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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Live Report! (1/16/18)



All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter



  • WWE United States Championship Tournament: Xavier Woods w/ The New Day VS Jinder Mahal w/ The Singh Brothers; Mahal wins and advances to the finals next week tonight on SmackDown.
  • WWE United States Championship Tournament: Mojo Rawley VS Bobby Roode; wins and advances to the finals next week tonight on SmackDown.
  • Six Woman Tag: The Riott Squad VS Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair & Naomi; Riott Squad wins.
  • WWE United States Championship: Bobby Roode VS Jinder Mahal; Roode wins and becomes the new US Champion.


“Awwww LOREDO!” The New Day opens SmackDown!

Clap for your world famous four time champs, and feel the powah~!

Xavier Woods takes to the podium while Loredo chants “New! Day Rocks!” “Tonight, the Freedom of the United States is at stake.” Yo boy Woods takes on who? Who who who? “The self-proclaimed Modern Day MaharrrrrrrrrRRRRRRaja,” Jinder Mahal. Woods will defend the great principles that make America fantastic: Life, Liberty & the Power of Positivity! But one principle we forget is… Pancakes!

America has much in common with a pancake: individually, the ingredients are strong, but together they make for something good, delicious and unifying! That is what THe New Day is about. Remember: A Vote for Me, is a Vote for Three. THe best things come in threes: red, white & blue; three amigos; Home Alone movies, sorta. Mahal hates Home Alone and freedom. Mahal hates Americans! Is that the kind of man we want as US Champion? NO! Therefore, all who oppose Mahal, say nay. NAY! NAY! Neigh? NAY! Therefore, lend Woods your power to defeat Jinder Mahal and become the new W! W! E! U-Nited, States CHAMPION~!!

“Please welcome Sumil & Sanir, The Singh Brothers.”

Please welcome YOUR next United States Champion, Jinder Mahaaaaal~!

WWE United States Championship Tournament: Xavier Woods w/ The New Day VS Jinder Mahal w/ The Singh Brothers!


Both men have held gold in the past, but they still want more! Will it be the Modern Day Maharaja or the PhD in Positivity that moves on to the championship match?

The bell rings, the two circle, Mahal kicks Woods right in the face! He raises his hand while fans boo and jeer, then stands over Woods to talk trash. Mahal brings Woods up and rocks him with a right, then an ax handle. Woods is literally on the ropes as Mahal grinds in a knee. Mahal snapmares and drives in a knee, then a knee drop. Woods fights back with body shots, then runs, only to get run over by a back elbow. Cover, TWO, and the New Day coach Woods back up. Mahal puts him in a half-clutch to stretch him back but fans rally for Woods.

Woods stands up and fights back again, dropkick rocks Mahal back. Woods runs in but gets a back elbow again, and Mahal grins before giving a jumping ax handle. Cover, TWO, Mahal is still focused as we go to break.

SmackDown returns and we find Mahal wrenching Woods’ neck. Mahal has a half-nelson chinbar, but fans rally for Woods. Woods feeds off the “New! Day Rocks!” and gets to his feet. He fights back, jawkbreaker rocks Mahal, mule kick takes out one leg. Mahal stays standing to run Woods over again, cover, TWO. The New Day have faith in Woods, but Mahal keeps on him with heavy hands. Mahal chokes Woods on the ropes again, and backs off at 4 to do the same thing in a corner. Mahal drags Woods out for springboard knee drops and another grinding knee. He stops at 4, the New Day keep the Singh Brothers back. Pancake Attack!

Woods fights back, but Mahal snapmares Woods into a chinlock. The fans chant “We Want Pancakes!” while Woods endures the squeeze. Woods gets up, fights back again, and rocks Mahal with a haymaker. He whips but Mahal grabs ropes, body drop hotshot! Mahal keeps on Woods, Woods gets to the apron, Mahal goes out to put him under the apron skirt and choke Woods with it! The referee stops Mahal, but Mahal keeps going with ax handle chop. Woods falls tot he floor, Mahal goes into the ring to let the count begin. The New Day coach Woods up, he beats the count at 9! Mahal is upon him right away, he brings Woods up but Woods fights back again. He backs Mahal down with furious right hands, then whips corner to corner but is reversed hard into buckles. Mahal stretches Woods back again, to give crossface forearms on top.  Fans rally for Woods once more, Woods feeds off the energy, and gives more body shots. Mahal throat chops, but Woods boots back! Honor Roll meets a knee! COver, TWO! Mahal is furious but Woods is still in it as we go picture in picture.

The New Day work to coach Woods back into this, even as Mahal stalks Woods. Woods fights back again, jabs and chops and chops and chops. Woods whips but is reversed, he kicks Mahal but Mahal lariats him down. Mahal rains down rights, then glares at The New Day. He stretches Woods again, but Woods sits up, so Mahal makes it an abdominal stretch. Fans rally, Woods slips out and hip tosses Mahal down! Jawbreaker from Mahal, and Mahal is again back in control. He taunts the New Day as he rains down more rights, as well as stomps. Woods crawls away, but Mahal is confident he has this in hand. He puts Woods back into the chinlock, then the seated abdominal stretch. The fans haven’t given up, they keep rallying. Woods struggles against Mahal, but Mahal uses his size and strength to keep him down. Woods powers up one more time, but Mahal kicks low. Mahal puts Woods in a corner and hoists him to the top rope. Mahal climbs up as we go back to single picture.

Both men are up on the top rope, Woods fighting back. He punches and headbutts, and Mahal goes down! Woods adjusts, takes aim, and hits a missile dropkick! The New Day and fans rally once more as both men stir. Mahal stands up first, but Woods revives to chop and punch. They brawl back and forth, and Woods gets the advantage. Another throat chop, then a whip, but Mahal misses and Woods is the one who rallies with forearms! Woods whips but is reversed again, Woods slips under for the roaring forearm! He takes aim, corner to corner but put on the apron. He blocks and punches Mahal away, Mahal denies the step-in DDT but takes the enziguri! Woods hurries and hits the Shining Wizard! TWO! The Singh Brothers distract, the New Day run them out of the arena! This leaves Mahal and Woods alone. Woods goes after Mahal, back suplex! He hurries to a corner now, and to the top rope. Tight-rope elbow drop misses! Mahal throws Woods into ropes, Woods is dazed. But Mahal isn’t done there. He calls for his finish, then drags Woods up to his feet. He puts on the cobra clutch, KALAS!! Mahal wins and advances to the finals! Will he truly be our next WWE United States Champion?


Baron Corbin has a message concerning the Royal Rumble.

“There’s a reason I’m called the Lone Wolf.” Corbin is built for the Royal Rumble, and its Every Man For Himself rules. “All I see is a ring full of potential victims and life-changing opportunity hanging in the balance.” Corbin vows this is HIS time to main event Wrestlemania.


Backstage interview with AJ Styles.

The Phenomenal One faces two opponents in his WWE Championship, where it’ll be three on one! Well, no, Styles explains his math. Sami Zayn is one opponent, and Kevin Owens is like two. Especially with that #YEPMovement. How about #NOPE? Sami & Kevin are like the two same people. Sami, Kevin, Kevin, Sami, Kami, Sevin. Wait, Kami & Sevin? He’ll use that from now one. Styles losing to #Kami so they can be Co-Champions makes him sick. But Styles got to this point in hsi career because he has overcome obstacles. He’ll make sure the made-up movement ends at the Royal Rumble. #Kami isn’t just facing anyone, they’re facing the WWE Champion. And SmackDown isn’t the #KamiShow, it’s the House that AJ Styles built. Styles has confidence to spare, will it see him through the Royal Rumble?


The women of SmackDown speak on the inaugural Women’s Royal Rumble match.

The FABULOUS One and inaugural Ms. Money in the Bank promises to make history again. The Queen of Harts is going to use her “cat-like reflexes” to prove she’s the Best there is, the Best there was, and the Best there ever will be. Tamina says that every woman on Raw will fly, when she throws them over the top rope. Lana will not let herself be ridiculed, and will rename it the Ravishing Rumble. Naomi promises all 29 other women will #FeeltheGlow! Ruby Riott is all about chaos, and no one will stop her. Sarah Logan is #KentuckyStrong enough to bring the fight. Liv Morgan is here not for friends, but for history, and #LivForever. The Lass Kicker Becky Lynch was the inaugural SmackDown Women’s Champion, but will be the last woman at the Rumble, aka the Last Woman Standing. Which woman from which show will take history into their hands and win this match’s prestigious premiere?


WWE United States Championship Tournament: Mojo Rawley VS Bobby Roode!

The Modern Day Maharaja already has a spot in the finals, will it be Killer Instinct or the GLORIOUS One joining him?

The bell rings, Roode and Mojo stare down as fans cheer for the GLORIOUS One. They tie up, Mojo powers Roode right down to the mat, then pie-faces him to a corner. Mojo waits for Roode to come back out, they tie up, and Roode puts on a headlock. Roode shifts to a waistlock, then a takedown, and then toys with Mojo before striking the GLORIOUS Pose! Mojo rushes in, but Roode catches him in a headlock. Mojo powers Roode to a corner, breaks then rushes in again. Roode dodges and chops back, Mojo shoves him away, but the two collide. Cover, ONE, so Roode puts Mojo in a headlock. Mojo endures, Roode shifts to block the ropes. They stand up, Roode maintaining the headlock, then shifting to the waistlock. Mojo elbows back and rocks Roode. Mojo whips Roode then goes perpendicular to hit the POUNCE!

Mojo argues with the ref, the official was in his way. He keeps his cool enough to take the frustration out on Roode in a corner. The referee tells Mojo to bring it out so Mojo does, to headbutt Roode. Mojo trash talks Roode, but Roode comes back with kicks and haymakers. Mojo knees low to slow Roode down, then puts him back in that corner. Roode still fights back but takes a stiff body shot. Mojo shoves Roode all the way out and then taunts “Glorious” to get back in. Mojo goes out instead, and POUNCES into Roode, sending him shoulder first into the barriers! The Killer Instinct is real as we go to break.

SmackDown returns, and Mojo puts Roode in a standing abdominal stretch. Fans rally while Mojo hammers fists into Roode’s ribs. Roode endures the hold, pries his way out, and hip-tosses Mojo down. Roode goes for an elbow drop but Mojo dodges, then boots Roode right down! Cover, TWO, but Mojo keeps focus.

“Did I crack a rib, Bobby? Did I?” Mojo stands Roode up for shoulder tackles into the corner, then throws Roode to the mat before pointing to the title belt. He puts Roode into a seated abdominal stretch now, and hammers more fists in. Roode endures again, fans rally again, and Roode stands up but Mojo hits him with body shots. Mojo drags Roode up and whips him into a corner, then gives a corner clothesline. He goes into the three-point stance, and rams his shoulder into Roode again. Mojo goes again, but Roode evades to send Mojo into post! Both men recover, both men stand up, and Roode is the one swinging hands now. He rocks Mojo with haymakers, then whips but is reversed. Roode still rallies with lariats, then fires up as he goes into a corner for a big clothesline, and a neckbreaker! Roode hops up to the second rope, GLORIOUS Blockbuster! Cover, TWO, but Roode keeps focus. Even with his ribs bothering him, Roode grabs Mojo and wants the finish. Mojo counters with a fireman’s carry drop! TWO! Mojo cannot believe that! He’s at a loss for what to do next, so he puts Roode in a corner and bashes him against the buckles again and again. “Glorious, huh?” Mojo runs, but into boots! Roode hops up, jumps over Mojo, SPINEBUSTER! The fans fire up, they feel it coming. GLORIOUS, DDT!

Roode wins! Glorious and tenacious, can Roode keep Mahal from becoming the US Champion? Speaking of, The Singh Brothers attack!! They go right at Roode now that the match is over, doing the dirty work for their Maharaja. They run away before anyone comes to Roode’s aid, but Mahal grins ear to ear. “Next week, I put a GLORIOUS end to your charade on my way to becoming the next United States Champion!” Roode calls for a mic of his own. He responds to Mahal by saying “We don’t have to wait until next week. Why don’t we do this tonight!?” The fans want it just as badly, but Mahal simply grins and says “No!” They do this as planned, so that Roode can have one full week to think how bad he’ll be embarrassed.

However, SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan appears. Bryan also smiles, as he says, “Ladies and gentlemen, we will have the United States Championship match, TONIGHT!!” Loredo responds with “YES YES YES!” Has Mahal stuck his foot in his mouth? Or has Roode bitten off more than he can chew?


Randy Orton speaks on the Royal Rumble.

Most people prefer the calm before the storm, and the quiet to help focus their minds. The Viper, as a two-time winner, instead embraces the chaos and noise. It’s where he is at his best, and why the Rumble is his match. Thirty men for themselves, friends becoming enemies, all for the most coveted prize in the WWE> Orton will become a three-time winner, and he will main event Wrestlemania.


Six Woman Tag: The Riott Squad VS Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair & Naomi!

Ruby Riott, Sarah Logan & Liv Morgan wanted this match after the Squad leader lost to the Lass Kicker. Can #RoyalGlowFire make it a streak this close to the Women’s Rumble match?

Clearly all the women are ready to fight from the get-go. The bell rings and it’s The Queen of Flair to start against #LivForever. The two tie up, Charlotte shoves Liv down then dares her to get back up. Liv does, only to get thrown down again. Charlotte gets the waistlock and then the slam, to a cover, ONE. Charlotte keeps hold of Liv, brings her down again for another cover, TWO. Liv cannot escape, Charlotte whips so she kicks Charlotte back. Liv taunts, Charlotte chops! Charlotte chops some more, Liv screams, Charlotte German Suplexes Liv to the ropes! Liv scrambles and tags Ruby Riott in, but Charlotte is ready. She sweeps the legs, jumps over Ruby’s, then snapmares Ruby into a headscissors. Charlotte throws Ruby around like that a total of three times, then kip-ups to boot Ruby down. Ruby can’t get away, either, Charlotte brings her over for Becky to tag in. The Squad panics as Charlotte chops and Becky gives a European Uppercut. Charlotte gives another chop, Becky clobbers Ruby with a forearm smash, and then Becky tags in Naomi. Naomi runs, sliding clothesline, then tags Becky while Ruby rolls out. Becky takes aim from the apron, then jumps for a flying forearm. The Squad regroup with their leader while we go picture in picture.

Ruby checks her chin while Becky backs off. They go at each other again, Becky puts Ruby in the ring, then denies the tag. Ruby elbows back, runs but Becky throws her out. However, Sarah Logan got the blind tag and comes in, but Becky is ready with back kick and whip. Sarah puts Becky on the apron, Becky knocks her away and then knocks Liv down as she comes over to attack. Sarah pounces on Becky upon reentry then stomps a #KentuckyStrong mudhole into her. She backs off at the referee’s request, then gives Becky one big stomp. Sarah sits Becky down, sliding knee strike! Cover, TWO, Sarah tags Ruby. Ruby becomes a human weapon for the back senton toss! Ruby covers, TWO, so Ruby puts Becky in a chinlock. Becky endures the squeeze, and the thrashing, while fans rally for her and we go single picture.

Fans chant “Let’s go, Becky!” which upsets the Squad. Becky feeds off the energy, but Ruby throws her down by her hair. Tag to Liv, and Liv climbs up as Ruby brings Becky up. Liv prepares her knees, and Ruby throws Becky right into them. Liv then takes that for a tornado facebuster, TWO!

Ms. 201 taunts Becky as she brings her up, but Becky fights back with body shots. Liv shoves, Becky slips under but Liv yanks her down by her hair. Tag to Sarah, she stomps away on Becky before putting on a half-straitjacket clutch. Fans rally again, Becky rolls then arm-drags Sarah off. Sarah is right on her again with the shoulder tackle! “You want out?!” Sarah goes to throw Becky but Becky throws Sarah over the top rope, a la the Royal Rumble. Becky crawls but Sarah scrambles, Sarah knocks Charlotte off the apron. She scoops Becky but Becky slips out, clothesline knocks Sarah down! Both women crawl for their corners, hot tags to Liv and Naomi! Naomi rallies, springboard roundhouse to Liv! Naomi calls for #GlowTime as she kicks away at Liv, then a dropkick! Liv scrambles to a corner and puts Naomi on the apron, Naomi roundhouses her away. Naoim takes aim, springboard crossbody! Sarah breaks the cover, but Charlotte SPEARS Sarah down and out. Naomi grabs Liv, Liv slips out and feeds her to Ruby’s swing kick. Then Liv Code Breaker, the Riott Squad wins! The Women’s Rumble may be Every Woman for Herself, but can teamwork ensure these three make it far in the field of 30?


Backstage interview with The Usos.

The SmackDown Tag Team Champions Jimmy & Jey will defend their titles in a 2-out-of-3 falls match. Do they agree with that decision? They ask back, how did “these two fools” become a team in the first place? Tag Tinder? Gable is playing rebound, Jordan has moved beyond him, but it won’t be the same for Gable. Gable & Benjamin can’t even tell Jimmy & Jey apart! Not that it matters, they’ll know who they are. Welcome to– an ambush from Gable & Benjamin! “Boys, don’t worry. We know exactly who you are.” “Former, champions.”


SmackDown reviews how AJ Styles ended up in a Handicap Championship Match.

The Phenomenal One ended up in the middle of the feud between the #YEPMovement and Shane McMahon, which helped Kevin Owens win a 1v1 match against him. Then, things got “crowded at ringside” as Kevin Owens, Shane McMahon and even Daniel Bryan were present for the main event of Styles VS Sami Zayn. Things grew tenser between Shane and Bryan, and that allowed Sami to pin Styles, too! Styles blew his top and said it might as well be 2v1. Bryan actually agreed to that idea, and there you have it. Will this out-of-control grudge cost the WWE Championship its integrity?


Shinsuke Nakamura speaks on the Royal Rumble.

“Thirty men. One destiny. One winner. Me.” The King of Strong Style is ready to rumble, YAO!


SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon heads to the ring!

Shane O’Mac wants to be present for this important title match main event, and has even banned the Singh Brothers to keep things clean between the finalists!


WWE United States Championship: Bobby Roode VS Jinder Mahal!

Not only will this match happen before the Royal Rumble, it’ll happen tonight! This match is also so important that Daniel Bryan has joined Shane McMahon at ringside.

The bell rings, the two men tie up, but Mahal powers Roode to a corner. Mahal breaks late but clean, and roars at Roode. Roode circles with Mahal, but sees the cheap shot coming. Roode fires haymakers and chops, then chops Mahal in a corner. Mahal hits back at those battered ribs, then stomps on Roode in a corner. The referee has Mahal back off again, Mahal drags Roode up and to another corner. Roode resists and fights back, to then bump Mahal on buckles. Roode goes up for corner punches, getting all ten. He then whips Mahal, but Mahal kicks him away. Mahal runs in but Roode dumps him out. Roode recovers then goes out to pursue. Mahal rams Roode into the LED apron! Then the steel steps ribs first.

Roode clutches his torso while Mahal drags him up, to suplex and gordbuster Roode onto the barriers! The Maharaja has control and the fans boo while we go to break.

SmackDown returns to Mahal bending Roode against a steel post. The referee counts, Mahal lets up, but he then swings Roode right into the post from the apron. Mahal gets in the ring to stop the ring count, then runs to blast Roode off the apron and into the barriers. Fans jeer as Mahal stalks and stomps Roode before putting him in the ring. Mahal goes after the ribs with an abdominal stretch, just like Mojo earlier tonight. Fans cheer for Roode, rally for him, and Roode slips out to punch back. Roode backs Mahal down, then runs, but into a kitchen sink knee! Mahal adds a dropkick, covers, TWO. Mahal keeps his cool, he stomps Roode and goes after the ribs. He places Roode by the ropes, for springboard knee drops. The referee reprimands and counts, Mahal backs off at 4. Roode tries using the ropes for safety, but Mahal brings him away to clobber with haymakers. Roode hits back, jabs and chops, then he runs, but the jumping knee strike brings him down. Cover, TWO, Mahal grows frustrated. He still grins, he has control of Bobby as he stomps away on his gut. Mahal drives a knee into Roode’s back, then stretches him in a half-surfboard. The fans rally again, Roode turns and stands up, but Mahal hits low again. Roode fights back, more punches and chops, but his whip is reversed. Even so, Roode sunset flips over, TWO! Mahal boots Roode! Cover, TWO! Mahal is shocked this time, and furious. He drags Roode around to give him crossface forearms like he did Woods. Mahal gives a running kick to Roode’s ribs, then grinds a knee into the ribs in a corner. The referee keeps reprimanding him but Mahal keeps going after the ribs. Fans boo and jeer, but Mahal doesn’t care. Roode elbows him back, then ducks the swing to clothesline Mahal out! Roode catches his breath, then goes to the apron. He takes aim at Mahal and gives a leaping lariat tot he floor. Roode drags Mahal into the ring, then goes to the top rope. Roode jumps, crossbody rolled through, TWO! Bryan and Shane like what they see as Mahal goes after Roode again.

Roode hits back, they brawl in a corner, but Roode gets a knee up. Mahal goes to the other corner, Roode fires in for the clothesline and neck- no, no neckbreaker, but Roode does boot Mahal away. He hops up to the second rope, takes aim and GLORIOUS Blockbuster hits! TWO! Roode clutches his ribs, stands up, and goes for more. Mahal denies the DDT, Roode rolls through but Mahal sits, TWO, double clothesline! Both men stir and get separation. Roode goes into the corner but Mahal elbows him away, then runs out into the SPINEBUSTER! Fans fire up and give Roode his second wind. He drags Mahal up, but Mahal rolls, TWO! A low kick, cobra clutch on, but Roode slips out to the GLORIOUS DDT!! Roode wins and is the NEW United States Champion!! And as such, Bryan and Shane present him with the US Championship belt for him to hold high over his head! The champion is GLORIOUS, long may he reign!


My Thoughts:

No offense to Roode, but while SmackDown was good, it was a bit short of GLORIOUS. Especially when the only match outside of the US Championship tournament tonight was yet another Six Woman Tag, like there has been so often on both SmackDown and Raw. The individual semifinal matches were both good, though I feel Mahal is still the weak-link in all this. His dominance of Woods was not paced quite as smoothly as it could’ve been, there were moments where Woods could’ve turned the tide but then didn’t just so Mahal could look strong. Mojo VS Roode was much better planned out, and as we know, it was all to feed Roode’s underdog triumph over being beat up going into the main event. It’s great to see Roode get a main roster title after it felt like WWE was spinning their wheels, but between the “impromptu” finish to the tournament and the question of what Dolph Ziggler is going to do, something feels off. I feel this might just end up being a set-up to rehash the Razor Ramon VS HBK Rightful Intercontinental Champion ladder match, with Ziggler returning to claim he wants his title back even though he gave it up in the first place.

The only other things from tonight’s SmackDown that were different as well as interesting were the various promos. The Royal Rumble participant promos were alright, with Orton and Nakamura probably giving the best for the men’s, and Becky still giving the best in the women’s. I did enjoy Styles’ promo on Sami & Kevin, and now we can all refer to them as #Kami. Next week’s go-home can give #Kami a chance to respond, but I don’t think they’ll need another match since there’s not anything new they can do there.

My Score: 7.9/10

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NOAH finished up their mammoth five day in a row event (14th September to the 18th September), fortunately no-one was injured, but both Hajime Ohara (neck) and Hi69 (knee) seem to be carrying injuries.

After losing the GHC Heavyweight Tag Title challenge against Naomichi Marufuji and Akitoshi Saito, Kaito Kiyomiya intimated that he would be interested in challenging for them again, but with another partner (i.e. Go Shiozaki). Shiozaki was seen watching Kaito Kiyomiya in the tag match against 50 Funky Powers in Hakata Stalene. Later in the tour he mentioned on Twitter about “shutting them up” and their GHC Heavyweight Tag Challenge

.Speaking of Go Shiozaki there was a very sweet moment that took place in Hakata, involving both himself and Atsushi Kotoge. When they made their entrance in their match against The Hooligans (Cody Hall and Maybach Taniguchi), a little boy could be seen dressed in a homemade “Revolutionary Cloak”. When Kotoge appeared the little boy and the little girl next to him (most probably his sister), did the revolutionary fist pumps (to the delight of Kotoge who joined in), and when he had gone, Shiozaki noticed, did it for half a second, and then went bright red (Shiozaki gets very shy when he has to do physical comedy, he also has a tendency to start giggling as well when others do it).
During the match, the brawl went into the crowd, and a little girl was upset by it and started crying. Go Shiozaki, gave her a hug to comfort her, and once back in the ring got The Hooligans in the corner, pointed to her and said “this is for you”, and proceeded to chop them.

Despite his claim to “bring the revolution to Hakata, and defeat the villains!”, Atsushi Kotoge took the Zwei Bomb from Taniguchi.

Naomichi Marufuji is still not accepting the challenge of The Hooligans, and gave a somewhat bad tempered promo in Ehime saying they were “a fool, a baldie” and “even though I am an asshole with a lack of sleep, I am going to crush you all. Come and line up with your heads bowed. I am not going to accept your challenge! I’m not in the mood!” Marufuji is still being obsessively hated by Kenoh, and he certainly has taken it from him on this tour, but the person the five days really belongs to, is Katsuhiko Nakajima, who utterly obliterated Takashi Sugiura and did the cocky pin on him. I don’t think anyone has ever at any time or anywhere ever done this…

Nakajima, being Nakajima, wasn’t finished there as he draped the belt over him, and then threw Sugiura out of the ring. When Sugiura had recovered and scraped himself off of the floor, Nakajima had gotten the microphone, and standing on the turnbuckle he told him that he would continue to plague him like he did today, he would plague him again tomorrow and the day after that and forever afterwards.

At the end of the five day tour, having been thoroughly battered by Nakajima, Takashi Sugiura said tiredly he couldn’t keep up and says that he has had no choice but to get better, and rethink his strategy. I can only imagine that Sugiura is playing the spider and the fly…

“Black or white, this is a league.” (Hi69) 

The NOAH Juniors, despite being divided over Junior Global League, are all gunning for Kotaro Suzuki (Hitoshi Kumano says that he is going to “crush the beat so no sound comes out”). Kotaro Suzuki has dismissed even the freelancers amongst the NOAH Juniors as being “weak”.

The biggest build so far is Daisuke Harada vs Kotaro Suzuki, which will take place in Yokohama (Suzuki has already lost to the other “elder” of the Juniors, Hajime Ohara). Daisuke Harada in Kochi, delivered the message to Suzuki that he would beat him down, and then he would “tell you this”…Harada spoke silently to the camera and walked off. Kotaro Suzuki later said that he had no idea what he was saying, but would find out before they faced each other.

Suzuki has made unflattering comments about various NOAH juniors, Hitsohi Kumano is “heavy” and “bulging with fat”, and Tadasuke, due to “too much hair treatment” is “greasy”.

Kotaro Suzuki, known for being just as “slippery” as Tadasuke (maybe even more) has promised something special for his “vision of Korakuen” (he also posted a picture of himself and Yoshinari Ogawa out drinking and said they were “discussing strategy”), well, whatever he has planned, it is probably a lot better than what Tadasuke has promised, he says that he may have to “poison the rice of the winning candidates” if he doesn’t win.

Suzuki and Harada clashed in a tag match on the 18th September on the last day of tour with Harada getting in his face with the belt, and Suzuki playing the innocent after attacking him while standing on the ring apron.

There has been no rift between The Backbreakers, with Hitoshi Kumano defeating Hajime Ohara. Kumano said he had to win, even though Ohara’s neck was very bad.
Part of his reasons for wanting to beat Ohara was due to the comments made by Daisuke Harada when he was aiming for the GHC Junior Heavyweight championship a few months ago, Harada had basically said that Kumano was “below Ohara” or that he was his “subordinate”.

Between RATELS, Daisuke Harada is too busy to comment on Tadasuke beating him, and YO-HEY and HAYATA still appear to be friends (better description might be master and pet).

Junta Miyawaki is still to get his first win, but the boy has earned a lot of accolades with people praising him and saying he was “insanely good” in his matches. NOAH are really teasing his first win with many near pinfalls.  He has also been likened to a young Kenta Kobashi, which means that now in NOAH we have almost the Four Pillars for a new generation with Misawa (Kiyomiya) and Kawada (Kenoh) – now we just need a Taue.

NOAH have had very good attendances out in the provinces for this tour, not all venues have been sold out, but attendances have been very high. The promotion has a policy whereby they travel outside of the metropolitan areas (i.e. Tokyo, Osaka) and the big city areas and bring the show to the “provinces” (i.e. the countryside or the more rural areas on the edge of the suburbs). While this doesn’t always result in a full house (something a lot of people don’t seem to understand and they think its a reflection on NOAH ), what it does do is bring a company who unlike New Japan, All Japan, Big Japan etc doesn’t have a streaming service and\or a TV show, to people who wouldn’t see them otherwise. They have also attracted a lot of new fans too.

Global Junior League Scores (as of 18th September 2018)
Ikuto Hidaka: 6
Daisuke Harada: 6
Kotaro Suzuki: 6
Hitoshi Kumano: 4
Tadasuke: 4
Hi69: 4
Minoru Tanaka: 4
Hajime Ohara: 2
Seiya Morohashi: 2
Junta Miyawaki: 0

NOAH are back on the 29th September at Radiant Hall, Yokohama, bell sounds at 17.30


Quiet Storm has celebrated his own twenty years in wrestling on the 16th September, he debuted in 1998 (about a month after Naomichi Marufuji did) at roughly the age of seventeen, and while in America had spells with Ring of Honor, PWF and NYWC. Quiet Storm made his debut in his hometown of New York (he’s a Brooklyn boy I think). He came to Japan and trained with KAIENTAI DOJO, but had to return home due to a family situation. Aside from NOAH, his other affiliation is with Osaka Pro. He has been with NOAH since 2014.

His tag team partner, Mohammed Yone, presented him with flowers in the ring.


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


Atsushi Kotoge will be holding his own fan event, further details to be announced (this is not a produce)

Comedy wrestler Kikutaro (who returned to Japan to have ear surgery), announced that before he leaves for America, he wants to appear in NOAH(he was once a regular in SEM, where he memorably teamed with KENTA, who had him thrown out of the building afterwards, Kikutaro made his way back in though), and a match has been arranged against Atsushi Kotoge for the 4th October at Korakuen Hall. Kotoge has asked Kikutaro whether he wants to join the “Revolutionary Army”. What should be a very funny match, will be broadcast on Samurai on the 11th October (FYI: Fuji TV no longer exists, it is now “ForJoyTV“)

Naomichi Marufuji and Doug Williams will be having what will be their last match ever in IPW on Sunday the 23rd September. Their history was made not in NOAH or even in Japan, but in Europe. You can read about their history in an article I have written, “Farewell Europe

Hajime Ohara, (who quite rightly is called “NOAH’s treasure”), has taken part in more municipal activities in Kawasawki by lecturing the Staff Hygiene Committee about exercise that can be done at the office and at home.

Thanks to Metal-Noah who very kindly sent me a copy of “Heir to The Ark”, Naomichi Marufuji’s biography, English translation has started, and can be found here. This is a work in progress, and I hope to update it daily. The book is ranked #3 on the Japanese book charts. TOUR TIDBITS

  • Tadasuke used a chair on Seiya Morohashi (which is unusual for him).
  • Whilst in Shikoku, a big crab turned up on Hi69’s cigarette packet (its probably HAYATA shape-shifting)
  • The ceiling was so low in Hakata Stalene that people’s feet and heads grazed it.
  • Naomichi Marufuji watched “the youngsters” going off together after NOAH arrived in Kochi, and said “the old man is going to bed”
  • Tadasuke announced to Kotaro Suzuki “Hey, Fool! I am today’s NOAH Junior!” (and Kotaro Suzuki beat him down in ten minutes with the Tiger Driver)
  • Naomichi Marufuji wrapped Yoshiki Inamura in Atsushi Kotoge’s cloak, and forced him to do the “Revolution Pose”, right in front of Kotoge.
  • YO-HEY’S rambling promos include him having all his teeth knocked out (he hasn’t), and likening himself to a 16th century Japanese warlord, a champion stallion racehorse which was put out to stud (don’t ask) and then forgetting what he was talking about. He is still convinced that he will be facing Yoshiki Inamura in the finals of Global Junior League, despite the fact that Inamura isn’t in Global Junior League.
  • Yoshinari Ogawa took Atsushi Kotoge’s cape and used it to wipe his boots, much to Kotoge’s horror.
  • Ehime Pro did an opening exhibition at Noah’s show at TEXPORT Imbari
  • Yoshiki Inamura getting good reviews.
  • Go Shiozaki went to shake hands with Kotoge, but Kotoge drew his hand back, wiped his head and walked off (Shiozaki, notorious for giggling, couldn’t keep a straight face)
  • NOAH have had a crack down on people filming at the event, Atsushi Kotoge said “Heroes obey the rules”.
  • Masao Inoue is holding another bowling event, wrestlers participating will be Atsushi Kotoge, Kaito Kiyomiya and Tadasuke
  • On September 17th, Atsushi Kotoge, Kenoh, Katsuhiko Nakajima and Masa Kitamiya went to a sports bar and spent until the early hours watching classic Four Pillars era All Japan (the match Kotoge photographed on the TV was Mitsuharu Misawa vs Kenta Kobashi on the 21st October 1997. When this match took place, Kotoge and Kenoh would have been 12, Kitamiya 14 and Nakajima 9).
  • Cody Hall and Maybach Taniguchi now have a finisher called “The Hooligans Bomb”.

  • On the long drive back from Tottori to Tokyo, (about nine to eleven hours), Takashi Sugiura photographed Masao Inoue at the urinal (twice), and then predictably, things got even worse when Marufuji filmed Inoue eating an ice cream on the bus, and then pausing to look briefly at a passing woman. Between Marufuji and Sugiura, this turned into Inoue thinking about “licking” women…

Lets just end this newsletter here until next week.

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Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: G1 Climax 28, part 11!



NJPW G1 Climax 28 cover

NJPW and AXS bring us the B Block finals! Will it be Tetsuya Naito of one of the Golden Lovers who qualifies for THE G1 Climax 28 Finals?!


This coverage of the G1 Climax 28 will be as broadcast by AXS TV.

Gifs can be found on



  • Tetsuya Naito VS Zack Sabre Jr; ZSJ wins.
  • Kenny Omega VS Kota Ibushi; Ibushi wins.


NJPW and AXS set the scene for this final night of B Block action!

It all comes down to this! The Best Bout Machine lost to Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano in a row, though one was in part thanks to Tama Tonga. However, the IWGP Heavyweight Champion is still one win away from being in his third consecutive G1 Climax Finals. That win must come at the expense of Kenny Omega’s best friend, Kota Ibushi, in this Golden Lovers dream match. Ibsuhi could take the entire block with his own win, but there’s also last year’s G1 Climax champion. Tetsuya Naito can make his own repeat appearance if he defeats Zack Sabre Jr, who would love to play spoiler with his submission style. Who will meet Hiroshi Tanahashi in the G1 Climax 28 Finals?!


Tetsuya Naito VS Zack Sabre Jr!

The charismatic leader of Los Ingobernables de Japon takes on Suzuki-Gun’s Submission Master, a familiar match up from this year’s New Japan Cup. Naito takes his time with his attire, as usual, but ZSJ is patient. The referee finishes his check of both men, rings the bell, and we begin.

ZSJ rushes Naito then throws him out. He pursues but Naito slips back out to then troll ZSJ with a game of cat ‘n’ mouse. ZSJ grows frustrated and starts kicking railing like his mentor, Minoru Suzuki. Taka Michinoku calms Zack down and gets him back to the ring. Naito tells ZSJ to return, saying time is of the essence. ZSJ returns but Naito speeds things up. They both run and dodge, then Naito Tranquilos! But ZSJ grabs the arm for the armbar! Naito gets the ropes for the ropebreak and ZSJ mocks Tranquilo before letting Naito go. Naito takes his time returning, to again troll ZSJ. Red Shoes counts but Naito waits to return at about 10. ZSJ rushes Naito again for a headlock. Naito powers out and arm-drags ZSJ around. ZSJ headbutts then European Uppercuts, but he runs into another arm-dag.

Naito has ZSJ down, but ZSJ reverses into a headscissor. ZSJ squeezes, then stands to twist! Naito writhes while ZSJ catches his breath. ZSJ goes after the legs and gets a Queen Angelito figure four. He goes after the arms, and he uses a surfboard style lift! ZSJ goes for a cover but can’t get the angle, so he shifts to a leg based double armbar. Naito manages another ropebreak, so ZSJ backs off. ZSJ toys with Naito then gives him a EuroUpper. Naito chops back, so ZSJ trips him up and twists his neck again. ZSJ lets Naito get up to then float over to a cravat. Naito works his way up to arm-drag out. ZSJ runs in but misses, Naito jump kicks but it’s ZSJ who sweeps! The New Japan Cup champ has the G1 Climax 27 champ down and out while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns and Naito gets back up at 13. He returns to the ring at 15 but ZSJ stands on him to then get the ankle lock. ZSJ shifts to a Half Crab that shifts to an STF that shifts to a crossface. Naito reverses with a roll, TWO! ZSJ has a grounded cravat that he bridges and then rolls back. He gets a headscissor as Naito sits up, then grabs an ankle. They both roll and Naito is still in the headscissor. ZSJ squeezes but then Naito gets his own headscissor. ZSJ pries his way up and out and back to a half crab. He just stands on Naito’s head and body now to humiliate more than hurt. Naito gets up and chops ZSJ. ZSJ headbutts, EuroUppers, then whips. Naito reverses and reels ZSJ in for the backbreaker and dropkick! Both men are down as fans rally.

Naito stands and fires of on ZSJ. He whips but ZSJ reverses, only for Naito to come out with the headscssiors. Jump kick, leg sweep, and swinging dropkick! Naito poses while ZSJ checks his mouth. Naito elbows ZSJ, then brings him back up. ZSJ reverses the neckbreaker to a facelock, but Naito reels him in for the atomic drop.  Naito runs in at the corner but has to block ZSJ’s boots. ZSJ kicks Naito but Naito holds on. Naito spits, so ZSJ kicks more. Naito turns him sideways for a draping backbreaker! Then a standing neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Fans rally for Naito while he thinks of what to do next. Naito circles ZSJ and brings him up in a waistlock. ZSJ gets a standing switch to full nelson but Naito arm-drags out. They collide, elbow for elbow, and back again. Naito rolls for the kick but into an STF!

Naito drags himself around but ZSJ switches to part Rings of Saturn! He keeps Naito’s face back with a leg but Naito uses a leg to get the ropes. ZSJ again lets Naito go, and both men are down from exhaustion. Taka coaches ZSJ up but the fans are on Naito’s side still. ZSJ stands first and kicks at Naito. Naito takes them in stride, a grin on his face. Naito fires a forearm and a back elbow and ZSJ falls. Fans fire up as Naito throws more elbows, but ZSJ comes back with a EuroUpper. Naito elbows, ZSJ falls again. Now Naito toys with ZSJ, but ZSJ SLAPS Naito. ZSJ fires EuroUppers but ends up in a backslide. He rolls through but runs into the tornado DDT! Naito drags ZSJ up. Hammerlock and lift, but ZSJ counters with a guillotine that becomes a triangle hold!

Naito endures the squeeze while ZSJ prevents a cover. Naito uses power to lift but ZSJ wrenches back. ZSJ brings Naito back down and Naito starts to fade. Fans keep rallying, Naito jackknifes! TWO, and ZSJ penalty kicks Naito down! ZSJ drags Naito back up, but Naito suplexes into the dragon sleeper, for a reverse DDT! Fans cheer Naito while Taka shouts for ZSJ to get up. Naito sits up but ZSJ follows. They stand, and Naito elbows ZSJ again. ZSJ gives a EuroUpper but that arm is hurting. Naito chops but ZSJ slaps. Naito SLAPS, then hammerlocks, GLORIA! Cover, TWO!! Naito fires himself up as he drags ZSJ up. ZSJ sees it coming, and Peles the arm. Naito rolling kicks then whips. ZSJ reverses, catches the flying forearm, into an Octopus hold!

Naito endures being bent and stretched, but ZSJ’s arm is also bothering him. Fans rally for Naito and he manages to step towards ropes. ZSJ does what he can to pull on Naito, such as pulling the right arm all the way back. Naito still steps forward, but ZSJ pulls again. Naito uses one last effort and gets another ropebreak. ZSJ lets him go, and both men fall from exhaustion. Fans and Taka rally their favorites up again, and ZSJ sits up first. Naito follows but ZSJ penalty kicks Naito right back down! And he does it again! But Naito still stands. ZSJ goes for a third but gets caught into a German Suplex. Naito whips but ZSJ reverses, to get the flying forearms! Naito drags ZSJ up, arm wrench, but ZSj counters into the EuroClutch! TWO!? Naito misses his enziguri, ZSJ EuroClutches again, TWO!?

ZSJ EuroUppers but gets an enziguri. Naito backs up, runs in, but ZSJ slips out of the tilt-o-whirl to Octopus. Naito slips out this time to DESTINO! But he’s not done, here comes another D– no, Michinoku Driver! Cover, ZSJ wins!!

Winner: Zack Sabre Jr. by pinfall; ZSJ earns 2 points, Naito earns 0

The Submission Master uses a shout out to his coach and he spoils Naito’s chances! There will not be a repeat for the previous G1 Climax champion, and this leaves the way open for one half of the Golden Lovers!


Kenny Omega VS Kota Ibushi!

They may not always have been a team, but the Golden Lovers have always been friends and rivals. The Cleaner is the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, but the Golden Star won’t give up his own desire for that belt. A dream match becomes reality, but who will live the dream of competing in the tournament finals?

The bell rings, and fans fire up as the two friends take a moment to stare down. They circle, Omega lunges in and gets the leg. He floats to a facelock and holds on as they go around. He goes to a waistlock and counters Ibushi’s standing switch. Omega gets a half nelson then another facelock as they stand. Ibushi has Omega on the ropes, but honors the ropebreak. But Omega brings him back in with a headlock. Ibushi powers out, Omega runs him over, but Ibushi kips up. Things speed up, Omega holds rope but still runs into a dropkick! Omega bails out but comes right back in to chop Ibushi! Omega whips but Ibushi holds ropes, so Omega chops again. The whip goes through but Ibushi dodges to kick. Ibushi kicks but is blocked, Omega chops. Omega runs but into the kick!

Omega bails out but longer this time, so Ibushi slingshots out! He crashes and burns, Omega saw that one coming. Omega brings Ibushi up to put him into railing. Then he scoop slams him onto the apron! Omega drags Ibushi back up and into the ring. Fans fire up as Omega returns and runs, Kotaro Krusher! Cover, TWO! Omega keeps his cool while fans cheer Ibushi on. Omega clubs Ibushi, then stomps him. He kicks Ibushi around, but Ibushi grows stronger with every hit. Omega runs, and dropkicks Ibushi down! Ibushi stands, kicks and snapmares Omega, to then kick him swiftly in the neck. Omega kicks and cravats but Ibushi counters to snapmare and kick, kick, kick! Omega gets up to shove and punch.

Now it’s a brawl back and forth, but Omega kicks low. Omega boots Ibushi into a corner, then runs in. Ibushi goes up and over to then powerslam and moonsault! But onto knees! Omega knows Ibushi so well, and he drags Ibushi up for fireman’s carry. “You Can’t Escape! Rolling senton, but the moonsault gets knees! Ibushi knows Omega so well, too! Ibushi runs, but into a huricanrana. But Ibushi then comes back with his own huricanrana! Omega ends up outside again, and Ibushi runs, but Omega intercepts the golden triangle for a full nelson! Ibushi holds ropes and elbows Omega back. Omega chops Ibushi’s back, then Electric Chair lifts! But Ibushi fights him off again, to then deadlift. Omega fights out with uppercuts, then has Ibushi on the shoulder, apron package tombstone!! Both Golden Lovers are down while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns as Omega climbs up top. Ibushi slowly stands, but he gets the missile dropkick to the face! Then cross fisherman, Aoi Shoudou! Cover, TWO!! Ibushi lives and fans fire up for him. Omega grits his teeth, takes aim and… BANG! Omega runs, but he misses. Ibushi waistlocks but Omega standing switches. Omega shoves and chops Ibushi in the back! He whips and V-Triggers to the back! Omega drags Ibushi up, Electric Chair, but Ibushi resists. Pop-up, Croyt’s Wrath! With the bridge! TWO!! Ibushi narrowly escapes, but Omega stays focused. V-Trigger! Then the double underhook, but Ibushi resists again. They speed up, running DDT! Ibushi rolls out of the ring, but Omega hears the Terminator drums. Omega rises, builds speed, and FLIES! Direct hit on Ibushi!

Both men are down but Omega stands first. Omega drags Ibushi up and in, and fans rally up. Omega climbs up top again, but Ibushi PELE to stop him! Ibushi climbs up to join Omega, but Omega resists whatever lift Ibushi is after. The Young Bucks are concerned at ringside as Omega starts to shovel Ibushi up. Ibushi slips off to chop and SUPER STEINER! Cover, TWO!! Fans rally up again and Omega bails out. Ibushi runs, Golden Triangle! Direct hit on Omega! The Golden Lovers are down again, but Ibushi is up first now. Ibushi puts Omega in, then climbs up top. Ibushi springboards but Omega catches him into the Electric Chair! But Ibushi fights out fast to strike fest and roundhouse Omega down. Knee-sault! Cover, TWO!!

Omega survives that innovative knee drop, but Ibushi isn’t out of ideas yet. Ibushi drags Omega up, with double wrists, but Omega dodges the knee. Ibushi dodges to Pele again! He grabs Omega, but Omega slips out of the bomb to V-Trigger. Ibushi blocks but gets the second V-Trigger. Omega full nelsons but Ibushi fights out. Omega heel kicks him into a corner! Then from corner to corner, V-Trigger! Omega drags Ibushi up to the top rope, then climbs up to join him. Omega sits Ibushi up, puts on the full nelson, but Ibushi fights out again. Ibushi elbows but Omega headbutts. Omega stands up now, another attempt at the full nelson, SUPER SNAP DRAGON! But Ibushi stands right up!

The Golden Lovers collide with double clotheslines, then do it again. Omega kicks the other one away to V-Trigger! Ibushi reverses to snap German! But Omega’s up, so he gets a Half ‘n Half, and CLOBBERING CLOTHESLINE! Ibushi has control while we go to break!

NJPW on AXS returns and Ibushi drags Omega up. Ibushi wants the bomb, and gets the Golden Star sit-out powerbomb! Cover, TWO!? Even Ibushi is shocked. But he drags Omega up again with the double wristlocks, KAMIGOYE!! Cover, TWO!?! Ibushi cannot understand how Omega survives. Ibushi uncovers his knee and brings Omega back up. Omega resists because he knows what’s coming. Ibushi stomps and clubs Omega. Omega fights back with forearms and elbows. Omega throws more of those, but then Ibushi fires back! They go back and forth, but neither man backs down. Omega hits, but Ibushi responds. They give shorter and faster forearms now but neither man lets go of the wristlock. Omega headbutts but Ibushi kicks! Ibushi kicks but gets a V-Trigger! He staggers, but chops!

Ibushi fires palm strikes and body shots. He runs, but into the V-Trigger! Omega runs again, but into a roundhouse! They’re both down, but fans fire up for Ibushi. Ibushi hears them and decides to climb up top. Phoenix Splash flops as Omega evades. Omega stands, to V-Trigger Ibushi in the back! Then suddenly, butterfly piledriver! Cover, TWO!! Now Omega is shocked that Ibushi lives. Omega pulls his own knee pad down, to V-Trigger! Then Electric Chair, but Ibushi fights again. Reverse-Rana is blocked by sheer will, and Omega makes it like a driver! Cover, TWO!?! Omega aims again, BANG! Another V-Trigger! Then another Electric Chair, but Ibushi holds ropes. Omega climbs!? Ibushi senses this and fights for his life. Ibushi positions himself, SUPER double stomps!

Omega barely stays on the top rope, but Ibushi comes back up to join him. Ibushi drags Omega up, in a double underhook, SUPER TIGER BOMB!! Cover, TWO??! But how?! Ibushi keeps going, dragging Omega up with both hands, KAMIGOYE!! Cover, Ibushi wins!!

Winner: Kota Ibushi, by pinfall; Ibushi earns 2 points, Omega earns 0

The Golden Lovers dream match ends with Ibushi scoring a victory over the IWGP Heavyweight Champion! With this, Ibushi wins the B Block and qualifies for THE G1 Climax 27 Finals! Ibushi meets Hiroshi Tanahashi for that chance at the title at Wrestle Kingdom. But because they’re great friends, Omega celebrates with Ibushi before letting him take the ring alone.

Ibushi speaks.

“Kenny, Matt, Nick,” and everyone in the Elite, “Thank you very much.” Ibushi thanks all the wrestlers in NJPW, too. Ibushi still lives in the G1 Climax, and vows to win the finals the very next day. He keeps things short and sweet so that he and the Elite can all leave together. Can the Star surpass The Ace to then give us a sequel to this amazing match? Or will The Once in a Century Talent score his third G1 Climax championship?


Backstage interviews.

The Golden Elite are all together, as Omega notes that he somehow made it here on his own power. He admits he doesn’t like that he lost, especially as champion. But losing to his tag partner and best friend, Ibushi, and knowing he goes to the finals to face Tanahashi, makes Omega happy. Omega gives his full support, and will be in Ibushi’s corner. Ibushi accepts his friend’s support, and is himself very happy. He can’t believe he won. It doesn’t seem real yet. But Ibushi has made it to the finals, and again vows to win it all. He’s been focused on that single goal, he just has one match to go. Was tonight’s dream match a preview of Wrestle Kingdom? Or perhaps something sooner rather than later?



My Thoughts:

An amazing night, especially factoring in the context of the incredible action. Naito VS ZSJ in a New Japan Cup goes the same way as the match in the New Japan Cup, but naturally escalated up. Naito was well-prepared for the submissions and got the ropebreak quite a few times, but in the end ZSJ wins out. Given the points, it makes sense to keep Naito out of the running. It adds drama to Omega VS Ibushi, because then it becomes another “win and you’re in.” Actually, B Block parallels A Block in that respect, as Jay White was the third man who could complicate Okada VS Tanahashi, until he lost to Evil. But Naito is fine not going into the finals again, as fans still love him, and there’s plenty of unfinished business with other wrestlers, such as Chris Jericho over the IWGP Intercontinental Championship.

Then Omega VS Ibushi is definitely worthy of a block finals. The story was already there with them being such close friends and tag team partners. The counters, the back and forth, it was so great. Ibushi benefits the most from winning here because he was perhaps the underdog against the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, and now earns the right to challenge Omega even without the G1 Climax contract for Wrestle Kingdom. Of course, Tomohiro Ishii has a similar claim he can make, so Ibushi can wait for one of the bigger NJPW events to give us the epic sequel.

My Score: 8.9/10

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Lucha Libre

Joe’s Lucha Libre Weekly: News & Opinions



Joe Lucha Libre Report
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CMLL Anniversary

We saw at the anniversary show, in predictable fashion, Rush and Cavernario defeat Volador and Matt Taven in the hair vs hair match. Everyone knew what the result would be which helped kill intrigue in the match because as discussed before, if CMLL was willing to hair Rush lose his hair it would be against LA Park and if he were to lose it against anybody else it wouldn’t make sense. So Volador and Taven lost 2 falls to 1 and at the end of the match, as a way to weasel out of it Taven turned on Volador as if it was his plan all along but they weren’t going to stand for it. I wonder how much Taven had his head shaved, I suppose we shall see on the next Ring of Honor live event. The show was pretty close to a sell out containing 16,000 fans.

The Co-main event saw Pentagon, Fenix, and Diamante Azul defeating LA Park, his son, and Caristico 2 falls to 1 in what was a very good match. LA Park, for a man who is very large in his older age can still put on some very good matches and held his own in their with the much young Fenix and Pentagon and the always entertaining Caristico. The match before that which was the Kaos Klan vs Los Guerrero’s for the trios title. This wasn’t in technical terms a very good match, but it had heat on it. One of the issues was the finish was a complete let down and out of nowhere. Not in a good way either, sometimes out of nowhere finishes are good if they’re done during hot moments, but this one was just a standard pin with feet on the ropes.

CMLL Friday Show/Future

The top three matches for this show will feature a rematch with Kaos Klan and Los Guerrero’s. This is the third time this match is happening in a short span so I wonder if they will have Los Guerrero’s win here after potentially swerving the fans at the Anniversary show. It was a weak finish and wasn’t a good match so I have to imagine that they’re going to put forth a better performance this time. However, a lot of the men involved are much older and broken down so they need the pomp and circumstances more. We also have a lightning round match between Mistico and Negro Casas so that should be something. They must be going for a program with them.

In the main event we have, Atlantis, King Fenix, and Diamante Azul vs Rush, Cavernario, and El Terrible. I wonder if my theory about building a program with Rush and Atlantis for next year starts and if maybe they move towards Fenix and Cavernario. I can only imagine how good those singles matches would be. LA Park worked the Arena Puebla show with Rush in the match. This was a very good match, perhaps an anniversary show standard.

There was a lot of instances in the match where Park and Rush had a show down one on one in the ring. It was a very long match and very good. Rush won with a low blow and Park then cut a promo after the match challenging him hair vs mask again to which CMLL cut his mic. But it magically turned on when Rush got the mic. Park was upset and left. They are promoting LA Park and Hijo Del LA Park vs Rush and Cavernario next week for the Monday Puebla show. So it looks like they’re going back to this well for financial purposes, who knows if the hair vs mask match will ever happen.


AAA has announced their big October Show, the Antonio Pena tribute show, and it has a pretty big card, with the main event being Jeff Jarrett vs Dr. Wagner Jr in a hair vs hair match. I’m almost positive Jarrett is losing that match especially if they’re building towards Park vs Wagner at the next Triplemania. Wagner is gonna need to have more hair grown out to make it a viable match on paper. He doesn’t have much hair so why would the fans buy his hair vs the value of Park’s mask? I feel like there’d be so much more intrigue with Psycho Clown vs Park mask vs mask, but it all depends on when and who Park wants to lose to. Everyone seems to agree that it has to be to Rush whenever the time is.

Also on that card which we’ll preview more in the coming weeks, Park will team with Psycho Clown against Murder Clown and Kevin Kross. So something is going to have to happen in the coming weeks that pairs Kross with Murder Clown because they were just attacking each other during the last encounter with Wagner and Jeff Jarrett. A three way tag match for the tag titles will happen and Bandido and Flamita will actually get their chance. There was rumblings wondering if AAA would remember the stipulation on the Triplemania show. There’s also a four way match for the women’s title. More info in the coming weeks as the card gets built on the TV tapings.

AAA on Twitch 9/21

We will have a women’s match to start the show, which seems to be typical featuring, Keyra, Lady Maravilla, and Starfire vs Faby Apache, La Hiedra, and Lady Shani. We get a six man tag team match next which will be action packed featuring, Emperador Azteca, Demus, and Ciclon Ramierz vs Aerostar, Argenis, and Nino Hamburguesa. The next match is a three way tag match between Texano Jr and Escorpion vs Maximo and Mamba vs El Hijo De Dr. Wagner Jr and Golden Magic.

The co-main event is another six man tag between, Laredo Kid, Tayrys, and Hijo Del LA Park vs La Parka, Pagano, and Joe Lider. Any match with Joe Lider and Pagano is bound to be crazy. The main event sees LA Park teaming with Electro Shock vs Psycho Clown and El Hijo Del Fantasma. The theme of this show is Lucha Libre Elite vs AAA. They’re playing up an invasion storyline. They have another show on September 30th but I will preview that one next week.

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Always Use Your Head and visit the official Pro Wrestling Tees store for The Chairshot All t-shirt proceeds help support the advancement of your favorite hard-hitting wrestling website, The Chairshot!

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