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Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Report! (3/20/18)

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All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Hideo Itami w/ Akira Tozawa VS Lince Dorado w/ Lucha House Party; no contest.
  • TJP VS Kenneth Johnson; TJP wins.
  • WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Semifinal Match: Mustafa Ali VS Drew Gulak; Ali wins and faces Cedric Alexander for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship at Wrestlemania.

PLAY BY PLAY

The Cruiserweight Championship semifinals are halfway there!

After a brutal battle of backbreaking proportions between the Carolina Kid and the Messiah of the Backbreaker, it was Cedric Alexander who came out the victor. Now he takes one more step towards the title he’s sought for so long. Tonight, the other semifinal match happens, between two storied rivals who have gone back and forth with fierce intensity and even personal animosity. Will Alexander be facing friend or foe come Wrestlemania?

 

Hideo Itami w/ Akira Tozawa VS Lince Dorado w/ Lucha House Party!

After last week’s tag match ended with a tense stand-off, 205 Live GM Drake Maverick felt the Golden Lynx and Innovator of the GTS should get things out 1v1. Will lucha libre or Japanese Strong Style get the win when it’s 1v1?

The bell rings and the two approach into tying up. Lince puts Itami in a corner, and honors the break, but Itami doesn’t with that knee. Itami keeps on Lince with elbows and uppercuts, then more kicks before putting on a headlock. Lince works his way out of the hold but Itami brings him back in. Lince powers out this time, but Itami runs him over. Itami keeps moving to run Lince over again, and demands respect as things speed up. Lince throws Itami out, then fakes him out with the handspring. Lince taunts Itami while he regroups with Tozawa. The “Lucha! Lucha!” chant begins while Itami takes his time to return. Itami makes sure Lince stays back , but then he runs into a headlock takeover anyway.

Itami works his way out of the hold, standing up to put Lince in a corner. He rams in shoulders, but Lince clubs back. Itami whips him corner to corner but Lince goes up and over and keeps moving to then slide under. They speed up again, Lince headscissors and dropkicks Itami out of the ring, to then suddenly slingshot corkscrew plancha!

Down goes Itami, and Lince celebrates with Lucha House Party and the fans. The “Lucha! Lucha!” chants echo out again as Lince chops Itami, then puts him back in the corner. Lince takes aim and shoulders in to then slingshot headscissor Itami down. Another headlock takeover, and Lince holds Itami down again. Itami pulls on the mask, then rolls Lince, TWO. They stand up, Itami powers out, but Lince evades, only to run into the kitchen sink knee. Lince rolls to the apron, Itami boots him off! Itami follows him out to then ram him into the apron. They go back in the ring, and Itami stalks Lince as he toys with him. Itami dares Lince to do something, and slaps Lince across the face. So Lince slaps back, then unloads heavy hands and kicks.

Lince whips but Itami reverses, only to run into Lince’s heel kick! Lince kicks and kicks, then springboard crossbodies! He chops and whips but Itami reverses, so Lince handsprings, only for Itami to follow and clobber him with a lariat on the rebound! Cover, TWO, and Itami grows frustrated. He drags Lince up, gives a strike fest, and with Lince in the corner, Itami runs into a SUPERKICK! Lince takes a moment to recover while Itami crawls away. More “Lucha! Lucha!” chants begin, Itami runs in but gets thrown out through the ropes. Lince forearms Itami off the apron, and Lucha House Party stays back as Tozawa comes over.

Itami gets mad and shoves Gran Metalik, so Gran Metalik shoves Itami! The referee has no choice, this match is disqualified. But Lince doesn’t care, he gets in Itami’s face over this. This prompts Kalisto and Metalik to enter the ring, followed by Tozawa.

Seems only Tozawa and Kalisto are keeping the peace. The fans want to “Let Them Fight!” but that’s not happening. Kalisto somehow keeps his two amigos back while Tozawa gets Itami out of the ring. Will there be yet another match stemming from this tag team tension?

 

WWE and 205 Live take a look at Drew Gulak.

The Cruiserweight Crusader genuinely campaigns for a “better 205 Live” through #Drewtopia, but Drake Maverick called him out for going soft. To Maverick, Gulak went from a gritty grappler to a picket sign holding, PowerPoint preparing “goof”! Gulak doesn’t appreciate being called “a goof”, or not being taken seriously. He isn’t proving anyone wrong, just proving himself right. Being the champion means they’re “the one that everybody will look to, to set the example.” Gulak is the only one who can set an example. He vows not to lose but to reach that Cruiserweight title, and perhaps his new focus and aggression can do that. Gulak’s rules will be what led to his success, because all you need to do is bring your opponent down to the mat and pin them. Will Gulak keep his promise to the WWE Universe and himself here tonight?

 

Cedric Alexander speaks.

“Last week was the greatest moment of my entire career.” Alexander has “gone through Hell and back” to get this close to the Cruiserweight Championship. It still hasn’t sunk in that he’ll be competing in front of 70,000. But the journey isn’t over. He’s accomplished one dream: compete at Wrestlemania. But that dream won’t mean a thing if he doesn’t win at Wrestlemania. Can Alexander finally grab hold of the Cruiserweight Championship after fighting for so long?

 

TJP VS Kenneth Johnson!

The “Cruiser-Great” won the Cruiserweight Classic tournament to become the inaugural (New Era) champion, but he faces a returning face from that tournament in #WeazyWoo. Johnson promised the WWE Universe he’d be back one day, and that day has come. Can Johnson use his return to win this time? Or will the FilAm Flash send him home with another loss? For that matter, TJP doesn’t care that he was eliminated from the current tournament, nor does he care who wins at Wrestlemania. TJP just cares about who gets the next title shot after that, and promises the CWC winner will be that next contender. Will TJP keep his winning ways? Or end up losing and exploding like he has in the past?

The bell rings, the two circle and tie up. TJP gets a waistlock and slam, then floats on Johnson back to a waistlock. They stand up again, but TJP spins and trips Johnson to pick the leg. TJP cartwheels to the headlock, but Johnson powers out, only for TJP to run him over. TJP drives an elbow into Johnson, then whips, and hits a leaping back elbow to knock Johnson down again. Johnson gets to a corner but TJP catches the boot to give a stiff European Uppercut. TJP snap suplexes Johnson, slips around and–after an extra pump–hits the saido suplex. Johnson is down, so TJP hits him with the slingshot senton.

TJP embraces the heat while dabbing, but catches another boot. He wags his finger, but Johnson catches him with the other boot. Johnson evades, runs, and hits a unique senton body check! Cover, ONE, but Johnson keeps on TJP with strikes. Johnson runs again, but TJP dropkicks the legs out. TJP gets mad now as he kicks and shinbreaks one leg, into the dragon screw. TJP rocks Johnson with a roundhouse, then lifts him up for the Detonation Kick!

Johnson goes down, but TJP isn’t done there. He puts Johnson in the Kneebar!

Johnson taps, TJP wins! TJP holds on longer to torture Johnson, but does let go, to dab on ’em. The Cruiser-Great won after all, can he earn himself a post-Mania title match with this?

 

WWE and 205 Live take a look at Mustafa Ali.

The Pakistani Prince from Chicago, once a police officer, believes “the biggest thing that separates me from all the other guys in the Cruiserweight Division” is his heart. His work as a cop was prompted by wanting to be more than an activist but someone who actually acts on change. The tournament means a lot to Ali, for more than one reason. Yes, he wants to win the Cruiserweight Championship at Wrestlemania, but Ali wants to use that moment to “fix things.” Winning is important, but so is changing minds. People see “Mustafa Ali”, they might think to boo that name just on virtue of the name. But seeing Mustafa Ali fighting with all his heart, that will open people’s eyes. The only thing left is to see if he will do that on the Grandest Stage of Them All.

 

Backstage interview with Drake Maverick.

As 205 Live General Manager, what is his reaction to the ending of Lince VS Itami match? He’s livid! He put on a great match and the superstars lost their heads to ruin it. They need to keep heads. Luckily Tozawa and Kalisto kept the peace, and that will be rewarded. This is the end of the Cruiserweight Championship tournament, there will be one last match at Wrestlemania to crown the new champion. Which means that new champion will need new challengers. Maverick decides that next week will have Akira Tozawa, Kalisto, TJP, and because he impressed in the tournament, NXT’s Buddy Murphy! It will be a Fatal 4 Way #1 Contender’s match. Maverick is proud how he turned a positive into a negative. In a star-studded match like that, who will come out on top as the next challenger to the next champion?

 

WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Semifinal Match: Mustafa Ali VS Drew Gulak!

Either the #Drewtopian gritty ground game, or Ali’s aerial athletics. Only one will conquer the other in this rivalry rematch and challenge Cedric Alexander at Wrestlemania, simple as that.

The bell rings and the two familiar foes lock eyes. Fans rally already for Ali as he circles with Gulak. The two tie up, Ali powers Gulak back but Gulak turns it around. Gulak puts Ali in a corner but Ali powers out to the center. Gulak turns things into a wristlock, then brings Ali down to the ground. Ali gets back up, and we see Alexander watching while Gulak brings Ali back down.

Ali rolls up to his feet then rolls and spins to reverse the hold onto Gulak. Gulak is brought to the mat now, but he gets up and spins. Ali brings him down in an armlock, but Gulak gets up again to scoop slam, only for Ali to hold on and bring things back to his control. Gulak stands up and powers Ali to a corner, but gives a stiff shove at the break. Ali shoves back, but Gulak gets the headlock back on. Ali powers out but Gulak runs him over, to then keep moving. Things speed up, Ali cartwheels and collides with Gulak. Neither man backs down, and Gulak wags his finger at Ali. Ali puts on the headlock now, but Gulak powers out to flapjack Ali down! He then stretches Ali back with a chinlock.

The fans rally for Ali and he stands up to fight out. Gulak knees Ali’s ribs, then whips him to ropes. Ali evades, then headscissors to throw Gulak! Ali keeps going, turning a flapjack into a dropkick. He goes after Gulak in the corner but the referee calls for the break. Ali honors it for a moment, then tries to grab Gulak at the ropes, but Gulak elbows him in the head! Gulak watches Ali reel back, to then clobber him with a clothesline to the back of the head! Cover, TWO, but Gulak knows he’s in control. He drags Ali up and whips him to a corner, but Ali elbows him away. Ali runs, slips out of the scoop, then rolls Gulak up, TWO. Ali hops up, hops back onto Gulak’s shoulders, and Gulak spins around into an Electric Chair Drop!

He bridges to the cover, TWO! Gulak keeps his cool, and even grins as he looms over Ali. The fans rally for Ali while Gulak kicks him on the mat and at the ropes. Gulak stomps and stomps and stomps, even as the referee backs him off. The ref checks on Ali but fans duel, some even chanting “PowerPoint! PowerPoint!” Gulak drags Ali up by his jaw, but Ali open hand strikes! Ali strikes again and again and again, Gulak shoves, but his boot is countered into a heel kick! Ali starts to rally on the groggy Gulak, takedown to furious right hands. The referee backs Ali off but the fans keep cheering. Gulak stands, Ali slips out and roundhouses him away, to then fire up and slingshot in for the facebuster! Cover, TWO!

Ali keeps his cool as he grimaces at Gulak. He toys with Gulak, paying him back with a stiff kick to the ribs. Ali kicks and stomps Gulak in return for all those other stomps, and almost stomps Gulak right out of the ring. He backs off to calm down, then brings Gulak up, only for Gulak to send him face first into buckles! Gulak drags Ali up now, dragon sleeper! Ali flails and reaches, and uses knees to Gulak’s head to break free, only for Gulak to run him over with a discus lariat! Gulak foams at the mouth and roars as he drags Ali up again for another clothesline. He does it again, then rolls to a cover. TWO, and Ali gets Gulak in a Koji Clutch!

Ali uses a submission on Gulak! Fans chant “TAP! TAP!” but Gulak rolls it to a cover. ONE, and Ali holds on to the hold. Gulak works his way to ropes, and gets the ropebreak with a foot under the ropes. Ali lets go and Gulak gets away to catch his breath. Fans boo and jeer while Ali climbs up top. Ali takes aim with a menacing glare, and jumps for a somersault senton!

Down goes Gulak! Ali hurries on him with furious rights, then drags him into the ring. The fans rally for Ali while he climbs back up. Ali takes aim but Gulak not only sweeps Ali’s legs out, but sends him crashing down to the ground! The referee checks on Ail after that landing while Gulak rests in the ring. A ring count begins, and reaches 5 before Ali stirs. Ali drags himself up to the apron, so Gulak attacks to send him back down. Gulak goes out and drags Ali up to throw him right into barriers. He puts Ali back in the ring, but Ali slips back out. Gulak won’t wait for the count this time, he slips out and runs at Ali, only for Ali to side step and send him tumbling over the announce desk!

Gulak crash lands near the time keeper’s area, and Ali sees him stirring. Ali adds on with a FLYING LEAP onto Gulak!

The furious Ali rains fast hands on Gulak, then backs off to return to the ring. However, Ali changes his mind, he wants to finish Gulak once and for all. He clears the announce desk, drags Gulak up and over, but Gulak fights back. The two waver, but then Gulak back body drops Ali off the table to the floor! Ali writhes while Gulak rests on the desk, both too sore to get to the ring. The referee checks on them and decides they’re okay to continue, so he starts a count. Gulak returns before 4, but Ali is a different matter.

The fans rally for him, but Ali doesn’t stir until 6. Gulak won’t let it end there, he slings Ali into the post! Gulak is savage as he brings Ali up again, to dump into the time keeper’s area! He returns to the ring to let Ali be prey to the ring count. Ali barely stirs before 4, and has so much ground to cover. Ali crawls but the count is already at 7. He stumbles and staggers, but beats it at 9 and a half! The fans are divided, some chant for Ali while others protest, “That was 10! That was 10!” Gulak drags Ali up to bring him into the dragon sleeper. Ali grabs ropes for the break but Gulak won’t let go. He powers Ali up and around, but Ali tornado DDTs instead! Ali somehow gets up the ropes and to the top, and hits the 0-5-4!!

Cover, ALI WINS!! Ali fought for his dream and now he gets to live it! Meanwhile, Gulak is beside himself with this defeat.

 

In-ring interview with Mustafa Ali.

Though he can barely stand, congratulations are in order. How does it feel to be going to Wrestlemania? Ali says that he’s not going to Wrestlemania, we are going. His entire life had one mission: “to prove it doesn’t matter what your name is, it doesn’t matter where you’re from, it doesn’t matter what the color of your skin is, all that matters is what’s in your heart!” The fans cheer for that. Dreams are prepared to collide on the Grandest Stage of Them All, who will walk away the new Cruiserweight Champion?

 

My Thoughts:

Another incredible episode right here. Good stuff with Itami VS Lince with their teammates ringside. Didn’t expect it to be “no contest” with the shoving between Itami and Metalik, but that seems to be the best for keeping both sides strong in the still-forming Cruiserweight Tag Team Division. This very well could be the story that brings us to the creation of that division and titles. But until then, I do like Rockstar Spud still using Tozawa and Kalisto as singles competitors. Their match with TJP and Buddy Murphy is going to be great. TJP more or less squashes the returning Kenneth Johnson. Maybe Johnson will return again much sooner to at least give more to the roster, the tournament already showed off everyone there is in the Division.

And of course, everything relating to the tournament was great. The video packages did great to capture what both Gulak and Ali have done and been about since 205 Live started. Then the match took that and went even higher to give amazing action and story telling. Gulak kept up the new level of brutality while Ali even showed his. It’s great to see how Ali has grown and adapted after matches with Gulak in the past, as well as Jack Gallagher during the tournament. The dragon sleeper to DDT was a great spot given all it probably took from both guys to make it work. Ali going over is perfect given his story, and now it’s a battle of friends at Wrestlemania. In fact, this match represents the year of progress the Cruiserweight Division has made, and it could easily steal the show.

My Score: 8.3/10

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Sendai Girls BIG SHOW in Sendai Results & Review (10/14/2018)

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It’s been a few months since I’ve done Sendai Girls and it looks like I have some stuff cleared up and it gives me time to cover their latest show, BIG SHOW in Sendai.

Last time we covered them, Hamada was stripped of the title due to drug possession and a match between DASH Chisako and Chihiro Hashimoto, and I was gonna cover that show but too much stuff happened and I was unable to watch it in time. Hashimoto would defeat DASH to win back the vacant title and it was like she never lost it. We got another stacked show and a new title added to the promotion, so expect something to happen.

Let’s find out and…dive right in.

 

Tag Team Match
Ami Sato & Mei Suruga vs. Mikoto Shindo & Mio Momono

Review: Our opening bout is a tag team match with Ami Sato and Mei Suruga taking on Mikoto Shindo and Mio Momono. We got Mio and Mikoto from Marvelous while Mei is from Gatoh Move to give us a promising opening tag bout. Will the girls from Marvelous get the win or will it go to Ami and Mei?

The match went pretty much how you would expect it to go with a short but very standard tag match with all four of these women just showcasing what they can do. If I had to pick one that would stand out in the match, it would have to be Mio since she’s the one that probably did the most in the match so it was easier to give her more of the credit than the others. Ami though has gotten better from the last couple of times I’ve seen her working and she still has a long way to go if she wants to be considered a future star, but the potential is there. Not a whole lot to talk about the match as Mio would try to get the win with a Diving Crossbody with Ami kicking out at two as Mio quickly turned it into a Fujiwara Armbar. Ami wouldn’t tap out as Mio tried to pin her again with a Crucifix but Ami kicked out again and Mio turned it into another submission hold as Ami tapped out.

Rating: Tony Schiavone and a half

 

Six Man Tag Team Match
Aiger, Alex Lee & Sakura Hirota vs. Hikaru Shida, KAORU & Riho

Review: We now have a six-man tag match with most of the women being freelancers for this bout. Since Aiger is involved in the match, then there’s no doubt that there will be mostly comedy involved in the match since that’s what all of her matches on Sendai Girls have been so far. Which of these two teams will win?

I really don’t know how to describe this match right here. It was a comedy like I expected it to be with Aiger being involved for the majority of the match with Riho and KAORU, but it did start out entertaining with Aiger holding onto KAORU’s shoulders while behind like as if she was a ghost, even the referee was playing along with it but the whole comedy bit of the match dragged on a little bit longer than anticipated and ruined the momentum of it. We didn’t get to see much of Hikaru, Alex, and Sakura in the match due to it being relatively short around six minutes. Anyway, Sakura would hold Hikaru in place for Aiger to spit her ghost magic but Hikaru ducked for Sakura to take the blows and KAORU would Big Boot Sakura down. Hikaru would hit a Running Knee Strike on Sakura to get the win for her team.

Rating: Tony Schiavone

 

Tag Team Match
DASH Chisako & Hiroyo Matsumoto vs. Millie McKenzie & Rhia O’Reilly

Review: We have another tag match here with DASH Chisako and Hiroyo Matsumoto teaming up this time as the two will take on Millie McKenzie and Rhia O’Reilly. Both Millie and Rhia are freelancers in the UK wrestling scene and they make their way over to Sendai to take on Sendai’s crowd favorite and one of the top Japanese freelancers around. Will DASH and Hiroyo win or will the UK girls take the victory?

This match was much better than the previous two that were on the show. I’m sure people know of Millie due to her relationship with Pete Dunne, but this is my first time seeing her wrestle and I was fairly impressed with her ability and what she can do in the ring here. I liked the combination of both of these teams here since they both worked well with their styles and just had a nice flow in their match here. DASH is someone who I do hope one day wins the big one in Sendai Girls since she only won the tag titles in Sendai, so I think it’ll be nice to see her win the world title at least once during her career and she actually is good in the ring while also being a favorite of the crowd. Not much to say about Hiroyo because most of us know how great she is in the ring and she still proved it here even when she wasn’t in the match a lot. Rhia though I didn’t see too much of here in the match, she’s an interesting one and someone to possibly keep an eye on if you’re into the UK women’s scene. Around eight minutes of solid wrestling, DASH would go to the top rope after having Millie down on the mat as Rhia would climb to the top with DASH to try and Superplex her, but Hiroyo would sneak up behind Rhia to catch her into a Powerbomb while DASH hits her Frogsplash onto Millie as she picked up the win!

Rating: Eric Bischoff and a quarter

 

Sendai Girls Junior Title Match
Ayame Sasamura vs. Manami

Review: Sendai has introduced a new title into the promotion instead of just the Tag Team and World titles, this time we have the Junior Championship. From what I can gather, their Junior Championship is pretty much the equivalent version of Stardom’s Future of Stardom Championship where it’s for people for a younger age and/or little years of experience. They held a tournament for the title and our two finalists are Ayame Sasamura, representing K-DOJO and Manami. Who will become the first Junior Champion?

I think it’s safe to say that Manami has improved from the times that I’ve seen her perform in the ring and she’s only fourteen years old with about a years worth of experience under her belt, Meiko knows how to train her students and she could be her star pupil when she’s eighteen. I haven’t seen much of Ayame since I don’t really follow K-DOJO, but she did pretty well here from how I’ve seen her perform in this match. This match was surprisingly more technical than I anticipated it to be and they did a great job giving us that type of match while making it interesting with the experience they have under their belt.

The match is about ten minutes and that’s actually a pretty fair time length for the newbies since they’re still growing and there’s so much you could do in that short amount of time and most of the time, it can turn into a great story. While Ayame had probably the most control of the match, Manami would get the shine near the ending of the bout where you see her resiliency and never give up attitude as she would try to get the quick roll-up victory over Ayame but she kicked out. Ayame would catch Manami in for an STO but Manami would kick out of it in time and Ayame would try it again but would have Manami’s arm around her neck when she slammed her down as she goes for the pin and we have our first champion crowned! Ayame is officially the first Junior Champion of Sendai Girls and she’s earned this victory while Manami had a great showing in the match that she could potentially claim that title soon if she keeps it up. Solid work from both of these women.

Rating: Eric Bischoff and a half

 

Tag Team Match
Aja Kong & Meiko Satomura vs. Hana Kimura & Mika Iwata

Review: We got one more tag match before the main event as we have Meiko Satomura teaming up with Aja Kong to take on Hana Kimura and one half of the Sendai Girls Tag Team Champions, Mika Iwata. If you guys remember, Mika and Hana fought on the first show I covered for them on April 19th and they had a solid match with a mutual respect for each other, but now it looks like that they’ll be teaming up this time to take on these two legends. How will Mika and Hana’s partnership fair against Meiko and Aja?

I don’t get what’s going on in Hana Kimura’s head right now and I say this because when I see her wrestle in Sendai or Wrestle-1 with her cheer leading gimmick, she does amazing work and gives us better performances but gives us the exact opposite of that whenever I see her in Stardom like she’s not even trying there anymore. In Stardom, I think she only had one solid match against Hazuki but the rest is just forgettable and I just don’t get why she just switches off there while she does better in the other two promotions, it’s just annoying.

Can we call this a match? I mean, we could but it felt like it was just more of a beat down since that is what Mieko and Aja pretty much do in this match by destroying both Hana and Mika here while they get very little offense in the bout. It’s not that it’s a bad thing either since you have Hana and Mika getting sympathy from the crowd and whenever they do get to hit a big move like Hana being able to hit Aja with a Brainbuster, the crowd gets really into it right after and you need those types of reactions for fans to get behind you. Aja may be almost fifty years old, but she has proven that she can still beat the daylights out of you despite her age and still throws a mean punch when she wants to while also knowing to give her opponent that moment to get a shine in the match. For Hana and Mika teaming up here in the match, they had an interesting chemistry while Mika is also another one who I consider one of Sendai’s best and a future World Champion down the road if she sticks around with the company. Mika would get momentum into the match with her Superkicks to both Meiko and Aja but it wouldn’t last too long as Meiko had to give them a little history lesson as to why Meiko can still destroy you without a second thought as she hits Mika with the Death Valley Driver and pins her for the victory while both Hana and Mika put up a valiant effort. Solid story and great wrestling, nothing more you can ask for.

Rating: Bruce Prichard

 

Sendai Girls World Title Match
Chihiro Hashimoto (c) vs. Cassandra Miyagi

Review: We got our main event for the evening as we have Chihiro Hashimoto defending her championship against Cassandra Miyagi. On September 15th, Chihiro and Mika would defeat Cassandra and Heidi to win the Sendai Girls Tag Team Championships and now it looks like Cassandra is looking to get revenge by taking the World Championship away from her. Will Chihiro retain the title and solidify herself as the ace of the company or will Cassandra win the big one finally?

Cassandra is definitely a top heel of the company and she has proven that tonight in the main event. I’m used to seeing her in tag team matches since she is a former tag champ but I haven’t seen her in one on one action until now and it showed me how great she actually is in the ring here. She was able to dominate the champion while making each other look strong at the same time and was even crisp with her moveset whenever she needed to do something from a strike or a power move, she knew when to hit it and execute it. Cassandra was able to generate enough heat in the match by making Chihiro feel vulnerable during the match as if Cassandra had her number in the match and would even spit black stuff into her face to get more of those heel tactics in there and even staying on top of her opponent to make sure she didn’t have a single advantage into the match.

It’s usually the main events of these Sendai Girls shows that make you enjoy the company a lot more like once you get past the weak undercard of the show and watch it all the way through to the end, the last 2 or so matches give you a very nice reward and it’s worth it. I enjoyed this match from top to bottom with the level of intensity from Cassandra, Chihiro showing why she’s the companies top star, the story and chemistry they shared in the ring. Cassandra looked like she had Chihiro beat when she lands the Tombstone for a two count and would quickly get up for the Swanton Bomb as she connects for another two count, Chihiro is not ready to quit just yet. Chihiro starts to finally get some momentum into the match with various Clotheslines and some German Suplexes to get the behemoth dazed until she was able to hit her German Suplex Hold and retains the title!

I was honestly kinda hoping for Cassandra to win the match here since her performance felt like it would be a great time to finally win the belt and have a nice dominating reign, but it looks like Chihiro is still at the top. However, that doesn’t mean you should count Cassandra out because she’s proven that she’ll be a key player. While Chihiro was putting a promo in the ring, Sendai would get an unexpected visit by none other than the World of Stardom Champion and your glorious Prime Minister, Kagetsu! That’s right, Kagetsu made a surprise return to Sendai Girls as she made her way to the ring and I don’t know the exact translation, but it seems like Kagetsu has talked about how she’s no longer the same Kagetsu that Sendai used to remember as she evolved during her time in Stardom while the Sendai roster appeared to be talking down on our Prime Minister. Meiko would have some words with Kagetsu and it appears as if she would challenge Kagetsu to a match here at Stardom at a later date. I hope the match happens before the end of the year and could be a classic way to close the year out. Get hyped!

Rating: Bruce Prichard and three quarters

 

Overall: While the first two matches were a bust, the show would slowly increase in quality with the last two matches stealing the show with a great main event and a surprise return to close it all off. I don’t know when we’ll get Kagetsu vs. Meiko, but I cannot wait.

Favorite Match: Chihiro Hashimoto vs. Cassandra Miyagi

Least Favorite Match: Aiger, Alex Lee & Sakura Hirota vs. Hikaru Shida, KAORU & Riho

Score: 7/10

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Takeshi Morishima: Traces To Nowhere

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Takeshi Morishima was arrested on November 4th in Kabukichō, Tokyo for punching a taxi driver and breaking his cheekbones, in a row over fare.

Fare he didn’t have by the way, which came to about 18,000 yen. It wasn’t just a case of him leaving his wallet at home, he had deliberately gotten a cab without it.

Details later emerged about Morishima’s disturbing state of mind and sequence of behavior leading up to the event, but we need to look further back to see the roots of the problem.

The majority of wrestlers enter the dojo system very young; usually about seventeen or eighteen. The rules are they must be healthy in body and mind, and have a High School Diploma. They usually go from the closed world of High School sports, into the cloistered world of the dojo. They go straight from their parents houses too. In the dojo they devote themselves to training, and they are only allowed out perhaps for an hour or so on a Saturday, and then perhaps only to a local convenience store, and if there are enough people to wait in the dojo on the seniors, they may even be allowed out to the cinema.

Nightlife, drinking, women, socializing, are all forbidden, and in many ways they are like Geisha, they wait on their elders and the people of their own age they do meet, they find they have little in common with, unless they too are in wrestling.

In the dojo their days are regimented, and even when they make their debuts and are allowed a little more freedom, their lives are still controlled and although they don’t have the cooking\cleaning\waiting on senior in the dojo schedule anymore or knocking on doors in the morning in hotels to get hungover, bruised, battered, and exhausted wrestlers out of bed, they have tours and promotional duties, and people are on hand to tell them where they should be. The same thing happens with touring bands, some people get so used to it, they wind up taking their families shopping at 4am; some people go from tour to tour, never going home.

The lucky ones (and this is most of them) adjust well to their freedom, some marry and have a support network of partners and children or else family, others leave and still stay in the wrestling business in some way, they become trainers, start their own promotions, promote events, open restaurants, write books.

Others do not adjust (although it is rare), and very sadly Takeshi Morishima seems to have been one of these people, who did not, although he did try to get some experience for life after wrestling, it doesn’t seem to have lasted long (and the company no longer exists).

It also didn’t help that he seemed to be pathologically lonely, and came from a small fragmented family, who he didn’t seem particularly close to, which is why in later years he clung to Kenoh, whom he used to call at midnight to chat. Kenoh always said that Morishima was a generous person, who never let him pay for anything. Morishima’s kindness was such that when he made his debut, he bought young Hitoshi Kumano a steak dinner.

Kenoh credits him with teaching him how to live as a wrestler, and it is a shame that Morishima could not ultimately take his own advice.

In 2016, Takeshi Morishima started his downward spiral, probably caused by a depressive condition and burnout (he was an active wrestler and had corporate duties as well following the shake up after Misawa’s death), but maybe there was an underlying condition as well that emerged at that time. His diagnosis of diabetes hit him hard its true (and Kenoh said he cried bitterly, both in the ring and outside of it), and his mental health deteriorated under the shock of being advised to retire, but at the same time he was posting odd things on social media, like rambling crazy statements about things which made no sense. Wrestling was all he had ever known, aside from High School Judo.

He left NOAH under a cloud, and vanished for three years. In the three years he was missing he bounced from job to job, concert security, bouncer, bartender, pizza maker, deliveryman for fast food, luggage porter, flower-shop employee, the list goes on.

In July 2018 he announced out of the blue that he was returning to wrestling, and he would hold his comeback event at Korakuen Hall in October on his 40th birthday, which he would call “GENESIS”. It was later announced that the main event would be himself versus Takashi Sugiura (NOAH’s GHC Heavyweight Champion). He didn’t look comfortable being there, his body language showed how nervous he was, he spoke with his eyes shut and brushed hair out of his face, he mumbled. Afterwards he practically fled the arena and got into a waiting car and collapsed against the seats. A feature with BATTLEMEN served to highlight how fragile he was.

“GENESIS” was never going to happen, and maybe that was for the best.

On the 10th September, Morishima was rushed to hospital after suffering severe pain in his feet, which was later diagnosed as “septic arthritis” (a condition diabetics are susceptible to) and he underwent emergency surgery. The event was called off and it was announced it would be rescheduled at a later date.

No replacement date was ever announced, as it seemed Morishima’s behavior was becoming not just erratic, but dangerous. When he appeared at “Flight” a few weeks before his hospitalization, fans expressed concern at his behavior, Kenoh (it seemed) was also worried by it, but Takashi Sugiura was angered by it and blasted him for being rude as to go so far to plug his own event, make a challenge to him and then leave.

It’s sadly true. Morishima, didn’t stay around for the aftershow party (although Kenoh had hoped he would), but left to drink with Takeshi Rikio and post comments like “I am not interested in Uchida’s NOAH, I am only interested in Misawa’s NOAH”.

An odd comment to make for a man who had been invited to a 20th anniversary for someone he had a rocky relationship with about a promotion he had arranged to fight the champion of.

After the cancellation of the event, everything went quiet on Morishima, and people assumed that aside from the “naked drinking with DDT” (usual wrestler antics that no one takes much notice of), that he had gone back to training for his eventual return and rehabbing from surgery.

His odd behavior of turning up at Puro Weekly unannounced and in a Halloween Mask, and then posing with an issue, raised eyebrows, but the people of Kabukichō told a different story.

After his arrest it was discovered that Morishima had spent the days, not training, but drunk and wandering around the district, telling everyone he was “a star”. It was later revealed that he would take a taxi to the district, and then ask people in the bars and any wrestlers he recognized who where there, for money for the taxi. This led to several establishments banning him due to the harassment of their patrons, and, as his behavior was less than exemplary, he soon gained a reputation as a mean drunk.

Housing also appeared to be an issue for him at this time (he used to have a beautiful apartment during his NOAH days and he kept a box of candy when he settled down to watch films), but now it seemed he was virtually homeless, sleeping at the homes of people he had known for a few hours, one time even as a live in employee in a restaurant he worked in. He also used to go and visit indie promotions and beg money from the younger wrestlers, at one time making them collectively cough up 500 yen for his taxi, whom he had left waiting outside while he sat and watched the show.

There were days when he couldn’t even change his clothes.

On the night in question, he came into “The Stanley Bar” which is run by professional wrestler, Naoshi Sano, and tried to borrow money from him. The store manager told him that Mr. Sano wasn’t there, and as he cleaned the store, Morishima made strange comments to him like “I’m a pro wrestler, and your sweeping the floor”, playing with his phone, playing with the mail that had come to the store and eating sweets. In the past he had begged for drinks, only having what amounted to £10.00 or $12.00 in his pocket.

He left saying something like he had a few sweets left, and would be back with friends. During his visit, he apparently grabbed the managers arm, and left a huge bruise.

It is proposed that Morishima took a taxi, and drove around looking for people who he could beg fare off. The driver, realizing that the fare was already very high, stopped the cab and told him to pay, and that is when the row broke out.

Morishima claims he was not drinking; but his reputation is against him, and the manager of “The Stanley Bar” says he has never seen him sober.

News on Morishima has gone very quiet since his arrest, but I don’t think that prison would be the right choice, and neither would giving him his freedom. Morishima needs to be court ordered somewhere to deal with his issues. NOAH offered to help him once, and he wouldn’t take it.

He is only going to get help if he has no other choice, left to his own devices, he is like Takashi Sugiura says, “a child”.

The reaction from the puro world has been one of disappointment, on NOAH’s side, Naomichi Marufuji has said that for his own sake and that of society, Morishima needs to sort himself out. Old friend, Makoto Hashi (long retired and making a good living as a physiotherapist), said that Morishima needs to make a choice as to what he wants to do, he needs to grow as a person, and not as a wrestler.

And that has been Morishima’s problem; he has never managed to escape his own celebrity. It would have been far better for him that when he came back, he announced that he was returning as a trainer, any number of promotions would have snapped him up immediately, who wouldn’t want to say that they had been trained by Takeshi Morishima, who was once known as “NOAH’s Monster” and was one of the greatest and most memorable Ring of Honor champions, who holds the distinction of being the only Japanese one? It would have given him an income, he could have lived at the dojo, his food would have been prepared for him by the trainees, he would have eaten healthily (another bonus as the trainees are fed on dishes high in protein) and he would have had a support network in place of old friends, and people to talk to and importantly, look out for and after him.

But now sadly with this assault charge and odd behavior, who is going to want to be in the ring with him, let alone be trained by him, if he is capable of bouts of temper which seriously injure members of the public?

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Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: King of Pro Wrestling 2018 Part 2!

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NJPW King of Pro Wrestling

NJPW King of Pro Wrestling 2018 continues as The Ace once again puts up his Wrestle Kingdom IWGP Heavyweight Champion contract on the line! Will he keep it?

 

This coverage of King of Pro Wrestling will be as broadcast by AXS TV.

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

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • EVIL VS Zack Sabre Jr w/ Taka Michinoku; No Contest.
  • Wrestle Kingdom 13 IWGP Heavyweight Championship Contract Match: Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Jay White w/ Gedo; Tanahashi wins and retains the Wrestle Kingdom 13 IWGP Heavyweight Championship contract.

PLAY BY PLAY

NJPW and AXS TV set the scene!

Hiroshi Tanashi is still the owner of the Wrestle Kingdom contract after an intense battle with long-time rival with Kazuchika Okada. It was the first win The Ace had over The Rainmaker in four years, but the celebration was cut short by The Switchblade, Jay White! White called his shot at the contract based on how he beat both Tanahashi and Okada in the G1 Climax. This is also fueled by White losing to Tanahashi at Wrestle Kingdom 12, so White wants to make sure Tanahashi doesn’t even go. Will Tanahashi get back at White for everything as of late? Or will he #BreathewiththeSwitchblade?

But first, Los Ingobernables de Japon continues its war with Suzuki-Gun. The King of Darkness has lost to the Submission Master in recent tag team matches, but they once again go 1v1 to settle things. Will Darkness Fall? Or will ZSJ make Evil #JustTapOut?

 

EVIL VS Zack Sabre Jr. w/ Taka Michinoku!

As is standard for Taka accompanying Zack, Taka makes the introductions. “Welcome to Zack Sabre Time.” This is a special singles match, and who is gonna win? “Zack!” Who!? “Zack!” Yes, your winner will be the man who can finish with any lock, anywhere, anytime. It will be “the man who possesses the deadly Zack Driver”. It will be the man that “when he locks on a submission, no matter who you are, you Just Tap Out!” He is the master of all pro-wrestling, he is ZSJ, he is Zack Sabrrrre, JUNIOR! Taka also adds “This is NOT Evil”, because “Everything is NOT Evil”. So Evil, c’mon over here! With that, Evil makes his entrance, accompanied by servants of darkness.

But wait! Before Evil can enter the ring, one of his servants attacks him! Because it was CHRIS JERICHO in disguise! Jericho wears the IWGP Intercontinental Championship around his waist, so there’s no doubting who it is. Jericho drags Evil up and throws him into barriers! Evil flounders as Jericho stomps him and chokes him with camera cables. Jericho throws Evil into the apron, then into the ring. ZSJ lets Y2J keep on Evil with a rain of rights. Fans rally for Evil but Jericho whips him corner to corner for a big clothesline! Jericho then gives Evil a Code Breaker! And yes, off comes the mask so that everyone can see his face. ZSJ is rather amused to see Jericho laying Evil out, makes things easier for him.

Jericho picks up his IWGP Intercontinental Championship belt, and aims at Evil. Evil staggers to his feet, and turns around into a belt smash! Jericho holds up the title, then looms over Evil as he flexes. Evil already wanted after Jericho for what he did to Naito, but will Evil be able to get revenge for himself?

Jericho leaves and referees check on Evil. ZSJ wants his match with Evil, but the referees tell him they can’t have it if Evil is hurt. ZSJ circles like a vulture as medics check on Evil. The medics say this match must be called off! Fans don’t like it, but understand after what happened. ZSJ doesn’t like it, and goes after the medic who made the call! He wrangles the man down with a double wristlock, then goes after the Young Lion trying to stop him! ZSJ tells the referee to leave or he’ll be next. The referee backs off and ZSJ starts kicking away on Evil. Then he puts him into the coil lock and pulls on the arm. ZSJ adds insult to injury with all his different holds, but here comes Naito!

Naito attacks ZSJ with the fury meant for Jericho, and they start brawling! Naito and ZSJ trade forearms, then ZSJ gives European Uppercuts. ZSJ whips but Naito reverses into a tornado DDT! Naito sees ZSJ roll out and regroup with Taka and builds speed. Taka and ZSJ panic, expecting a dive, but Naito instead rolls and Tranquilos! ZSJ is furious but Taka calms him down. ZSJ is denied his match but LIJ is denied retribution on Y2J. Who will get what they want first? And who will regret ever starting the fight?

 

Chris Jericho rampages backstage.

Much like after his confrontation with Tetsuya Naito, Jericho throws anything he can get his hands on and tosses it at whoever is around. He slaps a Young Lion to the floor, then asks “You see what happens? You think it’s bullsh*t, don’t you?” Well that’s life. The IWGP Intercontinental Champion has returned to NJPW and Ryogoku. Evil gets in Y2J’s business, has to call him out over the title, and this is what he gets. “The greatest, most dominant Intercontinental Champion of all time in any country, worldwide.” It doesn’t matter if it’s America, Canada, Australia or “this sh*thole,” Japan. Evil didn’t get his match tonight, but he will get his match in Osaka, NJPW Power Struggle, for the title! Does that sound good? “Evil: Dead.”

Zack Sabre Jr. has something to say about the incident.

“Oi, Jericho, mind your own business.” ZSJ didn’t need any help beating up Evil. He didn’t fly all the way here for a No Contest. ZSJ doesn’t have a problem with Y2J, so long as Y2J stays on his boat. But also, Naito sure took his sweet time getting out there. Where was he when Jericho started beating down Evil? What a “good friend”. Maybe Bushi should take lead in LIJ so Naito can retire or something.

Evil and Naito have their own response.

“You son of a bitch, Jericho!” Evil can barely walk but he forces himself to head to the back. Naito figures Jericho just has too much time on his hands. As for Naito himself in all this, he’s been saying it a long time: He wants after ZSJ. Naito already “smashed up the King for him”, meaning Minoru Suzuki. Getting a chance to redeem himself for past losses should be his reward. “So, Mr. Zack Sabre Jr, please do me the honor.” He humbly waits a reply. Adios! Will there be a collision course of LIJ, ZSJ and Y2J in the near future? Who will come out the victors in such a battle?

 

Wrestle Kingdom 13 IWGP Heavyweight Championship Contract Match: Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Jay White w/ Gedo!

The Ace only lost to one man during the G1 Climax 28, and that was The Switchblade. However, that one loss alone gives the young Jay White the impression that he should be the one heading for the Tokyo Dome, not the man who won the G1 Climax 28 Finals. White waited until Tanahashi had tired himself out against Kazuchika Okada in Kobe to strike again. Now in the Ryogoku Sumo Hall, White looks to end the Once in a Century Talent once and for all! Who wins and walks away with the title match contract in his hands?

The briefcase is opened and the contract is presented to White and Gedo for verification. Fans already cheer “Go Ace!” as both men put their jackets aside. This epic match finally begins, after the break.

NJPW on AXS returns and the bell rings. White bails right out, and fans boo. White and Gedo act like it isn’t a problem, but obviously the trolling begins early. Tanahashi waits patiently as White takes his time returning. The two circle, fans rally for Tanahashi, and the two tie up. They push each other back, but Tanahashi gets White to the ropes. White turns things around, and lets go for the ropebreak. But then Gedo distracts Tanahashi, allowing White to clobber The Ace from behind! White stomps away as fans boo, and Tanahashi slips out of the ring. White follows to chop Tanahashi against barriers, then whip him into others! Togi Makabe seems to catch White’s attention, so White gives him a dirty bird before chopping Tanahashi again.

White brings Tanahashi over and whips, but Tanahashi reverses to send White into barriers! Tanahashi then runs in to blast White with a dropkick! White goes over the railing and into the front row! Tanahashi fires up but then Gedo hits him in the back! Red Shoes reprimands Gedo, but Tanahashi gives Gedo a kick to the gut! Tanahashi puts Gedo in the ring, but Gedo begs for mercy. But this keeps Tanahashi from seeing White return, to chop block Tanahashi in the leg! White mocks the air guitar, then goes after the leg. Tanahashi writhes but White gives the leg a toehold screw to the mat. White plays air guitar on Tanhashi’s leg before giving him another leg screw. White then drags Tanahashi’s leg out onto the apron, to slam it on the edge!

Tanahashi writhes but White isn’t done with that leg as he elbows it against the apron. White slams the leg again, then tells Red Shoes to leave him alone. White drags Tanahashi to a corner and slings the leg into the post! Tanahashi shouts in pain while fans boo White. White distracts Red Shoes while Gedo uses the WK13 contract briefcase to smack Tanahashi’s leg! Gedo grins as he gets away with it, and White covers. Red Shoes says no to the cover, he knows something is up. White drags Tanahashi around and goes for a half crab. Tanahashi fights with his good leg and kicks White away. Fans rally and Tanahashi fights back with body shots.

Tanahashi runs in but White dumps him out. White again distracts Red Shoes, thinking Tanahashi has hit the floor. But Tanahashi instead boots Gedo away while skinning the cat! White sees Tanahashi and goes after the leg with elbows! Then he puts the foot on his shoulder for a knee jacker! Tanahashi writhes again while White looms over him. White stands on the bad leg and fans boo. White drags Tanahashi onto the ropes and bends him back. He gives forearms to the back but Red Shoes counts. White stops at 3, but then just comes back to do it again. He stops at 4 this time, then stomps Tanahashi’s calf. Fans continue to rally but Tanahashi is down. White taunts Tanahashi now, and brings him around by his hair.

White stands Tanahashi up, snapmare and a slap! Fans boo the disrespect, but White doesn’t care. White waits for Tanahashi to stand, but Tanahashi fires forearms! White kicks the bad leg and Tanahashi staggers away. Tanahashi dodges White in the corner, and catches White’s boot to give him a dragon screw! Finally some offense, and it evens things as far as legs. Both men slowly stand, and Tanahashi throws more forearms. He puts White in the corner, then scoop slams him into the drop zone. Tanahashi hops up, second rope somersault senton! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi keeps on the leg, and gives it a grounded dragon screw! He wants both legs, and goes for the Cloverleaf! White resists and crawls, and gets the ropebreak! Tanahashi lets White go but the fans rally again.

Tanahashi grabs the legs again and pulls on White. White kicks him in the shoulder, but Tanahashi holds on. White kicks him in the bad leg, and Tanahashi lets go. Tanahashi staggers as White stands. Tanahashi comes back, and White uses a saido suplex to throw him over and out! The Ace is down and out while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns as White fetches Tanahashi. White throws Tanahashi backwards into railings, then throws him again. He throws Tanahashi a third time as he shouts and eggs him on. White puts Tanahashi in the ring, then hobbles around to go looking under the ring. White finds himself a folding chair, his favorite item. Red Shoes won’t allow this, but they’ve gone this way before during the G1. As Red Shoes and White argue, Tanahashi gets White’s leg and dragon screws him between the ropes! White tumbles to the floor, but Tanahashi gets moving. Tanahashi climbs up and camera crews get out of the way, for the High Fly Flow crossbody! It hits, but it’s double edged considering the bad leg. Even so, fans are fired up for The Ace!

Tanahashi is up and puts White back in the ring. Tanahashi feels the energy of the fans, and gets moving, but runs into a chop! He keeps moving, but gets another chop! Tanahashi actually seems more annoyed than hurt, but he turns around into White’s complete shot! Then White deadlifts Tanahashi for a German Suplex! Both men are down but fans rally again. White sits up and glares at Tanahashi with wild eyes. They grind foreheads and then stand. White gives a forearm, Tanahashi gives one back. White gives another forearm, but Tanahashi gives another back. The fans fire up while White staggers, but White comes back for another forearm. Tanahashi gives a forearm, then another, then another. He fires body shots but White kicks low.

Tanahashi still hits back, body shot after shot then a EuroUpper! He turns around but into White’s strike fest! Tanahashi comes back with a palm strike! And then another palm strike! White grabs Tanahashi’s hair, but Tanahashi gives him a third palm strike! White wobbles, Tanahashi runs, but White catches him! Tanahashi slips out of Blade Runner and gets a full nelson, but White breaks that to elbow. White swings, but Tanahashi gets a half nelson that he uses to spin White around. White slips out of the facelock, reels Tanahashi in and around, but Tanahashi again slips out. Tanahashi swings but White counters, only for Tanahashi to slip out again, to a waistlock. White breaks free of that, and both men give forearms! Both men are rocked but stay standing, and fans applaud that incredible exchange.

White hits Tanahashi, then again. He whips but Tanahashi reverses, into a swinging neckbreaker! But Tanahashi doesn’t let off, he brings White back up, for another swinging neckbreaker! He still holds White, and brings him up again, but White gets a swinging suplex! Both men are down, but White flounders to a corner. Fans rally up for Tanahashi, and he slowly sits up. White grabs him, only to get a third swinging neckbreaker! Tanahashi runs, and hits the slingblade! But he sees Gedo getting on the apron, so he knocks him off with a forearm smash! White gets Tanahashi but Tanahashi slips out, full nelson to Dragon Suplex! With a bridge! TWO!! So close yet so far from finishing this, but Tanahashi keeps moving. Tanahashi gets up top, and waits for White to stand. High Fly Flow crossbody!

But Tanahashi keeps going! He’s back up top, High Fly Flow splash! Cover, but Gedo drags Red Shoes out! Gedo won’t let his new protege lose yet. He also lurks with brass knuckles! Gedo gets in and goes right at Tanahashi, but Tanahashi dodges to counter with a palm strike! But then White gets Tanahashi with the low blow! Everyone’s down while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns once more, and White crawls his way to the chair he found earlier. White stands up with it, and sees Tanahashi sit up. White goes to swing, but Tanahashi gives him a low blow in return! Both men are down, feeling the pain, but Tanahashi gets up first. Tanahashi takes that chair of White’s, sets it down, and scoop slams White on the chair! Then he goes up top, for a High Fly Flow! But White moves, so Tanahashi belly flops on the chair! Tanahashi writhes with the pain in his ribs as White grabs the chair for his own again. White grits his teeth, and throws the chair in Tanahashi’s face! But where’s Red Shoes? White shouts for Gedo to get the ref, and Gedo forces Red Shoes in, ice pack and all.

White drags Tanahashi up, calling for the end. Blade Runner countered into a small package! Tanahashi wins!!

Winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi, by pinfall; still holds the WK13 IWGP Heavyweight Championship match contract

For all the dirty tricks White used, it was a pure wrestling counter that defeated him! The Ace still heads for the Tokyo Dome, but the Switchblade won’t stand for it! He stomps away on Tanahashi, then fights off any of the Young Lions that try to save him. White grabs that leg and stomps away on it, then gives it another leg screw! Gedo says White should finish this, so White drags Tanahashi back up. But before he can hit Blade Runner, The Rainmaker appears! Okada runs White and his former manager out of the ring and fans are thunderous! However, Gedo distracts Okada on the opposite end, so that White can attack from behind! But Okada still fights White off! So Gedo attacks! But it does nothing! Okada throws hands on Gedo!

Gedo shouts for White to help, but it’s Jado who appears. Jado, being Gedo’s former tag partner and therefore a Chaos member, wants to keep the peace between former friends. Gedo clings to Jado for safety, and Jado has Okada back away. Fans aren’t sure what to make of this, but then the Firing Squad appears? Tama Tonga, Tonga Loa, Bad Luck Fale and Taiji Ishimori saunter out here and flank the ring. What are they doing out here when this is a Chaos issue? The Bullet Club’s splinter cell enters the ring, and White starts to get anxious. White wants things to settle down, but Taiji and Fale grab Jado and Gedo! They’re making it as if they’re on Okada’s side? They want Okada to get his shots in on Gedo?

Okada isn’t so sure, and neither are the fans. But Okada thinks it over, and he does run to build speed. Only for Tama Tonga to get him with a Gun Stun!! They’re not on Okada’s side, but on Gedo’s! As was Jado, it seems. And now, Gedo, Jado and the Firing Squad stomp away on Okada! White throws Young Lions and whoever else around on the outside before joining the others in the ring. Gedo and the others let White pick up Okada, and he gives a Too Sweet at the end of his throat slash, before hitting Blade Runner! Fans boo this new alliance, especially as they Low Sweet. The Bullet Club theme hits, but is that what this alliance will be now? Or will it be something far more dangerous?

Tanahashi returns to the ring, and goes to his rival, and seemingly only ally in this new fight. Will Tanahashi be able to hold onto his Wrestle Kingdom contract at this rate? Will Okada keep control of Chaos in this state? Or can they turn the tide before they’re swept under?

 

Backstage interviews.

The Bullet Club comes through, and wonders if the world is tilting. Because he feels the shift towards their side of things. “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, dogs, cats and children of all ages,” Tama Tonga presents Jay White. White says this was “inevitable.” White met Fale way back in London in 2014, and since then, it was inevitable that White would end up with these guys. It was never going to be White and the #BCElite, Kenny Omega and such. “What is that ripoff sh*t?!” No, the #OGBC is where White belongs, and they’re going to take the Club back to its roots. “Get used to these faces, we’re taking over.” They have like minds, like attitudes and like aggressions! Switchblade joins the Brotherhood, the Firing Squad, the BC OG’s!

Tanahashi meanwhile stops to say “Here it is. My ticket tot he future.” Is Tanahashi a relic of the past? Is his time so long ago? “It needs to be said, there is a future for everyone.” No matter your age, no matter your job, “everyone deserves a future.” Tanahashi didn’t come back to stay who he was before. He came back to keep pushing forward! So please understand, and stick with him until the Tokyo Dome.

Alliances have been made, battle lines have been drawn and goals have been set. When the dust settles come January 4th, 2019, who will be standing atop NJPW as THE IWGP Heayvweight Champion? Who will be standing as THE top faction? Or will there be no one left standing at all?

 


 

My Thoughts:

An incredible hour for NJPW as part two of three for King of Pro Wrestling. I did not expect the opening match to end up in a no contest, but it was a great surprise for Jericho to show up and go after Evil. I knew Evil was going to go after Jericho for the title, but Naito going after Zack Sabre Jr. is a good addition to this story. Naito VS ZSJ will be a great rematch, then clearly Evil VS Jericho will be great. Naito will likely win, as the leader of LIJ should stay strong. However, I don’t really feel Evil will win, as it’d seem odd if he was the only member of LIJ to have a belt, but I’m betting he’ll get really close.

Tanahashi VS White was great, and all the attempts at cheating were well done given Gedo’s presence. Tanahashi wins but this new alliance of White, Gedo and Firing Squad is a crazy development. It adds a new layer to the Chaos civil war White was starting against Okada as well as the Bullet Club civil war that’s continued since the G1 Special in San Francisco. I don’t think this’ll cause Chaos and Bullet Club Elite to join up to stop White and Tama Tonga, but it should.

My Score: 8.6/10

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