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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (1/13/23)

Will Sami win for the Tribal Chief?

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Will Sami’s luck run out on Friday the 13th?

With SmackDown landing on Friday the 13th, Sami Zayn needs all the luck he can get to stop Kevin Owens from reaching his Universal Championship match!

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • WWE Intercontinental Championship: GUNTHER w/ Imperium VS Braun Strowman; Gunther wins and retains the title.
  • Tegan Nox VS Xia Li; Nox wins.
  • Raquel Rodriguez VS Liv Morgan; Rodriguez wins.
  • Kevin Owens VS Sami Zayn; Kevin wins, by disqualifications.

PLAY BY PLAY

WWE Intercontinental Championship: GUNTHER w/ Imperium VS Braun Strowman!

Der Ring General has been a dominant champion, but he’s also been rather worried about the Monster of All Monsters coming after him! Will Gunther be able to hold off Braun and hold onto the title? Or will the Strowman Express steamroll Gunther and reign again?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we see who is truly the most dominant force on this sacred mat!

The bell rings and surprisingly, Gunther has his solders return to the back. Win or lose, Gunther wants to do this on his own. The fans rally behind Braun as he circles with Gunther. They tie up, Gunther has the arm but Braun shoves him away. Braun and Gunther circle again, feel things out, and Braun corners Gunther, only for Gunther to step out of the ring. Fans boo and Braun is a bit annoyed by this, but Gunther goes around the way. Gunther returns, he and Braun circle again, and Gunther wants that bad arm! Gunther wrenches the arm, wristlocks, CLUBS it, but Braun whips Gunther up and out of the ring!

Fans fire up as Braun goes out after Gunther to ROCK him! And SMACK him off the steel steps! Braun brings Gunther up to ROCK him with an uppercut! Gunther wobbles, Braun steps in to refresh the count. Braun gets on the tracks, here comes the Strowman Express! He CLOBBERS Gunther into the desk! Fans fire up and Braun roars as he throws off his shirt, while SmackDown goes to break!

SmackDown returns and the behemoths brawl outside the ring. Braun scoops but Gunther slips off to RAM Braun into the steps! And then Gunther SLAMS the arm against the steps! And then against the apron! Gunther gets in the ring with Braun, KICKS him in the leg, then brings him around. Gunther wants the arm, Braun resists, but Gunther CLUBS Braun in the side! Gunther gets a top wristlock! Braun endures, fans rally up, and Braun arm-drags Gunther away! But Gunther CHOPS back! And CHOPS again! Braun kneels, and Gunther CHOPS him down! Braun shakes the bad arm but Gunther goes after it!

Braun resists again but Gunther KNEES him in the shoulder! And again! Gunther grabs the wrist, pulls the arm and KICKS it! Fans rally and Braun gets to ropes, only for Gunther to clamp on again. Gunther brings the arm out, fans rally as Braun continues to resist, but Gunther grinds the shoulder! Braun fights up as Gunther twists the shoulder and elbow. Braun throws body shots, but Gunther CLUBS the arm down! Gunther drags Braun around, to drop a KNEE on the arm! Cover, ONE!!? Braun still has fight but Gunther still wants the arm! TOP WRISTLOCK! Braun endures and fans rally again as he fights back up!

Braun fireman’s carries Gunther! But the bad arm stops him! Gunther KICKS Braun down! Gunther drags Braun up and he wrenches the bad arm, to RAM Braun with his shoulder! Gunther wrenches, CHOPS, and then RAMS Braun again! Gunther digs his knee in now but Braun stays up! Gunther wrenches, but Braun ROCKS Gunther with forearms! Fans fire up as Braun keeps firing off shots, but Gunther CHOPS! Braun ROCKS Gunther again, and again, and then short arm LARIATS! Green Bay rallies behind Braun as he whips Gunther corner to corner! Gunther rebounds, into a BIG back drop! Gunther flounders, but Imperium returns!!

The ref is distracted with checking Gunther’s knee as Ludwig Kaiser anchors Braun’s foot, and Giovanni Vinci DROPKICKS Braun! But Braun CLOBBERS Vinci! And CLOBBERS Ludwig! But Gunther CHOPS! And CHOPS! And CHOPS! Gunther runs, into a scoop! MONSTER SLAM!! Cover, TWO!! Braun can’t believe it but Gunther survives, and SmackDown goes to break!

SmackDown returns again and Gunther has a short arm scissors now! Braun endures and fans rally up again. Braun rolls back, tucks Gunther, and deadlifts him! Fans are thunderous as Braun hits an ELECTRIC CHAIR DROP!! Gunther is stunned and dazed at the same time! Fans rally behind Braun as he and Gunther stand. Gunther wrenches the bad arm but Braun ROCKS Gunther with a right! Gunther CHOPS, Braun CHOPS, repeat! Braun’s chops are winning out, so Gunther throat chops! Gunther waistlocks but Braun elbows free! Gunther BOOTS, runs, but into a SPINEBUSTER!! Cover, TWO!!

Fans can’t believe it as Gunther survives again! Braun stands and fans are thunderous as he vows to end it! Braun drags Gunther up, reels him in, but Gunther wrenches out! Gunther CHOPS the bad arm! Braun shoves Gunther away but Gunther comes back with a LRAIT! Braun stays up,> Gunther runs, into a LARIAT! Braun and Gunther stagger to opposite corners, and Braun runs in, only to get buckles! Gunther runs to SHOTGUN Braun into the corner! And then runs in to LARIAT again!! Cover, TWO!!! Braun survives and fans fire up, but Gunther goes right up top! GENERAL SPLASH!! Cover, TWO!!!

Gunther is furious that Braun is still in this! Gunther climbs back up, but Braun choke grips him! Fans fire up but Gunther breaks free, only for Braun to UPPERCUT! Braun then climbs up, he brings Gunther up, but Gunther wrenches the bad arm! ELBOW BREAKER! Another, and then a CHOP! Gunther is on the apron, he YANKS Braun into the post! And then Gunther gets in, carries Braun along, GENERAL BOMB!! High stack cover, Gunther wins!!

Winner: Gunther, by pinfall (still WWE Intercontinental Champion)

The Monster fought as hard as he could, but he had only one good arm to fight with! Gunther retains, and perhaps survives Strowman, can anyone take this title from him?

 

Sami Zayn walks up to the Bloodline locker room.

He knocks, and Paul Heyman answers it again. Sami wants to talk strategy with the guys! The guys? Heyman’s the only one here. What? It’s what it is. No Usos, no Solo, just Heyman. But Sami talked to them earlier, and they- Yes, Heyman’s sentiments exactly. But last week, he was talking with The Tribal Chief and said, “What a perfect set-up! Get Sami out in the ring, get Kevin Owens out in the ring, boom! There’s the Usos! Boom! There’s Solo.” But y’know what Roman Reigns said to Heyman? He told the Wise Man that he’s wrong.

What kind of love would they be showing to Sami if they doubted him? What kind of love would they be showing to not just the Honorary Uce but to the full-fledged member of the Island of Relevancy if they didn’t let him do this for the Bloodline on his own? So out of love,. the Tribal Chief wants Sami to do this all by himself. Sami asks Heyman to do him a favor: call Roman, text him, whatever it is, and let him know that he made the right call. Sami will handle this! Sami will solve this problem tonight, on his own! That is why Roman is in awe of Sami. Sami says, “That’s not just a prediction, Paul. That’s a spoiler.” But is this anything but showing Sami love by Roman Reigns?

 

Rey Mysterio is here!

Green Bay fires up for the King of Lucha Libre as he heads to the ring. Rey gets the mic to say, “I’ve always said that the holidays are very exciting and special to me. Especially when you’ve been on the road for so many years, you cherish the time you spend with your family. Especially at Christmas. But as you all know, I didn’t have a very Merry Christmas. Yep. My son, Dominik, tried to ruin things once again. And now he’s walking around like he’s a thug, like he’s some hardened criminal.” But as a father, that breaks Rey’s heart. And as a man, well, Rey is pretty fed up with this crap. Fans cheer that!

Rey is on SmackDown for a fresh start, and he won’t let Dom provoke him. To prove his point, Rey knows what he needs to do to get back on track. And that is… by entering and WINNING the Men’s Royal Rumble match! Fans cheer for that, too, but here comes Karrion Kross! Kross and Scarlett Bordeaux make their way to the ring, and Kross grabs a mic of his own. Fans boo but Kross says, “Well, well, well. In the flesh, Mr. Rey Mysterio. El Rey, I was in the back listening to you talking about goals. And somebody like you, Rey, you need goals. Otherwise, I don’t know how you manage to peel your broken ass body out of bed every day.”

Fans boo but Kross says the years haven’t been kind to Rey. But the Rumble is coming up, and we remember that one time 17 years ago when Rey won the Rumble. Fans cheer that! But Kross says that was 17 YEARS ago, so calm down. Now, surely that was a special moment for Rey. But even more so, it was a special moment for Rey’s son, Dom, wasn’t it? His father is a real-life superhero, going out there and winning the big one! Oh, but Rey doesn’t know if that’s true, because he wasn’t around for Dom as a kid, huh?

Kross says he and Scarlett were talking, and now they need to know: Who does Rey hate more? His son, Dom, for not growing up to be just like him? Or himself for failing to raise Dom to be just like him!? Rey ROCKS Kross with forearms! Rey jumps, but into Kross’ bearhug! Rey fights free, throws elbows, but Kross waistlocks again! Rey victory rolls Kross to ropes! Rey dials it up, but Scarlett disconnects the call! KROSSJACKET!! Kross shouts that he was waiting for this moment! Scarlett lights the tarot card with Rey on it, and Rey passes out under the red lights. Will Doomsday come for everyone in the Royal Rumble match?

 

Emma, Maxxine Dupri and Liv Morgan are backstage.

Emma asks what Liv is thinking. What does he mean? Well, Emma admires Liv’s fearlessness, but wanting to enter the Rumble match at number one? Maybe not the best way to get to WrestleMania. Maxxine says it’s the worst idea ever. And it doesn’t really matter where Liv comes out in that match, she is NOT winning that. But Raquel Rodriguez says to not go that far. But yes, that is a good point. Don’t get her wrong, Liv, you do have the fighting spirit to take on 29 women in one match, but wouldn’t the best strategy to be to enter last then? Someone of Liv’s size would have a better chance to succeed that way.

As for Raquel, this is her first Rumble, and she feels she is built to win this. Liv says for what it’s worth, she got her palm read today. See, this line right here… SLAP!! Maxxine and Emma are stunned, and Liv dares Raquel to have a match with her tonight. Raquel tells Liv that she is sick and tired of everyone forgetting she’s the biggest and baddest around. You’re on! Liv smiles and heads out, but will living on the edge finally cost her?

 

Tegan Nox VS Xia Li!

The Welsh Firecracker is ready to pop-off on the one who cost her and Liv those tag titles! But will she be able to take down the former Protector? Or will she instead take another loss because of the spicy destroyer?

SmackDown returns as Tegan makes her entrance. The bell rings, the two circle, and Tegan waistlocks Xia. Xia headlocks, Tegan powers out and then ROCKS Xia! And again! And again! And again, and again, and again! Fans fire up as Tegan UPPERCUTS Xia down! Tegan drags Xia up, suplexes, and GOURD BUSTERS! Tegan then runs in to CANNONBALL In the corner! Tegan shoves Xia into the drop zone and climbs up. Green Bay fires up but Xia trips Tegan up! Xia grabs Tegan’s hair to TOSS her down! Xia storms up, covers, TWO! Xia clamps on a chinlock and she thrashes Tegan around. Tegan endures and fans rally up.

Tegan fights up to her feet, but Xia throws her down by her hair! Xia clamps on with the chinlock again and she leans on the hold. Tegan endures, fights around, and fans rally up again. Tegan stands up to arm-drag free! But Xia throat chops! The ref reprimands and fans boo but Tegan sputters, into a BOOT from Xia! Tegan ends up in a corner, Xia runs in to go up and ELBOW JAB! Xia drags Tegan out but Tegan throws body shots. Xia CLUBS Tegan down and then scowls as she drags Tegan up. Xia clinches for an EXPLODER! Xia aims from the corner, waits on Tegan to rise, and Xia runs in to SPIN- NO, Tegan dodges the kick! SHINIEST WIZARD!! Cover, Tegan wins!

Winner: Tegan Nox, by pinfall

A fast and furious fight between these two, and Tegan gets her revenge! But will Xia leave this alone? Or will this grudge only grow closer to the Rumble?

 

SmackDown shares what happened last week, after the show.

As if losing to the Usos in the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship match via a Solo assist wasn’t bad enough, Sheamus & Drew McIntyre would get attacked by the Viking Raiders! And they would both end up feeling RAGNAROK!

The Viking Raiders speak.

“Valhalla” Sarah Logan says “The gods speak. I listen.” Erik & Ivar say, “We obey.” Sarah has seen “two fallen warriors written in the runes, sentenced to battle. Drew McIntyre, Sheamus, suffering awaits.”

Adam Pearce has Sheamus & McIntyre in his office backstage.

They of course remember what happened and just heard what was said. McIntyre says they’re gonna make Pearce’s job really easy tonight. They want Erik & Ivar TONIGHT! Right? McIntyre gives Sheamus a smack on the arm, and Sheamus says he’s hearing McIntyre. “But those two lunatics can wait. I want the Usos now. My blood is up and ready!” McIntyre says that time is gonna come, but the Vikings are first! Sheamus gets it, McIntyre is frustrated, but he needs to listen to his elders and betters! The smacking of arms is getting chippy again. Sheamus says there was a young bull and an old bull at the top of a hill-

McIntyre knows that story! There’s no time for stories! Time for fighting! But Sheamus is trying to talk sense into them! Pearce has them stop and suggests a solution that’ll make them both happy. Next week, we start a tag team tournament where the winners get a shot at the SmackDown Tag Team Championships. Sheamus gives Pearce a hard pat on the back and says, “There you go! That’s great! Now you’re speaking our language!” McIntyre says that’s half a solution. What about the Viking Raiders? Well if they’d let Pearce finish, McIntyre & Sheamus are of course in that tournament. And their very first opponents: The Viking Raiders!

Now McIntyre says that’s perfect. They both pat Pearce on the back, and Sheamus says that he foresees banger! After banger! After banger! The Celtic Connection is fired up, but will they be able to avoid Ragnarok this time? Or will they be eliminated right out of the gate?

 

Bray Wyatt is here!

Green Bay fires up as the lights go down and the piano plays. The light creeps out from behind the door, and then the door swings open. And with his lantern, out walks the Eater of Worlds. The fireflies are out as Bray walks to the ring. Bray steps in, turns out the lantern, and has the spotlight. Fans cheer and wait, is that a rocking chair? Is that THE rocking chair?! Bray takes a seat in it, and he tells Green Bay, “We’re here!” Then he chuckles. Ain’t it wild, man? Ain’t it wild how sometimes, we forget who we are? We forget what made us in the first place. All it takes is a little push to send you in the right direction, and suddenly you understand that all you had to do was revel in what you are.

Bray says just like that, all of a sudden, it came back to him. He remembered all he has lost, he remembered that he is the color red in a world of black ‘n’ white. That he is the Eater of Worlds! That he IS Uncle Howdy! He IS the nagging conscience of a world that has thrown itself away to “moral monsters!” He is EVERYTHING, he IS Bray Wyatt!! And Bray knows who he is, man, but who are you? At the Royal Rumble, it will be Bray’s rebirth. “A baptism in the dark. And as for you, LA Knight… Know this, son. When the lights go out, you. Should. Run!” The Bray Wyatt of old has been resurrected, will anyone survive this return?

 

Backstage interview with Kevin Owens.

Kayla Braxton starts to mention how KO has a Undisputed Universal Championship match at the Royal Rumble, but then Sami walks in. Sami asks Kevin, “Are you happy? Are you happy about all of this? Are you happy about what you’re making me do tonight?” Kevin couldn’t just leave it alone! He couldn’t just leave Sami on SmackDown to do his thing with The Bloodline! He couldn’t just stay on Raw- Uh, yeah! Kevin WAS on Raw. But The Bloodline came to Raw every week running their mouths,  and Kevin decided to take the Bloodline out piece by piece. If Sami is one of those pieces, that’s on him.

Did Kevin ask for this match? No. Did he ask for the tag match with John Cena? No. But who did? Roman Reigns! He’s putting Sami in these situations! He’s using Sami so that he never has to come to work ever! Sami says Kevin needs to get it through his head. Sami isn’t being used! How many times does Kevin have to see Sami and Roman hug in the ring? How many times does Kevin have to see Sami and The Bloodline getting along for months and months? Kevin is just jealous because he doesn’t understand, this is family! Not that it matters, because now Sami has to take care of business. And Sami is proud to take care of that business.

Kevin says, “Good for you.” Yeah, it is good for Sami! Sami heads out, but will Kevin have to do something he doesn’t want to in order to stop all this?

 

Imperium is in the trainer’s room.

Gunther has an ice pack on his neck as Kayla welcomes us back. She notes Gunther was successful in retaining the Intercontinental Championship, but did that win give him the momentum needed- Ludwig interrupts and says “Momentum is essential for success in our great sport.” Vinci adds, “And Gunther set an example of what it means to be a true champion.” Gunther himself says, “Today is a glorious day, because I’ve overcome my biggest challenge so far. For the love of our great sport, and the honor of this great title, I’ve beaten Braun Strowman.”

But now, Gunther will capitalize and go to the Rumble to throw body after body off of their sacred mat! Then, Gunther will go on to the main event of WrestleMania! Der Ring General has stated the mission, but will even he fail to dominate 29 other competitors in one match?

 

Raquel Rodriguez VS Liv Morgan!

It’s one thing to say you wanna enter a match like The Royal Rumble first, but it’s another to anger Big Mami Cool! Raquel is ready to wreck anyone and everyone in that Royal Rumble match, but will she start with Liv? Or will Liv find a way to eliminate Ricky Desperado?

SmackDown returns and Raquel makes her entrance. The bell rings and Liv rushes in to tie up with Raquel. Raquel shoves her back but Liv comes back for more. Raquel shoves her away again, they tie up again, and then Raquel shoves Liv down! Liv storms up, but into a BOOT! Raquel drags Liv up to toss her up and out! That’d be an elimination in the Rumble! Raquel holds the ropes open to offer Liv a way in. Liv refuses so Raquel backs off. Liv rushes in, and she fires off fast hands! Liv runs to RANA and Raquel ends up in a corner! Fans fire up, Liv runs in corner to corner to back body block!

Liv keeps moving, but she runs into a LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Raquel is annoyed, but she drags Liv up with both hands! She holds Liv up, but Liv fires off hands and headbutts! Raquel runs in but Liv dodges! The boot gets stuck on the ropes, fans rally for Liv as she lifts Raquel, but Raquel fights her off. Raquel ELBOWS Liv down, then drags her back up. Raquel bumps Liv off buckles, brings her around and bumps her off more buckles. Liv throws body shots, then she headbutts the buckles!? Liv fires up, the fans fire up, but Raquel isn’t sure what to make of this. Raquel runs in, Liv dodges and comes back, SHINING WIZARD!

Liv pushes Raquel down, goes up, and FLYING CODE BREAKERS! Raquel flounders to ropes, Liv runs in to clothesline Raquel up and out!! That would be an elimination, too!! Raquel is stunned, and now Liv offers Raquel a way into the ring. Raquel says that’s cute, and she drags Liv out of the ring! Raquel scoops, but Liv slips off to POST her! Liv hurries to bring Raquel up, and RAMS her into the steel steps! Liv slides in at 6 of 10, Raquel is still down at 8, but Liv goes back out. Liv refreshes the count but she starts looking under the ring! Liv goes around the way, and she finds herself a TABLE! Green Bay likes where this is going!

The count is climbing again, but Liv refreshes it at 7. Liv sets up the table, brings it closer to the corner, and she KICKS Raquel down! Liv puts Raquel on the table, CLUBS her, then climbs the corner! Fans fire up but the ref tells her not to! Liv doesn’t listen, but Raquel rolls off the table. Fans boo but Liv just changes her target. Liv CROSSBODIES, but Raquel SWATS her down! Raquel deadlifts Liv into the TEXANA BOMB! Cover, Raquel wins!

Winner: Raquel Rodriguez, by pinfall

Liv keeps trying to push the limits, but she just got thrown down! Will Raquel win big in her return home to Texas?

 

Sonya Deville berates Adam Pearce in his office.

She says she doesn’t know why she tries with him! What she is saying is that she wants a rematch with Charlotte Flair. Pearce understood her every time, but he can’t just give her that rematch! She lost! This isn’t how it works around here. Oh, wow, he’s gonna tell her how it works around here?! Interesting. Is this how it really works around her? Or just how it works for Charlotte? Pearce says all Charlotte did was what Sonya did: called her shot, got the title match. The only difference is that Charlotte won and Sonya lost. Sonya says what’s interesting to her is just how unreasonable Pearce is being!

But she has it figured out: Pearce wants her to enter the Royal Rumble and earn her rematch by mowing down 29 other women. Actually, YEAH! Sonya says she is going to find a way to make that rematch official. Sonya storms off and Pearce sighs. Just how will the Jersey Deville find her way back to the SmackDown Women’s Championship?

 

SmackDown returns, and Sonya is attacking Charlotte!

The Queen fights Sonya off, and SPEARS her down! Referees rush in to stop this, but Charlotte BOOTS Sonya down!  The refs tell Charlotte to leave it at this, but she says she didn’t start this! And then Sonya SMACKS Charlotte with some kinda crate lid! The brawl continues, security rushes in now, but Sonya has a SLEEPER! Charlotte fights and throws Sonya OVER road cases! The refs say that’s enough now, but Sonya gets back up! She jumps off the case to CLOBBER Charlotte! Now Pearce rushes in here! The two are pulled apart again, is this how Sonya thinks she’s getting her rematch?

 

Cody Rhodes’ comeback story continues.

He vowed to do it for himself, for the fans, and for his father, Dusty Rhodes. But June 5, 2022, Hell in a Cell, even with a torn pectoral muscle, Cody refused to rob the fans of his match with Seth Rollins. “It was like oxygen, I needed to be in the ring that night.” And it is a moment that won’t soon be forgotten. Cody knows the questions were if it was safe. He admits he was so nauseous with pain that he almost vomited after hitting his Cody Cutter. And he admits, he was the car wreck you can’t look away from. In the end, Cody won that match, but he has not watched it back. He is proud of that moment, but he can’t watch it back because of how scary it really is.

The reception backstage was somber, because everyone knew he needed surgery. And four days later, here in Birmingham, Cody was worked on by Doctor Jeffrey Dugas. Cody’s wife, Brandi, knows there were nerves. Cody’s never had a major surgery like this, but Dr. Dugas found it was better than expected. They thought it was a muscular injury and not a tendon injury, and that’s better. The main thing is, it has to heal. He explained as much to Cody, and Cody says the questions started creeping in. How long until he could return? Would he return as good as he was? Is he willing to go down the road in front of him to get back to that level? The work begins now.

 

Kevin Owens VS Sami Zayn!

A storied rivalry that goes back decades before they ever came to the WWE writes another chapter that could top all the rest. The Prizefighter wants after the Tribal Chief and the Undisputed Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble, but the Honorary Uce vows to stop him before we ever even get there. Will Sami finally be a TRUE Uce after tonight? Or will the Master Strategist fail to solve the Kevin Owens Problem?

SmackDown returns and Kevin makes his entrance. Fans fire up as the two stare down. Kevin offers his frenemy a handshake? Fans chant ‘UCEY! UCEY!” but Sami kicks the hand away. Sami shoves Kevin, eggs him on, and the two circle. They tie up, Kevin headlocks, but Sami powers up and out. Kevin runs Sami over and fans are torn. Sami gets right up to SLAP Kevin! So Kevin TACKLES Sami and rains down fists! The fans fire up, Sami gets away to the outside, and Kevin lets off, only to go out the side. Kevin CLOBBER Sami! Fans fire up as Kevin asks Sami, “Are you feeling Ucey?!” Kevin CLUBS and CHOPS Sami, then puts him in the ring.

Sami stomps away on Kevin at the ropes, then stands on Kevin! The ref counts, Sami lets off and Kevin bails out. Sami builds speed to FLY! Direct hit and down goes Kevin! Fans fire up and Sami looms over Kevin. Sami holds up the finger, he is the one to handle Kevin. Sami drags Kevin up, whips him but Kevin breaks free. Kevin then whips Sami into the barriers! Kevin rains down fists, but the ring count is 5 of 10. Kevin drags Sami up, puts him in at 7, and then slides in, only for Sami to bail out again. Fans boo and Kevin is getting mad. But Sami hits Kevin in the ropes! And then suplexes, APRON BRAINBUSTER!! Fans lose their minds as SmackDown goes to break!

SmackDown returns again and Sami fires off hands on Kevin! Fans rally as Sami fires off in the corner with stomps! The ref counts and backs Sami down, but Sami storms back up to bump Kevin off buckles. Sami then hops up and leaps for a FLYING ELBOW! Cover, ONE!! Sami forces Kevin to another cover, ONE, and Kevin rains down fists on Sami! But Sami grabs at Kevin’s beard! Sami HEADBUTTS Kevin, but Kevin kicks back. Sami CHOKES Kevin on the ropes! The ref counts, but Sami kicks away on Kevin. Kevin hits back with body shots but Sami just stomps him down! Kevin eggs Sami on, so Sami unleashes even more stomps!

Sami lets off to catch his breath and focus himself. Kevin gets up to SLAP Sami back! Sami RAMS Kevin into a corner, and again, and again! The ref counts, Sami lets off, but then he HEADBUTTS Kevin again! Sami puts Kevin up top, fans rally and duel, but Kevin throws down fists! Sami ROCKS Kevin with haymakers from below! Sami then climbs up after Kevin, brings Kevin up, but Kevin resists the suplex! Kevin throws body shots, then he HEADBUTTS Sami down! Sami is in the drop zone and Kevin adjusts, FROG SPLASH! Cover, TWO!! Sami survives but Kevin isn’t even frustrated. Kevin and Sami slowly rise as fans rally again.

Kevin kicks Sami, Sami grits his teeth, so Kevin whips him. POP-UP- NO, Sami slips free to lift Kevin, BLUE THUNDER BOMB! Cover, TWO!! Kevin survives and Sami is snarling! Sami sits Kevin up, SLAPS him, but Kevin SLAPS back! They SLAP and SLAP and then throw fast hands! Fans fire up for the brawl! Kevin gets the edge, but Sami shoves Kevin away to BOOT, and then HALF ‘N’ HALF! But Kevin’s right up to LARIAT!! Both men are down, Green Bay is thunderous, and SmackDown goes to break!

SmackDown returns once again and Kevin has Sami in the drop zone again. Kevin climbs back up, fans fire back up, and Kevin SWANTONS onto knees! Cover, TWO!! Sami is beside himself as Kevin survives again! Sami drags Kevin to a corner and stands him up. Fans say “This is Awesome!” as Sami puts Kevin on the top rope. Kevin resists, throws body shots, but Sami goes to the very top rope! Kevin hooks the leg for the SUPER FISHERMAN BUSTER!! Both men are down and Green Bay is thunderous! Kevin crawls to the cover, TWO!!! Sami just gets that shoulder up! Sami and Kevin sit up, and Sami throws feeble punches.

Kevin sits Sami up to look him in the eyes as he shakes his head. Sami throws a haymaker, Kevin gives it back, and they just find new life in punching in each other! Kevin swings, into a HALF ‘N’ HALF! But he’s right back up! Only to swing into ANOTHER HALF ‘N’ HALF! Kevin rolls his way to a corner, and Sami goes to the opposite one! Sami aims, but wait! The Bloodline IS here!! The Usos jump Kevin!!

Winner: Kevin Owens, by disqualification

Fans boo as Jimmy & Jey stomp away on Kevin, and even Solo adds on! Sami is stunned! Did Heyman lie to him? But Kevin gets a ONE AND DONE from the Usos all the same!! Jey and Jimmy are hyped, they get Sami up and want him to top this off! Kevin crawls out of the ring but the Usos clear off the announce desk! The Usos want Sami to join in, but Sami asks them what’s going on. The Usos turn around, but Kevin BOOTS Jimmy, and whips Jey into the barriers! But then Kevin turns around into a SAMOAN SPIKE! And a SUPERKICK! Sami hurries over as the Usos and Solo mug Kevin more, another SAMOAN SPIKE!

Kevin ends up on the table, and the Usos say this is all for Sami! Sami says he was doing his job! The Tribal Chief let Sami handle Kevin and take care of business! But this is The Bloodline! Sami did good. The Usos hold up the fingers, and Sami joins in. They the ones, but fans boo. Solo stands on top of the barriers, to run and FLYING SOLO!! He crushes Kevin through the desk!! Kevin sputters and the Usos are hyped all over again! They want Sami to join in, and he stands with them over Kevin as they again hold up the fingers. They are the ones, but does that truly include Sami Zayn?


My Thoughts:

A great SmackDown here, and it’s been a second since an episode’s only had four matches. They gave us a great blend of action and promos, though I will say Nox VS Xia needed to be just a couple minutes longer. I suppose this could be the start of a feud, and there’s plenty they can do in the Rumble. And I have a feeling Charlotte ends up defending her title at the Rumble after that pretty good brawl with Sonya. I really thought Ronda was going to come back around, but maybe she will go after Charlotte after that title match to tease a Mania match. It really depends on who wins the Women’s Rumble, which I still feel could be Rhea Ripley so she can go after the Raw Women’s title.

We got a good promo from Emma, Maxxine, Liv & Raquel, and a great match out of that to build both women towards the Rumble. Raquel winning makes sense as this was a straight up 1v1 match, but Liv’s character is showing consistency in wanting to just go all out with a table spot. I’m sure both will have strong showings in the Rumble, and then we can explore possibilities on the Road to WrestleMania. Because Damage CTRL is so tied up in Bayley’s story with Becky Lynch, the Women’s Tag titles have cooled off, but I would really hope the plan is a Triple Threat: Champions VS a Raw team VS a SmackDown team.

And speaking of tag teams, we got a really good promo out of Sheamus, McIntyre and Pearce to set up a match between Celtic Connection VS Viking Raiders that also fits into a SmackDown Tag Team Championship story. They’re clearly doing all they can to split the Undisputed Tag titles, so while Usos have Judgment Day from Raw, I can’t wait to see who comes out of the SmackDown side. But with McIntyre & Sheamus facing Erik & Ivar right away, the winner of that is definitely the one winning the entire thing, and I sadly don’t see Sheamus & McIntyre making it there after already having plenty of matches with the Usos.

Sheamus should really go after the Intercontinental Championship again. He needs to get that Grand Slam. Though at this point, he’d be facing Gunther again. Gunther had an awesome match with Braun tonight, even with the involvement of Imperium. Gunther is definitely going to bring that title to WrestleMania, but the possibilities are pretty open for who he’ll face. We got a good promo from Rey and a good promo from Kross that turned into a good brawl. They’re going to have their match before the Rumble, but you can bet they’ll meet in the Rumble, too. And after Kross has been standing tall, egging Rey on, I would think Rey finds a way to win.

Great promo from Bray Wyatt to establish he’s back to being the old Bray, but he didn’t really establish the rules of a Pitch Black match. I still think this is going to be main roster’s equivalent of the Lights Out/World of Darkness match. But while he claims to be Uncle Howdy, too, I have a feeling who we’ve been seeing as Uncle Howdy is going to show up. And of course, great stuff out of The Bloodline. Sami isn’t on the Island of Relevancy, he’s on the Island of Backstabbers and Gaslighters. Heyman tells him the Usos & Solo won’t show up but then they do, so clearly, Roman never really believed Sami could do it alone.

The irony is that Sami was going to do it on his own, but they ruined it just to beat Kevin down. Sami is therefore logically torn, as he doesn’t want to go against The Bloodline, but he thought this was his moment to shine and they took that from him. Something has got to give, and it might even happen during Roman VS Kevin at the Rumble. And then, we’re easily on the Road to WrestleMania with some kind of Sami-Kevin team-up against the Usos for whatever belts they have after the Rumble. For that matter, is Pearce going to make the Usos defend both sets of belts on one night? That’d be an awesome way to stick it to them!

My Score: 8.6/10


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AEW Coverage

Mitchell’s AEW Dynamite Results & Report! (5/22/24)

Roll the dice!

Published

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It’s a risky gamble before Double or Nothing!

Double or Nothing is on Sunday, so Dynamite sets the table! Will AEW World Champion Swerve Strickland use Nick Wayne to send a message to Christian Cage?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Bryan Danielson VS Satnam Singh w/ Sonjay Dutt; wins.
  • FTW Championship #1 Contender’s Triple Threat: Hook VS Katsuyori Shibata VS Bryan Keith; wins and will challenge Chris Jericho for the title at Double or Nothing.
  • Konosuke Takeshita VS Matt Sydal; wins.
  • Will Ospreay & Orange Cassidy VS Trent Beretta & Roderick Strong w/ The Undisputed Kingdom; win.
  • Malakai Black VS Kyle O’Reilly; wins.
  • Toin Storm & Mariah May w/ Luther VS The Outcasts; win.
  • Swerve Strickland VS Nick Wayne; wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

[Due to scheduling conflicts, coverage will be on delay]


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Coverage

Mitchell’s NJPW Best of the Super Juniors Results & Report! (5/21/24)

A Block, Round 6!

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Former friends turned bitter enemies meet once again.

Best of the Super Juniors continues into Round 6, and A Block has a grudge match on its hands as El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru face off! Will the Rogue Luchador humble the Heel Master?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Hiromu Takahashi & Yota Tsuji VS Shoma Kato & Katsuya Murashima; Hiromu & Yota win.
  • DOUKI & Taka Michinoku VS SHO & Yujiro Takahashi; Sho & Yujiro win.
  • Six Man Tag: KUSHIDA, Ninja Mack & Dragon Dia VS Drilla Moloney, Taiji Ishimori & Gedo; Kushida, Mack & Dia win.
  • Best of the Super Juniors A Block: TJP VS Kosei Fujita; TJP wins.
  • Best of the Super Juniors A Block: BUSHI VS Clark Connors; Connors wins.
  • Best of the Super Juniors A Block: Blake Christian VS HAYATA; Hayata wins.
  • Best of the Super Juniors A Block: Kevin Knight VS Titan; Titan wins.
  • Best of the Super Juniors A Block: El Desperado VS Yoshinobu Kanemaru; Desperado wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Here are the current A Block standings!

Blake Christian: 4-1, 8 points
El Desperado: 3-2, 6 points
Clark Connors: 3-2, 6 points
Titan: 3-2, 6 points
Kevin Knight: 3-2, 6 points
HAYATA: 2-3, 4 points
Yoshinobu Kanemaru: 2-3, 4 points
BUSHI: 2-3, 4 points
Kosei Fujita: 2-3, 4 points
TJP: 1-4, 2 points

 

Best of the Super Juniors A Block: TJP VS Kosei Fujita w/ Robbie Eagles!

It’s make or break for the Public Enemy! He must win to stay alive in the block, but he’s up against an equally determined Young Punk! Will TJP cling to hope in the tournament? Or will Fujita kick him out of the hot seat and out of the running?

The bell rings and the fans rally up. TJP and Fujita circle, tie up, and TJP waistlocks. TJP brings Fujita down and facelocks but Fujita slips out to facelock TJP. TJP trips Fujita to cover, ONE! TJP facelocks again, Fujita puts him on ropes, and the ref calls for the break. Fujita lets off with a hard pat on the shoulder. TJP gets in Fujita’s face, but the two reset and circle again. They tie up, Fujita headlocks and hits the takeover. TJP powers up to bridge, and he spins Fujita for a headlock and takeover. Fujita headscissors but TJP headstands. The fans cheer, TJP pops free, and he pats Fujita on the knee. The fans applaud as the two reset.

Fujita and TJP circle, tie up, and TJP wrenches to hammerlock. Fujita reaches back and jumps to flying mare free! Fujita bumps TJP, runs, but TJP drops and handsprings. TJP sets up but Fujita hurdles then shoves TJP to ropes. TJP stops himself to wrench and hammerlock Fujita, then spins and trips Fujita for a toehold. Fujita turns over, reels TJP in but TJP uses that to get the BOW ‘N’ ARROW! Fujita pops free to a cover, ONE! TJP sweeps to a cover, ONE! Fujita headscissors to get the ARMBAR! TJP fights up, works to stack Fujita, and then he gets the leg for a FIGURE FOUR CRAB! Not quite Sharpshooter or Cloverleaf but Fujita suffers all the same!

The fans rally and Fujita fights his way over. Fujita reaches out to the ROPEBREAK! TJP lets go and the fans applaud. TJP drags Fujita up, UPPERCUTS him against ropes, then whips. Fujita reverses but TJP anticipates the drop down to trap the one arm and get the other, DARK SACRIFICE! Fujita writhes, TJP drags him up to hammerlock the bad arm. TJP RAMS Fujita into the corner, sits him down, and he scrubs Fujita’s face! The fans rally up, TJP runs side to side, BOOT WASH! The fans cheer and TJP covers, TWO! Fujita is still in this but TJP drags him from the corner. TJP ties the legs up again, but now it’s a figure four and butterfly stretch combo!

Fujita endures while his head and legs are trapped, but then TJP shifts to twist an arm! Fujita endures, TJP knuckle locks for a cover, TWO! TJP pushes the arms back down, cover, TWO as Fujita bridges! TJP hops on but Fujita uses that to MONKEY FLIP! Fujita rolls back but TJP MONKEY FLIPS in return! TJP rolls back, but into body scissors and a KIMURA! TJP powers his way forward through the leg guard, to get a BOSTON CRAB! Then TJP reaches back to get Fujita’s arms! REVERSE MEXICAN SURFBOARD! Then TJP drops into the toehold, but Fujita scrambles to the ROPEBREAK! TJP lets go and the fans applaud.

TJP stalks Fujita, drags him up, but Fujita fires a forearm. There’s not much to it and TJP pie faces Fujita. Fujita fires another forearm, so TJP UPPERCUTS! TJP whips, Fujita reverses and GAMANGIRIS! Both men are down and the fans fire up! The fans rally and Fujita fires up. Fujita storms up on TJP, but TJP blocks the whip! Fujita still tries, TJP still blocks, so Fujita CHOPS! Fujita whips corner to corner, runs in, but TJP puts him on the apron. TJP swings, Fujita counter punches! Fujita springboards to MISSILE DROPKICK! Cover, TWO! But Fujita sits TJP up and runs to PENALTY KICK! Cover, TWO!

The fans fire up and Fujita shakes out the bad arm. Fujita waistlocks TJP and deadlifts, but TJP fights the rest! TJP pries the hold open but Fujita kicks the clothesline! TJP still catches Fujita to a FINAL CUT! TJP hurries up top now and MAMBA SPLASH! Cover, TWO!! Fujita survives and the fans fire up! TJP catches his breath, drags Fujita up, reels him in, for the HALF HATCH! One Kaibigan! TJP drags Fujita up again, Duwa Kaibigan! TJP drags Fujita up again, but Fujita blocks the third! TJP KNEES Fujita for it, CLUBS him for it, then brings him up again, but Fujita gets around to GERMAN SUPLEX!

Fujita holds on as he brings TJP up, another GERMAN SUPLEX! The fans rally as Fujita GERMAN- NO, TJP fights that with elbows! No hattrick for either man, and TJP runs, but into a waistlock! TJP headlocks free, then gets around to IRON OCTOPUS! Fujita endures, stomps his way forward, and he has the ROPEBREAK! TJP lets go in frustration, and he brings Fujita back around. The fans rally as TJP wrenches, to an ELBOW BREAKER! TJP wrenches again, but Fujita clamps on a SLEEPER! TJP reaches out, slips around, and powers out of the hold, to then SUPERKICK! Fujita staggers but he SUPERKICKS back!

Fujita kicks, but TJP blocks and slips around, LEG CAPTURE SUPLEX! The fans fire up and clap along as TJP pounds the mat. “T! J P! T! J P!” aims from the corner, throws up the crowns, and runs, into a pop-up waistlock! HIGH ANGLE GERMAN! Bridging cover, TWO!! Fujita roars and the fans are thunderous! Fujita storms around, drags TJP up and brings him in, but TJP knees free of the suplex! Inside cradle, TWO! Fujita runs up, trips TJP, rolls and hooks the legs! TJP fights off the Cross Stretch as Fujita wants arms. TJP fights up, arm-drags free, but Fujita drags him into a somersault clutch! TWO, and TJP steps over, PINOY STRETCH!!

The fans fire up as Fujita endures, but TJP thrashes him around! Fujita taps, TJP wins!

Winner: TJP, by submission (gains 2 points; Fujita earns 0)

The Public Enemy stays alive another round! And now with this win, he’s dragged Fujita into the hot seat! The Mighty Don’t Kneel, but will they still miss out on the semifinals? Will TJP make for the biggest comeback story in BOSJ history?

 

Best of the Super Juniors A Block: BUSHI VS Clark Connors!

Black Mask is dangling on the edge while 100 Proof is gearing up for a run at the top! Can Bushi drag Connors down with him? Or will defeat be a hard pill to swallow with No Chaser?

The bell rings and the two rush in! Bushi fires off forearms then runs, but Connors knees low! Connors barks, runs, but Bushi dumps him out! Bushi builds speed, Connors returns, but Bushi fakes out the powerslam! Bushi kicks, whips but Connors reverses, to JEEP FLIPPER! The fans fire up and Connors stalks Bushi to a corner. Connors RIPS Bushi’s shirt away, then CHOKES him with what’s left! The ref counts, Connors lets off, and Connors stands Bushi up to THROW him out. Connors storms out after Bushi, stomps him, then drags him up. Connors brings Bushi around to GRIND his face on the railing!

Connors offers the torn shirt to fans, but then throws it down the ramp! Connors drags Bushi back up, UPPERCUTS him, then brings him around to POST! Bushi falls, the fans rally, but Connors talks trash. Connors goes to the back of the crowd to snatch a fan’s LIJ baseball cap and put it on. Connors wants the ring count, then sits Bushi up to go after the mask! The fans boo but the count is still going! Connors is doing what he did to Titan! Connors stomps Bushi, attacks a Young Lion, then SLAMS the Young Lion onto Bushi! The count is 15 as Connors leaves Bushi behind! Bushi flounders, rises up, and slides in at 19!

The fans cheer as Bushi is safe, but Connors paces. Connors struts up to JUMP ELBOW DROP! Cover, TWO! The fans applaud while Connors gets annoyed. Connors tells fans to shut up, but that only makes them rally harder. Bushi stands to chop, but he can’t put much behind it. Connors throws Bushi down by the mask! Connors clamps on with a chinlock and he grinds Bushi down. Bushi endures, fights around, reaches out, ROPEBREAK! The ref counts, Connors lets off and fans applaud. Connors drags Bushi up, whips him to a corner, then he mocks the fans cheering on Bushi. Connors says they shouldn’t even laugh at him.

Connors runs up but Bushi BOOTS him! Bushi RANAS Connors out of the ring! The fans fire up while Connors flounders back to the apron. Bushi runs up to BLAST Connors, then Bushi builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit and down goes Connors! The fans fire up again while both men stir. Bushi fires up, puts Connors in, then runs in to ELBOW Connors! Bushi puts the bad leg in ropes to DROPKICK it! Then he DRAPING BACKSTABBERS! Bushi stands Connors up, blocks his haymaker, and spins him around. But Connors fights the DDT! Connors wrenches out, Bushi dodges and dropkicks Connors’ leg!

Bushi goes for the legs, but Connors SLAPS him first! Bushi staggers, comes back, but into the SNAP POWERSLAM! The fans fire up while both men are down again. Connors aims from a corner, barks and runs in, but Bushi dropkicks the legs out! Bushi turns Connors over to SMASH the knee! Then the FABLE! Connors endures the leglock but Bushi pulls on the knee! Connors grits his teeth, crawls over, reaches out, but Bushi pulls on the knee more! The fans rally, Connors fights his way over, ROPEBREAK! Bushi lets go in frustration while the fans applaud. Bushi gets Connors up but Connors fights the lift with elbows!

Bushi runs up but Connors ELBOWS him again. Connors snarls, runs, but Bushi DROPKICKS! Connors staggers around while Bushi goes to a corner. Bushi runs up, but into a SPEAR!! Cover, TWO!! Bushi survives and the fans fire up again! Connors snarls, he stalks Bushi and drags him up. Connors serves it up, but Bushi fights No Chaser! Bushi wrenches to backslide, but Connors rolls through to JUNKYARD DOG HEADBUTT! Connors then drags Bushi up and in, for NO CHASER!! Cover, Connors wins!

Winner: Clark Connors, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Bushi earns 0)

100 Proof sweeps LIJ in his block, but then he wants after the mask again! The Young Lions rush in and stop him, so Connors backs off. Connors then takes a fan’s Bushi mask to show it off like a trophy. But will Connors take THE trophy and be the Best of the Super Juniors?

 

Best of the Super Juniors A Block: Blake Christian VS HAYATA!

All Heat finally hit a speedbump in this tournament with last round’s loss while the Silence of Darkness let TJP slip past him. Will the GCW Champion or GHC National Champion establish brand superiority on the way to the top of NJPW?

The bell rings, the two circle and the fans rally. They feel things out, tie up, and Hayata wrenches to a wristlock. Blake rolls, cartwheels, slips through and wrenches to a wristlock. Blake bends Hayata’s fingers to make him flip everyone off. The ref reprimands, Blake sticks to the wristlock, but Hayata rolls and trips him. Hayata drops an elbow on the knee, then pulls on the toehold. Blake pulls on Hayata’s hair but the ref reprimands. Blake uses his legs to turn Hayata to a cover, TWO! The two stand off the fans applaud. Blake and Hayata circle, feel things out, and knuckle lock. Blake rolls, wrangles Hayata but Hayata headscissors!

Blake moves around, pops free, and floats onto a headlock. Hayata powers up and pries free to top wristlock. Blake bridges, kips up, and he wrangles Hayata. Hayata headscissors again but Blake has the ROPEBREAK! The fans cheer and Hayata lets off. The two reset again, knuckle lock, then Hayata trips Blak. Things speed up, Hayata handsprings then sidesteps to atomic drop. Hayata runs to SHOTGUN BOOT! Hayata kips up, the fans cheer, and Hayata runs in at the corner. Hayata blocks Blake’s boot, but Blake pokes him in the eye! Blake then somersaults to PELE the bad arm! Blake reels Hayata in for a BACKBREAKER!

Hayata bails out, fans rally up, and Blake builds speed to FOSBURY FLOP! Direct hit and the fans fire up! Blake walks it off and then mocks their applause. Blake flips everyone off, then goes back to Hayata. Blake drags Hayata around to then stand on the arm, and he drops a knee on it! Blake then stands Hayata up against a post, to slide in and pull him back against it! The ref counts, Blake lets go, and he brings Hayata onto the apron. Blake stands Hayata up but Hayata CLAWS Blake’s eyes! Hayata reels Blake in but Blake fights the facelock to WRING the arm into the apron! Hayata writhes and Blake pushes him into the ring.

Blake stands on Hayata’s hair while pulling the arms! The ref reprimands, but Blake drops a knee on the bad elbow! Hayata sits up, Blake clamps onto him with a keylock! Blake then falls back to JAM up the arm! Hayata clutches the elbow but Blake brings him up. Blake wrenches and UPPERCUTS the bad arm, then hits an ELBOW BREAKER! And then an ARMBAR DDT! Blake mocks the applause, flips the fans off, then covers, TWO! Blake is annoyed but he drags Hayata up to suplex. Hayata slips free and DROPKICKS Blake to ropes! The fans fire up, Hayata runs in, but Blake dumps him out! Blake then somersaults to triangle jump DROPKICK!

Hayata falls to the floor, Blake aims and PLANCHAS, but Hayata moves! Blake lands on his feet but that jams up his knee! Hayata puts Blake in, reels him in to lift, for a SITOUT KNEE BUSTER!! Blake writhes, Hayata ties up the legs and has a Deathlock! Blake endures, reaches out, and backstrokes to the ROPEBREAK! The fans cheer, Hayata lets go, and Blake crawls to the near side. Hayata whips but Blake holds ropes to stop that! Blake ROUNDHOUSES, then BOOTS! Then somersaults, to ARMBAR DDT! And then wrench to DOUBLE KNEE DROP the arm! BASEMENT ENZIGIRI! Cover, TWO! Hayata is still in this and the fans rally.

Blake grabs Hayata’s bad arm, drags him up to UPPERCUT the arm, then he grinds the shoulder. Hayata pulls hair, throws forearms, but Blake knees low. Blake hobbles, but he still whips. Hayata reverses to ENZIGIRI Blake down! The fans rally up while both men go to corners. Hayata runs in to DROPKICK Blake down! The fans fire up again as Hayata climbs. SECOND ROPE SAULT! Cover, TWO! Blake is still in this but Hayata keeps cool. The fans rally, Hayata runs in, but Blake dodges. Blake comes back to BOOT! Blake goes out and springboards, to DOUBLE STOMP the bad arm! Blake hurries to ripcord and SPANISH FLY! Cover, TWO!!

The fans fire up as Hayata hangs in there and Blake grows frustrated! Blake goes to the apron, the fans rally up, and Blake slashes his throat. 450 SPLASH but Hayata moves! Blake lands out but that jams his leg! CRADLE, TWO!! Hayata and Blake stand, Blake gets around to sunset flip, then Oklahoma Roll! TWO, ghost pin! HAYATA WINS!!

Winner: Hayata, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Blake earns 0)

The GHC National Champion inches out the GCW Champion in quite the thriller! However, Blake is still leading this block, will he heat things back up soon enough? Will Hayata be able to make a run at the top here in the latter half?

 

Best of the Super Juniors A Block: Kevin Knight VS Titan!

The Jet was grounded by the Heel Master while El Inmortal was mocked by 100 Proof. Both men are just on the outside of those top spots, will Knight take flight again? Or will Titan keep his semifinal hopes alive?

The bell rings and the fans rally up. The two approach, circle, then tie up. They break, tie up again, then break. Titan trips Knight, things speed up, and Titan cartwheels. Knight hurdles, Titan leaps, and then Knight sidesteps. Titan avoids the dropkick but Knight lands on his feet! Knight runs up, Titan puts him on the apron, but Knight ducks the lariat to throw Titan down! Titan kips up to PELE! The fans fire up as Knight staggers back and Titan builds speed. But Knight gets up to springboard and FLYING LARIAT! Now Titan bails out and Knight builds speed, only for Titan to get away. Knight slides out then goes up the corner to PLANCHA! Direct hit!

The fans fire up and Knight flexes! Knight high-fives Abe-san, then he drags Titan up and into the ring. The fans rally, Knight storms up on Titan and brings him around. Knight scoops to SLAM Titan to a drop zone, then he JET SPLASHES! Cover, TWO! Knight checks the count, it was fair, so he lets it slide. Knight wrenches, whips, and catches Titan to a COBRA TWIST! Knight says he’s very, very, very strong! The fans cheer but Titan fights the hold. Titan hip tosses, Knight flips through! Titan dodges Knight to SUPERKICK! Knight SUPERKICKS back! Knight runs, but Titan goes Matrix to dodge, and then CALF KICK!

Titan whips, Knight reverses and DROPKICKS! The fans fire up while both men are down! Titan flops out of the ring, Knight aims and PLANCHAS, but lands out as Titan moves! Titan builds speed and DIVES! Direct hit and the fans fire up with both men down at their feet! Titan rises, he brings Knight up and in, and then goes to a corner. The fans rally as Titan climbs. Knight gets under the leap, Titan comes back, into a SKY 2 HIGH! Both men are down again and the fans rally up. Titan and Knight rise, and Knight eggs Titan on. Titan sits up, Knight fires a forearm! Titan grits his teeth and forearms back!

Knight CHPOS and the fans cheer! Titan CHPOS and the fans cheer! Knight CHOPS, Titan CHOPS, they stand and throw forearms and CHOPS on repeat! The fans fire up as they pick up speed! Knight ROCKS Titan, but Titan SOBATS! Titan powers up and runs, but Knight LARIATS at the ropes! Knight fires up, whips, but Titan reverses to TORNADO- NO! Knight stops the DDT and suplexes, but Titan rolls it around! Titan suplexes, Knight slips free to waistlock. Titan switches, shoves, runs up and TORNADO- NO! Knight blocks again, and now he carries Titan to pop him up and HEAVY RAIN! Cover, TWO!!

The fans fire up as Titan survives and we only now hit five minutes! Knight waits on Titan as he takes aim. Titan rises as the fans rally, and Knight runs up! SATELLITE- NO, Titan back drops Knight away! The fans rally again as both men go to corners. Knight runs bac up but into a BOOT! SOBAT! KICK! PALM STRIKES! WHEEL KICK! Now Titan wants Knight to rise! The fans rally as Titan throws off the armband and goes corner to corner! But Knight leaps over! And then PELES back! Knight roars, the fans fire up again, and Knight gets Titan up! Knight puts Titan up top, for the UPPER ROOM! Cover, TWO! Titan is still in this and the fans fire up!

Knight storms up on Titan, roars again, and hauls Titan up. Knight fireman’s carries, but Titan fights free! Titan shoves, follows, TORNADO DDT! Titan holds on and brings Knight up, for a GOURD BUSTER! Then SUPERKICK! Knight flops over and Titan goes to the corner. Titan skins the cat to the top, then DIVING DOUBLE STOMPS!! Cover, TWO!! Knight survives, but Titan has the legs! Titan turns Knight over in the deathlock, then JAVE INMORTAL!! Straitjacket on top for good measure! Knight is caught, he QUITS! Titan wins!!

Winner: Titan, by submission (gains 2 points; Knight earns 0)

El Inmortal’s hopes of being a semifinalist still live as he grounds The Jet’s flight! Will Titan reach the same heights as he did last year? Can Knight still course correct with just three rounds left?

 

Best of the Super Juniors A Block: El Desperado VS Yoshinobu Kanemaru!

While The Rogue Luchador vowed to finally win the big one just the other night, this one is personal! Desperado knows all The Heel Master’s tricks, but will that help him here in the sixth? Or will the House of Torture’s stacked deck be too much even for the Best of the Super Juniors?

The bell rings and the fans rally as the two circle. They tie up, Despe powers Kanemaru back, and Red Shoes counts. Despe lets off cleanly and the fans applaud. Kanemaru and Despe reset, tie up, and now Kanemaru puts Despe on ropes. But then Kanemaru kicks the leg! Kanemaru whips, but Despe jumps over the low dropkick! Despe kicks and whips, Kanemaru reverses, but again Despe jumps the low dropkick! The fans cheer as the two stand off and reset. They tie up, Despe blocks the kick! Despe rolls Kanemaru, but then DDTS a leg! The fans cheer, Despe grabs that leg and drops an elbow on the knee.

Despe has the leg in a toehold, Kanemaru pulls at the mask but Despe pulls on the leg! Kanemaru endures as Despe keeps the leg trapped, then Despe lets go to SPLASH the leg! Cover, ONE! The fans cheer and Kanemaru clutches the knee. Despe shakes out his arms and goes back for Kanemaru. Despe drags Kanemaru up but Kanemaru throws body shots. Despe kicks and whips but Kanemaru reveres to hammerlock and scoop SLAM! Despe clutches his elbow but Kanemaru drags him up. Kanemaru wrenches and YANKS the arm, hammerlocks it and scoop SLAMS again! Despe writhes and bails out. Red Shoes checks on Despe, allowing Kanemaru to untie the buckle pad!

The Bullet Club Special is in play and Kanemaru storms out after Despe. Kanemaru drags Despe up, wrenches, and then hammerlocks the arm to POST it! Despe falls and crawls away but Kanemaru catches up to him. Kanemaru SLAMS the bad arm on the floor, then SLAMS it again! Despe writhes, the ring count starts, and Kanemaru leaves Despe behind. The count reaches 8 of 20, Despe stands at 11. Despe leans on the corner, slides in at 15, but Kanemaru stomps him down! Kanemaru YANKS on the arm again and again, then snapmares Despe so he can WRING the arm! Despe writhes but the fans rally up.

Kanemaru grabs the bad arm and he pulls off Despe’s elbow pad! Kanemaru stomps the bad arm, digs his heel into it, then clamps on for a top wristlock. Despe endures, the fans rally, and Despe throws punches into Kanemaru’s back. Kanemaru sits up to put on the pressure, but Despe throws body shots. Kanemaru knees low, whips, then hip tosses! Kanemaru drops a leg on the arm, then clamps on a scissor! Kanemaru pushes up to put on the pressure! Despe kicks and flails while he endures, and the fans rally. Despe fights his way over to the ROPEBREAK! Kanemaru lets go slowly, and kneels on the arm!

Kanemaru plays dumb but Red Shoes points out what he’s doing. Despe throws more body shots until Kanemaru finally steps away. Kanemaru then brings Despe up, hooks the arm, but Despe fights the hip toss. Kanemaru throws a body shot, then hip tosses, into a short arm scissors! Despe endures, reaches out, and the fans rally. Despe clubs at Kanemaru’s leg but Kanemaru pulls on the hold! Despe still fights around, reaches out, and finds the ROPEBREAK! Kanemaru lets go in frustration and Despe scrambles away. Kanemaru stalks Despe, stomps him, then drops a knee on the elbow! Despe writhes but Kanemaru drops another knee, and another knee, and another knee!

Kanemaru pulls on the arm, CLAWS at Despe’s eyes, then brings Despe around to hammerlock the arm. Kanemaru RAMS Despe into the bare buckles! Red Shoes reprimands then checks on Despe. Kanemaru paces but Despe goes to the apron. Kanemaru stands on Despe’s bad arm but Red Shoes counts. Kanemaru stomps Despe as he lets off, and fans still rally. Kanemaru drags Despe up to YANK the bad arm! And YANK it again! Kanemaru whips but Despe fights the hip toss again. Kanemaru CLAWS the eyes and then kicks low. Kanemaru runs, but Despe dropkicks Kanemaru’s legs out! Now things are even as the fans fire up!

The fans rally as Despe and Kanemaru go to corners. Despe stands, shakes out the bad arm, then runs corner to corner. He blocks a boot to dropkick the bad leg! Then Despe grabs the bad leg to DRAGON SCREW! Kanemaru falls over and the fans rally up again. Despe drags Kanemaru by a leg, then drops a leg on the knee! Despe ties Kanemaru’s legs up in the INDIAN DEATHLOCK! Kanemaru CLUBS at Despe’s arm but Despe eggs him on! Kanemaru throws more and more heavy hands and Despe “falls” to put pressure on the leglock! Kanemaru shouts in pain, reaches out, crawls, but Despe shifts to make it a CALF KILLER!

Kanemaru still endures, still fights forward, and still gets the ROPEBREAK! The fans applaud, Red Shoes calls the break and Despe lets go. “Oops!” and he drops knees on the knee. The fans rally up while Kanemaru writhes. Despe drags Kanemaru around, stomps the bad leg, but Kanemaru avoids the elbow drop! Despe shakes out the arms, Kanemaru goes to a corner. Despe runs up, but into a BOOT! Kanemaru runs up, tilt-o-whirls, but Despe fights the DDT! So Kanemaru makes it a KIMURA! Kanemaru drags Despe down and cranks the bad arm! Despe fights his way over, ROPEBREAK! Kanemaru holds until Red Shoes counts!

Kanemaru drags Despe by his bad arm, then reels him in to scoop and BRITISH- NO, Despe slips around to RUSSIAN LEG SWEEP! Both men are down and the fans fire up again! Despe rolls away to ropes, Kanemaru rolls to pursue. The fans rally, Despe rolls back to center to get away from Kanemaru. Despe stands, fires himself up, and then runs in at Kanemaru. But Kanemaru dodges! Despe stops from hitting buckles, but Kanemaru RAMS him into them! And then whips him back into them! Despe falls, Kanemaru runs up and kitchen sink knees! Kanemaru drags Despe up, whips, and kitchen sink knees again!

Kanemaru goes up a corner and MOONSAULTS! Cover, TWO! But then the KIMURA returns!! Despe endures and the fans rally up! Kanemaru cranks on the double wristlock but Despe still fights around! Despe stands, but Kanemaru drags him back down! KIMURA!! Despe endures, kicks and flails, reaches and finds the ROPEBREAK! Kanemaru lets go in frustration but he then goes up a corner. Despe rises, turns around, into DEEP IMPACT!! Cover, TWO!! Despe survives and the fans fire up again! Kanemaru drags Despe up, but Despe fights the suplex! Despe throws body shots, but Kanemaru still tries! Despe turns that around to suplex Kanemaru!

The fans fire up again while both men are down at the 15 minute mark. The fans rally, Despe huffs and puffs and storms over to Kanemaru. Despe drags Kanemaru up, reels him in, but Kanemaru grabs Red Shoes! Despe BOOTS Kanemaru’s arm! Then Despe reels Kanemaru in, but Kanemaru SHOVES Despe into Red Shoes! The fans boo but Kanemaru whips Despe into the bare buckles! Despe writhes, Red Shoes is also down, and Kanemaru of course grabs his bottle of whiskey. Kanemaru takes a swig, goes back for Despe, but Despe smothers him! Kanemaru pushes Despe back, but Despe ROCKS him and sends the whiskey mist flying!

Despe drags Kanemaru up, reels him in, PINCHE- NO, Kanemaru fights that, and jackknife bridges! TWO!!! The fans fire up, Kanemaru BOOTS, then he ducks to BOOT again! And again! And- SPINEBUSTER! Despe flips Kanemaru up to PINCHE LOCO!! Cover, Despe wins!

Winner: El Desperado, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Kanemaru earns 0)

Another main event and another big win for The Rogue Luchador! The Heel Master almost did this clean and almost won because of it, will he realize where he’s going wrong?

As for Desperado, he gets an icepack and a mic to say, “I knew it! As tough as ever! Damn. I’m glad I won.” The fans cheer that. Despe continues by saying, “For each outing, more is needed. Every time I face him, I level up. This was a league match, but that was the level of a final. I’ll keep going, and I promise to make you guys glad you bought a ticket.” The fans also cheer that. Despe says that this is the Osaka-Jo Hall main event we’re talking about! He keeps saying he doesn’t care, but now it’s right in front of him! It’d be a big disappointment if he doesn’t make it, right? There’ll be a lot of guys in both blocks “gutted” they won’t make it. “But for me, I’ll be taking it.”

The fans cheer as The Rogue Luchador is ready to be the Best of the Super Juniors! Just three more rounds to go, will he make it?

 

Here are the NEW A Block standings!

El Desperado: 4-2, 8 points
Blake Christian: 4-2, 8 points
Clark Connors: 4-2, 8 points
Titan: 4-2, 8 points
Kevin Knight: 3-3, 6 points
HAYATA: 3-3, 6 points
Yoshinobu Kanemaru: 2-4, 4 points
BUSHI: 2-4, 4 points
TJP: 2-4, 4 points
Kosei Fujita: 2-4, 4 points


My Thoughts:

A great round for A Block here, and they played up the drama right away with TJP getting that win over Fujita. I can’t really say TJP makes that big comeback to get a spot in the semifinals, because as soon as someone who already beat him gets 5+ wins, they cross him off mathematically. I really like that we’ve got four 4-2 records, those guys are all going strong. Connors has that win over Titan, though, so Titan only gets ahead if Connors falls off in the final three rounds. Blake meanwhile is starting to cool off, and with his loss to Desperado, Blake will need Connors to take Desperado out tomorrow to help him get back up.

And word came in from NJPW today that sadly, Francesco Akira’s knee injury will NOT be okay in time for the next round, or for any of the rounds so he must now forfeit points. As I pointed out last time, the ones who benefit are Hiromu, Douki, Eagles & Sho. Sho gets to six points, the others are at 8 with Kushida, essentially getting B Block to the same situation as A Block. Kushida already beat Hiromu and Sho, so he’d have to fall off pretty bad for either of them to get his spot in the semifinals. Douki is going to face Sho tomorrow, and is still to face Kushida, so Douki could take that spot for himself while taking out Hiromu in the process.

My Score: 9/10


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