Alright, that concludes the first round of the New Japan Cup and I think to think it was an enjoyable first round with some great matches and some surprises that some of us didn’t expect. I wanted to cover just the first round matches instead of just doing the four shows with the same tag matches, but I will add some highlights on days that had them, so let’s get to it.
Yujiro Takahashi vs. Juice Robinson
Review: I wish Yujiro used his solo theme more, it just fits him when he’s not used for eating the pinfalls in tag matches. Juice is still growing and proving to be one of the most improved guys on the New Japan roster and how far he’s come. From NXT, being a Young Lion, and to where he is now, just exemplifies hard work.
The match itself was a enjoyable for what it was, both getting some nice offense in their arsenal, some close calls, and had a good finishing sequence. Juice was able to pull a victory after taking a beating from Yujiro near the end and Juice made it clear who he looks to challenge after the match. In a press conference before the cup, he said he would fight Jay White for the United States Heavyweight Championship, but it looks like the belt wasn’t added on what the winner could fight since they still mentioned the other three instead. Juice made it clear that he wants to fight Goto for the NEVER Openweight Championship after having a great bout for it last year, let’s see if Juice can win the cup and get another chance.
Recommended: I like to think it was a great way to start the cup with two underutilized guys on the roster.
Tomohiro Ishii vs. Michael Elgin
Review: This is the one that has surprised me, and I will get to that near the end.Michael Elgin has had no luck lately with not getting as many opportunities as when he first joined NJPW. So being placed on the back burner of the roster, so he needed to prove himself, and the cup is a way to do it if he plans to win. Ishii is another work horse that has been putting on quality matches all year round just to make the fans happy. With his match quality and being CHAOS’ gatekeeper to prove if their worthy of fighting Okada, or if they have what it takes to be in New Japan.
The match was hard hitting and exciting despite some stuff being slow and a couple of sloppy moments. Both would put each other to their limit and even Ishii took a nasty Powerbomb spot and I don’t know how he was still standing after that. However, Michael Elgin would pull the surprise win with a Burning Hammer and move on to fight Juice Robinson in the Quarter Final Round. If I had one complaint it would be that the ending did seem to drag on a bit too long; with some overkill spots and an anti-climatic ending despite the move he used, just the crowd seemed burnt out and not care about the fact Elgin won. What title would Elgin go for if he wins? He could go for either of the three, depends on what he does and has to win.
Recommended: Definitely worth a watch despite some of the cons of the match. If you’re into hard hitting action, then definitely give it a look.
Bad Luck Fale vs. Lance Archer
Review: This was how I expected it to go between the two, not great, but nothing special about it either. It just felt like a standard match too which is a shame this is one of the places that Fale normally shines when it comes to singles action. Lance Archer really didn’t impress me all that much in this match except for randomly punching a Young Lion when they were outside. Had some decent moments, but not a lot to really talk about except that Bad Luck Fale won the match.
Recommended: Not really, I would just skip this one.
Taichi vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
Review: I could just watch Miho Abe all day. Anyway, Taichi has been enjoyable to watch lately ever since he announced that he would be moving up to the heavyweight division after fighting Tetsuya Naito at TakaTaichiMania. Maybe this is what he needed to refresh his career a little bit and open up to more possibilities as to where his career can go, I wish him luck on his new adventure.
Hiroshi Tanahashi looked like he hasn’t missed a beat, but I am worried about his health since he does need to take a long and deserved break to heal his injuries. I thought the match itself was great and the two meshed well together and gave us a fun quality type of match. Taichi looked strong in the match, giving Tanahashi a little bit of a run for his money, even doing some moves reminiscent of his trainer, Kawada, and there were a few times where I thought he would actually pull off the upset. But in the end, Tanahashi, broken and all, found a way to overcome him and move on to fight Bad Luck Fale next. Right now Tanahashi is still my pick to win the New Japan Cup, but what belt he would go for is still a mystery and probably will be until he wins the cup before decided to either get revenge on Suzuki or try to keep his record and fight Okada once again.
Recommended: Absolutely, great fight and my favorite first round match thus far.
Kota Ibushi vs. YOSHI-HASHI
Review: First off, HASHI, you’re not the ‘Viper’ so shame on you. Second, I am confused by how he is booked since he’ll have his moments to show he actually can shine, but then it just disappears until the next tournament. So that’s a huge gap where he doesn’t do a whole lot outside of that and kinda hard to take him too serious.
These two do work surprisingly well together, showing that when they worked at G1 Climax last year and again it in this match right here. There were a couple of sloppy moments, but not enough to take away from the match at all, since they still made everything they wanted to do exciting. I didn’t like that the Canadian Destroyer was used because I’m one of the few that think it’s a move that you shouldn’t kick out of instead of just using it as a spot much like the Burning Hammer. Kota picked up the win in a nice back and forth match, and was expected to do so. But can he win the whole thing? While it is possible, I wouldn’t see him win the title unless he gets rid of his fear of commitment.
Recommended: I would definitely give it a watch.
Zack Sabre Jr vs. Tetsuya Naito
Review: Before I start I do wanna say that I am not the biggest fan of Zack Sabre Jr. I will give him credit that I love his submission holds and his technical ability is amazing, but when it comes to everything else, it’s pretty bland. However, I do like that he actually shows personality when he goes to Japan and being involved with Suzuki Gun. This match though was just great, the story behind it, the atmosphere of the crowd, and just the chemistry between these two.
I really enjoyed how Zack was working various spots on his body just so he can use any part to make him tap out for any situation in the match. Zack picked up the surprise him making him tap out in a very nice submission while TAKA hypes him up like how Gedo does to Okada. I kinda figured Naito would lose here and it’s not really a punishment either, as quite a few top guys like Tanahashi and Okada have both gone through losing the first round of the cup and built themselves back up again. Naito is definitely going to get another chance against Okada, but it’s good that they hold it off for a while, as Zack looks to avenge his G1 losses to both Naito and next, Ibushi. If he keeps this up then there might be a good chance that he can actually make it to the finals or even win the thing depending on who he fights.
Recommended: You should very much so watch this match, just a great bout.
Toru Yano vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr
Review: This isn’t the best match, but this is the more entertaining out of the first round. Toru is pretty much how you would expect him to be in this type of match, with his comedy and dirty tactics to try and win it as quick as possible. But, Smith made sure that wouldn’t happen here as we actually get a match out of it instead of just a quickie.
Smith was able to showcase more of his talent in here and I wish he would do more single work to see how he could really do here, but just tournaments is the best we’re gonna get out of him. Toru would eventually get the win after about ten minutes with a countout and was expected how he would win instead of a pinfall. Normally expect Yano to win the first round of the cup and then loses the next round, so expect the same thing to happen here.
Recommended: I think it’s worth a viewing if you like to have a couple of laughs or if you just like Yano.
Chuckie T. vs. SANADA
Review: Chuckie to me just felt so odd and out of place in this tournament and did question why. But I guess due to both Trent and Makabe being injured, they needed someone and it’s a good chance to see how he can do for a solo match in New Japan. SANADA I believe is going to have an impactful year in 2018 and his match with Okada last month was only the beginning of his progression.
Chuckie didn’t do too bad in this match, but nothing to praise and I’m sure he’ll have more opportunity in the upcoming future. The match itself went pretty well and had a couple of awkward spots to hold it back a little to make it better, but it still wasn’t bad and SANADA was able to pick up the needed win over Chuckie with a Moonsault after applying the Skull End. I have a sinking feeling that the Moonsault might bite him in the ass during the tournament, but we will see.
Recommended: I would give this one a watch, good wrestling and nice to see SANADA coming out of his shell more with each match.
Now that the first round matches are out of the way, let’s take a look at the quarter final matches and see who will make it to the semi-final.
Juice Robinson vs. Michael Elgin
Bad Luck Fale vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
Kota Ibushi vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
Toru Yano vs. SANADA
And here’s what I think what it might look like when it’s over.
Juice Robinson vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
Zack Sabre Jr vs. SANADA
Favorite Match: Zack Sabre Jr vs. Tetsuya Naito
Least Favorite Match: Lance Archer vs. Bad Luck Fale
I hope you all enjoyed reading about the first round and I’ll see you all at the quarter finals next.
Mitchell’s WWE NXT UK Results & Report! (1/23/19)
NXT UK rolls on with just one hour a week now, but still with plenty of action! Will the Bruiserweight have something to say about WALTER showing up?
- Nina Samuels VS Lana Austin; Samuels wins.
- Eddie Dennis VS Jaime Ahmed; Dennis wins.
- Jordan Devlin VS Travis Banks; Double Count-Out.
PLAY BY PLAY
NXT UK took over Blackpool!
But the Irish Ace wasn’t going to let the Kiwi Buzzsaw have his time to shine. An attack in the lobby and a brawl before their match allowed Jordan Devlin to sideline Travis Banks for the night. Banks has worked too hard for too long, so he and Devlin will finally settle this tonight on NXT UK TV! Will Devlin learn that a buzzsaw does trump the Ace? Or will the odds be against Banks given his bad leg?
Pete Dunne heads to the ring!
The Bruiserweight is still the WWE United Kingdom Champion, and Blackpool is happy to see him again after that great match with the Iron King, Joe Coffey. Dunne is at 610 days and climbing as champion and the fans chant for Dunne as he picks up the mic. “At NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool, we made history!” Fans agree with that. Dunne continues to say that “It all started here two years ago”, and since then, everything’s changed. But since May 2017, TakeOver: Chicago, one thing has remained the same: his title reign! However, Gallus appears to respond! Mark Coffey keeps Wolfgang back as Joe Coffey steps up. Fans boo as Joe says TakeOver didn’t change a thing! Fans remind Joe “You Tapped Out!” But Joe says this is still HIS Kingdom! Losing that battle will mean Joe wins the war and that UK Championship to make it Gallus.
Joe wants Dunne to look at the title, make sure he remembers what it looks like. Then look at Joe. Enjoy the title while you have it, because we all know who will have it after this war. And if anyone has a problem with that, then get behind Joe in line. The lights go down, and WALTER returns! The Ring General made a shocking debut at TakeOver, but he’s back in Blackpool to join Dunne and Joe in the ring. Fans sing and cheer for Walter while Gallus keeps Joe back. Joe calms down, but it’s Wolfgang and Mark Coffey who rush the ring! Dunne stops Wolfgang with a snap of his fingers, while Walter punches Mark right out! Now Dunne and Walter are alone, and both looking at the WWE UK Championship belt. Fans like this match-up, but what of NXT UK management, Johnny Saint and Sid Scala?
Sid Scala makes an announcement.
The Assistant GM announces NXT UK’s participation in Worlds Collide, as well as Phoenix tapings. It is very important that NXT UK wins the tournament, and it will be up tot he roster to show everyone why they are the number one brand. Sid then spots the Grizzled Young Veterans, and congratulates them on being the inaugural tag team champions. Oh now everyone wants to talk to them? When in the weeks leading up to the match, it was all Mustache Mountain. And now it’s a media ambush. Gibson and Drake will give their champions’ address next time, but for now, jog on. Sid accepts this, but what will Liverpool’s Number One and Mr. Mayhem have to say about being the first-ever NXT UK Tag Team Champions?
Nina Samuels VS Lana Austin!
The Rose Pink Devil and the newcomer from Manchester both know there’s a new NXT UK Women’s Champion in Toni Storm. There is a huge opportunity to make it towards a title match, will Nina be upset by the mother of three with a dream? Or will she be a nightmare in pink instead?
The bell rings and fans are on Austin’s side. Nina sneers as she ties up and gets Austin’s wrist. Austin uses ropes to flip through and reverse the wrench. Fans applaud but Nina cartwheels and breaks free to a hip toss. Nina doesn’t take Austin as a threat, but fans rally up. Nina whips but Austin counters with a toss and uppercut! Austin snampares to a basement dropkick! Cover, TWO! Nina gets to a corner but Austin gives her an uppercut! Austin wants a monkey flip but Nina boots her away. Nina is on Austin at the ropes, and dropkicks her against them! Cover, TWO! Nina gets annoyed with the fans who cheer for Austin. She puts Austin in an armlock and chinbar as fans rally up. Nina pops Austin to a cover, TWO!
Nina keeps on that same hold, but fans again rally for Austin. Austin feeds off the energy but Nina snapmares her for a neck snap! Cover, TWO! Nina grows annoyed with Austin and wants that arm again. Austin endures and stands up, and hits back with a Russian leg sweep! Austin gets space but clutches her arm. Both women run but it’s Austin who rallies with lariats! Austin keeps going, big European Uppercut in the corner! She whips, Nina reverses but Austin reverses back for a knee. Roaring elbow! Cover, TWO! Austin doesn’t give up but Nina does shove her bad arm into buckles. Nina fireman’s carry, ushigoroshi! Or as she calls it, the Prima Donna! Cover, Nina wins!
Winner: Nina Samuels, by pinfall
The Rose Pink Devil is a bad bad woman, but is she going to be a threat to Toni Storm’s young reign as champion?
Exclusive post-TakeOver interview with Mustache Mountain.
Trent Seven & Tyler Bate fought hard but it wasn’t enough to win those NXT UK Tag Team Championships. They didn’t have everything, and they missed out on history. That was their goal, but they missed the mark. But what makes them different is that when they lose, they just get up and keep fighting. The goal now is to take those titles from Gibson & Drake. They’re down but not out. When and where will the #BigStrongBoys get redemption against the Grizzled Young Veterans?
Exclusive post-TakeOver interview of Toni Storm.
She’s the NEW NXT UK Women’s Champion, and she isn’t sure how to describe the feeling. Toni’s the champ, and is the Mae Young Classic winner. She could’ve challenged anyone but she wanted this title because she loves this brand. Toni will do everything in her power to step up the level of the Division. Ever since winning the MYC, there’s been a change for the better in Toni. She fought some of the best women in the world, had her back injury, and now she’s dangerous but better. And now she’s champion. Who will step to her throne in this new phase of NXT UK?
Eddie Dennis VS Jaime Ahmed!
The Headmaster lost a brutal No Disqualification match against The Bomber, Dave Mastiff, but he won’t let that stop him. He goes against Mr. Screwface, an equally surly superstar. Which man’s bitterness will prove the better tonight?
The bell rings and Dennis immediately hits Ahmed with a forearm! Dennis chops and forearms Ahmed but Ahmed fires back with body shots! Ahmed whips and hip tosses Dennis, but Dennis shoves him away. Ahmed waistlocks, Dennis standing switches, but Ahmed elbows out. Dennis blocks Ahmed’s clothesline to give a clothesline! Fans applaud the viciousness as Dennis kicks Ahmed to a corner. Dennis throws more forearms then wrenches Ahmed to a whip corner to corner. Ahmed hits buckles hard, and Dennis grins as he looms over him. Dennis drags Ahmed up to a cravat as fans rally up. Ahmed endures the wrenching and throws Dennis but Dennis holds on. Dennis laughs as he wrenches, but fans continue to rally up. Ahmed fights and rolls but Dennis stays on the hold.
Fans duel as Ahmed fights back with body shots. Dennis gives a stiff knee, then throws Ahmed right out of the ring! Dennis slips out the side of the ring and runs at Ahmed for another blasting forearm! Fans boo as Dennis declares himself the man of NXT UK. Dennis scoops Ahmed to slam him on the floor! Dennis drags Ahmed up and into the ring, then stalks him from the corner. Ahmed stands as fans rally, and Dennis brings Ahmed in for a powerbomb. Ahmed slips out and throws hands! Dennis gets his dukes up but gets rocked by a right and a roundhouse! Ahmed fires up and climbs up, but Dennis boots him! Dennis climbs up and gives Ahmed a BIG Superplex!
Dennis grits his teeth as he toys with Ahmed. Fans boo but Dennis pretends not to hear them. Dennis drags Ahmed back up, dragon sleeper, to the Next Stop Driver! Cover, Dennis wins!
Winner: Eddie Dennis, by pinfall
Dennis bounces back from his losses to Mastiff, but he still has a ways to go before he’s a championship contender. Who will Dennis teach a lesson in aggression next?
Johnny Saint makes an announcement!
The NXT GM says that Mustache Mountain will get their own chance to bounce back, against the European Alliance, Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner! Will Trent Seven & Tyler Bate earn a second chance at the tag titles with a win? Or will the German Commander & Italian Tank plow through them to go after the titles themselves?
Jordan Devlin VS Travis Banks!
Finally, after talking trash and ambush attacks, the Irish Ace will have to put up or shut up against the Kiwi Buzzsaw! Who will prove they have more love for their country and more pride as a pro-wrestler tonight?
Banks doesn’t wait for a bell, he goes right at Devlin! The ref has no choice but to ring the bell as both men throw forearms back and forth. Banks kicks Devlin then clotheslines him right out! Fans fire up with the Buzzsaw as he builds speed. Banks DIVES and hits Devlin to the ramp! Devlin gets up and goes around the ring but Banks DIVES on him again! Banks sees Devlin retreating tot he crowd and pursues. Devlin elbows Banks away but Banks just keeps on him. They fight in the front row with forearms and chops. Banks has Devlin reeling all around the way, then kicks him back to ringside! But Banks adjusts his flight pattern to LEAP from barrier onto Devlin! Banks hammers away on Devlin as fans fire up.
Devlin staggers and flounders but Banks takes aim again. Banks runs in but Devlin sends him at the steps. Banks stops himself, but Devlin chop blocks! Devlin refreshes the ring count so he can go after Banks on the outside. Devlin recreates Blackpool by putting the foot on the steps. But Banks gets his foot free to kick Devlin first! Banks then aims from the apron, to dumdum stomp Devlin on the back! Fans are thunderous for Banks as he stalks Devlin more. Banks puts Devlin in the ring, and Devlin asks for mercy. Fans boo, they know this is a trick. Banks doesn’t fall for it, either, as he gives kicks to Devlin’s chest! Banks kicks and kicks and kicks! Then mule kick! Fans love the ferocity while Banks aims at Devlin. Banks jumps up but Devlin sweeps the legs! Devlin hits Banks with a draping backstabber!
Fans duel as Devlin glares down and stomps Banks. Devlin drags Banks up for a forearm, but Banks sits back up. Devlin drives elbows into Banks’ head and Banks gets to a corner. Fans duel and sing as Devlin chokes Banks on the ropes. Devlin backs off at 4, and fans rally up as Devlin drags Banks up in an arm wrench. Atomic backbreaker off the shoulder, cover, TWO! Devlin drives more elbows in, then embraces the cheers and jeers. Devlin grabs Banks but Banks throws body shots! Banks throws forearms, but runs into the urenage! Standing moonsault, cover, TWO! Devlin keeps calm as he circles Banks. He grabs Banks’ arm for a seated keylock, and he digs an elbow into the ribs. Fans rally up as Banks endures. Banks feeds off the energy and throws more body shots. Devlin throws a knee in then whips Banks hard into buckles!
Devlin toys with Banks and snapmares him into an arm surfboard. He digs a knee in but fans rally up again. Banks fights his way up and hits back with more forearms. Banks whips but Devlin reverses, sending Banks tot he apron. Devlin walks into Banks’ haymakers, and Banks drags Devlin out to the apron. They brawl, Banks suplexes, but Devlin slips out to shove Banks into the post! Devlin gets an idea, and hits a Spanish Fly OFF the apron! Both men crash and burn to the floor, and fans lose their minds! Blackpool chants “Mamma Mia!” as both men slowly stir. The referee counts and it climbs to 5 before either man sits up. Banks and Devlin stand at 7, catch their breath at 8, and Devlin throws Banks away at 9! But Banks gets in at 9.5!
Devlin is furious, but he goes after Banks with a fireman’s carry. Banks pops through to a victory roll, TWO! Banks sweeps the legs, runs, but into another Spanish Fly! But he’s right up for a lariat!! Banks fires up while Devlin flounders, and Blackpool gives them a standing ovation! A standing count begins but both men stir. They sit up at 4, and Banks gets Devlin’s hand first! Devlin throws forearms but he can’t break free. Banks rocks Devlin with forearms of his own, then a knee trigger! Devlin headbutts back, and both men fall! Fans again reach a fever pitch, but Devlin reels Banks in for the ripcord saido! Cover, TWO!! Banks lives and Devlin is beside himself.
Fans rally up again as Devlin drags Banks to a drop zone. Devlin climbs, moonsaults, but gets knees! Banks fires up and blasts Devlin with a dropkick! Then fisherman, Kiwi Krusher! Cover, TWO!! Devlin survives and fans are loving this! Banks keeps focus as he drags Devlin up again. Banks stands Devlin up and springboards, but Devlin falls before the Slice of Heaven can connect! Devlin drags himself to ropes while Banks forces himself to stand. Devlin gets the fireman’s carry but is wobbly, both men fall out of the ring! The referee begins a count but both men barely stir before 5. They crawl towards the ring at 6, stand at 7, fall at 9, and are out!
Fans boo, they didn’t want this kind of finish. Devlin and Banks glare at each other from opposite ends, because they’re not letting this end, either! The brawl is on! They fire forearms and knees, and the referee rings the bell more. Fans want to “Let Them Fight!” and fight they do! Banks throws Devlin into the crowd and then rains down rights! More referees appear, as does Sid Scala. They manage to pull Banks and Devlin apart, but only for a moment! Fans are thunderous and this fight is furious, but that’s all the time we have! Will this rivalry be settled? Or has the war only just begun?
A great episode to officially move things past TakeOver: Blackpool! The opening segment did great to hype up Walter VS Dunne even more, that match is the natural course of action and Walter hasn’t even said anything on air. Walter’s in-ring debut is next week, and that is going to be incredible, except for the man he’ll likely chop into ground beef. Gallus obviously still want their part in this story, perhaps there will be a Walter VS Joe Coffey match on the way to Walter VS Dunne. And perhaps if Joe is going to drop out of the top title picture, the Coffey Brothers can be the tag team for Gallus to go after the tag titles. Mustache Mountain VS Barthel & Aichner is going to be great but it won’t be a flat-out contenders match. And I’m very curious to the Champions’ Address from Gibson & Drake next week.
Nina Samuels and Lana Austin did good in their match, and NXT UK is slowly but surely establishing their Women’s Division midcard. Assuming the Fresh Start’s no rematch clauses applies to even here, Rhea Ripley will have to fight her way back up, but I’m thinking it’s either her or Jinny that reaches Toni Storm first. Eddie Dennis VS Jaime Ahmed was good for a squash between two big tall men. Dennis should return to his story of being upset with former friends Dunne and Mark Andrews, starting of course with Mark Andrews. That story would help propel both men in the singles ranks, and if need be, throw in Flash Morgan Webster as Andrews’ new friend. Dennis probably wins that story, though, so that he stays a credible threat.
Devlin VS Banks was great, and that double count-out is actually perfect. I want to see them have Falls Count Anywhere or Last Man Standing as their real blow-off. This kind of feud continues to support the idea that NXT UK should consider a midcard title, because these guys each deserve something like that for the performances they’re giving. If anything, go all the way and let the winner of this feud name that midcard title. Devlin can make it his NXT Irish Championship, while Banks might go for something more general, like International Championship. Either way, one of these two being an inaugural midcard champion would be so cool for everyone.
My Score: 8.4/10
Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Results & Report! (1/22/19)
The three challengers to the Cruiserweight Championship will challenge each other in a Triple Threat! Who proves they’re Buddy Murphy’s biggest threat?
- Humberto Carrillo VS Gran Metalik; Carrillo wins.
- Triple Threat: Kalisto VS Hideo Itami VS Akira Tozawa; Itami wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Drake Maverick hypes up the already exciting night for 205 Live!
It will be one of the most intriguing line-ups with some major implications towards the Cruiserweight Division’s future! First, Humberto Carrillo is officially part of 205 Live and has his second match on air against Lucha House Party’s King of the Ropes! Humberto showed heart against the Juggernaut, Buddy Murphy, can he show even more against Gran Metalik? Then the Triple Threat main event pits Akira Tozawa, Hideo Itami and Kalisto against each other in one last match before the Cruiserweight Championship match! Who seizes a big advantage going into the title match?
Aiden English joins commentary!
The SmackDown superstar and symphony singer shifts gears to be alongside Nigel McGuinness and Vic Joseph on the fastest hour of WWE!
Humberto Carrillo VS Gran Metalik!
The man formerly known as Ultimo Ninja has been making quite the waves in NXT and even in his 205 Live debut last week. Humberto didn’t win against the Juggernaut, but he did impress everyone enough to earn his Cruiserweight contract! Will he have a better time against the King of the Ropes? Or will he go a quick 0-2?
The bell rings and Humberto shakes hands with Metalik to show respect. Fans like that, and applaud as the two tie up. Metalik gets a waistlock, but Humberto works his way out to a wristlock. Humberto wrenches but Metalik rolls and reverses. Metalik wrenches but Humberto handsprings and reverses back to a headlock. Fans applaud while Metalik powers out. Things speed up and Humberto shows his agility! He dodges the handspring but Metalik headscissors, only for Humberto to handspring through! They both dropkick but those cancel out, and fans applaud the stalemate. Fans chant “Lucha! Lucha!” as the two go again.
Metalik dodges Humberto to chop him and whip him. Humberto goes up and over and shows off more, then gets Metalik with an arm-drag. Humberto chops and goes acrobatic for an arm-drag! Metalik bails out but Humberto builds speed to FLY! Direct hit takes Metalik down and Humberto lands on his feet! Humberto drags Metalik up and into the ring, then covers, TWO! Humberto keeps on Metalik with a grounded wristlock, then brings Metalik up for a facelock. He suplexes Metalik down and floats to a cover, TWO! Humberto keeps his cool as he drags Metalik back up. He scoops and slams Metalik to a drop zone, then climbs up top. Fans fire up as Humberto moonsaults, but he gets boots! Metalik gets up and runs to Sling-Dog Humberto down! Cover, TWO! Metalik keeps his cool as he drags Humberto up.
Metalik puts Humberto in a corner, CHOPS him, then whips corner to corner. Humberto reverses but Metalik walks the ropes to missile dropkick! Cover, TWO! Metalik is surprised but focused as he wraps on a chinlock. Humberto endures as fans slowly build to a rally. Humberto feeds off the energy and fights out, but Metalik throws him back down. Metalik puts the chinlock back on, but Humberto endures again. Metalik brings Humberto up in the fireman’s carry but Humberto fights out. Hands start flying, then both men duck kicks, but Humberto comes back with an enziguri! Humberto covers, TWO! Metalik rolls to ropes while Humberto grits his teeth. Humberto hurries after Metalik and both men end up on the apron. Humberto brings Metalik up but Metalik boots him back. Metalik brings Humberto in but Humberto boots him.
Fans rally up as Metalik tosses Humberto over the corner. Humberto hits Metalik back then climbs up top. Humberlto hits Metalik with a SUPER Bulldog to the apron! It was a bit double-edged as Humberto hits the floor, but he forces himself back up. Humberto goes up top again as Metalik slowly stands. Humberto leaps for a big crossbody! Cover, TWO! Metalik survives and Humberto grows frustrated. Humberto and Metalik go to oppsite corners, and Humberto runs in. Metalik dodges but Humberto tumbles to the apron. Humberto SLAPS Metalik away, but Metalik comes back with a SUPER HURICANRANA! Both men crash and burn to the floor but fans fire up! The referee checks on them both but they’re somehow okay.
Metalik sits up first and fires up with more “Lucha! Lucha!” Fans echo it as he puts Humberto in the ring. Metalik climbs and springboards, Swanton! Cover, TWO!! Humberto survives and now Metalik is shocked. Metalik refocuses and waits for Humberto to stand. He drags Humberto up and onto the top rope, then CHOPS him for good measure. Metalik positions Humberto and climbs up to throw forearms. He even SLAPS Humberto to see what the young star has. Metalik prepares but Humberto resists. Humberto fights back and shoves Metalik. Metalik lands on his feet but runs into a boot. Humberto adjusts, leaps, and hits a missile dropkick! Humberto doesn’t cover, he headstands and rebounds for an Aztec Press! Cover, Humberto wins!!
Winner: Humberto Carrillo, by pinfall
A huge victory over a 205 Live staple! And Metalik gives him the show of respect he earned. Humberto breaks even at 1-1, but will this first victory be the first of many?
Drake Maverick meets with Drew Gulak and Jack Gallagher.
Clearly the ground game lobbyists of the Submission Commission are upset that a high-flyer was the first new Cruiserweight signed. But look at how impressive Humberto Carrillo is! Gulak and Gallagher have no words. They storm off but Tony Nese enters and wants a word with the GM. Nese wants a rematch with Noam Dar tonight. Well yes they are tied, and the fans would love seeing that tiebreaker. Maverick will consider it. Consider it? Well yes, he can’t just jump into it. The Rumble is Sunday, the title could change hands– Nese doesn’t care about any of that. Just consider what will happen if Nese doesn’t get his match. Dar has been running his mouth and Nese is tired of it. If Nese doesn’t get the match, then he’ll make his own opportunity. The Premier Athlete has sent his ultimatum, will Maverick take it seriously?
Akira Tozawa and THE Brian Kendrick speak.
Tozawa says that he’s “had some good times and bad times on 205 Live.” But the past doesn’t matter, this opportunity is huge. Tozawa didn’t travel around the world to be a joke, he came to the WWE to make a name for himself. He will become the two-time Cruiserweight Champion. But can he be the top contender after tonight’s Triple Threat?
The Lucha House Party speak.
Lince Dorado knows that 2019 will be a big year for the trio. They’re on both Raw and 205 Live, and they spared the joy of lucha libre to the WWE Universe. But the one thing that they’re missing and will take them to the next level is that Cruiserweight Championship! If one of them wins, they all win! And Kalisto is going to show all the others in that Fatal 4 Way that he IS a threat. Kalisto vows to be that two-time Cruiserweight Champion, with the power of “Lucha! Lucha!” But can speed kill when there are multiple opponents?
Triple Threat: Kalisto VS Hideo Itami VS Akira Tozawa!
The Lucha Dragon may have his amigos, the Innovator of the GTS may have his hype man, and the Stamina Monster may have the Man with a Plan, but who will have the momentum going into the title match this Sunday?
Before Hideo Itami makes his entrance, he and Ariya Daivari have an interview backstage. What would it mean to finally become Cruiserweight Champion? Daivari speaks for Itami, saying that as the only man who has not held that title, it makes Itami the hungriest and most dangerous superstar. The only thing missing from his already legendary career is WWE gold, so Itami will make an example out of his opponents tonight. Itami speaks in Japanese to say that he is coming for the Cruiserweight Championship by any means necessary. Itami makes his entrance, and we begin this match!
But wait, Buddy Murphy makes his presence known! The champion reminds his contenders what they’re fighting for while also keeping an eye on all three of them. And as a bonus, he joins commentary! The bell rings and Itami goes right at Kalisto and Tozawa! Murphy already knows commentary will talk about how a Fatal 4 Way means he could lose the title without being pinned, but that won’t matter because he’s not losing. In the ring, Itami keeps on Tozawa and throws him out. Itami then goes after Kalisto with haymakers and a whip. Kalisto kicks Itami back then runs to tilt-o-whirl haedscissors! He adds a dropkick, then chops Itami before going acrobatic for the arm-drag! Itami bails out but Tozawa returns, and Tozawa hits Kalisto with a missile dropkick! Kalisto bails out but Tozawa builds speed to DIVE! The Tozawa Torpedo blasts Kalisto into the announce desk!
Tozawa and Murphy stare down, but Itami knocks Tozawa into the desk now! Itami and Murphy stare down for a moment before Itami drags Tozawa up and throws him into barriers. Itami stomps Kalisto thenn puts him into the steel steps! Murphy is confident this won’t happen to him in the match. Itami kicks away on Tozawa then puts him in the ring. Cover, TWO! Itami keeps on Tozawa with a whip, then a kitchen sink knee! Cover, TWO! Tozawa shows his toughness but Itami kicks him in the back. Itami boots Kalisto out and then soaks up the heat. Itami goes to Tozawa but Tozawa hits him back. But Itami still puts Tozawa in a chinlock to grind him down. Tozawa endures and moves around to a ropebreak.
Itami lets him go but drops elbows right on the back. He stomps Tozawa then goes after Kalisto. Kalisto hits back but Itami rocks him with a European Uppercut and a swift boot! Fans respect that with applause, as does Murphy. Itami goes back to Tozawa and covers, TWO. Itami keeps on Tozawa with a chinlock but Tozawa again endures. Fans rally up and Tozawa feeds off the energy. Tozawa fights out but Itami knees low. Itami runs but into a huricanrana! Tozawa gets Itami with a saido suplex! Kalisto leaps in but into a dropkick! Tozawa quickly covers Kalisto, TWO! Now he covers Itami, TWO! Tozawa keeps his cool but both Kalisto and Itami go to the apron. Fans echo “AH! AH!” for Tozawa as he goes after Kalisto with a forearm. Tozawa builds speed again, but runs into Itami’s lariat! Cover, but Kalisto breaks it in time!
All three men are down and Murphy is amused. Fans build to a rally as all three men slowly stir. Kalisto hits Tozawa, Tozawa chops Itami, and Itami hits Kalisto. Kalisto hits Tozawa again, Tozawa hits Itami again, and Itami hits Kalisto again. The rotation continues like this as the three men stand up. Kalisto hits Tozawa, Tozawa chops Itami, Itami kicks Kalisto. Kalisto CHOPS Tozawa, Tozawa CHOPS Itami, Itami kicks Kalisto! The rotation continues as Kalisto kicks Tozawa, but Tozawa fakes Itami out to hit Itami and Kalisto with jabs! Tozawa is the only one standing, and even Murphy applauds that. Fans chant “AH! AH!” for Tozawa as he runs at Itami. Itami boots him away then climbs up to tornado hotshot Tozawa down. Itami climbs up and makes sure Murphy is watching, but Kalisto kicks Itami!
Kalisto climbs with fans chanting “Lucha! Lucha!” Kalisto clubs away on Itami as they both stand. He wants the superplex but Itami resists. Tozawa adds on and helps Kalisto, but then Murphy joins in! This is a Triple Threat, so no disqualifications as Murphy helps make this a Tower of Doom!! The Juggernaut says this is just a preview of the Fatal 4 Way, but the referee still insists he leave. Murphy doesn’t listen as he throws Itami into a corner to stomp a mudhole into him. He then goes after Kalisto with a heavy forearm, and then throws Tozawa into a corner for another mudhole. Fans duel but Murphy soaks it all up. Murphy goes after Kalisto again but Kalisto kicks him away. Murphy staggers into Tozawa’s boot, then into double SUPERKICKS! Kalisto gives Murphy a Salida del Sol! And Tozawa adds his Tozawa Torpedo!
But then things return to the match as Kalisto knee-board sentons onto Tozawa! Kalisto drags himself back into the ring, and Itami boots him down! Itami drags Tozawa into the ring, stands him up, Falcon Arrow! Cover, TWO! Itami is furious but he won’t let off Tozawa. He drags Tozawa up for a strike fest, but Tozawa dodges to give his own. The swinging roundhouse hits! But Kalisto springboards for a crossbody! Cover, TWO!! Everyone is down, but Tozawa crawls to a corner. Kalisto runs in at him for a kick to the stomach! Kalisto hauls Tozawa up top and rocks him with another kick. He climbs up to join Tozawa, prepares a superplex, but Itami attacks. Kalisto headbutts Itami then dumps him out hard. He kicks Tozawa again, climbs up again, and SUPER STEINERS! But Tozawa held on and Kalisto hits the floor!
Tozawa stands, leaps, SUPER SENTON! But Kalisto avoids it! Itami blasts Kalisto witht he dropkick, then hits Tozawa with the GTS Mk. II, aka the Sakura Knee! Cover, Itami wins!
Winner: Hideo Itami, by pinfall
If Murphy made this a preview of the Fatal 4 Way, then we just saw Itami survive them all and win! Will Murphy change things when it really is a Fatal 4 Way? Will Itami repeat this performance? Or will one of the former champions become champion again?
A solid go-home for 205 Live here, and Aiden English did great on commentary. Percy Watson was okay, but he does better on NXT because it’s not live. And for whatever reason, there seemed to be more fans and more invested fans than last week. And that was fortunate, as Humberto Carrillo has another great match with Gran Metalik. Humberto wins now that he’s officially part of the Cruiserweight Division, and also because it wouldn’t be good for him to lose twice already. Metalik is safe in losing, it helps build Humberto up. I’m pretty sure Humberto is going up against Gulak & Gallagher soon enough, so that’ll also be great for him. He’s a great talent, so he’ll get to the title soon enough, he just needs to build himself up in the eyes of live audiences.
Nese VS Dar 3 is coming, but with Nese making that threat, it’ll probably be after he attacks Dar backstage. The tiebreaker blow-off should feed into a contenders scenario. If anything, including Nese and Dar in a bigger contenders match would be nice, too. Like a Triple Threat that throws in Cedric Alexander, who has history with both men, or a Fatal 4 Way to include Lio Rush because he needs his chance. Tonight’s Triple Threat turning into an unofficial Fatal 4 Way was smart, too, as it keeps the three contenders relatively equal. Itami wins and could defy the math, but I wonder if this opens the door to a two-time champion in Kalisto or Tozawa. Kalisto implying Lucha House Party is like the New Day with Freebird-ing a singles title would be an interesting story to go with, but maybe that’s why it won’t be him.
My Score: 8.2/10