Welcome back to Dragon Gate! We return to cover one of their biggest shows of the year, Gate of Destiny.
The card contains some big title matches, along with PAC’s first singles match since his return to the company last month. Now the real question is can they deliver?
Well, we’re about to find out as we…dive right in.
Tag Team Match
K-ness & Mondai Ryu vs. Shachihoko BOY & Stalker Ichikawa
Review: We got our opening match with K-ness and Mondai Ryu tagging up for this one to take on Shachihoko BOY and Stalker Ichikawa. Our opening bouts usually there to please the crowd but could they also entertain them while giving us something good? Which of these two will win?
It was a match…it existed. It was about three minutes and it was pretty much Stalker screwing around in the ring with K-ness and Mondai slapped him around and pulled off his ears from his mask, the monsters. Shachihoko really didn’t do much in this match, nor Mondai for that matter since it was only K-ness really that did the majority of the work here for the match. K-ness would Sunset Flip Shachihoko for a two count and would have his legs on his body to roll him around the ring in that same position until he pinned him that way again and gets the three count. I just wasn’t a fan of this match and nothing really happened in it at all, it just happened just for the sake of a match existing.
Rating: Vince Russo and a half
Six Man Tag Team Match
Natural Vibes (Punch Tominaga & YASSHI) & Hyo Watanabe vs. Don Fujii, Gamma & Ryo Saito
Review: Our next match is a six-man tag match with two members of Natural Vibes, Punch Tominaga and Brother YASSHI teaming up with Hyo Watanabe as they take on the team of Don Fujii, Gamma, and Ryo Saito. Good to see Don and Ryo still being a tag team here and they could possibly go for the Triangle Gate Championships again if they want to. Which of these teams will win?
Well, I can at least say that this was a better match than the previous one I saw but at the same time, this one was just average itself. Natural Vibes teaming up with Hyo was a weird combination in itself and it just seemed like they didn’t flow well together whereas Don, Gamma, and Ryo would pair off a bit better than the other team since they have teamed up before and know what they’re doing together. Again, the match was a basic tag match for what you see when a unit teams up with one random person and you get some nice sequences from some of the people in the match like with Gamma and Hyo going back and forth into the match and makes me hope we could get a one on one match with these two since it could be solid if done right. Don would hit Hyo with a Chokeslam to get him down as Gamma goes to the top rope to hit a Corkscrew Moonsault almost missing Hyo and pins him for the victory.
Rating: Tony Schiavone and a half
Eight Man Tag Team Match
Daga & R.E.D. (Eita, KAZMA SAKAMOTO & Yasushi Kanda) vs. Tribe Vanguard (Kagetora, U-T & Yosuke Santa Maria) & Kota Minoura
Review: We now have an eight-man tag match with R.E.D members, Eita, KAZMA SAKAMOTO, and Yasushi Kanda along with non-member, Daga as they take three members of Tribe Vanguard, Kagetora, U-T, and Yosuke Santa Maria along with non-member, Kota Minoura. R.E.D has been establishing dominance with Eita leading the charge and now looks to take out Tribe Vanguard in the process. Can R.E.D keep the momentum going or will Tribe Vanguard take it?
Least we were able to get a solid eight-man tag match in the mix almost at the end of our halfway point. R.E.D does what they do best when they start attacking their opponents before the bell would ring to get the opening advantage in the match to make themselves look strong. Tribe Vanguard worked well together in this match with Kagetora and Yosuke still being probably the more underrated people on the roster while U-T is slowly rising up in the ranks with his ability to show us what he can do. From what I can see with Kota, he’s still a bit green since he’s new but he also does have a ton of potential to do really well for himself. Daga is someone new to me and is actually his first time in Dragon Gate and is a freelancer from Mexico, but he was pretty impressive in his Dragon Gate debut and looked like he fitted in with R.E.D well also. Yusuke, U-T, and Kota would all hit Eita with a Missile Dropkick to get him down until Kanda and KAZMA would stop Kota from trying to pin their leader. Kota would try to do a flash pin to KAZMA for a kick out and KAZMA would hit a Pop-up Powerbomb onto Kota until Tribe Vanguard broke it up and R.E.D throws them all outside. Daga would hit a Gutbuster onto Kota and picks him up for Eita to hit the Superkick onto him and gets the win for R.E.D.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a quarter
Open The Triangle Gate Title Three Way Elimination Match
Natural Vibes (Genki Horiguchi, Kzy & Susumu Yokosuka) (c) vs. Masaaki Mochizuki, Shun Skywalker & Yuki Yoshioka vs. MaxiMuM (Jason Lee, Kaito Ishida & Naruki Doi)
Review: We have our first title match of the night with Natural Vibes defending their Open the Triangle Gate Championships in a Three-Way Elimination Match as they defend against MaxiMuM members, Jason Lee, Kaito Ishida, and Naruki Doi along with the team of Masaaki Mochizuki, Shun Skywalker, and Yuki Yoshioka. Natural Vibes has a good chance of being eliminated to losing the titles, but they could also have a chance to beat both teams and retain. Will Natural Vibes retain or will one of the two teams take the titles?
So for this elimination match, it looks like once a member loses the match that the whole team would be eliminated instead of just having to beat all three members to eliminate them and that might be better this way honestly, and it appears as though that all three men can be in the match instead of just two people starting and tagging in whoever. These are the types of matches that just make me wanna love Dragon Gate with their nonstop action, entertaining Lucha style mixed in, and just mixing it up with some wrestling to go with it. There was one spot where one person would wrap their legs around his neck for a chokehold and it would keep going until Jason Lee was the last one to make the bridge and Kzy would try to get into the mix until Mochizuki takes him down and it looked like he wanted to do it himself but he goes over to the front end to deliver the longest Boston Crab I’ve seen in quite some time and it wouldn’t last long since Jason Lee was right by the rope and grabs it right away. Yuki would start showing some spark in the match with his back and forth action with Kaito with trying to roll each other up or hit each other and it would come to an end when Kaito hits the Tiger Suplex on Yuki to eliminate Mochizuki Dojo making it now Natural Vibes and MaxiMuM.
Naruki and Kzy start going at it right away and Naruki doesn’t hold up against him as he hits him with a DDT and runs towards Kzy for him to catch him by surprise with the Skayde Schoolboy for the surprise pin and Naruki kicked out of it and hits his Bakatare Sliding Kick to knock Kzy out and Jason Lee quickly picks him up for a German Suplex Hold as Susumu broke the count! Kaito and Kzy are in the ring now and he hits Kzy with the Tiger Suplex and it looks like we have new champions, but Kzy kicked out of it! Kaito got Kzy back up to try and finish him but Kzy would hit him with some elbows before he hits his Running Elbow Smash to get the win and Kaito kicks out as well! Kzy quickly picked him up to hit the Impact and Natural Vibes retains the titles! This is Natural Vibes fifth successful title defense and they said that if they retain it one more time, they’ll hold the record for most title defenses with this belt and their next title match is on November 18th, so let’s see if they can break the record.
Rating: Bruce Prichard and a quarter
Flamita vs. PAC
Review: We now have a special singles match with PAC having his first singles match in Dragon Gate since his return as he takes on Flamita in what people have considered as one of their dream matches for the fans. PAC has been doing well in the tag matches that I’ve seen when he came back but now the real test is to see how he can do by himself now as he takes on this Luchador. Will PAC win his return match or will Flamita derail him?
For something that was titled a dream match, this was very underwhelming. You’re probably asking me how can this be bad since you have PAC and Flamita in the mix? Well, it’s quite simple really that it was just slow and dragged out quite a lot at the beginning of the match. I don’t mind matches going at a slow pace since I enjoy technical wrestling and could watch that anytime, but it was more of PAC just really dragging it out in the match and made nothing about it exciting except just hitting Flamita and maybe have R.E.D attack Flamita once when the referee wasn’t looking. I get PAC is the heel in the match and to get the heat behind him but he just didn’t really do anything at all and some fans will feel blue balled by this match. And before you actually do the whole he’s a heel thing as an excuse, he did a lot more as a heel in WWE than he has in Dragon Gate for his current run right now so I don’t wanna hear that.
Flamita, on the other hand, did try to make the match good as best he could but it, unfortunately, wasn’t enough either to make it exciting and he didn’t get a lot of offense in this match either. He does take the spot of the night though when PAC threw him up in the air for a pop-up and Flamita caught him with a DDT on the way down and PAC sold that beautifully, so I will give him credit for that one at least. The match would try to pick up in the last couple of minutes of it but it’s really hard to get invested into this match fully when nothing has been standing out from the beginning of the match. Flamita would have PAC up for a Musclebuster and he slams him down in a Codebreaker style which looked great and goes to the top rope to hit the Phoenix Splash but PAC rolled out of the way. PAC would quickly go up to the top rope now he hits the Black Arrow (still think it should be called R.E.D Arrow) and gets the win over Flamita. So how did PAC do in his first singles match back? It was honestly disappointing, to say the least, and hope he works on it in the next one he does.
Rating: Tony Schiavone and three quarters
Open The Brave Gate Title Match
Dragon Kid (c) vs. Bandido
Review: It’s time for our second title match with Dragon Kid defending the Open the Brave Gate Championship against someone else that’s not Eita, but instead it’s Bandido. This was one match I really wanted to see in Dragon Gate and now it looks like we can finally have it and for a title no less. Will Dragon Kid retain or will Bandido take it?
So after finally getting our little dream match here, did it live up to the hype? While this one was already better than PAC/Flamita, I thought this match was a slight letdown as well. Not that it was a bad match or anything since it was still solid, but also felt like they could’ve done so much more at the same time and made it a bit underwhelming. The match would start off strong with the lucha style we expected from them, but also felt a little bit slow too and would lose a little momentum when Bandido messed up a Diving Moonsault to the outside and hits one of the ring crew by accident while Kid tried to catch him. After that, they would do some moves here and there to make it stand out but it’s a little too far in between that it felt a bit hard for it to be wowed unless it was near the end. Bandido though did do very well in the match I thought and was always impressive to see and really does fit in well with Dragon Gate if he ever does decide to wrestle there full-time and could potentially be a big star.
There was one move Bandido did that really made him stand out since it’s actually the first time I’ve seen it, but it was Dragon Kid bent over while holding onto the ropes (hot) and Bandido looks to do what appears to be a Forward Flip Springboard Suplex and it looks awesome but Kid still kicked out of it. After that, Bandido would do a Flipping Fallaway Slam off the top rope and Kid kicked out again before Kid would start to get momentum now and hits the Bible for a two count. Kid would now hit a Frankensteiner for another two count and would go to the top rope to hit the Dragonrana and gets the pin to retain the title. Eita would come out after the match and it looks like he wants to have one final match against Dragon Kid for the title. If it’ll give us one final match and let them move on after this, then let them have it.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a quarter
Open The Twin Gate Title Match
Tribe Vanguard (BxB Hulk & YAMATO) (c) vs. R.E.D. (Big R Shimizu & Takashi Yoshida)
Review: We have our next title match with the Open the Twin Gate Championships being on the line as BxB Hulk, and YAMATO defend the belts against R.E.D members, Big R Shimizu, and Takashi Yoshida. R.E.D were able to beat Tribe Vanguard earlier in the show during the eight-man tag match and with PAC beating Flamita, R.E.D looks to be in pretty good shape to maybe have a clean sweep if they win. Will R.E.D keep at it or will Tribe Vanguard retain?
I’m sure a lot of people know by now that I’m not a big fan of Takashi Yoshida and Big R Shimizu but I will say that they do make a decent heavyweight tag team while it’s no BigBen, it’ll pass at least. They both play to their strengths in the match with their power to try and dominate their opponent and this will move Ben-K to a more solo run, then I’m fine with those two staying as a tag team. YAMATO and Hulk are still quite the team and slowly becoming my favorite set of current champions since CIMA & Dragon Kid, just the chemistry these two share in the ring just make it work out for them and I hope this reign lasts a little bit longer.
I actually really liked this match, I thought it was nicely done with both teams playing to what they know best with Takashi and Big R just overpower their opponents while YAMATO and Hulk just use their wrestling experience to match them. If I did have to take one thing away from the match would be the odd pacing here and there in the match to throw it off a little off, but it’s a minor one and still a really good match to see. Big R and Takashi would just manhandle Hulk with just their power as Big R hits the Splash off the top without doing that stupid timber looking version or it and Takashi hits a Diving Elbow Drop as YAMATO broke the count. Hulk would try to hit the First Flash onto Big R but he caught him in time for the Shot-put Slam and Takashi went for the Cyber Bomb and YAMATO broke the count. YAMATO fights off Takashi and gets him in a Sleeper but Takashi would get to the ropes to break the hold and spits green mist into his eyes as he now picks him up to hit the Fire Thunder Driver as we could have new champions and Hulk now breaks the pin. Takashi would slam YAMATO onto the ropes and as he ran to the other side, YAMATO would catch with a Frankensteiner and gets the surprise victory over R.E.D to retain the titles!
Rating: Eric Bischoff and three quarters
Open The Dream Gate Title Match
Masato Yoshino (c) vs. Ben-K
Review: We have our main event with the Open the Dream Gate Championship on the line now with Masato Yoshino defending the title against Ben-K. The last time Ben-K had a match for the title was around March 4th against Masaaki Mochizuki and he lost, but now he has a second chance to go for the title with his new home in R.E.D. Will Masato be able to retain the title once again or will we have a new champion crowned?
It’s about time that Ben-K goes back to wearing his shogun type gear instead of those generic trunks when he joined R.E.D, he now looks like the Ben-K I know and love, now he just needs to win that belt. I don’t get why we didn’t get these types of title defenses earlier in Masato’s run because this was probably the best defense in his reign next to his previous one against Naruki Doi in September. During the beginning of the match, it looked like Ben would have the opening with how he would be able to throw him around but Masato would use his quickness when he needed to in the match to make Ben hit a Clothesline against the turnbuckle post and give Masato the opening he needed to work on his arm to try and aim for a submission victory like his previous title defenses. I mean it when I say that Ben-K is on another level and I’ve been saying that for months as I think he really could be the ace of that company should they ever decide to actually pull the trigger on that decision because that man can work with a lot of people in different styles while also bringing his A-game during these matches.
I really enjoyed the story of the match with Masato working on Ben’s arm to try for submission victory while Ben would use his strength to try and weaken Masato down for when he needs to hit his power moves near the end to put him away. I also love how fairly even it was between the two while the face and heel getting a respectable amount of shine/heat during the match without affecting the other. I liked the Jumping Slingblade Masato did to Ben while he was on the second rope, it looked unique and did it pretty flawlessly. Masato would attempt to hit the Torbellino and Ben would catch him for the Bubba Bomb and gets a two count. Masato would hit the Torbellino this time around and would quickly turn it into the Sol Naciente to try and make him tap out but Ben would use his power to lift him up and spin him around to slam him into the mat and break the hold. Ben is really selling the arm now and would hit the Spear onto Masato for a two count and he would finally hit the Ben-K Bomb as we could have a new champion, but no as Masato kicked out. The two start to brawl with Masato falling down to the mat, but Masato would get a burst of energy to hit Ben with a Lariat and hits two Torbellino’s in a row before applying the Sol Naciente on him once again. Ben was struggling in the hold this time and tried to fight it off until Masato kicked his leg in to make him collapse as he tapped out to make Masato retain the title!
After the match, it would seem that PAC is the next one to challenge Masato sometime in December. And I have one question for this one, why? I still think Ben-K getting the belt is the better way to go since he’s a great worker and has worked for it and PAC gets one right away just seems off. I had a feeling PAC would get a title match sooner or later like maybe win the King of Gate in 2019, but this feels a bit too early for me and would’ve saved it for a better date. Their booking is weird and I don’t know how this one will go.
Rating: Bruce Prichard and a half
Overall: I thought the show was a little weak with the undercard and the two dream matches being let down, but the tag title matches and the main event were what saved the show to make it slightly passable. We now got Pac and Masato fighting off in his next title defense and it’ll be an interesting month, to say the least.
Favorite Match: Masato Yoshino vs. Ben-K
Least Favorite Match: K-ness & Mondai Ryu vs. Shachihoko BOY & Stalker Ichikawa
Mitchell’s AEW Rampage Results & Report! (9/29/23)
Eddie Kingston is on a Rampage!
Will the Mad King regret this gamble?
Before putting both belts on the line against Katsuyori Shibata at AEW WrestleDream, Eddie Kingston defends his NJPW Strong title against Rocky Romero! Will plans have to change all thanks to Azucar?
- AEW World Trios Championships: The Acclaimed & Billy Gunn VS The Hardy Party; The Acclaimed & Billy win and retain the titles.
- NJPW Strong Openweight Championship: Eddie Kingston VS Rocky Romero; Eddie wins and retains the title.
- The Righteous VS Caleb Crush & Gunnar; The Righteous win.
- AEW Women’s World Championship #1 Contender’s match: Ruby Soho VS Hikaru Shida; Shida wins and will challenge Saraya for the title on Title Tuesday, October 10th.
PLAY BY PLAY
AEW World Trios Championships: The Acclaimed & Billy Gunn VS The Hardy Party!
The open challenge was put forth, and it was answered very quickly! Will Matt, Jeff & Brother Zay DELETE the Scissor World Tour? Or will Max Caster, Anthony Bowens & Daddy Ass keep the party going?
But of course, Platinum Max has a diss track! “Acclaimed on the mic, ’bout to leave these dudes up in smoke! Y’know we comin’ like the Colorado Buffalos! Matt, I don’t want any heat! I don’t need your crazy ass wife sendin’ me tweets! It’s the one guy in Private Party! Nowadays, he gets tag teamed by the Hardys! Jeff, I’m a leave you black in both eyes! You gonna need these sunglasses like Coach Prime.” Bowens takes the mic to say “COLORADOOOO~! The Acclaimed have arrived! Scissor Me, Daddy Ass~!” And he does! The belts are raised, and we see who survives WrestleDream weekend!
The trios sort out and Bowens starts against Kassidy. They shake hands, tie up, and Bowens waistlocks. Kassidy drop toeholds, facelocks but Bowens slips free to wrench. Kassidy rolls, handsprings, wrenches and hammerlocks to a headlock. Bowens powers out to headlock but Kassidy powers out, only for Bowens to run him over! Bowens self-scissors, then things speed up. Kassidy hurdles, Bowens shoves then follows but Kassidy arm-drags! Bowens arm-drags! Bowens blocks Kassidy’s arm-drag to whip, but Kassidy wheelbarrows and arm-drags! Bowens stands, into a RANA! Kassidy then pounds the mat and fans fire up.
Bowens kicks but Kassidy blocks to spin him. Kassidy kicks but Bowens blocks to flip him! Bowens then kicks, kicks and KOTARO KRUSHER! Fans fire up, “EVERYONE Loves The Acclaimed!” Bowens drags Kassidy up, tags in Caster, and they double whip. Kassidy holds ropes, TOSSES Bowens then BOOTS Caster! Tag to Matt and Matt BOOTS Caster! Kassidy hits a NECKBREAKER, Jeff tags in to go up, for the SPLASH! Cover, TWO! Jeff snapmares Caster to then NECK SNAPPER! Fans fire up with Jeff and he waits on Caster to stand. Kick but no Twist as Caster slips free! Jeff ducks the backhand to SPIN KICK!
Jeff CLUBS Caster, Caster scrambles away, tags to Billy and Matt! Fans fire up as Matt says “DELETE! DELETE!” Billy says “SUCK IT!” “DELETE!” “SUCK IT!” “DELETE!” “SUCK IT!” And repeat! Then Billy headlocks! Matt throws body shots, powers out, but Billy runs Matt over! Billy flexes and does a dance, and then he runs in. Matt ELBOWS Billy, BOOTS him, then bumps him off buckles! “DELETE! DELETE! DELETE!” Billy gets all three layers, and Matt tags Jeff. Jeff tags Kassidy, and the Hardys set up fort he classic POETRY IN MOTION! Then Kassidy adds PARTY IN MOTION! But The Acclaimed CLOBBER Kassidy & The Hardys!
Fans fire up as Caster has Kassidy up to scoop and SLAM! Billy helps get the legs, and Bowens goes up to SCISSOR ME TIMBERS! Kassidy squeals before impact! Cover, TWO! Kassidy survives but The Acclaimed have control as Rampage goes picture in picture.
Billy brings Kassidy up, bumps him off buckles, and he hears the fans singing. Billy ROCKS Kassidy with a right, apologizes to the ref, then tags to Bowens. Bowens drags Kassidy up to ROCK him with haymaker after haymaker! Bowens then brings Kassidy up to tag in Caster. They double suplex Kassidy, Caster covers, TWO! Another cover, TWO! Caster keeps Kassidy down with a chinlock while fans rally up. Kassidy fights to his feet, throws body shots, and he fires forearms as Rampage returns to single picture. Kassidy runs but Caster CLOBBERS him! Tag to Billy and they mug Kassidy.
Billy brings Kassidy to an open corner, stomps and ROCKS him on repeat, then lets off to smirk at the Hardys. He dares them to do something, but Matt tells Billy to suck it! So Billy DECKS Matt! Billy runs corner to corner but Kassidy dodges! The splash hits buckles and Billy falls back! Fans rally up as both men crawl, but Billy gets Kassidy’s leg! Kassidy stands up to ENZIGURI! Hot tag to Jeff! Jeff rallies on Billy, on Bowens, and on Caster! Fans fire up and Jeff clotheslines Billy up and out! Jeff CLOBBS Bowens, then catches him for a RUSSIAN LEG SWEEP! Leg hook cradle! Cover, Caster breaks it!
Caster helps Bowens up, then runs in, but Jeff ELBOWS caster and ROCKS Bowens! Jeff goes up, WHISPER IN THE WIND! Jeff gets both Caster and Bowens but everyone is down! Billy returns, kicks low, says ‘SUCK IT!” and runs, but Jeff dodges! Matt kicks Billy for a TWIST OF FATE! Jeff hurries up top, fans fire up, SWANTON BOMB! Cover, Bowens breaks it in time! Matt CLUBS Bowens, Bowens hits back, and Bowens calls to Caster. They whip Matt to a corner, forearm then ELBOW then forearm again! And a feed to the POWERSLAM! ROLLING ELBOW for Jeff! The Acclaimed regroup, and Billy crawls to the corner.
Fans fire up as Billy drags Jeff over. Jeff gets loose, hot tags to Kassidy and Bowens! Kassidy dodges Bowens to DROPKICK Caster! “This is Awesome!” as Kassidy BOOTS Bowens! Kassidy goes up, leaps, FLYING FLATLINER! Billy stands, runs in, but Kassidy dumps him out! Kassidy slingshots out then QUEBRADAS to take Billy down! Kassidy mocks the scissoring, then tells Bowens to get up. Kassidy springboards in, but Bowens dodges and Caster BACKHANDS Kassidy! Then Bowens BACKHANDS Kassidy! Bowens fires off the Five Tool Strike Fest! Caster hoists Kassidy up and Bowens helps, to give Kassidy the PLATINUM BOMB! Cover, The Acclaimed win!
Winners: The Acclaimed & Billy Gunn, by pinfall (still AEW World Trios Championships)
A huge win for the champions, and the Scissor World Tour continues! In fact, it is heading to Seattle for WrestleDream’s Zero Hour! TMDK’s Shane Haste, Mikey Nicholls & Bad Dude Tito are waiting, will they show The Acclaimed that The Mighty Don’t Kneel?
Eddie Kingston speaks.
“Well folks, tonight, it’s me and Big Rock, Rocky Romero, for the NJPW Strong Openweight Championship. Rock, I got nothing but respect for you, dawg, so it’s gonna be an honor and a pleasure to defend this against you. You’re the man that got me into the G1. You’re the man that got me-” Wait, Team Triple J is interrupting. Jay Lethal says that if we’re talking honor and respect, Eddie is standing here with two titles on his shoulders, and that is worth respecting. But Lethal can’t get behind how Eddie is the ROH World Champion. Lethal dedicated his life to that title! His blood, sweat, tears, all to honor a tradition that meant that every person to hold that title would be a pure athlete!
And Eddie, you are no pure athlete! Now as for this NJPW Strong Openweight title, Lethal doesn’t care if Eddie wins it or loses it here tonight. He really doesn’t. But he just cares that Eddie is unfit to be ROH World Champion! Eddie says okay, he’s got Lethal. But excuse his back, he’s gotta go beat up Romero. The Mad King leaves, but will he still have both crowns going into WrestleDream?
AEW shares an interview from after last week’s Collision.
Lexi Nair was with Andrade El Idolo after he was bandaged up from the beating Bullet Club Gold gave him. He almost won, but Juice Robinson interfered. What was that about? Andrade says everyone saw that Andrade had White beat. But the question for Juice is… “Do you have a problem with me? With Andrade El Idolo? Lemme tell you something. See you Saturday in Seattle!” Andrade wants his revenge on Rock Hard, will he get it on WrestleDream Eve?
NJPW Strong Openweight Championship: Eddie Kingston VS Rocky Romero!
The Mad King beat Kenta at NJPW Independence Day back in July to have his first singles title under the NJPW banner. And now he defends it against Azucar as a favor for getting him in the door. Will Rocky repay this favor by taking this title from Eddie? Or will Eddie still head to Seattle as a double champion?
The introductions are made, the NJPW belt is raised, and we see who is truly NJPW Strong!
The bell rings and fans rally up for “EDDIE! EDDIE!” The two circle, Rocky tests things with a kick but Eddie stays back. They feel things out, tie up, and are in a deadlock. Eddie waistlocks, Rocky wrenches, wristlocks, but Eddie clinches. Fans rally, Rocky keeps on the wristlock but Eddie powers through to wrench and wristlock back. Rocky rolls, breaks free and DROPKICKS! Fans are torn as Rocky swaggers, but he and Eddie reset. They feel things out, knuckle lock, and Rocky knees low. Rocky headlocks, grinds the hold, but Eddie powers up and out. They RAM shoulders, but Eddie stays up with a smirk.
Fans fire up as Rocky smirks back, but then pie faces Eddie! Rocky runs, ducks ‘n’ dodges, and RANAS! Eddie bails out, Rocky builds speed and DIVES! Direct hit but Eddie stays up, so Rocky goes again! DIVE and Eddie drops to his knees! Rocky keeps going, and he DIVES for the hattrick, only for Eddie to catch him! Stalling suplex, to the floor! Fans rally behind Eddie while Rampage goes picture in picture.
Eddie stands, stretches out his back, and then he gets Rocky up and into the ring. Cover, TWO! Eddie keeps cool, and also chooses not to rain down fists, instead clamping on a chinlock. Rocky endures as Eddie grinds him down, and fans rally up. Eddie cranks the headlock but Rocky refuses to give up. Rocky fights up, throws elbows, but Eddie knees him low! Eddie whips to knee low again, then whips for another knee! Eddie whips but Rocky rolls him up, TWO! Rocky BUZZSAWS Eddie, then TORNADO DDTS! Both men are down and a standing count begins. Rocky stirs at 3, crawls over, and he brings Eddie up.
Eddie pushes Rocky, runs, but into an IRON OCTOPUS! Eddie endures, pries at the hold, and pops free, only for Rocky to wrangle him with a ghost pin! TWO, and Eddie goes to ropes. Rocky storms up, KICKS Eddie in the back, but Eddie just grimaces. Eddie eggs Rocky on so Rocky KICKS him again! Eddie growls and eggs Rocky on more as Rampage goes picture in picture.
Rampage returns and Eddie suplexes, but Rocky knees free! Rocky knees low, Eddie rebounds, but into a JUMP KNEE! Eddie goes to ropes, Rocky storms over and brings him up through the ropes, to KICK! Eddie eggs Rocky on even though he’s stuck, so Rocky SLAPS Eddie! Eddie SLAPS Rocky! Rocky SOBATS! Then Rocky goes up a corner to MISSILE DROPKICK! Cover, TWO! Eddie is still in this and Rocky argues the count but the ref says it was fair. Rocky drags Eddie up, cravats, but no Sliced Bread! Eddie runs in to clothesline in the corner! And MACHINE GUN CHOPS! Fans fire up and Eddie hoists Rocky up top!
Eddie climbs up behind Rocky, stands him up, but Rocky throws hands! Rocky CLUBS Eddie, cravats, and hits SUPER SLICED BREAD! Cover, TWO!! Fans fire up as Eddie survives, and Rocky grits his teeth. Rocky pumps up and fans rally. Rocky runs in to clothesline! That’s one-ever! Two-ever! But URAKEN stops that! URAKEN again!! Eddie drags Rocky into the STRETCH PLUM!! Rocky taps, Eddie wins!!
Winner: Eddie Kingston, by submission (still NJPW Strong Openweight Champion)
Azucar could not dethrone The Mad King, but he still shows Eddie respect with a handshake and hug. Eddie is still NJWP Strong, but will he have to fight even harder to survive The Wrestler, Katsuyori Shibata?
Wait! That’s Shibata’s music! Shibata is HERE! He goes into the ring and shakes hands with Eddie. These two respect each other, and that means they will give it everything they’ve got! Will Eddie still be a two belt king? Or will Shibata become a TRIPLE CROWN Champion?
Aussie Open speaks.
Mark Davis says he is so tired. So tired of hearing the “top blokes” walk around here the last year, hubris unchecked, lying to the people that they are the best in the world. Kyle Fletcher says that for the last 365 days, everything Aussie Open has done has been to get back to FTR. When FTR beat them a year ago, it broke Fletcher. Fletcher felt like a failure and felt lost. So what he wants more than anything is to make FTR feel that pain. This Sunday, Aussie Open takes the AEW World Tag Team Championships, burns down the legacy of #7StarFTR, and from the ashes, rebuild a new empire that they will stand atop of to proclaim that THEY are the best tag team in the world!
The Aussie Arrow and Dunkzilla are ready to bring down Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler, will they fulfill that WrestleDream?
The Righteous VS Caleb Crush & Gunnar!
Speaking of tag titles, Dutch & Vincent are aimed at the ROH World Tag Team Championships! However, Adam Cole will be out with injury so it’ll just be Maxwell Jacob Friedman meeting them in Seattle. Will this tune-up prove to be more than enough going into that tag title handicap match?
The teams sort out, but then Dutch just CLOBBERS Crush & Gunnar! Fans boo as Dutch says just a few more days and those titles will be theirs! Vincent rains down fists on Crush, then drags him up to UPPERCUT! Vincent bumps Crush off buckles, tags in Dutch, and the Righteous mugs Crush before the BOSS MAN SLAM! Gunnar staggers up but Dutch feeds him to Vinnie’s KNEE! Then Vinnie feeds him to a BOSS MAN SLAM! Tag to Vinnie, fans are torn as the Righteous pace around Crush. Vinnie snaps his fingers, then cravats, AUTUMN SUNSET! Cover, Righteous win!
Winners: The Righteous, by pinfall
A swift and dominant win, these are the two men coming for the tag titles! Will The Righteous purge ROH of the “false friendship” that is the brochachos? Or are even two Righteous men combined not on the level of the Devil?
Ortiz sits alone in a room.
He looks back on his career alongside Mike Santana. They were at the top of their game coming into AEW, but then it ended up going downhill. There’s even audio from Konnan touching on how Ortiz and Santana stopped talking to each other and how Konnan was saddened by that. Ortiz has the footage stop there. What will it take for him to get Santana to talk to him?
Darby Allin speaks.
After replaying what Christian Cage said just last Wednesday on Dynamite, the Relentless One reiterates that he is NOT losing in Seattle, Washington! Will Darby defend home turf against Captain Charisma?
Nick Wayne speaks.
He knows Darby has a lot to say about Christian Cage, and all of that will be part of the Countdown special. But Nick also knows Darby’s actions will speak louder than his words at WrestleDream. And although Darby told Nick not to be there ringside, Nick doesn’t really want to anyway because of what Christian & Luchasaurus are capable of. So, while they let Christian and Darby settle their business, how about Nick and Luchasaurus settle theirs? For months and months, Luchasaurus walked around here while another man held his title. And Luchasaurus followed Christian around like he was some kind of father figure.
And Nick isn’t sure what it is about Christian where he thinks he can even be such a figure to “us Lost Boys,” but Nick had a father. And he told Nick at a young age “to never leave your debts unpaid.” Nick owes Luchasaurus. At Wembley Stadium, Luchasaurus choke slammed Nick onto a skateboard and Nick never forgot it. Nick will repay Luchasaurus this Sunday during Zero Hour. And Nick will even hand Luchasaurus a receipt. Nick brings his own skateboard, will he grind it right into the Right Hand of Destruction?
BREAKING NEWS for Collision!
AEW is going to do it big for WrestleDream Eve as, with Zack Sabre Jr. on commentary, we see an 8 Man Tag! FTR teams with Bryan Danielson & Wheeler Yuta to take on Aussie Open, Ricky Starks & “Big Bill” Morrissey! Plus, Chris Jericho & Kenny Omega test their tag team chemistry against The Gates of Agony! Will The Ocho & The Cleaner survive Toa Liona & Bishop Kaun to take on the Don Callis Family? And Julia Hart gets in action to build some last minute momentum, will she be ready for Kris Statlander and their TBS Championship match set for Sunday?
Backstage interview with Zack Sabre Jr.
Renee Paquette is with The Front Man of TMDK, and says we’re just days away from WrestleDream, where ZSJ takes on The American Dragon, Bryan Danielson. ZSJ just came off a three week tour in NJPW and just got here to the States, is he worried at all about acclimating? ZSJ asks Bryan “Dragon Bullocks” Danielson, “Where are you, darling?” As Renee just said, ZSJ got off a 16 hour flight from Tokyo and is feeling fresh as a daisy. But perhaps this company’s keeping Bryan wrapped head to toe in bubble wrap, or keeps him in a giant Zorb ball. At this point, a strong gust of wind will knock Bryan over.
And is ZSJ supposed to be honored that Bryan chose him as part of the year long retirement tour? Newsflash: Bryan barely has a weekend. This Sunday isn’t just about finding out who the best technical wrestler is, no no. Bryan has retired once in Seattle, so ZSJ will make it final. Ya like that? The final retirement~! Submissions in Seattle, see you on Sunday. The NJPW World Television Champion has put Bryan on notice, but will he be able to slay the American Dragon?
AEW Women’s World Championship #1 Contender’s match: Ruby Soho VS Hikaru Shida!
While the Outcasts stand at two members, Saraya is looking forward to a friendly showdown with the Runaway in a little under two weeks! But will Ruby make sure there is No Future for the Shining Samurai? Or will Shida take down one Outcast to go after another?
The bell rings and the two circle. Fans fire up as Ruby and Shida step up, and they’re on Shida’s side. Ruby shoves, runs, and RAMS Shida, but Shida just fires up! Ruby headlocks, Shida throws body shots, and then she powers out. Shida then runs past Ruby to run Ruby over! Fans duel, Shida has the majority, and she goes to the corner. Shida climbs up but Ruby slips away before any fists can rain down! Shida is annoyed but she waits on Ruby to return. Ruby takes her time going to the apron, steps in at 6 of 10 but wants Shida to stay back. Shida gets annoyed as the ref keeps her back, but then Ruby pulls Shida’s hair to throw her down!
Ruby throws hands, puts Shida in the corner, then RAMS into her again and again! Fans boo but Ruby runs, only to miss! Shida ROCKS Ruby, then climbs up to rain down fists! Ruby gets away before three, runs back in but into a BOOT! Shida bumps Ruby off buckles, climbs up and rains down those fists! Ruby slips out at five to YANK Shida down! Ruby whips, Shida goes up and CROSSBODIES! Shida then drags Ruby up, puts her in yet another corner, and tries one more time! Shida rains down fists, and goes all the way to TEN! Fans fire up with Shida and she kicks Ruby out, to then MISSILE DROPKICK!
Fans fire up as Shida drags Ruby up, and Rampage goes picture in picture.
Ruby CLUBS away on Shida to stop the lift, then shoves her to a corner. Ruby runs in, Shida dodges, but Ruby ELBOWS her! Ruby goes up to hit DEADLY NIGHTSHADE! Ruby digs Shida into the buckles, lets off as the ref counts, and then brings Shida up to snapmare. Ruby covers, TWO! Ruby throws down fists now, but lets off with a smug smirk. Ruby puts Shida on ropes to CHOKE! The ref counts, Ruby lets off, and then Ruby has Shida in the ropes to throw knees! A shoutout to Saraya, and Ruby lets off at 4. Ruby stalks Shida, looms over her, and pushes her around. Shida pushes back but Ruby eggs her on.
Shida ROCKS Ruby, then fires again! Ruby claws Shida’s face! And throws her down by her hair again! The ref reprimands, but Ruby clamps on a straitjacket stretch! Shida endures, but Ruby grinds her into the mat! Fans rally, Shida fights up, and she arm-drags free! Ruby returns to CLOBBER Shida! Cover, TWO! Ruby is annoyed but Shida grabs at Ruby’s hair! Ruby CLUBS Shida, drags her up, and stomps a hand! Shida scrambles to a corner while the ref reprimands but Ruby stomps a mudhole in. Ruby lets off as the ref counts, and Ruby storms around. Shida drags herself up, but Ruby CHOKES her on the ropes!
The ref counts while Ruby BITES Shida’s ear! Ruby lets off at 4, drags Shida up, but Shida ROCKS her! And again! And again! And again! But Ruby knees low! Ruby talks trash, whips Shida to ropes, but Shida ducks ‘n’ dodges, and DOUBLE LARIATS knock both women down! Rampage returns to single picture as the standing count climbs. Fans rally, both women are down at 5 of 10 but Shida goes to ropes. Shida snarls, she and Ruby stand at 7, and they storm up. Shida fires a forearm, Ruby gives it back! Shida throws another, so Ruby gives it back! They go back and forth, harder and harder, faster and faster!
Ruby gets the edge, but Shida ROCKS her! And ROCKS her! And ROCKS her again! Shida whips to JUMP KNEE! Shida then suplexes high and hard! Cover, TWO! Shida fires up again and the fans are with her! Shida aims, KATA- NO, Ruby ducks and bails out! Fans boo but Shida goes out to pursue! Shida runs in, jumps off the steps, and DROPKICKS Ruby down! Fans fire up again and Shida stands Ruby up. Shida torture racks Ruby, then goes to the ramp!? Fans are thunderous but Ruby fights free! They throw forearms, and CHOPS! Shida CLUBS Ruby, Ruby throws body shots, but the count is climbing!
They both hear it’s 8 of 10 and start sprinting! They both slide in at 9.5!! Fans are thunderous and then Ruby swings, but Shida blocks! Ruby HEADBUTTS, blocks a kick, then KICKS back! SAIDO! Cover, TWO! Shida survives and Ruby grows frustrated. Ruby goes to a corner, and she takes Shida’s kendo stick for her own! The ref stops Ruby, takes the kendo stick, but then Ruby brings out the spray paint! Shida and the ref both block that and they’re all fighting over it! Down goes the ref!! Shida and Ruby are both stunned, but then Ruby HEADBUTTS! DESTINATION UNKNOWN! But no ref to count the cover!
Ruby is furious, she would’ve had this! But then she sees the kendo stick! Ruby grins as she wields Shida’s weapon! Fans boo, but Shida blocks the strike to kick and HEADSHOT! Then KATANA KICK!! Cover, but still no ref! Wait, here comes Aubrey! Aubrey slides in, counts the cover, TWO!! Ruby survives but Shida fires up! Shida puts Ruby in a drop zone, goes up the corner, and she METE- NO! Ruby dodges to then STO! Ruby drags herself up the corner, goes to the very top, and STAGE DIVE SENTONS onto knees! And then FALCON ARROW! Cover, TWO!! Ruby survives but Shida won’t stop there!
Shida hauls Ruby up but Ruby wrenches to NO FUTURE KICK! But Shida rebounds to KATANA!! Cover, Shida wins!!
Winner: Hikaru Shida, by pinfall (NEW #1 Contender to the AEW Women’s World Champion)
The Shining Samurai takes down The Runaway, but wait! Here comes Saraya! #TitleTuesday is coming, will that be a good Knight for the champ? Or will Shida take this belt back to become a historic THREE-TIME champion?
A great Rampage, especially as the go-home to WrestleDream. I figured the title matches would end with the champions retaining, but we got really good stuff out of Acclaimed VS Hardy Party and Eddie VS Rocky. As for their title defenses on WrestleDream, I don’t see TMDK taking the trios titles as this will be their AEW debuts. And as I’ve said a few times already, Eddie isn’t losing both belts he worked so hard to have so soon. Plus, it feels like there’s some tension between NJPW the company and Shibata, or else Shibata would already be NJPW Strong Openweight Champion and not one of ROH’s champs.
Speaking of Eddie, good promo from him before his match with Rocky, and good interaction with Team Triple J. I wasn’t exactly expecting Jay Lethal to be Eddie’s first actual feud for the ROH World Championship, but I suppose it does make sense as Lethal was a major player in ROH. I hope these guys actually show up on ROH programming, but also, Tony Khan wants this feud to be seen so it’ll end up on AEW programming instead. Y’know, just like all these other ROH title stories outside of the AEW Women’s title.
Good squash from The Righteous, and I’m really curious as to how the tag title match goes on Sunday. There’s a lot of stuff MJF still has to do with Cole, Roddy and The Kingdom, and now this intrigue with Jay White, Bullet Club Gold and the backstage attack at the end of Dynamite. I still feel it should’ve been The Kingdom in the PPV match anyway, but it seems they were going to drag this story out even before Cole hurt his foot. Good promo from Nick Wayne to call out Luchasaurus, but I feel like Luchasaurus ends up winning that match just to make a point of Nick not being able to show up ringside for Darby.
Good promo from Andrade to call out Juice for this week’s Collision, and I’m still wondering if/when La Faccion Ingobernable helps Andrade against Bullet Club Gold. For that matter, why can’t MJF be paying LFI to beat up on White and the BCG? He’s had business dealings with Andrade & Rush before, let’s strike that up again for some continuity. Really good promo from Aussie Open ahead of their tag title match, and from ZSJ to call out Bryan. That 8 Man Tag tomorrow night is going to be good stuff, and perhaps rather telling about where the PPV matches go. The only reason I don’t see Aussie Open winning against FTR is because of that big Fatal 4 Way tag contenders match, but who knows, maybe Aussie Open wins to bring the AEW belts to NJPW events as they take on like Goto & Hashi.
And of course, a great main event from Shida and Ruby. Seems a little silly to set up Ruby as a contender, wouldn’t that just end up in a Finger Poke of Doom situation with Saraya? Which therefore meant Shida was winning. Saraya VS Shida for this Title Tuesday Dynamite is going to be good stuff, but something makes me feel like Ruby is just gonna help Saraya retain. And not to be mean to Shida, but if she’s already a two-time champ, I don’t see her becoming three-time so soon. Why not get Shida in on the TBS Championship story? Britt Baker wants to be the first to have held both titles in AEW, but Shida should want that distinction, too. Then that lets us have Britt VS Shida as we should’ve gotten by now given everything else we’ve been seeing lately.
My Score: 8.7/10
Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (9/29/23)
King VS Emperor to determine a champion!
One way or another, the US title belongs to the LWO!
Rey Mysterio defends his WWE United States Championship against friend and protege, Santos Escobar! But will things stay friendly between them?
- Jimmy Uso w/ The Bloodline VS Karl Anderson; Jimmy wins.
- Austin Theory w/ Grayson Waller VS Cameron Grimes; Theory wins.
- WWE United States Championship: Rey Mysterio VS Santos Escobar; Rey wins and retains the title.
- Charlotte Flair VS Bayley w/ Damage CTRL; Charlotte wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
The Bloodline is here!
Fans boo as Jimmy Uso, Solo Sikoa & Paul Heyman head to the ring. And Jimmy is definitely hyped over how he and Solo took down AJ Styles and John Cena, putting the tag team match at Fastlane into question. Heyman has the mic to introduce himself, but the fans keep on booing. His name isn’t “Boo,” he’s Paul! Heyman! And tonight, a rare opportunity that he doesn’t have to do this into the phone but live to the world here from SmackDown, in the hell hole of Sacramento, California. “We ACKNOWLEDGE our Tribal Chief!” The Bloodline throws up the ones, and Heyman says, “And so do each and every single one of you!”
The fans boo, though some do raise the fingers. Heyman asks us why do they acknowledge Roman… Reigns? Because it is in Roman’s name that last week, the second greatest of all time, John Cena, took a beating at the hands of the Bloodline in a way Cena hasn’t taken in at least a decade. And to wit, Heyman calls our attention to the Bloodline version of the Zapruder Film. Heyman plays footage from just last week, where Cena was the only one who signed the contract to have a match for Fastlane. Cena hoped AJ Styles was going to be his partner, but then the Bloodline struck first and hospitalized AJ Styles.
And back to present, fans are booing but Jimmy’s almost cracking up. Heyman says not to get involved in Cena’s business, but a little birdie told Heyman that there are some transportation issues this evening. And while Cena is expected to make it here, you can’t see him because Cena is NOT here. But y’know who else ain’t here? AJ Styles! And why is that? Because he’s lying in a hospital bed, watching them on SmackDown and- Jimmy holds his hand out for the mic? Heyman says he wasn’t done but Jimmy snatches the mic. “Sacramento! The Bloodline is now in your city!” Heyman sighs while Jimmy raises the one.
Jimmy tells the Wise Man, you are too kind. The real reason Cena isn’t here tonight is because he’s scared! Scared of one JIM USO! Jimmy says if Cena is smart, he’ll stay far, far away. If not, they’ll take care of him like they did the Phenomenal One! The one who built the house, place, face- KARL ANDERSON CLOBBERS SOLO! Then he TACKLES Jimmy! Jimmy gets up but Karl clotheslines him up and out! Fans fire up for Karl as he represents for The OC! Karl says he told Styles not to get in Bloodline business and now Styles is in the hospital. So now, this is OC business! Any one of them, get in the ring with him!
Fans fire up but Heyman has Solo stand down. Heyman whispers things to The Enforcer, and then Solo tells Jimmy to handle this or he’ll do it for him. Jimmy says he’s got this. Solo doesn’t return the high-five, but will Jimmy return fire on the Machine Gun?
Jimmy Uso w/ The Bloodline VS Karl Anderson!
SmackDown returns and the match is going as Karl bumps Jimmy off buckles! Then CHOPS! And fires off haymakers! The ref counts, Karl lets off but then stomps a mudhole! Karl lets off to tell Heyman & Solo they made this personal. Karl stands Jimmy up but Jimmy swings. Karl dodges to JUMP KICK! Karl says he told Styles not to get involved but too late now. Karl whips, Jimmy BOOTS back! Jimmy runs, but Karl gives him a SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Heyman is worried but Solo is stoic as Jimmy survives. Karl storms up on Jimmy, UPPERCUTS him to the corner, then UPPERCUTS again!
Karl brings Jimmy up to the top rope, ROCKS him with rights, then climbs. Solo steps forward and that distracts Karl, as well as the ref. Jimmy CLAWS Karl’s eyes! The ref misses it but fans boo as Jimmy rains down fists on Karl. Jimmy snarls, goes to a corner, and he SUPERKICKS Karl down! Jimmy goes to the corner, climbs up, and scowls at the booing fans before the USO SPLASH! Cover, Jimmy wins!
Winner: Jimmy Uso, by pinfall
Heyman is relieved and he whispers something more to Solo. Jimmy may be getting himself into trouble, but he’s also getting himself out, will this get Jimmy back in the Bloodline?
Wait, Karl isn’t done! He gets up to throw more hands with Jimmy! Solo storms in to hit the SAMOAN SPIKE! Solo roars as Karl is down, no back-up even possible with both Styles and Gallows hurt. Is the OC no longer a problem for The Bloodline? Wait, Michin is here! She SLAPS Jimmy right down! Fans are thunderous as she storms to the ring. Jimmy asks what the heck! Mia Yim packs a punch, will that knock some sense into Jimmy?
Backstage interview with Santos Escobar.
Cathy Kelley is with The Emperor of Lucha, and says that he faces his mentor and LWO teammate, Rey Mysterio. Where is his mind at tonight? Santos says his mind is focused, but his stomach has butterflies. But this match is about heart. And Santos has already said this is a dream match for him, and he has been working his entire life for it. Now, with the whole world watching, he has a chance to make the dream come true. He never gives up on his dreams, and he will fight for them, so Rey is in for the fight of his life. May the best man win. Will it be Emperor or King of Lucha that reigns as the United States Champion?
The Bloodline regroups backstage.
Jimmy is fuming and he yells at a production staff member just for looking at him. He asks another if they saw what happened, then just shoves the guy down! Jimmy storms off, Solo follows and Heyman has the staff relax. Then he puts in a call to Roman Reigns. What will The Tribal Chief have to say about Jimmy’s attitude?
It’s an all new Grayson Waller Effect.
The Aussie Icon, the Moment Maker, the Dynamite From Down Under is already in the ring on his set, and he says what a wild night already. Cena may be the greatest of all time, but he ain’t the greatest at being on time! Hah! But don’t worry, because Waller is here to save the show. Fans boo but Waller thanks them. Waller’s guests just keep getting bigger, and this is literal given the physical specimen. He has done everything in the WWE as a performer, but not as a talent scout. But that’s alright, he gets what he’s always been missing: the Waller rub! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the All Mighty Bobby Lashley!
Fans cheer as Lashley makes his way out and Waller does some push-ups so he looks at least a little bigger standing next to him. They shake hands and then sit at the desk. Waller says he wasn’t lying when the guests keep getting bigger, right? How does he fit into the suit? But Waller appreciates Lashley being on the show, especially after the week he’s had. His boys, the Street Profits had a devastating loss last week. Lashley says he made a mistake. He was looking for the next big thing, he thought the Profits had what it takes to do whatever they want, but seems not. Back to the drawing board, huh?
Wow, that must be hard for the Profits to hear. But yeah, if you’re looking for a tag team, they need to be willing to do whatever it takes. A team with unbridled charisma! A team that is undefeated! Maybe a team like Austin Theory & Grayson Waller! Lashley’s stare makes Waller slow his roll. Lashley knows all about Theory, that’s a pass. Yeah, but Theory’s changed! If you get to know him, he’s a good bloke! And- Wait! Here come the Street Profits! Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins came dressed to match Lashley, and Lashley seems rather upset and confused. The Profits step into the ring, mics in their hands.
Lashley steps to them, and he stops Dawkins before he gets started. No excuses, no reasons. If they want something out of Lashley, they need to prove it. Lashley goes to leave, and then the Profits look to each other. They storm out after Lashley and get up in his face! Lashley says he told them what to do. Now go do it. He keeps on moving, and Waller says how awkward. Hey, light the beam for the 153 million hit man, Austin Theory! Theory makes his entrance, walking past Lashley on the stage, and then continues down the ramp. He smirks at the Profits and goes to the steps, with Waller being the only one cheering.
But will it be A-Town Down as Theory faces Cameron Grimes? Or will SmackDown go TO~ THE~ MOON~?
Austin Theory w/ Grayson Waller VS Cameron Grimes!
SmackDown returns, Theory is busy looking at NXT’s Dragon Lee watching from the front row, and the bell rings. Theory turns around into a BOOT from Grimes! Grimes fires off KICKS, UPPERCUTS, and then CHOPS! Grimes whips, Theory reverses but Grimes CLOBBERS Theory! Grimes keeps moving and he CLOBBERS Theory again! Atomic drop, then KICK! Then a KICK, run, and SHOTGUN dropkick! Cover, ONE! Another cover, ONE! Theory scrambles, Grimes has the leg, and Grimes drags Theory back. Theory kicks free, Waller coaches Theory up and Theory ELBOWS Grimes! And throat chops!
Theory throws down clubbing hands while fans boo, but Theory shouts at everyone. Theory brings Grimes up, talks trash, but Grimes eggs him on! Grimes fires off fists, body shots, then backs Theory to a corner. Grimes whips, Theory reverses, then Theory runs in. Theory blocks a boot but Grimes ENZIGURIS! Grimes goes up, leaps, CROSSBODY! Cover, TWO! Theory hangs tough and Waller relaxes. Grimes aims, and he BUZZ- NO, Theory ducks! So Grimes backflips to deadlift GERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO! Theory survives but Grimes storms up on him in the corner. Grimes KICKS Theory against ropes!
Grimes runs, then he clotheslines Theory out of the ring! Grimes goes to the apron, and he PENALTY KICKS Theory down! Fans fire up with the Carolina Caveman as he takes it to Mr. ATL. Waller talks trash, though, and Grimes stares him down. Theory POSTS Grimes in the distraction! Waller laughs, Theory drags Grimes up and in, and then Theory slingshots. Somersault SHOTGUN! Grimes staggers into the fireman’s carry, A-TOWN DOWN! Cover, Theory wins!
Winner: Austin Theory, by pinfall
Waller’s a baller with that assist to his boy, and The Now comes out on top! Will these two look to take over SmackDown one win at a time? Theory also talks some trash on Dragon, then pie faces him! So Dragon hits back! Fans fire up but the ref keeps Theory back. Dragon is here as a guest, but Waller says Dragon can’t do nothing anyway. Will this duo hope Boy Wonder stays away from this brand?
Backstage interview with Rey Mysterio.
Kayla Braxton is with the US Champion and says earlier tonight, Santos said this wasn’t just a dream match, but the fight of their lives. What is Rey’s response? Rey says LWO is familia and will always be that. But he knows how hard Santos has worked to get here. Heck, Rey grew up watching Santos’ father, El Fantasma. So Rey has nothing but love and respect for Santos. But be careful what you wish for. Every time Rey steps in the ring, he expects the best of his opponent and brings the best in return. So Santos, like they say, this IS the fight of their lives! May the best man win. Rey seems to feel the same way as Santos, but will either man still feel good after taking a loss?
The Bloodline is beating up Ashante THEE Adonis?!
B-Fab shouts for Jimmy to stop but Jimmy stops when he says he’s stopping! Refs and producers rush in and Jimmy says okay, his bad, he’s done now. Adonis crawls away, but Solo is there! Jimmy says finish this, Solo! UREANGE through the table!! Hit Row suffers the wrath of The Bloodline, but when and where will it stop?
WWE United States Championship: Rey Mysterio VS Santos Escobar!
SmackDown returns as Zelina is ringside for both men, and Santos makes his entrance. Santos says hola to Dragon before getting in the ring. The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we see who holds gold for the L W O!
The bell rings and fans fire up as the two tie up. They go around, Santos waistlocks but Rey works on an escape. Santos holds tight, they sit down, and Rey moves around. Rey fights up, jumps, but Santos holds on during the flying mare! Santos shifts to go for an abdominal stretch but Rey fights it to have a toehold. Fans rally and duel, Santos chinlocks but Rey pulls on the leg. Santos uses that to body scissor, and he rolls Rey to a cover, ONE! Rey is still stuck in the scissors but he moves around. Rey claws at the hold, Santos shifts and has the back mount to then roll Rey again. Rey slips free and the two stand off.
Fans cheer as Rey and Santos reset. Santos trips Rey, blocks the headscissor, but Rey gets up. Santos wrenches, wristlocks, but Rey flips through! Santos whips, Rey reverses but Santos reverses again. Rey is on the apron but he RAMS into Santos! Rey slingshots but Santos stops the rana to GAMANGIRI! Rey falls, Santos PLANCHAS! Down goes Rey at the ramp and Zelina is worried for both men as SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns again and Santos has Rey in a modified stretch. Rey endures, Santos shifts his grip, but Rey fights free. Santos has a hammerlock to keep Rey close, and Santos wrangles Rey down. Rey fights up, fans rally, and Rey jumps to hit that flying-mare! Fans fire up as Santos speeds things up and runs Rey over! Things keep moving, Rey dodges but Santos DROPKICKS him down! Cover, TWO! Fans rally as Rey hangs tough, and Zelina is again torn. She rallies the fans more for the LWO than for either man. Santos waistlocks, Rey switches, but Santos switches back. They go to ropes and Rey bucks the O’Conner.
Rey ducks ‘n’ dodges and tilt-o-whirls to RANA Santos outta the ring! Fans fire up and Rey builds speed, goes up the corner to PLANCHA! Down goes Santos! Fans fire up with Rey and he hears the ring count. Rey drags Santos up, puts him in at 6 of 10, and then climbs the corner. Santos stands, Rey SEATED SENTONS! Rey keeps moving, and he CLOBBERS Santos! Both men are down and fans rally up more. But wait, Jimmy and Solo are still wreaking havoc backstage? SAMOAN SPIKE for security! Jimmy says that guy won’t be Cena’s partner, either! Back to the ring, fans rally for “619! 619!” as Rey goes to ropes.
Santos stands, he rushes in to sunset flip, but Rey rolls through to BUZZSAW! Santos is dazed, Rey calls his shot and he drop toeholds Santos onto ropes! Rey dials it up as fans go wild, but Santos SUPERKICKS Rey outta the ring! Santos takes aim, builds speed, ARROW FROM HELL!! Direct hit at the ramp and down goes Rey! Santos catches his breath while he stands back up, and then he goes up the barriers? To MOONSAULT Rey on the ramp! Zelina is worried again but Santos puts Rey back in the ring. Rey staggers and goes to the far side but Santos takes aim. “This is Awesome!” as Santos spells it out, “L! W! O!”
Santos goes corner to corner, DOUBLE KNEES! Rey wobbles, but Santos puts him back in the corner. Santos goes again, DOUBLE KNEES! Santos hoists Rey up top, climbs up after him, but Rey HEADBUTTS! Rey fires forearms and he knocks Santos down! Santos stands up while Rey steadies himself, but Santos GAMANGIRIS first! Santos climbs up again, goes to the very top, and he whistles for the SUPER STEINER! Zelina couldn’t even watch that, worried for both men. Santos goes to the apron, to SLINGSHOT SPLASH! Cover, TWO!! Rey survives and Santos is a bit surprised as SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns yet again and Santos has Rey against ropes. Santos CHOPS, and fans “WOO~!” as Rey staggers. Santos whips, BOOTS, and then brings Rey around. Santos picks Rey up into a GORY ESPECIAL! Rey endures being bent back, and Santos even pulls on the arms! Fans rally, Rey fights against the hold, and pops free to arm-drag! Fans fire up as REy goes to a corner, and Santos runs in, only to be put on the apron! Santos GAMANGIRIS, Rey staggers, and then Santos fires up! Santos climbs, leaps, but Rey dodges and the crossbody flops! Rey lines up a shot, runs and springboards but then Santos dodges!
Rey and Santos are both down after those belly flops, and fans rally as both men rise up. Santos runs in, scoops Rey and hits a BACKBREAKER! Fans rally as Rey staggers up, but into a tilt-o-whirl torture rack! Santos runs around with Rey, then hits a RACK DROP! Cover, TWO!! Zelina is relieved again but Santos is surprised. Rey tells Santos to bring it on, there needs to be a winner. Santos storms up to CHOP! And whip, but Rey KICKS back! Rey runs to RAN- NO, Santos blocks that! Santos swings Rey up but Rey sunset flips! TWO!! Santos escapes and even Zelina is stunned! Fans fire up again, “This is Awesome!”
Rey runs in, Santos puts him on the apron but Rey ROCKS Santos first! Then Rey goes up a corner, brings Santos up to join him, and then adjusts position to fire off hands! Fans fire up as Rey calls the shot, but Santos drags Rey into a fireman’s carry! Rey fights with elbows, then pops up to SUPER RANA!! Fans are thunderous while Santos sits up in a daze! Rey DROPKICKS Santos onto ropes! Dial it up! 6 1 9 BLOCKED! Santos drags Rey into an Alabama Lift! But Rey holds the ropes for dear life! Rey then RANAS Santos back onto ropes, redials, and 619 HITS!!! Rey hurries up top, says hey to Eddie, and hit a FROG- NO!
Santos avoids the splash, CLUBS Rey, covers, TWO into the ghost pin! TWO!!! Both men escape by nanoseconds but Santos fireman’s carries! PHANTOM- TAKEDOWN! Rey has a spladle! REY WINS!!
Winner: Rey Mysterio, by pinfall (still WWE United States Champion)
And the greatest luchador of all time comes out the champion! Santos is stunned, but Rey offers him a handshake of respect. They are still familiar, aren’t they? WAIT! The Profits attack!! Dawkins & Ford mug Rey & Santos, this must be how they’re proving Lashley wrong! They hit Escobar with a BIG LARIAT! Fans boo but here comes Lashley! The All Mighty says that’s it! That’s what he wanted! But then here comes the rest of the LWO! Lashley CLOBBERS Wilde while Ford & Dawkins mug Cruz! But Dragon Lee wants to get in! Security keeps him back, he’s just here as a guest! So Wilde is fed to the REVELATION!
The fans boo but The All Mighty has his Profits! Will they soon run SmackDown with iron fists?
The LWO regroups.
They’ve all got icepacks in the medical trainer’s room, and Kayla walks in to congratulate Rey on the win. But before the team could celebrate the moment, they got jumped by The Profits. Santos says sorry, excuse him, but the Profits ruined the moment! Rey says they beat the Profits last week, and now Lashley and them act like they run SmackDown! LWO challenges Lashley & The Profits to a match at Fastlane! Let’s see how tough they are when it’s fair and square! What will happen when these factions go to war in Indianapolis?
WWE announces a huge signing!
Former AEW TBS Champion and rising star, JADE CARGILL, is now with WWE! She got 20 MILLION views on a video just for showing up at the Performance Center! Will a storm be coming for the WWE Women’s Division?
John Cena arrives backstage!
He pulls in rather fast and furious, and he storms right into the arena, that tag match contract in his hands! Will Cena find someone Jimmy & Solo haven’t destroyed to sign on the dotted line? Is there even anyone left?
Pretty Deadly has a video message.
“On July 14th, 2023, Elton prince suffered a devastating shoulder injury. Despite all odds, he is on the road to recovery.” It’s another rehab workout montage, but Elton is still in the wheelchair… Elton works on reaching out for hot tags, swinging chairs, ends up rolling downhill during a celebration, and can’t even poke eyes properly. But as he continues to work at it, he has the courage to stand up and tag in Kit! #YESBOY! #EltonStrong.
The Brawling Brutes are watching this.
Ridge Holland and Pete Dunne look at each other, and neither of them can even process this. Dunne feels maybe they should’ve broken Elton’s leg. The idiots. Will Elton & Kit hope they can stay far, far, far away from Northern Grit and the Bruiserweight?
Charlotte Flair VS Bayley w/ Damage CTRL!
The Queen did what she could to help The Empress of Tomorrow hold off the Evil Genius and her cohorts, but all that got them was a win for Iyo Sky and this rivalry rematch with the Role Model! Will Bayley make an example out of her fellow Horsewoman? Or will Charlotte make Bayley bow down?
SmackDown returns and Bayley makes her entrance, Iyo and Dakota right behind her. But then Charlotte has Bayley hold on so she can get a mic. Charlotte has a question for Bayley: What’s happened to you? Bayley is one of the Four Horsewomen, but now she’s just happy carrying Iyo’s bags. Bayley has become a stepping stone while Charlotte is still the measuring stick. And in the end, it doesn’t matter. Bayley is just in Charlotte’s way. She’ll beat Bayley tonight, and then challenge Iyo for the WWE Women’s Championship at Fastlane! Fans fire up for that, and the bell rings. Bayley CLOBBERS Charlotte!
Bayley fires off, all riled up after what Charlotte said. DMG CTRL cheers and high-fives Bayley. Bayley CHOPS Charlotte, bumps her off buckles, then stomps a mudhole in! Bayley ROCKS Charlotte, lets off, and brings Charlotte around to whip. But Charlotte reverses to send Bayley into the corner, and she CHOPS! Fans “WOO~!” and Charlotte CHOPS again! Charlotte whips, Bayley reverses but Charlotte goes up and out to BOOT Bayley down! Iyo swipes at Charlotte, then Bayley BLASTS Charlotte down! Bayley goes out to the apron, to then FLYING ELBOW Charlotte down! DMG CTRL is fired up as SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns and Charlotte is up top, to CROSSBODY Bayley down! Fans fire up with Charlotte as she storms around. Bayley flounders to ropes, stands up, and Charlotte CHOPS her! And CHOPS her! And CHOPS her! And then CHOPS again! Fans fire up as Charlotte says one more, then CHOPS Bayley again! Charlotte swings, Bayley dodges but Charlotte scoops! FALL AWAY SLAM! Charlotte kips up and fans fire up again! Charlotte handsprings to LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Bayley is still in this but Charlotte knows she’s tough. Bayley bails out to the apron, Charlotte storms over, but Bayley HOTSHOTS!
Bayley slides in, waistlocks, but Charlotte bucks the O’Conner, to then trip Bayley! Bayley scrambles, Charlotte steps over to drop a knee on Bayley’s knee! Bayley goes to a corner and Charlotte GAMANGIRIS! Bayley staggers, but she BOOTS back! But then Charlotte BOOTS back! Cover, TWO! Charlotte keeps her cool while the fans rally up. Charlotte steps on Bayley and goes to the corner, then goes up the corner, only for Bayley to YANK her down! Bayley puts Charlotte in the ropes, throw hands, then hits a STOCK DROP! Shoutout to another of the Horsewomen! Bayley then SUNSET BOMBS Charlotte into buckles! Bayley drags Charlotte to a cover, TWO!
Bayley tells fans to shut up, don’t cheer for her! Dakota and Iyo cheer her on, though, and Bayley fires forearms on Charlotte! Bayley mocks the “WOO~!” then CHOPS! Bayley CHOPS Charlotte again and again, runs, but Charlotte SPEARS her down! Cover, Charlotte wins!!
Winner: Charlotte Flair, by pinfall
DMG CTRL can’t believe it, but their Role Model lost! The Queen is already wearing yellow ‘n’ block to match Fastlane’s logo, will she take that gold off Iyo? Bayley gets a mic to shout, “Cut the music, you idiots!” Bayley won’t let Charlotte just cut the line! Bayley vowed to end Charlotte, and that’s what DMG CTRL is gonna do! The three surround the ring, but here comes ASUKA! The Empress joins the Queen to run off their common enemies! Asuka gets a mic to shout “OI OI OI OI!” What do you idiots think you’re doing?! She won’t let them do whatever they want! Bayley says okay, they want a Triple Threat for the women’s title?! Then they’ve got it!!
Wait, what? Iyo is confused, but Bayley says this is totally what Asuka said. No, Iyo knows what Asuka said and it wasn’t that! But Bayley says this is so they can teach both Asuka and Charlotte a lesson! Bayley sticks her foot in Iyo’s mouth again, will the Evil Genius have to really work hard on a plan to survive Fastlane?
John Cena heads to the ring!
Sacramento fires up as Cena storms out, saying we’re getting serious tonight! Cena slides into the ring, contract still in hand. Cena also gets a mic, and he tells Sacramento, “I hear ya out there!” Sacramento chants for Cena and so he knows they hear him. And he knows that because last week, he said he was back to compete and that he wanted a match. The Bloodline didn’t take too kindly to that, though. They left Cena knocked out, but they also left him with the contract. This is the contract for a match with them at Fastlane. Yeah, a little lukewarm, because there’s a problem: Cena doesn’t have a partner.
Cena says tonight is very important, because now he has a choice to make. He could rip up the contract and act like this didn’t happen. Fans boo that idea. Or he could stand and fight. The fans like that! So what do you think the man who wears the words “Never Give Up” is gonna make? They cheer the second so he says that’s damn right! He will honor this contract! And if he doesn’t find a partner by Fastlane, then he will fight The Bloodline by himself in a 2v1 Handicap! But speaking of, here comes The Bloodline! Jimmy grins as he has the mic again. “Well, look who finally showed up.”
Cena’s out here talking about Fastlane? Did he not just see what The Bloodline’s been doing all night? They were sending messages! If you team with Cena, you get got by The Bloodline! Fans boo, but Jimmy goes to the apron to tell Cena, “You’re not making it to Fastlane!” But then Cena DECKS Jimmy! Solo stares Cena down, fans fire up, and Solo gets in the ring! Cena throws off the shirt because it is go time! Solo swings, misses, and Cena fireman’s carries, but Jimmy SUPERKICKS him! Flashbacks to last week, HIP ATTACK in the corner! Then Solo adds a HIP ATTACK in the corner! Then Jimmy whips Solo in for another HIP ATTACK!
Fans boo as Cena flops out of the ring. The Bloodline clears off the announce desk! They put Cena on it, and Jimmy raises the one. Jimmy goes up the steps but Solo stops him. Solo wants this one! Jimmy grins and nods and lets Solo climb. But L A KNIGHT is here!! Fans are thunderous as the Mega Star storms down, slides in, and he dodges Jimmy to BLAST Solo! And then he BLASTS Jimmy! Knight stomps a mudhole into Jimmy but Solo stops him! So Knight fires off haymakers! Solo TOSSES Knight, but misses the splash! JUMP NECKBREAKER! Jimmy is up, Knight scoops to POWERSLAM!
Fans fire up, and they spell it out, “L! A! KNIGHT! YEAH!” BIG elbow drop for Jimmy! Cena is back and he TOSSES Solo! Knight TOSSES Jimmy! Mega Star and Greatest of All Time look to each other, and Knight picks up the contract! Fans are electric as Knight signs his name! Cena can’t believe it, either! He has a tag partner for Fastlane? YEAH!! Will Cena and Knight show The Bloodline whose game is it? With EVERYBODY saying… L A KNIGHT, YEAH!!
An awesome episode of SmackDown, especially with how fired up the Sacramento crowd was for everything. Great stuff with Bloodline and such, taking logical yet still exciting turns. Karl Anderson going after The Bloodline was good, because as much as Karl didn’t want Styles getting involved, but he also wasn’t going to let The Bloodline get away with this. Though, Karl didn’t really accomplish much as he got cheated in that match. That slap from Mia was great, though. Then Jimmy & Solo going on a rampage backstage was a great way to show how Jimmy is drunk with power all because he thinks Roman will have his back. Roman most certainly won’t now that Jimmy’s actions have brought LA Knight into the story. Great save from Knight, and he will make a great team with Cena.
Great “main event” match from Charlotte VS Bayley, and that black ‘n’ yellow gear is pretty cool stuff from Charlotte. DMG CTRL of course tries to help Bayley but that backfires. And then I actually like that we’re going back to Bayley talking big and putting Iyo on the spot. The Triple Threat title match is going to be great, and is actually some mad genius thinking from Bayley. DMG CTRL can now legally interfere to make sure Iyo wins against Charlotte and Asuka, but I feel like this can also bring in Shotzi or even Bianca to counteract DMG CTRL. Either way, it’ll be some great stuff to really up things in the SmackDown Women’s Division.
Hilarious vignette from Pretty Deadly, and good response from Brawling Brutes. That feud will definitely start up again after Fastlane and give us a SmackDown contender for the Undisputed Tag Team Championships. Really good stuff out of the Grayson Waller Effect with Lashley putting the pressure on the Profits. Almost thought they were gonna jump Theory since Lashley doesn’t like Theory, but I guess that would make this faction Faces since Theory is Heel. It was nice to see Grimes back, though he does lose to Theory. Dragon Lee being here tonight makes me think he is called up to SmackDown after he screws Dominik Mysterio out of the North American title tomorrow night.
And after just an awesome US Championship match, the Profits instead go after the LWO, a logical move given the back and forth between the factions. LWO wants a Six Man Tag, but does that mean it’ll be Santos, Cruz & Wilde? Or is Rey going to take one of the spots? Either way it’ll be a good time but it feels like the All Mighty Profits are going to take that one to build their momentum towards their own title goals. Lashley VS Rey for the US Championship with Santos helping feels like the move. Maybe there’s tension created as Santos costs Rey, or as Rey says Santos can’t be bending rules just to win. It just feels like something’s going to/has to change in the group dynamic.
My Score: 8.9/10
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