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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Live Report! (2/27/18)

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All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter.

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Sami Zayn w/ Kevin Owens VS Baron Corbin; Corbin wins.
  • Naomi w/ Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair VS Ruby Riott w/ The Riott Squad; Ruby wins.
  • Aiden English w/ Rusev VS Shinsuke Nakamura; Nakamura wins.
  • John Cena VS AJ Styles; Cena wins and joins the WWE Championship match at Fastlane.

PLAY BY PLAY

JOHN CENA returns to SmackDown!

The Face that Runs the Place is back on the Blue Brand. He didn’t punch his ticket to Wrestlemania with the Elimination Chamber, but he promised to be here to find a new path. Cena encourages the LA fans to make some noise, because this IS SmackDown. Allow Cena to remind you why he is here: like 99.9% of the SmackDown roster, they want a Wrestlemania match. The only one with a guaranteed match is Shinsuke Nakamura, so yes, even Cena is trying to find his way. He’s heard of this Fatal 5 for Fastlane, and “I want in.” But he isn’t here for a handout, he’ll do “whatever it takes” to earn a spot. So to get right to business, he asks someone come out to tell him what he must do. As such, SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon appears!

Shane O’Mac welcomes Los Angeles to the show, as well as John Cena. Cena, one of the most decorated superstars in the history of WWE, right here on SmackDown. Now, everyone knows what Cena said last night on Raw. A superstar of Cena’s magnitude wants his part on the Grandest Stage of Them All, but what Cena wants puts him in the path of the WWE Championship. The fans duel, “Let’s go, Cena!” “Cena sucks!” Cena knows the fans are divided, so this is just a great idea to put him in. Shane reminds Cena he’d be “smack dab” in the middle of a match only two weeks away. And if Cena won, he’d not only main event Wrestlemania–fans chant for “Rusev Day!”–Cena would make history by becoming the unprecedented 17 time World Champion. Now, SmackDown is the Land of Opportunity, but there’s– Daniel Bryan!

The SmackDown General Manager gets another great ovation of “YES! YES!” from the WWE Universe, and for once he’s in agreement with Shane. The Land of Opportunity let each of the challengers earn their spot. If Cena wants it, he’ll get his opportunity in the main event. If Cena wins, he’s in. Main event of SmackDown to main event of Fastlane. So who is Cena’s opponent? Someone Cena is very familiar with: the WWE Champion himself, AJ STYLES! Everyone except Cena loves the sound of that! Can Cena beat the Phenomenal One to then earn a chance to beat him and four others at Fastlane?

 

Sami Zayn w/ Kevin Owens VS Baron Corbin!

The Underdog promised his best friend that when the time comes, he’ll “do the right thing”. For now, Sami just has to see if he can defeat the Lone Wolf 1v1 to gain some momentum before the furious Fatal 5 at Fastlane!

The bell rings and the two tie up. Corbin powers Sami to a corner, but then Sami shoves him back. Sami puts Corbin in the corner, then tauntingly pats him as he breaks. Corbin chases Sami out of the ring, but gives him time to return. Sami baits Corbin into a shoulder and slingshot, but Corbin runs him over with a shoulder. Corbin glares at Kevin on commentary, but Kevin brushes it off. Sami slips out and then counters Corbin with strikes. He bounces Corbin off the table, Sami pursues him back into the ring. Sami bounces Corbin off buckles but Corbin rocks Sami back with a right hand. Corbin goes out to fetch Sami, putting him into barriers. Sami ends up near the timekeeper’s area, but then dumps Corbin up and over into the fans!

Daniel Bryan watches backstage with Shane. They’re doing this again? Doing what? Letting Kevin be on commentary. Whether Shane likes him or not, Kevin does great. It’s entertaining, if you like interference. Unless Bryan promises Kevin won’t interfere. Why would Kevin interfere? While they’re talking, Sami refreshes the ring count at the last possible moment, then returns to brawling with Corbin on the outside. Sami puts Corbin back in the ring while we go picture in picture.

Sami clobbers Corbin with elbows, then hits him while he’s down. Corbin takes crossface after crossface punch, and then haymakers. Sami wraps on a chinlock but Corbin works to pry his way out. Sami hammers away with more crossfaces before putting the lock back on. Corbin uses power to stand up with Sami on his back, then throws him off! Corbin runs but Sami drop toeholds him onto ropes! Sami comes back and stomps Corbin, grinding his boot into Corbin’s chin. He lets up at the ref’s count, and takes his time stalking Corbin. Corbin hits back, but Sami clubs him on the back. Sami tries but can’t suplex Corbin, Corbin suplexes Sami instead!

The two stir and slowly get to their feet. Corbin runs in but into a boot, then Sami clobbers him with a clothesline. Sami rains rights on Corbin, but Corbin makes his way back up. Corbin powers Sami all the way into a corner, but then runs into an elbow. Sami hops up and boots Corbin away, before flying crossbody! TWO! Sami keeps his cool, and wraps on another chinlock as we return to single picture.

Corbin endures the hold, but works his way up and out. He fires body shots but Saim hits with elbows. Bryan is still watching as Corbin rocks Sami. Shane returns with popcorn while Corbin misses and runs into a post.

Sami gets tot he apron, climbs up top, then flies again. Corbin catches him, into the Choke Slam Backbreaker! Corbin puts Sami on the top rope but Sami fights back. Sami grabs Corbin but the tornado is denied with power! Corbin tries to long dart but Sami slips out, so Corbin slides out and in for the wicked lariat! Cover, TWO!

Kevin applauds his friend’s resilience. Kevin doesn’t pay too much mind to Cena potentially being added to the WWE Championship match while Sami dumps Corbin out. Sami slingshots but Corbin catches him again, and looking at Kevin, he tosses Sami on the announce table! Kevin and Corbin trash talk before Corbin goes into the ring. Sami surprises with a small package, TWO! Sami boots Corbin, chops then goes acrobatic for the tornado DDT! Cover, TWO! But while Kevin focuses on the match, Dolph Ziggler comes out of nowhere to SUPERKICK him in the back of the head!

The Show-Off gets more retribution for last week by slipping away into the shadows. Sami sees his best friend down on the ground, and this allows Corbin to come back, End of Days! Corbin wins! An assist to Ziggler, no doubt, but then he even gets Corbin with a ZIG ZAG! The Show-Off is determined to be WWE Champion, will anyone get in his way this time?

More backstage with Shane and Bryan.

Seems Bryan’s boys got what was coming to them. Maybe Bryan should go check on them? No that’s okay. Can Bryan go home early to be with his wife and kid? Go ahead, tell them hi for Shane. With Bryan taking his leave, what will happen to SmackDown with Shane going solo?

 

Sami & Kevin regroup backstage.

They would like to know what just hit them at ringside. Where did Ziggler even come from? Sami was about to beat Corbin but then surprise, surprise. Speaking of, Shane comes by and they ask if he saw that. Yep.

But before they talk conspiracies, Bryan left, so maybe they should go after him. Brie doesn’t like it when they’re late for dinner. It never ends with Shane! Is there anything #Kami can do to stop this grudge?!

 

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

After pinning the inaugural SmackDown Women’s Champion, The Squad Leader is primed to challenge for the title at Fastlane. Before then she looks to take down another former champion, but her Squad will have to worry about the Lass Kicker and Queen being ringside. Will Ruby #StartaRiott or will she #FeelTheGlow?

The bell rings and the two get in each other’s face. Ruby shoves but Naomi gives forearms. They go back and forth but Ruby whips Naomi to a corner. Naomi goes up and Twerk Attacks back! Then Naomi slides to slap Ruby right out of the ring. The Squad regroups but Naomi slips out to pursue, her friends in tow. Sarah and Liv stand with Ruby as they stare down #RoyalGlowFire but the ref keeps the peace. We go to break while the tension mounts.

SmackDown returns and Ruby thrashes Naomi about in a seated full-nelson. The fans rally for Naomi as she endures. Meanwhile, Carmella is in the Social Media Lounge, #AskCarmella.

As for Ruby, she throws Naomi down to reapply a chinlock. Naomi gets up again and fights out. Ruby suplexes but Naomi slips out. Each woman throws a kick to duck a kick, but then double roundhouses bring them both down! The Squad shout for Ruby to get up while Becky & Charlotte cheer Naomi on. Ruby is up first, but Naomi kicks back. They kick, and it’s Naomi turning up the volume, step-up enziguri and rallying with elbows! Naomi dodges then kicks back to throw Ruby to ropes, springboard roundhouse! Cover, TWO!

Naomi keeps her cool but the Squad reach out for their leader. She jackknifes, TWO, so she whips Ruby. Ruby avoids a Rear View to then mule kick Naomi down! Ruby goes over to Naomi, but Naomi is on an apron. Naomi kicks back and then climbs up top. Naomi flies, but Ruby gets under. Ruby runs but into the scorpion kick.

Naomi goes for but is denied her corner bulldog, and Ruby brings her in for the Riott Kick! Cover, TWO! The Squad Leader is 2-0 on #RoyalGlowFire, can she get the 3-0 sweep by beating Charlotte at Fastlane?

 

The Fashion Police are visited by Josh Duhamel.

The star of Unsolved: Tupac & Biggie! They’re each big fans of the others. Though, at least Breezango solves cases. No they’ve done parodies. Shh, before they parody his show. They’re gonna give you a closed case, with Big E. Or, the New Day, at least. Guys, no, it’s Biggie Smalls, not Big E. Yeah they knew that… But Big E here is a notorious rapper. “12 job applications, all blank, I’m lazy. Two babysitters, no babies!”

Uh, yeah… But Duhamel isn’t a real detective, either, “it’s all make believe, man.” But they looked up to him… What do they do now? Well, The New Day is excited for the series premiere. Existential crises aside, will The New Day best their old rivals in The Usos ahead of their title rematch at Fastlane?

 

Awwwwww… LA~!

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

Big E, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods bring boxes of New Day pancakes as they hit the ring. And “ya boys” are going to secure their position on the Grandest Stage of Them All, aka Wrestlemania. But to do that, they go to Fastlane to take on their greatest rivals. Those two guys pushed them to their limits from Money in the Bank to Hell in a Cell. Who? Who who? Jey & Jim Uso! That rivalry is hotter than Big E’s inner thighs in the summer, and winter. Spritz please. More spritz. They defeated Gable & Benjamin to become the #1 contenders to the W, W, E, SmackDown, Tag Team Championships. The New Day respect the Usos, but that won’t stop them from beat them, either. They’re gonna go down to New Orleans and swivel hips with everyone because, “New! Day Rocks!” But to respond, The Usos appear!

“There they go again”, spreading positive power through pancakes. But yes, they went to war, and the one team left standing with the titles, and that was The Usos. They don’t look back. The Usos used to be just like the New Day with the dancing, singing and running around like a box of skittles. Jey got tired of it. It didn’t get them to the next level. Power of Positivity? Here’s some reality: nine years, the Usos were grinding; nine years, blood, sweat and tears; nine years, the Usos worked to prove they belonged at Wrestlemania. But that’s the thing: Wrestlemania, year after year, the Usos got passed over. Nine years, zero ‘Manias! From 27, to 28, to 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 #SIDELINE. But this year, this ‘Mania, #OURTIME! The fans agree with that.

At Fastlane, that’s Goal Line, 4th & Inches, but the Usos are gonna run right through the New Day. They’re gonna be MVPs, first round draft picks, the starting line-up! That’s the difference between them and the New Day: the Usos adapt and overcome, but the New Day stands still. Fastlane to Wrestlemania, Welcome to– But the New Day speak up. Five years, they’ve been kicking down doors and setting records. The New Day hosted while the Usos ate catering. And they ain’t here because of their daddies! The New Day rushed the field and took what they wanted. At Fastlane, they’ll take those back, and become not one, two, three or even four, but FIVE TIME tag team champions! “And there’s not a damn thing either of you can do about it.”

The mics drop but everyone gets in each others’ faces. However, another duo appears. The Bludgeon Brothers, Harper & Rowan!

The harbingers of havoc walk into the ring, armed with their heavy hammers. They stare down the Usos and the New Day, but the Usos and New Day give them space. The fans ask, “Why you scared?” but neither the Usos or New Day pay it any mind. Harper & Rowan may want after those titles, but when will they get their chance?

 

Shane McMahon was visited by Team Rusev Day.

Aiden English & Rusev say that there have been no Happy Rusev Days the last few weeks. That is because Shane doesn’t want these two to show their skills. Shane must be jealous of them. Shane decides that there will be a match, but just for English. And against who? Shinsuke Nakamura! Will the Drama King stand a chance against the King of Strong Style?

 

Dolph Ziggler speaks.

“I didn’t come back to SmackDown Live to get lost in the shuffled.” The Show-Off is the “most decorated superstar and greatest athlete” ever. He’ll rise up above everyone at Fastlane, even the “Golden Boy” Cena. Will Ziggler prove it and truly make that reality?

 

Backstage interview with Bobby Roode.

How does the GLORIOUS One feel about defending against The Viper, Randy Orton? He’s excited! Roode said he wants to be the best United States Champion ever, so he’ll test himself against one of the best. Though, Orton does seem to have an issue with Roode. After everything Orton has done, it surely can’t be because of the SmackDown Top Ten, right? Speaking of, Orton comes over and eyes that championship. It’s not about the list, it’s about the title that he’s never had in the 16 years he’s been here. Roode’s just the guy he has to run through to take it. Will the Viper become a Grand Slam Champion at Fastlane? Or will the US Championship remain GLORIOUS?

 

Aiden English w/ Rusev VS Shinsuke Nakamura!

The fans chant, “Rusev Day!” for the Bulgarian Lion and his friend in the Drama King. English is Ryan Gossling but “LA is smog-filled and bland~!” There are false artists, and Shinsuke’s the least. Everyone knows there’s only one true Artiste. The fans agree, but English must say, no one here is worthy to celebrate RUSEV DAYYYY~! That all said, the violins kick in and the Rockstar arrives! Will Nakamura make a masterpiece out of English’s face hitting his knee?

The bell rings, English and Nakamura circle and the fans are thunderous already. Nakamura gets a waistlock but English elbows out. English gets a wristlock but Nakamura rolls and reverses the hold. Nakamura brings English to a knee but English stands up to whip. Nakamura reverses but English knock shim down. English bows but gets a kick, then can’t get hold of Nakamura. Nakamura dares English to “C’mon!!” He runs in but gets a knee then a knee drop from Nakamura. Nakamura goes to stomp but English rolls out! That doesn’t stop Nakamura, he comes out to go after English. He puts English in the ring but Rusev roundhouses Nakamura down!

The Drama King may have a chance, while we go picture in picture.

English slips out to fetch Nakamura, then climbs up top. He flies for the artistic headbutt, cover, TWO! Nakamura winces while English throws hands on him. English snampares and wraps on a chinlock. He sings while he grinds and squeezes Nakamura. Rusev cheers English on, but Nakamura moves around to work his way up to his feet. Nakamura fights out with body shots, but English mule kicks him to a corner. English throws hands and stomps, then backs off at the ref’s count. He drags Nakakmura up, whips him corner to corner hard, and Nakamua falls to the mat. English keeps stomping while we return to single picture.

English puts Nakamura in another corner, then hoists him up top. The fans duel while English climbs up. Nakamura fights him off, then adjusts, but Rusev distracts. English pounces, then fireman’s carry to a reverse Death Valley! Cover, TWO! Rusev is frustrated on English’s behalf, and English insists “It’s Rusev Day!” He stomps Nakamura to a corner, and insists “I’m the Artiste!” He whips Nakamura corner to corner, then runs in, but Nakamura puts him on the top shelf! Nakamura rolls back and goes for the knee, but English evades. English climbs up, flying crossbody but he rolls off. They run, Nakamura hits with the Dynamic Dropkick!

Both men are down and Rusev can’t believe what he’s seeing. He coaches English to stand up, but Nakamura unleashes a strike fest. Nakamura kicks away on English, then rocks English with the other side. He whips English corner to corner for the knee, and Good Vibrations! Nakamura drags English up and onto that top rope, Top Shelf knee! English goes down and Nakamura fires up. KINSHASA! Nakamura wins, proving the King of Strong Style is greater than the Drama King. The Artist has a match at ‘Mania, but who will he face for the world title?

John Cena appears, and crosses paths with Nakamura.

Cena points to the Wrestlemania sign, letting Nakamura know that he means to see him there.

Can he defeat the Phenomenal One here to take a step closer to that incredible match-up?

 

John Cena VS AJ Styles!

For the leader of the Cenation, it’s “win and you’re in” in terms of the Fastlane WWE Championship match. However, defeating THE WWE Champion is no easy task. Will Styles be able to keep out a familiar foe to keep things to only a Fatal 5?

The fans are already dueling at the bell. Styles and Cena hear out the “Let’s Go, Cena!” “AJ Styles!” echoing while Kevin & Sami watch from backstage. Cena and Styles tie up and push each other around. Styles gets a waistlock but Cena works his way out with a stiff back elbow. Cena throws hands then snapmares Styles to a cover, ONE. Cena keeps on Styles with a chinlock. Styles works his way up and out, then powers out. Cena runs Styles over, covers, ONE. Styles goes to a corner but Cena is upon him with heavy rights. Cena stomps before backing off, but comes back to snapmare and cover again. TWO, but Cena stays close. He puts on another headlock, trapping an arm to turn it into a half-nelson.

The fans keep dueling as Styles stands up and fights out. Styles chops and punches Cena into a corner, then whips corner to corner. He runs in but into Cena’s boots. Cena hops up, tornado DDT! TWO, and Cena grows annoyed. The champion is in a bad way as we go to break.

SmackDown returns and Styles escapes Cena, only to get hit with the spin-out powerbomb! And everyone knows that means, “You Can’t See Me!”

Five Knuckle Shuffle hits, then Cena lifts Styles. Styles grabs ropes to deny the finish, then fireman’s carry for Ushigoroshi! Cover, TWO! Styles is a bit frustrated, but he simply stands up and brings Cena around. The fans duel as Styles prepares, but Cena trips him up to catapult him! Styles bumps buckles, then Cena scoops Styles for a TKO cutter! Cover, TWO!

Corbin watches backstage as Styles crawls to a corner. Cena brings Styles up to the top, then climbs up to join him. Cena prepares the fireman’s carry from up there but Styles fights out! Styles then puts Cena in the torture rack, for a towerhacker bomb!

TWO! The fans are thunderous while Ziggler tunes in to watch. The fans declare “This is Awesome!” while Styles brings Cena up for the Clash. Cena denies, shovels Styles up on hsi shoulders, Electric Chair facebuster! TWO! #Kami also watch as Cena slowly backs up. Cena glares at Styles, and tells him it’s better to not get up. Styles still stands up, so Cena runs him over with a lariat! TWO! Cena is running out of ideas on what to do to Styles. He shakes his head and dares Styles to get up so they can finish it. Cena runs but Styles Pele kicks him down! Both men are down again, we go to break.

SmackDown returns once more, and both men are down again. Styles gets to one corner while Cena goes to the adjacent. Over the break, Styles actually hit Styles Clash, but Cena kicked out! Then Cena would dodge the Phenomenal Forearm, hit the AA, and Styles would kick out. That brings us to the two world champions standing up, and Styles bringing Cena down with a clothesline! Cover, TWO! With few ideas left, Styles springboards but misses the lionsault! Cena hits Styles with a Code Red! TWO! But into the STF! Cena has Styles in his submission and in the middle of the ring! The fans chant both ways but Styles has nowhere to go. So he rolls sideways to a cover, TWO!

They get up, Cena runs in but hits buckles. Styles springboards, Phenomenal Forearm! TWO!! But how?! The fans are going wild while Styles gets to his feet. They chant “This is Awesome!” while Styles positions Cena. Styles goes back to the apron, takes aim and springboards again, the 450 hits knees! Fireman’s carry, another AA! Roll through, to a third– no, Styles slips out! Cena pursues, but runs into steel steps!

The referee checks on Cena and Styles, somehow they’re both okay to continue. Styles gets in the ring first, but he chooses not to wait for Cena and the ring count. He goes back out, but Cena grabs him for an AA on the table!!

The fans lose their minds at the wreckage before them! Cena gets back in the ring and leaves Styles to the mercy of the count. Styles crawls towards the ring, but the count is at 8! He gets in at 9! Cena doesn’t want to accept it, but the match continues. Frustration boils over for the 16 time world champion as he drags Styles up. He wants that third, but Styles slips out to the Calf Crusher! Styles bends that leg back as hard as he can! Cena endures, reaches, but looks at the Wrestlemania sign. He rolls, lifts Styles up, and hits a Reverse AA! CENA WINS!! Through grit and determination, Cena makes the WWE Championship a Six Pack Challenge!

But Kevin & Sami return.

But Baron Corbin beats them to the sucker punch! The Lone Wolf goes right after Cena, but #Kami joins in. Styles stands up but Kevin and Corbin go after him, what with Styles being champion and all. That’s when Ziggler returns! He rushes the ring and SUPERKICKS Corbin! Kevin goes after him, but Ziggler fights him off. Sami comes over, SUPERKICK to Sami! Ziggler, Cena and Styles stand tall, but then Ziggler takes Styles out! Cena picks Ziggler up, AA!

It’s chaos to end SmackDown, how much more chaotic will the championship match be?!

 

My Thoughts:

What a wild SmackDown to have this close to Fastlane! But not perfect. Cena appears as promised, and as expected, he says he doesn’t want his star power to just gift him what he wants. It felt like Shane was going to say Cena couldn’t be part of the WWE Championship match, but Bryan came out to make it happen anyway. Sadly, Shane and Bryan continue to go against their original vow to not make SmackDown about them, but what happens next? We keep cutting to them during what was a solid Sami VS Corbin match. Ziggler hitting Kevin was a great surprise, and it gets revenge on him and Sami at the same time. And of course, Shane has to put himself into things by rubbing the screw job in the face of #Kami. Bryan leaving is also an interesting detail, perhaps we’ll get more on that next week.

The Women’s Division was alright this week. Naomi and Ruby put on a good match, but we get another random cut to Carmella. We all know she’s Ms. Money in the Bank but she had no immediate relevance to the match because Charlotte wasn’t active. I do see that they’re building to something with Fastlane: Charlotte is 2-0 on The Squad,  and Ruby is 2-0 on… well those Charlotte is friends with. The winner at the PPV gets the 3-0 sweep on the other side, along with the title. Maybe then Carmella cashes in and moves towards Wrestlemania, but not sure. The Tag Team Division is on fire, though, given how Usos and New Day tore into each other, only for Bludgeon Brothers to silence them both with just appearing. With the little time left, I hope Harper & Rowan find their way into the match to really make it interesting.

Roode and Orton have a good exchange in regards to the US Championship, and while Orton finally becoming a Grand Slam Champion would be great, that really should be more of a Wrestlemania Moment. Maybe Jinder Mahal will end up interfering and then we go to ‘Mania with it. Rusev Day continues to be over but poor English is no match as Nakamura’s warm up jobber. Cena pulling a Finn and interrupting Nakamura’s celebration was pretty interesting. Then Cena and Styles have an almost PPV level match, and #CenaWinsLOL. But I do like the subtle signs of Cena turning, like his death glares at Styles and slamming Styles through the announce desk. It’d be something if he lost at Fastlane to turn Heel and open him up to facing all sorts of opponents in a whole new way.

My Score: 8/10


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

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CURRENT TOUR RECAP

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Global Junior League Scores (as of 18th September 2018)
YO-HEY: 7
Ikuto Hidaka: 6
Daisuke Harada: 6
Kotaro Suzuki: 6
Hitoshi Kumano: 4
Tadasuke: 4
Hi69: 4
Minoru Tanaka: 4
HAYATA: 3
Hajime Ohara: 2
Seiya Morohashi: 2
Junta Miyawaki: 0

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

NEWS

QUIET STORM CELEBRATES 20 YEARS
Quiet Storm has celebrated his own twenty years in wrestling on the 16th September, he debuted in 1998 (about a month after Naomichi Marufuji did) at roughly the age of seventeen, and while in America had spells with Ring of Honor, PWF and NYWC. Quiet Storm made his debut in his hometown of New York (he’s a Brooklyn boy I think). He came to Japan and trained with KAIENTAI DOJO, but had to return home due to a family situation. Aside from NOAH, his other affiliation is with Osaka Pro. He has been with NOAH since 2014.

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

GHC BELT NEWS

Current champions

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

OTHER NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lets just end this newsletter here until next week.


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

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NJPW G1 Climax 28 cover

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

 

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

Gifs can be found on http://frentique.tumblr.com/

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

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

PLAY BY PLAY

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

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

 

Tetsuya Naito VS Zack Sabre Jr!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Kenny Omega VS Kota Ibushi!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ibushi speaks.

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

 

Backstage interviews.

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

 


 

My Thoughts:

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

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

My Score: 8.9/10


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Joe’s Lucha Libre Weekly: News & Opinions

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CMLL

CMLL Anniversary

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

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

CMLL Friday Show/Future

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

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

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

AAA

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

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

AAA on Twitch 9/21

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

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

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