All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service
- Tyler Bate VS Velveteen Dream; Dream wins.
- Adam Cole w/ The Undisputed Era VS Cezar Bononi; Cole wins.
- Kairi Sane VS Shayna Baszler; Shayna wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Last week on NXT, it was El Idolo’s title VS Johnny Wrestling’s career.
A rematch from TakeOver: Philadelphia, and Gargano’s last chance against Andrade “Cien” Almas, as Gargano was already 0-3 against him. And just like TakeOver: Philadelphia, Gargano and Almas gave it their all, and even the ladies got involved! Zelina Vega would be run off by Mrs. Wrestling, Candice LeRae, and the battle raged on.
However, just when things looked to be going Gargano’s way, another flashback to TakeOver happened. Tommaso Ciampa appeared to screw Gargano over with one swing of the crutch! Almas took advantage and kept his title. Gargano went 0-4 against the same man, and now has no place in NXT. The fans gave him an ovation of thanks and farewell, and he returned it in kind. Where will Johnny Wrestling go from here? And, will Project Blackheart follow him from the shadows?
Tyler Bate VS Velveteen Dream!
The Patrick Clark Experience does not appreciate disrespect, but that is how he felt after not winning more of the NXT End of the Year Awards for 2017. Namely, he called out the prodigy from Mustache Mountain, who won Best Match of 2017. Can Dream and the former WWE United Kingdom Champion put on a contender for NXT’s 2018 awards here tonight?
The fans already duel with the bell. Dream and Bate circle, try to tie up but Dream drops down and slides away, daring Bate to pursue. Bate walks over and Dream goes for his leg. Dream gets a wristlock while fans keep dueling. Bate rolls one way then the other, then pries his way out to put on a wristlock of his own.
Dream tries to find a way out as Bate twists that wrist. Bate whips but Dream reverses and sends Bate to a corner, but Bate goes up then under. They tie up again, Bate slips around to a waistlock and baits Dream with a leg. Dream falls for it and Bate leap frogs over him. Bate slips under again, then rolls Dream up, TWO, Bate dropkicks Dream down and out. Dream throws a tantrum on the outside while Bate adjusts the mustache. Bate waits for dream while we go to break.
NXT returns, and and the fans continue to duel while Dream and Bate spin around at the ropes. Bate gets Dream up against the ropes but Dream reverses to a wristlock and snapmare. Dream covers, ONE, but he keeps on Bate with a suplex. Bate slips out to a waistlock but Dream gets the standing switch. The fans duel, “Mustache Mountain!” “Velveteen!”, while Bate uses ropes to rebound and buck Dream off. Dream slithers back and all the way out, to then slither back in from the side. They tie up again and Bate gets a headlock. Dream powers out and things speed up, Dream runs Bate over with a big back elbow.
Dream stomps and drops knees into Bate’s back. He then scoops and gives Bate a backbreaker. Cover, TWO, and Dream grows annoyed. Dream swivels his hips before dropping an elbow, then toys with Bate. He slaps Bate but Bate just glares at him. Dream scoops and slams Bate for another elbow, cocky cover, TWO. Dream moves right into a camel clutch but fans rally for Bate. Bate endures, so Dream drops elbow after elbow on that back. Dream hops up in a corner and takes aim, before dropping double ax handles. Cover, TWO, but Dream puts Bate right back in the clutch.
Bate endures and the fans rally again. He powers and pries his way up and out of the hold, but Dream kicks him in the back. Bate gets up to throw in a forearm. Dream and Bate go back and forth, Bate unloads a European Uppercut and then a running boot! Dream is in a corner, so Bate runs in for another EuroUpper! Bate sends Dream out of the corner before hopping up, then hits a flying knee. Bate grabs Dream, exploder suplex! Cover, TWO! Bate keeps his focus while Dream flounders to his feet. Bate lifts Dream into the fireman’s carry, and goes around with the airplane spin! He spins and spins, but Dream fights out. Dream wobbles away to a corner, Bate runs in but into a boot. Bate staggers and Dream throws him to ropes, but Bate returns with that rebound lariat!
Cover, TWO! Now Bate grows a bit frustrated, but the fans rally for him. He and Dream slowly get up, Bate brings Dream in. Double underhook but Dream powers out with a body drop! The fans duel while Bate and Dream slowly get to their feet again. Dream throws in a kick but Bate blocks to EuroUpper Dream. Bate runs, but into Dream’s spinebuster!
Dream crawls to a cover, TWO! Both men are down and a ten count begins. The fans rally as Bate and Dream stir. Dream throws a forearm, Bate responds with one of his own. Dream clubs Bate, so Bate hits back again. They both slowly stand up and throw in more shots. Bate gets more EuroUppers to back Dream down, then whips him corner to corner. Dream reverses but Bate tries the up-and-under again, only for the two to bump heads! They both go down and the referee checks on them. Both men are okay to continue, so the fans start up another rally.
Dream finally stirs and gets to the outside. Dream climbs up but Bate dropkicks him! Bate hurries to climb up, but Dream fights back. They brawl up there, but Dream pushes Bate to crotch him up on the top rope. Bate tumbles down and Dream adjusts, then flies for Purple Rain Maker!
Dream wins! He’s particular about how the referee raises his hand, but he probably doesn’t mind how much that win took. Can the Experience find his way to the top with another name checked off his list?
Paul Ellering & The Authors of Pain speak.
Akam & Rezar “became immortalized” in last year’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. This year, there are a lot of teams with “stars in their eyes”, but the AoP will use this as a road back to the NXT Tag Team Championships. Undisputed Era’s Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish, Rezar vows he and Akam will go to extremes to get those titles back, including making all the other teams suffer. Akam adds that “War is Our Peace”. Will any team put against them stand a chance of surviving?
NXT shares exclusive footage.
It was with a heavy heart that General Manager, William Regal, had to give Johnny Gargano his termination papers. Regal and Gargano signed it, releasing Gargano from NXT. Gargano would be allowed to finish his prior engagements under the developmental brand, but after that, he would have to leave. The referee who called that match owns up to his part in that match. He knows Gargano may not be willing to accept it, but he still apologizes. Gargano still accepts, and signs. What will Gargano do if he’s no longer part of NXT?
Adam Cole w/ The Undisputed Era VS Cezar Bononi!
The leader of the trio that loves to #ShockTheSystem goes up against the winner of the NXT Future Star Award 2017. The Brazilian V8 already proved he could also shock everyone with surprise wins, can he get one over the “Panama City Playboy” BAYBAY?
The fans chant for Cole while the bell rings. He wants Bononi to take it easy while he gets himself a mic. “Just relax for a minute.” Ladies and gentlemen, look at who he’s up against. This is the NXT 2017 Future Star of the Year. Cole says that’s a big deal, so give him a round of applause. The fans do applaud, but Cezar seems to think Cole is being sarcastic. Cole wants Cezar to listen. The Future Star belongs within The Undisputed Era. O’Reilly and Fish hop up and toss Cezar an Undisputed Era shirt. Cezar looks at it while Cole and reDRagon, and even the fans, encourage him to accept. When he doesn’t, Cole decks him with a right hand!
Cole stomps a mudhole into Cezar, then high-fives O’Reilly & Fish, “BAYBAY!” But then Cezar boots Cole down and decks each of reDRagon! He uses Cole as a weapon on Fish, then covers, ONE. Cezar fires up, then scoops and Michinoku Drivers Cole down!
TWO! He was close to another upset, but he’ll keep going. Fish distracts Cezar, then O’Reilly does, but only long enough for Cole to stand up. Cezar turns around into a SUPERKICK!
Cole isn’t done with Cezar yet. The fans cheer Cole on as he takes aim, then runs for a Shining Wizard to the back of Cezar’s head!
Cole wins! Then he stomps on Cezar to make it clear that “only the best and only the Undisputed” thrive in NXT now. Cezar may be the future, but how long with the present Era exist?
NXT revisits the Mae Young Classic Finals.
It was the Pirate Princess and the Queen of Spades, who both blazed trails through their respective brackets. Kairi’s charisma and Shayna’s sheer brutality have impacted the NXT Women’s Division. But Shayna made the biggest impact when she got the drop on Kairi with a merciless sleeper hold her first day in NXT.
Shayna would continue to intimidate, bully, and brutalize the roster. Dakota Kai, Aliyah, and NXT Women’s Champion, Ember Moon, were among her victims. Shayna says she will either make you #TapNapOrSnap, but that didn’t scare of Kairi. The MYC winner returned to remind Shayna why she won, but now they’re going to have another go. Who will come out the winner in this epic rematch?
Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins present a special edition of Street Knowledge.
For this special edition, the Street Profits decide to interview people on the street on who they think will win this year’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. However, who do they end up interviewing? Each other! “Pete from Alabama” chooses Street Profits. “Darnel Washington” chooses Street Profits. Therefore, it is clear that Street Profits is always the answer. Will they have the answers for their opponents to then earn a tag title opportunity?
Kairi Sane VS Shayna Baszler!
The Pirate Princess VS the Queen of Spades ended the Mae Young Classic, but clearly that was only the beginning of their feud. Not only is this match to settle a grudge, but it could also determine who next challenges for gold! Will Kairi set sail and weigh anchor? Or will Shayna put Kairi to sleep to tie the series up at 1-1?
The bell rings and the two circle. Shayna pie-faces Kairi a couple times, but Kairi fires back with furious forearms! Kairi backs Shayna Down, but Shayna shoves her away. Shayna ducks the back hand but Kairi ducks the punch. Shayna runs Kairi over with a shoulder, things speed up, and Shayna gets a takedown. She puts on a facelock but Kairi slips out to her own.
The fans cheer for Kairi as Shayna slips out and around to a headlock. Kairi tries to power out but Shayna holds on tightly. Kairi fights out with body shots, then shoves Shayna into buckles. She runs back in but Shayna puts her on the apron. Shayna swings but Kairi ducks under to shoulder back in. Kairi climbs and takes aim, but Shayna gets under her jump. They speed up again, Kairi slides into a takedown, high stack cover. TWO but Kairi gets moving again, only for Shayna to boot down her sliding forearm from the mat!
Shayna kicks at Kairi from both front and back, then holds her head for knee strike after knee strike. Shayna gives a running knee and Kairi rolls all the way to the other end. Cover, TWO, but Shayna keeps her cool as she lets her hair down. She stalks Kairi while we go to break.
NXT returns, and Shayna has Kairi grounded with a keylock. The fans rally for Kairi as she endures, but Shayna brings her around to fall back and yank on the shoulder. Kairi flounders to the ropes for safety, but Shayna just chokes her against them instead. Shayna drags Kairi up to whip into a corner, then running knee. Shayna gut wrenches Kairi, then kicks her stiff in the back. Cover, TWO, but Shayna doesn’t let up. She brings that arm back into a double wristlock while fans duel.
Kairi screams as she endures the torture, but then rolls Shayna! TWO, and Shayna kicks Kairi while she’s down. Kairi kicks back then dodges to let that knee strike hit buckles. Kairi fights back with double hand chops, putting Shayna in a corner. She brings Shayna back out, but Shayna breaks free to give back strikes of her own. Shayna runs but Kairi runs perpendicular for the Interceptor Spear!
Both women go down but the fans fire up. Shayna gets to a corner while Kairi clutches her back. Kairi makes her way over, roaring before marching the plank. She fires up more, then goes corner to corner for the Sliding D forearm! Then she climbs up, takes aim, Flying D forearm! Cover, TWO, and Kairi can’t believe it. The fans rally as she calls for a finish. She goes to lift Shayna but Shayna clubs her down. Shayna suplexes but Kairi resists to back hand! Shayna goes down, and Kairi climbs up again. Kairi reaches the top, only for Shayna to roundhouse rock her! Shayna drags Kairi up and out with a suplex, to then sit Kairi down for the Kirafuda!
Kairi taps!! Shayna wins and gets even for the MYC match! And she’s all smiles about it, too.
She also reminds Kairi that she told her this is how it’d go. Then she goes over to the announce table to tell them something.
“Ember Moon wanted to call me out?” Ember called Shayna “a coward”? Well now Shayna calls Ember out. But Shayna knows Ember is the real coward here, so Ember will refuse to get in the ring with Shayna again. Ember knows going up against Shayna means she either loses her title, or loses a limb! With that, Shayna takes her leave, what will she leave with should Ember actually accept this challenge?
Zelina Vega & Andrade “Cien” Almas are here!
And they’re both very pleased with themselves as El Idolo is still El Campeon de NXT. “Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the greatest champion in NXT history!” Or as Vega thinks of him, “Mr. Four And O!” The fans boo and jeer instead. The fans all thought Johnny was gonna win. Johnny thought Johnny was gonna win. Johnny even brought his family, friends and wife to watch him win, only for them to all watch him lose.
And not just once, not just twice, not even three times! Four times Johnny lost to Almas. What is that called in baseball? “A clean sweep.” Almas’ fans, which he does have, chant “Clean Sweep! Woop Woop!” Johnny talked about earning respect? Who cares about respect? Almas earned money, fame, power! “And unlike most women”, Vega doesn’t feed off her man’s success, she helps create it! That is why Almas IS the NXT Champion!
Almas speaks now, saying Gargano wanted to be champion. He came at Almas again, and again, and again, and again! And lost. Gargano found out like everyone else in NXT did: “I am El Idolo!” Gargano talked about becoming “Johnny Wrestling” again, but Almas made him “Johnny Jobless”! Vega wonders, if the fans think Gargano is “Johnny Wrestling”, what does that make Almas? He is called the NXT CHAMPION! Almas raises the belt high to rub it in everyone’s faces.
Almas & Vega go to take their leave, but a certain Embodiment of the End appears!
Aleister Black emerges from the bowels of the arena. Almas & Vega are confused and concerned as to why Aleister is making his way out. Aleister enters the ring, mic in hand, and stares down the champion. But before the Dutch Destroyer can speak his mind, a certain Beast of Belfast makes his presence known!
SAnitY’s Killian Dain also emerges from the depths, and he stares right at Aleister. Big Damo also spies Almas, but enters the ring with Aleister. Aleister is ready for a fight, and Damo roars, “You’re in my PATH!!” The fight breaks out! Damo and Aleister brawl haymaker for haymaker while Almas & Vega look on in fright. Aleister ducks to fire off forearms, then kicks. Vega is actually amused to see contenders wearing themselves out over the title prospect. Aleister swings a heel kick but Damo ducks and runs to come back with the Divide body check!
Vega shrugs it off and has Almas do the same, manager and champion finally leave. Damo lets them go as he finishes his thought, “Not anymore.” Has Damo cleared the way for his own NXT Championship hunt? Or will Aleister rise up to make Damo and El Idolo #FadeToBlack?
This NXT was full of surprises, for me at least. I didn’t think Dream VS Bate was happening this soon, and I didn’t think Dream was going to win. Bate’s been on a losing trend in NXT so I thought this would be a great opportunity for him to get a win. Instead, Dream wins and bolsters his own record. Though, I do hope there’s a rematch, this match was good and could be even better if it happens at TakeOver: New Orleans. The AoP and Ellering have a great promo to set up the beginning of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, where they have a rematch with TM61, aka last year’s finals. It feels a bit soon for such a match, but perhaps it will be used to propel TM61 as a shoe-in for the finals and the win to then challenge reDRagon for the tag titles.
I clearly missed the announcement for some of the other NXT End of the Year Awards, so it was good of them to let us know Cezar Bononi won something via his match with Adam Cole. It was also an interesting move for them to even momentarily offer Cezar a spot. Though it was pretty clear from Cezar’s reluctance and Cole quickly punching him that it wasn’t going to happen (*cough* Where’s Donovan Dijak? *cough*) but there is ground that Cole needed reDRagon to help him defeat the tall and imposing Cezar. Perhaps there will be consequences to them essentially ganging up on him, and that can lead to something for Cole at TakeOver.
Another surprise came in that MYC rematch. I thought that was going to go for a lot longer, so it was a shock for Shayna to lock Kairi in the Kirafuda and finish it right there. Shayna calls out Ember, and I almost expected Ember to come out and get the drop on her like Kairi did before. A TakeOver: Philadelphia rematch for TakeOver: New Orleans would be good, but if Kairi’s involved in the story at all, why not have her included in the match? Then the closing was a nice surprise, it’s rare that contenders come out and only fight each other. Almas & Vega acting above all this might come back to haunt them in their own triple threat where Damo AND Aleister are able to get at him, and then it’s anyone’s match at that point.
My Score: 8.5/10
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(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.2 ~ 21ST SEPTEMBER 2018
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)
Ikuto Hidaka: 6
Daisuke Harada: 6
Kotaro Suzuki: 6
Hitoshi Kumano: 4
Minoru Tanaka: 4
Hajime Ohara: 2
Seiya Morohashi: 2
Junta Miyawaki: 0
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
- GHC Heavyweight Champion: Takashi Sugiura
- GHC Junior Champion: Daisuke Harada
- GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: Naomichi Marufuji & Akitoshi Saito
- GHC Junior Tag Champions: Minoru Tanaka & Hi69
Atsushi Kotoge will be holding his own fan event, further details to be announced (this is not a produce)
Comedy wrestler Kikutaro (who returned to Japan to have ear surgery), announced that before he leaves for America, he wants to appear in NOAH(he was once a regular in SEM, where he memorably teamed with KENTA, who had him thrown out of the building afterwards, Kikutaro made his way back in though), and a match has been arranged against Atsushi Kotoge for the 4th October at Korakuen Hall. Kotoge has asked Kikutaro whether he wants to join the “Revolutionary Army”. What should be a very funny match, will be broadcast on Samurai on the 11th October (FYI: Fuji TV no longer exists, it is now “ForJoyTV“)
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.
Always Use Your Head and visit the official Pro Wrestling Tees store for The Chairshot All t-shirt proceeds help support the advancement of your favorite hard-hitting wrestling website, The Chairshot!
Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: G1 Climax 28, part 11!
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/
- 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.
“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?
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?
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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Joe’s Lucha Libre Weekly: News & Opinions
We saw at the anniversary show, in predictable fashion, Rush and Cavernario defeat Volador and Matt Taven in the hair vs hair match. Everyone knew what the result would be which helped kill intrigue in the match because as discussed before, if CMLL was willing to hair Rush lose his hair it would be against LA Park and if he were to lose it against anybody else it wouldn’t make sense. So Volador and Taven lost 2 falls to 1 and at the end of the match, as a way to weasel out of it Taven turned on Volador as if it was his plan all along but they weren’t going to stand for it. I wonder how much Taven had his head shaved, I suppose we shall see on the next Ring of Honor live event. The show was pretty close to a sell out containing 16,000 fans.
The Co-main event saw Pentagon, Fenix, and Diamante Azul defeating LA Park, his son, and Caristico 2 falls to 1 in what was a very good match. LA Park, for a man who is very large in his older age can still put on some very good matches and held his own in their with the much young Fenix and Pentagon and the always entertaining Caristico. The match before that which was the Kaos Klan vs Los Guerrero’s for the trios title. This wasn’t in technical terms a very good match, but it had heat on it. One of the issues was the finish was a complete let down and out of nowhere. Not in a good way either, sometimes out of nowhere finishes are good if they’re done during hot moments, but this one was just a standard pin with feet on the ropes.
CMLL Friday Show/Future
The top three matches for this show will feature a rematch with Kaos Klan and Los Guerrero’s. This is the third time this match is happening in a short span so I wonder if they will have Los Guerrero’s win here after potentially swerving the fans at the Anniversary show. It was a weak finish and wasn’t a good match so I have to imagine that they’re going to put forth a better performance this time. However, a lot of the men involved are much older and broken down so they need the pomp and circumstances more. We also have a lightning round match between Mistico and Negro Casas so that should be something. They must be going for a program with them.
In the main event we have, Atlantis, King Fenix, and Diamante Azul vs Rush, Cavernario, and El Terrible. I wonder if my theory about building a program with Rush and Atlantis for next year starts and if maybe they move towards Fenix and Cavernario. I can only imagine how good those singles matches would be. LA Park worked the Arena Puebla show with Rush in the match. This was a very good match, perhaps an anniversary show standard.
There was a lot of instances in the match where Park and Rush had a show down one on one in the ring. It was a very long match and very good. Rush won with a low blow and Park then cut a promo after the match challenging him hair vs mask again to which CMLL cut his mic. But it magically turned on when Rush got the mic. Park was upset and left. They are promoting LA Park and Hijo Del LA Park vs Rush and Cavernario next week for the Monday Puebla show. So it looks like they’re going back to this well for financial purposes, who knows if the hair vs mask match will ever happen.
AAA has announced their big October Show, the Antonio Pena tribute show, and it has a pretty big card, with the main event being Jeff Jarrett vs Dr. Wagner Jr in a hair vs hair match. I’m almost positive Jarrett is losing that match especially if they’re building towards Park vs Wagner at the next Triplemania. Wagner is gonna need to have more hair grown out to make it a viable match on paper. He doesn’t have much hair so why would the fans buy his hair vs the value of Park’s mask? I feel like there’d be so much more intrigue with Psycho Clown vs Park mask vs mask, but it all depends on when and who Park wants to lose to. Everyone seems to agree that it has to be to Rush whenever the time is.
Also on that card which we’ll preview more in the coming weeks, Park will team with Psycho Clown against Murder Clown and Kevin Kross. So something is going to have to happen in the coming weeks that pairs Kross with Murder Clown because they were just attacking each other during the last encounter with Wagner and Jeff Jarrett. A three way tag match for the tag titles will happen and Bandido and Flamita will actually get their chance. There was rumblings wondering if AAA would remember the stipulation on the Triplemania show. There’s also a four way match for the women’s title. More info in the coming weeks as the card gets built on the TV tapings.
AAA on Twitch 9/21
We will have a women’s match to start the show, which seems to be typical featuring, Keyra, Lady Maravilla, and Starfire vs Faby Apache, La Hiedra, and Lady Shani. We get a six man tag team match next which will be action packed featuring, Emperador Azteca, Demus, and Ciclon Ramierz vs Aerostar, Argenis, and Nino Hamburguesa. The next match is a three way tag match between Texano Jr and Escorpion vs Maximo and Mamba vs El Hijo De Dr. Wagner Jr and Golden Magic.
The co-main event is another six man tag between, Laredo Kid, Tayrys, and Hijo Del LA Park vs La Parka, Pagano, and Joe Lider. Any match with Joe Lider and Pagano is bound to be crazy. The main event sees LA Park teaming with Electro Shock vs Psycho Clown and El Hijo Del Fantasma. The theme of this show is Lucha Libre Elite vs AAA. They’re playing up an invasion storyline. They have another show on September 30th but I will preview that one next week.