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Mitchell’s NJPW Sakura Genesis Results & Report! (4/4/21)

Will Will Ospreay conquer NJPW?

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NJPW Sakura Genesis 2021 coverage

Will Kota Ibushi stay NJPW’s first World Heavyweight Champion?

NJPW is entering a new era, where there is the ultimate IWGP World Heavyweight Champion! But will it be the Golden Star God or Commonwealth Kingpin that reigns supreme?

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 The United Empire & ???; The United Empire wins.
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi & Satoshi Kojima VS Jay White & Bad Luck Fale; Tanahashi & Kojima win.
  • IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemura VS Roppongi 3K; RPG3K wins and become the new IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions.
  • IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: Kota Ibushi VS Will Ospreay; Ospreay wins and becomes new IWGP World Heavyweight Champion.

PLAY BY PLAY

Hiromu Takahashi is here?!

The Ticking Timebomb is here and fans are excited to hear from him! “Everyone! Good evening~!” Hiromu also says good evening to us watching at home. Hiromu wants us all to know that while he’s not ready to return to action, he is here to be on commentary, especially as Los Ingobernables de Japon takes on the United Empire. But who is this new “X” wrestler? Is it you? You? Or is it… Hiromu himself? Well the answer is, TRANQUILO~! Relax! Hiromu is also running down the card, saying RPG3K returns to take on Desperado and Kanemaru. Will Yoh prove he’s progressed? Or is there something deeper going on here? If Yoh’s not ready, then Despy will still have both Junior Heavyweight titles!

And then there’s the main event, Ibushi VS Ospreay, for THE IWGP World Heavyweight Championship! The New Japan Cup Winner proved his resolve by shockingly attacking his own girlfriend! Hiromu knew all along Ospreay is not a human but “dirty stinking cat!” But as everyone knows, Ibushi is a very unique human. The Ultimate God VS Filthy Stinking Cat, what a main event! But if everyone’s ready, let’s get things started! NJPW Sakura Genesis 2021, LET’S GO!

 

Six Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS The United Empire & ???

Hiromu hyped up this showdown of Tetsuya Naito, Sanada and Shingo Takagi against Jeff Cobb, Great-O-Khan, and yet another mystery partner! But just who is their newest recruit? Khan and Cobb make their entrances first, and Khan is given the mic. “Are you that intrigued about who is the next member of the United Empire? Well all you peasants are about to find out. You’re so easily kept in the palm of our hands.” So tranquilo, assenayo! Khan mocking LIJ there as he says they are about to see just who has joined the Empire! It is… THE HAMMERHEAD, TOA HENARE!?!

But he is also Toa no longer! He is AARON Henare, and he is abandoning Taguchi Japan and Team HenarACE to become the “Ultimate Weapon” in Will Ospreay’s arsenal! Will this moment be remembered as when Henare turns his career around and conquers NJPW?

The second LIJ gets in the ring, the Empire strikes! Khan is after Naito, Cobb is after Shingo, and Henare is after Sanada! The bell rings to get this on record as Henare keeps Sanada in the ring while the others go outside. Henare clubs Sanada, whips him corner to corner, but Sanada gets around the boot to dropkick a leg out, then dropkick Henare down! Henare flounders to ropes, Sanada tags Naito and LIJ mugs Henare. Naito throws hands, Sanada digs his boot in, and they double whip corner to corner. Sanada runs in but is thrown up and over! Henare elbows Naito then gives him Snake Eyes to the buckles!

Henare KICKS Naito down, sees Shingo coming and boots him to then CLOBBER him! Henare scowls and looms over Naito. Fans rally up as Henare drags Naito up by his hair. Henare gets in Naito’s face, snapmares him then KICKS him! Henare stomps then CHOPS Naito down, then drags him up. Henare dead lift suplexes Naito! Cover, TWO! Henare bumps Naito off buckles, tags Cobb in, and Cobb headbutts Naito in the back. Cobb presses Naito into the buckles, throws elbows, but Naito kicks back. Naito’s kick is blocked into a scoop and Cobb goes around the world before he RAMS Naito into buckles! Cobb scoops Naito, holds him with just one arm, then throws knees into Naito’s side!

Cobb pops Naito up to RAM into the corner, then dumps him down to tag in Khan. Khan stalks Naito, toys with him then stomps him on the head. The fans rally up for Naito as Khan drags Naito up. Khan smothers Naito in a standing neck wrench, but Naito grabs at the hair! Khan pats Naito on the face before he drops an elbow! Cover, TWO! Khan mocks Naito’s relaxed pose, but fans rally up. Khan clamps onto Naito’s head and makes him kiss his boot. Naito fights up and fires off haymakers! Khan knees low, and hits Mongolian Chops! Naito wobbles, Khan runs but into the shotgun boot! Fans rally up and both men crawl, hot tag to Takagi!

The Dragon rallies on the Empire, throwing Henare into Cobb! Takagi double lariats but neither Henare or Cobb budges! Henare and Cobb double kick and double whip, but Takagi gets around to send Henare into Cobb again! Henare kicks Takagi first but Takagi suplexes Henare! Khan boots but runs into an elbow, JAB and YUKON LARIAT! Fans fire up for Takagi and he fires up with “OI! OI! OI!” Khan flounders about, Takagi runs in at the corner, blocks the boot to clothesline! Takagi runs but into a BIG hip toss! Khan tags Cobb, Cobb drags Takagi up but Takagi fires forearms! Cobb forearms back, but Takagi hits back! They brawl with forearms and fans rally as they get faster and faster!

Takagi hits some boxing elbows, dares Cobb to do something, so Cobb JABS him! Takagi JABS back! Both men wobble a bit, Takagi gets moving, but Cobb elbows! JABS, but Takagi ducks the lariat! Cobb fights but Takagi uses the ropes and gets the SNAP SAIDO! Tag to Sanada, and he throws forearms on Cobb. Sanada whips, Cobb reverses but Sanada elbows back! Sanada Quebrada but Cobb gets under, and even blocks the rana! Sanada fights the bomb, gets around, but Cobb fights the dragon sleeper to a POP-UP POWERSLAM!? Both men are down and fans fire up! Henare tags in and he PENALTY KICKS Cold Skull down!

Henare digs his boots into Sanada at ropes but lets off as the ref counts. Henare drags Sanada up to throw heavy hands, then whips Sanada, only for Sanada to duck and dodge! Henare still scoops Sanada for a BLUE THUNDER BOMB! Cover, TWO!! Cobb runs to BLAST the LIJ corner, and Khan comes in. The Empire double whip Sanada corner to corner, then Khan clotheslines, Cobb back elbows, and they feed Sanada to Henare’s BOOT! Cover, Takagi breaks it! Cobb throws Takagi out but fans rally up, “SA-NA-DA!” Henare drags Sanada up, fisherman to the torture rack, but Sanada slips out to dragon sleeper! Khan gets in and BOOTS Sanada!

Naito elbows and whips but Khan reverses, only for Naito to reverse back. Khan denies the tornado DDT, Naito dodges but Khan hits the leaping forearms! Takagi is back, Khan kicks him but runs, only for Takagi to clothesline him! Takagi keeps going but Cobb scoops him for the ATHLETIC PLEX! Sanada dropkicks Cobb, Henare kicks and whips Sanda! Sanada tumbles up and out and springboards, into the TOUR OF THE ISLANDS! Henare tops this off with the fisherman to the torture rack, DEATH VALLEY DRIVER! Cover, the United Empire wins!!

Winners: The United Empire, by pinfall

The Ultimate Weapon already pays off! And to show he is all in, he rains down more fists on Sanada! Takagi gets in to fight Henare and Cobb off, but they mug him and DOUBLE HEADBUTT! Khan throws Naito around on the outside, then puts him in the ring. Henare and Cobb stretch Naito out, and Khan gets a chair! Khan aims at Naito’s bad leg, and SMACKS away on it! Takagi gets up but Khan shoves him back down and stomps him! The Empire stands together, and mockingly asks where is the ref to raise their hand for victory! The ref does as told, and the Empire stands over the Ungovernable.

Khan tells that all the peasants shall bow down before the power of Cobb, Henare, Khan and The United Empire! Is this just the beginning of their world dominance?

 

Hiroshi Tanahashi & Satoshi Kojima VS Jay White & Bad Luck Fale!

Well, perhaps it makes even more sense as to why The Ace has a different partner tonight. No Hammerhead, no Golden Star, but can the COZY Aces be what trumps King Switch and his Rogue General? Or will White be rolling into a NEVER Openweight Championship match with the Once in a Century Talent?

White talks trash at Tanahashi the entire time Tanahashi does his entrance routine. Bullet Club Low Sweets, Tanahashi shows off the muscles but Gedo boos. White shows off his muscles and Gedo cheers. Fans cheer either way, enjoying the display of physical specimens. The teams sort out, fans rally for “Let’s Go, Ace!” already and White starts with Tanahashi. Fans fire up, White and Tanahashi circle, and they tie up. Tanahashi gets around, headlocks, grinds White down, but White fights up, only for Tanahashi to hold tight. White tries again but Tanahashi still holds tight. White pulls hair, the ref reprimands but now Tanahashi pulls hair!

The ref reprimands as both men pull hair but White puts Tanahashi in a corner. White knees low, stomps away, but then argues with the ref. White drags Tanahashi up to throw a forearm then whip corner to corner. Tanahashi elbows back and crossbodies! Fans fire up and Tanahashi air guitars. Tag to Kojima and he stomps away on White. Tanahashi and Kojima bring White up to double whip then double shoulder him down! Double dancing pecs wow the crowd, then Kojima DECKS Fale! Fans fire up as Kojima unleashes machine gun CHOPS on White! White endures extra rounds and then Kojima CHOPS! Kojima whips corner to corner, forearm smashes, and goes up top!

But Fale distracts the ref and Gedo anchors Kojima! White gets up and ROCKET LAUNCHES Kojima off the top! White DECKS Tanahashi then slides out to stomp him down! Fale drags Kojima out to RAM him into railing! White whips Tanahashi into railing! White goes into the ring, Fale is after Kojima again and puts him in. White drags Kojima up, bumps him off buckles, then CHOPS him! White does his best to machine gun CHOP! Then he just rakes Kojima’s eyes! The ref counts, White stops at 3, then hits a neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Tag to Fale, they mug Kojima, and Fale CLUBS Kojima on the back. Fale DECKS Tanahashi, then stomps Kojima.

Fale drags Kojima up to scoop and SLAM him! Fale keeps Kojima at the ropes, White distracts the ref, and Fale stands on Kojima’s back! Gedo applauds as Fale gets away with it. Tag to White, they drag Kojima up, White DECKS Tanahashi again! Bullet Club mugs Kojima with the machine gun CHOPS! White runs, but into Kojima’s boot! Kojima elbows free and gets Fale for a DDT! Kojima reaches out but Tanahashi is still down! White keeps Kojima away with a fireman’s carry but Kojima fights free! Kojima swats White’s lariat away to then hit the COZY CUTTER! Both men are down, fans fire up, and Kojima crawls! Hot tag to Tanahashi! The Ace unleashes on White!

Tanahsahi also dropkicks Fale down, then dodges White to run and hit a flying forearm! Tanahashi scoops and slams White to a drop zone then hops up, for the sunset somersault! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi keeps his focus and fans rally again, “Let’s Go, Ace!” White stands, Tanahashi runs, but White avoids Slingblade to waistlock. Tanahashi switches, White switches back, again and again and again until White pulls hair! Tanahashi breaks free but White trips him to then GROUND DRAGON SCREW! Tanahashi writhes and rolls to a corner while fans rally up again. White gets up, runs in and uppercuts! White brings Tanahashi out for the BLADEBUSTER! Cover, TWO!

White is annoyed but he looms over Tanahashi. White stomps Tanahashi’s legs, left then right then back again, then ties the legs up! White wants to use the Cloverleaf like Tanahashi does! Tanahashi resists the turnover, drags White down and kicks him away! White storms back over but kicks into a DRAGON SCREW! Both men are down and fans fire up again! Tanahashi crawls for his corner but White hurries to DECK Kojima first! White tags Fale, Fale corner splashes Tanahashi then pushes him down to drop the elbow! Cover, TWO! Fale grows annoyed but he choke grips Tanahashi. Tanahashi breaks free, SHOTEIS, but runs into a LARIAT!

Fale drags Tanahashi up, reels him in but Kojima attacks from behind! White gets in and thrwos Kojima by his hair! White gets Tanahashi but Tanahashi denies Blade Runner to SLINGBLADE! But Fale choke grips, only for Tanahashi to pop free and TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Kojima powers up and takes off the armband! COZY LARIAT! Tanahashi goes up top, for a HIGH FLY FLOW!! Cover, Tanahashi & Kojima win!

Winners: Hiroshi Tanahashi & Satoshi Kojima, by pinfall

White rushes in but Tanahashi trips him up! Tanahashi gets the legs, and gets White in the CLOVERLEAF! White flails and Gedo freaks out, and White TAPS! White taps out, Tanahashi lets him go, but this isn’t the end but the beginning! Will Tanahashi make sure White taps out again when the gold is on the prize?

Oh but wait! Tanahashi gets a mic to tell White something directly! “Jay! I accept your challenge! Because you tapped out to my Texas Clover Hold! AKA, J T O!” Tanahashi not only adds insult to injury, but he mocks White’s love of acronyms! Will he look to just add injury when they finally fight for the NEVER title?

 

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemura VS Roppongi 3K!

Yoh has returned! And as such, he and Sho reunite as RPG3K and look to take these titles back! But will they be able to defeat Mr. Junior Heavyweight and the Heel Master?

The introductions are made, the Junior Tag belts are raised, and the teams sort out. Yoh starts against Desperado to show he’s truly back!

Fans rally as the two circle, then Yoh and Desperado approach. They feel out the grapple, Yoh shoots in to get a leg, but Desperado blocks the takedown. Desperado gets a waistlock, Yoh switches but Desperado turns around. Yoh slips through to wrench to a wristlock, but Desperado rolls and wrenches back. Desperado cranks the wristlock, but Yoh rolls and handsprings and cartwheels and handsprings more to wrench right back! Fans cheer the exchange as Yoh hammerlocks. Desperado drops to drop toehold and then get a headlock. Desperado grinds Yoh but fans rally up. Yoh fights up, pulls on the mask but Red Shoes reprimands.

Yoh throws body shots, powers out, then reels Desperado in to headlock back! Desperado tries to power out but Yoh holds tight! Yoh grinds Desperado down now, Desperado fights up, and Yoh hits a headlock takeover. Desperado headscissors and holds tight so that Yoh can’t kip up. Fans rally as Yoh endures, and Yoh moves around to headstand and pop free with a handspring! Fans cheer as Yoh’s leg is just fine. Yoh smirks at Desperado, but Desperado rakes eyes! Desperado whips, Yoh dodges and hits a forearm! Yoh DECKS Kanemaru, Sho gets in, and RPG3K double whip Desperado. They bypass him to then drop toehold and basement dropkick! Kanemaru gets in to get double dropkicks!

Fans fire up as RPG3K finally gets to do team moves! Yoh stomps Desperado, then drags him over. Tag to Sho, they dig their boots in and stomp away, but let off as Red Shoes counts. Sho stomps Desperado, but Desperado goes to scoop! Sho fights that off, CLUBS Desperado on the back, then throws forearms! Sho scoops and slams Desperado, then covers, ONE! Sho drags Desperado up, fans rally, and Sho bumps Desperado off buckles. Tag to Yoh and Yoh throws big forearms! Desperado flounders to a corner, Yoh throws a EuroUpper, then wrenches and whips. Desperado reverses, runs in but blocks Yoh’s boot. Desperado kicks the healed leg! Desperado then gets that leg for a DRAGON SCREW!

Kanemaru DECKS Sho while Desperado drags Yoh around by the bad leg! STRETCH MUFFLER! Desperado bends and thrashes Yoh, but Yoh fights up! Fans rally, Yoh reaches out, but Desperado gets the arm, NUMERO DOS! Sho throws Kanemaru into railing then gets in to stomp Desperado down! Red Shoes has Sho exit, and fans rally for Yoh as he crawls over with one good leg. Yoh tags Sho, Sho aims from a corner and runs to run Desperado over! Sho DECKS Kanemaru in return, then wrenches Desperado to kick, kick and KICK! Sho powers up and kicks but Desperado blocks! Desperado spins Sho to waistlock but Sho breaks free. Sho KICKS Desperado back down, covers, TWO!

Fans rally as Sho keeps his focus. Desperado slowly gets up, Sho wrenches to elbow breaker after elbow breaker! Sho runs, but Desperado uses the good arm to lift, only for Sho to fight off the spinebuster! Sho whips, Desperado reverses and Kanemaru trips Sho! Kanemaru drags Sho out and whips him into railing, then Desperado does the same to Yoh! Kanemaru hits a snap suplex to the floor! Sho writhes and rolls away while Desperado stands on Yoh’s bad leg! Desperado stomps Yoh’s leg, then talks trash before he stomps it again! Kanemaru whips Sho HARD into more railing! Red Shoes starts the ring count, Desperado goes in to take Kanemaru, but the count is now 10 of 20.

The count reaches 15, Sho drags himself up and in at 18! Kanemaru drags Sho back up, whips him and then hits a BIG back drop! Kanemaru goes out just to kick and stomp Yoh! Kanemaru returns to the ring and drags Sho up for a big suplex! Cover, TWO! Tag to Desperado, and Desperado steps on Sho as he walks over to taunt Yoh. Desperado stomps Sho, then stands on his hand! Red Shoes reprimands, Desperado steps away, but he drags Sho back up to whip. Sho reverses and kitchen sink knees Desperado down! Fans fire up as both men are down, but Kanemaru gets in to stomp Sho and BOOT Yoh! Desperado gets up and stomps away on Sho at the ropes.

Fans rally again, Desperado drags Sho around then gives him stomps. Desperado feeds Sho to Kanemaru’s boots, then tags Kanemaru in. Kanemaru stomps Sho, Desperado adds on, but Sho just gets angry! Suzuki-Gun slaps Sho around but Sho fires off forearms! Desperado rakes Sho’s eyes to stop him! Suzuki-Gun double whips Sho but Sho comes back to DOUBLE SPEAR! Fans are thunderous for Sho as he reaches for his corner. Sho crawls over, hot tag to Yoh! Yoh rallies on Suzuki-Gun with forearms and elbows! Kanemaru gets a waistlock but Yoh boots Desperado, elbows Kanemaru, throws Kanemaru into Desperado, then dropkicks them both down!

Fans fire up again as Yoh brings Kanemaru up. Yoh whips corner to corner, runs in corner to corner, and back elbows! Yoh turns Kanemaru for a neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Yoh keeps his focus and gets his bad leg moving again. Fans rally up, Yoh brings Kanemaru up, and Yoh brings him in for AOI- No! Kanemaru fights out of the modified fisherman, suplexes back, but Yoh slips out, only to jam his bad leg! Kanemaru dropkicks the leg out! Yoh writhes, gets to the ropes, and Red Shoes checks on him. Desperado gets in, drags Yoh up and gives him a SHIN BREAKER, to then set it up for Kanemaru’s SHOTGUN dropkick! Kanemaru steps through to the FIGURE FOUR!

Yoh endures the leg lock and Kanemaru puts as much pressure on it as he can! Fans rally, Sho gets in again and stomps Kanemaru! But Desperado drags Sho out to throw him into railing! Kanemaru still has Yoh caught, but Yoh flails and reaches! Yoh drags himself and Kanemaru over, but Kanemaru adds even more pressure! Yoh flails, hops around, and gets the ropebreak! Kanemaru lets go and fans fire up again! Kanemaru drags Yoh up, scoops and slams him into a drop zone, then goes up top, to MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO!! Yoh survives and fans fire up again! Kanemaru climbs up again but Sho RAMS Desperado into railing!

Kanemaru waits for Yoh, then leaps, DEEP IMPACT!! Cover, Sho breaks it in time! Desperado drags Sho back out and whips him into railing! Kanemaru gets Yoh’s leg to SMASH it against the mat! Kanemaru steps through but Yoh cradle counters, TWO! Kanemaru stomps Yoh, drags him up to suplex but Yoh fights free! Kanemaru kicks the leg, Yoh blocks but Kanemaru rakes eyes! Kanemaru boots, Yoh PELES! Desperado returns, runs in and SPEARS Yoh! Sho gets in, and GERMAN SUPLEXES Desperado! Sho runs but into a SPINEBUSTER! All four men are down and fans are thunderous! Kanemaru gets to a corner, aims at Yoh, but slides under Yoh’s boot counter attack!

Yoh superkicks but Kanemaru blocks it, then kicks the bad leg. Kanemaru clubs and kicks Yoh, Yoh staggers around, and Kanemaru runs, into a RPG3K DOUBLE KNEE! Sho gets Kanemaru up, coordinates with Yoh, BACKSTABBER to SHOTGUN BOOT! Fans fire up and Yoh stomps it! It’s been so long since we’ve seen this! RPG3K watches Kanemaru, but Desperado gets in! Desperado DECKS Yoh, but Sho throws hands! Sho and Desperado brawl, Sho gets boxing elbows but Desperado rakes eyes! Desperado whips but Sho reverses to redirect, Yoh gets back up, and they hit 3K!! But Desperado isn’t legal, they have to get Kanemaru! Fans fire up, Yoh whips Sho at Kanemaru to clothesline!

Sho sets up, Yoh uses him for the boost, YOH IN MOTION! Yoh feeds Kanemaru to Sho’s underhooks, and Yoh goes up top! But Kanemaru gets out and whips Sho into Yoh! Kanemaru throws Sho out while Yoh is down on the top rope! Fans rally, Kanemaru climbs up to join Yoh, and hits a SUPERPLEX! Kanemaru crawls to the cover, TWO!! Yoh still lives, as does RPG3K! Fans rally again as Kanemaru climbs back up. Kanemaru wants Yoh to get back up just so he can put him back down. Yoh stands, and SUPERKICKS Deep Impact away! Sho is in and he LARIATS Kanemaru! Sho shouts to Yoh that they can finish this!

Yoh climbs, Sho tucks Kanemaru in, STRONG X!!! Cover, Desperado breaks it in time!! Desperado saves Kanemaru then elbows Sho. Sho drags Desperado out with him and Yoh fires up! Fans fire up with Yoh as he drags Kanemaru back up and underhooks! DIRECT DRIVE with a twist!! Cover, RPG3K WINS!!

Winners: Roppongi 3K, by pinfall (NEW IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions)

Yoh’s return is a return to glory for the team! Desperado’s time as Mr. Junior Heavyweight ends, will he and Kanemaru be able to climb back up for a rematch? As Yoh talks to Desperado, Desperado says he’s still THE IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, but then Yoh says he might change that, too! Will RPG3K look to be even more golden in the Spring?

Oh, now Yoh wants to talk! “If it wasn’t for all of you supporting me, I wouldn’t have been able to return to this ring.” You says as a new him and a new RPG3K, they have taken THEIR titles back! Next, Yoh wants to take THE IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship from Desperado!! He really does want to shine brighter! Will Yoh get his wish as the year starts to heat up?

 

IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: Kota Ibushi VS Will Ospreay!

The Golden Star God combined the IWGP Heavyweight and IWGP Intercontinental titles into one, and oddly enough, the only man who agreed with him is his opponent! But after the Commonwealth Kingpin cut ties with Bea Priestley with a cutter, he is clearly going down a dark path. Can Ibushi keep this title with him to continue the evolution of legacy? Or will Ospreay and the United Empire conquer NJPW?

The introductions are made, the newly minted world title belt is raised, and we see if NJPW walks in the light or turns to the darkside!

Fans rally already with “I-BU-SHI!” as he and Ospreay stare down. Both men let the moment sink in before they circle. They approach, feel out the grapple, and Ibushi goes for a leg only for Ospreay to get a waistlock. They go around, Ibushi shifts to drop toehold and then waistlock back. Ibushi floats, Ospreay rolls to facelock but Ibushi switches right back to the waistlock. Ibushi wants the half nelson but Ospreay resists. Ospreay uses a sprawl to break free and switch to a waistlock and slam! Ospreay wants the lateral press but Ibushi resists. They fight for control as Ospreay gets through a leg guard. Ospreay still wants the lateral but Ibushi slips out to a facelock!

Ospreay gets a ropebreak, Ibushi lets off with some pats on the back and the fans cheer the technical exchange. Ospreay and Ibushi reset as the United Empire, Henare included, watch ringside. Ibushi and Ospreay circle again, Ospreay rushes in but Ibushi stays up. They go around, Ibushi gets around to a waistlock and then floats to flip Ospreay. Ospreay kicks out before a cover, and fans cheer this exchange. Ibushi stays loose and fans rally up again. Ospreay also stays cool as he and Ibushi circle again. They feel out the grapple, Ospreay facelocks, goes for the arm, but Ibushi slips out the back to get a facelock. Ibushi goes to underhooks but Ospreay slips free.

Ibushi waistlocks again, but Ospreay gets an arm and wrenches to a hammerlock. Fans rally, Ibushi works on his escape, and reaches back to headlock. Ospreay endures the grind, powers up, but can’t power out as Ibushi holds tight! Fans cheer, Ospreay fights up, and pulls hair to get free! Ospreay headlocks now, Ibushi endures the grind, and Ibushi powers out only for Ospreay to run him over. Ibushi kips right up, and Ospreay SLAPS him! Ospreay headlocks, Ibushi powers out and things speed up, Ibushi RANAS Ospreay out of the ring! Fans fire up as Ibushi aims and PLANCHAS! Direct hit and Ibushi is right by his world title and Ospreay’s New Japan Cup trophy.

Ibushi brings Ospreay up and into the ring, follows him to a corner, and CLUBS him on the bad shoulder. Ibushi brings Ospreay up to club him again, then pats the bad shoulder. Ospreay throws a forearm so Ibushi fires one back! Ibushi dares Ospreay to get up, then he gets the bad arm. Ibushi elbows the shoulder and Ospreay hurries away to ropes. Ibushi KICKS Ospreay in the back, then whips him, only for Ospreay to hold ropes. Fans rally up, Ibushi tries again but still Ospreay holds ropes. Ibushi fires off strikes, whips but Ospreay reverses to lift and crotch Ibushi on the ropes! #DirtySupper(?)! Ospreay runs and BOOTS Ibushi off the ropes and to the floor!

Fans fire up as Ospreay clings like Spider-Man in the ropes. Ospreay goes out to get Ibushi, drags him up and whips him into railing! Ospreay then drags Ibushi up to RAM him into the railing, and bend him back against them! Red Shoes reprimands, Ospreay lets off, and Ospreay shrugs. Ibushi eggs Ospreay on and Ospreay kicks him down. Fans rally up and Ibushi fires off on Ospreay, to then whip Ospreay into railing! Ibushi gets up, kicks but Ospreay blocks it! Ospreay gets Ibushi up for a RAILING BACK SUPLEX! Ospreay gets in the ring, and wants a count out!? Red Shoes starts the count, Ibushi gets up and in at 10 of 20. Ospreay is after Ibushi and throws him back outside.

Ibushi is against railing as Ospreay throws forearm son him over and over! Ospreay drags Ibushi up and puts him on the apron, to CLUB away on his back! Ospreay climbs up for a GUILLOTINE KNEE DROP! Ibushi flops down and Ospreay glares at him as fans rally again. Ospreay goes back in and wants another ring count. The count begins, Ibushi is up at 5 and in at 8. Ospreay storms over as fans cheer and Ospreay stomps Ibushi down. Ospreay whips Ibushi corner to corner HARD and Ibushi bounces off buckles! Cover, TWO! Ospreay is annoyed but Ibushi kicks him from below. Ospreay eggs him on so Ibushi kicks again.

Ospreay CHOPS Ibushi while he’s down, then drags him back up for an elbow to the back! Ospreay drags Ibushi up, brings him around, and whips him to ropes to back elbow! Cover, ONE!! Fans rally but Ospreay wraps Ibushi up in a neck lock! Ospreay pushes up to add leverage, but Ibushi endures. Ibushi moves around, kicks his legs and gets the ropebreak! Ospreay turns over to twist Ibushi’s head, but lets off as Red Shoes counts 4. Fans still rally for Ibushi but Ospreay drags Ibushi up for a cravat neck wrench. Ibushi endures as Ospreay grinds him down, and fans rally with Ibushi. Ibushi throws body shots but Ospreay scoops and SLAMS him!

Ospreay runs to drop another knee, but misses as Ibushi moves! Ibushi KICKS the leg, Ospreay throws a forearm then runs, but into a dropkick! Both men are down and Ospreay is checking his healed nose. Fans fire up, Ospreay and Ibushi rise, and Ibushi fires off forearms. Ibushi whips, Ospreay reverses but Ibushi FLYING KICKS! Fans fire up as Ibushi builds power, and STANDING MOONSAULTS! Cover, TWO! Ibushi wags his finger, but Ospreay gets to a corner. Ibushi runs in but Ospreay dodges and comes back, only for Ibushi to roll him up, all the way to a DEADLIFT CROTCH SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO! Fans are thunderous as Ibushi and Ospreay rise.

Ospreay fires off forearms and a CHOP, but Ibushi KICKS! Ospreay sputters and leans against ropes, but Ibushi whips him to ropes. Ospreay handsprings to NEURALIZER! Both men are down again and fans rally back up! Ibushi goes to a corner, Ospreay runs in and uppercuts! Ospreay puts Ibushi up top backwards, then into the Tree of Woe for a KICK! Ospreay goes corner to corner to HESITATION DROPKICK! Ibushi is still in the Tree but he drags himself out of it. Fans rally, Ospreay aims from the apron and springboards, PIP PIP CHEERIO! Cover, TWO!! Ibushi narrowly escapes that one, but Ospreay keeps his focus.

Ospreay drags Ibushi up, turns him around to a dragon sleeper, but Ibushi fights free. Ospreay still ROCKS Ibushi with a right! Ibushi staggers, Ospreay dragon sleepers and inverted suplexes, but Ibushi KNEES free! Ospreay panics and checks his damaged nose! Ibushi just smirks. Red Shoes checks but Ospreay’s nose isn’t bleeding. Ibushi storms over, brings Ospreay up but Ospreay hits a HARD body shot with that forearm! Ospreay reels Ibushi in, but Ibushi slips out of the bomb lift, only for Ospreay to block the kick, elbow the leg and CHOP back! Ibushi swings into a full nelson but elbows free. Ibushi runs into an enziguri, but LARIATS outta nowhere!

Both men are down and fans fire up yet again! Ibushi slowly sits up while Ospreay starts to stir. Ibushi drags Ospreay up, reels him in, LAST RIDE! Cover, TWO!! Ospreay survives but Ibushi keeps his focus. Fans rally hard as ever for “I-BU-SHI!” and he gets the wrists. Ospreay resists so Ibushi stomps him. Ibushi sits Ospreay up but Ospreay HEADBUTTS low! Both men are down again, fans rally up once more, and the two glare at each other. Ibushi and Ospreay go forehead to forehead on the mat, then start throwing forearms. Ibushi eggs Ospreay on with a grin, but Ospreay forearms back! Ibushi shakes his head and ROCKS Ospreay with another!

Ospreay seethes as Ibushi eggs him on, and he gives a swift forearm. Ibushi stands up and leans into the forearm he gives Ospreay! Ospreay gets up now, and returns the forearm again. Ibushi forearms, Ospreay forearms, back and forth, faster and faster, and the fans are thunderous again! Ospreay ROCKS Ibushi, BOOTS him, then runs to BOOT again! Ibushi stays up so Ospreay gives him Kowata Kicks! Ibushi just stares at him! Has the switch flipped to Kowai Ibushi?! Ospreay slaps Ibushi around, then pie faces him. Ibushi just fires off, but Ospreay dodges to ROLLING ELBOW! Ospreay dragon sleepers, inverted suplex, SAVING GRACE! Cover, TWO!! Ospreay can’t believe that Ibushi is still in this!

Ospreay gets Ibushi to a drop zone, climbs the corner to the top rope, but Ibushi sits up. Ibushi anchors Ospreay’s feet, Ospreay rains down fists, but Ibushi hits a body shot of his own! Ibushi climbs up, brings Ospreay to the top but Ospreay fights back. Ospreay shoves Ibushi aside, Ibushi has a bit of a rough landing on the apron, but Ibushi gets back up to CHOP Ospreay! Ibushi then springboards but Ospreay denies the Super Steiner! Ibushi is stuck on the rope, Ospreay GUILLOTINE SHOOTING STARS!! Ospreay puts Ibushi back in the drop zone and goes back up, to SHOOTING STAR AGAIN!! Cover, TWO!?!? Ibushi survives and everyone is shocked!

Ospreay takes off the elbow pad! Ospreay stands Ibushi up, turns, but Ibushi clubs Ospreay away! Ospreay fireman’s carries but Ibushi fights that off. Ospreay CHOPS, whips, but Ibushi reverses. Ospreay handsprings, but Ibushi catches him! Ibushi steadies himself, gets Ospreay back up, but he can’t hold him! Ibushi’s back and legs are too tired, but fans fire up and rally for him! Ospreay rolls away, Ibushi crawls after, and hoists Ospreay to the top rope backwards. Ibushi climbs up behind Ospreay, Ospreay resists so Ibushi CLUBS away on his back! Ibushi stands Ospreay up for a SUPER POISON-RA-

OSPREAY LANDS ON HIS FEET?! Ospreay recreates the shocking moment from the last time these two fought! At this point, Ibushi is annoyed of Ospreay doing this to him. Ospreay dares Ibushi to bring it, and then fireman’s carries! But Ibushi pops out to POISON-RANA after all! Ospreay tumbles out of the ring and to the floor! Fans are thunderous as Red Shoes starts the ring count. The count reaches 10 of 20 before Ospreay sits up. The count reaches 15, Ospreay is on the apron and Ibushi ROUNDHOUSES him down! Ibushi drags Ospreay up in a waistlock, and DEADLIFT SUPER GERMANS!! Ospreay crumbles from the impact and Ibushi covers, TWO!!

Ibushi doesn’t let that bother him, he gets fired up as the fans rally again. Ibushi aims from a corner, calling upon the powers of Nakamura, but runs into a SPANISH FLY! Ospreay pulls that outta nowhere to save himself, and now he’s fired up! Ospreay calls his shot as Ibushi rises, and he springboards, but the cutter is denied! Ibushi goes to roundhouse, Ospreay dodges and OSCUTTERS on the return! Cover, TWO!!?! Ospreay is shocked but he still has another weapon to use! Ospreay drags Ibushi up, turns him, DREAM SMASHER ELBOW!! Ospreay isn’t done there, he drags Ibushi up to underhook and lift, to STORM-

NO! Ibushi slips out and spins Ospreay, STANDING KAMI-GOYE?! Then PROPER KAMI-GOYE!! Cover, TWO?!?!?! What?!?! HOW?!! Ospreay survives a double shot!? The fans are electric as Ibushi vows the next one will do it! But Ospreay cradle counters! TWO!!! Ospreay SUPERKICKS! Then he dodges the V-Trigger to HOOK KICK! Then from the corner, Ospreay runs to V-TRIGGER?!?! Ospreay just stole that from the Golden Lovers!! And then HIDDEN BLADE!!! Ospreay is as fired up as the fans as he underhooks to STORMBREAKER!!!! Cover, OSPREAY WINS!!!!

Winner: Will Ospreay, by pinfall (NEW IWGP World Heavyweight Champion)

No one can believe it but no one can contain their excitement, either! The banner Ibushi created, the legacy Ibushi evolved, and the era Ibushi created for NJPW is now all being carried on the shoulders of another!! The United Empire celebrates together, and Cobb even gets in Ibushi’s face while he’s down on the mat! Cobb stands Ibushi up, reels him in, and gives him a TOUR OF THE ISLANDS!! As if Ibushi isn’t suffering enough! And the Empire laughs at Ibushi’s pain.

Cobb makes Ibushi sit up again and makes sure he understands this is what Ibushi deserves. Cobb then helps Ospreay stand and Red Shoes places the title on Ospreay’s shoulder, and then Ospreay holds it high overhead. Ospreay is now Two Belts Kingpin as he adds his Rev-Pro British Heavyweight Championship, and then his NJCUP trophy! Ospreay is already shouting, “Who is the best wrestler in the world? Tell us now!” He even adds that NJPW’s “god” is DEAD! Do all of these prizes together truly make Ospreay the best in the world today?

Young Lions get Ibushi out of the ring carefully, and Ospreay gets impatient. Ospreay wants to give his celebration speech. “Bye-bye, god! Sayonara, mata-ne, good-bye, get out.” This is OSPREAY’S time now. Ibushi crawls as he laments his loss, and Khan even tells him to “get the hell out of here.” Ospreay says look at Ibushi! He can barely stand! Look at what Ospreay, a mere man, did to Ibushi, a “god!” Ospreay says he’s been listening to the doubters and the mockery all his life. “The little British boy can’t be a pro-wrestler.” He can’t be a big star in Japan! He can’t win the Best of the Super Juniors. Oh, but he did that twice!

“The British boy” can’t win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship, but he’s done that three times! And there was still laughter and doubting! “The British boy” can’t be IWGP World Heavyweight Champion? “Who is laughing now?!” Ospreay continues to say that five years to the day, he has been with NJPW, and debuted here in this very arena, Ryogoku! Ospreay’s done a lot of bad things, he’ll admit. He’s not the good guy. “But honestly, from the bottom of my heart, I want to take this time to apologize TO ABSOLUTELY NO ONE!” The United Empire does what they want, because they have the power!

But the story isn’t complete yet. “You should’ve killed me when you had the chance, because now I’m back for revenge for what happened at WrestleKingdom, OKADA!!” Ospreay calls out the Rainmaker!! And here comes Okada! Fans cheer as Okada walks to the ring to respond face-to-face. Okada drums on the mic to get the fans even more fired up, but wait! TAKAGI returns?! Takagi takes the mic from Okada and says he wants to say something real quick. And Ospreay, you shut up. “Oi, aren’t you getting a little too carried away?” Ospreay thinks he’s king now? And he wants revenge on Okada for Tokyo Dome? IDIOT, no one even remembers that!

Takagi says everyone DOES remember Takagi beating Okada in the FIRST round of the NJCUP! So if Okada deserves a title shot, then so does Takagi, the NJCUP runner-up! Heck, isn’t he even MORE deserving? Takagi then tells Ospreay in English that he will challenge Ospreay for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship! But don’t worry, Okada. After Takagi beats “this punk” Ospreay, he’ll make Okada his first defense! No complaints there, right? And that’s all Takagi has to say about that. Mic drop from the Dragon, but is he really going to jump the line? Will Okada have his turn on the mic now? Does he have to, since Takagi’s promising him a match anyway?

Okada isn’t sure if he should reach for the mic, but Takagi and Ospreay give him the space. Okada gets the mic, and hands it to Ospreay? Okada isn’t going to say anything, he wants Ospreay to respond! Ospreay snatches the mic back and says, “First, Shingo. Then I’m coming for you,” Okada. So there you have it! If Ospreay can sweep Takagi 3-0 in their careers, he’ll get his revenge on Okada. And even if Takagi avenges BOSJ and NJCUP, Okada will get his chance. Okada leaves without a word, satisfied with the order of things. Takagi then leaves, having gotten his own answer.

The United Empire stands tall, and Khan says, “Although we were rudely interrupted, here begins the Era of the Empire!” They offer amnesty for only tonight! Raise your hands high and hail the Kingpin, Will Ospreay! Fans do cheer, and Khan demands more and more! NJPW doesn’t need to know more than what is here in this ring. But Khan will explain it to you anyway. “This is the power of Jeff Cobb, Aaron Henare, Great-O-Khan and THE IWGP World Heavyweight Champion, Will Ospreay! This is the power of THE UNITED EMPIRE!!” The confetti falls, as does the curtain on what could be just Act I of the United Empire’s epic! Will all of NJPW bow down to their might?


My Thoughts:

An amazing event! Great developments from top to bottom, and honestly, I thought Henare was going to join Bullet Club. But y’know what? Him joining the United Empire is even better for everyone because the Empire does need to grow in members and he is definitely a great choice. Their Six Man Tag with LIJ was really good and of course in Henare’s first match with the Empire, they win and he gets the credit. With four members, they can definitely grab up whatever titles they want as a team, from the NEVER Openweight Six Man to the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Teams.

Tanahashi & Kojima VS White & Fale was really good, and I like that Tanahashi & Kojima won. I honestly thought we were already getting Tanahashi VS White for the NEVER Openweight Championship, but having the challenge be officially accepted here was great. I was pleasantly surprised that RPG3K got their titles back already. I really expected them to lose to have a long road back, but perhaps this is a great way for them to start where they left off last year when Yoh got hurt and the titles were vacated. At the same time, Yoh wants the Junior Heavyweight singles title, so that’ll be an interesting dynamic, as well.

The IWGP World Heavyweight Championship in itself may look very odd, but that doesn’t really matter when this first defense of it was so outstanding! There were great story beats referencing the other times Ospreay and Ibushi have faced off, namely that “Ospreay lands on his feet out of a flip move,” which he’s not only done for that notorious memeable moment during Golden Lovers VS Ospreay & Tanahashi, but also their WK13 NEVER Openweight title match out of a Super German Suplex. Ospreay winning was an even bigger shock, but given the promo segment at the end, it makes sense. Ospreay is going to have epic rematches with his other storied rivals and really put some legitimacy to the title’s legacy.

My Score: 9.6/10


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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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