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Mathew’s Stardom 5 Star Grand Prix Blue Stars Results & Review: Final Day

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Well, everyone, this is the final day of the Five Star Grand Prix.

I hope you all enjoyed both me and Andrew’s readings and since our final matches and the final day are all on the same show, we will be covering just our matches this time instead of doing a jointed show as we did for the previous ones and we’ll both be covering the final round in both of our reviews so you can get the perspective from both our sides. Who will win Blue Stars block and who will walk out the winner?

Will my block finally win the whole thing or will Andrew beat me with a clean sweep? All of these questions and more will be answered right now as we…dive right in.

 

Grand Prix Blue Stars Match
Saki Kashima vs. Jamie Hayter

Review: Both of our women who are in last place are set to face each other in the opening match of the tournament. Even though they have no chance of winning the tournament and they’re not fighting anyone that would ruin their chances of advancing, they would still have to fight each other and will give us a good match at least without worrying about points. Which of these two will no longer be in dead last?

Would you look at that, Saki changed up her attire and looks a lot better here. This match is honestly the worst one in my entire block and it’s a real shame since both of them are talented, but it was just sloppy and poorly constructed. Saki did a botched Crucifix pin and the bell rang despite it being a two count and the referee had to correct the timekeeper, but that was one of the few problems with the match. None of them would help carry the other and it was poorly paced, but at least it was less than four minutes otherwise I probably would’ve given it a lower rating. Jamie barely held her up for a Suplex and hardly hits a Backstabber when she dropped her as she got the win. Think the only good thing I can say about this match is Saki’s new makeover.

Rating: Vince Russo and a half (My first Vince Russo after I introduced this rating system)

 

Grand Prix Blue Stars Match
Kelly Klein vs. Nicole Savoy

Review: Right now, Kelly Klein has a chance to win the whole block right now since she has eight points and can go onto ten if she would somehow win and even if Mayu would defeat Momo tonight, Kelly would still advance due to her defeating Mayu in the tournament. Kelly’s last opponent for the block is Nicole Savoy who has a middle record and she could spoil it for Kelly if she plays it right. Will Kelly win or will her goal be out of reach by the edge of her fingertips?

Okay, while this one wasn’t that great of a match, it was at least much better than the first match is all I can say as much. Kelly was doing what she does best and it was overpowering the technical female any chance she would get or so she would think as Nicole found an opening on Kelly’s leg, which is smart to take out someone bigger than you. It was a basic six-minute match and it was fine with what they did work with and Kelly was about to pick up Nicole to go for the Fireman’s Carry, but her leg started giving out and that was all Nicole would need to put her in the Boston Crab as Kelly taps out meaning she’s eliminated.

Rating: Tony Schiavone and a half

 

Grand Prix Blue Stars Match
Hazuki vs. Natsu Sumire

Review: Nice Kelly was unable to win her match against Nicole, that means Hazuki now has a chance to advance and potentially win the whole thing if things work out in her favor. However, if she wants to get closer to advancing, she would have to defeat fellow Oedo Tai member, Natsu Sumire. This can work out in two ways, Sumire could eat the pin to help Hazuki advance despite it meaning she could fight their leader and Prime Minister for the title or she could fight and be the spoiler for Hazuki. What will Sumire do?

We have all of the Oedo Tai members here, Kagetsu, Sumire, Hazuki, Nao Yamaguchi, and Hana Kimura as they all do the dance together, this is awesome! However, Sumire would ruin the celebration as she attacked Hazuki from behind and the match starts. The match was just simply entertainment from Sumire’s character and Hazuki showing why she’s one of the companies top talents from her wrestling skills and how she can have control of the match so fluently to pretty much work with everyone. Sumire held herself pretty well when she was wrestling in the match and just played everything off exactly how she would in this type of match and I’m glad they actually had a match instead of her taking the pin and ending it. Hazuki gave Sumire a hard slap to the face and Sumire would give her one in return as Hazuki ran the ropes for Sumire to try and catch her into a cradle until Hazuki turned it around into the Hazukistral as she picked up the win and is now in first place! Sumire threw a tiny little tantrum before she shook Hazuki’s hand and they hugged it out before leaving the ring. Great work ladies and Hazuki is one step closer and it all depends on how the last match plays out.

Rating: Eric Bischoff

 

Grand Prix Blue Stars Match
Mayu Iwatani vs. Momo Watanabe

Review: Since Hazuki was able to defeat Natsu Sumire, she has a good chance of making it to the finals but we have one more match to go before we can decide a clear winner. Mayu Iwatani’s final match is up against the Wonder of Stardom Champion, Momo Watanabe. If Mayu somehow wins this match, she’ll be able to move onto the final round but if Momo wins then it would mean there will be a tie between her and Hazuki with nine points each and it’ll be interesting to see how management will decide who will advance there. Who will win it all, Mayu or Momo?

Soon after the bell rang, Mayu would start to go for the Dragon Suplex Hold and Momo would quickly reverse it to go for the Tequila Sunrise and I loved that was how they started this match off because it gave it that feeling that it could end at any given time if you’re not careful enough. One thing I enjoy about this match is that we now get to see how Momo does against a top talent in a singles match since last time that happened was when she defeat Io Shirai, so now this is just another test to herself. The match was smooth, intense, and gave both women an equal amount of time to showcase their stuff together in the match to make them both look strong. Momo started to step it up when she hits the Somato to Mayu and doesn’t stop there as she hits two more in a row to show how much she wants to win this match. I know I keep talking about how great Mayu is at selling and it still is with how she takes everything and selling the injuries of her elbow in the match, her selling is enough to tell the story of her matches and she just delivers in it. When they were outside the ring, Momo would hit her Package Driver on the floor and she brings her in to hit the Tequila Sunrise as Mayu kicks out of it. Momo went to go for another Tequila Sunrise but Mayu would roll under her to try and get the pin but Momo kicks out of it, but Mayu hits the Dragon Suplex Hold and just as the referee is counting, the bell rang meaning the match ended in a draw.

Since the match ended in a time limit draw, Mayu has nine points and Momo has eight points, meaning that Mayu and Hazuki are tied for first place. And now that both Mayu and Hazuki are tied for first place, it would go to the person that won the match involving these two, meaning that Mayu Iwatani has won the Blue Stars block and will now advance to the final round against the winner of the Red Stars block, which you should check out in Andrew’s coverage or you’re an idiot for missing out. Not all is lost for Momo Watanabe because in a press conference about a week ago, it was announced that Momo would be taking on Kagetsu and it’ll be a title for title match and it will take place on the September 30th show. I’m sure it’ll end in a time limit draw, but there are also different scenarios they could plan out if they do decide to go with one of them being a double crown champion.

Rating: Bruce Prichard

 

Final Blue Stars Standings:
Mayu Iwatani: 4-2-1 (9 Points) (Winner)
Hazuki: 4-2-1 (9 Points)
Kelly Klein: 4-3 (8 Points)
Momo Watanabe: 3-2-2 (8 Points)
Nicole Savoy: 4-3 (8 Points)
Jamie Hayter: 3-4 (6 Points)
Saki Kashima: 2-5 (4 Points)
Natsu Sumire: 2-5 (4 Points)

 

Grand Prix Final Match
Mayu Iwatani vs. Utami Hayashishita

Review: It looks like I got one of my finalists right since I said Mayu and Konami would be fighting each other in the finals, but Konami was eliminated from the tournament and Mayu was able to advance due to a tiebreaker between her and Hazuki, so my top pick barely made it. Mayu Iwatani will be taking on the winner of the Red Stars block and Stardoms Super Rookie, Utami Hayashishita. I was very surprised to see Utami make it this far in the tournament since I expected her to have an average record, but she blew my expectations away as she only lost to Kagetsu and had two draws while she won the rest of her matches and even defeated Konami to advance to the finals. One of these two talented women will win and go on to fight Kagetsu for the World of Stardom Championship. Which one will win?

For those of you that do remember, I wrote an article about four months ago about the departure of Io Shirai in Stardom and I asked people who should take her spot as the top person and while it’s now both Mayu Iwatani and Kagetsu, we’ll soon have to look at the future of the company with Momo Watanabe being one of them, I saw another one right in front of me and that woman is Utami Hayashishita. Is it a bold thing to say? Probably and is she still green? Of course, she is, she’s only been wrestling for about a month and a half, but she’s already been in the ring with some of the best that the company has to offer and has been keeping up with them in a surprising pace to show that she is a quick learner. Utami just has the look of someone you see at first glance and go, “She’s a star.” and she is, in fact, a star in the making if you polish up her style a little bit more and in a couple of years, she could be the face of the company.

Onto the match now, Utami was again able to keep up with the best wrestler Stardom has to off and that right now is Mayu as they gave us fans a great match to end the whole tournament. Utami displayed her power with her strength and technical ability to wear and tear Mayu’s body, especially her elbow which was exposed in the match and you can see the bandages surrounding it. Mayu has done an excellent job in the match to make Utami look like a real threat in the match with her selling and how she was telling the story in the ring, and that’s one of the reasons why Mayu is great at what she does and has been for quite some time. Utami had Mayu up for the Torture Rack and she was gonna try to make her tap out but she decided to do a Reverse Samoan Drop which was a thousand times better than when Kona Reeves did it and Mayu was able to kick out of it. Mayu starts to get fired up as she would deliver a stiff kick to her head for a two count but quickly goes up the top rope to hit the Frog Splash as Utami kicks out again just barely. Mayu would pick Utami back up and she held her for the Dragon Suplex Hold and she hits it for the pin and Mayu has won the Five Star Grand Prix!

One year ago, she injured her elbow and was forced to vacate the World of Stardom Championship and for the past year, Mayu would try to prove herself in the ring to crawl all the way back to the top spot, she failed to capture the title twice, lost the Cinderella Tournament, and she now won the Grand Prix to show that she’s the best Stardom has to offer. After the match, Mayu was presented with a robe and a crown that was placed on her head until it fell off of her, way to go. The rest of the participants would get a smaller trophy as a little participation thing as least while Mayu would get the bigger trophy. Mayu grabs the microphone to talk about that she won the tournament and how her journey has been for her these past few years about how she would start off in three-way matches and now she’s on the top of the promotion. She said she had to talk about something important to the audience despite winning the tournament and it was about retirement, and how she’s not gonna retire soon and her wrestling life is far from over, but she did have someone she would like to introduce to people. Arisa Hoshiki has made her return to Stardom!

Arisa was one of the first graduates of Stardom and has competed in their very first show, they also paired up together when they were rookies, but she left the company around 2012 and had the Saki Kashima route where she hasn’t wrestled ever since. However, she said after being away from wrestling for six and a half years, the 23-year-old wrestler has announced that she will be making her return to Stardom and hopes to tag with Mayu again real soon. I think this is wonderful news and from what I have seen from her old matches, she was a lot of fun to watch and I can’t wait to see what she’ll do next. Mayu talked about how every time she wins a big match, someone would return to Stardom like how Yoko Bito came back when she won the Cinderella Tournament a couple years ago and now Arisa Hoshiki when she won the Grand Prix, so now she believes that if she keeps winning big matches that everyone will come back to Stardom. She’s aware that Kagetsu and Momo are fighting in a few days in a double title match and she said she’ll challenge the World of Stardom Champion whoever it is out of those two next month. So what’s next for Utami? I thought it would be a good idea for her to win the Future of Stardom Championship as her first belt, but Andrew did bring up a good point about how while she does have the qualifications to go for the belt, it would feel a little bit of a downgrade due to the fact that she fought all of these big names and is now a well-established star in the making that it wouldn’t feel right and he has a point there, plus she’d be too good compared to the others in that division with the exception of Starlight Kid and AZM of course. Since that’s the case, maybe she could be the one that could possibly dethrone Momo if she still has her Wonder of Stardom Championship? Either that or go for the Goddesses of Stardom Championships if she can get a partner. Anyway, congrats to Mayu Iwatani, you have earned this and now go do what you gotta do and that is win it all next month.

Rating: Bruce Prichard

 

Overall: The tournament is now officially over as my block finally won the whole thing after losing the last three tournaments and it couldn’t have happened to a better wrestler. Both blocks have had enjoyable matches with great stories and probably one of my favorite events this year and tied in G1 with tournament quality. Now that Mayu has won the Grand Prix, can she reclaim what’s hers?

Favorite Match: Mayu Iwatani vs. Momo Watanabe

Least Favorite Match: Saki Kashima vs. Jamie Hayter

Score: 7.5/10


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Coverage

Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (5/17/24)

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Will things get ImPAULsive tonight?

To make Champion VS Champion at King & Queen of the Ring in Saudi Arabia official, Cody Rhodes and Logan Paul meet again to sign the contract!

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Queen of the Ring Quarterfinals: Bianca Belair VS Tiffany Stratton; Bianca wins and advances.
  • King of the Ring Quarterfinals: Tama Tonga VS LA Knight; Tama wins and advances.
  • Queen of the Ring Quarterfinals: Jade Cargill VS Nia Jax; Nia wins, by disqualification, and advances.
  • #DIY VS Angel Garza & Humberto Carrillo; DIY wins.
  • King of the Ring Quarterfinals: Randy Orton VS Carmelo Hayes; Orton wins and advances.

PLAY BY PLAY

Queen of the Ring Quarterfinals: Bianca Belair VS Tiffany Stratton!

Both of the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions made it out of the first round, and now they’re both looking to make it into the next! Will The EST lead the way into the semifinals? Or will we all have to realize it’s #TiffyTime?

The bell rings and the fans rally up. The fans rally and duel as the two tie up. Bianca powers Tiff to a corner, lets off as the ref counts, and she flexes. The fans fire up, the two tie up, and Bianca puts Tiff back in a corner. The ref counts, Bianca lets off at 4 but Tiff shoves her. Bianca shoves back, Tiff shoves again, and repeat. Then Tiff SLAPS Bianca! Tiff flexes and eggs Bianca on. Tiff dodges the lariat to YANK the braid! Tiff mockingly apologizes, but Bianca kips up and SLAPS Tiff back! Then waistlocks to SLAM! Bianca drags Tiff up, to SLAM her again! The fans fire up, Bianca eggs Tiff on, then Oklahoma Rolls! TWO, and Tiff gets up to kick low!

Tiff runs, but Bianca follows to run Tiff over! Bianca dusts herself off, the fans rally up, but Tiff gets under the handspring! Bianca says kiss this, then sidesteps, hurdles, but Tiff KICKS the rollback! Tiff drags Bianca up, bumps her off buckles, then pulls the hair to bring Bianca around for more buckle bumps. Tiff has Bianca by the braid again to put her in a corner for stomps. The ref counts, Tiff lets off and argues with him. The fans rally up for “E S T! E S T!” but Tiff whips. Bianca reverses but Tiff holds ropes! Bianca runs up but into a BOOT! Tiff runs up but into a scoop and GUT BUSTER! Tiff sputters, flounders, and Bianca handsprings to MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO!

Tiff toughs it out and the fans are torn. Bianca shakes the leg out, the damage done by Poison Pixie Candice LeRae still a factor. Bianca runs in to RAM Tiff into a corner! Bianca then climbs up and the fans fire up as she rains down fists! Bianca only gets 5 as Tiff grabs the braid! The fans boo but Bianca YANKS Tiff into buckles! Tiff tumbles out, Bianca storms to the apron, but Tiff grabs the braid again! Tiff YANKS Bianca down, and Bianca’s leg is stuck in ropes! Bianca gets free but she clutches the knee. Tiff gets Bianca out of the ring, to RAM her into steel steps! Bianca falls in a heap, clutching that knee, and Tiff soaks up the heat while SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns, Tiff has Bianca’s bad leg hooked up, and Tiff bridges back for a modified deathlock! Bianca endures, reaches out, and the fans rally! Bianca crawls forward, Tiff doing her best to spider walk with her, but Bianca gets the ROPEBREAK! Tiff lets go, drags Bianca back, but Bianca kicks at her! Tiff ducks a kick, then lifts the leg, but Bianca BOOTS her while upside-down to stop the smash! Tiff tumbles right out of the ring and the fans rally up. Bianca rises, spots Tiff, but Tiff trips her up first! Tiff goes for the corner, she did this during the break! But Bianca YANKS Tiff into the post first!

The fans fire up as Tiff staggers away. Bianca crawls to center, the ring count is 3 of 10, but Tiff rolls in at 4. Tiff runs up, Bianca dodges and she runs Tiff over! Bianca scoops and SLAMS Tiff! Then scoops again, for a FALL AWAY SLAM! The strongEST, roughEST, toughEST for sure, and Bianca brings Tiff in for a suplex! Tiff slips free, waistlocks, but Bianca elbows free. Tiff goes to a corner, Bianca runs up to fire a forearm! Tiff kicks, Bianca fires more shots. Bianca whips and SPINEBUSTERS! Cover, TWO! Tiff is still in this, reminding us why she’s a former NXT Women’s Champion. But the fans rally for Bianca as she gets Tiff up.

Tiff JAWBREAKERS free! Tiff runs, Bianca avoids those stomps! Sunset flip, TWO! Tiff swings, into chicken wings! But Tiff somersault clutches through! TWO and Bianca has it! TWO, Tiff kicks but Bianca blocks! Bianca ROCKS Tiff, torture racks, but Tiff flips free of the Kiss of Death! Tiff YANKS Bianca into ropes, runs and HIP ATTACKS! Tiff keeps moving, TIFFY STOMPS!! Cover, TWO!!! Bianca survives and Tiff is beside herself! The fans fire up while Tiff scowls. Tiff drags Bianca up to CLUB away. Tiff puts Bianca in a corner, runs corner to corner and handsprings, but Bianca catches her! GERMAN SUPLEX!! Bianca crawls to cover, TWO!!

Tiff survives and shocks Bianca! The fans duel between Bianca and Tiff, but then they agree “This is Awesome!” Bianca hobbles after Tiff, drags her from the apron, but Tiff holds the skirt! The ref counts, Tiff lets go, but then she CLAWS Bianca’s eyes! The fans boo but Tiff reels Bianca in to CHOP BLOCK! And then SLIDING LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! Bianca survives and Tiff is furious! The fans fire up as Tiff goes up and up, but Bianca trips her up! Bianca gets Tiff in the torture rack, for the KISS OF DEATH!! Cover, Bianca wins!

Winner: Bianca Belair, by pinfall (advances to the semifinals)

Tiffy may not have gotten her moonsault, but that was certainly the prettiEST KOD ever! Cathy Kelley joins Bianca in the ring to congratulate her. But does she foresee her knee being a liability in the next round? Bianca says she won’t lie, she is concerned about it. But she didn’t become The EST by making excuses. She shows up and shows out every time as the strongEST, the fastEST, the quickEST, the roughEST, the toughEST, The BEST. The fans cheer her on in that! And next week, Bianca says injury or not, nothing is stopping her from becoming Queen of the Ring. But as strong and as tough as she is, will Bianca have to fight on one leg to make it to Saudi Arabia?

 

Logan Paul is backstage.

The Maverick is heading to Nick Aldis’ office, right as LA Knight steps out. And Knight says to Aldis not to tell “him” that Knight said it. Knight and Logan then stare down and Aldis has Logan step in. Knight says, “See ya, champ.” But when Knight and Logan see each other next, will Logan have two titles or none?

 

WWE visited Naval Station Mayport.

To celebrate Military Appreciation Month, and in partnership with the USO, superstars met with the men and women of the US Navy, such as Lieutenant Junior Grade Mauss and Electronic Technicians Chief Page Gibson. WWE stands by the Armed Forces, join them and The USO in honoring our troops.

 

Backstage interview with Jade Cargill.

Byron Saxton is with the other WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion, and says that tonight, she takes on Nia Jax in a quarterfinal match. How is she preparing for someone who is so dominant? Jade says she’s heard all about Nia, and that she’s one of our best, The Irresistible Force. But to Jade Cargill, Nia’s just in her way. Bianca walks in, Jade congratulates her on the win, and Bianca thanks her. That match was tough, but it was worth giving lil’ Tiffy a timeout. And now what time is it? Time to go night-night! But for real, how’s the knee? Bianca says don’t worry, she’ll be fine by next week, standing across the ring from Jade.

Jade says okay, girl, one match at a time. Bianca tells Jade to go do her thing. Will a storm hit Jacksonville and wash Nia Jax out of the tournament?

 

Tama Tonga prepares backstage.

The MFT, the Good Bad Guy, is pacing and snarling. Solo Sikoa stands and says it’s time to go. Tama’s ready, Tonga Loa follows him out, but Paul Heyman asks if Solo’s talked to “him” today. Solo says all the time, Wise Man. All the time. Solo heads out now, but why is it that Solo and The Tribal Chief are on speaking terms and not his Special Counsel?

 

Backstage interview with LA Knight.

Cathy Kelley is now with The Mega Star and says we’re moments away from his match with Tama Tonga in the King of the Ring Tournament. How is Knight feeling going into this big match tonight? Aw, she doesn’t have to ask such personal questions, “LEMME TALK TO YA! You talk about King of the Ring, you talk about Tama Tonga, you talk about The Bloodline, Bloodline ain’t looking like it used to. Y’see, I don’t even know half these guys, but ol’ Tommy! Tommy Tonga! I tell you what, tonight you can get yourself introduced to a BFT, and then I’ll move on and introduce my head to that crown at King of the Ring. YEAH!”

But in steps Carmelo Hayes. Melo says what’s up, been a while. Melo just wants to give Knight the opportunity to welcome HIM to SmackDown. After all, he was a first round pick, no big deal. Except yeah it is. Knight says sure, that is a big deal. And thinking about it now, Knight isn’t sure if he agrees with this, but a lot of people look at him and say they’re reminded of Tom Brady. Now, let’s say that’s true. Who was the first draft pick the year Tom Brady was selected? Yeah, Knight doesn’t know, either. That’s Melo’s first mistake. The other is looking past Randy Orton.

Melo stops Knight there and says speaking of sellouts, the three most dangerous letters in WWE won’t be RKO. They will H I M. Melo smiles and Knight says look who won the spelling bee. WITH NOBODY saying it. No one is gonna go with that crap. How about this? With EVERYBODY saying L! A! KNIGHT! YEAH!! Now go play somewhere else, kid, Knight’s busy. The Mega Star heads out, but will he make it through this dangerous new Bloodline?

King of the Ring Quarterfinals: Tama Tonga w/ The Bloodline VS LA Knight!

SmackDown returns and Knight makes his entrance. The fans are fired up for Knight while the ref has Solo and Loa exit the ring. The bell rings, Tama runs up but Knight dodges! Knight JABS, JABS and JABS! “YEAH! YEAH! YEAH!” Knight whips, ELBOWS Tama down, and the fans fire up! Knight says “YEAH!” and the fans echo it. Knight scoops, Tama slips free, and Tama has a SLEEPER! Knight flails, reaches out, and fans boo. Knight RAMS Tama into the corner, gets free, but Tama jumps on for another SLEEPER! Knight SLAMS Tama down, Solo frowns but the fans fire up. Knight whips, Tama KICKS him, then LARIATS!

Solo applauds and Loa nods, but the fans chant, “WE WANT ROMAN!” Tama TOSSES Knight out, but Knight lands on his feet! Knight gets right back in to LARIAT Tama down! The fans fire up and “YEAH!” as Knight stalks Tama. Knight whips, Tama reverses and runs in, but only gets buckles! Knight back drops Tama high and hard! The fans fire up and Knight stalks Tama to a corner. Knight stomps a mudhole in, “YEAH! YEAH! YEAH!” Knight lets off as the ref counts, to run corner to corner and KNEE Tama down! “YEAH!” Solo storms up onto the apron but Knight stares him down. Loa also gets on the apron!

The ref warns the Bloodline, Knight runs up on them but they get away. Tama SPLASHES in at the corner! The fans boo but Tama brings Knight around to POST him! Knight sputters while Tama goes out the side. Knight flops to the apron then the floor. Tama runs up, leaps off the steps, FLYING LARIAT! Down goes Knight and Solo applauds. Solo taunts Knight while the fans boo, and SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns and Tama knocks Knight down! Tama goes up top, but Knight rolls away. Tama hops down to stomp away on Knight, and fans still want Roman back. Tama throws down hands on Knight while Solo paces. Tama drags Knight up, CLUBS away with forearms, then runs to SLIDING LARIAT! Tama soaks up the heat as the fans boo. Tama goes up a corner, Solo raises the one, and Tama SUPREME FLOPS! Knight avoids disaster and he fires off haymakers! “YEAH! YEAH! YEAH!” Tama kicks low and fans boo! Tama whips, Knight ducks ‘n’ dodges to LEAPING LARIAT! The fans fire up and Knight stalks Tama!

Knight runs up to clothesline Tama up and out! Knight gets Tama up, brings him around, and SMACKS him off the apron again and again! “YEAH! YEAH! YEAH!” Knight then brings Tama around to SMACK him off the apron again! Knight puts Tama in, stalks him, but Tama swings. Knight gets under to THROW Tama into buckles! Knight whips, scoops, and POWERSLAMS Tama down! Knight keeps moving, JUMP ELBOW DROP! The fans fire up again and Knight winds it up. Knight watches Tama rise, the fans want to see it, and Tama staggers up, only for Loa to get him outta there! The fans boo but Knight WRECKS Loa with a dorpkick!

Knight puts Tama back in, Solo stares him down. The ref tells Solo to back up, Knight dares Solo to try. Knight rolls in, Tama is up to COMPLETE SHOT! Cover, Tama wins!!

Winner: Tama Tonga, by pinfall (advances to the semifinals)

The Bloodline has a new look but it’s the same old tricks! Solo smirks as his guy moves on, will nothing stop Tama from taking the crown?

 

LA Knight returns backstage.

The ref is checking on him, Knight says he’s fine, but it was that stupid 3v1. But then Melo walks by to say guess whose game it’s not. Couldn’t get the job done, huh? Wow, Melo’s still talking? Knight SHOVES Melo and tells Melo to shut his mouth. Melo says just watch his match, Knight will see how it’s done. The ref tells these two to back down and cool off. The words keep flying, but producers step in to keep this from turning into a fist fight. Knight is furious, but will he have to wait his turn to get at HIM?

 

Nick Aldis is in the ring.

“Ladies and gentlemen, at this time, allow me to introduce one half of the King & Queen of the Ring main event, the United States Champion, Logan Paul!” The fans boo but The Maverick still makes his way out here, his entire entourage with him, and perhaps a lawyer? Logan steps into the ring, shakes Aldis’ hand and goes to his table, putting the US Championship on display. Aldis then says please now welcome the Undisputed WWE Champion, Cody Rhodes! Logan is already upset at the better reaction for The American Nightmare, especially as fans sing along with Cody’s song, “WHOA~ OH~!”

Cody gets his pyro, shakes hands, signs autographs, and goes to the ring. His title is put on display next to Logan’s, and Cody goes to his table. But of course the fans cheer for “CODY! CODY!” and Cody revels in it. Cody and Logan take their seats, and Cody has a mic to ask “DUUUVAL! Jacksonville, what do you guys wanna talk about?” Cody knows they know he loves this place. And it is brought to Cody’s attention, that on this day 32 YEARS ago, does Logan have any idea what happened on these grounds upon which they stand? No, didn’t expect him to. He wasn’t even born yet. But the reason Cody knows, and the reason Logan doesn’t, is important.

32 years ago to the day was the original WarGames, 1992! The Stinger Squadron VS The Dangerous Alliance, widely considered the best WarGames match ever. And again, the reason Cody knows this is because just like… Well, this lady here with the “My Dogs Love to Wrestle” sign, and that guy way up at the tippy top, and just like this person shouting the answers, the reason is because like them, Cody is a fan of pro-wrestling. Cody is a fan of what he does. Logan is not a fan. The only way to describe him is… a tourist. Logan is just passing through, making viral moments, but it is time to get off the train.

And when Logan does, he’ll drop off that US Championship, making Cody a WWE GRAND SLAM CHAMPION! The fans love the sound of that! Logan says this is the thing the last guy said, and the guy before him. The fans boo but Logan says we’ve heard it. He doesn’t get what Cody is doing. Is this stalling? Logan isn’t here to listen to Cody talk. He’s here to sign the contract. The fans boo more but Logan just tunes it out. Logan tells Cody that he’s here to sign a contract to wrestle Cody. The fans boo harder and chant “YOU SUCK!” at Logan. Logan has Aldis hand him the contract, then says this is a horrible crowd.

Logan will do what he came here to do and sign the thing. Logan looks it over, looks to his lawyer, and it’s all here. Just one little thing though. Logan RIPS up what Aldis gave him, and has his lawyer bring out his own contract! The fans chant “You Can’t Read!” Logan says no, he can read. But it’s not what he agreed to. He agreed to a match with Cody at KQOTR, but only for the WWE Championship. He did NOT agree to put his title on the line, and he knew they’d pull something like this. So here is his lawyer, Jim Gillery, one of the best in the country, and he has a contract of their own. And this one looks good to Logan.

Bottom line: Cody’s title is on the line, not Logan’s! Aldis, get this done! The fans boo but Logan tells Aldis to do his job and get this executed! aldis tells Logan he’s had just about enough of Logan and his broccoli headed entourage! Winner Takes All IS what they agreed to backstage in their office. Aldis knows it, Logan knows it, Gillery knows it, and this is bad business! It’s unprofessional, and Aldis won’t stand for it! Gillery speaks up and asks if Aldis is threatening his client. The fans boo but Aldis paces. Cody speaks up now and says he’s known Aldis a long time. Cody knows what happens when Aldis gets mad.

Cody tells Aldis that SmackDown is great, Aldis is doing a fantastic job, don’t let anyone tell him otherwise. The fans cheer that. But Logan’s putting everyone on the spot here, so let Cody and Logan finish this up here and Cody can bring the paperwork back to Aldis. Let them have the ring, Cody will take care of this. Cody will relieve Aldis of this situation, thank you. Aldis accepts the offer and exits. The fans applaud, Logan mockingly waves bye. And Jacksonville, hard truth is, Logan signed Logan’s contract, it is done. The match is made this way. You might not like it, but Cody hasn’t done anything to deserve a shot at the US Champoinship.

The fans boo but Logan says for real, what has Cody done? Logan’s proven every time he is in the ring, he has proven he’s worthy of every title in this industry! Cody can’t say the same. So like brother Jake Paul’s next victim, Mike Tyson would say, “Thine the contract, big boy.” Logan shoves his contract at Cody, Cody frowns and stands up. “Let me tell you something, you fly by night human hat rack! Here’s the situation! The honeymoon with you is over. I’ve seen you do a flip, woopdy doo! After our match at King & Queen of the Ring, you will find out exactly who Logan Paul is on the inside.

“And you mentioned Mike Tyson. Good. Cuz in 8 days, a WWE Hall of Famer is gonna knock your brother out! And in Saudi Arabia, a future WWE Hall of Famer is gonna beat you. So you want me to sign the contract? Is that what you want?” Cody signs so now it’s only for his title, but then Logan takes a swing using his! Cody ducks, Logan stumbles into ropes, and Cody clotheslines Logan up and out! Cody is all fired up, but he has to fight off the cronies! Logan’s losers don’t stand a chance, and Cody POWERBOMBS one through a table! The fans are thunderous as Cody holds up the US Championship! AND his!

Logan is furious, and he says Cody just signed his death warrant! Will Logan become the Two Belt Maverick? Or will Cody finally deflate that massive ego?

 

Backstage interview with Nia Jax.

Cathy Kelley is with the Irresistible Force and says we’re moments away from her match. We heard from Jade, what is her response? Nia says just stop. Of course Jade has to hype herself up. You hear all these people saying Jade is so strong. And she is. Jade is so impressive. And she is. Jade is gonna be the Queen of the Ring! And she is… NOT. “Jade Cargill is NOT gonna be the Queen of the Ring. Nia Jax will be your new Queen of the Ring.” Nia heads through the curtain, will she be heading on to the next round? Or will even an Irresistible Force lose to a force of nature?

Queen of the Ring Quarterfinals: Jade Cargill VS Nia Jax!

SmackDown returns and Jade makes her entrance. The bell rings and the two get face to face. The fans fire up, but then Nia DECKS Jade! Nia soaks up heat, runs Jade over, but Jade avoids the leg drop! Jade gets Nia up to SPINEBUSTER! The fans fire up as Nia bails out! Nia is mad, she trips Jade, and then TOSSES her away! Jade’s daughter is in the front row and worried already. Jade sits up to tell her it’s okay, but then Nia YANKS Jade back down. Nia tells Jade’s daughter that “Mommy Sucks!” but her daughter says “No she doesn’t!” Jade SUPERKICKS Nia and her daughter cheers!

The fans fire up as Jade CLUBS Nia, the ring count starts, but Nia RAMS Jade into barriers. Nia puts Jade in the ring, storms in after her, but Jade RAMS Nia right back out! Jade SMACKS Nia off the desk! And off the apron! Jade lines up a shot, runs up, but Nia POSTS her! Nia CLOBBERS Jade up and over barriers! The fans boo, Nia shoves the desk hood away and throws a chair! And throws an armchair! Nia gets Jade up and HEADBUTTS her! Nia TOSSES Jade over the barriers, gets a chair, but the fans boo. Jade blocks the chair shot! And GIVES a chair shot!! But that means Nia wins!!

Winner: Nia Jax, by disqualification (advances to the semifinals)

Jade is furious but she fell into a trap by Nia! So Jade hauls Nia up and choke grips! Nia choke grips back! Jade pulls hair! Both women run into barriers, go around and around, then up and over! The ref hurries out to tell them both to stop, but both get up! Jade kicks, fires forearms, and the fans call BS! Nia HEADBUTTS, but Jade comes back to RAM Nia into a POST! Jade SMACKS Nia off barriers, more refs rush out but Nia POSTS Jade! Producers and security get involved, too, but fans want to “LET THEM FIGHT! LET THEM FIGHT!” Nia grins, she got what she wanted and that’s a ticket to the next round. But Jade runs up again!

The two COLLIDE at the ramp, refs and security get in to separate them! SmackDown goes to break, will Bianca just have to avenge Jade? Or will Nia soon become the Irresistible Queen of the Ring?

 

#DIY VS Angel Garza & Humberto Carrillo w/ Legado Del Fantasma!

Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano make their return to SmackDown, ready to go right after those WWE Tag Team Championships. However, the same goes for Legado Del Fantasma’s high-flying duo. Who takes an all important step closer to A-Town Down Under’s titles?

Speaking of, Theory & Waller are on commentary to watch this one in person. They still talk themselves up as the greatest undefeated tag team of all time, and say “you’re welcome” for gracing everyone with their presence. In the ring, the teams sort out and Humberto starts against Johnny Wrestling. Humberto and Gargano circle, the fans rally behind “JOHNNY WRESTLING!” Gargano and Humberto tie up, Humberto waistlocks but Gargano wrenches to wristlock. Humberto rolls, handsprings, wrenches and CLUBS the arm! Humberto grinds the shoulder, but Gargano fights up. Gargano spins, wrenches and drop toeholds to then facelock.

Humberto rolls, Gargano rolls with him, but Humberto trips Gargano, covers, ONE! Humberto facelocks, but Gargano fights up. Humberto suplexes high and hard, then covers, ONE! The fans rally, Humberto stalks Gargano, and then whips corner to corner. Gargano stops himself, ELBOWS Humberto, then goes up to Electric Chair, spin and RANA! Humberto gets up, Gargano ducks ‘n’ dodges to RANA! The fans fire up for DIY as Gargano runs up and CHOPS! Tag to Ciampa, DIY whips Humberto back into the corner, then Gargano goes to the apron. DIY meets at the corner to ENZIGIRI KNEE COMBO!

Ciampa keeps moving, and he LARIATS Humberto down! Angel runs in, Ciampa gets around him to ripcord and FOREARM! Gargano ROCKS Angel, then DIY both clothesline Legado up and out of the ring! Then DIY DOUBLE PLANCHA! Down goes Legado and the fans fire up with DIY as they pat themselves on the back. A-Town Down Under mockingly applaud, Ciampa puts Humberto in the ring. Humberto goes to the corner, Ciampa runs up and CHOPS! Ciampa runs but Angel is in the way! Humberto runs up, Angel tags in as Ciampa bucks the O’Conner Roll. Ciampa DECKS Angel, dodges Humberto, then builds speed.

Humberto sidesteps and Angel holds the ropes open! Ciampa tumbles out of the ring and to the floor! The fans boo but Legado soaks up the heat. Gargano checks Ciampa, we get a QR Code, and SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns and the fans rally up as Angel keeps Ciampa from Gargano. Ciampa ROCKS Angel, TOSSES Humberto, but Angel grabs a leg! Ciampa hops up to ENZIGIRI! Angel is down, but Humberto YANKS Gargano down and SUPERKICKS him! Angel runs up, Ciampa dodges to ROCK him! And CHOP him! And ROCK him again! Ciampa kicks, Angel blocks to get the Gory Especial! Tag to Humberto, slingshot into the GARZA ESPECIAL! Humberto holds Ciampa up and Angel runs to basement dropkick! Cover, TWO! Ciampa survives, the fans rally up, but A-Town Down Under say DIY peaked in “college,” aka NXT.

Humberto suplexes Ciampa, Ciampa fights that to suplex back! Humberto fights that suplex, they go back and forth, and it’s Ciampa who gets Humberto up and over! The fans fire up, Theory downplays it, but Ciampa crawls for the corner, hot tag to Gargano! Gargano rallies on Legado, ENZIGIRI for Angel, then Gargano runs. He gets Legado for a DROPKICK BULLDOG COMBO! The fans fire up with Gargano as he takes aim, only for Humberto slide in first! Humberto runs in, into a SLINGSHOT SPEAR! Gargano DIVES to hit Angel, too! Gargano goes up the corner, the fans fire up, but Santos gets on the apron!

The fans boo as Santos distracts the ref! Lopez YANKS Gargano down! The fans boo but the ref senses something is wrong! The ref EJECTS Lopez & Santos! The fans cheer, and DIY MEET IN THE MIDDLE!! Cover, DIY wins!

Winners: DIY, by pinfall

A-Town Down Under is just as upset as Legado that the screw job failed. But Theory & Waller taunt Gargano & Ciampa with the tag titles. Will Gargano & Ciampa show these two how to get it done? Or will Theory show Gargano that he’s found his own way?

 

The QR Codes are leading to something…

And then this week, on WWE’s official Twitch channel, there was video of someone meeting with a therapist. They were checking in after last time and wanted to know how things were going. That was all we got, what does it all mean?

 

Backstage interview with AJ Styles.

Byron is with the Phenomenal One, and says it is no secret that Styles has had a challenging couple of weeks. So then, where does Styles go from here? Styles asks himself, where does he go from here? We all saw Backlash. Cody VS Styles, unbelievable. Styles was this close, and lost. Then he had a chance to redeem himself with the King of the Ring tournament, but he lost in the first round. So where does he go from here? Next week, Styles will go to Nick Aldis’ office and we’ll find out where things go from there. Even the Phenomenal face uncertainty, how will Styles handle his?

 

Backstage interview with Bayley.

Byron is now with The Role Model, and says she had her eyes on Jade winning the tournament. But after what happened out there, does she have a new prediction? Bayley says it is packed! Nia VS Bianca, and- In step Chelsea Green & Piper Niven. Piper pretends to be asleep and snoring, Chelsea “wakes” Piper and tells her Bayley’s done speaking. Oh thank goodness! Chelsea says Bayley is the only reason Piper lost to Bianca last week, because she sprinkled her “Bad Bayley juju” all over them! Yeah, her Bayley stink! Bayley says they don’t have time for this, let’s talk next week, okay? In the ring. That sounds good, see you then.

Bayley heads out, but it seems like Chelsea & Piper were wanting that all along. Will The Hot Mess & “Miss P” get one over on the WWE Women’s Champion?

 

King of the Ring Quarterfinals: Randy Orton VS Carmelo Hayes!

Well speaking of The Viper, he is determined to not just move on through this tournament, but to get after Tama Tonga for what he and The Bloodline did to Kevin Owens. Will Orton get what he wants by moving on to the semifinals? Or will he fail to humble… HIM?

SmackDown returns and Melo makes his entrance. The bell rings and the two circle. The fans duel, but are more in favor of Orton. Orton and Melo feel things out, Melo kicks Orton’s bad leg and Orton backs off. Melo says he could do this all day. Orton and Melo reset, circle, and Melo gets around to kick Orton’s leg again! Orton drops to his knees, pounds the mat in frustration, but Melo just grins. Melo puts some stank on the SLAP! The fans boo and Melo says he doesn’t care about them. Melo cares about Melo! The fans tell Melo he messed up, and Orton stands. Melo stops jawing and he shoves Orton. Orton kicks Melo!

Orton RAMS Melo into buckles, POSTS him, then POSTS him again! Orton UPPERCUTS Melo again and again, the ref counts but Orton lets off. Orton TOSSES Melo up and over, the fans cheer, and Orton stalks Melo to the desk. Orton SMACKS Melo off the desk, Barrett & Graves move aside so he can DESK- NO, Melo claws the eyes! The fans boo but Melo soaks up the heat. The ring count climbs, Melo talks trash, but Orton trips Melo! Melo falls onto the desk and writhes! Orton gets Melo up to ROCK him, then he refreshes the count. Orton comes right back to DESK BACK SUPLEX! Melo writhes some more, but Orton gets him for another DESK BACK SUPLEX!

Melo flounders off the desk, fans want that “ONE MORE TIME!” while Orton goes back to the ring. Orton is considering it, and he goes back out! Orton finds Melo, gets him up, DESK BACK SUPLEX! The fans cheer as Orton stands over Melo, and SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns again and now Melo stands over Orton. Orton clutches the bad leg, the fans rally up for him, but Melo SMASHES the bad knee! Melo paces around Orton, taunts him, then grabs the bad leg. Melo kicks the bad leg, talks trash, then kicks the leg again. Melo stomps the leg then YANKS it! The fans rally for Randy but Melo stalks him. Melo waistlocks, Orton goes to ropes, Melo holds on but the ref counts. Orton CLUBS Melo but Melo puts Orton’s leg in the ropes. Melo stomps the leg, lets off as the ref reprimands, but then runs up, only for Orton to move! Melo gets caught up in the ropes now!

Orton waits on Melo to get free, then he LARIATS! And LARIATS! And SNAP- NO, Melo avoids the powerslam! Orton clutches the bad knee, and Melo grins. Melo then scowls as he takes aim, but fans chant “WHOOP DAT TRICK!” Melo runs, Orton avoids the punt! SNAP POWERSLAM! The fans fire up, Orton covers, TWO! Melo is a former NXT North American and NXT Champion, he’s pretty tough. But Orton puts him through ropes! The fans fire up and Orton drags Melo out, only for Melo to wrench out and kick the leg! Orton hobbles, Melo hits the FIRST 48! Cover, TWO! Orton is still in this and Melo is frustrated.

Melo pulls at the tape around Orton’s leg, punches at the knee, and the fans boo. Melo lets off to go to a corner. Melo climbs up while Orton slowly rises. Melo aims, NOTHING BUT- NO, Orton moves! And then he puts Melo in ropes! DRAPING DDT!! Both men are down and the fans fire up! Orton rises, the fans chant “R K O! R K O!” Orton may have a bad leg, but he can still hear those voices! Melo rises, staggers, RK- NO, Melo rolls Orton up! TWO!! Melo hurries to get the leg, but Orton KICKS Melo away! Melo returns, ducks ‘n’ dodges, springboard, RKO!!! The fans are thunderous as Orton covers, Orton wins!

Winner: Randy Orton, by pinfall (advances to the semifinals)

Melo tried the Fade Away but got dunked on! Will he learn to be more humble the next time he faces a Legend Killer? As for Orton, he gets just who he wanted all along in Tama Tonga! Cathy Kelley congratulates Orton, but then speaking of Tama, here comes The Bloodline! Solo has a sinister smirk on his face, but Orton borrows the mic. “Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on. Are you meaning to tell me right now, The Bloodline is gonna come out and try to intimidate me? Ladies and gentlemen, maybe The Bloodline forgot who exactly I am! Let me introduce you to me.

“My name is Randy FREAKIN’ Orton! I am a FOURTEEN TIME World Heavyweight Champion, and soon to be King of the Ring. And since we’re doing introductions, Tama, next week in Saudi Arabia, I am gonna introduce my foot directly up your ass!” Solo keeps Tama back, but Orton says following that, he will introduce them to the most deadly, dangerous letters in sports entertainment: R K O!! The fans are ready, Orton is ready, Tama is ready, but Solo says that’s still not until next week. Will the Viper strike down the Good Bad Guy? Or will Tama kill the Legend Killer?


My Thoughts:

A great SmackDown here, lots of action and lots of story development together at once. Bianca VS Tiff was a great match, and a touch surprising it was Bianca winning if only because I wasn’t sure Jade was losing to Nia. Jade’s daughter ending up part of the act ends up a good touch, and Jade losing her cool was a good way for her to lose this match. Bianca VS Nia will be great stuff, honestly could go either way, really depends on who comes out of the Raw side as well. Usual Face VS Heel dynamic would therefore mean it’s either Lyra VS Nia or Iyo VS Bianca. And given there’s really great story behind Bianca VS someone from Damage CTRL and how that gets on her nerves, that’d be a likely choice.

In the KOTR, very good promo from The Bloodline to make it seem like Roman has further distanced himself from Heyman. Good little stare down from LA Knight and Logan Paul, and good promo from Knight with Melo to hype both guys up before their matches. Great matches in both regards, but of course The Bloodline helped Tama beat Knight being that they’re such nasty Heels. Great main event from Orton VS Melo, Melo is still looking great even in losses, and of course we get Orton VS Tama. While Tama has moved on from using a cutter as his finisher, I almost do want him to bust out Gun Stun as a “stolen” RKO.

As with QOTR, Jey VS Gunther will likely influence Orton VS Tama. It’d be awesome to see Gunther VS Orton, but it’d also be intriguing to see Jey VS Tama, where Jey sees he really isn’t done with The Bloodline, even with Solo now remaking it in his image. If they want, Jey VS Tama would plant seeds for some sort of Bloodline Civil WarGames, with it being Solo, Tama, Loa and at least one other brand new member (Jacob Fatu perhaps?) against Roman, Jey, probably Jimmy, and for all we know, Kevin Owens making a return from injury. That’d be some wild stuff because the fans love Roman now, there’s all sorts of “Can they coexist?” when it comes to the Face Bloodline, it’ll be so good.

Bayley has a good, quick promo with Chelsea and Piper, and I’m thinking that Bayley beats Chelsea next week to save Bayley VS Piper for Clash at the Castle in Scotland. It makes sense, given Piper’s Scottish, but I don’t think Bayley loses, it’s just a great opportunity for Piper to have a big match in her home country. Great tag team match from DIY VS Angel & Humberto, but given Theory & Waller were ringside, we do Faces VS Heels in WWE, and sadly it’s Legado, of course DIY won tonight. DIY VS A-Town Down Under, who knows how that goes, but there is good story that Theory hit upon about his past with Gargano in The Way. There’s a good chance ATDU find a way to win, because they need a first defense in the books.

And very good contract signing segment for Cody and Logan. Now, while in the past week, fans all over have speculated how they can do Champion VS Champion, Winner Takes All like this and not do a wonky finish that invokes Champion’s Advantage and then it’s just a big nothing. Logan finding a way to back out and not put his title on the line is a great way of doing it. It puts a lot of Heel heat on Logan, though it’s not like there isn’t a lot of that already, and think about the long game here like with Bayley VS Piper. SummerSlam is in Cleveland, Ohio this year, Logan’s hometown. Cody retaining his Undisputed title also means he beats the US Champion.

Tradition states that pinning a champion earns you a title match. Cody VS Logan Part 2 in Cleveland for Logan’s title, maybe Cody wins, maybe Logan uses Champion’s Advantage there, who knows. Cody seems to really like the idea of being not just Two Belt Champ but Grand Slam Champ, maybe it’s gonna happen before the year is out. All I know is, ever since Cody returned, the US Championship was just too perfectly fit for his Homelander-esque American Nightmare aesthetic, he’s gotta get it at some point.

My Score: 8.8/10


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Mitchell’s NJPW Best of the Super Juniors Results & Report! (5/16/24)

B Block, round 3!

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It’s a shootout in the main event!

Best of the Super Juniors Round 3 continues as now B Block takes its turn! But will Robbie Eagles outdraw Taiji Ishimori? Or will The Sniper of the Skies be shooting blanks?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Six Man Tag: El Desperado, Katsuya Murashima & Boltin Oleg VS Kevin Knight, Tiger Mask & Shoma Kato;  Desperado, Murashima & Oleg win.
  • HAYATA & Tomoaki Honma VS Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Yujiro Takahashi; Kanemaru & Takahashi win.
  • Six Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS TJP, Callum Newman & Blake Christian; LIJ wins.
  • Best of the Super Juniors 31 B Block: KUSHIDA VS Franceso Akira; Kushida wins.
  • Best of the Super Juniors 31 B Block: DOUKI VS “Drilla” Dan Moloney; Drilla wins.
  • Best of the Super Juniors 31 B Block: Ninja Mack VS SHO; Sho wins.
  • Best of the Super Juniors 31 B Block: Hiromu Takahashi VS Dragon Dia; Hiromu wins.
  • Best of the Super Juniors 31 B Block: Robbie Eagles VS Taiji Ishimori; Taiji wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Here are the current B Block standings!

Ninja Mack: 2-0, 4 points
Taiji Ishimori: 2-0, 4 points
KUSHIDA: 2-0, 4 points
SHO: 1-1, 2 points
Francesco Akira: 1-1, 2 points
Robbie Eagles: 1-1, 2 points
DOUKI: 1-1, 2 points
Hiromu Takahashi: 0-2, 0 points
Dragon Dia: 0-2, 0 points
“Drilla” Moloney: 0-2, 0 points

 

Best of the Super Juniors 31 B Block: KUSHIDA VS Franceso Akira!

The Timesplitter is approaching 88 miles per hour, and is looking to turn back time to when he was the Ace of the Juniors! However, the Nova Fireball is looking to turn up the heat! Will Kushida or Akira be the one to blaze a trail to the top of the block?

Akira gets in Kushida’s face, Kushida shoves him back, and the ref has them both back off. The bell rings and Akira runs in! Kushida dodges to kick and headlock, but Akira powers out. Kushida runs Akira over, things speed up, and Akira hurdles. Kushida shoves, Akira wheelbarrows and arm-drags! Then Akira CALF KICKS Kushida down! The fans cheer and join in on “A! KI RA!” Akira CHOPS then CLUBS Kushida, but Kushida kicks back. Akira CHOPS, whips but Kushida reverses. Kushida runs in but Akira goes up and gets Kushida for the- NO, Kushida fights out of the Tarantula and brings Akira down to the apron! Kushida YANKS Akira into the post!

The fans rally while Akira shakes out the bad arm. Kushida gets Akira up and scoops to SLAM him on the floor! Kushida leaves Akira behind and the fans rally up more. The ring count starts, Akira stands and slides in at 4 of 20, only for Kushida to TOSS him right back out. Kushida goes out after Akira to scoop and SLAM him again! The fans applaud while Kushida gets Akira up and into the ring. Cover, TWO! Another cover, TWO! A third cover, TWO! The fans rally while Kushida looms over Akira. Kushida wrenches the arm, CLUBS the arm, then wrangles Akira with a top wristlock. Kushida isolates the arm, to STOMP it!

Akira writhes, goes to a corner, but Kushida is after him. Akira fires a forearm! And fires another! But Kushida wrenches the bad arm and wrangles Akira again! Kushida stands on Akira’s head to twist the arm and hammerlock it, to then TWIST it! Akira flounders away but Kushida is after the legs! Kushida turns Akira over to a SEATED SURFBOARD! Akira fights, Kushida slaps him on the back to get at the arms! Kushida pulls Akira back, but Akira fights to turn things over! They roll and into the ROPEBREAK! The fans cheer as Kushida lets off. Kushida drags Akira up, wrenches and wristlocks, then cravats to snapmare.

Kushida scrapes his soles off Akira’s face, then handsprings to basement dropkick! Cover, TWO! The fans rally up while Akira slowly rises. Kushida brings Akira up, wrenches the arm, but Akira shoves him away. Kushida comes back, Akira ducks ‘n’ dodges to RANA! The fans fire up while Kushida bails out, and Akira aims. Akira slingshot, but Kushida slides back in! Akira lands on the apron, only for Kushida to KICK a leg! Kushida runs, but into a SLINGSHOT CUTTER! Both men are down and the fans rally up. Akira and Kushida rise, and Kushida goes after Akira. Akira fires forearms but Kushida knees low.

Kushida whips, Akira reverses, but Kushida ducks the enzigiri! Akira slides Kushida, Kushida slides under Akira! Kushida flips Akira to get the KIMURA! Akira gets around to GERMAN SUPLEX! Both men are down again and the fans fire up! Akira and Kushida go to corners, the fans rally for “A! KI RA! A! KI RA!” Akira runs in to clothesline! Then he comes back to UPPERCUT! Akira snapmares Kushida, goes to the apron, “IKU ZO!” The fans fire up and Akira climbs, but Kushida GAMANGIRIS the arm! Kushida then goes up after Akira but Akira fires forearms! Kushida drops back, Akira adjusts and CROSSBODIES! Cover, TWO!

The fans rally up while both men are down. Akira shakes out the bad arm, stalks behind Kushida and half nelsons, but the bad arm won’t let him full nelson! Kushida KICKS Akira in the leg! Then KICKS again! Kushida whips, Akira reverses, Kushida handsprings, but Akira DROPKICKS Kushida! Kushida bails out, Akira PLANCHAS, but into a FUJIWARA! The ref reprimands, Akira fights up, but Kushida hits an ARMBAR BULLDOG to the floor! Akira writhes and clutches his elbow, and the ring count starts. Both men are down at 5 of 20, but Kushida stands at 10. Kushida flounders at the apron, falls back, and we’re at 15!

Kushida springs up to slide in at 17! Akira staggers around, but he slides in at 19! PENALTY KICK! Kushida leaps, but Akira rolls him up! TWO, but Akira drop toeholds! Akira steps over, Kushida slips out to LA MAGISTROL, but Akira pushes it back to a cradle! TWO!! Akira goes to a corner, Kushida runs in, but into the TARANTULA!! The ref counts, Akira lets go at 4, but he fires back up! The fans rally, Akira BUZZSAWS! Akira roars and the fans fire up! Akira gets Kushida up, SPEED FIRE!! Cover, TWO!! Kushida survives and the fans fire back up. Akira goes to a corner, pounds the mat, “A! KI RA!”

Akira aims as Kushida slowly rises. Akira runs up, but Kushida ducks the Fireball! SHOTEI!! Kushida snarls while Akira flounders away. Akira goes to a corner, Kushida runs up, but Akira blocks the Shotei! Akira CLUBS the arm, but Kushida ROCKS him right back! Akira fires forearms in return! Akira then cravats for KNEE after KNEE! Kushida KICKS the bad arm! Akira SUPERKICKS! Akira dodges the fastball to HALF ‘N’ HALF! Akira roars, runs, but has to duck the fastball! COLLISION COURSE! Cover, TWO! Kushida’s still in this but Akira fires back up! Akira puts Kushida up top, CHOPS him, then climbs.

Akira brings Kushida up but Kushida fights the armlock! Kushida throws elbows, but Akira CHOPS! Akira fires forearms but Kushida wrenches his arm! ELBOW BREAKER! Akira drops down to the apron, but he SUPERKICKS back! Akira fires up again, the fans are with him, and Akira goes back up! But Kushida has a KIMURA!! HOVERBOARD ARM-DRAG!!! Akira endures as Kushida has him caught!! Akira reaches, Kushida rolls him from ropes, and cranks the hold! Akira taps, Kushida wins!!

Winner: Kushida, by submission (gains 2 points; Akira earns 0)

The Timesplitter extinguishes the Nova Fireball and continues to 3-0! Will nothing stop Kushida until he’s the Best of the Super Juniors? Can Akira reignite before it’s too late?

 

Best of the Super Juniors 31 B Block: DOUKI VS “Drilla” Dan Moloney!

Japones del Mal came away with a big shocker last round when he took down Hiromu in the main event! But is that one win enough to propel him to the top of the block? Or will 44 Caliber shoot Douki right back down to the bottom?

The bell rings and the fans rally up for Douki. Drilla gets annoyed by that, especially as the fans start to chant “DOUKI! DOUKI!” The two tie up, Douki headlocks, Drilla powers up, but can’t power out as Douki holds on. Drilla lifts, Douki flails, but Drilla powers out this time. Drilla runs Douki over, and fans do applaud the show of strength. Drilla runs, Douki drops down but Drilla drags him up. Douki arm-drags Drilla, then runs. Drilla hurdles, drops down, but Douki avoids the dropkick! Douki wheelbarrows but Drilla fights around to arm-drag! Drilla reels Douki in, but Douki trips him to a jackknife bridge! TWO!!

The fans fire up as Douki says it was that close. Drilla is mad, runs up, but Douki dodges to RANA! Douki RAMS Drilla, runs, springboards, but into Drilla’s arms! SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Drilla snarls while Douki goes to the apron. Drilla WRECKS Douki with a dropkick! Drilla then goes out and he RAMS Douki into the apron! Douki falls in a heap, but Drilla steps on his back! Drilla soaks up the heat while throwing up the Too Sweet. Drilla then steps away, to take a fan’s chair! Drilla scoops Douki for a BACKBREAKER on the chair! Douki writhes and flops off the chair while Drilla leaves him behind for the ring count.

The fans rally but Drilla tells them to shut up. The count reaches 5 of 20, then 10 before Douki sits up. Douki moves the chair aside, slides in at 15, and the fans cheer. But Drilla is right on him with a whip hard into a corner! Douki falls in a heap again, but Drilla storms up to pull at the mask! The ref reprimands, Drilla lets go, and Douki drags himself up with ropes. Drilla CHOKES Douki, but also goes after the mask! The fans boo, the ref reprimands and counts, and Drilla lets off at 4. Drilla stands Douki up to CHOP him down! Cover, with feet on the ropes! TWO!! Douki still gets free and the fans cheer.

Drilla sits Douki up into a chinlock and digs his knee into Douki’s back. Douki endures, reaches out, ROPEBREAK! The ref counts, Drilla grinds his forearm into Douki’s face, but lets off as the ref reprimands. Drilla stomps Douki but Douki gets right up to fire forearms! Douki goes to run, but Drilla reels him in! Drilla pops him up but Douki slips free to waistlock! Drilla breaks that, switches, but Douki elbows free! Douki again goes to run, Drilla reels him back in but Douki kicks free, kicks low, and DDTs! The fans fire up while both men are down! Drilla sits up but Douki stalks him. Douki whips Drilla, Drilla reverses but Douki arm-drags first!

Douki runs in at the corner to ELBOW Drilla, then keeps going, springboard BACK ELBOW! Cover, TWO! Drilla is still in this but Douki keeps cool. Douki drags Drilla up, hooks him up, but Drilla fights the lift! Douki still Gory Especials, but Drilla fights free! Douki blocks the chop, trips Drilla, and rolls him into ITALIAN STRETCH #32! Drilal reaches out, ROPEBREAK! Douki lets go, Drilla bails out, but Douki builds speed! Douki slides out, Drilla slides in! Douki hurries back up and he RAMS into Drilla! Slingshot, DAY- NO, Drilla stops that to SPINEBUSTER and DOUBLE STOMP ELBOW COMBO! Cover, TWO!

The fans rally up for Douki again while he slowly sits up. Drilla aims from a corner, loads up and runs in, but Douki ducks the boot! Douki then BOOTS back, goes to the apron, and slingshots, DAYBREAK! Douki drags Drilla to a cover, TWO! Drilla is still in this but Douki fires up! The fans are with him and he brings Drilla into the wheelbarrow. Drilla elbows free, ripcords and CHOPS, but Douki kips up! Drilla SUPERKICKS! Drilla runs, Douki ducks the boot to tilt-p-whirl, but Drilla blocks and flips Douki around! But Douki arm-drags free! And he rolls Drilla into the ITALIAN STRETCH #32!! Drilla endures while fans fire up!

Drilla fights around, reaches out, ROPEBREAK! Douki pulls until the ref counts 4, then he drags Drilla away from ropes, for ITALIAN STRETCH! But Drilla just powers right out! DRILLA KILLA!!! Cover, Drilla wins!

Winner: “Drilla” Moloney, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Douki earns 0)

The fans were behind the underdog and Drilla wasn’t having any of it! Will the Ichiban Gaijin storm his way to the top of this block? Can Douki turn this around next round?

 

Best of the Super Juniors 31 B Block: Ninja Mack VS SHO!

The American Shinobi is on a roll at 2-0, but now he has the misfortune of running into the Murder Machine. Will the Mack attack not be able to get past a deck that’s stacked? Or can he grab a golden ticket off the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion?

OH NO! Sho’s dragging Mack out from the back! And he’s CHOKING Mack with the Torture Tool! The fans boo but Sho grins as he brings Mack all the way to the ring and throws him in! Sho puts his props aside, then “helps” Mack to his feet. Mack flops back over, Sho says he’s fine and stands him back up. And then puts a leg in the ropes? Sho has the ref ring the bell, then he runs in to clothesline! Sho scoops to SLAM Mack, then he gets the legs! BOSTON CRAB! Mack endures, the fans rally, and Mack taps!! Sho wins!!

Winner: Sho, by submission 

Sho laughs at Mack, and brags that this is how good he is! But wait! Some other Ninja Mack runs in and CLOBBERS Sho!! Wait, this is the real Ninja Mack?! Sho tied Mack up to then replace him with a fake? Well, the tape Mack’s tearing away is compelling evidence. The ref then strikes the previous decision and this match restarts! Sho bails out but Mack gives chase! Mack CLOBBERS Sho again, stands him up and DOUBLE CHOPS him! Mack rips Sho’s shirt away, throws it to the crowd, then KICKS Sho against the apron! Mack puts Sho in, the fans fire up, and Mack storms in. Sho kicks Mack, whips, but Mack reverses.

Mack drops down, hurdles over, then backflips. Sho moves but Mack handsprings up to JUMP KNEE! Mack TOSSES Sho, builds speed and the fans rally with “NINJA! NINJA!” Mack handsprings to SASUKE SPECIAL! How fitting for a ninja! The fans fire up and Mack gets Sho back in the ring. The fans continue to rally for “NINJA! NINJA!” as Mack sees Sho go to the far side. Mack slingshots to sunset flip, Sho blocks a kick but Mack fires CHOP after CHOP after forearm, then an UPPERCUT! Mack then handsprings to LION’S BARRAGE! Cover, TWO! Another cover, TWO! Sho flounders, Mack storms up on him and stands Sho up.

Mack knuckle locks, CHOPS and then goes up, up and tightrope walks! But Sho bends fingers! Sho kicks the ropes out and Mack falls! The fans boo but Sho goes out to grab the ring bell hammer. Sho brings that over, but also gets a chair. The ref stops Sho from using the hammer, but Sho just uses the chair to JAM Mack! Sho digs the chair into Mack’s back while the fans boo! Sho also digs the chair into Mack’s stomach! The ref returns, reprimands, and Sho lets go of the chair. Sho brings Mack to the very back of the crowd and BOWLS him into chairs! Weak, he only got two. But Sho leaves Mack behind to go to the ring.

The fans rally for “NINJA! NINJA!” as Mack hurries back to ringside. The ring count starts but Mack is ringside by 4 of 20. Mack slides in at 6, but Sho drags Mack up. Sho kicks low, whips, and kitchen sink knees! Sho storms up on Mack again, drags him around, and has a body scissor squeeze! Mack endures, reaches out, but Sho even pulls the mask! But Mack pushes back to a cover, TWO! Sho keeps on the squeeze, but Mack still endures. Mack fights around, reaches out, and has the ROPEBREAK! The fans cheer, the ref counts, and Sho lets go. Mack sputters and says “Itai <It hurts.>” Sho gets Mack up, and hangs him out to dry!

Sho then drags Mack off the ropes for a CANADIAN GUT BUSTER! Cover, TWO! Mack is still in this, but Sho covers again, TWO! Another cover, TWO! Sho is annoyed but the fans rally up. Sho kicks Mack around, Mack blocks to body shot! And body shot! And body shot! Sho KNEES low! Sho scoops Mack and puts him on the top rope. Sho CLUBS away on Mack’s back, then runs to TOP SHELF KNEE! And TOP SHELF KNEE again! Sho goes corner to corner, but Mack dodges! Mack ROCKS Sho, springboards to KICK, then runs in to UPPERCUT! GERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO! Sho survives, but Mack’s on him with a CROSSFACE!

Sho endures as Mack pulls back! Sho flails, reaches out, crawls his way over, but Mack cranks the hold! Sho still gets the ROPEBREAK! Mack lets go and the fans rally again. Mack brings Sho up, DOUBLE CHOPS him, then DOUBLE CHOPS again! Mack whips corner to corner, Sho reverses, but Mack BOOTS back! And SUPERKICKS! And fires body shots and an UPPERCUT! Mack cravats, but Sho pulls the mask! Sho shoves Mack to the corner, then shoves the ref into Mack! The ref goes down, Sho SPEARS Mack! The fans are torn while everyone is down! Sho checks the ref, says he’s okay, and then grabs his Torture Tool!

Sho grins as he takes aim, but the fans boo. Wait, that’s the fake yellow Mack! Sho realizes that and wonders where the real Mack went. Mack snatches the wrench away and Sho freaks out! Mack puts the wrench down, but Sho rolls him up! But the ref’s still out, he can’t count! Sho gets mad at the ref when this is Sho’s fault! But Mack rolls Sho up! TWO!! Cradle, TWO!! Sunset flip! TWO!! Sho escapes, Mack kips up and SUPERKICKS! The fans fire up and Mack brings Sho to a drop zone. Mack goes up the corner, to NINJA- NO, Sho moves! Mack rolls through, comes back, but Sho dodges! Sho gets the title belt now! But Mack grabs Sho’s legs!

The ref grabs at the belt, it’s a weird tug-o-war, but the ref takes the belt away! Sho LOW BLOWS Mack!! Roll-up, with tights! SHO WINS!!

Winner: Sho, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Mack earns 0)

This is the worst! Sho tried to steal a win with a fake, then cheated to steal this win anyway! Will anyone ever humble the Murder Machine? Or will he continue to lie, cheat and steal until he holds both the trophy and the belt?

 

Best of the Super Juniors 31 B Block: Hiromu Takahashi VS Dragon Dia!

The Ticking Timebomb is inexplicably 0-2 to start, but things haven’t gone so well for the Infinity Carat Diamond. Only one can win their first points of the tournament, so who ends up at the bottom of the block?

The frame on Hiromu’s framed picture of himself seems a bit patched together, but Milano Collection AT-san still accepts it graciously. Hiromu then eggs on “Taguchi.” The bell rings and the two rush up! Dia DROPKICKS Hiromu and tells him the name’s Dragon Dia! Dia fires off forearms in the corner, the ref counts, and Dia roars as he lets off. He drags Hiromu up and shouts “ORE WA DIA DA! <I’M DIA!>” Hiromu swings, Dia dodges but Hiromu ELBOWS him. Hiromu whips, ROCKS and puts Dia on ropes to KICK the ropes! Hiromu says he’s Taguchi and runs, but Dia ducks ‘n ‘dodges ‘n’ slides under a boot!

Dia tilt-o-whirls to arm-drag! Then he DROPKICKS! Hiromu tumbles out, Dia fires up and the fans rally. Dia builds speed but Hiromu ELBOWS him! Hiromu whips Dia to a corner, clotheslines and snapmares to basement dropkick! The fans cheer, Hiromu covers, TWO! Dia stays in this and the fans rally up. But even as the fans call out to Dia, Hiromu asks how Taguchi is doing. Hiromu drags Dia up, CHOPS him, then stands him up to CHOP again! Dia falls back, Hiromu covers, TWO! Dia stays in this and the fans rally up. Hiromu storms up and asks who’s this Dia the fans are talking about. Hiromu CHOPS Dia, then whips.

Dia reverses, Hiromu holds ropes and BOOTS Dia, to then have a HANGING HEADSCISSOR! The ref counts, Hiromu lets off at 4, and he drags Dia out to snap suplex to the floor! Dia writhes, the fans rally, and Hiromu asks the cameraman how Taguchi became such a great high-flyer. Hiromu really thinks this is Ryusuke Taguchi? Hiromu goes back to Dia, drags him up and brings him around POSTS him! Dia falls in a heap but Hiromu storms over to him. The fans rally up but Hiromu drags Dia up and puts him in. Cover, TWO! Hiromu keeps on Dia with a headscissors squeeze! Dia endures and the fans rally, even as Hiromu puts on the pressure.

Dia kicks around, reaches out, and has the ROPEBREAK! The fans cheer and Hiromu lets off quickly. Hiromu drags Dia up, but Dia pushes him away. Dia CHOPS, but Hiromu eggs him on. Dia CHOPS, then fires a forearm! Hiromu CHOPS, runs, and he counters a hip attack into an atomic drop! Hiromu says that proves this is really Taguchi! Hiromu runs to run Dia over, then stacks him, TWO! The fans rally as Dia stays in this, and Hiromu drags Dia up. Hiromu CHOPS Dia to a corner, then whips corner to corner. Hiromu runs in but into BOOTS! Dia then RANAS Hiromu away! Hiromu bails out, Dia fires up and slingshots, but he feints the plancha!

Dia resets but Hiromu slides in. Dia ducks Hiromu’s lariat to then trip him up and slingshot, TORNILLO! Hiromu bails out, so Dia resets, ASAI MOONSAULT! Direct hit and the fans fire up as both men are down! The ring count starts, the fans rally, and Dia rises at 7 of 20. Dia fetches Hiromu at 11, puts him in at 12, and the fans cheer. Dia fires up again and he goes up the corner. Hiromu rises and Dia leaps, but Hiromu blocks the DDT to fireman’s carry! CORNER DEATH VALLEY! Hiromu drags Dia up, fireman’s carries again, TIMEBOMB- NO, Dia wheelbarrows and somersaults! Hiromu stops that to drag Dia up!

Dia swings an elbow but Hiromu ducks! Dia still SOBATS, runs, but into a scoop and BACKBREAKER! The fans rally and Hiromu suplexes, FALCON ARROW! Cover, TWO!! Dia survives and the fans fire up! Hiromu keeps cool, and he waits on Dia. Dia rises, Hiromu runs, but Dia dodges and rolls, to REPTI- NO, Hiromu stops the rana to POWERBOMB! High stack, TWO! The fans fire up as Dia stays in this! Hiromu taunts Dia, slaps him around, but Dia drags himself up. Hiromu runs, but Dia blocks the lariat! Hiromu SUPERKICKS, runs, but Dia falls! Dia scrambles back up to CHOP! Hiromu gets in Dia’s face!

Hiromu CHOPS Dia, runs, but Dia HIP ATTACKS!! So is he Taguchi or not!? Dia roars, goes to a corner, and then storms up on Hiromu to chicken wing! DODON BUSTER!! Cover, TWO!! Hiromu survives another Taguchi move and Dia roars! Dia again shouts, “Ore wa Dia da!” Fisherman and lift, but Hiromu fights free! Dia ducks the superkick to ENZIGIRI! Hiromu rebounds, into another ENZIGIRI! Dia hurries to get Hiromu up, gets under a leg and lifts, END OVER!! Cover, TWO?!? Hiromu survives and Dia is furious! But Dia also goes to a corner and aims from a corner. Hiromu slowly rises, Dia runs up, roll and REP-

NO, Hiromu blocks the sunset to make it a CRUNCHY!! Cover, TWO!!! Dia survives and the fans fire up again! Hiromu shakes his head and has that wild grin on his face. Hiromu drags Dia up, reels him in, suplex, but Dia fights free! Dia wrenches, dodges, but Hiromu follows! Dia wheelbarrows, but Hiromu makes it a WHEELBARROW GERMAN! But Dia’s right up!! HIROMU-CHAN BOMBER!! Hiromu hauls Dia up, fireman’s carry, but into REPTILIAN KAI!! Cover, TWO!!! Hiromu survives #DoubleCork but the fans are thunderously behind Dia! Dia drags himself to a corner, rises up, and he goes up the corner!

Dia roars and the fans fire up again! Dia aims to 450, onto knees! Hiromu rolls Dia into a fireman’s carry and lifts him up! TIMEBOMB 1.5!! Cover, TWO!!! Dia survives the 1.5 and Hiromu can’t believe it! Hiromu stands Dia up, runs, to HIROMU-CHAN BOMBER!! And then he adds on with the OG TIMEBOMB!! Cover, Hiromu wins!!

Winner: Hiromu Takahashi, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Dia earns 0)

Hiromu finally gets on the board! And at least in his mind, he still has Taguchi’s number in this tournament. Will Hiromu make this a comeback story for the history books? Will Dia ever crack that goose egg in his win column?

 

Best of the Super Juniors 31 B Block: Robbie Eagles VS Taiji Ishimori!

The Sniper of the Skies may be 1-1, but that means he’s only a step behind The Bone Soldier’s 2-0. Who will be number one with a bullet in this main event caliber shootout?

The bell rings, the fans rally up, and Eagles encourages them to get louder. Fans start up a “ROBBIE ROBBIE ROBBIE!” “OI OI OI!” and Robbie joins in. Taiji doesn’t it but Robbie tries to start one for him. The fans don’t respond and Robbie shrugs. The two feel things out, tie up, Taiji waistlocks but Robbie switches. Taiji wrenches, Robbie rolls then wrenches back. Robbie hammerlocks but Taiji switches that onto Robbie. Robbie headlocks, hits the takeover, but Taiji headscissors. Robbie kips free, and the fans applaud as the two stand off. Taiji and Robbie reset, feel things out, and knuckle lock. Taiji wrenches right into a top wristlock!

Robbie goes to ropes, Red Shoes calls the break, but Taiji twists the wrist first. Red Shoes counts but Taiji YANKS the arm as he lets off. Taiji then whips, but Robbie holds ropes to block! Taiji tries again but Robbie still holds on, so Taiji CLAWS the eyes! Taiji whips, Robbie reverses to go up and around and arm-drag! Robbie keeps moving, hurdles Taiji to then RANA him! Taiji gets back up, but Robbie WHEEL KICKS! Robbie kips up, the fans fire up and Taiji bails out. Robbie builds speed but Taiji moves, so Robbie springboards to backflip! The fans cheer but Taiji eggs Robbie on. Robbie slides out but Taiji slides in, and still taunts Robbie.

Robbie slides back in, but Taiji catches him for a NECK TWIST! Robbie staggers away, Taiji goes out after him, and Taiji SMACKS Robbie off the commentary desk! Robbie staggers away, Taiji pursues and scoops, to LAWN DART POST him! Red Shoes reprimands and wants this back in the ring. Taiji goes back in, but he unties the blue buckle pad! The Bullet Club Special is in play, and then Taiji waits on Robbie. The ring count starts, Robbie sits up at 5 of 20, then rises at 8. Robbie slides in at 9, but Taiji storms up on him. Robbie CHOPS, and CHOPS, but Taiji CLUBS Robbie on the neck! Robbie falls and flops against ropes.

Taiji drags Robbie up, cravats for a neck wrench, and he snapmares to NECK TWIST again! Robbie writhes but Taiji looms over him. Taiji clamps on a chinlock and digs his knee into Robbie’s back. Robbie endures, so Taiji pushes him down for a FIST DROP! Taiji then pushes Robbie to a cover, TWO! Robbie gets away and the fans rally up. Taiji stalks Robbie, clamps onto an arm, CLUBS Robbie in the neck, then traps both arms in chicken wings! Taiji spins Robbie around, then gets a leg, and he lifts Robbie into the fisherman stretch! Then he hits the SHOULDER BUSTER! Robbie flounders out of the ring and Taiji says, “ROBBIE ROBBIE ROBBIE! F YOU!”

Taiji waits on the ring count, and Robbie is still down at 5 of 20. Robbie sits up at 8, stands at 9, but he falls over at 10! Robbie rises at 12 and rolls into the ring, and fans cheer the resilience. Taiji looms over Robbie, Robbie kicks from below, but Taiji stomps him! The fans rally for Robbie but Taiji wrenches an arm, hammerlocks, then scoops, but Eagles slips free! CHOP BLOCK! Robbie keeps moving, but Taiji ducks the blindside lariat! JUMP KNEE, LA MYSTICA, but Robbie stops it partway! Robbie gets the backslide, TWO! Taiji runs up, Robbie gets around, SNAP SAIDO! The fans fire up while both men are down!

The fans rally up again, and Robbie pounds the mat. Robbie waits on Taiji to sit up, and then he KICKS! And KICKS! And KICKS again! Taiji flounders, Robbie runs, and LEG LARIATS! The fans cheer as Robbie rolls and aims from a corner. Robbie runs corner to corner to DOUBLE KNEE, then he rolls back, to BASEMENT 619! Taiji sits down, Robbie runs back in, METEORA! The fans fire up and Eagles pushes Taiji to a cover, TWO! Taiji stays in this but the fans rally for Robbie again. Robbie shakes out the bad arm, goes up and out, then climbs the corner. But Taiji SLAPS Robbie first! Taiji lifts Robbie off the corner, but Robbie hooks ropes!

Red Shoes counts, Taiji puts Robbie on the apron. Robbie GAMANGIRIS back! Robbie springboards to MISSILE DROPKICK the legs! Robbie then ties up those legs into the RON MILLER SPECIAL! Taiji endures, flails around, reaches out, but Robbie puts on the pressure! The fans rally, and Taiji gets the ROPEBREAK! Robbie lets go, but drops knees on the knee! Taiji flounders away, Robbie vows to end it now. But Taiji ducks the Shining Wizard! BONE LOCK!! Robbie endures, the fans rally, but Taiji puts on the pressure! Robbie reaches back with a leg, ROPEBREAK! The fans cheer as Taiji lets go in frustration.

Taiji hobbles around, drags Robbie up, and Taiji POSTS Robbie in the blue corner!! Then Taiji hammerlocks, lifts, and SHOULDER BUSTERS! Cover, TWO!! Robbie survives and Taiji is frustrated but the fans rally up. Taiji goes to a corner, aims and BANG. Taiji drags Robbie up, but Robbie fights the lift! Taiji still tries but Robbie kicks the bad leg! Taiji runs in but Robbie ELBOWS him away. Robbie runs up, into a BOOT! Taiji runs in, blocks boots, and puts Robbie in ropes! ENZIGIRI and- Robbie springs out to FLYING CHUCK! The fans fire up while both men are down! The fans rally as Robbie rises. Robbie drags Taiji up, but Taiji fires a forearm!

Robbie fires a forearm in return! Taiji fires another forearm! Robbie kicks back! Taiji fires another forearm, and the two stand. Robbie CHOPS, Taiji CHOPS, Robbie CHOPS again! Taiji fires a flurry of forearms, but Robbie KICKS a leg! Taiji LARIATS, runs, but Robbie blocks to ROUNDHOUSE! SUPERKICK! ENZI- NO, Taiji ducks! BONE LOCK! But Robbie slips out to steal BONE LOCK! But Taiji rolls him up! TWO!! Both stand, Robbie blocks the boot, slips around and fires palm strikes! Robbie hooks Taiji up, but Taiji fights the backpack into a gut wrench! But Robbie turns that around to steal- NO, Taiji flips through to somersault clutch! TWO and Robbie has it! TWO!!

The fans fire up, Robbie rolls Taiji with the bridge, TWO!! Robbie steps through, but Taiji BOOTS him into the bare buckles!! Roll-up, TWO, but into BONE LOCK!!! Robbie endures, reaches out, and the fans rally! Taiji pulls way back on the hold! Robbie still fights his way forward, but Taiji rolls him! Robbie pops free, and rolls Taiji into the RON MILLER SPECIAL!! Taiji endures, reaches out, crawls forward, but Robbie drags him back! Robbie puts on the pressure and Taiji flails! Taiji still fights, claws at the mat, but Robbie drags him back again! Robbie KICKS away on the bad leg, then steps through to drop knees on the knee!

The fans are thunderous and Eagles steps through, but Taiji cradles! Then BLOODY CROSS!! Cover, Taiji wins!

Winner: Taiji Ishimori, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Eagles earns 0)

It was a shootout until the end, but it was Taiji who hit the mark! Will Eagles be able to reload and try again in the next round?

As for Taiji, he gets an icepack for his knee, then gets the mic. Taiji taps the mic on the mat for the sound check, then he sits up to say, “Oi Gunma, were you fired up?” The fans cheer, they definitely were. Taiji asks if they wanted Robbie Eagles to win tonight. “Be honest, that’s what you wanted! Well that’s too bad! It is what it is. Sorry to say, I’m here.” The fans do applaud his win. Taiji adds that unfortunately, he’s not interested in anything but the top! And he won’t give this spot to anybody! “You wanna be more fired up, huh? You want more, huh? Well, keep your eyes on me, and only me! Taking it all is my destiny.

“I’m given all that I need, you know what I mean? All of it… by God’s grace!” The Bone Soldier feels he is destined for greatness, but will he make destiny into reality?

 

Here are the NEW B Block standings!

KUSHIDA: 3-0, 6 points
Taiji Ishimori: 3-0, 6 points
SHO: 2-1, 4 points
Ninja Mack: 2-1, 4 points
Francesco Akira: 1-2, 2 points
Robbie Eagles: 1-2, 2 points
“Drilla” Moloney: 1-2, 2 points
DOUKI: 1-2, 2 points
Hiromu Takahashi: 1-2, 2 points
Dragon Dia: 0-3, 0 points


My Thoughts:

A great third round for B Block, and Hiromu finally getting his win here made sense. Pretty funny gag where he is convinced Dragon Dia is just Ryusuke Taguchi with a new look. Not sure why he went with that but Dia insisting he’s his own person while still using moves that Taguchi also uses was really good stuff. I also really liked Sho having a fake Ninja Mack and trying to get a win that way. Bit of a shame Mack didn’t turn things around and win, but I suppose the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion can’t be owing too many matches after this tournament.

Kushida’s still 3-0, a good move in itself. But as the guy who beat Sho, there’s a chance Kushida does have to fall back to his “golden ticket” for a title match. And great main event from Eagles VS Taiji, great win for Taiji to also be undefeated 3-0. His promo was good, and I wonder if claiming God is behind him is him taking a shot at Titan, who always thanks God for his victories. But as it stands, Kushida and Taiji are strong choices for making it out of the block, but I suppose it depends on the plans for Hiromu. Hiromu could replace Taiji as a semifinalist since Kushida already beat Hiromu, because his story really is about redeeming himself from falling short last year.

My Score: 8.9/10


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