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Mitchell’s NJPW 49th Anniversary Results & Report! (3/4/21)

Will there still be a Double Champion?

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NJPW 49th Anniversary

NJPW’s Anniversary kicks off the New Japan Cup!

After the year we wish never was, NJPW triumphantly celebrates their 49th anniversary! And to spice things up, there will be New Japan Cup matches, too! Who takes an early first step towards what is still the IWGP Heavyweight Championship?

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

  • 10 Man Tag: Bullet Club VS Taguchi Japan; Bullet Club wins.
  • Six Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Chaos; Chaos wins.
  • 2021 New Japan Cup Opening Round: Jeff Cobb VS Satoshi Kojima; Cobb wins and advances.
  • 2021 New Japan Cup Opening Round: Tetsuya Naito VS Great-O-Khan; Khan wins and advances.
  • IWGP Heavyweight & Intercontinental Double Championship: Kota Ibushi VS El Desperado; Ibushi wins and retains the titles.

PLAY BY PLAY

10 Man Tag: Bullet Club VS Taguchi Japan!

Jay White leads his faction into battle, feeling pumped up after having dealt with the Stone Pitbull! But will #KingSwitch, the Bone Soldier, Crown Jewel, Fang Revived and King of Darkness be able to trump the Funky Weapon, FinJuice and HenarACE?

The Bullet Club Low Sweet, while Taguchi Japan low fist bumps. Fans cheer as the teams sort out, and Henare starts against White. They circle, fans rally up already, and then White asks Bullet Club if Henare is serious. Henare fires up, he and White tie up and Henare powers White to a corner. The ref calls for the break, Henare lets off but White pokes him in the eye! White kicks and throws haymakers then stomps Henare in the corner. White CHOPS, whips but Henare reverses. White slides out, plays a cat ‘n’ mouse, then tags in Kenta. Henare wants White to man up but White hides behind the other Bullet Club members.

Henare tags out to Juice and fans rally as Juice flips Kenta off. They circle, tie up, and Juice powers Kenta to ropes. The ref calls for the break Kenta turns things around and he pulls on Juice’s hair! The ref counts, Kenta lets off but he headlocks. Juice powers out, but Kenta pulls hair to reel him back in! Juice gets mad, throws body shots, and powers out. Things speed up, Juice hurdles but Kenta kicks him! And KICKS, and KICKS! Juice blocks the third kick to unleash “JUICE!” Jabs! Kenta throat chops before the Left Hand, but he runs into Juice’s atomic drop! Russian Leg Sweep and BIG senton! Cover, TWO!

Juice sees Dick creeping and spits at him. They talk trash, Tanahashi and Taguchi get in and they scoop slam Kenta! Taguchi Japan stomps away on Kenta! The ref reprimands, Bullet Club protests, and Tanahashi stays in and drags Kenta up. Tanahashi fires off strikes but runs into a cheap shot from White! Taguchi and Henare want in but the ref keeps them back. Kenta and White mug Tanahashi, and now Bullet Club stomps away on Tanahashi! The teams back off again, Kenta tags White in and White stomps Tanahashi’s legs. White stomps the left, then the right, then tags Evil. Evil drags Tanahashi up, reels him in and has the cobra twist! Bullet Club makes the chain to the railing!

Taguchi Japan protests as Tanahashi endures but Bullet Club gets away with it all! Evil lets Tanahashi go to cover him, TWO! Bullet Club protests the count but fans cheer. Chase tags in, fans rally with “LET’S GO, ACE!” but Chase YANKS Tanahashi’s leg! Tag to Ishimori and Bullet Club mugs Tanahashi more. Ishimori stomps Tanahashi, digs his boots in, but Tanahashi fires forearms back! Tanahashi hits every member of Bullet Club but Ishimori kicks low! Ishimori whips, Tanahashi reverses but Ishimori handsprings, but into Tanahashi’s waistlock! Ishimori fights free with elbows, kicks a leg, then runs but misses the dropkick! Tanahashi gets a leg for a GROUND DRAGON SCREW!

Both men are down and fans rally up, hot tags to Chase and David Finlay! Finlay rallies, Chase reverses the whip but Finlay uppercuts him down! Finlay blasts the Bullet Club corner then runs in at Chase to uppercut! Chase staggers, Finlay hops up and hits a flying uppercut! Cover, TWO! Fans rally again and Finlay drags Chase up. Chase fights off the Side Effect but Finlay dodges the knee! Chase bucks off the O’Conner to JEWEL TRIGGER! Tag to Evil, he drags Finlay up, but Finlay kicks. Evil blocks, hands the kick to the ref, but then Finlay blocks Evil’s kick! Finlay throws the foot down to hit a neckbreaker!

Fans fire up, hot tag to Taguchi and he unleashes his team! They go after the rest of Bullet Club as Taguchi climbs and leaps! But Evil catches him to EVERYTHING IS EVIL!! Cover, BULLET CLUB WINS!!

Winners: Bullet Club, by pinfall

Taguchi snatches defeat from the jaws of victory! White rubs it in that Evil wins, but will Bullet Club make such easy work of things in the New Japan Cup?

 

Six Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Chaos!

Sanada, Bushi and Shingo Takagi take on Kazuchika Okada, Sho and Tomohiro Ishii before they all jump into the New Japan Cup! Will LIJ get in the way of the Rainmaker rising back up? Or will Okada, High Voltage and the Stone Pitbull be leading the charge into the opening round?

The trios sort out, and Okada starts with the Dragon as a preview of their NJCUP match! Fans rally, “O-KA-DA!” “TA-KA-GI!” Okada and Takagi circle, tie up, and Okada manages to power Takagi to ropes. The ref calls for the ropebreak, Okada lets off, and fakes the chop to pat Takagi’s shoulder. Takagi forearms back! Takagi CLUBS Okada and stomps him down! Takagi drags Okada, CHOPS him, but Okada blocks the boot to give a boot! Okada bumps Takagi off buckles, throws elbows, then tags Ishii in. Takagi gets clear, and Ishii wants the Cold Skull! Takagi tags Sanada and fans rally with “SA-NA-DA!” “I-SHI-I!” They tie up, Sanada wrenches to a wristlock but Ishii throws body shots.

Ishii wrenches to a wristlock, Sanada wrenches back but Ishii throws a forearm! Ishii deflects the boot, swings a clothesline but Sanada gets to a waistlock. Ishii elbows out, swings into another waistlock, but Ishii switches, only for Sanada to elbow out. Sanada whips Ishii to a corner, runs in but Ishii dodges. Ishii runs back in but Sanada dodges! Sanada runs in but into a boot, only to boot back! Sanada swings into a waistlock, Ishii ducks the elbow to ROCK Sanada! Ishii runs, but Sanada hurdles, hurdles and dropkicks! Fans fire up and Sanada encourages them to get louder. Fans clap “SA-NA-DA!” as he brings Ishii up and uppercuts him.

Sho runs in, Sanada boots him, then boots him again! Sanada whips but Sho CLOBBERS Sanada! Bushi runs in, boots Sho but Sho elbows back. Sho runs, Bushi dodges and RANAS! Okada DECKS Bushi, Takagi runs Okada over! Takagi and Ishii ram each other over and over then go forehead to forehead. They throw forearms, Ishii whips but Takagi reverses. Bushi trips Ishii and Sanada basement dropkicks! LIJ goes after Chaos on the outside while Sanada stomps Ishii. Fans rally as Ishii eggs Sanada on. Sanada stomps him more but Ishii dares him to keep going. Sanada does keep going, tags Bushi, and Bushi takes his shirt off to choke Ishii with it!

The ref counts, Bushi hits a neckbreaker! Cover but Okada breaks it! Takagi throws Okada back out, Bushi tags Sanada. Bushi DECKS Sho, Sanada drags Ishii up and hits a BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO! Fans still rally as Sanada drags Ishii up to a fireman’s carry. Ishii slips off, shoves Sanada but Sanada elbows back. Sanada Quebrada but Ishii gets under, only to run into the fireman’s carry! Sanada slings Ishii into a dragon suplex, but Ishii slips free! Ishii catches Sanada to a spin and suplex, but Sanada slips out to dragon sleeper! Ishii spins through to hit the suplex! Fans fire up as both men are down! Hot tags to Takagi and Okada!

Okada dodges to fire off forearms, whip but Takagi reverses, only for Okada to elbow him down! Okada fires up and he whips Takagi corner to corner. Okada elbows Takagi, kicks low and DDT’s! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, “O-KA-DA!” “TA-KA-GI!” Takagi and Okada throw forearms back and forth, faster and faster! Okada ROCKS Takagi, EuroUppers, and whips Takagi corner to corner. Takagi reverses, runs in but blocks the boot. Takagi eggs Okada on to push harder, but then he CLOBBERS Okada! Takagi whips corner to corner, hits another clothesline, then runs, into Okada’s catch! Okada has the MONEY CLIP!

Takagi slips free, arm-drags and elbows Okada to JAB and power up! Okada BOOTS Takagi down! Fans fire up as both men head for their corners again! Hot tag to Sho! Sho runs in at Takagi to clothesline! Sho whips, Takagi reverses but Sho reverses back to kick and kick and kick! But Takagi blocks to elbow the leg! Sho forearms, runs but Takagi clotheslines at ropes! Takagi runs and runs Sho over! Fans fire up, Takagi tags Bushi and he climbs up to missile dropkick! Bushirooni! Bushi dropkicks a leg, and SPIKES Sho with a DDT! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, Bushi drags Sho back up and reels him in to wrench and hook Sho up.

Sho resists the lift and Ishii runs in to run Bushi over! Sanada dropkicks Ishii, Okada BOOTS Sanada! Takagi blocks a boot to JAB and LARIAT! Fans rally up with “OI! OI! OI!” and LIJ whips Sho. Sho SPEARS Takagi down! Bushi clubs Sho, Sho avoids the Fisherman Screw and the enziguri to dead lift GERMAN SUPLEX! Fans fire up with Sho as he waits for Bushi to stand. Sho runs to LARIAT! Sho drags Bushi up, Okada is after Takagi on the outside, and Sho hits the SHOCK ARROW! Cover, Chaos wins!

Winners: Chaos, by pinfall

High Voltage is building up power! Will this help him build up towards the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship? Will Okada be ready for the Dragon in the first round?

Speaking of coming match-ups, Ishii and Sanada stare down, then start brawling with forearms and CHOPS! The ref breaks this up and the two part ways, for now. Will either of them be able to walk away from their coming confrontation in the Cup?

 

2021 New Japan Cup Opening Round: Jeff Cobb VS Satoshi Kojima!

The United Empire was shocked to have been beaten by the King of Cozy Style and Hiroyoshi Tenzan at Castle Attack! But the Hawaiian Hulk has a chance at redemption while also going for the gold! Will Cobb take Kojima on a Tour of the Islands before kicking him out of the tournament?

The bell rings and fans rally as Kojima and Cobb stare down. They slowly approach, tie up, and Cobb gets around to a waistlock. Kojima pries free, wrenches, but Cobb facelocks and cranks on the head! Kojima gets to ropes, Cobb lets off clean, but then gives Kojima a shove. Fans cheer as the two circle and tie up. Kojima headlocks, Cobb powers out but Kojima rams him with a shoulder. Cobb stays up so Kojima runs and rams him again. Cobb still stays up, and Kojima tries a third time. Kojima still can’t knock Cobb over, and Cobb kicks low to run. Kojima dodges, and finally runs Cobb over! But Cobb is right up to run Kojima over!

Cobb drags Kojima up, CLUBS him, and has Kojima in a corner. Cobb rams his shoulder, whips Kojima corner to corner then runs in but Kojima dodges! Kojima CHOPS, CHOPS, then fires off the machine gun CHOPS! Fans fire up, Kojima tops it off with one last CHOP, then whips Cobb again. Kojima runs in to forearm Cobb and throw him down! Kojima climbs up but Cobb clubs him first! Cobb lifts Kojima but Kojima slips off, only for Cobb to RAM him into the other corner! Cobb rams again and again, then reels Kojima in for a LARIAT! Fans rally for “KO-JI-MA!” as Cobb drags him back up. Cobb headbutts Kojima and Kojima flops down!

Cobb toys with Kojima, drags him back up, and DROPKICKS him down! Cobb takes his time with the cover, TWO! Fans rally up again but Cobb brings Kojima up to throw forearms. Kojima forearms back, Cobb returns the forearm, then knees low. Cobb whips, elbows Kojima down and covers, ONE! He covers again, TWO! GACHIMUCHI MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO!! Cobb is angry with the ref but the ref says his count was fair. Cobb kicks Kojima to a corner, slaps him around, then CHOPS him! And CHOPS! Cobb unleashes his own machine gun CHOPS! Cobb pushes Kojima around, whips him corner to corner, then runs in to forearm smash!

Cobb rolls Kojima and heads up top!? But Kojima CLUBS him first! Kojima climbs up to join Cobb, fans rally up, but Cobb resists the superplex. Cobb throws body shots, Kojima headbutts him back! Kojima CLUBS Cobb, brings him up, and hits a SUPERPLEX! Fans fire up even more as Cobb writhes and Kojima rises! Kojima SHINING WIZARDS Cobb out of the ring! Fans fire up as Kojima takes aim and PLANCHAS?! But Cobb catches him, and KNEES him in the ribs over and over, to then SLAM him down! Fans fire up as Cobb gets back on the apron. Kojima sweeps the legs! Cobb hits the apron, Kojima gets up and fires up as he reels Cobb in! APRON DDT!

Cobb is stuck upside-down but then flops to the floor. The ref starts the ring count, but Kojima drags Cobb up at 6 of 20, and puts him in at 10 of 20! Kojima climbs up top, and hits the MACHO ELBOW! Cover, TWO! Cobb survives but Kojima just focuses his power. Kojima drags Cobb up to fire off forearms and a ROLLING ELBOW! Kick and DDT! Fans rally more as Kojima brings Cobb in for a cravat. Cobb powers out to thrash Kojima around and hit a GERMAN SUPLEX! Cobb and Kojima go to opposite corners, and Cobb runs in corner to corner, to hit the leaping back elbow! Kojima staggers into a scoop, and Cobb RAMS him into a corner!

Kojima avoids Oklahoma Stampede to COZY CUTTER! Fans fire up as Cobb slowly rises. Kojima is on him and brings him up to suplex! COZY BRAINBUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Cobb still lives but Kojima isn’t done yet! Cobb blocks him from taking off the armband! Kojima throws haymakers, whips Cobb, but Cobb reverses to reel Kojima in, ATHLETIC PLEX! Gut wrench and POWERBOMB! Cover, TWO!! Kojima survives and fans fire up again! Cobb grits his teeth, drags Kojima up and whips him, to scoop and TOUR- NO! Kojima slips out but his lariat is blocked! Cobb runs, into the LEFT LARIAT! Cover, TWO!

Kojima keeps his cool and he throws off the armband! Kojima runs but into a SUPERKICK! Kojima stays up but Cobb JABS him, and copies the armband toss, only to run into the COZY LARIAT! Fans are thunderous as Kojima powers up and runs, but into a TOUR OF THE ISLANDS!! Cover, Cobb wins!!

Winner: Jeff Cobb, by pinfall (advances to the next round)

There was nothing cozy about that, but it was snug! Will Cobb continue on from here to conquer the Cup on behalf of the United Empire?

 

2021 New Japan Cup Opening Round: Tetsuya Naito VS Great-O-Khan!

The Uncontrollable Charisma couldn’t take back the IWGP Intercontinental Championship, and the Dominator couldn’t take the NEVER Openweight Championship for the glory of the United Empire! But will one of these two redeem themselves and head for the coming IWGP world title?

Khan is patient as Naito takes off his elaborate entrance attire, so Naito takes his time. Naito then mocks Khan’s pose and the bell rings. Fans rally as Naito and Khan slowly circle. Khan sits down to use a leg guard against Naito, but Naito keeps his distance. Khan corners Naito, but lets off as Red Shoes calls for the ropebreak. Khan whips Naito, Naito grabs ropes and boots Khan. Naito throws Khan out, builds speed, but then rolls and mocks Khan’s pose again! Fans cheer that and even Khan laughs at Naito’s bravado. Khan returns, Naito rushes him and kicks him low! Naito clubs Khan, snapmares and wraps on a chinlock.

Khan endures, Naito grinds him down more, and then pulls back on the chinlock. Khan fights up, Naito grinds harder, but Khan throws body shots. Naito grinds further still but Khan pulls hair! Naito CLUBS Khan and stomps him for that! Naito pulls Khan’s ponytail, CLUBS him, then runs, into a hip toss! Khan wants the katagatami! Naito scrambles around and gets the ropebreak with a foot! Red Shoes counts, Khan holds on until 4. Fans rally as Naito bails out but Khan pursues. Khan drags Naito up, SLAPS him on the back, then pursues him around the way. Khan CLUBS Naito and whips him HARD into railing! Naito flops over and Khan grins as he walks over.

Khan stands on Naito’s head, mockingly asks what’s wrong, then stomps Naito. Khan puts Naito in, covers, ONE! Fans rally up but Khan drags Naito around to a gut wrench. Khan suplexes Naito hard, then covers, TWO! Fans rally up, Khan taunts Naito and follows him to ropes, then drags him up. Khan puts Naito in the corner to CLUB him on the back, then Khan sits on Naito’s head! Khan laughs but Red Shoes counts. Khan stands up at 3, to pull Naito’s arms back! Red Shoes counts again, Khan hops off at 3 and brings Naito out of the corner. Khan taunts Naito and kicks him, then he talks trash to Naito’s fans. Fans rally up, Khan digs Naito’s face into his boot!

Naito fights up, throws body shots, but Khan knees low. Khan runs but into Naito’s shotgun boot! Both men are down but fans fire up! Naito rises first, brings Khan up by his ponytail and whips him to ropes. Naito elbows Khan down then basement dropkicks him! Naito whips Khan to a corner now, rocket kick and sweep, COMBINACION CABRON! Fans fire up as Naito does his pose, then mocks Khan’s pose! Khan gets up but Naito has his ponytail again. Naito brings Khan around but Khan fights out of the neckbreaker. Khan swings but into a spin for the neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Fans rally as Naito drags Khan back up.

Naito cravats and cranks Khan’s neck, but Khan gets to a corner. Red Shoes calls for the break, Naito lets off to throw elbow after elbow in! Naito gets the cravat neck wrench again, but Khan throws body shots. Khan whips and BOOTS Naito inside-out! Both men are down again and fans rally! Khan slowly rises, Naito crawls, but Khan drags Naito up for Mongolian Chops! And more Mongolian Chops! Khan whips Naito to ropes, Naito leaps but is caught to a bearhug! Naito fights free, Khan knees low and whips, but Naito reverses to tornado, only for Khan to turn the DDT into a TOSS! Naito clutches his bad knee and Khan storms over.

Khan grabs the leg to stomp away on it, then YANK the leg! Naito crawls to a corner, fans rally up and Khan stalks Naito again. Khan drags Naito to the corner and ties up the legs around the post! Red Shoes reprimands and counts and Khan lets go at 4. Khan goes around the way to look under the ring, and he brings out a chair! Red Shoes tells Khan no but Khan pushes Red Shoes away, to SMACK Naito’s leg against the post! Naito flops down and Khan taunts the fans. Khan has the chair again, sits Naito up and brings him around to the ramp. Naito fights back but Khan clubs and kicks him down! Khan has the chair again, sits it up, and has Red Shoes move aside.

Khan laughs at Naito as he drags him over, has the leg, and gives him a SHIN BREAKER to the chair! Naito clutches the leg and Khan paces around as fans rally up. Khan pretends he can’t hear the fans so they get louder. Khan leaves Naito behind and waits as Red Shoes checks on Naito. Naito is okay to continue so the ring count starts. The count is 10 of 20 before Naito sits up with the bad leg. Naito still doesn’t get up until 15 of 20! Naito hobbles, but gets in at 19.99!! Khan is right after the bad legs with a modified deathlock! Naito grabs at Khan but Khan clamps harder with the iron claw on the bad knee! Khan drags Naito up for an IRON CLAW SLAM! Cover, TWO!!

Naito survives but Khan drags him around by the leg, for a CALF KILLER! Naito endures, fans rally but Khan thrashes the leg around! Naito powers up but Khan pulls back as far as he can! Naito starts to fade but Khan lets him go to clamp onto the knee with the claw. Khan drags Naito back up but Naito turns that into a SATELLITE DDT! Fans fire up as both men are down! Naito slowly rises, Khan drags himself up in the corner, but Naito manages to run in. Naito blocks Khan’s boot to throw back elbows! Naito stands Khan up with his ponytail to throw more elbows! Khan flops over, fans cheer, but Naito isn’t done there.

Naito drags Khan up by his ponytail again for more back elbows! And more back elbows! Naito hops up, reels Khan in, for ESPARANZA! Cover, TWO!! Fans rally up as Naito drags Khan back up. Naito reels Khan in for a hammerlock but Khan resists Gloria! Naito CLUBS Khan, pulls him up by the ponytail, then hammerlocks again. Khan still resists, clubs Naito in return, but Naito throws those back elbows again! Khan catches one for an atomic FACEBUSTER! Fans fire up as both men are down again. Khan drags Naito up and reels him in for an INVERTED EXPLODER! Cover, TWO!! Naito survives but he clutches his leg again. Khan grits his teeth as he gets up again.

Khan strikes his pose and clamps his claw onto Naito’s face! Khan drags Naito up but Naito throws back elbows. Khan claws Naito’s eyes! ELIMI- NO! Naito fights out but Khan kicks his legs out! Khan clamps on again, but still no Eliminator! Naito comes back to DESTINO!! Both men are down, fans are thunderous, and Naito rises! Naito drags Khan up, wrenches, but Khan elbows him. Naito throws more elbows back, wrenches, but Khan still elbows free. Khan kick the bad leg but Naito ENZIGURIS! Tilt-o-whirl but Khan blocks and throws Naito off! Naito elbows, Khan dodges the enziguri and LARIATS! Cover, TWO!! Naito survives but Khan gets the leg for a STANDING KNEEBAR!

Khan claws Naito’s face to keep him down but fans rally as Naito reaches for ropes! Khan shifts to get a TRUE KNEEBAR! Naito endures as Khan shouts at him! Khan clubs and CHOPS Naito, pulls the leg, but Naito refuses to quit! Naito grabs at Red Shoes but Khan gets the other leg and gator rolls around! FIGURE FOUR KNEEBAR!! Naito fights towards ropes as Khan thrashes about! Naito grabs Red Shoes, reaches again, but Khan keeps pulling on the legs! Naito rolls and rolls but Khan still holds on! Naito reaches, flails, fans are rallying as hard as they can, but Naito can only grab at Red Shoes! Red Shoes calls it, Khan wins!!

Winner: Great-O-Khan, by referee stoppage (advances to the next round)

He’s won, but Khan won’t let go! Young Lions run in to pry Khan off Naito, but then Khan attacks the Young Lions! Khan STOMPS Naito’s bad leg, and mocks Naito’s pose! Khan talks trash right to Naito’s face then gives the bad leg one last stomp! Will Khan brutalize all of his opponents on the way to the finals?

 

IWGP Heavyweight & Intercontinental Double Championship: Kota Ibushi VS El Desperado!

Speaking of the coming IWGP world title, the Golden Star God could be the first man to hold that new belt. But that’s only if he gets past the Junior Heavyweight Double Champion! Will Ibushi ascend to a new level in NJPW history? Or will it be the Rogue Luchador holding more gold than any wrestler in the world today?

The introductions are made, Ibushi’s belts are raised, and a rematch from almost eight YEARS ago happens for even greater stakes!

Fans rally as Ibushi and Desperado stare down. They circle, feel out the grapple, and tie up. Desperado gets around to a waistlock but Ibushi backs into ropes. They honor the break, and fans cheer as the two reset. Fans rally for “I-BU-SHI!” as he and Desperado tie up. Ibushi gets a leg, brings Desperado down but Desperado facelocks. Ibushi slips to a waistlock, Desperado switches, but Ibushi has his arm. Desperado tries to get free but Ibushi rolls and wrenches to a wristlock. Desperado reaches for ropes but Ibushi keeps him away. Desperado rolls, spins and wrenches back, and fans cheer the technical exchange. Ibushi rolls, trips Desperado and gets a toehold.

Desperado tries to hold him off with forearms, but Ibushi shifts inside the leg guard. Ibushi goes for a lateral press but Desperado slips right out to facelock and snapmare. Ibushi avoids the lateral press, Desperado still facelocks then waistlocks. Ibushi pries free, wrenches, wristlocks then hammerlocks. Desperado works on his reversal, he drops and rolls and gets the wristlock back. Fans cheer this exchange as Desperado hammerlocks. Ibushi elbows then drop toeholds, then floats to a chinlock. Desperado rolls to slip out the back and get the hammerlock back. Ibushi stands, slips out to hammerlock, but Desperado steps through the ropes then back in to wrap Ibushi’s arm on the ropes.

Red Shoes reprimands and counts, Desperado kicks the rope to jam the arm! Ibushi fires forearms back, then eggs Desperado on. Desperado roars and shows haymaker but stomps Ibushi’s foot! Desperado runs but into a KICK! Ibushi sees Desperado bail out and fans rally up. Ibushi goes out after Desperado, drags him up and whips him into railing! Desperado sputters as he slumps down, but Ibushi brings him back up. Ibushi puts Desperado in, but Desperado goes to scoop him! Ibushi CLUBS Desperado down, scoops him and SLAMS him down! Cover, ONE!! Ibushi keeps on Desperado with another chinlock.

Fans rally, Desperado endures, throws clubbing shots up at Ibushi but Ibushi shifts to a headscissor necklock. Desperado endures, moves around, kicks his way around but Ibushi gets the leg for a cover! TWO, and Desperado scrambles to ropes. Ibushi stands on Desperado at the ropes, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Taichi are there to protest on Desperado’s behalf, so Ibushi lets off. Desperado glares up at Ibushi defiantly so Ibushi stands him up to forearm! Desperado forearms back but Ibushi eggs him on. Desperado throws more and more forearms but Ibushi says he needs ot hit harder! Desperado does, but Ibushi BOOTS him right down! Cover, ONE!!

Fans rally as Ibushi KICKS and KICKS and KICKS Desperado around! Desperado ends up in a corner, fans rally and he comes back with forearms! Ibushi still eggs Desperado on, so Desperado keeps hitting him! Desperado forearms over and over, but Ibushi BOOTS him again! Desperado comes back with forearms, Ibushi just leans into them! Ibushi backs Desperado down that way then BOOTS him to the corner! Ibushi drags Desperado up, whips him corner to corner, but Desperado reverses and runs in. Desperado blocks Ibushi’s boot, puts it on the ropes, then dropkicks the other leg! Fans cheer as Desperado gets the leg for a DRAGON SCREW! Ibushi falls over and fans rally up again.

Ibushi grits his teeth as he crawls but Desperado is after the bad leg! STRETCH MUFFLER! Ibushi gets the ropebreak, Red Shoes counts as Desperado thrashes, but Desperado still lets go at 3. Fans rally as Ibushi clutches the leg. Desperado stomps the leg, but Ibushi glares back at him! Desperado stomps the leg, reels Ibushi in, but no Guitarra as Ibushi gets free! Ibushi’s leg jams, Desperado runs, but into the POWERSLAM! Ibushi somersaults to the corner but Desperado dropkicks him out! Ibushi hits the floor and fans fire up! Desperado watches Ibushi on the outside, takes aim and builds speed, to DIVE! The somersault tope hits!

Fans fire up more as Desperado drags Ibushi up and into the ring! Desperado reels Ibushi in, GUITARRA DE ANGEL! Cover, TWO! Ibushi survives and Desperado grows frustrated but the fans fire up again. Desperado stands, stomps Ibushi’s bad leg, but Ibushi eggs him on. Desperado grabs the legs, Ibushi kicks him but Desperado stomps the leg again. Desperado drops knees on the knee! Desperado grabs the leg, steps through but Ibushi BOOTS him away! Ibushi slowly rises, and avoids Desperado’s basement dropkick to DOUBLE STOMP him down! Fans fire up while both men are down! Ibushi gets up and kicks Desperado.

Desperado sits up so Ibushi gives him toying kicks and fast palm strikes! Desperado wobbles but he forearms back. Ibushi forearms, Desperado rolls him up, to get the STRETCH MUFFLER! Fans fire up as Ibushi endures again! Desperado gets the arm for NUMERO DOS! Ibushi reaches with his free arm, moves around but Desperado drags him away from ropes! Desperado pulls as hard as he can on the hold but Ibushi fights his way around to the ropebreak! Desperado lets go mostly out of his own exhaustion and fans rally again. Desperado looms over Ibushi, drags him up, and reels him in to underhook the arms. Ibushi resists the lift, powers up and has Desperado tucked in!

Desperado fights desperately and avoid the Bastard Driver! Fans fire up as Ibushi hobbles up and Desperado runs in, but into another DOUBLE STOMPS! Ibushi still counters Desperado but the damage to his leg makes that a little more double-edged! Ibushi rises and he kicks at Desperado again. Desperado talks trash as he gets up but Ibushi kicks him. Desperado CHOPS, Ibushi forearms, repeat! CHOP, forearm, but then Desperado kicks the bad leg! Ibushi ROCKS Desperado, KICKS him in the chest, but Desperado eggs him on! Ibushi KICKS again! Desperado gets forehead to forehead with Ibushi but Ibushi fires off a strike fest!

Desperado blocks the kick to GUITARRA DE LA MUERTE! Cover, TWO! Desperado hurries right to a corner and climbs up! FROG SPLASH! Cover, TWO!! Kanemaru & Taichi coach Desperado and fans are thunderous! Desperado drags Ibushi up, underhooks the arms, but again Ibushi blocks! Ibushi powers against the underhooks but Desperado knees low. Ibushi back kicks, dodges Desperado’s straight right to SHOTEI! And V-TRIGGER! KENNY~! But then ROUNDHOUSE meets LOCO MONO!! Fans are thunderous as both men go down!! Ibushi stirs but Desperado stands first. Desperado fires up, the fans respond and he drags Ibushi up. Underhooks for PINCHE-

NO! Ibushi fights out to wrench and LARIAT! Ibushi fires up and fans respond in kind! Ibushi gets Desperado up, reels him in, and lifts, for a LAST RIDE!! Cover, TWO!! Desperado lives but Ibushi vows to end it! Ibushi grits his teeth, gets Desperado’s wrists and sits him up. Desperado wrenches through to ES EL CULERO! Cover, TWO!!! ROUNDHOUSE from Ibushi hits clean! Ibushi sits Desperado up again, KAMI- NO! ROLL UP, but to the STRETCH MUFFLER!! And he puts it on tight! Then gets NUMERO DOS SUPREME! Ibushi endures but he is caught! Desperado holds on as hard as he can but Ibushi refuses to give in!

Ibushi pries an arm free, reaches, but Desperado rolls him from ropes! Ibushi make sit a cover, TWO!! KAMIGOYE!!! Cover, TWO!??!?! Ibushi can’t believe Desperado still lives! Ibushi gets the wrists again, for ANOTHER KAMIGOYE!!! Cover, Ibushi wins!!

Winner: Kota Ibushi, by pinfall (still IWGP Double Champion)

Desperado showed Ibushi he is a “different animal” from eight years ago, but it wasn’t enough to end the Golden Star God’s run! Can anyone stop Ibushi from being THE champion in NJPW?! But Ibushi is a gracious champion, and he shows respect to the Rogue Luchador. Desperado shows it back and they shake hands! Will Desperado at least continue on to define the Junior Heavyweight Division?

After catching his breath and having both belts presented back to him, Ibushi gets the mic. “This wasn’t about proving who’s the strongest between heavyweights and junior heavyweights. Desperado, oi. Thank you.” Fans cheer the respect Ibushi shows, but Ibushi says there are so many great wrestlers in the Junior Heavyweight Division. Ibushi is up for taking on any challenger and he truly means that. Ibushi won’t change his mind. “When these two titles are unified, I’ll show what awaits.” And then he asks Hiroshi Tanahshi and Jushin Liger for their blessing.

Ibushi will truly take on any challenge from anyone. When these titles are unified, he will take them “to the highest global stage.” Fans cheer that idea as Ibushi again says he will never betray them, never quit and never lose. Ibushi thanks the fans, and drops as he drops to his knees as he drops the mic. Will Ibushi help NJPW reach the world once he is truly THE IWGP World Heavyweight Champion?


My Thoughts:

A great event right here, especially to kick off the New Japan Cup. Apologies to Suzuki-Gun fans, I seem to keep skipping their matches because they’re always beating up Young Lions. However, I am surprised, Suzuki-Gun lost and Douki takes the pin from Hirooki Goto. Though, I’m not surprised that Douki lost it for them, that is his role. The 10 Man was ridiculous because Taguchi gets in just to lose it for his team. I have a feeling that will feed right into Evil’s first match in the NJCUP, since he has a bye into the next round starting on 3/11/21. The Six Man was a lot of fun, too, and it was big for Sho to get the win since he’s not in the tournament. He can move up and challenge Desperado for the Junior Heavyweight Championship while Hiromu is hurt.

Speaking of the tournament, the first matches tonight were both great stuff. It just seemed natural for Cobb to beat Kojima, but it was quite the surprise for Khan to win. Naito’s struggles as of late would’ve made it seem like he was going to overcome, but now he’s on a different path. We could end up with Empire VS Empire but it’s likely Evil beats Cobb next round to take Khan on in the round after that.

Then we get an incredible match out of Ibushi VS Desperado. Of course Ibushi wins, Desperado can’t have five belts on him right now (he holds onto Kanemaru’s tag belt just cuz) and Ibushi really could lead NJPW into a new era where Heavyweight & Intercontinental titles fuse their lineage into the new IWGP WHC. With bonds building between NJPW, AEW and other companies, it would work out so amazingly well if Ibushi was top champion and Kenny Omega is still AEW World Champion for them to clash as truly two of the best in the world.

My Score: 9.2/10


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Coverage

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

Prepare for Backlash!

Published

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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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