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Mitchell’s New Japan Cup Results & Report! (3/21/21)

Finally, the 2021 NJCUP finals!!

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NJPW New Japan Cup 2021

New Japan Cup 2021 revisits Best of the Super Juniors 2019!

Finally, we arrive at the New Japan Cup Finals! And familiar foes, Will Ospreay and Shingo Takagi, meet again! Will Ospreay slay the Dragon once more?

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

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Six Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Toa Henare & FinJuice; LIJ wins.
  • Six Man Tag: Bullet Club VS Kazuchika Okada & The Golden Aces; Okada & the Golden Aces win.
  • 2021 New Japan Cup Finals: Shingo Takagi VS Will Ospreay; Ospreay wins and will challenge Kota Ibushi for the title(s) at Sakura Genesis 2021.

PLAY BY PLAY

Six Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Toa Henare & FinJuice!

While Shingo Takagi is battling for the cup, Sanada, Bushi and Tetsuya Naito are battling for their own pride! Will they make the Hammerhead and the Impact Wrestling Tag Team Champions tranquilo?

After the LIJ fist bump, the teams sort out, but wait who from LIJ is stepping up? The ref? Juice is game for that but the ref tells LIJ to take this seriously. Finlay steps up, and Naito joins him. The fans rally with the bell and Naito circles with Finlay. They feel out the grapple, but Naito mocks the Juice pump. Fans rally with that, Juice wants in, so Finlay tags Juice in. Juice mocks Naito’s pose, and he circles with him. Bushi attacks! Naito mocks the Juice pump as he clubs Juice over and over! LIJ double whips Juice, Bushi runs in but is put on the apron. Juice elbows Bushi, dodges Naito and mocks him before hitting a hip toss and scoop slam! Juice dropkicks Naito then tags in Finlay.

Finlay clubs up while Juice wrenches an arm, and Finlay drops ax handles. FinJuice double whip, double elbow, and Juice sets Naito up for Finlay’s basement uppercut! Cover, TWO! Finlay drags Naito up to snap suplex then cover, TWO! Finlay clamps onto an arm, Naito gets up but Finlay EuroUppers again! Finlay runs in to uppercut, brings Naito around but Naito blocks the exploder. Finlay knees low then runs but into Sanada’s cheap shot! Bushi runs in to sunset flip Finlay and sit him up for Naito’s basement dropkick to the bad leg! LIJ hits Henare and Juice down, Naito mocks the Juice pump to drop an elbow on the bad leg! Naito pulls hard with the toehold but Finlay endures.

Finlay clubs Naito back as fans rally but Naito keeps on the foot! Finlay scrambles and gets a ropebreak! Naito lets off to continue mocking Juice. Naito stomps Finlay to a corner, brings him up and over and Sanada tags in. LIJ mugs Finlay, Naito still mocks Juice and Juice tells him to stop. Sanada whips Finlay corner to corner, runs in but blocks the boot to trip Finlay up! Sanada ties Finlay up in Paradise! Fans fire up and Sanada encourages them to get louder. Juice wants them to show mercy to Finlay’s bad leg, but Sanada still dropkicks Finlay out of Paradise! Sanada drags Finlay over, tags Bushi, and LIJ splits the wishbone!

Bushi drags Finlay up, bumps him off buckles and CHOPS away! Bushi then pushes Finlay, hops up and leaps to missile dropkick! Bushirooni! Bushi brings Finlay up but Finlay spins out of the fisherman. Bushi kicks low, runs but Finlay hits a DEEP SIX! Both men are down but fans fire up! Finlay crawls but so does Bushi, hot tags to Juice and Naito! Juice rallies on Naito, DECKS Sanada then hits Naito! BACK SENTON! Sanada runs into an atomic drop, Juice fires up and hits a Russian Leg Sweep, to another back senton! Bushi gets in, Juice hits him and runs, to BULLDOG! Fans fire up with Juice, and he gets a third BACK SENTON!

Juice rallies the fans, aims at Naito and runs corner to corner to clothesline! Juice keeps going and he CANNONBALLS! Cover, TWO! Juice argues the count, but Naito still mocks the Juice pump! Fans rally up, Juice brings Naito around, but Naito fights the suplex. Naito elbows Juice, Juice runs in but into a TORNADO DDT! And Naito still mocks the Juice pump! Tag to Sanada and Sanada has Juice in a corner. Sanada whips, Juice reverses but Sanada tumbles out then springboards in! Juice blocks the rana but Sanada fights the bomb! Sanada ducks the leg lariat but runs into the SPINEBUSTER! Fans fire up and Juice hot tags Henare!

The Hammerhead drags Sanada up, but Sanada fires off forearms! Henare eggs him on then ROCKS him! Henare whips, Sanada reverses but Henare LEAPING SHOULDER TACKLES! Henare fires off on Sanada in a corner, stomps him down, but the ref backs him off. Henare drags Sanada up, whips corner to corner to clothesline, then SAMOAN DROPS! Cover, TWO! Henare fires up and fans rally as he reels Sanada in. Sanada fights the suplex but Henare powers him up! Sanada keeps trying but Henare gets him up again! Sanada slips out but Henare elbows him. Henare runs into a fireman’s carry!

Sanada throws Henare to the dragon sleeper but he sees Finlay coming. Finlay dodges Sanada’s kick to hit a NECKBREAKER! Naito dropkicks Finlay’s bad leg! Juice runs in but Naito feeds him to Bushi’s CODE BREAKER! LIJ double whips Henare, but he breaks the line to DOUBLE SPEAR! Fans fire up as Henare HEEL KICKS Sanada! Henare fires up, drags Sanada up but Sanada slips out of the Urenage! O’Conner Bridge! LIJ wins!

Winners: Los Ingobernables de Japon, by pinfall

The Cold Skull catches Henare off balance and wins for the team! With Sanada, Bushi and Naito rolling as a trio, will Shingo Takagi make it an LIJ sweep? As for Henare, he’s getting frustrated with himself. Will he ever get past his recent losing streak to break through to the next level?

 

Six Man Tag: Bullet Club VS Kazuchika Okada & The Golden Aces!

King Switch switches out Fang Revived and the Tokyo Pimp for the Rogue General and the Crown Jewel! But will bringing new pieces to the board change the outcome from yesterday? Or will White again lose to the Rainmaker, NEVER Openweight Champion and Golden Star God of New Japan?

Tanahashi shows off the muscles, Bullet Club Low Sweets, and Tanahashi steps up to take on White. White shows off his muscles, the bell rings and fans rally, “Let’s Go, Ace!” as they circle. Tanahashi and White tie up, are in a deadlock, but White manages to get some leverage to push Tanahashi back. Tanahashi pushes White in return! White ends up on ropes but he turns it around with pulling Tanahashi’s hair. White throws body shots and forearms, then stomps Tanahashi in a corner. White throws more forearms, lets off long enough to whip, but Tanahashi reverses. Tanahashi runs in but White dodges, only to run back into Tanahashi’s elbow!

Tanahashi goes up to CROSSBODY! Tanahashi taunts Bullet Club with the air guitar, then tags in Okada. Okada and Tanahashi double whip White, then double elbow him down! Fans fire up but Gedo protests as fans rally now for “O-KA-DA!” Okada adds his stomp to the beat, brings White up, but White throws body shots. Okada clubs White, snapmares and runs but Gedo takes a swipe! Red Shoes reprimands but White throws Okada out! White hits the Golden Aces down, Chase and Fale go after them while Gedo chokes Okada with a rally towel! White keeps Red Shoes distracted, Bullet Club throws the Aces into railing, and Gedo gets away before he’s caught.

Red Shoes starts a ring count while Bullet Club regroups. The count is 10 of 20 before Okada sits up, and 13 as he gets up and in. White stomps Okada at the ropes, stands on Okada, then tags Fale in. Fale stands on Okada, as does White, and Case even finds a spot to stand on! Red Shoes reprimands and counts, Bullet Club all step off and Fale drags Okada to a cover. Red Shoes refuses, there were too many shenanigans. Fale gets in Red Shoes’ face but then DECKS Ibushi! Fale drags Okada up to CLUB him down, then tags Chase in. Chase and Fale stand on Okada again! Red Shoes reprimands and counts, they step off again, but he also has to keep the Golden Aces back.

Chase clubs and KNEES Okada, then snapmares for a chinlock. Okada endures, fans rally up, but White taunts Okada. Okada throws body shots, Chase shifts to a cravat and Fale tags in. Bullet Club mugs Okada, but Okada tries to scoop Fale! Fale’s too big! He CLUBS Okada, and then scoops Okada, but Okada slips out to try again. Okada still can’t scoop Fale, Fale CLUBS him again. Fale whips Okada to a corner, runs in but Okada dodges! Okada gets Fale on the third time with the scoop and SLAM! Fans fire up but Okada drops to his knees, that took a lot out of him! Fale tags White, White stomps Okada and sucker punches Ibushi! White knees Okada, runs, but Okada BOOTS him down!

Okada and White crawl for their corners, hot tag to Tanahashi! Tanahashi hurries after White with a flying forearm! Tanahashi DECKS Chase, boots White then brings him around for fast strikes! Tanahashi scoops and slams White into the drop zone! Fans fire up as Tanahashi hops up, SUNSET SENTON! Cover, ROPEBREAK! Tanahashi keeps his cool as fans rally up, “Let’s Go, Ace!” Tanahashi runs but White gets around. Tanahashi switches, White switches, repeat and repeat, and repeat, and repeat, until White grabs Tanahashi’s hair! Tanahashi breaks free, White kicks low and DDT’s! Fans rally up again as both men are down.

Tanahashi goes to an open corner, White goes to the opposite. White runs in to EuroUpper, then he gets Tanahashi up for BLADEBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Gedo is upset but the fans cheer as Tanahashi is still in this. White boots Ibushi into railing before he double guns over Tanahashi. White drags Tanahashi up, fireman’s carries, but Tanahashi fights free. Tanahashi blocks a kick, White throws forearms and blocks Tanahashi’s leg to elbow it. White reels Tanahashi in but Tanahashi hits TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! White crawls, tags in Chase, and Chase runs at Tanahashi to forearm in the corner, then reel him in for a short arm lariat! Cover, TWO!

Chase drags Tanahashi up, fireman’s carries, but Tanahashi slips off. Chase throws back elbows, but Tanahashi SHOTEIS! Hot tag to Ibushi! Ibushi fires up and the fans join in as he whips Chase. Chase reverses but Ibushi GAMANGIRIS! Fans fire up for the STANDING MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO! Ibushi and fans fire up again, and Ibushi drags Chase. Chase swings but Ibushi fires off a strike fest. Chase dodges to fire off his own strike fest! Ibushi dodges the Jewel Trigger to ROCK Chase, but Chase comes back to LARIAT! White hits Tanahashi and Okada, Fale gets in and Bullet Club whips Ibushi to a corner.

White runs in to uppercut, Fale runs in to splash! Snapmare for Chase’s SHINING WIZARD! Cover, TWO!! Ibushi survives, Gedo is upset but Chase fires up! Chase reels Ibushi in but Okada BOOTS him down! Fale runs Okada over, but Tanahashi dropkicks Fale’s legs! White kicks but into a DRAGON SCREW! Tanahashi gives Chase a SLINGBLADE! Ibushi powers up, V-TRIGGER! Kenny~! Ibushi sits Chase up with the wristlocks, KAMIGOYE! Cover, Ibushi’s team wins!

Winners: Kazuchika Okada & The Golden Aces, by pinfall

NJPW’s Big 3 can’t be beat! White is upset about that and forces the Young Lions to give Chase ice packs. Tanahashi backs White down, but White says he’s still coming for that NEVER Openweight Championship. Will the Switchblade have a better shot at cutting down The Ace when it’s 1v1? As for Ibushi, he decides to join commentary for the main event! He wants to see who he’ll be facing at Sakura Genesis for himself!

 

2021 New Japan Cup Finals: Shingo Takagi VS Will Ospreay!

On one side, The Dragon overcame the Rainmaker, the Fierce Warrior, Fang Revived and the King of Darkness. On the other, the Commonwealth Kingpin conquered Ikari no Mogyu, the Submission Master, the Cold Skull and the Celtic Prince. The BOSJ 26 final is revived, but the Takagi and Ospreay now aren’t the Takagi and Ospreay then. Will Takagi make this a very different match from two years ago? Or will the ungovernable be conquered by the United Empire?

Takagi has a sword with him! He’s reminding Ospreay of his old entrance as “The Assassin.” After the sword and coats are put aside, the bell rings and fans fire up already. Takagi and Ospreay stare down, then approach. They feel out the grapple but Ospreay stays back. Ospreay uses a leg guard as he scoots on the mat but Takagi keeps his distance. They tie up with collar ‘n’ elbow, and Takagi powers Ospreay to ropes. Ospreay turns things around, Red Shoes counts and Ospreay lets off, just to fire off kicks! Ospreay headlocks, but Takagi throws body shots. Takagi wrenches to a headlock but Ospreay pulls hair. Ospreay headlocks, Takagi powers out and also pulls hair!

Ospreay throws a forearm, runs to boot but Takagi rebounds to run Ospreay over! Ospreay kips right up and even Takagi claps for that. Ospreay forearms, Takagi forearms, repeat and fans rally up. Ospreay gets an edge but spins into a half nelson! Ospreay slips out, Takagi elbows, but Takagi runs into the tiger wall kick! Takagi ducks the enziguri and gets Ospreay’s legs for a wheelbarrow GERMAN! But Ospreay lands on his feet and runs! Springboard, OS- NO! Takagi throws Ospreay away to deny the cutter and fans fire up! Takagi grins and says that was a good one. Fans rally as the two reset. Ospreay and Takagi approach again, Ospreay shows knuckle lock but that’s to bait Takagi in for SLAPS!

Ospreay throws a forearm, an uppercut, but Takagi fires back with headbutts! Takagi has Ospreay in a corner, whips him corner to corner but Ospreay goes up, only to get caught! Takagi pulls but Ospreay holds the ropes! Takagi goes after the nose, then gives Ospreay SNAKE EYES! Ospreay clutches his nose, Takagi throws Ospreay out and then follows. Takagi whips Ospreay into railing! Takagi elbows away on Ospreay’s arm then BOOTS it against railing! Red Shoes reprimands but fans cheer. The United Empire watches closely as Takagi drags Ospreay up and into the ring. Takagi throws Ospreay’s arm on the mat, then gets him up for a wrench.

Ospreay throws forearms with the other arm but Takagi grabs the nose! Bea Priestley protests, Red Shoes counts and Takagi lets go, just to grab the nose with his other hand! Red Shoes counts again but Takagi lets go, to then grab the nose with both hands! Red Shoes slaps Takagi’s hands away but that just hurts Ospreay’s nose! Red Shoes apologizes and Takagi whips Ospreay to ropes. Takagi knees Ospreay, runs and runs Ospreay over! Fans fire up but Bea grows worried as Takagi drags Ospreay. Ospreay kicks him but Takagi drops a knee. Takagi goes to suplex but Ospreay blocks. Ospreay swings but into a spin, suplex, but Ospreay STUN-DOG MILLIONAIRES!

Ospreay whips, Takagi reverses but Ospreay handsprings to NEURALIZER! Both men are down but fans fire up as Takagi bails out. Ospreay hurries after, making sure his nose isn’t bleeding. Ospreay brings Takagi up to whip him into railing! Takagi’s back is a target so Ospreay whips Takagi back the other way into more railing! And then RAMS him into the railing right by commentary! Ospreay peels the tape off Takagi’s back before hitting a RAILING BACK SUPLEX!! Takagi goes down in a heap and Red Shoes checks on him. Fans rally up but Ospreay leaves Takagi behind and at the mercy of the count. Takagi stirs at 5 of 20, slowly rises but doesn’t stand until about 13.

Takagi looks at Ibushi on commentary for a moment before going to the ring at 17! Ospreay stomps Takagi, drags him up, and CLUBS him hard on the back, then KICKS him! Ospreay stands on Takagi’s back but Red Shoes counts, and Ospreay steps away at 3. Fans rally for Takagi, Ospreay drags him up and digs his knee into his back! Ospreay runs to basement dropkick Takagi’s back! Cover, TWO! Takagi grits his teeth but Ospreay drags him up. Ospreay scoops Takagi for a BACKBREAKER! Cover, ONE!! Takagi’s back arching from the pain might’ve helped him there. Fans rally up as Ospreay is after Takagi with EuroUppers.

Ospreay whips corner to corner hard, and Takagi bounces off buckles to hit the mat. Ospreay drags Takagi back up, snapmares him and wraps on a body scissor. Takagi endures but Ospreay squeezes and even throws clubbing shots. Takagi tries to reach back but Ospreay sits him up for more forearms. Fans rally, Ospreay becomes a backpack but Takagi fights up. Ospreay CLUBS Takagi on the back again! Ospreay whips corner to corner, Takagi barely makes it there. Ospreay grins as he runs in but Takagi dodges. Ospreay boots, back, goes up and out and PIP PIP CHEERIO! Cover, TWO! Ospreay grows annoyed with Takagi, but he gives Takagi Kowata Kicks!

Fans rally up while Takagi eggs Ospreay on. Ospreay gives more Kowata Kicks but Takagi blocks, spins and shoves to elbow, JAB and feint the lariat for a DDT! Fans fire up as Takagi gets back up. Takagi drives elbows into the shoulder over and over, runs but Ospreay ducks the sliding lariat! Ospreay kicks but Takagi ducks. Osperay elbows and handsprings gaain, but into Takagi’s arms! Takgai pops Ospreay up to a fireman’s carry for a DEATH VALLEY DRIVER! Fans fire up as Takagi clotheslines Ospreay out of the ring hard! Ospreay sits up, Bea checks on him, but Takagi goes out to pursue. Bea shields Ospreay but then Ospreay BOOTS Takagi! Takagi grabs Ospreay’s nose!

Bea grabs Takagi’s hair but Takagi shakes her off. Takagi glares at Bea and the Empire but Ospreay POSTS Takagi! Jeff Cobb and Great-O-Khan give Takagi some space, and Ospreay gets a table! Ospreay sets the table up, Red Shoes reprimands him, but Ospreay brings Takagi around. Ospreay tries to lift but Takagi resist. Ospreay tries to suplex but Takagi switches positions! Ospreay switches them back, they go around, Takagi grabs the apron but Ospreay whips him. Takagi reverses< Ospreay goes up and over then forearms back. Ospreay jumps up but Takagi catches him! Ospreay desperately fights so Takagi gives him SNAKE EYES on the apron!

Takagi bumps Ospreay off the apron again, then goes up to join him. Takagi calls his shot, “ON THE TABLE!!” and fireman’s carries, but Ospreay fights. Bea drags the table away! Ospreay ROCKS Takagi, runs but Takagi jumps over! Takagi runs but Bea is again a shield. Ospreay hits Takagi, springboards bot Takagi gets under. Ospreay handsprings again but into a torture rack, for another SNAKE EYES! Takagi runs, Ospreay boots the lariat away, then SUPERKICKS! Ospreay runs, ducks the lariat but not the POP-UP BOMB! Cover, TWO! STF!! Takagi has the crossface right on Ospreay’s nose but fans rally as Ospreay endures!

Ospreay crawls, getting his leg free, but Takagi pulls back as strong as he can on the crossface! Ospreay still gest the ROPEBREAK! Takagi lets the crossface go to get a FUJIWARA! Ospreay again gets the ropebreak, so Takagi lets go to drag Ospreay up. Gory Especial to NOSHIGAMI! Cover, TWO! Takagi keeps his cool as fans rally up. Takagi brings Ospreay up, reels him into the pump handle, but Ospreay resists. Takagi throws knees, Ospreay slips out to full nelson, but Takagi breaks that! Takagi elbows, ducks the hook kick but runs into the tiger wall kick and ENZIGURI! Takagi rebounds to LAR- Ospreay slips through and gets Takagi up!

Takagi slips out of the bomb, Ospreay LARIATS back! Both men are down and fans fire up more! Ospreay drags Takagi up, reels him into a dragon sleeper, for SAVING GRACE! Cover, TWO! Takagi survives and Ospreay grows frustrated as fans rally up. Ospreay and Takagi go to opposite corners, and Ospreay wants Takagi to stand. Takagi gets up, Ospreay runs in, but Takagi gets under the boot! Takagi fireman’s carries Ospreay to the top rope! Ospreay fights but Takagi tries to make it a pump handle! Ospreay still gets up and around, rains down fists, but Takagi shoves him away! Ospreay flips to land on his feet, then triangle dropkicks Takagi back!

Ospreay climbs up, gets Takagi up, for a SUPER SPANISH FLY!!! Cover, TWO!?!? Takagi survives and Ospreay can’t believe it! Fans are thunderous while Takagi clutches his back. Ospreay powers up, watches Takagi rise, and he springboards, but the Oscutter gets caught to the Gory Especial! Ospreay fights free but Takagi HEADBUTTS! JABS! YUKON LARIATS! Fans fire up with Takagi as he glares at Ospreay. Ospreay glares back and fires forearms, but Takagi gives boxing elbows! Takagi goes to about a dozen, but Ospreay swings! Takagi swats it but Ospreay HOOK KICKS! Ospreay runs, but Takagi dodges to PUMPING BOMBER!

But Ospreay lands on his feet?! And springboards to OSCUTTER!!! Cover, TWO!!!! Takagi survives and fans are thunderous again! Fans rally up as both men slowly rise. Ospreay crawls after Takagi but Takagi manages to roll out of the ring. Ospreay aims as Takagi rises, but Takagi avoids the plancha. Ospreay mule kicks, and uses the corner, SUPER OSCUTTER, TO THE FLOOR!!! Fans are thunderous again over that risky move! Red Shoes checks on both men, Bea has Red Shoes move away so that Ospreay can drag Takagi up. Ospreay wants the table again! Ospreay brings it around, drags Takagi up, punches him onto the wood, and then goes to the apron.

Ospreay climbs up the corner, Red Shoes sees what’s happening but he can’t get Ospreay to stop! SUPER 450 SPLASH THROUGH THE TABLE!!! Ospreay clutches his own ribs, he may have done as much damage to himself as he did to Takagi! Red Shoes checks but somehow Ospreay’s okay to continue! Ospreay tells the Empire to help him, he needs to get in the ring. Cobb gets Ospreay in and now it’s on Takagi! Red Shoes starts the ring count, Takagi stirs but he doesn’t move and it’s past 10 of 20! Takagi slaps himself so he can wake up a bit. Takagi gets moving at 15, borrows Ibushi’s towel to wipe the sweat at 15, but it’s 18! Ibushi tells Takagi that and he scrambles in at 19.5!!

Ospreay springboards to COAST2COAST Takagi down!! Ospreay keeps moving, gets up top again, and SHOOTING STARS!! Cover, TWO!?!?! Takagi survives and no one can believe it! Ospreay desperately tries to drag Takagi off the mat as fans are thunderous again. Opsreay pulls off the elbow pad and goes to the corner! But Takagi flops over, denying Ospreay a target! Red Shoes checks on Takagi but he tries to keep Ospreay back, too. Red Shoes asks if Takagi is alright but Ospreay starts slapping Takagi around! Ospreay drags Takagi up to underhook, but Ospreay doesn’t have the strength for a lift! Ospreay gives more Kowata Kicks as fans fire up, but that wakes the Dragon!!

Takagi glares at Ospreay, Ospreay boots but Takagi doesn’t even flinch! Ospreay boots again and again but Takagi is storming over! Is he a zombie dragon!? Ospreay kicks and kicks but Takagi fires off forearms and boxing elbows! And point-blank clotheslines!! Takagi runs, but Ospreay gets him to a fireman’s carry! LONDON HAS FALLEN!! Ospreay turns Takagi for the DREAM- NO! Takagi catches Ospreay to the half nelson! Ospreay slips out, spins, kicks, but into MADE IN JAPAN!!! Cover, TWO!?!??! Ospreay survives and now Takagi is shocked! Fans are moving from thunderous to electric! Ospreay stirs, Takagi aims from a corner, PUMPING BOMBER!!

But not just that, Takagi gets Ospreay up with the pump handle torture rack! But Ospreay turns that into a crucifix takedown! Cover, TWO!!! Ospreay runs into a pop-up, fireman’s carry, but he fights that off! Takagi slips free of that and POISON-RANAS OSPREAY!?! Ospreay wobbles around but falls to his knees as fans fire up again! Takagi brings Ospreay up, runs and runs to- SPANISH FLY!??! Cover, TWO!! Takagi flounders about but he’s still in this! Ospreay aims, ROUNDHOUSE! ROLLING ELBOW! ROLLING DREAM SMASHER!! Wait, HIDDEN BLADE!! Underhooks and… STORMBREAKER!!!! Cover, OSPREAY WINS!!!

Winner: Will Ospreay, by pinfall (2021 New Japan Cup winner)

The Commonwealth Kingpin may no longer be the Assassin but he STILL slays the dragon!! But don’t say history repeated itself, because this was a far bigger fight than BSOJ 26! Ibushi himself is out of breath having just watched this! But now he knows who he faces in just two weeks at Sakura Genesis! Ospreay is presented with the NJCUP trophy and holds it high over head! The Empire joins their leader in the ring to celebrate this moment together. Ospreay then gets the mic to speak. “With a torn rotator cuff, and a broken nose, I told you all I was gonna win the New Japan Cup, and I WON THE NEW JAPAN CUP!!” Fans cheer because that is all true.

They’re clapping now but Ospreay knows they doubted him! “The British Junior can’t get it done with the heavyweights!? I just dominated the Heavyweight Division, baby!!” And like he said, the United Empire is a force to be reckonened with! He won the NJCUP, and two things have happened now, leaving one more. “Ibushi. C’mon.” He wants Ibushi to respond, so Ibushi gets off commentary and brings the belts! The Empire stands down and Ospreay allows Ibushi in.

Ospreay says Ibushi’s been getting a lot of heat for what he’s planning to do. Taking the IWGP Intercontinental and Heavyweight Championships, unifying them into THE IWGP World Heavyweight Championship. Some people like, some people don’t. Ospreay tells fans to stop, he didn’t ask for an opinion. But he gives his: he agrees with Ibushi. Ospreay doesn’t care about history, legacy or lineage. What Ospreay cares about is being number one. And as much as Ospreay hates to say it, “Ibushi is number one.”

Ospreay wants Ibushi to know something. Ospreay NEEDS the title(s). More than anything, Ospreay needs the title(s), and will do anything to take it away from Ibushi to put it on HIS shoulders! Ospreay loves this more than anything! This is Ospreay’s destiny, to be IWGP WORLD Heavyweight Champion! Ospreay loves this more than anything or anyone. Sorry, Bea. OSCUTTER TO BEA?!?! Cobb and Khan stand in Ibushi’s way and everyone else is stunned silent! Ospreay does his best to contain himself after what he did to his girlfriend, and then he leaves without another word.

If this is what Ospreay is willing to do to someone he loved, what will he do to someone who holds what he “needs?” Can Ibushi stop the United Empire from conquering NJPW?


My Thoughts:

Well DAMN. So, great event obviously, though obviously I skipped Suzuki-Gun beating Young Lions, The Empire beating the old guys, and in a slight shock, Yujiro Takahashi gets the win for Bullet Club over Yoshi-Hashi. I wonder if Bullet Club in some formation challenges Chaos’ Goto-Ishii-Hashi for the NEVER Openweight Six Man titles. LIJ VS Henare & FinJuice was good, especially playing off Finlay’s foot getting messed up yesterday against Ospreay. But I figured Henare would take the loss since LIJ pinning the Impact Wrestling Tag Team Champions would complicate this crossing of the promotions a bit too much at the moment.

The semi-rematch of Okada, Tanahashi & Ibushi VS Bullet Club was very good, very fun, but of course the Faces win. Okada wasn’t as bummed this time but he still let the Golden Aces celebrate without him. White is still staying out of the actual math so White VS Tanahashi for NEVER Openweight Championship can still go any which way. Ibushi being on commentary was perfect for the final moment after a truly epic, match of the week level Ospreay VS Takagi. There was so much story in it, from both their BSOJ match two years ago to how each man had a target and the other used moves that would specifically go after those targets. Plus, that 450 table spot was wild, and I was surprised Ospreay and Takagi could do Spanish Flies.

Ospreay winning wasn’t even near as shocking as his winner promo. Saying he actually agreed with Ibushi and wanted to do the same about NJPW having a true world title was a bit of a surprise, but then the real shock was what he did to Bea. That was literally a Randy Orton move right there. The United Empire really could take over NJPW, from Ospreay having THE world title on top of his Rev-Pro British Heavyweight Championship, and then Cobb and Khan could easily get in on the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship scene. They’re still just a trio, or rather are back to a trio since Bea will surely be kayfabe breaking up with Ospreay, so making a GOLDEN United Empire wouldn’t be so difficult, and could definitely happen over the summer.

My Score: 9.4/10


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Coverage

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

Prepare for Backlash!

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

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

OFFICIAL RESULTS

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

PLAY BY PLAY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Bloodline arrives backstage.

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

 

Nick Aldis is in the ring.

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

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

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

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

 

Backstage interview with Naomi.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Backstage interview with Bayley.

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

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

 

Paul Heyman talks with Solo Sikoa.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Heyman goes to the parking lot.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winner: Santos Escobar, by pinfall

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

 

VIP Skybox interview with Damage CTRL!

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

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

 

Cody Rhodes speaks.

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

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

 

WWE Women’s Championship: Bayley VS Naomi!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


My Thoughts:

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

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

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

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

My Score: 8.9/10


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

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

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

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

Ratings:

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

 

Results:

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

Little Guido w/New FBI vs Hammerstone

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

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

LSG vs Joe Hendry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rosemary w/Havok vs Jody Threat w/Dani Luna

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overall Score: 6.5/10

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

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

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


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