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Mitchell’s WWE NXT Report! (1/24/18)

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All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • No Way Jose VS Cezar Bononi; Jose wins.
  • Bianca Belair VS Latoya; Bianca wins.
  • The Authors of Pain VS Chase Brown & Damian Smith; no contest.
  • NXT Championship #1 Contenders Match: Johnny Gargano VS Velveteen Dream; Gargano wins and will face Andrade “Cien” Almas for the NXT Championship at TakeOver: Philadelphia.

PLAY BY PLAY

The Velveteen Dream sets the mood.

First the lights, then the ambiance, then the atmosphere. The Patrick Clark Experience has what he needs. “We all dream of being NXT Champion one day.” Life just brings everyone on different paths. Johnny Gargano dreams that dream, and Velveteen knows he will live it. Just not yet. Not when the choice is between Gargano and Velveteen Dream. While everyone knows Gargano’s rise was “tainted in doubt”, Dream’s Experience is pure. The way he sees it, no matter what happens, “a Dream will be over.”

 

No Way Jose VS Cezar Bononi!

The Fighting Fiesta returns to NXT and wishes to make 2018 a party! However, his return is against the Brazilian V8, who has been known to bring an upset out of nowhere. Will the fiesta be halted this early into the year?

The bell rings and the two tie up. Jose gets a headlock while fans serenade him, but Cezar reverses. Jose powers out but Cezar powers him down to then gloat. Cezar runs and things speed up, Jose runs Cezar over now! Jose gets moving again and counters the leap frog with an atomic drop! He then arm-drags Cezar and wraps on an armlock. Cezar resists, he gets to his feet but Jose keeps him grounded. They get to ropes, Jose whips but Cezar reverses, Cezar grabs Jose’s hair and throws him down. Cezar knocks Jose back down with a dropkick, then stalks Jose to a corner. He stomps a Brazilian mudhole into Jose while fans cheer the Fighting Fiesta on. Cezar unloads body shots now, then brings Jose out for a pumphandle powerslam!

Cover, TWO, and Cezar is merely annoyed. He drags Jose up but Jose resists, so Cezar drives in a knee. The chinlock is applied, and fans rally while Jose endures the squeeze. Jose powers up from the fans’ energy and fights back. Cezar shoves Jose, but Jose comes back with a swinging neckbreaker! Both men are down, fans cheer Jose on. Cezar stands up first, then goes over but Jose revives to give jab after jab, then the double ax handles. Jose rallies, powerslam on Cezar now! Jose takes off the armband and winds up the pitch… Pop-up Fastball!

Jose wins his return match! Will 2018 truly be Jose’s year?

 

NXT takes a look at the coming Extreme Rules match.

Philadelphia is the birthplace of extreme wrestling, and Aleister Black and Adam Cole are going to add their names to that extreme legacy. The Embodiment of the End started his journey 15 years ago and his journey is “far from over.” Meanwhile, Adam Cole’s grudge with Aleister Black started months ago, when the two competed for a spot in the #1 contender Fatal 4 Way. As great as Cole was in that match, Aleister was better, and he made Cole #FadeToBlack. Or, so he thought. Because when that #1 contender’s match came around, Aleister’s opportunity was taken away when The Undisputed Era decided to #ShockTheSystem. After that, The Undisputed Era also screwed Aleister over in an NXT Tag Team Championship match. General Manager William Regal felt there was no other way to settle their grudge than in an Extreme Rules environment. Both men are ready to “mangle and embarrass” each other, which man will survive in the City of Brotherly Love?

 

Bianca Belair VS Latoya!

Ms. EST returns to NXT to further prove she is the strongest, fastest, toughest and best woman in the Division. Will she make this match look the easiest, too?

The bell rings, Bianca and circles with Latoya. Bianca gets the waistlock and throws Latoya, then mocks her with a blown kiss. They tie up again, Bianca powers Latoya into a corner. Fans duel “Let’s go, jobber!” “Bi-an-ca!” while Bianca runs in, but Latoya dodges and tries to roll her up. Bianca holds onto the ropes, then goes to stomp. Latoya gets away but then gets run over by Bianca! Bianca stalks Latoya to a corner then stomps a mudhole into her. She dares Latoya to stand up, then rams her shoulder into her over and over. The referee backs Bianca off, Bianca drags Latoya out by her hair and then scoops her up. Latoya slips out, runs and goes for the tilt-o-whirl headscissors, but Bianca blocks with her incredible strength to give Latoya a backbreaker!

Latoya writhes while Bianca looms over her, twirling that weaponized ponytail. Bianca toys with Latoya, then brings her out for a clubbing forearm. Latoya starts kicking back, but gets rocked by a right forearm. Bianca grabs Latoya in a double chickenwing and thrashes about. Latoya endures the hold, gets to her feet while the fans rally, but Bianca simply lifts her and throws her down.

Bianca saunters about, not taking Latoya seriously. Latoya stands up, and evades in the corner to swing kick back. Latoya climbs up now, but jumps into that ponytail WHAP! Bianca drags Latoya up, and throws Latoya with the alley-oop facebuster!

Cover, Bianca wins! Will she make the biggest impact in the NXT Women’s Division in 2018?

 

Exclusive interview with the NXT Women’s Champion and Challenger.

Percy Watson conducts the sit-down interview with both Ember Moon and Shayna Baszler ahead of their championship match this Saturday at TakeOver: Philadelphia. Percy congratulates Ember on overcoming obstacles to make it to this point, but he must ask: Why did she call out The Queen of Spades? Ember says it’s because Shayna has “been nothing more than a bully”. Shayna took shortcuts, jumped people from behind and injured fellow wrestlers. Is Shayna overcompensating because she can’t cut it? Shayna smirks at Ember, but Percy points out Ember has told the truth. Shayna explains it was never personal. She knows that “you have to stir up waters to catch fish.” Ember is that fish. Ember agrees, and she’s “the big fish” for a reason. This is HER NXT WOmen’s Division. There is a code here, and being champion means responsibilities to herself and the division. If Shayna ever becomes champion and sets aside her ego, then maybe Shayna will understand. But Ember promises it won’t happen at TakeOver: Philadelphia. What are Shayna’s expectations of TakeOver: Philadelphia? Shayna admits that Ember lived the dream of climbing up from the bottom and reaching the top. But the difference between her and Shayna is that Shayna doesn’t care about what people know. She worked just as hard as anyone. When Ember wakes up after TakeOver and sees Shayna walking away, she’s walking away with Ember’s dream. The tension mounts, but Percy diffuses it by asking what Shayna wants the NXT Universe to know about her. The NXT Universe? What they think doesn’t matter. They’ll just have to accept it. Shayna leaves, but the tension does not lower. Will the Prophecy of Flame be able to Eclipse the confident and dangerous Shayna Baszler?

 

NXT continues their look into TM61.

Shane Thorne reminds everyone TM61 is the name of a missile, and that is why they’re named that, NOT because of Pokemon! And like that missile, this TM61 flew in, hit hard and delivered some shock and awe when they debuted in NXT. They entered the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic and were facing the team of Austin Aries & Roderick Strong. Circumstances called for Strong and Thorne going it alone, and Thorne found himself in position to hit Strong with a draping double stomp. He only hit half the stomp, and the landing caused his left leg give out at the knee. Nick Miller could tell it was bad, and Thorne himself knew it meant the coming TakeOver special was out of reach. Even so, Thorne powered through to win the match and earn TM61’s spot in the finals. “If you’re gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough”, and Thorne proved he was tough.

The finals were competed in a Shark Cage tornado rules, where The Mighty put it all on the line. The Authors of Pain would win, but it wasn’t until a match with The Revival that Thorne’s knee was pushed past the limit in the form of the Deathlock stomp. Thorne was told his recovery time was no less than six months, but Miller was by his side the whole way. Thorne oddly thanks The Revival for toughening them up and allowing them time to grow stronger. The Mighty Don’t Kneel is not just a name, but a philosophy, and this duo truly lives it. They’re on their way back, and vow to prove that they’re STILL The Mighty, and the Mighty Still Don’t Kneel. Will The Mighty also become NXT Tag Team Champions?

 

The Authors of Pain VS Chase Brown & Damian Smith!

Akam & Rezar are primed to challenge the Undisputed Era for the NXT Tag Team Championships, and won’t even wait for a bell! They both boot their opponents in the head immediately!

They don’t stop there, they take one man each in fireman’s carries, and drive them into corners via Death Valley Drivers! Now the Authors speak.

“Undisputed Era! You see this!? You see it?! This is you!!” Akam continues in his native tongue as he vows the AoP will dominate. Rezar also speaks in his native language before shifting into English to say “This Saturday, it’s YOUR turn!!” In other words, the Undisputed Era will take their turn in the SUPER COLLIDER!

As Akam & Rezar stand over the fallen Brown & Smith, are we looking at the future two-time NXT Tag Team Champions?

 

NXT Championship #1 Contenders Match: Johnny Gargano VS Velveteen Dream!

Johnny Wrestling won’t stand for people doubting his ability or his integrity, but Velveteen Dream has done both. Will Gargano keep his dream alive when he denies this Dream from winning here tonight?

Dream continues to play mind games as he wears a sample of Gargano’s merchandise to the ring. The fans already duel with chants, “Johnny Wrestling!” “Vel-ve-teen!” before the bell. The bell rings, the two men circle and tie up. Dream gets control of Gargano’s arm, Gargano rolls and slips around to a drop toehold. Gargano floats over to a facelock and holds on while Dream resists and rolls. The fans keep the chanting up the whole way, even as Dream tries every trick he has to get around Gargano. Dream manages an escape and facelock of his own, then manages to counter Gargano’s escape into a seated waistlock. They stand up, Dream snapmares Gargano then poses to taunt him.

“You gonna cry?” Dream mockingly asks Gargano. “You’re not ready for TakeOver!” Gargano suddenly grabs Dream in the GargaNO Escape!

Dream scrambles and flails, and manages the ropebreak. Gargano lets go, Dream slips out of the ring to catch his breath. Gargano taunts Dream now while we go to break.

NXT returns to see Dream give a stiff back elbow to Gargano. Dream is free of the hold, then whips Gargano but Gargano reverses. Dream tumbles to the apron, but chooses to pose instead of reenter. Gargano enziguris him in the back to send him down! Dream’s face bounces off the announce desk, and while he flails about, Gargano gets to the apron. Gargano takes aim and FLIES with a cannonball senton!

The fans fire up with Johnny Wrestling as he walks around. They chant “NXT! NXT!” while Gargano returns to Dream. Gargano lets Dream enter the ring while he climbs up to the apron. Dream swings but Gargano blocks and counters with a forearm. Gargano takes aim and slingshots in, but Dream catches his spear into a draping, swinging neckbreaker!

Dream can’t make the cover, so he drives ax handles into Gargano’s head. He elbows Gargano in the back then covers, TWO. Dream keeps on Gargano with more elbows and more trash talk. “You don’t deserve it!” he says as he scrapes Gargano. Dream stands on Gargano to choke him at the ropes. He drags Gargano up, but Gargano breaks the hold to power Dream into the backslide! TWO, and Dream kicks low before throwing Gargano roughly out of the ring. The ring count begins, but Dream won’t let it end that way. Dream climbs up to the top, but he’s just faking. He hops back down to the mat then goes out from the apron to ax handle Gargano. Dream drops Gargano on the ring barriers, then poses before hitting another double ax handle. He breaks the ring count at 8, Gargano chops Dream again and again! Dream fights back, and slams Gargano on the apron edge with a back suplex.

Things slowly return in the ring while we go to break.

NXT returns again and Gargano throws haymakers on Dream. Gargano rallies now with forearms and an enziguri! Dream gets to a corner, Gargano gives him a forearm smash and whips him back into the buckles. Gargano rolls Dream for the schoolboy kick! Gargano hops up, takes aim, and jumps for the tornado downward spiral!

Cover, TWO! But Gargano isn’t deterred, he simply makes sure his neck works before going back over. Dream holds onto ropes, then clubs Gargano in the back. Dream gets a facelock but Gargano counters with an arm-wringer. Gargano walks back over but into Dream’s fireman’s carry. Gargano slips down to a sunset flip but Dream sits on it and even reaches for ropes! TWO, into Gargano’s cover, TWO, SUPERKICK from Dream! Gargano comes back with a left lariat on the rebound! Both men are down while the fans applaud. Gargano crawls to a cover, TWO! Dream and Gargano slowly stir while fans wish they could “Fight Forever!” Gargano goes after Dream, turns him around and stands him up for forearms from both sides. Dream lifts Gargano, Gargano flails and shoves Dream into a corner. Gargano runs in and hits a corner enziguri! He runs, tries for the tilt-o-whirl takedown, but Dream counters to stand Gargano up and hit the sidewinder DDT!

Dream now crawls for the cover, TWO!! The fans applaud and chant “NXT! NXT!” while Dream scrambles to a corner. Dream climbs up, takes aim, but Gargano sweeps his legs to send him tumbling down in the ropes! Dream hits the floor, Gargano sees his chance. Gargano builds speed and DIVES!

They both crash and burn into the ringside barriers! The fans keep up the chanting while Gargano drags Dream up and in. Gargano drags himself up onto the apron and then up to the top rope. Dream bumps the ropes to trip Gargano up! Dream then walks over and climbs up to put Gargano in a fireman’s carry. Gargano fights back with elbows to Dream’s head, but Dream powers through to hit the SUPER DEATH VALLEY!

Dream crawls to the cover, TWO!! No one can believe it but everyone loves it! Gargano and Dream stir, Dream getting himself to a corner. Dream climbs up again, takes a moment to make sure his arms are okay, and jumps for the Purple Rain Maker! Only to hit Gargano’s knees! Dream writhes while Gargano gets himself to a corner. Gargano stands up, takes aim, and hits the mule kick! Then, back to the GargaNO Escape!!

Dream taps, Gargano wins and is still the #1 contender! Gargano toughs it out here tonight, will anyone ever doubt him again?

NXT Champion, Andrade “Cien” Almas, and his manager Zelina Vega appear.

El Idolo sees his #1 contender and simply tells him with body language that the championship will still be his. Almas and Zelina continue to ringside, keeping their eyes on Gargano while also still grinning and laughing. Almas and Zelina now enter the ring, and Almas raises the belt while staring Gargano down.

El Campeon then hands the belt to Zelina, and swings on Gargano! Gargano was ready, he blocks and counters Almas! The champion retaliates with forearms and a stiff overhand chop that drops Gargano. Almas laughs, Zelina says Gargano is nothing. The champion throws Gargano out of the ring while fans boo and jeer. Almas takes his belt back to hold it up again, as if to say the result is already final.

However, Gargano drags himself back up, refusing to quick. Almas runs over but gets a swing kick! Then the slingshot DDT!

The fans cheer the fired up Gargano while Zelina panics. Gargano walks over to the NXT Championship belt, the fans want him to “Touch it! Touch it!” And he does! Not only that, but with fans chanting “You Deserve it!”, Gargano raises the belt! Will this be the sight we see at TakeOver: Philadelphia!?

 

My Thoughts:

This was an incredible night of NXT right here. No Way Jose wins his return because obviously that’s how you start someone off. Cezar Bononi is approaching jobber to the stars status but he can easily turn this around with another shocking upset over someone else. Bianca Belair is still impressive in a swift and dominant victory. She was impressive in the Mae Young Classic–even in a loss to Kairi Sane–and has been impressive in general, she’ll be one to watch as the year goes on. Authors of Pain make even quicker work of their opponents, and show they have found their niche in talking on the mic. However, I don’t see them winning the NXT Tag Team Championship match, or at least not cleanly. Akam & Rezar are more than complete as characters and therefore ready to go to the main roster to try their hands at main roster tag team championships. Meanwhile, Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish could easily hold those titles for a long time to fulfill the Undisputed manifesto, up until another team rises up to best them. And given the video packages, TM61 could be that team. Thorne and Miller are great personalities, they’re great in the ring and they can reestablish themselves easily starting with their return match next week. A team like TM61 could have an extended feud filled with lengthy matches against the Street Profits or Sabbatelli & Moss to drive home how they’re finally ready to be NXT Tag Team Champions.

Velveteen Dream’s opening promo was great, especially how he transformed the performance center to fit his persona. He was also incredibly clever with the play on words with “over” within the context of professional wrestling. His match with Gargano was even on a TakeOver level with how back and forth it was with the various near-falls. Dream’s promo was correct in saying they would both be NXT Champion at some point, as Dream could easily be champion within the next few months to a year. However, because Gargano’s story is so strong and fans love him so much, he keeps his chance to challenge the champion. I didn’t expect Almas to come out, but once he did, I’d guessed he would try to beat Gargano up more. Great to see Gargano standing tall at the end, but this makes the already tough choice even tougher. We either get Gargano going 0-3 against Almas or Almas as a transitional champion, and I have no idea which is more likely. Which, is actually a really, really good thing!

My Score: 8.5/10


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Joe’s CMLL Review & Ratings (10/15/2018)

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CMLL Arena Puebla Monday

Lestat, Rey Samuray, Asturiano vs Rey Apocalipsis, Joker, and Guerrero Espacial

Samuray and Joker start off and Samuray is so much taller than Joker. They start grappling on their feet which soon becomes mat wrestling. Asturiano and Guerrero make their way in and continue the trend of grappling. They hit a stale mate and shake hands bringing in Lestat and Apocalipsis. They pick up the pace as Lestat attacks his partners in the corner. Lestat gets Apocalipsis out of the ring, and hits Guerrero with a fireman’s carry. Then Samuray hits a springboard 450 for the pin. Asturiano hits a lionsault on Joker for the fall. First Fall: Asturiano hits a lionsault on Joker for the pin.

Lestat and Apocalipsis start off the next fall. Lestat hits a hurricanrana and goes for a top rope dive but Rey’s female companion covers him. Asturiano comes in with Joker briefly but he hits a pose and Samuray and Guerrero enter. Samuray hits a head scissors then a springboard arm drag, then feigns a dive. Lestat comes in with Apocalipsis. Rey has him in his corner and they take him out. Asturiano comes to make the save but he suffers the same fate. Samuray gets triple teamed until he’s hit with a fireman’s carry then a splash off the top by Joker which pins him. Lestat comes in and gets double teamed and then Guerrero submits him for the fall. Second Fall: Guerrero Espacial submits Lestat with a stretch for the fall.

Third fall starts with Lestat being triple teamed. Samuray makes the save and they start to exchange spots. Lestat comes in and hits a springboard leg drop on Apocalipsis but the count is broken up. Rey Samuray hits a lionsault but gets up after 2. Samuray hits a rotating dive off the top on Guerrero for the pin. Joker then hits him with a canadian destroyer for a pin. Apocalipsis and Lestat get in. Lestat hits a death valley driver. He goes to the top and misses the swanton bomb. Apocalipsis gets him in a leg roll which leads to an arm bar for the win. Third Fall: Apocalipsis submits Lestat with an arm bar.

Winners: Rey Apocalipsis, Joker, and Guerrero Espacial

Marcella, Lluvia, and La Vaquerita vs Dayls, Tiffany, Amapola

Tiffany starts with Vaquerita. They exchange submission holds and counters. Lluvia and Dayls make their way in. They start to work at a faster pace until Lluvia stops and takes her shirt off. Dayls doesn’t let up and attacks her after. Lluvia hits a face buster and feigns a dive. This brings in Marcella and Amapola. Marcella hits a head scissor take over then a foot stomp from the top. The match starts to break down, Vaquerita hits a drop kick off the top, then Lluvia hits one in the corner on Dayls for the fall. First Fall: Lluvia pins Dayls with a corner drop kick.

Marcella starts with Tiffany and they’re slapping each other in the chest to start. It quickly breaks down and all 6 women are in the ring. The two other are taken out and Vaquerita gets triple teamed. She gets taken out and Lluvia comes in and she gets drop kicked to the ramp. Marcella tries to help but she’s drop kicked to the floor. Tiffany gets Vaquerita in a torture rack like submission for the fall. Second Fall: Tiffany submits La Vaquerita with a modified torture rack.

Third round begins with more triple teaming on Marcella. They take one out and move on to triple teaming the next. They make a come back and get a triple submission in the center of the ring but it’s broken up. Marcella goes for a vertical suplex but Dayls reverses it into a small package for the win. Third Fall: Dayls pins Marcella with a small package.

Winners: Dayls, Tiffany, and Amapola

Diamante Azul, Kraneo, and Volcano vs Hechicero, Templario, and El Felino

Volcano starts off with Templario and I don’t think you’re going to see much mat wrestling with Volcano. Templario tries to move around Volcano but he can’t because he’s too big. Volcano hits a big boot on Templario sending him to the outside. All of them stare down for a moment before Azul and Hechicero come in. Hechicero tries to unmask him while they’re grappling on the ground. Felino gets in their next with Kraneo next. Kraneo body slams Felino and is about to go for a splash but then Templario and Hechicero come in to attack him and this leads to a brawl. They hit Kraneo with a triple team spine buster but sell their backs afterwards. They get him in a triple submission afterwards. Hechicero hits a running knee on Azul and Felino pins him. First Fall: Hechicero hits a running knee on Diamante Azul and Felino pins him.

Second fall begins with them interacting with the midgets that are ring side. Hechicero and Templario hit a double suplex on Volcano. Hechicero, Templario, and Felino continue to triple team everybody. They start to make a come back and Kraneo hits Felino with a hip attack in the corner. Volcano hits a sit out press slam on Templario for the pin. Azul body slams Hechicero and Kraneo goes up to the top for a splash and pin. Second Fall: Kraneo pins Hechicero with a splash off the top.

Third round starts with Kraneo and Felino in the ring attacking each other. Kraneo hits a double splash on Hechicero and Templario after they try to double him. Templario then is in there alone with Volcano and he’s trying to get him down again. He gets Templario out of there, Hechicero comes in and tries to hit a springboard attack but he’s caught and slammed. Felino tries his hand but to no avail, and Volcano feigns a dive when Felino goes to the outside. I don’t think we’ll be seeing him dive. Templario is in there with Azul now. Azul gets off rapid fire tilt-a-whirl back breakers. Azul hits a hurricanrana on Hechicero then goes for a middle rope dive. Leading to Templario and Volcano in the ring again. Volcano hits a spine bsuter then his handspring splash. Kraneo sits on Felino after a failed sunset flip for the win. Third Fall: Kraneo sits out on El Felino after a failed sunset flip.

Winners: Kraneo, Volcano, Diamante Azul

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(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.5 ~ 12TH OCTOBER 2018

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CURRENT TOUR RECAP
As Noah head towards the end of the year, Autumn Navigation began on October 7th in Gunma. I am afraid I don’t have too much information about the first two shows.

Naomichi Marufuji’s feud (not so much Akitoshi Saito’s) with Mitsuya Nagai and “The Hooligans” began in earnest. Marufuji came out with a weary expression like he had to deal with something that was tiresome (and to him it is, as he says that The Hooligans are not worthy of the title shot, although he’s had to begrudgingly give them one), and this match was to prove just to be that as Nagai came out to “second”.

“Second” in this case being another word for “interfere”, which he did by pulling the referee out of the ring when Marufuji went for the pin on Taniguchi. While the ref and Nagai argued, Cody Hall used the distraction to creep into the ring and ambush Marufuji with “The Hooligan” bomb, meaning that Taniguchi got the win when the ref got back in the ring.

Afterwards The Hooligans stood over Marufuji, Cody Hall & Taniguchi holding the heavyweight tag belts, and Taniguchi with his foot on him.

Marufuji said afterwards that he was irritated before, but he’s angry now, and he’s had enough. This wasn’t enough, however, to stop The Hooligans from running over them again on the 11th October.

Noah have started the pre-matches for Global League; on the 11th October, Masa Kitamiya and Katsuhiko Nakajima faced off against each other after a long while. Nakajima, as ever, smirking when kicking someone, this time his tag partner.

NEWS

NOAH MERCHANDISE AVAILABLE IN EUROPE & USA
IPW have announced that they have become the official merchandise vendor for Noah for Europe, and I understand they also deliver to the USA. I am afraid for any other country, you would need to check directly with them. Shop can be accessed via the link above.

“COME AT ME YOU BASTARDS”
Kenoh’s column this week is thought to be generally not too interesting (aside from maybe the end about appearing in a quiz show), but he does give some interesting insights into life in Noah and how wrestlers branching out into other programs beyond wrestling, can help a product.

Speaking of Kenoh, I read a very sweet story in an interview earlier this week.

When Kenoh was a tiny infant (about two or three), he used to stand at the window of the Nippon Kempo watching them practice until his mother removed him. Even when it snowed, he would stand at the window.

His mother later asked if he could see inside, and then enrolled him in the school.

NAOMICHI MARUFUJI VS HIKARU SHIDA
For her tenth anniversary in wrestling, Hikaru Shida challenged Naomichi Marufuji to a rematch. They had last clashed on April 17th, and she had been knocked out within a few minutes (108 seconds to be precise). This time she managed to last eighteen minutes with him. He took knee attacks, and she took chops.

Marufuji won with the high knee, and said afterwards that “the match was fun, and with so much potential, I want you to be the top girl”.”.

WINTER NAVIGATION 2018 & EARLY DATES FOR JANUARY 2019
Noah have announced the dates for “Winter Navigation 2018”, plus “Great Voyage in Yokohama Vol.2” and “NOAHFul Gift in Differ”.

They have also announced dates for January 2019.

Last year NOAHFUL Gift was held in ShinKiba, this year it will be being held at Korakuen Hall. Although Noah have announced no plans for the format as of yet, it will most likely feature the flea market in which Noah sell their old ring wear to fans (in the old days they would also serve Dojo chanko) and the usual battle royal and comedy matches.

Genba Hirayanagi threatened to appear last year in some gnarly old pants when he heard there was a flea-market. Sugiura said no one would want them, and Marufuji told him that it was “called obstruction of business”.

Thankfully Genba’s questionable taste in clothes is not a recurring feature, but Akitoshi Saito in cosplay is. In past years we have seen a lounge singer (complete with frilled cuffs, cummerbund and a velvet suit), and a pigtailed joshi. 2017 saw him in a video which was played in installments throughout the evening flanked by Moose in a Burger King hat, Eddie Edwards in a Santa hat (both were trying not to laugh), and Saito in various stages of undress whilst wearing a wig and make-up.

During the Battle Royale last year, everyone dressed up; well, almost everyone, as Kenoh appeared in an old karate outfit, and HAYATA came as himself in DOVE Pro. Other highlights included Takashi Sugiura being labelled a “vulgar and tasteless Santa” by Tokyo Sports, Hi69 was a “Panda” (his costume was purple tights and Panda face-paint, and according to Hajime Ohara he had gone out and bought his costume the night before, leading Sugi to point, laugh and say “that’s not a Panda, that’s a monster), Hajime Ohara as Kiki from “Kiki’s Delivery Service” complete with satchel full of bakery goods, a Jiji on his shoulder, black wig with a bow and a broom, Hitoshi Kumano as a bear, Daisuke Harada as HAYATA (which HAYATA did not appreciate and glared at him afterwards) and of course the inevitable Mr. Koto (Atsushi Kotoge).

Needless to say its a fun show, and if you are going to be in Tokyo over Christmas\New Year, I not only envy you, I also highly recommend you go and see it. All grudges, rivalries and title matches are put aside, and the roster relax and have fun.

OUTSIDE PARTICIPATION
Naomichi Marufuji and Hi69 will miss Noah’s event on the 18th November as they will be participating in Ryuku Dragon Pro in Okinawa

Kenoh will be appearing for KAIENTAI DOJO on Sunday October 28th, he will team with Tank Nagai against Yuri Asakawa & Kengo Mashimo.

Junta Miyawaki will make his second appearance for YOUNGDOMS (FREEDOMS sub brand) on the 5th November, he will team with Shunsuke Sayama vs Toru Sugiura and SUSUMU

GHC BELT NEWS

Current champions

  • GHC Heavyweight Champion: Takashi Sugiura
  • GHC Junior Champion: Daisuke Harada
  • GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: Naomichi Marufuji & Akitoshi Saito
  • GHC Junior Tag Champions: Minoru Tanaka & Hi69

The GHC Heavyweight Championship currently has no challenger as Global League will begin in late October to determine the number one contender.

Daisuke Harada and Atsushi Kotoge will clash over the GHC Junior Championship on October 30th at Korakuen Hall (match signing to be held the same day)

Naomichi Marufuji & Akitoshi Saito will defend the GHC Heavyweight Tag Championship against “The Hooligans” (Maybach Taniguchi and Cody Hall) on Sunday October 14th in Kobe.

The GHC Junior Tag Championship has not been challenged for yet.

TOUR TIDBITS

  • Naomichi Marufuji was involved in a minor car accident this week when someone reversed into him, he is fine fortunately.
  • Noah released Halloween Revolutionary cloaks for kids which were sold on the 11th October, with the Revolutionary Hero on hand to sign them. Atsushi Kotoge has said that the manufacturing cost is too high to make them for adults.
  • Takashi Sugiura gave a defense match interview, in it he said he wants to be the first reigning champion in history to win Global League, and if that happens he will nominate his own opponent, which will be Masato Tanaka. They have fought against each other in the past, but they have never had a title match over a single belt.
  • Mitsuya Nagai called a lady in the crowd “you old bag” because she was mouthing off to him.
  • Mohammed Yone’s disco ball for his entry has become a thing
  • People would like to see Atsushi Kotoge and Kaito Kiyomiya tag together and challenge for the belts
  • HAYATA has a new online diary, “HAYATAbot”, I am afraid that to access it requires a paid subscription
  • Kenoh will finally get his wish for a singles match with Naomichi Marufuji on the 8th November at Korakuen Hall for Global League 2018.
  • Like Hi69 does, Atsushi Kotoge did a short question time with fans on Twitter, highlights included; Kotoge saying he doesn’t drink at home, and Go Shiozaki asking what the capes were made of to which, Kotoge said playfully, “asshole, I’ll go and look”. He never actually answered Shiozaki’s question.
  • Kenoh’s friend, Masahiro-san (whom Kenoh has blocked, and who Masahiro-san calls “that asshole who blocked me”), posted a few candid pictures of when he stayed at Kenoh’s home for the night on Twitter. Masahiro-san usually deletes them a few minutes after posting, but they were there long enough to ascertain Kenoh bought tourist fodder Union Jack boxer shorts when he visited London for Frontline Pro Wrestling.
  • Hajime Ohara is holding exercise classes in Kawasaki which are open to adults of every age and sex. The classes will be simple exercises in how to build, tone and maintain muscles and how to exercises with a water bottle.

KING SHAMLESS’S CORNER
None this week, he’s managed to behave himself.

EVENT RECAPS
7TH OCTOBER 2018, NEW SUNPIA TAKASAKI, GUNMA
11TH OCTOBER 2018, OYAMA CITY CULTURAL CENTER SMALL HALL, OYAMA, TOCHIGI

LINKS
English language translation of Naomichi Marufuji’s biography, “Heir to The Ark”
Takashi Sugiura’s sixth defense interview
Akira Taue loved the “Talk Battle” with Toshiaki Kawada
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Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: Destruction in Hiroshima 2018!

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NJPW Destruction in Hiroshima

AXS moves on in its NJPW coverage by bringing us Destruction in Hiroshima! Does the Best Bout Machine hold on to his title against the Stone Pitbull?

 

This coverage of Destruction in Hiroshima will be as broadcast by AXS TV.

Gifs can be found at http://frentique.tumblr.com/

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Six Man Tag: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma VS Kazuchika Okada, Yoshi-Hashi & Jay White; Tanahashi, Makabe & Honma win.
  • IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kenny Omega VS Tomohiro Ishii; Omega wins and retains the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.

PLAY BY PLAY

NJPW and AXS set the scene!

Kenny Omega continues his reign as the newest IWGP Heavyweight Champion after his epic 2 Out of 3 Falls match Kazuchika Okada. He has bested some of the best, such as The American Nightmare, Cody, at the G1 Special in San Francisco, and six straight victories in this year’s G1 Climax tournament. However, things were changed when The Stone Pitbull looked to play spoiler. Tomohiro Ishii was no longer in contention for the G1 Climax 28 Finals, but he was more concerned about evening the score from the IWGP United States Championship tournament. Ishii defeated Omega in a toughly contested match, and that would ultimately cost Omega his spot in the G1 Climax finals. That victory has earned Ishii his shot tonight in Hiroshima, but will he be able to repeat his upset performance? Or will the Best Bout Machine break the tie and retain the title?

 

Six Man Tag: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma VS Kazuchika Okada, Yoshi-Hashi & Jay White!

There is much tension within the Chaos trio as the Switchblade has made it clear he wants to take control of the faction away from The Rainmaker. Can White and Okada get along, with the Head Hunter stuck in the middle, against The Ace, the Uncaged Gorilla and the “Innovator of Lighttube Death Matches”?

NJPW and AXS jump into this match as it is in progress. White tags in off Okada and chops away on Honma. He whips him corner to corner then chops Honma off his feet. White taunts Honma then brings him up, but Honma chops back. White elbows Honma’s neck and tries to suplex, but Honma blocks. Honma goes to suplex White but White reverses and chops him to a corner. White runs in but into a boot, and Honma runs out for a leaping shoulder tackle! Fans fire up for Honma as he crawls for his corner. Hot tag to Makabe, who runs White over with a shoulder then barrels into Okada. Yoshi-Hashi slips in to kick and run, but into a powerslam! Hashi exits while Makabe corner clotheslines White. Makabe climbs up to throw hands but White slips out underneath. White tags Okada in so he can get away.

Okada comes in but Makabe is on him with big forearms. Makabe whips Okada corner to corner then hits a corner clothesline. Makabe climbs up and gives corner punches, all the way to 10. He goes to Northern Lights but Okada fights it off. Okada runs but into a big lariat! Cover, TWO! Makabe brings Okada up but Okada resists, countering with a back drop. Okada runs in corner to corner for the clothesline, then hits a DDT! Cover, TWO! Okada drags Makabe up and wants the gut wrench but Makabe fights it. Makabe and Okada both club each other, but Okada gets the edge. Okada runs but ducks one clothesline to get the other! Both men are down, and fans rally up. Hot tag to Tanahashi!

The Ace hits Hashi and White, then focuses on Okada. Tanahahsi runs, but into the gut wrench! He turns it around to hit the swinging neckbreaker! He keeps moving as Okada stands, to bring him down with the slingblade! Cover, but Hashi breaks it. Makabe tosses Hashi out and Tanahashi gets moving again. Tanahashi climbs up but Okada dropkicks him! Okada drags Tanahashi off the top rope, still wanting the Tombstone. Tanahashi slips off to rock Okada with a palm strike! Tanahashi runs but into a dropkick! Fans rally up and Okada tags in Hashi. Hashi runs and hits the blockbuster! He hits Makabe and Honma then runs back at Tanahsahi for the chop in the corner. But White wants him to use a chair now? Hashi refuses, and Tanahashi hits White! Tanahashi gets Hashi in the dragon screw!

Honma hits Okada and then Makabe comes in. They and Tanahashi rally on Yoshi-Hashi with a corner dropkick, and feed to the double clothesline sandwich! Honma drops the headbutt! Tanahashi heads up top but White dumps him down! Makabe and White exit and get into a fight with White while Yoshi-Hashi gets up. Hashi runs but into a full nelson. He denies the dragon suplex, but Tanahashi wants the straitjacket. Okada runs in to save Hashi, and then Hashi runs. Tanahashi boots Yoshi-Hashi away, then elbows Okada. Yoshi-Hashi still comes back to grab Tanahashi, and Okada runs in. Tanahashi ducks, Okada’s boot goes into Yoshi-Hashi! Tanahshi small packages while Makabe trips Okada, Tanahashi’s team wins!

Winners: Tanahashi, Makabe & Honma, Hiroshi Tanahashi pinning

Taguchi Japan makes it a victory against Chaos! And Chaos’s trio isn’t in a good move over it. Yoshi-Hashi won’t let Okada console him, and White gets in Okada’s face about the loss, too. With his faction so against him here, does Okada have a chance of keeping control? And what of his shot at Tanahashi’s IWGP Heavyweight Championship Wrestle Kingdom match contract?

Backstage interviews.

Jay White can’t understand why Chaos follows Okada. Okada ended up kicking Yoshi-Hashi square in the face and cost the team that match. The two of them were in there with that “old man” Tanahashi, but couldn’t do what White did by himself during the G1 Climax. White says it is Okada’s fault. Okada boots his friend Yoshi-Hashi in the face, for what? Is Okada angry that White beat him? Is Okada taking his anger out on Chaos? Okada shouldn’t bully someone who was on his side this whole time like that. The rest of Chaos should look at that and realize who they’re following. Clearly the Switchblade sees circumstances his own way, but will he be able to manipulate the rest of Chaos into seeing it the same way?

 

IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kenny Omega VS Tomohiro Ishii!

The Cleaner won against the Stone Pitbull to become the inaugural IWGP United States Champion, but the Pitbull won to be the first loss on the Cleaner’s G1 Climax 28 record. Now they will have a tiebreaker with the title on the line! Who will win the third match in this hard-hitting trilogy?

The introductions are made, Red Shoes shows Ishii the belt, and we begin! Fans are immediately thunderous for both men and Omega makes sure Ishii hears it. Ishii steps closer to Omega, and Omega backs up until he ends up in his corner. Ishii takes a step back, and Omega comes out for a furious tie-up! They push each other back and forth, and end up breaking. The fans applaud as Omega and Ishii go again. Omega gets a headlock and grinds Ishii to the mat. Ishii gets back up and pries at the hold. Omega holds on, so Ishii powers out. Omega and Ishii collide but neither man backs down. Ishii dares Omega to go again, and Omega does, and they collide again. Again, neither man backs down, so Ishii dares Omega to try a third time. Omega looks to go, but he instead rakes Ishii’s eyes.

Omega rakes Ishii’s eyes again, then runs, to collide shoulders. Ishii staggers back but rebounds to run Omega over! Ishii runs and things speed up, but Ishii holds ropes to fake out Omega. Omega still boots Ishii, then runs. He dodges Ishii but Ishii dodges back. Omega boots Ishii’s lariat down, but Ishii blocks the V-Trigger. Ishii runs into a drop toehold, Omega runs but Ishii evades the dropkick! Fans fire up as we have a stand-off. Ishii and Omega grind foreheads, then start shoving. Omega throws a forearm, but Ishii comes back with one. Omega gives another forearm, but Ishii comes back with another. They go back and forth, forearm for forearm, until Omega kicks low. Omega wants the DDT but Ishii slips out to throw another forearm. Omega retaliates with a forearm, and we’re back to forearm for forearm!

Ishii hits, Omega hits, repeat, until Omega kicks Ishii again, and gets the DDT! Ishii crawls to ropes and Red Shoes checks on him. Omega brings Ishii up to kick him in the back, then sits him up for another kick. He brings Ishii all the way up and turns him, for the neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Omega drags Ishii around for a rear mount and chinlock. Ishii endures, even as Omega shifts to a half came clutch. Ishii seems to just egg Omega on, so Omega puts him down to stomp him out. Omega grimaces as he drops double ax handles on Ishii. Ishii sits up so Omega kicks and clubs him. Omega brings Ishii over to bump him off buckles, but Ishii just fires up! Omega throws more forearms, then bumps Ishii on buckles again. Ishii continues to come back, so Omega bumps him off another buckle.

Omega stands on Ishii’s back to choke him in the ropes. Red Shoes counts and Omega lets up at 4. Omega brings Ishii up to throw more forearms, then whips corner to corner. He runs in and hits a big back elbow. He keeps moving but runs into Ishii’s powerslam! Ishii has evened things with Omega while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns as Ishii and Omega stand. Ishii chops Omega at the ropes again and again, then throws forearms into the mix. Forearm, chop, repeat, then Ishii whips. Omega reverses and fireman’s carry, “You Can’t Escape!” Rolling senton is a bit rough because Ishii is no light man, but Omega still gets up to moonsault! Ishii rolls out of the way so the moonsault flops! Both Omega and Ishii stand up slowly, but Ishii gets running, only to run into Omega’s huricanrana! Ishii rolls out of the ring but Omega takes aim. The Terminator Drums begin and Omega rises. Omega builds speed, to FLY! Direct hit and down goes Ishii! Omega brings Ishii up and into the ring, then slides in to build speed, Kotaro Krusher!

But Omega doesn’t go for a cover, he locks and loads, but Ishii gets right up in that finger gun. Ishii fires forearms off, then runs, but into a boot! He’s right back up and he clotheslines Omega out of the ring! Ishii pursues and drags Omega up, to whip him into railing. Ishii chops Omega around the ringside area, and even against a post. Omega chops back, and now they brawl. Ishii forearms, Omega chops, Ishii chops, Omega chops again. They continue to trade sharp, echoing chops, but then Omega decides to clear an announcer table. Ishii stops Omega and whips him at railing, but Omega stops himself. Omega mule kicks Ishii then goes to springboard off the rails, but Ishii catches him into an electric chair! Ishii then tries to fold Omega, perhaps steal One Winged Angel, but Omega fights out.

Omega clubs Ishii on the back, brings him over, but it’s Ishii who snap suplexes Omega to the floor! Both men are down, but Red Shoes is letting them fight. Ishii gets Omega up and into the ring, but Omega dropkicks him back out. Omega takes aim again, builds speed and hits a wrecking ball dropkick! Ishii is sent into railing, but Omega keeps on him. Omega dumps him over onto that cleared desk, then continues where he left off. He clubs away on Ishii, even throwing monitors on him, before going back in the ring. Omega aims from a corner, springboards himself, and hits a DOUBLE STOMP! Omega cracks the table with Ishii’s body while Ishii clutches his chest. Red Shoes checks on both men but they’re somehow okay to continue.

Omega mocks Ishii while he makes his own way back to the ring. He’ll leave Ishii to the mercy of the 20 count as Red Shoes starts. Fans rally for Ishii, and he stirs at 8. Ishii drags himself over the railing at 10, but still crawls. The count passes 15, then 17, but Ishii’s in at 19! Omega says he’ll finish this, as he brings Ishii up. Aoi Shoudou brainbuster! Ishii rolls to ropes for safety, but Omega still says BANG! Ishii avoids the V-Trigger but Omega fights the waistlock. Omega swings but ends up in a saido suplex! Both men are down but fans are rallying up. Ishii sits up but Omega follows. Ishii chops Omega in a corner, and chops and chops! Omega chops back but Ishii doesn’t flinch. Ishii chops and Omega is again in the corner.

Ishii is chopping high on the chest, almost getting the throat! Red Shoes reprimands Ishii, so he stops that. Ishii whips Omega but Omega reverses. Ishii still barrels out to blast Omega to the corner with his shoulder! He brings Omega up, powerbomb lift, and the BIG powerbomb! High stack cover, TWO!! Omega survives but Ishii runs. Omega dodges the sliding lariat, then chops Ishii. Ishii felt that one, but he still comes back. Omega boots Ishii to a corner, then runs in. Ishii dodges but runs into a boot. Omega’s up but Ishii hits him with a forearm. Ishii and Omega brawl as Ishii climbs. Omega kicks but Ishii forearms. Omega gets more kicks in, then brings Ishii up for a slap! He stomps Ishii down, but Ishii grits his teeth as he comes back up. Ishii headbutts outta nowhere!

Omega is dazed but Ishii climbs up to join him. Ishii wants it, and gets the SUPERPLEX! Cover, TWO!! Omega survives, but Ishii is not deterred. Ishii waits for Omega to stand, then runs, but omega ducks to get the German Suplex! Ishii’s right back up to give Omega a German Suplex! Omega stands up, but he’s a bit wobbly. Ishii clubs him in the back, then German Suplexes again! Omega lands on his feet! V-Trigger outta nowhere! Both men are down, but fans are fired up again. Red Shoes checks on them as they stir. Omega sits up first, then stands. He brings Ishii up but intercepts him with a forearm. Omega throws more forearms, and Ishii kneels. Omega keeps going, but now Ishii grows stronger! Ishii takes a forearm, gives a forearm, but runs into a roaring elbow. Ishii swings but ends up in a Snap Dragon Suplex!

Omega stands, runs, V-Trigger! Ishii rebounds to his feet, and Omega lifts in the electric chair. Ishii fights out and gets the dragon sleeper, but Omega counters into a brainbuster! Cover, TWO!! Ishii survives while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns as Omega stands up. He sits Ishii up, for a point blank V-Trigger! Then another! Omega grins as he keeps Ishii up, but then Ishii falls over before Omega can get the third. Omega drags Ishii up, holds him in place, and gives that next V-Trigger. Ishii crawls to a corner as Omega backs away. Omega runs in to V-Trigger Ishii in the back of the head! Omega drags Ishii up and onto the top rope, then climbs up to join him. He has Ishii in the full nelson, but Ishii resists. Omega clubs away on his back with palm strikes, but Ishii headbutts backwards! Omega staggers away and Ishii turns around, but into a chop. Now Omega double underhooks on the top rope, but Ishii still resists. Ishii sends Omega back down, but Omega jumps to V-Trigger!

Omega climbs back up, turns around, and brings Ishii up in a fireman’s carry. Ishii fights again, and stands, for a SUPER STEINER!! How rare for Ishii to fly like that! Omega crawls away but Ishii runs in corner to corner for a big clothesline. Ishii keeps going but runs into boots. Omega boots again but gets a headbutt for it! Ishii fires up and declares that belt is his! He sits Omega up, copies the finger gun, and runs in for a a V-Trigger?! Ishii keeps going to run him over with a lariat! Cover, TWO!! The Pitbull hasn’t put the champion away just yet! Ishii drags Omega up, suplex, but Omega slips out. Ishii headbutts, then runs, but into a leaping lariat! Omega drags Ishii up fast, into the Electric Chair, but Ishii slips out to suplex. Omega slips out, REVERSE-RANA!

Both men are down again but fans are loving it. They rally up for both men while Red Shoes checks on them. Ishii drags himself up on the ropes, but Omega crawls to the far side. They both stand and stagger over to each other. Omega throws a forearm, Ishii gives one back. Again these two go back and forth. Omega wobbles but still comes back. Ishii finally feels some of those hits, and Omega gives him a swift palm strike. Ishii fires off forearms from both sides, but Omega again palm strikes! Omega ducks the enziguri, and gets the Snap Dragon! To V-Trigger! Cover, TWO!! Omega refuses to stop, and he brings Ishii up again. Electric chair, the fold, but Ishii fights with elbows. So Omega pops him into the Croyt’s Wrath German Suplex!

Omega aims, runs, V-Trigger! But Ishii comes back with a lariat outta nowhere!! Fans are reaching a fever pitch as these two keep going. Ishii sits Omega up, runs, and hits the sliding lariat! Cover, TWO!! Omega still lives and Ishii can’t believe it! Ishii still has more to give, though, and runs, but into another V-Trigger. Omega runs but into another lariat. Ishii runs and Omega follows, but Ishii just stops and gives him another lariat! Ishii drags Omega up, but Omega gut wrenches for a quick piledriver! Cover, TWO!! Ishii survives and Hiroshima is thunderous again! Omega slowly stands, and he brings Ishii up again. He stands Ishii up against ropes, pulls down the knee pad, and runs, for a BIG V-Trigger! Omega tumbles out of the ring but gets back in, for another V-Trigger!! Cover, ONE?! The insanity!

Ishii is floundering, and Omega gives him another V-Trigger! Yet Ishii still enziguris Omega! Ishii blocks the next V-Trigger, but then Omega comes back with another. Omega double underhooks for the butterfly driver! Cover, TWO!? Ishii’s head really must be stone to endure all this. Omega takes a moment to catch his breath as the fans build to a rally. He runs again, and hits another V-Trigger! Then the electric chair, ONE WINGED ANGEL! Cover, Omega wins!

Winner: Kenny Omega, by pinfall; still IWGP Heavyweight Champion

Finally Omega finishes Ishii! Omega retains in his second defense, and settles the score with the Stone Pitbull. We’ll return with the celebration and more after the break.

NJPW on AXS returns and Omega stands back up to have his hand raised. Kota Ibushi joins him in the ring and puts the belt on Omega. Ishii flounders his way out, needing the help of the Young Lions to make his exit. Omega looks to him with a nod, showing that Ishii certainly has Omega’s respect. When and where will the Pitbull be back for another shot at the title?

As for Omega, he takes to the mic. In Japanese, Omega says that “Ishii-san, it feels like we still have unfinished business.” But what else? When Omega became champion, he thought it meant he was the strongest. That he’s the best, THE greatest in the world. But the truth is a bit different. The truth is, Kota Ibushi is the reason Omega is the best. Omega told Ibushi back at Osaka-Jo Hall, that “whenever or wherever, I’ll be ready.” Ibushi takes the mic now, and tells Kenny that they’ll make good on their promise.

Yes, they made a promise. That no matter where, no matter when, “The Golden Lovers will keep fighting with the same heart and emotion.” Being the Golden Lovers means more to them than just belts. But this is all for now, so thank you for being here. As always, but in Golden Trigger style, “Good Bye, MWAH, and Good Night, BANG!” What promise do the Golden Lovers mean? When and where will they make good on it?

Backstage interviews.

Omega makes this simple: “I am pro-wrestling.” He’s the face of pro-wrestling. He thought that meant he was the best by far, but he’s heard what Hiroshi Tanahashi had to say about his own ideology. Omega thought Tanahashi meant all of NJPW. Ishii is different than Tanahashi, Okada is different than Tanahashi, Tetsuya Naito is different than Tanahashis. They’re all different, and special in their own way.

In fact, the only thing wrong in NJPW is Tanahashi’s “old guard attitude” and close-minded heart. Tanahashi got lucky in the A Block. Omega was so close to using that mic to dare Tanahashi to have their title match here instead of at Wrestle Kingdom. But until then, good bye and good night, BANG! Though the Ace and the Cleaner are still months away from their WK13 match, things are already growing personal! Will Tanahashi be able to hold onto his contract briefcase? Will Omega be able to hold onto the IWGP Heavyweight Championship? Or will one of them lose their prize before Wrestle Kingdom ever arrives?

 


 

My Thoughts:

A really great night here for NJPW. With AXS airing Fighting Spirit Unleashed before this, there was a lot of this that was clear, but it was still great to watch. Chaos continues to fracture, and Jay White makes stronger moves towards taking control away from Okada. Of course, from FSU, we know he’s also after the IWGP Heavyweight Championship match contract. Perhaps White’s greed will be his downfall, but things could easily go his way and we suddenly have The Switchblade leading Chaos while aiming at Omega’s title. And it is still Omega’s title after that amazing match with Ishii.  Their G1 Climax match was itself very physical, but match did great to build on that. FSU gave us a hint that the Golden Lovers’ promise was to battle 1v1 for the title, and we might still get that down the road, but the wait will be worth it.

My Score: 8.7/10


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