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
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