner and hits a corner clothesline. Hiromu rolls Hashi out but Hashi evades the running dropkick. Hashi flip kicks Hiromu down, and they both head for their corners.

The fans rally, Hashi tags in Ospreay! The Aerial Assassin goes after the Ticking Timebomb with a blasting dropkick, then fires up for a corner to corner flying elbow! He goes around the world but Hiromu dodges. Hiromu gets the waistlock, German Suplex but Ospreay lands on his feet. Ospreay hits another running elbow, then tries again, big basement dropkick! Standing shooting star, TWO! Ospreay stays focused as he drags Hiromu up. Dragon sleeper and lift but Hiromu knees out. Hiromu runs but Ospreay pursues, Ospreay slips out of the pop-up to whip Hiromu but Hiromu reverses. Ospreay handsprings, but Hiromu catches him in a German Suplex!

Fans applaud while both men are down, we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns with hot tags to Goto and Evil! They go right at each other, colliding with clothesline after clothesline. Evil fires up and runs but Goto follows. Goto swings but Evil deflects, then tries again, only for Goto to deflect his lariat. Goto kicks but Evil passes that off to the ref, to then mule kick out the other leg. Evil calls for the finish, fisherman lift but Goto resists. Goto wrenches the arm but Evil forearms back, but Evil’s spinning strike is countered with a pull of the hair into a neckbreaker across the knee! Both men are down, and the NEVER Openweight Champion tags in the Rainmaker!

Okada goes after Evil with forearms, then whips but Evil reverses. Okada runs Evil over with a back elbow, then stalks him. He Alabama lifts but Evil resists, Evil goes for neckbreaker but Okada elbows out. Okada runs, but into the sidewalk slam! Now Evil tags in Sanada! Sanada runs in, but into a flapjack! Okada stalks Sanada to a corner while the fans chant. He whips Sanada corner to corner, then hits a back elbow. He kicks and DDT’s, covers, TWO! Okada keeps his cool while he toys with Cold Skull. This only angers Sanada, and he gets up to stare the IWGP WHC down. Sanada throws a forearm, so Okada responds with a forearm, and back to Sanada. They go back and forth, picking up speed, and the fans get into it.

Every forearm Okada gives, Sanada immediately responds. Okada gives a forearm with extra mustard, so Sanada gives him a European Uppercut. Okada gives more forearms, then runs, but Sanada jumps up and over to then dropkick Okada down! The fans applaud while Sanada drags Okada up, big back suplex. Cover, TWO. Naito and Bushi intercept Hashi and Gedo, then Ospreay and Goto. Sanada scoops Okada for a side backbreaker, then hurries to the top rope. Moonsault but he has to land on his feet when Okada isn’t there. Sanada’s legs slow him down, Okada catches him into a scoop. Sanada slips out to avoid the Tombstone, kicks low and whips. Okada reverses the whip, and dropkicks Sanada down! They’re both down from exhaustion but the fans rally. Okada and Sanada head for their corners, tag to Gedo!

Gedo takes out Bushi to leave Sanada with no one, then mule kicks Sanada. Gedo Clutch cover, but Naito breaks that. Hashi comes in, dodges Naito’s enziguri, then retaliates with a mule kick. He gets Naito out while Gedo grabs Sanada. Sanada counters, dragon sleeper but first a feed to Bushi’s Code Breaker! Then Sanada lifts Gedo up for the TKO!

Cover, but Ospreay and Goto break it! It’s more chaos as Bushi, Evil and Hiromu work to clear out Chaos, leaving Sanada to bring Gedo up. Naito whips Hashi into barriers while Sanada drags Gedo up in the dragon sleeper. When that isn’t enough, Sanada drops down into the body scissors, Skull End!

Gedo taps, LIJ wins!

Winners: Los Ingoblernables de Japon

Cold Skull may not have defeated the Rainmaker, but he just submitted his right hand man. Will Sanada and Okada meet again for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship?

Yoshi-Hashi goes after Naito!

Chaos has to pull him off of Naito, not wanting their teammate to be a sore loser. Naito doesn’t sweat it, he is truly Tranquilo. When will he start to worry about this growing list of opponents who want to tear him limb from limb?

However, Sanada is not done with Okada.

Like Okada did before, Sanada calls Okada out. “You really want to hear my voice?” Sanada vows that “In Osaka, I’m gonna end you.” Strong words from the strong silent Sanada, but will the Rainmaker make him eat those words?

 

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: The Young Bucks VS Roppongi 3K!

A new look, a new name, and a new attitude for Sho & Yo, but will it mean they become the new IWGP Jr. HTTCs? Or will they end up in another SUPERKICK PARTY hosted by Matt & Nick Jackson?

Matt Jackson starts against Yo the silver, and the bell rings. Rocky Romero rallies the fans with a chant of “R P G!” Matt and Yo get in each other’s face then start brawling with haymakers. Yo slowly backs Matt down but Matt gets the headlock. Yo powers out but Matt runs him over, only for Yo to kip-up. Matt runs but catches Yo into the sharpshooter, Yo keeps it rolling to push Matt away. Yo rolls Matt into a half-crab, but Matt scrambles to the ropes for the break. The fans applaud while Yo waits, but Matt stays close to the perimeter. He tags in Nick, so Yo tags in Sho. Nick mocks the “young boy” and shoves him, then says “I’m a superstar.” Sho trash talks back, but Nick kicks low then speeds things up.

Nick cartwheels over Sho, then rolls off his back before dropping Sho with a dropkick. Sho gets to a corner while Nick embraces the cheers. He tags in Matt, they double whip Sho and catch him into the gutbuster. Matt says “You’re dead, young boy!” before giving him the swinging neckbreaker backbreaker! Sho writhes before Matt covers, TWO. Matt drags Sho up to rock him with a right hand. He whips but Yo tags in, RPG3K catch Matt with the drop toehold to basement dropkick. Nick comes in, but RPG3K is ready for him. They double whip to a corner, then forearm smash and back elbow in the corner before the bulldog gutbuster combo.

Nick staggers back but they double clothesline him out. Matt returns, he gets double dropkicks. Matt slips back out and regroups with Nick while the fans rally for RPG3K. RPG3K build speed, but the Bucks come in to stereo SUPERKICK them!

The Bucks fire up while Sho & Yo roll out of the ring. Matt runs to hit them both with a wrecking ball dropkick, then he holds the ropes for Nick to FLY!

Nick wipes RPG3K out, then high-fives Matt. They see Rocky now, and Rocky wants them to “take it easy.” The Bucks chase Rocky up the ramp, then behind the curtain. They bring Rocky back out by force, then decide to powerbomb Rocky again. However, as they get him up and walk him back, Rocky is saved by his team! Sho & Yo go after Matt & Nick, even dumping Nick off the ramp onto barriers. Sho ends up down there with Nick, and Matt throws Yo onto Sho. Matt gets space for a running start, and now he FLIES!

He takes Sho & Yo out within that narrow margin, and follows Nick as he brings Yo over. Nick has “an idea”, and feeds Yo to Matt. They lift Yo, and hit him with an apron powerbomb! Yo writhes, but the Bucks aren’t done with him. Matt brings Yo up and into the ring, then covers, TWO! Matt brings Yo up and puts one out on him. He lifts Yo but that battered back gives out. Matt crawls and covers, TWO. The fans cheer, Nick comes in to stop Yo from tagging Sho. Nick tags in, then stomps out Yo. He lifts Yo to club him down, then stomp him some more. He whips Yo corner to corner hard, and Yo goes down from his own back pains.

Sho shows concern but Nick keeps on Yo, tagging Matt back in. The Bucks double whip, then double hip toss, but only Nick can back flip into the double dropkick. Matt covers, TWO, but Matt puts Yo in a chinlock. He keeps Yo grounded, but Yo flails and works against the hold.

Fans cheer and rally, and Yo gets to his feet. Matt elbows Yo in the back, then tags Nick. Nick brings Yo up, then whips him into the corner. Nick runs in but Yo boots him away. Matt runs in but ends up thrown out and bumps off the apron! Nick goes after Yo, but Yo enziguris him down. Yo leaps for the tag but Matt trips Sho down just before! Nick and Yo stand up, Nick runs corner to corner and tackles Yo into the corner. Nick keeps going, rolling Yo out for the running Penalty Kick! Cover, ONE, and Nick is pissed while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns once more, and Nick clubs Yo to keep him grounded. Nick focuses his attack on Yo’s hurting back, and Matt returns. The Bucks wait for Yo to stand up. Nick throws in a kick but Yo deflects it, Matt ducks it, so Nick tries again. Yo blocks it again and this time catches Matt with it! Then Yo dragon screws Nick, and reaches for his corner. Tag to Sho, and golden Sho rallies on Nick. Nick reverses the whip but Sho knocks him down. Matt kicks and whips Sho, but Sho holds ropes to then put Matt on the apron. Sho sweeps the legs, runs, and baseball slides Matt down off the apron! Nick returns but misses the clothesline, Sho headscissors Nick to a corner. The fans fire up while Sho runs in, big corner clothesline!

Sho whips, Nick reverses but Sho reverses back, kicking front and back to then mule kick Nick down. Cover, TWO! Sho keeps his cool as he grabs Nick in the waistlock. Nick elbows his way out, then tags in Matt. Matt slowly walks over to Sho, but Sho standing switch to German Suplex once, twice, then both Bucks for the hat trick!

Sho stands Matt up and hits a backstabber, to feed Matt into Yo’s shotgun dropkick! The fans rally while Yo suplexes Matt up for Sho, then Yo runs for the dominator cutter combo!

Cover, TWO! Sho & Yo keep their cool while Matt clutches his back. They wait for Matt to stand but Nick comes in to rally on them. Nick throws Yo out, then baits Sho to dump him out. He cartwheels to moonsault but Sho & Yo get clear. Nick turns around to run at them again, but ends up taking a flapjack onto the apron! Sho & Yo fire up and target the wounded Matt. Sho drags Matt up but Matt fires off forearms. Matt turns around but Sho reels him into a forearm to the back. Sho stomps that bad back while Yo gets in position. Tag to Yo, and Yo climbs up. Sho brings Matt up in the torture rack, Yo flies in for flying knee into reverse Michinoku Driver! Cover, TWO!

RPG3K can’t believe it, but the fans applaud. Yo drags Matt for the Crab, and gets it in! Matt’s back endures the bend, but he drags himself to ropes. Yo drags him back while Sho stands guard. Matt holds on to crawl again, and gets that ropebreak! Yo fires himself up and Sho comes over, they bring Matt up and to the top rope. RPG3K climb up together, but Matt resists. He fights them off, then fires himself up, but they trip him up. RPG3K climbs up again, they have him now, DOUBLE SUPERPLEX!

Cover, TWO! Matt somehow survives, but RPG3K rallies the fans for the finish. Sho kicks Matt, Yo stomps him, and back again. Sho then Yo, and Matt fires up! Yo kicks Matt back down, then holds him for Sho’s stiff kick to that back. Sho drags Matt up, Yo takes aim, but Matt fights out, letting that SUPERKICK hit Sho! Matt then SPEARS Yo, and heads for his corner. The fans rally, and Matt tags Nick! Nick climbs up, and hits Sho & Yo with a double missile dropkick. Nick fires up, and he rallies on Sho & Yo with right hands. He roundhouses Yo then back elbows Sho before rocking Yo with a tornado kick. Nick keeps going, joining Sho on the apron for a roundhouse, and a German suplex! Yo comes in but Nick knocks him away, then slingshot facebuster, and right into a tornado DDT for Sho!

Nick fires up and so do the fans. He brings Yo in before climbing up top. Nick takes aim, frog splash but into knees! Yo rolls him up, TWO! Yo’s frustration boils over, but Rocky coaches him back into it. Nick and Yo stand up, and trade forearms back and forth. Yo fires off several at once, then runs, but into a SUPERKICK! Yo yo-yo’s but into another SUPERKICK! Sho returns, but Nick catches him with an elevated Shining Wizard. Matt returns, and as tender as his back is, he drags Sho in position on the apron. Nick coordinates, going up top, for a SUPER draping swanton!!

Sho goes down, Matt helps Nick into the ring. Matt tags in, and the fans chant for “Young Bucks! Young Bucks!” Matt hobbles over to Yo, and drapes him now. Nick climbs up again, for a draping 450 splash! Matt covers, TWO!! The Young Bucks are shocked, but Yo still lives. Matt drags Yo up while Nick gets on the apron. That bad back won’t let Matt powerbomb lift Yo, so Nick comes in to help him out. Matt holds Yo up, and the buckle bomb kick! That’s not the end, as Matt goes for the “Cease” Sharpshooter! He gets it, but his back is still bugging him.

Nick keeps Sho down on the outside with another SUPERKICK! But Yo still powers up to crawl for ropes! Matt drags him away again, and sinks it in deeper! Yo powers up again and heads for ropes, and gets the ropebreak! But Matt doesn’t let go, Nick comes in for another swanton! Nick flattens Yo, then keeps Sho down while Matt drags Yo away again. It’s back pain versus back pain, but it’s Matt’s back that loses. He lets go of the hold, just as he was about to get Yo to quit. Nick coaches his brother while Rocky coaches his team. The fans rally for them both as they crawl for space. Matt stands up first, and hobbles back to Yo. He tries again, but small package counter! RPG3K WIN!!

Winners: Roppongi 3K (Sho & Yo)

What a shocking turn of events! Sho & Yo take advantage of Matt’s bad back, and now RPG3K is back on top of the Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Division. As for The Young Bucks, will Matt’s back recover so that he and Nick can come back for a tag title comeback?

 

Rocky Romero & RPG3K have a press conference backstage.

“That match was insane!” It was a crazy, crazy, crazy match. Tonight, Rocky and the boys are gonna party. One night only in Sapporo, RPG3K is gonna celebrate being champions again. They’re gonna party now, but this rivalry is only 1-1. Will Sho & Yo be able to party again after their inevitable rematch with The Young Bucks?

 

My Thoughts:

Great surprises were all over this edition of NJPW on AXS. For starters, I didn’t expect them to fit as much into this as they did. The partial coverage of the NEVER Six Man Tag Team Championships was fun, gives the American audiences some exposure to the almost NJPW exclusive members of the Bullet Club, Bad Luck Fale & the GoD. For being original members, Fale and Tama Tonga hardly do anything outside of NJPW, so this will help some fans learn a bit about them. Then we got to see the entirety of a great 10 Man Tag match, LIJ is rapidly growing in popularity and therefore strength as a stable. It was fitting that they defeat Chaos, but not through pinning a champion member like Goto, Ospreay or Okada. The champions stay strong even though the stable of LIJ goes over.

There are also a lot of stories stemming from that match, like Naito VS Yoshi-Hashi as a grudge match, Hiromu VS Ospreay for the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship, and Sanada VS Okada over the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship. All those matches promise to be competitive and entertaining, in both styles and stories. And of course, the tag team main event was also competitive and entertaining from styles to story. Matt’s back is a concern, as it has been in ROH, and it really added to how it made things tough for the Bucks in terms of pulling off their arsenal of signature combo attacks. And in the end, it all was too much, and the Bucks lost, a rare occurrence regardless of what’s on the line. The story really benefits Sho & Yo in power rankings, and can lead to a lot down the line for them and The Bucks.

My Score: 8.8/10


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Coverage

Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (4/19/24)

Prepare for Backlash!

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Did you know that challenger in French is still “challenger?”

In a WrestleMania rematch, AJ Styles takes on LA Knight in a #1 contender’s match, to challenge WWE Champion Cody Rhodes at Backlash in France!

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Undisputed WWE Championship #1 Contender’s match: AJ Styles VS LA Knight; Styles wins and will challenge Cody Rhodes for the title at Backlash.
  • SmackDown/WWE Tag Team Championships #1 Contenders Fatal 4 Way: The Street Profits VS New Catch Republic VS The Authors of Pain VS Legado Del Fantasma; The Profits win and will challenge A-Town Down Under for the titles.
  • Carlito w/ Zelina Vega VS Santos Escobar w/ Elektra Lopez; Santos wins.
  • WWE Women’s Championship: Bayley VS Naomi; Bayley wins, by disqualification, and retains the title.

PLAY BY PLAY

Undisputed WWE Championship #1 Contender’s match: AJ Styles VS LA Knight!

After fighting their way through Triple Threats, the Phenomenal One and the Mega Star meet again, YEAH! It’s a WrestleMania Rematch, the winner moving on to Backlash, YEAH! Will AJ Styles avenge his loss at the biggest WrestleMania ever? Or will everyone from here to France know whose game it is?

The bell rings and the two step to each other. The fans in Pittsburgh “YEAH! YEAH! YEAH!” and Knight lets Styles know it. Styles snarls, they tie up, and they go around. Knight puts Styles in a corner, the ref counts, but Knight lets off slowly. Styles kicks low! The fans boo but Styles headlocks. Knight pulls hair, throws body shots, then headlocks in return. Styles pushes Knight to ropes, powers up and out, then hurdles, drops and DROP- NO, Knight avoids the dropkick to BOOT, and LARIAT! Knight then TOSSES Styles out of the ring, storms out after him, and brings him to commentary. Knight SMACKS Styles off the desk! And again! And again!

The fans chant “YEAH! YEAH! YEAH!” with every SMACK, then Knight tops it off with one last SMACK! Knight drags Styles up and into the ring, storms in, but Styles KICKS Knight in the ropes! Styles reels Knight in, but Knight back drops Styles up and out! Styles flounders on the floor, Knight runs to WRECK him with a dropkick! Styles hits desk again and Steel City is loving “L! A! KNIGHT, YEAH!” as SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns and Styles soaks up the heat as he taunts Knight. Styles brings Knight up, but Knight fires haymakers! “YEAH! YEAH! YEAH!” Knight backs Styles down, whips, but Styles ducks ‘n dodges! Knight ducks ‘n’ dodges, then DOUBLE CROSSBODIES collide! Both men are down and the fans fire up. Both men slowly sit up, crawl around, and then stand. Styles fires a shot, but Knight gives it back! The haymakers go back and forth, “YEAH! BOO! YEAH!” Styles staggers but he still ROCKS Knight! Knight ROCKS Styles again and again, but Styles throat chops! Styles fires off the Phenomenal Blitz, but Knight ducks the lariat!

Knight JABS, JABS, JABS, and DECKS Styles! Knight stomps a mudhole in at the corner, “YEAH!” Knight then runs corner to corner to KNEE Styles down! The fans fire up, Knight puts Styles up, and Knight ROCKS Styles. Knight climbs, but Styles ROCKS him back! Knight staggers away, but returns to spring right up! SUPER DUPER PLEX! Cover, TWO!! Styles survives that crash but both men are down again. The fans rally as Knight rises, and he brings Styles around. Knight reels Styles in, suplexes, but Styles slips free! Styles goes to a corner, ELBOWS Knight away, then goes up to QUEBRADA DDT! Cover, TWO!

The fans fire up as Knight stays in this and Styles starts losing his cool. The fans rally for Knight but Styles looms over him. Styles brings Knight up and in, but Knight RAMS him into a corner! Knight then scoops Styles, but Styles slips free to roll up, TWO!! Knight escapes, swings, but Styles dodges to PELE! Knight ends up in a corner, Styles runs in, but Knight puts Styles on the apron! Styles ROCKS Knight, springboards, but Knight gets under! Styles comes back, into a scoop and POWERSLAM! Then JUMP ELBOW DROP! The fans fire up with with Knight as he storms around. Styles rises, Knight winds up, B F- NO, Styles bails out!

The fans boo but Knight storms over. Knight drags Styles up but Styles HOTSHOTS him! And pokes him in the eyes! Then ROCKS him! And springboards, to PHENOMENAL FOREARM!! Cover, Styles wins!

Winner: AJ Styles, by pinfall (NEW #1 Contender to the Undisputed WWE Championship)

Styles bent the rules, but a win is a win! He will get his shot at the American Nightmare in Lyon, France, will this year’s Backlash be phenomenal?

 

The Bloodline arrives backstage.

The car pulls up, Solo Sikoa steps out in a suit, and Paul Heyman is there to greet him. Nice threads, Solo. Tama Tonga walks over and Solo says meet the newest member of The Bloodline, Solo’s MFT. The Wise Man is stunned. But Solo cuts him off to ask if Kevin Owens is here. Heyman hesitates and Solo asks again, is Kevin here? If he is, he’s probably already in the locker room. Then take them to him. Heyman obeys and leads on. There have already been changes to the chain of command, is there about to be a change to the landscape of SmackDown, too?

 

Nick Aldis is in the ring.

In a familiar scene to Monday Night Raw, there is a podium with something under a satin sheet. The SmackDown General Manager welcomes to Pittsburgh the Chief Content Officer, Paul “Triple H” Levesque! The fans fire up as The Game makes his way to the ring! HHH joins Aldis in the ring, gets a mic, looks around at the crowd as he revels in the cheers, then says, “On the heels of the biggest, most epic, history making, record breaking, epic, unbelievable WrestleMania of all time, we are here tonight, sold out, 15 thousand strong, Pittsburgh, PA! So let me say, welcome to SmackDown!” The fans cheer that!

HHH wants to take a moment to say that he thinks Adam Pearce and Nick Aldis are both doing great jobs at leading their respective brands into the future. Thank you to both of them. And when we talk about the future, we have to talk about the history made coming into the future. So when history is made, HHH wants it to be represented here befitting of those that make it. So Aldis, if we could, let us bring the… champions out here. Aldis says without further ado, the NEW SmackDown Tag Team Champions, Austin Theory & Grayson Waller. The fans boo as A-Town Down Under make their way, blue belts in hand.

Theory & Waller join Aldis and HHH in the ring, mics already in hand, and they soak up the heat from Steel City. Waller says this is huge. Monday, we saw the second place champions get new belts. And now A-Town Down Under will be presented new titles! Theory says speaking of truth, didn’t Truth think HHH was a magician? Well, who knows what magic trick HHH has to make these guys look better than they already do, but hey, give it a try. HHH says congratulations on becoming tag team champions, so he will show them what they will wear going forward. From now on, they will be the WWE Tag Team Champions.

Reveal! In the style of the Attitude Era and Ruthless Aggression Era belts, the solid gold shines. HHH offers a handshake, but Waller leaves him hanging to shake Theory’s hand! Aldis makes it clear to them. They ever pop off and disrespect HHH like that, here’s a real magic trick: A-Clown Down Under will disappear, permanently! The fans like the sound of that! Aldis snatches the blue belts away since they won’t need them, and speaking of disappearing, there’s a chance one of the following four teams will make their title reign disappear. That #1 contenders match starts right now! The fans fire up, but which team defies the odds to get some golden tickets to France?

 

Backstage interview with Naomi.

Kayla Braxton is with The Glow and says last week, she beat Tiffany Stratton to get this title opportunity tonight. Will the friendship with Bayley get in the way of this match? Naomi says no, of course not. Bayley’s her sister, and she needed help against Damage CTRL, so Naomi was more than happy to help. But in no way will friendship get in the way of this opportunity. It has been over two YEARS since Naomi’s last WWE singles championship match, and there is nothing that will get in the way of making the most of this moment. Now last week, Tiffy Time felt the glow, so that same energy keeps going tonight.

Naomi is also looking forward to next week’s WWE Draft, where she will walk in the NEW WWE Women’s Champion. Naomi is ready, but will she be able to best Bayley in Bayley’s first title defense?

 

WWE Tag Team Championships #1 Contenders Fatal 4 Way: The Street Profits VS New Catch Republic VS The Authors of Pain VS Legado Del Fantasma!

SmackDown returns as Legado makes their entrance, followed by Akam & Rezar with the Final Testament. Waller & Theory are on commentary, Waller admitting he wants any team but AOP, and Theory saying these teams are fortunate to have real superstars leading their division. In this form of Fatal 4 Way, only two teams are active, so the Big Strong Boi, Tyler Bate, starts against Montez Ford. They circle, tie up, and Ford headlocks. Bate powers up to pry at the hold but Ford clamps on tighter. Bate powers up and out, drops, but Ford leaps over! The fans cheer, things keep moving, Bate feints high to drop low!

Bate shows knuckle lock, Ford obliges, but Bate wrenches, baits and double pump handles to FLIP Ford! Cover, TWO! Ford gets up to sweep and cover, TWO! Bate steps over, La Magistrol, TWO! Ford gets up, dropkicks cancel out, and both men kip up! The fans fire up and the two reset. But then Humberto Carrillo sneaks a tag, before he DECKS Bate with a sucker punch! Ford dodges Humberto but Angel Garza holds the ropes open! Ford tumbles out,  Garza tags in, and Humberto sits Ford up. Garza runs in to KNEE Ford down! The fans boo, Garza drags Ford to a cover, TWO! Garza back suplexes, Ford lands out!

Ford tags Dawkins and he dodges Garza to FLYING ELBOW! Garza tags out to Akam, but then the Bruiserweight, Pete Dunne, tags in off Dawkins! Rezar tags, Dunne runs up but Akam LARIATS him down! Rezar DECKS Dawkins, then the AOP start clearing the corners! But Ford goes up to leap, but into an URENAGE! The fans boo but the AOP roar and soak up the heat. Waller’s worst case scenario might end up reality, but SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns and the fans rally as Ford endures a facelock. Ford fights up, pries at the hold, but Rezar shoves him to ELBOW him down! Rezar talks trash, Waller taunts the Steelers players sitting in the front row that they don’t really know what championships are, and then Rezar sucker punches Dawkins down! Rezar stands Ford up, Canadian Racks and bends him! Ford endures, the fans rally, but Rezar thrashes Ford around! Ford kicks and flails, he gets free, hot tag to Dunne! Bate sneaks a tag, Dunne GAMANGIRIS Akam and then NCR fire off on Rezar! The fans fire up, Humberto runs in, but Dunne dodges to SNAP GERMAN!

Bate & Dunne STOMP Humberto’s hands! Then BASEMENT DROPKICK! Garza runs up, but into the REBOUNDER GERMAN COMBO!! The fans fire up with NCR, but Rezar runs up! He grabs Dunne, but Bate says Bop up, BANG! Bate fireman’s carries Rezar?! But Rezar ELBOWS right free! Dunne GAMANGIRIS, Ford SUPERKICKS, and Dawkins ENZIGIRIS! Rezar wobbles, and everyone helps Bate gets Rezar up! BIG STRONG AIRPLANE SPINE! But then Legado CLOBBER Bate and Rezar! They BOOT Dunne, whip the Profits but the Profits reverse to TOSS Legado out! Ellering coaches Rezar while the Profits regroup.

Bate gets up, Dawkins ROCKS him! Dawkins brings Bate to the very top, but Dunne CLUBS Dawkins! NCR mug Dawkins but Ford joins in! They brawl, but AOP add on! Humberto finds Rezar to tag in, before the DOUBLE TOWER OF DOOM!! Bate’s the only one left up top, so Legado mug him! They double trophy lift Bate, to DOUBLE ROCKET LAUNCH him onto everyone!! Humberto then finds Bate, sunset flips and rewinds, Garza jumps, MISSILE DROPKICK DOOMSDAY! Cover, DUNNE BREAKS IT! “This is Awesome!” as all eight men are down around ringside, and Waller says this is gonna be easy pickings for A-Town Down Under now.

Dunne grabs Garza, Bate has Humberto, STEREO ANKLE LOCKS!! Grapevine for Garza! But Humberto BOOTS Bate onto Dunne! Legado is free, Ellering has AOP regroup, and SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns again and Rezar CLUBS Dawkins down. Rezar soaks up heat, taunts the other teams, then CLUBS Dawkins again. Rezar brings Dawkins up again, but Dawkins fires off body shots! Rezar KNEES low, reels Dawkins in, talks more trash, and lifts Dawkins up, to POWERBOMB! But then Dunne runs up to ROCK Rezar! Akam gets in to scoop Dunne and SLAM him on Dawkins! Cover, TWO! Rezar looks to Ellering and he coaches AOP. Rezar HAMMERS Dawkins, Akam tags, and AOP get NCR up! The fans boo but NCR RANA free to send AOP into each other! Ford jumps in, as does Garza.

All the teams realize, they gotta do something about AOP. So they all mug AOP! The fans fire up as AOP tumble out, but now who strikes first? Dunne runs up but Garza SUPERKICKS him first! Bate waistlocks Garza and Ford winds up, but Garza ducks so the BACKHAND hits Bate! Garza SUPERKICKS Ford, but Dawkins DECKS Garza! Humberto springboards to FLYING CHUCK! Cover, TWO!! Theory says if A-Town Down Under were in this match, he’d knock everyone out and Waller could just sneak in to cover. Humberto and Dawkins rise and go to corners. Humberto runs up, but Dawkins POUNCES him away!

Dawkins gets Humberto up, Ford returns and tags in! Dawkins Electric Chair Lifts Humberto and Ford climbs! The stars are out for the BLOCKBUSTER DOOMSDAY! Cover, DUNNE BREAKS IT! Another save from the Bruiserweight and Ford is frustrated. Dunne drags Dawkins up to CHOP, but Dawkins ROCKS him! Dawkins whips Dunne out of the ring, but Dunne grabs the arm! And he pulls off the glove so he can SNAP fingers! The fans fire up, but Ford ENZIGIRIS Dunne down! Ford brings Humberto up, Humberto JAWBREAKERS! Bate tags in off Ford, BOOTS Garza, then runs up, but into a POP-UP! But Bate RANAS Humberto!!

Bate then DUMPS Garza out, goes to the apron, and Dunne lines up targets. Bate and Dunne climb, Ford runs in, NCR DOUBLE ARIHARA MOONSAULT while Ford FLIES over the corner post!! Down goes Legado and AOP!! The fans are losing their minds as Bate hurries to get Humberto up. Bate puts Humberto in, reels him in, underhooks, but Humberto fights it! Humberto back drops but Bate lands on his feet! Humberto cradles, TWO! Humberto LARIATS Bate, tag to Garza! Legado gets Bate up, feed to the POP-UP KICK!! #FTY! Humberto then DIVES to take out Dunne! Garza goes up the ropes to LIONSAULT!!

But Ford flies in FROM THE HEAVENS!! The fans are thunderous as everyone is down again! Bate flounders, Dawkins tags in! Dawkins whips Legado, Ford joins in, THE REVELATION!! Cover, PROFITS WIN!

Winners: The Street Profits, by pinfall (NEW #1 Contenders to the WWE Tag Team Championships)

Waller & Theory are relieved it isn’t AOP, but they still look a bit annoyed that it is Ford & Dawkins. The Profits are Triple Crown Tag Team Champions from Raw to SmackDown to NXT, but will they soon add the WWE Tag Team Championships to make it a grand slam?

 

Backstage interview with Bayley.

Byron Saxton is with The Role Model, and brings up the emotional moment from Monday Night Raw where Rhea Ripley had to relinquish her title. But let us focus on Bayley’s title, as she defends it for the first time against Naomi. Where is her head at ahead of the main event? Bayley says after seeing Rhea vacate the Women’s World Championship on Raw, Bayley appreciates her reign more. She is focused, and she has realized she’s THE Women’s Champion in WWE right now, something she does not take for granted. Because we all know that with the WWE Draft, things are bound to change.

And as excited as Bayley is to face her friend, Naomi, one thing that won’t change is her as THE WWE Women’s Champion. Bayley is just as confident at Naomi, so something’s gotta give! Will The Role Model #FeelTheGlow? Or will she still be shining with gold after tonight?

 

Paul Heyman talks with Solo Sikoa.

The Wise Man apologizes that they haven’t found Kevin Owens, but he has to be here somewhere. Just look at the time. They will find him, somewhere. Solo stops listening and heads to gorilla. Heyman follows after, but Solo gives him a look. Heyman says he isn’t trying to upset Solo. Please believe him. The last person on this planet Heyman wants to piss off is Solo. But respectfully, Solo is making decisions that are not his to make, yet. One day, these will all be Solo’s decisions. But not now, not here! These are decisions that can only be made by one man. Solo asks Heyman if he’s done talking. Heyman asks if MFT is coming with Solo.

Solo just gives a thumbs up, with that taped thumb. The music hits and Solo makes his entrance, Heyman still following all the way into the ring. What does the Enforcer have planned? We’ll find out, after the break.

SmackDown returns and Heyman has the mic to give his usual introduction. And he doesn’t know if there is a list of the most brilliant backstage maneuvering politicians int he history of the WWE, but if there were, Heyman would have to think that he personally is in the top… Well, permit Heyman, with Solo’s permission, to explain what’s going on right now within The Bloodline, “the premier act in the history of WWE.” The fans chant, “We Want Roman!” but Solo shrugs that off. Heyman assures us that as The Wise Man for… Heyman gets emotional, so Solo just snatches the mic! The fans boo but Solo paces.

Solo tries to talk but the fans boo. Solo says last week, he had to lose a brother! He had to! It was in order for him to find a new one! His MFT, Tama Tonga! And with that, a bloodied Kevin Owens is tossed out, by the Good Bad Guy! Tama shoves Kevin down the ramp, stalks behind him, and referees rush out to stop him from doing anything further! Kevin can’t even sit up, but Tama steps over him to go to the ring. The fans boo as Tama joins Solo in the ring while the refs help Kevin to his feet and to the back. Tama raises his finger to the sky, because he acknowledges Solo! Heyman has no choice but to go along, but wait! Kevin is heading back down the ramp!?

The fans fire up as Kevin shows his grit and defiance! He drags Tama out to fire off hands!! The fans cheer but then Solo whips Kevin into steel steps! Solo drags Kevin back up, puts him in the ring, but now security rushes in! Tama storms in after Kevin but Kevin TACKLES Tama! The security gets Kevin away from Tama, but Solo SAMOAN SPIKES Kevin down!! The fans boo but then Tama SPLASHES Kevin! Tama rains down fists on that bloody wound, then he DECKS guard after guard! Producers try but Tama is a madman! Tama shoves everyone away so he can slip out of the ring, to grab a chair!!

The fans boo as Tama storms back in, but now Aldis steps up! Aldis warns The Bloodline here, and Solo has Tama stand down. Solo takes the chair from Tama to show they’re done here. The fans chant “YOU SUCK! YOU SUCK!” but the damage is done. Solo & Tama are a dangerous duo, will nothing and no one stop them from taking over SmackDown?

 

Heyman goes to the parking lot.

He’s in shock, but Aldis finds him and pulls him along. Was Heyman aware of this? Aldis shows Heyman the aftermath of one car T-boning another! And in case Heyman can’t guess, the struck car was Kevin’s. The attacking car was Tama’s! Heyman says this wasn’t authorized! No, Heyman, Aldis is speaking now. He gets this is a conflict within The Bloodline, but on his show, things are settle din the ring. Next week is the Draft, a lot of eyeballs on it, and a lot top brass are gonna be here. So Aldis will not tolerate this behavior. So make sure The Bloodline understands. Because, Heyman, if you don’t, the repercussions will be equally savage.

Aldis brings Heyman in close to tell him losing isn’t the only thing that has consequences. Will the Wise Man be able to rein in such an unruly force as Solo and Tama?

 

Carlito w/ Zelina Vega VS Santos Escobar w/ Elektra Lopez!

The LWO still doesn’t believe Legado’s claims that they had nothing to do with Dragon Lee going down before WrestleMania, so they’re going to get to the bottom of this one themselves! Will Caribbean Cool make the Emperor of Lucha confess his crimes? Or will Santos prove he was right all along?

The bell rings and the two talk trash. Then they start throwing hands! Carlito backs Santos down but Santos gets around to whisper something in Carlito’s ear. Carlito ELBOWS Santos away, runs up and hits a THESZ PRESS! Carlito then bumps Santos off buckles, fires hands, then has him in another corner. Carlito whips corner to corner, runs up, but Santos BOOTS him! Santos runs up, but into a SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Vega coaches Carlito to stay on Santos and he brings Santos up. Carlito ROCKS Santos, whips, but Santos KICKS him! Santos runs, but into a DROPKICK! Carlito kips up and the fans fire up!

Santos is on the outside, the ref won’t let Carlito go after him, but then Carlito WRECKS Santos with a dropkick! Carlito loads up to PLANCHA! Direct hit on Santos and Carlito hoists Vega up to celebrate! The fans cheer the LWO on as SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns and Santos whips Carlito hard into buckles. Carlito falls over, Santos soaks up the heat, then Santos HEADBUTTS Carlito to a corner. Santos then CHOPS, gets space and runs in, to DOUBLE KNEE! Carlito slumps in the corner but Santos puts him up top! Santos GAMANGIRIS then climbs up! SUPER STEINER! Carlito flounders, Santos pushes him to a cover, TWO! Vega is relieved but Santos huffs and puffs. Santos rains down fists on Carlito, then clamps on a top wristlock. Carlito endures and Vega coaches him while the fans rally. Carlito rises, throws body shots, then LARIATS!

The fans rally as Carlito starts to rally with more clotheslines, and an ELBOW! Carlito kicks, runs, and KNEE LIFTS! Santos wobbles, Carlito LARIATS again! Cover, TWO! Santos is tougher than that but Carlito says he’s going up! Carlito climbs, but then Lopez gets on the apron! Vega storms right over to YANK her down! The fans fire up as Vega goes up, and RANAS, only for Lopez to block! Lopez SWINGS Vega into barriers! Carlito ROCKS Santos, steps in, but the ref is reprimanding Lopez so he misses Santos KICK ropes to jam Carlito low! Santos reels Carlito in to POST him, then brings him back for the fireman’s carry! PHANTOM DRIVER!! Cover, Santos wins!

Winner: Santos Escobar, by pinfall

La Madrina helps The Emperor steal this victory, them taking down the Caribbean Cool and La Muneca! Whether or not Legado beat down Dragon Lee, will nothing stop them from conquering SmackDown?

 

VIP Skybox interview with Damage CTRL!

Kayla is with Iyo Sky, Dakota Kai, Kairi Sane & Asuka as they sit way up in the back. What made the former WWE Women’s Champion and crew want a special view of this main event? Dakota takes offense for Iyo with the use of “former” there. Is Kayla trying to disrespect them? Iyo will take that title back when they’re good and ready. But for now, they’re here to watch two people they can’t stand tear each other apart! Does Dakota need to remind everyone here that DMG CTRL is still the most dominant force in the WWE!? The fans boo but Dakota says the Kabuki Warriors are STILL the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions, and that will not change-

WAID! Jade Cargill is here! She makes her entrance from the other skybox, with Bianca Belair alongside her! The strongEST duo argues with DMG CTRL, their own title intentions clear. But for now, it’s time for the main event! Who shines with gold here in the Steel City? We find out, after the break!

 

Cody Rhodes speaks.

The American Nightmare is in the UK as part of Raw’s tour, but he still took time to say, “What is the task? Run up the score, leave no doubt, right? Formerly, the task was ‘win the big belt, in the big place.’ We’ve done that. Now, it’s a whole new frontier for us, undiscovered country.” There’s an old expression: the title can make the man, or the man makes the title. Which will it be for Cody? He’s in London tonight, the O2, 16 THOUSAND, then it’s on to Belfast, Ireland. Cody is keeping his promise to bring this title all around the world. Back home, AJ Styles has emerged the #1 contender to this championship.

So then, it will be two Georgia boys duking it out in Lyon, France. The first time ever, at that. Styles has an unprecedented reputation in pro-wrestling. The modern day Excellence of Execution, if you will. Styles rarely misses. But the same goes for Cody. So Backlash in France, Cody looks forward to it. The contract signing is next week, even as the WWE Draft is going on! Will things be explosive when American Nightmare and Phenomenal One meet face to face?

 

WWE Women’s Championship: Bayley VS Naomi!

SmackDown returns and Bayley makes her entrance. The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and either we shine or we glow!

The bell rings, the fans rally, and the two circle. The two tie up, go around, and Bayley headlocks. Naomi powers up but Bayley wrenches to wristlock. Naomi slips through, rolls Bayley up, ONE!! The fans rally as the two go again. Naomi waistlocks, Bayley headlocks to hit a takeover, and she makes it a cover, TWO! Naomi fights up to her feet, powers up but Bayley wrenches gain. Naomi waistlocks, O’Conner Rolls, ONE! Both women get up, Naomi ducks the boot but Bayley arm-drags her around! Bayley has the cording hold, the fans rally up, and Naomi fights to her feet. Naomi whips Bayley away, but Bayley runs her over!

The fans cheer and Bayley tells DMG CTRL she’s watching them, too. Things speed up, Naomi does the splits to duck under, then she comes back to kick from below! She drags Bayley into a cradle, ONE!! Bayley hurries to step over, LA MAGISTROL! ONE!! Naomi and Bayley get up, Naomi trips Bayley to jackknife, ONE!! Ghost pin, TWO! Both women hurry up, DOUBLE CROSSBODIES collide! The fans rally while both women are down, evenly matched in this chess game so far. Both women rise, and Naomi SHOTGUNS first! Then she runs up, uses the ropes to slingshot and BULLDOG! Cover, TWO! Naomi is frustrated but keeps her focus.

Naomi drags Bayley up, Bayley shoves her away. Naomi dodges the lariat to hit REAR VIEW! Cover, TWO!! Bayley survives but Naomi lets her know it was that close, and SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns again and Bayley whips Naomi to a corner, runs in, but into a BOOT! Bayley gets up, Naomi runs up, JAWBREAKER! Bayley ends up in a corner now, Naomi runs in, and she forearm SMASHES! Naomi then runs Bayley corner to corner for a BUCKLE BULLDOG! Naomi slips out to the apron while Bayley flounders, and Naomi climbs. The fans duel as Naomi CROSSBODIES! Cover, TWO! Bayley is tougher than that but Naomi knows that. Naomi keeps her focus while DMG CTRL, Bianca & Jade all focus on them. Naomi ROCKS Bayley, tries the ropes again, but Bayley stops the bulldog to SMACK Naomi off buckles!

Bayley then reels Naomi in, SAIDO! High stack, TWO! Naomi is still in this and Bayley remembers Naomi’s tougher than that, too. Bayley drags Naomi into a drop zone, then goes up the corner! Bayley aims, to MACHO ELBOW onto knees! Bayley writhes, Naomi goes to the apron. Bayley stands, runs up, but into a ROUNDHOUSE! Naomi slingshots, for a FACEBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Bayley survives and Naomi is stunned! Naomi refocuses, goes to the corner, and goes up to SPLIT LEG MOONSAULT onto knees! Bayley returns the favor and both women are down. Bayley shakes out the leg, stands and runs, to KNEE Naomi down!

Bayley hurries to put Naomi back in a drop zone, and then hobbles her way to a corner. Bayley climbs, to MACHO ELBOW!! Direct hit this time and Bayley covers, TWO!! Naomi survives and Bayley is frustrated. Bayley hobbles on the bad leg, leans on ropes while she catches her breath, and the fans duel even more. Bayley stalks Naomi, hooks her up, but Naomi PELES free! Naomi hurries to a corner, Bayley runs up, but Naomi goes up to sunset flip! TWO!! But into the BUTTERFLY LOCK!! Bayley endures, reaches out with her legs, but then she tucks to a cover, TWO!! Naomi gets up, both women throw forearms!

They both wobble, storm up, and Bayley eggs Naomi on. Naomi wants this, right? So hit her! Naomi fires a forearm, Bayley hits back! Naomi winds up to forearm, Bayley comes back with another! The fans fire up as the forearms go harder and faster! Bayley gets the edge, but Naomi SWATS one, to SCORPION KICK, and then JUMP KNEE! Bayley tumbles out of the ring, Naomi PLANCHAS! Direct hit and a hard one, both women are down on the floor! The ring count starts, Naomi stirs at 3 of 10. Naomi brings Bayley up, but BAYLEY2BELLY onto the desk!! The count is 7! Naomi flounders on the desk, but then TIFFANY ATTACKS BAYLEY!!!

Winner: Bayley, by disqualification (still WWE Women’s Champion)

Tiffany makes herself the center of attention as always as she ruins this main event! She dribbles Naomi off the desk, then RAMS Bayley into steel steps! Then she drags Naomi off the desk to POST her! Tiff storms back over to Bayley, puts her in the ring, then adds Naomi in, too. Tiff says sorry not sorry, but it’s Tiffy Time! Tiffy goes to the corner, for the PRETTIEST MOONSAULT EVER! Tiff flexes over both champion and challenger, having upset Bianca & Jade but having entertained DMG CTRL. But will Wrestling Barbie pay for pissing off the Role Model?


My Thoughts:

A great SmackDown that also acted as a WWE Draft go-home. Great match from Styles and Knight to open the night but also follow-up their WrestleMania match. Naturally, Styles wins because then he and Knight are 1-1 in 1v1 matches, and also natural Face VS Heel right there. Good promo from Cody Rhodes, that title match is going to be awesome. Awesome new looks for the WWE Tag Team Championships, though maybe too much gold. Nothing really pops when it’s all the same color, so they should’ve had silver on the WWE logo and the words, “Tag Team Champions,” but it’s still a great redesign.

We also got an awesome Fatal 4 Way tag match, with Theory & Waller decent on commentary. And pieces are falling into place for what I was thinking: Profits win the right to face Theory & Waller, we’ll surely get Lashley wanting the US Championship, we’ll get a good faction feud there as we approach those title matches. Also good continuation of the LWO VS Legado feud with Carlito VS Santos, and distractions of course helped Santos win. There’s gotta come a point where Carlito reveals it was him, Dragon Lee, it was him all along! Now, that would make like the third turn since the start of this rivalry (Santos to Heel, Andrade to Face and Carlito to Heel) but hey, the drama is heightened each time, and maybe Dragon Lee will actually get a win in this feud.

Great stuff in Bayley VS Naomi, as well as all the promos. DMG CTRL watching from the skybox, same as Bianca & Jade, was good stuff. The tag title match is definitely coming for Backlash, that will be great stuff. But I should’ve figured Tiffany would “ruin” the main event so that there won’t really be a choice between Bayley and Naomi. The Draft is coming, hopefully they think to keep all three on the same brand, and probably here on SmackDown, so that those three can have it out. I don’t know the chances of a Triple Threat for Backlash but it still feels possible. Though  at the same time, I don’t think they’d take the title off Bayley after only a month, so she’d probably use Tiffany against Naomi to retain.

And what wild stuff with this new, more vicious Bloodline. Solo is in a suit because he certainly thinks he is Tribal Chief already, given Roman Reigns did give him the nod as “Tribal Heir” a few months ago. And while Tama is the MFT, which everyone is already wondering what that even means, it’s clear he’s also the right hand man and a loose cannon at that. Without the Draft, it’d be pretty wild for Jimmy to come back and help Kevin against this new Bloodline. With the Draft, we could get Jey back on the same brand as his family and then he and Jimmy stand against Solo and Tama. But either way, it’ll be a wild ride in this new chapter and I’m all for it.

My Score: 8.9/10


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Andrew’s TNA iMPACT! Results & Match Ratings: 4.18.2024

Motor City Machine Guns either go out on their backs, or head to Rebellion as champs! Lets see how they finish their current run in TNA!

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No burying the lead here! The Main Event is The System versus Motor City Machine Guns, and it’s the Go Home episode before Rebellion! So we’re guaranteed a damn good tag match, and we should get either new wrinkles, or ways to keep the storylines cooking going into the Pay-per-View.

With all the rumors and innuendo about the Guns being on their way out, I think we all assume that MCMG is losing, but my inner fanboy is still excited.

Ratings:

  • Little Guido w/New FBI vs Hammerstone: Hammerstone wins via Torture Rack – SQUASH
  • LSG vs Joe Hendry: Hendry wins via Standing Ovation – SQUASH
  • Mustafa Ali & GYV vs Cody Deaner, Jake Something & Rhyno: Ali wins via 450 Splash – ** 3/4
  • Rosemary w/Havok vs Jody Threat w/Dani Luna: Rosemary wins via Spear – ***
  • Motor City Machine Guns (Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley) vs The System (Eddie Edwards & Brian Myers) w/Alisha Edwards: System wins via Roster Cut + Knee Party – *** 1/4

 

Results:

So we kick off the match with Josh coming out to commentary again to watch Hammerstone’s match. They really need a new way to try and keep heat without reusing the same tired gimmick of “ring side seat” to a Squash match.

Little Guido w/New FBI vs Hammerstone

Guido tries to shoot the half, but Hammerstone shrugs him off, lifts him like a child and runs him into a corner, few short shots and then just tosses him across the ring. Hammer gets a little distracted talking smack to Josh and eats a foot, but then tosses Guido with the ole Sack of Shit move and keeps working over Guido.

Hammer shoves Clayton, and provokes him to push him back right in front of the referee. She ejects them, Guido tries to take advantage but when he goes for the pinfall Hammer kicks out immediately and presses Guido out of thing through the ropes. Continues to dog walk Guido, puts the head gear on the ECW Original and then Torture Racks him while staring directly at Josh, and of course picks up the submission victory.

LSG vs Joe Hendry

Hendry cuts a little promo, mentioning the Fat Uncle Phil joke…something about shopping at the TOP Dollar Store. Solid mic work.

LSG is a damn good local talent, he’s been seen in ROH and AEW in the past (perhaps others, but that’s what comes to mind immediately for me), but we all know this is an enhancement match. A few nice chain wrestling spots early, but Hendry uses his power to stop the smaller wrestler, Sack of Shit into Standing Ovation and the match is over quickly.

Mustafa Ali & GYV vs Cody Deaner, Jake Something & Rhyno

Well okay, having Deaner ask the crowd if they wanted a 3v2 or their third member…RHYNO…is pretty much a no brainer in Philly. But at least the gimmick isn’t quite as cringe as I expected.

Jake starts with Zack Gibson and throws him around. Jake goes for the tag and Deaner asks the crowd who Jake should tag, and the crowd picks Rhyno. Rhyno Whips Gibson into a corner, Drake actually softens the impact, allowing Gibson to fire back, tag out, but Rhyno levels both GYV members and then even knocks Ali off the apron. Rhyno tries to call to the crowd to tag in Deaner and that goes over like a fart in church. He tags him in anyway, and the crowd is kinda dead and doing whatever it wants after the obvious ECW chants when Rhyno tagged in.

GYV take a couple lumps but they of course start to work over Deaner and capture some momentum. Solid tandem work from GYV, they cut off Deaner from making a tag and goad Jake a little to cause the ref to block off the babyfaces so the heels can take a few shortcuts. Cody eventually makes the tag to Rhyno, hot tag, he tries to set up the Gore but the GYV manage to stop him in his tracks and hit an Enzuigiri to daze the Man Beast, he falls to his corner and Jake tags himself in. Jake literally runs them all over, tags in Cody and Launches him from the Top Rope into Zack Gibson. Ali makes the save and Jake tries to get his hands on Ali, but the GYV keep throwing themselves at him, literally. The triple team finally gets the best of Jake, they hit 3 Dives and then post Jake, so they gather around Cody like hyenas.

They forgot about Rhyno, he’s set up for a Gore, he Gores Drake, Gibson and Ali take out Rhyno, but then Cody starts to fight back. Ali stops Deaner’s offense with an Avalanche Sunset Bomb, then hits his 450 Splash. Jake barely misses being able to break up the pin.

Rosemary w/Havok vs Jody Threat w/Dani Luna

Jody tries to start quickly with Shoulder Tackles, Lariats and Scoop Slams, and it does seem somewhat effective. Rosemary is having trouble finding offense against the intensity, but she keeps kicking out. Shotgun Dropkick finally gives Rosemary an opening, she goes into full mount and rains down strikes. Rosemary shoves Jody into a corner and Bites her in the corner. Jody tries to fight out, they go across and Rosemary catches her with the legs and puts her in the Upside Down. Splash in the corner from Rosemary, Exploder Suplex and Jody is eating a lot of offense.

Rosemary looks like she’s caught after she gets tripped up into the ropes and Jody goes for her Rope Knee into the German, but Rosemary dodges. Rosemary hits her own suplex and pulls out a beautiful Last Chancery! I haven’t seen her do that in a long time. Jody manages to fight to the ropes, Rosemary is a little slow to capitalize and eats a Pump Kick. Rosemary goes flying into the ropes, Jody hits the Double Knees into the German this time for 2, and they trade a few haymakers after that. Jody folds Rosemary with a low Lariat, Zombie rise spot a few times, Jody goes for a pinfall and Rosemary kicks out.

Havok jumps up on the apron, Dani meets her and they decide to step down, but the distraction was enough. Jody turns around and eats a Spear. Rosemary wins!

Motor City Machine Guns (Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley) vs The System (Eddie Edwards & Brian Myers) w/Alisha Edwards

Eddie and Shelley start off, and its a very simple slow start. Mostly an early stalemate, the typical Japanese style the TNA seem to love to employ. Starters tag out, but then Shelley with the blind tag, Sabin Baseball Slides out, picks Eddie’s ankle and sends his face bouncing off the apron, while Shelley sneaks up being Myers and they hit a tandem move before we cut to commercial. Off of the commercial it looks like Eddie and Myers regained control. But a nice Jawbreaker from Shelley sends Eddie falling back into the MCMG corner. Dragon Screws to both legs from Sabin and Shelley, and we get the Dragon Screw dissection spot for the Guns.

Myers gets sick of things, tries to get involved, but Simultaneous Figure Fours from the MCMG makes The System look silly. Alisha does the classic “push the rope forward” gimmick to assist Eddie in breaking the hold. She keeps chirping at Shelley until she finally grabs his foot. Shelley doesn’t take kindly, tries to grab her by the hair but she gets away, Shelley eats a strike and falls back to the ropes so Lish can just throttle him with the rope, Sabin walks over and acts like he’s going to PK her and the look of disgust on her face is hilarious, like “how dare he threaten to kick her”. Would I be mad is Masha decides to team with Lish and they win the Knockouts Tag titles? No, because the Knockouts Tags are trash. But I still prefer Lish as valet/manager.

Shelley starts fighting back after another commercial break, Eddie tries to cut him off, but Sabin clocks Eddie and Shelley manages to make the tag and Sabin comes in. Lights up both System members, Kick off Tornado DDT, into a Running Gamengiri. Eddie tries to counter but Shelley assists, tandem strikes, Double Baseball Slide into the classic MCMG spot 5 Hole Dive! Keeping up with the classics Shelley stacks the System members on each other and hit the Missile Dropkick/Flatliner spot. As the Guns are rolling, Sabin accidentally catches Sabin with his foot and The System take control! They hit their pieces of the System Overload spot, but Sabin kicks out. Roster Cut attempt from Myers, but Shelley is back. High Speed Dirt, Machine Gun Sandwich, but Lish grabs Shelley’s foot when they’re setting up Skull and Bones. Shelley gets dropped on the turnbuckle and thrown out, Sabin eats the Roster Cut followed up with Boston Knee Party and System retains!

Its a little weird to have had the two commercial cuts and the fact there’s still Nic Nemeth to follow. So it feels a little flat, I hope this wasn’t their swan song match, because it was nice to see some classic spots, but it was entirely too abbreviated. 

Nemeth comes out, goes into the crowd and finds a kid with a kendo stick and borrows a beer from someone, so he does a bit of a Sandman tribute. Moose cuts off his promo basically immediately. He throws out the “can’t beat the system” line again, and Nic rolls with the punches well. Moose uses a few cute analogies about Nic having a failure laden past, but Nemeth bites back and its really damn good. He says he can see it in Moose’s eyes that he thinks he’s getting in the ring with Dolph Ziggler, but no, there is no more old Dolph Ziggler, just the new Nic Nemeth. And Moose’s cool seems to be slightly shaken after those words. Good promo.

Overall Score: 6.5/10

So this was okay, if it didn’t end as strongly as it did, I would’ve rated this much lower. Two squash matches in the beginning, reusing the Josh comes out to the announce table to watch trope is boring, hell even Clayton’s shove to Hammerstone was super lame looking. The Deaner match was luke warm at best, but things picked up around the Rosemary match.

Lets also not overlook the segments with ASH & Xia, Jonathan Gresham’s whole deal and EY having to return to the violence/sickness/world class maniac, whatever you want to call it, were all great building blocks. This definitely wasn’t what I would call a strong Go Home, but it didn’t hurt things for Rebellion. The whole injury of Cardona was addressed, which honestly sounded weird since Jordynne basically said she was expecting them to have a backup plan so she has a backup plan. I don’t really like how that video package came across.

But who knows, all I know is, this wasn’t an awful episode, it just wasn’t really strong either.  Here’s to hoping Rebellion Saturday is still strong.


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