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Mitchell’s WWE NXT Report! (1/31/18)

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All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service.

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Lacey Evans VS Nikki Cross; Nikki wins.
  • TM61 VS The Ealy Brothers; TM61 wins.
  • WWE United Kingdom Championship #1 Contenders Match: Tyler Bate VS Roderick Strong; Strong wins and will challenge Pete Dunne for the WWE UKC.

PLAY BY PLAY

NXT raised the bar again with TakeOver: Philadelphia!

From Dream outlasting the Knockout Artist, to Aleister making Adam Cole #FadetoBlak to the extreme. From Ember Moon outsmarting the Queen of Spades to the Queen of Spades taking her down out of rage. And biggest of all, from Johnny Wrestling coming up short to then be reminded of his painful past. What is the next step for the brand brandishing yellow-and-black?

 

Lacey Evans VS Nikki Cross!

The Lady of NXT takes offense with the various “unladylike” superstars of NXT’s Women’s Division. First on her list is the Crazy Celtic Lass of SAnitY. Will the Model Soldier straighten NXT out one woman at a time?

The bell rings, and Crazy Cross runs Lacey over with a crossbody! She thrashes and punches Lacey, but then they both stand up and Lacey knocks Nikki down with a big roundhouse! Nikki rolls out of the ring, Lacey pursues, but Nikki trips her up and traps her in the apron skirt! Nikki then hammers away with clubbing forearms while the referee tries to stop her.

The referee pulls Nikki off while the fans fire up for the loony lass! She puts Lacey in the ring, Lacey scrambles to a corner but Nikki grabs her hair and pulls on it while sitting on the top rope. The referee reprimands her again, but Lacey takes care of Nikki by yanking her off the buckles and to the mat! Lacey covers, ONE, so she tries again, TWO. Nikki grins while Lacey scowls, and that both confuses and upsets Lacey. Lacey pounces and hammers away, then backs off to compose herself. Nikki gets to a corner, fans boo while Lacey runs in, Lacey hits a wrecking ball bronco buster!

She climbs up and flips her long blonde hair before flipping back, but her moonsault flops as Nikki rolls away! Nikki fires herself up with slaps, and the fans fire up with her. She runs out again and rallies with forearm smashes. She tackles Lacey and hammers away before beating her own chest. Nikki then brings Lacey up, for the swinging fisherman neckbreaker!

Nikki wins! Lacey’s attempts at “cleaning up” the Division are off to a rough start, can she turn it around in the coming weeks?

 

Exclusive backstage interview with Shayna Baszler from TakeOver: Philadelphia.

Though the Queen of Spades lost her NXT Women’s Championship challenge fair and square, she went right after Ember Moon with her Kirafuda Lock. Can she explain why she did what she did? Ember didn’t win, she survived, and barely. Go see Ember in medical and see who’s the winner here. Strong words to follow her actions, is Shayna confident that she’ll get a second shot at the title?

 

Exclusive backstage footage of The Undisputed Era.

While the NXT Tag Team Champions, Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish, retained their titles against the intimidating Authors of Pain, Adam Cole was not so fortunate. He lost his Extreme Rules match with Aleister Black, even after O’Reilly & Fish interfered on his behalf. They felt they had this TakeOver sweep in the bag given how they dealt with AoP. TakeOvers are their stage, but SAnitY ruined that. And now they’ll pay! However, Undisputed Era may want to think before they speak, as SAnitY gets their contractual NXT Tag Team Championship rematch next week! Will things come crumbling down for the trio that vowed to #ShockTheSystem?

 

Exclusive backstage interview with Velveteen Dream.

The Patrick Clark Experience may not have fulfilled his promise of a 30-seconds-or-less knockout victory, but he still won against Kassius Ohno to kick off TakeOver. Does he feel he underestimated Ohno given it took longer than he said? Dream knows what he said, and Ohno knows what Dream said, which is why Ohno knocked Dream’s mouth guard out. But in the end, the NXT Universe knows what his trunks say: Dream Over. Good talk.

 

TM61 VS The Ealy Brothers!

Shane Thorne & Nick Miller make their anticipated return to NXT’s Tag Team Division! Can The Mighty continue to prove that #TheMightyDon’tKneel?

Miller starts against Uriel, as noted by how the tattoo is on Uriel’s left arm. The bell rings and Uriel knees and clubs Miller to a corner. Miller slips out and chops back to put Uriel in TM’s corner. Thorne tags in and TM61 double whips to double chop him down. Then together they hit the standing moonsault and fist drop. Uriel gets out of the ring and regroups with his twin, Gabriel. Gabriel moves to enter but Miller dropkicks him back out. Miller then holds the rope down for Thorne to FLY!

The Mighty are fired up, as is Philadelphia, and Thorne gets Uriel back in before tagging Miller. The fans chant “T M 6 1!” while Miller whips Thorne in for a corner clothesline, then Miller runs in to give one of his own. Miller keeps on Uriel with forearm strikes, but then the referee backs him up. In that opening, the Ealy Brothers pull some Twin Magic! Gabriel is the one that boots Miller down! Thorne protests but the referee can’t tell the difference. Gabriel rocks Miller with a right hand then officially tags Uriel back in. The Ealy Brothers each hit a corner clothesline then Gabriel hits Thorne with a cheap shot. They return to Miller for a double hair-pull mat slam. Cover from the real Gabriel, TWO. The Ealy Brothers are annoyed but Gabriel keeps on Miller with a clubbing forearm. Miller ends up in the Ealy corner but then fights out. He heads for his corner but Gabriel sends him back to the Ealy corner, but Miller still fights out with a big lariat! Tag to Thorne, who rallies on the Ealys! The fans fire up as he gives a running European Uppercut to Gabriel, then dodges Uriel to send him into his brother. Thorne goes corner to corner, and sandwiches both Ealys with a running calf kick!

Thorne keeps moving, BIG cannonball on Uriel! Gabriel returns, but Thorne is ready, he ducks the punch to then hit a saido suplex! Tag to Miller, Miller climbs up, for a BIG Moonsault!

Cover, but Uriel breaks the cover. Thorne dropkicks Uriel right out of the ring, then The Mighty bring Gabriel up for Thunder Valley!!

TM61 win! Miller & Thorne are back and perhaps better than ever, can they make their way to the NXT Tag Team Championships?

 

Backstage interview with TM61.

They won their NXT return, and they both know that fans have learned a lot about them thanks to the biographical video packages. What TM61 now is even more than just TM61, they are once again The Mighty, and like always, The Mighty Don’t Kneel! Can TMDK keep impressing the NXT Universe with every match?

 

Exclusive backstage footage of Tommaso Ciampa after his shocking NXT return.

NXT Paparazzi tries to talk with the “Blackheart” Psycho Killer, asking “Why Ciampa Why?” Ciampa will not reply, but his shirt may say it all. “This is My Moment.” Will Ciampa continue to violently make Gargano’s moments his own?

 

Exclusive backstage interview with Andrade Almas and Zelina Vega after the Royal Rumble.

El Idolo blew up the internet when he made a shocking entry into the Men’s Rumble match. The NXT Champion didn’t win, but how does it feel in this “whirlwind weekend” of theirs? Do you not see who you’re talking to? This is “the real” Andrade Almas. He defended the title and entered the Rumble. And El Idolo says this is only the beginning. Not to mention, where is Johnny Wrestling in all this? Nowhere! If a Rumble surprise was just the beginning, what do Almas & Vega have planned for the Road to Wrestlemania?

 

WWE United Kingdom Championship #1 Contenders Match: Tyler Bate VS Roderick Strong!

The inaugural WWE UK Champion wants a way back to the title after the British Bruiserweight turned him away in their last rematch. Will it be a fellow countryman or a Yank that challenges Pete Dunne at a later date?

The bell rings and the two tie up. Strong gets the arm and wristlock, Tyler rolls and spins to pry himself loose and reverse the lock. Tyler flips Strong then rolls to remain in control of the wrist while fans duel. Tyler stands Strong up and whips, but Strong goes up and over to shove Tyler. Things speed up, Tyler drops Strong with a dropkick, then handsprings and tweezes his mustache. He returns to Strong for the fireman’s carry and right into the airplane spin! Around and around but the flight plan isn’t as long as usual. Strong staggers to a corner, Tyler runs in but Strong puts him on the apron. Tyler throws in a shoulder but Strong catches him into a double underhook, and a backbreaker!

Cover, TWO, but Strong keeps focus as he stomps Tyler. He brings Tyler up and bumps him off a buckle before giving him a sharp chop. Strong keeps on Tyler with more chops, Tyler responds so Strong chops him and gives him another backbreaker! Another cover, TWO! Strong drags Tyler up, and gives him another sharp chop, then a stiff kick. Tyler fights back but gets kicked down, then Strong digs in a knee to Tyler’s chin. The fans duel for both men while Tyler endures the “can opener”. He works up to his feet and fights back with body shots, then a headbutt. Tyler runs and crossbodies but Strong catches him! Strong gives Tyler another backbreaker, then throws him into a corner!

Cover, TWO, and Strong grows frustrated. He keeps Tyler down while we go to break.

NXT returns, and Strong brings Tyler up in a chinlock. Tyler fights back and gets free, but Strong hooks an arm and bends Tyler back in a modified Bow ‘n’ Arrow lock!

Tyler endures the stretch, even as Strong gets the chin into it! Strong bends Tyler as deep as he can but fans build to a rally that gives Tyler new life. He slips out, and though Tyler is on his knees, they brawl with stiff shots back and forth. Tyler gives Strong a jawbreaker, but Strong responds with a sharp chop. Bop up, BANG out!

The fans applaud while both men sit down. They then build to a rally as both men stand up. Tyler gives EuroUpper after EuroUpper, then whips but Strong reverses, only for Tyler to run Strong over with a boot! Strong flounders to a corner, Tyler runs in corner to corner, big EuroUpper. They go corner to corner but Strong reverses again. Tyler stops him in place, gives him an enziguri then hops up for a flying knee strike! Delayed German Suplex with bridge, TWO! Now Tyler grows frustrated, but the fans keep dueling with chants. The two men stand up again, Strong blocks the exploder suplex and rocks Tyler with elbows. Strong swings at Tyler again but Tyler catches him in that exploder suplex!

Tyler kip-up to Shooting Star press! Cover, TWO! Tyler gets back up while Strong crawls. He gets to a corner and climbs up, but Strong goes after him. Strong climbs up, but Tyler resists and fights back. Strong falls down, Tyler adjusts, but Strong yanks him off for the cradling backbreaker!

Cover, TWO! But Strong doesn’t slow down, he drags Tyler back up, double underhook but Tyler reverses the bomb into a huricanrana, then rocks Strong with the rolling kick! Strong rests against ropes, boots Tyler back then enziguris him, too. He swings but Tyler ducks and rebounds, but Strong counters the lariat into the full-nelson lift, but Tyler counters that with a crucifix pin! TWO, Strong jumps for the knee but Tyler evades, to then hit the rebound lariat!

Cover, TWO and a half! Tyler cannot believe it, but the fans know “This is Awesome!” They cheer for “NXT! NXT!” as the two men slowly stir. Tyler gets himself up while fans return to declaring “This is Awesome!” He brings Strong up, but his bad back slows him down. Tyler tries the double underhook but his back won’t allow it. Strong trips Tyler up and attempts to roll him for the submission! Tyler twists and flips Strong over, unique cover, TWO! Jumping knee from Strong rocks Tyler, then he gives another in the form of a corner Shining Wizard! Strong shows no signs of slowing as he lifts Tyler for the running mat slam! Philly fires up as Strong fires up! He brings Tyler back up, for a massive End of Heartache!!

Strong wins!! The AMERICAN shall challenge for the United Kingdom Championship! Can he break the Bruiserweight and make major WWE history?!

 

My Thoughts:

What a great post-TakeOver NXT! Especially since it felt like NXT figured out how to do this without the recap dragging on. Great post-TakeOver interview promos with both winners and losers, and each one did great to build character and story. As for tonight’s action, all three matches were solid quality and went up with each one, as a match card should. The opening match of Lacey VS Nikki was good, but I actually feel a little bad that Lacey didn’t win to give her “Make NXT Proper Again” some validity; it’s hard to take a Heel with a mission serious when their fail out of the starting gate. Maybe she and Nikki will have more matches and Lacey wins out in the end, but it seems an odd choice to already make this a case of “wrestler establishes a goal, yet never reaches it.” However, TM61 returning to win against the physically impressive Ealy Twins is great, and the fans are already back in love with The Mighty. We know the NXT Tag Team Championships are already back on the line next week, so perhaps if reDRagon finds a way to turn away SAnitY, TM61 can spring right up into contention on the way to ‘Mania. Then we got an amazing main event of Bate VS Strong, with an even more amazing surprise that Strong wins! Gargano was already the first American to challenge Pete Dunne, but Strong is a great choice to be the second. Dunne VS Strong will be just as great, if not better than this match tonight. However, I still don’t see an American winning the UK Championship this early into the title’s short history. The crossover is great, though, just like featuring Bate and Strong in the Cruiserweight Championship tournament, and it’s good signs of further integrating the UK Division into regularly scheduled WWE programming.

My Score: 8.5/10


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Mitchell’s NJPW New Years Golden Series Results & Report! (1/20/22)

So much more than a dash!

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NJPW New Years Golden Series

NJPW starts on a new journey!

NJPW starts a month long journey that will culminate in an IWGP World Heavyweight Championship match of Kazuchika Okada VS Tetsuya Naito!

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Great-O-Khan VS Yuto Nakashima; Khan wins.
  • Hiromu Takahashi VS Ryohei Oiwa; Hiromu wins.
  • Togi Makabe & Tiger Mask VS Taiji Ishimori & Jado; Makabe & Tiger Mask win.
  • Six Man Tag: Tomoaki Honma, Satoshi Kojima & Toru Yano VS Suzuki-Gun; Honma, Kojima & Yano win.
  • Six Man Tag: Master Wato, Ryusuke Taguchi & Hiroyoshi Tenzan VS Suzuki-Gun; Wato, Taguchi & Tenzan wins.
  • 8 Man Tag: Chaos VS House of Torture; Chaos wins.
  • Six Man Tag: Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Yuji Nagata VS Los Ingobernables de Japon; LIJ wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Six Man Tag: Tomoaki Honma, Satoshi Kojima & Toru Yano VS Suzuki-Gun!

It’s a Great Bash Heels reunion as Everyone’s Kokeshi, Bread Style and The Producer are taking on Taka Michinoku, Taichi and the Meanest Man in the World himself! Yano wants to get the KOPW 2022 trophy, but will he even survive Suzuki at the start of this series?

Yano gets impatient during Suzuki-Gun’s entrance, seems he doesn’t hold the same reverence for the theme song as fans do. Suzuki and his team wait for the introductions to finish, and then the attack! Taka is after Kojima, Taichi chokes Honma in a corner, and Suzuki stomps Yano! The bell rings to get this on record, and while Taka throws Kojima out and Suzuki sends Yano out, Taichi keeps on Honma in the corner. Suzuki throws body shots on Yano, then uses his own spray bottle against him! The ref reprimands Taichi and Taichi stops choking Honma to argue with the ref. Honma kicks back but Taichi kicks, and Taichi gets the edge.

Taichi snapmares to KICK Honma in the back. Honma gets up to forearm but Taichi kicks his leg. Forearm, kick, forearm, kick, repeat! Taichi gets the edge again, eggs Honma up, then chokes him! The ref reprimands, Honma breaks free! Taichi tells him to shut it and sobats! Taichi runs, but Honma dodges the boot to run Taichi over! Fans fire up with Honma as he runs, but he waits for Taichi to roll out of the way before he drops the KOKESHI! Kokeshi gets the better of Taichi, and then tags in Yano! Yano fires up and he goes to the corner to untie the pad! Taichi tags out to Suzuki and Yano turns around to face a nightmare!

Suzuki kicks, whips, but Yano holds ropes and dodges the boot to SLAP Suzuki! Yano whips, Suzuki reverses and Yano hits bare buckles! Suzuki boots Yano, snapmares and PENALTY KICKS! Taichi and Taka go after Honma and Kojima while Suzuki drags Yano out. Suzuki sends Yano into railing, then smacks him off the apron! Taichi and Taka do the same to the others, then Suzuki goes looking under the ring. Suzuki drags Yano up, wraps his arm around railing, and cranks on the arm! Suzuki even claws Yano’s forehead and fish hooks the nose! The ring count starts, Suzuki leaves Yano behind and fans rally up.

The count is 10 of 20 and Taichi taunts Yano while he’s on the floor. Taichi stomps Yano, Yano still gets up at 17 and in at 18. Suzuki powers Yano to a cover, TWO! Fans rally, Suzuki tags Taka. Taka stomps Yano, sits him up and digs his knuckles into the forehead! The ref reprimands and counts, Taka lets off with the other hand! The ref reprimands more, counts again, and Taka lets off to scrape his soles on Yano’s face! Taka puts Yano in the corner, throws an uppercut, then tags Taichi. Taichi chokes Yano! The ref reprimands and counts, Taichi stops at 4. Taichi drags Yano up to snapmare and CHOKE! The ref notices and reprimands Taichi again!

Taichi lets off, but then he chokes Yano again! The ref reprimands, so Taichi says that’s not a choke. THIS is a choke! The ref warns Taichi, he lets off, and fans rally up as Taichi drags Yano up by his hair. Taichi feeds Yano to Suzuki’s boot! Suzuki tags in, he stomps away on Yano, then has the leg! Yano has the ropebreak but Taka stands on Yano’s neck! Taichi gets in to intercept Honma and throw him back out! The ref restores order, fans rally up, but Suzuki drags Yano up. Yano rakes eyes! Yano whips Suzuki, Suzuki narrowly avoids hitting bare buckles! Yano runs in but Suzuki dodges and Yano hits buckles!

Suzuki runs, but Yano gets him for an atomic drop! Yano hurries over, fans rally up, hot tag to Kojima! Kojima hits the Suzuki-Gun corner before he stomps Suzuki to a corner. Kojima fires off the MACHINE GUN CHOPS! Suzuki just snarls and turns things around for machine gun forearms! But Kojima turns it back for another round of MACHINE GUN CHOPS! Kojima whips Suzuki into the bare buckles, then hits a forearm smash! Kojima throws Suzuki down, but Suzuki gets right up to kick low! Suzuki brings Kojima out but Kojima fires forearms! But Suzuki knees low! Suzuki wrenches, Kojima kicks, but Suzuki blocks the cutter to a SLEEPER!

Kojima fights up, fights free, but Suzuki talks trash. Kojima CHOPS, so Suzuki CHOPS! Kojima CHOPS, Suzuki CHOPS, it’s a CHOP fight! Kojima gets the edge with forearms, then hits a ROLLING ELBOW! Kojima runs, but Suzuki shoots around to DECK Kojima! Tag to Taka, he DECKS Honma then stomps Kojima. Taka whips Kojima in to the bare buckles! SHINING WIZARD! Taichi adds a corner clothesline, then he runs Kojima to the corner! Snapmare, to a SHINING WIZARD! Cover, Yano and Honma break it! Suzuki and Taichi throw them back out, and Taka drags Kojima up. Taka scoops, but Kojima fights free! COZY CUTTER!

Kojima throws off the armband and runs, but Taka goes the other way to BOOT! And SUPERKICK! Cover, TWO! Kojima survives Taka’s Super K, but Taka runs. Taka ducks the lariat, Kojima throws a low kick but Taka hits a CALF KICK! Kojima still hits COZY LARIAT!! Cover, Great Bash Heels win!

Winners: Tomoaki Honma, Satoshi Kojima & Toru Yano, by pinfall

Suzuki-Gun’s Blue Playmaker fumbles again! And somehow, Yano has cuffed Suzuki to the ropes! Yano dares Suzuki to do something about it, but obviously he can’t without the key. Taichi gets in with his mic stand so the Great Bash Heels take their leave. Will Suzuki be unable to do anything as Yano goes after the KOPW 2022 trophy?

 

Six Man Tag: Master Wato, Ryusuke Taguchi & Hiroyoshi Tenzan VS Suzuki-Gun!

The Way of the Grandmaster joins forces with his mentors as he takes on Douki, Yoshinobu Kanemaru and El Desperado! Wato is rolling towards the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, but will the Rogue Luchador turn the tides?

The teams sort out and Wato steps up to start against Desperado. Fans rally for this IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship teaser, but Desperado trips Wato. Desperado runs, Wato stays low, but Desperado steps on him! Desperado stands Wato up to CHOP, then whips him to ropes. Wato holds ropes, Desperado runs in but is tossed out! Wato runs to FLY! Direct hit with the tope conjilo! Fans fire up as Wato puts Desperado in, covers, TWO! Desperado sits up, Wato KICKS and KICKS and KICKS! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, Wato tags Taguchi. They drag Desperado up, whips, double drop toeholds and double basement dropkicks! Taguchi covers, TWO!

Fans rally, Taguchi throws point blank hip attacks! Desperado gets up but Taguchi bops him again and again and again! Taguchi winds up to BOP Desperado into the corner! Tag to Tenzan, he talks trash on Suzuki-Gun while Taguchi digs his boots in. Tenzan tops it off with a stomp, then a headbutt. Tenzan fires off Mongolian Chops on Desperado in the corner, and fans rally as Tenzan headbutts Desperado down. Tenzan whips corner to corner and hits a corner clothesline! Fans fire up as Tenzan calls his shot, and hits a TENZAN BRAINBSUTER! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, Tenzan ROCKS Desperado and kicks him at the ropes.

Tenzan whips, Desperado reverses, and Douki trips Tenzan! Douki drags Tenzan out and rams him into railing while Desperado blasts the corner! Kanemaru goes around the way to go after Taguchi! Desperado goes out to bring Wato up and ROCK him with an elbow! Douki chokes Tenzan with his metal pipe! The ref tries to restore order but Desperado whips Wato into railing! Kanemaru does the same to Taguchi! Douki keeps choking Tenzan, Kanemaru returns to the corner and Desperado tags him in. Douki sends Tenzan in, Kanemaru sits Tenzan up to throw an elbow into his head. Kanemaru then runs to basement dropkick! Cover, TWO!

Kanemaru stomps Tenzan, drags him up and elbows him on the neck! Tenzan fires up! Kanemaru throws hands, then rakes eyes! Tag to Douki, Douki snapmares Tenzan and runs to DOUBLE STOMP! Cover, TWO! Douki reels Tenzan into a grounded cobra twist! Tenzan endures, grabs at Douki’s head and powers out. Douki stomps Tenzan, feeds him to Kanemaru’s boot, then tags Kanemaru in. Tenzan kicks Douki but gets mugged! Kanemaru rakes eyes, he and Douki whip Tenzan to the open corner! Douki runs in but Tenzan runs him over! Kanemaru kicks low, runs, but into a MOUNTAIN BOMB! Fans fire up while everyone is down!

Tenzan crawls, hot tag to Taguchi! Taguchi runs at the ropes to give Kanemaru a hip attack! Then he runs to give Douki a hip attack! Then back to Kanemaru, then back to Douki! Taguchi slides to apron GAMANGIRI Kanemaru back in! Fans rally, Taguchi springboards, MISSILE HIP! Cover, TWO! Taguchi kips up and fans rally as he calls upon the powers of Strong Style! “ORYA~!” But Kanemaru dropkicks the legs out! Kanemaru gets a leg to SMASH the knee into the mat! Then steps through, but Taguchi KICKS Kanemaru away! Taguchi runs, but Kanemaru counters the hip attack with an atomic drop!

Kanemaru hits an ENZIGURI, but Taguchi ENZIGURIS back! Both men are down and fans fire up! Kanemaru and Taguchi crawl, hot tags to Wato and Desperado! Wato BOOTS, Desperado CHOPS! Wato KICKS, and KICKS, and KCIKS, but Desperado blocks to spin Wato, but Wato fights the back suplex! Wato then runs, but Desperado goes the other way to SPEAR! Desperado gets Wato up for a BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, Desperado stomps away on Wato, then drags Wato by a leg. Wato kicks Desperado away with the free leg, then gets up to kick, kick and sobat into a front kick, then SUPERKICK! Cover, TWO!

Wato grits his teeth and fans rally as he drags Desperado up. Desperado resists the Mouse Trap, spins around and rakes the eyes! But Wato kicks and whips, only for Desperado to reverse and SPINEBUSTER! Fans fire up while both men are down! Desperado tags Douki in and he hits Wato with a corner clothesline. Douki runs, Wato gets around but Douki fights the waistlock. Douki goes to run but Wato reels him in. Douki breaks free with his leg, mule kicks and ENZIGURIS! Wato wobbles, Douki reels him in, DDT! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, Douki drags Wato up and torture racks, for a swing, but Wato slips out!

Douki knees low, runs, but into Wato’s SCREW HIGH KICK! Fans rally up, Taguchi runs in to knock Desperado and Kanemaru down while Tenzan stomps Douki! Wato whips Douki to the corner, then runs in to back elbow. Tenzan adds a clothesline, Taguchi hits a hip attack! Double whip feed to Wato’s scoop, T T D! Cover, Desperado and Kanemaru break it! Taguchi and Tenzan go after them, throw them out, and Wato fires up! Wato goes to the corner, climbs up top, R P P FLOP! Douki Oklahoma Rolls, TWO! La Magistrol, TWO! Wato gets up but Douki HELL STABS! But Wato fires up!

Douki still dodges the roundhouse, Gory Especials, but Wato sunset flips! TWO!! Wato has Douki caught in a BUTTERFLY STRETCH! Douki endures, but he taps! Wato and team win!

Winners: Master Wato, Ryusuke Taguchi & Hiroyoshi Tenzan, by pinfall

The Way of the Grandmaster is victorious, holds on a little longer, but then lets off as Desperado storms back in. Desperado swipes at Wato but Taguchi and Tenzan back him up. Desperado still pie faces Wato, Wato gives it back, and then things turn to hair pulling and mask pulling. The ref tries to keep the peace but it takes Taguchi and Tenzan to break this up. They assure their young ward that waiting for the title match will be worth it. Wato and Desperado are on a collision course, will the Rogue Luchador survive the rising tide?

 

8 Man Tag: Chaos VS House of Torture!

Hirooki Goto, Yoshi-Hashi, Tomohiro Ishii & Yoh are far from through with Evil, Yujiro Takahashi, Dick Togo & Sho! Will Chaos strike back for WrestleKingdom 16? Or will Darkness Fall again?

The House of Torture Low Sweet, but Chaos attacks first! Yoh is after Sho, Hashi has Yujiro, Goto has Dick and Ishii has Evil! Yoh keeps Sho in while Goto, Hashi and Ishii throw the others out, and the bell rings to get this on record. Ishii CHOPS Evil, Hashi CLUBS Yujiro, Yoh stomps away on Sho, and Goto POSTS Dick! Yoh drags Sho up, but Sho bends Yoh’s fingers! Sho CLUBS the arm, headlocks, but Yoh powers out, only for Sho to pull hair! Sho headlocks, Yoh throws body shots and powers out. Things speed up, Yoh keeps things moving to drop toehold and basement dropkick! Fans fire up and Yoh tags Hashi.

Hashi and Goto get in, they and Yoh hammer Sho down! Yujiro gets in but he gets hammered, too! Evil thinks about it but he stays away. Dick does, too, but Ishii throws Dick in! All four Chaos members surround Dick, but then Dick plays dead! That doesn’t stop them from dragging Dick up and hammering him! Fans fire up as Chaos controls the ring and Evil is furious. Hashi drags Sho out from the corner, CLUBS him and CHOPS him! Hashi brings Sho around, bumps him off buckles, then digs his boot in. Ishii and Goto add on, the ref reprimands and counts, and they all let off at 4. Hashi drags Sho back up but Sho bends the fingers!

Sho whips Hashi to the House of Torture corner, and tada! Evil removes the blue buckle pad! Hashi hits bare steel, Sho hits Yoh off the apron! Sho also knows Goto and Ishii down, Dick chokes Hashi at the ropes, Evil SMACKS Ishii with the blue buckle pad! The ref is busy with everyone else, Dick digs his boots into Hashi. Sho then digs his boots into Hashi while Evil stands on Ishii. Dick tags in, he drags Hashi up to throw hands. Dick drags Hashi up to CLUB him down, then brings him around to snapmare. Dick runs to drop the fist! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up while the House protests. Evil tags in, he drags Hashi up to wrench and wrench and wrench.

Evil whips Hashi into the bare buckles! Hashi staggers and falls, Ishii runs in but he’s send into bare buckles! Evil grins, Sho keeps the ref busy with Ishii and Evil claws Hashi’s eyes! Yujiro tags in, he talks some trash but Hashi throws body shots. Yujiro CLUBS Hashi, snapmares him then runs to basement BOOT! Cover, Yoh breaks it! Yujiro hits Yoh back and sends him out. Sho PENALTY KICKS Yoh from the apron! Yujiro drags Hashi up, but Hashi fires off forearms! Yujiro knees low, puts Hashi on the ropes, and runs but blocks Hashi’s boot! Yujiro throws Hashi down to run and basement boot!

Yujiro drags Hashi back up, fisherman, but Hashi fights free to suplex! Fans fire up while both men are down! Hashi and Yujiro crawl, hot tag to Goto! Goto rallies on the House, but Yujiro kicks low. Yujiro runs, but gets run over! Goto fires off forearms, whips Yujiro to a corner, then runs in to MURAMASA! And BULLDOG! Cover, TWO! Goto drags Yujiro back up but Yujiro breaks free, only to swing into a suplex! Yujiro fights that off by BITING Goto’s hand! The ref reprimands, Yujiro whips but Goto reveres and fireman’s carries! Yujiro slips off, Goto elbows him but Yujiro throws a forearm. Goto forearms back then whips.

Yujiro holds ropes, dodges Goto, and Evil hooks a foot! Yujiro BOOTS Goto down! Tag to Evil, and he has the ref watch Ishii. Evil and Yujiro double whip, but Goto DECKS Evil! DISCUS for Yujiro! Evil kicks and runs but Goto follows to LARIAT! Fans fire up while both men are down! Goto crawls over, hot tag to Ishii! The Stone Pitbull runs in to clothesline the King of Darkness! Evil reverses the whip, kicks and runs but gets run over! Ishii snarls, runs in and clotheslines Evil at the ropes! Ishii whips, Evil reverses, and Sho trips Ishii! Evil runs, but Yoh trips him! Yoh and Sho get in, Yoh dropkicks Sho down!

Evil runs, Yoh feeds him to Ishii’s forearm! Yoh dropkicks, Ishii GERMAN SUPLEXES! Yoh PLANCHAS to take Sho out! Fans fire up, Ishii runs, but Yujiro is there with his pimp cane! Evil waistlocks, Ishii fights the lift, but he runs into Dick’s cheap shot! Evil trips Ishii and gets the legs, SCORPION DEATHLOCK! Fans rally and Yujiro keeps Hashi out but Ishii endures. Ishii fights his way over, ROPEBREAK! Dick tries to make Ishii let go, but Ishii has an iron grip! Dick tags in and stomps away on Ishii! The ref reprimands and counts Evil, Evil lets off at 4. Fans rally for Ishii but Dick keeps stomping. Dick talks trash and kicks Ishii around but fans rally harder.

Dick drags Ishii up, eggs him on, and Ishii reels back, but Dick pokes him in the eye! Dick whips, gets a sleeper, but Ishii powers up. Dick blocks the back suplex with punches, Sho blasts the Chaos corner! The House whips Ishii to a corner, Dick runs in to back elbow! Sho runs in to clothesline, Yujiro runs in to boot! Evil hits a clothesline and FISHERMAN BUSTER! Dick covers, TWO! Fans fire up, but Yujiro distracts the ref and Dick uses the SPOILER CHOKER! Sho has his wrench, but Hashi SUPERKICKS him down! Dick runs at Hashi but Hashi DECKS him! Yujiro kicks Hashi and runs, but into a LARIAT!

Evil returns, kicks Hashi and rakes the eyes! Goto runs in, Evil waistlocks, but Goto ducks for the HIDDEN FLASH SUPERKICK! Fans fire up, Goto and Hashi glare at Dick but he wants them to take it easy. But Yoh is there, too! Yoh EuroUppers, Goto fireman’s carries, Yoh and Hashi DOUBLE SUPERKICK into the USHIGOROSHI! Ishii adds a SLIDING LARIAT! Then Ishii gets Dick up for the BRAINBUSTER!! Cover, Chaos wins!

Winners: Chaos, by pinfall

Direct Drive, Fierce Warrior, Head Hunter and Stone Pitbull combine to break the Spoiler! And they add insult to injury by stomping Dick and throwing him out! Is the House of Torture going to be demolished and lose the NEVER Openweight titles? Or can they find a way to survive Chaos?

 

Six Man Tag: Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Yuji Nagata VS Los Ingobernables de Japon!

The Rainmaker is IWGP World Heavyweight Champion and The Ace is IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion. But they have Tetsuya Naito and Sanada coming for their gold! Will the dream team and Blue Justice stand tall? Or will Uncontrollable Charisma, Cold Skull and Rampaging Dragon make this golden series tranquilo?

Tanahashi shows off the muscles and fans applaud. The teams sort out, LIJ fist bumps, and Sanada starts against Tanahashi. Fans rally for this US title preview as the two circle. “LET’S GO, ACE!” “SA-NA-DA!” They tie up, Sanada waistlocks but Tanahashi switches. Sanada wrenches but Tanahashi drops to get a leg pick. Tanahashi floats to a facelock but Sanada wrenches out. Tanahashi arm-drags but Sanada drags Tanahashi back down. Sanada keeps on the arm, Tanahashi fights up, but Sanada wrenches. Tanahashi wrenches back and headlocks. Tanahashi thrashes the headlock, Sanada powers up and pries at the hold, but Tanahashi clamps it on tighter.

Sanada endures the grind and throws body shots. Sanada powers up but can’t power out as Tanahashi holds tight. Sanada powers out the back, headlocks Tanahashi in return, and holds on tight as Tanahashi tries to power out. Fans rally up, Tanahashi powers up but Sanada hits a headlock takeover. Tanahashi headscissors, Sanada kips free but roles reverse as Tanahashi hits a headlock takeover and Sanada headscissors. Tanahashi kips free, but then roles switch back the other way as Sanada hits a headlock takeover and Tanahashi headscissors. Sanada kips free, roles reverse again, but Sanada holds tight as Tanahashi tries to kip up.

Fans cheer for the technical exchange, but Tanahashi moves around. Tanahashi headstands and pops free to then get a headlock. Sanada headscissors, Tanahashi kips free, and the two clinch. Tanahashi gets the headlock and the takeover, but Sanada headscissors again. Sanada holds tight again, but Tanahashi turns Sanada over and pops out to have the legs in a figure four. Tanahashi then floats to a headlock, but Sanada fights up to his feet. Tanahashi grinds the headlock, but Sanada wrenches out. They fight for control, and fans fire up as the hold starts to tip one way or another! Sanada gets the headlock takeover, but Tanahashi headscissors, and now Tanahashi holds on tight!

Sanada kicks around, but Tanahashi puts on more pressure. Sanada keeps kicking, turns and headstands but Tanahashi works to keep him down. Sanada hops and hops and handsprings free! Fans cheer the technical exchange as the two stand off. Tanahashi even air guitars. Tanahashi throws it to Sanada, and fans cheer for Sanada to try. Sanada strums it a couple times, then gives it to Red Shoes. Red Shoes carefully sets it aside, and Okada tags in. Sanada backs off and Naito tags in. Fans rally up again, “O-KA-DA!” “NA-I-TO!” and the two tie up. They go around, Naito puts Okada on ropes, but Okada turns things around.

Naito turns it back around, lets off slowly, and then pats Okada on the shoulder. But then Naito arm-drags Okada, only for Okada to get up before Naito can rush over. Fans cheer as the two reset and circle again. they tie up, Naito gets a leg, and then turns it into a cradle! ONE, they move around, ONE, and Okada gets a lateral press. Naito keeps his shoulders up, so Okada lets off slowly, and then scrambles for a waistlock. Naito rolls to get a headlock and he grinds Okada down. Okada fights up, powers Naito to ropes, and Red Shoes calls the ropebreak. Okada lets off slowly, and he doesn’t even fake the chop! Fans cheer as Okada takes Naito seriously.

Okada backs away to tag in Nagata, and fans rally for Blue Justice. Naito tags Takagi and now fans cheer as Blue Justice circles with the Rampaging Dragon. They both fire up, tie up, Nagata headlocks but Takagi powers out and the two ram shoulders! Neither falls, Nagata eggs Takagi on and Takagi runs, to RAM Nagata. Nagata stays up, they each egg the other on to run, so Takagi kicks and whips. Nagata reverses, BOOTS, then snapmares and KICKS! Takagi gets up and eggs Nagata on! Nagata KICKS and KICKS and KICKS Takagi to the corner! Nagata gets Takagi up, whips him corner to corner, but Takagi reverses.

Sanada runs in and back elbows Nagata! He sets Nagata up for Takagi’s corner clothesline! Takagi throws Nagata down, Naito and Sanada double basement dropkick him! Takagi knocks Tanahashi and Okada off the apron and fans rally as LIJ controls the ring! Takagi drags Nagata up, suplexes high and hard, then covers, TWO! Takagi drags Nagata up, Nagata blocks the back suplex with elbows, then he fires elbows. Takagi fires back, and it’s a brawl! Fans rally, Takagi throws more forearms but Nagata KICKS and KICKS and KICKS! Takagi blocks a kick to CLUB the leg! But he runs into an EXPLODER!

Fans rally while both men are down. Nagata tags in Tanahashi! Tanahashi fires off on Takagi, whips, but Takagi reverses, only for Tanahashi to FLYING FOREARM! Tanahashi decks Naito and Sanada, dodges Takagi and dropkicks a leg out! Then he gives Takagi a DRAGON SCREW! Fans fire up with the Ace as he runs at Takagi. Takagi ducks the slingblade but Tanahashi denies the suplex. But Takagi ELBOWs, JABS, and YUKON feints to DDT! Hot tag to Sanada! Sanada rallies on Tanahashi, arm-drag and back suplex BACKBREAKER! Tanahashi bails out, Sanada PLANCHAS! Fans fire up and Sanada encourages them to get louder.

Sanada puts Tanahashi in the ring, covers, TWO! Fans rally up, “SA-NA-DA!” “LET’S GO, ACE!” Sanada fireman’s carries, but Tanahashi fights free. Sanada ducks the shotei to steal the SHOTEI! Sanada fires off forearms, but Tanahashi ducks the rolling elbow to a SLEEPER! Then a DRAGON SLEEPER! But Sanada fights it to a dragon sleeper of his own! Tanahashi fights through to TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Tanahashi holds on to drag Sanada up, but Sanada suplexes and puts Tanahashi on the ropes. Tanahashi kicks away to hit TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Fans fire up while both men are down! Hot tag to Okada!

Okada drags Sanada up, fires off forearms, then whips. Sanada reverses, but Okada CLOBBERS him with an elbow! Okada glares at Naito but he stays on the outside. Okada whips Sanada corner to corner but Sanada dropkicks Okada’s legs out! Okada grabs at Sanada but Sanada still tags Naito in! Naito fires off on Okada, whips him to ropes, then hip tosses for the basement dropkick! Naito whips Okada to a corner, ROCKET KICK! Leg sweep, COMBINACION CABRON! Takagi DECKS Nagata, Naito puts Okada up top. Naito climbs, SUPER STEINER! Fans fire up as Okada flounders. Naito runs in, CORRIENDO SHIKI- MONEY CLIP!

Okada squeezes tight but Naito endures! Naito powers Okada into buckles and is free! Naito runs in, but into the Alabama lift and REVERSE NECKBREAKER! Fans rally up, Okada drags Naito up. Okada gut wrenches but Naito blocks! Naito CLUBS Okada, Okada uppercuts! Okada whips, Naito jumps, but into a waistlock! Okada ripcords, Naito dodges, but Okada DROPKICKS! Ripcord, but Naito ducks to ENZIGURI! Okada staggers, Naito whips, but Okada reverses. Naito reverses back and uses the ropes, TORNADO DDT! Both men are down and fans fire up again! Hot tag to Nagata! Nagata storms up to Naito and KICKS and KICKS and KICKS!

Nagata has Naito in a corner and whips him corner to corner. Nagata runs in to BOOT! Naito fights the exploder off, but Nagata ROCKS him with a forearm! BUTTERFLY SUPLEX! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up, “NA-GA-TA!” “NA-I-TO!” Nagata drags Naito up, suplexes, but Naito fights free. Naito wrenches to throw back elbow after back elbow! But Nagata hits a kitchen sink knee! Nagata drags Naito back up, suplexes, uno amigo! Another suplex, dos amigos! Nagata gets Naito up again, THREE AMIGOS! Cover, TWO!! But Nagata clamps on the NAGATA LOCK II! Tanahashi DECKS Takagi while Naito endures!

Takagi gets past Tanahashi to CLUB Nagata, but then Okada CLUBS Takagi! But Takagi spins Okada around, suplex SLAM! Tanahashi returns, Takagi dodges the basement dropkick to SLIDING LARIAT! Nagata is up, Takagi hits an ELBOW! JAB! YUKON LARIAT! Fans fire up as LIJ regroups! Sanada and Takagi whip him to a corner, Sanada uppercuts, Takagi clotheslines and Naito atomic drops! PUMPING BOMBER! Rolling jackknife! TWO!?! Nagata escapes, but Sanada and Takagi keep Okada and Tanahashi down on the outside. Naito wrenches but Nagata fights with back hands. Nagata BOOTS then ENZIGURIS!

Fans fire up as Nagata whips, but Naito hits FLYING FOREARMS! Naito gets Nagata up, wrenches through, DESTINO!! Cover, LIJ wins!

Winners: Los Ingobernables de Japon, by pinfall

Blue Justice falls as the ungovernables stand tall! Takagi gets Naito water while Sanada stares down with Tanahashi. Will the Cold Skull have a leg up on The Ace going into their US Heavyweight Championship? Or can Tanahashi turn it around in the rest of this Golden Series? Tanahashi, Okada and Nagata leave, so Naito gets the mic. “Beunas noches, Korakuen Hall! It might be awhile, but please listen to what I have to say. Last February, I was opposed to the unification of the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental titles. I worked to try to stop it. But I lost my challenge to Ibushi and now we have the IWGP World title.”

Naito will be honest, he has no attachment to the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship. So why is he challenging for this title? He has three reasons: first, he wants to take on the top guy in NJPW, and that is Okada; second, he wants to beat the top guy in NJPW; third, he wants to be in the Tokyo Dome main event next year, January 4th, 2023. Fans cheer all those reasons. Naito says that, “For nobody’s benefit other than my own, I will go for the win in Sapporo.” Now, today obviously begins a new series, and there will be several warm-ups between Naito and Okada.

“Who will have the title after February 20th? Everyone, speculate, enjoy, and of course, until the title match in Sapporo on February 20… TRANQUILO! Assen na yo!” Now, they’ll see everyone here back tomorrow, but they’ll end the kickoff the only proper way they can. “Bushi, Sanada, Hiromu, Takagi, y Naito. Nosotros Los! Ingoberrrrrrnables! DE! JA! PON!” The New Years Golden Series has only just begun, but will it end with Naito taking the world title from the Rainmaker?


My Thoughts:

A great event here, even though I did skip the first few matches. The very first two were against Young Lions so of course Khan and Hiromu were winning. But I did skim through, it was pretty neat for Hiromu to wrestle in his old Kamaitachi mask just to make a point about the Young Lion not being ready. I also skipped Togi Makabe & Tiger Mask VS Taiji & Jado cuz Jado is basically one step up from Young Lion and he ended up taking the loss. But there were a lot of great tag matches here to get momentum going from after WrestleKingdom 16. Suzuki-Gun losing both Six Man Tags was surprising, but it gives Yano some momentum going towards a KOPW match with Suzuki, and I liked seeing some edge in Wato as he gets ready to face Desperado.

Chaos VS House of Torture was on par with the usual NJPW 8 Man. Chaos winning is also a good way to give them momentum as we’re going to get WrestleKingdom rematches for the NEVER Openweight singles and Six Man titles. I don’t know if Evil is only going to be Mr. NEVER for only a couple months, but at this point, he might as well keep that going until Jay White returns and we can finally get Bullet Club Civil War take two going. Then the Six Man main event was really good, we got to see everybody face everybody, and LIJ gets momentum for their coming title matches.

Naito has a good promo to frame his role in the IWGP World title story, but he himself said there will be a lot of these Six Man tune-ups. I probably won’t worry about covering these next few dates, they’re going to be VOD only anyway and those always seem to take forever to show up. I’ve already skimmed through the coming Golden Series dates, and it’s rather fitting that February 7th is the next one NJPW is advertising for livestream. That’s the one I’m thinking of waiting for, and then it’s all the February events, even just in part like I did here.

My Score: 8.5/10


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Andrew’s IMPACT Results & Match Ratings: 1.20.2022

We’re coming to the end of their first set of tapings. So I wonder what IMPACT has cooked up since the Florida tapings are supposed to have a few Bullet Club favorites. Let’s find out!

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We’re coming to the end of their first set of tapings. So I wonder what IMPACT has cooked up since the Florida tapings are supposed to have a few Bullet Club favorites. Let’s find out!

Another week with Tom Hannifan as the play by play, and he just sounds right. We’ve got Charlie Haas’ first match in IMPACT, Tasha Steelz versus Chelsea Green and Steve Maclin is aiming for the ROH Heavyweight Title.

There should be other things, but those take most of the initial attention. Let’s see what else goes on!

Ratings:

  • Tasha Steelz w/Savannah Evans vs Chelsea Green: Tasha wins via Crucifix Bomb – **
  • The Influence (Tenille Dashwood & Madison Rayne) w/Kaleb vs Decay (Havok & Rosemary): Influence wins via Kiss Kiss Bang Bang – *
  • The Learning Tree (Zicky Dice & VSK) w/Brian Myers vs Massive Cassidy: Cassidy wins via BQE – SQUASH
  • ROH Heavyweight Title: Steve Maclin vs Jonathan Gresham (c): Gresham retains via Rope Assisted Figure Four – *** ½
  • Doc Gallow & Joe Doering w/Karl Anderson & VBD vs Heath & Rhino: Gallows & Doering win via Double Chokeslam – **
  • Charlie Haas vs Josh Alexander: Alexander wins via Ankle Lock w/Grapevine – *** ¼

Results:

Tasha Steelz w/Savannah Evans vs Chelsea Green

Tasha is jawing with the crowd as the bell rings, Chelsea goes right at her and hits the Shotgun Dropkick as Tasha is turning to face her opponent. Chelsea stays on the offensive, baits Tasha to the apron, drops her on her face, Curb Stomp, attempt at an Unprettier…but no counter into a Codebreaker from Tasa and we see Chelsea’s momentum slow down a little.

After some back and forth with Tasha having a lot of advantage, Chelsea makes her comeback. Chelsea hits a middle rope Crossbody but Tasha continues to rotate and rolls it into a pin attempt. Chelsea kicks out and pulls off a Package Flatliner, but only for a near fall. Chelsea goes to grab Tasha, Tasha kicks her to stun her, looks to get caught in a Crucifix, but turns it into a Crucifix Bomb. Tasha picks up the win with the Crucifix Bomb again.

After the win, Tasha cuts a promo that doesn’t seem to really fit. Trying to portray herself as a savage, from the wrong side of town, but she’s a smack talking 5 foot nothing brat. So the second half of the promo works a lot better than the first. She also took some shots at WWE’s women’s division being Barbie Dolls, NWA, Nick Aldis and then brought the son into the mix, so of course that got Mickie fired up. Things look bad for Mickie, but Chelsea Green manages to recover and make the save for Mickie.

Video Package courtesy of Ring of Honor showcasing some of Charlie Haas’ work with Shelton Benjamin and CM Punk involved in certain clips.

The Influence (Tenille Dashwood & Madison Rayne) w/Kaleb vs Decay (Havok & Rosemary)

The Influence attack while Havok and Rosemary are distracted by Kaleb. Rosemary clutches her shoulder after the mugging, the doctors throw up the X and tell her she can’t go. Rosemary asks if Havok can go, the doctor says yes, so Rosemary tells Havok to go destroy the Influence.

Havok put up a valiant fight but the heels prevail! Cross Rayne into a Spotlight Kick into…whatever their tandem finish is called. I’m going to call it Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

The IInspiration have a reactionary video promo which is pretty solid. I do enjoy their work. Hopefully their match ends up being pretty solid because I’d like to see The IInspiration start getting over their abilities in the ring as much as their abilities on the mic.

The Learning Tree (Zicky Dice & VSK) w/Brian Myers vs Massive Cassidy

The highlight of this match is Hannifan and Myers on commentary. There was a like 4 second spot where the Learning Tree landed a move, but then Cassidy kills them. So we’re in and out, double Pinfall murder happened.

Post-Match the Massive one goes on his search for Moose, D’Amore stops him in the back and says he’s got a title shot coming. Then we see the OGK ROH invaders have tickets this time around, and I’m going to be sick saying this…but Matt Taven is pretty great in this segment. Jesus Christ, I popped for Taven. Shoot me now.

ROH Heavyweight Title: Steve Maclin vs Jonathan Gresham (c)

Early on it looked like Gresham was toying with Maclin as he forced early rope breaks, but Maclin returned the forced rope breaks in kind. Maclin eventually started coming into his own when he utilized the one closed fist warning rule. Maclin really worked over Gresham’s back after a Butterfly Backbreaker, Boston Crab, Camel Clutch, and a lot of back work.

Gresham was really on the back foot until he managed to force Maclin to use his final rope break. Then we saw Gresham hyper extend Maclin’s knee, and keeps working on the knee. It all made sense as we saw Gresham utilize the Figure Four for the victory. It was entwined in the ropes, Gresham used it for leverage and Maclin’s will power gave out as he couldn’t get his shoulders up fast enough and succumbed to the three count.

IMPACTPlus Flashback Moment: No Surrender 2009: Sarita & Taylor Wilde vs The Beautiful People – Innaugural TNA Knockouts Tag Team Championship Match

Doc Gallow & Joe Doering w/Karl Anderson & VBD vs Heath & Rhino

So Good Brothers and VBD looked really sloppy. Gallows got rocked by Rhino, Doering was caught off guard often by Heath and there was just a ton of odd moments where it looked like they tried to regroup and until we saw the extra members get involved, Heath and Rhino dominated the legitimate tag team aspects.

I’m wondering exactly how much of a shift the Guerrillas of Destiny will have in the tag scene and if we’ll need to see the Good Brother and VBD implode first before we get the Bullet Club foundation match.

Charlie Haas vs Josh Alexander

They start with a classic grounded start with headlocks, hammerlocks, leg picks and positioning advantages. Alexander managed to take some early momentum before the commercial break, but when we come back we see Haas pop over out of the corner, striking Alexander’s knee and starts focusing a body part. A very methodical attack on knee comes off far more aggressive and cruel than Haas usually goes for. Haas locks in the Indian Deathlock, and they begin slugging at each other. The hold breaks, Alexander goes for the Finlay Roll but Haas counters into a Crucifix Cradle for 2.

Alexander locks in the German Suplex, hits 2, obviously going for 3 to make a point, but Haas blocks the third. Haas pulls off 2, before Alexander blocks and hits one more German before Haas grabs the ropes, feeds in for a lariat but gets caught in another German Suplex this time with the bridge but only for 2.

Haas manages to charge Alexander in the corner, stumbled a bit but lands in the legs that he’s been aiming for, and then goes back to the other corner and hits the mid-section. Haas looks for a leg pick, Alexander counters into his own Ankle Lock. Charlie tries to counter it a few different ways but Alexander holds on and locks in the Ankle Lock with the Grapevine so Haas taps out.

Things moved a little too quickly, so it was alright but could’ve been better. After the match they shake hands and the ROH invaders hit the ring. Haas, Alexander, Chris Sabin comes in, then Rich Swann and Willie Mack, Heath and Rhino…finally Eddie Edwards hits the ring with a kendo stick and drives the ROH guys out.

 

Overall Score: 6.25/10

I think Maria named the invading stable as Honor No More, so I suppose for like a Pop Punk or Emo band that sounds cool…but it’s a bit dumb for a faction name. Can’t really chant it, the abbreviation is dumb, H.N.M. sounds like a clothing company, but I guess this is them distancing themselves from ROH.

Either way, this was kind of a janky episode. The matches weren’t great, a lot of stories were touched upon but left wide open, and the next major event being No Surrender on Feb. 19th, feels like a lot of time to fill. So maybe it was just a little too redundant, maybe it was also that the general match quality was down to further storyline angles…not sure. This still wasn’t bad, just definitely felt extremely lacking.


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