We’re LIVing in a new era for SmackDown!
In one fell swoop, Liv Morgan went from 2022 Miss Money in the Bank to our NEW SmackDown Women’s Champion! What is next? #WatchHer and find out!
- The Viking Raiders VS Jinder Mahal & Shanky; The Viking Raiders win.
- WWE Intercontinental Championship Open Challenge: GUNTHER w/ Ludwig Kaiser VS ???; changed to…
- Ludwig Kaiser w/ GUNTHER VS Shinsuke Nakamura; Nakamura wins.
- Natalya VS Ronda Rousey; Rousey wins.
- Lacey Evans & Aliyah VS Shayna Baszler & Shotzi Blackheart; No Contest.
- Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championships Contenders Match: The Usos VS Los Lotharios; The Usos win and deny Los Lotharios a title match.
- Undisputed WWE Universal Championship #1 Contender’s Match: Drew McIntyre VS Sheamus; changed to…
- Drew McIntyre VS Pete Dunne w/ The Brawling Brutes; McIntyre wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Roman Reigns is here!
The Tribal Chief, the Head of the Table, the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion, leads the Bloodline out, and of course Paul Heyman hands Roman the blue belt to raise to the sky for the pyro. Roman, Heyman and the Usos continue to the ring, where they raise all their belts again for more pyro. But wait! Mr. Money in the Bank, (Austin) Theory is on the stage! Is Theory thinking of cashing in tonight rather than at SummerSlam? We find out, after the break!
SmackDown returns and The Bloodline is standing in the ring but Theory is staying away. Heyman hands Roman a mic while fans are torn between cheers and jeers. Roman hears that, but still says, “Fort Worth, Texas… ACKNOWLEDGE ME!” Fans are still torn but Roman smiles. He can tell there’s the “You Suck” chants, there are “Roman” chants, but in the end, when the Tribal Chief is in the house, business picks up! And that means life is good. Life is so damn good! And he said this before: as long as God wakes Roman up, Roman can handle anything. Roman woke up in the compound, went to his private gym, then got on his private jet to come here.
Roman is breathing, healthy, happy to be at work and on HIS show, SmackDown! “It’s an absolute privilege and an honor to see my family, my Bloodline. And then I see my Wise Man, my Special Counsel, and he looks like this!” Heyman is frowning, is what he means. What happened? Why does Heyman look concerned? Roman asks Heyman why. The Tribal Chief is here, Heyman shouldn’t be concerned. Roman is the GOAT, he’s smashed ’em all! Feel confident that he’s here. What’s the problem here? Haven’t we been through this? We ain’t going back there. But how about this? Heyman, put your hand out.
Heyman gets nervous but Roman says it’s okay, just put the hand out. Heyman does just that, and Roman hands the mic back so he can tell us what’s wrong. “I love you, My Tribal Chief. And I love the Usos. But we have a problem, and that problem’s name… is BRRROCK! LESNARRR!” Fans cheer for The Beast as Heyman says that Roman is the GOAT, the Greatest Of All Time. In an era where NO ONE can hold onto a title, Roman holds onto BOTH heavyweight championships! He is the UNDISPUTED Champion, and has been for over 600, headed into 700, headed into 800 days, maybe even 1000! The longest reigning champion of the past 35 YEARS!
But the problem is, Brock Lesnar doesn’t respect that! Lesnar has one last chance against Roman, and has one last match against Roman, and when Lesnar is cornered, “that’s when the Beast is at his most dangerous.” Heyman knows because he’s known Lesnar for 20 years. Who was only 24 years old and wasn’t supposed to beat The Rock for the title? Brock Lesnar. Who went up against the 21-0 Undertaker at WrestleMania and wasn’t supposed to conquer the Streak? Brock Lesnar. And who has his back against the wall right now, My Tribal Chief? Who is in a do or die situation? Who becomes an obscure reference in history in the annals, in the chronicles, of the Tribal Chief or who ends this all? Brock. Lesnar.
Heyman is scared! What happens now is that we see Roman Reigns go savage! We see Roman be violent! We see Roman SMASH Lesnar! Because pinning Lesnar down for three second sis one thing, but putting him down for TEN, in his final title match, in a Last Man Standing Match, is a whole different story! Roman is gonna have to show up on July 30th in Nashville, Tennessee, and be a Roman like never before! Put on the best performance in the history of Roman Reign’s career! The most violent, the most diabolical, the most dangerous, the Beastslayer, the Conqueror of Conquerors, the GOAT of GOATS, until at the end they say, “Your winner, the Ultimate Needle Mover, the Tribal Chief, IN GOD MODE HIMSELF… ROMAN…! REIGNS!!”
Roman’s music hits and Heyman bows before his Tribal Chief. But then THEORY officially makes his entrance. He grins and makes a lap around the ring, holding his briefcase, before leaving. The Youngest Mr. MITB in WWE History is just keeping Roman aware of what’s coming even after the Last Man Standing match. Will Theory make Vince McMahon’s investment worth every penny?
The Viking Raiders VS Jinder Mahal & Shanky!
Erik & Ivar have shown they’re no longer having fun, they’re here to raid and rage and take over SmackDown’s Tag Division! Will the Modern Day Maharaja and Skyscraping Dance Machine feel the fury first hand? Or can Jinder make Shanky get serious and turn the tide?
SmackDown returns and the teams sort out. Shanky starts against Ivar, and Shanky starts wanting to groove! Jinder tags in and tells Shanky to stop it. Ivar and Jinder circle, tie up, and Ivar puts Jinder in the corner to fire off haymakers! Tag to Erik, the Vikings mug Jinder against ropes and then Erik grinds the shoulder. Fans rally as Jinder endures and fights back up. Jinder fights free and THRUST KICKS! But Shanky is too busy rallying the fans to tag! Erik tags Ivar, CLOBBERS Jinder, then DECKS Shanky! The Vikings get Jinder up for the DOUBLE POWERBOMB! Cover, the Viking Raiders win!
Winners: The Viking Raiders, by pinfall
But they’re not done! They stomp away Jinder, then Shanky gets in, only to get mugged! But here comes the NEW DAY! Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods tell the Vikings to hold on! Kofi will be honest, last week, the Vikings kicked their butts. And then the week before that. What are you guys? Seymour- BUT! See these right here? The New Day’s butts are still here! THICC AF, so the Vikings didn’t do the job. Furthermore, those were not sanctioned beatings. That means those don’t count! But ya bois found a relic from a kingdom long since passed. But since the Vikings are illiterate- Wait, they don’t know what that means… Uh, it means you can’t read.
So these are officially sanctioned ASS BEATING TICKETS! That means that tonight, right here in Fort Worth, it is time for the New Day to give the Vikings the whooping they deserve! BECAAAUSE! And the brawl is on!! Ivar puts Woods in a corner but Woods turns it around! Erik SLAMS Kofi, then KNEES Woods! Erik feeds Woods to Ivar’s SEATED SENTON! Fans boo as Ivar goes up and Erik drags Kofi up! Erik hands Kofi off for the SUPER POWERSLAM!! The Vikings stand tall over the former ELEVEN-TIME WWE Tag Team Champions once again, will they be the new rulers of tag team wrestling?
Pat McAfee is not here, Corey Graves is on commentary.
That’s because Baron Corbin attacked him after MITB went off the air last weekend! Corbin mugged McAfee then hit an END OF DAYS to the floor, all as his way of saying he accepts the challenge for SummerSlam! But wait, now Corbin is joining commentary to say he can do this 100 times better! Corey kisses up to Corbin and says McAfee doesn’t want none of Corbin.
WWE Intercontinental Championship Open Challenge: GUNTHER w/ Ludwig Kaiser VS ???
Der Ring General dispatched of former champion, Ricochet, and is ready to move on to someone, anyone, new. Though, given what he and the Impeccable German have been saying, no one will ever take this title from him, no matter who they are. So then, who steps up to challenge Gunther for this title? We’ll see, after the break.
SmackDown returns and Ludwig says, “Ladies and gentlemen… There is no competitor worthy of standing in the ring, much less competing with YOUR NEW Intercontinental Champion. It is our personal opinion that none of you in attendance are worthy of watching Der Ring General, Gunther, compete tonight. However, I know it’s customary for Intercontinental Champions of a lesser ilk to defend this championship against anyone in an Open Challenge.” Gunther says anyone who defends a title against a foe he does not know is a FOOL. Those who think he is taking on such a challenge is foolish! Someone has to be deserving of an opportunity to compete with him for the Intercontinental Championship!
Ludwig says they’re just being honest. But wait! Here comes SHINSUKE NAKAMURA! And Corbin on commentary pretends to be McAfee and gets pumped for the King of Strong Style as he makes his way out here. Gunther and Ludwig scowl while Nakamura gets the mic. Nakamura gets close to Gunther, looks him up and done, and says, “He doesn’t want to accept me? You keep your title for now. But Kaiser… I challenge YOU to a match, right now!!” If Nakamura has to earn his shot, he’ll earn his shot! Will Gunther’s lieutenant be used as a tune-up? Or can he deny Nakamura his golden opportunity?
Ludwig Kaiser w/ GUNTHER VS Shinsuke Nakamura!
The bell rings and Nakamura circles with Kaiser. They tie up, Nakamura fires off knees, then bumps Kaiser off buckles. Kaiser goes to boot but Nakamura blocks and puts Kaiser in the ropes to ROUNDHOUSE and SLIDING GERMAN! Nakamura stares down Gunther, then gets back in the ring. Kaiser CLOBBERS Nakamura, runs and DROPKICKS Nakamura out! Gunther mocks Nakamura, “What’s this?” while looming over him, and SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns and Kaiser has Nakamura’s arm in an armlock. Nakamura fights up but Kaiser knees low. Kaiser scoops but Nakamura slips off and runs to DYNAMIC DROPKICK! Fans fire up while both men are down! Nakamura gets up, blocks a punch to fire off a strike fest and AX KICK! Nakamura waits on Kaiser to sit up and he KICKS him in the chest again and again! Kaiser blocks a kick but not the ENZIGURI! Nakamura puts Kaiser in the corner for GOOD VIBRATIONS! Nakamura puts Kaiser up top on the corner and runs in, TOP SHELF KNEE! Cover, TWO! Corbin talks trash on McAfee, both how he is now and how he was in the NFL.
Nakamura drags Kaiser up to a SLEEPER, but Kaiser backs him into a corner! Kaiser blocks a boot, says “NEIN!” and GAMANGIRIS! Then BUTTERFLY SUPLEXES! Kaiser looms over Nakamura, drags him up, and runs, but Nakamura ducks the Penalty Kick! Kaiser ducks a roundhouse but not the WHEEL KICK! Nakamura aims, to KINSHASA! Cover, Nakamura wins!
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura, by pinfall
Opportunity earned! Gunther is furious with Kaiser for failing him, and then demands he stand back up. Kaiser gets to his feet while fans cheer for “USA! USA!” Gunther CHOPS Kaiser as his punishment for losing! But Gunther says it isn’t over, he wants Kaiser to get up again. Kaiser does, and Gunther CHOPS him again! Gunther tells Kaiser to get up to take this like a man, and then he CHOPS Kaiser off his feet! Imperium does not tolerate failure or weakness, but will Gunther have to accept what’s coming from the King of Strong Style?
Liv Morgan is here!
Fort Worth fires up for the NEW SmackDown Women’s Champion as she heads to the ring. She cashed in on Ronda Rousey and took the gold, but who will her first defense as champion be against? We’ll find out, after the break.
SmackDown returns and Michael Cole interviews Liv in the ring. He congratulates her and she says thanks. Fans chant, “You Deserve It!” and Cole agrees she does. Last Saturday, Liv etched her name in history by climbing the ladder, grabbing the MITB contract, and just two hours later, she cashed in on the Baddest Woman on the Planet! Now let’s keep in mind that Ronda had suffered a knee injury against Natalya, so she’ll surely want a rematch. It could be SummerSlam. Liv says bring it! She can’t wait either way, because this title is the culmination of a lifetime of hard work, sweat and tears.
Liv knows exactly what it took for her to get where she is today, and she’ll work 10 times harder to stay. She promises us that NO ONE wants this title more than her! Cole talks about how 10 years ago, she was a waitress, saving up to train as a sports entertainer. And over the last decade, she scratched, clawed, learned, tried, and almost got there, only to have it pulled away from her. She wears her heart on her sleeve, suffered setbacks, but for the first time, she gets to experience the jubilation. What does it mean for her to finally be champion in the WWE? Liv has a big smile and fans cheer as she says, “This means everything to me. Absolutely everything to me.”
Liv dreamed about this her entire life, and it got hard because she felt she’d never get here. But here she is! She wants to take this as a reminder that, as John Cena would say, you should #NeverGiveUp! But then Natalya makes her way out here! The Queen of Harts says she can dream, too. Of when Liv will finally shut up! The only reason Liv is champion is because of Natty! Liv’s little Cinderella Story ends at SummerSlam, and the clock strikes midnight. There is no way in Hell Liv would’ve beaten a fresh Ronda! Liv won because Natty hurt Ronda! Natty loved watching Ronda scream in pain. so while Natty lost the match, she enjoyed what happened.
Liv and Natty talk trash, but wait! RONDA IS HERE! The Baddest Woman has just the slightest hobble but she’s not letting that get to her. Ronda joins Natty and Liv in the ring, gets herself a mic, and congratulates Liv for seizing the moment at MITB. But savor the honeymoon phase, because at SummerSlam, you’ll learn challenging for a title is a whole lot easier than defending one. But Natty, did you say you enjoyed hurting Ronda? And she took credit for Ronda losing the title? Well, consider Ronda convinced. She’s not dressed to compete right now, but Fort Worth, do you want to see Ronda beat the crap out of Natty?
Fans cheer but Natty sucker punches Ronda! Natty then goes for Liv but Liv hits her first and sends her out! Liv grabs up the belt to hold it up, ready to take on anyone! But uh, Ronda is back up on her feet. Will Liv have to worry about more than one challenger on the road to SummerSlam?
Natalya VS Ronda Rousey!
Made official during the break, it’s a rematch from MITB! There will be major title opportunity implications on the line, will the Queen of Harts hurt Ronda more? Or will the Baddest Woman on the Planet return the favor?
The bell rings and the two tie up. Ronda kicks Natty’s leg, then kick sit again! Ronda ties the leg up around ropes then throws elbows! The ref counts while Ronda pulls on the leg, but Ronda lets off at 4. Ronda KICKS the leg again and Natty bails out. Natty hobbles now but Ronda pursues. Ronda taunts Natty, Natty crawls into the ring, but Ronda gets the leg to SMASH it on the apron! Natty writhes and rolls away but Ronda tells her to get back here. Ronda pursues Natty to the ramp, and she KICKS the leg! Natty hobbles but Ronda fires off body shots! Ronda punches Natty back to ringside to then fireman’s carry, and SLAM her on the apron!
Ronda keeps after Natty’s leg, then gets on the apron for an ANKLE LOCK! The ref counts, Ronda lets go at 4, and Natty flops into the ring. Ronda says she’s going to have fun like Natty did, and puts the ANKLE LOCK back on! Natty fights up but Ronda hits an EXPLODER! Ronda turns Natty back over for one more ANKLE LOCK! Natty endures, even as Ronda puts on the GRAPEVINE!! Natty screams but TAPS, Ronda wins!
Winner: Ronda Rousey, by submission
Rowdy Ronda gets revenge on Natty for her leg, but this is just step one. Will Liv have to protect every limb she has at SummerSlam?
Backstage interview with Drew McIntyre.
Megan asks the Scottish Warrior about tonight’s #1 contenders match, with Sheamus and his Brawling Brutes being his only obstacle. How does he plan on handling them? McIntyre says he went to Europe, to Cardiff, to the castle, and Clash at the Castle is going to be huge. And McIntyre is making it clear now: Whoever is coming out of SummerSlam the champion, McIntyre’s coming after them! It could be Roman Reigns, it could be Brock Lesnar, or it could be the New Chosen One, (Austin) Theory. But that doesn’t matter now. McIntyre has his attention focused on his old nemesis, Sheamus.
McIntyre and Sheamus go way back, to when they were 19 and 47. So many ups and downs, this high stakes match is appropriately happening in Texas because everything is bigger in Texas! Especially steaks! But yes, the Brutes. He knows the first chance, they’ll go after McIntyre. But McIntyre has the deadliest three in the WWE, and it’ll be the last thing Sheamus hears before McIntyre kicks his head off his body. And what three does he mean? THREE! TWO! ONE! BOOM!! Will the Scottish Warrior slay the Celtic Warrior and be ready for the Universal Champion in Cardiff?
Max Dupri is in the ring.
The founder of Maximum Male Models is given a formal introduction with a drum roll, and he thanks us. “The highly anticipated debut of Maximum Male Models was not only a smashing success, but a viral sensation. And this week, we offer a captivating treat to the WWE Universe as we present the 2022 Tennis Collection!” Fans boo already, but first up is “a man whose looks will serve your inner needs and desires. Here is… Maçè!” The man formerly called Mace struts out in white shorts and blue Polo while holding an old style wooden racket.
Dupri says MMM embodies athletic excellence and elegance. The sleeves are accentuated by Maçè’s 80 inch wingspan and 20 inch biceps while allowing efficient breathing room for the perfect backhand. The lightweight bottoms hug the thighs and hamstrings, further accentuating the spectacle required to grace the court. Maçè struts back up the ramp and that of course means up next is “a man who oozes appeal and evinces the essence of game, set, match. Ladies and gentlemen… Mansôör!” Mansoor struts out, in his own white shorts, a white Polo with blue sleeves, and a headband.
Mansôör strikes a pose as Dupri says he takes proportions to another level. Notice Mansôör’s broad shoulders, and that dazzling chest-to-torso ratio. Those strapping biceps are accentuated by the finest cloth so that he can provide a strong stroke over the net. Mansôör struts back up the ramp, and Dupri says only the most “penetrating” look can be represented by MMM. “If you feel you have what it takes to strut down that aisle the way they do, please, submit your full body photos to our official website, MaximumMaleModels.com. But if you do not have the qualities, the natural qualities of a Maçè and Mansôör, don’t bother.” Dupri’s clients walk back out for one more pose and Dupri wants another round of applause for the men that embody the mantra, “Titillate the juices of your guilty pleasures.”
Backstage interview with (Austin) Theory.
Kayla Braxton asks what was the message Theory was trying to send Roman Reigns earlier tonight. Theory was letting the Tribal Chief that the Youngest Mr. MITB is always watching. And y’know what? Between them, Theory would love to cash in on Lesnar after how he treated Theory, but he might just cash in on Roman. Theory got to see just how arrogant Roman is up close! Kayla says Theory does know something about arrogance. Oh ha ha. People don’t like him, but he loves that! Everyone is just looking for someone to knock Roman off his pedestal, and it could be Theory! Theory WILL become a two-time United States Champion after he defeats Bobby Lashley.
And that Last Man Standing match, whoever survives better be ready. Lesnar and Roman are going to beat the hell out of each other all over the arena. They could go into the rafters, the stands, the parking lot, or even on the roof! But that’s besides the point. Roman Reigns is screwed! Either Lesnar beats him or Theory does, and the same way for Lesnar if he does win. Theory leaves, but Mad Cap Moss walks in! Moss says that is a big briefcase, but he bets he can shove all of that down Theory’s throat. Moss would love to try, Will Moss get his chance at shutting Theory up before SummerSlam?
Lacey Evans & Aliyah VS Shayna Baszler & Shotzi Blackheart!
The Model Soldier and #Aliyah316 team up to take on the Queen of Spades and Wild Child, but which duo proves to be the stronger?
SmackDown returns as Lacey makes her entrance. Or at least, we think? Okay, there’s Lacey! Wait, she says she wants a bigger response? She goes backstage again and redoes her entrance. Fans cheer and Lacey still seems dissatisfied. She gets a mic and gets in the ring to say, “Before my opponents come out, I just wanted to take a minute.” Fans are booing as she says she is just disgusted from them. This is the response she gets? That reaction right there? Do they not know who she is? Don’t they know what she’s been through? She knows they do because she poured her heart and soul out on live TV! She did that to help the fans!
And for what? For that reaction? Lacey says it must bother them that they look at a woman like her and they realize how weak they are. They know her struggles and deep down, they know they can’t be half the person she is. The truth hurts, but when Lacey Evans comes out and gets in the ring, she gets a standing ovation! Standing, meaning up on your feet. Fans boo more and Lacey isn’t sure what it is. Are they too weighed down by the pulled pork? That’s what she sees, at least. It makes her sick! The fans are disgusting! Fans chant “YOU SUCK!” and she says no, she is an American Hero! She put her life on the line for the likes of you! But for what?!
Until Lacey gets the respect she deserves, everyone else can go to Hell! Lacey drops the mic, then goes to leave. Aliyah tells her to hold on, they have a match! But then Lacey uses her WOMAN’S RIGHT to knock Aliyah off her feet! Lacey leaves, and there’s no match now. Will Lacey get any respect from anyone acting like this?
Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championships Contenders Match: The Usos VS Los Lotharios!
Jimmy & Jey are ready to represent for The Bloodline, but will Angel Garza & Humberto Carrillo earn themselves an opportunity to represent for their familia? We find out, after the break.
SmackDown returns and the match is already underway as Jimmy CHOPS Carrillo! And CHOPS again! Carrillo wernches an arm to a wristlock, but Jimmy fights up to whip Carrillo away. Jimmy back drops but Carrillo lands on his feet! Garza tags in while Jimmy puts up the finger to the sky, but Carrillo feeds Jimmy to a GAMANGIRI! Jey runs in but is also sent out! Garza trips Jey, tags Carrillo, and they DOUBLE PENALTY KICK at the ropes! The Usos regroup but Los Lotharios build speed, to fake them out! The Usos rush in but Los Lotharios slide out! Garza & Carrillo egg Jimmy & Jey on, and then slide back in as the Usos slide out!
The Usos hurry to the apron but the Lethal Lovers BOOT both of them down! And then OFF COME GARZA’S PANTS! Garza throws the tearaways at the fans, Jimmy rushes in but into an arm-drag! Carrillo KICKS and ROCKS and CHOPS, but Jey tags in before the whip. Jimmy reverses, pop-up SAMOAN DROP! Jimmy SUPERKICKS Garza, Jey covers Carrillo, but Garza breaks it in time! Garza then SUPERKICKS Jimmy down! And then PLANCHAS into a SUPERKICK! Jey is up top but Carrillo goes after him! Jey shoves Carrillo away but Carrillo flips back to land on his feet! Jey SUPERKICKS Carrillo, too!
Tag to Jimmy and Jey drags Carrillo up. ONE AND DONE!! Cover, the Usos win!
Winners: The Usos, by pinfall (DENIES Los Lotharios a title match)
Garza & Carrillo fought hard, as multi-generational wrestlers do, but the Usos are the winners again! Kayla interviews them to congratulate them on tonight’s win, as well as the win at MITB, if they can really say that was a win. What? Well, Kayla says they got away with one. Got away with what?! Well, the footage shows that Montez Ford did get his shoulder up. The ref missed it, so the Street Profits lost on a technicality. So then, the Usos got away with one. What?! Do the Undisputed Champs look like they need to cheat?! Well…
Jimmy says that if that is cheating, if pinning the Profits in the middle of the ring 1-2-3 is cheating, then yeah, they cheated! But check it! That ain’t on the Usos, that’s on the ref. Well, there are rumors that there will be a special guest referee in the tag title rematch for SummerSlam. Oh? That’s cool. Well, if they’re taking volunteers, Jimmy has one in mind. Jimmy does the Superman reload motion to imply Roman. But anyone can count to three. And the Profits will get popped with the One ‘n ‘Done again. That makes them the twos, and #WeTheOnes! Jimmy & Jey are fired up, but will they get lucky again like they did in Vegas?
Undisputed WWE Universal Championship #1 Contender’s Match: Drew McIntyre VS Sheamus w/ The Brawling Brutes!
The Celtic Connection clashes again, but only one can claim that golden ticket to Clash at the Castle! Will McIntyre’s Claymore clobber The Fella once and for all? Or will Sheamus’ Brogue step all over the Scottish Warrior’s hopes of returning to the title?
SmackDown returns and Sheamus makes his entrance, with Ridge Holland and “Butch” Pete Dunne by his side. Ridge has to hold Dunne back and Sheamus gets the mic. “Hold your horses there, fellas. Whoa, bitty!” Sheamus says it is him and McIntyre for the big one. The winner tonight goes on to the Clash at the Castle for a championship match! And Sheamus has McIntyre’s number. The truth of the matter is… Sheamus gets a rasp in his throat? Sheamus needs a drink maybe? He hopes he doesn’t have COVID or something. Sheamus says he has to get tested and can’t compete otherwise. But he says no worries! He has a backup plan!
Tonight, it won’t be THE match, because his buddy, Butch, is foaming at the mouth to get at McIntyre! So McIntyre, no worries, him and Ridge will be ringside if you miss him. “Go get ’em, Butchy!”
Drew McIntyre VS Pete Dunne w/ The Brawling Brutes!
The bell rings, Dunne rushes McIntyre and fires off forearms! But McIntyre clinches to OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! Sheamus distracts McIntyre but backs off as McIntyre swipes at him. McIntyre runs at Dunne but Dunne BOOTS him! Dunne fires off on McIntyre, and jumps on to go after the arm! McIntyre endures the double wristlock, throws body shots, and powers up and out of the hold! GLASGOW KISS! Dunne holds on with the body scissors, but McIntyre drags him up to OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! McIntyre calls for the countdown, but Ridge gets on the apron. McIntyre DECKS Ridge, but runs into a GAMANGIRI from Dunne!
Dunne goes up, leaps, but McIntyre dodges to NECKBREAKER! And kip up! Fans fire up with McIntyre, he aims from the corner, and counts it down! “THREE! TWO! ONE!!” CLAYMORE!! Cover, McIntyre wins!
Winner: Drew McIntyre, by pinfall
But then Ridge attacks! He and McIntyre brawl, FUTURE SHOCK for Ridge the Fridge! Fans fire up and McIntyre is staring down Sheamus! Sheamus storms in, but McIntyre has Angela the sword at the ready! Sheamus backs off and says McIntyre doesn’t have it in him to really swing. McIntyre swings and he cuts the rope!! And the pyro goes off, too! Will McIntyre shred Sheamus to make it crystal clear who gets to Clash at the Castle with the Universal Champion?
I want to say this was a good episode, but we all know this could’ve been much better. For one, the main event we just got felt more like a bunch of BS filler. Sheamus faking a COVID concern to delay the contender’s match is so blatantly a Vince McMahon type of move, and I just can’t stand it. McIntyre squashing Dunne was also BS, a match of those two deserves to be much, much better than this. They’ll probably keep doing this so that McIntyre beats Ridge Holland, and then maybe on SummerSlam, we get McIntyre VS Sheamus to name a contender. Then, the first ten minutes of the show was a MITB recap package, then the Bloodline’s entrance, and then Theory standing on stage. Can’t WWE arrange the show better than that?
Roman and Heyman still had a good promo, and if Theory had only done his buzz-by here, it would’ve been fine. Theory’s interview promo later was better, and I like that Moss wants to step to Mr. MITB. They’re going to have a great match, especially as two young stars WWE will rely on, and honestly need, going forward. As for the Usos, if WWE took Los Lotharios more seriously, we could actually have a great feud of wrestling legacies here with Usos VS Garza & Carrillo. But no, Los Lotharios were in a contenders match just to get crushed, and then we had a rather sloppy way for them to set up the Usos VS Profits rematch. And that special referee has got to be Sami Zayn for the story of Honorary Uce to continue.
Viking Raiders of course squash Jinder & Shanky, all because Shanky couldn’t stop partying when a serious threat was in front of him. A bit of a low point for Shanky’s story, as was the New Day storming up on The Viking Raiders just to get bodied all over again. There has to be something Adam Pearce does to make sure New Day VS Viking Raiders actually happens, since we saw Erik & Ivar just beat up Woods & Kofi to throw the match out. Then we can finally get a great match out of them, as we all know they can deliver. Nakamura delivered in a match with Kaiser, though they didn’t outright make this a contenders match. Gunther punishing Kaiser with chops was a great addition to his character, not even NXT/NXT UK Walter did that.
I said last week that the Maximum Male Models debut was a train wreck, and I stand by that. This week’s segment was still just as dumb, but the impact is lessened by seeing it already. They just need to have a match already so we can see what their characters wrestle like. Slightly better was Lacey’s Heel turn happening all because the fans weren’t as excited as she wanted them to be. I was hoping it would’ve been the usual “losing makes the Face snap and turn,” where she and Aliyah lose to Shotzi & Shayna, but just like with MMM, ripping the Band-Aid off is for the best. Lacey is Heel, she can feud with Aliyah or Raquel, then get after Face champion Liv Morgan.
Liv Morgan had a good promo to celebrate her win, but Natty’s promo recycled much of what she said on Raw. Ronda showing up was a bit of a surprise, but she did a good job with her promo. I was also surprised we got Natty VS Ronda, and I was disappointed that Ronda basically squashed Natty while hurt when she struggled with Natty at 100%. And yet, it isn’t just clear that Ronda’s getting the SummerSlam match. Can someone else get in on this story? Like a returning Bayley? Why can’t Bayley get involved, it’s known that she is all healed up.
My Score: 7.9/10
Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (12/1/23)
SmackDown hears voices!
The Viper is here for The Bloodline!
He returned at WarGames, he returned to Monday Night Raw, and now, The Apex Predator, Randy Orton, returns to Friday Night SmackDown! Will he be able to strike at The Bloodline tonight?
- Pete Dunne VS Bobby Lashley w/ The Street Profits; Lashley wins.
- Santos Escobar VS Joaquin Wilde; wins.
- Kevin Owens VS Grayson Waller; wins.
- Bianca Belair w/ Charlotte Flair & Shotzi VS Kairi Sane w/ DMG CTRL; wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Bianca Belair is here!
Brooklyn cheers The EST as she skips to the ring, her team victorious against Damage Control in WarGames! After a recap package, fans chant for Bianca and she gets the mic to say, “Man, it is so cool to be in one of the best boroughs in one of the greatEST cities in the world, Brooklyn!” The fans cheer that! Bianca says DMG CTRL really tried to take them out, but her team did what needed to be done. So shout out to Becky Lynch for coming through, showing up and showing out. Shout out to Shotzi for her guts and passion. And shoutout to Charlotte Flair for being a bigger person and making that call to Becky.
“Now while it feels great to be standing in this ring and celebrating that W from WarGames, my war with DMG CTRL, it ain’t over~! Cuz Iyo Sky, I’m still coming for you, cuz I want my title back!” Fans also cheer that. But speaking of Iyo, here she comes! The Evil Genius leads DMG CTRL out, though where’s Bayley? That aside, Dakota Kai is the one to tell Bianca, “It’s really great how uh, you can get all of these people to cheer for you.” The fans boo her but Dakota tells them to shut up! Dakota says just earlier, Iyo was saying how gross it is here in Brooklyn! It smells! Who would want to live here?!
DMG CTRL slide into the ring, and Dakota says Iyo was also saying that Bianca is in way over her head, dude. Iyo already beat Bianca twice. So… if Bianca wants to get yet another shot, she’ll have to go through all of DMG CTRL. Well that ain’t nothing new. So who wants it first, huh? But wait! Here come Charlotte & Shotzi to back Bianca up! Fans cheer as Charlotte says “Ladies~…! Bianca isn’t the only one coming for you. And I’d love to go through all of DMG CTRL.” Shotzi says it seems to her that there’s enough DMG CTRL to go around. They rush in, and the brawl is on! Fans fire up but Iyo TOSSES Bianca and helps Asuka against Charlotte!
Shotzi and Kairi brawl in a corner, Bianca returns, Charlotte BOOTS Asuka way while Bianca RAMS Iyo into a corner! Bianca stomps Iyo down, Charlotte helps Shotzi with Kairi, and Charlotte sets Kairi up for Shotzi’s BOOT! Iyo ends up isolated, and Bianca hits a SPINEBUSTER! Iyo scrambles out, DMG CTRL regroups, are their days on top numbered?
DMG CTRL regroups backstage.
And Bayley is confused as to what’s going on. Iyo angrily asks where Bayley was but Bayley says no one told her they were going out there! Maybe if she knew, things would’ve been different! The joshi talk in Japanese, Dakota cools it off. What matters is that Kairi is facing Bianca tonight. No one knows Bianca better than Bayley so Kairi would appreciate the help. Kairi says yes, they’re “tomodachi <friends>,” that’d be appreciated. Bayley says okay, but are they really Bayley’s friends?
Pete Dunne VS Bobby Lashley w/ The Street Profits!
With Sheamus recovering from injury and Ridge Holland just ditching him last week, The Bruiserweight is all alone against The All Mighty! Will Dunne stand a chance against the overwhelming strength of Bobby Lashley?
SmackDown returns and Lashley makes his entrance, Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins by his side. But before the bell, Lashley gets a mic to say “Hey, listen, kid. When I told you to make a name for yourself…” The fans chant “BOBBY! BOBBY!” and Lashley says that’s a name. Does Dunne know what Lashley can do to him? Lashley will break Dunne into pieces! Is Dunne ready for that? Dunne SLAPS Lashley! Fans fire up, Lashley grins, and the bell rings. Dunne then BOOTS Lashley! And BOOTS! And fires off furious fists! Lashley carries Dunne to then TOSS him! Dunne flounders but also snarls. Dunne swipes at the Profits, but Lashley run sin to CLOBBER him!
Lashley whips Dunne hard into buckles, then storms around. The Profits high-five Lashley and Brooklyn is behind him as he stands Dunne up for haymakers! Lashley smothers Dunne in the corner, lets off to whip corner to corner, then storms up on Dunne. Lashley digs hands into Dunne’s face, the ref counts and Lashley lets off. Lashley runs in but Dunne BOOTS again! Dunne runs up to DROPKICK Lashley out of the ring! Fans are torn as Dunne goes out to FLYING KNEE! Lashley staggers back, Dunne sets up to MOONSAULT! Down goes Lashley and Dunne hurries back up! Dunne ARIHARA MOONSAULTS! Down goes Lashley and fans fire up as SmackDown goes to break!
SmackDown returns and Lashley clotheslines Dunne in a corner! Lashley then brings Dunne around to snap suplex! Dunne writhes, Lashley paces around him and the fans cheer. Lashley drags Dunne up, suplexes again, and this time he holds Dunne up! Dunne throws knees, gets free, and he runs, ducks ‘n’ dodges, but Lashley hits a MILE HIGH SPINEBUSTER! Fans fire up again and Lashley drags Dunne up. Lashley TOSSES Dunne out, storms out after him, and then drags Dunne up again. Fans cheer as Lashley fireman’s carries Dunne, to then POST Dunne! The Profits say this is an extended Black Friday!
Lashley puts Dunne in, Dunne crawls away but Lashley aims. Lashley runs in, but Dunne sends the Spear into the POST! Lashley staggers back, the Profits coach him up, but Dunne GAMANGIRIS! Dunne runs up to ENZIGURI! Lashley ends up in a corner, Dunne GAMANGIRIS again! And again! Dunne KICKS and KICKS and KICKS, then pushes Lashley out so he can go up. Dunne DOUBLE STOMPS an arm! Dunne bends the fingers, isolates the arm, and STOMPS the arm! Lashley grits his teeth but Dunne reels him in. ASAI DDT! Cover, TWO! Lashley is tougher than that but Dunne keep son him with HAMMER ‘N’ ANVIL ELBOWS!
But Lashley fights up! Fireman’s carry, then an adjustment, for the OKLAHOMA STAMPEDE! Cover, TWO!! Dunne survives and Lashley is annoyed. Ford says yeah, Dunne’s got heart, but that’s about it. Lashley hauls Dunne up but Dunne SLAPS him! Lashley LARIATS Dunne inside out! Lashley then drags Dunne up, MILE HIGH- ENZIGURI! Dunne gets up, Lashley SPEARS him back down!! Cover, Lashley wins!
Winner: Bobby Lashley, by pinfall
The Bruiserweight put up a fight, but Lashley is still Lashley. Will The All Mighty soon head for a title as we head for the New Year?
Paul Heyman walks into Nick Aldis’ office.
The Wise Man seems rather indignant looking at the SmackDown General Manager. Heyman then dusts off the New York Jets NFL Legacy belt before speaking. “Did you invite Randy Orton to SmackDown tonight?” Aldis says yes, he did. And Aldis intends to sign Randy to a SmackDown exclusive superstar contract tonight. Heyman looks around and asks if the Tribal Chief knows about this. Aldis says Heyman has forgotten that there are countless memos: All communication to Roman Reigns must go through Paul Heyman. So consider this a communication to Roman: Aldis WILL sign Randy to SmackDown.
And if Aldis has to offer up the entire Bloodline as leverage, so be it. So the question to Heyman is… “What’re you gonna do about it?” Heyman says, “Anything it takes.” Heyman gets on his phone to call Roman Reigns. But is there nothing that can stop The Viper from finally being within striking distance of The Tribal Chief?
Backstage interview with Pete Dunne.
Kayla Braxton says he lost to Lashley, but she wants to talk about last week. Why did Ridge walk out on him? Dunne says he doesn’t know. And he doesn’t care. Because right now isn’t about the Brutes, it’s about Dunne! He is going to focus on himself. He is here to fight, and he will fight anyone! But in walk Pretty Deadly. They say this is so tough. But don’t be sad, use this as a learning opportunity. Sometimes, being abandoned can help you find your own path. Even if that path, like Dunne’s career, hits a dead end. Dunne HITS them! Dunne fires off but that’s 2v1 and Pretty Deadly turns it around! They TOSS Dunne into a road case!
How’s that, Butch?! HUH!? You’re alone! ALONE! And always will be! Elton Prince & Kit Wilson have numbers on their side, but will Dunne still get revenge?
Backstage interview with Santos Escobar.
Cathy Kelley says given his recent history with the LWO, what can we expect in his match with Joaquin Wilde here? Santos says he’s only trying to finish what Rey started. Rey turned his back on the LWO when he chose Carlito over Santos. And now Santos’ own brothers in arms are blinded by their hero, not seeing that Rey will do the same to them. Cruz is still recovering from the last time he tried standing up to Santos. And if Wilde can’t see the truth, Santos will put him on the shelf, too. The Emperor of Lucha is becoming a tyrant, but will he be unstoppable in destroying what he helped create?
Santos Escobar VS Joaquin Wilde!
Mitchell’s NJPW World Tag League Results & Report! (12/1/23)
A Block, round 5!
Will it be Chaos for the Reiwa Musketeers?
Shota Umino & Ren Narita are just outside the top spot in A Block, can they take over and truly lead NJPW’s future in World Tag League?
- Six Man Tag: El Phantasmo, Hikuleo & Jado VS Bullet Club; Bullet Club wins.
- Six Man Tag: Just5Guys VS Tiger Mask, Atlantis Jr. & Soberano Jr; Just5Guys win.
- Six Man Tag: Master Wato, Yuji Nagata & Minoru Suzuki VS Ryusuke Taguchi, Lance Archer & Alex Zayne; Wato, Nagata & Suzuki win.
- 8 Man Tag: Yoh, Bishamon & Boltin Oleg VS Los Ingobernables de Japon; Yoh, Bishamon & Oleg win.
- 2023 World Tag League, Block A: The Gates of Agony VS EVIL & Yujiro Takahashi; Evil & Yujiro win.
- 2023 World Tag League, Block A: TMDK VS Kaito Kiyomiya & Ryohei Oiwa; TMDK wins.
- 2023 World Tag League, Block A: Great-O-Khan & Henare VS Gabe Kidd & Alex Coughlin; Kidd & Coughlin win.
- 2023 World Tag League, Block A: Shota Umino & Ren Narita VS Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii; Yano & Ishii win.
PLAY BY PLAY
Here are the current A Block standings.
TMDK: 3-1, 6 points
Shota Umino & Ren Narita: 3-1, 6 points
Kaito Kiyomiya & Ryohei Oiwa: 2-2, 4 points
War Dogs: 2-2, 4 points
The United Empire: 2-2, 4 points
Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii: 2-2, 4 points
The House of Torture: 1-3, 2 points
The Gates of Agony: 1-3, 2 points
2023 World Tag League, Block A: The Gates of Agony VS EVIL & Yujiro Takahashi w/ The House of Torture!
Bishop Kaun & Toa Liona finally got on the board, beating the War Dogs. Meanwhile, the House of Torture is falling apart as they just keep losing! Will the Gates slam shut on them, too? Or will the King of Darkness & Tokyo Pimp find a way to lie, cheat and steal a win once again?
Wait, the Gates are coming out wearing House of Torture shirts? And then they wait for the House to make their entrance? Is this a sign that they’ve become allies? Dick Togo, Sho, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, and of course Evil & Yujiro all come out together and they seem pretty chummy with the Gates. All seven go to the ring now, and this is a rather interesting development. Did Prince Nana approve this deal? Everyone shakes hands and “put one out” so clearly there’s something to this. They even pose for photos! But then Kaun & Liona quickly and quietly TOSS Sho & Kanemaru, then they TOSS Dick! Yujiro & Evil don’t understand!
Kaun & Liona throw forearms, the bell rings and the Gates whip Evil & Yujiro. Yujiro & Evil hold ropes to then BOOT in return! But they run into double scoop SLAMS! The Gates tear off the House of Torture shirts, and Liona even wipes his butt with it! Evil & Yujiro are in opposite corners, Kaun runs in to ELBOW Yujiro and Liona SPLASHES Evil! Then the Gates trade, ELBOW for Evil and SPLASH for Yujiro! And back the other way! Fans fire up as the Gates tricked the tricksters! They fire each other up, and Kaun sends Liona into SPLASH Evil! The fans rally up, the Gates run in to SPLASH SANDWICH Evil!
Liona stands Evil back up, he and Kaun OPEN- NO, Yujiro saves Evil and they bail out. The House falls back, daring the Gates to come out after them. The Gates storm out after them, but going all the way to the entrance is suspicious. Sho & Kanemaru attack from behind with chairs! Fans boo as Dick distracts the ref so that the House can mug the Gates! Sho CHOKES Liona with his chair, but Liona bench presses it away! Yujiro helps Sho while Evil drags Kaun around, to RAM into the timekeeper’s area! Poor Abe-san! The fans boo but Evil gets on the mic to basically say this is what they get for messing with the House!
Yujiro SMACKS Liona off the timekeeper’s table, but Liona roars! So Yujiro POSTS Liona to knock him down! Evil drags Kaun up, puts him in the ring, and fans rally up. Evil CLUBS Kaun, CLUBS him again, and calls to the ref. Marty Asami returns and Evil stomps Kaun. Evil drags Kaun up, wrenches the arm and tags in Yujiro. Yujiro CLUBS Kaun’s arm, then reels him in to snapmare and ROCK with a haymaker. Yujiro looms over Kaun to rain down more fists but the ref reprimands. No closed fists! So Yujiro fishhooks Kaun’s nose! Yujiro sits Kaun up to run and basement BOOT! Cover, ONE!!
Yujiro is annoyed but he drags Kaun back up. Yujiro wrenches, wristlocks, and he CLUBS the arm. And stomps it! Kaun clutches the arm, it is taped up from that fight with the War Dogs. Yujiro wraps the arm around ropes! The ref counts, Yujiro lets off at 4 but the House all complains. Tag to Evil and he throws his shirt at Liona. Now the ref has to keep Liona out, and Evil throws Kaun out for the boys to stomp away on! Fans boo these vultures, but then Sho puts Kaun back in for Evil. Cover, TWO! Evil argues with the ref but the fans rally up. Evil tags Yujiro then runs to BLAST Liona! Liona stays up and roars, so Evil pokes him in the eyes!
Evil and Yujiro drag Kaun up, whip him to a corner, and Yujiro runs in but into Kaun’s BOOT! Kaun catches Evil for an URENAGE! Then Kaun uses Evil as a step to SHOTGUN Yujiro! Fans fire up while they’re all done, and Kaun crawls over. Hot tag to Liona! Liona rallies on Yujiro, BOOTS him, then catches Evil for a spin and LARIAT! Fans fire up more and Liona has targets in opposite corners. Liona roars, then SPLASHES Evil! SPLASH for Yujiro! SPLASH for Evil! SPLASH for Yujiro! Liona just keeps going, then he whips Evil into Yujiro! Fans fire up with Liona, and he runs back in, but both Yujiro and Evil dodge!
Yujiro & Evil kick low, double whip to ropes, but Liona breaks the line to DOUBLE SHOULDER TACKLE! Fans fire up again and Liona roars for Kaun! Kaun rises and tags in, and the Gates get Yujiro up! But Yujiro moves, the double lariats collide! Kaun hurries to grab a leg but Yujiro BOOTS Kaun into Liona! Evil tags in and he storms up to CLUB Kaun! Evil stomps Kaun, Yujiro joins in, and the ref reprimands. Yujiro drags Kaun to a corner, he and Evil double whip Kaun corner to corner. Yujiro runs in to BOOT! Evil runs in to clothesline! Snapmare and then they set Kaun up while Sho distracts! Dick hops up, DICK CHOP!!
Fans boo as Evil covers, TWO!! Kaun survives and the fans fire up again! Evil slashes his throat, drags Kaun up, and spins him around, but Liona is back! HELL STAB! Then a HEADBUTT for Yujiro! Liona & Kaun BLAST Dick & Sho off the apron! The fans fire up as now Evil is alone! Kaun & Liona high five and LARIAT SANDWICH! They roar again and they get Evil up. HEAVEN’S GATES!! Cover, but Dick YANKS the ref out!! Fans boo, but Yujiro slips back in to CLUB the Gates! Kaun ROCKS Yujiro in return! Kaun & Liona set Evil & Yujiro up, but they block double low blows! Kanemaru and Sho get in, they DOUBLE LOW BLOW!!
Fans boo as the House stomps away on the Gates! Yujiro has his cane, Dick has the Spoiler Choker. Liona shoves Sho aside but gets the CANE SHOT! Dick CHOKES Kaun, Kanemaru gives him WHISKEY MIST! And then Sho CLOBBERS Kaun with his wrench! Dick gets the ref back in as Evil hits EVERYTHING IS EVIL on Kaun!! Cover, The House wins!
Winners: Evil & Yujiro Takahashi, by pinfall (gain 2 points; The Gates of Agony earn 0)
Kaun & Liona lured the House in, but one good trick wasn’t enough to beat the numbers game. The House even mugs the Young Lions trying to help The Gates! Will this be the beginning of the most unwanted comeback in World Tag League history?
2023 World Tag League, Block A: TMDK w/ Kosei Fujita VS Kaito Kiyomiya & Ryohei Oiwa!
The Mighty Don’t Kneel, but Shane Haste & Mikey Nicholls did fall for the trickery of Toru Yano. Will TMDK be able to rebound and stay at the top of the block? Or will the Green Supernova and his protege still #CreateTheFuture?
The teams sort out and Mad Mikey starts against Oiwa. They tie up, fans rally up, and Oiwa pushes Mikey back, only for Mikey to put him on ropes. Mikey lets off but shoves Oiwa. Oiwa shoves back! They go forehead to forehead, then forearm for forearm! Mikey claws eyes, headlocks, and brings Oiwa over. Shane tags in, Oiwa gets away, and then Oiwa arm-drags Mikey! Shane runs in, but into an arm-drag! Oiwa wrenches and whips Shane to ropes, Kaito joins in so they can DOUBLE ARM-DRAG! And then DOUBLE DROPKICK! The fans fire and Oiwa has Shane in a corner. Shane throws a chop, but Oiwa stomps and ROCKS Shane in return.
Oiwa drags Shane up to wrench and wristlock, then he scoops to POWERSLAM! Oiwa runs, but Shane gets up to DROPKICK back! Shane puts Oiwa on ropes, stomps away, and then BLASTS Kaito! Mikey smothers Oiwa on the apron, lets off before he gets caught, and then Shane slides to SHOVE Oiwa to the floor! The ref has to keep Kaito back, so that lets Mikey stomp Oiwa. Mikey puts Oiwa in, Shane covers, TWO! Shane drags Oiwa up, brings him around and bumps him off buckles. Tag to Mikey and he CHOPS! Fans rally, Mikey eggs Oiwa on then CHOPS him again! Mikey ROCKS Oiwa, Oiwa ROCKS Mikey!
Oiwa fires off on Mikey but Mikey ROCKS him right back! And CHOPS him right down! Cover, TWO! Fans rally but Mikey sits Oiwa up and runs. Oiwa avoids the sliding lariat! Mikey hobbles up, throws a forearm but Oiwa throws back a flurry! Mikey fires a flurry of his own! Mikey runs, into an UPPERCUT! Oiwa runs and ROLLING ELBOWS Mikey down! Fans fire up as both men crawl, hot tag to Kaito! Kaito rallies on TMDK, whips Mikey and DROPKICKS him down! Shane kicks and runs, into a DROPKICK! Fans fire up again and Kaito whips corner to corner. Mikey reverses but Kaito comes back to NECKBREAKER DROP! Cover, TWO!
Fans rally up again as Kaito drags Mikey up and reels him in. Mikey fights the suplex, but Kaito fires forearms! Kaito reels Mikey in but Mikey suplexes! Kaito slips free, ducks Mikey’s elbow, but Mikey DDTS! Fans fire up while both men are down, Mikey crawls to hot tag Shane! Shane UPPERCUTS again and again on Kaito, whips him to a corner then BLASTS Oiwa before he UPPERCUTS Kaito! Shane keeps moving, CANNONBALL! Fans fire up with Hysterical Haste and he drags Kaito up, FALCON ARROW! Cover, TWO! Kaito survives and fans rally up. Shane calls his shot and he drags Kaito back up to reel him in.
Shane underhooks the arms, lifts, but Kaito fights free to chicken wing! Shane fights that to ROCK Kaito! Shane eggs Kaito on then UPPERCUTS him! Kaito comes back to UPPERCUT Shane! Shane UPPERCUTS Kaito! Kaito grits his teeth and shakes his head. Kaito UPPERCUTS, Shane UPPERCUTS, repeat! Fans rally, Shane gets the edge with UPPERCUT after UPPERCUT, but Kaito rebounds to RUNNING UPPERCUT! Both men are down again, and the fans fire up! Shane crawls to an open corner, Kaito crawls to hot tag Oiwa! Oiwa runs in to forearm smash, then he whips Shane corner to corner. Oiwa runs in to DROPKICK!
Fans rally up again as Oiwa clamps on a gut wrench, for a GUT WRENCH SUPLEX! Oiwa drags Shane up again, GUT WRENCH SUPLEX! Oiwa isn’t done, he drags Shane up for a GUT WRENCH BRIDGE! Cover, TWO! Oiwa BLASTS Mikey and Kaito slides in. They double whip Shane, then Kaito sends Oiwa in to ELBOW! Kaito runs in to forearm! Feed to the SPIN POWERSLAM! Cover, Mikey breaks it! Kaito TOSSES Mikey and Oiwa fires up! Oiwa drags Shane up in a waistlock but Mikey makes the save! Mikey CHOPS and Shane LARIATS! They coordinate, fireman’s carry, HIGHWAY TO HELL! Cover, Kaito breaks it!
The fans fire up again but Mikey tosses Kaito out. Shane kicks Oiwa around, eggs him on, but Oiwa sits up. Kaito gives more kicks, and a boot! Shane aims from a corner, runs in, but Oiwa dodges the Shane-ing Wizard to single leg, ANACONDA SUPLEX! Shane staggers back up, Oiwa gets around to GERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, but Mikey sweeps Oiwa’s legs! Mikey whips, Oiwa reverses and DROPKICKS! Oiwa calls to Kaito and he returns. They get Shane up and fans fire up with them. Oiwa Electric Chair Lifts while Kaito climbs. But Shane victory rolls under the crossbody! TWO!! Mikey catches Kaito for a MIKEY BOMB!
Oiwa fires off on Mikey and DOUBLE CHOPS! But Shane SUPERKICKS! Mikey scoops, TANK BUSTER!! Cover, TMDK wins!!
Winner: TMDK, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Kaito & Oiwa earn 0)
A powerful battle from both teams, but only one team was mighty! Will Shane & Mikey still be the A Block finalists
2023 World Tag League, Block A: Great-O-Khan & Henare w/ Callum Newman VS Gabe Kidd & Alex Coughlin!
The Dominator & Face of Fury are holding on at 2-2, but so are #WarReady and the Dreadnought! Will the United Empire conquer these War Dogs and stay strong? Or will Kidd & Coughlin win won for the Rebel?
But of course the War Dogs attack at the ramp! But the Empire is ready, and Khan JAMS Kidd with his banner’s staff! Henare fires hands on Coughlin, HEADBUTTS him, and Khan CHOKES Kidd with the staff! Khan throws Kidd down, Henare CLUBS away on Coughlin, and the Empire gets the Dogs set up for Callum! Callum FLIES! Direct hit and he even lands on his feet! Fans fire up with the Empire and they throw the crowns up. Khan CLUBS Kidd, Henare LASHES Coughlin with his vest, and then Khan whips Kidd hard into railing! Red Shoes says fine then, and the bell rings to get this on record.
Fans cheer while Henare puts Coughlin in and throws forearms. Henare runs to then run Coughlin over! Fans cheer more, and Henare aims. Henare KICKS Coughlin in the back! And KICKS him again! Henare snapmares Coughlin to KICK him again! Then he SENTONS onto knees! Coughlin deadlifts and GERMAN SUPLEXES! Coughlin stomps Henare while Kidd whips Khan hard into railing, sending him up and out! Kidd then drags Khan to the back area of the stands, and whips him all the way into a wall! Coughlin digs his boots into Henare in a corner, then his knee. Red Shoes reprimands and Coughlin lets off.
Kidd and Khan keep brawling in the back as Coughlin CHOPS Henare! Coughlin whips Henare corner to corner then clotheslines! Coughlin then scoops Henare, and hits a FALL AWAY SLAM! Henare tumbles and writhes while fans applaud the show of strength. Coughlin covers, TWO! Tag to Kidd, and the War Dogs get Henare up. Coughlin holds the arms back so Kidd can CHOP Henare! And CHOP again! Kidd then stands on Henare’s head but Red Shoes reprimands. Kidd steps off to storm around. Kidd mockingly asks where Will Ospreay went. Kidd says he’s beating up Ospreay’s boys like they’re his b*tches!
Kidd DECKS Henare, then digs his knee in again. Tag to Coughlin, he drags Henare up, and says “Knock knock” as he taps Henare on the head. Henare snarls but Coughlin SLAPS him down! Coughlin says Henare’s supposed to respond, “Who’s there.” Coughlin kneels on Henare but Khan knocks him over! The War Dogs mug Khan, Kidd drags him out of the ring, then whips him hard into railing! Kidd even DECKS Callum for the hell of it! Fans boo but Kidd says he’s a madman! Coughlin stomps Henare, drags him up, and RAMS him into the corner. Tag to Kidd and Kidd RAMS into Henare. Kidd then snapmares Henare to drop an elbow! Cover, TWO!
Khan runs back in but Kidd DECKS him! Kidd drags Khan up to throw him out, and Coughlin hauls him up to whip hard into more railing! Kidd storms around, kicks Henare, but Henare grits his teeth. Kidd eggs Henare on, kicks again, but Henare blocks! Henare steps over to WHEEL KICK! Both men are down and fans fire up! Henare crawls, Khan drags himself up! But Coughlin runs in to BLAST Khan off the apron! Coughlin then goes out to stomp on Khan, and Kidd CLUBS Henare. Coughlin sends Khan into railing again! Kidd drags Henare up, ROCKS him, then bumps him off buckles. But Henare just growls!
Kidd bumps Henare off more buckles, but Henare just headbutts the buckles! Kidd eggs Henare on, CHOPS him, then whips him. But Henare reverses to SAMOAN DROP! Fans fire up as Henare crawls for his corner. Hot tag- NO, Coughlin YANKS Khan down! Red Shoes reprimands, Coughlin whips, but Khan reverses to send him into railing! And then Khan BOOTS Coughlin down! The fans fire up, hot tag to Khan! Khan runs Kidd over, whips him to a corner and clotheslines! Then torture rack and swing, NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Kidd is still in this but the fans rally behind Khan. Khan sits Kidd up, into the IRON CLAW SLEEPER!
Kidd BITES the fingers! And SNAPS them! Kidd runs, rebounds, but Khan gets under! Henare runs in, ASSISTED SITOUT POWERBOMB!! Cover, TWO!! Kidd survives but Henare and Khan coordinate. Shoutout to Aussie Open, RUNNING KICK SANDWICH! Scoop, HEEL KICK T T D!! Cover, Coughlin breaks it! Coughlin and Henare trade big forearms! Fans fire up as they go back and forth! Coughlin gets the edge, but Henare BODY BLOWS! And ULTIMA- NO, Coughlin fights the full nelson! So Henare shoves him to a corner for a SHINING WIZARD! Then snapmare and RUGBY KICK! And then the Monster Rage boils over!
Henare drags Kidd up, fireman’s carries, and Khan runs. But Kidd slips free to shove Henare into Khan! Kidd BITES Henare, TOSSES him out, talks trash, but turns around into the HELL STAB! IRON CLAW, but Kidd grabs at Red Shoes! RIGHT HAND!! Kidd and Khan fall over after that closed fist shot! Fans rally up as hard as they can but Kidd snarls as he drags Khan up. Kidd runs, springboards, OSCUTTER?!? Kidd sends a message to Ospreay, and Coughlin is back in! Gut wrench, Coughlin goes up, HIJACK TOMBSTONE!! Cover, War Dogs win!!
Winners: Gabe Kidd & Alex Coughlin, by pinfall (gain 2 points; Khan & Henare earn 0)
That madman tells Ospreay that he’s dead when they finally face off 1v1! December 16th is still two weeks away, is Kidd going to overlook the rest of the WTL all because he wants after the Kingpin?
2023 World Tag League, Block A: Shota Umino & Ren Narita VS Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii!
The Reiwa Musketeers are coming off a big main event win last round, and are near the top of the block! But the Clown Prince & Stone Pitbull just took down the top of the block last round against TMDK! Will Yano & Ishii pull off another shocker to get to the front of the line? Or will the Roughneck & Son of Strong Style make it through the Chaos?
The teams sort out and Ishii starts against Narita. The fans rally, the two tie up, and they’re in a deadlock. Every step Narita pushes Ishii back, Ishii pushes Narita back. Ishii uses his stockier frame to keep pushing Narita, and they end up on ropes. Red Shoes calls the break, Ishii lets off, but Narita intercepts the forearm with a forearm! Narita fires off more shots, but Ishii eggs him on! Ishii and Narita trade forearms back and forth, fans fire up as they pick up speed! Narita ROCKS Ishii, runs, but Ishii avoids the boot. Narita avoids the lariat to BOOT Ishii down after all! Fans fire up and Narita stomps Ishii. Narita then stands Ishii up to bump off buckles.
But then Ishii hits Shota! Shota hits back, Ishii fights both Musketeers at once! That doesn’t go well and they mug him 2v1. Tag to Shota and he digs his boots in while Narita BLASTS Yano! Red Shoes counts, Shota & Narita double whip Ishii to ropes, then DOUBLE ELBOW! SENTON! SOMERSAULT SENTON! Then they shake hands to DOUBLE ELBOW DROP! Cover, TWO! Shota kicks Ishii around, eggs him on, but Ishii stands. The two stare down, and Shota throws a forearm. Ishii eggs Shota on now, so Shota throws more forearms. Ishii leans into the shots and backs Shota down like that! Shota keeps throwing shots, but Ishii DECKS him!
Fans fire up and Ishii rains down more shots on Shota! Red Shoes counts, Ishii lets off, and then Ishii eggs Narita on. Red Shoes keeps Narita back and Yano tags in. Yano fires up, and he unties a buckle pad! Then he throws it to Shota and tattles on him to Red Shoes! Shota gives the buckle pad over, and Yano SLAPS Shota in the head! Fans cheer but Shota scowls. Yano claws the eyes! Yano runs, Shota ELBOWS him then runs to basement dropkick! Tag to Narita, and Narita whips Yano to ropes, for a NECKBREAKER DROP! Cover, TWO! Yano is still in this and fans rally up. Narita brings Yano up but Yano pulls hair!
Narita kicks and whips but Yano reverses to throw Narita down by his hair! Yano drags Narita up and whips him into the bare buckles! Narita writhes, Yano BLASTS Shota, and Ishii rushes over to go after him! Yano throws Narita out and then goes out after him. Yano whips Narita hard into railing! Ishii whips Shota hard into railing, too! Yano drags Narita back up, puts him in the ring, and he stomps Narita around. Yano drags Narita up, tells haters to shut up, then tags in Ishii. Ishii CHOPS Narita, stalks him, and CHOPS him against the ropes! Ishii eggs Narita on and CHOPS him again. Ishii continues to egg Narita on, so Narita throws a forearm!
Ishii slaps Narita around, Narita throws more shots, but Ishii CHOPS him back down! Fans applaud, and Ishii taunts Shota. Shota coaches Narita but Ishii gives Narita toying kicks. Ishii HEADBUTTS Narita, CHOPS him, then CHOPS and CHOPS again! Narita roars but Ishii CHOPS him back down! Ishii whips Narita corner to corner, runs in, but into a BOOT! Narita runs up, Ishii ROCKS him! Ishii swings, but into a HALF HATCH! Both men are down and the fans fire up! Hot tag to Shota! Shota fires off on Ishii, whips him to ropes, but Ishii reverses. Shota CLOBBERS Ishii, then BLASTS Yano! Fans fire up behind Shota and he sends Ishii to a corner.
Shota runs in to UPPERCUT, then FISHERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO! Shota keeps going, and he turns Ishii over into an STF! Yano stomps Shota, so Shota kicks Yano and tosses him out. Shota goes back to Ishii, stands him up, and clinches. Ishii fights the lift with elbows! Shota ROCKS Ishii, gives him taunting kicks, but Ishii ROCKS Shota back! Shota and Ishii stare down, and Shota fires off forearm after forearm! Shota has Ishii in the corner for more shots! Red Shoes reprimands but Ishii roars and turns things around to CHOP and ROCK Shota on repeat! The fans rally up as Shota sits down, only for Ishii to stand him back up for more!
Ishii CHOPS and ROCKS Shota into sitting down again, and the fans fire up! Ishii eggs Shota on, kicks him around, slaps him even, and Shota scowls. Shota storms up on Ishii, Ishii throws a forearm. Shota eggs Ishii on, and leans into the shots a la Ishii. Shota then ROCKS Ishii and he staggers away! Ishii comes back, Shota clinches but Ishii slips around. Shota elbows Ishii, whips, but Ishii reverses to SAIDO! Fans fire up while both men are down! Shota and Ishii crawl, hot tag to Yano! Yano fires up and whips Shota, but Shota reverses. Yano avoids the bare buckles, to then bait Shota into them! Roll up, TWO!
Yano runs, but Shota DROPKICKS him down! Fans fire up again, and Shota crawls to hot tag Narita! Narita runs up on Yano, BACK ELBOW! Then HALF HATCH BRIDGE! Cover, TWO! Yano escapes, but Narita BLASTS Ishii to cut off the tag. Narita clinches but Yano fights the lift! So Narita trips Yano, and rolls him, CROSS ANKLE CLOVERLEAF! Yano endures, the fans rally up, but Narita drags Yano from ropes! Yano keeps fighting around, he reaches out, ROPEBREAK! Narita lets off in frustration but the fans rally up again. Narita stands Yano up, reels him in, COBRA TWIST! But Yano powers free with a hip toss!
Narita runs in but Yano trips him! CATAPULT into the bare buckles!! Ishii clotheslines Narita, too! Then he BLASTS Shota! Yano fires up and he hauls Narita up. ONI- NO, Narita fights free! Narita gets around, SLEEPER! Yano is fading fast, but Narita goes to the COBRA TWIST now! Yano endures, fans rally up, and Yano fights his way around. Shota keeps Ishii out, and Narita brings Yano away with the SLEEPER! Then back to COBRA TWIST! Yano is turning red like his favorite chair! But Ishii sends Shota into railing, to then TACKLE Narita! Fans fire up while Narita tosses Ishii back out. Narita roars and goes back for Yano.
Narita drags Yano up but Yano fights the suplex. Narita knees low, runs, but Yano avoids the boot to clinch and BELLY2BELLY! Fans fire up while both men are down! Yano and Narita crawl, hot tag to Ishii, and he BLASTS Shota! Ishii drags Narita up, throws him into Shota, then runs, but Narita BOOTS! GERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Ishii escapes and the fans fire up again. Narita crawls, hot tag to Shota! Shota aims at Ishii, BANG and V-TRIGGER! Shota then slingshots to APRON DDT Ishii!! Fans are thunderous and Shota stands tall as Ishii flops over. Red Shoes checks but Ishii is somehow still in this.
Shota drags Ishii up as the ring count begins. Shota puts Ishii in, climbs up a corner, and he MISSILE DROPKICKS Ishii down! Then Shota resets, to slingshot CUTTER! Cover, TWO!! Ishii survives and the fans fire up again! Shota drags Ishii up, dragon sleepers, but Ishii fights free. Ishii runs, into a snap cradle, that then shifts into a BONE LOCK!! Ishii endures the over-the-shoulder crossface, but Narita keeps Yano out! Shota pulls on the hold, but Ishii still fights around! Ishii reaches out, but Shota pulls back more! Ishii flails and kicks around, to have the ROPEBREAK! Shota lets go and the fans fire up again.
Narita slides in, he and Shota coordinate. Shota wrenches Ishii, dragon sleepers, and then gets Ishii up. Narita runs, BOOT into SAVING GRACE! Cover, TWO!! Ishii survives and the fans are thunderous again! The Musketeers stay focused, though, and they haul Ishii up. They double whip him to a corner, Shota runs in to ELBOW! Narita runs in to JUMP KICK! Feed to Shota’s forearm! Narita’s BOOT! Shota’s ROLLING ELBOW! Another BOOT! And then the lift, for the HART ATTACK! Cover, YANO BREAKS IT! Fans fire up but Narita fires off on Yano! Yano gets around, fireman’s carry takeover! Yano kicks and whips Shota, but Shota reverses!
But Yano denies the tornado DDT! Yano atomic drops Shota, then pops him up. Shota fights the Onigoroshi, underhooks Yano, but Yano RAMS Shota into bare buckles! Ishii reels Shota in, hoists him up, POWERBOMB! High stack, TWO!! Shota survives and the fans fire up again! Ishii roars, the fans duel, and Shota flounders up. Ishii runs, Shota BOOTS him, blocks the lariat, and ENZIGURIS! Narita is back to WHEEL KICK! Narita hurries to get Ishii up and NORTHERN LIGHTS! Then a clinch, but Ishii HEADBUTTS free! Narita ENZIGURIS, Shota full nelsons! Narita runs, but Ishii gets free, the BOOT hits Shota!
Ishii shoves Shota into Narita, Yano drags Narita out! LARIAT!! Cover, TWO!?! Shota survives and fans are thunderous again! Ishii grits his teeth and he stands back up. Ishii roars and looks to finish this off. We’re at 20 minutes, Ishii suplexes, but Shota slips free! HALF ‘N’ HALF! But Ishii gets right up to CLOBBER Shota! But Shota’s right up to SHOTGUN Ishii! Ishii’s back, but Shota pop-up KNEES, and LARIATS! Fans fire up again and Shota drags Ishii up. HALF ‘N’ HALF BRIDGE! Cover, TWO!! The fans are thunderous and Shota just fires up again! Shota aims from a corner, vowing to end it here!
Ishii slowly rises, Shota runs in, BLAZE BLADE!! But Shota isn’t done! Underhooks and- NO, Ishii wrenches out to PELE!! Both men are down and the fans are electric! Ishii goes to the corner while the fans duel, and he SLIDING LARIATS!! Cover, NARITA BREAKS IT! Yano runs in to toss Narita out! Ishii roars and he drags Shota back up. Ishii suplexes, but Shota fights free! Shota wrenches, ROCKS and ROLLING- NO, Ishii ROCKS Shota! But Shota catches Ishii, only for Ishii to wrench out! Shota POP-UP UPPERCUTS! And then V- NO, Ishii blocks to HEADBUTT! And then Ishii spins Shota to a BRAINBUSTER!!! Cover, CHAOS WINS!
Winners: Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii, by pinfall (gain 2 points; Shota & Narita earn 0)
There weren’t any tricks needed here, Ishii & Yano beat the Musketeers straight up! Is it still too soon for Shota & Narita to say the Paradigm Shift is coming?
And because it’s Ishii who won this, he’s a true strong silent type, so he and Yano just get outta here! No closing address tonight, but will actions speak louder than words for the Stone Pitbull in this tournament’s second half?
Here are the NEW A Block standings!
TMDK: 4-1, 8 points
Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii: 3-2, 6 points
Shota Umino & Ren Narita: 3-2, 6 points
War Dogs: 3-2, 6 points
Kaito Kiyomiya & Ryohei Oiwa: 2-3, 4 points
The United Empire: 2-3, 4 points
The House of Torture: 2-3, 4 points
The Gates of Agony: 1-4, 2 points
Another great round for World Tag League and this block, with some rather shocking moves. I really thought The Gates were going to get going after their win last round, but I guess the House of Torture couldn’t just drop off that badly so they had to win this here. And as we saw in that main event, Yano & Ishii are making a go of it in this block. They beat Shota & Narita, who are certainly still frontrunners, but that was great stuff to make a point that Shota & Narita aren’t ready to beat the real “old guard” they’re talking about replacing here. War Dogs beating the Empire seems fine, they’re mostly just keeping pace so they could cost somebody later.
And great match from TMDK VS the Noah duo, and a great win for TMDK to again be the clear first place team. 4-1 at the halfway point, this block is on Shane & Mikey to win or lose, and as I’ve been saying, TMDK as both a group and as just these two, the OG members, have been solid a long time. It’d be great if they got to the tournament finals here, maybe even get that title shot at WrestleKingdom.
My Score: 8.9/10
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