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Mitchell’s WWE Fastlane Live Report! (3/11/18)

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All images courtesy of WWE’s official Twitter, and the WWE Network streaming service

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Kickoff Match, Six Man Tag: Tye Dillinger & Breezango VS Mojo Rawley, Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable; Dillinger & Breezango win.
  • Shinsuke Nakamura VS Rusev w/ Aiden English; Nakamura wins.
  • WWE United States Championship: Bobby Roode VS Randy Orton; Orton wins and becomes the new WWE US Champion.
  • Naomi & Becky Lynch VS Natalya & Carmella; Natalya & Carmella win.
  • WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship: The Usos VS The New Day; no contest.
  • WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair VS Ruby Riott; Charlotte wins and retains the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship.
  • WWE Championship Six Pack Challenge: AJ Styles VS John Cena VS Kevin Owens VS Sami Zayn VS Baron Corbin VS Dolph Ziggler; Styles wins, and will face Shinsuke Nakamura at Wrestlemania 34.

PLAY BY PLAY

The Show-Off will be in the Social Media Lounge!

Use #AskDolph for a chance to get your questions answered ahead of Dolph Ziggler joining the wild Six Pack Challenge for the WWE Championship!

 

Baron Corbin speaks.

“Everybody in the Six Pack Challenge tonight wants the same thing”, and that’s to be the WWE Champion. Well that’s funny, because the Lone Wolf doesn’t care what they want or what the fans want. He only cares about what he wants: Corbin wants to be “The Face of Disappointment”; Corbin wants to be the guy to ruin all their Wrestlemania Moments; and most of all, he wants to point to that Wrestlemania sign so that Dolph Ziggler, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, AJ Styles and John Cena remember him as the guy who took their dreams and turned them into nightmares. Will Corbin live his dream of ruining everyone else’s tonight?

 

Backstage interview with The New Day.

They’re ready to share pancakes with Charly, but she asks them their mind-set for tonight’s match. The Usos have said the New Day are soft and stale, but the New Day don’t care about what the Usos say. There is no team that embodies the E of WWE. People work multiple jobs just to come to these shows for entertainment. And no team entertains in or out of the ring better than The New Day! Usos say New Day is soft, stale, and stuck in the past, but then tell us how the New Day became four time tag team champions in a fraction of the time it took the Usos to become relevant?

Furthermore, the Usos became relevant off the hard work the New Day put in! Usos want to talk about #DownSinceDayOne, but that bond wasn’t their choice. The New Day chose to be brothers, to be Wrestlemania hosts, to be history-making tag team champions and to put the Tag Team Division back in the spotlight! Tonight, the New Day choose to leave the Usos laying while they become five time WWE tag team champions! And here, a pancake for the road. The New Day is fired up, but will they keep that flame burning or will the Usos put it out?

 

Sunil Singh and Jinder Mahal join the Kickoff Panel.

“The Modern Day Maharrrrrraja” says hello to everyone, but points out that he, “the Uncrowned United States Champion”, was left out of review packages. He stood tall over both Orton and Roode in recent weeks, so why is he not part of the match as a triple threat? The fans believe it’s because “Jinder Sucks!” This disrespect from the WWE Universe and SmackDown management is insulting, especially given Mahal being forced into a double header to try and become champion. Mahal has had a great year aside from this, such as not being on the SmackDown Top Ten List.

But that aside, Mahal brings up Roode as an “egotistical mania” and a “liar”! He wants to be the true United States Champion. Who does he want to face, then? It won’t matter! Mahal has gotten the best of them both! He will watch this match closely somehow, will he like what he sees when it’s all over?

 

The Social Media Lounge brings Dolph Ziggler his questions.

The Show-Off has a busy night ahead of him, but he feels like a million bucks. He’s waited for even a shred of a chance of main-eventing Wrestlemania as a world champion. Does he regret giving up the US Championship? No, not at all. At a certain point, you reach milestones, and sometimes those titles don’t mean what they should. Ziggler brings up “King” Booker T and his peasants, but Ziggler has just flat out stopped caring what the WWE Universe wants. He’s proven himself time and again, and he’s “got bigger fish to fry” tonight. In that case, are his best days behind him? No! Ziggler’s never been hurt, he’s always here, because he wants to prove how great he is, without giving a damn about what people think. Booker T likes what he hears!

Time for questions: “Do you thnik this might be your last chance at the WWE Championship?” Maybe. Every day could be the last chance to prove his legacy. Every live event, every SmackDown, even this Wrestlemania, could be his last. Can the Show-Off show the world that he isn’t done yet?

 

Kickoff Match, Six Man Tag: Tye Dillinger & Breezango VS Mojo Rawley, Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable!

The Perfect Ten teams up with The Fashion Police to show #MojoRising and “American Alpha 2” aren’t #ReadyWillingAndGable to keep them down! Can he, Prince Pretty & WWE’s Lord of the Dance gain some ground in the SmackDown Singles and Tag Team Divisions?

The bell rings and Gable starts with Breeze. Gable baits Breeze in and catches him, to throw him back out. He tells Breeze, “You’re a joke!” while Fandango tags in. Fandango has Tye get him his wrestling head gear! The fans love how “serious” Fandango is taking this match. He ties up with Gable but Gable gets a waistlock and slam. Fandango takes off the head gear and tags out to Breeze. Gable gives Breeze an advantage, and dares the “moron” to do something. So Breeze says “giddy-up”!

Gable gets up and swings, but Breeze dropkicks back. Benjamin comes in but gets a dropkick. Mojo comes in, Fandango hits him with an atomic drop and Tye hits a dropkick of his own. Breeze goes after Gable, but Gable evades to monkey flip Breeze out and onto his face!

Control goes to Gable’s team while we go to break.

WWE Fastlane returns, and Benjamin has control of Breeze as he arm-drags and knee drops. Benjamin drags Breeze around into an armlock with chinbar, but the fans rally for Breeze. Breeze fights his way up and reaches for his corner. Benjamin reels Breeze in for an armbar DDT, cover, TWO. Benjamin tags to Gable, and they both lift Breeze for double knees, kicks and more knees. Cover, TWO, but Gable puts Breeze back in an armlock. Breeze endures and fans rally again. Prince Pretty gets up and reaches again, but Gable wrenches and reels him into an overhead belly2belly! Cover but Fandango breaks it, so Gable tags to Mojo.

Mr. Killer Instinct stalks Breeze, then gives him a swift jab. The fans taunt, “You Can’t Wrestle!” but Mojo ignores it to headbutt Breeze. Mojo says he doesn’t care about being a wrestling wrestler, and then carries Breeze into his team’s corner. He rams shoulder after shoulder then throws Breeze to the mat. Mojo stares Tye down and then points to laugh, before giving Fandango a sucker punch! Breeze revives and enziguris Mojo down! The fans rally while both men crawl, hot tags to Tye and Gable!

The Perfect Ten rallies! He sees Mojo coming and knocks him down, then gives Gable a running chop. Gable reverses the whip but Tye runs him over! The fans chant, “TEN! TEN!” and Tye lifts Gable. Benjamin saves Gable but Fandango takes out Benjamin. Gable reverses another whip and rolls Tye up, TWO! He comes right back with the rolling kick! Tag to Benjamin, Benjamin drags Tye up while Gable climbs up. Powerbomb lift but Tye fights out. Gable jumps into the Beauty Shot! Tye dumps Benjamin out for Fandango to take care of. Mojo rolls up Tye, TWO! SUPERKICK! Then, short Tie Breaker! Cover, Tye & Breezango win! Will this help them finally return to SmackDown television?

 

The Race to Wrestlemania is on.

There’s only so much time left before we reach The Grandest Stage of Them All, so every championship SmackDown has is on the line to see who earns a spot. The Road to Wrestlemania narrows, who will get through this high-speed collision course?!

 

Shinsuke Nakamura VS Rusev w/ Aiden English!

The King of Strong Style already has his spot at Wrestlemania thanks to winning the Royal Rumble. However, the Bulgarian Lion wishes to get payback for his friend, the Drama King. Can “Rusev Daaaaaay~” ruin the Rockstar’s ride down to New Orleans? Or will a new holiday emerge to change the WWE calendar?

The bell rings and Rusev circles with Nakamura while the fans duel with “Rusev Day!” “Nakamura!” Nakamura and Rusev feel it out, and Nakamura lunges in. Rusev blocks and floats to a waistlock to then throw Nakamura down. Cover, ONE, but Rusev gets hold of a facelock. Short fireman’s carry and cover, TWO, and now Nakamura gets a waistlock. Nakamura keeps Rusev from ropes, but Rusev reverses into a wristlock. Rusev digs an elbow into the armlock, then wrenches again. He reels Nakamura into a headlock but Nakamura powers out, only for Rusev to run him over. Rusev speeds things up but narrowly avoids a kick from Nakamura. He then runs out but into Nakamura’s block, flip and knee. Nakamura snapmares and knee drops, cover, ONE.

Nakamura brings Rusev up and wrenches his arm. Rusev knees low and rocks Nakamura with a haymaker. The fans keep dueling, and Rusev goes after Nakamura’s arm. He gives a quick shoulder breaker before wrenching the arm again. Nakamura rolls and cartwheels to reverse the hold. He gets a headlock but Rusev powers Nakamura to ropes. The ref calls for the break, but Rusev swings on Nakamura. Nakamura evades, and then says, “C’MON!”

Rusev doesn’t fall for it, he rolls out of the ring. He regroups with English to cool things off, but Nakamura still says “C’MON!” Rusev brushes it off, grinning as he paces. Nakamura dares Rusev to get in while the referee counts, but Rusev takes his time. He does reenter, to then exit again.

Nakamura gets fed up with that, and goes right after Rusev! He strikes, then puts Rusev on the apron for a big knee lift. Then a knee drop! Rusev goes down, and Nakamura puts him back in again. The fans keep dueling while Nakamura climbs up, but Rusev catches him with a full body attack! Rusev keeps on Nakamura by whipping him into barriers, then ramming him into the apron edge. He rams Nakamura into more barriers, then puts him back in the ring. Cover, TWO! Rusev keeps his cool as he stalks Nakamura. He stomps Nakamura, then drags him up by his hair into a cobra clutch. Nakamura endures the squeeze, and the fans rally. He fights out of the hold, then rolls Rusev into a heel hook!

Rusev reaches and crawls and gets the ropebreak. Nakamura lets go, but then swings a kick, to end up in a swinging side slam!

Cover, TWO! Rusev hobbles on that bad leg, the heel hook clearly did some damage for the short time it was on. Rusev glares at Nakamura before dropping running elbows. He slows down because of the bad ankle, but fans keep dueling. Rusev puts Nakamura into a half straitjacket hold. Fans rally and Nakamura gets up and fights out. Rusev knees low and backs Nakamura down, then whips to ropes. Nakamura evades, dynamic dropkick! Nakamura stands up and starts kicking away at Rusev’s chest. Rusev blocks one but not the other, and staggers to a corner. Nakamura runs in corner to corner for a knee, then lifts Rusev onto the ropes for the Top Shelf Knee! Cover, TWO!

Nakamura doesn’t slow down, he just rams knees into Rusev’s ribs. He drags Rusev up with a facelock, even a guillotine, but Rusev picks him up, only for that bad leg to bring him back down. Rusev tries again, but the leg keeps him down. Nakamura keeps squeezing, but Rusev uses what power he has to lift Nakamura for a Fall Away Slam! Rusev gasps for air, recovering while Nakamura is stirring. Rusev stands up first but Nakamura unleashes the strike fest! Nakamura runs, but into a pop-up knee to roundhouse! Cover, TWO! Rusev can’t believe it! He keeps gasping for air while Nakamura has eyes glazed over.

Rusev glares at Nakamura and stomps about to prepare himself. He throws in a kick but Nakamura rocks Rusev with more strikes. Rusev kicks back, kicking Nakamura’s legs, but Nakamura knees Rusev down for an ax kick! Nakamura takes aim, firing up for his finish, and runs in only for Rusev to side step him. Rusev then rolls Nakamura, TWO, into the Accolade! But Nakamura resists and reverses to a Sunset Flip, TWO! Nakamura swings a kick, Rusev ducks, but that second kick catches Rusev on the back end! Nakamura returns to a corner and takes aim. He runs out, but into a MACHKA KICK!!

Rusev is slow to a cover, and arrogant at that, TWO! And now Rusev is doubting himself. English and the fans chant “Rusev Day!” to encourage him. He says “MACHAK!” and goes for another Accolade, but Nakamura slips out to KINSHASA Rusev in the back of the head! Nakamura isn’t done there, he gives Rusev a KINSHASA to the front!

Cover, Nakamura wins! The King of Strong Style conquers the Bulgarian Brute, can he do the same to whoever he faces at Wrestlemania?

 

WWE United States Championship: Bobby Roode VS Randy Orton!

Regardless of what anyone thinks, or what Jinder Mahal says, this isn’t personal between The Viper and The GLORIOUS One. Roode wants to become the greatest WWE United States Champion ever, while Orton wants to check it off to finally become a WWE Grand Slam Champion. Who will take a step towards history with a victory here tonight?

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The belt is raised, the bell rings, and we begin! Orton and Roode circle then tie up, Roode gets the waistlock. Orton gets the standing switch but Roode works his way out of the hold. Roode goes after the wrist, wrenches the arm and yanks on the shoulder. Orton drops to a knee, but stands back up to drop toehold Roode down. He puts Roode in the front facelock but Roode spins out, the fans applaud this momentary stalemate.

Roode and Orton tie up again, Orton gets the headlock. Roode powers out but Orton runs him over, then poses. Orton speeds things up but now Roode runs him over, and Orton gets to a corner. Roode stares Orton down from across the way before circling again. They tie up, Roode gets a headlock, but Orton powers out again. Roode runs Orton over and hits HIS pose. Now Roode speeds things up, Orton back elbows Roode down. Orton watches Roode get to a corner, and stares him down now. The fans chant “RKO! RKO!” for the Viper, but Roode just grins before tying up again.

Orton puts on another headlock, Roode powers him to a corner. Orton gives a European Uppercut in the break, but Roode chops him back. Roode checks his jaw before whipping Orton corner to corner. Orton comes out, evades and goes for the RKO but Roode narrowly avoids it. Roode catches his breath on the outside while Orton brushes off the chop. The ref begins a count but Roode comes in, Orton allowing him. Fans start dueling while they tie up again. Roode gets the headlock but Orton powers him to a corner now. The break is tense again, Roode catches Orton with a chop. Orton hits another EuroUpper then whips Roode corner to corner. Roode goes up and over and goes for the DDT, but Orton narrowly escapes now. Orton composes himself while Roode grins and fires up.

Jinder Mahal watches this backstage, and is apparently dressed to compete.

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Mahal shakes his head while Orton walks back into the ring. Roode allows it, then they tie up again. They push each other at the ropes, going back and forth, but Orton ends up on the inside. The break isn’t clean as Orton kicks low and then hangs Roode up on that top rope. Cover, ONE, but Orton isn’t frustrated. Orton stalks Roode, stomping away as only Orton can. He drags Roode up to kick him in the ribs. Roode gets to a corner, and Orton gives him a haymaker. Orton whips corner to corner but Roode fires out with a lariat. Cover, ONE, and Roode takes a moment to catch his breath while Orton checks his shoulder. Roode stomps that hand, and a knee drop. Cover, TWO, but Roode keeps on Orton with a chinlock.

Orton endures, the fans rally, and Orton stands up. Roode keeps on him, shifting position to bring Orton back to his knees. Orton tries again, and fights out with body shots. Roode kicks back, then drags Orton up for a suplex. Orton blocks, and counters with his own suplex! Both Orton and Roode need a moment to catch their breath. Orton stalks Roode but Roode swings first, only to be countered with right hands. Roode evades and rallies with clotheslines! He gives on in the corner, then brings Orton out for a neckbreaker. Roode climbs up while Orton is down, takes aim at him, and hits a flying clothesline! Orton goes down again, and Roode fires up. He winds it up, and GLORIOUS Pose!

Roode grabs Orton, but Orton rolls, TWO! Now Orton rallies with clotheslines of his own, and evades Roode to hit the spinning powerslam!

Roode rolls to the apron but Orton knows what to do with this. The fans cheer while Orton drags Roode between the ropes. Orton has Roode but Roode throws Orton to the apron. Roode turns around but into a hotshot! Orton slithers in but runs into boots. Roode hops up again, GLORIOUS Blockbuster!

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Cover, TWO! Roode keeps his cool while Orton gets himself to a corner. Roode chops Orton again, then whips corner to corner. Orton reverses but ROode goes up, only to be caught and put on the apron. Roode hits back but his shoulder is caught with a kick, then the Draping DDT! Fans cheer for it, and Orton hears the voices in his head. Orton stalks Roode, but Roode avoids another one. He kicks low, but Orton counters the DDT and sits on the sunset, TWO! Roode staggers but evades to clothesline Orton out of the ring. Roode catches his breath while Orton crawls on the ground. He then rolls out to stalk Orton. They go around the corner, and Roode whips Orton at the time keeper’s area, only for Orton to reverse and send him into those barriers! Then, ORton lifts Roode to back suplex him onto those barriers!

Roode writhes on the ground while the count reaches 7. Orton puts Roode in at 8, covers, TWO! Orton keeps his cool as he stands back up. He stalks Roode now, and drags him over to a corner. Orton hoists Roode up to the top then gives him right hands. He climbs up to join Roode, and prepares, but Roode resists. Roode tries to pry Orton off, and clubs him back. Roode has a plan, and adjusts, sunset flip and powerbomb! Cover, TWO! Roode slumps over, tiring out from this fight. He drags himself up and thinks on what he has to do to win. Roode gets himself back over to a corner and climbs back up top. Orton revives and trips him up! Orton climbs up again, and with a weakened Roode, he hits the top rope SUPERPLEX!

The impact was so strong, Orton can’t crawl to the cover right away. He makes it over to Roode, covers, TWO! Now Orton feels frustration over falling short of putting his opponent away. They both stand up and start throwing haymakers. Roode kicks, Orton kicks, Roode punches and Orton staggers. Orton comes back with a kick to the ribs but Roode punches back. Orton hits a EuroUpper, and another, but the third is countered to a backslide, TWO! Roode goes for the DDT, Orton slips out but the RKO is denied, GLORIOUS SPINEBUSTER! TWO! Roode is again at a loss for what to do. He sits, head in hands, as he thinks everything over.

Roode eyes the Wrestlemania sign, and stands up. He wont’ let Orton deny him, and grabs a waistlock. Orton elbows Roode back and Roode staggers to a corner. Orton runs in but into more boots. Roode hops up and jumps, but into the RKO!!

Cover, Orton wins! The Viper is the NEW United States and Grand Slam Champion!

Orton makes history, but he doesn’t celebrate long as Jinder Mahal comes out to the ring.

The Maharaja glares at The Viper, and the “Uncrowned United States Champion” storms right up to the ring. Mahal steps into the ring with Orton, and attacks the exhausted champion. However, Roode slides back in and hits Mahal with a GLORIOUS DDT!

The former champion then grabs the new champion, to give him a GLORIOUS DDT, too!

Roode’s mission of becoming the greatest United States Champion may be put on hold, but can he regain the gold when he has a rematch with Orton on the homestretch to Wrestlemania?

 

Sami Zayn finds Kevin Owens backstage.

Kevin is not in the mood to talk to Sami, or is Sami here to lie to him again? What is Kevin talking about? Sami knows what Kevin is talking about! Sami promises to lie down for Kevin in the main event but then Helluva Kicks him on SmackDown?! Yes, Sami did that, because he meant laying down in the championship match. Who cares about SmackDown? This is tonight, this is still Sami “your Guardian Angel.” Count on Sami to- Kevin leaves, not hearing Sami finish. Will Sami still keep his word? Or will Kevin get him before he gets Kevin?

 

Naomi & Becky Lynch VS Natalya & Carmella!

A war of words on social media led to a SmackDown singles match. Then a war of words backstage led to this tag team match! Which duo will down the other to step up towards the top of the SmackDown Women’s Division?

The Lass Kicker starts with the FABULOUS Ms. Money in the Bank. They tie up, pushing each other to ropes. Becky brings Carmella off the ropes and rolls her up, TWO, but Becky says it was close. Carmella shoves Becky, Becky shoves back. Carmella goes to slap but almost ends up in the Disarm-Her! She gets to ropes and screams for the break, to then sucker kick Becky. Natty tags in, and the Queen of Harts kicks Becky low before hitting a snap suplex. She walks on Becky and taunts Naomi but Becky rolls her up, TWO.

Becky arm-drags Natty, then brings her over to tag in Naomi. Double snapmare leads to double kicks, then Naomi hits the sliding slap! Cover, TWO, but Naomi keeps on Natty with a chinlock. Natty fights out and shoves Naomi, so Naomi kicks back. Naomi dodges a swing and headscissors Natty down! Natty ends up in a corner but dodges Naomi for the rebound sit-down and runs, but Naomi counters with a wheelbarrow stunner! She then drags Natty into position, hops up but Carmella distracts. Natty uses that to get Naomi with a sit-out powerbomb! Cover, TWO! Natty embraces the heat as she poses and taunts. Cover again, TWO, so Natty drags Naomi over to her corner. Carmella tags in, they both throw Naomi down by her hair, then split the wishbone.

Carmella keeps on Naomi and bumps her off her boot to then stomp a Fabulous Mudhole. She moonwalks away, then hits the Fabulous Bronco Buster! Cover, TWO, so Carmella grinds Naomi’s face into the mat. She drives elbows into Naomi before thrashing her in a chinlock. Carmella mocks the glow while fans rally for Naomi. Naomi gets up and fights back with wild body shots. Carmella slips out of the scoop to then yank Naomi down by her hair! She brings Naomi back over by her hair to tag in Natty. Natty brings Naomi up and snapmares into another chinlock. Natty taunts the Naomi fans but Naomi endurse while fans rally again. Naomi fights up and arm-drags out, but jumps for a tag only for Natty to carry her all the way back.

Tag to Carmella, and Carmella puts Naomi in a hanging headscissor hold! Carmella lets go at 4, then uses Naomi’s hair to pull her against the ropes! Naomi slaps Carmella, Carmella slaps her back, and then clubs away with forearms. She leaves Naomi on the apron to knee her back, covers, TWO. Tag to Natty, and Carmella whips but Naomi reverses to tackle Carmella into the corner! Natty comes in and pulls Naomi away, but Naomi escapes the back suplex to tag Becky! Becky rallies on Natty with clotheslines and a calf kick. She kicks and throws Natty with a Becksploder!

Natty ends up in a corner, and Becky takes aim. Becky runs for the Straight Fire-arm, but Natty puts her on the apron. Becky knocks Natty away then climbs up, and jump for the missile dropkick! Natty tags Carmella but Becky keeps rallying even on Ms. MITB. Carmella jawbreakers, Naomi tags in to roundhouse and sunset flip, TWO! Naomi whips but Carmella avoids Rear View. Carmella whips but Naomi tags while springboarding for the roundhouse. Becky climbs up again, and hits a super leg drop! Cover, Natty breaks it!

Naomi comes back in but Natty throws her out the other side. Becky throws Natty out, but Carmella evades in the corner. Becky back elbows and climbs up again, booting Carmella down. Natty distracts, allowing Carmella to hit the FABULOUS Steiner! Cover, Naomi breaks it just in time. Carmella gives Naomi a sucker punch, then hurries to get her briefcase! Becky intercepts, but still runs into a FABULOUS Kick!

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Cover, Carmella & Natty win! Teamwork and deception win out, but will Carmella have the confidence to cash-in tonight?

 

WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship: The Usos VS The New Day!

As if the amazing back and forth between these two teams during 2017 wasn’t enough, they go one more time in 2018! Can Jimmy & Jey finally earn a spot on Wrestlemania’s star-studded stage? Or will the Power of Positivity finally break out of the Penitentiary to prove why they’re the greatest in WWE now, then and forever?

The belts are raised and Jimmy starts with Xavier Woods. They trash talk, pointing to the Wrestlemania sign. Things get heated, and Woods throws the first punch. The brawl goes back and forth, Jimmy rocking with an uppercut. Woods whips but Jey tags in, then waits until Woods isn’t looking to slip in and SUPERKICK Woods down!

The Usos isolate Woods to stomp a mudhole into him in their corner, tagging in and out a la the New Day’s stampede. They even stomp to “New! Day Rocks!” rhythm. Tag back to Jey, and Jimmy holds Woods in for Jey to forearm smash. Cover, TWO, but Jey keeps on Woods with a chinlock. Woods endures the squeeze and fans rally for him. He gets to his feet and arm-drags out, then slides under to tag in Kofi! Springboard clothesline and Kofi rallies with double ax handles. He dropkicks Jey down, then Jimmy, then hits a jumping clothesline on Jey. Kofi runs, “New Day!” boom drop! He gets the fans going as he takes aim at Jey, but Jey blocks Trouble in Paradise. Kofi escapes the back suplex but not the dragon whip kick.

Tag to Jimmy, and Jey runs in only for Kofi to stomp him down. Kofi clotheslines Jimmy back out, not realizing he’s legal. Kofi sees Jey, and decides to copy the running hip attack! It connects!

But then Jimmy returns to run Kofi over! Mule kick to uppercut, Woods comes in but gets the pop-up Samoan Drop! Jimmy dodges Kofi to clothesline him back, and steal the Boom Drop! Jimmy then copies the New Day clap, and takes aim at Kofi, for a chance to steal Trouble in Paradise! Kofi ducks under, tries his own, but Jimmy dodges that to tag Jey. Jimmy scoops Kofi, Jey climbs up, and they steal the Midnight Hour!!

Jey hurries to cover, TWO!! Kofi survives his own team finisher, but Jey keeps eyes on him. He runs in corner to corner, but Kofi dodges the splash! Jey and Kofi are down, Woods is back on his corner. Kofi crawls over but Jey anchors his feet. Kofi kicks Jey away and tags Woods! Woods dodges Jey to knock Jimmy down, Jey rolls up, TWO. They speed up, SUPERKICK but Woods still hits the roaring elbow! SUPERKICK from Woods to Jey, Kofi swing kicks Jimmy and Woods SUPERKICKS again! Another SUPERKICK to Jey, and Kofi tags in. Kofi climbs up, takes aim, and Woods hits another SUPERKICK, then launches for the Uce Splash!!

He hits, he covers, TWO!! The New Day can’t believe it! They stole the Usos’ moves but it didn’t finish them off, either! Kofi tags Woods back in, and the two go to opposite corners. They’re preparing to steal another move, but Jimmy shoves Kofi down. Woods runs in but is sent out, and Jimmy gets his brother back up. The Usos build speed together, and they both FLY!

The Usos wipe out all of the New Day! All five men are down on the outside, when the Bludgeon Brothers appear!

The menacing Harper & Rowan head down to the ring, armed with their hammers. Big E gets up first, and gets knocked down first! The match is thrown out but the Bludgeon Brothers keep going, beating up each Uso and then Kofi and Woods! Kofi is sent flying into a post, and Jey is sent into stairs. Jimmy is fed to the Scrapbuster!

Big E is brought into the ring, as is Woods. Rowan puts Woods on the apron, for a double boot sandwich!

That’s not all for Woods, he suffers a double draping suplex! Then Harper & Rowan turn their attention to Big E in the corner. Harper rams Big E while Rowan throws Kofi, then Harper throws Big E out so Rowan can come around and run him over! The Bludgeon Brothers return their attention to the Usos, taking one each for the powerslam sandwich! They stack the Usos, then Harper becomes a weapon for the scoop slam senton. Rowan tops it off with the big body splash, but they’re still not done!

Harper sits Jey up against steps, and then they get the hammers. Rowan swings, but Jey narrowly avoids the hit! However, Harper just body checks Jey into the crowd! The Bludgeon Brothers start to leave, but then decide they’re not done with Woods yet. Harper sets up steel steps and Rowan brings Woods over, for a powerbomb to the steps!!

The Bludgeon Brothers finally leave, having completely annihilated the SmackDown Tag Team title scene. Who will even be left standing to claim those titles with Harper & Rowan around?

 

Backstage interview with AJ Styles.

The Phenomenal One has the odds stacked against him. What does that do his confidence? He’s been talking about the odds for weeks now, and compared to other WWE Champions, this is probably the hardest any champion has worked to get to Wrestlemania. But Styles has a smile on his face because he’s done this his entire life. Styles did the impossible and made it phenomenal. His Wrestlemania Moment starts tonight. Styles has beaten all of the men in this match tonight 1v1, so– Shinsuke Nakamura appears!

Nakamura wishes Styles good luck. Nakamura wants Styles to win so that at Wrestlemania- Just stop, Shinsuke! Styles will make it to Wrestlemania to defend the title and it’ll be Nakamura who gets beat! Nakamura seems to like the sound of that. Will both Nakamura and Styles get what they want on the Grandest Stage of Them All?

 

WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair VS Ruby Riott!

The Squad leader and the Queen of Flair are each 2-0 on the other’s allies, and now one will get the clean sweep along with the title. Who will win to take the SmackDown Women’s Championship all the way to Wrestlemania?

The belt is raised, the bell rings, and it begins. Ruby gets the waistlock and wristlock, wanting her finish! Charlotte narrowly avoids that, and they circle again. Ruby gets the headlock and takeover but narrowly avoids the Figure Four. They circle again as “WOO!” echoes out with the fans. They tie up, Charlotte reversing a wristlock but Ruby grabbing hair. Charlotte gets to ropes and Ruby lets go, only to kick the rope to jack the jaw! Ruby puts on a headlock, Charlotte powers out, then catches Ruby for a Fall Away Slam!

Charlotte runs in but Ruby boots her away. Ruby hops up but Charlotte runs in again, only for Ruby to turn that into a sleeper. Charlotte bumps her off buckles but Ruby holds on, so they tumble to the apron and the floor! They both stand up but Charlotte rams Ruby into barriers. She then throws Ruby back into them, and then into the ring. Charlotte then spots someone creeping up behind, it’s Sarah Logan AND Liv Morgan!

The Squad has assembled, but Ruby is the one to strike with a sucker kick to the back of Charlotte’s head! Ruby puts Charlotte back in the ring, and hits the Riott Kick! Charlotte goes down, Ruby covers, TWO!? Ruby’s best move didn’t finish Charlotte? Ruby drags Charlotte up and dumps her out, then claims something got in her eye. This allows Sarah & Liv to slink around to where Charlotte is, but Naomi & Becky appear to back them off.

The Squad can’t do anything now that #RoyalGlowFire is all together. Ruby puts Charlotte in the ring and rains down rights to make up for that. The Squad cheers while the fans jeer, but Ruby hits Charlotte with a snap suplex. She rolls through to try another but Charlotte counters with a slingshot suplex! Ruby crawls away, Charlotte runs in but into a mule kick. Ruby uses Deadly Nightshade to ram Charlotte into buckles! She dumps Charlotte down again, then climbs up to fall back for the stage dive senton. Cover, TWO, but the Squad taunts Charlotte. Ruby drags Charlotte up and bounces her off the mat a couple times. The Squad applauds as Ruby drags Charlotte up into a straitjacket hold. Especially when Ruby adds her knees into it.

Charlotte endures the bending and stretching but fans are rallying for The Queen. Charlotte works her way back up to her feet, but Ruby bends her all the way back! Ruby gets on top of Charlotte, and makes her look at her friends. Ruby says “They’re gonna see you fail!” as she thrashes Charlotte around. The fans keep rallying, and Charlotte feeds off the energy to get up. Ruby reels her out for an STO! Cover, TWO, and Ruby grows frustrated. She stomps on Charlotte before going to a corner and climb up again. She cannonballs but gets knees to her back! Charlotte evades but Ruby puts up boots, only to end up in a draping neckbreaker! She doesn’t cover, she climbs over and up, but Ruby shoves her down! Charlotte hits barriers! Charlotte stirs with the ring count, so Ruby runs and DIVES! But she’s caught, into an exploder!

Ruby hits barriers, and Charlotte climbs up to then MOONSAULT on Ruby! Charlotte drags Ruby up and in, then covers, TWO! Charlotte tackles Ruby into the takedown but Ruby pushes her away. Ruby stands up, but Charlotte leaps for a big knee strike! Ruby staggers, Charlotte runs in, but misses and hits buckles. She still boots Ruby away, then climbs up, but Ruby rocks her with a forearm. Ruby climbs up, slapping Charlotte on the way, and hits a SUPER STEINER! Cover, TWO! And Ruby can’t believe it! She grimaces as she thinks of what to do next.

Ruby brings Charlotte up to give her chops! But Charlotte only grows stronger, and slaps Ruby back before giving her those Flair chops! Chop after chop after chop, then even more chops! Charlotte whips but Ruby holds ropes, only to end up in a backbreaker and shot into the ropes. Ruby gasps but kicks Charlotte back to push Charlotte into buckles! Then the Squad slink in to provoke Becky & Naomi! The referee catches Becky & Naomi, and ejects them! The Squad goes after Charlotte behind his back! But then the referee suspects something, and decides to eject Sarah & Liv! Now it’s back to just champion and challenger, as it was meant to be!

Ruby protests, but doesn’t see Charlotte returning. Charlotte chops, then back suplex, then boots! She’s not done, she puts on the Figure Four, but Ruby counters with a small package! TWO! Ruby wants another Riott Kick but Charlotte reverses to whip Ruby. Ruby goes up, but no Deadly Nightshade this time. Charlotte swings Ruby out then in for an inverted Alabama Slam on buckles!

Charlotte catches her breath as Ruby staggers and flounders in the corner. Ruby staggers out, Charlotte runs in, SPEAR! Then, Figure Four to Figure Eight!

Ruby taps, Charlotte wins! The Queen retains the SmackDown Women’s Championship! She gets the 3-0 sweep to keep her throne as the top woman on the Blue Brand!

Wait a minute, Asuka’s here?!

Raw’s Empress of Tomorrow is here on a SmackDown Pay-Per-View?! And she enters the ring to be face-to-face with Charlotte! Asuka did win the inaugural Women’s Royal Rumble match, and has yet to state which title she wants, so is this her way of challenging Charlotte? She has a huge grin on her face, and the fans are chanting “YES! YES!” Asuka then points at the Wrestlemania sign, that pretty much clears it up! If nobody is ready for Asuka, will Charlotte be ready for her in time for Wrestlemania?!

 

SmackDown Commissioner, Shane McMahon, appears!

Shane O’Mac is here to watch this important and incredible main event that he essentially had a hand in creating.

 

 

WWE Championship Six Pack Challenge: AJ Styles VS John Cena VS Kevin Owens VS Sami Zayn VS Baron Corbin VS Dolph Ziggler!

What was a triple threat eventually spiraled into a Fatal 5, and then finally slammed into this star-studded six man one-fall match when the Face that Runs the Place desperately wanted a Road to Wrestlemania! Whether it is John Cena making history as a 17-time world champion, the Phenomenal One keeping his Wrestlemania Dream (Re)Match alive, or one of the other four shocking the world, only one man can face the King of Strong Style on the Grandest Stage of Them All!

The tension mounts, the bell rings, and Sami runs right at Cena only to end up in an AA! Kevin tries, but he runs into an AA! Corbin tries, gets an AA! Ziggler, into an AA! Styles fakes Cena out, not letting Cena complete the set. The fans are fired up seeing this amazing match-up once again.

Cena and Styles circle, but the dueling chants are thunderous. They tie up, Cena gets the headlock, Styles powers out. Cena runs Styles over, and embraces the cheers, jeers and boos. Styles springs up to hit back, but Cena gives his own haymakers. They go back and forth, “Yay!” for Styles and “Boo!” for Cena. Styles misses, Cena gets the fireman’s, but Styles lands out of the AA to kick and go for the Clash. Cena counters into the fireman’s carry, but Styles slips out to the apron. Styles backs Cena off, but then everyone else returns. From Styles to Kevin to Sami to Ziggler and Corbin, they all eye Cena.

Cena realizes the situation he’s in, and so do the fans. They chant “YES! YES!” and Cena ends up in a 5v1 beating! He takes punches, stomps and kicks, then is thrown right out of the ring. That leaves the other five to brawl as they see fit! Kevin throws Styles out while Ziggler and Corbin force Sami out, but the brawls continue even on the outside. Styles rocks Kevin, but Corbin pounces on Styles! Ziggler puts Sami into barriers while Corbin does the same to Styles, then Corbin rocks Kevin with a forearm. Sami fights back on Ziggler while Corbin puts Styles in the ring. Kevin hits Corbin, Corbin bowls Kevin into barriers.

Corbin returns in the ring and Styles rolls him up, TWO! Styles dumps Corbin out, but then Sami grabs Styles. Standing switch and roll up, TWO, so Styles throws Sami out. Kevin comes in, whips but Styles reverses the pop-up into a roll-up, TWO. Styles hits Kevin with a wheelbarrow facebuster! Corbin returns but Styles kicks him to sliding forearm him down. Ziggler in, gets an Ushigoroshi! Sami runs in but into Styles’ boot. Styles hops up, moonsault DDT! Kevin breaks the cover, saving both “friend” and match. Sami slips out, leaving Kevin alone with Styles.

Styles puts Kevin on the apron but Kevin hits back. Kevin climbs up, but Styles revives to stop him short. They brawl while Styles climbs up, and Styles wants the superplex. Kevin resists, hits back and sends Styles down. Corbin returns to throw Styles out but Sami boots Corbin, for Corbin to boot back. Cena returns and runs Corbin over! Ziggler in, and hits Cena with the satellite DDT! But then Kevin frog splashes on Ziggler!

Styles breaks the cover just in time, and all six men are down. Kevin and Styles are the first up, the fans dueling again. Styles and Kevin brawl back and forth, a revisit from the US Championship rivalry. Styles unleashes a strike fest, Kevin breaks the combo with a right hand, but Styles hits the Pele! He hurries to bring Kevin into the Clash but Kevin sends Styles up and out. Corbin returns, but runs into a back elbow. He still grabs Kevin by the throat, for a Choke Slam Backbreaker! Ziggler in with the Zig-Zag!

But Cena’s back, and runs Ziggler over with the signature shoulder tackles. Cena hits Ziggler with the spin-out bomb, but he sees Sami coming in, so he uses another spin-out bomb to set Sami right beside Ziggler. Deja vu to Elimination Chamber, “You Can’t See Me!” and TEN Knuckle Shuffle! Cena targets Ziggler, fireman’s carry, but Ziggler counters with a Famouser!

Cover, TWO! Ziggler is frustrated, but stands up and stalks Cena. He tunes up the band a la HBK, and Cena stands, but dodges! Takedown, into the STF! Ziggler flails and reaches, but Styles returns to break up the hold. Cena staggers up, Styles grabs him in the Clash, but Cena counters with a fireman’s carry, only for Styles to counter back! STYLES CLASH!!

Cover, but Sami breaks it just in time! Sami rains rights down on Styles, then lefts, going wild on Styles. Corbin comes back in while fans declare “This is Awesome!” and brawls with Sami. Sami gets the edge but Corbin knees low to throw Sami out. Sami shoulders back in and bumps Corbin off buckles, only for Corbin to uppercut him out of his slingshot! Corbin runs at Kevin, but slides out then in to lariat Kevin! Styles returns, but runs into a deep Deep Six! Ziggler returns, but his satellite is thrown off, for End of- No, Ziggler slips out! Corbin runs at him, but Ziggler side steps to send Corbin out. Corbin lands on his feet and drags Ziggler out to toss him over barriers. The Lone Wolf pursues the Show-Off, ramming him into more barriers. Then Corbin barrels into Ziggler, busting him through the Plexiglas hockey boards!

Ziggler and Corbin are down and out, leaving things to Kevin, Styles, Sami and Cena. Kevin goes after Styles with a boot, then tears apart the American announce table! AND the German announce table! He puts Styles on one, and drags him to his feet. Kevin shouts, “This is MY show! MY title!” But Styles enziguris Kevin! Kevin falls to a knee, then falls to his stomach. Styles clobbers Sami into the time keeper area while Kevin stirs. Cena sees Kevin and the tables, and hurries over! Cena lifts Kevin in the fireman’s carry, but Kevin fights out. Styles runs in, but into the announce desk AA!!

Cena gets Kevin up and into the ring, but Kevin gets to a corner and boots Cena away. Sami clobbers Cena with a clothesline, but Cena ends up out of the ring. This leaves the “best friends” alone in the ring. Everyone is expecting something, and even Kevin expects a fight. But Sami reminds Kevin the promise he made. Sami is a man of his word, so he’s going to do it. The fans want a fight, but Sami lies down!

Kevin isn’t sure if he can trust this, and fans sure don’t want it this way. But Sami says this is Kevin’s chance, so do it! Kevin doesn’t trust Sami, he grabs Sami by the throat, but then Sami counters with a small package! TWO! And then they brawl! That’s what fans want!

The fight spills to the outside, Kevin putting Sami right into barriers. Kevin then brings Sami into bomb position, and lifts Sami up, but Sami saves himself by grabbing ropes. Kevin joins Sami on the apron and tries from there, but Sami resists to back drop Kevin onto the apron. They both fall to the floor, and Shane sits nearby to watch and enjoy it. However, Sami locks eyes on Shane. “Is this what you wanted? Got a good enough seat, Shane?!” Shane stands up to Sami, but Sami continues to accuse the “tough guy” of conspiring to drive the two apart. Sami sees Kevin coming and dodges, the SUPERKICK goes into Shane!

Kevin sees what he just did but isn’t all that bothered by it. Sami then hits Kevin with the daredevil DDT! Sami is enraged while the fans continue to say “This is Awesome!” He drags Kevin up and in, and takes aim from opposite corners. Sami runs but into the SUPERKICK! Ziggler returns, but Kevin bucks the Zig-Zag away to then Pop-Up Powerbomb! Cover, Shane drags the referee out?! Shane screws Kevin all over again! Kevin glares at Shane, but then Sami HELLUVA Kicks! Only for Shane to drag Sami out! Now Shane’s screwed Sami all over again! Ziggler uses this opening to go for a cover, but Sami breaks the cover just in time! Shane backs off to his seat again while Sami, Kevin and Ziggler are all down.

Corbin returns, and runs Cena over with steel steps. Corbin puts the steps into the ring, and takes aim to run Sami over. He aims at Ziggler and runs Ziggler over. Then he hits Kevin. Corbin grins as he sees Cena returning, dazed and wobbly. Corbin runs at Cena, but Cena blocks the steps! Cena kicks Corbin and hits him with the stairs, three times! Cena puts the steps down, and lines it up. Fireman’s carry, AA to the steps!

Cover, but Ziggler barely breaks it in time. Corbin gets away, and Cena feels the frustration. Ziggler crawls to ropes, Cena lifts the steps, and tosses them! Ziggler evades and SUPERKICKS, but Cena back with an AA! Roll through, to another- No, Kevin is back and he hits Cena with the Pop-Up Powerbomb! PHENOMENAL FOREARM OUTTA NOWHERE!! Styles wins!! Styles uses the chaos to his favor to defy the odds and retain the WWE Championship! That keeps the Wrestlemania Moment he and the King of Strong Style both wanted right where it is!

But while Styles basks in Phenomenal glory, Cena wallows in uncertainty. Is there no way for the still only 16-time world champion to make it to Wrestlemania 34?

 

My Thoughts:

There was a lot of confusion and awkwardness in the build to this SmackDown-only PPV, but Fastlane itself did a lot to push that aside and give us great action tonight. They didn’t really give much time to advertise the kickoff’s six man tag, but the match itself was pretty good considering how poorly Tye, Mojo, Breezango & Benjamin-Gable have been used. If anything, that match should be reason enough to give these six to do relevant things in the near future. Opening the main show with Nakamura-Rusev, and in an extended match, was a really good move for everyone. It gives people exposure to Nakamura, it gives fans plenty of Rusev, and therefore gets the show heated up right away.

Though, the opening pace of Roode-Orton kinda killed some of that. It got better by the end but it would’ve been great if they managed some of the energy created by Nakamura-Rusev. Mahal coming out was somewhat telegraphed by the kickoff as well as his backstage viewing, but I thought it would’ve been as interference. Him just calling out Orton was better, actually, especially with Roode ruining Mahal’s attack while also attacking Orton. Many feel the plan is a triple threat for the US Championship, and that can still work with how this was set up at the end. The Women’s Tag was fun, with only a few mishaps, and mostly surprising that Carmella won.

The Smackdown Tag Team title match was full of great surprises, like both teams using the other’s signature moves to try and defeat them. It speaks to how familiar they are with each other after all the matches they’ve had. Then Harper & Rowan showing up to “ruin” the match and brutalize all five of them was incredible. I don’t know why the Wyatt Family wasn’t used like this when it was three (and then four) of them, but given the kayfabe injuries for Xavier Woods and how this has become personal for the Usos and New Day, I imagine another triple threat for SmackDown at Wrestlemania with these three teams.

The SmackDown Women’s Championship match was great. Ruby was able to keep up with Charlotte, and there was some good story with The Squad, Naomi & Becky showing up, to then get banned later. Charlotte winning was expected, but Asuka showing up was not! It’s great to see her going after the champion who would give her the best match, but it did keep Carmella from cashing in. Maybe Carmella will try in the last four weeks we have before Wrestlemania, but maybe she will wait until after.

Then that Six Pack Challenge, that was a really great match. The Fatal 5 from last SmackDown was fun, and this did improve upon it thanks to Cena’s presence. I didn’t expect him to dish out so many AA’s just to start things off. Shane just can’t help himself, though, can he? This speaks a lot to what we’ve heard about the rest of the ‘Mania card, though… Styles VS Nakamura is still happening, so that’s great. Cena’s fate is still undetermined, but that might lead to something really great for him and fans.

My Score: 8.5/10


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

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CURRENT TOUR RECAP

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NEWS

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

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

GHC BELT NEWS

Current champions

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

OTHER NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lets just end this newsletter here until next week.


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

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NJPW G1 Climax 28 cover

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

 

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

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

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

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

PLAY BY PLAY

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

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

 

Tetsuya Naito VS Zack Sabre Jr!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Kenny Omega VS Kota Ibushi!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ibushi speaks.

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

 

Backstage interviews.

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

 


 

My Thoughts:

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

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

My Score: 8.9/10


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Lucha Libre

Joe’s Lucha Libre Weekly: News & Opinions

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CMLL

CMLL Anniversary

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

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

CMLL Friday Show/Future

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

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

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

AAA

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

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

AAA on Twitch 9/21

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

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

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