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Mitchell’s NJPW Fighting Spirit Unleashed Results & Report! (10/28/23)

Viva Las Vegas!

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Who comes away with the jackpot?

NJPW hits Sin City and puts up the gold! Will Tama Tonga still be NEVER Openweight Champion? Or will he fail to slay the LIJ Dragon, Shingo Takagi?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Kickoff Match – Strong Survivor Match: Matt Vandagriff VS Buck Skynyr; Vandagriff wins.
  • Kickoff Match – Six Man Tag: Team Filthy VS Baliyan Akki, Titus Alexander & Jakob Austin Young; Team Filthy wins.
  • NJPW Strong Openweight Championship #1 Contender’s Fatal 4 Way: Satoshi Kojima VS Fred Rosser VS Jeff Cobb VS Alex Coughlin; Kojima wins and will challenge for the title.
  • Johnnie Robbie & Lluvia VS Zeuxis & Stephanie Vaquer; Zeuxis & Vaquer win.
  • Tom Lawlor VS Gabe Kidd; Kidd wins.
  • Atlantis’ 40th USA Anniversary 8 Man Tag: Atlantis, Atlantis Jr, Mistico & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Tiger Mask, Soberano Jr, Rocky Romero & Adrian Quest; Atlantis, Atlantis Jr, Mistico & Tanahashi win.
  • NJPW Strong Women’s Championship: Giulia VS HYAN; Giulia wins and retains the title.
  • NJPW Strong Openweight Tag Team Championships: El Phantasmo & Hikuleo VS Lance Archer & Alex Zayne; ELP & Leo win and retain the titles.
  • NJPW Strong Openweight Championship: Eddie Kingston VS HENARE; Eddie wins and retains the title.
  • SANADA & Yuya Uemura VS Tetsuya Naito & Hiromu Takahashi; Time Limit Draw.
  • NEVER Openweight Championship: Tama Tonga VS Shingo Takagi; Takagi wins and becomes the new NEVER Openweight Champion.

PLAY BY PLAY

A video plays.

A man in cowboy boots walks into a bar. Old Westerns play on the TV. He takes a few shots, plays some arcade shooters, then throws darts at a picture of Toru Yano…? It’s JOEY JANELA!? The Bad Bad Boy is coming to NJPW,  for the Lonestar Shootout!

 

NJPW Strong Women’s Championship: Giulia VS HYAN!

The Beautiful Madness is just the second woman to hold this title, and she doesn’t plan on letting go of it just yet. Will Giulia have Lady Luck on her side? Or will The Renaissance Woman add being a champion to her skillset?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we see who really has the hot hand!

The bell rings and fans rally up already. They cheer Giulia and she soaks it up. Hyan shrugs it off as she and Giulia circle. They tie up, Hyan powers Giulia back but Giulia powers Hyan back. Giuliar throws Hyan down but they stay tied up. Hyan fights up to headlock, then she throws Giulia! Hyan eggs Giulia on and fans rally up. Giulia offers a handshake and fans applaud. Hyan is wary but fans chant to “SHAKE HER HAND!” Hyan accepts, and then Giulia kicks low! Giulia headlocks, but Hyan throws her away! Giulia runs up, Hyan sweeps and covers, ONE! Giulia sweeps and covers, ONE! Hyan headlocks but Giulia powers out, only to get run over!

Fans cheer Hyan as she aims and runs corner to corner. Giulia dodges, to then CHOP! Fans rally as Giulia wrenches Hyan’s hair, then TOSSES her across the way! Giulia storms up, stomps Hyan, then goes to the opposite corner. Fans fire up as Giulia runs in to ELBOW Hyan! Then she snapmares and basement dropkicks! Cover, TWO! Hyan hangs tough but Giulia brings her up. Giulia whips, Hyan reverses but Giulia reverses back, IRON OCTOPUS! Fans cheer as Hyan endures, and Hyan steps her way to the ROPEBREAK! But Giulia shifts to a sunset flip! TWO, and Giulia whips. Hyan LARIATS Giulia down!

Fans rally, Hyan whips Giulia but Giulia reverses. Giulia runs in at the corner but into a BOOT! Hyan then runs to KNEE Giulia, and reel her in, for a BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO! Fans rally as Hyan stays focused. Hyan goes to a corner, she tunes up the band, and Giulia stands. Hyan runs in, but Giulia dodges to waistlock. Hyan elbows free, reels Giulia in, but Giulia back drops free! And SHOTGUNS Hyan down! Fans fire up as Giulia goes up top. Hyan stands, into Giulia’s MISSILE DROPKICK! Cover, TWO! Giulia stays cool and she hammerlocks. But Hyan CLUBS free! Giulia ROCKS Hyan, but Hyan ROCKS Giulia!

Giulia ROCKS Hyan again, but Hyan ROCKS Giulia again! They go back and forth, fans rally up, and Hyan- NO, Giulia blocks the knee! But Hyan HEADBUTTS! Hyan suplexes but Giulia fights it! Giulia suplexes but Hyan fights it! Hyan suplexes but Giulia DDT counters! Cover, TWO!! Hyan survives but Giulia drags her to an STF! Fans fire up and Hyan endures! Fans rally as Hyan crawls and reaches out, for the ROPEBREAK! The ref counts, Giulia lets go at 4. Giulia has Hyan on the apron but Hyan RAMS into Giulia! Hyan slingshots up and over, but Giulia holds ropes to stop the Sunset! Giulia sits on the cover, TWO and Giulia is sent out of the ring!

Hyan builds speed! She DIVES and direct hit into the railing! Fans fire up with Hyan and she drags Giulia into the ring. Hyan goes up the corner, but Giulia stands up! Giulia UPPERCUTS Hyan, climbs up to fire forearms, but Hyan hits back! They brawl up top, fans rally up and Hyan gets the edge! But Giulia HEADBUTTS in return! Fans fire up as Giulia brings Hyan into underhooks! SUPER BUTTERFLY PLEX!! Roll back and Giulia drags Hyan up, but Hyan FALCON ARROWS!! Both women are down and fans are all fired up! “This is Awesome!” as the ref checks. Hyan and Giulia are both still in this so a standing count begins.

Giulia and Hyan stir at 4 of 10, crawl after each other, and go forehead to forehead. Hyan SLAPS Giulia! Giulia SLAPS Hyan! They SLAP back and forth as they stand, and fans fire up as the shots go faster and faster! Giulia ROCKS Hyan, Hyan shoves Giulia, they both run, and Hyan FLYING ELBOWS! Hyan drags Giulia up to scoop and BACKBREAKER! Then she flips Giulia over, reels her in, and POWERBOMBS! High stack, TWO!! Giulia survives that power combo and Hyan can’t believe it! Giulia sputters, Hyan storms up on her, and Hyan drags Giulia up in chicken wings! GLAM- NO, Giulia arm-drags free!

Hyan runs up to BOOT Giulia, but Giulia comes back! Hyan gets around the lariat to back suplex, but Giulia lands on her feet! And GERMAN SUPLEXES in return! Fans fire up, Giulia brings Hyan in, but Hyan shoves back. They DOUBLE FOREARM! And DOUBLE FOREARM! And again! Giulia ROCKS Hyan this time, then fires off more forearms! Wind up, ITALIAN RIGHT HOOK! Fans fire up again and Giulia runs, into a SPEAR!! Cover, TWO!!! Giulia survives but Hyan just drags her back up! But then Giulia SAIDOS!! Hyan sits up, into a G-TRIGGER!! Cover, TWO!! But Giulia doesn’t stop, she scoops and NORTHERN LIGHTS BOMB!!! Cover, Giulia wins!

Winner: Giulia, by pinfall (still NJPW Strong Women’s Champion)

Giulia aces this match and walks away with the jackpot! But she still shows her opponent respect and the fans cheer that. Will Hyan look to come back around some day? Who is next for the #DangerousQueen now?

 

NJPW Strong Openweight Tag Team Championships: El Phantasmo & Hikuleo VS Lance Archer & Alex Zayne!

The Headbanga & The Young Guerilla took these titles off those nasty Bullet Club War Dogs, and now have their first defense on their hands. Will ELP & Leo show they’re not just a fluke? Or will they get burned by the #MonsterSauce?

Well, as is Archer’s pre-match ritual, he DECKS a Young Lion! And then another! And then another! Zayne figures whatever helps him get in the groove, that’s fine. Wait, where are the belts? Oh, “Bert & Ernie” bring them out for ELP & Leo. Well, it is almost Halloween. OH NO~, Archer CLOBBERS Bert & Ernie! Zayne says this is too far! Leo & ELP retaliate, then ELP puts Zayne in the ring. The bell rings, Zayne headlocks but ELP powers out. Zayne runs ELP over, things speed up as ELP hurdles and Zayne handsprings. They keep going and Zayne RANAS, but ELP handsprings through! Fans fire up as they keep going, and ELP DROPKICKS!

ELP kips up, fans chant for him, and he ROCKS Zayne! And CHOPS Zayne! And CHOPS again! ELP CHOPS Zayne in the corner, then tags in Leo. Leo storms up to- NO, Zayne dodges the chop! Archer reaches out, fans fire up, and Zayne tags him in! Fans fire up seeing the big, big men in here! Archer fires up, too, he’s been waiting to pick on someone his own size! They RAM shoulders, and neither falls! They RAM shoulders again, and again! They throw forearms, go back and forth, and fans chant “HE’S GOT GENES!” for Leo! Leo ROCKS Archer, ROCKS him again, and has him in a corner. Leo whips corner to corner, but Archer dodges!

Leo bounces off buckles, Archer kick slow, and reels him in?! Fans fire up and Archer wants them to get louder. The fans get louder, but Leo suplexes! Archer fights that to suplex! Leo fights that, swings but misses, and Archer CLOBBERS Leo! Fans fire up and Leo goes to a corner. Archer tags Zayne and gives him a boost, HIP TOSS SENTON! Then Archer BACK ELBOWS! Leo staggers, Zayne reels him in, but Leo CHOPS first! Zayne sputters, Leo runs in but Zayne dodges. Leo scoops, Zayne slips free and ENZIGURIS! Leo drops to a knee, but he still gets a leg! Zayne fires boxing elbows, then a mule kick!

Zayne runs, but into a HUGE back drop! Tag to ELP and he runs in, dodges Zayne and BLASTS Archer! Zayne runs in, ELP goes up and over, ducks ‘n’ dodges and CROSSBODIES! PLANCHA on Archer! Then SWANTON BOMB to LIONSAULT on Zayne! Cover, TWO! Zayne is still in this but fans rally for “E L P!” ELP reels Zayne in but Zayne Alabama Lifts! ELP fights that to get Zayne up, SITOUT BOMB! Cover, Archer breaks it! Leo kicks Archer and tosses him out. Leo then ROCKS Archer against railing! ELP knuckle locks and wrenches, but Archer sends Leo into railign! ELP goes up, up, kicks Zayne in the face, then tightrope walks!

ELP kicks Zayne again, keeps going around the corner, but then Archer has Leo to do the same!? They tightrope walk to the middle, ELP CHOPS! And CHOPS! Archer doesn’t flinch! PURPLE NURPLE! Archer just CHOPS ELP down, onto Zayne! But then Leo shoves Archer down onto ELP! Zayne BLASTS Leo off the apron, and Monster Sauce regroups! Archer ROCKS ELP, Zayne scoop, BAJA BLAST! Cover, TWO! ELP is still in this and fans rally up. Zayne drags ELP up, tags Archer, and they set ELP up. Kick, ROLLING AX KICK and LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! ELP survives and fans rally up. Archer tags Zayne and Monster Sauce coordinates.

Zayne suplexes but ELP slips free! ELP shoves Zayne into Archer! Then Leo runs in to clothesline Archer up and out! Zayne CHOPS Leo but ELP wrenches, straitjackets and torture racks! Leo runs to BOOT, and ELP spins around for the UFO NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Zayne survives and fans fire up again! ELP pounds the mat, fans rally with him, and ELP goes up the corner. Zayne scrambles up, Archer runs in and STEP-UP KNEES ELP! Zayne then runs corner to corner to NO HANDS RANA!! Archer drags ELP up to the CHOKE SLAM!! And then CHOKE SLAM SAULT!! Cover, LEO BREAKS IT!

Fans fire up as Archer grabs Leo! “This is Awesome!” as Leo now grabs Archer! The giants fight claw for claw, Archer breaks free to ROCK Leo! Archer runs, but into the POWER TRIP SLAM! And then GODSEND!! Fans are thunderous as Leo gets Zayne! GODSEND- NO, Zayne slips free to ENZIGURI! SUDDEN DEATH from ELP! ELP DIVES to take out Archer, and Leo hits another GODSEND!! Leo helps ELP get up, SUPER THUNDERKISS!!! Cover, ELP & Leo win!

Winners: El Phantasmo & Hikuleo, by pinfall (still NJPW Strong Openweight Tag Team Champions)

But wait, WEST COAST WRECKING CREW rushes out!? And they DOUBLE LOW BLOW the champs!! Fans boo as Jorel Nelson & Royce Isaacs beat down on ELP & Leo! Jorel then calls for a mic, and he is given one. The fans boo more as Jorel tells Vegas to listen. “In case you forgot who built this brand, let us remind you. In case y’all forgot who built this tag division, let us remind you! And in case you forgot who the best GADDAMN tag team is here, let us remind you, that that is the West Coast Wrecking Crew!”

Jorel gives Royce the mic, and Royce says he is sick and tired of random, thrown together, fly by night tag teams getting the opportunities he and Jorel deserve! They threw together two people, put them in World Tag League and give them these NJPW Strong Openweight Tag title matches, and now they’re the Strong Openweight Tag Team Champions right now. Well Jorel & Royce are not waiting, they’re taking! So GoD better learn to P R A Y. November 10th, Lonestar Shootout, you are looking at the NEW Strong Openweight Tag Team Champions! That’s #WreckingCrewShid! But will the WCWC really run NJPW?

 

NJPW Strong Openweight Championship: Eddie Kingston VS HENARE!

The Mad King knows Jay Lethal is after his ROH World Championship, but his fight with the Face of Fury goes back to their instant classic in the G1 Climax! Will Eddie hold onto this title? Or will he be conquered by the United Empire?

The introductions are made, the NJPW belt is raised, and we see who is truly NJPW Strong!

The bell rings and fans rally for Eddie as he stares down with Henare. They step up, feel things out, fans sing “F him up, Eddie, F him up!” Henare ignores that as he ties up with Eddie. They’re in a deadlock, then break. Henare flexes but Eddie just circles with him again. They tie up, Eddie puts Henare on ropes, but Henare turns that around. The ref counts, Henare lets off slowly, to CHOP! Eddie swings but Henare dodges and strikes a Maori stance. Eddie and Henare tie up but Henare kicks low! Henare headlocks, Eddie powers out but Henare blows through the chop to BOOT! Eddie gets up to CHOP Henare down!

Henare gets up, feints one kick to SPIN KICK! And SLIDING KNEE! Eddie tumbles out of the ring while fans fire up with Henare. The ref checks Eddie but he’s okay to continue so a ring count starts. Henare goes out after Eddie before 3 of 20, and he CLUBS away on Eddie! Henare throws body shots and HEADBUTTS, then insults the fans! Henare digs his boots into Eddie against railing, but the ref counts. Henare lets off, Eddie gets up and stumbles while Henare eggs on the fans. Henare SMACKS Eddie off the apron, RAMS him into the apron, but Eddie CHOPS in return! Henare eggs Eddie on, so Eddie CHOPS!

Henare shoves Eddie, storms after him, and then KICKS him in the leg! The ref starts the ring count again, Henare whips Eddie into railing! But Eddie comes back to LARIAT Henare down! The count is 8 of 20 but Eddie puts Henare in. Henare goes to a corner, Eddie storms up but Henare body shots first! And again! Eddie sputters, Henare runs, and he runs Eddie over! Eddie goes to ropes but Henare CHOKES him! The ref reprimands, Henare lets off at 4, and fans start to duel, “Let’s Go, Eddie!” “HE-NA-RE!” Henare drags Eddie up to KNEE him in the head! And again! Eddie eggs Henare on!? Henare KNEES Eddie down!

Eddie is dazed but still conscious, so Henare drags him up. Eddie CHOPS the legs, CHOPS the chest, then CHOPS again! Henare nods and eggs Eddie on. Eddie CHOPS, Henare ROCKS Eddie, then whips. Eddie reverses to kitchen sink knee! Eddie underhooks but Henare blocks the suplex, to Eddie gives some Kawada kicks. Henare still blocks the underhooks, wrenches out and HEADBUTTS Eddie down! Fans fire up and Henare slaps sense into himself. Henare sits Eddie up to KICK him in the back, and SENTON! Cover, TWO! Eddie grits his teeth as he stays in this, but Henare keeps cool and the fans duel again.

Henare paces around, Eddie sits up, and Henare KICKS him! Eddie just snarls! Henare likes that, and he KICKS Eddie again! Eddie growls and grits his teeth again as he stands back up. Henare KICKS Eddie down! Cover, ONE!! Henare glares at the ref but his cover was a bit lax. Eddie goes to the corner, Henare runs in, but Eddie dodges the knee! MACHINE GUN CHOPS! The fans fire up, Eddie reloads to MACHINE GUN CHOP again! Eddie tops it off with one more CHOP, and then an EXPLODER! The fans fire up while both men are down! Henare sits up first as he clutches his neck, but he and Eddie head for each other.

Fans duel as Henare and Eddie rise to their feet. Eddie CHOPS! Henare staggers, but he comes back to CHOP! Eddie seethes, but he CHOPS again! Henare grits his teeth and CHOPS! Eddie brings down the straps, and CHOPS! They go CHOP for CHOP, but Eddie gets the edge! Eddie starts giving ridge hands! Eddie runs, into a JUMP KNEE! Eddie is dazed again, and Henare wants the full nelson! ULTIMA- NO, Eddie fights the lock! Henare tries, Eddie powers up, but Henare gets him for a FULL NELSON SLAM! The kneepad comes down and Henare fires himself up with a Haka! Eddie flounders to a corner, drags himself up, and Henare runs in to SHINING WIZARD!

Henare shoves Eddie out, runs back in, RAMPAGE!! Cover, TWO!! Eddie survives but Henare doesn’t stop, he PENALTY KICKS! Cover, TWO!! Henare is shocked but the fans fire up again! Eddie reaches out in a daze, but Henare has his Monster Rage boil up! Henare drags Eddie up and in, fisherman and- NO, Eddie fights out to URAKEN! Henare JUMP KNEES! URAKEN! HEADBUTT! URAKEN!! Eddie falls on the cover, TWO!!! Eddie almost had a repeat of their G1 match! Fans are thunderous as Eddie and Henare stir. Eddie and Henare rise up, the fans hope they “FIGHT FOREVER!” but this has to end somehow.

Eddie CHOPS, but Henare CHOPS! Eddie CHOPS again, so Henare fires a forearm! Eddie checks his face, and then CHOPS! They stand, Henare forearms! Eddie CHOPS! Forearm! CHOP! Repeat! Henare gets the edge and then KICKS, but Eddie blocks to URAKEN!! Henare swings, but into a SAIDO!! Henare roars to his feet, swings again, but into a HALF ‘N’ HALF!! And then the BACKFIST TO THE FUTURE!! TWICE!! Cover, Eddie wins!!

Winner: Eddie Kingston, by pinfall (still NJPW Strong Openweight Champion)

Somehow, someway, Eddie survives another instant classic! The sequel was even better than the original, but will we get a trilogy out of the Mad King and Face of Fury?

But wait! Here comes Satoshi Kojima! He won that Fatal 4 Way #1 Contender’s match earlier tonight, so he wants to look Eddie in the eyes. Kojima gets a mic so he can also say in person, “Congratulations, Mr. Eddie Kingston. You are very strong. But I love bread.” Fans chant for “BREAD! BREAD! BREAD!” Kojima says next time, NJPW is in Dallas, Texas. And one way or another, Kojima will kick Eddie’s ass! Fans fire up for that! Eddie steps to Kojima, but Kojima smiles and hands the mic over. Eddie tells Kojima, “I’ll see you in Texas, motha-” Fans cheer that! The Mad King or the King of Bread Style, who will truly be NJPW Strong?

 

NJPW has even more in store for Lonestar Shootout!

Friday, November 10th, Garland, Texas, NJPW brings along not just the NJPW Strong Openweight and Strong Openweight Tag Team Championships, but they’re roping in David Finlay, Jon Moxley, Mistico, Ultimo Guerrero, and Kenta! Tickets on sale now, and streaming on NJPW World, get ready to get wild in the Wild Wild West!

 

SANADA & Yuya Uemura VS Tetsuya Naito & Hiromu Takahashi!

The Cold Skull is set to face the Uncontrollable Charisma at WrestleKingdom 18, the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship on the line! So as both sides build momentum, can the Heat Storm help Sanada stay sharp? Or will the Ticking Timebomb help Naito have more, more, MORE fun in Las Vegas?

The fans rally for “NA-I-TO!” as he takes his time taking off his entrance attire. Then the fans chant for Sanada, for Hiromu, and for Yuya, until they decide to cheer on “All These Guys! All These Guys!” Naito finally puts the pants away, the teams sort out, and after LIJ fist bumps, Naito starts against Sanada in a preview of WrestleKingdom. Fans rally up with the bell, and the two circle. The chants duel, “SA-NA-DA!” “NA-I-TO!” The two mirror each other, Sanada knowing Naito’s tricks. They tie up, are in a deadlock, and fans cheer. Sanada powers Naito back a step at a time and has him on ropes, but Naito turns it around.

The ref counts, Naito lets off slowly and he pats his old teammate on the shoulders. Then SPITS at him! Sanada blocks the kick, CLUBS the leg, and tosses Naito out! Sanada cleans himself with the ref’s shirt, then builds speed, but Sanada tumbles up and out as Naito slides in! Naito BLAST Sanada off the apron, builds speed himself now, but Yuya trips him up! Sanada must’ve taught Yuya Naito’s tricks. Fans are torn but Sanada thanks his teammate for that. Sanada stomps Naito, tags Yuya, and now Yuya brings Naito up and around. Yuya CHOPS and Naito stumbles. Yuya CHOPS again, then CHOPS again!

Yuya headlocks and grinds the hold, but Naito powers up and fishhooks Yuya’s nose! Naito sends Yuya to a corner but Yuya goes up and over to arm-drag! And DOUBLE CHOP! Fans fire up with Yuya and he covers, TWO! Yuya BLASTS Hiromu for good measure before he brings Naito up. Yuya wrenches, YANKS, then whips. Naito reverses, atomic drops, and Hiromu is in to dropkick the legs out! Naito basement dropkicks while Hiromu BLASTS Sanada down! Naito turns Yuya over for a Camel Clutch, and Hiromu fires up to basement dropkick! Fans cheer LIJ and Hiromu gets them to get louder in a very Sanada move.

Naito brings Yuya up, tags in Hiromu, and Hiromu brings Yuya around to CLUB him! And CLUB him again! Yuya CHOPOS Hiromu, ROCKS Naito, then fires off CHOPS! Hiromu CHOPS in return! Yuya sits down but Hiromu stands him up, to CHOP him down! Tag to Naito and Naito drags Yuya up. Fans rally, LIJ double whip, and they DOUBLE LARIAT! Cover, TWO, but Naito clamps on the leg scissor nelson! Yuya endures, fights around, and has the ROPEBREAK! The ref counts, Naito claims he needs help as always, so the ref has to pry the legs off Yuya. Naito tags Hiromu back in and Hiromu stomps Yuya at the ropes.

Yuya stands up but Hiromu CHOPS him! And CHOPS him! And then suplexes, but Yuya slips free! Yuya ducks an elbow to CHOP! And SAI- NO, Hiromu fights the suplex, runs, but Yuya gets around to hit a BIG back suplex after all! Both men are down and the fans rally up. Yuya and Hiromu crawl, but Hiromu hot tags Naito! Naito kicks and whips but Yuya reverses to SAYANAGI, and DRAGON ARM SCREW! Fans rally up and Yuya hot tags Sanada! Sanada storms up on Naito to YANK the bad arm! And YANK again! Sanada whips, Naito reverses but Sanada dropkicks the leg to then DROPKICK Naito down!

Sanada kips up and fans fire up! Naito is in the corner, Sanada runs in but he blocks a boot. Sanada trips Naito, and he has the legs! Fans fire up as Sanada ties Naito up, but Naito kicks free. Naito runs in but into a RANA! But Naito rolls through, only for Sanada to roll through! Sanada ties Naito up in PARADISE! Fans fire up and Sanada has them get louder. The fans oblige and Sanada likes that. Sanada then runs to DROPKICK Naito out of Paradise! Cover, TWO! Naito is still in this, but Sanada still has the fans. Sanada drags Naito up, fireman’s carries, but Naito fights free! Naito then spins Sanada and hits a NECKBREAKER!

Fans rally up for Naito again and he tags Hiromu. Hiromu brings Sanada up, whips him to ropes, but Sanada reverses to RUSSIAN LEG SWEEP! Fans fire up and Sanada crawls for his corner, hot tag to Yuya! The Heat Storm fires up and he runs in at Hiromu, to SPLASH! And BULLDOG! Cover, TWO! Fans rally as Hiromu stays in this, but Yuya drags him up to trap the arms. But Hiromu fights free and ROCKS Yuya! Hiromu then dodges Yuya but Yuya  follows to UPPERCUT! Yuya runs, but Hiromu follows to UPPERCUT! Hiromu runs but knows Yuya follows so he fireman’s carries! But Yuya fights free and shove Hiromu!

Yuya runs in, but into a BOOT! Hiromu runs but Yuya dodges to CROSSBODY! Cover, TWO! Hiromu is still in this but Yuya pounds the mat. The fans rally behind him as Hiromu goes to a corner. Yuya runs in to ELBOW, then he fires up again. Yuya whips corner to corner, runs in, but Hiromu dodges the splash! Naito is there to hip toss! LIJ BASEMENT DROPKICK SANDWICH! Naito BLASTS Sanada and Hiromu covers, TWO! Yuya is still in this for his team but Hiromu drags Yuya up. FALCON ARROW! Cover, TWO! Sanada and Naito scrap on the outside, and Sanada RAMS Naito into railing!

Hiromu drags Yuya up, but Yuya fires a forearm! Hiromu forearms Yuya, Yuya forearms back! Fans rally as the shots keep going! Hiromu roars, Yuya roars, and the forearms pick up speed! Hiromu ROCKS Yuya, then ducks Yuya’s forearm to fireman’s carry! But Yuya slips free and shoves again! Hiromu comes back, but Yuya traps the arms! KAMU- NO, Hiromu fights the suplex! And HEADBUTTS! But Yuya ROCKS him first! Hiromu SUPERKICKS! Yuya DROPKICKS! Both men are down and the fans fire up! The ref checks both men, they’re still in this, and “This is Awesome!” as both men crawl for their corners. Hot tags to Naito and Sanada!

Naito runs up, Sanada dodges to CHOP! Naito fires a forearm, so Sanada CHOPS! Forearm, CHOP, repeat! Fans rally up, Naito smiles and Sanada eggs Naito on. Naito fires a forearm, Sanada CHOPS, repeat! They keep going back and forth, and Naito gets the edge! Naito grins, but Sanada CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS! Naito just gets in Sanada’s face, to then throw a heavy back elbow! And another! And then he SPITS at Sanada again! Sanada reels Naito in for a BIG back suplex! Fans fire up while both men are down! Fans hope they “FIGHT FOREVER!” but this match only has a 20 minute time limit!

Sanada calls Yuya in, they get Naito up to double whip and DOUBLE DROPKICK! Yuya then goes after Hiromu while Sanada sets Naito up for MAGIC SCREW! Cover, TWO! Sanada shakes his head and the fans rally up as he paces around. Sanada puts Naito in the dragon sleeper! And the SKULL SWING! Fans fire up for the SKULL END! Naito endures, flails, and Hiromu fights off Yuya! But Yuya anchors Hiromu on the apron! Naito fades but gets a second wind at the 15 minute mark! Hiromu reaches out for Naito, Naito kicks around for ropes, ROPEBREAK! The fans fire up and the ref counts, but Sanada lets off quickly and cleanly.

Sanada drags Naito up as the fans duel again. Sanada scoops to BACKBREAKER, and Naito is in the drop zone! Sanada goes up top, but Hiromu anchors Sanada now! The ref counts, Sanada and Hiromu pull each other’s hair, but Naito smiles as he CLUBS Sanada! And CLUBS him again and again! Naito turns Sanada around, fires forearms, and SPITS at Sanada! Fans want that “One More Time!” Naito SPITS again! Fans cheer, and then Naito goes up, but Sanada slips under! Sanada drags Naito off the corner with a waistlock but Naito fights. Naito RAMS Sanada into a corner, then reels him in for those heavy elbows!

Naito goes up the corner, reels Sanada in at the three minute warning, and hits ESPERANZA! Fans fire up and Naito aims from the corner. Sanada rises slowly as the fans rally up. Naito runs in, but Sanada DROPKICKS! Naito ENZIGURIS! Naito wrenches but Yuya DROPKICKS! Hiromu gets in, spins Yuya, but Yuya fights the suplex! Yuya dodges the haymaker, but runs into the HIROM-CHAN BOMBER! Sanada runs in, Hiromu SUPERKICKS! Two minute warning, but Hiromu helps with the SWING- NO, Sanada slips free to ENZIGURI Naito and DROPKICK Hiromu! SHINING WIZARD!! All four men are down and the fans are thunderous!

Naito and Sanada stir, slowly sit up and head for each other, and Naito throws a forearm! Sanada throws a forearm, and we’re at the literal last minute! Fans are thunderous as the forearms just keep flying! Naito roars, the forearms pick up even more speed, and Sanada roars now! Sanada gets the edge, fireman’s carries, T K O!! Thirty seconds at the cover, HIROMU BREAKS IT! Sanada TOSSES Hiromu and hurries to drag Naito into the dragon sleeper! SKULL END!! Ten seconds left as Naito endures! Naito flails, reaches out, is he tapping?! The bell rings first!!

Time Limit Draw

Sanada almost had Naito there, but Naito was essentially saved by the bell! If this is how intense it is in a tag match, how much more intense will it be when these two go 1v1 with no limits?

Wait, who is this rolling Hiromu up on stage? Danny Limelight! TWO, and Danny cradles Hiromu now, TWO!! Danny wants that DDT Pro Ironman Heavyweight Championship but Hiromu runs away into the night! Can Hiromu make it out of Sin City with that second belt of his? Or will someone get lucky before the night is over?

 

NEVER Openweight Championship: Tama Tonga VS Shingo Takagi!

The Good Bad Guy finally got this title back back Destruction in Ryogoku, and was the one who challenged the Rampaging Dragon to this fight! Will Tama be able to slay that dragon? Or will Takagi make things tranquilo here in Sin City?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we see if Tama’s gamble pays off!

The bell rings and the two circle as fans rally. They approach, tie up, and are in a deadlock. Takagi pushes Tama back a step, but Tama pushes Takagi back a step. They go back and forth, but then Tama puts Takagi on ropes. The ref counts, Tama lets off slowly, and he pats Takagi on the chest. The fans applaud the sportsmanship and the two reset. Takagi and Tama feel things out, knuckle lock, and then go shoulder to shoulder in a test of strength. Takagi then knees one knuckle lock apart, wrenches the other arm, and hammerlocks. Tama moves around, switches the hammerlock onto Takagi then headlocks for a takeover.

Takagi headscissors, Tama kips free, and the fans cheer the exchange. Tama and Takagi reset as the fans duel. The two circle, feel things out again, and knuckle lock, but then Takagi drop toeholds. Takagi headlocks, Tama slips out the back to headlock in return. Tama grinds the hold but Takagi fights up and powers out. Tama RAMS shoulders with Takagi but neither falls! Takagi eggs Tama on, then he fires a forearm! Tama gives it back so Takag shouts, “OI!” The forearms go back and forth, fans rally up, and Takagi JABS! JABS! And JABS! Takagi whips, Tama ducks ‘n’ dodges and RAMS Takagi, but Takagi rebounds, only for Tama to run him over!

Tama stalks Takagi, CLUBS him in the chest again and again, then brings him up. Tama scoops to SLAM Takagi, and he goes from the elbow to JUMPING ELBOW DROP! Cover, ONE!! Takagi is tougher than that but Tama keeps cool. Tama brings Takagi up, ROCKS him with a forearm, then ROCKS him again! Takagi eggs Tama on, Tama throws a HEADBUTT! Tama scoops, Takagi slips free to waistlock, but Tama elbows free. Tama runs, into an ELBOW! JAB! YUKON LARIAT! Fans fire up while Takagi steadies himself. Tama stands, Takagi clotheslines him up and out! Fans fire up more as Takagi goes out to fetch Tama.

Takagi gives the fans a quick Jushin Thunder Liger pose, then he stands on Tama’s face at the railing. The ref counts, Takagi steps away, and he drags Tama up. Takagi fireman’s carries to SNAKE EYES off the apron! Tama flounders about, Takagi kicks and DDTS him to the floor! The ref checks but Tama is still in this, so the fans rally up. The ring count starts but Takagi takes his time bringing Tama up. Tama is a bit of dead weight but Takagi still stands him and puts him in at 9 of 20. To then slingshot knee drop! Takagi digs that knee in at the ropes, the ref reprimands and counts, and Takagi lets go of the ropes with his hands. Not the problem!

Takagi stands on Tama, then DOUBLE STOMPS as he lets off! Fans cheer while Tama sputters. Takagi drags Tama up, snapmares and runs, to then drop an elbow! Cover, ONE!! Tama is tough but Takagi wraps on body scissors! Tama endures as Takagi squeezes, but Tama fires off elbows! Takagi BELL CLAPS Tama for that! Takagi drags Tama up, reels him in and suplexes high and hard! Tama writhes but Takagi pushes him to a cover, TWO! Takagi keeps cool while the fans fire back up. Takagi steps on Tama, then SENTONS! Fans rally and duel as Takagi stalks Tama. Takagi eggs Tama on and Tama throws body shots.

Tama fires a forearm, then another body shot, but Takagi HEADBUTTS him down! Tama goes to ropes, fans duel, and they boo the one drunk going “Shingo sucks!” Takagi KNEES Tama against ropes, KNEES him again, then whips Tama to ropes for another knee! Takagi runs, but into a DROPKICK! Both men are down again and fans fire back up! Fans rally up as Takagi goes to a corner and Tama stands back up. Tama aims, runs in, and clotheslines! Tama fires body shots and forearms, the ref counts, but Tama fires off even more shots! Tama KNEES, HEADBUTTS, and CLUBS Takagi, but lets off as the ref counts.

Tama whips Takagi into the corner to then clothesline again! Fans continue to rally as Tama whips corner to corner, but Takagi reverses. Tama comes back to LARIAT! And OFF COMES THE VEST! Tama paces as he watches Takagi, and Takagi gets up in a corner. Tama STINGER SPLASHES, then POWERSLAMS! Cover, TWO! Takagi sputters but he’s still in this. Tama keeps cool and he paces around. Tama throws down fists, and the fans duel as Tama brings Takagi up. Takagi holds ropes to stop the whip but Tama fires off forearms! Tama whips, Takagi reverses and fireman’s carries, but Tama sunset flips, to step through!

Fans fire up as Tama has the SHARPSHOOTER!! Takagi endures as Tama sits deep on the hold! Fans rally and duel, Takagi continues to endure and fight around! Takagi reaches out, but Tama drags him from ropes! Fans fire up as Takagi continues to endure! Takagi powers up, moves around, goes to the side, reaches out and has the ROPEBREAK! Tama lets go quickly and the fans continue to rally. Tama paces around Takagi, then rains down forearms! Tama lets off to bring Takagi up but Takagi blocks the urenage! Fans duel as Takagi throws elbows! Then ELBOW! JAB! YUKON FEINT to DDT!

Fans fire up while both men are down again! Takagi rises, and he looks to a camera. Takagi lets us know, IT’S TIME! Takagi drags Tama up, reels him in, but Tama CLUBS the saido down! Takagi ROCKS and whips Tama, but Tama reverses to- NO, Takagi avoids the dropkick, to SLIDING PUMPING BOMBER! Fans fire up and hope these two “FIGHT FOREVER!” This is the main event, it might as well keep going! Takagi gives Tama toying kicks, then hauls him up in a pump handle. Tama fights the lift, then gets around, but Takagi snapmares free! DOUBLE LARIATS collide, but neither man falls!

Takagi eggs Tama on, DOUBLE LARIATS collide again! Tama drops to a knee but Takagi stays up. Only for Tama to EXPLODER! We hit 15 minutes as Tama clinches, but Takagi hits an EXPLODER! But then Tama hits another EXPLODER! But then Takagi SAIDOS! Takagi runs, but Tama swats the lariat, jumps, for VENENO!! Wait, Takagi deadlifts out of the DDT?! To TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT!! Fans are thunderous again as both men are down! The ref checks, Tama is still in this and so is Takagi. “This is Awesome!” as Tama and Takagi stir. Takagi and Tama crawl after each other, and Takagi junkyard dog headbutts.

Tama throws a SLAP! Takagi CHOPS! Tama HEADBUTTS! Takagi CHOPS! Tama JABS! Takagi RIDGE HANDS! They stand, Tama fires a forearm! Takagi ROCKS Tama back! Tama ROCKS Takagi back! Fans fire up as Takagi wobbles, and Takagi comes back to fire boxing elbows! Tama PELES, then fireman’s carries! S R C! Tama goes up fast, to SUPREME FLOW!! Cover, TWO!?! Takagi survives the splash and fans fire up again! Tama watches as Takagi stirs again, and he pounds the mat. The fans clap along, Takagi stands, GUN- NO, Gory Especial for NOSHIGAMI! Takagi turns that around and both men are down again!

Fans rally, Takagi goes to a corner, and he drags himself up. The fans fire up as Takagi headbutts the buckle, to then PUMPING BOMBER!! Takagi isn’t done there, he pump handles, MADE IN JAPAN!! Cover, TWO?!? Tama survives and shocks Takagi! The fans fire up again as “Both These Guys! Both These Guys!” are still fighting. Takagi drags Tama up again, pump handles and torture racks, but Tama CLUBS free! Takagi LARIATS point blank, then tries again. Tama fights free again, to TONGAN TWIST! Both men are down again and the fans continue to rally! Tama rises first but Takagi follows.

Tama brings Takagi up but Takagi fights the suplex. Takagi throws body shots, powers out and ELBOWS! JABS! But Tama BOOTS the Yukon and ducks the discus to reel Takagi in for BLOODY SUNDAY!! Cover, TWO!! Takagi survives the shoutout to the Prince, but Tama vows to end this! Tama drags Takagi up, underhooks the arms, but Takagi fights the lift! Takagi wrenches out, but Tama dodges the lariat to GUN- NO! Takagi blocks to shove and GORY ESPECIAL BACKSLIDE! Tama rolls through but Takagi kicks low! Takagi reels Tama in, traps the arms, TAKAGI DRIVER 98!! Cover, TWO?!?!

Tama survives and the fans are thunderous again! Takagi and Tama slowly rise, Takagi runs in to SLIDING D! And then HAMMER ‘N’ ANVIL ELBOWS! Takagi then drags Tama up, SLEEPER! Then GROUND COBRA!! Takagi thrashes Tama around as he has him caught! Tama endures, fights around, reaches out with his free arm, scooting ever closer! Takagi thrashes Tama more and more, but Tama still fights over! ROPEBREAK!! Takagi lets go more in exhaustion than frustration, but he is a bit frustrated. Fans rally with Takagi as he drags Tama up. Tama is on the ropes, Takagi runs, PUMPING BOMBER!!! Cover, ONE?!?!? HOW?!?!

Takagi is shocked but now he’s mad! Takagi drags Tama up, reels him in, and he fires off boxing elbows! Takagi goes all the way to TEN, then he pump handles. Torture rack and LAST- GUN STUN!!!! Cover, TWO!??!? Now Takagi shocks Tama! At least, Tama would be shocked if he wasn’t so tired! Takagi stirs but Tama goes to ropes. Tama drags himself up, we pass 25 minutes and Tama storms up on Takagi. Tama reels Takagi in, underhooks, but Takagi blocks! Tama still tries, he CLUBS Takagi, then throws knees from all sides! Tama underhooks again, D- NO, Takagi BACK DROP BRIDGES! TWO!!!

Tama still has the arms! Tama drags Takagi up, but Takagi fights the lift with all he has left! Fans fire up and Takagi wrenches out. Tama swats but Takagi JABS! HEADBUTT! Tama HEADBUTTS back! Tama hauls Takagi up to D S- RANA??! Tama stands to SUPERMAN PUNCH! And GUN- NO, Takagi blocks and steals GUN STUN!?!? Fans are thunderous as Takagi PUMPING BOMBERS!!!! Cover, TWO?!?!?! As if the last time wasn’t shocking enough, Tama is still in this! Vegas is electric and Takagi roars! Pump handle, torture rack, LAST OF THE DRAGONS!!!!! TAKAGI WINS!!!!

Winner: Shingo Takagi, by pinfall (NEW NEVER Openweight Champion)

Las Vegas can’t believe it, but they love it! Tama put the belt up for ante and Takagi went all in to get it! Will the Good Bad Guy ever live down losing his own bet?

As for Takagi, he gets the belt put on his shoulder by the ref, given he’s rather tired. Takagi then gets a mic so he can say a little something. “My time. MY TIME is coming. TAKETAKE TA! I am so happy. Tama Tonga is good, is strong, but! I won.” Fans cheer that! Takagi then says actually, this is his third time as NEVER Openweight Champion. Fans chant, “You Deserve It!” Takagi nods and thanks them. So next? What’s next? Who is next?! Takagi wants someone to come out! Takagi waits, points at the stage, and says c’mon, somebody! Please! Takagi even says in Japanese that someone’s gotta answer him. Well, no one does so Takagi moves on.

Takagi promises that he will come back to Vegas. So see you next time, see you again! And in Japanese, he promises that this rampaging dragon will fly to the top! But wait, the lights go down? Then there’s a video. Trent Beretta!? Trent tells Takagi, “You, me, NEVER Openweight Championship. November 10th, Dallas, Texas. What do you say?” Takagi nods and says, “You got it!” Fans fire up, but can #JustTrent slay this Rampaging Dragon?


My Thoughts:

A great NJPW event for being stateside, and it’s wild that they’re gonna go again with Lonestar Shootout in just two weeks. I know I skipped to the latter half but that’s really where the meat of this show was anyway. Joey Janela coming to NJPW is awesome stuff for him, he’ll get to have a lot of fun just going kinda wild. Plus, him calling out Yano, they’re going to have a hilarious time. Giulia VS Hyan was a great match for the NJPW Strong Women’s title, but I had a feeling Giulia was going to win. She’s the second champ ever, she should really have a good, strong reign before losing.

Great tag title match, and I figured ELP & Leo would retain since their reign hasn’t been that long, either. But also great bit with WCWC attacking. Those guys are great, Royce Isaacs himself is looking bigger than the last time I… watched one of his matches… But ELP & Leo VS WCWC is going to be great stuff, but I feel like ELP & Leo will retain again. Awesome match from Eddie VS Henare, we definitely need a rematch of those two to finish the trilogy. And Eddie VS Kojima is going to be a lot of fun, especially since they both use Machine Gun Chops. Maybe Kojima wins so Eddie can focus on his ROH World title but I’m still leaning towards Eddie retaining.

The world title tune-up tag match was really good and I like that they went to time limit draw. It doesn’t hurt Sanada or Naito, and Hiromu is IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, he can’t be taking losses. Yuya could’ve taken the loss but he’s also going hot since joining Just5Guys, this was a good move to keep his momentum up, too. And what an awesome main event from Tama and Takagi, and what a surprise that this is the belt that changes hands tonight! I did not see that coming, and I kinda feel bad for Tama, he only had that belt 20 days. But Takagi having the NEVER Openweight Championship back is still cool, and maybe Tama can springboard from here to the IWGP United Kingdom/States now.

And then Trent making that challenge? What a great surprise. He worded his video rather generically, so he was probably going to challenge whoever was NEVER Openweight Champion regardless. But Takagi VS Trent will be great stuff, and I would think Takagi retains before moving onto a really big defense for WrestleKingdom.

My Score: 9/10


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Coverage

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

Prepare for Backlash!

Published

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

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

OFFICIAL RESULTS

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

PLAY BY PLAY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Bloodline arrives backstage.

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

 

Nick Aldis is in the ring.

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

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

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

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

 

Backstage interview with Naomi.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Backstage interview with Bayley.

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

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

 

Paul Heyman talks with Solo Sikoa.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Heyman goes to the parking lot.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winner: Santos Escobar, by pinfall

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

 

VIP Skybox interview with Damage CTRL!

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

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

 

Cody Rhodes speaks.

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

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

 

WWE Women’s Championship: Bayley VS Naomi!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


My Thoughts:

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

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

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

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

My Score: 8.9/10


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

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

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

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

Ratings:

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

 

Results:

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

Little Guido w/New FBI vs Hammerstone

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

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

LSG vs Joe Hendry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rosemary w/Havok vs Jody Threat w/Dani Luna

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overall Score: 6.5/10

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

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

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


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