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Mitchell’s NJPW Road to New Beginning Results & Report! (1/23/24)

Desperado VS Kanemaru!

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Former friends turned bitter enemies, that’s a tale as old as time!

NJPW is on the Road to Osaka’s New Beginning, but there are some old grudges that need to be handled. Will El Desperado get even with “Uncle Nobu?”

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Ryusuke Taguchi & Katsuya Marushima VS YOH & Shoma Kato; Taguchi & Marushima win.
  • 10 Man Tag: The United Empire VS Bullet Club War Dogs; The United Empire wins.
  • Six Man Tag: The Guerrillas of Destiny VS Bullet Club; Bullet Club wins.
  • 8 Man Tag: Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tomohiro Ishii & Tomoaki Honma VS TMDK; TMDK wins.
  • Six Man Tag: Tama Tonga, Shota Umino & Togi Makabe VS The House of Torture; The House of Torture wins.
  • 10 Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Just5Guys; Just5Guys win.
  • Master Wato VS SHO; Cancelled.
  • IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: El Desperado VS Yoshinobu Kanemaru; Desperado wins and retains the title.

PLAY BY PLAY

Master Wato heads to the ring.

And he’s on crutches?! Well that’s a clear indication something is wrong. Fans are a bit solemn seeing the Way to the Grandmaster slide into the ring, but then they cheer him on for standing here in the ring. Wato gets the mic, and he starts by apologizing to the fans that he won’t be able to compete tonight. He injured his left knee during his match during New Beginning in Nagoya this past Saturday, and upon examination, it turned out to be a cruciate tear of his left knee’s ACL. He then faced the reality that this would require surgery, and will have to miss a lot of time in the ring.

However, Wato vows that he will not just come back from this, but he will come back better and stronger, at truly 100%. WAIT! SHO ATTACKS!! Sho CLOBBERS Wato’s leg with the “Torture Tool” wrench!! Fans boo as Sho keeps hitting the leg, even while Wato’s down! The fans tell him to go home but Sho laughs at Wato’s pain! Sho even holds the mic to Wato’s face so we can all hear Wato cry in pain! Sho then mockingly says, “Oh, that’s really too bad~!” Sho says this is a big thank you to Wato! He really thought they were gonna have a match tonight and have to wrestle with “dignity,” so he was in a bit of a spot.

Sho then boasts that maybe he’s just too tough for the 2023 Best of the Super Junior winner. He might be in trouble if he gets too strong even for the Junior Heavyweight Division. And he feels bad for all the dummies who thought they were gonna see him and Wato wrestle tonight. Especially when this is free on NJPW World this time! HAH! He then taunts Wato for just sitting there, drooling and crying all over the mat. Wato should stand up to show Desperado and all these good people he’s still got heart! Sho says Wato’s like a little maggot worm down there! Grandmaster? More like grandchild! Master Maggot!

Sho then mockingly asks which leg was injured. Tear? Total tear? Well, it will be after this! Sho grabs one of the crutches!! BUT WAIT! Here comes Desperado! The Murder Machine goes running when he sees The Rogue Luchador here! Young Lions help Wato out of the ring, and Desperado helps him to his feet. Wato gets the mic again just to say, “House of Torture, I’m definitely coming back for you!” Wato is doubly motivated to get back in the ring, when and where will we see him come for revenge?

 

After the 10 Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Just5Guys…

J5G won, but Taichi got the mic to ask LIJ to stay. Taichi says he has a “proposal” for them. Takagi wants to storm in but Taichi tells him to “slow his roll.” Taichi says that the next time they’re in Korakuen Hall, February 5th, he wants a “Faction Gauntlet match.” Yeah, not elimination, but a gauntlet. “Win and stay in,” something you usually see in judo. They’ll enter by rank, “generals in last.” Takagi asks who determines ranks. Taichi says no one will know the match order until guys make their entrances. Fans like that idea! Taichi continues to explain that every “match” has a 10 minute time limit, which yeah, is pretty short.

And so yeah, it can end up 2v1, 3v1, 4v1, but once generals show up, there will be no more time limit! Fans also like the sound of that! Taichi says it’d be boring if it ended in a draw, so this will be “a winner-take-all match” so they can settle this once and for all. What does LIJ say to that? Takagi’s fired up but Naito doesn’t really react. Taichi says that’s fine, that’s all J5G has to say, “so please, head home safely. Thank you very much.” Now Taichi wants LIJ to leave, but they refuse. Okay did the idiots not understand him? If they’re confused by the match stipulations, he can explain again on his YouTube stream. Fans appreciate that.

But a unique match type has been created! Will the Holy Emperor and his guys win out? Or will LIJ beat them at their own game?

 

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: El Desperado VS Yoshinobu Kanemaru w/ The House of Torture!

The Rogue Luchador and Heel Master used to be on the same side in Suzuki-Gun, and were even champions together. But after Minoru Suzuki himself dissolved the group, things seemed to sour. “Uncle Nobu” has joined the dark side in The House of Torture, will he help add more gold to their treasury? Or will this title stay with Strong Style?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we finally see who was the strongest part of the team all along!

Surprisingly, The House goes to the back? Desperado offers a handshake in hopes there’s still respect somewhere in this former friendship, but Kanemaru kicks the hand away. The bell rings and the fans rally for “DESPE! DESPE!” Desperado and Kanemaru circle, tie up, and then break. They circle more, tie up again, and Kanemaru puts Desperado on ropes. Red Shoes counts, Kanemaru lets off slowly, and then he kicks low! Kanemaru whips, but Desperado hurdles the dropkick to the legs! But then Kanemaru dodges Desperado’s dropkick to the legs! But then Desperado dodges another dropkick to the legs!

Desperado bails out and fans cheer this back and forth. Kanemaru waits as Desperado goes around the outside. Desperado steps back in, ties up with Kanemaru and headlocks. Kanemaru pulls hair to power out, but Desperado runs Kanemaru over! Desperado runs but fakes out the dropdown, only for Kanemaru to avoid the elbow drop. Kanemaru headlocks but Desperado powers up and out again. Kanemaru runs Desperado over now, then runs, but he fakes out the dropdown to scuff Desperado. Desperado storms up, Kanemaru SLAPS him! Desperado runs up, Kanemaru dodges to arm-drag, then he has the armlock.

Desperado fights up while fans rally, but Kanemaru wrenches and headlocks. Desperado pries at the hold, powers back up, but Kanemaru holds on tight! Desperado tries again but Kanemaru still holds on tight! Desperado rolls to a cover, TWO! Kanemaru still has the headlock, but Desperado fights back up. Desperado powers out to headlock, but Kanemaru powers out! They crisscross as they run the ropes, and then Kanemaru dropkicks the legs out! Desperado clutches that knee, but fans rally as he goes to a corner. Kanemaru drags Desperado up to toss him out, and then follows. Desperado UPEPRCUTS first!

Kanemaru CLAWS Desperado’s eyes but lets off as Red Shoes reprimands. Kanemaru brings Desperado around and POSTS him! Desperado writhes but Kanemaru stalks him. Fans rally but Kanemaru goes looking under the ring. Kanemaru finds a chair, but Red Shoes tells him no! Kanemaru drops the chair to drag Desperado up to fireman’s carry. SNAKE EYES off the railing! Kanemaru sits the chair up, then runs up to use it as a step! Kanemaru gets on the railing, to then GUILLOTINE LEG DROP Desperado down! Fans cheer, that admittedly was impressive. The fans rally as Kanemaru leaves Desperado behind for the ring count.

Desperado crawls at 5 of 20, makes it to the gate at 10, and hobbles around at 14 to slide in at 15! Kanemaru whips Desperado to back drop him! Kanemaru drags Desperado up to TOSS him back out, and Desperado tumbles into railing. Kanemaru then whips Desperado hard into more railing! Kanemaru scoops and SLAMS Desperado right on the floor! Desperado writhes, the fans rally for him, but Kanemaru leaves him behind again. Red Shoes starts the ring count again, and the fans rally more. Desperado sputters but he’s still down at 10 of 20! Desperado hauls himself up and over at 15, and drags himself in at 18!

Fans cheer as this continues, but Kanemaru stands on Desperado’s face and asks him what’s going on, champ? Kanemaru kicks Desperado around, scuffs him, but Desperado glares. Desperado stands to SMACK Kanemaru! And ROCK him! Kanemaru claws the eyes! Kanemaru whips, runs in, but Desperado ELBOWS him away! Desperado runs up but Kanemaru blocks to make him do the splits! Then a ROLLING CUTTER! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up again but Kanemaru drags Desperado around, into a CAMEL CLUTCH! Desperado endures as Kanemaru bends him back! Kanemaru has his forearms across Desperado’s nose, forcing him to mouth-breath!

Fans rally as Desperado endures but Kanemaru thrashes him in the traditional chinlock style! Desperado fights to get an arm free, and he claws forward to the ROPEBREAK! Kanemaru lets off slowly, kneeling on Desperado. Every trick Desperado knows, Kanemaru taught him! Kanemaru lets off as Red Shoes counts, and he stomps Desperado down. Kanemaru throws hands, then avoids Desperado’s punches to claw at the eyes! Red Shoes reprimands but Kanemaru whips Desperado. Desperado holds ropes to KICK back! But Kanemaru claws eyes again! Kanemaru runs, but into a scoop and BIG back suplex!

Fans fire up while both men are down! Desperado drags Kanemaru up to hit another BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO! Kanemaru hangs tough but the fans rally behind Desperado. Desperado goes to ropes, fires himself up, and he runs in at the corner. Desperado blocks a boot to put that leg in the ropes, then he DROPKICKS the other leg! Desperado grabs that left leg to DRAGON SCREW! Fans fire up while Kanemaru writhes. Desperado drags Kanemaru out to YANK the leg, and hook it up in a STRETCH MUFFLER! Kanemaru scrambles to get the ROPEBREAK! Desperado lets go slowly, to “Oops!” and drop a knee on the leg!

Red Shoes reprimands Desperado but Desperado fires himself back up again. Desperado drags Kanemaru up, scoops, but Kanemaru lands out of it! But the bad leg jams! Desperado grins and storms up on Kanemaru. Kanemaru holds ropes to fight the whip but Desperado kicks the bad leg! Desperado whips, but Kanemaru hobbles and falls over. Fans boo, they aren’t sure if he’s exaggerating or not. Desperado storms up, and yeah, Kanemaru was setting a trap! Victory roll, TWO!! Desperado swings, Kanemaru dodges and then tilt-o-whirls to DDT! Cover, TWO! Fans rally for Desperado but Kanemaru goes to a corner.

Kanemaru climbs up and he aims as Desperado stands. DEEP- NO, Desperado turns DDT into SPINEBUSTER! High stack, TWO! Into STRETCH MUFFLER! Kanemaru reaches out, but Desperado gets the arm, NUMERO DOS! Desperado thrashes Kanemaru around but Kanemaru endures! Wait, Sho returns! So much for playing fair here! Red shoes tells Sho to stay away but Sho shrugs, he hasn’t done anything yet! Desperado lets Sho go, and then NARITA runs in! Narita shoves Desperado into Red Shoes! Fans boo, Desperado flips Narita off, but Narita bends that finger! Then Narita wraps on the SLEEPER HOLD!

Yujiro undoes a buckle pad, but wait! SHOTA UMINO rushes out here! And so do Tanahashi and Taguchi! Fans fire up as Hontai makes the save, going after the House of Torture! Narita CLAWS Shota’s eyes, runs, but into a DROPKICK! Fans cheer as Shota, Taguchi and Ace-sachou chase the House to the back! Desperado applauds that, too, and gets back to his feet. Desperado storms up on Kanemaru and drags him up. But Kanemaru blocks the gut wrench! Desperado kicks the bad leg, whips but Kanemaru reverses! Desperado stops from hitting bare buckles, only for Kanemaru to shove him in!

Kanemaru whips and Desperado hits bare buckles hard! Desperado writhes but the fans rally up as hard as they can. Kanemaru crawls his way over, then hobbles up. Kanemaru scoops for BRITISH FALL! Then Kanemaru puts Desperado in the drop zone, goes up, ROUNDING BODY PRESS! Cover, TWO! But then Kanemaru gets the legs, BOSTON CRAB! Desperado endures and fans rally up even harder! Kanemaru sits deep, but Desperado powers up! Desperado reaches out, but Kanemaru shifts to a LION TAMER! Desperado endures, claws his way around, Kanemaru shifts to just a HALF CRAB! Desperado flails and crawls, ROPEBREAK!

Fans cheer as Kanemaru lets go in frustration. Kanemaru drags Desperado up, brings him around and around and around, to POST him! Red Shoes reprimands but Kanemaru pushes Desperado into the drop zone. Kanemaru climbs up, Desperado stands, into DEEP IMPACT!! Cover, TWO!! Desperado survives and the fans fire up! Kanemaru shouts at Desperado, drags him up, and reels him in, but Desperado fights the suplex! Desperado hooks the leg, Kanemaru throws body shots, but the struggle for control is still on! Kanemaru suplexes, but Desperado fights it! Desperado suplexes up and over!

Fans fire up while both men are down! Kanemaru crawls, we pass 20 minutes of the one hour time limit. Desperado stands, Kanemaru runs in, but into a SPINEBUSTER! Then Desperado turns Kanemaru over, hauls him up, OLYMPIC SLAM! Desperado doesn’t stop there, he gut wrenches for GUITARRA DEL ANGEL! Cover, TWO!! Kanemaru survives but Desperado is all fired up! The fans are with him, and he storms up on Kanemaru. Desperado underhooks, PINCHE- NO, Kanemaru fights it! Kanemaru wrenches free, but Desperado dodges to then lift and SHIN BREAKER! And then GROUND DRAGON SCREW!

The fans fire up as Desperado STRETCH- NO, Kanemaru cradles! TWO!! Desperado rolls Kanemaru up, shifts and has the leg, STRETCH- NO, Kanemaru again cradles! TWO!!! Another near escape, but Kanemaru kicks low! Desperado ducks the enzi! Then he rolls to get the STRETCH MUFFLER!! And then Desperado grabs the arm, NUMERO DOS!! Kanemaru endures, and now DICK AND EVIL are here! Dick YANKS Red Shoes out so Evil can stomp away on Desperado! Fans boo as Evil & Dick mug Desperado! The fans tell them to go home now, but Evil soaks it up. Evil drags Desperado up and coordinates with Dick.

Desperado fights Magic Killer! And Tama Tonga gets in! Tama TOSSES Dick, then blocks Evil’s low blow! Desperado LOW BLOWS Evil! Fans fire up as Tama & Desperado work together now, MAGIC KILLER!! The Good Bad Guy thwarts the King of Darkness and the fans are thunderous! Desperado aims at Kanemaru but Kanemaru aims in return! Desperado dodges the bottle shot, and LOCO MONOS! The whiskey mist goes flying into the air! Desperado calls to Red Shoes and then calls for the end! Underhooks and PINCHE- NO, Kanemaru fights it, trips to a jackknife bridge, TWO!! Kanemaru kicks low and SMACKS Desperado off buckles!!

Kanemaru suplexes, TOUCH- NO, Desperado fights free! STRETCH MUFFLER!! NUMERO DOS PLUS!!! Kanemaru quits, Desperado wins!!

Winner: El Desperado, by submission (still IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion)

The House of Torture tried all sorts of tricks, but it all got thrown back in their faces! Will the Heel Master come to regret his betrayal?

As for Desperado, after getting the belt and mic in hand, he rests in the middle of the ring. Desperado says that was pretty badass. He didn’t realize Kanemaru was such a dick, though. And while it feels like “a past life,” he remembers working hard side by side to be the best in the dojo. And there was this one time, he and Bad Luck Fale were drinking, and they went to Daikichi in Todoroki. Fale had maybe a bit too much, was gonna jump into the railroad crossing, so Desperado punched him to stop him. Fans applaud the great story, and then Desperado says that today, he got the bag back! Tama probably doesn’t even remember that story, but Desperado thanks him for the save tonight.

Desperado then talks on the unfortunate news that Wato got hurt. Desperado remembers having a similar injury, needing surgery, and then six to seven months of rehab. It was a long time before he came back here. And that’s nothing compared to what Wato’s gonna face, so there is no need to rush. Fans applaud that, and Desperado says this is the anniversary of the first time “main unit” acted like a team. He thanks Taguchi and Tanahashi for their part in the save. He may be Team Strong Style, but that doesn’t change that they’re basically in the same corner. And from now on, he will hold on tight to this belt.

Fans cheer and Desperado takes his leave. But then backstage, Sho attacks Desperado!! The Murder Machine says he’s got next! Will the House of Torture take this title no matter what it takes?


My Thoughts:

Okay, I skipped a lot of this one, but it didn’t really have much on paper. It was a bit of an unfortunate surprise that Wato came out to announce his injury, with Sho then attacking him to add to his own story in the Junior Heavyweight Division. Wato VS Sho was gonna be the other match I covered but that went out the window. And I ended up seeing the other results so that kinda foiled the fun of covering those. But Desperado making the save on Wato was good, and then Desperado needing the rest of Hontai making the save was also a good detail. Desperado of course retains in his first defense, but now Sho wants his shot, and that’ll be some good stuff in another of these New Beginning events.

My Score: 8.5/10


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AEW Coverage

Mitchell’s AEW Rampage Results & Report! (6/21/24)

Willow Nightingale is on a Rampage!

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Will the Babe with the Power pass the test?

In pursuit of going back to back in the Women’s Owen Hart Cup, Willow Nightingale goes on a Rampage against The Professor of Pro-Wrestling, Serena Deeb!

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Private Party VS Komander & Metalik w/ Alex Abrahantes; Private Party wins.
  • Rey Fenix w/ Alex Abrahantes VS Turbo Floyd; Fenix wins.
  • AEW TNT Championship Ladder Match Qualifier: Lio Rush VS Action Andretti; Lio wins and advances to Forbidden Door.
  • Shingo Takagi VS AR Fox; Takagi wins.
  • 2024 Women’s Owen Hart Cup Quarterfinal: Willow Nightingale VS Serena Deeb; Willow wins and advances.

PLAY BY PLAY

Private Party VS Komander & Metalik w/ Alex Abrahantes!

Marq Quen & Isiah Kassidy know The Learning Tree, Chris Jericho, will be watching this match, given what’s already on tap for Collision tomorrow night. But will Quen & Zay be more than ready to enter the “Jericho Vortex?” Or will the Commander of the Skies and the King of the Ropes make the fiesta take a siesta?

The teams sort out, Brother Zay starts against the AAA World Cruiserweight Champion, and Fairfax is all fired up for Private Party. Komander and Kassidy circle, tie up, and Kassidy headlocks. The fans rally, Komander powers up and out, drops down, then hurdles. Zay leaps over, comes back, but Komander sidesteps. Zay turns hip toss into arm-drag and the fans fire up! Zay runs up, but Komander BOOTS him! Komander goes up and leaps to RANA! Zay stagger sup, Komander runs and tilt-o-whirl arm-drags! Then DROPKICKS! The fans fire up with Komander and he drags Zay over. Tag to Metalik and they double whip.

Metalik & Komander double HIP TOSS, then they double BASEMENT DROPKICK! Cover, TWO! Metalik clamps onto Zay but Zay fights up. Zay throws body shots, powers out and headlocks in return. Metalik throws body shots, powers up and out, but Quen tags in as Zay goes up and over! Zay runs up, Metalik throws him up and out but Quen is there for some SILLY STRING! The fans fire up, Quen hurries to cover, TWO! Metalik toughs it out but Quen stomps him around. Quen drags Metalik up to whip him to ropes, then he DROPKICKS Metalik down! The fans fire up, Quen drags Metalik up, and he scoops to SLAM!

Quen does a cocky cover a la Jericho, TWO! Quen says that’s for The Learning Tree. Quen drags Metalik up, fires forearms, then tags Zay. The fans rally, Private Party double whips but Metalik handsprings to DOUBLE BACK ELBOW! All three men are down and the fans rally again. Metalik crawls, hot tag to Komander! Komander springboards in to DOUBLE CROSSBODY! The fans fire up as Komander knuckle locks Zay, kicks Quen, then knuckle locks Quen, too. Komander goes to the ropes, goes up and up and ARABIAN PRESS DOUBLE ARM-DRAGS! The fans fire up as Private Party staggers up!

Komander runs up, tilt-o-whirls on Zay so he can RANA Quen! Zay hurries up, Komander blocks a shot to give knees. Komander CHOPS, runs, tiger feints and somersaults, to then swing and RANA Zay! The fans fire up and Komander goes to the apron. Metalik runs up, Komander holds the ropes down so Metalik can FLY! Direct hit on Private Party but now Komander loads up! A salute and a TOP ROPE SKY TWISTER!! Direct hit and everyone is down! The fans fire up again and Komander realizes he took out Metalik, too. Komander high-fives with the fans, then he gets Zay up and in. Komander hurries in to cover, TWO!

The fans rally up for both sides and Komander watches Zay stir, but Rampage goes picture in picture.

Komander CLUBS Zay, then brings him up to whip to a corner. Komander runs in to UPPERCUT and Zay falls over. Zay crawls but Komander CLUBS him down. Komander gator rolls Zay from his corner to tag in Metalik. Metalik CLUBS Zay, CHOPS him, but Zay CHOPS back! Metalik CHOPS Zay down, then stomps away! The ref counts, Metalik lets off, and then he digs his boots in on Zay’s neck. The ref reprimands and counts, Metalik lets off again, only to stomp Zay some more. Metalik drags Zay up, wrenches an arm and wristlocks, then tags Komander. Komander springboards to AX HANDLE the arm!

Rampage returns to single picture as the fans rally for Private Party. The luchadores keep Zay isolated, then Metalik whips him to his corner! Zay stops to go after Metalik!? And he TOSSES Metalik out! Komander tags in, but Zay hits a SPINEBUSTER! Zay and Komander are down and now Zay has to crawl to his corner! The fans rally, but Metalik gets in to get Zay’s legs. Zay rolls to throw Metalik away, then he dodges to hot tag! Quen rallies on Metalik with forearms and elbows, then ducks to PELE! Koander returns but gets a BOOT! Quen puts Metalik up top, ROCKS him with haymakers, but Komander runs up.

Quen ELBOWS Komander, goes up and QUEBRADAS! Then Quen goes back up after Metalik, to SUPERPLEX! Quen shakes it off and goes up the corner. 450 SPLASH!! Cover, Komander breaks it! Komander whips but Quen reverses and TOSSES Komander out hard! But Metalik SUPERKICKS! And SLING-DOGS! Then Metalik goes up and around the ropes to MISSILE DROPKICK! Cover, Zay breaks it! Zay helps Quen to their corner and tags in. The fans rally up as Zay gets Metalik up. Metalik fires forearms but Zay fires back! The fans rally, Zay gets the edge and just hammers away! Metalik drops to his knees but Zay CLUBS away!

Zay runs, but Metalik ducks ‘n’ dodges, DOUBLE LARIATS take both men down! The fans fire up as both men crawl for their corners. Wait, Komander and Quen each climb up! They both SHOOTING STAR, but Metalik and Zay both move! Komander and Quen manage to land out, then Komander takes a swing! Quen ducks, and he shoves Komander into Zay’s BOOT! Quen hops up to POISON-RANA! Komander staggers out of the ring, Zay runs corner to corner at Metalik! Metalik BOOTS Zay, but Quen lets Zay roll off his back! Metalik goes up, Quen jumps up to get him! GIN & JUICE!! Cover, Private Party wins!!

Winners: Private Party, by pinfall

Fairfax cheers as Quen & Zay now have the momentum! But wait, here comes The Learning Tree to steal the spotlight. Jericho waves to the crowd while Big Bill applauds. But wait! Zay & Quen run up to fight! But that’s 3v2 because Bryan Keith is also there! Quen gets beat down but Zay holds his own, and then security runs out here! Somehow, the two sides are pulled apart, but they’re headed for a Collision! Will Private Party teach The Learning Tree not to look down on them?

 

AEW takes a closer look at Ultimo Guerrero.

Excalibur narrates that as “one of the fiercest luchadores Mexico’s ever produced, Ultimo Guerrero is among the most highly decorated athletes to compete in CMLL’s 90 year history.” A SIX-TIME CMLL World Tag Team Champion, a FIVE-TIME CMLL World Trios Champion, and a TWO-TIME CMLL World Heavyweight Champion, Ultimo Guerrero now has his eyes set on Kazuchika Okada and the AEW Continental Championship. Ultimo was Okada’s mentor while on excursion in Mexico, and has watched The Rainmaker’s rise ever since. Will Okada withstand the challenge of his former mentor? Or will Ultimo have a golden ticket in time for the Forbidden Door?

 

Rey Fenix w/ Alex Abrahantes VS Turbo Floyd w/ Truth Magnum!

The Immortal Firebird will be in the Men’s Owen Hart Tournament this year, preparing to battle The Switchblade, Jay White next Wednesday. However, he does need to stay hot, so will he be all warmed up after tonight? Or will this Outrunner look to be more than just a tune-up?

The bell rings and the fans rally up behind Fenix. Fenix and Turbo circle, tie up, and then Turbo shoves Fenix. Fenix runs up, they RAM shoulders, but Turbo flexes as he stays standing. So Fenix CHOPS! And CHOPS! And CHOPS again! Fenix BODY BLOWS, fires up, then runs, only for Turbo to run him over! Turbo runs to drop the BIG elbow! Cover, ONE!! Fenix is tougher than that but Turbo keeps cool. Turbo ROCKS Fenix, runs up, but into a BOOT! Fenix then dodges Turbo, brings him around and goes up, up and CROSSBODIES! Fairfax fires up with Fenix and he goes back up, to tightrope PENALTY KICK! Fenix goes to the corner, FROG SPLASH! Cover, Fenix wins!

Winner: Rey Fenix, by pinfall

Well, that was certainly fast! Maybe Fenix should be called “Turbo.” Penta & Abrahantes celebrate with Fenix, will there be #CeroMiedo in the Owen Hart Cup? Or will Jay White force even Fenix to Breathe With The Switchblade?

 

AEW TNT Championship Ladder Match Qualifier: Lio Rush VS Action Andretti!

Turns out that The Bad Child and the Sight to See have known each other a long time, but friendship only goes so far when there’s gold on the line. Will Lio make sure he’s the Man of the Hour tonight? Or will Andretti get in on the action in Long Island?

The bell rings and the fans rally up as the two circle. The fans are on Lio’s side but Action doesn’t sweat it. They shake hands to show there is sportsmanship, then things speed up! Action drops down but Lio gator rolls that, only for Action to slip around to a waistlock. Lio slips under to waistlock then spin, but Action reverses the whip. Lio reverses, Action reverses, repeat, but Lio springboards to RANA, only for Action to handspring through! The fans fire up for this exchange, and Lio says alright. They talk a little smack, then things speed up again. Action follows Lio, even as he turns the corner on a dime!

Lio ducks the lariat, baits Action in then throws him out! Lio builds speed but Action moves aside. Lio stops himself, bails  out, but Action sees him, too! They meet at the steps, backflip away, and then both slide in! The fans cheer again, and the two reset. They go again, hook arms, use that to redirect, then they redirect again, to DOUBLE CROSSBODY! Both men are down and the fans fire up! Lio and Action are definitely likeminded as they go to ropes, and Rampage goes picture in picture.

Action and Lio rise up, storm over, and Action facelocks to suplex. Lio slips out to shove, then he ELBOWS Action down! Lio hurries to cover, ONE!! Lio keeps Action down with a chinlock but Action endures the grind. Action fights up, but Lio shifts around to become a backpack! Action still stands up, but Lio sends him into a corner! Lio clotheslines, then short arm LARIATS! The fans rally while Action checks his jaw. Lio gets him right up to snap suplex! Cover, TWO! Action pushes Lio away, so Lio KICKS him down! Lio eggs Action on, gets him up, and shoves him to a corner to stomp low. Lio fires hands, then lets off as the ref counts.

Lio brings Action up, whips him corner to corner, then runs in, but into a BOOT! Action runs up, Lio slips around then snapmares to UPPERCUT! Cover, TWO! Action is still in this but Lio stays on him with another chinlock. Lio body scissors Action to keep him down, but Action endures as Rampage goes to break.

Rampage returns and Lio brings Action up. Action fires body shots, then forearms. Action whips, Lio reverses then runs up, but into a BOOT! Lio comes back, Action dodges him, then DECKS him! Action DECKS Lio again, wrenches and ROCKS him! Action fireman’s carries, but Lio grabs the ropes! Action puts Lio on the apron but Lio ROCKS Action back! Action BOOTS Lio to the floor! Lio stands up, Action slingshots to ARABIAN PRESS! Down goes Lio again and Action hurries to put him in the ring! Action springboards to 450 but he has to roll through as Lio moves! Lio kicks the legs out, Action ducks the heel kick to return the favor!

Action CHOPS, BUZZSAWS, then deadlifts Lio into a FALCON ARROW! Cover, TWO! Lio survives and Action grows frustrated. Action stalks Lio but the fans rally up behind the Bad Child. Action torture racks Lio, pops him up, but Lio arm-drags free! Lio then bobs ‘n’ weaves, fires off fast hands and ROCKS Action! Lio runs, but Action is up, SPANISH FLY! Cover, TWO!! Lio survives and Action grows frustrated again. The fans rally, Action considers his options. Action puts Lio in the drop zone, goes up and up and SPLIT- NO, Lio dodges the moonsault, roll up and SPIN KICK! The fans fire up and Lio says it’s time!

Lio runs to springboard, RUSH HOUR! Action falls back, Lio hurries up top! FINAL HOUR!! Cover, Lio wins!

Winner: Lio Rush, by pinfall (advances to Forbidden Door)

And with that, Lio is headed for Long Island! Will Lio make sure it’s his time in that TNT Championship Ladder Match? Top Flight heads out here to check on Action, but then they stonewall Lio. Lio pushes past them to help his old pal to his feet. The fans cheer the sportsmanship, and Lio offers a handshake. Action looks to his teammates, but he still shakes Lio’s hand. Lio offers, he gets more a low-five out of Darius, but a full handshake from Dante. Dante and Lio will both be in that ladder match, will friendship again be out the window when only one man can be the Face of TNT?

 

Shingo Takagi VS AR Fox!

Speaking of the Forbidden Door, NJPW’s Rampaging Dragon is going to show up in Long Island for a fight with the American Dragon, Bryan Danielson! Not only that, but that match will be part of the Men’s Owen Hart Cup tournament! Will Takagi prove it’s his time, no matter where he wrestles? Or will he have a hard time with the Whole Fox’n Show?

Wait! Fox attacks before the bell! He won’t be a “tune-up” like Turbo was with Fenix! Fox CLUBS away but Takagi KNEES, HEADBUTTS and CHOPS! Takagi runs, but into a CALF KICK! The fans fire up with Fox as Takagi bails out, but then Takagi steps back. Fox stops his plancha to land on the apron, but Takagi goes for a leg. Fox mule kicks free, then uses the corner to QUEBRADA! Direct hit and the fans fire up with Fox! Fox drags Takagi up, puts him in, and then climbs up a corner, to SWANTON BOMB! And long range at that! Cover, TWO! Takagi is tougher than that but Fox has the fans rallying up.

Fox brings Takagi up, CLUBS him, then kicks him. Takagi eggs Fox on so Fox runs, into the ELBOW! JAB! YUKON LARIAT! The fans fire up for that display of power! Takagi drags Fox up, reels him in, but Fox fights the suplex, so Takagi hits a TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! The fans duel, but Takagi sits Fox up for some HAMMER ‘N’ ANVIL ELBOWS! Takagi runs to SLIDING- NO, Fox dodges the lariat to kip up, SUPERKICK, and BUZZSAW! But Takagi ducks the second superkick, only to get a BASEMENT CUTTER! Fox hurries up and up and 450 SPLASHES! Cover, TWO!! Takagi survives the speed blitz and that shocks Fox!

The fans rally up but Fox brings Takagi up. Fox fires forearms, hoists Takagi up top, then gest space. Fox runs back in, goes up, but Takagi holds onto the top ropes to stifle the Arabian Press Fly! Fox flounders back up, the fans fire up, and Takagi pumps up! PUMPING BOMBER! Takagi drags Fox back up, pump handles and torture racks, but Fox sunset flips it! TWO!! Takagi escapes, Fox goes Matrix to avoid the Pumping Bomber, but Takagi ducks the Pele! Takagi shoves, to POP-UP DEATH VALLEY! The fans fire up as Takagi gets moving, PUMPING BOMBER!! Takagi shouts “OI! OI! OI!” and Fairfax joins in!

Takagi drags Fox up, pump handles, torture racks, and LAST OF THE DRAGONS!! Cover, Takagi wins!

Winner: Shingo Takagi, by pinfall

Fox put up a fight but Takagi is a former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion for a reason. But wait, here comes Bryan Danielson! Fairfax chants “YES! YES! YES!” as Bryan applauds for Takagi. Dragon meets dragon, and we only have 9 days until these two have it out. Bryan offers a handshake, the fans chant “YES! YES! YES!” so Takagi nods and SLAPS the hand away. The fans boo but Takagi pushes past Bryan to take his leave. Takagi says it’s still his time, but will he have to prove it in Long Island? Or will Bryan kick Takagi right back out the Forbidden Door as he moves forward in the Owen Hart Cup?

 

2024 Women’s Owen Hart Cup Quarterfinal: Willow Nightingale VS Serena Deeb!

The Babe with the Power won the entire tournament last year, and even won titles between then and now, but she’s also lost between then and now. However, there’s motivation beyond repeating as the Queen of Harts here, because former friend Kris Statlander is waiting in the semifinals for the winner of this match. Will Willow pass the Professor of Pro-Wrestling’s test to take on The Galaxy’s Greatest Traitor? Or will there be no mercy in Deeb’s Dojo?

The bell rings, Willow offers a handshake, and Deeb accepts. The fans cheer the sportsmanship, then they rally up for “DEEB! DEEB! DEEB!” as the hometown hero. Deeb nods, but Willow brushes that off. The two tie up, Willow wrenches an arm, then wristlocks. Deeb rolls forward, rolls back, reaches over and wrenches to wristlock Willow. The fans duel now as the Willow fans fire up. Willow feels her way through the wristlock to then get around and waistlock. Willow SLAMS Deeb down, holds on, but Deeb moves around. Deeb pops the hold open to hammerlock then headlock, then spin and hammerlock again.

Deeb hits another headlock, another spin, and another headlock. Deeb keeps the pattern going to disorient Willow, but Willow powers out. They RAM shoulders, and Willow says, “Ooh~, okay.” Deeb runs, RAMS Willow, but Willow still doesn’t budge. Deeb runs again but Willow follows to then run Deeb over! The fans are torn but Willow scoops and SLAMS! Willow runs then SPLASHES! Cover, TWO! Willow keeps cool and she brings Deeb up to suplex. Willow holds Deeb up, then SLAMS her down! The fans fire up more and Willow goes up a corner. Deeb stands, but she avoids the missile dropkick!

Deeb grabs a leg, turns Willow over, HALF CRAB! But Willow gets the ROPEBREAK! The ref counts, Deeb lets go, and Willow goes to the apron. Deeb storms up but Willow ROCKS her first! Willow steps in but Deeb gets the leg! DRAPING DRAGON SCREW! Deeb runs to BLAST Willow down! Deeb then hurries out to get Willow up, TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT to the floor! The fans fire up for Deeb while Rampage goes picture in picture.

Deeb drags Willow up, puts her in the ring, then drags Willow up for another TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Cover, TWO! Willow stays in this but Deeb drags her back up. Deeb ripcords to ELBOW, then wrenches the arm to wrap Willow up in the IRON OCTOPUS! Willow endures, marches her way forward, but Deeb bends the fingers! Willow still endures, still fights her way over, and her free arm gets the ROPEBREAK! Deeb lets go, Willow goes to a corner, and Deeb storms over. Deeb wrenches and whips, but Willow reverses! Willow runs up, blocks a boot, but Deeb reels her in to KICK! Deeb goes to the apron, brings Willow into the ropes, and HOTSHOT NECKBREAKERS!

Deeb hears the fans, then she storms in after Willow. Deeb sits Willow up but Willow throws body shots in return! Willow stands to CHOP, then CHOP again! Deeb staggers, Willow ROCKS her with a forearm! Willow CLUBS away in the corner, then stomps a mudhole in. Deeb turns things around then CHOPS Willow in the corner! Willow staggers away but Deeb puts her in another corner, for another CHOP! Deeb UPPERCUTS Willow, reels her in, but Willow fights the lift to back drop free! Deeb writhes, Willow hobbles to a corner, but Deeb hurries up. Deeb whips, but Willow cartwheels and ENZIGIRIS!

Both women are down, but Deeb shakes out her arms. Willow crawls her way to ropes, Deeb stands, and Rampage returns to single picture. Willow runs Deeb over, then runs her over again! And again! Willow is fired up and the fans are with her now as she runs to back body block in a corner! Willow clotheslines, snapmares, BOOTS, and then fires up! The fans cheer as Willow whips and SPINEBUSTERS! High stack, TWO! Deeb survives and Willow is frustrated, but Willow gets Deeb up. Willow whips, Deeb KICKS back! Deeb wrenches, hooks Willow up again, IRON OCTOPUS! But Willow powers out, right into an AIR RAID CRASH!

The fans fire up, Willow gets Deeb up and gut wrenches, but Deeb grabs a leg! Deeb CLUBS that leg, trips Willow, and turns her into the HALF CRAB! Willow endures, even as Deeb sits deep! The fans duel, Willow crawls, then runs over. Willow kicks and kicks and kicks free, then brings Deeb around! Fireman’s carry, but Deeb fights free! Deeb wants the full nelson but Willow elbows free! Deeb shoves Willow to SNAP GERMAN! Willow staggers up, Deeb hammerlocks and PEPSI TWISTS! Cover, TWO! Willow survives and the fans fire up! Deeb is frustrated, but she refocuses and goes to a corner. The fans are torn as Deeb climbs up top.

“This is Awesome!” as Willow ROCKS Deeb first! Willow climbs, CLUBS Deeb, then brings her to the very top! SUPERPLEX! And a stiff one! Both women are down but the fans are all fired up! A standing count starts as both women stir. Willow rises at 5 of 10, and she finds Deeb. Willow stands Deeb up to ROCK her! Deeb UPPERCUTS back! Willow CHOPS, Deeb CHOPS, repeat! Deeb UPPERCUTS, Willow huffs ‘n’ puffs and ROCKS Deeb! Deeb rebounds to LARIAT, but Willow rebounds to LARIAT!! Deeb is down and Willow hurries to cover, TWO!! Deeb survives but Willow just powers up!

Deeb is in a corner, Willow goes corner to corner, CANNONBALL only gets buckles! Deeb hurries to reel Willow in and tuck the arms! DEEB-TOX!! Cover, TWO?!? Willow survives but Deeb doesn’t hesitate! Deeb SMASHES the knee into the mat again and again! Deeb then steps over, but Willow kicks her away! Willow fireman’s carries, but the leg buckles! Deeb slips down, UPPERCUTS, and then UPPERCUTS again! Deeb runs, but Willow goes the other way! POOOUNCE~!! PERIOD! The fans are thunderous as Willow gut wrenches, BABE WITH THE POWER BOMB!! Cover, Willow wins!

Winner: Willow Nightingale, by pinfall (advances to the next round)

Willow passes the Professor’s test, and now she’s not only one step closer to repeat Owen Hart Cup finals, she’s going to get her grudge match with Kris Statlander! Will Willow also get her revenge? Or will Kris add to the list of things she’s done to ruin Willow’s life?


My Thoughts:

A very good Rampage, and they’re really stuffing these episodes lately. For one, two good tune-up matches. Fenix of course beats Turbo Floyd easy, and we get a great match out of Takagi VS Fox. But again, of course Takagi won so he has momentum, and I figured Bryan would show up. Bryan will surely have his own great tune-up match as part of a Forbidden Door go-home episode, and then we’ll get an awesome match out of Bryan VS Takagi in the Owen Hart Cup. Great opening tag match from Private Party with Metalik & Komander, and while Metalik & Komander are great, Private Party gets the momentum going into their match tomorrow night on Collision.

As such, of course Jericho and team show up, but the brawl was a bit of a surprise. Chances are that means Jericho & Bill win with help from “Bad Apple” Bryan Keith. Great TNT Championship qualifier from Lio and Action, and I like this tension they’ve kept between Lio and Top Flight. Given how AEW handles contracts and departures, there really never was closure behind Lio leaving AEW for NJPW, and then that means there was no explanation why Lio left Dante high and dry and that has to be the kayfabe by default, but at least they’re making up for it now. Lio and Dante interacting will be a great part of the ladder match in itself, but I’m still leaning towards Jack Perry winning the title.

And great main event from Willow and Deeb. Deeb is great, she deserves something, but sadly there are a lot of other great wrestlers in the AEW Women’s Division. And with story taking precedence, of course Willow won here. Willow VS Kris will be great, and could go either way. However, also because of story, Mariah May is surely going to win this tournament so she can take on Toni Storm for the Women’s World Championship. Plus, Kris and Willow can feud through the summer, escalating things to something really wild to then give the winner of that momentum going towards the world title, perhaps in time for All Out.

My Score: 8.8/10


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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (6/21/24)

It’s CLOBBERIN’ TIME!

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CM Punk returns home!

SmackDown is in Chicago, and no way was CM Punk going to miss this! It’s a special homecoming, but will someone try and ruin the fun?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Women’s Money in the Bank Qualifier Triple Threat: Bianca Belair VS Chelsea Green VS Mia Yim; Chelsea wins and advances to MITB Toronto.
  • Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifier Triple Threat: Randy Orton VS Tama Tonga VS Carmelo Hayes; Melo wins and advances to MITB Toronto.
  • Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifier Triple Threat: Kevin Owens VS Andrade VS Grayson Waller; Andrade wins and advances to MITB Toronto.
  • Cody Rhodes VS Solo Sikoa w/ Paul Heyman; Cody wins, by disqualification.

PLAY BY PLAY

CM Punk is here!

SmackDown is in Chicago, so where else would he be? The fans fire up as they get to high-five their Second City Saint, and even join in on “IT’S CLOBBERING TIME!” Punk even waves a fan’s Chicago flag before going to the ring. Punk jumps in, but then sits down cross-legged in the middle of the ring as he revels in the chants and cheering. Punk says, “Live television on Fox, I gotta start off by saying, is it great to be alive in Chicago on a Friday night or what?” The fans fire up and Punk says live TV is pressure. Every time he comes out, and he is grateful to be graced by these fans, is pressure.

Speaking in front of his home town is pressure. Promising to do his best and walk away a champion in front of his people is pressure! And y’all might think he’s a little bit crazy, but even to this day, right before hearing the static and hearing Living Color, he wonders… Can he handle the pressure? Here’s a date, you let him know if you were there. July 17, 2011! Punk promised himself and he promised everyone in Chicago that he’d walk out of here THE WWE Champion. That was pressure! He could’ve slipped on a banana peel, fell on his face, and made an embarrassment of himself and the city of Chicago. Did he? “No!” Did he? “NO!”

One more time, did he embarrass Chicago? “NO!!” Then you see where this is going, right? Punk was told he was gonna get jumped in Glasgow. That they needed to hire extra security, because if Punk showed up, messed with the title match, they’d have his head on a pike. Did he ruin everyone’s day? Not for Chicago. And Punk says he’d hate to kick a man while he’s down but this is a bit of revenge. For weeks and months, Drew McIntyre kicked Punk while he was down. And Punk keeps the promises he makes, because McIntyre wasn’t just kicking Punk, he was kicking Chicago.

You can do three things in that situation: You can stay down, but that’s not an option; you can get back up and turn the other cheek, but for Chicago, that’s not an option; Punk did things the Chicago way, if they send him to the hospital, he sends them to the morgue! Punk wasn’t gonna kill a man, but he was gonna kill a career. Punk planned on burying McIntyre’s career six feet under! He just didn’t think it’d be this easy. Because if you haven’t seen it by now, McIntyre has quit! McIntyre couldn’t take the pressure! McIntyre “prayed” for bad things to happen to Punk, so Punk preyed on him to make things happen.

Punk looked forward to making more things happen, but McIntyre has taken his ball and gone home. “Ladies and gentlemen…” The fans are torn seeing The Wise Man make his way out here! Heyman continues his introduction, and he is NOT out here in disrespect to Punk. Of all people, Heyman would never do that. Heyman just got here, is running late, and if you can’t tell, it is hot as balls outside! And when CM Punk opens a show, it gets hot as balls in the Allstate Arena, too. That man right there sat next to Heyman’s children when he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, despite being the Wise Man for The Tribal Chief, Roman… Reigns.

Heyman told the world that Punk is his best friend. Heyman meant it then, means it now, and has come in an urgent situation. Heyman asks for permission to step into the ring, but Chicago chants, “We Want Roman!” Punk says there’s one person in this world that can hijack Punk and get the fans to cheer for Roman, and it’s Heyman. Is he okay? He doesn’t look too good. The fans chant for Punk, and Heyman brings Punk in for a hug! The fans cheer, and Heyman seems rather emotional but also a bit relieved. Heyman apologizes, he just needed that.

Heyman is here because driving in on the radio, they were listening to the radio, and it said that Chicago is CM Punk’s town. The fans cheer, but Heyman says that pissed off Solo Sikoa. The fans boo that, but Heyman says Solo, now that he’s The Head of the Table, wants every town to be HIS town. And well… Heyman is doing Punk a favor while asking for a favor in return. Heyman’s favor is that any day now, Punk will get medically cleared. Anyone that steps in the ring with Punk will learn they step to the Best in the World. And if Punk doesn’t get outta here right now, The Bloodline’s coming for him.

That won’t do any good, because you can see the extra security here, and there’s already some in the back. That’s for the Wyatts given what we saw on Raw, but not for a bunch of rogue Polynesians who are taking this way outta proportion. So Heyman’s favor is to say with love and respect, against Punk’s own instincts, he has to please just get outta here. The fans boo, then they chant for Punk. Punk asks if Heyman is serious. Punk is to leave because Solo and his Tongans are gonna try and jump him in Chicago? The fans get really rowdy now, but then here comes The Bloodline! Solo, Tama Tonga & Tonga Loa stand on stage, and Solo has a mic.

The fans boo as Solo calls out Punk. If Punk wants to be on SmackDown, Solo’s show, then he’s got two options. One: Pay your respect to The Bloodline. Two: The Bloodline makes sure Punk never, ever gets cleared to wrestle again. The fans boo but Solo asks which one Punk wants. Chicago’s got Punk’s back but Heyman is worried. Punk tells Heyman, “What’s the favor you wanted to ask of me if I do you this favor?” Heyman hesitantly says for Punk to take him with Punk. Fans chant “YES! YES! YES”! but Punk wants everyone to hold on. Punk tells Solo, “I acknowledge… the fact that I don’t see the Bloodline standing in front of me. I see a bunch of fake ass Usos!”

The fans go nuts and Punk says Solo is a phony cosplaying Tribal Chief! Solo, Tama & Loa storm up to the ring but Punk stands his ground. The Bloodline steps in, but here’s Cody Rhodes! And he has baseball bats!! The fans fire up as The American Nightmare lets Punk have one, and the two get The Bloodline to back down! The fans go nuts for Cody, and Cody tells Solo, “You fashion yourself the Head of the Table, right? I’ve already beaten one Head of the Table. So why don’t you leave your family backstage, Kevin and Randy won’t accompany me, and we settle this here, we settle this TONIGHT!” The fans love it!

Solo says challenge accepted! Solo will go solo against the WWE Champion, but will he have a Samoan Spike with Cody’s name on it?

 

Bianca Belair is at gorilla position.

The EST is getting ready, and Jade Cargill walks over. Jade knows tonight is about qualifying for Money in the Bank, and she won’t be a distraction, but after, she’s gonna go talk with Nick Aldis about a rematch for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships. Bianca hears that, but she will focus on her match, same as Jade will on hers. A rematch is a good idea since they weren’t even pinned. But they gotta handle business, go qualify for MITB, and then they get the tag titles. Jade loves it. Bianca heads out, but will the StrongEST, the FastEST, the RoughEST, the ToughEST lose another Triple Threat?

 

Randy Orton & Kevin Owens find Cody Rhodes backstage.

The Viper & Prizefighter check in on Cody. With everything going on, does Cody really wanna face Solo alone tonight? Cody says it is something he has to do. Randy and Kevin have qualifiers, Solo isn’t ready, Cody’s got this. He asks they trust him, and Randy fist bumps. Kevin says he still doesn’t like this. He gets wanting to do it on their own, but The Bloodline always has a plan. Cody knows, Kevin is probably right about this, but Cody’s got a plan of his own. Cody wishes Kevin luck then heads out, but will Cody be the one not ready for this fight?

 

Women’s Money in the Bank Qualifier Triple Threat: Bianca Belair VS Chelsea Green VS Mia Yim!

SmackDown returns and everyone is in the ring. The bell rings, The Hot Mess ROCKS Bianca, but Michin rolls her up! TWO, an Chelsea ROCKS Mia! Bianca spins Chelsea around to ROCK her, Mia add son, and Chelsea is a pinball! The fans fire up as Chelsea falls over! Mia and Bianca then circle, tie up, and Bayley is watching backstage. Mia headlocks, Bianca powers up and out, then runs Mia over! The fans cheer as Bianca flexes, and Bianca runs, only for Mia to drop down. Chelsea is back to ROCK Bianca! Mia POUNCES Chelsea! Bianca rolls Mia up! TWO, then Mia gets around and redirects. Bianca avoids the dropkick and wags her finger.

Bianca handsprings but Chelsea trips her up! Chelsea TOSSES Bianca, avoids Mia’s dropkick, then ROCKS Mia! Chelsea brings Bianca up, but she ducks the forearm and Bianca DECKS Mia! Bianca still ROCKS Chelsea, but then Mia ROCKS Bianca! The forearms fly, but Chelsea DIVES! Direct hit and down go both Bianca and Mia! The fans fire up as Chelsea laughs at her opponents, and SmackDown goes to break!

SmackDown returns again and Chelsea goes up. Bianca CLUBS her, Mia slides back in, and while Bianca climbs up behind Chelsea, Mia climbs up behind Bianca! DOUBLE SUPER BACK SUPLEX!! The fans are thunderous as all three women are down! Bayley is still watching closely as the three stir. Mia and Bianca brawl with foraerms, theN Mia CHOPS! Bianca fires a forearm, Mia fires a flurry! Bianca shove sMia, ducks a roundhouse then rolls Mia up, TWO! Mia runs up, ducks ‘n’ dodges then RAN- NO, Bianca stops that to get Mia up! Mia fights with fists, sunset flips, TWO! Bianca swings, but into a wrench and SOLE FOOD!

Bianca falls out of the ring, Chelsea rolls Mia up! TWO!! Mia escapes, wrenches, and- NO, Chelsea won’t Eat Da Feet! Chelsea hooks arms, Mia powers out, but Chelsea SLAPS! Mia HEADBUTTS! Mia reels Chelsea in, hoists her up, and hits a STYLES CLASH! Cover, BIANCA BREAKS IT! The fans are fired up again as this phenomenal match continues! Mia drags Bianca up, SOBATS, then waistlocks. Bianca pries free to switch and GERMAN SUPLEX! Mia flounders around, Bianca torture racks! KISS OF DEATH!! Cover, but Chelsea TOSSES Bianca out! Chelsea snipes the cover, and WINS!!

Winner: Chelsea Green, by pinfall (advances to Money in the Bank)

Chicago is all fired up while Bianca is stunned! The Hot Mess is going to Toronto, but will she bring down that briefcase to become Ms. Money in the Bank?

Bayley can’t help but laugh. Of course it ends up like that. But Blair Davenport walks in because she wants Bayley to tell Naomi that Blair is so looking forward to beating her in their qualifier next week. And when Blair becomes Ms. MITB, she is really looking forward to cashing in on Bayley. Blair heads out, but will Bayley beware?

 

The Bloodline returns to their suite.

Solo glares at Heyman, and asks if Heyman wants to leave. Heyman says no. Well, before he leaves with CM Punk, Heyman needs to tell the Tongans that they need to make sure Randy and Kevin don’t make it outta here. Solo wants Heyman to tell them? Solo says when he tells Heyman to do something, Heyman better go do it. Heyman says he’ll go take care of it, but Solo adds that when Heyman comes back, the two of them… are gonna have a talk. Solo pats Heyman on the chest, and Heyman heads out. Tama’s up first, will Heyman make sure the orders are issued?

 

Backstage interview with Grayson Waller.

Kayla Braxton is with one half of the WWE Tag Team Champions, and she imagines Waller is having a hard time focusing since Austin Theory is at home recovering. Waller says yeah, shoutout to his boy, he is thinking of Theory tonight. That’s why Waller is gonna win his qualifier tonight, go on to MITB and win the briefcase, all for Austin! But then DIY walks over, and Johnny Gargano says Waller doesn’t actually care for Austin. He only cares about himself! Tommaso Ciampa thinks Ciampa sacrificed his “best friend” Theory last week, all so- WHOA, okay, who or what is banging on the garage door?

Waller backs up, blaming DIY for Theory being stuck at home, and then the garage door lifts to reveal… CM PUNK IS DOWN! DREW MCINTYRE IS STANDING OVER HIM!! The Scottish Terminator quit the WWE but he did not give up his grudge! He hauls Punk up, fireman’s carries him, and with bloody hands, he brings Punk through the halls for the entire roster to see! McIntyre is heading for gorilla even! The fans can be heard booing as McIntyre storms right through the curtain and on stage to show Punk’s people their fallen hero. And then he just DUMPS Punk onto the floor! Punk’s forehead and mouth are bloodied, and McIntyre kneels down.

McIntyre mocks Punk by touching the ground, checking Punk’s own watch, then stealing it! “Clobbering time” doesn’t even cover this! Aldis storms out here, he shoves McIntyre but McIntyre shoves Aldis! Producers hurry to not only keep these two from fighting but to check on Punk. Medics hurry out already, with a stretcher, and the fans boo as McIntyre slowly steps away, keeping his eyes on Punk. Did McIntyre just make sure Punk never gets medically cleared again?

 

SmackDown returns and…

Punk is loaded into the ambulance. Aldis has security make sure McIntyre is nowhere in the building, but will there be no reason for McIntyre to come back after what he’s just done?

 

Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifier Triple Threat: Randy Orton VS Tama Tonga VS Carmelo Hayes!

The Viper is on the Bloodline’s hitlist, and you can bet “The Right Hand Man” is going to do everything he can to take him out. Will Orton or Tama be the one shot down #outtanowhere? Or are they both overlooking H1M?

SmackDown returns, Melo is already in the ring and Tama makes his entrance. Orton makes his entrance, and the fans fire up for the Viper! The bell rings and Orton glares at Tama and Tama glares at Orton. Chicago is on Orton’s side, but then Tama and Melo work together to mug him! The fans boo but they both beat Orton down int he ring. Tama shoves Melo and stomps away on Orton, so Melo rolls Tama up! TWO, and now Tama and Melo start shoving. Orton gets up to UPPERCUT Melo, kick Tama, and he TOSSES Tama out! The fans fire up as Orton goes out, throws hands on Tama, then SMACKS him off the desk!

Orton gets Tama up but Melo CLUBS Orton! The fans boo but then Orton kicks Melo! Orton brings Melo around but Tama CLUBS Orton! Orton gets mugged again, and against the mask! Melo and Tama learn to take turns, but then Orton fires hands on them both! The fans fire up, and Orton gives Tama the DESK BACK SUPLEX! then a DESK BACK SUPLEX for Melo! The fans are thunderous as Orton stands tall, and SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns again and Melo whips Tama, but Tama reverses to then UPPERCUT Melo! Tama drags Melo up, drags him in to CLUB away on his chest, then runs to SLIDING LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Tama is annoyed but he drags Melo up. Tama HEADBUTTS Melo then clamps on a chinlock. Melo endures, the fans rally for Orton, but Orton is down on the outside somewhere. Melo fights up, Tama CLUBS him, but Melo BOOTS back! Then SUPERKICKS! Tama roars, blocks a kick, and he shoves Melo. Melo runs back in, LA MYSTICA! Cover, TWO! Tama stays in this and Melo grows frustrated.

Melo facelocks Tama, brings him up, and glances to the briefcase. Melo suplexes, but Tama blocks! Melo shifts to a cradle, TWO! Tama swings, Melo dodges and ELBOWS! Melo springboards, into a clinch! URENAGE BACKBREAKER! Cover, Orton breaks it! The fans fire up and Tama is furious! Orton ROCKS Tama first, then ROCKS him again! Melo gets up but Orton kicks him! Orton UPPERCUTS Melo down, LARIATS Tama, and then LARIATS again! Orton dodges Tama to SNAP POWERSLAM! The fans fire up but Melo is up top! Orton ROCKS Melo then throws more hands. Orton glances at Tama, then goes up after Melo.

The fans fire up as Orton brings Melo to the top, for a SUPERPLEX! Orton crawls to the cover, but Tama breaks it! Tama then clamps on a SLEEPER! Orton is already turning red, but he THROWS Tama off! Tama comes back to fire off fast hands from all sides! Orton pokes Tama in the eyes! Melo hits the FIRST 48! Tama hits the COMPLETE SHOT! Cover, but Melo drags Tama off! Cover on Orton, Tama drags Melo off! Melo fires on Tama, Tama fires back! They brawl, Tama gets around to back suplex, but Melo lands out! Orton TOSSES Tama, then he puts Melo in the ropes! Tama hurries up, Orton kicks him low!

The fans are thunderous as Orton reels Tama in, too! DOUBLE DRAPING DDTS! Orton grins as he now has double the targets. Chicago is cheering Orton but he hears the voices in his head! But here comes Tonga Loa! Orton DECKS the Silverback, and Kevin appears! Kevin fires off on Loa, but Orton turns around into Tama! Orton TOSSES Tama first! But Melo rolls Orton up! MELO WINS!!

Winner: Carmelo Hayes, by pinfall (advances to Money in the Bank)

And indeed, they were all overlooking H1M! Melo finds his opening, takes his shot, and Melo Don’t Miss! But will he turn things into #MeloInTheBank?

 

LA Knight is here!

Chicago cheers as The Mega Star goes right to the ring! Knight then gets a mic and says, “LEMME TALK TO YA!” And not to waste any time, Knight tells Logan Paul to bring his goofy keister out here, and to bring that US Championship with him! The fans boo as we wait and Knight asks if they’re really doing this again. MAH GAWD, you gotta be kidding him! Knight looked down the barrel and said he wants that US title. That liver tailed goof said no. So Knight did him one better. He showed up at Logan’s house, pressed the issue, but then Knight got a phone call saying Logan would be right in this ring. That’s the way to do it!

And yet what does Logan do? He no shows Chicago! The fans boo, but Knight says time is running out. Next week, Madison Square Garden, Triple Threat Qualifier of Knight VS Logan VS Santos Escobar. It’s not the match Knight wants because he wants it 1v1 for the US title. Instead they got a qualifier for MITB, and that got Knight thinking. Knight started thinking that he beats Logan next week, moves on to MITB, snatches the briefcase, and just comes looking for Logan. Double the pleasure, double the fun! YEAH! But wait, here comes Santos! Santos starts ranting in Spanish but Knight says cut the music and cut the crap, he didn’t ask for Santos.

Santos goes to the ring and he tells Knight to callete, aka shut up. Santos doesn’t need an invitation, he shows up and he tells the truth. And the truth is, Knight must be delusional! Knight is here, running his mouth, chasing Logan Paul like a desperate Chicago fanboy. It is embarrassing! But let’s wise Knight up. Next week, Knight isn’t just dealing with his icon, his idol, his guru, Logan Paul. He’s dealing with Santos Escobar! So Knight would be wise to remember that. Knight says Santos is clearly a “fan favorite,” they all love to boo him. But Knight’s beaten Santos before, so he isn’t looking at Santos, he’s looking past Santos!

The guy Knight is looking at- OH, Santos kicks Knight low! Santos then fireman’s carries, but Knight pops free! B F T!! The fans fire up as Santos flops out of the ring! Knight says he told Santos already, and he told Logan that- LOGAN ATTACKS FROM BEHIND! Then he POSTS Knight, loads up, and demands Knight get back up! ONE LUCKY PUNCH!! The Maverick is a POS but he’s a smart POS! But will Logan make sure both Knight and Santos miss out on their shot at the briefcase so that he can become The Maverick in the Bank?

 

Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifier Triple Threat: Kevin Owens VS Andrade VS Grayson Waller!

From one qualifier to another, The Prizefighter may have to watch his back. Not only is The Bloodline out to screw over their enemies, but El Idolo and the Aussie Icon are no joke. Will Kevin #JustKeepFighting until he comes out on top? Or will the chaos benefit the most opportunistic of them all?

Well speaking of, Tama & Loa just attack Kevin right as he makes his entrance! The fans boo but the Tongans won’t even let Kevin have a chance! But Orton has a chair! Orton runs in to run Tama & Loa off! Kevin hobbles up, Orton asks if he’s okay, and Kevin says just make sure the Tongans don’t come back. Kevin storms into the ring, says just ring the bell, and so the bell rings! Waller runs up but Kevin fires back! Waller stomps Kevin down, but then turns around to see Andrade run up. Boot feint to BACK ELBOW! Cover, TWO!! Waller survives, but Andrade grins. Andrade PLANCHAS to take Waller down!

Andrade brings Waller up but Waller SHOVES Andrade into the apron! Waller then slides in, builds speed, and slides out to LARIAT! Down goes Andrade, but Kevin LARIATS Waller! The fans fire up as Kevin SENTONS onto Waller! Kevin even slaps Andrade’s mask aside before he puts Waller back in. Kevin climbs, but Andrade anchors him! Kevin hops down, Andrade fires hands but Kevin gives those back. Waller joins in, it is a brawl on the apron, and Andrade CHOPS Waller right down! Waller gets up to BOOT Andrade, then Kevin ROCKS Andrade with a forearm. Andrade BOOTS Waller, but Kevin ROCKS him again!

Waller JUMP KNEES Andrade, Kevin LARIATS Andrade into the ring! Waller then kicks Kevin’s bad leg! Kevin blocks the suplex and throws body shots. Kevin reels Waller in, but Waller fights the lift to back drop Kevin onto the apron! But Andrade LEAPS to SUNSET FLIP POWERBOMB to the floor!! All three men writhe on the outside and fans fire up while SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns and all three men are now down in the ring. The fans rally up, Kevin and Andrade fire forearms, but then Waller joins in. Kevin hits Waller, Andrade hits Kevin, but then Kevin HEADBUTTS Andrade! Kevin CHOPS Andrade, ROCKS Waller, and repeat! Kevin fires off, but Andrade then returns the favor! Forearms for Kevin, CHOPS for Waller! Waller backs off, Kevin CHOPS Andrade! And ROCKS him! Kevin wobbles a moment but Andrade fires more forearms! Andrade CHOPS, but then Waller turns Andrade around. Andrade swings, Waller dodges, then Waller ROCKS Andrade!

Waller JUMP KNEES Kevin, runs at Andrade, but Andrade drop toeholds him into buckles! The fans rally up, Andrade sees his targets! “SI! SI! SI!” echoes in the building, CIEN SHADOWS for Waller! CIEN SHADOWES for Kevin! Andrade pushes Kevin to a cover, TWO!! Kevin survives but Andrade just smiles. Kevin goes to ropes, the fans rally up, and Andrade storms up. Kevin CHOPS, and ROCKS, then CLUBS Andrade! Andrade hits back with forearms and CHPOS, then the two fire off haymakers like a Blackhawks hockey game! Kevin kicks low, but Waller somersaults to DOUBLE COMPLETE SHOT! Cover on Andrade, TWO! Cover on Kevin, TWO!

Waller is furious but he says A-Town Down! Waller did dedicate this to Theory, and he gets Kevin up in a fireman’s carry. But Kevin slips free to STUN- NO! Waller powers out, then KICKS out the leg! Kevin falls hard, but Andrade SPLASHES Waller in a corner! Andrade whips, Waller dodges, but then Andrade puts Waller on the apron. Waller ROCKS Andrade, goes up, but Andrade CHOPS! Waller wobbles up top, but Andrade climbs up after him. Andrade fires a forearm, then another, then he stands Waller up. Waller resists the lift, fires body shots, and Kevin joins in! TOWER OF DOOM!! Waller flounders away, Kevin climbs up!

With one good leg, Kevin hits a SWANTON BOMB on Andrade! But the bad leg bothers him! Cover, TWO!! Andrade survives, perhaps thanks to the delay. The ref checks with Kevin and Kevin says he’s fine. Kevin stands, the fans fire up again, and Kevin goes back for Andrade. Kevin whips, pop-up, but the leg gives up! Andrade hurries to underhook but Kevin wrenches out! Kick and STUNNER!! Andrade flops over, Kevin covers, WALLER DRAGS KEVIN OUT! Waller SLAMS the leg on the apron, then DDT to the floor! Waller gets space, runs and somersaults, INTO THE MESSAGE!!! Cover, Andrade wins!!

Winner: Andrade, by pinfall (advances to Money in the Bank)

El Idolo succeeds in punching his ticket to Toronto! He joins Melo and Jey Uso, but will Andrade be the next Senor Money in the Bank?

 

Mia Yim recovers backstage.

But then Tiffany Stratton has to walk over and mock her. “Aw~, looks like someone can’t handle the pressure.” Tiff says that unlike Michin, Tiff actually has what it takes to win her qualifying match next week, and then go to MITB. At least Mia doesn’t crawl to Nia Jax for protection. Tiff goes to slap but Mia blocks it, and PUNCHES back! Only for Nia to CLOBBER Mia! Nia and Tiff nod to each other, and Tiff tells Mia tootles. Will the Queen and Princess of the Ring soon be running SmackDown with iron fists? Or will Tiff be humbled given her match has Jade Cargill in it?

 

SmackDown goes to Kayla Braxton backstage.

Kayla reminds us that earlier tonight, CM Punk was brutally attacked by Drew McIntyre. McIntyre simply told Kayla, “See you on Monday.” Kayla isn’t sure how badly Punk’s recovery is affected by this attack, but he will be staying overnight at a Chicago hospital for further evaluation. Not to bury the lead, but does that mean McIntyre has not terminated his contract with the WWE? What will he have to say for himself when we return to Monday Night Raw?

 

Cody Rhodes VS Solo Sikoa w/ Paul Heyman!

The American Nightmare said he’d walk out here alone, but then The Bloodline made sure he’d be alone by attacking Orton and Kevin earlier tonight. Will Solo still honor the agreement by doing this on his own? Or will he do things exactly like the previous Head of the Table?

The fans fire up for Cody’s entrance and they of course sing his song, “WHOA~ OH~!” The Undisputed WWE Champion is ready for this fight, but is that all he’ll be getting? We find out, after the break.

SmackDown returns and Heyman is with Solo at gorilla. Heyman says he told the Tongans, and they did Solo’s bidding. But Heyman says Solo is “breaking commandments.” After WrestleMania, there were several things Roman Reigns said to Heyman. And one was that CM Punk was off limits. Punk is very personal to Heyman, and Cody Rhodes is not something that Solo is supposed to handle. Solo is just to have Cody in check so that when THE Tribal Chief returns- Solo stops Heyman there. Solo hates to be the one to tell Heyman this, because he “loves” Heyman, but… Roman is NOT coming back.

The music hits while Heyman is in shock. Solo pats Heyman on the shoulder then makes his entrance. Is Solo telling the truth that Roman Reigns is NOT making a return to the WWE? Is there no stopping the new Head of the Table because of that? Solo goes to the ring, Heyman following behind in a stupor, and the bell rings. Cody and Solo stare down while Heyman rests against steel steps. Solo and Cody circle, then Solo runs up. Cody dodges, kicks low and hits the RHODES UPPERCUGT! Solo UPPERCUTS, then runs up. Cody TOSSES Solo out, and he almost hits Heyman! Cody runs to DIVE! Solo hits barriers and almost tips them over!

The fans fire up as Cody fires hands, but Solo UPPERCUTS! Solo storms up on Cody, whips him, but Cody reverses! Solo hits steel steps and breaks them apart! The fans fire up and Cody pushes the top half over! Cody whips Solo into the other steel steps, throws the top half away over there, too, then he puts Solo in the ring. Cody storms up behind Solo, dragon sleepers, but Tama & Loa attack after all!!

Winner: Cody Rhodes, by disqualification

The fans boo as The Bloodline honors no such agreement! They beat Cody down, then Solo has his men hold Cody up. But here comes Orton! And Kevin, even on one good leg! Orton and Kevin brawl with Tama and Loa, then Cody goes after Solo! The Bloodline has control, but Kevin kicks low to STUNNER! Loa falls, then Orton gets loose to RKO! Tama is down, Kevin helps Cody stand! Cody high-fives with his guys, and Solo sees he’s the one outnumbered! Solo panics, asks for mercy, but then he smiles…? Solo shouts to his trump card! SUPERKICK for Orton! SUPERKICK for Cody! Kevin SUPERKICKS this guy, but he just fires up and LARIATS Kevin!!

Fans are going nuts because this is the missing Uso, JACOB FATU!! Jacob goes out to bring those steel steps around, and then he brings Kevin over! The fans are losing their minds as we get a SAMOAN DROP on the steps!! Jacob has a wild look in his eyes, then runs around the way to SPEAR ORTON THROUGH BARRIERS!! The Viper’s already got a bad back, did Jacob just send him back to the sidelines? And that’s not the end! Jacob storms in, but Cody fires hands on him! Cody clotheslines Jacob up and out! But Jacob drag shim out, to APRON URENAGE! Solo applauds as Jacob HEADBUTTS Cody and clears the desk!

Jacob brings Cody up, HEADBUTTS him onto the desk, then goes to a corner. Jacob climbs and the fans are freaking out! SUPER SAMOAN SPLASH through the desk!!! The fans lose their minds all over again as Jacob stands up from the wreckage over Cody’s wrecked body! Jacob then joins his cousin in the ring and they hug it out. The Samoan Werewolf raises his ones to the sky, and this already dangerous new Bloodline has only gotten more dangerous! Will there be nothing to stop Solo from taking over now?


My Thoughts:

An awesome episode of SmackDown here! It was such a great blend of following up Clash at the Castle, setting up for MITB, and also adding on from a great Raw. Punk had a great opening promo where he of course called out McIntyre, and of course McIntyre’s response was a violent ambush. For a second, I thought the banging on the garage door was the Wyatt 6 but no, they’re definitely Raw exclusive despite being super scary and therefore unruly. But clearly, this is building to the big McIntyre VS Punk match at SummerSlam that honestly should just outright be a No Disqualification type match so they can just do whatever they want.

They also did great with continuity of when Punk was a Paul Heyman Guy, as The Bloodline confronted Punk, only to set up the throughline story of the night with Cody, Kevin and Orton, but also have Solo drop the bomb on Heyman about Roman supposedly never coming back. Pretty sure that is full on psychological manipulation by Solo, which really does follow Roman’s example during his reign as Tribal Chief. Great stuff from all the qualifiers tonight, and it made for good reason as to why Orton and Kevin weren’t advancing. Though there was a rather subtle copypasta: Melo and Andrade each entered while SmackDown was on commercial, and they end up winning. But in the end, it was also because duh, everyone else has story to deal with.

Likewise, really good promo turned fight from Knight, Santos and Logan Paul. Logan stands tall tonight but duh, he and Knight are gonna have a US Championship match so Santos surely finds a way to win out of that. Very good Triple Threat for the women, as well, but for similar reasons, the superstar that has no other story wins out. Bianca and Jade have the tag titles, Michin has Tiffany & Nia and is still in need of a teammate, so Chelsea gets in. Chelsea is a great character and got to show quite a bit more in the ring than usual, but I still don’t see her winning. Blair Davenport may qualify, she may not, but she’ll have a great showing in next week’s Triple Threat.

And of course, great finish to the show. Cody was dominating, Solo gets saved, and then we get another surprise in this story as Jacob Fatu joins Solo’s side to make this form of the Bloodline four people strong. And we all know in pro-wrestling, four is practically the perfect number. Solo can go after Cody for THE WWE Championship, Tama & Loa stick together as a tag team, and now Jacob can be the midcard title guy. Now there can be an 8 Man Tag if Cody, Kevin & Orton are able to add a fourth, and we’re that much closer to a WarGames match for Survivor Series in November.

My Score: 8.9/10


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