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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Live Report! (1/9/18)

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All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Ruby Riott w/ The Riott Squad VS Becky Lynch w/ Charlotte Flair & Naomi; Becky wins.
  • The Ascension VS The Bludgeon Brothers; Bludgeon Brothers win.
  • WWE United States Championship Tournament: Zack Ryder VS Mojo Rawley; Rawley wins and advances to face Bobby Roode in the semifinals.
  • Breezango VS Rusev Day; Breezango wins.
  • 3-on-2 Handicap Match: AJ Styles, Randy Orton & Shinsuke Nakamura VS Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn; Styles, Orton & Nakamura win.

PLAY BY PLAY

Last week’s SmackDown had a crowded main event.

Kevin Owens, Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan were all ringside while Sami Zayn had a match with AJ Styles. The tension was high the entire time, and it ended up favoring Sami Zayn! Both he and Kevin have a win over AJ Styles now, and Styles furiously said “Why don’t you just make it a handicap match!” Daniel Bryan took that comment seriously, and has made the Royal Rumble world championship match exactly that: a Handicap Match! What is the SmackDown General Manager planning with this 2-on-1 match for the title?

 

Renee Young conducts an in-ring interview!

Her guest: the Phenomenal One himself!

AJ Styles heads to the ring and sits down with Renee. She brings up the “controversial” decision for Styles to defend his title against both Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn. Does Styles think that is fair? Styles says that “every time I step foot in this ring, I take pride in what I do it in.” Styles admits he is human and makes mistakes, and would not have said what he said, had he known Bryan was going to use them against him. He knows he is in a Handicap Match and is likely to lose his title, but he is also likely to beat the crap out of Sami & Kevin at the same time! Styles will hit them so hard and fast, they won’t know what hit them. Of course, Kevin & Sami are professionals, they can tag in and out to stay fresh against him. Then, what is Styles’ actual answer? Is this fair or not? Birmingham chants for Styles, and Styles answers this is not fair, but neither is life. Sami & Kevin have non-title victories, but that doesn’t mean they should have title matches together. One and then the other, sure, Styles will do that. But it is not fair of SmackDown to put him in a Handicap match. Is Bryan playing favorites? Fans believe “YES! YES!” Styles just doesn’t understand what Bryan is thinking. What about Shane playing favorites? Styles isn’t going to get political and point fingers. He already has to worry about Kevin & Sami, so “truth of the matter is”, he can’t allow “those two idiots” to take the title from him. Styles vows to win, and then thank the High Heavens when he does, because he made it clear that SmackDown is– Kevin & Sami appear!

“Ladies and gentlemen, give it up for the WWE Champion, AJ Styles, ‘The Phenomenal’ AJ Styles.” Or perhaps Sami & Kevin should call him the “Regretful AJ Styles.” Or, the “Remorseful AJ Styles.” Better yet, “The AJ Styles who put his foot in his mouth.” Yep. Kevin says it will take a miracle for Styles to beat them 2-on-1. And Heaven doesn’t give out miracles to people like Styles. He has no chance of walking out with the title. Yep! At the Royal Rumble, at the end of the night, Kevin & Sami will be the first-ever WWE CO-Champions. YEP! Sami & Kevin will take “The House that AJ Styles Built” into the Kevin & Sami Show! YEP! They will do what they want! “YEP! YEP!”

Birmingham counters with “NO! NO!” until Shane McMahon appears!

Shane agrees with Styles, this can’t be fair. And he is puzzled why Bryan made the match in the first place, and is baffled as to why the “YEP Clowns” another opportunity to become champions. “But be that as it may,” Shane will back the decision that it happens at the Royal Rumble, for now. As for the subject of handicap matches, how about having one tonight? Birmingham likes the sound of that! Kevin & Sami will take on… Shinsuke Nakamura, Randy Orton and AJ Styles! The Best Friends are going to get a taste of what they’ll put Styles through, can they survive the Phenomenal One, The King of Strong Style and the Viper?

Shane encounters Daniel Bryan backstage.

The GM hears the Commissioner is “puzzled.” One hell of a main event tonight, though. They shake hands, and leave it at that.

The tension is growing stronger every day, when will things finally break apart?

 

Ruby Riott w/ The Riott Squad VS Becky Lynch w/ Charlotte Flair & Naomi!

The leader of the Squad steps up to the first woman they went after upon their arrival. Can the Lass Kicker get revenge this close to the inaugural Women’s Royal Rumble? It might help that she has the Queen of Flair and Lady Glow ringside to keep eyes on Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan at ringside.

The bell rings and the two tie up right away. Becky throws Ruby by her arm, then by a waistlock. She brings Ruby up into a waistlock but Ruby gets to ropes for the break. The ref counts, Becky backs off by 4 but yanks Ruby right out to the center of the ring. Becky runs but Sarah swipes at her, that distraction doesn’t work, she elbows Ruby back then throws her out. She dares the entire Squad to try something while we go picture in picture.

The Riott Squad helps Ruby refocus while Becky dares her to return. The referee counts, Becky forces the issue by jumping from the apron to clothesline Ruby down! Becky gives out high-fives then puts Ruby in the ring. Ruby goes to elbow her but misses, then her kick is countered into a dragon screw. Ruby gets up and Becky throws her with arm-drag after arm-drag, then knocks her down with a forearm smash. Cover, TWO, but Becky keeps focus. She drags Ruby up while Charlotte and Naomi watch. Becky tries for an armbar but Ruby powers her to a corner. Ruby runs in again but misses, yet blocks Becky’s jump kick to hang Becky up on the ropes. Becky takes mudhole stomps from Ruby. Ruby walks off her frustration then kicks Becky while she’s down. Ruby drags Becky into a snapmare and loops one arm around, and puts on a seated Abdominal Stretch. The Squad likes what they see, Ruby drives in fists as she stretches Becky’s ribs. Becky endures, fans rally, and the Lass Kicker gets up to give back those body shots. She whips Ruby, Ruby goes up and over, Deadly Nightshade! Ruby then rams Becky into the post, then stretches Becky back against the ropes to give more body shots. Ruby then puts Becky in a rear bearhug to work on those ribs even more. Fans rally while we go single picture again.

Becky feeds off the energy from the fans as she works against the squeeze. Ruby rolls her over for a cover, TWO, Becky throws elbows. Ruby returns those elbows while keeping up the squeeze. ANother roll, TWO, and Becky pops out of the bodyscissors. Ruby quickly wraps those back on, using her arms for leverage. Becky fights back while fans rally again, Becky makes it a cover and TWO! Becky is free again, and back elbows Ruby away. Ruby runs in but mises, jump kick! Becky unloads body shots, Ruby throws her down by her hair. Cover, TWO, the Squad is a bit frsutrated. Ruby rams knees into Becky’s ribs, the Squad likes that better. Ruby stands Becky up for another Abdominal Stretch, but fans rally again. Becky pries her way out, and hip-tosses Ruby! Ruby gets up, Becky small package surprises, TWO! Becky throws fiery forearms, and an uppercut! Another uppercut, then a back kick, Becky gives Ruby a single-leg suplex! The Lass Kicker isn’t done there, she gives Ruby the Becksploder! Ruby dodges the boot to kick those ribs, and kick them again while Becky’s down. She brings Becky up, but the arm-wrench is countered into the Disarm-Her!

The Squad is kept from interfering, Ruby taps! Becky wins! Can this momentum carry her all the way to the end of the Women’s Royal Rumble?

 

The Ascension VS The Bludgeon Brothers!

Konnor & Viktor have been trying to help their “friends”, The Fashion Police, close the Case of 2B but it hasn’t been going too well. So in return, Breezango got their “friends” a match against said 2B, Harper & Rowan!

The bell rings, The Ascension rush the Bludgeon Brothers! For the first time, someone takes the fight to them! Harper shoves Viktor away to boot him straight down, then SUPERKICK to Konnor. Tag to Rowan, the Bludgeon Brothers go after Viktor. Rowan is whipped corner to corner to squash Viktor from behind, then the Full Nelson lift into the Sit-out powerbomb!

The Bludgeon Brothers win fast! They let Konnor check on Viktor, only to pounce and give him the Bludgeon Bomb! Strong, fast and merciless, can anyone hope to stop Harper & Rowan from pummeling the entire SmackDown Tag Team Division?

 

Bobby Roode comes to ringside.

The GLORIOUS One wants to join commentary for the WWE United States Championship Tournament!

He has already made it to the semifinals after defeating The Lone Wolf, now he awaits the winner of the final opening round match.

WWE United States Championship Tournament: Zack Ryder VS Mojo Rawley!

They were once the Hype Bros, but their losses and frustration broke them apart. #MojoRising won their match at the Clash of Champions Kickoff Show, can Long Island Iced Z tie things up with a chance at gold on the line?

The bell rings, they tie up, Mojo powers Ryder to a corner. Ryder rockets out with a dropkick, cover, ONE and Mojo bails out of the ring. He gets back in and carriers Ryder to the corner to then ram in shoulders. Ryder gets knees up then hps up, but Mojo throws him off! Mojo throws forearms down on Ryder then covers, TWO. He keeps on Ryder with a jaw clamp to then ram Ryder back into buckles again and again before throwing him down. Mojo stalks Ryder, then wrenches the neck. “Where’s your killer instinct, Zack?!” Ryder stands up and fights back but Mojo grounds him with a knee to the stomach. Mojo toys with Ryder, dragging him up and going for a suplex, which Ryder counters with a neckbreaker! Fans cheer on Ryder, Mojo runs in but into a back elbow. Ryder gives a forearm, Mojo shoves him away, Ryder responds with a kick. Mojo ends up in a corner, Ryder gives him a forearm smash. Ryder knocks MOjo down, goes to the adjacent corner and “WOO WOO WOO!” But Mojo bails out before the boot comes in. Ryder still gets Mojo with a wrecking ball boot anyway! Mojo goes down, Ryder goes out to put him back in the ring. Cover, TWO! Ryder won’t let up, he chops MOjo to a corner. Ryder climbs up but Mojo carries him for an Atomic Drop, then rams Ryder right into the post.

Mojo drags Ryder out, Hype Arm to the back of the head. Three point stance, BIG Hype Arm! Mojo wins again, and moves on in the tournament!

Roode steps into the ring with Mojo now, and the two stare down. Mojo grins, as does Roode. Is Roode ready to #GetHype with the rising Rawley?

 

Jinder Mahal speaks.

The Modern Day Maharaja says he defined the year 2017 as “YOUR WWE Champion.” No one thought it was possible nor did they think he was deserving, but he did. And now he sets his eyes on the United States Championship. Mahal hopes Xavier Woods knows how to play Taps on a trombone, because his championship dreams are already over. He declares The New Day is a fad, but the Maharaja is forever! Will Mahal make it to the finals of the tournament at the Royal Rumble?

 

Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable head to the ring.

They challenged The Usos for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships last week, but lost track of which twin was legal. For this reason, Gable & Benjamin are not tag team champions tonight. “Do any of you know what it takes to be a winner?” Hours of training, neglecting family and friends, does anyone in Alabama know what that takes? Anyone? Anyone? “To hold a championship high and show the world that it’s possible, if you’re willing to make the sacrifice?” Benjamin won’t let the state of Alabama get a big head just because Alabama University did. All these people did was sit on a couch and stuff their faces. On the other hand, Benjamin’s college of Georgia was robbed because of bad referees! The same goes for Benjamin & Gable last week. They beat the Usos in the ring, and set the tag titles free from the Uso Penitentiary. They were so excited, celebrating up the ring–fans chant “ROLL TIDE!”–and then another referee appears. That referee was not part of their match, so why did he show up? To overturn their victory and give the titles back to the Usos, then restart the match. But why? Jealousy! That ref was jealous, because he doesn’t know what it’s like to be a winner. That man was a thief who stole their dream! A rat snitch committed a crime, so Gable & Benjamin demand justice! #FreetheTagTitles! Gable & Benjamin didn’t lose to the Usos, they lost to instant replay. They demand that referee come out here and set things right! Instead, SmackDown GM Daniel Bryan appears!

Birmingham greets him with cheers and chants. Bryan tells Benjamin & Gable that while he understands the feeling of thinking you’ve won after working so hard only for it to be taken away, he doesn’t care for them going after management. Management? No no, they’re after the officials. Well, officials represent management, and there aer some “cold hard rules” that everyone needs to understand: Referee decisions are final. Exactly! One referee declared them the winners and new champions! Yes, but you didn’t. You pinned the wrong Uso, the other referee had to correct him, and the first realized his mistake. Oh really? Boohoo. What is this, Doctor Phil!? Benjamin thinks Gable should look Bryan in the eye and tell him how he feels. Bryan is just taking things out on them because of Shane. No, how do you feel? Gable feels he already beat the Usos. And that they’re already the tag team champions! No, how do you feel? That he’s done everything he has to do! Do they have to win twice in one night?! That’s a great idea! At the Royal Rumble, it will be The Usos VS Gable & Benjamin for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships, Best 2 out of 3 Falls! Bryan gives Gable & Benjamin what they want, mostly, can they capitalize on it?

 

Randy Orton meets AJ Styles backstage.

Are they talking strategy or is The Viper just going to RKO Kevin & Sami into regret? Works for Orton. But, Orton wants Styles to trust him that they’re on the same side tonight. But also trust that after Orton wins the Royal Rumble, he’ll come after whoever has the title at Wrestlemania. Shinsuke Nakamura appears to say “Not so fast.” The King of Strong Style gives a Too Sweet to the title belt.

“Good talk.” Can these three really get along later tonight?

 

Breezango VS Rusev Day!

Aiden English sings an announcement. He and the Bulgarian Brute are officially entering the “Rusev Rumble match~”, and will win on RUSEV DAY~! Maybe they will, but can they defeat the Fashion Police tonight?

The bell rings, the Drama King starts against the Lord of Dance. English puts on a headlock, Fandango powers out but English runs him over with a shoulder. he keeps moving while fans chant “Rusev Day!” but Fandango gives him a hip toss. Fandango hangs English up on the ropes, tags in Breeze, and the two double kick English out. Rusev regroups with his partner while we go picture in picture.

English is frustrated but Rusev calms him down before they return to the ring. Fans want him to tag in, English fires up and tags Rusev! Rusev kicks Breeze and stomps him down. He looms over Prince Pretty before bringing him up, Breeze revives to hit an enziguri! Rusev puts Breeze on the apron, Breeze fights him and English off, but Rusev still blasts him tot he announce table. Fandango checks on his partner while Rusev Day gloats. Tag to English, English bumps Breeze off the apron before putting him back in the ring. Cover, TWO, so English drives a knee into Breeze’s back before dropping one on his front. Cover, TWO, English puts on a chinlock. We return to single picture while fans duel.

Breeze gets to his feet, fights back against English, but English mule kicks out a leg. English climbs up to the top, takes aim and… No, Breeze dodges the swanton. English runs over, Breeze puts him on the apron, but English slingshots back over and rolls. He goes for a lariat, misses, hot tag to Fandango! Fandango chops away on English, then whips him corner to corner for the big back body drop! Fandango keeps chopping, then throws hands, another whip but English kicks him away. Rusev tags in, English takes the dropkick but Rusev rallies on Fandango. Two big roundhouse kicks and Rusev fires up. He runs in and squashes Fandango with a shoulder, running spinning heel kick runs Fandanog over! The fans chant “Rusev Day!” as Rusev fires up.

He throws Breeze out, Fandango runs but is caught, Breeze dropkicks for the cover, TWO! Roundhouse rocks Breeze, Fandango rolls up, Fashion Police win! Breezango foils Rusev Day for today, what will happen to the Rusev Rumble?

 

Daniel Bryan is visited by Shane McMahon.

Bryan speaks the praises of the SmackDown Tag Team Division, as well as all of SmackDown, including Shane. Shane thanks him, but wants to be honest. They’re not on the same page. Bryan is becoming rather irrational. Think of the two PPV matches he’s made already. A Handicap Match for the WWE Championship, with two guys who shouldn’t be anywhere close to the title! Then, they’re going to be Co-Champions? The SmackDown Tag Team Championships in a 2 out of 3 falls match? Is Bryan doing alright? What does Shane mean? Bryan’s just coming off as a little unstable. Same back to Shane, given his gene pool. Shane himself has made rash decisions, it’s just who he is. Then they will agree to disagree.

 

3-on-2 Handicap Match: AJ Styles, Randy Orton & Shinsuke Nakamura VS Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn!

The WWE Champion will have two opponents at the Royal Rumble, but tonight he gets to give the Prizefighter & Guardian Angel three opponents. Can the Phenomenal One work well with The Viper & The Rockstar to make Sami & Kevin regret starting the #YEPMovement?

The bell rings, Kevin goes right at Orton but Orton punches him to a corner. Orton gives him more right hands then whips him corner to corner, but Kevin counters with a boot. Kevin swings but misses, and just narrowly avoids an RKO! Kevin goes out of the ring to vent his frustration but then runs across Nakamura. Nakamura doesn’t do anything, Orton attacks Kevin from behind. Orton bumps Kevin off barriers a couple times, then puts him back in the ring. Kevin is right on Orton with stomps and punches. Sami tags in, then mugs Orton in the corner. Sami whips Orton, Orton counters by throwing Sami by his head. Orton stomps away on Sami, then drags him up to tag Nakamura. Nakamura drives knees into Sami’s ribs, then drops a knee. Sami ducks one kick but takes the other, then Nakamura adds on kicks to Sami’s chest. Sami blocks one but takes the enziguri, and then Good Vibrations in a corner. Nakamura keeps on Sami, then tags in Styles. Styles suplexes Sami but Sami blocks and powers him to the corner. Kevin tags in and unloads, but Styles slips out of the scoop. Kevin trips Styles in the waistlock, but then Styles reaches up to headscissors Kevin. Styles unleashes the Phenomal Blitz right into the sliding forearm! Styles kip-up then puts Kevin in position, but Sami saves him from the Clash. The best friends regroup and decide to walk. The referee counts, but Shane McMahon comes out to tell everyone this isn’t happening this way. Now this match is a No Count Out Handicap Match! And as such, Styles leads the charge to knock down Kevin & Sami! They brawl on the outside while we go to break.

SmackDown returns, and Sami has control of Styles in a chinlock. Fans rally for Styles, he gets to his feet but Sami grounds him again. Styles still tries, reaching for his corner while fighting back, but Sami drags him away with a headlock takeover. Tag to Kevin, Kevin gives body shots and elbows to Styles. Kevin rains rights while he trash talks, saying “It’s OUR show! It’s OUR title!”

He reels Styles into a lariat, covers, TWO, back to the chinlock. Fans continue to rally for Styles, Styles gets up again. He gives body shots but Kevin clubs him down. Kevin runs, into the Ushigoroshi! The fans are really fired up while Styles and Keivn crawl, hot tags to Orton and Sami! The VIper rallies on the Underdog, spinning powerslam! Sami crawls to the apron but Orton drags him out through the ropes, for the draping DDT!

Orton hears the voices in his head as he stalks Sami. Kevin returns, with a chair! Disqualification ends the match but Kevin is just getting started. He jabs each opponent with the chair, and then he and Sami start to leave. However, Shane returns again. He doesn’t approve of this finish, either, it’s now ANYTHING GOES!

As such, Styles uses the steel chair on Sami & Kevin! SMACK to Kevin’s back!

Styles pursues Kevin to the side of the stage, and around the back. They’re out of the match for now, Sami finds himself alone with The Rockstar & The Viper… They go into the ring, then out, then to the timekeeper’s area but Sami gets caught! Orton & Sami drag him back in and throw him into a post. They even coordinate to use the steel steps! Orton takes aim at Sami, BONG on his head! They’re not done yet, they both throw Sami over the announce desk! Orton clears it off and drags Sami back up, for a back suplex right onto the table! Sami writhes in pain but the torture is far from over. Orton feeds Sami to Nakamura’s KINSHASA! The fans are rabid, Orton drags Sami up, for an RKO!! The cover, Orton, Styles & Nakamura win! Things didn’t go their way when they didn’t have numbers, can Kevin & Sami turn the tide at the Royal Rumble?

 

My Thoughts:

Just like Raw last night, this was a great episode of SmackDown tonight. The Women’s Division still seems a bit copy-and-paste with how the Riott Squad loses a match just like Absolution did. I feel it would’ve benefited the division as a whole if there was separation between the two emerging factions, but I also understand Becky’s solo return should’ve been with a win. Maybe it should’ve been Sarah Logan or Liv Morgan who lost tonight, instead, so that their leader and therefore their stable looks weaker than Absolution. Bludgeon Brothers win again but it feels like there’s nothing to come from this. Unless, we get a triple threat tag where the “friends” really do have to unite to defeat Harper & Rowan and then become actual friends. That could explain why Breezango won over the red-hot Rusev Day. I honestly didn’t think Mojo was going to sweep Ryder 2-0 but that’s fine, it’ll give reason for a real good match between Mojo and Roode to solidify Mojo’s place in the upper mid-card.

I do enjoy the parallel of defending the SmackDown Tag Team Championships at the Royal Rumble, and in a vacuum, Best 2 outta 3 does follow the story of Usos VS Benjamin & Gable. However, I am wary of how the decision is being framed as Bryan growing unstable. Now, I do think it was good of Bryan to make it as if he’s showing Shane how Shane has been, but it still feels like WWE wants to make Bryan out to be the biased Heel management figure despite how fans still love love LOVE him. Styles is being rather reasonable about being caught up in this, but it works since he is still Face. Orton and Nakamura take advantage of being dragged back into this by reminding Styles that the Rumble match is still happening. Nakamura winning the Rumble can still make him a legitimate threat to the world title, it’s kinda the whole point of the Rumble match in my opinion. Shane of course adds onto his side of the unbiased management story with the constant restarts and changes to rules, and the benefactors are the Faces to keep them all strong this close to the PPV.

My Score: 8/10


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(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.2 ~ 21ST SEPTEMBER 2018

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CURRENT TOUR RECAP

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)
YO-HEY: 7
Ikuto Hidaka: 6
Daisuke Harada: 6
Kotaro Suzuki: 6
Hitoshi Kumano: 4
Tadasuke: 4
Hi69: 4
Minoru Tanaka: 4
HAYATA: 3
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

NEWS

QUIET STORM CELEBRATES 20 YEARS
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.

GHC BELT NEWS

Current champions

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

OTHER NEWS

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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Coverage

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

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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 http://frentique.tumblr.com/

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

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

PLAY BY PLAY

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

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Joe Lucha Libre Report
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CMLL

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

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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