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Mitchell’s NJPW New Japan Cup Results & Report! (3/17/23)

The quarterfinals begin!



New Japan Cup 2023

Los Ingobernables de Japon must battle Los Ingobernables de Japon!

In order to continue on in the New Japan Cup, Tetsuya Naito and Sanada must battle each other! Who will be the more tranquilo in Tokyo?


  • Zack Sabre Jr. & Kosei Fujita VS SHO & Yujiro Takahashi; Sho & Yujiro win.
  • 8 Man Tag: Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma, Ryusuke Taguchi & Oskar Leube VS The United Empire; The United Empire wins.
  • Six Man Tag: Tama Tonga, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima VS Chaos; Chaos wins.
  • Six Man Tag: Chaos VS Los Ingobernables de Japon; Chaos wins.
  • 8 Man Tag: Shota Umino & Team Strong Style VS Bullet Club; Shota & Team Strong Style win.
  • New Japan Cup 2023, Quarterfinals: Mark Davis VS EVIL; Davis wins and advances.
  • New Japan Cup 2023, Quarterfinals: Tetsuya Naito VS SANADA; Sanada wins and advances.


New Japan Cup 2023, Quarterfinals: Mark Davis w/ The United Empire VS EVIL w/ The House of Torture!

In a strange twist, Will Ospreay won only to go down with a bad shoulder. Dunkzilla is restored to the tournament and looks to avenge Jeff Cobb, will the United Empire conquer the Cup after all? Or will the King of Darkness cheat Davis like he did the Imperial Unit?

Evil gets on the mic to talk trash on Davis, “You are EFFING LOSER!” But then Davis DIVES out onto Evil and into the railing! Fans fire up with Davis and the bell rings to get this on record! Davis puts Evil on the apron, CLUBS him, KNEES him, CLUBS him and KNEES him again, and again! Sho protests, but the fans rally with the Empire. Davis runs in to KNEE LIFT Evil back into the ring! Davis gets on the apron, Dick anchors him, and Evil DECKS him! Fans boo, the Empire gets mad and they talk trash with the House. Fans fire up, and the brawl is on! And the Empire has the numbers! Evil throws Davis out of the ring, and he gets chairs!

Evil JAMS Davis, SMACKS him on the back, and fans boo more! The Young Lions and the ref put a stop to all the brawling, but Evil digs the chair into Davis’ neck! Fans boo more but Evil chokes Davis for a good long time before he has to put the chair away. The House of Torture and Empire are ejected from ringside, but Evil still unties the blue buckle pad all on his own. Evil then goes back for Davis, and whips him into railing! Fans continue to boo but Evil brings Davis around to THROW into the barriers! Evil leaves Davis behind to get in the ring. The ref checks Davis but he’s okay to continue.

Fans rally up as Davis sits up, and the ring count begins. Davis stands at 2 of 20, catches his breath, and hobbles his way over. He stumbles at 8, crawls at 10, stands again at 12, and makes it back to ringside at 14. Davis clutches his back, but storms in at 17! Evil is right on Davis to whip him into the bare buckles! Fans boo as the Bullet Club Special comes into play. And then Evil CHOKES Davis with his T-shirt! The ref counts, Evil lets off at 4, and he throws the shirt away. Fans rally for Davis but Evil drags him up. Davis throws body shots, then forearms! Davis scoops to SLAM Evil, then SENTON, but he flops as Evil moves!

Evil stalks Davis to ropes, stomps him down, then stomps again! Evil drags Davis up, whips him to ropes, but Davis can’t even run with his beat up back! Evil grabs a leg for a HALF CRAB! Davis endures as Evil pulls on the leg, but the fans rally up. Davis crawls to the ROPEBREAK! The ref counts, Evil lets off at 4, and fans continue to rally. Davis writhes but Evil kicks at him. Evil taunts Davis, kicks him more, but Davis snarls. Davis rises up and Evil shoves him. Evil swings, but Davis counter punches! And again, and again! Davis fires off a flurry, then swats Evil’s haymaker to CHOP him off his feet!

Fans are thunderous for Davis as he huffs and puffs and powers up! Davis storms up on Evil, and CHOP LARIATS in the corner! And CHOP LARIATS again! And CHOP LARIATS again! Evil flops over but Davis brings him up. Davis wrenches, but Evil fights the torture rack. Evil whips, Davis cartwheels! Davis scoops to POWERSLAM and SENTON! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up again and Davis stands. Davis brings Evil up, slashes his throat and runs, but Evil bails out. Fans boo but Davis pursues. Evil hits low and whips Davis into railing! And then he whips Davis into more railing! Evil whips again, but Davis reverses, only for Evil to reverse! Davis tumbles over onto English commentary!

The ref checks on Davis, Kevin and Chris, and they’re all okay somehow. Davis crawls his way back to ringside but the count begins. Fans rally, Davis stands at 11 of 20. Davis hobbles his way along the railing, slaps feeling into his back, but we’re at 18! Davis slides in at 19! Evil drags him up to FISHERMAN BUSTER! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up for Davis but Evil is frustrated. Evil gets the legs, steps through, and ties Davis up into the SCORPION DEATHLOCK! Davis endures, reaches out, and gets the ROPEBREAK! Fans fire up but Evil holds until 4. Fans boo Evil but he just paces around Davis.

Evil slashes his throat, spins Davis around, but Davis fights off the STO! Davis ROCKS Evil with a right hand! Davis runs, Evil goes to the corner, LARIAT! Evil drags Davis back up, spins him, but Davis LARIATS! Fans fire up again and Davis takes off the elbow pad! Davis runs and runs and LARIATS again!! Cover, TWO!?! Evil survives and Davis is fuming! Fans fire up as Davis drags Evil back up. Davis wrenches, but Evil grabs the ref! Davis lets Evil go, but swings into EVERY- NO, Davis fights free! ENZIGURI! Evil falls into a corner, Davis goes side to side, SLIDING FOREARM! Fans are thunderous as Davis roars!

Davis drags Evil up, wrenches and torture racks, but Evil slips out of the Waterslide! Evil’s leg jams? Is that a fake out? Davis kicks low but Evil still clutches his leg. The ref checks, Davis runs in, but Evil sends him into the ref! And then he LOW BLOWS! Fans boo, and now Dick returns! Dick has the SPOILER CHOKER!! He strangles Davis, but here comes Fletcher! Fletcher attacks Dick! Evil attacks Fletcher, the rest of the House returns to mug the Aussie Arrow! Fans boo as the House surrounds Aussie Open and stomps away! Fans tell them to go away, but here comes the United Empire! Ospreay, arm in a sling, is rallying his troops!

Khan, Henare and Cobb even things out! They beat up on the House and fans are thunderous! Khan brings out HANDCUFFS! The same pair that was put on him the other day! But Dick goes after Khan first! Dick grabs the cuffs, and clamps one side onto Khan! Khan fights Dick, and LOW BLOWS him! And then he cuffs himself to Dick!! Fans fire up as Khan uses that to drag Dick away. Henare and Yujiro brawl, Yujiro rakes the eyes but Henare blocks the boot! LIVER SHOT! STREETS OF RAGE!! Henare kicks Yujiro out, but Sho has his “torture tool!” But Fletcher SUPERKICKS Sho first!

Fletcher and Davis coordinate, they give Sho COREALIS!! The Murder Machine flounders away , but Evil LOW BLOWS Aussie- NO! They blocked it!! And now Cobb gets his revenge! TOUR OF THE ISLAND!!! Fans are thunderous and the Empire gets the ref back in! Davis gives Evil the ALPAMARE WATERSLIDE!!! Cover, DAVIS WINS!!!

Winner: Mark Davis, by pinfall (advances to the semifinals)

Incredible! The Empire was united in stopping the House of Torture cheating them again, and now one of their own is in the SEMIFINALS! And to celebrate, Khan drags Dick back into the ring! Davis DECKS Dick! Will Davis carry the banner all the way to the final round?


New Japan Cup 2023, Quarterfinals: Tetsuya Naito VS SANADA!

LIJ battles LIJ as the Cup approaches the end! The Uncontrollable Charisma is determined to return to the top, will he reach it? Or will he hit a Skull End at the hands of his teammate?

As usual, Naito takes his time with his entrance attire. But Sanada is patient, since he knows this is just Naito’s style. Fans rally and duel, and Naito offers the LIJ fist bump. Sanada accepts and fans fire up. The bell rings and the Naito support is strong. Sanada shrugs that off, it takes a lot to bother the Cold Skull. The two circle, Sanada support does come through, and the two tie up. They’re in a deadlock, but Naito finds a point of leverage to put Sanada on the ropes. Sanada turns it around, Naito turns it back around, and Red Shoes calls the break. Naito lets off slowly, and fakes a forearm to pat Sanada on the shoulder.

Fans applaud and even Sanada claps some respect. The two reset, circle again, and feel things out. They knuckle lock, Naito breaks one to wrench and top wristlock. Sanada stays up, the two fight for control, and Naito wrangles Sanada down. Naito clamps onto a double wristlock but Sanada moves around. Naito shifts to hammerlock then headlock, and he grinds Sanada down. Sanada fights up, throws body shots, and wrenches out. Sanada hammerlocks, Naito drop toeholds, and Naito floats to a back mount and chinlock. Sanada sits up, Naito grinds the hold, but Sanada stands. Naito gets a leg and trips Sanada to a toehold!

Sanada fights back with a chinlock but Naito cranks the leg. Sanada keeps trying, and he hooks Naito with a leg to bring him down into an armlock. Naito clasps hands, rolls back, and he pops out to tie up Sanada’s legs. Sanada endures, but Naito goes right into the Deathlock! And SNAPS it! Fans fire up but Sanada grits his teeth. Sanada reaches out for ropes but Naito stands back up. Naito SNAPS the Deathlock again! Sanada still endures, and fans continue to rally. Sanada crawls forward and gets the ROPEBREAK! Fans cheer, and Red Shoes reprimands Naito. Naito lets Sanada go, but then stomps him in the corner.

Naito brings Sanada up, CLUBS him, then whips him to ropes. Sanada holds ropes, Naito rushes in but Sanada dumps him out! Fans fire up as Sanada builds speed, but Naito slides in! Sanada tumbles up and out to the apron, and Naito BLASTS him off! Naito builds speed now, but rolls as Sanada ducks! And Naito keeps moving! BASEMENT DROPKICK! Naito got Sanada with both his feints and now Sanada is down at the railing! Fans rally up and duel as Naito slides out to fetch Sanada. Naito drags Sanada up to smack him off the apron, and RAM him into railing! Takagi is on commentary, Naito apologizes to his other LIJ teammate for that.

Naito smacks Sanada off the apron again, then RAMS him back into railing! Takagi stands up as the commentary desk gets hit again, but he and Naito are still cool. Naito then whips Sanada into other railing! Sanada tumbles up and over to land at the feet of the fans! Naito goes into the ring to check his own knees while Red Shoes checks Sanada. Sanada is okay to continue, so the ring count starts. Sanada sits up at 3 of 20, crawls around at 8 and stands at 14. Sanada slides in at 16 and fans applaud. Naito brings Sanada up, snapmares him and clamps on a cravat. Sanada endures as Naito pulls on the neck wrench!

Fans rally, Sanada kicks around, but Naito keeps on that neck wrench. Sanada gets the ROPEBREAK! Fans cheer and Naito lets off quickly. Naito drags Sanada up, whips him to the corner, and runs in to JUMP KICK! Leg sweep! COMBINACION CABRON! Fans fire up as Naito poses, and then Naito covers, TWO! Naito clamps onto Sanada with PLUMA BLANCA! Sanada endures the leg hold full nelson, but Naito trashes him around. Fans rally up, Naito thrashes Sanada more, but Sanada fights around with his legs, to the ROPEBREAK! Naito claims his needs help, so Red Shoes works on the hold. But Naito puts on more pressure!

Red Shoes reprimands Naito and counts, so Naito finally lets go. Fans rally up, Naito drags Sanada up, but Sanada throws body shots. Naito kicks back, whips, but Sanada reverses. Naito holds ropes, BOOTS Sanada, but then Sanada dodges the lariat to get around and hit a BIG back suplex! Fans fire back up while both men are down! Sanada sits up and checks his neck while Naito rolls away. Sanada brings Naito up but Naito fires off forearms! Naito whips, Sanada reverses to hurdle, hurdle and DROPKICK! Fans fire up while Naito bails out. Sanada aims, PLANCHA! Fans fire up more and Sanada encourages them to get louder.

Fans reach the right volume for Sanada and he goes back to Naito. Sanada puts Naito in the ring and covers, TWO! Naito is still in this but Sanada keeps cool. Sanada drags Naito up, but Naito fights the lift! Naito CLUBS away, Sanada kicks low and whips but Naito reverses to kick and NECKBREAKER! Fans fire up and duel, and Naito stands over Sanada. Naito brings Sanada up, and throws those heavy elbows! Then he dragon sleepers for a NECKBREAKER, and BASEMENT DROPKICK! Cover, TWO! Fans rally as Sanada stays in this. Naito drags Sanada back up but he’s dead weight.

Naito gives toying kicks to Sanada, but the fans rally up behind Sanada. Naito stands on Sanada’s head and digs his boot in! The fans BOO Naito for not being more respectful to his own teammate. Naito drags Sanada up, hammerlocks and half nelsons, but Sanada fights the lift! Sanada CLUBS Naito, and RAMS him into a corner! Fans continue to rally, Naito runs in but Sanada dodges! Sanada goes out and up and springboard MISSILE DROPKICKS! Fans fire up again as Naito is down! Sanada drags Naito up, suplexes and puts Naito on ropes, MAGIC SCREW! Cover, TWO! Naito survives but Sanada stays cool.

Sanada encourages the fans to get loud again so they get loud again. Sanada dragon sleepers but Naito arm-drags free! Sanada kicks and whips but Naito reverses to TORNADO DDT! Both men are down and fans fire up even more! Naito sits up while Red Shoes checks Sanada. Sanada’s neck bothers him but he isn’t out of this yet. Naito drags Sanada up, puts him in a corner and throws the heavy elbows! Sanada staggers, Naito goes up the corner and reels him in. ESPERANZA! Naito then aims from the corner and fans fire up. Sanada rises, Naito runs in, but into a fireman’s carry! Naito fights free, and shoves Sanada away to a corner!

Naito runs in, but Sanada elbows him away! Sanada QUEBRADA! Into the dragon sleeper! For SKULL END!! Naito is down in the body scissors and fans fire up! Naito endures, reaches out, fights around, but Sanada squeezes tighter! Fans rally and duel, but Naito is fading! Red Shoes checks but then Sanada lets Naito go! Sanada goes up top to ROUNDING BODY PRESS, onto Naito’s knees! Naito saves himself and the fans are thunderous! Naito and Sanada stir, Naito crawls over to Sanada, and he throws a forearm! Sanada shakes his head, so Naito throws another! They both stand, and Sanada UPPERCUTS!

Naito comes back to ROCK Sanada with a forearm! Fans rally, Sanada UPPERCUTS again! Naito CHOPS! Sanada UPPERCUTS! Naito ROCKS Sanada, so Sanada UPPERCUTS again! Sanada UPPERCUTS again, and again, but into an arm-hook, and those HEAVY back elbows! Sanada falls over and fans fire up! Naito drags Sanada up, to throw more heavy elbows! Sanada falls over again but the fans rally behind him. Naito brings Sanada up, but Sanada CHOPS! And CHOPS! And CHOPS! Naito wrenches to throw elbow after elbow! Sanada falls over again! Fans rally even harder as Naito paces around.

Naito brings Sanada up to ENZIGURI, and then suplex! Sanada slips free, O’Conner BRIDGE! TWO!!! Naito escapes at the last possible moment! But runs into a POP-UP CUTTER! Cover, TWO!! Naito survives and fans are thunderous! Sanada snarls and drags himself up with the ropes. Sanada drags Naito up, scoops and hits a BACKBREAKER! Naito is in the drop zone, so Sanada goes up the corner again! ROUNDING BODY- NO, Naito moves! Sanada lands on his feet to forearm and ROLLING ELBOW! Naito roars, but runs into a DROPKICK! Naito stays up, Sanada fireman’s carries, but Naito victory rolls! TWO!!!

Everyone is stunned but Naito and Sanada rush in! Naito gets around the hammerlock and half nelson, ESTRELLA! TWO!! Sanada escapes again! Sanada storms up, into an atomic drop! Naito throws MORE heavy elbows! Sanada roars so Naito throws MORE heavy elbows! Sanada still eggs Naito on, so Naito ENZIGURIS! CORRIENDO SHIKI DESTINO!! Cover, TWO!?! Sanada survives and the fans are electric! Naito hurries to drags Sanada back up, wrench and tilt-o-whirl, but Sanada slips free! SIDEWINDER DDT!!! Cover, SANADA WINS!!

Winner: Sanada, by pinfall (advances to the semifinals)

Naito’s climb back to the top drops off in the quarterfinals! Sanada now moves on to face Mark Davis in the next round, will Naito put his support behind his LIJ teammate? Wait, Taichi is here? The Holy Emperor steps into the ring and looks at his rival Sanada as Red Shoes raises his hand in victory. But what business does Taichi have here with the man who beat him in the opening round? Wait, here come the rest of Just4Guys! Douki, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Taka Michinoku stand by Taichi, as he HUGS Sanada!! Is Sanada part of Taichi’s team now?! Fans are shocked, as is Takagi! Takagi gets off commentary to get in the ring!

Hiromu and Bushi show up, too, LIJ standing together as they question Sanada and Just4Guys. Whose side is Sanada really on? Fans chant for “LOS INGO!” to show their support, but Sanada gets the mic. “If I stayed in LIJ, nothing would come of it. So I’m leaving LIJ!” Fans are shocked to hear that but also kinda excited! Sanada has the fans behind him as he says, “From now on, Just Five Guys are going to the top! So get Naito and get out of MY ring.” LIJ can’t believe Sanada is treating them like this, but Taichi echoes the order so LIJ has no choice but to leave. Evil left years ago, and now Sanada? What is becoming of LIJ?

As for Sanada, he continues by saying, “This isn’t something I’ve just come up with. I want to get to the top in this ring, in this business, and change the world.” Fans applaud that, and then Taka takes the mic. “So, it looks like there’s a new era coming! NJPW will be changed by not Just Four Guys, but by Just FIVE Guys!!” And with that, it is official! Will the Cold Skull finally reach the top of the mountain now that he isn’t a follower but an equal?

My Thoughts:

An awesome night for the New Japan Cup here, with two very surprising tournament match results. Ospreay going down and having Davis take his place, I really thought Evil was gonna win and move forward. But instead, they gave us a really fun overbooked match with all the ringside chaos to counter the usual House of Torture cheating, and this win is a great moment for Davis. Naito VS Sanada was a great match, and something about how Naito was treating Sanada like anyone else kinda lends itself to the plot twist of Sanada LEAVING LIJ.

Sanada has been stuck at the midcard/tag team level and Naito being about Naito, something had to give. Sanada is now “just one of the guys,” and while that group needs a better name, one that won’t change every time they add someone, this is an exciting development. Sanada and Taichi on the same side after their growing rivalry, this could be something big for NJPW to capitalize on just for their local audience. I don’t know the likelihood of a Two Man Power Trip, but that’d be something if Sanada and Taichi took over everything.

My Score: 8.9/10

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

Prepare for Backlash!



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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


The Bloodline arrives backstage.

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


Nick Aldis is in the ring.

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

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

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

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


Backstage interview with Naomi.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Backstage interview with Bayley.

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

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


Paul Heyman talks with Solo Sikoa.

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

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

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

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

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

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


Heyman goes to the parking lot.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Winner: Santos Escobar, by pinfall

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


VIP Skybox interview with Damage CTRL!

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

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


Cody Rhodes speaks.

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

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


WWE Women’s Championship: Bayley VS Naomi!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Thoughts:

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

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

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

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

My Score: 8.9/10

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

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



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

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


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



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

Little Guido w/New FBI vs Hammerstone

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

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

LSG vs Joe Hendry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rosemary w/Havok vs Jody Threat w/Dani Luna

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overall Score: 6.5/10

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

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

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

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