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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Live Results & Report! (7/23/19)

Who steps up to Kofimania at Summerslam?!

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SmackDown heats up towards SummerSlam!

The W, W, E, World, Heavy, Weight, CHAMPION~ may be preparing for a #Smackville debut, but he wants to have something for the biggest party of the summer! Who is he going to call out on the way to Toronto? Plus, Shawn Michaels returns to SmackDown as a guest commentator for tonight’s action!

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Apollo Crews VS Shinsuke Nakamura; Nakamura wins.
  • Ember Moon VS Charlotte Flair; Moon wins.
  • Kofi Kingston VS Samoa Joe; No Contest.
  • Roman Reigns VS Kevin Owens, Special Guest Referee: Drew McIntyre; No Contest.

PLAY BY PLAY

Kevin Owens defies authority!

From calling out Shane McMahon being a glory hog to straight up stunning him in the ring, the KO Show will not be silenced! Even as Shane brings every crony possible, Kevin finds a way to get the best of the Best in the World! But what will the consequences be for Kevin as we head for SummerSlam?

 

SmackDown opens with The New Day!

Big E and Xavier Woods dance on the announce desk in front of Tom Phillips and David Otunga, but then Shane McMahon comes out to ruin the fun. Fans boo as Shane goes to the ring. Even Xavier boos while Big E hands out pancakes. “The BEST, in the WOOOOOOOOOOOOORLD~!” gets his proper introduction from Greg Hamilton before he reflects on last night’s Raw Reunion. WWE paid homage to superstars both old and new, but one face Shane was happy not seeing was Kevin Owens. Where was Kevin? Hiding behind social media and yapping, but he did say something interesting: Kevin wants a match with Shane at SummerSlam. And thinking about it, such an event wouldn’t be complete without the Best in the World.

Shane tells Kevin Owens, challenge accepted! But all that other yammering had something else interesting: if Kevin loses to Shane, then Kevin would quit the WWE! Fans let Shane know, “You Can’t Wrestle!” But Shane just says they can ask Roman Reigns about that. However, Kevin said he’d quit before, but then he didn’t actually quit. Shane rolls the footage of such words. August 27th, 2018, Kevin Owens lost to Seth Rollins and, in Toronto, Kevin said, “I quit.” Can you believe Kevin did that? Well Shane will make Kevin quit again! But it has to be in writing! Speak of the Prizefighter, here he comes! Miami goes wild for Kevin as he walks out on stage with a microphone.

Kevin tells Shane, “I’ve said a lot of things about you, but there’s one thing I wouldn’t say and that’s that you’re not smart.” Yes, Kevin hit a low point last year, but that was the “broken down” Kevin who didn’t want to piss anyone off. That Kevin is not this Kevin! Kevin knew if he issued a challenge, Shane would accept. Because Shane wants Kevin gone, and Kevin knows Shane loves the spotlight. And that spotlight is no brighter than SummerSlam in Toronto! The only problem is, Kevin won’t quit. And the reason why is because he’ll beat the hell out of Shane! But why wait?! Kevin wants to fight right now! Shane says if he wants that match at SummerSlam, then he’s not going to do anything right now.

Shane sees the fire in Kevin, and maybe Kevin should fight tonight. Not Shane, of course. But Kevin can fight… Roman Reigns! Shane pits his two biggest enemies dissenters against each other for his own benefit! Will KO get through Roman Reigns to then give the Best in the World the worst beating of his life?

 

Shane meets up with his crew.

Elias and Drew McIntyre love the ideas Shane had. Just when they thought he couldn’t get any more amazing as a leader, pitting Kevin against Roman, it’s beyond brilliant. It’s truly genius. Shane wants to go up even higher! This match needs something special. To make sure nothing happens, there should be a special guest referee. And it’ll be Drew McIntyre! McIntyre is good with that. And it also needs Elias as the special guest timekeeper! And to really, really put this together, the special ring announcer will be, the BEST, in the WOOORLD himself. Shane is definitely smart enough to know how to abuse his power. But how smart will it be to be that close to such combustible elements?

 

Apollo Crews VS Shinsuke Nakamura!

The rising star just needs that one moment to finally prove himself, but how will he do against the King of Strong Style?

The bell rings and Apollo circles with Nakamura. They approach but Apollo backs off. Fans duel as they approach again. Nakamura kicks one hand and reels Apollo in for a headlock. Apollo powers up and out to then run Nakamura over. Apollo brings Nakamura up and scoops to slam Nakamura down hard. Then Apollo drops a big leaping elbow! Apollo drags Nakamura up for a suplex, and holds him up there! For over 20 counts! Cover, TWO! Apollo keeps his cool as he brings Nakamura up again. Nakamura breaks free to throw a strike fest then whip, but Apollo reverses. Nakamura holds the ropes but Apollo clotheslines him out! Apollo goes to the apron, ASAI MOONSAULT! The New Day are loving this as SmackDown goes picture in picture!

Apollo looms over Nakamura before putting him in the ring. Apollo slingshots and sentons, but Nakamura gets clear. Nakamura sweeps Apollo’s legs to trip him on the apron! Then he turns Apollo sideways for a knee strike, then a knee guillotine! Apollo falls to the floor and Nakamura stomps him out. Nakamura drags Apollo up and puts him back in the ring. He covers, TWO! Nakamura keeps his cool as he stands Apollo up for a cravat. Apollo endures the hold and slowly fights his way up. Nakamura snapmares and drops another knee! Cover, TWO! Nakamura grows annoyed with Apollo as he puts him in a corner. He stomps the legs out then gives Apollo some Bad Vibrations! Apollo stops those, but Nakamura punches him down!

Nakamura stomps away on Apollo again and again at the ropes, only stopping when the ref backs him off. Nakamura stands Apollo up again for a SWIFT kick to the chest! Apollo wobbles but stays up, so Nakamura kicks him again! Then Nakamura grinds Apollo down in a facelock. Apollo endures as Nakamura squeezes tight. Apollo fights his way up and gourd busters Nakamura down! And then LARIATS Nakamura inside-out! Both men are down but Apollo catches his breath. SmackDown returns to single picture as he and Nakamura stand. Apollo mule kicks and BOOTS, then leaps to lariat Nakamura down! Kip-up and Apollo fires up! The New Day and Miami are also fired up as Apollo throws Nakamura with a fall away slam! Cover, TWO!

Apollo keeps his cool and says it’s time to raise the roof. He lifts Nakamura but Nakamura slips out to swing a kick. Apollo ducks but gets the left heel! Nakamura aims at Apollo in a corner, runs in, but blocks the boots. He turns Apollo around for the roundhouse, and sliding German! Nakamura unzips his shirt while Apollo is dazed. Nakamura runs in, but gets an enziguri!! OLYMPIC SLAM! Cover, TWO!! Nakamura survives and Apollo can’t believe it! The New Day is going nuts on commentary as Apollo plans what’s next. Apollo goes up top, but Nakamura trips him up! Top Shelf Knee! Then he throws Apollo off, only to get a pop-up flapjack! Standing shooting star misses! KINSHASA! Cover, Nakamura wins!!

Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura, by pinfall

The WWE Intercontinental Champion shows Apollo what being King of Strong Style really means! What will it take for Apollo to rise up higher?

But to add insult to injury, Nakamura kicks Apollo all around the ring! And out of the ring, and then kicks him while he’s down! Nakamura goes up the ramp and aims, for another KINSHASA! Nakamura caresses the title as he heads out, but will there come a time when someone wants that belt for their own?

 

Mandy Rose surprises Sonya Deville.

Where has she been, though? Don’t worry, she took care of business. She talked to Shane and told about the IIconics making jokes. Now they have a match that could earn them a future tag title match! Sonya is speechless as she’s so proud of her best friend. Will Fire & Desire take the fight to Peyton & Billie when they meet in the ring?

 

SmackDown hears from Mustafa Ali.

“I’ve got to rewrite the story.” He has to take the pen into his hand and rewrite his story! Not a sob story about a kid chasing his dream, who went from being a cop to a wrestler, and had to fight to earn his title shot only for his body to give out on him. Injured, replaced, and forgotten. Ali knows he lost time, but he won’t let that be his story. Ali has his pen, he puts it to paper, and it will read, “Ali becomes a champion.” It doesn’t matter who it is, no one is writing his story! He’ll even use his blood to write the story. Ali will go down in history with his story.

 

SmackDown presents: Miz TV!

The Most Must-See WWE Talk Show returns again, and Miz fires up Miami for the Miz & Mrs. season premiere! Miz takes a look back at Raw Reunion and all the stars, icons and legends that showed up. It was a lot of fun, but tonight’s guest carries that over. It is none other than the Heartbreak Kid, SHAWN MICHAELS! The New Day sings along as HBK makes his way to the ring. Ironically, HBK was supposed to be where the New Day was, but perhaps things worked out in the end.

Miz and HBK sit but the fans cheer and that gets HBK moving around again. The party keeps on rolling. Miz and others loved having legends back, but others were negative towards it. HBK has been on both sides, from the young guy in the back watching old time- er, Legends, coming around, and thinking “Why don’t they just get out of here?” But at the same time, this is family! It’s hard to turn down such a chance to hang out. And everyone had a blast, right? Fans in Miami sure are having a blast. And DX-Kliq even recruited an honorary member. Miz really “appreciates” it wasn’t him. But Seth Rollins has been a lot to fun watching growing up from the WWE PC and NXT, to another match with Brock Lesnar. In the words of Rollins, HBK hopes Rollins will #BurnItDown.

But to spoil the fun, it’s Dolph Ziggler! “Enough already with these so-called legends limping out tot he ring, ‘happy to be there’.” Ziggler hopes someone puts him out of his misery before he ever gets like that. Miz would be happy to be the one to do it! HBK keeps the peace. Clearly, Ziggler needs to say something, so let him say his piece. Ziggler does! He’s actually happy to see HBK. Ziggler and everyone used to idolize HBK, emphasis on “used to.” HBK could’ve just ridden off into the sunset, but what did he do? Shuffled back out and waved to the crowd, “it was embarrassing!” As bad as Goldberg-Taker! Ziggler tells HBK the truth: when HBK came back in November, he broke Ziggler’s heart. So Ziggler will tell him what no one else has the guts to say: “You were embarrassing.”

Miz looks to HBK for a response. HBK’s response: “I’ll admit it. I’m not going to disagree with you. It was embarrassing. I was embarrassed.” But what’s more embarrassing than that, is working your whole career and giving it your all, and still being left with nothing but being known as “a second-rate, Shawn Michaels wannabe.” Ziggler scowls, and fans pile on. Ziggler will not let HBK say that about him! The only second-rate HBK here is THIS HBK! And real fitting that he and Miz are here together. They ruined their legacies to shake hands, kiss babies, wave like idiots on a parade float! They’re the ones who will be left known for kissing ass while Ziggler-

“Oh just do something already!” Miz has had enough of Ziggler’s bitter whining, “It should’ve been me!” In this industry, you MAKE it you! So do something about it! Ziggler looks to Miz, then to HBK. Fans dare him to “Do Something! Do Something!” Everyone drops mics and tosses off jackets. Miz even leans forward to give Ziggler an easy shot. Ziggler goes to leave, HBK turns him around, but then HBK ducks the sucker punch and it goes into Miz! HBK goes after Ziggler on Miz’s behalf! HBK helps Miz up, but then Ziggler comes back with a SUPERKICK! Ziggler takes HBK down with the move he made famous! Then runs away from Miz before anything more can happen! Will Ziggler pay for such disrespect and cowardice?

 

Ember Moon VS Charlotte Flair!

SmackDown Women’s Champion, Bayley, was allowed to name her challenger for SummerSlam, and after helping her thwart Fire & Desire, she chose the War Goddess! Now Ember looks to prove she’s not only worthy of the match, but capable of beating the champion by beating a former champion. Will the #Shenom be able to Eclipse the Queen of Flair? Or will she find there’s a reason the Queen is #CharlotteNineTime?

The bell rings on this first-time-ever, and Ember circles with Charlotte. Charlotte kicks Ember’s legs out and then whips her to ropes. Ember handsprings through the hip toss to arm-drag Charlotte. CHarlotte comes back and runs Ember over, then stomps away. But here comes Bayley! The Queen is upset, but Bayley just wants a front row seat. Ember rolls Charlotte up, EMBER WINS!!

Winner: Ember Moon, by pinfall

Bayley didn’t mean for that to happen, but it did happen. But then Ember puts Bayley in the ring!? Charlotte BOOTS Bayley down, but then Ember ECLIPSES Charlotte! Then she sees Bayley stirring, and grins. Ember climbs again, aims at Bayley, and gives BAYLEY an Eclipse! The War Goddess has declared war on champion and Queen! Will she regret making enemies of two NXT Horsewomen? Or is she going to rise above them all?

 

SmackDown returns to Kofimania!

The WWE World Champion throws pancakes as he makes his way out to the ring and Miami gets hype with positivity! They cheer and chant while he gets a mic. “Miami, BABYYYY~!” Before Kofi gets to his Smackville match with Samoa Joe and Dolph Ziggler, he wants to call out the man he hopes will be his SummerSlam opponent. Hopefully Kofi gets it out before getting attacked outta nowhere, because he’s talking to Randy Orton. Kofi waits, and The Viper appears! Orton himself looks to see if there might be anyone coming up to get after him. But the coast is clear, and Orton takes a mic for his own.

Kofi tells Orton that he wants Orton because of the history between them. Some fans might have forgotten, but Kofi remembers. November 16th, 2009: a sold out Madison Square Garden, and everyone chanting for Kofi. Fans chant for Kofi now. That was the night Kofi whooped Orton in a Falls Count Anywhere! And if Orton doesn’t recall it himself, there’s footage as a refresher. The SUPER BOOM DROP! That moment still gives Kofi goosebumps. That was supposed to be the moment Kofi made it to the main event. But that didn’t happen, now did it? Let’s get to the truth, to the real-life details. Orton used his influence to screw Kofi over. It almost worked, too. Until it didn’t.

Ever since then, Kofi kept on the grind and kept believing himself, and used the very real Power of Positivity to become what Orton never wanted him to be! The W, W, E, World, Heavy, Weight, Champion~! Orton responds, saying “You think I used my influence to hold you back?” Orton admits it! But it was a favor to Kofi. Kofi wasn’t ready back then. And he’s still not ready now. This reign is a fluke. Kofi brags about his 11 years, but what about Orton’s 18? Orton admits he didn’t have to work hard, because it was so easy just being himself. He didn’t have to fake an accent, throw pancakes or shake his ass. All he had to do was be him, “and it’s worked pretty damn good.” Orton wins, wins and wins, to then main event a Mania.

That reminds Orton of something. Wrestlemania 35’s Kofimania only happened because of Orton. Orton hurt Mustafa Ali, and Kofi took Ali’s spot. What Orton is getting at is Kofi doesn’t deserve the title. And Orton could take it from Kofi whenever he wants. Whenever, huh? Then how about testing that at SummerSlam? Kofi Kingston VS Randy Orton, for the WWE World Championship. If Kofi wants it, he’s got it. But as fair warning, this little fairy tale comes to an end courtesy of the most dangerous letters in pro-wrestling: R K O. Kofi shows no fear, but will he regret inviting a Viper into the ring?

But wait, here comes Samoa Joe! The Samoan Submission Machine doesn’t care about this talk, he wants another fight. Joe wants to show he can get this done even before Smackville’s Triple Threat. And Orton decides to stay and see that, after the break.

 

Kofi Kingston VS Samoa Joe!

SmackDown returns as this Extreme Rules rematch begins! Kofi and Joe circle while Orton takes a seat ringside. Joe wrenches a wrist but Kofi slips through to wrench back. Kofi wrenches Joe but Joe wrenches right back! Joe has the wristlock, but Kofi rolls and handsprings to wrench again. Joe reaches for ropes and gets the ropebreak. Kofi lets up and backs off, daring Joe to bring the fight. Joe and Kofi circle while fans chant “New! Day Rocks!” Kofi waistlocks Joe but Joe pries free to a fireman’s carry takedown. Joe has the armlock and grinds Kofi down. Joe stands on Kofi’s arm and hammerlocks, but Kofi rolls and kicks Joe away.

Kofi is on Joe’s arm again, and keylocks it. Joe powers the hold back and throws Kofi down by his hair. Joe walks around Kofi and drags him back up for a CHOP! Kofi reels back from the stinging in his chest, but Joe keeps on him with headbutts. Kofi kicks back and throws chops of his own! He backs Joe down, but Joe headbutts him right back down. Joe runs but Kofi speeds up with him! Kofi hurdles and back elbows Joe! Kofi dropkicks Joe out of the ring, then builds speed, to FLY! The Trust Fall topples Joe and Kofi is having fun! Fans fire up with Kofi as he puts Joe back in the ring. Joe gets to a corner and Kofi runs in to forearm smash. Kofi climbs up to rain down rights, right where Orton can see him. But then Joe trips Kofi up and Kofi hits buckles!

Joe looms over Kofi as Kofi shakes the cobwebs out. Joe CHOPS Kofi to the corner, then runs in. Kofi dodges and comes back, but Joe throws him with the urenage! Cover, TWO! Kofi survives but Joe keeps his cool while SmackDown goes picture in picture.

Joe looms over Kofi again and scrapes his soles off Kofi’s face. He drags Kofi back up for the swift jabs, and big haymakers! Kofi wobbles but Joe still CHOPS him at the ropes. Kofi fires back with big haymakers and kicks of his own! Only to run into Joe’s elbow! Joe glares as he stalks Kofi to a corner. Joe drags Kofi up again, pulling hair to bring him in for a headbutt! The ref reprimands Joe but Joe doesn’t care as he drags Kofi up again. Joe snapmares Kofi into a neck wrench. Kofi endures the crank on his head as fans rally up. Kofi fights but Joe leans his weight on him. SmackDown returns to single picture as Joe twists harder.

Fans rally but Orton watches with a stoic stare. Kofi fights his way back up and fights with elbows. Joe knees low, but runs into Kofi’s double chops! Kofi fires off more then dropkicks Joe! Kofi runs and leaps to lariat Joe down! Fans fire up again as Kofi runs for the NEW~ DAY~ Boom Drop! Kofi gets to a corner and takes aim. Fans clap along and Kofi runs out, but Joe gets to a corner. Joe dodges but Kofi goes up and over to crossbody Joe down! But Orton decides to strike! But Kofi denies the RKO and the match is thrown out!

No Contest

Kofi is ready for Orton this time, and Orton throws off his vest. Joe confronts Orton, to get the RKO! Kofi gives Orton Trouble in Paradise! Kofimania runs wild, but will he make it through the Smackville Triple Threat for this rematch to even happen?

 

Finn Balor returns to SmackDown!

The Extraordinary Man was the first victim of The Fiend, but he’s back to show he’s not afraid. What will he have to say after SmackDown returns from break?

SmackDown returns and Kayla Braxton is there to interview Finn. Finn has had a rough couple of weeks, losing the WWE Intercontinental Championship at Extreme Rules, but then being attacked on Raw the next night. Again, it was the shocking and perhaps disturbing debut of Bray Wyatt’s Fiend on live television, in which he attacked Finn and left him down and out in the ring. Finn finally has a chance to respond. He’s not sure how Bray’s mind works. Is this back to settle an old score? Or for something new? But from the puppets to the attack on Mick Foley last night, and The Fiend itself, Finn isn’t sure what to make of any of it.

Is Finn shaken? Bray is even more twisted than ever before, but Finn has stared fear in the face before. Finn didn’t back down then, and he won’t now! So if Bray, The Fiend, or whatever he is today, how about a match at SummerSlam?! And on the titantron, it’s another episode of Firefly Fun House? Happy Bray is there, “Yowie Wowie!” And so are Mercy the Buzzard and Ramblin’ Rabbit. Finn is so brave! It’s inspiring, really. It’s the reason they’re all fans of Finn’s in the fun house. But The Fiend isn’t, no matter how many times they tell the Fiend how “super duper” Finn is! But the challenge has been accepted! Bray does give a warning: Finn is an Extraordinary Man, The Fiend is no man. “The Fiend is an abomination. The Fiend is power. And the Fiend remembers.” #LetMeIn.

The Fiend now has control of the fun house! “Let me in!” Will Finn survive The Fiend at SummerSlam? Will Finn be bringing the WWE Intercontinental Championship with him after Smackville this Saturday?

 

SmackDown returns with a backstage interview with Charlotte Flair!

She shouldn’t have to ask for this interview. That thing with Ember and Bayley is a slap in the face. No wait, being off SummerSlam is a slap in the face. No wait, Bayley choosing Ember just because is a slap in the face. Charlotte is THE woman behind the Women’s (R)Evolution! How do you leave The Queen of All Eras off SummerSlam!? Mark her words: she will be part of SummerSlam, she demands to be SummerSlam, and she’ll have a better opponent than Ember Moon to finally prove she is THE greatest woman wrestler of all time.

 

Roman Reigns VS Kevin Owens, Special Guest Referee: Drew McIntyre!

As if making two of his enemies fight each other, the Best in the World makes sure the Scottish Terminator is the officiator, the Drifter is the timekeeper, and he himself is the ring announcer. This is certainly a stacked deck, but will the Prizefighter still be in good shape to go after Shane O’Mac?

Shane does his ring announcing duties by introducing Elias and McIntyre in turn, and SmackDown takes one more break before this main event finally goes down.

SmackDown returns once more as everyone takes their positions. Kevin makes his entrance, but Shane doesn’t give him an introduction. Roman then makes his entrance, but Shane doesn’t give him an introduction, either. It’s so obvious what Shane is up to with this, but Roman isn’t going to shy away from a fight. He and McIntyre talk trash but then Elias rings the bell. Shane finally gives the introductions, calling Kevin “The Quitter.” Kevin gets out to scare Shane off, then he takes a mic up. Shane thinks eh’s so funny and smart, huh? Kevin has no problem going through everyone to get at Shane! Shane’s getting dropped whether he likes it or not!

Roman takes the mic from Kevin and says Kevin’s not going through him. He’ll whoop everyone’s ass tonight! Shane calls for the real bell, and the bell sounds! Roman and Kevin circle, tie up, and Roman powers Kevin to a corner. McIntyre calls for the break, and Roman gives the break. Fans duel as Roman and Kevin circle again. They tie up again and Kevin headlocks. Roman powers Kevin back to a corner, and McIntyre calls for another break. The break is given, but McIntyre shoves the two a little too much. He says they have to listen to him as the referee. Roman UPPERCUTS McIntyre and throws him out! Kevin hits Elias! Shane scrambles but he’s surrounded! Roman and Kevin have him in the ring, out of the ring, and then back in the ring!

McIntyre saves Shane from Roman but Kevin helps Roman out! Elias attacks with a BIG knee! The brawling continues and Shane gets his cheap shots in on Roman. Shane and his crew stomp Roman all around, and Miami tells them, “You Suck!” McIntyre and Elias hold Roman up and Shane mocks the battle cry, but Kevin trips Shane uP! To throw him into barriers! Roman gets free, Kevin SUPERKICKS McIntyre! SUPERKICK for Elias! Roman SPEARS McIntyre! Kevin gives Elias a STUNNER! Fans are thunderous because Shane isn’t getting away just yet! Roman feeds Shane into the ring, SUPERMAN PUNCH! STUNNER! The Big Dog and KO stand tall, “Aw Hell Yeah!”

Fans want “One More Time!” and so does Roman. Kevin hauls Shane up, for another STUNNER! “You think tonight was good?” Kevin vows to do the impossible: make Shane enjoyable! Because he vows to give Shane the ass whooping of a lifetime! But can Kevin really do this all again in Toronto? Or is Shane going to find yet another way to abuse his power and stack the deck?

 


 

My Thoughts:

This was a pretty fun and more substantial episode of SmackDown after Raw Reunion being mostly filler. One thing that disappointed was that HBK didn’t join commentary at all tonight. However, the New Day taking his place was a great alternative, Big E and Xavier Woods were so hype it made things feel even more fun. Especially in the Apollo VS Nakamura match. Apollo had a great performance against Nakamura, but to be fair, he’s still not where Nakamura is. Nakamura VS Finn is coming at Smackville, and for the Intercontinental Championship, but I don’t think Nakamura drops it after Ali had such a passionate promo. At the same time, The Fiend VS Finn is happening, so maybe Finn wins the title to lose it to Bray, and Ali jumps in from there.

Ember getting a quick win over Charlotte and then leaving both her and Bayley down and out is great for Ember. She needs a spark to really get going towards this title match. Of course, Charlotte is talking about trying to outshine the title match, but is Charlotte going to have another match with Asuka just for that? Or does she circle back and copy last year’s SummerSlam by becoming part of a Triple Threat? It might be better if she joins the title match, because oddly, I can see Ember winning off her instead of just Bayley, especially if it’s an Eclipse outta nowhere. Then Fire & Desire having a match against the IIconics for a title opportunity, I don’t see that going any better than when the Kabuki Warriors finally got their shot. But perhaps it will work towards a Triple Threat of its own so that the right team comes out on top.

Kofi Kingston and Randy Orton had a great promo showdown to plug their long history against each other. It was rather surprising that Orton admits to politicking but I suppose it works into the story. Kofi VS Joe was pretty good, too, even with Orton interrupting. Smackville is going to be a lot of fun with that Triple Threat for the title, but I’m pretty sure the title doesn’t change hands. Kofi VS Orton is going to be great, or at least it should with story elements. And given Kofi referenced that memorable Boom Drop, I hope they do that again for the match, perhaps through an announce desk. And I would think for story, Kofi has to win at SummerSlam to further build his legacy.

We also got some great development for the Miz VS Ziggler story this time. Throwing HBK into the mix helped, and oof, those stinging comments about wannabes and embarrassments. This is the spark to give us a match to care about, since I expected the match itself was going to be good anyway. Then the story of the night, Shane trying to screw over Kevin and Roman. It was pretty clear this wasn’t going to work out, in order to give Kevin a lead towards their match. Though, saying this match is about Kevin quitting, I wonder if they’ll make it an I Quit match. It would just make sense, because then Kevin really does have to say the words again to lose, and it would also allow Kevin to beat the hell out of Shane since there would be no rules but to win.

My Score: 8.4/10


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Coverage

Mitchell’s NJPW Best of the Super Juniors Results & Report! (5/18/24)

Come together for Round 4!

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Who will lead the blocks at the end of tonight?

Four men go into the Best of the Super Junior’s fourth round at 3-0. Will any of them be able to go 4-0? Or will they all run out of luck?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Best of the Super Juniors 31 A Block: Clark Connors VS Kosei Fujita; Fujita wins.
  • Best of the Super Juniors 31 B Block: Dragon Dia VS “Drilla” Dan Moloney; Drilla wins.
  • Best of the Super Juniors 31 A Block: HAYATA VS Yoshinobu Kanemaru; Hayata wins.
  • Best of the Super Juniors 31 B Block: DOUKI VS Ninja Mack; Douki wins.
  • Best of the Super Juniors 31 A Block: BUSHI VS TJP; Bushi wins.
  • Best of the Super Juniors 31 B Block: KUSHIDA VS Robbie Eagles; Eagles wins.
  • Best of the Super Juniors 31 A Block: Titan VS Blake Christian; Blake wins.
  • Best of the Super Juniors 31 B Block: Francesco Akira VS Taiji Ishimori; Akira wins.
  • Best of the Super Juniors 31 A Block: El Deperado VS Kevin Knight; Knight wins.
  • Best of the Super Juniors 31 B Block: Hiromu Takahashi VS SHO; Hiromu wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Here are the current A Block standings!

Titan: 3-0, 6 points
Blake Christian: 3-0, 6 points
El Desperado: 2-1, 4 points
Kevin Knight: 2-1, 4 points
Clark Connors: 2-1, 4 points
Kosei Fujita: 1-2, 2 points
HAYATA: 1-2, 2 points
Yoshinobu Kanemaru: 1-2, 2 points
TJP: 0-3, 0 points
BUSHI: 0-3, 0 points

 

Here are the current 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

 

Best of the Super Juniors 31 A Block: Clark Connors VS Kosei Fujita!

100 Proof is going strong, but the Ichiban Young Punk isn’t feeling so mighty. Even so, Fujita could make a big leap up the block if he wins here. Will TMDK have a golden ticket to the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships? Or will he have to drown his sorrows with No Chaser?

The bell rings and Connors runs right in! Fujita dodges, RANAS, and Connors tumbles out! The fans fire up and Fujita builds speed, but Connors steps aside. So Fujita goes to the apron and PENALTY KICKS! The fans fire up with Fujita while Connors flounders back into the ring. Fujita storms after Connors, CHOPS him, then has him in a corner. Fujita CHOPS again, then follows Connors to another corner. Fujita CHOPS again, Connors snarls, and he goes to the fourth corner. Fujita CHOPS, Connors shoves him away. Fujita runs back in but Connors TOSSES him up and out! The fans boo while Fujita flounders.

Connors goes out after Fujita, drags him up, and runs him into a POST! Connors shouts, the fans cheer, but then Connors takes a fan’s TMDK shirt! Connors CHOKES Fujita with it, then throws it at a Young Lion. Connors then storms down the aisle, comes back for Fujita, and tells fans to shut up with the booing. Connors stands Fujita up and fans move aside! Connors BOWLS Fujita into the chairs! Strike! The fans boo, Connors tells them off but the fans tell him off back. Connors says no one boos him! Nobody! Connors takes a chair, throws it down on Fujita, then does it again and again with more chairs!

The ref reprimands, Connors leaves Fujita behind, and the fans rally up for Fujita. Fujita rises as the ring count starts, but Connors paces around the outside as he waits. The count reaches 10 of 20, then 13. Connors chuckles as Fujita crawls, but then Connors shoves a Young Lion into Fujita! Connors leaves Fujita behind and we’re at 17! 18! Fujita slides in at 19! Connors is mad at the ref for the slow count! The ref defends his count was fair. Connors tells fans off, has a cocky cover on Fujita, but the ref refuses to count. Connors scrapes Fujita’s face, drags him up, and snap suplexes! Then Connors runs to JUMP ELBOW DROP! Cover, TWO!

The fans rally up for Fujita but Connors is frustrated. Connors drags Fujita up, but Fujita blocks the snap suplex! The fans rally as Fujita continues to block. Connors throws body shots, but Fujita CHOPS! Connors wobbles, Fujita CHOPS again! Connors UPPERCUTS, Fujita wobbles and Connors runs, but into a LEG LARIAT! The fans fire up while both men are down! Fujita rises, waits on Connors, and then runs up to CHOP in the corner! Fujita snapmares Connors, goes up and out, and the fans rally as he takes aim. Fujita springboards back in, but into a SPEAR! Connors shakes his head, whips Fujita, and SNAP POWERSLAMS! Cover, TWO!!

The fans fire up as Fujita survives! Connors goes to a corner and takes aim. Connors barks, runs in, SPEAR!! Cover, but Connors lets off!? Connors grins and wags his finger, he wants Fujita to hurt! Connors calls out “ROBBIE ROBBIE ROBBIE! F you, punk!” Connors steps through to steal the RON MILLER SPECIAL!! Fujita endures, the fans rally up, and Fujita claws his way around! But Connors drags him back! Fujita claws at the mat, powers up and has the ROPEBREAK! Connors lets go in frustration, The Sniper he is not. But Connors stomps Fujita around and drags him up. Connors reels Fujita in and calls his shot!

But Fujita fights the lift, wrenches and waistlocks, GERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Connors is still in this but Fujita still holds on! Connors fights the lift, throws an elbow, but Fujita CLUBS him back! Fujita runs, but Connors goes the other way! JEEP FLIPPER!! The fans boo but Connors reloads in the corner! Fujita slowly rises, Connors runs in again, SPEAR!! Cover, TWO?!?! Fujita survives and the fans are thunderous! Connors CLUBS away on Fujita, drags him up, but Fujita’s a ragdoll! The ref checks but Connors CLUBS Fujita more. But Fujita trips Connors, rolls and ties the legs up, QUEEN ANGELITO STRETCH!!

Connors endures, reaches out, scrambles forward, but Fujita gets the arms! QUEEN ANGELITO’S SURFBOARD!! Connors endures, but Fujita has the chinlock now to really pull him back! Connors TAPS, Fujita wins!!

Winner: Kosei Fujita, by submission (gains 2 points; Connors earns 0)

Connors got cocky and now he pays for it! How will he explain this one to Bullet Club? As for Fujita, The Mighty Don’t Kneel, but will they be aiming for those tag titles after this tournament?

 

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

The Infinity Carat Diamond isn’t shining quite as bright as he’d hope being the bottom of this block. However, 44 Caliber hasn’t quite hit the mark, either. Will Dia be unbreakable even now? Or will he start to crack under the pressure?

The bell rings and the two stare down. The fans rally for Dia and the two circle. They tie up, and Drilla shoves Dia down! Drilla laughs and mockingly apologizes. Dia fires himself up, ties up with Drilla again, but Drilla THROWS Dia away! Drilla eggs Dia on, and Dia stands back up. Dia dodges to CHOP, CHOP and CHOP! Drilla shoves, Dia ducks ‘n’ dodges to tilt-o-whirl arm-drag! The fans fire up and Dia keeps moving. Dia tilt-o-whirls twice, DEJA VU RANAS! The fans fire up and Drilla goes out to the apron! Dia GAMANGIRIS him down, then PLANCHAS, but Drilla catches him! Drilla pops Dia around, but Dia slips free to arm-drag again!

The fans fire up while Drilla writhes on the floor. Dia catches his breath, the fans rally up, and Dia drags Drilla up. Dia puts Drilla in, the fans applaud, and Dia hurries to bring Drilla up. Drilla CHOPS back! Dia comes back to CHOP, and CHOP, and CHOP! Drilla spins to CHOP! Drilla snarls, runs, but Dia DROPKICKS him! Drilla stays up, Dia runs up to ENZIGIRI! Dia fires up, drop toeholds Drilla, then runs up, 6- NO! Drilla blocks the call, brings Dia up, but Dia slips free and DROPKICKS Drilla onto ropes! Redial, 619! Dia then slingshot CORKSCREW SPLASHES! The fans fire up as Drilla goes out, and Dia ASAI MOONSAULTS!

The fans fire up again as Dia continues to bring out the Ultimo Dragon arsenal! Dia drags Drilla up and into the ring, then aims from a corner. The fans rally, Drilla stands, and Dia runs up, roll and- NO, Drilla fights it! But Dia rains down fists, and hits REPTILIAN RANA! Cover, TWO and Drilla sunset flips! To deadlift and POWERBOMB! Flip over, and Canadian Rack! DRILLA KILLA!! Cover, Drilla wins!!!

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

Perhaps Drilla learned from watching Connors fail that you don’t show mercy, you get the job done! Will 44 Caliber continue to go for the kill until he’s the Best of the Super Juniors? As for Dia, he is still at the bottom, is he about to break?

 

Best of the Super Juniors 31 A Block: HAYATA VS Yoshinobu Kanemaru!

The Silence of Darkness and the Heel Master are near the back of the pack, both hoping to claw their way up. Will the GHC National Champion make quite the impact in the fourth round? Or will Kanemaru make things a bit hazy with his whiskey?

Oh well of course Kanemaru attacks during Hayata’s entrance! House of Torture 101 is do whatever you can to get the edge! Kanemaru then drags Hayata up to POST him! The ref reprimands and fans boo but Kanemaru stomps Hayata. Kanemaru tells the ref to leave him alone, even pushes him aside, and then he stomps Hayata. Hayata gets out of his coat but Kanemaru brings him around to SMACK off the commentary table! Kanemaru then drags Hayata by a leg, turns him over, and SMASHES the knee on the floor! Hayata writhes, Kanemaru leaves him behind, and the fans rally up. The ref checks, Hayata seems okay to continue.

Hayata gets in the ring, the bell rings, and Kanemaru is right on Hayata with a whip. Kanemaru dropkicks the leg out! Kanemaru then drags Hayata up for a SHIN BREAKER! Kanemaru drops an elbow on the leg, then traps the leg in a toehold. Hayata tries to fight back but Kanemaru cranks the knee! The fans rally as Hayata endures, crawls over, and has the ROPEBREAK! Kanemaru lets go, but then drags Hayata from ropes to YANK the bad leg! Hayata writhes, Kanemaru storms up and stomps the bad leg! Hayata grits his teeth as he sits up, but Kanemaru grabs the leg, trips Hayata, and has a standing toehold!

Hayata endures as Kanemaru twists the ankle! Hayata pushes back but Kanemaru traps the leg for a KNEE JAMMER! Kanemaru lets off to then drag Hayata from ropes, and turn him for the HALF CRAB! Hayata endures, the fans rally, but Kanemaru sits deep! The fans rally as Hayata fights his way forward, to the ROPEBREAK! Kanemaru holds on until the ref counts 4. The fans boo but Kanemaru looms over Hayata. Kanemaru stomps Hayata’s leg, but Hayata rises to fire forearms! Kanemaru kicks the bad leg, then grabs it for a SHIN BREAKER! Hayata falls over and Kanemaru paces around.

Kanemaru taunts Hayata, kicks him around, slaps him around, then kicks him some more. Hayata stands to ROCK Kanemaru! And ROCK him again! Kanemaru CLAWS the eyes! Kanemaru whips but Hayata reverses to ENZIGIRI! The fans fire up and Hayata gets up. Hayata goes to a corner, runs up and SHOTGUNS Kanemaru down! Hayata slaps the bad leg into working and the fans rally up. Hayata runs in at the corner, but into a BOOT! Kanemaru runs up but Hayata dodges! Hayata BOOTS back, goes up, and reels Kanemaru in, TORNADO DDT! The fans fire up while Hayata crawls for the cover, TWO!

The fans rally behind Hayata as he drags Kanemaru up. Hayata scoops and SLAMS Kanemaru into a drop zone, then goes up the corner. Hayata manages the second-rope MOONSAULT but FLOPS as Kanemaru moves! Kanemaru dropkicks the bad leg! Kanemaru steps through, FIGURE FOUR! Hayata endures as Kanemaru thrashes and puts on the pressure! The fans rally, Hayata reaches out, and he fights to turn things, only for Kanemaru to turn it right back! Hayata endures, keeps fighting, and he turns things over! Kanemaru turns them back over but now they’re in the ROPEBREAK! Kanemaru needs the ref to undo the hold?!

The ref pulls at the figure four, Kanemaru lets Hayata free, but then Kanemaru stomps Hayata. Kanemaru drags Hayata up to suplex, but Hayata slips free! But the leg jams! Kanemaru goes up, DEEP- DROPKICK! Hayata counters the flying DDT and now he brings Kanemaru up. Hayata cross the arms, STRAITJACKET DDT! Cover, TWO! The fans rally and Hayata brings Kanemaru up again. 403- NO, Kanemaru fights the DDT, trips Hayata, but Hayata cradle counters! TWO!! Hayata kicks, runs, but Kanemaru sends the ref into him! ENZIGIRI! The fans boo while both ref and Hayata go down!

Kanemaru mockingly checks on the ref, then gets his whiskey! Kanemaru takes a swig, brings Hayata up, but Hayata smothers him! Kanemaru pushes Hayata away, but then Hayata ducks the mist! Hayata waistlocks, but he blocks the mule kick! LOW BLOW!! And then 403 IMPACT!! Cover, Hayata wins!!

Winner: Hayata, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Kanemaru earns 0)

The Heel Master tried to sneak one past the ref, but he ended up tasting his own medicine! Will he just have to drown his sorrows in what’s left of his whiskey? Will Hayata be able to turn things around now that he’s broke even at 2-2?

 

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

Japones del Mal was riding high after beating Hiromu, but Drilla drove him right back down to Earth. As for the American Shinobi, he got cheated by Sho just like anyone else. Who rebounds from last round to head back up the block?

The bell rings and the fans rally up for Douki. Mack offers a handshake, and Douki accepts. The fans cheer the sportsmanship and the two circle. They tie up, Douki powers Mack back but Mack puts Douki in the corner. The ref counts, Mack lets off, and the fans applaud. They rally for “NINJA! NINJA!” The two tie up again, go around and end up in a corner. Douki turns things around on Mack, but lets off as the ref counts. The fans rally up for Douki again, and he ties up with Mack. Mack wrenches the arm to wristlock, but Douki rolls. Mack rolls with him! Douki rolls back but Mack rolls with him again!

Douki stands, they both cartwheel, and Mack keeps the wristlock! The fans rally, Douki spins and reaches back to headlock. Douki grinds Mack down but Mack powers up and out. Things speed up, Mack hurdles but Douki leaps over! Mack kips up, whips but Douki reverses. Douki drops down but Mack handstand walks over! Then Mack handsprings back to RANA, but Douki handsprings through! Things keep moving, Douki tilt-o-whirl RANAS, but Mack handspring and flips through! The fans fire up as the two stand off! Mack and Douki reset, and Mack takes a fighting stance. He eggs Douki on, and the fans rally up for Douki!

Douki strikes a fighting stance of his own! The two circle, and Mack kicks first! Douki blocks that but then Mack blocks the uppercut! Douki SOUTHPAW HELL STABS! Then he reels Mack in for a DDT! The fans rally, Mack goes to a corner, but Douki is on him with a whip. Douki ELBOWS Mack down, covers, TWO! The fans applaud, and Douki stalks Mack. Mack fires body shots! Douki KNEES low, runs, but Mack pops Douki up to “HADOUKEN!” palm strike! Douki falls back, Mack takes aim from the corner. Mack runs up, UPPERCUTS and then sends himself up and out! The fans fire upas Mack returns to RAM into Douki!

Mack slingshots to sunset flip, but Douki rolls through. Mack reels Douki in, lifts, but Douki slips free! Mack HOOK KICKS, whips, but Douki reverses! Mack headstands in the corner then BOOTS Douki down! High stack cover, TWO! Another cover, TWO! The fans rally up while Mack tells Douki to just quit already. Mack drags Douki up, winds up, but Douki ducks the buzzsaw! Douki waistlocks, Mack switches, but Douki throws elbows. Douki goes to run but Mack reels him in. Douki kicks free, but Mack ducks the enzigiri to HEEL STAB! Mack runs up but Douki BOOTS him! Douki’s on the apron, DAY- CHOP!

Mack sends Douki down and then he builds speed! The fans fire up as Mack handsprings, but into a waistlock! Douki wheelbarrows but Mack slips free to roll Douki up! TWO, into ITALIAN STRETCH #32!! Mack endures and stays on his feet, but Douki pulls! Mack headstands for a cover?! TWO!! SUPERKICK!! Douki flops out of the ring, Mack fires up! The fans rally, Mack handsprings to SASUKE SPECIAL! The fans are thunderous and Mack brings Douki back up! Mack puts Douki in, covers, TWO! Mack hurries to get Douki up and reel him in. Mack lifts for the RUNNING POWERBOMB!! Cover, TWO!! Douki survives and the fans fire up again!

Mack fires up and calls for the finish! Mack goes up and NINJA- NO, Douki moves! Mack rolls through, but Douki BOOTS him! Douki goes up, Mack UPPERCUTS first! Mack goes up the corner after Douki, to SUPER STEINER that Douki sunset flips! TWO, but into ITALIAN STRETCH #32!! Mack fights around, reaches out, but Douki rolls him from ropes! ITALIAN STRETCH 32!! Mack is fading, he QUITS! Douki wins!!

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

The Mack attack could not stop Douki, and now The Italian Stretch #32 has two victims! Will Mack be able to get back up? Will Douki still find his way to the top of the block?

 

Best of the Super Juniors 31 A Block: BUSHI VS TJP!

A critical showdown is happening right here in the middle of the card! Neither Black Mask nor Public Enemy is on the board yet with their 0-3 records, something’s gotta give! Who leaves the other behind with a daunting 0-4 start?

The fans already rally and duel, “T J P! T J P!” “BU~SHI! BU~SHI!” The bell rings, both rush in, but TJP avoids the low dropkick! TJP stomps Bushi, strips Bushi of his LIJ shirt and throws it away! TJP whips Bushi to a corner, runs in, but Bushi BOOTS him! Bushi goes up to M- DROPKICK! The fans fire up and TJP goes corner to corner, to ELBOW! TJP then stomps Bushi down, and scrapes Bushi’s, well, mask really. TJP runs side to side, but he jumps over Bushi’s dropkick! TJP whips Bushi, Bushi reverses, but TJP goes Spider-Man, only for Bushi to dropkick him down! Bushi builds speed, but TJP returns to LARIAT!

The fans fire up was Bushi tumbles out. TJP builds speed, and he WRECKS Bushi with a dropkick! The fans fire up as TJP throws the crown up. TJP brings Bushi around, and POSTS him! The fans rally again as TJP stands in the ring. TJP goes back out to fetch Bushi and put him in the ring. TJP pounds the mat, fans clap along, “T! J P! T! J P!” Bushi rises, TJP runs up, ONE BY- NO, Bushi ducks and TJP almost runs into the ref! Bushi runs up, TJP dodges, and Bushi almost runs into the ref! TJP kicks low, reels Bushi in, and uses the ref in the TORNADO DDT! Cover, but the ref goes down! TJP realizes his mistake!

TJP checks the ref, goes back for Bushi, but he smothers Bushi to contain the mist! TJP then works up a BLOOD MIST but Bushi ducks! BLACK MIST!! Bushi reels TJP in, backslide and BUSHI ROLL! BUSHI WINS!!

Winner: Bushi, by pinfall (gains 2 points; TJP earns 0)

The Public Enemy tried to make things fast and furious but it all backfired! Bushi finally has points, is there still a chance he can take the block? As for TJP, what is he supposed to do to get out of this awful slump?

 

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

The Timesplitter must have turned back time somehow, because he is 3-0 and doesn’t look to be slowing down! Will he be able to keep it up? Or will the Sniper of the Skies be the first major speedbump?

The bell rings and the fans rally as the two circle. Fans start a “ROBBIE ROBBIE ROBBIE!” “OI OI OI!” but it’s not quite as strong as other times. Kushida and Eagles knuckle lock, then Kushida steps over to wrench and cravat. Kushida brings Eagles to his knees but Eagles fights up. Eagles wrenches Kushida’s arm, wrenches it again and top wristlocks, but Kushida endures. The fans rally, Kushida slips around to waistlock, full nelson, then he spins Eagles to arm-drag him down. Kushida wrenches the arm to a hammerlock, pulls on it, but Eagles endures. Eagles sits up, rolls around and drop toe holds to facelock. Kushida rolls free and the fans cheer.

Kushida and Eagles reset, Kushida gets a leg, and then slips to a headlock. Eagles powers up and out, Kushida runs him over! Things keep moving, Eagles hurdles but Kushida leaps then backs up, to get the legs! Kushida turns Eagles over for a SEATED SURFBOARD! Eagles endures, fights up, and he fights to turn things around. The fans rally, Eagles gets an arm free and he goes up and around to arm-drag Kushida away! Eagles then runs to CHOP BLOCK the legs out! The fans fire up while Kushida clutches a knee. Eagles grabs that leg, isolates it, SLAPS it around, then winds up to PENALTY KICK the leg!

Eagles says he scores with that kick, then he stalks Kushida to a corner. Eagles CHOPS, then follows Kushida to another corner. Eagles UPPERCUTS, stomps the bad leg, then digs his boots in! The ref counts, Eagles drops back, and Kushida goes to the apron. Eagles goes out after Kushida, SLAMS the bad leg on the apron, and the fans applaud. Eagles goes to the crowd to fire them up, then he steps back into the ring. Eagles stalks Kushida, but Kushida CHOPS! And CHOPS! And CHOPS again! Eagles kicks the bad leg! Kushida falls over, but Eagles gets the leg to step over. Eagles has a standing toehold, then SNAP LOCKS it!

Eagles ties the legs up in a FIGURE FOUR! Kushida endures, the fans rally, but Eagles keeps Kushida from ropes! Kushida rolls, Eagles rolls, and they end up in the ROPEBREAK! Eagles lets off the hold, brings Kushida up, and he puts Kushida in a corner. Eagles wrenches, whips, but Kushida barely makes it corner to corner! Eagles runs in to DOUBLE KNEE! Kushida sits down, Eagles comes back, METEORA! Eagles fires up and the fans are with him! Eagles drags Kushida to a high stack, TWO! Kushida also has the ropes, but Eagles goes up the corner. The fans rally as Eagles aims, but Kushida is up to GAMANGIRI!

Kushida shakes out the bad leg, climbs up after Eagles, but Eagles fires body shots and forearms! Eagles HEADBUTTS Kushida away! Kushida comes back to HANDSPRING KICK! Eagles falls to the apron then the floor! The fans rally up, Kushida goes to the apron and runs up, FLYING KNEE to the bad arm! Eagles hobbles away but Kushida gets him in the ring. Kushida takes aim, and he KICKS Eagles in the leg! And KICKS again! Kushida whips, Eagles reverses but Kushida handsprings to BACK ELBOW! The fans fire up as Kushida roars! Kushida goes to a corner, Eagles goes to the other. Kushida runs in, but Eagles dodges!

Eagles returns but Kushida HIP TOSSES him! Kushida handsprings to basement DROPKICK, but Eagles catches the bad leg! HEEL HOOK!! Kushida scrambles around, gets free, but Eagles keeps him from ropes! KNEEBAR!! Kushida endures again and the fans rally up! Kushida drags Eagles along, reaches out, but Eagles drags him back! Kushida basement O’Conner Rolls! Bridging cover, TWO!! Both men stand, Kushida runs up to KICK Eagles’ arm! And KICK! And KICK, but into the TURBO- NO, Kushida turns backpack into takedown! ARMBAR!! Eagles flails, fights around, rolls and has the ROPEBREAK! The fans cheer while Kushida lets go in frustration.

The fans rally while both men are down and catching their breath. Eagles stands, but Kushida runs up to DROPKICK the bad arm! Kushida spins Eagles to ROLLING ELBOW! Eagles avoids the Penalty Kick! Kushida ducks the Roundhouse! Eagles avoids the Fastball to steal the FASTBALL! Kushida wobbles, Eagles reels him in but the bad arm holds him back. Eagles switches sides to cravat, SLICED- NO, Kushida slips free! Kushida jumps on for the HOVERBOARD!! Eagles endures, the fans fire up, and Eagles reaches out. Kushida goes after that arm now! Eagles clasps hands behind his back to stop that!

Eagles wrenches free to ROUNDHOUSE! SUPERKICK! ENZIGIRI! Kushida falls and Eagles roars! The fans fire up again and Eagles brings Kushida up. But Kushida cradle counters, then deadlifts into BACK TO THE FUTURE! But Kushida can’t hold onto the package! Both men are down and the fans fire up again! Kushida vows to finish this, and he gets Eagles up. Fisherman, BACK TO THE- CRADLE! Kushida gets free, but Eagles gets around, schoolboy with bridge! TWO!! Kushida runs up, wheelbarrow, somersault then roll over! PENALTY KICK to the bad arm!! Eagles flounders around, stands, but Kushida jumps up! Into TURBO BACKPACK!!

Both men are down again and the fans rally as hard as they can! Eagles crawls to a cover, TWO!! But Eagles ties up the legs! Kushida kicks free, Eagles SUPERKICKS back! Eagles runs up, TRIGGER!! Cover, EAGLES WINS!

Winner: Robbie Eagles, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Kushida earns 0)

Eagles pulled The Trigger and he shot down the former SIX-TIME Junior Heavyweight Champion! Will the Soul of PWA Champion soon prove he’s the Best of the Super Juniors?

 

Best of the Super Juniors 31 A Block: Titan VS Blake Christian!

It’s another critical showdown as El Inmortal and All Heat are both undefeated at 3-0! Titan wants to return to the finals and take that trophy, can he get through the GCW Champion to stay on course?

The bell rings and the two circle. Titan runs up, Blake dodges then whips. Titan goes up and over, handsprings away, and the fans fire up. Titan comes back, Blake slips out to the apron then flips away. Titan WRECKS Blake with a dropkick, builds speed, but Blake slides in as Titan rolls and flips up and out! Blake comes back to FOSBURY FLOP! Direct hit and the fans fire up! Blake brings Titan up, wrenches, then he wraps the arm around the post! The ref reprimands and counts, Blake lets off at 4, and the fans boo. Blake brings Titan up, puts him in, and he mockingly calls “Titan~” like the fans.

Blake HIP DROPS Titan, traps one arm, then stands on the bad one! Blake hushes the fans, so they can hear the SNAP! The fans boo while Blake mocks Titan’s pain. Blake brings Titan around into a keylock and he pulls on the arm! Titan scrambles forward to the ROPEBREAK! Blake SLAMS the arm down as he lets off! The fans boo but Blake flexes. Blake stands Titan up but Titan CHOPS! Titan fires forearms but Blake ROCKS him back! Blake snarls and he whips Titan to ropes. Titan reverses to TORNADO DDT, but Blake handsprings through! Titan is rather impressed! Titan runs up, but into a wheelbarrow, somersault and KNEE DROP on the bad arm!

Blake waits on Titan to rise up, then he builds speed, but Titan goes Matrix! Titan CALF KICKS back and the fans fire up! Titan runs up, but Blake puts him on the apron! Titan blocks a punch to GAMANGIRI! Titan springboards to MISSILE DROPKICK! Blake tumbles out, the fans fire up and Titan builds speed, to FLY! Direct hit and down goes Blake! The fans fire up and Titan rises! The ring count starts, Titan shakes out the bad arm and stalks Blake. Titan KICKS Blake at 10 of 20, drags him up and puts him in at 14, and the fans applaud. Titan pushes Blake to a cover, TWO! Titan keeps cool and the fans rally up.

Blake sits up, Titan CHOPS him! Blake CHOPS back! Titan CHOPS again, so Blake CHOPS again! They stand, and Titan CHOPS! Blake fires a forearm, then another, then another! Blake fires a flurry, winds up, but Titan kicks, kicks, SOBATS and SUPERKICKS! Blake ends up in a corner, and Titan runs in, but Blake BOOTS him! Blake somersaults to NECKBREAKER! Titan kips right up to PELE! Both men are down and the fans fire up again! Titan rolls his way to a corner and the fans rally as he climbs. Titan aims but Blake avoids the double stomps! Blake RAMS Titan into the corner! Blake RAMS Titan in again and again, then YANKS the and arm!

Blake goes corner to corner, but Titan BOOTS him! And SOBATS! KICKS! Palm strikes and WHEEL KICK! The fans fire up, Titan roars, and Titan skins the cat to the top rope! DIVING DOUBLE STOMPS!! Blake writhes, Titan pushes him to a cover, TWO!! The coup de grace wasn’t enough but the fans rally up behind Titan. Titan roars, drags Blake around, but Blake hooks him for a cradle! TWO! SCREW HIGH KICK! The fans rally again, Blake mocks Titan’s pose. Blake whips, Titan reverses, TORNADO DDT! And it hits this time! Titan wants Blake to get up, and Blake goes to a corner. The fans rally for Titan as he runs in, LOCO- JUMP KICK from Blake!!

Blake goes to the apron, springboards in, 450 SPLASH!! Cover, BLAKE WINS!

Winner: Blake Christian, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Titan earns 0)

Even the GCW Champion is a little surprised, but he says it is his time now! Is that true with him as the first to reach 4-0? Or will this one loss motivate Titan to fight that much harder to win the rest?

 

Best of the Super Juniors 31 B Block: Francesco Akira VS Taiji Ishimori!

The Nova Fireball’s flame is flickering, but The Bone Soldier has been shooting down everyone in his way so far. Can Akira reignite and rise to the occasion? Or will B Block see #ItsReborn?

The bell rings and the fans rally up for “A! KI RA! A! KI RA!” as the two circle. Akira and Taiji tie up, Taiji headlocks and he grinds the hold. Akira fights up, powers up and out, but Taiji runs him over. Taiji runs, Akira drops down, hurdles, but then Taiji hurdle and drops down. But Akira RANAS Taiji out! The fans fire up and Akira builds speed, slides, but Taiji ducks under! Taiji scoops, Akira slips free and shoves Taiji! Taiji stops from hitting post, then dodges Akira. Akira stops from hitting the post, but then Taiji pokes him in the eyes! The ref reprimands but Taiji whips and POSTS Akira! Taiji then grabs bell hammer and a chair!

The fans boo but Taiji only has the hammer as the ref reprimands him. Taiji throws the hammer into the ring, the ref goes after it, and Taiji grabs the chair! Taiji runs up to JAM Akira in the head! Then Taiji SMACKS Akira on the back! Taiji soaks up the cheers and jeers, then leaves Akira behind. The ref checks on Akira, and Taiji unties the blue buckle pad! The Bullet Club Special is in play as Akira scrambles into the ring. Taiji is on Akira with a wrench, ELBOW BREAKER, and snapmare. Taiji steps over to hammerlock the arm, then cradles Akira into the ARMBAR! Akira endures, flails, reaches out, ROPEBREAK!

The fans cheer, the ref counts, and Taiji lets go at 4. Akira shakes out the bad arm, the fans boo but Taiji tells the fans to shut up. Taiji stomps Akira to a corner, wraps the bad arm around ropes, but the ref counts. Taiji lets go at 4, CLUBS Akira on the neck, then whips him corner to corner. Taiji runs in but blocks boots to put Akira in the ropes. ENZIGIRI, then SLIDING- FLYING CUTTER! Akira gets Taiji first and the fans rally up again. “A! KI RA!” rises but Taiji claws the eyes! Taiji whips, Akira reverses to wrench, straitjacket, and NECKBREAKER! Akira runs to basement dropkick! Taiji bails out and the fans fire up!

Akira aims to PLANCHA! Down goes Taiji and the fans fire up with Akira! Akira puts Taiji in, goes up a corner, and CROSSBODIES! Cover, TWO! Taiji is still in this but the fans still rally behind “A! KI RA!” Akira shakes out the bad arm, drags Taiji up, SPEED- NO, Taiji blocks the twist! Akira cravats to throw knees in, then tries again. But Taiji wrenches out to WRING the bad arm! Taiji scowls while he stalks Akira. Taiji drags Akira up, whips him to ropes, but Akira reverse. Taiji handsprings to NEURALIZER KICK! Both men are down and the fans fire back up. Taiji checks his head and neck, then goes back for Akira.

Taiji drags Akira up, and then POSTS him in the open corner! The ref reprimands, but Taiji hammerlocks and scoops to SHOULDER BUSTER! Akira writhes and Taiji drops back to the corner. Akira slowly rises as the fans rally up again. Taiji runs in to tilt-o-whirl, but Akira fights off La Mystica! Akira powers up to ROCK Taiji! Taiji ROCKS Akira! Akira shouts and ROCKS Taiji! Taiji shakes it off to ROCK Akira! The forearms go back and forth, then Taiji LARIATS! Akira stays up, Taiji runs, but Akira dodges. Taiji dodges but runs into the COLLISION COURSE! Cover, TWO! Taiji is still in this but Akira goes to a corner.

The fans fire up as Akira pounds the mat. “A! KI RA! A! KI RA!” Akira powers up, runs in, but Taiji ducks the Fireball! LA MYSTICA! BONE LOCK!!! Akira endures but Taiji pushes on that bad arm! Akira reaches out, claws his way over, but Taiji rolls him away from ropes! Akira rolls to a cradle, TWO!! Akira stands, Taiji scoops him into CIPHER- NO, Akira sits on the clutch! TWO!! JUMP KNEE! Taiji roars, BANG, and he reels Akira back in. BLOODY- CRADLE COUNTER! TWO!!! Taiji escapes, Akira SUPERKICKS! Taiji wobbles, Akira knuckle locks to go up and up and TORNADO DDT! Taiji staggers around, into the FIREBALL!! Cover, Akira wins!!

Winner: Francesco Akira, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Taiji earns 0)

Akira is all fired up now as he just took down one of the top guys in this block, if not the entire Junior Heavyweight Division! Is this a sign that Akira can become the Best of the Super Juniors? Will Taiji be able to reload after this loss to still keep a top spot in the tournament?

 

Best of the Super Juniors 31 A Block: El Deperado VS Kevin Knight!

The Rogue Luchador and The Jet are both just outside the top spots, but now the way is open! Will Desperado ground Knight’s flight? Or will Knight be just too fly to stop him now?

The bell rings and the fans rally up for “DE-SU-PE!” as he and Knight stare down. The two circle, feel things out, and then tie up. Desperado wrenches, wristlocks, but Knight rolls and wrenches through. Knight wristlocks, Despe reaches back to cording hold then wrench. Despe whips, Knight reverses and hip tosses! The fans cheer as Knight says he is tsuyoi! Despe gets up, Knight kicks him low. Knight whips, Despe reverses but Knight goes up and over! Despe trips Knight and goes for the leg! STRETCH MUFFLER! Knight scrambles to the ROPEBREAK! Despe thrashes the leg all the same! Red Shoes counts, Despe lets off at 4.

Despe grabs Knight’s leg again, drags him back, but Knight stands up. Despe ducks the enzigiri, flips Knight, but Knight lands out! Knight ducks ‘n’ dodges to rally with big forearms! Knight then scoops to SLAM Despe, and JUMP SPLASH! Knight flexes, covers, TWO! The fans rally while Despe goes to a corner. Knight runs in to clothesline! Despe shoves Knight, ROCKS him with a palm strike, then another, then another! Knight UPPERCUTS back! Despe boots, Knight blocks, but Despe boots him away. Despe goes up but Knight ROCKS him! Depse ROCKS Knight back! Knight leaps to UPPER- NO, Despe stops it!

Despe then has the leg for a HANGING HALF CRAB! Red Shoes reprimands and counts! Despe lets Knight go, then hops down. Despe SPLASHES the bad leg! The fans rally, Despe drags Knight to the corner, and he SLAMS the leg into the post! Knight flops to the floor while the fans are torn, but Despe shrugs it off. Despe stands on the bad leg, then he SMASHES it on the floor! Knight flounders away and clutches the knee. Red Shoes wants this in the ring, and Knight hops in, but Despe follows after. Despe grabs Knight’s leg, steps over, and drops a leg on the knee! Knight writhes, but Despe hooks him up into an INDIAN DEATHLOCK!

Knight endures, Despe sits up and he pushes on the knees. Knight keeps his shoulders up, and he CHOPS! Despe eggs him on, Knight CHOPS more! Knight CHOPS, Despe “falls” and that puts more pressure on the legs! Knight reaches out, Despe mocks the “KE-VI-NN!” chants, but Knight fights to the ROPEBREAK! Despe undoes the leglock, then “Oops!” he falls on the bad leg! Red Shoes reprimands Despe’s usual tricks, but he brings Knight up. Knight throws body shots but Despe eggs him on. Knight throws a forearm, so Despe kicks the leg out! Despe whips corner to corner but Knight barely makes it halfway!

Despe storms up, but he avoids Knight’s dropkick! Despe gets the legs again and rolls into a STRETCH MUFFLER! Knight endures, reaches out, and he rolls free! Despe staggers up, into a DROPKICK! The fans cheer but that was a bit double-edged given Knight’s bad leg. The fans rally, Knight hobbles to a corner, and manages to run! Knight rallies with LARIAT after LARIAT, then whips. Despe reverses, Knight stops himself, and then Knight DUMPS Despe out! Knight manages to PLANCHA! Direct hit and the fans fire up! Knight says he’s still tsuyoi, and he puts Despe in. The fans rally up and Knight takes aim from the apron.

Knight shakes out the bad leg, steps inside to go up the corner. FLYING LARIAT! Knight still hobbles on the bad leg, but he brings Despe up to fireman’s carry! F5!! Cover, TWO!! Despe stays in this, Beast Incarnate, Knight is not. Knight still aims at Despe as he stands, SATELLITE- NO, Despe denies the DDT! Knight rolls under the lariat, PELE, but into an ANKLE LOCK! Roll and STRETCH MUFFLER!! NUMERO DOS!! Knight reaches out, but Despe THRASHES him! Despe drags Knight away from ropes, but Knight still fights with that one free arm! ROPEBREAK!! Despe lets Knight go, and the fans rally up.

Despe stomps the bad arm, reels him in, and underhooks! PINCHE- NO, Knight fights free! Knight leaps, but Despe still holds off the satellite! Despe GOURD BUSTERS, then runs up, but Knight wrenches! EDGE-O-MATIC! Both men are down and the fans fire up! The fans rally and duel as Knight forces himself to stand. Knight goes to Despe, Despe throws body shots. Knight ROCKS Despe and Despe goes to ropes. Knight eggs Despe on, but Despe gets pissed! Despe ROCKS Knight again and again! Knight fires up and DECKS Despe! The fans fire up and Knight drags Despe up. Despe KICKS the bad leg! And then runs to CHOP BLOCK!!

Knight flounders, Despe gets the leg, STRETCH MUFFLER! Knight rolls to a cradle, TWO!! Despe rises, ducks the leg lariat! Knight ducks the regular lariat! Knight puts Despe up top to PELE! Knight fires up and adrenaline helps him climb! Knight drags Despe up but Despe fights the superplex! Despe CLUBS the bad leg, then he shoves Knight down! Knight rolls back, runs up, UPPER ROOM!! The fans fire up with Knight and he aims from the corner! Knight runs to JUMPING DOUBLE STOMP!!! Cover, TWO!!! Despe survives but Knight roars! Despe slowly rises, Knight runs up, SATELLITE DDT!!! Cover, KNIGHT WINS!!!

Winner: Kevin Knight, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Desperado earns 0)

Truly tsuyoi!! The Jet revved his engines and he flew right over Desperado! Knight is now right behind Blake Christian and Titan, will he be flying past one of them, too? Will Desperado be able to rebound and be ready for All Heat in the next round?

 

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

The Ticking Timebomb only just got on the board last round against “Ryusuke Taguchi,” even though it was really Dragon Dia. But facing The Murder Machine could be his best bet back to the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship. Will Hiromu be ready for every trick in the book? Or will Sho show us something even more dastardly than ever before?

Wait, wait, wait. What is Sho doing with Hiromu’s framed headshot? And Sho gets the mic to say good evening. It his unfortunate duty to inform everyone that Hiromu could not be here tonight. He has a written statement for Abe-san to read. The fans boo this farce, and Sho intimidates Abe into reading it! The letter is supposedly written by Hiromu himself, apologizing to everyone here tonight that he is unable to compete against “the glorious champion, Sho.” Hiromu doesn’t want to “shame the people of Hachioji by losing to Sho.” Therefore, he cannot wrestle and must forfeit this match. Sho then says this is the truth, Hiromu gave him the letter himself.

Sho says that tonight’s main event will not happen, but the fans chant for “HI-RO-MU! HI-RO-MU!” Sho says yes, he was so looking forward to this tonight. He leads the chant in support of Hiromu, and he “hopes” Hiromu will be alright for next round. Hiromu knows how the fans feel, but Sho will send us home happy with a closing word. The Best of the Super Juniors will have more, more, more, more, more, more fun with everyone~!! Wait, Hiromu’s music plays? Is this more Sho’s sarcasm? Red Shoes won’t raise Sho’s hand in victory because he doesn’t believe this for a moment! Wait, Hiromu IS here, all tied up like Ninja Mack was last round!

Hiromu still gets in the ring and he SHOTGUNS Sho down! Hiromu tells Red Shoes that they can get this going! Hiromu CHOKES Sho with the cuffs Sho put on him! The bell rings, Red Shoes reprimands about the choking, so Hiromu lets off. Hiromu stands Sho up but Sho kicks and whips. Hiromu ducks ‘n’ dodges and CROSSBODIES! Cover, TWO! Wait, from the look of it, Hiromu has doodles all over his face! The House of Torture was adding insult to injury apparently. Hiromu kicks Sho out of the ring, then he goes to the apron. Hiromu aims and FLYING SHOTGUNS but into a Young Lion!!

Sho uses Shoma Kato as a shield, then he stomps away on Hiromu! The fans boo, Sho just grins and brings Hiromu up. Sho brings Hiromu along by the cuffs, goes to the back segment of the crowd, and he BOWLS Hiromu into a chair. That’s weak, but then Sho takes a fan’s sign and throws it aside. Sho stomps Hiromu, stalks Hiromu with a chair, but Red Shoes reprimands. Sho puts the chair down, and he pulls on the cuffs to torture Hiromu’s hands! Red Shoes reprimands, Sho lets off, and then Sho leaves Hiromu behind for the ring count. The fans boo Sho, the count begins, and the fans rally up for Hiromu.

Hiromu runs in at 5 of 20 but Sho stomps him! Sho TOSSES Hiromu out, goes after him, and grabs the bell hammer! Red Shoes says no, so Sho throws that away. So then he gets as chair to SMACK Hiromu with! Red Shoes reprimands and Sho “apologizes.” Sho drags Hiromu up, scoops him and POSTS him! Sho then SLAMS Hiromu on the floor! The fans boo more but Sho just grins. Sho leaves Hiromu behind while Red Shoes calls for a key. Sho says he doesn’t know where the key to those went, oh well. A Young Lion hurries backstage to search, but Sho gloats like he’s won anyway. The fans boo and Hiromu storms back to the ring.

Sho hurries out after Hiromu so Hiromu leads him on a high speed chase through the crowd! Sho as the corrupt cop chases the noble hero criminal, all to give the Young Lion more time to find that key! The ring count starts, Hiromu stays away since his hands are still bound. But we’re past 10 of 20, Hiromu has to risk it! Hiromu watches Sho closely, then slides in. But Sho kicks low and CLUBS Hiromu down! Sho drags Hiromu up, THROWS him back out, and then goes out after him. Sho grabs his title belt, takes aim, but Red Shoes reprimands. Sho throws the belt aside, goes looking for a chair, but the key is here!

Sho SMACKS Hiromu again! Sho puts Hiromu in, but wait, was that not the right key? The Young Lions have to go looking again! Sho scoops and SLAMS Hiromu! Sho then gets the legs, and he turns Hiromu for the BOSTON CRAB! Sho wants to humiliate Hiromu with a Young Lion level hold! Hiromu endures, fights forward, but Sho drags him back! Sho sits deep on the hold, but Hiromu endures! The Young Lions return, still no luck!! The fans can’t believe it, but the Young Lions search a third time! Hiromu still fights to the ROPEBREAK! Sho lets go but he’s having fun messing with Hiromu now. Sho taunts the fans but they boo.

Sho kicks Hiromu around, taunts him, but Hiromu CLUBS him! Sho says that’s not fair, he used the cuffs as weapons! Red Shoes says Sho’s the one who gave Hiromu the cuffs! Sho avoids Hiromu but Hiromu CLUBS him again! Red Shoes ignores what’s going on, and the fans cheer that justice! Sho CLAWS Hiromu’s eyes, then runs, but Hiromu blows past him to RANA! The fans fire up because Hiromu can still use his legs! Sho bails out, Hiromu has a reprieve, and referee Kevin Sato is here with the key! So Sho gets in his way! The fans boo but Hiromu FLYING SHOTGUNS Sho! And finally, FREEDOM~!

The fans fire up as Hiromu can finally get his hands on Sho! Hiromu winds up but Sho goes scrambling away! Hiromu runs up, drags Sho up and throws him in! Hiromu drags Sho up to whip him to a corner and clothesline! Snapmare and basement dropkick! The fans fire up and Hiromu drags Sho up to reel him in. FALCON ARROW! Cover, TWO! Hiromu throws off the shirt House of Torture doodled all over, and he drags Sho up. Hiromu fireman’s carries to CORNER DEATH VALLEY! Oh wait, the House of Torture drew poo on Hiromu’s back. He probably doesn’t even know! But Hiromu fireman’s carries again, only for Sho to bend fingers!

Rede Shoes reprimands but Hiromu kicks, KICKS and whips. Sho reverses, Hiromu stops himself and BOOTS back! Then HANGING HEADSCISSORS! Sho grabs at Red Shoes, and YUJIRO is here! Tokyo Pimp attacks Hiromu and drags him down! REVERSE DDT to the floor! Yujiro puts Hiromu in for Sho, Sho drags Hiromu to a cover, but Red Shoes refuses because of how Sho mistreated him! Sho is furious but Yujiro gets on the apron to argue with him. Sho gets the Torture Tool! Sho aims, swings, but Hiromu ducks! Hiromu snatches the wrench, then throws it back to frame Sho! The fans cheer and Sho defends his innocence on this specific moment!

Red Shoes still confiscates the wrench, Hiromu runs, but then Red Shoes is used as a shield! LOW BLOW!! And then Hiromu is shoved into Red Shoes! Sho and Yujiro then stomp away on Hiromu! The fans boo but this is the House of Torture for you. They double whip Hiromu, then Yujiro BOOTS! Sho runs up to clothesline! Sho snapmares Hiromu then sets him up for the FALLING HEADBUTT LOW BLOW! Sho covers and Red Shoes is back to count, TWO!! Hiromu survives and the fans are thunderous! But Sho vows to end it now. The fans rally for “HI-RO-MU! HI-RO-MU!” but Sho stalks him. Sho brings Hiromu up and in, STRAITJACKET PILEDRIVER!! Cover, TWO?!?

The fans fire up and Sho is furious! Sho aims his bow and he drags Hiromu back up. Sho double pump handles, but Hiromu fights Shock Arrow! So Sho suplexes! Hiromu slips free to SUPERKICK! Sho wobbles, the fans rally up, and Hiromu grits his teeth. Sho flounders around, comes back, but Hiromu catches him into TRIANGLE D! Sho endures, pops free, and he BITES Hiromu’s thigh!! At least we hope that’s the thigh! Red Shoes reprimands, and Hiromu spits out the fabric from Hiromu’s shorts! Sho grabs Hiromu’s legs, holds him open, and even pushes Red Shoes aside! But Hiromu kicks Sho’s legs out first! And then TRIANGLE D!!

Sho flails inside the hold and the fans rally! Sho fights to stack Hiromu, then deadlifts him! POWERBOMB! But Hiromu holds on!! Sho flails, but he’s fading! Hiromu pulls on the arm as hard as he can! Red Shoes checks, Sho fights up and stacks Hiromu again! Sho deadlifts for a BUCKLE BOMB! Both men are down and the fans rally up again. Hiromu and Sho rise, Sho runs, but into a SUPERKICK! Hiromu runs, Sho ducks the lariat then runs, but into the HIROMU-CHAN BOMBER!! Hiromu roars and drags Sho up! Fireman’s carry, but Sho CLAWS eyes! Yujiro distracts Red Shoes, and Sho LOW- NO! Hiromu stops that to LOW BLOW Sho!!!

The fans cheer the poetic justice, and then Hiromu fireman’s carries Sho, to RAM him into Yujiro! Then VICTORY ROYALE!! Cover, TWO!! Sho survives but the fans fire up behind Hiromu again! Hiromu waits on Sho to rise, then runs in to HIROMU-CHAN BOMBER!! Hiromu isn’t done there, he hauls Sho up to OG TIMEBOMB!! Cover, Yujiro YANKS Red Shoes out!! The fans boo as the Tokyo Pimp has to get involved again! Yujiro stomps Hiromu, but here comes Bushi! Yujiro kicks Bushi, fires forearms, then runs, but Bushi TOSSES Yujiro right out! Bushi builds speed and DIVES! Direct hit and down goes Yujiro!

The fans fire up as LIJ supports LIJ! HIROMU-CHAN BOMBER!! And then inverted suplex, TIMEBOMB MK II!!! Cover, Hiromu wins!!!

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

Justice, true justice, has been served! The villainous Murder Machine loses in the main event he tried to steal, will he finally learn that crime doesn’t pay?

As for Hiromu, he gets a mic and he tells Sho to hold on. Hiromu has to admit, Sho really is amazing. Hiromu ought to commend Sho. AS IF! Sho should apologize to the great people of Hachioji and to all of Japan, the stupid moron! The fans cheer that! And then apparently, Hiromu winning the main event also won him a year’s supply of original Hachioji ramen? And to present the certificate is the owner of SUPER ALPS, Nobuhisa Shiozawa. The fans cheer this great honor for both of them, especially for a Hachioji native like Hiromu. Wait, would Sho have still been given this had he won? Well, all’s well that ends well.

Hiromu and Shiozawa-san have their photo op, and then Hiromu puts his prize aside so he can get back on the mic. The fans chant for “HI-RO-MU! HI-RO-MU!” Hiromu then tells everyone, “I’m home.” The fans cheer with an “Okairi! <Welcome home!>” Hiromu does apologize that it had to be Sho for this match. But Hiromu does want to talk to Bushi. They’re in different blocks, meaning they could end up opponents down the line. Even so, Bushi helped Hiromu out here, and he thanks Bushi for that. The fans applaud that, too! Hiromu then says, “See you in the semifinals, or even the finals!”

Hiromu thanks everyone for coming tonight. He’s still bummed to see empty seats. This building can fit about 5 THOUSAND, it’s that big. The other day, he was in Niigata, went out for a late dinner, and there was a guy at the restaurant who was a fan. “Oh, it’s Hiromu!” All excited to see him and stuff. Hiromu was flattered, glad to chat. Hiromu asked the fan how the show was tonight, and the guy went, “Huh? There was a show tonight?” A funny story, but it also bummed Hiromu out. NJPW needs to promote better. When NJPW goes to all these different places, even the wrestlers try to promote a little.

And this was a guy who watches World Pro-Wrestling TV weekly! Even then, he didn’t know NJPW was in town! It’s not funny, it’s a real problem and NJPW is working to fix it. But it’s also on the wrestlers to promote the shows more. They gotta hit TV, radio, newspapers, everywhere! Plaster the towns with posters! Advertise anywhere and everywhere! The fans applaud that. Hiromu knows Hachioji is a big city, but he also knows there are a lot of people here who love pro-wrestling. But many still miss out on live shows. If they knew, how many do you think would be in here? And Hiromu knows it’d be a whole lot of fun! The fans cheer that!

“That’s why, wherever we go, big or small, we have to reach each and every person. It’s on each and every wrestler to do so. With that kind of promotion, we can let every fan know that wrestling’s in town and pack the house.” The fans cheer in support of that! Hiromu says they haven’t gone as far as they can yet. They can fill up the seats in here! It’s what he wants! This is Best of the Super Juniors, and the finals are gonna main event Osaka-Jo Hall! And of course it’s gotta be Hiromu in that ring, in that spotlight! Hiromu vows to win BOSJ 31! And then he’ll return here next year as the champion! The fans love the sound of that!

Hiromu wants everyone here to remember his words. “Get excited for the next time we’re in town.” And of course, in this BOSJ, they have to have more, more, more, more, more, more, more, more, more, more, MORE, MORE, MORE, MORE, MORE… FUN TOGETHER~! Hiromu is not just aiming for the trophy and the championship, he wants NJPW to have it all! But will he be able to have it all himself as the rounds keep on coming?

 

Here are the NEW A Block standings!

Blake Christian: 4-0, 8 points
Titan: 3-1, 6 points
Kevin Knight: 3-1, 6 points
El Desperado: 2-2, 4 points
Kosei Fujita: 2-2, 4 points
Clark Connors: 2-2, 4 points
HAYATA: 2-2, 4 points
Yoshinobu Kanemaru: 1-3, 2 points
BUSHI: 1-3, 2 points
TJP: 0-4, 0 points

 

Here are the NEW B Block standings!

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


My Thoughts:

Another great round for NJPW here with both blocks going in one night. And great news that of all the matches heading towards Dominion, it will be the BOSJ 31 finals that take the main event. I suppose that means Moxley VS Evil will be second to last, with all the usual antics certainly keeping it from being just a real good match. But that aside, the standings took quite a shift here, with Kushida and Taiji both taking their first losses, right as they’re about to face off in Round 5. Knight getting that comeback win on Desperado was great stuff, and Blake Christian coming out as the ONLY 4-0 is some great stuff.

Bushi getting the win over TJP definitely adds to TJP’s crisis of confidence angle, and I suppose Dia losing again shouldn’t be too shocking given Drilla can’t let someone else get a golden ticket off him. Fujita getting one off Connors is great, though, and with Eagles having already beat Drilla, maybe we get Fujita & Eagles VS Connors & Drilla at Dominion, as I don’t see three-fourths of that making the semifinals. And it’d be pretty cool if TMDK got in on feuding with Bullet Club War Dogs as War Dogs transition away from other feuds.

Hiromu VS Sho was really good stuff, especially with these apparent “arrest” antics. Great win for Hiromu, and great promo from him, as well. Hiromu obviously wants Junior Heavyweight wrestling to come into its own, but he also wants NJPW to get back up to where it was before Pandemic. The lack of advertising and promoting was a rather quiet problem as far as an American fan like myself could tell, so I commend on Hiromu bringing that real conversation up and charging his fellow wrestlers and the company with fixing it, not just leaving it up to fans.

My Score: 9/10


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AEW Coverage

Mitchell’s AEW Rampage Results & Report! (5/18/24)

Deonna Purrazzo’s on a Rampage!

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The Virtuosa is sharpening her edge!

Deonna Purrazzo wants to tear into Thunder Rosa, but she’ll have to settle for Robyn Renegade first! Will The Virtuosa fine tune her style for La Mera Mera?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Kyle O’Reilly VS Lee Moriarty w/ Anthony Ogogo; Kyle wins.
  • Rush VS Cody Chhun; Rush wins.
  • Deonna Purrazzo VS Robyn Renegade; Deonna wins.
  • Brian Cage VS Anthony Bowens w/ Billy Gunn; Cage wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Kyle O’Reilly VS Lee Moriarty w/ Anthony Ogogo!

#CombatKyle may have lost out on the TNT Championship, but he isn’t going to stop the comeback over it. Will he build back up towards another title opportunity? Or will #TAIGASTYLE prove he’s the one deserving of those chances?

The bell rings and the two circle. The fans rally, Kyle and Lee tie up, Kyle waistlocks, but Lee wrenches out. Kyle wrenches to waistlock, but Lee sits to switch. Kyle switches, facelocks, wrenches, but Lee rolls and rolls until he rolls free. The fans rally as the two circle again. They knuckle lock, go shoulder to shoulder, but Kyle gets under. Kyle lifts but Lee fights that. Lee lifts but Kyle fights that. Kyle tries again, but Lee trips him! Kyle uses his leg guard, trips Lee, knuckle lock cover! ONE as Lee gets an arm up! Kyle pushes it down, ONE as Lee gets the other arm up. Kyle puts that arm down, TWO as Lee bridges!

The fans cheer this technical exchange, Kyle jumps but Lee catches him! DOUBLE WRISTLOCK! Kyle scrambles around, slips free, ARMBAR! Lee clasps hands, stacks Kyle, TWO! Lee rolls Kyle to get the SLEEPER! Lee also has body scissors! But Kyle pulls on Lee’s leg, and that makes Lee let go of the sleeper! Kyle gets the leg, twists for a toehold, but Lee rolls over. Lee reels Kyle in, headlocks, then cravats. The fans rally, Kyle wrenches free to cravat back. Lee ELBOWS Kyle in the chin! Lee BODY SHOTS, then BODY SHOTS again! Lee runs but Kyle KNEES Lee low! Kyle snapmares, runs, then SLAPS Lee!

The fans fire up but Lee gets up. They get face to face, then go forearm to forearm! Kyle fires off fast strikes and he KICKS the legs out! Kyle wrenches to YANK the arm, then CLUBS it! Kyle wrenches, YANKS the arm again, then wrenches to an ELBOW- NO, Lee shoves Kyle away! Kyle runs up but Lee BUCKLE SHOTS him! Kyle staggers away, the fans are torn, and Lee runs up to KICK the bad leg! Ogogo applauds, Lee fires himself up, and Rampage goes picture in picture.

Lee stomps Kyle down, drags him back up, and top wristlocks. Lee isolates that arm, flexes, and STOMPS the arm! Lee paces around, drags Kyle up, and SNAP HALF HATCHES! Cover, TWO! But Lee still has the arm and he hammerlocks it, to then SNAP LOCK it! Kyle endures, grabs at Lee, but Lee bridges and moves around. Lee traps the one arm, pulls on the other, and then makes it a RECLINER! Kyle endures as Lee leans back! Lee lets off as he loses the hold, but then he stomps the bad arm! Lee soaks up the heat as Rampage returns to single picture. Lee grinds Kyle’s bad arm, but Kyle fights up to throw body shots.

Kyle wrenches, ELBOW- NO, Lee has a SLEEPER now! Kyle rolls but Lee holds on tight! Kyle fights up to back suplex! Lee lands out, but Kyle KICKS! SLAPS! KNEES! KICKS! LEG SWEEP! The fans fire up and Kyle snarls as Lee goes to a corner. Kyle runs up to forearm smash! Kyle wrenches, ELBOW BREAKERS, and hits a BIG back suplex! HEEL HOOK! Lee endures and fights towards ropes! ROPEBREAK! Kyle lets go, Lee stands, and Kyle KICKS the leg out! Kyle runs up but Lee dodges the kick to SOBAT! Kyle goes to a corner, Lee runs in, but Kyle blocks the boot! Kyle shoves Lee down, KNEES him, then reels Lee in.

Lee wrenches out of the suplex, to SNAP the fingers! Lee runs up to BOOT Kyle in the corner! Kyle falls, Lee covers, TWO! Kyle survives but Lee reels him in, BORDER CITY STRETCH!! Kyle endures, powers through to clasp hands, and he deadlifts Lee into a CAPTURE SUPLEX! Lee is dazed and Kyle slowly rises. The fans fire up, Kyle storms up, and KICKS Lee’s arm! Lee KICKS Kyle’s arm in return! Kyle KICKS again, but Lee KICKS again! They KICK and KICK and KICK! The fans are behind Kyle, both men block kicks, so they start throwing palm strikes! The fans are thunderous! Both men let the other go, but then they DOUBLE ROUNDHOUSE!

The fans are thunderous as Kyle and Lee are both down! A standing count starts, both men slowly rise, and they stagger into each other. Lee gets Kyle first, suplex and- NO, Kyle knees free! GUILLOTINE! Lee wrenches free to RAM shoulders! Lee wrenches, to ELBOW- NO, Kyle wrenches to ELBOW BREAKER! Hammerlock, GUILLOTINE HOVERBOARD COMBO!!! Lee endures, and he uses his free arm to pry free! For HEADBUTT after HEADBUTT! Kyle drops into a TRIANGLE HOLD!! Lee is fading fast, but he deadlifts Kyle with the one arm! Only to go out! Kyle is free to PENALTY KICK!! Kyle gets Lee up, to ORANGE CRUSH into the ARMBAR! Lee taps, Kyle wins!!

Winner: Kyle O’Reilly, by submission

Shane Taylor Promotion takes another loss on the night, but it was a hell of a fight against Kyle O’Reilly! But Kyle is going to face Malakai Black this Wednesday, will Dynamite be The End of Kyle’s comeback?

 

Backstage interview with The Acclaimed.

Lexy Nair is with Max Caster, Anthony Bowens & Billy Gunn. First off, congrats on the recent success of the newest video. Thank you, Lexy. And Bowens is facing Brian Cage in tonight’s main event, how- Daddy Ass has us stop there. Let’s talk about everyone going crazy, running wild. The Embassy turning on Swerve, The Elite abusing their authority. Billy isn’t sure if Lexy has watched older wrestling, but Billy has a thing about authority. So if they wanna get wild, if they wanna go nuts, that is right up their aisle!

Caster says that’s right! He also thanks Lexi for saying those nice things about his song. But that song was about him and Bowens going back to the Tag Division. If you read the lyrics, which are great lyrics, but none of those team decided to wrestle The Acclaimed. Perhaps they’re a little too afraid to wrestle the best team alive. So they took the first match they could find, and that turned out to be Bowens VS Brian Cage 1v1. Sure, Brian is The Machine, but there are a lot of machines that are now antiquated, and we know Brian doesn’t have AI in his brain. In fact, he can’t update his software! It’s about time Bowens takes Brian to the junkyard!

Bowens says that’s right! Platinum Max & Daddy Ass said it themselves, there is a lot of chaos and madness going on in AEW! Bowens tells Brian and his cronies that they decided to side with The Elite, well you’re looking at the foundation of AEW! The best tag team alive, the best homegrown stars, The Acclaimed! That train is gonna roll right through Brian tonight, courtesy of the Scissor King! Because EVERYONE loves The Acclaimed! Say it again, EVERYONE loves The Acclaimed!! The Five Tool Player is fired up, but will he need all those tools to dismantle The Machine?

 

Rush VS Cody Chhun!

El Toro Blanco is back again, and this time he is looking to reach the top of AEW. Will he stampede through everyone put in his path until he is adored with AEW gold?

The bell rings, the fans rally up with “FOUR C! FOUR C!” Chhun runs up but Rush dodges! Chhun hits buckles, then Rush CLOBBERS him! Chhun sits in the corner checking his jaw, but Rush goes to the far side. “If you mess with the bull…” You get BULL’S HORNS!! Rush drags Chhun to a cover, Rush wins!

Winner: Rush, by pinfall

Rush stands tall, but he doesn’t even care to celebrate, because this was more an inevitability than a victory to him. But then he sees Chhun stirring, and Rush drags him out of the ring! Rush CHOPS Chhun right down! Then he whips Chhun hard into barriers! The ref reprimands but Rush THROWS Chhun around again! Rush fires down fists, the fans boo as Rush DECKS Chhun! Rush won’t stop, he finds his favorite bright green cord! Rush LASHES Chhun, even as more refs rush out here! Rush CHOKES Chhun with the cord!! The refs all shout for him to stop, and Rush does. But he wants everyone to remember: Nothing happens unless HE says so!!

Rush storms off, spits on Chhun, and then grabs a chair! The refs warn him, so Rush simply stands on the chair to soak up the heat. Will nothing and no one stop Rush from rampaging his way to the top?

 

Lexy Nair is outside the trainer’s room.

She notes that to close Collision, Lance Archer & The Righteous viciously attacked FTR after the match. Bryan Danielson walks out, Lexy asks for a medical update. Well, The Elite put a bounty on Team AEW’s heads, and it seems to have worked. FTR won’t make it to Dynamite next Wednesday. But the Elite also failed, because here’s the thing. The Elite wants to change the world? They don’t even show up on Saturdays! And the failure is that Bryan is still here! So this Wednesday, Bryan will be on Dynamite. The Elite can take whatever shot they want, but they better get it done the first time. Otherwise, they won’t like the consequences.

Bryan heads out, but are The EVPs going to make sure no one makes it to Double or Nothing to oppose them?

 

Deonna Purrazzo VS Robyn Renegade!

The Virtuosa is still seething over her many run-ins with Thunder Rosa, but it seems their rematch isn’t destined to happen just yet. Will Deonna one-up La Mera Mera by beating Robyn worse than Rosa did?

The bell rings, the two circle, and they knuckle lock. Deonna spins to wrangle Robyn, but Robyn rolls back. Robyn wrenches, wristlocks, but Deonna rolls, rolls and gets free. The fans cheer, Deonna smirks, but Robyn runs up. Robyn waistlocks, Deonna switches, but Robyn switches back. Deonna pries free to switch again, then she trips Robyn up. Deonna runs, Robyn stays low, then Robyn hits a rolling fireman’s carry takeover! Robyn runs up but Deonna ducks the kick to roll her up! TWO, and Robyn staggers up into an arm-drag! Deonna has the armlock, the fans cheer, but Robyn endures.

Robyn fights up, Deonna hits another takeover, and she traps the arm. Deonna makes it a cover, ONE as Robyn gets the shoulder up. Deonna knuckle locks, wrenches, then clamps onto the arm. Robyn fights up to whip free, then runs to sunset flip! Deonna stays up, then slaps the arms away to clamp on an ARMBAR! Robyn fights around, flails, and has the ROPEBREAK! The ref counts, Deonna lets go at 4, and Rampage goes picture in picture.

Deonna stalks Robyn, brings her around and whips, but Robyn holds ropes. Deonna ROCKS Robyn, Robyn still holds ropes! Deonna ROCKS Robyn again, whips, but Robyn reverses. Robyn ducks the forearm, and the backhand, then clinches for a HALF NELNSON FACEBUSTER! Robyn fires up, she sits Deonna up, and runs to SHOTGUN her down! Cover, TWO! Robyn is frustrated, but she drags Deonna back up and bumps her off buckles. Robyn CHOPS Deonna, smirks, and winds up to CHOP again! Robyn says one more time, then puts some stank on it. But Deonna dodges to CHOP back! Deonna whips corner to corner, but Robyn reverses.

Robyn runs in, but Deonna puts her on the apron! Robyn ROCKS Deonna first, steps in, but Deonna ARM CODE BREAKERS! Robyn writhes, Deonna storms over, and Deonna drags Robyn up. Deonna knuckle locks, wrenches, then top wristlocks to wrangle Robyn. Deonna traps the arm for a SNAP LOCK! Cover, TWO! Robyn clutches the arm but Deonna is on her again. Deonna pulls on the bad arm, then top wristlocks. Robyn endures as Deonna thrashes the arm, and Rampage goes to break.

Rampage returns and Deonna wrenches Robyn’s arm. Robyn ROCKS Deonna, but Deonna wrenches again. Robyn fires off a flurry of forearms and the fans fire up! Deonna shoves Robyn but Robyn LARIATS on return! The fans fire up with Robyn, then she wrenches Deonna to reel her in, put her in ropes, and KNEE her! Robyn runs to then STOMP Deonna down! Cover, TWO!! Deonna survives and Robyn is frustrated. The fans rally, Robyn drags Deonna up, then fireman’s carries. Deonna slips free, shoves, and BOOTS Robyn down! Deonna slashes her throat and vows to end this! The fans fire up as Deonna drags Robyn up.

Deonna Gotch hooks, but Robyn slips free! Robyn pump handles, but Deonna arm-drags free! Deonna BOOTS the lariat, ARMBAR DDT! FUJIWARA!! Robyn taps, Deonna wins!

Winner: Deonna Purrazzo, by submission

Deonna didn’t even need Venus De Milo, but then she puts that on Robyn anyway!! The ref reprimands, the fans boo, but Deonna makes Robyn suffer in Rosa’s place! But wait, here comes Thunder Rosa!! La Mera Mera rushes the ring, but Deonna runs away! So when does the part about regretting to mess with a Jersey girl come in? Rosa checks Robyn, and Deonna slithers back in! Deonna CLOBBERS Rosa from behind! Oh so that’s the part about Jersey? Rosa gets up, though, and Deonna retreats again. Rosa runs Deonna down and grabs her by the hair! Rosa drags Deonna back to the ring to RAM her into the apron!

The fans fire up as Rosa tells Deonna to fight her now! Rosa puts Deonna in, Deonna rolls out of the ring and runs into the crowd! The fans boo as Deonna flees into the night. When and where will Deonna have to give Rosa this fight?

 

Scorpio Sky speaks.

“I have done things people dream about. I’ve made money, faced legends, won championship after championship after championship. And you might not wanna hear this, but that was easy. And that doesn’t mean I don’t relate. I understand a normal person put in my position would fail. Because since time began, when people wanted to see a star, they’d look up at the Sky. And all that does is put me in the perfect place to reach down and lift you all up here with me. So to all the fans around the world, I’m coming back. And I’m here for you.” But will this comeback finally be the time Scorpio Sky reaches the top of the mountain?

 

Backstage interview with Sonjay Dutt.

Lexy Nair says Sonjay asked for this time, what is on his mind? Sonjay says first off, he sure doesn’t need Lexy here so hit the bricks. Skedaddle, peace, see ya. Lexy sighs and leaves, and Sonjay says this is for Bryan Danielson. The Elite have put a price out on Bryan’s head, and Sonjay just got off the phone with them, they have worked out quite the deal. Bryan says he’ll be on Dynamite, and so is Sonjay. But no, Sonjay isn’t the one that’ll take him out once and for all. This Wednesday, it will be The American Dragon VS… The Indian Giant! Yeah, that’s right! The one in a billion, Satnam Singh!

And y’know what? Dragon meat is expensive, so hopefully he goes well with a little chicken masala. This Wednesday, it will be one hell of a cookout! Sonjay laughs to himself, but will Bryan be the one with the last laugh after taking on this giant roadblock?

 

PROGRAMMING NOTE for Rampage next week!

Yes, Rampage returns to Friday nights next week, BUT at a special time of 6:30 Eastern, 3:30 Pacific! Make sure your DVRs know so you don’t miss this special Double or Nothing weekend edition!

 

Brian Cage VS Anthony Bowens w/ The Acclaimed!

The Machine turned on Swerve and then got beat by Swerve, crossing him off the list of top contenders. But will he reboot and head for other title opportunities? Or will The Acclaimed prove they can get it done in any division?

As always, Platinum Max has a diss track! “I heard Brian Cage got captain plans. We leave you bleeding so hard, you got menstrual cramps! Damn you are ugly, lookin’ pathetic. You are so small, get off the Ozempic! When did Brian Cage stop lifting weights? Beat him so bad, whip his ass into shape! Run you outta town just like Daim, because in Portland, Everybody Loves The Acclaimed!” Bowens then says, “PORTLAAAAND~! The Acclaimed have arrived! Scissor me, Daddy Ass~!” And he does~! The fans are fired up, but will Cage get his stuff in in response?

The bell rings and the fans sing “OH~ Scissor Me, Daddy~!” Cage and Bowens circle, tie up, and Cage shoves Bowens away! Cage flexes, fans are torn, and Cage says to scissor that. Bowens has Cage hold on, and then Bowens flexes. The fans cheer for Bowens, and he does scissor that! Cage runs up, Bowens gets around, then CHOPS! And CHOPS! Cage TOSSES Bowens to a corner, takes a swing, but Bowens dodges! Bowens CHOPS and CHOPS, but Cage shoves Bowens away. Cage runs up, Bowens gets under and kicks low. Bowens whips, Cage reverses, but Bowens goes up and over. Bowens hurdles, headlocks, but Cage powers out.

Bowens hurdles, slips around the lariat and DDTS! Cover, ONE!! Cage is tougher than that but the fans fire up behind Bowens. Bowens gets Cage up but Cage SPINEBUSTERS him! Cage says no more scissors! Cage storms up to RAM into Bowens! And RAM in again! And then CHOP! The fans “WOO~!” while Cage stalks Bowens. Cage bumps Bowens off buckles, then says one more time! NOT! Cage trolls the fans, whips Bowens, then runs up to UPPERCUT! LARIAT! SAIDO! Cage asks who betta but the fans are torn. Cage storms over to Bowens, drags him up, and ROCKS him with a forearm. Cage CHOPS, ROCKS Bowens again, then CHOPS again.

The ref counts, Cage whips corner to corner, then runs up. Bowens dodges the splash, blocks the kick, CLUBS the knee then KNEE JAMMERS into a DRAGON SCREW! Cage writhes and flounders to the apron while Bowens catches his breath. Bowens storms up, brings Cage up, but Cage swings! Bowens ducks, feints, then kicks the legs out! Cage hits apron on the way down, and Bowens aims. Bowens slingshots but Cage moves, so Bowens just goes to the apron. But Cage blocks the Penalty Kick to bring Bowens down, POST BOMB!! Cage gloats, then leaves Bowens behind, while Rampage goes picture in picture.

Bowens writhes, Cage goes back out to drag him up, and RAMS him into barriers! Cage brings Bowens around, SMACKS him off the apron, then drags him up again. Cage whips Bowens hard into steel steps! Bowens falls over in a heap, Cage flexes, then Cage refreshes the ring count. Cage drags Bowens up but Bowens pushes him away. Cage BOOTS Bowens down, then brings him up for an APRON BACK SUPLEX! Cage gloats some more, steps into the ring, and storms up on Bowens. Bowens kicks low, throws hands, but Cage JUMP KNEES! Cage digs his boots into Bowens at the ropes, lets off, and Bowens sputters.

Cage CHOKES Bowens again, the ref counts, and Cage lets off again. Cage drags Bowens up, scoops and uses him for bicep curls! Cage then TOSSES Bowens away! Cage swaggers around, flexes, and covers, TWO! Bowens KICKS Cage from below! And kicks him again! Cage KICKS Bowens, whips him to ropes, then CLOBBERS Bowens! Cage clamps onto Bowens with a chinlock and grinds him down! Bowens endures, Cage grinds him into the mat, but the fans rally up. Bowens fights up to his feet, throws body shots, but Cage KNEES him away. Cage wags his finger, gloats a bit more, then runs corner to corner to forearm smash!

Cage soaks up more cheers and jeers as Rampage returns to single picture. Cage run sin, but Bowens BOOTS him! And BOOTS again! Bowens goes up, leaps, but Cage catches him! Cage suplexes, but Bowens cradle counters! TWO!! Cage escapes but Bowens ducks the discus! Bowens hobbles but he still ROCKS Cage, throws more hands, but Cage SOBATS! KICKS! Cage runs, Bowens follows. Cage dodges, Bowens redirects and spins Cage for Rock, Paper, Scissors, SUPERKICK! The fans fire up with Bowens! Bowens mule kicks, front kicks, runs and FAMOUSERS! Cover, TWO!! Cage survives and Bowens can’t believe it!

The fans rally up and Bowens rises. Bowens waits on Cage, runs up to clinch, but Cage fires elbows! Cage waistlocks, full nelsons and SLAMS Bowens down! Cover, TWO! Cage is frustrated, but he wants Bowens to get up. Cage runs up, Bowens moves aside to KICK Cage in the ropes! Then DRAPING APRON DDT!! Both men are down but the fans fire up! Bowens rises, drags Cage up, and fireman’s carries! Cage fights that to POST Bowens! And ENZIGIRI! Bowens flops around the corner, Cage brings him up from inside! DEADLIFT SUPERPLEX!! Cover, TWO!!! Bowens is still in this and Cage is beside himself!

Cage starts up Terminator drums, the fans join in, and he drags Bowens up. Cage pump handles and lifts, but Bowens slips free of the driver! Bowens runs but Cage ducks the kick to roll Bowens up! Bowens rolls through, and he ducks the discus! The SOUTHPAW hits! Cage reels Bowens in, suplexes, DRILL- NO, Bowens slips free to ROLLING ELBOW! And SUPERKICK! Cage falls, Bowens runs to SHINING WIZARD! Cover, TWO!! Cage survives but the fans fire up! Bowens huffs and puffs and fires back up! Bowens waits on Cage, fireman’s carries, but the bad leg stops him! Cage shoves Bowens at the ref!

Cage runs up, Bowens sends him at the ref! Bowens waistlocks but Cage LOW BLOWS!! The fans boo but Cage reels Bowens in! DRILL CLAW!!! Cover, Cage wins!!

Winner: Brian Cage, by pinfall

Bowens may be an excellent former Tag & Trios Champion, but sadly he isn’t at the level needed as a singles guy. Will The Acclaimed have to regroup and focus on going after The Elite? Will The Machine be granted golden opportunities by said Elite?


My Thoughts:

A very good Rampage to once again follow up Collision, but I’m relieved that next week is going to be a partial return to normal schedule. Because as great as the matches here were, they just felt thrown together to tangentially tell stories. For example, Kyle VS Lee was a great match but Kyle has beef with The House of Black but they didn’t want Kyle getting one over on Buddy or Brody before facing Malakai next Wednesday. Shane Taylor Promotions deserves a touch better than being fed to the bigger stories, but maybe they come around as a trio after Double or Nothing to face like Bang Bang Gang or something.

And even our main event was an example of this. Great promo from Acclaimed, great rap from Caster as usual, but also a good choice for Cage to still win out. Cage has done singles champ stuff, is going to be the singles champ guy in whatever the former Mogul Embassy becomes after this, or even just a singles guy all on his own. Rush of course squashes his opponent tonight but him going after Chhun after was a good touch. At the same time, I kinda wanted the ref to reverse the decision and disqualify Rush after the match, throwing him into a worse rage and beating up on Chhun more. And again, why no La Faccion Ingobernable? Donde esta Dralistico, Preston Vance y Jose?

Good match from Deonna VS Robyn but of course Deonna won. Rosa going after Deonna and Deonna running away was not what I was expecting, it’s rather disappointing, and why not just give us their rematch with escalated stipulations already? Deonna VS Rosa in a Last Woman Standing maybe? Iron Woman Match so that it goes right to half an hour? Something cool like that would really show Tony Khan finally wants to do more with the Women’s Division after promising it like two or three times already.

And very good promos from Bryan and Sonjay Dutt to set up Bryan VS Satnam. I would think Bryan wins, but there’s a good chance Team Triple J goes after him post match anyway. As I just said in the Collision article, Anarchy in the Arena being No Disqualifications of the highest level, we could actually get way more than just the eight men advertised as the roster starts choosing sides, a very Avengers Civil War/Endgame type situation.

My Score: 8.6/10


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