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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (8/21/20)

Friday Night THUNDERDOME!

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WWE SmackDown Coverage 3.0

SmackDown heads for SummerSlam inside the Thunderdome!

Before WWE’s Biggest Party of the Summer, SmackDown enters the THUNDERDOME! And with BOTH the WWE Intercontinental and SmackDown Tag Team Championships on the line!

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Big E VS Sheamus; Big E wins.
  • SmackDown Tag Team Championships: Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura VS Lucha House Party; Cesaro & Nakamura win and retain the SmackDown Tag Team Championships.
  • Beat the Clock Challenge: Naomi VS Sasha Banks w/ Bayley; wins in 3 minutes, 39 seconds.
  • Beat the Clock Challenge: Naomi VS Bayley w/ Sasha Banks; Naomi wins and Bayley VS Asuka goes first at SummerSlam.
  • WWE Intercontinental Championship: AJ Styles VS Jeff Hardy; Hardy wins and becomes the new WWE Intercontinental Champion.

PLAY BY PLAY

Vince McMahon returns to SmackDown!

The Chairman welcomes us to the show and to ThunderDome! Are you among the faces in the virtual crowd? “No one brings the thunder like the WWE!” But wait! Lights are going down! This isn’t Retribution. This is THE FIEND!! Bray Wyatt’s darkest side is heading to the ring! The Fiend laughs as he steps in to join Vince. Vince and Fiend stand under the red lights as the crowd is thunderous. Fiend won’t let Vince exit, either. But wait! Here comes BRAUN!! The Monster walks down the ramp and has The Fiend’s attention. Braun joins Fiend in the ring, and Vince has since exited. Braun puts the belt down as he stares The Fiend right in the eyes. “I told you.”

The lights flicker but stay on. Retribution is here! They’ve flanked the ring in an instant! But these troublemakers may have just made the biggest mistake of their lives. Fiend and Braun, Fiend waves bye, and the lights go down. When they come up, Fiend is gone! Braun feels a bit betrayed, and now he’s all alone 15v! They go after Braun with hammering fists, clubbing him down to his knees! They have Braun on the mat! Here comes the SmackDown roster, Big E leading the charge! They still get swarmed, so another wave comes in, led by Baron Corbin! Now things are a bit more even! Retribution is purged from the ring one by one, they scatter and retreat! The Miz is last to get out here, though perhaps no one else noticed.

Braun gets up from the cowardly gang attack, and he CLOBBERS Drew Gulak! And then he tosses Jey Uso out of the ring! The Monster said he’s the most evil SOB in the world, and now he’s the angriest! Will he get back at The Fiend for leaving him high and dry? Or will the Retribution be the ones to feel that wrath?

 

SmackDown returns but things are still tense.

Retribution may have fled but a good number of WWE superstars are still here to keep an eye on things. Big E and Sheamus are both in the ring and they start shoving each other! This of course has to do with last week, Sheamus hitting Big E with a Brogue over supposedly riling Retribution up. But with them both here, their match will happen now! Will Big E give Sheamus as good as he got?

Big E VS Sheamus!

The bell rings and they tie up fast! Big E and Sheamus go to a corner, Sheamus has control but lets up at the ref’s count. They tie up again and go around more, Big E gets Sheamus in the corner now. The ref counts, Big E gets away from Sheamus’ grip to tie up again. Sheamus headlocks, Big E powers out to headlock in return. Big E grinds to the rhythm, “New! Day Rocks!” Sheamus powers out and they ram shoulders, but neither falls. Sheamus knees low, clubs Big E down, then mocks him for being all alone. Sheamus runs but Big E clotheslines him out! Big E goes out to RAM Sheamus into the steel steps with a shoulder! The virtual fans in the “front row” get a closer look as Big E throws Sheamus back in.

Big E has Sheamus on the apron and clubs away on him! The ref counts, Big E gets back in at 5 of 10, but then aims from the apron for the SPLASH! Sheamus goes in, clutching his chest. Big E stalks Sheamus to a corner, Baron Corbin says something to Heavy Machinery, but Sheamus hotshots Big E! And then again! Big E staggers, Sheamus climbs up top and leaps for a flying clothesline! Sheamus clutches his ribs instead of covering, and Sheamus stands on Big E at the ropes! The ref counts, Sheamus stops at 4 but drags Big E up. Sheamus gives Big E some beats of the Bodhrain! And talking trash at the same time! Sheamus stops to let Big E flop down as the ref reprimands.

Sheamus drags Big E up to a headlock but Big E throws body shots. Big E runs but into Sheamus’ IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! The lights flicker again and that’s never a good sign. Is Retribution coming back for more? We’ll see after SmackDown returns from break!

SmackDown returns and Sheamus has Big E in a headlock. Big E fights up as the other superstars rally. Big E elbows free and OVERHEAD SUPLEXES Sheamus! And again! And then dodges for the side belly2belly! Big E has Sheamus where he wants him as he swivels those hips! Big E runs and hits the BIG SPLASH! Big E claps and watches Sheamus stand. Scoop but Sheamus slips out to boot! Sheamus runs but into a pop-up! Sheamus slips off to KNEE Big E down! Cover, TWO!! Sheamus grows frustrated and he drags Big E up to punch him down. And again! Sheamus punches but Big E counter punches! Big E hits back but Sheamus kicks low to fireman’s carry! Big E slips out, baits Sheamus in for the Urenage-E! Cover, TWO!!

The virtual crowd rallies while Corbin barks more orders. Sheamus is on the apron, Big E runs but into another KNEE! Sheamus drags Big E back up for more beats of the Bodhrain! Big E blocks and drags Sheamus up and over! Sheamus holds the ropes to avoid the slam, and then he dodges to POST Big E! Scoop for WHITE NOISE! Sheamus doesn’t cover, and Corbin sucker punches Matt Riddle! The Wolf King can’t let his grudge go even for one night, and he tells Chad Gable to do his part. Sheamus aims at Big E, but Riddle brawls back with Corbin! The other superstars try to stop that and this distracts Sheamus. Big E rolls Sheamus up, BIG E WINS!

Winner: Big E, by pinfall

What a sudden turn around! Heavy Machinery celebrates with Big E while Corbin is angry with Riddle and Gable and Sheamus is just upset. Will the Celtic Warrior want a rematch with Big E or another fight with Corbin?

 

SmackDown finds Jeff Hardy in the Trainer’s Room!?

The Charismatic Enigma is supposed to challenge AJ Styles for the Intercontinental Championship tonight, but his knee is hurt! Someone got him from behind and went after his leg. Hardy doesn’t want to cancel the main event, he just wants a brace or ice to help his leg. Will Hardy be able to make it to that match with the Phenomenal One tonight?

 

Lucha House Party heads for gorilla.

The returning Kalisto pumps up Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado with a pep talk, but they get blindsided by Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura! The Swiss Cyborg and King of Strong Style ask what’s the matter. Their match is up next, will the King of the Ropes and the Golden Lynx be able to get back at the champs by taking their belts?

 

SmackDown Tag Team Championships: Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura VS Lucha House Party!

As we just saw before the break, the Artist Collective felt the need to hit LHP first, still upset over the little prank they pulled last week. But will it the champions be even more upset after Dorado and Metalik score another upset victory?

The introductions are made, the belts are raised, and it’s time to get #LuchaLit!

The teams sort out and we begin with Metalik and Nakamura to continue where they left off. Metalik side steps Nakamura to huricanrana, but then he runs into a kitchen sink knee! Nakamura KICKS then CLUBS Metalik before bumping him off Cesaro’s boot. Tag to Cesaro, he runs to basement running elbow! Cover, TWO, but Cesaro wraps on a chinlock. Cesaro whips, Metalik tilt-o-whirls a couple times to headscissor Cesaro away! Cesaro flounders up to whip Metalik away from Dorado, but Metalik walks the ropes to springboard! The huricanrana is blocked to a SIT OUT POWERBOMB! Cover, TWO!

Cesaro is frustrated as he has to drag Metalik back up. The Miz and John Morrison are talking backstage as they watch this match. Morrison asks if Miz thinks Lucha House Party will “libre” those titles from Cesaro and Shinsuke. By the way, “libre” means “liberate” or “free” in Spanish. Miz knew that. Miz wants Morrison to take this more seriously. This is a high stakes match, and what they should talk about is the “daredevil luchas” making a “luncha” out of Shinsuke and the Swiss Cheese. Don’t say “luncha” too loud or Otis will wanna eatcha. But yes, seriously, Shinsuke Nakamura is silent but deadly. That’s why he is the Fartist Known as Shinsuke Nakamura! Good one! High five! “Miz ‘n’ Morrison! Hey hey! Ho ho!”

Meanwhile, in the match, Cesaro fireman’s carries Metalik, tags Nakamura, then drops Metalik onto the top rope. Nakamura hits the Top Shelf Knee! Cover, TWO! Nakamura cravats Metalik and grinds Metalik down to a snapmare. Cover, TWO! Tag to Cesaro and he scoop slams to then drop a leg on Metalik! Cover, TWO! Cesaro keeps on Metalik and tags Nakamura back in. They double whip Metalik, to double BOOT him down! Nakamura sucker punches Dorado and then tags Cesaro back in. They mug Metalik, Cesaro suplexes to hang Metalik out to dry! The ref reprimands but Cesaro hops up. Metalik CHOPS first, then climbs up the ropes. Cesaro hits back with European Uppercuts but Metalik hits back with haymakers!

Metalik brings Cesaro up, for a SUPER STEINER! Kalisto rallies Metalik with all he’s got! Cesaro and Metalik tag in Nakamura and Dorado! Dorado boots Nakamura, leaps and crossbodies! Dorado bounces off, dropkicks Cesaro, then dodges Nakamura to fire off fast hands! ENZIGURI! Dorado whips corner to corner, Nakamura reverses but Dorado goes up and over and handsprings away. Dorado ducks a kick to SUPERKICK! Dorado moonsaults off the bottom rope! Then the second rope MOONSAULT! And then the top rope, for another MOONSAULT! Cover, but Cesaro breaks it! Cesaro drags Dorado right up to a powerbomb but Dorado counters with a huricanrana! Metalik FLIES for a double-edged FLYING Rana!

Nakamura gives Dorado an INVERTED EXPLODER! Nakamura goes out to stomp away on Metalik for good measure before aiming at Dorado. “YAO~!” But Dorado counters the Kinshasa to a roll up, TWO! GOLDEN REWIND!! Nakamura staggers, Cesaro tags in, Cesaro slingshot sunset flips to SWING Dorado! But Dorado sits up to sunset flip through, ONE!! Dorado runs, into a pop-up but Dorado huricanranas through it! But Cesaro manages to sunset flip through that, covers, Cesaro and Nakamura win!!

Winners: Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura, by pinfall (still SmackDown Tag Team Champions)

That was fast and furious by the end of it, and in the end, Cesaro and Nakamura still come away with the championships! Kalisto is even more frustrated than Dorado as he asks, “Que es eso? Is that it?!” Dorado pushes Kalisto but Metalik hurries in to keep the peace. Dorado shoves Kalisto and dares him to get up, and Kalisto is definitely fired up. Metalik tries desperately to keep his friends from fighting any harder, but is the party almost over for Lucha House Party?

 

The trainer continues to work on Jeff Hardy’s leg.

Hardy still has time before the main event, but is it even possible to get his leg feeling alright?

 

The SmackDown crew spotted something during the Retribution melee.

Hardy wasn’t attacked by a member of the anarchist thugs, it was AJ STYLES!! Styles took the opportunity to stomp Hardy on the back of his leg as insurance for tonight! The Phenomenal One admires his handiwork but now Kayla Braxton comes by to ask about that. The footage clearly shows- Shows what? That Styles was showing some urgency going after Retribution. If Hardy was showing that same urgency, “he wouldn’t have been in the way.” But now it seems that “unfortunately,” Hardy can’t compete. That’s a shame, really. But it reminds Styles of Hardy’s career. Everyone Hardy has gone, he’s wasted his opportunities. Hardy said he was standing on his own two feet, but clearly not now. The Jeff Hardy Story in a Nutshell, by AJ Styles.

Styles heads out but bumps into two fellow champions in the Golden Role Models! The belts are all looking good. But almost as good as his. But they’ll still belt clink him. Sasha and Bayley are still feeling great with everything SummerSlam has in store, and they’re headed to gorilla.

 

Backstage interview with Mandy Rose.

Kayla just wants to know how she’s doing. Mandy isn’t sure. It’s been such a rough week, to say the least. SummerSlam is Sunday, and Mandy isn’t sure what’s going through Sonya Deville’s mind, just only how Mandy feels. And despite all the ugliness she’s seen, Mandy needs to believe there is still good in the world, because that is the world she wants to live in. So Mandy wants to speak directly to Sonya now.

“Sonya. We’ve been through a lot. And I don’t know if you know this, but so much of the good and beautiful, we’ve been through it together when we were best friends.” Today, Mandy chooses to believe that the Sonya she knows, the one she was inseparable with for the past five YEARS, is still in there. So while Mandy doesn’t know how Sonya is feeling right now, with this “vicious” Hair VS Hair match coming up, but the way Mandy feels is that they just put this all behind them and get back to where they were. Mandy chooses to see the good in Sonya. Will Sonya choose to do the same?

 

The Golden Role Models head to the ring!

Bayley and Sasha show off all their belts, and even have pyro for their entrance! Corey Graves is in the ring already as Bayley and Sasha grab mics for themselves. Graves welcomes #BayleyDosStraps and #TwoBeltzBanks to the show, and blatantly asks if they’re splitting up. Uh, no! Well alright then. Now, two days from SummerSlam, where Bayley and Sasha each defend their SmackDown and Raw Women’s Championships in separate matches against the same opponent, Asuka. Asuka could leave SummerSlam a dual champion in her own right, but Bayley says that won’t happen. That’s because there are only two women in all of WWE capable of being dual champions, and you’re looking at them!

So does that imply Asuka is incapable when she’s defeated each of them in the past? It took them both to stop Asuka the last time. Hold up, Corey Graves! “If that even is your real name.” Did you not hear them on Raw? They’re good enough and will destroy Asuka. Don’t stir the pot! He’s not, he’s just trying to understand the logic behind their moves. Logic? They’re the most logical duo in this company! Everything they do is for a reason. That’s why ding-dong, hello! They have ALL the belts! Graves did watch Raw, and points out Bayley phrased going first as the “heavy lifting.” Doesn’t that seem illogical? Asuka has Bayley’s number having beaten Bayley twice, and she also wants revenge for Kairi Sane.

Bayley says that what she said was a suggestion. Sasha is just as capable of beating Asuka first, if she wants to. Just a suggestion? Sasha is asking if Bayley is volunteering her again. Is there a disagreement here? No! No disagreement! They’re on the same page, there’s no one can beat them both in one night! Not even Asuka! There is not one woman in the WWE locker room that can touch them! But Naomi heads to the ring now! “Hello, ding-dongs~!” Naomi thinks she can help them handle this situation. How about Naomi faces both of them tonight! Sasha laughs at the idea that Naomi wants to face them both. But challenge accepted! Cool, so who wants it first?

Wait, what? What part of Naomi’s death wish settles SummerSlam’s issues? Graves says it could be a Beat the Clock Challenge. Just a suggestion. Naomi likes that idea, too. But again, which one of them wants to go first? Sasha and Bayley talk it over, but Naomi dropkicks them both! The Glow wants the Golden Role Models to step up, but who steps up first?

 

Beat the Clock Challenge: Naomi VS Sasha Banks w/ Bayley!

SmackDown returns and it’s The Boss who wants to #FeelTheGlow first! Will Sasha win fast to prove she doesn’t need Bayley to soften anyone up for her?

The bell rings and they circle. Sasha trips Naomi, rains down right hands then covers, ONE! Sasha drags Naomi up and talks trash but Naomi pushes her back. Naomi headlocks, uses the ropes to springboard sunset flip and matchbook cover, TWO! Sasha comes back but Naomi full nelsons for the Bubba Bomb! Body scissor cover, TWO! Another, TWO! Naomi rolls and rolls and rolls Sasha to another cover, TWO! Naomi lets Sasha go to SLAP her! Bayley protests and says not to disrespect her best friend. Naomi dodges Sasha and slides, to then handstand and huricanrana Sasha out hard! We’re past a minute as Sasha staggers up for Naomi’s PLANCHA!

Naomi glares at Bayley and Bayley says she isn’t doing anything. Naomi brings Sasha up, puts her in, then kicks at Bayley from the apron. Sasha grabs Naomi’s hair to drag her through the ropes! Sasha clubs away then kicks Naomi in the face! Sasha slingshots in for the STOCK DROP! Cover, TWO!! Sasha tries again, TWO! The timer hits two minutes while Sasha grows panicked. Sasha wraps Naomi up in a chinlock and grinds Naomi down. Naomi fights up, throws body shots but Sasha pushes her away. Naomi comes back with a running jawbreaker! Sasha is in the corner, Naomi runs in but Sasha puts her on the apron. Naomi ROUNDHOUSES back!

Sasha staggers, Naomi climbs and leaps, crossbody! But Sasha rolls through to take the cover! TWO and Naomi drags Sasha up for a suplex! Naomi hangs Sasha out to dry and kicks her back! Then springboards to ENZIGURI! Down goes Sasha and Naomi covers, TWO! We’re past 3 minutes now but that’s just fine to Bayley it seems. Naomi drags Sasha to a corner, climbs up but Sasha rolls Naomi, TWO! Sasha dodges and waistlocks but Naomi counters the O’Conner roll to a wheelbarrow lift! Sasha slips out to get the arm for a takedown, BANK STATEMENT! Naomi endures, Sasha cranks back, but Naomi taps!

Winner: Sasha Banks, by submission, at 3:39

Bayley gets in and KNEES Naomi down! She wants her match now, to even Sasha’s surprise. The ref checks on Naomi as Bayley grows further impatient. The crowd boos but Naomi says she’s okay to go. The bell rings and Bayley fires off!

Beat the Clock Challenge: Naomi VS Bayley w/ Sasha Banks!

Bayley stomps away then hammers away with fists! She clubs Naomi down, covers, TWO! Bayley rains down more fast hands then drags Naomi up. Snap suplex! Cover, TWO! Naomi clutches her back but Bayley stomps her down. Bayley kicks Naomi to a corner as we drop under 3 minutes. Bayley whips Naomi corner to corner hard, then brings Naomi up for a snapmare. Cover, TWO! Bayley runs to sliding lariat! Cover, TWO!! Bayley grows frustrated as she glares at the clock. Bayley pushes Naomi to ropes but Naomi fights back with body shots! Naomi brings Bayley to a corner for a bulldog!

Naomi kicks Bayley then runs corner to corner, only for Bayley to CLOBBER Naomi! Cover, TWO! Sasha clutches her title, and as we drop under 2 minutes, it’s hard to tell if she’s happy or upset right now. Bayley gets up, runs and goes to knee but Naomi deflects! REAR VIEW!! Naomi WINS!!

Winner: Naomi, by pinfall, 1:44 to spare

The Glow just beat the SmackDown Women’s Champion! Of course, that only matters if Bayley stays champion! Because now she MUST go first against Asuka at SummerSlam! Will Bayley’s “heavy lifting” cost her her title but insure Sasha keeps hers? And Sasha even sneaks in a smirk as she “comforts” Bayley. At least, until Asuka appears! Asuka laughs at the Golden Role Models and lets them know The Empress is here! Oh, Sasha, Bayley, what happened? At SummerSlam, Asuka will be the Empress of EVERY TITLE!! Because no one is ready for Asuka!! Sasha runs at Asuka but gets a ROUNDHOUSE for it! And then Asuka goes to SLIDING WIZARD Bayley!

Bayley gets to ropes but Asuka stomps her out of the ring! Bayley scrambles around, manages to grab the SmackDown Women’s Championship and her WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship belt, but totally abandons Sasha and her stuff! Will the Empress not only win both belts but break up the best friends once and for all?

 

Jeff Hardy has his leg brace.

He tests the leg and seems to do alright. But it’s really more about pain tolerance. Hardy says Styles is going to lose to a one-legged man in an ass kicking contest, and that one legged man will become Intercontinental Champion once again!

 

Backstage interview with Sonya Deville.

Kayla asks if Sonya has her response to Mandy’s message. Sonya does, but she won’t bother saying it here. What she has to say, she’ll say in front of the entire world. But Dana Brooke comes by to say that she feels awful about what happened to Sonya this week. If there’s anything Sonya needs- Sonya says it’s nothing she can’t handle. And then she SLAPS Dana?! Sonya says Dana was the disrespectful one!? Sonya heads off to gorilla, what will her response to Mandy be?

 

SmackDown returns as Sonya Deville heads to the ring.

She cuts the music short so she can speak. She heard what Mandy said, and she gets it. Mandy is second guessing her own challenge, which correct Sonya if she’s wrong, is exactly what Sonya knew she’d do. But what Sonya doesn’t get is, “What do you want, Mandy?” What is it that Mandy wants? Mandy is going to face Sonya one way or another! It WILL be them at SummerSlam!

But since clearly, Mandy is bothered by how Sonya cut her hair, and clearly everyone here knows Sonya doesn’t “give a damn” if she’s bald or not, why don’t they just up the ante?! They should raise the stakes! It will be Sonya and Mandy, NO DISQUALIFICATIONS, and LOSER LEAVES WWE!! Because what Sonya realized, hair or no hair, she’s just sick of looking at Mandy’s face. So wipe the tears “and bring your A-Game, bi*ch!” Sonya is not letting go of her fire, but will she be forced to let go of her WWE contract?

 

SmackDown presents The Firefly Fun House!

A video package recaps the developments between him, Braun and Alexa Bliss. The Fiend threatened the well-being of Alexa to provoke Braun, but Braun claims she doesn’t matter to him anymore. Alexa claims that is not the Braun she knows, because they’ve been friends for years. Bruan claims that’s not true. She treated him as a bearded clown. Everyone that comes in contact with The Fiend changes, and that includes her. Alexa tried literally slapping some sense into him, but he picked her up and THREW her! Is The Monster really no longer charmed by The Goddess?

 

Nikki Cross speaks.

“Me and Alexa have been friends for quite awhile now.” And when they spoke last Tuesday, she just seemed a little… Off. Nikki isn’t sure what it is, but Alexa is definitely different. She talks like Alexa, acts like Alexa, but the Alexa Nikki knows is warm, caring and funny. But the Alexa Nikki sees now is not that, and it scares Nikki. Because Nikki just has this feeling that “something terrible is about to happen.” Did Braun have it right when he said The Fiend changed Alexa?

 

WWE Intercontinental Championship: AJ Styles VS Jeff Hardy!

The Phenomenal One took a phenomenal cheap shot on his challenger earlier tonight in an attempt to avoid this dream match. But Hardy isn’t out of the running yet, and Daniel Bryan points out that Styles is only willing to face the best when they’re at their worst. So hopefully tonight inside the ThunderDome, Hardy gives us all a champion we deserve. Will that hope come true? We find out after SmackDown returns from break.

SmackDown returns as Hardy makes his entrance. The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and this showdown of icons begins!

Hardy hobbles as he and Styles circle. They approach, Styles gets the leg but Hardy clubs and elbows him to ropes! The ref backs Hardy off but Hardy comes back to kick and whip Styles to ropes. He back drops Styles high and hard! Hardy brings Styles up to club him more but Styles powers Hardy into a corner. Styles runs but into boots! Hardy goes up but Styles clips the leg! Hardy tumbles down hard but Styles stomps the leg! Styles rips the pants leg open to show the knee brace! Styles stomps right on the brace, even as Hardy goes to a corner. Styles won’t let up as he drags Hardy up and whips. Hardy can’t even run to the other side! Hardy tumbles down and Styles laughs.

Styles says Hardy should’ve known better than to get in the ring. Styles stomps the leg and then stands on it! The ref counts as Hardy is in the corner, so Styles lets off. Hardy hits back but falls over again. Styles stomps the bad leg again but Hardy throws body shots. Styles rocks him with a right, then brings Hardy around, only for Hardy to jawbreaker! Styles leans on the ropes while Hardy gets away. Styles runs but is put on the apron, and takes a spill! Hardy swings but Styles blocks the dropkick to SLAM the bad leg on the apron edge! Hardy is down and in pain as SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns again as Styles goes after Hardy’s leg with a modified leg lock. Styles leans on the knee but Hardy turns around to kick him back! Hardy hobbles up, kicks with the good leg, but Styles blocks it. Hardy pivots to still mule kick Styles down! Styles walks into an atomic drop, then Hardy drops the leg splitting leg drop! And basement dropkick! Hardy splashes down, covers, TWO! Hardy keeps going as he reels Styles in. Hardy gets Styles up for a GOURD BUSTER! Cover, TWO! Both men are down, exhausted, but fans rally up. Hardy gets to ropes, waits for Styles to stand, then kicks low. No Twist of Fate, though as Styles slips out to PELE! Both men are down again and the ref starts a standing count.

Styles stirs first but Hardy follows. The standing count reaches 5 as Hardy hobbles and Styles staggers. Styles goes after Hardy but Hardy elbows him away! Hardy goes up but his bad leg gives out, no Whisper in the Wind! Hardy hits the mat hard, but somehow he’s okay to continue. Styles aims from the apron, springboards, but into a BIG body shot! Hardy saves himself and both men go to opposite corners. Hardy runs but Styles avoids the swinging dropkick. Styles gets the leg, rolls Hardy to the CALF CRUSHER!! Hardy endures, crawls, and gets the ropebreak! Styles lets go fast and stalks behind Hardy.

Styles grabs the leg, Hardy fights back with clubbing forearms and gets free, but Styles kicks the leg out! Styles reels Hardy in, lifts but Hardy kicks his legs. The knee brace smacks Styles in the face!! Hardy adds on with the TWIST OF FATE! Hardy hurries to the corner! He climbs up slowly but reaches the top rope, for the SWANTON BOMB!! Cover, Hardy wins!!

Winner: Jeff Hardy, by pinfall (NEW WWE Intercontinental Champion)

Styles’ attack on Hardy earlier comes back to haunt him! The knee brace gives Hardy the edge, and Kayla is in the ring to congratulate the new champion. After everything Hardy has been through, what does it mean for him to be champion once again? “If you’d told me a year ago that I’d be Intercontinental Champion again, I would think you were crazy.” Back then, he was in a dark place, and couldn’t find a way out. But life is always a challenge, and he stands here with a bad knee but with a lot of hope that things will get better. He couldn’t do this without the WWE Universe! He thanks us as the music plays him off, will Hardy be able to properly thank us by continuing to rise back up?

 

SmackDown checks in on the Firefly Fun House.

Huskis the Pig Boy wears a “Get These Hooves” shirt while Ramblin’ Rabbit cosplays as Alexa Bliss. A new episode premieres, after the break!

 

AJ Styles is FURIOUS!

He complains to Joseph Park about what happened. Kayla comes by to ask that maybe he was overconfident tonight. OVERCONFIDENT!? This is on Park and his PISS saying that Styles was mathematically guaranteed to beat Hardy tonight! Styles did until Hardy cheated with that knee brace! Look at the mark on Styles’ face! It’s actually not that big… This is the only reason Hardy is champion! “This is bullcrap!” Styles continues to berate Park over the numbers, but will Styles have no choice but to earn his way to a rematch?

 

Talking Smack returns!!

Available on even the FREE version of the WWE Network as of tomorrow morning, the hit post-show returns as hosted by Kayla and The Miz, with word from Big E, the Golden Role Models and the NEW Intercontinental Champion! Sign up now and be there for the historic “rebirth!”

 

SmackDown presents a new episode of Firefly Fun House!

The Wall of Braun is still standing as Bray says, “YOWIE WOWIE! What a night! I mean, WWE ThunderDome, am I right?” But y’know, come closer so he can tell you a secret. “I love you.” Aww~! Yay~! But don’t be fooled, Fireflies. Love can actually be a terrible thing. It’s just a way to trick someone into an emotional, physical or even financial burden. Love can bring an angel crashing down with broken wings. Too much love turns even a field of sunflowers into a “grotesque wasteland.” Hold on, Bray’s getting a call. He puts on the Hurt glove to answer the voices in his head. Someone wants him to something right now.

Okay, take Braun and Alexa for example! Let’s revisit our modern Shakespearean tragedy! Firefly Theater Presents: Braun & Alexa. As played by Huskis and Ramblin’ Rabbit. Dramatic music plays as Ramblin’ Lexi “demands answers” from Huskis Strowman. His answer is that she never cared about him, and now he has become the most evil Son of a Pig on the planet. That’s not the real him, dude! There’s something special between them, she can feel it! Really? Really! Aww~! But  just as the two are about to go in for the big kiss scene, Bray shouts “CUT!” What the freakin’ hecc was this?! That’s not how it happened! Oh, sorry. Huskis is just a method actor and Ramblin’ got lost in the moment. Oh? Look at Bray. “Get lost.”

After the puppets disappear, Bray continues. Love leads to pain and suffering. The best you can do is be like “him.” “A being that is built on rage and fueled by anger.” And “he” cannot wait to get his hands on Braun. In fact… Bray smells something in the air. “What took you so long?” Braun attacks!! Braun drags Bray up to CLUB him down! And then again and again and again!! “I’m not finished with you!!” Braun drags Bray off stage, but where to?!

 

SmackDown returns and tries to keep up with the chaos!

Braun and Bray are apparently brawling somewhere in the Amway Center, and cameras finally find them! Bray hits back and rams Braun into a door! Braun clubs Bray back then ROCKS him with an uppercut! Braun knees low, clubs Bray again, then brings him up. “You think you can get in my head and manipulate me?! You’re wrong, Bray!” Braun has Bray by the throat near a loading dock, and CHOKE SLAMS HIM!! The referees shout for Braun to stop here and he storms off. Security find Bray and an ambulance has arrived already.

Bray isn’t moving as the medics get a stretcher for him. They finally get the stretcher over to Bray and carefully load Bray onto it. They strap Bray in and get him up into the ambulance. The doors close and the ambulance hurries out. Adam Pearce breathes a sigh of relief, but then the ambulance stops? Why?! It backs up!? What’s going on with this ambulance!? It stops, the lights inside turn red!! Everyone gathered sees the doors open, THE FIEND is there!! Bray transformed and “it’s him.” The Fiend laughs at his own pain. Will he be laughing at Braun’s pain this Sunday?


My Thoughts:

Another crazy episode for a go-home. First of all, the ThunderDome looks amazing but sounds kinda awkward. The piped in crowd noise is more obvious than when the WWE was in the Performance Center, but I suppose it beats not hearing the viewers on the LED screens, whatever it is they might’ve been saying. But again, my experience with awful 205 Live crowds in the past has helped me to tune most of that out. Except during that interview by Corey Graves with the Golden Role Models. That segment felt awkward, and tried to point out Bayley’s passive aggressive comment from Raw in a clumsy attempt to get the duo’s dysfunction up again.

The Beat the Clock Challenge of Sasha, Bayley and Naomi was good, but literally fast. Even with Bayley’s help, why did Sasha win so quickly? Naomi is a former champion, can’t she put up a fight that’s more than 5 minutes? Though I do like that Bayley lost hers to further drive the point home that she might be in the worst position against Asuka. Asuka shows up to get the better of the Role Models, and this part might’ve done the best to drive the dysfunction back up. Depending on how WWE writes it, they might actually make it win or lose at SummerSlam, Payback is where the two turn on each other because they lose the Women’s Tag Team Championships. Asuka becoming Raw Women’s Champion can have her and Shayna Baszler feud on the way to Survivor Series, Sasha and Bayley feud over the SmackDown title.

Vince and Retribution got their parts out of the way quickly. The Fiend stepping on Vince’s intro was a good touch, and Braun confronting Fiend was an obvious move. Retribution beating Braun down seemed a bit lame to me, he should’ve smashed at least five of them first. But I suppose it was a way to tie the other stories together, such as Styles getting that cheap shot on Hardy’s leg. I still like that Miz is always showing up late to these Retribution things. Is he the mastermind? Or is he just afraid of them? Starting to hope for the former, even though it wasn’t like him leading The Miztourage was that amazing of a story arc.

Big E and Sheamus have their match right from there made a lot of sense, and I do have to give some credit to Corbin being responsible for Sheamus’ loss. I still say we need a huge match of the top midcarders: Big E, Sheamus, Corbin, Riddle, and hell, throw Chad Gable in there so he can settle his part of the story with Riddle, Corbin and the King’s Ransom. We got great title matches tonight, but it just felt right for Cesaro and Nakamura to retain. LHP looks like it’s starting to crack, which makes a lot of sense to someone following them even on 205 Live. They’ve all been working so hard for years, Kalisto has been the only champion, but him getting upset with Dorado seems unfair. I can’t be sure how a break-up would go, either. Who would be Heel? Would it even work out for them?

I do appreciate that WWE lightly touched on the real life horror Mandy and Sonya went through, and I found it interesting that Sonya basically doubles down on how she’s been. Mandy did what I was hoping and asked they try to be friends again, Sonya wants a Loser Leaves match, but I can’t see either of them leaving the WWE. Now, a No Disqualifications match technically has count-outs. Will WWE use a double count-out draw to prevent either superstar from having to leave? Nikki Cross had a great promo to add her perspective to things, and I really wonder if the overall Braun-Bray-Bliss story reaches a point where Nikki will need to get involved in the ring.

Firefly Fun House was again hilarious in its own special way, and I like that Braun is the second person to infiltrate that strange other dimension just like Rollins did. The brawl was alright, and the editing of the choke slam was good. Definitely similar to how NXT just did Rhea Ripley powerbombing Mercedes Martinez to the outside. I really liked that Braun brought back “I’m not finished with you!” a la his days feuding with Roman Reigns. I was hoping he’d use it again when he went after the ambulance to also hearken back to those days. But instead, we get Bray transforming into The Fiend inside the ambulance so that… The Fiend can close the show, it seems. We all figured Bray “transformed” into The Fiend, but this drives it home for those just not paying attention. Not really sure what it does for the math, I still feel like SummerSlam’s Universal Championship match could go either way.

My Score: 8.3/10


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Coverage

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

Sign on the dotted line!

Published

on

Will things get ImPAULsive tonight?

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

OFFICIAL RESULTS

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

PLAY BY PLAY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Logan Paul is backstage.

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

 

WWE visited Naval Station Mayport.

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

 

Backstage interview with Jade Cargill.

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

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

 

Tama Tonga prepares backstage.

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

 

Backstage interview with LA Knight.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

LA Knight returns backstage.

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

 

Nick Aldis is in the ring.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Backstage interview with Nia Jax.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winners: DIY, by pinfall

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

 

The QR Codes are leading to something…

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

 

Backstage interview with AJ Styles.

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

 

Backstage interview with Bayley.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


My Thoughts:

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Score: 8.8/10


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

B Block, round 3!

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It’s a shootout in the main event!

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

OFFICIAL RESULTS

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

PLAY BY PLAY

Here are the current B Block standings!

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Winner: Sho, by submission 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Here are the NEW B Block standings!

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


My Thoughts:

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

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

My Score: 8.9/10


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