This review of NJPW: Honor Rising will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Therefore, all images are courtesy of AXS TV.
- 6 Man Tag: The Bullet Club’s “Hung Bucks” VS Chaos’ Jay White, Yoshi-Hashi & Chuck Taylor; Bullet Club wins.
- The Golden Lovers VS Cody & Marty Scurll; The Golden Lovers win.
PLAY BY PLAY
AXS TV and NJPW review what led to tonight’s main event.
The Bullet Club has been torn at the seams! The Cleaner lost the IWGP United States Championship to the Switchblade, and an argument ensued. Kenny then lost his cool and shoved the Young Bucks, but the American Nightmare escalated it by attacking Kenny. Cody would’ve went even further, but an old friend in Kota Ibushi came to the rescue! Tonight marks a #GoldenReunion, can Omega & Ibushi continue where they left off and defeat Cody and the Bullet Club’s Villain, Marty Scurll?
At the same time, the Problem Solver, Adam Page, already stakes a claim to the IWGP US Championship. Jay White welcomes the challenge, but for now they’ll ally with fellow Bullet Club and Chaos members to wage war! Will the Hangman string up the Switchblade? Or will he be cut down short of a title opportunity?
6 Man Tag: The Bullet Club’s “Hung Bucks” VS Chaos’ Jay White, Yoshi-Hashi & Chuck Taylor!
No time to waste as the ROH World Six Man Tag Team Champions take on the Switchblade, the Head Hunter and the Kentucky Gentleman. Chuckie T and Nick Jackson start, and already hear the fans dueling for them both.
Nick and Chuckie circle and tie up, then back off, but Chuckie gets the takedown. He runs and things speed up, Chuckie acrobatically arm-drags Nick. Nick chops back and returns the favor with even more acrobatics to arm-drag Chuckie. Nick tags in Matt, and the Bucks both whip Chuckie to ropes. They kick, Nick runs and alley-oop for the missile dropkick. Chuckie ends up outside of the ring, and the Bucks dare Chuckie to come back in. He does, but tags out to Jay White. White takes his time to enter, so Hangman Page tags in to meet him. The Switchblade and Problem Solver start brawling with forearms back and forth!
White gets the edge but Page rakes the eyes. He whips White but White ducks to run Page over. White chops Page to a corner, then gives chops and forearms. Page turns things around but White dodges to chop him more. White rains down rights, then whips Page corner to corner but Page reverses. Page runs in but White dodges, so White chops him again and again. Page shoves White away but White keeps chopping. White whips Page but Page reverses and kicks, only to run into a stiff dropkick! White drags Page up and Chuckie T tags in. Chuckie whips and dropkicks Page, then covers, ONE. Chuckie keeps his cool as he brings Page up and over. Yoshi-Hashi tags in, and clubs on Page’s back. Hashi suplexes Page up and over, then covers, TWO.
Hashi stomps Page, then tags White back in. They whip Page corner to corner but Page fires out to run Hashi over. Page lifts White, then dumps him and uses Hashi for the Dropsault! Hashi stumbles all the way out of the ring and to the floor. Nick runs in and triangle dropkicks Chuckie down, Matt adds on a wrecking ball dropkick to send Chuckie into barriers. The Hung Bucks control the ring and start up a “The! Elite! The the Elite!” chant. Page brings White up and chops him back down, then covers, ONE. He stays on White but White fights back, so Page clobbers him down. Page tags in Nick and Nick tags in Matt, the Bucks double whip and kick White. Nick sweeps the legs, Matt hits a low dropkick, then Page returns for the standing Shooting Star!
Matt covers, ONE, but he keeps on White with a chinlock. White endures, working to find a way out. He stands up as the fans rally, and fights back, but Matt clubs him back down. Matt brings White up and suplexes, but White resists, slips around and DDT’s Matt! Both men are down, reaching and crawling for their corners. The fans rally while White tags Hashi and Matt tags in Page. Hashi rallies but Pgae slips out of the scoop. Page runs, but Hashi dodges to hit the running blockbuster!
Nick comes back in to kick Hashi, then runs but Hashi flapjacks him onto the top rope. Hashi runs to dropkick Nick in the ass! Nick tumbles out to the floor, Hashi hits Page with a running chop in the corner. He suplexes Page and hangs him up, then runs to dropkick his back. Page falls to the mat, Hashi covers, TWO. The fans rally while Hashi drags Page up. Hashi tries to lift but Page resists. Page slips out and chops Hashi, then whips Hashi to the ropes. Hashi holds on, then dumps Page to the apron before running. Page slingshots and hits Hashi with the Buck Shot!
The Hangman almost took the Head Hunter’s head off with that, and both men are down while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Hashi and Page hot tag to Chuckie T and Nick Jackson. Chuckie rallies with jabs and kicks, but Matt comes in to kick Chuckie back. Nick runs and Matt alley-oops but Chuckie ducks under. Chuckie throws Matt out, Nick swings but Chuckie catches him into the Half Crab! Matt returns but Chuckie is ready, and puts Matt in a Half Crab now. Nick returns and roundhouses Chuckie, then regroups with Matt. Hashi returns, Nick catches him with the back elbow, then Nick spins to roundhouse Chuckie again. Matt puts Chuckie in a corner while Nick goes to Hashi in the opposite. The Bucks whip Hashi and Chuckie at each other, but they get the reverse. The Bucks do-si-do, for SUPERKICKS!
Fans cheer while Matt grabs Chuckie and with Nick’s help, hits Sliced Bread. Nick adds the Shining Wizard, then covers. TWO, but the Bullet Club gets the fans rallying. Nick tags Page but they all regroup. Matt runs in at Chuckie but Chuckie hops up and over. Nick runs in but Chuckie throws him overhead and onto Matt! Page runs in but Chuckie turns him around for Sole Food! Chuckie tags in White, and White chops Page. He chops and chops then whips but Page reverses. Things speed up, White runs Page over with a back elbow. Matt returns but White throws him with a saido suplex. Nick returns and fights with elbows, but still ends up thrown with a saido suplex! White runs at Page for a running European Uppercut, then turns Page for a half-hatch suplex into buckles! Cover, TWO, but White keeps focus as the fans chant.
White drags Page up again, but Page resists the Fisherman. White chops him but Page slips out the second try. Another chop sends Page to a corner, but Page boots White away. Page runs out and slips through White’s counter, to lift White up and throw him for the buckle-boot bomb! Nick clears Chuckie out of the way while Page covers, TWO! The Bucks coach Page up, and he brings White into the Rite of Passage position. Nick and Matt climb up, but Chuckie and Hashi trip them up! White rolls Page into a high stack, TWO, and Page rocks White with a roaring elbow. White runs at Chuckie, but into the jumping knee. Nick hits the corner Shining Wizard, but Chuckie feeds him to Hashi’s lariat!
Hashi drags Nick up and suplexes into the neckbreaker, but Matt SUPERKICKS Hashi before he can finish. Matt handsprings and headscissors Chuckie for Nick’s dropkick! The Bucks aim at Chuckie and Hashi and hit double slingshot planchas!
White and Page return into the ring, and Page takes off the elbow pad. He takes aim at White, slingshots but White catches the Buck Shot into a Complete Shot! Then the deadlift for a German Suplex! White calls for it, drags Page up in position, but the Bucks SUPERKICK White! Page lifts White now, Rite of Passage!
Cover, The Hung Bucks win!
Winners: The Bullet Club (Hangman Page & The Young Bucks)
Page pins the IWGP United States Champion in this Six Man match, but it’ll be very different when things are 1v1. Can Hangman grab hold of his first singles title when it’s just him and the Switchblade?
But wait, Hangman grabs a chair!
He takes the chair of one of the front row fans, and brings it into the ring. Page attacks Chuckie and Hashi, but the Bucks won’t let him go after White. They tell Page winning was enough. The trio low-five, but then Page demands he still be given a chair? Page puts the chair down, and lifts White up, Rite of Passage onto the chair!
The Problem Solver sends his message to the IWGP US Champion. If this is how far he’ll go to issue the challenge, how far will Hangman go to make the title his?
Backstage interview with Hangman Page.
“You got questions?” No questions for him? Because he had 1000 questions for everyone else before. Here’s a question: What the Hell is going on? Page dropped Jay White on his head on a chair, and stood over him with the IWGP US Championship. No matter how hard White hits Page, Page wants that title more than White has wanted anything in his entire life! Whenever Page’s shot is, he knows that after what he did, it’ll be soon. Still no questions? Then the reporters are useless.
Jay White responds.
“Page, I see you. I see you, Page.” A simple message of acknowledgement, but will it lead to a brutal battle of revenge?
The Golden Lovers VS Cody & Marty Scurll!
While the Bullet Club slowly falls apart, the “Allied Powers” of the American Nightmare and the British Villain stick together so that the self-proclaimed “Undisputed Leader” Cody has someone to take Kenny Omega & Kota Ibushi on in tag team action. If “Bullet Club is Fine”, then can Cody & Marty ruin the #GoldenReunion?
Cody tosses a chair into the ring even before the match, to which Kota takes offense. Scurll grabs Kota’s shirt from where it fell and offers it to someone in the front row, only to throw it to the far rows. Cody keeps throwing chairs in the ring, to which fans boo. Things calm down, but Scurll asks if Omega is with Bullet Club or with Kota. Omega says that’s not what this is about. Scurll knows, he’s not picking sides, but it just seems that Omega has, and he’s picked Kota. Omega and Scurll continue to argue while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns, and this star-studded match finally begins with Kota and Cody. The fans are clearly behind in Ibushi, though. Cody doesn’t care, he spits at the fans, then tags out to Scurll. Fans “Woop Woop!” for the Villain as he flaps his wings and circles with Kota. A rally starts and the two tie up. Scurll gets Kota’s arm but Kota rolls and reverses to an arm wrench. Scurll reverses back but Kota gets another reversal, and they go move for move. Kota gets a face, Scurll reverses to the wristlock but Kota reverses back. Scurll rolls and spins, then whips but Kota reverses. He headstands in the corner, Kota runs in, so Scurll hops down and chops Kota in the corner.
Scurll whips Kota corner to corner but Kota reverses, Scurll turns around and slips under the boot, then ties up to double wristlock and bring Kota down by his hair. Scurll flaps his wings and fans “Woop Woop!” Things speed up, Kota dropkicks Scurll down! The fans chant for “Ibushi! Ibushi!” as he heads for Omega, but Cody rushes in to scare Omega off! Fans boo, but Cody turns around into Kota’s roundhouse! Omega hops up and tags in, and fans fire up as Cody cowers away to the barriers. Cody even demands the fans move over so he can have more room to retreat. He takes a seat from one of the fans, because while Omega is glaring at him, he’s not returning.
Omega turns around and Scurll is upon him with a European Uppercut. Scurll runs but Omega elbows him away. They both run, Omega puts Scurll on the apron, then swings but Scurll blocks and shoulders in. Scurll slingshots up and over but Omega resists the sunset flip to springboard onto Cody!
They both crash and burn in the chairs, and fans fire up, chanting for “Kenny! Kenny!” Omega clobbers away on Cody but Cody throws him into the barriers. Cody brings Omega up, Scurll gives Omega an apron mule kick. Scurll flaps his wings while Cody continues on Kenny with clubbing forearms. Cody feeds Omega to Scurll for a clothesline, then Scurll holds Omega for Cody as he tags in. Cody kicks Omega in the ribs, then punches him in the corner. He kicks Omega while he’s down, and gives a headlock punch. Cody cartwheels over and blows a kiss to Kota, but turns around into Omega’s chop! Cody kicks back and brings Omega to a corner, but Omega blocks the buckle bump to give Cody one.
Omega goes corner to corner for another buckle bump, and Cody rolls on the mat. Cody begs for mercy, but fans boo, not trusting him. Omega doesn’t, either, he kicks and stomps Cody out. Scurll protests, but it doesn’t matter as Omega tags Kota! The Golden Lovers both whip Cody, double leap frog leads to the roundhouse kick and the leap frog bulldog! Kota takes Scurll out, then Cody ends up outside the ring. Fans sense what’s coming as Omega and Kota go to corners. They call for it, and run crisscross, but the Cross Slash is tripped up. Scurll puts Omega into barriers but Kota counters and shoves Cody instead. Kota drags Cody up and in, but Scurll anchors Kota’s foot. Kota kicks him away, but Cody pounces with a kick on reentry! Scurll returns, they double kick Kota, and then Cody hits the Complete Shot!
They don’t let up, as Scurll drags Kota back out of the ring. He holds Kota while Cody gets moving. Cody takes aim, and jumps across the corner for the flying clothesline on Kota!
Cody’s foot hooks the apron so it’s a bit more crash and burn for both of them, but Scurll is fired up for him. He checks on Cody, “He’s okay!” Scurll rallies the fans while Cody stands. They get Kota up and into the ring, then Scurll brings Kota up again. He rocks Kota with a EuroUpper, then Cody adds a straight right. Cody grabs the legs and stomps Kota’s stomach before stomping a hand. Kota writhes while Cody smirks at Omega. Cody drags Kota up and into a corner, tag to Scurll. Scurll gives an uppercut to Kota, then takes his time suplexing Kota. Scurll holds Kota up there for a good 15 seconds before dropping him, then stomps the hand again.
Tag to Cody, Cody taunts Omega before standing over Kota. The fans cheer for “Ibushi! Ibushi!” but Cody stomps Kota and mocks the fans. He brings Kota up, suplexes him, and holds him up for a good 10 seconds before dropping him on his face. Cody grins at Omega, then drags Kota up again. Scurll puts up a foot for the buckle bump, but Kota back suplexes Cody! Cody slips out, and triangle dropkicks Omega down, then shoves Kota to his corner. Kota uses that to knock Scurll down, then he runs corner to corner at Cody. Cody evades up and over, but Kota fakes out the spinning powerslam. Cody runs in at Kota but now Kota goes up and over, and Kota catches Cody in the spinning powerslam!
Both men are down but the fans fire up. Cody and Kota sit up, Cody crawls after Kota, but Kota tags! Omega hurries up and leaps for the crossbody! Omega knocks Scurll down, then rallies on Cody. Cody kicks low but runs into the headscissors from Omega! Cody tags Scurll, but Omega gets him in the full nelson. Scurll slips down and around to a waistlock, but Kota’s missile dropkick saves Omega! Thumbs up between them, then Omega brings Scurll up in the fireman’s carry. Omega runs around before saying, “You Can’t Escape!” Rolling senton from Omega, standing Shooting Star from Kota, then a moonsault from Omega and one from Kota! Golden Lovers cover, TWO! Scurll surprises Omega and Kota, but the fans are chanting for “Golden Lovers! Golden Lovers!”
They both come back in and bring Scurll back up, but Cody drags Kota out and into barriers, then Scurll grabs Omega’s fingers! “Shh…!” SNAP! Even Scurll feels the pain from that. Meanwhile, Cody has exposed the floor and lifts for the powerbomb, but Kota flails and safely stands on the apron. Kota goes to kick but Cody trips him up. Cody joins Kota on the apron, drags him up, but Omega saves Kota with the V-Trigger! Cody falls to the floor but Scurll returns with his umbrella! Omega dodges the sneak attack, and lifts Scurll onto his shoulders. Omega reaches up, but Scurll still smacks him with the umbrella! The referee never saw it so the match continues. Scurll grabs Omega in the dragon sleeper, and borrows Cross Rhodes!
Cover, TWO! Scurll can’t believe it, but the fans rally for “Kenny! Kenny!” Cody returns as Scurll brings Omega up onto his shoulders. Cody springboards, and it’s dropkick Doomsday Device! But Scurll only fires up more, calling for his finish. He does his spin, calls for it, and gets Omega in the Chickenwing! Kota returns but Cody gets him into the American Deathlock!
The holds are side by side, but the Golden Lovers both endure. Omega starts rolling around and gets to his feet. He lifts Scurll up with him, and sees Kota in trouble, so he backpack sentons onto Cody! Kota is freed but everyone is down while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns with the fans thunderous for the action. Omega and Cody stand, and brawl with heavy haymakers. Omega gets the edge but Cody kicks and drops down for the uppercut. Cody runs but into the the knee! Omega runs, Scurll gets Cody out of the way, and fakes Omega with one kick to hit the mule kick. Kota returns and gets Scurll with the Pele! Fans fire up again with Kota as he drags Scurll up. Powerbomb lift but Scurll escapes the last ride to back slide. Kota slips out but Scurll mule kicks him in the head. Scurll runs, but into the roundhouse. Kota runs, but into Scurll’s lariat! Scurll calls to Cody while fans “Woop Woop!” Scurll shovels Kota onto his shoulders while Cody takes aim, they hit another dropkick Doomsday!
But Kota lands on his feet! And hits Scurll with a Half ‘n’ Half! Omega adds on with the snap Dragon Suplex! Cody returns, swings but misses, and Kota unleashes a strike fest on him. Omega lifts Cody up, powerbomb German Suplex! Fans are thunderous again as The Golden Lovers see Scurll and Cody on the outside again. Omega and Kota catch their breaths, then get to corners. They try to figure out who goes where for a second, then call for it. They run crisscross, and hit the Cross Slash!
Cody and Scurll go down, and the fans chant for “Golden Lovers! Golden Lovers!” Omega brings Scurll in, cross-leg Fisherman neckbreaker! Kota tags in, Omega loads and “BANG”, but Cody runs in! Omega sees him coming and intercepts, but Cody still turns that around into Cross Rhodes! Kota swings a kick but Cody ducks under, and feeds him to Scurll’s mule kick. Scurll suplexes Kota up, Cody adds a SUPERKICK, and then Scurll hits the Ghostbuster!
Cover, TWO!! And Scurll can’t believe it. The fans cheer for Kota again, but Cody wants Scurll to stand Kota up. Scurll does, Cody comes over and toys with Kota while fans boo, but Kota fights out! Cody dodges, and KISSES KOTA?!
Cody steals a kiss from Kota, but it only angers Kota. Kota slaps and kicks Cody to then powerbomb him down. Scurll returns and rolls Kota, holding tights, TWO! V-Trigger from Omega! Omega gets Kota back into things before lifting Scurll on his shoulders. Omega pops Scurll off and into Kota’s kick! The Golden Lovers sit Scurll up, and together, they hit Golden Trigger!!
Cover, Golden Lovers win!
Winners: The Golden Lovers (Kenny Omega & Kota Ibushi)
Reunited and it feels so good, and so does winning. But one win does not end the Bullet Club civil war, it will take Omega and Cody fighting 1v1 to do that. Will the Cleaner still be Bullet Club leader after going against the American Nightmare alone?
Kenny Omega speaks in the ring.
In perfect Japanese, Omega says that while he said this before backstage, he wants everyone to know that “The Golden Lovers are back!” The fans love to hear that. Omega is from Canada, and ROH fans are watching, so he switches to English to say, “This has been one of the best weekends of my life.” After four years, the Golden Lovers have returned. There was a point in 2017 that Omega thought he reached the peak. But his “very first dream” is coming true. The Golden Lovers are “the best tag team in the world!” Fans also like the sound of that. Whether it’s ROH, NJPW or- Wait, the Young Bucks reappear to respond!
Omega tries to continue his statement, but Matt takes the mic from him. “No no no, we didn’t have a problem with you guys.” Obviously Omega and Ibushi are best friends, and have known each other for years. They reached out a peace offering to them in the hotel, and the Bucks accepted. But now the Bucks have a problem because Omega went on the mic to say they, the Golden Lovers, are the best tag team in the world. The Golden Lovers are NOT the best tag team in the world, THE YOUNG BUCKS ARE!! Which brings them to why they’re out here: “From this day forward”, the Young Bucks are moving up to the HEAVYWEIGHT Tag Team Division! In other words, they’ll be seeing each other around. Omega tries to work things out, but the Bucks leave before he can speak again.
Omega explains for Japanese fans, so either that’s a challenge or a joke. But the Golden Lovers will surely face the Young Bucks in the future. Omega isn’t sure how to feel about that, but thinking about it, that’s a dream match! The fans want to see that, right? The fans applaud to say yes. What is KOta’s opinion on that? “Kenny, that would definitely be an awesome match.” Kota wants it, and Omega thinks it could win another “Best Bout” award. It’s been awhile since he and Kota got one of those. “With that being said, I must bid you all ado.” The Golden Lovers wish us “Good bye and good night! BANG!” The Bullet Club civil war complicates, but one thing is sure: a dream tag match is coming! Who will win this immediate instant tag classic?
Marty Scurll knows Bullet Club is for life, but he doesn’t understand what’s going on. He doesn’t understand where he stands. Cody comes over to check on Scurll. Scurll is in no mood, and blames Cody for this turmoil. They lost, but Cody still laughs over the look on Omega’s face when Cody kissed Kota. Or as Cody insists, Kota kissed Cody. Kota wants Cody more than Omega. Scurll doesn’t laugh along, are there more cracks forming inside Bullet Club?
As for the Golden Lovers, Omega says that this is far from over. Cody is an embarrassment! He tries to manipulate people, but that’s not what Bullet Club is about. Omega thinks this is more an “ego project of a WWE reject” than anything. Then for the Young Bucks, Omega meant to talk this out. They’re his friends, like brothers to him. He’s sorry to have upset them, but he won’t run away from his beliefs. He believes the Golden Lovers are the best, but if the Bucks want to say otherwise, then they’ll have no choice but to fight. Kota takes over in Japanese to say he’s ready for the Bucks at any time. The Golden Lovers will show they are the best in the world, they want to prove it. When and where will this ultimate tag match-up happen?
Another stellar hour of action, especially with both NJPW and ROH using their business partnership to do this together. There’s good continuity in the Six Man Tag in the various stories from both promotions. The Hung Bucks go out to represent ROH as the World Six Man Tag Champions, which implies that if the Chaos trio had won, they could put themselves on the list of contenders for those titles. Instead, Page wins to make it clear it’ll be him and White for the IWGP US title while also building more of the “Bullet Club is (not) Fine” story. Page and White are both great young stars who have years ahead of them to become even greater, maybe two of the best in NJPW/ROH.
The stories compound with the Golden Lovers’ return match. There’s the story between Cody and Omega, and then that crazy kiss spot. Cody is a mad genius for using something like that as a Heel tactic, especially because there is surely controversy created. But controversy aside, the Golden Lovers obviously had to win this to keep the story going with Cody while also setting up for the next phase: Golden Lovers VS Young Bucks. We know now that it will happen at Strong Style Evolved, but this moment is still great in the present. The Bucks really have dominated the tag team world, and in NJPW, they’ve done all they can in the Junior Tag Division so it’s time to see what they can do in the Heavyweight. Starting off their Heavyweight run against Golden Lovers is going to be great for the Bucks, that match could go either way.
My Score: 8.5/10
Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Results & Report! (12/12/18)
The Cruiserweight Champion and challenger are set to face off at TLC, but first warm-up in Vegas! Will Buddy Murphy or Cedric Alexander come out ahead?
- Buddy Murphy VS
Noam DarGran Metalik; Murphy wins.
- Cedric Alexander VS Tony Nese; Alexander wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Drake Maverick sets the scene for tonight!
TLC will see Buddy Murphy defend the Cruiserweight Championship against Cedric Alexander in a long awaited rematch from Super Show-Down! The champion and challenger both have something to prove to the other, and allowed Maverick himself to choose their opponents for tonight. The Scottish Supernova was eager to step up and get back at Murphy for screwing him in a match with Tony Nese. But Noam Dar is unfortunately not cleared to compete. Therefore, it will be the Juggernaut taking on the King of the Ropes, Gran Metalik! Metalik himself is eager to show he can hang with the champion.
As for the Soul of 205 Live, he still gets his match with The Premier Athlete. Alexander and Nese have gone back and forth in their own rivalry that dates back to the beginning of this brand. Nese gave Alexander a defeat the 205 Live after Alexander lost the title, and wants to be a major road block to Alexander’s rematch. “With such a small margin for error between Cedric Alexander and Buddy Murphy”, who will make it to TLC riding high on a wave of momentum?
Buddy Murphy VS Gran Metalik!
The Juggernaut wants to show the tag team victory the Heart & Soul of 205 Live have over him means nothing by taking on anyone tonight. The King of the Ropes wants to ride the high his Lucha House Party amigos reached in their Tornado Tag victory last week. Murphy taking on this match is a huge gamble, but it is Las Vegas, after all. Will Murphy hit the jackpot or bust this close to TLC?
The bell rings and Murphy circles with Metalik. They tie up and Murphy powers Metalik to a corner. Murphy backs off but then pie faces Metalik. Metalik shoves Murphy then dodges to egg Murphy on. They circle again and Murphy waistlocks. Metalik standing switches but Murphy pries his way out to a wristlock. Fans chant “Lucha! Lucha!” for Metalik as Murphy yanks on his arm. Murphy brings Metalik to the mat and grinds an elbow into the shoulder. Metalik flips through and reverses, but Murphy reverses back, only for Metalik to reverse again, but Murphy wrangles him back to the mat. Metalik kips up but Murphy drives him back down, so Metalik headscissors. Murphy pops out but Metalik sweeps and covers. ONE and Murphy sweeps to cover, ONE. Metalik handsprings again and fans fire up.
The “Lucha! Lucha!” chants return but Murphy keeps his cool. Murphy and Metalik tie up again and Murphy kicks low. Murphy clubs Metalik then wrenches into a back suplex. Metalik slips out and speeds up to handspring past Murphy. Metalik headscissors and throws Murphy out. Now Metalik builds speed and FLIES! Direct hit on Murphy and the champ goes down! Fans chant for Metalik as he gets up and goes after Murphy. Murphy shoves him away then knees low, but Metalik sends him into barriers. Metalik stalks Murphy from the barrier’s edge, to leap for another headscissor! The fans fire up as Metalik puts Murphy in the ring. Cover, TWO! Metalik keeps the fans going as he goes to Murphy. Murphy yanks Metalik into buckles!
Murphy gets up and puts Metalik on the top rope. He climbs up to join Metalik but Metalik fights back. Metalik shoves Murphy down but Murphy’s right back up! Metalik shoves him away again, and boots him back. Murphy staggers, but catches Metalik’s leap into a suplex! Both men are down but fans fire up. Murphy crawls to a cover, TWO! Metalik shows his toughness but Murphy keeps his cool. Murphy drags Metalik up to throw him out. He leaves Metalik for dead as the count climbs. Metalik crawls back at 6, and gets in at 8! Murphy stomps Metalik out, then throws a heavy right hand! Cover, TWO! Murphy grows frustrated but he puts Metalik in a grounded stretch.
Fans rally as Metalik endures the forearm in the face. Metalik pries his way out but Murphy drives in elbows to the chest! Cover, TWO! Murphy wraps Metalik up in a chinlock, but Metalik fights his way up. Metalik rams Murphy into buckles while throwing in body shots. Metalik gets free but walks into a boot! Murphy drags Metalik up and throws him out, but Metalik stays on the apron. Murphy is annoyed as he goes back over to Metalik. He brings Metalik up but Metalik swing kicks him away! Metalik aims and springboards, big crossbody! Cover, TWO! Metalik kicks Murphy’s legs but Murphy shoves Metalik. Metalik springboards for the back elbow! He CHOPS Murphy then whips, but Murphy reverses. Metalik walks the ropes, and springboards for the missile dropkick! Cover, TWO!
Metalik keeps his cool, and starts up another “Lucha! Lucha!” He lifts Murphy in a fireman’s carry, but Murphy slips out. Murphy fires off his strike fest, but misses the knee to get a SUPERKICK! Metalik gets another fireman’s carry but Murphy slips out and shoves Metalik to the ropes, KNEE TRIGGER! Murphy runs, but into a fireman’s carry, Metalik Driver!! TWO!! Metalik almost had the Cruiserweight Champion, but Murphy’s tougher than that. Metalik drags Murphy to a drop zone, then climbs up top. Murphy revives and rolls out to the apron. Murphy goes for Metalik but Metalik shoves him down. Metalik goes after Murphy but Murphy drop toeholds him into the desk! Murphy then back suplexes Metalik right on the apron! Murphy puts Metalik in and climbs up top, for a flying meteora! Cover, TWO! Metalik shows he’s tough, too, and Murphy can’t believe it.
Both men slowly stir with the 10 count. Fans rally up as Murphy stands first. Murphy drags Metalik up but Metalik inside cradles! TWO and Metalik boots Murphy down! Metalik climbs but Murphy tucks him in, only for Metalik to pop out and mule kick Murphy away! Metalik finishes climbing, and moonsaults, onto boots! Murphy deadlifts to a sit-out bomb! TWO!? Metalik lives and Murphy is furious. But fans love this and bring back the “Lucha! Lucha!” Metalik gets to the ropes but Murphy grits his teeth. Murphy drags Metalik up and around, for the point blank knee trigger! Then, pumphandle to victory roll!? TWO! Metalik springboards, but into Murphy’s Law! Cover, Murphy wins!
Winner: Buddy Murphy, by pinfall
The Cruiserweight Champion finally finishes it off and moves on to his title defense this Sunday! If the King of the Ropes put up such a great fight, how much more will the Age of Alexander do? And what shape will Alexander be after his match later tonight?
Akira Tozawa & THE Brian Kendrick meet with Drake Maverick.
The Stamina Monster helps The Man with a Plan with his collar as the GM walks in. Maverick approves their match with Drew Gulak & Jack Gallagher, under Street Fight rules. How ironic, really. How? Well, their Street Fight match against each other. And now they’re working together in a Street Fight tag match. Yes, true. Kendrick admits he’s changed since then. When he returned to the WWE, he manipulated and cheated because he was desperate. Kendrick was doing whatever he had to in order to keep his dream, and Tozawa was one of the main targets. So Kendrick should thank Gallager & Gulak for beating that out of him. What Kendrick needs to do now is lift this Division up. Kendrick’s a changed man.
Tozawa agrees and supports Kendrick. But the problem now is that Kendrick still looks the same. Tozawa has an idea. Well, okay… What kind of makeover will Tozawa give Kendrick? And Tozawa thanks Maverick for his time, but reminds Maverick he lost those Raw Tag Team Championships. “So, you’re FIRED!” Tozawa can’t fire people, he’s not the GM or anything. But can he and Kendrick fire up and melt the cruel winter?
Drew Gulak & Jack Gallagher respond.
“A Street Fight is the perfect place to end the career of THE Brian Kendrick.” And what Kendrick needs to understand that the beating they gave him wasn’t to humiliate but to redeem Kendrick. Kendrick was fired once, twice, so maybe this isn’t for him. Gallagher & Gulak didn’t go far enough, because if they had, the team of Tozawa & Kendrick wouldn’t have existed. And that’s why a Street Fight Tag is perfect: they can go as far as they want, and anything is legal. So when they face off for the final time, you WILL tap out. Who will survive this gritty grudge match?
Backstage interview with Ariya Daivari.
The Persian Lion has beaten down local competitors two weeks in a row, what is the reason behind that? Wrestling used to be simple: find two of the toughest men, put them in a ring, and let them battle it out until only one was left standing. It was never meant to be flashy or pretty. “What’s happened to this business?” All anyone seems to care about is dressing up like their favorite superheroes or retweeting compliments. Daivari was out with an injured neck, and he watched 205 Live have a lot of flash, but no fight.
Hideo Itami walks over, and says he was watching last week. “Good job.” The two shake hands, and there seems to be mutual respect for their mean streaks. Daivari says Itami is one of the last true men in the Cruiserweight Division, and the only one worthy of respect. Will Daivari and Itami bring 205 Live back to a rougher and more “respectful” time of wrestling?
Cedric Alexander VS Tony Nese!
The Soul of 205 Live wants to rebuild his legacy starting with TLC, but the Premier Athlete says he’s not worthy. The Juggernaut already goes in tired but victorious, will Alexander be able to do the same?
The bell rings and Nese flexes on Alexander. Alexander ignores it as he circles with Nese. Fans rally up as the two tie up. Alexander pushes Nese back to a corner but backs off at 4. Alexander flexes back and circles with him again. Vegas is on Alexander’s side and that annoys Nese. Nese and Alexander tie up and Nese gets a waistlock. Alexander tries to break out but Nese rolls him. Nese flexes again but Alexander shrugs it off. Alexander and Nese tie up again and Alexander gets the wristlock. Nese pulls hair and gets the reversal. Alexander rolls and handsprings to reverse back then get a takedown. Nese shoves Alexander back and gets his own takedown, but Alexander pushes him away. Alexander rolls, handsprings and headscissors but Nese handsprings through!
Alexander runs into Nese’s back elbow, but Alexander gets under Nese’s moonsault! Nese goes Matrix to dodge Alexander, but Alexander hits the dropkick! Fans fire up as Alexander covers, TWO! Alexander checks his teeth while catching his breath before going back to Nese. He bumps Nese off buckles and then CHOPS. Alexander CHOPS again, then follows Nese to ropes. Nese mule kicks and then goes to backslide, but Alexander hooks ropes to stay grounded. Alexander reels Nese in to toss him out! Fans fire up as Alexander builds speed, but Nese slides in! Alexander barely grabs the rope in time to stop himself, and he manages to shoulder Nese back. Nese rolls as Alexander springboards to SHORYUKEN! Cover, TWO!
Nese keeps on Alexander with stomps, then he flexes again. Fans boo as Nese clubs Alexander. Alexander chops back, but Nese kciks him to a corner. Nese whips corner to corner hard, then covers, TWO! Nese keeps his cool as fans duel. Alexander chops back again, then boots from a corner. Alexander runs into a throat chop! Nese runs and hotshots Alexander down! Then triangle jump moonsault! Cover, TWO! Nese argues the count but the ref says it was two. Nese stomps away on Alexander then brings him up for a scoop slam. Cover, TWO! Nese sits Alexander up for the body scissor squeeze. Fans rally while Alexander endures. Nese grabs for an arm but Alexander resists, so Nese clubs him. Nese gets the arm and CHOPS Alexander. Alexander punches back and breaks free!
Alexander throws more hands, then runs, but into a big clothesline! Cover, TWO! Alexander survives and Nese is surprised, but Nese keeps his cool. Nese wraps on a chinlock and drives a knee into Alexander’s back. Fans rally and Alexander feeds off the energy. Alexander gets up but Nese throws him to the apron. Alexander boots Nese back, then springboards. He fakes out the uppercut to step-springboard for a complete shot! Nese gets to a corner and fans rally up. Alexander takes off the elbow pads and rallies on Nese. He gives Nese an uppercut now, but msises in the corner. Nese runs into the dropkick and hits buckles. Alexander goes to the apron to kick Nese back in! Nese staggers, Alexander springboards, flying lariat hits! Cover, TWO! Nese is dazed but he survives.
Alexander fires up with the fans as he stalks Nese. He brings Nese up but Nese mule kicks and knee lifts. Nese roundhouses but misses the sweep to get a buzzsaw! Cover, TWO! Alexander grows frustrated and gets a wild look in his eyes. Alexander goes back to Nese and brings him up. Nese clutches ropes and Alexander has no choice but to let go. Alexander walks into a gutbuster! Cover, TWO! Nese keeps on Alexander with a shove and a back elbow. Then Nese runs for big forearms! Cover, TWO!! Alexander barely gets out and Nese grows frustrated. Nese drags Alexander up, saying “I’m better than you!” He slaps Alexander as he repeats that, but Alexander slaps back!
Alexander blocks the kick to give an elbow, then runs to handspring. Nese catches the Neuralizer into a Samoan Drop! But Nese can’t cover, he’s too exhausted. Nese forces himself to stand and bring Alexander up. He whips but Alexander reverses. Nese grabs ropes then dumps Alexander out. Nese runs to FLY! Direct hit folds Alexander up! The referee checks on both men, but they’re both okay to continue. Nese drags Alexander up and in, then goes to a corner. Nese climbs up, leaps, but his 450 flops! Alexander goes to cradle but Nese blocks it, TWO!! Michinoku Driver outta nowhere! TWO!! Alexander can’t believe Nese survives, but fans are fired up!
Vegas cheers Alexander on as he stalks Nese. Alexander brings Nese up but Nese sprawls to block. Nese elbows Alexander but walks into a roundhouse. Alexander lifts but Nese slips out to a cover, TWO! Neuralizer! Then Lumbar Check!! Cover, Alexander wins!!
Winner: Cedric Alexander, by pinfall
The Premier Athlete pushed Alexander to his limits but it wasn’t enough, the challenger keeps pace with the champion. Speaking of, Buddy Murphy returns to stare Alexander down. Alexander dares Murphy to bring the fight, there’s nothing but “space and opportunity” between them! Murphy takes a look at his belt, and puts it down so he can rush the ring! Murphy gets in but Alexander gets him down! The champion and challenger brawl on the mat, but then Murphy bails out. Alexander doesn’t let him go as he FLIES out! Fans fire up as Alexander gets back in the ring. Alexander dares Murphy to keep the fight going, but Murphy reconsiders. The Soul of 205 Live is fired up, but will he be able to reclaim his throne? Or will he be stopped by the unstoppable?
A great go-home for 205 Live that also feeds a bit into next week’s episode. I do like the full circle Kendrick is going through having another Street Fight based match for a blow-off. I just hope Tozawa’s new wardrobe ideas don’t make Kendrick reconsider the partnership. We still need more teams for the potential Cruiserweight Tag Team Division. And in which case, Daivari’s promo about joining forces with Itami started to sound more like a reason he’d join up with Gulak & Gallagher. But I suppose more than one Heel team can have the motivation of wanting a more brutal and less flashy style of wrestling to prevail. But where Gulak & Gallagher love ground game and grapples, Itami & Daivari can be about strikes and drivers. A match between those four might be pretty good, too.
The two matches we got tonight were the only matches we needed. It’s a shame Noam Dar didn’t get to go against Buddy Murphy, but Murphy VS Metalik was still an incredible opener. The styles went well together, and Metalik still looks really strong in losing. Alexander VS Nese was incredible again, even after the many other times we’ve seen it. I was curious as to why it wasn’t Alexander VS Ali, but not only would it be too soon, we know now Ali VS Bryan was in the works. I was surprised Murphy agreed to brawl against Alexander for even that little bit. As the Heel, he should’ve just stayed back rather than fight to retreat. It still got the fans fired up, but maybe this is so Alexander can stand tall and give the math to Murphy.
My Score: 8.8/10
Mitchell’s WWE NXT Results & Report! (12/12/18)
Ricochet puts up his NXT North American Championship on the line, but against who? Plus, EC3 wants payback on Bobby Fish for that vicious chair attack!
- EC3 VS Bobby Fish w/ The Undisputed Era; EC3 wins.
- Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch VS The Mighty; Lorcan & Burch win.
- NXT Women’s Championship #1 Contender Fatal 4 Way Qualifier: Mia Yim VS Reina Gonzalez; Yim wins and joins the NXT Women’s Championship #1 Contender Fatal 4 Way.
- NXT North American Championship: Ricochet VS ???; Ricochet wins and retains the NXT North American Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
EC3 VS Bobby Fish w/ The Undisputed Era!
The Top One Percent looks to keep it 100 as he goes for payback against the Infamous One for what he did weeks before TakeOver: WarGames II. But Fish has his friends by his side as always, will EC3 be able to win with Kyle O’Reilly, Roderick Strong and Adam Cole lurking?
Adam Cole says the holidays have come early because now Fish gets to humiliate the “Top One Percent of Morons”. EC3 was dumb enough to think he’d elevate his career to new heights. But with the help of a chair, Fish showed EC3 that NXT is their world! The Undisputed Era is the center of the NXT Universe, and everything revolves around her. This has been a career year and is just the beginning of an entire decade! And in 2019, the four of them will be “draped in gold”. That’s not a threat, “that is Undisputed.” But EC3 makes his entrance and we begin this grudge match!
Fish and EC3 are ready to go with the bell. Fish moves around but EC3 corners him, so Fish bails out. The Undisputed Era cheer Fish’s mind games on, and so do some fans. Fish returns but wants EC3 to stay back. EC3 doesn’t and he hip tosses Fish in! Fish scrambles to a corner and EC3 fires off hands and stomps! EC3 whips corner to corner but Fish ducks down to go after the leg. EC3 powers Fish off and hits a BIG powerbomb! Fish staggers about and EC3 clotheslines him right out! EC3 goes out with him, but gets back in the ring, all fired up! Fish is reeling and the Era coach him up, but EC3 comes out. EC3 fetches Fish into the ring and puts on a half nelson. Fish gets up but EC3 makes it a nerve hold to keep him down.
Fish gets up and powers EC3 to a corner, but EC3 turns it around. EC3 CHOPS Fish, and again! Then he biels Fish across the way. Roddy and Kyle distract, and Fish chop blocks the bad leg! Fish rains down rights but EC3 pushes him off. Fish stomps EC3, then kicks him. The Era is rabid as Fish throws hands and puts EC3 in a corner. Fish throws body shots and forearms, then kicks away at the back leg. Dragon screw throws EC3 for a loop! Fish grabs the bad leg and pulls on it, standing on the other leg to keep him down. Fans rally and EC3 pushes Fish off! EC3 runs in but misses, and then turns around into an exploder! Cover, TWO! Fish is furious, but he goes back for more.
Fish brings EC3 up but it’s EC3 who hits the suplex! EC3 grits his teeth as he gets up, and he counter punches Fish. He fires off lefts and rights then whips, but Fish snaps against the ropes awkwardly. EC3 takes advantage with a scoop slam, then wants Fish to “Say My Name!” Name Drop elbow hits! Roddy and Kyle distract again but EC3 hits them for it. But Fish still gets the chop block! Fish goes for a leg but EC3 cradles! EC3 WINS!
Winners: EC3, by pinfall
But The Era attack! All four of them stomp away like rabid dogs, but here come Heavy Machinery! Tucker Knight & Otis Dozovic use size to even up the numbers! Dozer clobbers Cole and Strong while Tucky gets rid of reDRagon! Kyle tries to escape but Heavy Machinery drag him back in. EC3 gets Kyle up for the One Percenter! Fans are thunderous for this trio as EC3 gets Dozer pumping up. Dozer gets going with the Caterpillar elbow! Will Heavy Machinery help the Top One Percent end this Undisputed Era once and for all?
NXT Media catches up to Dakota Kai and Io Shirai.
They fought together to stop The Horsewomen from ganging up on Captain Kick. Jessamyn Duke & Marina Shafir keep sticking their noses in Shayna Baszler’s matches, so these two are going to stop that personally. The Genius of the Sky don’t want her friends getting bullied, so all that’s left is a match. That’ll happen next week, who takes a victory in this Women’s Division war?
Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch VS The Mighty!
The One Two Combination defeated Shane Thorne & Nick Miller already, but this is about the sore loser sneak attack after the match! Will Thorne & Miller regret punking out this pair of pugilists? Or will Lorcan & Burch finally make The Mighty kneel?
Lorcan & Burch are raring to go but they still wait for the bell. Thorne starts with Lorcan and Lorcan fires off! Then Miller and Burch get in and it’s a pair of brawls! Burch throws Miller out then Lorcan throws Thorne out. Burch goes out and Miller shoves him into the apron, but Lorcan FLIES! Lorcan wipes The Mighty out and fans fire up! Lorcan puts Thorne in and then runs into the corner for a big elbow. He gets moving but Thorne follows with a European Uppercut! Thorne runs but Lorcan follows to rock him back! Lorcan suckers Thorne into an elbow and a powerbomb! Then the Half Crab! Miller comes in but gets CHOPS! Thorne gets Lorcan with the saido suplex! Tag to Miller and he whips Lorcan. Miller hits a big corner clothesline, then whips into a SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Lorcan lives but Miller keeps on him.
Tag to Thorne, and Miller whips Thorne at Burch. Miller then whips Thorne back but Lorcan dodgse to tag Burch! The Governor rallies on The Mighty, and tackles Thorne with a Thesz Press! Burch rocks Miller with a right, then goes right at Thorne with a clothesline and kick. Miller runs but is sent into Thorne, and then Burch deals out more kicks! Burch hops up and leaps for a missile dropkick! And he kips up! Tag to Lorcan, and the One Two coordinate at a corner. Burch lifts Thorne but Thorne fights out. Thorne dodges Burch to SHORYUKEN Lorcan. Then he clobbers Burch. Miller returns and helps Thorne get up top quick. SUPERPLEX BOMB! Miller puts Thorne on top to cover, but Burch barrels through Miller to break it! Burch gets thrown out, and Thorne tags Miller in.
The Mighty go after Lorcan but Burch saves him from Thunder Valley. Miller tackles them both, and then scoops Lorcan. Powerslam, to Poetry in Motion cannonball! Cover on Lorcan, TWO!? The Mighty are shocked by this double toughness! Miller tags Thorne, and they again go after Lorcan. They lift Lorcan up, but get double DDT’s! Lorcan has a wild look in his eye and fans rally behind it. Lorcan takes Miller’s face and SLAPS away! Then he SLAPS away on Thorne! they BOTH slap Lorcan, but then he ducks and they slap each other!! Lorcan sends Miller into a post, then tags in Burch. Burch headbutts Thorne, and with Lorcan’s help, London Tower! Cover, Lorcan & Burch win!
Winners: Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch, Burch pinning
They did it again! The Mighty fell to the One Two Combination, who continue their hot streak since returning to action. While the Undisputed Era has Heavy Machinery to worry about, will Lorcan & Burch move up the ranks towards those NXT Tag Team Championships?
NXT Media has another video from Johnny Gargano.
“Aleister, you thought our story ended in Los Angeles when you ‘absolved’ me of my sins.” But Gargano never said he did nothing wrong. This is about the greater good. The ends justify the means. The end: becoming NXT Champion, and the world celebrating! So if the means meant beating someone up, Aleister was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. That’s why their story continues. Gargano says Aleister can put Gargano in a cage with the devil himself, and he’ll do whatever he has to to make sure the story ends the right way. Gargano won’t just turn the page, he closes the book on Aleister Black. Will Gargano keep his word to end the Embodiment of the End? Or will his happy ending simply #FadeToBlack?
Dominic Dijakovic speaks.
“The bond of blood is sacred. The roots of our tree are unbreakable. They keep us grounded.” He will fight for them, and die for them. This is “our vision”, and you will #FeastYourEyes on his debut, next week.
Backstage interview with Shayna Baszler and the Horsewomen.
She, Jessamyn and Marina have heard about the Fatal 4 Way #1 Contenders match. But Shayna doesn’t care, because it will always end the same way: she goes home with the title, her opponent goes home with nothing. As for the challenge issued by Dakota & Shirai, Marina & Jessamyn laugh it off. They’re ready for the “challenge”. The Horsewomen roll out, but who will have the last laugh when it’s all said and done?
NXT Women’s Championship #1 Contender Fatal 4 Way Qualifier: Mia Yim VS Reina Gonzalez!
The Queen of Spades awaits a challenger at TakeOver: Phoenix now that she’s moved the Pirate Princess out of the way. The Un-De-Fea-Ted Bianca Belair is already one participant, and William Regal announces via Twitter that Lacey Evans will be the other. Both women have put together impressive wins, so it’s up to the Blasian Baddie and the Daughter of the Desperado to impress the GM this week. Who joins the EST and the Lady of NXT in a fight for the right to challenge #ShaynaTwoTime and her reign of terror?
The bell rings and Mia ties up with Reina. Reina powers Mia to a corner, but Mia dodges the swing to jump on for a guillotine! Reina powers out but Mia slips away. Mia leaps back on for the guillotine! Reina powers out but Mia dropkicks her back. Mia goes for Sole Food but Reina pushes her away. Reina swings but Mia dodges, and puts the guillotine back on! Reina powers out again, but to a suplex! And she hangs Mia out to dry on the rope, before throwing her down! Reina stomps a mudhole into Mia, but backs off at 4. She drags Mia out to a cover, TWO! Reina grows frustrated but fans rally up for Mia. Mia hits back, but gets clobbered! Reina runs, and boots Mia right down! Cover, ONE! Reina tries again, TWO!
Reina grows frustrated but she talks trash in Spanish. She dares the Baddie to get up, then pulls her into a Canadian torture rack! Mia endures the stretch and Reina even fish hooks. Reina jumps around to add torque, but Mia fights out. Mia arm-drags Reina into ropes, then gets space. Reina staggers over but into CHOPS! Mia throws body shots and even more chops! Mia throws palm strikes and kicks, then knees and a Pele! Reina staggers, time to Eat Da Feet! Cover, Mia wins!
Winner: Mia Yim, by pinfall
Reina eats Sole Food and Mia now sits at the winner’s table! Can the Baddie beat out the Model Soldier and EST? Who will join them as the fourth and final contender?
Aleister Black speaks.
“What I find interesting about the human race is that everything they do revolves around how they are feeling.” Everyone keeps asking, “What do you feel about your match with Johnny Gargano?” How does he feel about a Steel Cage Match with Gargano? He doesn’t feel anything. He just knows he has to win. “It’s come to my attention that you are far, far beyond absolution. You are far beyond redemption. And the only thing left is the total annihilation.” It will happen in that steel cage. There won’t be any running or hiding, there will simply be Gargano and his sins, and they will all #FadeToBlack! Will Aleister leave Gargano for dead inside the steel?
NXT North American Championship: Ricochet VS ???
The One and Only is eager to prove he’s a fighting champion and a worthy champion at that. He left it to NXT GM William Regal to choose his opponent, and Regal promised “something special” for this match. But who is it that answered this open contract challenge?
Ricochet makes his entrance and awaits his mystery challenger. The “something special” turns out to be… “Look everyone, it’s Tyler!” Prince Pretty returns to NXT in a major way! Tyler Breeze brings back the selfie cam titantron feed, and looks to revitalize himself with a new belt! Will Breeze shock everyone by becoming the third-ever North American Champion? Or will Ricochet add Breeze to the highlight reel?
The belt is raised and fans chant “Welcome Back!” for the NXT alumni. The bell rings and fans are already dueling. Tyler and Ricochet take a moment to enjoy it before circling. They tie up and go around, and Breeze arm-drags Ricochet. Breeze backs off to lounge on the top rope. Ricochet nods respect as Breeze comes back. They tie up again, and Ricochet gets around to a headlock. Breeze powers out but Ricochet rolls and speeds things up. Ricochet rolls off the back then ducks under to handspring and headscissor and dropkick! Breeze bails out to catch his breath, but Ricochet comes out. Breeze hurries back in, but Ricochet doesn’t give him time to rest. Ricochet and Breeze go around, Breeze goes for a Half Crab. Ricochet gets to ropes and pushes Breeze away. Breeze kicks Ricochet then runs, but into a somersault lariat!
Breeze bails out, but Ricochet fakes him out on the apron. Ricochet boots Breeze then leaps, into a dropkick! Both men are down, but fans are loving this! The fans still duel while Breeze checks his teeth. Breeze puts Ricochet into the ring, then into a corner. Breeze stomps a gorgeous mudhole into Ricochet, then shouts at the ref when he’s pulled away. Ricochet flounders but Breeze is on him with a scoop. Breeze puts Ricochet on the top rope and climbs up, but Ricochet fights him off. Breeze falls back and Ricochet is on him, but Breeze shoves. Ricochet comes back to knee Breeze back. Ricochet then somersaults from a corner to dropkick Breeze! Breeze crawls to a corner and Ricochet runs in, for a big back elbow to back hand.
Ricochet throws Breeze into buckles but misses the tiger feint kick. Breeze German Suplexes but Ricochet lands on his feet! Ricochet sends Breeze into buckles again and hits the tiger feint! Ricochet springboards for a flying uppercut! Standing shooting star! Cover, TWO! Breeze survives, showing his toughness. Fans rally up as Ricochet gets back up. Ricochet puts Breeze in a drop zone, then climbs up top. Ricochet leaps, but has to roll through the Phoenix Splash when Breeze moves. Breeze hits back with haymakers, but so does Ricochet. They brawl back and forth, and fans are divided.
They hit each other at the same time, and same goes for kicks. Ricochet turns around but both men clothesline. Breeze blocks Ricochet’s boot but Ricochet dodges Breeze’s Super Model Kick. Both men run, and collide with double crossbodies! Fans fire up for “NXT! NXT!” while both men are down. A 10 count begins and the fans rally up. Breeze and Ricochet sit up slowly, and brawl on their knees. Ricochet gives an uppercut, but Breeze clubs him on the back. They continue as they stand up and Ricochet fires off forearms. Ricochet suplexes but Breeze resists. Breeze suplexes but Ricochet resists. They repeat the cycle but Ricochet slips out. Ricochet back suplexes but Breeze slips out. Breeze waistlocks but Ricochet elbows out.
Ricochet runs, springboards, but misses, SUPER MODEL KICK! And Reverse-Rana! Cover, TWO!! Ricochet survives and Breeze is shocked. Fans declare “This is Gorgeous!” rather than awesome, but it’s still awesome, too! Ricochet and Breeze go to opposite corners, then approach. Ricochet says NXT is his now, but Breeze mule kicks. Breeze throws haymakers, then aims a kick, but Ricochet hits with a boot first! Ricochet walks over, into a jumping knee! And an enziguri! Breeze leaps but he’s caught, into the fireman’s carry, and Samoan Driver! Cover, Ricochet wins!
Winner: Ricochet, by pinfall; still NXT North American Champion
That wasn’t just special, that was spectacular! Prince Pretty gives the King of Flight a fight he wasn’t expecting, but Ricochet shows Breeze the respect he deserves, and the two handshake. Will Breeze stick around to give it another try? Will Ricochet’s reign extend to be one of the most impressive in NXT history?
An incredible episode right here! We waste very little time getting into action and I am really impressed that EC3 pulls off another surprise win on an Undisputed Era member. He and Fish had a great match, and I really liked that it was Heavy Machinery backing EC3 up in that brawl. I think it should be a Six Man of EC3 & Heavy Machinery VS Roderick Strong & reDRagon while Adam Cole likely distracts or interferes. And while his story with the North American Championship likely isn’t over, I don’t know if NXT would want to create a secondary WarGames scenario where now it’s just EC3 and Heavy Machinery standing in for Pete Dunne & War Raiders. Cole can hang about as the leader of Undisputed Era while waiting for title scenes to change.
I’m a touch disappointed we’re only getting 2v2 next week, but Dakota & Shirai VS Jessamyn & Marina should be a great match for the last two MMA Horsewomen to make an in-ring debut with. Now in real-time, we have learned Dakota Kai is injured, but that shouldn’t affect next week’s match. Sadly it’ll mean she won’t get to be part of TakeOver: Phoenix or anything else after that, and we wish her a speedy recovery. Meanwhile, Mia and Reina have a great match. Reina having a bull rope and cowbell makes me want a Women’s Bull Rope match for the hell of it. If Reina sticks around, she should be able to gain some ground once things clear up. As it stands, Mia looks like a front runner as the Face in that Fatal 4 Way. I wonder if they’ll use a battle royal to determine the fourth participant.
That tag team match of Lorcan-Burch VS The Mighty was incredible! NXT Tag Team wrestling is getting back up there and the scrappy One Two Combo is a large part of that. Get those two on SmackDown AND 205 Live, they’ll be great tag title contenders at least. Gargano and Aleister have great promos going towards their Steel Cage match, but I hope they use the cage in different ways of physicality than we usually see. Throwing the opponent into steel is one thing, but I think NXT can use these two for something really gritty.
For me, it’s a bit of a mixed bag on Tyler Breeze’s return. It’s a bit sad that he was sent back, but it was a great surprise and Full Sail got behind him. The bottom line is this is the wrestling quality main roster should’ve given Breeze, but Vince just insisted on overemphasizing gimmick and comedy. Granted, Breeze does great with comedy, but if the Fashion Police were doing matches on this level, they’d be champions. Breeze gave Ricochet a hell of a match, and it really elevates Ricochet in winning. It’ll really take something insane to dethrone Ricochet, if Breeze got to be this strong. As for Breeze, I’m not sure what he’ll do now that he’s back. I was hoping he’d go to 205 Live, but I know HHH will treat Breeze right either way.
My Score: 8.8/10
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