All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service
- WWE United Kingdom Championship: Pete Dunne VS Roderick Strong; Dunne wins and retains the WWE UK Championship.
- TM61 VS John Skyler & Andrew Duckworth; TM61 wins.
- NXT Women’s Championship: Ember Moon VS Shayna Baszler; Shayna wins by disqualification, Ember retains the NXT Women’s Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
WWE United Kingdom Championship: Pete Dunne VS Roderick Strong!
No need to wait, this highly anticipated crossover match starts NXT off! Can the British Bruiserweight hold on to his title when faced with the American Savior of the Backbreaker?
The bell rings and they tie up right away! Dunne powers Strong to ropes while the fans duel. Strong and Dunne spin around and end up in a corner, the ref calling for a break. The break is anything but clean, but the two cool off to circle again. Strong keeps Dunne from getting too close to ropes before they tie up again. They end up in another corner but then come right out. Dunne gets the armbar takedown but Strong gets right up to attempt a high stack cover, ONE, but Strong transitions into an attempt at his signature hold. Dunne resists and rolls to flip Strong, but both men are right back up on their feet. The fans applaud this evenly matched match while we go to break.
NXT returns to find Dunne in control of Strong. He brings Strong up and goes after the fingers. Dunne brings Strong’s arm down to the mat and bends it back, before kicking it!
Strong rolls out of the ring to give himself time but Dunne is right on him. Dunne bends that arm and teh fingers all over again, then brings them to the steel steps. He bends Strong’s arm again, then stomps on it!
The Bruiserweight is merciless as he stalks Strong around the corner. He grabs that arm again to bend it from wrist to elbow as he leads Strong all the way to the other steel steps. Dunne wedges Strong’s hand inside the gap between steps and post, then clubs the arm to twist it! The ring count is refreshed before Dunne keeps on Strong with a chop. He puts the arm back on the steps, but Strong pulls it out of the way in time. Strong then pulls Dunne off the steps to throw him into them!
Dunne falls to the ground while the referee checks on him. Both men are apparently okay to continue, so Strong brings Dunne into the ring. Cover, TWO, but he clobbers Dunne with low boot after boot. He grinds a knee into Dunne’s ribs, pulling him in add pressure. Dunne uses his legs to fight out, the fans duel as Strong staggers back. Strong returns and grabs Dunne again, for a pumphandle backbreaker!
Cover, TWO, but Strong keeps his cool. Dunne clutches his back as Strong brings him up into a corner. Strong chops Dunne, Dunne slaps Strong. Strong boots back and rocks Dunne, then brings him back up for yet another backbreaker. Dunne rolls to a corner but Strong won’t let up. Strong stomps a mudhole into Dunne, even as Dunne tries to fight back with finger manipulation. The fans duel as Strong brings Dunne up and to a corner. Strong hoists Dunne to the top rope then climbs up with him. He goes for a superplex but Dunne gets a hold of the fingers again. Dunne clubs and slaps Strong to the floor, then adjusts to jump and stomp Strong’s arm on the way down!
The referee checks on Strong but Strong won’t give up just because of that. He and Dunne get up onto the apron, Dunne runs over but into Strong’s boot! Strong continues with an enziguri, then a fireman’s carry, just to drop him on the apron!
The fans applaud the severity of this action while we go to break.
NXT returns again, and Strong stomps away on Dunne. He grabs for Dunne but Dunne scrambles to ropes. The ref counts the break, Strong backs off, and Dunne comes out with a stinging enziguri! Strong is dazed but still hits Dunne with back elbow and forward elbow. Now Dunne is a bit dazed as the fans rally. The two men slowly stand up, and Strong whips Dunne to a corner. Dunne goes up and over to enziguri Strong again, to then Falcon Arrow him into the armbar!
Strong rolls so Dunne adjusts into the hammerlock and stretch! Dunne even isolates fingers, before pulling back and letting it fling forward! Strong writhes in pain as Dunne gets himself to a corner. Dunne climbs up but Strong anchors a foot. Dunne fights him off but then Strong yanks him off the top into the cradling hold. However, Strong’s bad arm keeps him from holding Dunne up, so Dunne gets Strong in powerbomb position, for a swift sit-out!
TWO! Dunne’s back hurts too much for him to be frustrated. The two men stir with fans cheering them both on. Dunne stands up first as the fans duel again. He toys with Strong, then drags him up by that bad arm. Dunne bends the fingers but Strong powers Dunne into a corner. The buckle impact breaks the hold, and Strong gets space. He runs back in but misses, Dunne throws him back with a German Suplex. Dunne then hurries out and up, and jumps, only for Strong to dropkick him out of the air!
Strong crawls to a cover, TWO! It was a close call, but Dunne still got out. The fans rally for both men again as Strong pursues Dunne. Strong chops Dunne, then runs side to side for the forearm smash! He lifts Dunne but Dunne counters to a pin, TWO and Strong slips Dunne to a crucifix pin, TWO! Dunne jumps but Strong catches him into the cradling backbreaker!
Cover, TWO! The fans applaud as both men are down on the mat. The fans build back to a rally, then duel as the two men stand up again. Strong brings Dunne over for forearms and chops, then wants the Olympic Slam, but Dunne slips out to shove Strong into buckles. Dunne gets Strong on the rebound with a Half ‘n’ Half!
Dunne raises his fist, but rocks Strong with a swift kick, then covers! TWO! Both men are exhausted but the fans keep rallying for them. Dunne kicks Strong from the mat, then grabs that bad arm for teh triangle! Strong makes it a cover, Dunne fights back, so Strong deadlifts Dunne and brings him to ropes, for an elevated rope guillotine! Dunne slumps down against ropes, but he still gets himself under the bottom rope. The fans duel as Strong and Dunne get up on both sides of the ropes. Strong climbs a corner and brings Dunne over. He brings Dunne up to the top with him, but Dunne resists. Strong clubs Dunne in the back, then hits the SUPER Olympic Slam!!
The crash landing sends Dunne far away, Strong has to crawl to the cover, TWO!! Strong feels the frustration building as he and Dunne rest on the mat. The fans rally once more, and Strong goes over to Dunne. Dunne grabs the bad fingers, but Strong breaks the grip to then rock Dunne with a jumping knee strike! He runs at Dunne in a corner for another big knee strike! And then throws him with the running mat slam! Cover, TWO! Strong feels how close he is, but the fans hope they “Fight Forever!” He brings Dunne back up, prepares a suplex but Dunne hits the X-Plex outta nowhere!
He’s not done there, he grabs Strong in the pumphandle, but Strong slips out of the Bitter End! Strong forearms, back elbows then throws more elbows from both sides. Dunne catches Strong with a forearm to the back of the head! But this only gives Strong the momentum for a running knee! Strong grabs Dunne in the double underhook, and hits a tigerbomb! TWO, but Strong rolls Dunne for the Strong Hold!
However, that bad hand makes it tough to hold it. Dunne manages to roll it back and grabs the bad hand. He snaps the fingers! Strong flies back in pain and tumbles out of the ring! Dunne grins as he gets up and kicks Strong on reentry. Then, Bitter End!!
Dunne wins! The UK Championship stays with the UK superstar! What will it take to dethrone the Bruiserweight from his championship throne?
Johnny Gargano raised the stakes on himself in regards to the NXT Championship.
Even though he went into NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia “the most confident” he’s ever been in his career, he did not defeat El Idolo. However, what he earned that night meant even more to him than a title, “Johnny Freakin’ Wrestling” earned the NXT Universe’s love and respect. But in an attempt to add insult to injury, Andrade “Cien” Almas and Zelina Vega came out to denounce everything Gargano said. Respect? Who cares! The championship is still theirs, and Almas has defeated Gargano in a 3-0 sweep. Gargano isn’t Johnny Wrestling, he’s “Johnny Loser.” Gargano reminded Vega of the hand she played in that match, as well as what Mrs. Wrestling, Candice LeRae, did to her in return. And when Vega started getting in Gargano’s face, Candice appeared! Mr. & Mrs. Wrestling then ran Almas & Vega off, and it pissed Vega off so much that she granted Gargano a rematch, but on one condition: if Gargano loses this time, he LEAVES NXT! Johnny Wrestling accepted the challenge, but will he come to regret it?
NXT Paparazzi caught up with Velveteen Dream.
The Patrick Clark Experience opens by saying he refuses to answer questions regarding Kassius Ohno. Secondly, he addresses his coming match with No Way Jose. “No Way Jose brings the Fiesta, The Dream will bring The Experience. That’s all.” But not really, as he now addresses Tyler Bate of the WWE UK Division. A former UK Champion at only “five foot nothing”, yet Bate sees himself as a big enough star to wrestle Dream 1v1? They ask if he could elaborate. Is he saying he’ll give Bate a match? He refuses to comment, and tells them to get out of the way. The NXT media still has a lot to ask Dream, but that will have to be for another time.
Aleister Black heads to the ring.
While the Embodiment of The End is still on a dominant 1v1 streak, he isn’t here to make someone #FadetoBlack. He walks to the ring to an ovation from the fans, and wishes to speak. “This path has always led one way.” It has put Aleister “face to face with a sensation, led to an Experience, and pushed my limits in the face of an Era.” But now Aleister has a “devil” on his back. That devil drives Aleister, because “that devil is the NXT Championship!” Aleister must possess that title. However, a certain Beast of Belfast appears!
Equally dominant in his own right, Killian Dain is here to make his presence known. He joins Aleister in the ring to speak his mind. “The devil isn’t on your back. I am!” And Dain will not stop until the NXT Championship is around his waist. But if Aleister has a problem with what he’s saying, then Dain will warn him: “Your path will be stopped by chaos.” The two stare down, but Aleister is not intimidated. Dain goes to leave when Aleister calls his name. Aleister continues by walking up to Dain, and saying, “You crossed me, so now you must Fade to Black.” Dain grins, liking Aleister’s moxie. Dain leaves all the same, and the two stare down one more time as Dain reaches the stage. What will happen when order and chaos collide on the road to the title?
TM61 VS John Skyler & Andrew Duckworth!
Shane Thorne & Nick Miller are back to continue proving The Mighty Don’t Kneel. Can they also prove that The Mighty Deserve Championships with another win?
The bell rings and Miller starts against “The Southern Savior” Skyler. They tie up, spin around and end up at the ropes. Skyler lets go, only to chop Miller at the ropes. Miller fires off forearms fast, then chops Skyler in return. He whips Skyler and knocks him down with a forearm, then chops him in the Mighty corner before tagging Thorne in. Miller whips Thorne in for a big back elbow, then comes in for a corner clothesline of his own. Then he feeds Skyler to Thorne’s lariat! Duckworth rushes in but gets a back suplex from Thorne. Thorne goes after Skyler with a running European Uppercut, then goes for a suplex, but Skyler blocks and kicks at that repaired leg! Skyler clubs Thorne into his corner, then tags Duckworth in. Duckworth and Skyler mug Thorne in their corner, then Duckworth goes for a back suplex of his own. Thorne slips out, shoves Duckworth, then dropkicks him on the rebound. Tag to Miller, tag to Skyler, but it’s Miller who rallies! He knocks Skyler down, sees Duckworth coming and puts the bigger man into an open corner. Miller suplexes but Skyler slips out and around. Miller throws a back elbow but Skyler ducks it, only to end up in a DDT! Duckworth runs back out, but into Miller’s spinebuster!
Miller tags Thorne while Duckworth and Skyler end up in the same corner, Thorne leaps for a big cannonball sandwich!
The fans fire up as The Mighty pick Skyler up, and hit him with Thunder Valley!
TM61 wins! Miller & Thorne are on a roll, can they roll right up to the Undisputed Era’s NXT Tag Team Championships?
NXT Women’s Championship: Ember Moon VS Shayna Baszler!
The Prophecy of Flame may be the #Shenom, but she was still tested like no other against the Queen of Spades. However, Shayna’s claims that Ember only survived rather than won got under the champion’s skin, so this rematch was granted to put the rumors to rest! Can NXT’s War Goddess remain on top against the merciless Submission Magician?
It should be noted that Ember still has Kinesio Tape on her left arm. She may be medically cleared, but is that tape going to be nothing more than a bullseye for her opponent?
The bell rings and Ember dropkicks Shayna in the face immediately! She keeps going, hammering away on the “bully” Baszler. Shayna takes it and goes after the bad arm! Ember slips away, kicking Shayna on the mat. Ember throws more hammer fists and Shayna grabs at the bad arm for a Kimura, but Ember still narrowly escapes. Shayna sits up, and Ember kicks her square in the shoulder! The rage does not subside, Ember keeps hammering away on Shayna. She brings Shayna up just to knee her back down, then stalks Shayna to ropes. The fans cheer as Ember kicks and clubs away at Shayna, but the referee counts. He backs Ember down, but Ember still rocks Shayna with an enziguri! Ember roars as fans fire up, and boots Shayna right in the chest!
Shayna is uncharacteristically on the defense and down on the mat as Ember goes to a corner. Ember climbs, and we know what that means. She takes aim, but Shayna sees her rising, so she slips out of the ring. Ember watches Shayna catching her breath on the outside, so she hops down to build speed and DIVE!
Both women crash into the announce desk, and that unfortunately aggravates Ember’s bad arm! She writhes and screams in pain while the fans chant “NXT! NXT!” The referee also checks on Shayna, and she is still okay to compete. A ring count begins and gets past 7 before Shayna gets up and over to Ember. The count gets to 8 as Shayna puts Ember back in the ring, and this match continues. Shayna goes after that bad arm with a kick, then lets her hair down as her frustration boils up. She tortures Ember with a seated double wristlock. Ember endures and refuses to quit, so Shayna bends that arm back and stomps on it!
She isn’t done, she grabs Ember’s arm and goes for the cross armbreaker, but Ember quickly clasps her hands. The fans cheer Ember on, and Ember rolls Shayna like back in TakeOver: Philadelphia! TWO, and Shayna grins, telling Ember it won’t end like that again. She kicks that bad arm, then tries the cross armbreaker again. Ember again clasps her hands to hold it off, but can’t hold on, Shayna gets the full extension! Shayna even adds on a wristlock twist! Ember endures and drags herself around with her legs, and manages the ropebreak by a toe! The ref counts, Shayna lets go at 3, but then comes right back. Ember holds onto the rope but Shayna pries her away to then drag her by her hair. Ember surprises Shayna with a victory roll! TWO! Shayna gives Ember a knee, then throws her into a post! Ember tumbles all the way out and to the ground. Shayna walks around and catches her breath while the ring count begins. Champion’s Advantage prompts her to fetch Ember, but not without adding on a little extra. She exposes the barriers and threads Ember’s bad arm through the gaps, to then stomp away without resistance!
Shayna then shifts to pulling on Ember’s arm with the barrier between them! The referee comes out to count, Shayna lets go to keep from being disqaulified. Ember gets free of the guard rail, but Shayna grabs her arm again, torturing it with how she bends it. But then, coming in from the crowd, it’s the Pirate Princess, Kairi Sane! She climbs up the steel steps and jumps at Shayna for a flying forearm!
Kairi gets payback on Shayna for her sneak attack weeks ago, both physically and in that the match is disqualified! Ember will retain her championship! Kairi keeps going as she hammers more forearms into Shayna, then pursues her into the ring. Shayna swings on Kairi but Kairi evades to rally on the Queen of Spades! Every time Shayna gets up, Kairi knocks her down. She knocks Shayna out of the ring, but dares her to come back for more. However, Kairi makes the mistake of checking on Ember, and Shayna slips back into the ring! Shayna rushes Kairi but she’s ready for it, and hits Shayna with the Interceptor Spear!!
The fans are thunderous for the Mae Young Classic winner, and she’s still fired up to fight Shayna. Shayna isn’t as eager, she backs down. Shayna wins the match but we know Ember retains, will the controversy only delay the inevitable? And as Kairi stares down her MYC opponent, will Shayna have to get through her to try again?
A pretty great episode of NXT here. I was surprised but not at all disappointed with having the WWE UK Championship match first. This was an amazing match, Strong looked strong and it really bolsters Dunne’s own strength for him to win. Of course, it was a bit of a foregone conclusion that an American wrestler wasn’t going to win the UK Championship just yet, but maybe even for just a second it felt like Strong could’ve done it. There’s still a lot WWE needs to do to show their commitment to the UK title and its Division, but as long as we’re getting great matches while we wait, I can be patient. The crossover work helps, such as how Velveteen Dream is taking issue with Tyler Bate. I don’t doubt Dream VS Bate will make for a great program and match, I’m just not sure where it’ll lead either man afterward. However, Aleister VS Damo definitely will lead to an NXT Championship down the way. I can’t see Aleister losing in singles competition just yet, but their match result may depend on next week’s Almas VS Gargano NXT Championship match. There are a lot of variables and moving pieces with the NXT Championship, I’ll likely be pleased by any of the outcomes.
When I saw TM61 coming out for their match, I was a bit concerned about the timing, considering we still had the NXT Women’s Championship match to go. In the end, it was a fast match, putting the returning Skyler and the debuting Duckworth away easily. With the Authors of Pain still in NXT but feeling on their way out to the main roster, TM61 should be the ones to challenge reDRagon next. Then in the NXT Women’s Championship, it was shorter and ends in “controversy”, but it was still solid work from everyone. Ember and Shayna play their characters perfectly, the angry “underdog” champion giving the arrogant upstart challenge a small taste of her own medicine, only for Shayna to get the better of Ember. I almost thought we were getting a referee stoppage to give Shayna the belt, a la Kevin Owens pummeling Sami Zayn until he couldn’t fight. Instead, Kairi Sane makes the save! Kairi and Shayna have unfinished business, but they both want to be champion, so I would hope that while Ember is grateful for the save, she and Kairi keep a competitive tension between them. In fact, I would love if it somehow becomes an NXT Women’s Championship Triple Threat for TakeOver: New Orleans to really make Wrestlemania Weekend something to watch.
My Score: 8.5/10
Dragon Gate Fantastic Gate 2018 Results & Review (12/4/2018)
Mathew brings us more coverage with…Dragon Gate? Well I suppose something big did happen, even though King of Gate was still horrid. But hey, let’s see if PAC’s involvement helps things out.
We now return to Dragon Gate to take a small break from the AJPW Real World Tag League, which you should check out if you haven’t just yet since it’s been a great tournament.
As of right now, this will be my last Dragon Gate coverage for the year due to scheduling with the holidays and work, plus I need to get ready for matches of the year at the end of the month. We got a big show today since we got Open the Dream Gate Championship defended against PAC.
So let us see how things will turn out as we…dive right in.
Eight Man Tag Team Match
Dragon Dia & Tribe Vanguard (BxB Hulk, Kagetora & YAMATO) vs. Don Fujii, Gamma, Ryo Saito & Super Shisa
Review: Our opening contest is an eight-man tag match with Don Fujii, Gamma, Ryo Saito, and Super Shisa taking on three members of Tribe Vanguard, Kagetora and the Open the Twin Gate Champions, BxB Hulk and YAMATO along with Dragon Dia. Dragon Dia is a new wrestler in Dragon Gate as he is also considered to be Dragon Kid’s new apprentice whenever he decides to hang it up. Let’s see how Dragon Dia does and will he help Tribe Vanguard get the victory or will it be the other team?
The match was short and incredibly basic with nothing really too much to make the crowd seem overly invested in it in my opinion. Half of the match is pretty much Dia paying his dues in the ring while also getting a bit of offense into the match, so how did he do? From what I saw out of him, I thought he does have potential to be how Dragon Kid was but he has a long way to go if he wants to reach that level eventually. Dia did take a beating from the other team and even had Gamma kinda waterboard him while he was taking a Mexican Stretch. Tribe Vanguard would do stuff for a little bit into the match and they worked well with each other and not with Dia since he’s not really apart of their unit. Dia would get to have Fujii for a pinfall but he kicked out and hits Dia with a Lariat to end his momentum. Fujii would hit a Chokeslam onto Dia as Ryo would do his SaiRyo Rocket to get the pinfall victory.
Rating: Tony Schiavone and a quarter
Eight Man Tag Team Match
Hyo Watanabe, Kota Minoura, Masaaki Mochizuki & Yuki Yoshioka vs. Hiroshi Yamato & MaxiMuM (Jason Lee, Kaito Ishida & Naruki Doi)
Review: We get another eight-man tag match to continue this show as Masaaki Mochizuki is in action with Hyo Watanabe, Kota Minoura, and Yuki Yoshioka as the four take on Hiroshi Yamato and three MaxiMuM members, Jason Lee, Kaito Ishida, and Naruki Doi. While the opening match wasn’t really something that was memorable, I’m sure we’ll get some action in this one to pick stuff up. Which one of these four will win?
I’m still new to Hiroshi Yamato, but I’m still digging his singing type of gimmick and think it’s pretty funny. This one was a much better match than the opening contest since all of the competitors were more involved in this We had another small encounter with Mochizuki and Lee, and I still wanna see that match happen but I know we probably won’t get a singles match with them any time soon. Yuki is someone that keeps growing on me whenever I see him involved in these tag matches as he does show signs of progress and I hope to see big things from him in 2019. Jason Lee would try to do his taunt in the ring when he’s in his meditative state and rolled up Mochizuki for a two count and when Mochizuki would try to do the same taunt, Jason would just kick his head. Yuki would block Naruki’s Bakatare Sliding Kick but takes a German from Yamato, a Facebuster from Naruki, and a kick along with a German from Lee as they break the hold. Yuki would attempt a flash pin onto Kaito but Kaito would quickly maneuver out of it until Yuki pinned him back down as he gets the surprise victory!
Rating: Eric Bischoff
Shun Skywalker vs. U-T
Review: We only have two singles matches in this show and it’s time to get our first one underway as we have Shun Skywalker taking on U-T. It’s been a while since I’ve seen Shun in a singles match since the King of Gate Tournament and this might be the first time I’ve seen U-T in a singles match, so this is definitely a nice surprise since both men can go. Which one of these two will get the win?
If you were expecting a highflying type of match between these two, you don’t get that type of match here and while it did throw me off, I was honestly okay with it since they still did give us a technical match. For my first time seeing U-T in one on one action, I gotta say that seeing him more ground-based in this match was very surprising in a good way too since he’s very crisp in his ability. Shun Skywalker still continues to impress me every time I see him in the ring, so seeing both of these men deliver in this match made me feel very satisfied.
The match was also very even here and it looked like Shun was going to get him, but U-T would catch him with the Skayde to try and make him tap out to the hold until Shun would roll out of the hold and hits the Moonsault Press for a two count. Shun would hit a Reverse Suplex and goes to the top rope to go for another Moonsault as U-T puts his knees up before Shun could land. U-T would apply the Skayde once again but Shun would refuse to tap out of the hold once again and the bell rings to show that there’s a time limit draw. Huge ovation for these two in this match and I hope this isn’t the end for them.
Rating: Bruce Prichard
Six Man Tag Team Match
Dragon Kid, Bandido, & Flamita vs. DAGA & R.E.D. (Eita & Ben-K)
Review: Our next match is a six-man tag team match with Dragon Kid teaming up with Flamita and Bandido is they take on R.E.D. We found out that Dragon Kid and Eita are going to have one final match at Final Gate in a hair vs mask match, but I’m not sure if the Open the Brave Gate Championship is on the line yet. But this is sure to be an exciting tag bout and let’s see if R.E.D wins or the luchadors take it.
R.E.D starting the attack on their opponents before the match started in their typical heel fashion. The face team would start to make a comeback with Bandido and Flamita diving to the outside onto their opponents. Seeing Kid, Flamita, and Bandido team up worked out very well here with their Luchador agility with Bandido once again being on fire in this match and if he’s someone you follow, what the hell is wrong with you? Get on that shit right away if you like Lucha Libre. It’s a shame Ben didn’t win the belt but I know he’ll bounce back into something soon, maybe going back to the Open the Twin Gate picture with Big R. Eita and Dragon Kid going back at it develops more fuel into their story and I actually can’t wait for it to end and not because it felt like it went on for too long, but with the new stipulation they added to their match, it just adds a lot more involved for their eventual conclusion. After Flamita and Bandido did their tag team combo with Bandido hitting a Phoenix Splash after being flipped over, Eita and Kid are alone in the ring again. Dragon jumped off the ropes and got caught for a Super Kick and would go to finish off Kid but he hits the Bible onto Eita to get the surprise victory!
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a half
Eight Man Tag Team Match
Natural Vibes (Genki Horiguchi, Kzy, Susumu Yokosuka & YASSHI) vs. R.E.D. (Big R Shimizu, KAZMA SAKAMOTO, Takashi Yoshida & Yasushi Kanda)
Review: Our next match is another eight-man tag team match with R.E.D members, Big R Shimizu, KAZMA SAKAMOTO, Takashi Yoshida, and Yasushi Kanda taking on Natural Vibes members, Genki Horiguchi, Kzy, Susumu Yokosuka, and Brother YASSHI. Recently, Natural Vibes broke the record for most title defenses with the Open the Triangle Gate Championships and they still look to hold onto the titles for a long time to keep the record around more. Will Natural Vibes get the win or will it be R.E.D?
R.E.D once again attacking Natural Vibes before the bell would ring and both teams would start fighting to the outside of the ring and into the crowd near the bleachers until they got back into the ring as we get the match started now. The match felt a little too short for this type of match but I thought it was still solid enough for a quick little exhibition type of match. We had a little encounter with Takashi and Kzy during the middle of it where they would go back and forth and it did seem like Takashi was gonna win this little back and forth until Kzy hits his running Elbow Smash onto him. Natural Vibes started to get the shine in the match when Susumu hits an Exploder Suplex onto Kanda off the middle rope and Kzy tops it off with an Elbow Drop while YASSHI hits a Diving Headbutt for a two count. Members were taking each other out left and right until it was Genki and Takashi in the match now as he does his Backslide From Heaven to go for the pin but Big R picked him up in a Wheel Barrel position for a German Suplex. Big R would quickly pick him up for him and Takashi to hit a Doomsday Device and KAZMA topped it off with a Package Piledriver to give R.E.D the win.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a quarter
Open the Dream Gate Championship
Masato Yoshino (c) vs. PAC
Review: We now have our main event of the evening as Masato Yoshino defends his Open the Dream Gate Championship against PAC. This will be PAC’s second singles match in Dragon Gate ever since he made his return to the company and while his match was disappointing, he still wanted to make the challenge to prove himself. Only one gaijin won the Open the Dream Gate Championship and that man was Ricochet, so if PAC wins then he will be the second one to win it. Masato though won’t go down without a fight here as he defends Dragon Gate against this man. Will Masato retain once again or will we have a new champion?
While both R.E.D and MaxiMuM are surrounding the ring, none of them interfere in the match and I’m glad too because it would’ve been a little bit too much in this match, plus PAC needs to prove himself that he can defeat Masato on his own without any help. I thought this match was a great title defense and definitely PAC’s better match compared to his one with Flamita since this one had a nicer pace that didn’t make it drag out a bit at all and he played the heel persona well like how he did in WWE when he was considered the King of the Cruiserweights, but he’s now known as the Bastard Child in Dragon Gate. I think I liked Masato’s match against Ben-K a little bit better, this one was almost as good in my opinion. One spot I really did like was when Masato went for the Slingblade off the top rope and PAC just flipped out of it and it just looked more smooth. Also, the Corkscrew PAC did to the outside looks great despite him shooting himself a little bit too far since most of the people were a bit too close.
PAC pulled off a lot of power moves like the Pop-up Powerbomb and it looked like he had Masato right where he wanted him as he went to the top rope to go for the Black Arrow but he was able to catch himself once Masato moved out of the way and hits the Another Space and then would hit the first Torbellino as he calls for the submission finish to apply the Sol Naciente, but he wouldn’t hold it for long this time as PAC picked him up for the Powerbomb for a two count. PAC seems to be getting back control now as he would try to go for the Black Arrow once more time but Masato picked his knees up to make PAC land on it and rolled him up for a two count. Masato wouldn’t give PAC time to rest as he hits a second Torbellino and applies the Sol Naciente once again but PAC was unable to power out of it this time around as he falls onto the mat unable to move for a bit until his foot landed on the rope to break the hold. Both men would have bursts of energy in the last stand as Masato lands another Torbellino and PAC gets up quickly to hit Masato with a German Suplex and gets him up for a Powerbomb but Masato would Sunset Flip over him for a two count. PAC would hit a Lariat onto Masato to knock him down before hitting the German Suplex Hold for a two count, and it appears PAC has him right where he wants him as he went to the top rope to the Black Arrow and he connects this time for a three count and we have a new champion!
You heard right, PAC is the new Open the Dream Gate Champion. Part of me feels like it’s a bit too soon to win the belt since he just came back a couple of months ago but at the same time, they wanna capitalize on this while he’s still red hot since leaving WWE and it could potentially open new eyes to the product since most fans knew him as Neville. So in a business aspect, it’s a good idea and hopefully, it can lead to what the company is looking for. Let’s see how things turn out.
Rating: Bruce Prichard and a half
Overall: Aside from the two singles matches being the highlight of the show, nothing else really stood out with the multi-man tag matches throughout the night. U-T and Shun did great work together and PAC had a much better match than he did with Flamita and we got a new champion out of it to bring in a new era for Dragon Gate.
Favorite Match: Masato Yoshino vs. PAC
Least Favorite Match: Dragon Dia & Tribe Vanguard (BxB Hulk, Kagetora & YAMATO) vs. Don Fujii, Gamma, Ryo Saito & Super Shisa
Mitchell’s WWE Mixed Match Challenge 2 Results & Report! (12/11/18)
The Mixed Match Challenge is almost done, but there’s been a last-minute substitution! Apollo Crews replaces Finn Balor, can he help Bayley make it to TLC?
- Jinder Mahal & Alicia w/ The Singh Brothers VS Apollo Crews & Bayley; Mahal & Alicia win and advance to the Finals at TLC.
- The Miz & Asuka VS R-Truth & Carmella; Truth & Carmella win and advance to the Finals at TLC.
PLAY BY PLAY
It’s time for the Mixed Match Challenge Semifinals!
The final four teams will be cut down to just two tonight! The Season One champions are still in the running, but they’ve had a rough go of it this year. The Miz and Asuka lost to the #ExtremeFlair after Jeff Hardy stepped in for AJ Styles. However, not even the top seed still stands as the #FABULOUSTruth pulled off the biggest upset to date! Can Truth & Carmella pull off another upset against a tense and dysfunctional Team AWESKA?
As for the Raw Block, #Mahalicia is the only team standing with its original members! Of course, Jinder Mahal and Alicia Fox have yet to truly see eye to eye despite making it back from the bottom of the block. That said, Finn Balor must step down from the Mixed Match Challenge because of the beating Drew McIntyre gave him on Raw a week ago. In his place now stands Apollo Crews, who wants to finally make his mark on the main roster! Can this new Team A’n’B go all the way to TLC?
Backstage with Bayley & Apollo Crews.
New partners start big with a semifinals match, but the dynamic doesn’t change for Bayley. These two are more prepared than ever, and they’ll be so close to being the #30 spots in their respective Royal Rumbles! But the Singh Brothers come in to get them to slow down. No one cares about where they “think” they’re going, because they’re going home! The Maharrrrraja and Foxy will be Too Sweet. No, better: they can hug it out! Bayley boots the Bollywood Boys out, and says she and Apollo will worry about vacation destinations after the match.
Backstage interview with R-Truth & Carmella!
The FABULOUS Truth is ecstatic for tonight. They had a rough start but are on a roll. They’ll be up against the MMC Champions. Miz & Asuka were worried about every team but Truth & Carmella. Well Miz has run his mouth a long time, and Truth knows that from teaming with Miz back in the day. Truth knows for a fact Asuka carries that team. As for tonight, Mella & Truth will carry SmackDown’s flag all the way to TLC. They vow to win, and that’s the truth. Also, Miz said something about shoes? Check these! Carmella’s kicks are F A B U L O U A S! That’s not how you spell fabulous. That aside, let’s move on to choosing a vacation site. Truth likes the idea of Athens. Greece? Georgia? No, Ohio. Well on to match preparations!
Jinder Mahal & Alicia w/ The Singh Brothers VS Apollo Crews & Bayley!
Team A’n’B already meshed well together when they and The Boss, Sasha Banks, took it to #Mahalicia on Raw. However, Sasha Banks won’t be present to help cancel out Samir & Sunil, will #HugNation be able to overcome Shanti and head to TLC?
Bayley and Apollo talk on the way out, and it’s decided: once they win that vacation, they’ll go to Jamaica. “This one’s for Finn!” The teams then sort out, and the men begin. Apollo circles with Mahal and they tie up. Mahal gets a headlock and the Singhs already celebrate. Apollo powers out but Mahal runs him over with a shoulder. Mahal runs but Apollo gets up, only for Mahal to whip him. Apollo leaps over for the sunset flip, TWO! Backslide, TWO! Apollo rolls Mahal up, TWO! Mahal scrambles away and Alicia tags in. Mahal claims he had this, but Alicia doesn’t care. Vegas fires up for Bayley as she circles with Alicia. Bayley rolls Alicia, TWO! She tries again, ONE! A third time, TWO!
Alicia wants a breather and she bails out of the ring. She reprimands the Singhs and Mahal for not helping out. Alicia wants that 30th spot and vacation, but the Singhs and Mahal remind her she needs to win first. Alicia gets back in the ring, but Bayley gets her with a drop toehold! Bayley wants to put on an abdominal stretch, but Alicia resists. They go around and Bayley gets a facelock. The Singhs say that’s cheating, but Alicia drives Bayley into a corner. Alicia throws forearms then wrenches the arm. She kicks Bayley around then reels her in. Bayley reverses to a cradle, TWO! Bayley gets to a corner and flapjacks Alicia on the buckles! The Singhs coach Alicia up and she tags to Mahal!
Apollo comes in, but Mahal wants him to take it easy. Mahal kicks but Apollo blocks to counter punch. Apollo whips but Mahal hits a body shot. Mahal stomps a mudhole into Apollo, then whips him corner to corner. Apollo goes up and over and handsprings, then leaps over Mahal to hip toss him down. Fans fire up with Apollo and Apollo back flips. He lansd on his feet but walks into a hotshot and big knee! Cover, TWO! Mahal keeps his cool as he drives an elbow into Apollo’s head. He whips Apollo corner to corner hard and Apollo hits the mat. Mahal stomps away but Bayley keeps the Singhs back. Mahal drops knees then grinds Apollo down. The ref counts and Mahal stops at 4. Mahal brings Apollo up in a half nelson chinbar.
Apollo endures as fans rally up, and Apollo fights out. Mahal shoves Apollo and runs him over with an elbow! Cover, TWO! Mahal puts Apollo back in the half nelson, but Apollo endures. Fans rally up and Apollo fights back. Mahal shoves but Apollo kicks back. Apollo runs but into a clobbering clothesline! Mahal pulls back with a camel clutch. Fans rally again but Mahal wrangles Apollo back down. Mahal wrenches back on the chinlock, but Apollo endures. Fans rally up and Apollo gets moving. Apollo arm-drags out and enziguris Mahal down! Both men crawl for their corners, hot tag to Bayley!
Alicia comes in but Bayley rallies! Bayley puts Alicia in a corner for the back elbow, and corner punches! She gets 8, but Alicia slips out. Bayley jumps over to hit a big back suplex! Bayley runs in for the big knee, but Alicia gets to the apron. Alicia bumps Bayley off buckles, but Bayley hotshots her back! Bayley2Belly! Cover, but the Singhs drag Alicia out! The referee reprimands them but Apollo wipes them out with flying clotheslines! Apollo then leaps up again, asai moonsault takes them out again! He feeds Samir to Bayley2Belly! Then the same for Sunil! Bayley fires up but Mahal boots Apollo down! Bayley DIVES on Mahal! She puts Alicia back in, but walks into a boot!! Cover, Mahalicia wins!!
Winners: Jinder Mahal & Alicia Fox, Alicia pinning; advance to the MMC Finals at TLC
The dysfunctional duo makes it work! Granted, they succeeded against teams that had substitute members, such as how Curt Hakwins stepped in for Braun Strowman last week. But a win is a win, and now Mahalicia will represent Raw in the Finals! Who will they face in their shot at the 30th spots and the all-expenses-paid vacation?
Backstage interview with Mahalicia.
Did they ever think this day would come? Of course they did! Mahal meditated and visualized, and he sees himself, Alicia, and the Singhs on the beach. Alicia agrees with winning, but NOT with letting the Singhs joining them. They’re successful because SHE is the Captain! She’s driving this ship into Port Victory, without them! But Asuka comes over, laughing at how Mahalicia thinks they’re gonna win. It doesn’t matter what happened on tonight’s SmackDown, Asuka says she’s gonna win, because her match is next!
The Miz & Asuka VS R-Truth & Carmella!
The Season One champions are on the rocks right now as The Empress doesn’t appreciate The A-Lister trying to take credit for her work. Meanwhile, the fourth seed FABULOUS Truth have put in the work to make it back up from the bottom. Will we see another historic upset from Truth and the Princess of Staten Island?
“Las Vegas, make some noise! What’s up!?” The Miz and Asuka aren’t impressed, and aren’t in the mood for that Dance Break the fans are cheering for. The teams sort out and both Miz and Asuka say “I’ve got this.” Fans are on Asuka’s side. Miz concedes, and Asuka starts with Carmella. But then Miz calls over to tag in. Asuka refuses, because she’s got it. But then she chops him, which counts for a tag! Truth comes in and Asuka is annoyed. Truth rolls Miz up! TWO, but Truth stays on Miz. Miz powers out but Truth runs him over. Truth does his bunny hop dance, then things speed up. Truth holds ropes to do the rest of his dance. Miz runs in but Truth dodges to tilt-o-whirl Miz to a corner. Truth runs in to haymaker Miz. The ref backs Truth up and Miz kicks low.
Miz bumps Truth off buckles, then stomps him. Miz whips corner to corner but Truth goes up and over to dab on ’em! This annoys Miz and he runs back in, but Truth does the splits to dodge, then hip tosses Miz down! Truth clotheslines Miz out, and Carmella comes in, for the DANCE BREAK~! Asuka is furious at Miz while Truth and Carmella floss and twerk. Carmella calls out Asuka, so Asuka shows off her moves on the apron. Miz is annoyed but Truth hip tosses Miz back in! Truth throws hands then climbs up for corner punches. He gets 8 before Miz pushes him away and boots Truth down. Miz chokes Truth on the ropes, then hits his straddle attack. Cover, TWO!
Miz keeps on Truth with a camel clutch but Carmella rallies the fans. Truth gets up and fights back. Miz pulls hair to throw Truth down and deny the tag. Miz stalks Truth, to boot him down! Cover, TWO! Truth survives and Miz argues with the ref. Miz hears the fans rally and say “We Want Asuka!” Miz ignores that but gets rocked by haymakers from Truth! Truth back suplexes but Miz lands out to kick low and hit the basement DDT! Cover, but Carmella breaks it! Carmella goes back to her corner, but then Miz mocks the moonwalk. It wasn’t very good, but Miz stomps Truth down. Miz brings Truth up and uses his It Kicks. Miz winds up but misses, Truth rolls him up! TWO, and Miz clobbers Truth with a clothesline!
Fans rally but Miz grins as he runs corner to corner at Truth. He hits the dropkick, then keeps going to hit another. Miz soaks up the heat before running back in, but Truth clobbers him! Both men are down but fans are fired up. Truth and Miz crawl, hot tag brings in the ladies! Carmella rallies with lariats and a kick. She brings Asuka over for a bump off her boot. Asuka’s down but she dodges the bronco buster to then lift Carmella in a waistlock. Carmella screams and shouts to be let down, so Asuka gently sets Carmella back on her feet. To then lift her back up! Carmella fights out but gets the pop-up knee! Asuka runs, sliding wizard! Cover, TWO!
Carmella survives and Asuka grows frustrated. Miz is also frustrated but Asuka stays on Carmella with knees. Carmella jawbreakers and shoves Asuka away, Miz tags in! Miz goes after Truth but Truth punches him away. Truth rallies with the Lie Detector elbow! Cover, but Asuka breaks it! Carmella throws Asuka into buckles, and tunes up the band. She aims at Miz, but Miz uses Asuka as a shield?! The FABULOUS Kick hits Asuka, then Miz shoves Truth into Carmella before rolling Truth up! TWO!! FABULOUS KICK, to Scissor Kick! Cover, TWO!? Miz lives?! Fans are stunned but loving this!
Asuka throws Carmella out, then Miz dumps Truth out. Miz and Asuka catch their breath, but Asuka locks eyes with Miz. She knows what Miz just did, and he tries to say it wasn’t him. Asuka doesn’t believe Miz, she knows what she saw. Miz is afraid of what she’ll do, and says that they’re still a team. They can still win this together! Okay? No! Asuka fires off on Miz!! Buzzsaw! Miz is rocked, and Asuka ditches him! Truth gives Miz an Unprettier! Cover, Fabulous Truth win!!
Winners: R-Truth & Carmella, Truth pinning; advance to the MMC Finals at TLC
The Season One Champions are no longer in the tournament! The A-Lister made a major mistake thinking he could manipulate the Empress of Tomorrow, and now the FABULOUS Truth capitalize! It will be Truth & Carmella VS Mahal & Alicia at TLC, who wins to become the new Mixed Match Challenge Champions?
Last episode, last time for one of these. Admittedly, we all should’ve known, me especially, that this was not going to end with an amazing match up of top stars in the Finals. The big names like Finn Balor, Braun Strowman, Charlotte Flair, AJ Styles, etc were only in this second MMC to hook fans. WWE needs people to use Facebook Watch because of the deal they made, so that’s why we got great combinations to start. But naturally, it was all bait and switch, considering how those same big names would inevitably end up in more important stories like the titles and grudges we’re getting at TLC. Rest in peace, my dream of Bullet Club leaders and NXT Four Horsewomen members all in one match.
As for the bracket we did get, I knew it was going to end up this way. I thought Apollo was going to be Bayley’s second chance at that 30th spot after Finn had to step down for the sake of his match against Drew McIntyre. Then San Jose could cheer on their hometown girl as she goes against SmackDown’s finalist. However, Mahalicia still wins so that they are the Heels of the Finals. And while I knew Truth & Carmella were going to go in once Asuka ended up in the TLC Triple Threat, I really enjoy how they wrote it for the match. It was only a matter of time before Asuka got fed up with Miz’s ego, and this was the breaking point. Truth and Carmella will certainly benefit the most from being the 30th entrants, even if they aren’t destined to win the Rumbles.