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Mitchell’s NJPW Wrestling Satsuma no Kuni Results & Report! (4/29/23)

NJPW is on fire!

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Will the Holy Emperor finally slay The Rampaging Dragon?

Taichi and Shingo Takagi have battled over the KOPW Championship before, and this could be their biggest showdown yet: a Takagi Style Triad match!

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Bishamon VS Toru Yano & Boltin Oleg; Bishamon wins.
  • Shota Umino & Oskar Leube VS EVIL & Yujiro Takahashi; Evil & Yujiro win.
  • Six Man Tag: Tomoaki Honma & The Intergalactic Jet Setters VS The United Empire; The United Empire wins.
  • Zack Sabre Jr. & Kosei Fujita VS Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan; Cobb & Khan win.
  • 8 Man Tag: Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii, Togi Makabe & Ryohei Oiwa VS Team Strong Style & Yuto Nakashima; Team Strong Style & Nakashima win.
  • 8 Man Tag: Tama Tonga, Hikuleo, Master Wato & Jado VS Bullet Club; Tama, Hikuleo, Wato & Jado win.
  • Six Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS SANADA, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & DOUKI; Sanada, Kanemaru & Douki win.
  • IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: Aussie Open VS TMDK; Aussie Open wins and retains the titles.
  • KOPW Championship Takagi Style Triad Match: Shingo Takagi VS Taichi; Taichi wins and becomes the new KOPW Champion.

PLAY BY PLAY

Six Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS SANADA, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & DOUKI w/ Taka Michinoku!

Hiromu Takahashi survived the battle with the Heel Master, and now he’s aiming for the top! Will Tetsuya Naito & Bushi help the Ticking Timebomb roll towards Wrestling Dontaku? Or will the Cold Skull and his guys be anything but tranquilo?

As part of their entrance, Just5Guys split up and go through the crowd from the ramp side, and make their way all around to then meet at the ring. Sanada stares down with Hiromu, champion to champion. The teams sort out, Naito taking his time with the entrance attire. Fans applaud as LIJ fist bumps, but then J5G attack! The bell rings to get this on record as Sanada throws Hiromu out and Kanemaru throws Bushi out. Douki keeps after Naito as payback for just a couple days ago. Sanada whips but Hiromu reverses to send Sanada hard into railing! Kanemaru ends up the same way as Bushi whips him into railing!

Douki fires forearms back and forth with Naito! Fans rally up as the shots go faster and faster! Naito gets the edge, but Douki HELL STABS! Douki whips, Naito reverses and arm-drags! Naito then dodges Douki to hip toss and basement dropkick! Fans applaud, and Naito drags Douki up by his mask. Tag to Bushi, LIJ mugs Douki, then Bushi turns Douki for a NECKBREAKER! Cover, ONE! Douki hangs tough and fans applaud as Bushi brings him up. Douki fires off forearms, runs, but into a kick! Bushi runs as Hiromu slides in! Hiromu dropkicks Douki’s legs out, and Bushi basement dropkicks Douki!

J5G complain but Hiromu bails out. Bushi tags Naito back in and Naito stalks Douki to a corner. Naito throws hands, but Douki fires forearms! Naito rakes the eyes! The ref reprimands, Naito lets off, and Naito whips corner to corner. Naito runs in to JUMP KICK! Leg sweep! COMBINATION CABRON! Naito poses and fans fire up while Douki writhes. Naito stares J5G down, then spits on Douki! Douki throws forearms but Naito pulls hair and mask! Douki breaks free, swings a punch but Naito gets around to a waistlock. Douki switches but Naito switches, but Douki fights free. Naito reels Douki in, Douki uses his leg to get free, then he DDTs Naito down!

J5G BLAST Hiromu and Bushi off the corner! Douki kicks Naito out while Sanada sends Hiromu into railing! Kanemaru sends Bushi into railing, and then Douki whips Naito hard into railing! Naito ends up stuck upside-down! Naito flops into No Man’s Land so Douki goes after him. Sanada brings Hiromu up to CLAW his back! Hiromu hits back with forearms! Sanada knees low, CLUBS Hiromu down, and Douki brings Naito back to the ring. Tag to Kanemaru and he drags Naito up. Kanemaru snapmares, runs and basement dropkicks! Cover, TWO! Kanemaru drags Naito back up to drag out of the ring.

Douki helps keep Naito on the apron, for Kanemaru to DRIVE-BY DROPKICK! Naito writhes but Kanemaru drags him back in. Kanemaru then goes to the apron, to SLINGSHOT SENTON! Cover, TWO! Tag to Sanada and they get the legs, to drop knees on Naito’s ribs! A wishbone fake-out! Sanada stands Naito up to throw knees into the stomach. Sanada whips corner to corner, runs in and elbows, then brings Naito out to snap suplex! Cover, TWO! Fans rally and Sanada tags Douki. Douki drags Naito up but Naito deadweights him. Fans rally up, Douki drags Naito up but Naito throws forearms!

Douki dodges, catches Naito, ITALIAN STRETCH #32! J5G BLAST LIJ off the corner again! Naito endures, moves around, reaches out, and fans rally for “NA-I-TO!” as he gets the ROPEBREAK! Douki holds until Hiromu stomps him down! Douki hits Hiromu back then throws him out. Douki drags Naito to a drop zone then climbs the corner. DIVING DOUBLE- NO, Naito avoids the stomps! Naito BOOTS from the corner, then ELBOWS Douki! Douki ENZIGURIS! Douki whips, Naito reverses, TORNADO DDT! Fans fire up while both men are down. Fans rally up, both men crawl, hot tags to Hiromu and Sanada!

Fans fire up as Hiromu fires off forearms on Sanada! Hiromu whips, Sanada reverses but Hiromu ducks ‘n’ dodges to RANA! Sanada goes to a corner, Kanemaru runs in, but Hiromu dodges the boot! Hiromu kicks and whips Kanemaru to a corner, to clothesline! Then a clothesline for Sanada! Kanemaru runs in, Hiromu dodges, and Kanemaru stops from colliding with Sanada! Hiromu runs back in to SHOTGUN Kanemaru into Sanada! Then he clotheslines Sanada! Snapmare and running basement dropkick! Cover, TWO! Hiromu fires up and the fans fire up with him! Hiromu fireman’s carries, but Sanada fights free!

Sanada shoves Hiromu away but Hiromu BOOTS back! Hiromu runs, Sanada hurdles! And hurdles! And DROPKICKS! Fans fire up again while Sanada grits his teeth. Sanada encourages the fans to get louder and they do. Sanada brings Hiromu up but Hiromu throws forearms! Sanada CHOPS in return! Fans duel and Hiromu grits his teeth. Hiromu CHOPS! And CHOPS! And CHOPS! Sanada CHOPS back! Then waistlocks to back suplex! Hiromu lands on his feet but his leg still bothers him! Sanada avoids the superkick, fireman’s carries, but Hiromu fights free with elbows! Only to run into another fireman’s carry!

Sanada throws Hiromu into the dragon sleeper! Hiromu fights free to arm-drag! Then he spins Sanada around to a FALCON ARROW! Both men are down and fans fire back up! Fans rally, Hiromu and Sanada crawl, hot tag to Bushi! Bushi DECKS Douki to cut Sanada off. Bushi BOOTS Sanada, runs and RANAS! Kanemaru kicks Bushi, runs but into a dropkick to the legs! Fans rally up as Bushi brings Sanada around. Sanada knees low, whips, but Bushi reverses. Bushi kicks low, then runs to sunset flips! Rewind for Naito’s basement dropkick! Cover, TWO! Fans rally and Bushi brings Sanada back up.

Sanada slips out of Fisherman Screw but Bushi kicks low again. Bushi runs but Sanada follows to O’Conner Roll, then dragon sleeper! SKULL END! Naito storms in to stomp away on Sanada! Kanemaru dropkicks Naito’s leg! Douki RANAS Naito, Kanemaru DECKS Hiromu! Douki DIVES out onto Naito into the railing! Fans fire up but Sanada has Bushi in the SKULL END again!! SKULL SWING!! But Bushi turns it into a cradle!? TWO!!! Sanada escapes just in time! Bushi swings, into the SHIRANUI into SKULL END!!! Bushi taps, J5G wins!

Winners: Sanada, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Douki, by submission

Hiromu is frustrated as he was just a second too late. The IWGP World Heavyweight Champion stands tall tonight, but will the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion find a way at Wrestling Dontaku?

 

IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: Aussie Open w/ The United Empire VS TMDK w/ Zack Sabre Jr. & Kosei Fujita!

Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis are DOUBLE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS, but that could be just for now! They’re up against the Mighty OG, Shane Haste & Mikey Nicholls! Will the Aussie Arrow & Dunkzilla see that The Mighty Don’t Kneel? Or will the United Empire hold onto all their gold?

The introductions are made, the heavyweight titles are raised, and we see who is truly mighty!

The teams sort out and after the Empire throw up the crowns, Davis starts with Mikey. Fans rally as the two stare down. Mikey eggs Davis on, they tie up, and are in a deadlock. Davis uses leverage to push Mikey back to ropes, and Red Shoes calls the break. Davis lets off clean, but then swings! Mikey dodges to headlock! Davis powers up but can’t power out as Mikey holds tight. Davis throws hands, powers out the second time, and they RAM shoulders! Neither man falls so Mikey runs, and they RAM shoulders again! Davis just snarls at Mikey, so Mikey tries again. Mikey ducks ‘n’ dodges and RAMS Davis, but Davis rebounds to run Mikey over!

Fans rally as Mikey gets up and Davis CHOPS Mikey back down! Davis wrenches an arm, brings Mikey over and tags in Fletcher. Mikey gets away and Shane tags in. Fans applaud as the speedsters now circle. They tie up, Shane gets around to headlock and he grinds Fletcher down. Fletcher powers up and out, things speed up, and Fletcher hurdles. Shane waistlocks, Fletcher wrenches out, but Shane rolls, kips up and arm-drags Fletcher! Fletcher scoop SLAMS Shane! Fans applaud the exchange while Fletcher tags Davis. Aussie Open double whip Shane, double CHOP, then sit him up. But Mikey trips Fletcher on the Penalty Kick!

Mikey drags Fletcher out, Davis goes through with the combo, but Shane avoids the senton! Mikey sends Fletcher into railing, then joins Shane. They double whip Davis, but he holds ropes. Davis BOOTS Shane, dodges Mikey, and Fletcher dumps Mikey out as payback! Davis gets Shane up, he and Fletcher double whip to double CHOP! PENALTY KICK! SENTON! The combo completes and fans fire up! Aussie Open drag Shane to a cover, but Davis’ knee is too high on Shane’s neck for Red Shoes’ liking. Davis lets off to KICK Shane in the back. Davis stands Shane up to CHOP! And then he CHOP LARIATS in the corner!

Davis drags Shane out to then scoop SLAM! And SENTON! Cover, TWO! Fans rally while Davis looms over Shane. Davis stands Shane up, wrenches the arm, and tags Fletcher. Aussie Open mugs Shane, Shane hits back but Fletcher ROCKS him with a forearm! Fletcher has Shane in a corner, and ROCKS him with a body shot! Shane shoves Fletcher, BOOTS him, then UPPERCUTS! Fletcher kicks low, whips, but Shane reverses to RANA! Both men are down and fans fire up! Hot tag to Mikey! Mikey rallies on Fletcher, knocks Davis off the apron, then swings but misses on Fletcher! Fletcher waistlocks but Mikey spins around to DDT!

Fletcher sits up, Mikey hits a BASEMENT DDT! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up again as Mikey drags Fletcher up. Mikey fireman’s carries, Fletcher fights free and waistlocks, but Mikey switches to O’Conner Roll! TWO but Mikey uses that momentum to BLAST Davis! Mikey SLIDING LARIATS Fletcher, covers, TWO! Mikey keeps close on Fletcher and gives him some toying kicks. Mikey drags Fletcher up, throws body shots, and then CHOPS him to the corner! Tag to Shane and Mikey throws Fletcher out. Mikey BLASTS Davis again while Shane whips Fletcher hard into railing! Fletcher tumbles up and over into No Man’s Land!

Shane goes out to fetch Fletcher, and he KICKS Fletcher in the back, right in front of the front row! Shane drags Fletcher up to TOSS back over the railing, and he returns to the ring for an APRON BACK SUPLEX! Shane pushes Fletcher in at 12 of 20 to cover, TWO! Shane stomps Fletcher down, KICKS him around, then gives him even more kicks and stomps. Fletcher stands up to ROCK Shane! And again! And again! Shane DROPKICKS Fletcher! Tag to Mikey and Mikey drags Fletcher to center. Mikey drops a knee on Fletcher’s head! Mikey wraps Fletcher up in a seated abdominal stretch!

Mikey fishhooks Fletcher’s face! Red Shoes reprimands and Mikey stops, only to turn Fletcher away and fishhook him out of Red Shoes’ sight! Red shoes sees it now, and Mikey stops again. Mikey pushes Fletcher down, but Fletcher avoids the knee drop! Mikey hurries to CLOBBER Fletcher and keep him from Davis! Mikey bumps Fletcher off buckles, then tags Shane. Shane BLASTS Davis, and then helps Mikey in the BACK SUPLEX NECKBREAKER COMBO! Cover, but Davis breaks it apart immediately! Mikey DECKS Davis! Henare & Khan stare down ZSJ and Fujita, Shane RAMS Fletcher into buckles!

Shane KICKS Fletcher in the back! Khan coaches Fletcher but Shane CHOKES him on the ropes! Red Shoes counts, Shane lets off, and he distracts Red Shoes so that Mikey can CHOKE and even BITE Fletcher! Mikey gets away with it, Red Shoes gets the Empire to calm down and stay in their corner, and Shane stands Fletcher up. Fletcher fights the suplex, fans rally up, and Fletcher throws hands! Fletcher reaches out but Shane reels him in. Fletcher switches, Shane switches, repeat, but Fletcher gets Shane for a BRAINBUSTER! Fans fire up and both men crawl, hot tags to Davis and Mikey!

Davis busts through Mikey’s lariat to clothesline Shane in the corner! Davis then CHOPS Mikey, clotheslines Shane again, and CHOPS Mikey again! And again! Mikey dodges, TMDK both kick low! They double whip but Davis cartwheels through! Davis comes back, DOUBLE LARIAT, but Mikey dodges! Davis comes back and LARIATS Mikey after all! Fans fire up with Dunkzilla as he runs in to clotheslines Mikey in a corner! Then he runs to clothesline Shane in a corner! Then Davis short arm LARIATS Shane! Shane bails out, Mikey is on the apron, Davis triangle jump LARIATS him down!

Fletcher returns and he builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit on both TMDK at the ramp! Fletcher hurries to get Mikey up and in for Davis! SAIDO! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up while Mikey flounders. Davis runs but Mikey LARIATS first! Mikey runs, but Davis LARIATS back! They throw forearms back and forth, harder and harder, faster and faster! They just keep going! Both men roar and get forehead to forehead. Davis BLASTS Shane, DOUBLE LARIATS collide! And then DOUBLE LARIATS collide again! Mikey dodges to DEATH VALLEY DRIVER! But Davis is right back up to OVERHEAD Belly2Belly!

But Mikey is right back up! DOUBLE LARIATS take both men down!! Fans are thunderous, and both factions are pounding the apron! Mikey and Davis crawl, hot tags to Fletcher and Shane! Shane CHOPS Fletcher, but Fletcher just grimaces. Fletcher CHOPS Shane, so Shane CHOPS again! They CHOP and CHOP and CHOP back and forth! Fletcher gets the edge with CHOP after CHOP, but Shane KICKS and UPPERCUTS and UPPERCUTS again! Shane swings, but into a HALF ‘N’ HALF! Fans rally up again as Shane flounders to a corner. Fletcher runs in to GAMANGIRI! And then suplex, but Shane fights out!

Shane UPPERCUTS, reels Fletcher in, FALCON ARROW! Cover, TWO! Shane calls to Mikey and he gets in to scoop Fletcher. But Davis saves Fletcher and Aussie Open throws forearms on TMDK! They have TMDK in opposite corners, then pick them both up, for the SPINE- NO, double sunset flips! Aussie Open slips out but they get clotheslines! TMDK then trade to clothesline the other way! TMDK trade back, but Aussie Open dodges! But then TMDK dodges, only to run into the SPINEBUSTER SANDWICH! Fans fire up again and Aussie Open picks up Shane. AUSSIE- NO, no dental plan! Shane sends Fletcher’s foot into Davis!

Fletcher avoids Shane’s boot to ROLLING ELBOW! But Mikey ROCKS Fletcher! Davis swings on Mikey but he dodges, to LARIAT! Fletcher SUPERKICKS Mikey! Shane BOOTS Fletcher! Davis GAMANGIRIS Shane! All four men are down and fans are thunderous again! Aussie Open regroups, brings Mikey up, AUSSIE DENTAL PLAN! And then they get Shane up, for the LAWN DART CUTTER! Cover, TWO! Shane hangs tough but Fletcher tags in Davis. Fans fire up as Aussie Open take opposite corners. But Mikey trips Fletcher again! Shane rolls through Davis’ lariat and reels him in, for a DYNAMIC BOMB!! Cover, TWO!!

Davis survives but Shane tags in Mikey! TMDK LARIAT PINBALL, then HIGH LOW! Mikey covers, TWO!! Fans rally up and TMDK drags Davis up. Mikey scoops, but Fletcher GAMANGIRIS Shane! Davis slips free to GERMAN SUPLEX Mikey! Fans fire up, Davis runs to KING KONG LARIAT Mikey down! Cover, TWO!! Mikey survives but Davis tags Fletcher back in. Fletcher runs corner to corner at Mikey, to GAMANGIRI! Then he puts Mikey up top, and Davis crucifix lifts, for the SWINGING CRUCIFIX BOMB! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up again as Mikey says you gotta do better than that!

Fletcher stands and goes to the corner, as does Davis. But Mikey flops back down! Is he playing possum to avoid the lariats? Davis gives him toying kicks, as does Fletcher. Shane returns but he gets DOUBLE BOOTS! Mikey SLAPS Davis, then SLAPS Fletcher! But he gets a SUPERKICK BOOT COMBO!! Fans fire up as the elbow pads come off! Aussie Open aims, but Mikey dodges! Shane goes up top to DOUBLE CROSSBODY! Aussie Open bails out, Shane FLIES to take them both out at the ramp! Fans fire up again, Shane puts Fletcher in, and Mikey hurries to tag him in! TMDK say this is the end!

TMDK drags Fletcher up, but Fletcher fights free. But Shane SLAPS, Mikey SLAPS, then TMDK DOUBLE SLAP!! Fletcher drops to his knees, Mikey slaps him around, and TMDK double pump handle?! They’re copying Aussie Open! COREALIS!!! Cover, Davis barrels in to break it!! All four men are down again and fans fire back up! The teams regroup, TMDK throw forearms but Aussie Open gives them back. They go back and forth, stand up, and keep throwing shots! TMDK gets the edge, but Aussie Open BOOT back! Aussie Open runs, into ELBOWS! TMDK runs, into ELBOWS! Aussie Open, then throws TMDK out!

Davis triangle jumps and LARIATS Mikey! Fletcher DROPKICKS Shane! TMDK hit the floor and fans fire up again! Aussie Open goes out to fetch them, bringing them up to the apron. But TMDK fight free of the piledrivers, and Mikey back drops Davis on the apron! Shane shoves Fletcher at Mikey for some forearm pinball! Then Mikey scoops Fletcher, Shane takes aim, APRON TANK BUSTER!!! TMDK shoves Fletcher in, drags him back up, and Shane goes up the corner! TANK BUSTER!!! Cover, DAVIS BREAKS IT!! Fans are thunderous again as the match continues! Mikey TOSSES Davis and regroups with Shane.

TMDK drags Fletcher up, hoist him up, but Davis returns! TMDK shoves Fletcher into him! Davis falls back out, TMDK hoist Fletcher up again, THUNDER- DOUBLE DDTS!! Davis slides in and he clotheslines Mikey out! Mikey tumbles to railing and the Empire rallies the fans! Fletcher & Davis go to corners, they run in, but Shane ROCKS Davis, ELBOWS Fletcher, repeat! But then Aussie Open get Shane’s arms! Double wrench, DOUBLE FOREARMS! Double pump handle, but Mikey SPEARS Davis! Shane rolls Fletcher up, TWO!?!? Fletcher escapes in time! But he staggers into Mikey’s grip!

Davis ENZIGURIS Mikey! Fletcher scoops Mikey for PENALTY KICK GRIMSTONE!! Shane runs in, but Fletcher blocks the kick and hands it to Davis, to then SUPERKICK Shane! Davis hoists Shane up, PENALTY KICK PILEDRIVER!! Fans fire up with Aussie Open, and the elbow pads return, just so they can be thrown off again! DOUBLE LARIAT SANDWICH!! They TOSS Mikey, aim at Shane, and DOUBLE LARIAT SANDWICH again!! Pump handles, COREALIS!! Cover, AUSSIE OPEN WINS!

Winners: Aussie Open, by pinfall (still IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions)

Aussie Aussie Aussie! OI OI OI! The double champions stay double champions! Will nothing stop Fletcher & Davis from creating their ultimate tag title collection?

But wait! BISHAMON is here! Hirooki Goto & Yoshi-Hashi lost the heavyweight titles to Aussie Open, and now they want them back! But wait, the House of Torture attacks Bishamon AND the Empire! Fans boo, the ref reprimands them but Evil & Yujiro go after Aussie Open! And then Sho and Dick join in! The House of Torture mugs Aussie Open, and even use the SPOILER CHOKER! Fans boo more, especially as Evil & Yujiro hold up the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team titles. But then the rest of the Empire runs in! Jeff Cobb, TJP & Francesco Akira run the House of Torture off!

Evil gets the mic to say that’s how it is, huh? The House is officially challenging for those heavyweight tag titles! Get ready to witness their power! The House leaves, especially as fans tell them to go home. But between the House and Chaos, will the Empire be able to hold onto their treasure?

 

KOPW Championship Takagi Style Triad Match: Shingo Takagi w/ Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Taichi w/ Just5Guys!

The Rampaging Dragon continues to rain over the KOPW Division, but the Holy Emperor is challenging him once more! In this match, inspired by Aaron Henare’s Ultimate Triad match, the winner must any three of pinfall, submission, count-out, and even knockout and referee stoppage! How far will Taichi go to finally take this title from Takagi? And how far will Takagi go to hold onto it?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we see who is the King of Pro-Wrestling!

The bell rings and fans rally up as the two stare down. Fans duel as “TA-KA-GI!” and “TA-I-CHI!” approach. They RAM shoulders, then RAM again! Takagi runs, into a BOOT! Taichi runs, but Takagi runs him over! Taichi gets up to BOOT Takagi down! Takagi gets up but Taichi throws him out. LIJ is there as Takagi gets up and the standing count climbs. Takagi stands at 7 of 10, goes around the way, then slides into the ring before the ring count begins. Taichi nods and resets with Takagi. Fans rally up, the two stare down, and they tie up. They’re in a deadlock, but Taichi pushes Takagi away.

Taichi CHOPS! Takagi nods and CHOPS! Taichi CHOPS again! Takagi CHOPS again! The CHOPS keep going, then Taichi KICKS! Takagi throws a forearm! Taichi KICKS, Takagi forearms, repeat! Takagi walks off the pain, the back and forth continues, and Taichi gets the edge with KICK after KICK! Takagi DOUBLE CHOPS! Then he spins Taichi to a backslide, TWO!! Taichi avoids going down a point! Takagi argues the count, but Taichi pulls his hair! Taichi puts Takagi in the corner, but Takagi turns it around, only for Taichi to push him down and out of the ring. Taichi whips Takagi into railing!

Taichi gets space, goes back to Takagi, and then whips him again. But Takagi reverses and sends Taichi into railing! Takagi then POSTS Taichi, but Taichi POSTS Takagi! The ring count is climbing, we’re at 15 of 20 as Taichi CHOKES Takagi! Both men are throwing hands! The count is 19!! They slide in at 19.99!! They avoid both going down a point, and Takagi knees low. Takagi whips Taichi to the corner, runs in, but blocks the boot. Takagi powers through and clotheslines! Takagi then JABS, CHOPS, and repeat! Red Shoes reprimands and counts, but Takagi shows those weren’t closed fists at all.

Takagi brings Taichi up, whips him corner to corner, but Taichi reverses to wrench and HOOK KICK! Both men are down and fans rally up. Taichi sits up, fans rally, and Taichi brings Takagi up. Taichi snapmares and KICKS Takagi in the back! Takagi goes to ropes, Taichi stalks him and kicks him around. Taichi digs his boot into Takagi, but lets off as the ref counts. Taichi drags Takagi up, gives him Kawada Kicks, but Takagi eggs him on. So Taichi fires off more Kawada Kicks! Takagi roars and headbutts the turnbuckles! Fans fire up with Takagi and he storms up on Taichi. Takagi forearms, knees, and CLUBS Taichi!

Takagi whips, Taichi reverses and kitchen sink knees! Taichi drags Takagi up and into the COBRA TWIST! Takagi endures, even as Taichi thrashes him around! Takagi fights his way over, reaches out, and gets the ROPEBREAK! Taichi lets go, but he kicks Takagi out of the ring. Taichi then brings Takagi up and reels him in. But Takagi resists the lift! Taichi fires off more Kawada Kicks, but Takagi blocks! Takagi RAMS Taichi into the apron! And then he reels Taichi in, traps the arms, but Taichi back drops free! Takagi hits the floor and fans fire up! Taichi stalks Takagi, drags him up, and brings him around to the ramp.

Taichi knees low, and again, then hits a DDT to the floor! A count begins as both men are down, Taichi stands at 9 and gets in the ring at 11. LIJ coaches Takagi and he stands at 17, to slide in at 18! But into the GEDO- NO, Takagi slips out to put Taichi in the GEDO CLUTCH! TWO!! Taichi escapes, swings, but into a GROUND COBRA TWIST! Takagi scores the pin!

Takagi: 1; Taichi: 0

The first fall is secured, and now Takagi can focus on the other possibilities! Taichi gets a quick drink of water and the two reset. Takagi ELBOWS! JABS! YUKON LARIAT! Takagi tells the came he’s not done yet! Takagi goes back to Taichi as the fans rally up. Takagi drops an elbow, another elbow, and then a SENTON! Cover, but oh, he doesn’t need it, it won’t count now. Takagi remembers his own match rules and he kicks Taichi around. Taichi stands and Takagi throws hands. Taichi eggs him on, then boots, but into a Gory Especial! NOSHIGAMI! Takagi leaves Taichi be for the standing count!

Taichi stirs at 3 of 10, sits up at 5, and Takagi is after his leg! Takagi turns Taichi for a HALF CRAB! Then an STF! Taichi endures, crawls forward, and Taka coaches him, but Takagi shifts to a FUJIWARA ARMBAR! Taichi kicks forward to get the ROPEBREAK! Takagi lets go, kicks Taichi to the apron, then goes out to join him. Takagi calls his shot and he brings Taichi up. Takagi fireman’s carries but Taichi blocks! Taichi throws down elbows, then clinches! Takagi fights the lift in return! Taichi BOOTS Takagi, but Takagi fireman’s carries! APRON DEATH VALLEY!! Both men fall to the floor and Red Shoes checks them.

Takagi and Taichi are somehow okay to continue, so Red Shoes has their teams back off for the ring count. Takagi stands at 7 and slides in at 8. Taichi is still down at 11 so J5G coach him up. Taichi drags himself up at 16, the apron skirt starts to give way, but Taichi gets in at 19! Takagi is right on him, pump handle and lift, but Taichi slips out! GEDO CLUTCH! Taichi scores the pin!!

Takagi: 1; Taichi: 1

We’re all tired up and both men check off the same item on their bingo card! Now they can both focus on submissions, count-outs and knockouts! Taichi goes to a corner, Takagi runs in both only gets buckles! And a GAMANGIRI! Takagi drops but Taichi is also down. Fans rally and duel, and Taichi eggs Takagi on. Taichi kicks, Takagi ducks, but the SOBAT and BUZZSAW hit! Takagi goes to ropes, and OFF COME TAICHI’S PANTS! Fans rally and Taichi takes aim, to KICK! Taichi eggs Takagi on but Takagi eggs Taichi on. Taichi KICKS again! And again! Takagi fires up and fans fire up with him!

Taichi kicks, Takagi blocks and he CLUBS the leg! They go forehead to forehead, Taichi pushes Takagi back, roundhouse collides with lariat! Taichi KICKS from his other leg! Taichi runs, but Takagi clotheslines at the ropes! And then SAIDOS! Taichi rises up! Takagi runs in, but Taichi gets around, DANGEROUS SAIDO! Takagi springs up but he staggers around, then falls over! Both men are down as fans rally up, and the standing count begins! Both men stir, they crawl to corners and stand at 7! Fans fire up, and both men egg the other on. They run in and DOUBLE LARIAT! But neither falls!

They try another DOUBLE LARIAT, but still neither falls! And then another DOUBLE LARIAT! Taichi roars, but runs into the ELBOW! JAB! YUKON- AX BOMBER! But Takagi’s right up to PUMPING BOMBER! But Taichi’s right up to BOOT, then BLINDSIDE BOMBER, then GAMANGIRI!! Taichi roars again and he hurries to bring Takagi up! LAST RIDE!! Both men are down again and another standing count begins! Fans rally and Taichi sits up at 5. Takagi is still down at 7, but stands at 8! Into an AX BOMBER!! Taichi hurries to Alabama Lift, for BLACK MEPHISTO!! And the standing count returns!

Both men are down as the fans rally up and we reach 4 of 10. Taichi is up at 5 again but Takagi crawls to ropes. Takagi drags himself up at 8, but flops back over! He’s down at TEN, Taichi scores!

Takagi: 1; Taichi: 2

Taichi takes the lead with the “KO” on his bingo card! Will he finish this off? And how? LIJ coaches Takagi but the fans duel. Taichi clamps on the SEITEI JUJIRO! Takagi endures the Holy Emperor’s Tomb, reaches out, and gets the ROPEBREAK! Taichi lets go and fans rally up again. Taichi drags Takagi but he’s deadweight. Fans rally harder but Taichi decides to let Red Shoes choose. It can’t be a standing count, but Takagi sits up so it won’t be a referee stoppage, either. Taichi takes aim, Takagi turns around, but Takagi blocks the superkick! But Taichi Alabama Lifts! Takagi slips out, backslides, roll through, pump handle! MADE IN JAPAN!!

Taichi sits up in a daze, but Takagi hits a SLIDING LARIAT! Taichi is still prey to the standing count, but Takagi says he’s not done with Taichi! Takagi drags Taichi up as fans rally, but Taichi lariats! Not a lot of power behind it, and Takagi lariats back! Well, Takagi doesn’t have a lot of power there, either. Taichi lariats, but Takagi stays up. Takagi lariats, but Taichi stays up. Both men catch their breath, Taichi LARIATS, but Takagi stays up! Takagi LARIATS, but Taichi stays up! Taichi winds up, but he drops to his knees, unable to follow through. Takagi stands him up to LARIAT, and LARIAT, and LARIAT! Taichi flops against ropes!

Taichi drags himself up quickly to avoid the count, and Takagi runs in. But into an Alabama Lift! But Takagi fights it, hooks the arms, TAKAGI DRIVER!! But that’s not all, Takagi drags Taichi up to run and PUMPING BOMBER!!! Fans fire up and Takagi leaves Taichi to the standing count! Taichi stirs but he’s still down at 5 of 10! He sits up at 7, but then flops back over! The count restarts, but then Takagi storms over to SLIDING FOREARM! And then a pump handle and lift, LAST OF THE DRAGON!! Takagi lets the count start this time, and Taichi sputters at 6! He rises at 7, stands at 8, but flops down! Takagi scores the KO!

Takagi: 2; Taichi: 2

We’re tied again, it all comes down to the next fall! Submission, count out, or stoppage, what wins it all? Takagi shouts “OI! OI! OI!” and fans rally behind him. Takagi stalks Taichi to a corner, hoists him up top, and then climbs up after him. Taichi resists the lift! Taichi CLUBS and CHOPS Takagi, reels him in, but Takagi fights the lift! Takagi fires off chops of his own! And HEADBUTT after HEADBUTT, too! Takagi moves Taichi around, but Taichi fights the fireman’s carry! Takagi still picks Taichi up! STAY DREAM!! Both men are down, but there will be no standing count! Red Shoes checks but Takagi’s still stirring.

Takagi crawls to Taichi and sits him up. Takagi rains down HAMMER ‘N’ ANVIL ELBOWS! Then a SLEEPER! Taichi is already red as Takagi squeezes tight! Takagi drags Taichi up into the REAR NAKED CHOKE!! Taichi is stuck in the body scissors but J5G shout at him to reach! Takagi turns Taichi away from ropes! Taichi endures, but he’s fading! But then he gets a second wind! Only for Takagi to make it a GROUND COBRA TWIST!! Taichi endures, Kanemaru has the towel! Taka tells him no, not yet! Taichi keeps fighting, even as Takagi thrashes him around! Kanemaru isn’t sure, but Taka keeps telling him to trust Taichi!

Taichi gets a third wind and gets the ROPEBREAK!! Takagi lets Taichi go and he flops out of the ring. Just5Guys are there to check on him, and the ring count begins. The count passes 5 of 20 but Taichi is still down. He’s still down at 10 of 20! He stirs at 13, but Takagi goes out at 15 to drag Taichi back up. Fans applaud as Takagi puts Taichi in, wanting something other than a count-out victory. Takagi reels Taichi in, but Taichi fights the pump handle! But Takagi still lifts, only for his legs to give out! They both flop over, and both teams coach them up. Takagi drags Taichi up to lariat, but there isn’t much to it.

Takagi runs to lariat, but again, there isn’t much to it. Takagi slaps his arm, runs, and PUMPING BOMBER! But Taichi stays up! Taichi rebounds and runs in, but into a SLEEPER! But Taichi slips around to hit a DANGEROUS SAIDO! Takagi rises, staggers, into the ROUNDHOUSE! And then YOKAZUNA FOREARM!! Both men fall out of the ring!! J5G check Taichi and LIJ check Takagi, and the ring count starts! They’re both down at 10 of 20, but the fans rally as hard as ever. The count reaches 15 of 20, then 17! Taichi slides in at 19, Takagi flounders, but gets in at 19.9999!!!! Even the teams have to double check!

Takagi and Taichi stir as the fans are thunderous! Taichi gets a quick drink of water, and then he drags himself up the ropes. Takagi forces himself up, Taichi stands him up, and forearms! Takagi staggers, but he comes back to forearm Taichi. Taichi staggers, and he boots Takagi. Takagi chops, but even that has little to it. Taichi CHOPS, Takagi ELBOWS! They start throwing backhands back and forth! Takagi gets a flurry in, but Taichi OVERHAND chops! And again! Takagi HEADBUTTS, HEADBUTTS and HEADBUTTS! Both men stagger, they’ve been at this for almost 40 minutes!

Taichi slaps himself, then KICKS Takagi! And KICKS! Taichi eggs Takagi on, and Takagi stands, but throws a weak forearm. Fans fire up for Taichi as he brings Takagi up. But Takagi JABS! And HEADBUTTS!! Taichi drops and Takagi staggers away to a corner! Fans rally and duel, and Takagi runs in to forearm! And forearm! And forearm! Taichi wobbles and stumbles around, into more forearms! Takagi LARIATS! Taichi FOREARMS! Takagi FOREARMS! Takagi runs in, into a ROUNDHOUSE! And then TENSHO JUJIHOU!!! Takagi is down and in a daze, Taichi covers out of habit!

Taichi remembers and he lets off. Taichi drags Takagi up, into the SEITEI JUJIRO!! Takagi endures, reaches out, but Taichi twists him around! Fans rally and duel, Red Shoes keeps checking with Takagi, but Takagi refuses to give up! Taichi twists again but Takagi powers his way out! Both men are down again, running on fumes! Taichi wags his finger, he’s not done yet. Taichi roars and J5G fire up with the fans! Taichi staggers over to Takagi, drags him up, and powers up to JUMPING HIGH KICK!! Takagi leans against ropes and Hiromu coaches him on! Takagi staggers over, but into another JUMPING HIGH KICK!

Taichi powers out, JUMP- PUMPING BOMBER!! Takagi swats the kick away with his clothesline! Takagi roars, runs, but into another JUMPING HIGH KICK!! Taichi isn’t done, he wraps on the SEITEI JUJIRO!!!! Takagi is fading! Taichi thrashes him around, Hiromu has the towel but Bushi has him hold on! But Takagi is barely moving! Hiromu shouts at him to get back up!! But Taichi just keeps thrashing him around!!! Fans duel as hard as they possibly can, but Red Shoes checks Takagi. Takagi is OUT!!! Taichi wins!!!

Winner: Taichi by 3-2, pinfall, KO and TKO (NEW KOPW Champion)

Clocking in at 43 minutes and 40 seconds, the battle finally ends, as does Takagi’s reign! Will the Rampaging Dragon be able to soar again after this?

As for Taichi, after finally catching his breath and standing back up, the belt is put around his waist. Fans chant “Let’s Go, Taichi!” as Taichi gets the mic. Taichi starts by saying, “Hold on a moment.” Taichi still has to catch a bit more, then he says, “Takagi. Thank you. Thank you for standing in front of me over and over and over again, and being my wall. Thank you very much.” Fans applaud the sportsmanship. Taichi says it is thanks to Takagi that they could put on such fiery matches for this title. For a moment, Taichi thought, “Let’s do it again.”

Taichi says that even if you lose again and again, so long as you bounce back, so long as you don’t give up, so long as you keep trying, you’ll definitely get the results you want one day. He was told by his team that was a challenge, but he overcame it, so he thanks them for their support. Taichi knows Sanada usually closes with his “present,” or Taka would say the catchphrases, but Taichi has something more to say first. Taichi is proud that he won this title here in Kagoshima. Because of everywhere in Japan, he loves Kagoshima the most. Fans cheer and Sanada laughs at Taichi copying his line.

Taichi then hands the mic over to Taka, and he says that with that, they will close with their team name. They are who? The fans reply, “JUST! FIVE! GUYS!” Okay, well, perhaps it hasn’t caught on quite yet. “SO WHAT?! We’re gonna change everything!” That means they’re changing the landscape here in NJPW! They are JUST! FIVE! GUYS!! Sanada has the world title, Taichi now has the KOPW title, will J5G keep adding gold to the collection?


My Thoughts:

A great event for NJPW, especially as a prelude to Wrestling Dontaku that also isn’t part of the Dontaku build. Now, yes, skipped things again, but it turns out the results were relevant. Really good Six Man Tag from LIJ, and we got the standard formula for the go-home math. Sanada gets the win off Bushi to keep Hiromu strong going into their match. But I don’t expect this to affect the go-home math much, aka I don’t expect Sanada to lose the world title. He only just got it, so he’s not losing it for a good amount of time. But Hiromu will surely have a strong showing so that he also goes into BOSJ 30 still looking good.

The IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship match was awesome stuff, but of course, Aussie Open always has great matches. They did a great tease of TMDK winning, but Aussie Open pulls it out. And now they have two teams coming for them, which is a good move. Bishamon wanting the titles again is logical, and House of Torture moving on from the NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag titles also makes sense, but I don’t see either team winning if NJPW and AEW agree that Aussie Open should get at like FTR and the AEW World Tag titles.

And then we got just an amazing main event with that unique stipulation. It was a bit silly for Takagi to forget that after getting a pin, he didn’t need another pin. And I like that they paralleled each other instead of having unique bingo cards, as these two have become rivals through this title. And in the end, a great win for Taichi and Just5Guys by extension. It is incredible that NJPW has been able to turn the KOPW title around from being a comedy belt (which was still a great time) into a title that comes up with innovative and hard-hitting stipulations. Can’t wait to see what Taichi comes up with now that he is the defending champion.

My Score: 8.8/10


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Coverage

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

Prepare for Backlash!

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

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

OFFICIAL RESULTS

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

PLAY BY PLAY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Bloodline arrives backstage.

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

 

Nick Aldis is in the ring.

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

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

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

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

 

Backstage interview with Naomi.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Backstage interview with Bayley.

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

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

 

Paul Heyman talks with Solo Sikoa.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Heyman goes to the parking lot.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winner: Santos Escobar, by pinfall

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

 

VIP Skybox interview with Damage CTRL!

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

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

 

Cody Rhodes speaks.

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

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

 

WWE Women’s Championship: Bayley VS Naomi!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


My Thoughts:

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

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

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

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

My Score: 8.9/10


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

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

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

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

Ratings:

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

 

Results:

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

Little Guido w/New FBI vs Hammerstone

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

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

LSG vs Joe Hendry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rosemary w/Havok vs Jody Threat w/Dani Luna

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overall Score: 6.5/10

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

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

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


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