This review of NJPW: New Beginnings in Sapporo Part 1 will be as broadcasted by AXS TV.
Therefore, all images are courtesy of AXS TV.
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Will Ospreay VS Hiromu Takahashi; Ospreay wins and retains the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship.
- NEVER Openweight Championship: Hirooki Goto VS EVIL; Goto wins and retains the NEVER Openweight Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
AXS and NJPW take a look at the build to tonight’s two amazing championship matches.
Chaos, one of the top factions in NJPW, and the rising Los Ingobernables de Japon have been locked in intense rivalries as of late. While Hirooki Goto took the NEVER Openweight Championship back from Minoru Suzuki in a Hair VS Hair match, EVIL wants back at the title that he only held for 10 days. At the same time, EVIL and Sanada successfully held onto the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships against Goto’s team, so this match will settle their back and forth over gold.
Meanwhile, Hiromu Takahashi was in an insane Fatal 4 for the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship, but not even he, Kushida and Marty Scurll were enough to ground the Aerial Assassin, Will Ospreay. Ospreay himself finally got a win over long-time rival in The Villain, and defends his belt for the first time against Hiromu. Can the Ticking Timebomb blow Ospreay away and grab the gold now that things are 1v1?
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Will Ospreay VS Hiromu Takahashi!
Eccentric though he may be, LIJ’s Hiromu is as talented as they come. Can Chaos’ Ospreay retain his title now that The Villain and the Time Splitter are not factors in the match?
Hiromu bows to the title he wants so badly, and we begin.
They go right at each other, Ospreay kicks Hiromu’s opening move away, and it’s a brawl with fast forearms. Ospreay kicks then runs but Hiromu follows and headscissors Ospreay. Ospreay stays on his feet, throws a dropkick but Hiromu dodges, then Hiromu hits that headscissors again to throw Opsreay out. Hiromu taunts Ospreay then builds speed, only to fake Ospreay out. He jumps into sitting down cross-legged, and dares Ospreay to return. Ospreay smirks before he rolls in, then swings a kick. Hiromu dodges that and the flip, but Ospreay keeps going to headscissor Hiromu all the way out in return. Ospreay builds speed but Hiromu gets clear, which is fine because Ospreay handsprings and lands. He sees Hiromu coming and boots him back out, then builds speed to handspring and FLY out, only for Hiromu to get clear again. Hiromu gives Ospreay a German Suplex to the floor!
Hiromu winks at the camera before dragging Ospreay up. He chops Ospreay, and then whips him from the barriers, but Ospreay reverses to send Hiromu into barriers instead! Ospreay is still recovering, but he gets distance to then run at Hiromu, only for Hiromu to throw him overhead into the barriers!
Ospreay screams in pain while Red Shoes comes over to check on him. Hiromu stands up and walks off his own pain before returning to grind a foot into Ospreay’s face. The 20 count begins, Hiromu brings Ospreay up to throw into more barriers. The count reaches 10, then even 14, but Hiromu gets Ospreay in by 16. He keeps on Ospreay with a knee grinding into Ospreay’s chin. Ospreay gets away to a corner, but Hiromu chops him. Hiromu brings Ospreay out to chop again, then covers, TWO. Ospreay grits his teeth, but Hiromu brings him up and whips, only to reel Ospreay in for a forearm, a shove to the ropes, and a kick to the ropes to jack his jaw.
Hiromu keeps going with another shove, then runs to dropkick Ospreay in the back. Cover, TWO, but Hiromu brushes it off. He stands up and stomps on Ospreay’s bad shoulders and neck. He toys with Ospreay, but Ospreay hits back. Hiromu chops Ospreay, then drops him with a side slam back suplex, cover, TWO. Hiromu keeps on Ospreay with a headscissors hold. Ospreay starts working his way out with a roll, then lifts Hiromu up Electric Chair style, only for Hiromu to slip out and club him in the back. Ospreay screams in pain again, and Hiromu whips him corner to corner. Hiromu clotheslines in the corner and rolls Ospreay as he keeps moving, but Ospreay ducks under to handspring for the enziguri!
Both men are down but the fans applaud. Hiromu stirs while Ospreay slowly fires himself up. He brings Hiromu up for knees and a jawbreaker, then a stiff kick that puts Hiromu in a corner. Ospreay runs in and hits a European Uppercut, then sweeps the legs to sit Hiromu down. Hiromu gets out of the way as Ospreay returns, but Ospreay stops Hiromu with an enziguri. Ospreay gets moving again and hits the elevated 619, but Hiromu runs back to slingshot over! He wants the sunset flip powerbomb but Ospreay desperately holds onto the second rope! Ospreay fights Hiromu off, but Hiromu gets under the shooting star press from the apron! Hiromu lunges but Ospreay rolls over him, to hit the bicycle boot.
Deja vu from earlier as Ospreay runs at Hiromu near the barriers, but this time Ospreay lands on the other side of the barriers to punch Hiromu back. After seeing the railing is sturdy, Ospreay uses them to springboard for a flying forearm! This time Ospreay winks at the camera, in return for the wink Hiromu gave. Opsreay drags Hiromu up into the ring, then takes aim from the apron. He springboards again, for a flying clothesline, cover, TWO. The Aerial Assassin is back in control while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns to find Ospreay bringing Hiromu up and back into the dragon sleeper. He lifts but Hiromu knees out. Hiromu kicks then runs, but into Ospreay’s backflip kick, followed by an enziguri! Fans fire up for Ospreay while Hiromu gets to a corner. Ospreay runs in, Hiromu throws him overhead again, but Ospreay stops from going into the buckles, to then jump and corkscrew senton onto Hiromu!
Cover, TWO, but Ospreay keeps his cool. He fires himself up while Hiromu stirs. Ospreay makes sure the cameras are watching closely as he gets up and aims at Hiromu. Hiromu swings a kick but Ospreay dodges, and Ospreay gets the dragon sleeper suplex. But Hiromu slips out to get the waistlock, but Ospreay elbows him away. Ospreay runs but Hiromu follows, Ospreay dodges and keeps going to run into Hiromu’s powerbomb! Hiromu doesn’t stop there, he suplexes Ospreay up, but Ospreay counters with a stunner! Ospreay runs, handsprings, but into a high German Suplex! Both men are down, but stirring. Ospreay manages to get to a corner. Hiromu gets up and runs at him, but Ospreay boots him back while also getting to the apron. Ospreay bumps and kicks Hiromu, but Hiromu runs–running Red Shoes over in the process–to clothesline Ospreay on the apron!
Hiromu sees what happened to the ref but brushes it off to build speed and hit that Sunset Flip Powerbomb! Hiromu catches his breath after that, and Red Shoes recovers to start a count. Ospreay stirs and Hiromu stands up. Hiromu gets in at 10, but Ospreay takes a little longer. Hiromu stops the count by pushing Red Shoes aside, to then climb up top. He sees Ospreay is back on his feet, then leaps for a super senton onto the champ! Hiromu hurries to get Ospreay back into the ring, then lifts in the fireman’s carry for the Dynamite Plunger powerslam!
Cover, TWO! Hiromu can’t believe Ospreay survived. He drags Ospreay up again for another try, but Ospreay slips out of the swing. Ospreay blocks Hiromu’s punch, and hits the hook kick, but runs into a big lariat! Both men are down again but the fans are loving this. They stir, Ospreay getting to a corner once again. Hiromu stands up and runs in to hit a clothesline, then hoists Ospreay up to the top rope. He chops Ospreay before climbing up. Hiromu jumps and spins but Ospreay blocks the wheelbarrow and drags him up, to German Suplex Hiromu into buckles! Both men crash land but Ospreay fires himself up again. He gets to a corner and takes aim at Hiromu, to run out and hit the Essex Destroyer flipping DDT! That’s not all, as Ospreay climbs up. The fans make noise, and he stands up, to hit the inverted 450!
Cover, TWO! Now Ospreay has a turn being surprised. The fans make noise while he stands up, and hits the Robison Special spinning kick! Ospreay calls for it, then runs, but Hiromu counters the springboard with a jumping neckbreaker! Both men are down again, and now a count begins while they’re stirring. The count reaches 7, but Hiromu and Ospreay stand. They turn to each other, stumbling into a brawl of forearms. Ospreay and Hiromu hit back and forth, then Hiromu stands up to hit Ospreay again. Ospreay stands and rocks Hiromu with his response. Hiromu hits back, so Ospreay hits harder! Ospreay keeps hitting Hiromu, a strike fest and EuroUpper, but Hiromu chops Ospreay overhand!
Ospreay ends up in a corner and Hiromu chops him until he sits down. Hiromu drags Ospreay up for more, but then Ospreay suddenly springs up and puts Hiromu on the ropes upside-down, for Cheeky Nandos! Then after that, SUPER Reverse-Rana spikes Hiromu down! Cover, ONE!? Ospreay can’t believe Hiromu is still up. He rocks Hiromu with a roundhouse, then another strike fest, but Hiromu SUPERKICKS and SUPERKICKS and SU- No, back heel kick from Ospreay! Ospreay says it’s time, and brings Hiromu up for a fireman’s carry. He prepares to steal the Time Bomb itself, but gets a Canadian Destroyer counter instead! Hiromu crawls to the cover, TWO!! And Hiromu can’t believe it.
Hiromu drags Ospreay up, but Ospreay resists to drive elbows into Hiromu’s head. Hiromu powers through, Ospreay slips out, Hiromu back elbows but Ospreay hook kicks again. Ospreay hits a Dragon Suplex, then swears to finish it, only to springboard into another German Suplex! Hiromu is ready to blow, but he runs into a standing Spanish Fly outta nowhere! Ospreay drags Hiromu up again, to hang him up on the top rope and get to a corner. He climbs up and aims at Hiromu, and uses the BURNING Star Press to knock Hiromu off! Ospreay’s still not done, as he brings Hiromu up again, dragon sleeper lift to inverted DDT! Cover, TWO!! Ospreay grits his teeth while Hiromu stirs, and takes off that elbow pad. He aims at Hiromu, back hand elbow shot, then springboards to finally hit the OSCUTTER!
Cover, Ospreay finally wins!
Winner: Will Ospreay
The Aerial Assassin successfully retains after his first defense, despite the toughness of Hiromu. Who will be next to step up to Chaos’ two-time IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion?
Hiromu Takahashi speaks backstage.
The Time Bomb vows not to give up. Only he can fulfill his own dream. “Ospreay, for now, you’re the best.” When will Hiromu come back around and prove he’s the best?
Will Ospreay holds his press conference.
“That is what Junior Heavyweight wrestling is all about. Two guys being defined straight away for their size but not for their ability. Now we’ve just put the world on notice.” Ospreay and Takahashi fought for the richest prize in their division! But he’s not done yet, he has something else on his mind. He wants something else, so stay tuned to find out what that is. What more could the best Junior in NJPW want?
NEVER Openweight Championship: Hirooki Goto VS EVIL!
Another Chaos with gold takes on an LIJ challenger as The Fierce Warrior meets the King of Darkness in 1v1 competition. Can Goto stay atop the NEVER Openweight Division or will EVIL reign as Darkness Falls?
Red Shoes brings the title over to EVIL, but his gaze seems to be more focused on the man who owns it. Either way, the bell rings and we begin.
The two stare menacingly at each other before circling. They tie up, EVIL gets the headlock and grinds Goto to the mat. Goto pries his way out but EVIL puts the hold back on. Goto powers out and reels EVIL into a headlock of his own. EVIL works his way out, but Goto brings him back in. He tries to power out but Goto holds on tighter to bring him to the mat now. EVIL tries again and succeeds, and the two collide, but neither man falls. Goto dares EVIL to try that again. EVIL runs and they collide, Goto staggers back but returns to shoulder EVIL. EVIL staggers back to swing a clothesline, Goto evades and comes back to finally shoulder EVIL down!
Goto stomps EVIL, drags him up and snapmares him down to kick him hard. Goto stomps EVIL to ropes, then brings him up for an elbow to the back. He brings EVIL up and whips, to back elbow and elbow drop, cover, TWO. Goto keeps on EVIL with a chinlock, then drives an elbow into EVIL’s forehead. EVIL gets to a corner but Goto stomps him again. EVIL shoves Goto away but Goto stomps him again. He chops EVIL overhand, then gives elbow after elbow. Goto whips EVIL but EVIL fires out with a lariat!
EVIL lets Goto slump to the outside then pursues. He shouts for people to move aside as he brings Goto up, and whips him at barriers. EVIL keeps going, bringing out a chair from under the ring. He opens the gate and brings Goto with him, then puts the chair around Goto’s head! EVIL takes aim, and runs to throw Goto right into the post!
“Everything is EVIL”, according to EVIL himself. He has control while Goto is down and we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns and EVIL waits for Goto in the ring. Red Shoes checks on Goto, but the champion is okay to continue. Goto stirs but EVIL grabs Goto to put him in the ring. EVIL covers, ONE, and EVIL argues with Red Shoes. He puts Goto in a chinlock, but Goto reaches and crawls for ropes. EVIL grinds him down, but Goto still gets the ropebreak. EVIL frees him, to stomp him, then whip, into a sidewalk slam! Cover, TWO, but EVIL keeps his cool. He taunts Goto, daring him to take a shot. Goto chops and chops but EVIL chops back, back senton on top, TWO!
EVIL stalks the gasping Goto, then whips him into a corner. He runs in but into Goto’s boot, then more boots. Goto comes out to kick but EVIL elbows the knee. EVIL runs but Goto follows, to run him over with a lariat! Both men are down, but Goto is first to stand up. He drags EVIL up for elbow shots, then a roundhouse. Goto whips EVIL corner to corner and hits the running heel kick, to saido suplex! Cover, TWO, but Goto keeps his cool. Goto drags EVIL back up, fireman’s carry, but EVIL slips out. Goto elbows out of the waistlock but EVIL reels him back in, only to take another elbow. EVIL blocks Goto’s kick, hands it off to Red Shoes, and mule kicks Goto down.
EVIL nods as he gets up while Goto gets to a corner. He runs in for the clothesline, then the bulldog! Cover, TWO! EVIL starts to grow frustrated, but he drags Goto up again. Goto fights off the fireman’s but EVIL still lifts. Goto’s flailing causes them to go to ropes, where Goto gets to the apron. He puts EVIL in a sleeper! Red Shoes tells him to break, but EVIL uses that to hotshot the arms, then lariat Goto down on the apron. Goto goes down to the floor, and EVIL comes out to take out more chairs. EVIL plots something and Red Shoes knows it, but EVIL shoves the referee down to stop him from interfering. EVIL drags Goto up, fireman’s carry, but Goto fights out! Another mule kick stops Goto, and EVIL lifts him again, but Goto slips right out to snap suplex EVIL onto the chairs!
The fans applaud while EVIL writhes in pain. Goto stomps and clubs EVIL before putting him back in the ring. Goto stomps more, then drags EVIL up for elbows and forearms. He whips corner to corner, and hits the corner clothesline. Goto stomps EVIL but EVIL is out cold while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns once more, and Goto drags EVIL up, only for EVIL to flop down as dead weight. Goto stomps EVIL, that wakes him up, then kicks EVIL to drop him again. He drags EVIL up again to hoist him onto the top rope, then climbs up to join him. Goto gives furious forearms, then tries a fireman’s carry but EVIL resists! EVIL elbows back, but Goto gives more forearms, so EVIL rakes the eye. The fans make noise as EVIL notices the big Buddhist bead necklace. He shoves Goto off, and Goto falls on Red Shoes. EVIL climbs down, and prepares those beads as a weapon. Goto gets up and runs in, but EVIL boots him away, to then clobber Goto with his own necklace!
No referee means it’s not a disqualification, and EVIL looks to take advantage as he chokes Goto with the necklace. EVIL pulls back and then stomps Goto into the mat like a slingshot. Red Shoes recovers but EVIL keeps going, so Red Shoes reprimands the challenger, only to be shoved away again. Goto starts fighting back with back elbows, but EVIL clobbers him again. EVIL runs, but into the fireman’s carry and USHIGOROSHI! The fans cheer while Goto tastes his own blood in his mouth. Goto prepares himself, waiting for EVIL to rise, for the hard left kick! He drags EVIL up, suplex but EVIL knees out. Goto tries again but EVIL suplex counters! Both men are down from exhaustion, but are both okay to continue.
They each get to a corner, and run out to collide. Neither man falls, so EVIL keeps going. His clothesline doesn’t down Goto, but neither does Goto’s clothesline to EVIL. EVIL does stagger, but he comes back to clothesline again, only for Goto to stay up. Goto goes again, and the clothesline is solid, to sit EVIL down. Goto drags EVIL up by his hair, and runs again, but EVIL fells Goto this time! EVIL keeps going, fireman’s carry, DARKNESS FALLS!
Cover, TWO! EVIL grows frustrated with Goto as he stands up and calls for the end. He drags Goto up, but Goto blocks the STO. Goto swings but ends up in a German Suplex! EVIL stands and lariats Goto down again, cover, TWO! Both men are down again, but EVIL stands up. He drags Goto up but Goto resists the Half ‘n’ Half. Goto reaches, ropebreak but not for long. He fights the Half ‘n’ Half but EVIL rocks him with a spinning forearm, so he rocks EVIL back with a headbutt! Goto brings EVIL back up, suplex hangs EVIL up on the top rope to then hit a high, draping, reverse GTR! Cover, TWO!
The fans love this, and Goto keeps himself fired up. He drags EVIL up once more, and brings him into the dragon sleeper, only for EVIL to slip around and fireman’s carry. Goto slips out, another dragon sleeper but EVIL turns that into his own, to then swing Goto around again. EVIL wants STO but Goto spins that back around for THE GTR!
Cover, Goto wins!
Winner: Hirooki Goto
With his beads and his belt, the Fierce Warrior of Chaos stands tall over the King of Darkness, also successful in his first defense. Given that Goto defeated the Minoru Suzuki to become champion, does anyone else have hopes of taking the title from Goto?
Hirooki Goto holds his press conference.
“I enjoyed my trip to the ‘Darkness World’.” But the NEVER Openweight Championship “lights the way for me.” Goto understands now, and is having a lot of fun. He hopes this belt takes him to “new and exciting places.” What’s important for EVIL right now is to realize he needs to change. “Okay! Who’s next? Anyone can step up.” Goto being the Openweight Champion is willing to give an open challenge of sorts. Will anyone be brave enough to take on the Fierce Warrior?
A really great start to the Osaka event. I didn’t expect two full championship matches but that made things all the better. Hiromu VS Ospreay was great, but it was lacking Daryl. Daryl would’ve made it perfect. But that aside, great to see Ospreay retain, and as we know in real time, Ospreay’s next goal is to see how he stacks up to the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion, Kazuchika Okada, aka his leader in Chaos. With this, Ospreay could find himself on a parallel route to Finn Balor/Fergal Devitt, as I remember there being an IWGP WHC VS Jr. HC between Rainmaker and Demon. Hiromu himself still has plenty to do even if he isn’t champion, given his great in-ring talent and magnetically enigmatic personality, he’ll surely be a two-time Jr. Heavyweight Champion down the line.
Goto-EVIL was great, and Red Shoes letting things get hardcore without disqualifying it is definitely different from most other promotions. Anywhere else, the referee would immediately call for the bell, but Red Shoes seems very dedicated to ending title matches with a true winner. Red Shoes seems to be as much of a fan of the action as we actual fans are, and we actual fans are thankful to him. Goto wins, but just like Hiromu, EVIL still has plenty of time and talent to do all sorts of things before getting a singles title, which will happen one day.
My Score: 8.5/10
AJPW Dream Power Series 2019 Results & Review (3/19/2019)
Mathew shows us some power! AJPW puts together a card that could rival anything all year. Does it live up to the expectations?
Mathew shows us some power! AJPW puts together a card that could rival anything all year. Does it live up to the expectations?
Welcome back to AJPW! We’re gonna talk about the last big show before this year’s Champions Carnival coming up in early April as we have a few title matches in this show that I couldn’t resist wanting to cover it.
We got some dealing with revenge along with one trying to make history. How’s this year’s Champions Carnival gonna shape up?
Let’s find out as we…dive right in.
- 0 Stars: Dave Meltzer
- 1 Star: Vince Russo
- 2 Stars: Tony Schiavone
- 3 Stars: Eric Bischoff
- 4 Stars: Bruce Prichard
- 5 Stars: Jim Cornette
Six Man Tag Team Match
Atsuki Aoyagi, Danji Tamura, & Hokuto Omori vs. Evolution (Atsushi Aoki, Hikaru Sato, & Yusuke Okada)
Review: Our opening contest is a six-man tag team match with our young lions, Atsuki Aoyagi, Danji Tamura, and Hokuto Omori taking on three members of Evolution, Atsushi Aoki, Hikaru Sato, and Yusuke Okada. Going up against three people from the junior division is a fair start to have them all fight each other in this tag bout and a better view of how the young guys are doing. Will Evolution school the young boys or will they somehow get one of the biggest wins in their starting careers?
As I’ve said, this match is mostly to showcase our future talent as they fight the vets of the game in the junior division. I do gotta admit that these three have definitely improved in the ring as they’re shaping up to be some of All Japan’s finest students. Evolution held off on their own and I’m glad they were their opponents for this match since they’re very easy to work with. Another thing I loved about the match is that they had a good amount of time instead of just being less than five minutes like how most matches will do. Yusuke and Hokuto are in the ring now and Yusuke would hit him with a Brainbuster for a two count and would quickly apply a Boston Crab onto him and Hokuto struggles to get to the ropes and once he does, Yusuke pulled him back in and would lock it in more as he would tap out to give Evolution the victory in a solid match.
Rating: Tony Schiavone and a half
Six Man Tag Team Match
Jun Akiyama, TAJIRI, & Ultimo Dragon vs. Black Menso-Re, Masanobu Fuchi, & Takao Omori
Review: We got another six-man tag team match here as Jun Akiyama, TAJIRI, and Ultimo Dragon will be taking on Black Menso-Re, Masanobu Fuchi, and Takao Omori. It’s been quite a while since we’ve seen Ultimo Dragon wrestling in All Japan, so I’ll never complain to see him in the ring. This is another match with the vets and Manso-Re for being a punching bag as it’ll most likely be a comedy style match. Which one of them will win?
Menso-Re starting with Ultimo Dragon as he wanted him first, but TAJIRI would slap Menso before the bell would ring and we would kick it off right now. They would do a little bit before Jun and Takao get tagged in, but we all care about TAJIRI and Fuchi getting tagged in now as Fuchi would try to get his hands on him. TAJIRI would be the sneaky heel with leaving the ring to sit with the crowd so he could avoid contact in the match. TAJIRI would get back in the ring only to tag in Ultimo as the crowd would just boo TAJIRI. Fuchi would do his antics with the punch to the forehead as the crowd eats it up but everything would backfire on Fuchi as he would miss a Dropkick to make the crowd boo Ultimo which is a shocker. Ultimo would kick Fuchi and attempt an Asai DDT but Fuchi would turn it around to a Backslide as Ultimo would kick out. Both TAJIRI and Jun would both make Fuchi miss a Dropkick and taunt him right after to make the crowd boo them. Ultimo would get Fuchi in the La Magistral and he gets the win for his team in a rather entertaining match.
Rating: Tony Schiavone and a quarter
Tag Team Match
NEXTREAM (Yoshitatsu & Yumi Aoyagi) vs. Sweeper (Jake Lee & Ryouji Sai)
Review: Our next match here is a tag team match as NEXTREAM members, Yoshitatsu and Yuma Aoyagi will be taking on members of Sweeper, Jake Lee and Ryouji Sai. Since Naoya is no longer Yumi’s partner, he’s gonna be paired off with Yoshitatsu this time around. Since all four of them are in the Champions Carnival, a win for either of them would give them some momentum leading to the tournament. Which one of these two teams will win and what will be the future payoff?
It seems like Yoshitatsu has a little gripe with Jake Lee in this match as he seems to be disgruntled when he was in the ring with him, especially when Jake would just best him during the first sequence with the chaining. Ryouji and Yuma are in the ring now and Ryouji with a series of kicks in the match and have him in a submission before Yoshi would break the hold and just stared at Jake again. Yuma is really growing out on his own as an individual and you can see that when he’s not partner with Naoya. Yuma would have Jake in a Headlock but Jake would attempt a Backdrop Driver as Yuma flipped it into a Crossbody as Jake kicked out at two. Once Jake kicked out, Yuma would try to turn the pin into a European Clutch as Jake kicked out at 2 as even the referee was shocked by this. Yuma would run into him as Jake kneed him in the face and hits him with a Backdrop Driver as he pinned Yuma for the victory.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a quarter
Six Man Tag Team Match
Atsushi Maruyama, KAI, & Zeus vs. Bomber (Dylan James & Joe Doering,) & Francisco Akira
Review: We have another six-man tag team match taking place as Atsushi Maruyama, KAI, and Zeus team up to take on Dylan James, Joe Doering, and Francisco Akira. KAI recently failed at Dragon Gate to win the Open the Twin Gate Championships, so he could at least try to win for his team but I think Zeus has a lot on his plate when it comes to their opponent since Dylan James and Joe Doering are a strong team to beat and wants to try and look powerful leading into the Carnival. Which one of these two teams will win the match?
Zeus and Dylan would charge at each other right away to test their strengths with also some chops and a test of strength as the two appear to be evenly matched, which is no surprised. KAI gets tagged in and he calls Joe to get tagged in since he wants to fight him as Dylan honors that request and lets Joe have a turn on the fun. Joe would start to make him regret that decision as he had the upper hand on him at first but KAI would hit a few Dropkicks on him but Joe still wouldn’t go down as he tackled him and went for an Elbow Drop before KAI moved and quickly tagged in Atsushi. The juniors get a turn on the fun as Francisco showed more of his impressive ability. One problem I had with the match was that the last few minutes are incredibly sloppy with Atsushi missing most of his kicks to Joe in the corner, Francisco slipping on his Moonsault to the outside, which he thankfully caught himself and redid it again. The finish would be with Joe hitting Atsushi with the Powerbomb and it looked like he got knocked out as he took the pinfall despite his shoulder being kinda up, so it looked botched but the referee still has a job to do as Joe just left the ring and walked to the back possibly frustrated.
Rating: Eric Bischoff
World Junior Heavyweight Title Match
Koji Iwamoto (c) vs. Kotaro Suzuki
Review: Our first title match of the show is Koji Iwamoto defending his Junior Heavyweight Championship against Kotaro Suzuki. The two fought each other in the A Block of the Junior Battle of Glory Tournament where Kotaro defeated Koji in the match but would eventually fail to win as Koji would actually be the one to win it all. Koji decided to defend the title against Kotaro since it was only fair due to him winning the match and wants to avenge that loss. Will Koji be able to retain his title again or will Kotaro get the upper hand on him again?
Kotaro showed no mercy to the champion as fought him to the outside and Slingshots him into the turnbuckle post and DDT’s him face first into the mat as you hear the loud thud and damage has been done to Koji. Kotaro has beaten Koji before so he knows what he has to do to try and defeat him again as he worked on Koji’s neck a bit during the match and gets the heat from the crowd. I know Kotaro is a Freelancer and is mostly at NOAH right now due to being a champion there, I hope he does stick around a little bit longer since I feel like the division could really use him as he’s a very talented individual. Koji would try to outrun him after he dodged him to the outside and it appeared as if Kotaro would botch but he quickly caught himself and dived to the outside to land on Koji, getting the better of him again.
Koji would finally be able to get a comeback as he hits an STO onto the ring apron to knock Koji down and most of the time, he would try to hit the Koko no Geijutsu but Kotaro would hold his ground to make sure he wouldn’t hit it but Koji would be able to deliver a German Suplex and a Dragon Suplex. Kotaro would land a few punches before Koji tried to hit the move again, but Kotaro would hold his ground again and kick his leg out to work on his neck before landing Gory Bomb Special and tops it off with the La Magistral for the pin and Koji would kick out various times whenever Koji would try to roll out of it and was so close to having a new champion. Koji would just use this time to hit a couple of STO’s in a row to weaken him down a bit. Koji would go for it again but he catches him for a Back Suplex to save himself a bit. Kotaro would now hit not one but two Excaliburs onto him to try and end it as Koji would somehow kick out of it again. It all came down to his as Koji would attempt the Koko no Geijutsu again as Kotaro would stop himself to pin him for a two count and they both would spin around as Koji would hit it this him but he picked him up to hit the Koko no Geijutsu properly this time and pins him to retain the title! After the match, various people from the junior division would come out and it looks like they all want a shot at the Junior Heavyweight Championship but Koji would have to pick one of them to be his opponent. It does look like, however, that Koji doesn’t have a clear opponent right now as he left the ring but I guess we’ll see soon.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and three quarters
World Tag Team Title Match
Strong BJ (Daisuke Sekimoto & Yuji Okabayashi) (c) vs. Violence Giant (Shuji Ishikawa & Suwama)
Review: Our next title match for this show is Strong BJ defending their titles against the team that they defeated them for, The Violence Giant. Strong BJ defeated them on January 13th to win the titles and after they retain their titles on the February 24 show, Violence Giant requested a rematch to bring the titles back home on their turf this time instead of the BJW show. If it’s anything like their previous match, it’s sure to be hard hitting and a not miss. Will Strong BJ remain on top or will Violence Giant bring the belts back home?
Shuji and Daisuke would be the ones to start off our match here with an incredible display of power as the two were unable to budge and they would tag in their respective partners. Suwama and Yuji were both also very hard-hitting as they would now fight outside of the ring as these two teams are making it personal. Strong BJ has been doing great work during this rivalry with the Violence Giant and they would even give Suwama a big beatdown but the former ace would even try his best to fight them off, even when he was on the corner and would kick Yuji to show his fighting spirit. Suwama would hit a Dropkick to save himself for a little bit and would tag in Shuji for the hot tag and Shuji does indeed come in hot with his Lariats, knees, anything he can throw along with the kitchen sink.
Yuji would brawl with Shuji to deliver some chops while Shuji would give him a couple of forearms and a headbutt to try and daze him but Yuji is pumped up and slams him down with a few Lariats. Once Yuji would hit another Lariat to Shuji, he would kick out at one that time around before getting hit with another one with a two count. What’s it gonna take to take Shuji down for good? Yuji would get to the top rope to hit the Splash and it looks like this could be it but Suwama would break the pinfall to save his partner. Strong BJ would have them up for the Torture Racks but they would get down for Suwama to hit a Back Suplex while Shuji hits a Dragon Suplex. Shuji is alone with Yuji again and would hit another Dragon Suplex and a Running Knee to get him out for another two count, he was so close! Shuji would pick Yuji up real quick for the Fire Thunder and goes for the pin as Daisuke breaks the pinfall this time around as Suwama would get Daisuke out of the ring. Shuji knew what he had to do to try and end it as he hits the Giants Slam and pins Yuji to win back the titles! Hell of a match and definitely topped their previous encounter at BJW. I would love to see Violence Giant get a fair and dominating run with this reign, can’t wait to see where this goes now.
Rating: Bruce Prichard and a half
— 全日本プロレス/alljapan (@alljapan_pw) March 14, 2019
Triple Crown Championship
Kento Miyahara (c) vs. Naoya Nomura
Review: This is our third title match and the main event of the show as we have Kento Miyahara defending his Triple Crown Championship against former NEXTREAM member, Naoya Nomura. On the February 24th show, Naoya Nomura would defeat Dylan James in a singles match and Kento Miyahara would have his second successful title defense against Suwama. After Kento would defeat Suwama, Naoya would come in to make the challenge to his stablemate and announce his departure from the NEXTREAM group in the process, leading him to also vacate the All Asia Tag Team Championship with Yuma Aoyagi. Kento is now 30 years old and while it’s his third title defense in this run, this will be his first time defending it while no longer in his twenties. If Kento can defeat Naoya, he’ll be the champion leading into the Champions Carnival and won’t defend the title until the tournament is over. Will Kento be able to retain it once again or does Naoya pull the surprise victory?
Kento came in here with a plan since he knew what he was gonna do to Naoya once he challenged him to this match, he didn’t wanna go easy on him despite being former teammates but he wants to see how badly Naoya wants the spotlight on him. They were fairly matched during the lock-up part of the match and they would start to fight outside for a little bit as Naoya would get Kento down as he taunts him when he got back in the ring. Naoya would hit him with a big forearm before going onto the apron to jump and Kento catches him with a knee and has him right where he wants him now. This is where Kento would just attack him with a few Headbutts as Naoya would try to deliver one to him but Kento gives him multiple ones as a counterattack and this is why you don’t mess with the champion.
Naoya would eventually make a comeback after being kicked around by Kento as he quickly got up to charge at him with a shoulder tackle and you can hear that too. He would hit a few more along with another forearm to the face as he goes for the Brainbuster but Kento would struggle to make sure he didn’t hit it and has Naoya over the ropes but wait, Naoya grabbed his leg to pull him over as he attempted a Death Valley Driver onto the apron as Kento jumped off to hit a Blackout. The two would be on the turnbuckle and Naoya gets behind him to attempt a German Suplex as Kento struggles, but Naoya would slam Kento’s head on the post and gets off the turnbuckle to hit the German Suplex as both men are down. Naoya would go to the top rope to hit the first Splash as Kento kicked out but Naoya would quickly get up again to hit one more as Kento still kicked out.
Kento would eventually hit him with a Blackout at full force and hits him with a German Suplex for another two count. Kento looks like he’s going for the Shutdown German Suplex Hold as Naoya would kick his knee out and hit him with a Spear and the two are down again. Kento would hit another Blackout on the back of his head and tries the German Suplex Hold once again as Naoya would still kick out at two as Kento is starting to get concerned with what he has to do now. Kento tried the Shutdown German Suplex Hold again as Naoya broke out of it and picked him up Fisherman style and dropped him on his head and picked him up for the Death Valley Driver as Kento fought him off but Naoya would hit him with a flurry of forearms to daze him and hits the Spear with the roll-up as Kento kicked out at two again! Naoya picked him back up but Kento would go back to delivering the Blackouts and it looks like Naoya is all out of fight as Kento finally hits the Shutdown German Suplex Hold to get the pinfall victory and his third successful title defense. Great match and a very impressive showing to Naoya but Kento is just still better than him right now. Kento will now officially be the Triple Crown Champion leading into the Champions Carnival. Three defenses down, eight more to go.
Rating: Bruce Prichard and a quarter
Overall: I thought it was a very solid show from top to bottom but the last three title matches were what sold it to me. I would highly recommend that you look out for those matches if you can find them online or subscribe to the streaming service and if you’re not already subscribed, what the hell is wrong with you? Get on that!
Favorite Match: Strong BJ (Daisuke Sekimoto & Yuji Okabayashi) vs. Violence Giant (Shuji Ishikawa & Suwama)
Least Favorite Match: Jun Akiyama, TAJIRI, & Ultimo Dragon vs. Black Menso-Re, Masanobu Fuchi, & Takao Omori
Mitchell’s WWE NXT Results & Report! (3/20/19)
Triple H addresses an NXT Championship dilemma!
NXT sees the return of HHH, but under sad circumstances. The Game will address Tommaso Ciampa’s injury, and what happens with his precious championship!
- NXT Championship Contenders Fatal 5 Way: Ricochet VS Adam Cole VS Aleister Black VS Velveteen Dream VS Matt Riddle; Cole wins and will face Johnny Gargano for the vacated NXT Championship at TakeOver: New York.
PLAY BY PLAY
Triple H opens NXT!
Full Sail is happy to see The Game, but he comes out holding the NXT Championship. HHH goes to the ring and also picks up a mic. He takes a moment to hear the fans chant for him and NXT before getting to business. “From those cheers, I don’t have to remind you of just how special this place is.” The building, the environment, the fans. “NXT is something special.” It is here in NXT and the ring that “dreams can become possibilities.” For some, the dream starts in NXT. For others, it takes a long time, maybe years of scratching and clawing, going up and down a road, just to get to this ring. But in reality, for every superstar, their dream can end at any moment.
HHH was going to announce the main event of TakeOver: New York, an epic years in the making, of Johnny “Wrestling” Gargano VS Psycho Killer, Tommaso Ciampa. But the reality has made that impossible now. Ciampa’s dream is on hold, because he needs neck surgery. That surgery has taken place, and now Ciampa must relinquish the title. But the beauty of NXT is that when one dream ends, another begins. And that new dream begins right here! Gargano continues his dream and he WILL compete for the NXT Championship! But against who? We find that out tonight! Five men step into this ring! Ricochet VS Adam Cole VS Aleister Black VS Velveteen Dream VS Matt Riddle!
Those five men fight for an opportunity to live a dream in New York, on the biggest stage yet, and compete for the title against Gargano. It will be decisive in New York, 2 Out of 3 Falls! The winner will walk out the NEW NXT Champion! A major match of former, current and future champions, but who will have a match with Gargano to determine NXT’s future?
Backstage interview with various superstars.
The Finest thinks Cathy Kelly was waiting for him. But since he showed up, what is his reaction to the big news tonight? Well tonight’s main event will be great, but Kona Reeves knows it won’t be The Finest. The Forgotten Sons appear next, and they don’t care about tonight’s main event. They are more concerned with next week’s main event, because in case people have already forgotten, they’re in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic FINALS! Aleister Black & Ricochet need to not forget Steve Cutler & Wesley Blake are coming. They hope one of those two win, so that they’ll be too focused on something else. Then it’ll be that much easier for the Forgotten Sons to go on and win the NXT Tag Team Championships. Then no one will forget them ever again.
NXT Media shares Tommaso Ciampa’s trip to Birmingham, Alabama.
This is not the first time Ciampa has been to the WWE’s preferred surgical facility. Ciampa has had one knee and both shoulders, but now the neck leaves him no choice but to have another surgery. The pressure on his spinal cord could paralyze Ciampa, so this is not just for his career, but for his life as he knows it. There are various bone graftings and now it’s just about time. When and where will the greatest sports entertainer in NXT make another return?
NXT’s contenders speak.
The King of Flight and the Embodiment of the End are one of the most unexpected duos in the tag team division. They work together because they expect the best from each other. But there’s no misunderstanding, it will be every man for himself tonight.
Velveteen Dream is already the NXT North American Champion, but he wants the biggest spotlight possible. The way he sees it, tonight’s Fatal 5 Way will be #DreamOver. And when Dream wins it all, then Dream will just be the first ever dual champion, on the grandest stage in NXT history.
The Original King of Bros is still undefeated, and is stoked to have such a big opportunity so soon. Riddle worked his ace off to get here, and nothing will stop him from going to NXT TakeOver: New York and becoming the new NXT Champion, bro.
Adam Cole says he is the one who makes history in NXT, and no one is more deserving! The inaugural North American Champion wants to be the first to also have the top title. He takes on four of the best to then go to the Barclays Center. That’s the very place Cole made his debut and held that title high above his head. He’ll do it again, when the announcement is made that he is the new NXT Champion! And that is Undisputed!
Backstage interviews with The Sky Pirates.
Io Shirai & Kairi Sane are very excited for tonight’s main event to see who goes to TakeOver. And speaking of, they’re both going, too, because they’re in a Fatal 4 Way for the NXT Women’s Championship. Are they concerned the title and their friendship will get in the way? Not at all! May the best woman win! Io and Kairi both want the title, and will fight each other if they need to. “Gurl, uh-uh!”
Bianca Belair knows this isn’t her business, but this shouldn’t be a Fatal 4. Shayna got in the way and kept Bianca from beating Io. And this doesn’t have anything to do with the little pirate! But now it does, so in New York, The EST will run through both of them to become the new NXT Women’s Champion. No one can do anything about it, because she still feels Un-De-Fea-Ted. Io holds Kairi back while Bianca takes her leave. Whether it’s Bianca, Kairi or Io, will there be a new Women’s Champion alongside a new NXT Champion in New York?
NXT Championship Contenders Fatal 5 Way: Ricochet VS Adam Cole VS Aleister Black VS Velveteen Dream VS Matt Riddle!
The One and Only, Panama City Playboy, Dutch Destroyer, Patrick Clark Experience and Original Bro wage war like NXT has never seen! Johnny Wrestling awaits, who moves on to challenge him for the vacant throne?
The fans are already fired up for “All These Guys!” as the bell rings. Cole goes after Aleister than Ricochet while Riddle chases Dream. Riddle originally wanted after Dream for the North American title, so why not have that out here? Dream has other ideas as he throws Riddle into barriers then gets back in the ring. Aleister and Ricochet work together against Cole then Dream. Ricochet clotheslines Cole out but Cole drags Ricochet out. Dream rolls ALeister, TWO! Riddle returns but Dream throws him back out. Aleister waistlocks but Dream throws him off. Dream runs into Aleister’s boots then Aleister hops up. Aleister leaps but Dream gets under. Dream lifts Aleister but Aleister slips out. Aleister sweeps but Dream jumps over and rolls through! Aleister slips out again to cradle, TWO!
Dream runs into Aleister’s boot! Aleister runs but Cole trips and drags him out. Cole swings but gets Aleister’s kick! Aleister clibms up but Dream sends him back down. Ricochet mule kicks and whips Dream but Dream reverses. Ricochet rolls off the back and handsprings to headscissor and dropkick! Dream bails out but Riddle’s back. Riddle gut wrenches Ricochet, then holds on to do it again! And again! Full Sail is thunderous for the “Bro!” but Cole is after him. Riddle standing switches but gets an enziguri from Cole. Cole stomps a mudhole, then hits his pose BAYBAY! ALeister attacks but Cole reverses. The Unexpected Duo work together, leg sweep and standing moonsault! Cole gets away, and now the tag team phenomenons face each other. They shake hands and circle. But Cole disrupts it by shoving Ricochet into Aleister!
Aleister falls out and Cole stomps away on Ricochet. Cole hits a neckbreaker then covers, TWO! Cole keeps Riddle out with a right hand then goes after Ricochet. He snap suplexes and covers, TWO! Ricochet just escapes, but Cole boots Aleister back out! Cole drags Ricochet up for a big back suplex! Cover, TWO! Another close call but Cole can’t put Ricochet away. Cole goes after Dream but Dream shoulders in. Ricochet somersault shotgun dropkicks Cole! Dream knees Ricochet out then throws heavy hands on Cole. Dream whips but Cole reverses, only for Dream to slide out. Cole runs over but gets an uppercut! Dream climbs up and ax handles Alesiter out.
Dream tosses Cole out then climbs, to LEAP for a big ax handle! He puts Cole in fast and climbs back up. Purple Rain- Riddle gets Dream with a German! Aleister kicks but Riddle reverses! Riddle wants and gets the BroMission!! But Dream breaks it with a falling elbow! Dream stalks Riddle as fans fire up again. Dream tosses Riddle out and turns his attention to Aleister. Aleister fires off a strike fest, sweep to knee! Cole returns but Aleister is ready, two-for-one quebrada! Aleister roundhouses Dream, covers, TWO! Dream survives but Aleister keeps going. Aleister lifts Dream with his foot, but Cole drags Aleister out by the other foot. Cole sends Aleister into steel steps! Cole returns to the ring, only to meet Riddle. They were going to fight to see who contends for the North American title, so now they have it out!
Riddle gets the edge with open palm CHOP after CHOP! Cole stomps Riddle’s bare foot! But his superkick is caught, Riddle gets Cole in a Bromission! But again Dream breaks it up with a leaping ax handle! Dream haymakers Riddle but Riddle ROCKS Dream with that right! Cole hits Riddle now, but Riddle hits back. Dream, Riddle and Cole brawl on their knees in a triangle of strikes. They slowly stand, throwing big hands, forearms and uppercuts. Riddle CHOPS Dream, Cole BOOTS Riddle, Dream SUPERKICKS Cole! Ricochet returns, rolls and PELES Dream down! Cole SUPERKICKS Ricochet but Riddle KNEES Cole! Aleister returns and fires off with Riddle, double roundhouses take them both out! All five men are down and Full Sail reaches a fever pitch!
Ricochet staggers up and goes after Riddle. He puts the Bro in the drop zone then climbs up. Fans hope they “Fight Forever!” as Cole intercepts Ricochet. Cole climbs up to join Ricochet, but Ricochet resists. Dream adds on, climbing up to join them. They brawl and Aleister staggers over. Riddle follows, and they’re all on the second rope! It’s a Double Russian Leg Sweep SUPERPLEX! All five men are down again and fans know “This is Awesome!” The referee checks on everyone in turn and they’re all okay to continue. Fans build to a rally as the five slowly stir. Cole, Riddle and Ricochet bail out while Dream meets Aleister. Dream and Aleister trade haymakers on their knees. Aleister fires off hand after hand but Dream powers him to a corner. Aleister boots Dream away then hops up, Meteora!
Dream’s up but gets a roundhouse and a German! But Riddle sentons the bridge! Riddle drags Aleister up in a deadlift Fisherman Buster! Cradle, but Cole breaks it! Cole drags Riddle up but Riddle fires off fast hands! Riddle misses, gets a SUPERKICK, and Last Ride brainbuster! Cover, but Ricochet breaks it! Ricochet drags Cole up but Cole breaks free. Ricochet fakes Cole out for a boot and an ax kick! He keeps going, fireman’s carry but Cole rakes eyes! SUPERKICK to the front, SUPERKICK to the back! Cole brings the knee pad down but misses the Last Shot Wizard to get a Reverse-Rrana! Cole rolls all the way out and Ricochet can’t believe it. But Ricochet also sees a prime target, and FLIES with the Sasuke Special! Ricochet wipes Cole out but hurries to get back up.
Dream returns to the ring but so does Riddle. The would-be North American Championship showdown happens as Riddle throws chops. Riddle swings up and around Dream’s clothesline to powerbomb, but Dream slips out! Dream wants but Riddle denies the Sidewinder, to wring Dream out for a Bro Trigger! Riddle reels Dream into the BroMission! Dream flails but Cole yanks the ref out! No Disqualifications, but plenty of consequences as Riddle BOOTS Cole! Riddle turns around into BLACK MASS! Aleister turns around into Dream Valley Driver! Dream hurries to the top rope, but Ricochet’s right up for a SUPER STEINER onto Aleister and Cole! Ricochet hurries up for his own, SHOOTING STAR onto Riddle! Cover, but LAST SHOT!! Cole covers, Cole wins!!
Winner: Adam Cole, by pinfall; will face Johnny Gargano for the NXT Championship
You never see the shot that takes you down! Cole came outta nowhere, and now he’s going to New York City! Will Cole finally make the NXT Championship #Undisputed? Or will Gargano once again become Johnny Champion?
I’m going to call this episode a one match classic, because how else would you describe it? First it is unfortunate for Ciampa to again be out with an injury, and an injury as serious as the neck, so I’m sure I speak for everyone by saying get well soon, Psycho Killer. But HHH had such a great speech to open the night, and it is very true, this became a massive opportunity for another superstar to move up. The five men chosen were the right choices, and this made for an amazing Fatal 5 Way.
However, it makes a lot of sense for this to be Adam Cole’s night. Aleister & Ricochet are not only busy on the main roster, but they’re in the Dusty Rhodes Classic finals, where I would think they defeat the Forgotten Sons and move on to the War Raiders. It wouldn’t be very good to give those two double duty on TakeOver Friday and possibly something on Mania Sunday. Then Velveteen Dream VS Matt Riddle can and will still happen, and that is going to be great. It would’ve been too epic if Dream was trying for both titles, even if it’s Wrestlemania Weekend. Gargano VS Cole is going to be great and really could go either way, but I feel that since Gargano VS Ciampa was the plan, Gargano might’ve won that title to have his triumphant victory on the biggest WWE weekend of the year.
My Score: 8.6/10
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