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Mitchell’s Ring of Honor Report! (12/16/17)

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ROH Wrestling Television, Episode 326

All images courtesy of the Fite.TV app and streaming service

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • The Addiction VS Team Coast 2 Coast; The Addiction wins.
  • Shane Taylor VS Eli Isom; Taylor wins.
  • ROH World Six Man Tag Team Championships: The Bullet Club’s Elite VS Rocky Romero & Best Friends; The Elite win and retain the ROH World Six Man Tag Team Championships.

PLAY BY PLAY

The Addiction VS Team Coast 2 Coast!

The Fallen Angel & Heavy Metal Rebel were crushed by War Machine, they look to get back on track against a team who wants to finally breakthrough!

Shaheem Ali & Leon St. Giovanni want to uphold the Code of Honor, The Addiction don’t. So C2C dropkicks them both down! The bell rings, LSG goes after Kaz, Ali hits a forearm smash. Daniels runs in but C2C dodges, sending him into Kaz, LSG rams a shoulder in to sandwich The Addiction. LSG brings Daniels out for a suplex, Ali kicks Kaz and then snapmares. Ali hits Kaz with a running dropkick, sending him out of the ring, Daniels runs into Tu Lo Sabe!

C2C focuses on Kaz again, arm wrench and roll, double kick combo. They keep going, bringing Kaz into a corner, tag to Ali. Ali gives Kaz body shots and a chop that sadly falls flat, Kaz fights back and brings Ali to a corner for sharp chops of his own! Kaz whips corner to corner but is reversed, he slips out and spits at LSG! LSG comes over, offended, Ali swings but misses, Daniels clobbers him with a sneaky lariat. Kaz slingshots for the DDT!

Daniels trips up LSG while Kaz rains rights on Ali, The Addiction is in control now. Kaz brings Ali over, tag to Daniels, they mug Ali with body shots and buckle bumps. Daniels brings Ali into Kaz’s boots! Daniels hooks the nose, the ref reprimands him while fans start a rally. Tag to Kaz, double arm wrench to a kick, a clubbing forearm and even a double stomp. The Addiction insults the fans and embraces the heat while we go to break.

ROH returns, Ali is fighting back on Kaz. He whips Kaz to ropes, Kaz spins around, swinging neckbreaker! Cover, TWO, Kaz trash talks LSG. Kaz brings Ali over for a snapmare, tag to Daniels. Daniels slingshots for an elbow drop, Kaz slingshots over for a leg drop, then Daniels split-leg springboards for the Arabian Moonsault.

Fans boo and jeer while Daniels stands for a cocky cover, TWO. The Fallen Angel stomps Ali while fans rally, Daniels brings Ali into the Addiction corner for shoulders. Daniels spits at LSG, then goes back to Ali. Ali revives and fights out with forearms and elbows, but Daniels kicks out a leg. Daniels swings, Ali blocks and hits a hammerlock slam! Fans rally again as both men crawl to their corners. Daniels grabs Ali’s legs but Ali shoves him away, hot tag to the Human Rocket! LSG rallies on the Addiction, getting a waistlock on Daniels and pushing him into Kaz, to sandwich them in a corner. LSG rolls back, handspring double clothesline!

Fans fire up while LSG whips, Kaz reverses, LSG springboards for a double forearm! Then for Daniels, swinging cradle into a gutbuster, followed by a low dropkick. Kaz staggers aruond, LSG grabs him for the double underhook but Kaz resists. Kaz reverses, LSG shoves him away, scoop into a floating DDT, Daniels breaks the cover. Ali returns, he catches Daniels to feed him to LSG’s boot, Ali gives Daniels a complete shot! C2C and the fans fire up, C2C grabs Kaz and puts him in a Tree of Woe. Fans know what’s coming now. Ali goes to one corner while LSG goes to another, but Daniels yanks LSG mid-springboard while Kaz sits up, the Double Coast-to-Coast misses!

Daniels returns into the ring while Kaz climbs down. Ali gives Daniels forearms, but Kaz gives Ali a backstabber! Daniels gives Ali a haymaker, Kaz hits Unprettier!

LSG returns, springboard lariat takes out Daniels! Kaz and LSG brawl, LSG gets the advantage, whip reversed to feed into Daniels’ boot. Kaz holds LSG in Tombstone position, The Addiction goes to a corner, Best Meltzer Ever!

The Addiction wins! They may claim their mission is to ruin great wrestling in ROH, but that was a good match. Will “The Best in the Business” find themselves headed back to the ROH World Tag Team Championships?

As for Coast 2 Coast, they linger in the ring.

In fact, LSG grabs himself a mic.

“Over and over again, the same thing happens.” Ali & LSG have been together a year, but they haven’t done a thing. They fail at every turn. They haven’t won a meaningful match, so what do they have to do? Ali takes the mic and asks LSG back, “What do we have to do? Are you kidding me, Gio?” Ali & LSG have busted their behinds, but they need, no they HAVE to win their next match. If they don’t, then they shouldn’t be a team. “One more match, do or die!” C2C has issued itself an ultimatum, will they make or break?

 

Shane Taylor VS Eli Isom!

The Notorious Hitman did not win the ROH World Television Championship at Final Battle, but that won’t stop his hustle. Will this tune-up help get him back on track?

Taylor upholds the Code of Honor, but doesn’t let go right away. He and Eli circle, tie up, Taylor shoves Eli right down. Eli gets up while Taylor grins, they circle again. They tie up again, Taylor throws Eli down again. Taylor doesn’t take Eli seriously, nor does he feel that chop. He dares him to do that again, Eli gives another, but it still isn’t enough. Taylor shoves Eli right to a corner and gives a sharp chop of his own! He then stands Eli up, to throw him across the ring!

Eli climbs up to his feet while Taylor takes aim from the opposite corner. Taylor runs in, and squashes Eli with a clothesline. Taylor runs while Eli staggers around, Taylor runs Eli over with another clobbering clothesline! This isn’t enough for Taylor, he drags Eli up by his hair. Eli shoves him away, throws a kick but Taylor blocks to give a stiff knee. Eli is dazed but crawls to ropes, so Taylor dares him to stand up. Fans rally while Taylor takes aim, Eli fires up, only to be snuffed out by Taylor’s killer right hand! The referee calls it on a knockout! Armed with something like that, can Taylor punch his way to the top?

 

The Young Bucks speak.

Matt & Nick Jackson, two-thirds of the ROH World Six Man Tag Champions, are set to wrestle Chuckie T, Trent Baretta & Rocky Romero. They are “Best Friends”. Well what would those three say if the Young Bucks just happened to have their best friend here tonight? The Villain, Marty Scurll!

This is awkward. The Bucks didn’t mean Scurll when they said “best friend”. Oh. Alright then… Scurll moves aside so that the Bucks can properly introduce their best friend, Kenny Omega!

Yes, ROH signed on the dotted line of a nice big check and got themselves “the most sought-after” professional wrestler in the entire business. And together, they are known as… The! Elite! The, the Elite! Faced with these three top tier talents, do the Roppongi Best Friends stand a chance?

 

Time for another edition of Coleman’s Pulpit!

The Most Versatile Man in This Sport Today has the Pulpit’s first Woman of Honor guest, it is MRS. American Nightmare, Brandi Rhodes!

Brandi is honored to be the Pulpit’s first woman guest, job here is done. But she’ll still stay to answer the questions. In that case, there is much to discuss in regards to Brandi, such as debuting on the reality television show, WAGS. For those who aren’t familiar, “WAGS” stands for “Wives and Girlfriends of Sports Stars”. The girlfriends element is still confusing even to Brandi, she will watch the show herself to figure that one out. Is there anyone on that show we should watch, aside from her? Nope! Brandi wants you to watch for Brandi. Naturally, as Brandi is very beautiful. Coleman asks Brandi a wrestling related question now. Brandi has had a rough time in WOH, as she hasn’t won a match yet. She’s only had two matches, though. True, so she’s 0-2. Everyone starts somewhere, Coleman. Did he win his first two matches? Coleman recalls not winning for a year. Then he’s not one to talk. Brandi did win her very first match anywhere, though, so there’s that.

Coleman’s point being, does the fact she is Mrs. American Nightmare help her at all? Why would it? Coleman’s just curious. Brandi feels that is looking things in a “WAGS” perspective, but that’s fine, because that sets her apart from the other WAGS. She doesn’t rest on her husband’s accomplishments, she achieves her own. Coleman doesn’t see it that way anymore. In fact, he sees a bit of a “Rhodes Curse” happening; whenever a Rhodes boy gets a girl, things go downhill. What’s that supposed to mean? She’s been wrestling for a whole year now. Wow, a whole year? Coleman remembers Brandi was a great figure skater before she was a wrestler. Can Brandi elaborate on that? She skated for 17 years, traveled the world and trained very hard. So from rink to ring, huh? Clever. The newest season of WAGS, WAGS Atlanta, debuts Jan. 3rd, 2018. Coleman respects Brandi, hopes things work out for her and appreciates her taking the time to be here. In fact, after she wins her first WOH match, she can be his guest again. She’ll even autograph something for him. Coleman would love that. That’s all for Coleman’s Pulpit, where he finds out the truth and the truth will help you see you later.

 

ROH World Six Man Tag Team Championship: The Bullet Club’s Elite VS Rocky Romero & Best Friends!

Trent Baretta and the Kentucky Gentleman couldn’t use the power of best friendship to defeat the Motor City Machine Guns, but maybe with the help of an old friend, they can break into trios wrestling against a team that rules that division.

Romero and Matt Jackson start, the bell rings and fans are already clapping along with the Terminator Drums. Matt and Romero circle and trash talk, Matt pie-faces Romero. Romero laughs it off, but then Matt gives him another. Matt spits on Romero, that’s a step too far, Romero gives Matt a sharp uppercut. Romero whips but is reversed, he responds with a running headscissors but Matt cartwheels to stay on his feet. Matt goes for a kick, Romero blocks and then grabs Matt for the Sliced Bread, Matt reverses into Tombstone position! Nick gets ready on the apron, but Romero pops out, no early Indietakers here. Romero dares Matt to come at him, he’s all fired up. Baretta calms Romero down, the fans give Terminator Drums in the stand-off. The Elite hears them, Matt winds it up, and tags in The Cleaner!

Omega gets in the ring, Chuckie T tags in. Chuckie and Omega circle, fans sing and chant but Omega calls for quiet. The fans obey, and we can hear Kenny tell Chuckie, “We have history, my friend.” Out of respect, they shake hands.

Baretta attacks Omega!

Chuckie stops Baretta from disrespecting the IWGP US Champion, the Best Friends argue for a moment, but then agree to knock The Young Bucks off the apron. They double whip Omega corner to corner, Chuckie runs in but Omega elbows him away. Baretta tries, Omega boots him away. Omega goes up and over then ducks under, huricanrana throws Baretta! Omega gets behind Chuckie, shovels him onto his shoulder in electric chair position! Chuckie slips down, waistlock but Omega elbows out. Nick returns, Omega gives him a boost for the flying headscissors!

Romero springboards in, Omega ducks under, then grabs him for a tilt-o-whirl backbreaker. The Bucks return, they headscissor dropkick Baretta down. The fans fire up as The Elite regroups. They chant “The! Elite! The, the Elite!” while Omega & The Bucks go into Terminator kneeling poses. The drums begin again and the Elite rise. They take aim, build speed, and TRIPLE DIVE!

The fans are all fired up as they serenade The Elite with “The! Elite! Two Sweet Elite! Woop Woop!” Chuckie T comes back into the ring, Matt knocks him down with a right hand. The teams sort out, Omega tags in Matt and bring Taylor up to “light him up” with body shots. Matt keeps on Chuckie with right hands and a whip, Chuckie slips up and around while Baretta comes in, Best Friends hit Sole Food to a Half ‘n’ Half! Best Friends bring Matt up and Baretta chops him down, we go to break.

ROH returns again, Omega protests the Best Friends double-teaming. Chuckie brings Matt up while Baretta goes out to the apron. Chuckie slams Matt down, Baretta fires up for The Most Dangerous Move in Pro-Wrestling… the slingshot foot scrape! Baretta tags Chuckie back in, he hits the Slow-Mo Senton! In other words, the Two Dog Night! And to top it off, the Best Friends hug!

Romero comes in, he wants a part of the hug, but Chuckie won’t allow it. You can’t have two best friends, Rocky, it doesn’t work like that. In any event, Chuckie knocks Omega off the apron, then returns to Matt. Matt revives and starts throwing hands on Best Friends, and even Romero. Chuckie kicks Matt then whips him, Matt uses that to give Baretta a wrecking ball dropkick. Matt crawls for his corner, Chuckie intercepts and whips Matt again, Matt slides out this time to SUPERKICK Romero!

Matt slides back into the ring, but is again denied a tag. He boots Chuckie away then hops up top and hits a corkscrew cutter!

The fans and Elite rally, Matt crawls, hot tags to Nick and Baretta! Nick rallies on Best Friends with kicks and elbows for each of them. Shining Wizard to Chuckie in a corner before combination bulldog and clothesline on both! Romero returns, he takes the triangle jump kick. Nick is all fired up, he gives Baretta a triangle jump corkscrew crossbody on the outside!

The fans are thunderous for “The! Elite! The, the Elite!” Nick puts Baretta back in the ring, climbs up top again, swanton hits knees! Nick gets to a corner, Baretta hits a shotgun kick. He knocks Omega off the apron then lifts Nick in position, but Matt SUPERKICKS him into Nick’s sunset flip bomb! Both men down while fans rally again. Hot tags to Omega and Romero, The Cleaner rallies for only a short time before Romero dodges and counters. Romero and Chuckie double whip but Omega kicks Romero away before “STOP!” enziguri that Chuckie ducks and Romero takes. Chuckie swings but Omega gives him the Snap Dragon Suplex! Omega has a Snap Dragon for Romero! Barettat runs in, Snap Dragon countered with an arm drag into a running tornado DDT! Omega flounders, Baretta fires up, fans chant for “Kenny! Kenny!” Baretta runs in, Omega catches him, hat trick on the Snap Dragon! Now Omega fires up, fans rally with him. He locks and loads, BANG, but runs into Chuckie’s kick, and Romero’s flying headscissors! The Young Bucks come in, Double SUPERKICK to Romero!

And Double SUPERKICK for Chuckie!

The Young Bucks are just getting started, they get the crowd as loud as they can before bringing Chuckie up. “Oh he’s dead.” Nick speaks too soon, Chuckie slips out of the fireman’s carry to shove Matt at buckles which trips Nick up. Chuckie gets put on the apron but rocks Matt with a right hand. Chuckie climbs that corner while Romero climbs up to join Nick. Matt rocks Chuckie back with a right, Matt climbs up now. Romero gives Nick a SUPERPLEX, Baretta springs up to give Matt a SUPER GERMAN SUPLEX, which sends Matt flying onto Nick! Chuckie adds double stomps onto Nick, then builds speed while The Young Bucks regroup. The Kentucky Gentleman FLIES!

Baretta stalks Omega in the ring now, low kick to a snap piledriver! Cover, TWO! Baretta almost breaks down as we go to one last break.

ROH returns one more time to fans chanting for the Young Bucks, but Chuckie has Omega up on the outside. Baretta runs, Omega moves while Baretta DIVES, Chuckie catches him and the Best Friends hug again.

The Young Bucks return to SUPERKICK the Best Friends down!

Romero runs in, he sends Nick’s kick into Matt then rocks Nick with a jumping knee. Romero jumps up for a double huricanrana! V-Trigger outta nowhere!! The fans are thunderous again from that one. Omega goes after Chuckie on the apron, Terminator Drums as Omega puts on the full nelson but Chuckie fights out. Matt runs in, triangle jump “See you in Hell!” apron DDT! Omega and Baretta on the apron, apron piledriver! Nick rocks Baretta with a roundhouse, then an apron German Suplex! Romero comes in, mule kick, Sliced Bread onto everyone!

Everyone is down but the fans are fired up. “This is awesome!” The Elite and the Best Friends regroup, Baretta gets in the ring and heads for his corner. Omega gets in, too, tags Matt while Baretta tags Romero. They may be sore and exhausted, but they still brawl with heavy haymakers. Back and forth they go, Romero firing up each time. They change to forearms and brawl some more, Matt gets the edge here. Matt whips Romero to the Elite’s corner, but misses wide with his corner splash. Romero runs and starts up the infinite clotheslines! He only gets two before a SUPERKICK stalls him, but he still gets a third! Nick returns, Romero dodges him, enziguri misses but the mule kick hits on the back swing. Omega runs in, misses the V-Trigger this time, Romero hits a SHORYUKEN uppercut! Romero runs, ducks, running Sliced Bread! Matt gets up, Romero kicks away, but Matt was ready for the mule kick. Matt puts Romero in a sharpshooter while Nick goes to the apron to give Baretta a Penalty Kick! Then Matt positions Romero for the slingshot facebuster!

Nick cartwheels to asai moonsault Best Friends! Omega returns, fans are going wild as he puts on a crossface for the Cease & Desist Lock!

Nick intercepts Chuckie, but then Baretta comes in, the Best Friends bowl him into the others to break the holds. The two teams regroup, fans rally once again. They all brawl 3v3, first the Roppongi Best Friends punch, then the Elite respond. They go back and forth, RPGBFs get the edge and then run, into TRIPLE SUPERKICKS!

The Elite runs, into triple knees from RPGBFs. Only Omega stays in the ring, but he just takes triple knee strikes by himself now. The Bucks return, the RPGBFs share that group hug! They take one member of the Elite each, Triple Gotch Piledrivers!

Triple covers, Triple TWO! RPGBFs are frustrated, Terminator Drums start up while Chuckie climbs up. Baretta brings Matt up, Dudebuster position with Romero helping, it’s a SUPER Dudebuster!

Nick breaks the cover just in time! Chuckie grabs him by his hair, Nick slips out of the Awful Waffle and side steps Chuckie to send him into buckles. Romero up, he grabs both Bucks and wants Double Sliced Bread, but as he goes up, Omega returns and catches him in a fireman’s carry. Omega hits Romero with a rolling senton, gets Chuckie with a draping backstabber, swanton bomb from Nick! Baretta returns and rallies on The Elite all by himself, only to take a knee right to the face. Omega positions Baretta while Matt lifts Chuckie and Nick positions Romero. Nick climbs up, fans get excited, Double Missile Drop-Senton Meltzer Drivers!!

That still isn’t it? The Elite fires up with the Terminator Drums, they pick Romero up, Matt alley-oops Nick for the One Winged Meltzer! Matt adds on the Sharpshooter, Nick the crossface, it’s the Cease & Desist Lock again! Romero taps, The Elite wins and retains the ROH World Six Man Tag titles for The Bullet Club! Will there ever be a trio talented enough to topple these titans of tag team wrestling?

 

My Thoughts:

Another great episode of ROH here, where ROH again displays the depth of talent they have from top to bottom and from young to old. The Addiction aren’t done with ROH yet, but might be toning down their anti-fun campaign. In contrast, Team Coast 2 Coast is self-aware with their struggling, and are addressing it in a logical sense that they either win or mutually break up as a team. I hope C2C gets that vindicating victory as ROH’s tag team division needs more young teams to keep it going with talk of War Machine being on their way out. Shane Taylor dominates again, even though it was against an obvious jobber. His hitman story can still go all sorts of ways, playing him up as more a Tweener than either Heel or Face. I wish that story with Cheeseburger and The Dawgs was going to go somewhere, but in the end, Taylor is more of a singles competitor anyway. He can make for a great ROH WTVC contender, and with Silas Young as the new champion (Highlight for Final Battle spoilers) I could see such a Tweener Taylor program happening.

I enjoyed seeing Coleman’s Pulpit with Brandi Rhodes. Coleman does well as a Tweener himself, verbally picking fights with anyone in order to stir up emotion. Brandi may not be the most experienced woman but she can still be a face for WOH on television since WOH is mostly found on ROH’s YouTube. Women’s wrestling continues to grow, even in ROH as now there will finally be a WOH Champion. It may not be Brandi at first, but it was smart to have Coleman bring up a “connections vs talent” aspect to Brandi’s character, that can be her story as she chases the title. The main event–which I didn’t realize was for the ROH W6MTC at first–was PPV quality, but that was to be expected when Bullet Club leader and all-around top tier talent Kenny Omega was involved. ROH’s trio division is still growing, but it is already well-stocked with teams like the Bullet Club’s various formations, The Kingdom and their pursuit of becoming two-time champions, and Romero & Best Friends as seen here. I hope it continues to grow with more teams from both ROH and their many partner promotions.

My Score: 8.5/10


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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?

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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!

Ratings:

  • 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

 

Results:

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.


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Andrew’s IMPACT Results & Match Ratings: 10.21.2021

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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?

Ratings:

  • 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

 

Results:

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.

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.

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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