ROH WRESTLING TELEVISION, Episode 328
All images courtesy of the Fite.TV app and streaming service.
ROH celebrates the best of 2017!
Join Ian Riccaboni on a Ring of Honor retrospective of ROH and their partners in NJPW, CMLL and RevPro putting on some of the best wrestling in the world during the War of the Worlds UK event.
2017 Highlights include:
- 8/18/17: ROH World Television Championship Kushida VS Titán; Kushida wins and retains.
- 8/19/17: Jay Lethal VS Josh Bodom; Lethal wins.
- 8/18/17: 10 Man Tag, Los Ingobernables de Japon VS The Bullet Club; LIJ wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
ROH World Television Championship: Kushida VS Titán!
NJPW and CMLL fight over ROH gold across the pond in London!
The fans are already hot as Kushida and Titán circle. The two tie up, Kushida gets the waistlock and takedown, float over to facelock. He holds on as Titán rolls, but Titan slips out for a cover. Kushida slips out, they go back and forth on the front facelock. Titán kip-ups to arm-drag, he and Kushida trade tripping takedowns and covers, the two handspring and staredown. The fans applaud how evenly matched these two men are, and cheer for “ROH! ROH!” that brought them together. Things speed up, Titán springboard arm-drags Kushida and sends the Time Splitter out. Titán speeds up but Kushida dodges so he has to cancel his flight. Instead, he hops down and hits Kushida with a running huricanrana!
The fans cheer for “Lucha! Lucha!” while Titán drags Kushida up and into the ring. Titán takes aim as Kushida stands up, and he hits a springboard crossbody! They speed up again, Titán handstand walks over Kushida. He then back handsprings but Kushida blocks the headscissors, and hands it off to the referee!
Referee Todd Sinclair wants nothing to do with this, but has no choice as Kushida kicks Titán’s arm out. Kushida is reprimanded while Titán rolls out of the ring. Kushida pursues and kicks him down, then borrows an empty seat from the fans. A shoulderbreaker sits Titán down, Kushida gets a big running start for a big dropkick!
The fans are thunderous for “Kushida! Kushida!” The champion drags Titán up and into the ring, covers, TWO! Kushida drags Titán up, and wrenches that arm back in a hammerlock. He stands on the hammerlock, fans rally for the stomp! Fans keep rallying, Titán gets to ropes. Kushida backs off before bringing him over for the face scrape and cartwheel dropkick! TWO, to Kushida’s surprise. He returns to going after Titán’s arm, fans rally for the luchador. He gets the ropebreak, Kushida lets go but then comes right back to that arm. Kushida shoulders, elbows and chops Titán down before whipping him to the ropes. Titán counters with a sunset flip, Kushida waves his arms to stay up, then swivels those hips before checking the time. Time for the Hoverboard! But Titán scrambles to ropes for the break. Fans applaud again as Kushida brings Titán back up. Titán chops Kushida sharply, Kushida kicks back just as sharp. Kushida runs, Titán goes Matrix to dodge, and retaliates with a rolling sobat kick. Titán runs at Kushida in the corner but is put on the apron. Kushida swings but Titán ducks to retaliate with a swing kick. Titán goes to springboard but Kushida uses a PELE to knock him down. Kushida runs, Titán slingshots to bodyscissor Kushida out of the ring! That’s not all, Titán mule kicks Kushida away to then springboard ASAI MOONSAULT onto him and barriers!
Both men go down from that insane landing, we go to break.
ROH returns, Titán blocks a kick to hit a dragon screw! And then wraps on a top-loaded Figure Four with an ankle lock!
Kushida endures this Titán Lock, avoids a cover but comes so close to giving up. He drags himself to ropes for the break! Titán lets go, then brings Kushida up. Fireman’s carry, Michinoku Driver! Titán then climbs up, fans rallying for him, but Kushida springs up to his feet! He runs and gives Titán a handspring heel kick. Kushida then climbs up, he and Titán fight up there. Hoverboard! Kushida uses that to sit Titán down, but then stands him up for a SUPER ARMBAR TAKEDOWN!
Titán endures and resists, then rolls to a ropebreak. Kushida lets go at 4, the fans cheer him on as he stands back up. He runs at Titán and dropkicks that bad arm. London declares “This is awesome!” Kushida runs, Titán strikes back with a back kick, but then Kushida hits back with a spinning forearm. Titán unleashes kicks then ducks the fast ball to mule kick. He whips but Kushida reverses, Titán handsprings into another armbar!
Titán resists, and rolls his way into La Mahistrol, TWO! They get up and speed up again, flying-headscissor takedown into ghost pin, TWO! The fans are applauding and hope these two “Fight Forever!” Kushida and Titán get up, Titán hoists Kushida up. He chops Kushida a couple times, but Kushida blocks the third to then yank Titán down by his mask! Titán kip-ups and PELE Kushida! He gets the fans rallying before running over, but Kushida catches him into the fisherman! However, Titán slips out and kicks Kushida again. SPRINGBOARD SUPER STEINER!
But wait! Kushida rolls through, rolls back to grab Titán into the Hoverboard!
Titán is stuck in the middle of the ring, but he won’t give up. He gets up, reaches for ropes, but Kushida rolls him away. Kushida tries to go Back to the Future, but Titán resists and slips out, to then hit a spinning roundhouse! Kushida staggers to the corner, Titán feeds off the fans’ energy, but runs into a buckle shot! Time to finish this, Kushida rolls Titán into Back to the Future!
Kushida wins and retains the ROH WTVC!
Jay Lethal VS Josh Bodom!
ROH’s Franchise Player gave a big spotlight to the up-and-coming RevPro star in Liverpool.
The two uphold the Code of Honor, and the bell rings. Fans cheer for “Lethal! Lethal!” as he and Bodom circle and tie up. Lethal gets the wristlock, Bodom spins and rolls to reverse the hold. Lethal reverses it back, Bodom uses ropes to acrobatically reverse it back. Bodom gets the waistlock and brings Lethal down for the facelock, but Lethal spins it around to put on a headlock. Bodom powers out but Lethals runs him over. Things speed up, Lethal blocks Bodom’s hip toss to hit a neckbreaker. Bodom rolls out of the ring, Lethal fires up the fans. He starts to run but Bodom hops up, so Lethal dropkicks his feet out to send him back down. Now Lethal builds speed, but Bodom again interrupts, so Lethal sends him out the other side, knocking him down with a triangle dropkick.
Lethal rallies the fans, but Bodom drags him to the outside with him. Bodom gets in the ring, he builds speed, but Lethal stops him. Bodom slips out of the back suplex, and even the standard suplex, then headscissors Lethal down. Lethal ducks the roundhouse but takes the enziguri, cover, TWO. Fans rally for Lethal, but Bodom isn’t deterred. He stands Lethal up and gives him a sharp chop and a sharp kick, cover, TWO. Bodom gets fans rallying before giving Lethal a snap suplex. Standing moonsault from Bodom, TWO. The young star isn’t deterred, he puts Lethal in a corner. Lethal blocks then reverses the whip corner to corner, but Bodom boots back. Bodom runs, Lethal counters with a hip-toss and dropkick! Lethal covers, TWO. Fans rally again, Lethal brings Bodom up and hits a scoop slam. Elbow drop on top, cover, TWO. Lethal keeps doing, stiff dropkick to the back of Bodom’s head, cover, TWO. Bodom chops back, Lethal gives him a European Uppercut and a sharp chop of his own. Liverpool wants that “One more time!” so Lethal obliges, chopping Bodom off his feet! The Franchise is in control as we go to break.
ROH returns, Lethal climbs up top. Bodom stands up, ducks under as Lethal jumps over. Bodom grabs Lethal in a waistlock but Lethal elbows him away. Lethal runs, Bodom is ready, pop-up press knee. Bodom runs now, Lethal boots him back. He whips Bodom into his enziguri, then calls for the Injection. Instead, he gets the Poison-Rana from Bodom!
Lethal rolls out and staggers about. Bodom takes aim, builds speed, and DIVES!
He then climbs up, for a springboard ASAI!
The fans are thunderous as Bodom puts Lethal back in the ring, then climbs up top. He takes aim at Lethal, DumDum stomps to the running Shooting Star! TWO! Bodom was close, and he knows it. The fans rally for their local boy as he hoists Lethal up to the top rope backwards. Bodom climbs up but Lethal elbows him down. Bodom falls but Lethal gets caught in a Tree of Woe. Seeing this, Bodom runs in to dropkick Lethal in the ribs. Lethal tumbles out of the Tree, fans rally again as Bodom takes aim. He swings, but ends up in the Lethal Combination! Lethal stands up and hurries to the top rope. He takes aim, and hits Hail to the King!
TWO, but Lethal holds on, for a Figure Four! Bodom endures the legendary lock, and as he gets the ropebreak, look he’s walking out to ringside.
The Last Real Man, Silas Young, appears to look at his Best in the World opponent, and talk trash to him, too. Lethal takes notice of Silas, and tells him to go away. Bodom pounces in that moment, waistlock and roll up, but Lethal rolls him up. TWO, but into the LETHAL INJECTION!
Lethal wins! But immediately has to fight off Silas!
They throw hands, but Silas throws the first kick. He then rains rights down on Lethal, until referees rush in and pull him off. The Last Real Man leaves, but this will continue in Edenborough, and of course at Best in the World. As for Lethal’s opponent in Liverpool, the Franchise shows his respect to the young RevPro star. Perhaps will see Josh Bodom in ROH again someday.
10 Man Tag, Los Ingobernables de Japon VS The Bullet Club!
The entirety of LIJ takes on the American Nightmare, the Hangman, the Villain & The Young Bucks in this epic showdown that bridges NJPW and ROH, with the one and only Daryl Takahashi the cat joining commentary.
The native Marty Scurll starts against Hiromu Takahashi. Scurll doesn’t take kindly to the Ticking Time Bomb’s attitude, so he shoves him. Hiromu doesn’t take kindly to that, so he takes Scurll’s umbrella! London boos, they’re not going to let their hometown villain be disrespected. Hiromu threatens to lick the umbrella, so Scurll knocks him down. Scurll flaps his wings, fans cheer “Woop woop woop”. Scurll whips but Hiromu reverses, Scurll uses the corner to change direction and slip under Hiromu. The Villain gets around behind Hiromu with a hammerlock, then leap-frogs to slip back under. Hiromu turns around, Scurll flaps his wings in Hiromu’s face.
“Too Sweet! Woop woop!” echoes out again, even as Hiromu kicks Scurll low. Hiromu whips but Scurll reverses. Things speed up and Hiromu hits Scurll with a running headscissors, to then mock the wing flapping!
Hiromu runs in and gives Scurll a corner clothesline then throws him out to the center of the ring. Scurll dodges the low dropkick but Hiromu dodges the clothesline, fireman’s carry but Scurll slips out. Hiromu denies the chicken wing, and the two find themselves in a stalemate as both go to swing haymakers. Villain and Time Bomb back off, to tag in Cody and Sanada respectively. London gets a preview of the upcoming ROH World Heavyweight Championship match between the American Nightmare and the Cold Skull. Cody grins as fans chant his name. He and Sanada circle, tie up, Cody gets the headlock. Sanada powers out but Cody runs him over, Sanada immediately kip-ups. Fans sing a song for “Cody Rhodes~! Cody, Cody Rhodes~!” which amuses the ROH WHC. He and Sanada circle again, tie up, Cody gets another headlock and Sanada powers out again. Things speed up, Sanada trips Cody up, cover, kick-out and Cody reverses the roles, double dropkick! No one is hit, so both men stand up, fans applaud this evenly matched match-up. Cody regroups with the Bullet Club while Sanada regroups with LIJ. Fans sing for Cody again as he and Sanada return to circling. They go for a test of strength, but Cody kicks low and drops down for the uppercut. Cody runs, Sanada jumps up and over a couple times to then drop Cody with a dropkick. Cody takes his frustration out by shoving Hiromu in the face! LIJ floods the ring, as does the Bullet Club!
The referee tries to keep peace between all ten men, fans want to “Let them fight!” However, it is the LIJ philosophy of “Tranquilo” that calms things down. Fans grow impatient, they sing “We want some Superkicks~! We want some Superkicks~!” The Young Bucks promise that’ll come later. For now, Cody tags in the Hangman, Adam Page. And he calls out the captain of LIJ! Sanada obliges, and tags in Naito! The Problem Solver will match-up with the Uncontrollable Charisma, after the break.
ROH returns, Naito dodges Hangman’s lunge and tells him to calm down. Fans chant “Tranquilo! Tranquilo!” then rally behind Naito as he fires himself up. He and Hangman lunge at each other, but Naito dodges to tag in Evil. The man formerly known as Watanabe also tells Hangman to calm down while he enters the ring. Hangman gets an idea, so he spits into his hand… He offers Evil that gross handshake, but instead pie-faces Naito with it! Hangman swings on Evil, but Evil dodges and grabs him by the hair. Evil brings Hangman over to Naito, Naito spits on Hangman!
Hangman swings wild, his kick is blocked and Evil hands it off to the referee. Todd Sinclair again has no choice but to be accomplice to something, as Evil mule kicks Hangman in the hip. London declares “This is awesome!” while Evil clotheslines Hangman out of the ring. Evil tags Naito back in, Naito fires up and builds speed, for True Tranquilo!
The Bullet Club is furious, but it’s The Villain who gets in and stomps Naito out! Hangman returns and continues stomping, then tags Scurll back in. “Woop woop!” echoes out as Scurll flaps his wings. He drags Naito up and throws hands and chops. Scurll runs, but into Naito’s back elbow, Evil comes in to add a back senton. Bushi comes in, and the rest of LIJ trips up the rest of Bullet Club while Naito stands on Scurll’s head and mocks the flapping wings.
While Naito enjoys himself in the ring, LIJ is picking apart the Bullet Club on the outside, even throwing The Young Bucks into barriers. Naito chokes Scurll at the ropes and even forces Scurll’s eye open. Scurll gets himself to a corner, Evil gives him a spank before Naito tags Hiromu back in. Hiromu chops Scurll once, twice, then whips corner to corner for a big clothesline to big low dropkick. Cover, TWO, tag to Bushi. The luchador of LIJ climbs up while Hiromu drags Scurll up, Bushi hits a missile dropkick. Bushi gives us the Bushi-roonie, then uses his own shirt to choke Scurll. The referee tells Bushi to stop that, but he’s distracted by LIJ starting an argument with the Bullet Club. Scurll powers his way out of the choke, to put it on Bushi, and then hit the backstabber. Fans rally as both men crawl for their corners. Scurll gets the hot tag to Matt Jackson but both Bucks come in to rally on LIJ. Double dropkicks for Evil, alley-oop dropkick for both Bushi and Hiromu! Sanada comes in, double hip-toss and dropkicks for Cold Skull. Nick runs at Bushi while Matt positions Hiromu, but is put on the apron. Matt runs in and they combine for a clothesline and kick. Fans cheer them on as Nick goes up and Matt prepares Bushi, double stomp dominator for Bushi, somersault into the draping backstabber on Hiromu!
Naito gets on the apron, but gets knocked off with the handspring dropkick! Scurll returns, he hops out to the apron to SUPERKICK Naito down. The Bullet Club then regroups in the middle of the ring and the fans start up the Terminator drums. The Young Bucks rise, build speed and DIVE!
It doesn’t end there, American Nightmare and Hangman get to the corners for a simultaneous Shooting Star and flying clothesline!
The fans are thunderous as Nick gets Bushi back in the ring. Scurll whips Bushi, and brings into the tilt-o-whirl, reverse crucifix driver! Matt is on the top rope, hits a big elbow drop! Nick adds on a frog splash!
Matt covers, Sanada breaks it. Nick comes back and pounces on Sanada to throw him out. Matt tags Hangman in, he drags Bushi up and puts him in a corner. Hangman chops away as we go to break.
ROH returns once more, Hangman is legal again as he brings Bushi up and hits a scoop slam. He climbs up top, goes for the moonsault but flops! Nick comes back in, stomps Bushi out, then claims he’ll hit it. He jumps up for a moonsault, but he flops as Bushi dodges again. Matt comes in and hammers Bushi down, he goes for the moonsault, but Bushi dodges again! Cody and Nick come back in and they both stomp Bushi out. The fans call for “Marty! Marty!” but he’s reluctant to try. The Bullet Club wants him to, the fans want him to, “YES! YES!”, so he has no choice. He says his prayers as he climbs up, fans assure him, “You Can Do This!” Scurll climbs up, and moonsaults!
But he misses all the same… Fans rally as Scurll and Bushi crawl for their corners, hot tags to Hangman and Sanada. The other members of Bullet Club intercept but Cody, Nick and Matt take dropkicks from Cold Skull. Hangman comes in now, but Sanada gets behind him to give him an Atomic Drop. Sanada trips Hangman up to then tie him in a knot! Hangman finds himself in the “Paradise Lock”, Sanada backs up and takes aim. Sanada runs in to dropkick Hangman out of Paradise!
Hangman writhes while Sanada tags in Naito. He and Evil come in to double whip Hangman corner to corner. Evil gives him a corner clothesline and then throws him down, the other members of LIJ give Hangman a quadruple dropkick!
Naito covers, the Bullet Club rushes in to break it up. LIJ throws them all back out, Naito brings Hangman up. Hangman elbows him away, runs back in but is put on the apron, he slingshots for the Buck Shot! Evil returns, lifts Hangman in the fireman’s carry, Darkness Fall! Cody comes in, and hits Evil with Cross Rhodes! Sanada comes in, he steals Cross Rhodes!
Scurll returns, he goes to borrow Cross Rhodes but Sanada reverses, Scurll denies the second attempt at theft to grab that hand! The Villain takes Cold Skull’s fingers and… SNAP! Hiromu comes in, Scurll runs at him, Hiromu throws him overhead into buckles! Nick comes in, SUPERKICK! Matt runs in, SUPERKICK for Bushi! Sanada returns, double SUPERKICKS! Evil and Naito return, DOUBLE SUPERKICKS!
Wait, what’s Nick doing? He’s taking Daryl hostage!
The fans are torn, some want this and others don’t. Daryl is vulernable as The Bucks call for a “SUPERKICK PARTY~!” However, Evil and Sanada drag them out. But wait, The Villain gets back in the ring. He sees Daryl all alone, and gets a sinister idea. Fans are again torn, but Scurll still fires up, does his little spin and “Chicken Wing!” Hiromu returns to SUPERKICK Scurll and save Daryl! However, he celebrates with Daryl a little too long, the Bucks return to double SUPERKICK Hiromu! Daryl goes flying, Cody catches him! The Bucks are out for stuffed animal blood as Cody passes Daryl to Matt. Nick gets to the apron, Matt puts Daryl in position… Springboard Five Star Meltzer Driver!!
Daryl goes down! Is he even still alive?! Hiromu sees the fallen Daryl, fans boo the Bullet Club’s lack of compassion. Fans demand they “Say You’re Sorry!” When the Bullet Club refuses, the Ticking Time Bomb goes off and throws hands on all five of them! He hits Matt, Hangman, Nick, Scurll and Cody in that over several times, then fires up to run, into a QUINTUPLE SUPERKICK!!
Naito returns, Scurll grabs him, but Naito ducks so that Scurll takes the double SUPERKICKS! He then sends Nick’s kick into Matt, enziguris Nick down, then ducks the double clothesline to shove Hangman into Cody. Sanada distracts the referee, Hangman gets the Green Mist!
Naito gives Hangman an Atomic Drop, Evil runs Hangman over with a lariat, Naito rolls into the jackknife cover. TWO! The members of LIJ keep the Bullet Club anchored on the outside, Naito hits Hangman with Destino!
First off, I didn’t expect this episode of ROH to actually feature full matches. I thought it was going to be a full recap show with simply highlights and video packages. But, seeing as how it featured full matches, it was only fair to give them full play-by-play reporting like always. The War of the Worlds UK event was a great hit, so I’m glad we’re all getting to see even just the three matches chosen for this episode. Everything was PPV level quality, and it really showcases why wrestling fans should be fans of ROH, NJPW and their partners.
My Score: 8.5/10
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Mitchell’s WWE United Kingdom Championship Tournament, First Round Marathon!
Before the Network specials June 25th and 26th, the WWE brings us the ENTIRE first round in one single stream! Sixteen great talents from both the United Kingdom and around the world compete to move on in just the second ever UK Championship Tournament! Will your bracket be busted right out of the starting gate?
All images courtesy of the WWE’s official social media sources
- Drew Gulak VS Jack Gallagher; Gallagher wins and advances to the second round.
- Ligero VS Travis Banks; Banks wins and advances to the second round.
- Dave Mastiff VS Kenny Williams; Mastiff wins and advances to the second round.
- Flash Morgan Webster VS James Drake; Webster wins and advances to the second round.
- Zack Gibson VS Amir Jordan; Gibson wins and advances to the second round.
- Tyson T-Bone VS Jordan Devlin; wins and advances to the second round.
- Tucker VS Joe Coffee; wins and advances to the second round.
- Ashton Smith VS Joseph Conners; wins and advances to the second round.
PLAY BY PLAY
The second WWE United Kingdom Championship Tournament begins!
Many faces return from the inaugural tournament, while many others are participating for the first time. The winner of this tournament will be awarded a championship match against Pete Dunne, who is only the second-ever yet longest reigning champion in the title’s short history. Will a returning star or a new one be the next to challenge The British Bruiserweight?
Drew Gulak VS Jack Gallagher!
This second edition of the WWE UKCT starts with two great grappling gentlemen from both sides of the pond. The Philly Stretcher and The Extraordinary Gentleman have become friends via WWE’s 205 Live, but they will put friendship aside if it means a chance at Pete Dunne’s title.
The bell rings and the two gentlemen shake hands. Fans applaud for that as the two circle and tie up. Gulak gets a facelock and puts Gallagher against ropes, but honors the break. They tie up again, and Gulak gets another facelock, but it’s Gallagher who puts Gulak against ropes. Gallagher honors the break, and then they circle. They tie up again, and go around the ring. Gulak gets the headlock, and he grinds Gallagher down to a knee. He brings Gallagher around and around to cover, ONE and Gallagher gets a headscissor counter. Gallagher wrenches but Gulak works his way up. Gulak doesn’t pop out, he rolls Gallagher over and bridges. Fans applaud Gulak’s technical prowess as he gets the leg knot and tries for the full Queen Angelito stretch.
Gulak twists Gallagher, but Gallagher slips out to trip Gulak. Gallagher goes after the legs now, and twists with a toehold. Gulak spins to ease the pressure but Gallagher holds on. Gallagher wrenches more, and makes it a heel hook. Gulak endures, spins, and gets Gallagher’s leg. Gulak now has a standing leg lock, but his own foot pains him too much. He lets Gallagher go, but gets to a corner for safety. Gallagher respects Gulak and waits for him to come out. The two tie up again and Gallagher gets that leg. Gulak counters with a facelock and the two hop around. Gallagher trips Gulak again, but both men get a leg lock on the other. Fans love this technical showdown as the two fight for control.
Gallagher shoves Gulak back and heel hooks, but Gulak goes after one of his own. Gallagher wrenches, so Gulak stands and grabs Gallagher. Gulak drags Gallagher into an attempted triangle but Gallagher stands up to keep the leg lock. Gallagher brings Gulak around for a spinning toehold, then makes it a standing deathlock. Gulak endures the wrenching, but Gallagher shifts and gets the knot! Gulak knows what that means, and Gallagher puts in a bridging Indian Deathlock! But Gulak reaches over, and grabs Gallagher in a sleeper! Gulak gets free, and wants his GuLOCK! Gallagher scrambles and gets a ropebreak. Gulak lets go and Gallagher backs off.
The two circle again, then tie up. Gulak spins gets the wristlock takedown. He steps through for a hammerlock, then grabs Gallagher’s legs for the cloverleaf! Gulak bends Gallagher back, but Gallagher refuses to quit. Gallagher gets out and brings Gulak in. Gulak turns but Gallagher uses the momentum to keep going, and they end up in a corner. The ref counts the ropebreak but Gallagher grinds his forehead into Gulak’s. Gallagher backs off at 4, but then kicks the bad leg. Gulak forearms back, so Gallagher does, too. Gallagher adds a stiff European Uppercut, and it seems the friendship really is out of the window now.
Gallagher kicks that bad leg, but Gulak chops back stiff. Gulak headbutts Gallagher’s stomach, then chops again. Gallagher kicks the leg again, then forearms away. Gallagher returns the chops, as well, then whips Gulak. Gulak reverses but things speed up. Gulak rolls, grabs a leg, victory roll, TWO! They both stand, Gallagher EuroUppers but Gulak chops and chops. Gulak also uses palm strikes, but he spins around into the Extraorindary Headbutt!
Cover, Gallagher wins!
Winner: Jack Gallagher, by pinfall; advances to the second round
The Extraordinary Gentleman takes out the Yankee! Now he awaits the winner of Zack Gibson VS Amir Jordan in the quarterfinals.
Ligero VS Travis Banks!
The Prestigious Mexican Sensation and the Kiwi Buzzsaw collide in an international crossover. Will this United Kingdom Division Tournament be taken over by a foreign entity?
The bell rings, and the two men circle. They tie up, Travis gets the headlock. Travis shifts to a wristlock, but Ligero reverses to his own, and a headlock. Travis tries but can’t power out. He suplexes but Ligero lands on his feet. Things speed up, and Travis cartwheels over Ligero. They keep going, and Travis throws Ligero to a corner. Ligero runs back out, but Travis sweeps the legs! Travis adds a stiff mule kick! Cover, TWO! Travis keeps his cool, and brings Ligero up for chops. Fans duel, Ligero shoves and waistlocks but then runs to headscissor Travis down. Travis gets to a corner and Ligero whips but Travis reverses. Ligero goes up and under, then goes around and over, then back under, to roll Travis for a mule kick of his own. Ligero brings Travis up for a big suplex, then covers, TWO.
Travis sits up while fans rally. Ligero gives Travis a forearm, but Travis kicks away. Ligero catches a kick, sweeps the leg, and standing moonsaults! Cover, TWO! Fans rally again as Ligero brings Travis up. Ligero runs, but his springboard almost fails with the slippery ropes. He does jump, but Travis easily deflects him. Travis hits the shotgun knee! Ligero gets to ropes while fans duel. Travis runs in for the back elbow, then another, then runs corner to corner, but Ligero follows. Travis sweeps the leg again and Ligero hits buckles. Ligero sits down, Travis goes corner to corner, cannonball! Travis drags Ligero out, cover, TWO!
Fans build to a rally as Travis brings Ligero up and around. Travis suplexes, but Ligero slips out. Ligero waistlocks, Travis standing switches, but Ligero throws him out. Ligero runs and FLIES! He takes Travis out with the tope conjilo, then brings him back in. Ligero runs and springboards, but Travis back drops. Ligero sunset flips through but Travis sits on the cover! TWO and Ligero covers, TWO. Travis covers again, ONE and back to Ligero! ONE, ONE, ONE, ONE, etc! It keeps going, but Ligero gets it to stop, TWO! Fans applaud as both men stand. Ligero uppercuts, then runs, but into a big lariat! Travis runs, goes to a corner to springboard, flying enziguri! Cover, TWO! Travis gets mad, and suplexes, Kiwi Crusher!
Cover, Travis wins!
Winner: Travis Banks, by pinfall; advances to the second round
The New Zealand Terminator and current Progress World Champion takes care of a former Progress World Champion. Can Travis make it all the way to the end to challenge the WWE United Kingdom Champion?
Dave Mastiff VS Kenny Williams!
Big Bad Dave and The Bollocks make for the first pure match-up of the marathon. Both men have held championships in the UK before, but will either man make it to challenge THE UK Champion?
The bell rings, and Mastiff watches Williams as he goes around the ring. They tie up, and Mastiff just tosses Williams backwards! Williams gets to a corner, but comes back to tie up again. Mastiff powers Williams to a corner, and Williams goes up the ropes to keep from getting squashed. Mastiff backs off, but pats Williams on the head. Williams dares him to come back, and then boots Mastiff. Williams leaps over, then rolls under, to leap up again! He tries to sunset but Mastiff is too massive. Mastiff sits down, but misses! Williams runs and shining wizard! Cover, ONE and with authority.
Williams keeps going with forearms on Mastiff. Mastiff throws Williams again, but misses in the corner. Williams keeps moving, but that crossbody does nothing! Mastiff’s back senton squashes Williams! Cover, TWO! Williams gasps for air, but Mastiff is on him with elbows to the jaw and shoulder. Cover, TWO, and Mastiff grows frustrated. Mastiff stalks Williams to a corner, then brings him out to snapmare into a seated abdominal stretch. Mastiff grinds his forearm in, but fans are dueling. More heavy elbows, cover, TWO.
Mastiff grabs Williams but Williams hits back. Mastiff’s knee knocks Williams down, then he whips Williams to dropkick him! Yes, Big Bad Dave did a dropkick. Williams gets to a corner, and fans rally, but Mastiff is on him. Mastiff whips Williams back into the corner hard, but Williams stands up. Mastiff whips but Williams reverses with a jawbreaker! Williams grabs Mastiff but Mastiff shoves him away. Williams hurdles Mastiff on the rebound, then springboards, but is taken out of the sky by Mastiff’s powerful right hand! Mastiff fires up, as do the fans, and he deadlifts Williams. Williams elbows out, then dropkicks the legs out.
Fans rally again, and Williams dumps Mastiff out. Willams sees Mastiff climbing back up, so he springboards for a back elbow! It was just enough to send Mastiff back down. Williams fires up, runs, and hits the wrecking ball dropkick. Mastiff staggers so Williams runs again to DIVE! Williams only staggers Mastiff, but Williams puts Mastiff in the ring. Fans rally up while Williams climbs up. Williams aims, leaps, and hits the Marty McFlying Elbow! Cover, TWO, and with such force! Williams is running out of ideas, but he still has something left. He clubs away on Mastiff, but Mastiff grabs his waist. Williams elbows away, then runs into a tilt-o-whirl, but Mastiff tosses him off! Williams flounders to a corner, and Mastiff comes running in, for another dropkick! Mastiff keeps going, cannonball!!
Cover, Mastiff wins!
Winner: Dave Mastiff, by pinfall; advances to the second round
The British Bull Mastiff downs Williams and moves on. Will he be met by Joe Coffee or Tucker in the quarter finals?
Flash Morgan Webster VS James Drake!
The Modfather and Mr. Mayhem have met in the past, but now they meet again for a chance at WWE championship gold. Will Flash (Ah~) Morgan take flight? Or will Drake drag him down to the ground and leave him in the dust?
The bell rings and the two circle fast. They tie up, and Drake powers Flash back. Flash turns it around as they go into a corner, but then Drake comes out with the wristlock. Drake brings Flash to the mat, but Flash gets up. Drake grinds his forearm then wrenches the arm. Flash spins, flips and reverses while fans chant for him. Drake rolls and flips back, to then forearm Flash in the face. Drake whips Flash, but Flash goes up and over. Flash side steps Drake, then speeds things up for a spinning Japanese arm-drag. He baits Drake to a corner and sticks out his boots, but Drake blocks and tosses him over. Flash comes back with another arm-drag! Drake gets up and Flash dances as he eggs Drake on. Flash blocks the kick and gets a takedown, then flips for an imploding senton. Cover, TWO!
Flip keeps on Drake, runs, and jumps for a guillotine hold! Drake gets the ropebreak, then sucker punches with an elbow! Flash drops down to the mat, but Drake grins as he brings Flash up for another shot. Drake drags Flash into a chinlock, but fans rally for Flash. Flash feeds off the energy but gets another forearm from Drake. Drake goes after Flash but Flash kicks him back. Flash kicks and throws hands, then forearms. Drake grabs Flash’s ear! Then smacks him with that #GritYourTeeth forearm! Cover, TWO!
Drake grimaces at Flash and wraps him back in the chinlock. Fans duel while Flash endures. Drake brings him down to the mat, and even gives a Dry Willie. Fans rally up and Flash gets up, but gets another forearm. Drake suplexes but Flash lands out of it, rolls Drake up, TWO! Flash gets to a corner and boots Drake away. They both go to corners, but Drake runs in. Flash goes up and over again, then around, to springboard, corkscrew senton! Fans fire up again and Flash gets up. Drake gets to a corner, Flash runs in, big forearm smash, then another. Flash keeps going, and dodges Drake’s counter attack to hit a knee strike! Drake rolls out of the ring, and Flash builds speed again. Flash FLIES with the senton!
Flash puts Drake back in, then climbs up, big crossbody! Roll through from Drake, TWO! Flash whips Drake but Drake go to the apron. Drake shoulders and forearms Flash down. Drake climbs up but Flash stops him with a swing kick. Flash climbs up to join Drake, SUPER Steiner! Cover, TWO! Drake survives the crash landing, but Flash won’t give up, either. Flash waits for Drake, runs in, but Drake blocks into Tombstone position, and turns it into a sit-out facebuster, aka the Downswing! Cover, TWO!? Drake is furious that Flash survived.
Drake stands up while fans chant for Flash. He brings Flash up, Flash rolls down for a cover but Drake sits on it, only for Flash to roll it back over, TWO! Drake grabs Flash’s wrist but Flash reverses to an uppercut! Flash fires up and runs, but Drake follows with a dropkick! Drake fires up now, then gets up top. Drake flips but has to bail out as Flash evades. His legs buckle, and Flash pounces with the tilt-o-whirl inverted DDT!
Cover, Flash wins!
Winner: Flash Morgan Webster, by pinfall; advances to the second round.
The Modfather flies high and takes the victory! Will he meet Tyson T-Bone or Jordan Devlin in the quarterfinals?
Zack Gibson VS Amir Jordan!
The King of Scouse Style and The Bhangra Badboy know their opponent in the next round, but must deal with each other first. Who will win and be ready for Jack Gallagher in the quarterfinals?
The bell rings and the two circle. They tie up, and Gibson powers Jordan to a corner. He backs off at the count, but dares Jordan to come at him. Jordan circles with Gibson again, but Gibson powers him to the mat. Gibson goes after the wrist, but Jordan rolls and gets up, only for Gibson to wrangle him down again. Gibson brings Jordan up for a keylock, but Jordan gets to ropes. The referee backs Gibson off, but he gives Jordan a taunting kick. Jordan springs up to his feet in a huff, and Gibson tells Jordan to ignore the fans, only focus on him. They tie up, Jordan gets a hammerlock but Gibson elbows him away. Gibson then forearms and uppercuts Jordan, then whips him corner to corner.
Jordan goes up and over, but the arm-drag is blocked into a backslide. ONE, and Gibson grabs the legs to catapult Jordan. Jordan uses that to hop up onto the second rope, then jump out. Gibson gets under, but Jordan rolls back to headscissors Gibson down. Jordan dares Gibson to bring it now, and things speed up. Jordan clears Gibson then dodges him to run him over with a crossbody! Fans fire up as Jordan handsprings up. Gibson glares as Jordan dares him to bring the fight. Gibson lunges but Jordan gets around and hip tosses him down. Cover, ONE, but Jordan stays on Gibson with forearms. Jordan whips but Gibson reverses into a keylock driver! Gibson adds a dropkick and Jordan rolls to a corner.
Gibson drags Jordan up to club his shoulders, then rock him with a haymakers. He reels Jordan into a lariat, then stomps away. Jordan hits back, but Gibson forearms him to a corner. Gibson goes after the arm again, but Jordan snapmares counters. Gibson keeps hold of the wristlock for a takedown, then a hammerlock stomp! Jordan clutches his arm in pain while Gibson talks trash. Gibson brings Jordan up for a EuroUpper, then hooks Jordan’s face for the cover. TWO, but Gibson just looms over Jordan. He toys with Jordan so Jordan kicks back. Gibson shotgun kicks Jordan down, then drags him up in a corner. Gibson goes after that arm again but Jordan hits back. Jordan can’t break free, and Gibson elbows him for a straight-arm suplex!
Gibson keeps on Jordan with forearms, then brings him up again. Snap suplex, then cover, TWO! Gibson clamps onto Jordan again with the half-nelson chinbar. Fans build to a rally, and Jordan endures as Gibson thrashes around. Jordan stands, hits back with body shots, then a jawbreaker. Jordan runs, dodges, and crossbodies again! He keeps on Gibson with forearms, but Gibson covers up in a corner. The referee backs Jordan off but Jordan dropkicks Gibson out of the ring. Jordan kips up, builds speed, and DIVES! They both hit railing but Jordan puts Gibson in the ring. Jordan climbs up, takes aim, and fans rally. He leaps, crossbody! Cover, TWO! So close and yet so far. But Jordan doesn’t give up hope, he has fans on his side.
Jordan runs at Gibson, but is put on the apron. Gibson hobbles away, but Jordan slingshots in for the complete shot! Cover, TWO! That was even closer than earlier! Jordan gets up, as does Gibson. Jordan clubs then brings Gibson up but Gibson arm wringers Jordan down! Gibson stalks Jordan, brings him up, and scoops for the Tombstone, into the swing-out gutbuster! Cover, TWO!! Gibson grimaces and glares at Jordan. “You do not belong here!” Gibson grabs the arm but Jordan grabs the ropes.
The referee backs Gibson off, but Gibson gives Jordan another forearm. Jordan forearms back, so Gibson hits him again. Jordan puts his all into another forearm, but Gibson throat chops. Gibson prepares but misses, Jordan enziguris! Gibson kneels, dazed, and fans rally for Jordan. Jordan boots Gibson, then hops up, tornado, but Gibson blocks with power. Jordan tries to make it a guillotine but Gibson powers through to a suplex, Helter Skelter brainbuster! That’s not all, Gibson brings Jordan around and slaps the back of his head again and again, before locking in a keylock clutch, aka the Shankly Gates!
Jordan taps right away, Gibson wins!
Winner: Zack Gibson, by submission; advances to the second round
Liverpool’s Number One is now through to the quarter finals, and will face Jack Gallagher. The Extraordinary Gentleman already defeated a great grappler in Drew Gulak, but will this grappler prove to be an even tougher challenge?
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Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Report: Best of the Super Juniors 25, Final Round!
The best of the Junior Heavyweight Division battled it out, and now the best two stand tall to face each other! Taiji Ishimori came to NJPW to prove he is THE best Junior Heavyweight in the world today, but he’ll have to go through Hiromu Takahashi to do it! Who will win and earn a shot at Will Ospreay’s title?
This review of Best of the Super Juniors 25 will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Therefore, all images are courtesy of AXS TV.
Gifs courtesy of http://frentique.tumblr.com
- Best of the Super Juniors Finals: Taiji Ishimori VS Hiromu Takahashi; Hiromu Takahashi wins and will challenge Will Ospreay for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship at Dominion.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS review what led to this final round.
“Bone Soldier” returned to Bullet Club, but it was revealed to be Pro-Wrestling NOAH’s Taiji Ishimori! Wrestling Dontaku would be where and when Ishimori attacked Will Ospreay, and making his claim to the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship. Both Ishimori and Ospreay participated in the premier Jr. Heavyweight round-robin tournament, and ended up tied 5-2, but one of Ospreay’s two losses was a loss to Ishimori! Not only would that help Ishimori advance, that proved he could defeat Ospreay clean.
But on the other side of things, Hiromu Takahashi, another of Ospreay’s rivals, also went 5-2 and advanced with his win over yet another of Ospreay’s rivals in Kushida! Now they meet, both determined to get one more match with the Aerial Assassin! Will the Ticking Time Bomb blow up the Bone Soldier? Or will Ishimori drive-by Takahashi on his way to the top?
Best of the Super Juniors Finals: Taiji Ishimori VS Hiromu Takahashi!
It’s a first-time-ever match-up of two of the best. Ishimori did everything there is to do as a Junior Heavyweight in Pro-Wrestling NOAH, from being a Three-Time GHC Jr. Heavyweight Champion to being a Six-Time GHC Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Champion. Meanwhile, Hiromu has only just begun his legacy. Whose legacy will grow with adding the Best of the Super Juniors trophy?
By the way, that sketch pad Hiromu has is given to commentary, and Jushin Thunder Liger takes a look inside. It seems Hiromu has written notes on his opinion of the other Super Jr. competitors. Clearly he prefers ACH more than he does Ishimori, going by that smiley face.
Hiromu’s opinions aside, Red Shoes does his check of both men and see they’re clear of anything prohibited. The bell rings, and the match begins, after the break.
NJPW on AXS returns and the fans are strongly behind Hiromu. Hiromu and Ishimori stare down, then slowly start to circle. They tie up but then back off. They approach again, but go back to circling. Finally they tie up, and are evenly matched in strength. Hiromu manages to back Ishimori up, but Ishimori turns it around to put Hiromu against the ropes. Red Shoes calls for the break, and Ishimori backs off, only to swing! Hiromu dodges and whips but Ishimori reverses. Hiromu stops himself to whip again, and reel Ishimori in for a forearm. He puts Ishimori on the second rope to then kick the rope, jacking Ishimori’s jaw. Hiromu runs and blasts Ishimori with a dropkick!
Ishimori ends up outside the ring, and Hiromu builds speed, but Ishimori comes back to headscissor Hiromu down! Ishimori goes after Hiromu in the corner for a whip, but Hiromu slides out. The chase is on as Ishimori pursues, but Hiromu leaps over! Ishimori holds ropes to prevent the sunset flip bomb. He backflips and now they start brawling with forearms! The brawl ends up going through the crowd! Hiromu knocks Ishimori down at the entrance, then drags him back up. Hiromu tosses Ishimiro over the railings, and now they go up the stairs! Ishimori breaks free of the headlock and they brawl again! Hiromu rakes the eyes, then stomps Ishimori down. Hiromu gets plenty of distance, and then runs back in for that John Woo Dropkick!
Ishimori gets blasted, and fans fire up for Hiromu. Hiromu wants everyone to clear the steps, and he brings Ishimori up by his hair. Hiromu brings Ishimori into bomb position, but Ishimori huricanranas Hiromu down those stairs!
Both men are down, but Ishimori is up first while Red Shoes checks on Hiromu. Ishimori walks down and fetches Hiromu, and the 20 count finally begins. It reaches 6 as Ishimori stomps on Hiromu. Ishimori leaves Hiromu at the mercy of the count, and he returns to the ring at 14. Hiromu scrambles to beat the count by 19! But Ishimori is upon him again, putting on a cravat hold to focus on that neck. Ishimori cranks on it, but Hiromu fights out. Ishimori snapmares, and grips Hiromu’s head with his feet. He spins around, and tweaks Hiromu’s neck! Hiromu rolls away but fans rally up for him. Ishimori just tunes it out while Hiromu gets away. Ishimori pursues and throws Hiromu into a post. Fans and Young Lions have to be careful as Ishimori bowls Hiromu into chairs!
Ishimori uses one chair to grind Hiromu into the ground, a wicked grin on his face. Ishimori backs off and returns to the ring, but Hiromu stands. Hiromu returns at the count of 9, but Ishimori is on him again. Ishimori chops Hiromu in a corner, then whips him corner to corner. Hiromu boots but is turned sideways for the swing kick! Ishimori runs, and hits Hiromu with a sliding German Suplex! Fans do applaud, giving credit where credit is due. Cover, TWO, and fans rally again for Hiromu. Ishimori drags Hiromu up, snapmare into chinlock. Hiromu endures while fans rally more. He stands up and fights out of the hold. Hiromu runs, but into the sleeper!
Ishimori gets a takedown, and turns his sleeper into a bully choke. Hiromu endures the wrenching and stretching, while also reaching and crawling for ropes. Hiromu uses his legs for the ropebreak. Ishimori lets go, but keeps his cool. He stalks Hiromu to a corner, and chops him again. He whips Hiromu corner to corner but Hiromu reverses with speed. Hiromu runs in but Ishimori slips out then back in, and then out again to shoulder Hiromu back. Ishimori springboards, but Hiromu trips him up. Hiromu runs, and gets the sunset flip powerbomb this time! The Bone Soldier just got blown up, and we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns, and the 20 count begins again. Hiromu is up at 6, and in the ring at 10. Ishimori stirs at 13, and manages to beat the count at 19, though gingerly. Ishimori stands in a corner, but Hiromu runs in for a big clothesline. Hiromu rolls Ishimori out to then run and basement dropkick him. Cover, TWO. Hiromu keeps his cool while fans cheer for him. He stands, and toys with Ishimori. He brings Ishimori up to chop him into the corner. Then he whips Ishimori, but Ishimori reverses. Ishimori runs in, but into a boot! Hiromu grabs Ishimori for a hanging triangle headscissors! Red Shoes counts, and Hiromu lets go at 4. Then Hiromu drags Ishimori out, wheelbarrow facebuster on the floor!
But Hiromu has more in store as he gets on the apron. Ishimori stands up, and Hiromu blasts him with another John Woo Dropkick! Ishimori ends up bowling into chairs! Hiromu catches his breath before firing up. He fetches Ishimori from the front row and brings him into the ring. Hiromu climbs up, Ishimori stands, and Hiromu hits a flying cannonball! Cover, TWO, but very close. Hiromu stands while Ishimori stirs. He drags Ishimori up, fireman’s carry, but Ishimori slips out. Hiromu elbows Ishimori off the waistlock, then runs, but Ishimori follows. Ishimori handsprings, but Hiromu clobbers him out of the air! Hiromu’s seen Ospreay do that enough times to know how to counter.
Hiromu and fans fire up again, and he brings Ishimori up again. He brings Ishimori up in the fireman’s carry again, but Ishimori pops out to victory roll! TWO, into a crossface! Hiromu endures, but then Ishimori turns it into the Lebell Lock! Ishimori has that arm threaded, but Hiromu won’t quit. Hiromu drags himself with one arm and both legs, even as Ishimori wrenches back. Hiromu keeps going, and uses those legs to get the ropebreak again! Ishimori lets go, but he stomps Hiromu before bringing him up. Hiromu hits Ishimori, but Ishimori hits back. Ishimori dares Hiromu to hit him again, so Hiromu does. They brawl with forearms again, going back and forth. Hiromu hits, Ishimori hits harder, but Hiromu comes back to hit again and again and again. Hiromu runs, misses, Ishimori runs and tilt-o-whirls Hiromu into the Lebell!
Ishimori wrenches back but Hiromu drags himself around again. Hiromu inches closer and closer, but Ishimori rolls him away from the ropes! Ishimori keeps that Lebell on, but Hiromu refuses to quit! Fans are thunderous for Hiromu, and he claws at the grip. Hiromu drags himself around again, and grabs onto Red Shoes to keep himself from tapping. He then scrambles, only for Ishimori to make it Rings of Saturn! Ishimori even grabs at the legs, but somehow, Hiromu still gets the ropebreak! Ishimori lets him go, but both men are down from exhaustion. They catch their breath while rolling away from each other. Fans rally as both men drag themselves up to their feet.
Ishimori takes aim, runs in, but misses! Hiromu runs in but misses, but then he ducks Ishimori! Hiromu goes after Ishimori on the second rope, German Suplex! But Ishimori lands on his feet! He gets running, but runs into Hiromu’s overhead throw! Hiromu catches his breath while Ishimori is down in the corner. Ishimori slowly stands as Hiromu runs, and Hiromu runs Ishimori over with a powerful lariat! Hiromu drags Ishimori up, fireman’s carry, Time Bomb! Cover, TWO!? Ishimori survives?! Fans are thunderous while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns, and both men slowly stir. Hiromu sits up first, but Ishimori gets himself to a corner. Hiromu runs in, hits the clothesline, then hoists Ishimori up. He climbs up to join Ishimori, and hits a super wheelbarrow! Cover, TWO!! Hiromu grits his teeth as he stands up again. He brings Ishimoriu up, fireman’s carry, and then he Death Valley Drivers Ishimori right into buckles! Hiromu drags Ishimori up again, another fireman’s carry, and spins, but Ishimori slips off! Ishimori deflects the superkick but Hiromu deflects the knee strike. Hiromu SUPERKICKS this time, but then runs into a boot. Ishimori Poison-Steiners Hiromu! But Hiromu springs right up to do it back to Ishimori!
Both men are down from such damage to their heads. Fans are at a fever pitch, and still cheering Hiromu on. Both men stir and Red Shoes checks on them. They’re okay to continue, so a count begins. Hiromu and Ishimori stir, they’re up at 7. They crawl towards each other, and brawl with forearms from the mat. Hiromu hits, Ishimori hits, then back again. Hiromu grins with wild eyes as he hits Ishimori again, but Ishimori shakes his head and hits back. They brawl while standing up, and now it speeds up. Hiromu runs out of gas, and Ishimori brings him up for another shot.
Hiromu manages to stand and gets his second wind as he hits back with forearms from both sides. He spins around, but into Ishimori’s jumping knee! Hiromu staggers back, fires up, but runs into a clobbering clothesline! Cover, ONE?! Hiromu shocks Ishimori, but he’s still pretty tired. He slowly stands, but Ishimori is ready. Ishimori runs and blasts Hiromu with a dropkick, then runs corner to corner for double knees! Ishimori drags Hiromu up and into Tombstone position, but turns it into a modified code breaker! Hiromu is dazed, Ishimori covers, TWO!! The superhuman effort is keeping the fans at that fever pitch.
Ishimori gets up, and says BANG as he staggers over. He drags Hiromu up, and lifts Hiromu for a brainbuster, but Hiromu arm-drags out of it! Hiromu goes to headscissor but Ishimori counters with a powerbomb! High stack cover, TWO, and Hiromu gets Ishimori with a triangle hold! Ishimori cartwheels but Hiromu holds on. Ishimori endures, deadlifts, but is brought down again! Hiromu squeezes as tight as he can, but Ishimori tries for a cover. It doesn’t stay, so he deadlifts again, buckle bomb! Ishimori is free, but both men are out of breath. Ishimori rolls away, then runs back in, for a big clothesline. He yurinagi slams Hiromu, then fires himself up. Ishimori climbs up, takes aim, but his 450 hits knees!
Ishimori writhes in pain, but Hiromu’s legs took some damage, too. Both men slowly get up, run in, Hiromu gets around to headscissor Ishimori into the triangle hold! Ishimori deadlifts again, but Hiromu lets go to double underhook! D DRIVER!!
Hiromu can’t make the cover, he’s just too tired. So he goes for the triangle again! Ishimori fades, already dazed from that driver. Ishimori tries a second effort as he grabs at Red Shoes. He keeps moving, reaching, and gets a ropebreak! Hiromu lets him go, but he’s still focused. He brings Ishimori up, fireman’s carry, but Ishimori slips out. Ishimori wants his brainbuster but Hiromu resists. Hiromu lifts again, for another Death Valley into buckles! Hiromu drags Ishimoro up one more time, and swings him for THE Ticking Time Bomb! Cover, Hiromu wins!!
Winner: Hiromu Takahashi, by pinfall; wins the Best of the Super Juniors 25, and will challenge Will Ospreay for the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship
For the first time in his career, Hiromu Takahashi is THE Best of the Super Juniors! The award ceremony will begin after the break.
NJPW on AXS TV returns…
Ishimori is helped out of the ring and to the back. Fans applaud, showing respect to him for his valiant effort. Meanwhile, Hiromu is presented with the Best of the Super Juniors trophy, poses for pictures, and sits down before taking the mic.
“I don’t like it. I don’t like it much at all.” That is to say, he doesn’t like saying this after the tournament. So he must apologize first. But Ospreay! Accept his challenge for that IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship! Will Ospreay comes out! He joins Hiromu in the ring, his title in hand. Aerial Assassin and Ticking Time Bomb stand, and Ospreay congratulates his rival. Everyone is so proud, even Ospreay. Hiromu won Best of the Super Juniors, well done. But that doesn’t mean a thing compared to the belt, because that means Ospreay is the real best Jr. Heavyweight.
Ospreay reminds everyone that he is already up two wins on Hiromu in the past, so Ospreay knows that Dominion will be easy. Ospreay vows to leave with his title, and proves he really is the best in the world. Champion raises his belt, challenger raises his trophy, who will be raising their hands after Osaka?
Ospreay takes his leave, and Hiromu says, “Ospreay. Thank you meow.” The Ticking Time Bomb is not intimidated, and continues to say “Did you all just see that?” Even those watching at home on TV, did they see it? For that matter, did all the Heavyweights see that? Even Liger saw that, right? This is how SUPER JUNIORS do it! Liger has to applaud for that one. “Five years ago today, in this same spot, I still remember what I said.” Hiromu still feels that way. His dream is to hold that IWGP J. Heavyweight belt, and to be a Jr. Heavyweight main event, prime timer!! “Nothing has changed! I’m exactly the same as I was then.” But even more, more, more, more, more, “Let’s have fun!” With everything he has to say already said, Hiromu finally celebrates.
But not just him, the rest of LIJ joins him! Naito, Bushi, EVIL and Sanada appear, and Hiromu shows off his trophy to them. And together, LIJ celebrate.
Hiromu kneels while Naito, Bushi, EVIL and Sanada move aside. Oops, the wing…
Well, that tarnishes the win a little bit. Hiromu kneels in apology to the hurt trophy. Is this a bad omen of things to come?
Taiji Ishimori admits defeat. Today, Hiromu was the better man. But, Ishimori knows there’s more for him to show. There’s unfinished business. Ishimori agrees, though, it’s tough, but fun. Ishimori wants more, more, more! “New battles, exceeding our limits.” He wants to have more fun with Hiromu. “It’s reborn!”
Hiromu said this in the ring, but this tournament is more than just to name a #1 contender. He’s said it all along. Hiromu does apologize, he’s already challenged and lost to Ospreay many times this year. But just one more chance, that all he needs. Ospreay is the best, but so is Hiromu. They’ll settle this once and for all! Dominion is coming, who will truly be THE Best of the Super Juniors?
I was surprised to see AXS TV bring up the finals of the Super Juniors, but I suppose it really is the most important part of the tournament. At the same time, this does help AXS speed up their coverage of NJPW so that they can get to Dominion sooner. This is also the match that THE Dave Meltzer award 5.5 stars, thereby breaking his 5 star system, again. While Meltzer is right in giving this the best rating out of all the BOSJ matches, going over 5 stars seems a bit much. Just reaching 5 stars is more realistic, because it really did have great action and even great character and story work. They went all around the arena, and Ishimori was dead set on a submission victory, but Hiromu showed two can play that game.
It’s really great for Hiromu to go over here because his rivalry with Ospreay has been longer standing, Ishimori only just got to NJPW, and Hiromu is vastly more popular, as the fans showed tonight as they did not sway in their support of him. Hiromu’s interaction with Ospreay was great, but I’m a little sad AXS cut out the interactions with the rest of LIJ. There’s a great little bit where Naito and Hiromu were childishly fighting over the trophy until Naito hands the trophy back with a bow. It means a lot in story for Naito to give that sign of respect to his protege.
My Score: 9/10
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Mitchell’s Ring of Honor Report! (6/16/18)
ROH WRESTLING TELEVISION, Episode 352
Best in the World is approaching, but ROH first brings us an amazing 10 Man Tag! It will be The Bullet Club, represented by Cody, Marty Scurll, Adam Page & The Young Bucks VS ALL of Los Ingobernables de Japon! Can the American Nightmare and his team overcome the most Tranquilo stable of NJPW?
All images courtesy of the Fite.TV app and streaming service
- Chuck Taylor VS Kenny King; Kenny King wins.
- Shane Taylor VS Josh Woods; Shane Taylor wins.
- 10 Man Tag: The Bullet Club VS Los Ingobernables de Japon; Bullet Club wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
The Bullet Club speaks.
“LIJ, tonight, you have no excuses!” Does anyone know what the J in LIJ really stands for? Cody thinks it’s “jokes”, but that’s not it. Jobbers? No, they’re not jobbers. Juniors? No, that’s not it, either. Jerks? No no no. It stands for JABRONIES! Does anyone think LIJ could sell out 10 thousand seats on their own? No, and certainly not in “30 EFFING MINUTES!” LIJ, Bullet Club is coming for you!
Chuck Taylor VS
The K I N G tried to help Austin Aries, only for it to backfire, and then Aries stopped being his friend with an uncalled for attack! Can he snap back with a win over the returning Kentucky Gentleman?
Fans chant for “Chuckie T!” as the match begins. Chuckie offers a hand to uphold the Code of Honor, but Kenny wants a hug. Chuckie declines, hugs are for his Best Friend, Trent. Fans chant “Hug! Hug!” but Chuckie insists on the handshake. Kenny accepts the handshake, then gives long-distance hugs to the fans. Kenny and Chuckie circle and tie up, and Kenny puts Chuckie into a corner. He backs off at the ropebreak, and they circle again. They tie up as fans rally. Chuckie hammerlocks, but Kenny reverses and gets a headlock. Chuckie slips out to a facelock, but Kenny reverses back to a hammerlock. Kenny shifts back to a headlock but Chuckie powers out, only for Kenny to run him over.
Kenny fires up and dances, then runs, but things speed up. Chuckie leaps over but Kenny headlocks. Chuckie reverses to his headlock, but Kenny powers out now, only for Chuckie to run him over. Now Chuckie does a dance, then runs. Things speed up again, and Kenny arm-drags Chuckie. Chuckie gives an arm-drag, and the two stand off. The fans applaud, and now Chuckie gives Kenny a hug. Fans cheer for that! Kenny gives the hug, but then Chuckie fakes a move. The two stay good sports, and tie up again. Kenny gets a wristlock, but Chuckie rolls to reverse into a hammerlock. Kenny spins and whips but Chuckie holds ropes. They break but then hug again. Belly2belly from Chuckie! Chuckie grins as he dances. Kenny hits Chuckie back but Chuckie forearms Kenny down, and we go to break.
ROH returns, and Chuckie has Kenny in a corner. Chuckie scoop slams him, then shouts that he’s never missed a moonsault ever! He climbs up, then leaps, but he belly flops on the mat! And he slaps the mat in frustration over his first miss. Kenny gets up while Chuckie crawls away. Kenny runs in and jabs away, then bobs and weaves. He whips Chuckie and hits him with the heel kick! Kenny brings Chuckie up but Chuckie kicks low. Chuckie runs but is put on the apron. Kenny hits Chuckie with the Eddie Gordo Kick, then slingshots out to knock Chuckie down! Fans fire up, and a fan gets a selfie with Kenny! But the phone messes it up, so no actual selfie was taken. Kenny returns to the ring, climbs up top, and Chuckie stands. Kenny leaps, crossbody! Cover, TWO!
Kenny keeps his cool, and reminds the fans to have their cameras ready. He hauls Chuckie up, but Chuckie slips off to hotshot Kenny down. Chuckie high fives the fan, then gets everyone fired up. It’s One Dog Night, the most dangerous slingshot stop! But Kenny dodges, so Chuckie slingshots back out to knock Kenny down! Chuckie’s stuck but he gives a thumbs up. Chuckie gets up, and finally that fan gets a selfie. Kenny gets back in the ring, but Chuckie follows. Chuckie shoulders in, then slingshots over, and counters the headscissors with a sit-out bomb! Cover, TWO, but fans rally up for Chuckie.
Chuckie brings Kenny up, but Kenny blocks the suplex. Chuckie clubs Kenny, then suplexes, but Kenny slips out. Kenny waistlocks, but Chuckie standing switches. Chuckie swings Kenny out, Sole Food! Chuckie runs, but into a glancing uppercut! He gets to a corner, and Kenny runs in, but into a knee! Chuckie suplex, Falcon Arrow! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up again, and Chuckie brings Kenny up. Kenny resists Chuckie’s move but Chuckie kicks low. Chuckie runs, but into a spinebuster! Cover, TWO, but Kenny calls for his finish.
Kenny drags Chuckie up, fireman’s carry, but Chuckie small pakcage, TWO. Chuckie with the snap piledriver! Cover, TWO! And Chuckie grows frustrated. But then he fires back up and calls for his own finish. He lifts but Kenny slips out. Chuckie swings but Kenny gets behind, atomic drop to spinning roundhouse! Then, fireman’s carry and swing out, Royal Flush!
Cover, Kenny wins!
Winner: Kenny King, by pinfall
The K I N G feels a lot better after this victory, but he’s still got the Greatest Man That Ever Lived on his mind. Will Kenny get his hands on Austin Aries in the future to exact his revenge?
The Briscoes speak.
“People been asking a lotta damn questions.” Briscoes, what’s wrong with all? Why’ve you been going down this dark path? Why, Briscoes, Why? “First of all, who is y’all to be asking us these questions?!” Do you know they are? They’re the champs! So mind your business.
As for the Young Bucks, listen up and listen good. Mark gives them credit for being best in the world, at selling T-shirts and making YouTube videos and a bunch of other stuff! The Bucks can do so much! But #DemBoyz know there’s something the Bucks can’t do, and that’s take the titles from the Briscoes. Best in the World will bring an ROH World Tag Team Championship rematch between two of the best teams today. Who will prove themselves THE best in the world?
Shane Taylor is in the ring.
The Notorious Hitman tells Josh “The Goods” Woods that Woods was “dead to rights” in West Palm Beach, Florida! At least, until King Mo stuck his nose in their business. Not surprising that fans are booing, they’re all just like Woods and King Mo! They’re “used to disappointment.” But don’t worry, Shane Taylor will give Chicago something to cheer for when he pops his opponent faster than Derrick Rose did his ACL. Harsh words, but who is Taylor’s opponent? It’s The Goods himself!
Shane Taylor VS Josh Woods!
The tension is high even before the bell. No Code of Honor, and the two men circle, ready to strike. Woods kicks quick, then again, but Taylor gets back. Taylor rushes in, but Woods gets a waistlock. Woods tries to lift but Taylor is too big and strong. Taylor throws back elbows, but then Woods ducks the back hand to try a belly2belly! Taylor ear claps Woods, but then Woods runs. Woods springboards, but Taylor knocks him down with double ax handles! Taylor brags but fans boo and jeer while Woods rolls out of the ring. Taylor pursues, but Woods hits back. Woods throws hands but Taylor headbutts. Woods falls against the barriers, Taylor cannonballs!
Taylor trash talks Chicago while the 10 count begins. Taylor drags Woods up and then puts him on the apron. He climbs up, takes aim, and drops the guillotine leg! Taylor trash talks fans more while we go to break.
ROH returns, and Woods dodges Taylor in a corner. Woods runs in, but Taylor picks him up onto his shoulder. Taylor brings Woods around, but Woods slips into the sleeper and body scissors! Taylor gets a second wind, but Woods shifts down to a German Suplex! Woods holds on, and brings Taylor up again, for another German! He lets go but fires up, as does Chicago. Woods runs in the corner, flying wizard! Woods throws furious forearms, and the referee backs him down, but only for a moment as Woods comes back to ram in knees. The referee backs Woods down again, but Woods slips past, only to run into the One Hitter Quitter! Cover, Taylor wins!
Winner: Shane Taylor, by pinfall
The series between these heavy-handed brawlers is now tied, 1-1! There was no King Mo this time, but Taylor did get a bit lucky. What will happen when these two tie up again for the tiebreaker?
Dalton Castle is here!
The Peacock and ROH World Champion, along with his Boys, are here for a close-up look at the main event. Why? Because two of the ten men involved are his contenders at Best in the World for their Triple Threat title match! Though, he does love “Los Incorrigibles”, they’re a great team.
10 Man Tag: The Bullet Club VS Los Ingobernables de Japon!
The partnership between ROH and NJPW is on display as Testuya Naito leads Bushi, EVIL, Sanada & Hiromu Takahashi against the American Nightmare, the Villain, the Hangman and the Young Bucks! Will the winners be Tranquilo? Or just, too, sweet?
ROH returns and the teams sort themsevles out. Naito starts against Hangman Page, but Cody says he wants in. Fans want him to tag in, too, so Page obliges. Cody and Naito, the Bullet Club’s supposed leader and LIJ’s actual leader, get the fans fired up. They circle, but Cody flexes. Naito inspects Cody’s muscles, and is impressed. They’re good enough to spit on! Cody takes offense, and kicks Naito to drop and uppercut him. Cody runs, but Naito sends him out! Naito runs, builds speed, and Tranquilo! Cody is furious, throwing around chairs. He slips into the ring, ready to fight, but Naito tags out to Bushi while Scurll tags himself in. Scurll means no harm, but he just wants his turn. Fans chant “Too Sweet! Woop Woop!” for their favorite villain.
Castle on commentary notes that while Scurll is super popular, popularity doesn’t equal ability. Castle is popular and also skilled, and he’ll prove that to everyone at BitW. That aside, The Villain circles with the Jet Black Death Mask, then tie up. Bushi wristlocks but Scurll gets to ropes to flip through. Scurll rolls and spins, then reverses into a headlock takeover. Bushi headscissors but Scurll pops out, then flaps his wings. Fans like that, and “Woop Woop!” for him more. Bushi kicks low, then pulls on the beard! Scurll grabs the fingers, but EVIL saves Bushi! Sanada tags in, but Scurll doesn’t want anything to do with this heavyweight championship tag team. Scurll turns around, so he double tags (if that’s allowed) to the Young Bucks!
Matt & Nick Jackson stare down with EVIL & Sanada, both teams being top tier teams around the world. The fans duel while the Bucks bring up Osaka. EVIL & Sanada shove the Bucks, so the Bucks shove back. Sanada & EVIL kick low, then whip the Bucks. The Bucks slip under the boots, then the clotheslines to- Nope, those kicks are blocked. The Bucks want EVIL & Sanada to “relax”, and that gets through to them. Sanada & EVIL let them go, but then all four put up their dukes. Fans applaud this sportsmanship, but the referee reminds them this is meant to be 1v1 match-ups at a time. That’s when Hiromu tags in! Fans go wild for the Ticking Time Bomb, so Scurll gets in to jaw with his IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship rival. Bushi slithers in, but so does Hangman Page. Naito and Cody join in, and it’s a 5v5 stand-off!
The referee tries to defuse the situation, but it doesn’t work! It’s a 10 man brawl! They all pair off, Hangman tosses Bushi out while Naito and Hiromu do the same with Cody and Scurll. The two tag teams are still in the ring, and the Bucks get the edge. Nick runs and Matt alley-oops for the double dropkick! Bushi returns, but he gets the “You’re dead!” headscissors dropkick! The Bucks aim at Bushi and Naito, and hit double slingshots crossbodies! Sanada returns into the ring, and kicks Cody low. Sanada runs, but into Cody’s drop toehold, and Scurll adds the basement dropkick. Page adds the running shooting star!
Fans fire up while Scurll and Hangman help The Bucks hold Bushi and Naito in place. Cody does the Terminator kneel! Whether he’s the leader or not, that’s not his move, and fans boo him for it. Cody rises, runs, but Hiromu and Daryl Jr. intercept!
Fans are thunderuos as Daryl Jr. runs wild! Daryl Jr. hits down Scurll, but misses the Bucks, and they give double SUPERKICKS to Hiromu! Hiromu goes down, as does Daryl Jr, but Nick runs and FLIES onto Naito & Bushi! Fans are so fired up right now as Matt drags Hiromu up. Matt scoops Hiromu into Tombstone position, but Sanada stops Nick’s slingshot! Nick hits apron, so Matt dumps Hiromu down. Hiromu distracts the referee while EVIL brings a chair in. EVIL tries to pull a Latino Heat as he tosses the chair to Matt, but Matt tosses the chair back. They hot potato the chair, and EVIL just smashes through to knock the chair into Matt! Hiromu and Sanada take care of Cody and Scurll for good measure, but we go to break.
ROH returns and Sanada tags back in. Sanada rakes Matt Jackson’s back. Matt hits back with big haymakers, then whips, but Sanada reverses. Things speed up as Sanada jumps over, then again, but Matt stops to SUPERKICK Sanada down! But both men are down, so their teams rally up for them. Matt crawls, hot tag to Scurll! Sanada hot tags Hiromu, and they brawl with forearms, fast and furious! Fans love this endless stream of strikes, and it’s Scurll who gets the edge. Scurll runs, but Hiromu boots him! Hiromu runs, but into a mule kick, a stomp on the foot, and a shotgun knee! Scurll fires up again, as do the fans.
Scurll hits Naito and Bushi just because, then goes to the apron to SUPERKICK Bushi. He goes in then back out to the other apron, to SUPERKICK Naito! Both fans and Bullet Club rally, and even Castle likes what he sees from Scurll. Scurll returns to Hiromu, but Hiromu kicks. Hiromu runs, but falls for the 52 Fake Out. Not! But Scurll ducks the clothesline but so does Hiromu. Scurll ducks again, and goes for chicken wing! Hiromu breaks free, but ends up in a pumphandle, for Ghostbuster!
Cover, TWO!! Somehow Hiromu survives, and the rallying begins again. Scurll calls for the chicken wing again, does his spin, but Hiromu drops down to roll up! TWO, Scurll hits Hiromu with a European Uppercut. Scurll whips but Hiromu reverses, only for Hiromu to miss. Scurll runs, but is thrown overhead into buckles! Fans love it, even though both men are down. Scurll and Hiromu crawl, hot tags to Nick and EVIL! Sanada enters, too, and LIJ get Nick. They double whip him corner to corner, but Nick comes back to rally with strikes! Nick shining wizards then bulldog clotheslines them both! Nick hits Naito and Bushi just because, and he’s all fired up.
EVIL puts him on the apron, but Nick comes back with a slingshot “Suck It!” facebuster! Cover, Sanada breaks it. LIJ double whip but Matt saves his brother while tagging in. The Bucks knock LIJ back, then double slingshot sunset flips, into double sharpshooters! That’s Cease in stereo! “The! Elite! The the Elite!” echoes out, but Naito and Hiromu save EVIL and Sanada. LIJ whips Matt, but Matt ducks, Hangman double buckshots! But wait, Punishment Martinez is storming down the ramp! Hangman goes out to intercept and they start brawling!
These two won’t wait for Best in the World to settle their grudge! They fight all the way up to the stage, and to the backstage area, but we go to one last break.
ROH returns once more, and Bushi climbs up. Bushi missile dropkicks Matt down then Bushi-roonies up while Hiromu and Naito intercept Scurll and Cody. EVIL hobbles over to Matt and with Bushi’s help, whips Matt corner to corner. EVIL charges in for a big corner clothesline, then rolls Matt out for the others to QUADRUPLE dropkick Matt! Cover, but Cody and Nick break it. Another brawl begins, and Bushi is left alone with Matt in the ring. Bushi climbs up again, but Scurll returns. Scurll saves Matt, then hits a roaring elbow. Hiromu lariats Scurll, then sees Cody coming, yet still gets the Beautiful Disaster kick! Naito throws Cody with a headscissors, but Matt SUPERKICKS Naito! EVIL mule kicks Matt, then Bushi with the Destroyer!
Sanada returns, and LIJ groups up to lift Matt, Magic Killer! Bushi covers, but Nick drags the referee out! Cody attacks Sanada, then EVIL. Cody sends them out, tot hen run and FLY! He takes out EVIL, but Hiromu runs at Nick! Hiromu leaps over for the bomb, but Nick holds the ropes! Bernard the Business Bear attacks Hiromu! Then Nick asai moonsaults! Nick and Bernard high five, but then Bushi spits the green mist into Bernard’s eyes! Wait, that shouldn’t actually… But Bushi goes after Cody, but Cody standing switches. Scurll has his umbrella and swings, but Bushi gets out of the way, and Cody takes the hit! Naito hits Scurll with Destino!
But the Bucks SUPERKICK Naito together! Then SUPERKICKS for Bushi! The Bucks duck EVIL & Sanada, then SUPERKICKS! Fans fire up all over again, and The Bucks target Bushi. Bushi’s counter is countered, springboard for the FIVE STAR MELTZER DRIVER!!
Cover, The Bullet Club wins!!
Winners: The Bullet Club, Matt Jackson pinning
Bullet Club IS fine, but maybe not Bernard. Cody washes Bernard’s eyes out, though again, it shouldn’t matter. The fans chant for “All In!” but Cody and Scurll must first worry about Best in the World and their Triple Threat with Dalton Castle. If Bullet Club truly is fine, can the Allied Powers stay civil in their fight with The Peacock? Or will they implode and allow Castle to retain with ease?
A great night from ROH, as far as action goes. Chuckie and Kenny have a great match that is respectful and clean, as both men are Faces. Kenny wins to keep pace after what Austin Aries did to him, and I really hope that match comes sooner rather than later. Shane Taylor VS Josh Woods was good, but it keeps both guys strong because while Taylor wins, it was thanks to Woods being distracted that gave Taylor the win. The Briscoes give a really good, and even scary promo in regards to their attitude and their coming title match. The ROH tag champion Briscoes VS IWGP tag champion Young Bucks is going to be great. It’s just too bad it isn’t going to be winners take all since it’s an ROH event.
And that’s the one downside of tonight: the continuity error. This episode was obviously recorded in the set before even last week, which is very important. NJPW Dominion was on 6/9/18, and the Young Bucks would defeat EVIL & Sanada for their IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships. Yet, this episode has EVIL & Sanada still holding those belts. However, there is a logical reason for this continuity error: spoilers. Fans in attendance would not have kept the secret if the Bucks came out with the titles before Dominion even happened. Perhaps the main event of 351, Briscoes VS Roppongi 3K, should’ve been swapped with this one so that continuity still works in some way. Though, that might have made everyone think the Bucks had a match against EVIL & Sanada just hours before their Dominion match…
My Score: 8.5/10