Date: September 9, 2023
Location: Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, Cleveland, Ohio
Commentators: Kevin Kelly, Nigel McGuinness

It’s tournament night again as we have the semifinals of the #1 contenders tournament, which should give the show enough of a focus. Other than that, we might have a better idea of how things will be going in the post-CM Punk era. That new direction is very important so let’s get to it.

Samoa Joe, Penta El Zero Miedo, Roderick Strong and Darby Allin are all ready for the tournament.

Opening sequence.

International Title: Jon Moxley vs. Action Andretti

Moxley is defending and chokes him into the corner to start, with Andretti bailing to the floor for a breather. Back in and Moxley knocks him outside again but Andretti is right back inside. A handspring kick to the head rocks Moxley to set up a suicide dive but Moxley headbutts him down. Andretti takes the leg out though and Moxley is sent into the barricade as we take a break.

We come back with Moxley hitting a suicide dive but banging up his knee again. They get back inside where Andretti’s Phenomenal Forearm is cuttered out of the air for two. Andretti tries to get up but is sent hard into the corner. Moxley’s charge hits post though and Andretti tries a springboard corkscrew crossbody, which doesn’t make a ton of contact. Andretti stomps away but Moxley pulls him into the rear naked choke to retain the title at 11:07.

Result: Jon Moxley b. Action Andretti – Rear naked choke (11:07)

We get a video from Roderick Strong (flanked by the Kingdom) on his history with Adam Cole. We see a bunch of photos of them over the years, plus clips of their time in Ring Of Honor. Strong says he’s still here for Cole, but Cole is the one who changed. He’s going to win the tournament and the World Title, but that’s not enough.

Quick look at Samoa Joe and MJF brawling on Dynamite.

TBS Title: Kris Statlander vs. Robyn Renegade

Statlander is defending and they fight over arm control to start. Robyn misses an enziguri and gets suplexed for her efforts. Robyn’s sister Charlette offers a distraction though and a faceplant gets two on Statlander. Charlette chokes some more and the chinlock goes on. Statlander is back up with a Blue Thunder Bomb as Charlette makes a distraction save. Back up and Robyn misses a charge into the corner, allowing Statlander to hit an electric chair faceplant. An O’Connor roll with a bridge retains the title at 4:14.

Result: Kris Statlander b. Robyn Renegade – Bridging O’Connor roll (4:14)

Post match the beatdown is on but Jade Cargill returns for the save. Then she beats Statlander down as well.

Ruby Soho isn’t happy to hear that Toni Storm has forgotten how she cost Soho the TBS Title. Saraya tries to calm things down and promises to retain the title at Grand Slam.

We get a sitdown interview with Eddie Kingston and Claudio Castagnoli. Kingston says this is over Castagnoli not doing business when he was leaving the independents, which Castagnoli seems to laugh off. The solution appears to be a New Japan Strong Openweight Title match at Grand Slam, but if Kingston loses, he also has to shake Castagnoli’s hand and say he respects him.

Bullet Club Gold vs. Gravity/Aerostar/Dios del Inframundo

No Jay White here but Cardblade is on commentary. Inframundo is better known as Drago from AAA. Austin and Gravity start things off with Austin getting the better of things. Inframundo comes in, despite being in the ring when he gets tagged.

Robinson comes in for the snap jabs but Gravity and Aerostar kick away to take him down. Colten gets in a double clothesline from behind though and we take a break. Back with Gravity fighting out of a chinlock and bringing Aerostar in to pick up the pace with a bunch of dropkicks. The Quickdraw puts Inframundo down though and Robinson hits the leg lariat. The reverse layout DDT finishes Inframundo at 6:50.

Result: Bullet Club Gold b. Gravity/Aerostar/Dios del Inframundo – Reverse layout DDT to Inframundo (6:50)

CJ Perry (who I don’t think has officially been named) talks about how Miro changed when he won the TNT Title. Now she returned and wants to try to help him get the title back but he walked away from her. She’s ready to become the coldest manager in wrestling again.

The Dark Order wants you to join.

The Acclaimed and Billy Gunn announce their World Tour, complete with a map. Next stop: Grand Slam.

Rey Fenix vs. Angelico

Before the match, Fenix swears revenge on Jon Moxley and the Blackpool Combat Club. Fenix knocks him outside fast and hits a big dive. The spinning kick to the head from the apron connects but Angelico manages a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker back inside. Fenix takes him down again and hits a double stomp for two. There’s the rolling cutter for two more, followed by the Black Fire Driver to give Fenix the pin at 4:54.

Result: Rey Fenix b. Angelico – Black Fire Driver (4:54)

FTR announces an open challenge for the Tag Team Titles starting next week. This week had two open challenges for titles and next week has a third. That’s getting into tournament and battle royal levels.

Grand Slam #1 Contenders Tournament Semifinals: Roderick Strong vs. Darby Allin

The Kingdom is here with Strong, who is officially NECK Strong. Hold on though as Christian Cage and Luchasaurus jump Allin in the back and beat the fire out of him. Allin, with Nick Wayne, comes out anyway though and, after falling a few times, is ready to go. Strong jumps him as soon as he gets in the ring and chops away a few times.

Allin reverses a backbreaker into a sunset flip for two before Strong misses a charge to the floor. The suicide dive hits Strong and we take a break. Back with Strong stomping away but Allin gets a crucifix and Code Red for two each. Allin goes up top and rakes Strong’s back but gets crotched down. Strong gives him a Rock Bottom onto the turnbuckle, with Allin falling down onto the apron and out to the floor for a crash.

We take another break and come back with Allin hitting a flipping Stunner on the apron to send Strong outside. A Coffin Drop onto a standing Strong puts them both down on the floor. Cue AR Fox to try and make them stop but Wayne doesn’t want him here. Back in and Strong kicks him in the head but Allin grabs a Scorpion Death Drop. Fox and Wayne get in a fight with the Kingdom but Fox accidentally takes Wayne out. The Coffin Drop hits raised knees and End Of Heartache finishes Allin at 14:50.

Result: Roderick Strong b. Darby Allin – End Of Heartache (14:50)

Powerhouse Hobbs talks about how he came at Miro and lost. Now he is looking to the Book Of Hobbs and everyone will fall.

Keith Lee is here on his own and advises people to run.

Video on the Righteous.

Here is Bryan Danielson for a chat. Danielson has been asked about what is next for him and that might be the start of the end of his career. Time is running out on him (the fans are not happy) but he is not going gently into that good night. He is Odysseus heading home from the Trojan War and we hear some Odyssey references. If this is his last year, it will be the most epic year of his career. He’s calling his shots, including at WrestleDream, where he wants to face Zack Sabre Jr.

Cue Ricky Starks and Big Bill, with the former saying he had to come out here. He received bread crumbs when hew wanted a full meal. Now he is going to take and take, but Danielson says he wasn’t done yet. Danielson seems ready to challenge him for a rematch but Big Bill jumps Danielson instead. Starks pulls him off….and jumps Danielson too. Jon Moxley runs in for the save but Bill kicks him down and hammers away. Starks chokes Danielson out with a shirt and gets to celebrate as he leaves.

Here’s what’s coming on various shows.

Big Bill is ready to win the International Title on Dynamite. Rey Fenix interrupts and says he’s the next champion, but Bill tells him to go to the back of the line. Bill vs. Moxley has already been set for Dynamite.

Grand Slam #1 Contenders Tournament Semifinals: Penta El Zero Miedo vs. Samoa Joe

Joe’s ROH TV Title isn’t on the line. Penta strikes away to start but gets run over with a shoulder. They head outside with Penta hitting a Sling Blade, earning him a lecture from JR about how you can’t win on the outside. Joe chops away and sends Penta into the barricade. Penta does the same to him and loads up a table as we take a break.

Back with Penta kicking away at Joe but missing a double stomp. Joe knocks him down and grabs a neck crank, followed by a face first drop onto the turnbuckle. The double arm crank with a knee in Penta’s back goes on, followed by an elbow drop for two. Joe hits the enziguri in the corner but Penta is back up with a superkick. That just earns him a snap powerslam for two but Penta kicks him in the face for two more. Joe’s big boot gets the same, only to be sent to the floor for a flip dive. Penta’s big flip dive only hits table though and the Koquina Clutch finishes him at 14:58.

Result: Samoa Joe b. Penta El Zero Miedo – Koquina Clutch (14:58)

Jon Moxley b. Action Andretti – Rear naked choke
Kris Statlander b. Robyn Renegade – Bridging O’Connor Roll
Bullet Club Gold b. Gravity/Aerostar/Dios del Inframundo – Reverse layout DDT to Inframundo
Rey Fenix b. Angelico – Black Fire Driver
Roderick Strong b. Darby Allin – End Of Heartache
Samoa Joe b. Penta El Zero Miedo – Koquina Clutch

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