- Kassius Ohno VS Lars Sullivan; Sullivan wins.
- Aleister Black VS Velveteen Dream; Black wins.
- NXT Women’s Championship Fatal 4 Way: Kairi Sane VS Ember Moon VS Nikki Cross VS Peyton Royce; Ember Moon wins and becomes the new NXT Women’s Championship.
- NXT Championship: Drew McIntyre VS Andrade “Cien” Almas w/ Zelina Vega; Almas wins and becomes the new NXT Champion.
- WarGames Triple Threat: SAnitY VS The Undisputed Era VS Roderick Strong & The Authors of Pain; The Undisputed Era wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service
Backstage interview with Peyton Royce and Billie Kay.
As best friends, the Iconic Duo interviews themselves. How is Peyton feeling “on the biggest night of your career?” Super confident. Best shape in her life, and stoked to be here. Word association time. Ember Moon: Athletic, not Iconic. Nikki Cross: Psychotic, not Iconic. Kairi Sane: Pirate, not Iconic. Peyton Royce: one-half of the most iconic duo in NXT, and the NEW NXT Women’s Champion. Is this confidence going to last through the night?
“I declare a state of war.”
Chaos shall be contained in “two rings, in one cage, in WAR GAMES!” Violent yet beautiful, “there are no laws, there are no rules.” It is survival of the fittest. “In war, what do you fight for?” Honor, destiny, prestige, chaos, redemption, dominance, recognition, principle, pride or yourself? “Only total war can result in total victory.” Who will obtain victory through these wars?!
Kassius Ohno VS Lars Sullivan!
To put it simply, Houston is about to see if a Hero can conquer a Leviathan! Both men are ready to go even before the bell, when it ring,s they go right to it as Lars puts Ohno in a corner and clubs away on him. Ohno fights back,s tiff forearm but it does little. A boot does a bit better, another elbow, but then Ohno runs and Lars runs through him to run him over! Lars clubs Ohno in the back, rams in a knee to the ribs, and another at the ropes that sends Ohno out. Lars goes out to pursue, flying shoulder block knocks Ohno down! Lars keeps on Ohno by tossing him onto the apron edge. Ohno bounces off but manages to crawl into the ring, Lars follows him back in. Lars whips Ohno corner to corner, Ohno bounces out with a boot. Lars stays up, catches the second kick, enziguri from Ohno only to kip-up into a lariat! Lars grimaces as he stands over Ohno. Lars then grins as he stalks his prey. Lars drags Ohno up, clubbing forearm against the ropes. Lars grinds a forearm into Ohno’s face then whips him, Ohno tumbles to the apron and boots his way in. Ohno runs, Lars pop-up powerslams Ohno down! Cover, TWO, Lars is annoyed this isn’t over yet. Lars decides to go up top!? Lars keeps his eyes on Ohno, jumps, his splash flops! Ohno revs himself up, blocks a lariat with a boot, gives a stiff elbow and a stiffer boot, Lars roars but Ohno gives him stiff haymakers! Ohno keeps up hit after hit, Lars stays standing, Ohno runs for a leaping rabbit elbow!
Lars is reeling but still on his feet, fans are fired up for Ohno. Ohno takes aim, runs, spinning boot! TWO! Ohno is shocked, Lars is just angry. Ohno keeps it up with a low boot but Lars sits up and roars. Lars takes another boot, gets up, so Ohno stomps him out. Back senton on top! ONE!? Lars is up at one!? And still as angry as before! Lars and Ohno brawl with heavy shots, Lars runs, into a discus elbow. Lars reels again, Ohno takes off the armband, but runs into the Freak Accident!
Lars wins! The Hero did not triumph, the Leviathan leaves him be. Where will this path of dominance lead the Mile High Monster?
Aleister Black VS Velveteen Dream!
“Is there really a difference between the dark and the light?” The Embodiment of the End pondered that on the road to tonight’s match. He and The Patrick Clark Experience couldn’t be any more different yet somehow the same, but only one will #FadetoBlack. Surpise tights from Velveteen, he has himself and Aleister on them! Aleister ignores that little mind game, he only acknowledges the bell. Velveteen says the fans know his name, they’re cheering it right now. But he wants Aleister to say it. ALeister won’t, they tie up, move around, then break. Velveteen goes to slap but Aleister dodges, then gets him in an arm-drag and wristlock. Velveteen resists with body shots but can’t get free. Velveteen works on reversing, gets a snapmare, but then Aleister gets Velveteen right into the hammerlock. Velveteen rolls, reverses, breaks, snapmare, chinlock but back into the hammerlock. Velveteen endures, reaches around, pulls on hair. Snapmare blocked, snapmare from Aleister, facelock. Velveteen flounders around, gets up, powers Aleister to the ropes. Ropebreak not so clean, but Aleister was ready, he gets a waistlock. standing switch, back to the hammerlock. Velveteen powers out, but ends up in a standing Crucifix Octopus from Aleister! Velveteen reaches, Aleister gets the sunset flip, TWO, feint gets Velveteen to duck so Aleister rolls over his back. Aleister blocks Velveteen into an armbar, Velveteen rolls and now they brawl with forearms. Velveteen clubs Aleister down, Aleister gets mad. Velveteen whips but Aleister holds ropes, then dumps Velveteen out hard. Aleister builds speed, to fake him out, and sits down in front of Velveteen as Velveteen slips into the ring. The fans applaud this evenly matched match-up, but Velveteen taunts with a hip swivel. Aleister ignores it. That upsets Velveteen, Houston wants Aleister to “Say his name!” Aleister doesn’t, so Velveteen sits down with him.
Fans and Aleister are both surprised by that, but only the fans like it. Aleister gets up, to give Velveteen a taste of his own medicine as he slithers up into Velveteen’s face! The fans are loving this! Velvteen rushes in, gets swept, Mahistrol, TWO, arm-drag, Velveteen gets to the ropes to hotshot Aleister. Velveteen back in, big lariat runs Aleister over. Velveteen stomps on Aleister, demanding Aleister says his name. Aleister put into a corner, Velveteen keeps on him. Aleister bails out, Velveteen takes his time to gloat. Aleister catches his breath, Velveteen decides to do something risky. He builds speed, to give us his own fake-out! Velveteen drags Aleister but Aleister hotshots him back. Into the ring, they grapple, fireman’s carry but Aleister fights out. Push, SUPERKICK from Velveteen, TWO! Velveteen is groggy but he gets right back on Aleister with a rain of rights. Velveteen walks around Aleister, drags him up, stiff neckbreaker, TWO! Velveteen is getting angry now, putting Aleister in a chinlock clutch. He stretches Aleister, clawing the lips and nose, “Say my name!” Aleister reaches, building up the willpower to power himself up. Fans rally as Aleister starts to slip out but Velveteen clubs him in the back. Velveteen’s moves are countered with strikes, ropebreak brings a pause to the action, dirty break with that low knee. Aleister is tangled up in the ropes now, just like a few weeks ago. “What’s my name?!” Velveteen shouts at Aleister. Aleister simply kicks back, slips out, they brawl, Velveteen slaps but that only pisses Aleister off. Aleister rallies, handsprings, runs into a corner for a forearm smash, corner to corner for springboard DDT, TWO! Aleister wants to end this, he lifts Velveteen up with one foot. Velveteen knows what that means, so he powers Alesiter to a corner. Aleister kicks back, hops up, jumps over, rolls, fireman’s carry but slips down, stiff knee responded to with a stiff elbow, a stiff roundhouse responded to with a fireman’s carry! Rolling Death Valley!
Cover, TWO! Velveteen is in shock. The fans are loving this, Velveteen has them saying his name again. He drags Aleister over to a corner, then up to his feet to hoist onto the top rope. Up higher now in a fireman’s carry, but sunset flip and escape, sweep to the legs! Velveteen crashes down, Aleister with the running knee! TWO! Aleister still on him, but into a side-winding DDT!
Both men down, the fans are giving a standing ovation. Velveteen crawls to a cover, TWO!! Velveteen can’t even react, he’s that out of it. “This is awesome!” Velveteen crawls, gets to a corner, goes up top, and takes aim. Swivel of the hips, and — boots! Now Velveteen is the one tied up in ropes! Aleister sees he has an opening, stiff boot! SUPERKICK from Velveteen, spinning knee from Aleister! Fans applaud again, this match is already stealing the show. Both men slow to get up but Aleister’s up first. He looks at Velveteen, who still demands “Say My Name! Velvet — “ BLACK MASS!! Aleister wins! Still undefeated, still unfazed, will Aleister make all of NXT #FadetoBlack?
However, he isn’t done with Velveteen yet, as he produces a microphone.
“Enjoy infamy, Velveteen Dream.” He said his name! Aleister won the match, but he gave Velveteen what he wanted out of respect. What will this mean for both men in their futures?
NXT Women’s Championship Fatal 4 Way: Kairi Sane VS Ember Moon VS Nikki Cross VS Peyton Royce!
After the Empress of Tomorrow decided to move on and up to Monday Night Raw, the NXT Women’s Division was left without a champion. Tonight, we see if either the Pirate Princess, Prophecy of Flame, Psycho Scot or Iconic Venus Flytrap will pick up where Asuka left off. The bell rings, and the four stand off, wary of each other. They slowly approach each other, Peyton and Nikki pounce on Ember and Kairi, respectively. Peyton whips Ember, Kairi reverses Nikki, Ember takes Nikki out then Peyton takes Ember out before Peyton puts Kairi in a corner. Nikki goes after Ember but Peyton won’t let her get ahead of herself, forearm for Crazy Cross. Ember gives Peyton a huricanrana, then a forearm smash for Kairi. Nikki hops on Ember with a thrashing sleeper, Peyton decks them both with the heel kick. Double stack cover, Kairi uses a blockbuster to break that up. Cover on Peyton, TWO, Peyton and Nikki get out. Kairi turns attention to Ember, corner to corner but Kairi put to the apron, Ember forearms her down. Ember sees Nikki and Peyton, slingshot over and hits Nikki. Peyton thinks she’s saef, until Kairi hits her with a flying forearm! Kairi clubs on Peyton, Ember builds speed, Ember DIVES!
Both Peyton and Kairi go down, fans fire up with Ember’s howl. Texas’ own underdog is soon attacked from behind by Nikki, inverted DDT prepared but Ember fights out. They brawl with forearms, Nikki goes up, pop-up powerbomb to the ground! Kairi returns to go after Ember, they go back into the ring, and Kairi keeps on Ember. Ember’s kick is blocked, double chop knocks her down. Kairi gives more double chops, Ember gets to a corner. Kairi gives more chops, fans duel between Ember and Kairi, Ember is chopped to the mat. Kairi marches, corner to corner shoulder tackle! Kairi sees someone return, but misses, Peyton capitalizes with the motorcycle stretch on the ropes. Ember gets up slowly, Peyton gets a mule kick! Ember is shoved back, Peyton and Ember brawl with forearms. Peyton bails out, Ember goes after Kairi, Kairi rolls up, TWO. Ember up, stiff forearm sends Kairi reeling. Peyton returns, Kairi is whipped but dodges, Ember jumps over the SPEAR so that it hits Peyton. Spnining backhand to Ember, Kairi goes up top. Ember up to stop her, Kairi teeters. Ember climbs up, clubs Kairi, Kairi fights back. Ember still gets Kairi set up, Peyton hops up to make it a Tower of Doom, German Suplex variant!
Fans applaud but all three women are down from that impact. Peyton crawls to cover Ember, TWO. Now Kairi, TWO. Peyton is getting frustrated. She drags both women up, they fight back, Nikki climbs up and flies in for a big crossbody! All three targets hit, Nikki fires herself and the crowd up. She goes right at Ember by bashing her into the corner. Then for Kairi, she gets some buckle bumps, hoisted into a Tree of Woe for a mudhole stomping. Then for Peyton, stiff forearms and then clothesline sends her out. Back to Kairi, Fisherman Neckbreaker!
Ember breaks the pin just in time! Every woman down, but neither of them is quitting. Bicycle boot into Nikki from Ember, and then Ember drags herself to a corner. She wants to go up top and Nikki knows it, so she intercepts with forearms. Nikki and Ember brawl, slingshot countered with a forearm, then a draping swinging neckbreaker! Ember rolls out, Peyton rolls in, Perfect Plex! Kairi JUST breaks that in time! Kairi lifts Peyton up, to Alabama Slam Peyton on top of Nikki. Kairi up top quick, anchors away with the InSane Elbow!
Direct hit on Peyton but cover on Nikki, Ember outta nowhere to break that pin! Ember hurries to get herself to a corner, she climbs up, Peyton yanks her down. Stiff knee for Kairi, Peyton gets Nikki up but Nikki revives to fight back. But wait! Ember’s still on the top rope, she jumps, DOUBLE ECLIPSE!!
Ember wins!! Her home state helps her FINALLY become NXT Women’s Champion!! And best of all, perhaps, is that Asuka is there to give her the title belt! Things come full circle for Ember Moon, what new heights can she achieve now?!
NXT Championship: Drew McIntyre VS Andrade “Cien” Almas w/ Zelina Vega!
The Celtic Colossus is still undefeated, and compared to El Idolo, seems to be more of a “real man”, too. Will Almas prove he can be a man by taking the title off the “bloody mountain” known as McIntyre? Zelina gets right in the champion’s face even before the bell, she’s fired up enough for her and Almas. Almas moves her aside so that he can get in McIntyre’s face now.
Almas then pie-faces McIntyre, only to back off to the ropes. Fans cheer “Si se puedes!” for Almas as the bell rings, Almas and McIntyre tie up but McIntyre powers Almas into a corner. Almas tries to fire out but McIntyre just puts him back in there. Almas shoves McIntyre, only to hide behidn the ropes again, and then cheap shot slap across the chest! Headlock powered out but Almas lands on his feet for another headlock. McIntyre powers out, Almas up and over, back to headlock. Another power out, McIntyre runs Almas over with a shoulder. McIntyre gets Almas up, Almas kicks his leg then puts on the headlock again. McIntyre powers out, sees Almas coming, kick intercepts Almas’ evasion. McIntyre now stomps on Almas, drags him up, jawbreaker counter. Almas is thrown to ropes, goes Spider-Man to tranquilo, only to be kicked to the ground. McIntyre pursues Almas, stiff chop at the barriers. McIntyre brings Almas around and in, Almas kicks back. Almas distracts the ref, Zelina flies but is reversed with power, and then Almas’ dive is intercepted witha forearm. Cover, TWO, Zelina is beside herself as Almas is chopped again. McIntyre whips Almas, Almas kicks back, McIntyre scoops him up but ends up taking a hotshot. Almas back in, but back to being scooped, slips out again and McIntyre lunges to miss and hit post. Almas goes out to fetch the downed champion, bringing him back into the ring. Almas keeps on McIntyre, bringing him around for the backbreaker and clubbing elbow, ONE. Almas drags McIntyre over, hanging armbar! Almas lets go at 4, then covers, TWO. Fans duel as Almas goes after McIntyre’s arm. McIntyre endures as Zelina coaches Almas. McIntyre wills himself up, fans rallying, Almas knees low and whips. Almas runs in, but picked up and around, Almas still slips down, only to be suplexed across the ring! Both men down from exhaustion and sore bodies. McIntyre up but takes an elbow, so he gives a forearm. They brawl now, Almas whips but is reversed, big lariat and chop knock Almas down each time. Forearm smash in a corner, another whip, overhead suplex! Into the corner for another! Zelina is panicking as McIntyre climbs up and ax handles Almas down. A kip-up from the 6’5″ McIntyre, who then picks Almas up again. Almas fights out, runs, pop up into Celtic Cross, TWO! McIntyre isn’t frustrated but he is sore, he gets up as fans troll with “3MB!” McIntyre starts up the drums, but Almas gives him a dropkick. Corner to corner, dodge but counter at the same time as Almas misses a boot but still hits McIntyre with a back elbow. Almas hops up and brings McIntyre over, tornado inverted DDT!
TWO! Almas and Zelina are frustrated, Zelina ushers him to finish this. Almas drags McIntyre up, prepares the Hammerlock but is driven into a corner. Almas boots out, hops up and on top of McIntyre’s shoulders, tries the inverted huricanrana, ends up in the inverted Alabama Slam! TWO! McIntyre is getting exasperated, he gets to the apron as fans rally. McIntyre climbs up, Almas springs up to dropkick him down to the ground! Zelina keeps Almas on target, slingshot, but McIntyre looks to be stopping Almas in his tracks, only for Almas to huricanrana McIntyre into a post! Almas back to the top rope, SUPER ASAI MOONSAULT!
And it hits! Back into the ring quickly, covers, TWO! Zelina is furious, Almas is getting desperate. Almas goes up again, McIntyre stops him with a right hand and a stiff chop. McIntyre climbs up, Almas yanks him and crotches him. Chop puts him in the Tree of Woe, Woe Stomps! CIEN KNEES!
Drag to a cover, TWO!! Almas gets McIntyre up, Hammerlock escaped, enziguri dodged, deadlift sit-out powerbomb! TWO! Zelina is losing her mind with this roller coaster of emotions. McIntyre gets Almas up in the double underhook, Almas slips out to give another stiff chop. McIntyre headbutts in response, rolling takedown from Almas, TWO, into FUTURE SHOCK! TWO! Now McIntyre is feeling some of that shock and desperation. McIntyre won’t give up yet, he gets up to drag McIntyre around, fireman’s carry to hoist Almas up top. Almas slips out, wants to powerbomb but McIntyre holds on, so Almas yanks a foot out to then CINE KNEES to the back of the head! Cover, TWO, and Almas is furious as he rains down rights on McIntyre. Almas goes out, and his desperation is getting the better of him. He grabs the belt, to distract the ref, Zelina hits McIntyre with a Sipke-Rana!
Zelina slips out, Almas hits the Hammerlock DDT!!
TWO!? Zelina and Almas cannot believe their trick failed to finish this. Almas and McIntyre are in opposite corners, “Si se puedes!” echoes throughout until McIntyre hits a CLAYMORE outta nowhere!
Almas gets flipped and rolled, Zelina helps create a ropebreak! “Si! Si! Si!” the fans chant for the sneaky senorita. McIntyre is furious now, he gets the drums of war going again. Almas flounders to his feet, so Zelina trips Almas to save him from a second Claymore, which collides with ropes to mess McIntyre up. Fans are rabid for Almas as he and McIntyre get to their feet. THey climb up, Almas has McIntyre, draping DDT! Almas wins!! McIntyre loses his streak AND title! El Idolo is now El Campeón! And thanks in large part to La Gerente Vega. How long will this dynamic duo keep the belt with them? Well that’s for later, tonight is about a Cien Celebration!
WarGames Triple Threat: SAnitY VS The Undisputed Era VS Roderick Strong & The Authors of Pain!
The reason this is no longer TakeOver: Houston is because these three sets of three men could not leave well enough alone, so the only way to finish it is in the infamous invention of the American Dream! Who will leave Houston not as winners, but as survivors?! As one man must start for each team, it is Eric Young, Roderick Strong and Adam Cole “BAYBAY” in first for a simple triple threat. The bell rings, it is a stand-off as the clock begins to count down. The fans are already loving this as the other six men wait like animals in a cage. Cole backs off to the second ring, but Eric and Strong pursue. With nowhere else to go, Cole swings but gets attacked. However, Eric and Strong now fight over who gets to go after Cole. Cole tries to use that to his advantage, but Eric boots him away before standing switch. Cole tries again, gets another boot from Strong. Strong elbows Eric, throws him at Cole but Cole dodges and we’re back to a stand-off. They slowly approach each other, Eric haymakers Strong, Cole tries but fails to put Eric into the cage. Cole keeps himself from hitting steel, but Eric knocks him down, Strong gives Eric a backbreaker. Cole and Strong brawl, forearms back and forth, as well as chops. Strong whips Cole, Cole reverses, dropkick blocked int a catapult, Cole climbs to get away, but escaping means elimination so what’s the point? Especially when Eric and Strong both get after him on the cage wall! Cole fights back as best he can, but he gets clubbed left and right. Cole falls down, now the two fight each other. Cole trips them up, double crotch on the top rope. Cole has his pick, so he stomps on Strong then on Eric. Cole drags Strong up and throws him to the first ring with a hard landing. Cole gets Eric, they start brawling. Fireman’s carry for Eric, ushigoroshi! Eric writhes in pain, Cole goes to the first ring and Strong. Cole swings hands and forearms on Strong in a corner. Cole grinds a boot into Strong as he tells him “you’re nothing!” Cole returns to Eric at the intersection, brings him over to ring 1, stiff forearm sits him down. Cole clubs Strong, too, “I run this world!” Cole snap suplexes Strong, and dusts off his hands before stomping Eric again. Cole has control, neckbreaker on Strong. Neckbreaker on Eric, too, but then Strong fights back with chops. Strong whips, reversed, lariat! Strong fires up now, he goes after Cole in a corner with more chops. Then one for Eric, elbows and knees back and forth, more chops, but we’re now getting… the Undisputed Era’s Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish!
Cole gets back up as reDRagon rip away at Strong and Eric. Cole joins in, the first full team has control of the two lone men. Cole puts Eric between ropes and cage, and all there men of the Undisputed Era smash him into steel. Two minute warning, Strong starts fighting back but it’s not enough against two men while Cole goes after Eric. Code breaker wheelbarrow suplex sends Strong to the second ring. Kyle and Fish pursue while Cole keeps Eric down. Strong fights against Kyle’s leg lock, but Fish helps Cole mug Eric with kicks. Kyle picks on Strong with kicks, The Undisputed Era do another 3v1 wall smash. They even take time to gloat before going back to beating down Eric and Strong. The countdown finishes, now we get… the Authors of Pain, Akam & Rezar! They rush the ring, the Undisputed Era holds that door closed, but the Authors just pry it open to slam it back on the heads of reDRagon! Akam & Rezar can now join the fray, they club away on the Undisputed Era. Cole goes into cage wall, Fish goes into cage wall, Eric goes into cage wall, and even Kyle goes into cage wall as he tries a backpack sleeper on Rezar. Kyle is dumped into ring 2, Cole is TOSSED into it! The AoP then double back body drop Eric into Ring 2! The AoP use Strong as a weapon, double hip toss senton!
Everyone else goes down, and the fans fire up! The AoP join everyone in Ring 2, picking at the pieces. Eric put in a Tree of Woe as the Undisputed Era is thrown around. Kyle put in a Tree of Woe, too, Fish and Cole are picked up for DOUBLE Death Valley Drivers into the Trees of Woe!
Strong and the Authors are the only men standing, and pick apart the others as the clock ticks down. Fans anticipate it, here comes SAnitY! Wolfe and Dain rush in, but Wolfe came prepared with a billy club! He goes all out on the Authors, there’s no disqualifications. Speaking of, Big Damo finds a trash can! Wolfe moshes while Damo puts in chairs, the trash cans, a chain, and kendo sticks. Eric and Wolfe use those chairs to unleash on the Authors, Strong, and the Undisputed Era. Fans want tables, so Damo obliges! The Beast of Belfast has Houston hot for the extreme levels SAnitY is bringing this match to. Wolfe sets up one table, Eric the other. Kyle tries a chair shot on the German Ax Man, misses and hits himself, to then get a German Suplex! Fish tries to get extreme, he gets slammed on that can!
Damo finally enters the cage, Wolfe hits Strong with the can, Damo locks the cage door with a chain and padlock. The Authors get the edge on Wolfe, Damo eats the key, then clobbers Strong and the Undisputed Era one man at a time. Damo stares down with Akam & Rezar, and starts fighting off the Authors by himself. Damo puts them together, and squashes them in one corner. Then dropkick back senton to hit them both! Damo surveys his surroundings, Strong brawls with Wolfe, Damo climbs up to the top rope, and then jumps “For SAnitY!”
Big Damo crossbody topples The Authors, Strong and even his teammates. Cover, Cole breaks it up. Damo is wild eyed as he hunts Cole back to Ring 1. Cole has a kendo stick, swings, nothing! Damo slaps the stick out of Cole’s hand, grabs Cole by both hands, but Fish saves Cole with kicks to Damo’s legs. Fish runs, sunset flip but Damo too big. Cole comes in, Michinoku Driver puts Cole on Fish! Double cover, ax kick from Kyle breaks the pin. Kyle goes after Damo, but gets a forearm and then cage wall. Damo hasn’t slowed down, he fireman carry on Kyle, then catches Strong’s crossbody, Samoan Drop Fall Away, while Wolfe and Eric get the exact same from Rezar! Damo and Rezar lock eyes as the two biggest men in this match, they meet in the middle to brawl. Damo gets the edge, drags Rezar into Ring 1, Rezar boots Damo back, Damo gives the bicycle boot. Rezar swings, Damo ducks, big body check! Akam boots in, scoops Damo, powerslam! Cover, Kyle breaks with a fist full of chain. Kyle flounders up but still hits a tornado DDT! Eric up, Cole gives him an enziguri! Fish kicks away at Strong, reDRagon and Cole hit a SUPERKICK Chasing the Dragon! Damo is back up, but everyone else is down out of exhaustion. Cole gets clobbered, reDRagon dodges and kicks away, double kick vice. Wolfe boots Fish, Kyle ax ’n’ smashes Wolfe! Kyle has that chain again, he’s getting a sinister idea. Kyle goes to Wolfe to chain him up around the face and arm, it’s a heavy metal Arm-ageddon! Wolfe resists, Eric climbs up, Eric drops an elbow on Kyle! Arm-ageddon averted, Eric crawls over, Fish moonsaults onto Eric! All nine men are down, fans are loving this but they still want to see a table get involved. Damo, Kyle and Rezar are in Ring 2, Rezar lifts Kyle while Akam has Fish, Damo ends up in the middle of the Super Collider!
Cover in Ring 1, Eric breaks it just in time. Rezar joins Ring 1 again, they take Eric but he slips out to disrupt their plans. Eric clotheslines Akam then fireman carry to Rezar, Death Valley of Rezar onto Akam!
Eric gets to a cover, Strong and Cole both break it up. Strong and Cole brawl now, Cole shoved into Eric for End of Heartache! Lumbar check for Eric, Shining Wizards for Kyle and Fish, backbreaker for Wolfe, jumping knee for Damo, AND Olympic Slam! Cover, Cole SUPERKICKs Strong to break it up. Back to all men down, fans still want tables. Cole climbs up, takes aim at Strong, but Eric sneaks up behind him to pounce. Cole fights him off, Strong comes up on the other end, Cole is stuck in the middle again. They all fight three ways, reDRagon and SAnitY join in, then the Authors, DOUBLE TOWERS OF DOOM!!
The only man not affected: Adam Cole! And he revels in it. However, he is now stuck between Akam and Rezar. He hurries up the cage but can’t get away, gets crotch’d instead. The Authors get the tables into Ring 2, and the fans are loving it. Both tables set up together, Cole completely unaware. The Authors return to Cole, climb up together, line up the shot, but Eric and Wolfe crawl over. Cole fights the Authors off while SAnitY attacks from behind, Cole gets up on top of the cage. Escape means forfeit, is he throwing the match? Speaking of throwing, Wolfe throws Rezar with a SUPER GERMAN through the tables!!
Wolfe and Rezar are down, Eric takes Akam out with a flying neckbreker! Cole crawls on the edge of the cage, but Damo has revived. Kyle has, too, and takes aim with a can. Damo knocks Kyle down, but Kyle kicks and strikes back. Damo clobbers him with a spinning lariat! Cole has by now crawled to a corner of the cage’s rim, Damo brings Kyle into position and wedges in a trash can. Damo then climbs up, and tells Cole to watch this. COAST 2 COAST!
Damo took as much out of himself as he did Kyle, only Cole can stand as he’s atop the cage. With forfeit on the outside, he has no choice but to go back inside, but he doesn’t get a chance to jump as he sees Strong standing up in the center of the ring, right in his way. Strong climbs up after Cole, Cole changes his mind about not leaving the cage. However, Strong keeps him from getting down, drags him up, and with fans begging “Please Don’t Die!”, SUPERPLEX ON TO EVERYONE!!
The fans are losing their minds, Strong covers, TWO!! Even after all that, this match isn’t over. In fact, “This is Awesome!” The nine men finally stir, Damo and Akam end up both going to the intersection, and brawl. Damo backs Akam down, gets room but gets caught, in a modified Last Chapter! However, Kyle goes after Rezar with a sleeper to prevent a cover. Fish helps out with strikes, high-low sweep! Eric and Wolfe get up, Fish put into steel again. Wolfe is bleeding but helps Eric give Kyle the back suplex neckbreaker! Strong gives Wolfe a big slam, and is alone with Cole. They brawl again, back and forth with forearms, Cole is put into the wall but Eric wheelbarrows Strong into the other side. Kendo outta nowhere from Cole to Eric, and Cole isn’t done yet. He takes aim, but Eric grabs a chair. Cole doesn’t care, Shining Wizard through the chair, Undisputed Era wins! They have somehow survived the return of WarGames, can they continue to #ShocktheSystem?
This was simply amazing. Beginning to end, so much incredible action and story, no complaints really. Ohno and Lars open the show, naturally, and also with a natural ending as Lars goes over to keep his dominant singles win streak alive. I feel like now should be the time Ohno gets to come up to main, what more can Ohno do if he isn’t going to be NXT Champion? Ohno on SmackDown to face Corbin for the US Title would be great for everyone as far as I can tell. Aleister VS Velveteen was so good, the crowd was so into it for both guys, man it was amazing. Aleister wins for much of the same reasons Lars did, that win streak is going to be important for Aleister, as well. And I suppose Aleister is leaning towards Face if he was willing to show respect to Velveteen by saying his name even after all this between them. With guys like Lars, Aleister, Velveteen and others, NXT really needs to consider a secondary title for their sakes, so that less talents are left waiting for a chance at the main title, a chance that might never come.
That Woman’s Championship Fatal 4 was really good, too, it was really hard to be sure who was winning as everyone got to have their finish. I almost thought Peyton had it, but Kairi just barely breaks things up, a slight botch perhaps as it could’ve easily ended up being Peyton by accident. However, Ember gets her finish last on two targets at once, a great surprise to finally win her the championship, and with Regal and Asuka both there to award her, it was a great moment all around. That NXT Championship match was just as incredible, story elements really worked as Zelina goes above and beyond to help her client get advantages, and in the end it works out. At least story wise, as it is revealed that McIntyre is actually injured. But Houston had a strong Almas following so they were pleased, and all of this this really changes up things going forward for NXT. Then, WWE’s modifications to WarGames didn’t change that the main event was match of the night, week, and month, and up there for Match of the Year for NXT. Great stuff all the way from the introductions — like Undisputed Era and the Authors of Pain taunting SAnitY’s caged members and Strong being in AoP gear a la Kurt Angle in Shield gear — to the very end, with big spot after big spot but never getting boring or overdone. I think every member of SAnitY was bleeding in some capacity by the end, but especially Wolfe after getting a table edge through that double-edged Super German Suplex through tables. Undisputed Era goes over, it just seems to make sense if reDRagon is going to challenge for NXT Tag Team Champions and Cole wants after the NXT Championship. Cole might get his chance, too, if McIntyre isn’t fit to have his rematch against Almas, but if Cole-Almas is anything like tonight, no one will complain.
My Score: 9/10
Andrew’s G1 Climax 31 FINALS Day Results & Match Ratings: 10.21.2021
Kota Ibushi looks to 3-Peat, Kazuchika Okada looks to win his first G1 in 7 years! Who will win?
Kota Ibushi looks to 3-Peat, Kazuchika Okada looks to win his first G1 in 7 years! Who will win?
So we get a fairly basic card. A few undercard tags, the semi-main contains Shingo and most of the main players not in the Finals. Jeff Cobb goes from a shot in the Finals to the opening match, that’s a big blow to the ego.
There’s a few interesting threads that can be pulled at, but the major draw is the G1 Climax 31 Finals. So let’s get to it!
- Ryohei Oiwa & Kosei Fujita vs El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru: Kanemaru wins via Boston Crab @8:40 – **
- United Empire (Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan) vs Toru Yano & Yuji Nagata: Yano wins via Roll-Up @8:29 – **
- House of Torture (EVIL, SHO & Yujiro Takahashi) w/Dick Togo vs Hirooki Goto, YOSHI-HASHI & Tomohiro Ishii: EVIL wins via Everything is Evil @11:20 – * ½
- KENTA, Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa & Chase Owens w/Jado vs Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma, Tiger Mask IV & Hiroshi Tanahashi: Chase wins via Package Piledriver @10:41 – ** ½
- 5 Minute UWF Rules Match::Katsuyori Shibata vs Zack Sabre Jr: Time Limit Draw @5:00 – *****
- TenCozy, Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato vs Hiromu Takahashi, BUSHI, SANADA & Shingo Takagi: Shingo wins via Pumping Bomber @12:17 – *** ½
- G1 Finals: Kota Ibushi vs Kazuchika Okada: Okada wins via Referee Stoppage @25:37 – *** ¼
Ryohei Oiwa & Kosei Fujita vs El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru
Commentary doesn’t even really try to hide the fact that these Young Lions are very early in their careers and have no real chance. They are in this match to learn, build endurance and get experience.
Nothing special in this match, they give the Lions a few flash pinfall attempts but again, we all know better. More just moments of surprise cause the Suzuki-Gun duo were playing with their food. Still far too fresh in their training to show anything more than basics, and all I’ll say is, they didn’t embarrass themselves, so that’s a positive.
United Empire (Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan) vs Toru Yano & Yuji Nagata
So one of the most successful teams and singles wrestlers this year, against a clown and a veteran. I mean Nagata is no slouch, but he’s not in a position to be upsetting two rising stars. Maybe Yano pulls off some thievery, but I’m not really intrigued.
Early on we see the usual Yano stuff of shenanigans and turnbuckle pads going missing. Nagata gets tagged in and we get some real wrestling. However, Cobb and Nagata square off outside when they aren’t the legal men, and Yano executes the miraculous shot to the Ding-Ding, and Rolls-Up O-Khan for the win!
This does continue the weird story between O-Khan and Yano, so at least there’s a thread of story, but it does definitely leave Cobb in a weird spot.
House of Torture (EVIL, SHO & Yujiro Takahashi) w/Dick Togo vs Hirooki Goto, YOSHI-HASHI & Tomohiro Ishii
Early on SHO starts with the mind games having a CHAOS towel in the ring and wiping his body with it, and being generally mocking. Things start quick, turnbuckle pads are taken off, people get wrapped into ropes and I suppose this is a more tolerable usage of EVIL. House of Torture can torture the 6 man division with bad wrestling and cliché paint by numbers heel work.
Togo uses the garrot on HASHI, but HASHI and Goto manage to hit GYR on EVIL, but Dick Togo of course gets involved to distract the referee. Chairs lay out the CHOAS members, Everything is EVIL on HASHI and yeah yeah, House wins and challenge for the six mans. Ugh.
KENTA, Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa & Chase Owens w/Jado vs Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma, Tiger Mask IV & Hiroshi Tanahashi
So wait, we get all Bullet Club members against the veteran Hontai Squad? I mean Tanahashi has looked extremely mortal lately, and he’s not really bringing a ton of back up. When Makabe is the second best one on your squad, and he’s barely wrestled this year…you gotta wonder.
Makabe starts things off and we can see his back and waist heavily taped. So it looks like Makabe’s part time schedule could have something to do with injuries. Injured or not, Makabe gets the most of Loa, brings in Honma, then Honma eats some offense from Tama, until Honma counters and lands a big suplex. Tiger Mask IV comes in and actually cleans house, it takes a little bit before Tama does the Double Leapfrog Haku Chop to start taking control.
Bullet Club smacks around Tiger Mask until KENTA eats a Tiger Driver (ironic, I’m aware) and then Tanahashi gets tagged in. Tanahashi works to get a measure of revenge on the Bullet Club, but then we get some spam moments. G.o.D. tries to take out Makabe, but Makabe wipes out G.o.D. easily. Makabe brings in Honma, Honma takes it to Chase Owens, but no avail. A missed Kokeshi, a blocked Brainbuster attempt, and then C Trigger into Package Piledriver gives Chase the win.
Chase looks to be setting up a challenge, but KENTA blindsides Tanahashi with the belt. KENTA and Chase play tug of war a little, Chase tells KENTA he pinned him, KENTA says he doesn’t care, and Chase relents. He says KENTA can get the first shot, but he got next.
5 Minute UWF Rules Match: Katsuyori Shibata vs Zack Sabre Jr
This…this is amazing. Shibata gets his first match in 4 years, and it’s against the most perfect wrestler for Shibata to have a technical and safe exhibition match.
Since its UWF this is usually done in a points system like the old IMPACT Grand Championship. But a 1 round exhibition doesn’t allow for anything beyond a Draw, but this is wonderful. It’s a technical marvel with counters, submissions, references to Inoki’s classic on the ground pose that we saw Great-O-Khan reference back to during the G1. This is just a great moment, and hard to do any real play by play, but it’s a technical marvel. Hell, Shibata looks better than he ever has.
WAIT – After the match Shibata says “Next time I’m in the ring, I will be in my ring gear”. He punctuates the line with a hard flat back bump and a kip up. …Shibata is back? SHIBATA IS BACK?!
TenCozy, Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato vs Hiromu Takahashi, BUSHI, SANADA & Shingo Takagi
Taguchi and Hiromu start off with a good bit of comedy, before everyone not named Tenzan starts doing the Mongolian Chops, much to Tenzan’s chagrin. Wato has some nice spots early before LIJ do their wonderful Bum Rush. BUSHI comes in, uses the shirt and then LIJ starts dominating Wato. Wato manages to get a little space and get Kojima in and we get Machine Gun Chops on SANADA in the corner!
Hiromu tries to block it, gets shoved in the corner for his own chops, BUSHI tries to stop it, and gets put in the corner for the Triple Stacker of Chops. Shingo looks, and then drops off the apron and decides he’s just gonna let them play. Shingo does cut off Kojima before he does his signature Elbow, so Shingo didn’t ignore his team, just decided he wasn’t gonna fall into the dumb spot.
Signature spams, LIJ pain train, signature spam again, and then we get solid call backs. Shingo and Tenzan are the last two, Shingo uses Mongolian Chops, Tenzan responds in his own way. Some haymakers thrown, a Headbutt from Tenzan, the attempted Flying Headbutt, but Shingo cuts him off, Pumping Bomber, and Shingo wins!
G1 Finals: Kota Ibushi vs Kazuchika Okada
So they feel each other out early, and have the usual fast pace wild swings that get dodged and end in a small rest moment where they just smile and absorb the energy of the match. Before Ibushi can really get anything going, the arrogance of the Rainmaker returns. Very deliberate shots, perfectly rolling through his Slingshot Senton, and his single foot Dropkick. It’s really interesting to see Okada reverting back to his old self. The 2017 form is further exemplified by Shibata’s return since it helps to bring everyone back to “brighter days”.
Okada goes for his corner Hip Attack, but now Ibushi gets to start a comeback. Dropkick, Roundhouse Kicks, Standing Moonsault and Okada powders. After some fighting on the outside, Okada takes control again and hits a DDT on the ramp, which has Ibushi pretty much out. Okada waits in the ring until about 18, before he decides that’s not how he wants to win. Drags Ibushi in, tries the Money Clip, Ibushi won’t go in comfortably, Okada rocks him, whips him into the ropes, hits the Million Dollar Dropkick, and finally gets the Money Clip sunk in. Okada is in a different aggressive form that we haven’t seen since 2018 when his nearly 2 year title reign ended and he went balloon crazy.
Savage Elbow, Rainmaker Pose, Zoom Out…Wind up…Rainmaker misses and Ibushi returns with his own Lariat turning Okada inside out. Now they stand up for the strike exchange. Okada falls into an old Nakamura trap, where he starts winning the exchange, taunts the challenger and gets rocked. Ibushi grins, hits the Frankensteiner sending Okada to Powder. So now it’s Moonsault time for Ibushi, and lands perfectly on Okada.
Going back inside, Ibushi looks for Kamigoye, Okada blocks and then ducks the Round Kick, goes for a Backslide, but Ibushi rolls through and kicks Okada. Okada then eats a V Trigger and a Kamigoye…but it’s only 2! Okada flips Ibushi over when he attempts another Kamigoye, Double Legged Cradle, but ibushi kicks out. They lay each other out, Ibushi crawls to the top rope, Phoenix Splash and…Ibushi lands weird. He immediately grabs his arm, Red Shoes goes over to Ibushi, and after a few moments Red Shoes calls for the bell.
Okada wins the G1 off of Ibushi missing the Phoenix Splash and possibly dislocating his right arm.
Overall Score: 7.25/10
There’s a dark poetry in the ending to this year’s G1. Starting with Naito’s injury and ending with Ibushi’s injury, just makes this a fairly cursed year which plays into the cursed aspect of this World Heavyweight Championship. In a way, this works out for the best since if this tournament was supposed to make a newer wrestler and ended the same way, there would always be an asterisk. But it’s Okada, he’s a proven commodity and no one will really question his victory. I really appreciated the fact that he always loomed close while Ibushi was struggling with the doctor and through his injury. He held his hand many times, even seemed to tell him it’s fine, we’ll do it correctly 1 more time in the future.
Katsuyori Shibata returns, Kazuchika Okada returns to the a level of prominence by winning the G1 Climax 31 and this is a nice way to remind people of the names that many of the current crop of IWC fans know. New Japan grew quickly because of AJ Styles and Kenny Omega’s Bullet Clubs, but in the last few years we’ve seen many of the names we know fall to the back or go to different companies. This could be a return to form finally for New Japan.
Even if it ended off a failed Phoenix Splash, it could help New Japan rise from the ashes of community favor like a Phoenix.
Andrew’s IMPACT Results & Match Ratings: 10.21.2021
Bound for Glory is on Saturday! How does IMPACT! hype us up for one of their crowning PPVs of the year?!
We get to see Mickie in an IMPACT ring for the first since 2015, Heath tries to get answers out of Rhino and we’ll probably see a lot of Josh Alexander and Christian Cage fleshing out the last little bits of the World Title match.
Aside from that, do we get anything of note to talk about, or is it just an appetizer for the real show on Saturday?
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) October 22, 2021
- Bullet Club (Chris Bey & Hikuleo) vs FinJuice: NO CONTEST/Double Pinfall – ***
- Jordynne Grace & Fallah Bahh vs Tenille Dashwood & John Skyler vs Chelsea Green & Crazzy Steve: Tenille wins via Spotlight Kick – ***
- Pick Your Poison: Savannah Evans w/Tasha Steelz vs Mickie James: Mickie wins via Mick DDT – *** ¼
- Alex Zayne vs Trey Miguel: Miguel wins via Meteora – ** ¾
The Insiders Stream on YouTube didn’t start until about 9:00pm, I’m not sure why IMPACT constantly has issues, but YouTube is not a hard platform to utilize. These delays are inane and embarrassing.
Bullet Club (Chris Bey & Hikuleo) vs FinJuice
Bey and Leo try some trickery early, but Finlay keeps pace. When Leo gets back into the match he starts throwing Finlay around a bit, which opens up opportunity for Bey. Bey looks to get flashy, but Finlay manages to get Juice in and Juice comes in hot. He nearly flips Bey out of the ring, takes Leo off the apron and tags in Finlay for some tandem work.
Leo breaks up the pinfall and then throws out Juice. Finlay grabs Bey in a Backbreaker/STO combination but Bey’s feet bump the referee. Leo chokeslams Finlay, puts Bey on top, but it takes the new referee too long to show up and it’s only a two count. We see Hikuleo trying to finish things, while the new referee tries to wake up the original referee. Leo gets double teamed, Juice Rolls Up Leo and then Bey Rolls Up Finlay, both referees count a 3 count for the different pinfalls. So we get a little call back to Beer Money and Motor City Machine Guns if we’re staying within TNA Universe.
This will probably end up a triple threat, unlike the MCMG/Beer Money double pinfall which ended in overtime.
There’s a long segment with Josh Alexander giving us his story. It’s not a bad segment, but the only advantage to the show starting late means I got to rewind for the match and speed through most of this. Alexander is a great story, but I already mostly know it, and would really like to see him win at Bound for Glory. Get the title back on a wrestler on the actual IMPACT roster.
Jordynne Grace & Fallah Bahh vs Tenille Dashwood & John Skyler vs Chelsea Green & Crazzy Steve:
This is a Digital Media Championship preliminary match. I find it interesting that there’s 3 men and 3 women. So instead of one or two for “inclusion” it’s actually an even spread. The way the teams are broken apart is interesting too where it’s Power vs Crazy vs Opportunistic.
The gimmicks actually paid off in the match. Jodynne massacred kids, but then things started to get a little messy. Fallah gets a handle on things, squishes the world, and then looks to BAHHnzai Drop on Tenille but Kaleb gets involved. A little more confusion, Steve hits King Kill 33 on Fallah, but Skyler pulls Steve out of the ring. Tenille hits the Spotlight Kick and the Opportunistic team win because well…there was an opportunity.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) October 22, 2021
Pick Your Poison: Savannah Evans w/Tasha Steelz vs Mickie James
Mickie takes a moment to absorb the accolades from the crowd first, and then we see a quick strategy twist. Savannah looks for a few Haymakers and using her reach to her advantage, where Mickie just finds a few quick strikes and interesting angles to land some offense. Mickie looked to be building some momentum, and then Tasha got involved.
Savannah starts to dominate after the assist from her second. Big Bear Hug in the middle has Savannah just ragdolling Mickie until she can land a few choice Forearms. Mickie fights out, Sole Butts, a few nice attacks and Mickie hits the Avalanche Thesz Press, but only a 2 count. Deonna’s music plays as Savannah kicks out, Mickie is distracted and then we see Savannah lay in some big shots. The Full Nelson Bomb only gets Savannah a 2. Mick Kick rocks Mickie and then Mick DDT for the win. Hardcore Country wins the match.
Deonna walks down, mouths off…actually pushes Mickie…so I’m confused about the no contact clause…but then Rehwoldt shows up behind Mickie and wipes her out.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) October 22, 2021
Alex Zayne vs Trey Miguel
The Sauce against the other guy who can’t speak but likes to try to use food analogies and sucks at it, aka, Trey Miguel. He’s like a Young Will Ospreay with less ability to talk…so no upside at the moment cause Ospreay was pretty awful up until a year or two ago.
So this is just a lot of counters, blocks, Arm Wringers, not much direct offense, just a lot of choreographed spots. This feels like a much slower paced version of a Ricochet/Ospreay match from 2016. Zayne is a more fluid wrestler, and he just makes everything look good. Miguel does a weird Cradled Octopus but Zayne responds with a Handspring Frankensteiner, as an early highlight spot.
Miguel in Ospreay fashion hits the Cheeky Nandos, into the corner stuck Tiger Feint, Meteora and Trey wins.
Thankfully Maclin attacks Trey after the match so I feel generally better. Bullet Club comes out and take out both Maclin and Trey. El Phantasmo just baby faced himself in my house.
Show ends with the usual talking segment hyping the World Title match. Alexander gets a “You Deserve It” from the crowd and portrays himself as the everyman fighting for his boys. Christian’s music hits and Captain Charisma vacuum shows up to stir a pot that doesn’t need to be stirred.
Christian taking the experienced thrives under pressure condescending veteran angle is…annoying. Like I said a few weeks ago, the boxes they are trying to play in, I don’t love. Alexander does flip the script nicely talking about how people classified him as nothing more than a Tag Team guy, and “sounding familiar” strikes a chord with Christian. Small scuffle as Christian tries to snip back, but it’s fairly paint by numbers.
Overall Score: 5/10
Low key? This was a pretty lame episode for an Impact Go Home. The matches weren’t really anything special, with the most happening during Pick Your Poison, but it effectively being a non-issue. The YouTube delay of course hurt my enjoyment of the show, but even without the delay, I don’t really feel like this would’ve registered much higher on my scale.
I am looking forward to Bound for Glory because of who’s in the matches, but this episode didn’t help sell it. Thankfully it’s already sold out, and most people probably decided if they were purchasing it by now.
When it comes down to it, I’m expecting quite a few title changes, even though I’m figuring that Mickie’s involvement is more of a one off to give the rub to younger talent and cement her dominant reign. Alexander I would love to see win the belt and The IInspiration would do wonders and put an immediate spotlight on a division that has floundered behind a lack of real teams and no real direction.
So I’ll see all of you on Saturday for Bound for Glory!
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