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Mitchell’s NJPW Dominion Results & Report! (7/12/20)

Is Everything Evil’s?

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NJPW Dominion 2020

The fate of NJPW is on the line!

The New Japan Cup’s finale was above and beyond expectations, but it’s not over yet! Will Evil reign supreme over NJPW? Or can Naito hold on?

NOTE: NJPW no longer wants to feed AXS TV now that it is with Anthem and Impact Wrestling. But never fear, I will cover NJPW in the spirit of AXS in providing the most important matches of the show.

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • NEVER Openweight Championship: Shingo Takagi VS SHO; Takagi wins and retains the NEVER Openweight Championship.
  • IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: The Golden Aces VS Dangerous Tekkers; The Dangerous Tekkers win and become the new IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions.
  • IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Double Championship Match: Tetsuya Naito VS EVIL; Evil wins and becomes the new IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Double Champion.

PLAY BY PLAY

NEVER Openweight Championship: Shingo Takagi VS SHO!

The Last Dragon suffered a sho-cking defeat to one half of the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions, and things have been building towards this rematch! The title is on the line, can Takagi stay Mr. NEVER Openweight? Or will Sho truly become a shock master!

The introductions are made, the NEVER singles title is raised, and this high stakes, “high voltage” rematch begins!

Sho and Shingo tie up right away! The fans rally, Shingo pulls hair and headlocks but Sho powers out. They collide shoulders and neither falls. Sho runs, Shingo stays up and the two start shoving. Shingo kicks low then whips Sho to a corner. Sho comes back, they ram shoulders over and over, but Sho throws a forearm. Sho runs, bumps Shingo, but Shingo comes back to shoulder and elbow. Shingo runs but Sho runs him over! The fans cheer as Sho dodges Shingo, but Shingo spins Sho around, only for Sho to hit the suplex! Cover, TWO! Sho keeps on Shingo with an attempt at the armbar. Shingo resists but Sho gets his hands apart, so Shingo gets a ropebreak with his foot. Sho lets go as the ref counts, and Shingo bails out. Sho gets to the apron and Penalty Kicks Shingo down!

The fans cheer as Sho hops down to kick Shingo more. Sho puts Shingo on the apron then climbs up to join him. Sho wants space but Shingo holds ropes was Sho waistlocks. Shingo elbows and breaks free to fireman’s carry Sho. Sho gets in and sweeps the legs. Shingo is down. Sho runs and basement dropkicks Shingo to railing! Sho builds speed again, but Shingo gets in to run him over! Shingo drags Sho up, throws him out now, then goes after him. But Sho hits back with forearms! Sho whips, Shingo reverses, Sho hits railing hard! Shingo brings Sho up to whip even harder the other way! Sho floundres and writhes while the ref has Shingo stand down. Shingo fires up the crowd as he drags Sho back up. Shingo puts Sho in, drags him back up and reels him in, for a BIG suplex! Cover, TWO!

Shingo keeps his cool as he sits Sho up. Shingo goes after Sho’s arm with elbows, then elbows away on Sho’s shoulder and chest! Sho flops down and Shingo gives him toying kicks. The fans rally up as Shingo eggs Sho on. Sho slowly sits up but Shingo kicks him on the back. Sho gets right up, kicks back, then snapmares to KICK! Shingo gets up, gritting his teeth. Sho throws forearms but Shingo gives them back. They start brawling faster and faster and the fans rally with them. Sho gets the edge but Shingo double CHOPS him down! Fans cheer while Shingo catches his breath. Shingo goes to Sho, whips him to ropes and knees him low. Shingo runs, and blocks Sho’s spear to a DDT! Sho sits up, Shingo runs, but the sliding lariat misses! Sho SPEARS outta nowhere!

Both men are down but the fans rally up again. Sho gets to ropes and uses them to get up. Sho aims from the corner, runs out, bumps Shingo to the other corner, then hits a corner clothesline! Sho whips Shingo corner to corner but Shingo reverses, only for Sho to come back with a LARIAT! Fans cheer as Sho grits his teeth and brings Shingo up. Shingo swings a chop but Sho gets under ot GERMAN SUPLEX! Sho holds on to GERMAN SUPLEX again! Shingo resists the third and elbows back. Sho ducks, kicks and runs, but Shingo follows! Sho sees him coming, side steps and SNAP GERMAN! Bridging cover, TWO!! Sho grits his teeth again as he knuckle locks Shingo to a Cording hold. Shingo reaches for ropes but Sho cranks on the arm. Shingo throws body shots but the hip toss doesn’t work.

Sho wrenches to a shoulder breaker, then wrenches more, only for Shingo to power out. Sho swats Shingo’s punch away, then runs, but into a back elbow! JAB! LARIAT! Sho is down and Shingo catches his breath again as fans cheer. Shingo drags Sho up, for a SNAP SAIDO! Cover, TWO! Sho survives but Shingo keeps his cool. The fans rally up for Sho as Shingo drags him back up. Shingo tries the Gory Especial but Sho resists. Shingo whips Sho to a corner but blocks the boot. Shingo corner clotheslines then runs, but Sho corner clotheslines back! Sho runs, Shingo ducks, SNAP SAIDO! But Sho is up!? Sho staggers to dead lift GERMAN Shingo!! Both men are down and the fans are loving this! Sho flounders to his feet while Shingo struggles to sit up. Sho runs but into another back elbow! And JAB!

But Sho LARIATS! Only for Shingo to stand right up and LARIAT back! But Sho gets up to SUPERKICK! Both men are down again and the fans cheer. The rallying returns as both men stir. Shingo sits up first and he goes forehead to forehead with Sho. They start throwing forearms on their knees, then as they get to their feet. Shingo fires up and the fans cheer. Shingo eggs Sho on, Sho clotheslines! Shingo doesn’t fall so Sho dares him to give it back. Shingo clotheslines back! Sho does, too! Shingo hits again, and again, then runs, into a KNEE! AX BOMBER outta nowhere! Shingo drags Sho back up for the SLIDING LARIAT! Then Gory Especial, NOSHIGAMI! Cover, TWO!! Sho survives and Shingo can’t believe it!

The fans rally up again as Shingo stands. Shingo brings Sho back up, fireman’s carry but Sho resists. Sho elbows and grabs the arm for a double wristlock. But Shingo powers through, only for Sho to hit a BACKSTABBER! Sho pushes Shingo up, and pops him up for a POWERBOMB! Sho’s strength is incredible! Sho brings Shingo back up, for the POWER BREAKER! Always a bit double edged for those knees, but Sho powers through. The fans rally behind him as he runs, LARIAT! Cover, ONE!? Shingo isn’t down so easily, but Sho dead lifts him again! SNAP GERMAN!? Bridging cover, TWO!! Shingo survives that shocker, but Sho hasn’t given up yet. Sho aims his bow and brings Shingo up. Double underhook pump handle, but Shingo back drops free!

Shingo and Sho slowly stand again and Sho blindside clotheslines! Sho brings Shingo up but Shingo throws forearms. Sho eggs him on so Shingo slaps him! Shingo throws elbows from all sides, but Sho ROCKS Shingo back! Sho throws elbows from all side just like Shingo, but Shingo is on the ropes. The ref stops Sho and Sho knocks the ref over! Sho clotheslines Shingo on the ropes, and again! And again! Sho runs, but Shingo follows to clothesline on the ropes! Shingo runs, double clotheslines! But neither falls! Sho staggers around, brings Shingo around but Shingo blocks the punch! Sho resists Shingo’s pump handle so Shingo knees, and GUT BUSTERS! Shingo drags Sho back up, gets the pump handle, MADE IN JAPAN!! Cover, TWO!?! Sho survives but Shingo is too tired to be upset.

Shingo fires up with the fans, waits for Sho to stand, and then runs to PUMPING BOMBER! Cover, ONE?!?! Sho is in a daze but he still lives! Shingo drags Sho back up, pump handle torture rack, but Sho slips out to a sleeper! Sho is a backpack, so Shingo drops him with a backpack stunner! But Sho gets the armbar! Shingo turns and powers through but Sho tries a Triangle Hold. Shingo dead lifts but Sho lets go to underhook straitjacket! SHOCK DRIVER! Cover, TWO!! Shingo survives but Sho just fires up! He aims his bow! Sho drags Shingo back up, pump handles, but Shingo pushes him away. So Sho Penalty Kicks the arm out! Shingo clutches the elbow but refuses to let this stop him. Shingo sees Sho coming, fireman’s carries, but Sho arm-drags out to get the armbar again! Shingo makes it a cover, TWO, and Sho still has the arm!

Shingo endures as Sho cranks on the arm, but he turns over again. Sho gets the Triangle Hold again, squeezes tight, and the fans rally up. Shingo starts to fade! The ref checks, and the arm drops once. The arm drops twice! But Shingo revives and dead lifts again, and gets the fireman’s carry, DEATH VALLEY DRIVER! But Sho rises?! Only to fall again! Shingo drags Sho up but Sho fires off slapping palm strikes from all sides! Sho slaps and slaps, Shingo JABS! HEADBUTTS! Both men wobble but Sho is back up first! Shingo block shis kick, puts it in the ropes, then DRAPING GTR!! Shingo learned much from his battles for this title with Hirooki Goto! The fans rally up, Shingo drags Sho up again, pump handle torture rack, LAST OF THE DRAGON!! Cover, Shingo wins!!

Winner: Shingo Takagi, by pinfall (still NEVER Openweight Champion)

There is still a NEVER Openweight Double Champion! Shingo stops Sho’s run at the title and stays Mr. NEVER Openweight! What will it take to stop the Last Dragon?

But wait! Desperado attacks Shingo at the stage! Suzuki-Gun’s masked wrestler picks up the NEVER Openweight title, and then SMASHES Shingo with it! Young Lions try to get Desperado to stop but Desperado slaps Shingo around. “Oi, Champion, what’s wrong?” Desperado is clearly issuing a challenge and dares Shingo to fight him already. Desperado gets away with the belt and Shingo has help getting to the back. Will Shingo catch up to Desperado and make him regret making such a move?

 

IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: The Golden Aces VS Dangerous Tekkers!

Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kota Ibushi each lost to Taichi during the New Japan Cup, but mostly because the Sliest Wrestler in the World had help from his friends in Suzuki-Gun. Assuming things stay at 2v2, can Tanahashi and Ibushi trump whatever The Holy Emperor and Zack Sabre Jr. throw at them?

The introductions are made, tensions run high already, and brawls break out! Tanahashi fires off on Taichi while ZSJ throws European Uppercuts and Ibushi KICKS back. Red Shoes rings the bell so this is grudge match is on record.

Tanahashi stomps a mudhole into Taichi and Red Shoes tries to restore order. Ibushi stomps Taichi, then the Golden Aces double whip and double elbow Taichi. ZSJ returns but gets double kicks, whips and elbows! The Tekkers bail out, the Aces DOUBLE PLANCHA! Fans are fired up as Ibushi and Tanahashi control the ring. Tanahashi puts ZSJ in and coordinates with ZSJ. Tanahashi scoops and slams ZSJ for an elbow drop! Ibushi corkscrew splashes, Tanahashi somersault sentons! Tanahashi air guitars and fans cheer. Tanahashi tags Ibushi in and they mug ZSJ. Ibushi swings on Taichi but Taichi catches him. ZSJ dumps Tanahashi out and boots Ibushi. Taichi comes in as ZSJ throws EuroUppers. The Tekkers double whip Ibushi, but Ibushi dodges, elbows and snap-ranas!

The fans cheer as Ibushi is alone with ZSJ. Ibushi throws forearms on ZSJ in the corner. Ibushi keeps standing ZSJ up for more and then kicks, but ZSJ turns it into a heel hook! ZSJ drags Ibushi’s head into it while Taichi throws Tanahashi into barriers! Ibushi gets his head free and gets the ropebreak! ZSJ lets go, then drags Ibushi from the ropes for a standing toehold! ZSJ turns Ibushi around, drags him back and tags Taichi in. Taichi takes his time getting in, and stands on Ibushi’s head. Taichi digs his heel into Ibushi but Red Shoes counts. Taichi stops, but he cranks and claws at Ibushi’s face! Fans rally up for Ibushi as Taichi lets go. Ibushi eggs Taichi on but Taichi stands on his neck. ZSJ adds his boot but Red Shoes reprimands. The Tekkers let up, for Taichi to snapmare and kick Ibushi.

Ibushi stands up, but Taichi claws his face again! Taichi runs but into a dropkick! Ibushi crawls and hot tags Tanahashi! Fans fire up with Tanahashi as he drags Taichi up. Tanahashi fires off fast hands and has Taichi in a corner. Tanahashi whips corner to corner, runs in, but blocks Taichi’s boot! DRAGON SCREW! ZSJ runs in, boots, but he gets a DRAGON SCREW, too! Fans fire up with Tanahashi again as he looms over Taichi. Tanahashi drags Taichi up, scoops and slams him, then goes to the corner. Second rope somersault senton! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi keeps his cool as he watches Taichi stand. Tanahashi runs, but ZSJ kicks him! Red Shoes reprimands but Tanahashi DECKS ZSJ! But Taichi has a tag rope, and uses it to choke Tanahashi!

Red Shoes reprimands, he knows something’s up. Taichi stops, drags Tanahashi out, and chokes him more! ZSJ goes after Ibushi as Taichi brings Tanahashi to railing. Taichi chokes Tanahashi harder this way, but Red Shoes reprimands. ZSJ stands on Tanahashi before going back to the ring. Taichi just chokes Tanahashi with camera cables! Red Shoes reprimands, Taichi stops, the Tekkers put Tanahahsi in. Ibushi hurries over but ZSJ ROCKS him with a EuroUpper! Taichi keeps choking Tanahashi but Red Shoes counts. Taichi stops again while ZSJ throws Ibushi into railing. ZSJ tags in and the Tekkers mug Tanahashi in the corner. ZSJ straitjacket stretches Tanahashi down but Red Shoes says Tanahahsi is in the ropes.

Taichi digs his foot into Tanahashi again! Red Shoes keeps reprimanding them, and Taichi exits. ZSJ cravats and cranks Tanahashi’s neck. Tanahashi endures, ZSJ snapmares to NECK WRENCH with his feet! Tag to Taichi, and Taichi keeps twisting Tanahashi’s head around. Fans rally as Tanahashi endures, and Taichi lets up. Taichi stomps Tanahashi down, tags to ZSJ, and ZSJ drags Tanahashi up for another cravat. Tanahashi fights free but swings into a takedown! ANOTHER neck wrench! Cover, TWO! ZSJ wraps Tanahashi up in a headscissor hold immediately! Taichi BOOTS Ibushi off the apron for good measure! Fans rally as Tanahashi endures this modified Triangle Hold ZSJ has, and Tanahashi rolls to a ropebreak. ZSJ lets go at 4, fans rally up as ZSJ toys with Tanahashi now.

ZSJ brings Tanahashi up, Tanahashi fights out and throws forearms. ZSJ EuroUppers, but Tanahashi swings. Into a standing Cobra Twist! ZSJ puts his own twist on it but Tanahahsi powers up to fight free! They go around and around, Tanahashi gets the leg but ZSJ slips out. ZSJ Peles but into a DRAGON SCREW! Both men are down and the fans rally up again. Hot tag to Ibushi! Springboard missile dropkick! Taichi runs in to get forearms and a whip. Taichi reverses but Ibushi hits a leaping leg lariat! ZSJ runs into the spinning powerslam! MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO! Ibushi fires up with the fans and watches ZSJ stand. Ibushi fires off palm strikes and kicks but ZSJ dodges to EuroUPper! Ibushi PELE, but ZSJ catches it to an ankle lock!

ZSJ reels Ibushi into a waistlock but Ibushi standing switches. ZSJ resists the Half ‘n’ Half to Pele the arm and sweep the legs! Tag to Taichi and Taichi looms over Ibushi. Taichi toys with Ibushi, but the fans rally up. Ibushi eggs Taichi on so Taichi kicks. That doesn’t bother Ibushi. Taichi keeps kicking, and pushing Ibushi around. Ibushi KICKS back and Taichi doubles over! Ibushi dares Taichi to get up, so Taichi does. Taichi KICKS and Ibushi has to take a moment. Ibushi shakes his head and then KICKS back. Ibushi eggs Taichi on again, so Taichi KICKS again! Ibushi still KICKS back! Taichi has to take a moment, but he KICKS. And then sobats! Taichi smirks but is still stinging as he drags Ibushi up. Ibushi sobats back! Ibushi runs to the corner, but Taichi dodges to enziguri!

Taichi brings Ibushi out, runs, but Ibushi ducks. Taichi boots, Ibushi stays up, but he runs into a dragon sleeper cobra! Tanahashi runs in but ZSJ intercepts with a flying guillotine! The Tekkers have dual submissions! Tanahashi fights, ZSJ keeps him down in a Triangle, and both Golden Aces start to fade! But Tanahashi gets a second wind, as does Ibushi. They both power out, Cloverleaf for ZSJ and Ibushi fireman’s carries! But Taichi slips out ot get the dragon cobra again! Tanahashi dumps ZSJ out to dragon sleeper Taichi! The fans cheer as Tanahashi squeezes tight. Ibushi and Tanahashi scoop Taichi for the GOLDEN BLADE! ZSJ runs in, he also gets a GOLDEN BLADE! Tanahashi throws ZSJ out and Ibushi drags Taichi back up. Ibushi lifts, POWERBOMB! Cover, TWO!!

Taichi survives but Ibushi drags Taichi up. Taichi tires to low blow the Kami-Goye away, but Ibushi blocks! Ibushi still KNEES Taichi down! Ibushi vows to finish this, and he brings Taichi around. But ZSJ jumps in to get Ibushi with a sleeper hold! ZSJ brings Ibushi down with body scissors and Ibushi starts to fade! Taichi gets up as ZSJ stands Ibushi up. ZSJ feeds Ibushi to Taichi’s ROUNDHOUSE! Taichi STEALS the Last Ride! High stack cover and ZSJ intercepts Tanahashi, TWO!?! Ibushi keeps the Aces golden but the match is still going! Taichi crawls and gets up. Off come the pants! Taichi aims at Ibushi as he rises, SUPER- NO! Ibushi blocks the kick, reels Taichi in, pops him around, but Taichi slips out. Ibushi ROUNDHOUSES!

Both men are down and the fans rally up! Tanahashi is back at the corner, hot tag to the Once in a Century Talent! Tanahashi fires up as Taichi sits up. Tanahashi runs, Taichi stops the Slingblade but Tanahashi fights off the suplex. Taichi reels Tanahashi in, back suplex but Tanahashi SLING BLADES! Tanahashi DECKS ZSJ then fires up again. The fans are with him as he waits for Taichi to stand. Tanahashi runs, but Taichi ducks to ROCK him with that right! Tanahashi wobbles but gets back up, to get the GAMANGIRI!! Both men are down but the fans rally up again. ZSJ tags in, drags Tanahashi up and runs, to Penalty- NO! Tanahashi blocked! ZSJ slaps and slaps Tanahashi, but Tanahashi SLAPS him back!

Tanahashi runs, ZSJ ducks the Sling Blade to Gory Especial, but Tanahashi slips out, TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! SLING BLADE! Cover, but Taichi breaks it! Ibushi goes after Taichi and gets him out. Tanahashi goes to the corner and the top rope. HIGH FLY FLOW-BODY! Taichi SUPERKICKS! Ibushi V-TRIGGERS! ZSJ counters Kami-Goye to ZACK DRIVER! All four men are down and the fans are thunderous! The teams regroup, ZSJ and Tanahashi stay in the ring. Both men stand as the fans rally, ZSJ runs into a SLING BLADE! Tanahashi goes up top fast, HIGH FLY FLOW ONTO KNEES!! Cover, Ibushi breaks it in time! But Red Shoes is down as Taichi gets in! Taichi has the metal hand and he JABS Ibushi!! Taichi aims at Tanahashi while ZSJ keeps Red Shoes distracted!

Tanahashi ducks the Iron Fingers to SHOTEI! Tanahashi runs, but no Sling Blade, SAIDO!! Taichi shouts for ZSJ to help, and the Tekkers coordinate to finish Tanahashi. Taichi double chicken wings to hold Tanahashi up while ZSJ gives dragon screw after dragon screw after dragon screw! Tanahashi is down, but the Tekkers drag him up to keep going! SIX dragon screws in all! But the Tekkers show no mercy as they drag Tanahashi back up! MORE dragon screws!! EIGHT dragon screws, four for each leg! Can Tanahashi even stand at this point? The fans still rally as Taichi talks trash to Tanahashi. The Tekkers have Tanahashi stand again, EuroUPper to GAMANGIRI! ZSJ scoops, Taichi SUPERKICKS into the ZACK DRIVER! Cover, the Dangerous Tekkers win!!

Winners: The Dangerous Tekkers, by pinfall (NEW IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions)

Taichi and ZSJ won all by themselves, and celebrate by mugging the Young Lions that want to help Tanahashi! Ibushi is still down on the outside so no one can help Tanahashi as Taichi and ZSJ stand over him with the belts. Taichi goes out to fetch Ibushi so that he can be part of this. Taichi drags Ibushi up, Alabama lift, ASSISTED Black Mephisto! The Golden Aces are placed on top of each other and the Dangerous Tekkers stand on them. Will Tanahashi and Ibushi be able to stand for a rematch? Will another team step up to the Tekkers?

 

IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Double Championship Match: Tetsuya Naito VS EVIL!

The leader of Los Ingobernables de Japon is truly a man with everything to lose! The King of Darkness is willing to win by any cost, and that even includes betraying LIJ to join Bullet Club! Will this change in allegiance bring about a change in the NJPW power balance?

With being on a new team comes having a brand new entrance and look to Evil! Even so, his biggest fan, Milano, holds out hope as he holds the old toy scythe. Naito makes his entrance with the usual attitude, not letting what happened yesterday affect him. The Bullet Club gives a Low Sweet for luck but Naito just takes off his entrance suit. Red Shoes wants Bullet Club to leave, and fans cheer him on. Bullet Club protests and Gedo tries to get special permission but Red Shoes won’t have it. They either leave or this match is off. Bullet Club concedes, and take their leave. The introductions are made, both title belts are raised, and this moment no one saw coming finally begins!

Fans cheer already as Naito and Evil stare down. Evil and Naito slowly circle, but then Evil pulls a page from Naito’s book and bails out of the ring. Naito doesn’t mind, and waits for Evil to come back. Evil slides in but then right back out. Again, Naito isn’t bothered. Evil walks around ringside just to take his time with his former leader. Evil gets back in only to exit again, but then Naito wrecks him with a dropkick! Naito whips Evil into barriers! And then into m ore barriers! Evil falls down and Naito brings him up to whip into yet even more barriers! And then shotgun dropkick him down! Naito brings Evil out to bump off tables! And again! Fans cheer as Naito bumps Evil off the table a third time. Naito pulls Evil along by his hair to put back in the ring.

Naito stomps Evil at the ropes, then drives elbows in. Fans rally as Naito stands Evil up to throw forearms. Naito puts Evil through the ropes to bend backwards! Red Shoes counts, Naito lets up, but Naito bends Evil back again! Naito stops but uses Evil’s hair to keep him up against the ropes. Red Shoes counts so Naito lets go, then he stomps Evil down. Naito drags Evil up to a cravat and cranks on the neck. Evil endures, gets to ropes, but Naito elbows him on the back. Naito whips, Evil reverses but Naito holds ropes. Naito boots back but Evil clotheslines him out! Evil takes a moment to catch his breath before pursuing Naito outside. Evil whips Naito into barriers now! Evil drags Naito up and wraps his leg around the railing! Evil pulls on the foot, Red Shoes counts, but Evil BOOTS the leg!

Naito falls down and Evil keeps stomping him! Evil confiscates the timekeeper’s table and brings it over! Evil brings Naito up and around for a fireman’s carry, but Naito fights out. Evil kicks Naito’s legs out then walks around to commentary. Evil snatches the toy scythe from Milano! And he BREAKS it! Then he throws the pieces back at Milano!! Milano jumps the rails! But Evil kicksd and WHIPS him into them!! Evil is truly living up to his name tonight! Red Shoes reprimands but Evil just soaks up all the heat. Evil goes back to Naito, drags him up and wraps the leg around railing again! Evil pulls, Red Shoes counts, but Evil stops at 4 to BOOT the leg again.

Naito and Milano are both hurting from what Evil did, but now Evil copies Toru Yano and undoes a corner buckle pad. There’s an exposed corner now as Evil waits for Naito. Fans rally for Naito as he gets up and into the ring. Evil stomps Naito’s legs then drags him up. Evil whips Naito into the exposed buckles! Naito writhes but fans rally for him. Evil drags Naito back up, and whips him back into the bare buckles! Naito writhes more and Evil stomps the legs again. Evil stomps and stomps and stomps, then drops an elbow on the knee! Evil traps the foot in a toehold and Naito endures. Naito fights back but Evil keeps cranking on the leg. Evil digs an elbow into the knee but Naito gets the ropebreak! Evil lets go at 4 and keeps his cool. Evil paces about and taunts Naito.

Evil watches Naito stand and the fans rally again. Evil mocks Naito with the Too Sweet but Naito CHOPS him! But the chops don’t bother Evil, even as Naito keeps going. Evil eggs Naito on and Naito switches to forearms. Evil kicks the bad leg! He brings Naito up but Naito resists the suplex! Evil keeps trying but Naito keeps blocking. Naito tries now but the bad leg doesn’t help. Evil suplexes, Naito slips out but the bad leg jams! Evil kicks Naito then slaps him around before stomping the bad leg. Evil runs, but Naito manages to one-leg shotgun dropkick! Both men are down but fans fire up again. Naito rises and hobbles over to Evil. Naito brings Evil up, fires off forearms and kicks then whips Evil, to run him over with an elbow and basement dropkick!

Naito whips again, runs in to rocket kick! Leg sweep and swinging dropkick, Combinacion Cabron! Naito drags Evil up, turns him and hits a neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Naito keeps his cool as he grabs Evil’s hair. Naito drags Evil up, fans rally but Evil breaks free. Evil swings into the inverted DDT and leg nelson! Naito claws Evil’s face, Red Shoes reprimands, and Evil crawls around uses his legs. Naito cranks harder on his hold but Evil squirms and reaches to get the ropebreak. Red Shoes counts but Naito says he needs him. Naito just uses that as an excuse to crank harder. Red Shoes “helps” Naito let go, and Naito stomps Evil’s head! Evil sits up but Naito stomps him more. Naito brings Evil up and reels him in, but Evil fights off the waistlock with elbows. Evil throws Naito down by his hair!

Fans rally up as Naito stirs. Evil SLAPS Naito around! Evil drags Naito up, slaps him more and eggs Naito on. Evil has the leg but Naito elbows him away. Naito hits the atomic drop, throws more and more and more elbows into Evil, then stands him back up for even more! Evil falls and the fans cheer as Naito keeps cool. Naito drags Evil up by his hair again, but Evil ducks the elbow to kick back. Evil whips, Naito reverses but the enziguri misses! Evil knows that trick too well, and he SMASHES Naito’s knee into the mat! Evil looms over Naito, turns him around and SMASHES the knee again! Naito gets to ropes but Evil stalks over. Evil drags Naito up on the apron, goes after the leg, but Naito fights him off.

Naito elbows Evil again, turns him, APRON NECKBREAKER! Fans cheer as Naito evens things with Evil. Naito grabs the table from before, brings it closer, and fans rally up as they anticipate Naito’s plan. Naito brings Evil around, but Evil holds ropes for dear life! Evil rakes Naito’s eyes! Red Shoes reprimands but Evil lets up to lift, SUPER SHINBREAKER THROUGH THE TABLE!!! It was double edged for Evil, too, as he hits the floor! But is Naito’s knee even still there!? Evil doesn’t care, he fetches his friends, the chairs! Evil puts a chair around the leg, but Red Shoes shields Naito using a piece of the table! Fans cheer Red Shoes’ courage and Evil stands down. Red Shoes frees Naito’s leg from the chair while Evil goes into the ring. Fans rally as Naito stirs, but a ring count starts.

The count passes 5 of 20, then 10. Naito sits up with help from the table debris but we’re already at 15! Naito crawls at 18, stands and is in at 19.5! Evil argues with Red Shoes but then he stomps Naito’s legs. Evil steps through for the SHARPSHOOTER! Naito endures despite all the pain in his legs and back! The fans rally as Naito grits his teeth and reaches for ropes. Evil sits deep, Naito starts to fade! Naito feebly flails but he keeps reaching! Naito shouts as he gives it one last try, but Evil just sits deeper! Naito fades again! Is he out!? No, Naito revives to ROPEBREAK! Evil holds on until Red Shoes counts 4. Evil stomps Naito’s legs and then grins as he stands over him. Naito glares up at Evil but Evil brings him up. Naito resists the fireman’s carry and elbows away, but Evil kicks the leg.

Evil whips, Naito reverses but Evil reverses back to send him into bare buckles! Evil LARIATS! Cover, TWO!! Naito survives and fans cheer! Evil grows annoyed, and he drags Naito back up. Fireman’s carry, DARKNESS FALLS! Cover, TWO!!! Naito almost didn’t kick out! Evil sits Naito up and slashes the throat. Some things never change as Evil stands and spins Naito, but Naito elbows him away. Evil kicks the leg, tries again, but Naito slips out to SLAP Evil! Naito leaps up and over, ESPERANZA! Cover, TWO! Naito dug deep into his arsenal for that one but Evil still lives! The fans rally up, Naito and Evil stir, and Naito crawls towards Evil. Naito grabs Evil’s hair and brings him over for a forearm! Evil forearms back and we have a brawl!

Naito forearms, Evil wobbles but forearms back. Naito hits again, but so does Evil. Evil hits more and more, but so does Naito! Evil falls over and fans cheer for Naito as he stands. Naito brings Evil up, throws more forearms, and grins. But Evil kicks the bad leg! Naito fires off more forearms, but Evil rakes the eyes! Red Shoes reprimands, Naito pushes Evil away but Evil whips. Naito reverses, reels Evil in, and hits a tornado DDT! Naito drags Evil up and hammerlocks, but Evil fights Naito off. Naito hits a rolling kick! Hammerlock and lift, GLORIA! Cover, TWO!! Evil survives but Naito just strikes a pose. Naito drags Evil up, wrenches, but Evil grabs his hair! The two head for the bare buckles, but it’s Evil who gets sent in!

Naito brings Evil up to the top rope, climbs up to join him, and SUPER STEINERS Evil down hard! Evil writhes whlie Naito steadies himself. Fans rally as Naito aims. Naito runs, tilt-o-whirl, DESTINO!! Cover, TWO!?! Evil lives but Naito isn’t bothered. Naito drags Evil back up, wrenches and tries again, but Evil blocks Destino with a dragon sleeper! Evil and Naito fight for control as fans rally up. Naito clubs, Evil knees low. Evil whips Naito into Red Shoes, into bare buckles! LARIAT! And here comes Jado for Bullet Club! Jado takes his time heading for the ring with his kendo stick, and it’s Taiji Ishimori who gets there first. Ishimori aims at Natio, springboard seated senton! Bone Soldier wants the Master Heater to hurry up.

Taiji keeps Naito down, Jado has the stick, but here comes LIJ! Hiromu Takahashi SUPERKICKS Jado! And baits Taiji into a belly2belly into buckles! Hiromu bails out and throws Taiji into Jado! This brawl continues at the railing and down the aisle as Naito revives. Naito grins, he still has allies he can trust. Naito stalks over to Evil, but Evil has a chair! Evil was playing possum and he JAMS Naito! Then a chairshot to the head!! Evil kicks the evidence away but fans rally up again. Red Shoes revives and returns as Evil paces. Evil drags Naito up, spins him around, but Naito slips out! Evil elbows Naito but Naito enziguris back! Naito baits Evil into a flapjack into corners! Naito hops up, reels Evil in, INVERTED TORNADO DDT! Cover, TWO!! Evil survives but Naito fires up!

Naito drags Evil up, scoops, VALENTIA! But he’s not done there! Naito wrenches the arm, but Evil grabs Red Shoes! Evil LOW BLOW MULE KICKS! Wait, who is this now? Bushi is here and coaching Evil up. Naito stands, but Bushi DECKS Naito! And uses a rope to CHOKE Naito! Has Evil turned Bushi!? Naito fades out and Bushi hides the evidence. The ref spots Bushi and asks what he’s doing here. Bushi distracts Red Shoes, Evil drags Naito away, for the EVIL STOMP!! Evil drags Naito up and spins him for EVERYTHING IS EVIL!! Cover, EVIL WINS!??!

Winner: EVIL, by pinfall (NEW IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Double Champion)

The King of Darkness dethrones Naito! Naito has lost both belts, and two allies within his faction! Evil and Bushi Too Sweet as the World of Darkness Era begins! Evil grabs both belts and stands over Naito with them. Evil then grabs a mic to speak even as fans boo. “Oi, you bastards!” Evil isn’t just a double but a TRIPLE Champion because of the NEVER Openweight Six Man titles! And he introduces his “pareja” (partner). This isn’t Bushi, after all! This is DICK TOGO!! He did look a little too beefy… Togo and Evil stomp Naito, but Hiromu rushes back! The Ticking Time Bomb shields Naito while Young Lions tend to the former double champion. Evil and Togo stick together while the Young Lions get Naito out.

Hiromu talks to Evil now. “Oi, Evil. How does it feel?” What does it feel like to betray his friends? Hiromu wants to hear Evil’s response but Evil doesn’t speak. Hiromu doesn’t care about anything else, just what Evil is thinking! “Now. Now. Now!” Still Evil stays silent. In that case, Hiromu has one favor to ask. “Let me challenge you for those belts you just took!” But if Evil’s too afraid to do that, just put one or the other up. Evil gets back in the ring, grabs the mic, but then just drops it. The King of Darkness no longer has time for those from his past. He and the Bullet Club are paving a new future in NJPW! Hiromu is raging, screaming, and running around, but he and everyone else must come to terms that #ThisIsEvil!


My Thoughts:

Incredible stuff. Andrew Balaz has the full event with his own ratings covered, but for the three matches I chose, they were all incredible. The NEVER Openweight was above my expectations and I was already expecting something great. But as I said in yesterday’s article, Shingo was going to retain because his reign still needs to be built to be strong. This was a great start to that, and it definitely built up Sho as a singles competitor. Desperado surprising us all as Shingo’s next challenger was a great move, too. Desperado always felt like the cooler half of his team with Yoshinobu Kanemaru, he and Shingo will have a great match. The IWGP Heavyweight Tag match was incredible, hard to call as I figured, and had a pretty brutal ending. ZSJ and Taichi have the titles, which felt like the plan from before the lockdown, but I’m still surprised they went through with it.

Evil coming out of nowhere to not only join Bullet Club but to be the NEW Double Champion is wild, and probably because of the changes from COVID. And as I addressed last time, what happens to the NEVER Openweight Six Man titles? Evil said it himself that he is a THREE BELT champion because he still has a part in that. Hiromu made a bold challenge, but clearly Evil didn’t care. We might only get the Heavyweight VS Junior Heavyweight Champion exhibition match at like New Japan Road or some other event, even though it’s Evil and not Naito. At the same time, there are any number of ways Bullet Club and LIJ could tie in the Six Man championships, subbing one of the other LIJ members in where Evil was on the trio. The obvious answer is Hiromu, but I wish it’d be Sanada so that he has a belt at all. Either way, can’t wait to see what happens.

My Score: 9.5/10


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Coverage

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

Prepare for Backlash!

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

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

OFFICIAL RESULTS

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

PLAY BY PLAY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Bloodline arrives backstage.

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

 

Nick Aldis is in the ring.

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

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

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

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

 

Backstage interview with Naomi.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Backstage interview with Bayley.

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

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

 

Paul Heyman talks with Solo Sikoa.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Heyman goes to the parking lot.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winner: Santos Escobar, by pinfall

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

 

VIP Skybox interview with Damage CTRL!

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

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

 

Cody Rhodes speaks.

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

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

 

WWE Women’s Championship: Bayley VS Naomi!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


My Thoughts:

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

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

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

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

My Score: 8.9/10


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

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

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

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

Ratings:

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

 

Results:

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

Little Guido w/New FBI vs Hammerstone

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

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

LSG vs Joe Hendry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rosemary w/Havok vs Jody Threat w/Dani Luna

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overall Score: 6.5/10

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

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

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


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