This review of NJPW: 46th Anniversary Show will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Therefore, all images are courtesy of AXS TV.
- Tetsuya Naito VS Taichi w/ Miho Abe; Naito wins.
- Kazuchika Okada VS Will Ospreay; Okada wins.
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AXS TV and NJPW review what led to tonight’s matches.
The IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Kazuchika Okada, has successfully defended his title ten times, and closes in on the record set by Hiroshi Tanahashi. However, knowing his ally, Will Ospreay, wants to show the power of Junior Heavyweights, he has accepted this Champion VS Champion challenge! Will the leader of Chaos humble the Aerial Assassin?
Meanwhile, Suzuki-Gun’s Taichi takes aim at the leader of Los Ingobernables de Japon, Tetsuya Naito. The World’s Sliest Wrestler wants after the Uncontrollable Charisma over the goading to enter the Heavyweight Division. Naito might eat his words now that Taichi is coming for him, but will he still be Tranquilo through it all?
Tetsuya Naito VS Taichi w/ Miho Abe!
Accompanied by his manager, Suzuki-Gun’s sly performer prepares to make El Ingobernable pay for provoking him. Will Taichi be singing his own praises after tonight? Or will he fall flat during his performance?
But Taichi doesn’t wait for the bell, he blindsides Naito with his microphone stand!
However, the referee didn’t see a thing because he was busy with Miho and other Suzuki-Gun members on the apron. Taichi tosses his mic away to then pursue Naito on the outside. He brings Naito up the walkway, and he rakes the eyes before throwing Naito into guard rails. The bell finally rings, and Taichi brings Naito back to the red corner ramp, going for a powerbomb. Naito blocks so Taichi gives him knees to the head, and then completes the powerbomb!
Taichi leaves Naito for dead on the ramp, and the referee checks on Naito while Taichi returns to the ring. Naito stirs as the 20 count begins. Taichi mocks the Tranquilo while Naito crawls. The count gets halfway before Naito starts getting up on his feet and hurrying to the ring. It gets past 15, Naito manages to beat it at 19! Taichi grins as he rolls over to Naito to further mock his mannerisms. Taichi stands and laughs, then takes his time bringing Naito over for a cocky cover. TWO, but Taichi still laughs. He toys with Naito, then pulls off his hoodie to hit him with it. Taichi taunts Naito, Naito throws a chop, but it doesn’t do a thing. Naito keeps trying, but Taichi is still unaffected. Taichi hits Naito with a spinning back kick, then grins as Naito staggers.
Taichi again rakes the eyes, then takes his time to brush off his shoulders. He takes aim at Naito from across the way as Naito crawls to a corner. Taichi runs in, but into Naito’s boots! Naito boots Taichi away again, then runs out, and gets Taichi into the dragon sleeper and neckbreaker. Naito keeps moving and dropkicks Taichi in the back of the head. Taichi rolls out of the ring while Naito still recovers from the powerbomb. Fans cheer for Naito, but Miho comes over to check on Taichi. Naito rolls out of the ring and fetches Taichi, to then whip him hard into rails. Naito keeps going, throwing Taichi into more rails. Taichi writhes but Naito keeps going, and gets a third whip into the rails! The camera crew moves aside as Naito brings Taichi up in to the ring.
Naito stomps Taichi, then drags him up to put him in a corner. He stomps away more, then spits on Taichi before stomping him again. Naito drags Taichi up and whips him corner to corner, then runs in. He catches Taichi’s boots, and spins him sideways, for a draping dragon sleeper neckbreaker! Naito rolls Taichi over for his own cocky cover, TWO. El Ingobernable is back in the fight while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns to see Naito still stomp Taichi. Naito brings Taichi up and gives him a hard back elbow. Taichi ends up in a corner, Naito runs in from the side for the jump kick. Naito lands on the apron, but Taichi immediately swing kicks him down! Naito hits the apron edge then tumbles to the floor. The referee checks on Naito and sees he’s okay to continue. Taichi takes a moment before going out to fetch Naito. He brings Naito up and whips him into railings in return for earlier. He puts Naito back in the ring, then gives him a killer buzzsaw kick. Taichi uses another cocky cover, TWO! Taichi rips off his pants! Now he’s serious. Naito stirs, and Taichi prepares another kick. Naito blocks it, atomic drop, and then runs the ropes for a tornado DDT!
Fans rally for Naito as he slowly stands up. Naito goes over to Taichi in a corner, and hoists him to the top rope. He climbs up to join Taichi, and hits the SUPER Steiner! Cover, TWO! Naito calls for the end, and drags Taichi back up. He wrenches the arm but Taichi counters with a big back suplex! Taichi gets up and waits for Naito. Naito stands on wobbly legs, Taichi clubs him from behind with a clothesline. Naito staggers and rebounds off the ropes, Taichi runs him over with an ax bomber! Cover, TWO, but Taichi keeps going, bringing Naito up for the Taichi-shiki Last Ride!
High stack cover, TWO! Fans are thunderous for Naito, but Taichi is up first. He drags Naito up, and goes to shovel him up onto his shoulders, but Naito hops off the back end to hit Taichi with the Reverse-Rana! Both men are down, and the referee checks on them. They’re both okay to continue, so Miho and Taka Michinoku work to coach Taichi back into things. Naito stirs first, followed by Taichi, and Taichi dropkicks Naito’s legs out. Taichi goes for his Taichi Clutch but Naito slips out the back end. Naito goes for the German Suplex but Taichi blocks and counters with an enziguri! Taichi brings Naito up but Naito suddenly springs the German Suplex on him! Naito brings Taichi back up, for Gloria, the hammerlock sit-out slam!
Cover, TWO! But Naito just fires up, and brings Taichi up a third time. He arm wrenches, tilt-o-whirls, but Taichi throws him off. Taichi blocks Naito’s kick, and shoves the referee aside so he won’t see the low blow kick! Taichi Clutch cover, TWO!! He can’t believe it, and even Gedo, who created the move under his name, seems a bit surprised. Fans rally for both men as they slowly stand. Taichi prepares his kick again, but Naito evades to hit a rolling kick! Both men go down again, but Taichi gets to his blue corner, and his mic stand. Naito slowly stands up, and Taka covers for Taichi again, but Naito sees the mic stand attack coming! He dodges it, to then enziguri Taichi!
Naito takes the mic stand, but now the referee sees. The referee won’t let Naito use the item, so Naito shoves the referee into Taka! Taka goes down hard, and Naito prepares to use the mic stand, but Taichi catches him with another enziguri! Taichi runs in, but Naito pops him up for a low blow in return! Naito picks up the mic stand again, and takes aim, to WHAP Taichi in the head with it!
The microphone breaks off the stand, and then Naito breaks the stand. The referee comes to while Naito brings Taichi up, for Destino!
Cover, Naito wins!
Winner: Naito, by pinfall
Though he is victorious, Naito is not respectful, as he spits on the downed Taichi. Now that he’s in the Heavyweight Division, will the World’s Sliest Wrestler be able to keep up with the world’s most Tranquilo wrestler?
Kazuchika Okada VS Will Ospreay!
It’s Chaos VS Chaos and Champion VS Champion as the IWGP Heavyweight and IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champions fight to see who is both the best within their faction, and best within all of NJPW! Will the Aerial Assassin come through on his word and do what others haven’t? Or will the Rainmaker continue to overcome all who step to him in the ring?
To Ospreay’s surprise, fans sing, “Ospreay~, Ospreay Ospreay Ospreay~! Ospreay~! Ospreay~!” Okada is actually rather amused by it. That aside, both men finish preparations and shake hands, and the match begins.
Okada and Ospreay rush forward but then stop, already having a stand-off. They stare down, then circle and tie up. Okada gets the waistlock but Ospreay the standing switch. Ospreay gets the waistlock takedown and floats over to the facelock. Okada rolls but Ospreay keeps the hold, so Okada rolls again to slip out and get the hammerlock. Okada snaps back to tweak Ospreay’s arm, then they both stand up. Ospreay works his way out of the hold and reverses it onto Okada. Okada works to do the same, with a roll and handspring to the wristlock. Ospreay brings Okada to a knee to reverse the wristlock back, and fans applaud. Okada rolls, gets the ankle pick, then goes after Ospreay’s leg. Ospreay pushes back with a forearm, but Okada still wrenches the knee and ankle.
Ospreay uses his free leg to pry Okada off and goes for the cross armbreaker, but Okada sits up to slip into a waistlock. Okada shifts to a leg, and puts Ospreay’s legs in the figure four knot. He grabs Ospreay’s arms, and flips over into Cattle Mutilation!
Ospreay endures and rolls, but Okada holds on to his arms. They stand up, Ospreay reverses the arm wrench, then hammerlock to headlock. Okada powers out, shoving Ospreay to a corner, but Ospreay comes back. Ospreay goes for an ankle pick takedown but Okada sits on it to cover, ONE into Ospreay’s sunset cover, ONE into Okada’s jackknife attempt but Ospreay turns that back into a sunset! TWO, Okada cradles Ospreay, TWO into Ospreay’s crucifix, TWO! Both men stand up and keep going while fans applaud, Okada wants another jackknife cover. TWO into a bridge out and spin around for the backslide, TWO! Fans really fire up now as Okada slips out of the ring. Ospreay grins at how close he was, and fans are chanting for him now. Okada catches his breath before returning, and fans build to a rally.
They circle in the ring again, tie up, and push each other with shoulders. Okada uses that to roll Ospreay into the double finger grip. Ospreay tries to use power but Okada brings him back in. Ospreay tries one more time, and gets around, but Okada just uses that to spin all the way through to return to the grip. Okada wrenches the hands harder, but Ospreay wants it one more time. They turn, Ospreay flips Okada but Okada lands on his feet and pushes Ospreay down. Ospreay bridges to deny a cover, so Okada sweeps the leg. ONE, but Ospreay goes back to bridging. Okada tries again, ONE but Ospreay is right back up. Okada uses his weight to bring Ospreay down, but TWO and Ospreay gets the bridge back. Ospreay sees Okada wanting to try again, and uses that to monkey flip Okada up and over.
Both men are down and covering each other, TWO as they both get shoulders up. They relax but that returns to the double cover, TWO as they go the other direction. They relax to a third double cover, TWO as they both bridge!
Fans applaud this great exchange. The two roll to their feet. Okada shovels Ospreay over with a double wrist body drop, but Ospreay lands on his feet. Ospreay runs but ducks Okada’s attack to swing a kick, Okada ducks that and goes for the wristlock swing out! Ospreay ducks again, then springboards back, but Okada gets clear. It’s another stand off, and the fans applaud again while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns, and the fans cheer as the two champions circle again. They tie up, Okada pushes Ospreay to ropes, and the break is clean, but Ospreay dares Okada to hit him. Okada reels back and Ospreay braces for it, but Okada just pats Ospreay’s shoulders, so Ospreay immediately slaps Okada! Ospreay kicks but Okada blocks, so Ospreay hits a forearm then stomps Okada’s foot. Ospreay shoves Okada down, then runs. Okada gets up, things speed up and Ospreay front flips over Okada. Ospreay turns around but Okada side-steps, Ospreay hits a headscissors on the rebound! Okada rolls out of the ring and Ospreay builds speed, but Ospreay handsprings when he sees Okada move. Okada slips in as Ospreay hits the superhero landing, to then dropkick him out of it! Ospreay ends up all the way in the corner while fans applaud.
Ospreay is down so Okada takes his time to catch his breath. Okada walks over and goes to the outside. He brings Ospreay out to join him, to then scoop slam him on the ground! Okada walks around the corner while Ospreay drags himself up to his feet. But then Okada rockets in from around the other side, and boots Ospreay off his feet!
Referee Red Shoes comes out to check on Ospreay while ordering they bring this back in the ring. Okada slips into the ring to leave Ospreay to the mercy of the 20 count. Ospreay doesn’t stir until 10, and is slow to getting up. The count reaches 16, he beats it at 17. Okada goes over to Ospreay and stands on him. Ospreay keeps pushing him away while fans chant for “Ospreay! Ospreay!” He stands up and hits Okada back with body shots then forearms. Okada kicks low, DDT drives Ospreay down! Cover, TWO, but Okada keeps his cool. Okada has Red Shoes check on Ospreay and his neck. Ospreay is still okay to continue, so Okada brings him up for a neckbreaker. Cover, TWO, but Okada keeps on him with a straitjacket stretch.
Fans cheer Ospreay on but Okada drives his knee into Ospreay’s back. Ospreay uses his legs to get the ropebreak, and Okada backs off. Okada stands over Ospreay, wanting him to get up. Ospreay gets up and headbutts Okada’s stomach, then throws forearms to back him down. Ospreay whips and ducks under Okada’s running chop, but Okada blocks the kick to spin Ospreay around into a boot. Okada whips but Ospreay handsprings, and enziguris! Both men are down but fans are fired up. Okada and Ospreay slowly stand up, Ospreay blocks, kicks and jawbreakers, then roundhouses Okada in the chest. Ospreay runs into the corner for a European Uppercut, then sits Okada down before running out and in for the hesitation dropkick! Okada rolls out of the corner while fans chant for Ospreay. Ospreay goes to the apron, springboards, and clotheslines Okada down.
Ospreay realizes he has an opening, so he poses a moment, then grabs Okada in the dragon sleeper. He lifts Okada but Okada knees out. Okada whips but Ospreay holds ropes to deny Okada’s dropkick, then hit back with one of his own. Standing shooting star, TWO! Fans keep cheering while Ospreay stands up. Okada stirs, but Ospreay takes aim. Okada dodges the Robinson Special, then boots Ospreay out of a corner. Ospreay mule kicks back, then runs, but into the flapjack! Both men are down again, but fans are rallying. Ospreay gets to a corner, Okada comes over and puts him on the top, but Ospreay kicks him away. Ospreay climbs down and runs out, but Okada picks him up and puts him back on the top rope. Okada dropkicks Ospreay down!
Ospreay tumbles to the floor while Okada rests in the ring. Okada exits the ring to fetch Ospreay, then whips him at railings. He runs in and boots Ospreay over the railings! Okada rallies the fans as he gets space. He runs back at Ospreay, but Ospreay uses the railings to launch for a flying forearm!
Ospreay gets back in the ring, builds speed and FLIES!
He takes out Okada with the Sasuke Special! Fans fire up while Ospreay gets Okada up and into the ring. Ospreay fires himself up and brings Okada up in the dragon sleeper. He lifts Okada up for the Bloody Sunday! Cover, TWO, and a close one. Ospreay grits his teeth while getting to a corner. Okada slowly stands, Ospreay takes aim, Robinson Special! He calls for it, springboards, but the OsCutter is blocked into a cobra clutch! Ospreay fades, but then gets a second wind to arm-drag Okada. Okada ends up in a corner, Ospreay runs in, but Okada pops him up into Alabama Slam position, to hit the reverse neckbreaker! But Okada is too tired to make a cover, so he instead gets up and gets back to a corner. Ospreay sits up, Okada knocks him back down with a running EuroUpper! Cover, TWO!
Fans are thunderous but Okada keeps his cool. He brings Ospreay back up but Ospreay unleashes a strike fest! Ospreay then chops away Okada’s clothesline and hook kicks him in the head! Ospreay runs, but into Okada’s dropkick! Okada is in control while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Okada gets to a corner. Okada climbs up and jumps for a big elbow drop! He then hits his Rainmaker pose, calling for his namesake move. Okada drags Ospreay up but Ospreay fights it off, so Okada rocks him with a right forearm. Ospreay staggers, Okada rocks him again. Okada gives Ospreay a third and Ospreay falls to the mat. Red Shoes checks on Ospreay, Ospreay is okay to continue, and fans continue to cheer for him. Okada takes his time catching his breath, and even toys with Ospreay. Ospreay fires up from the taunting kicks, but Okada keeps them up. Ospreay gets up and gives Okada a forearm, so Okada gives one back. They throw more forearms back and forth and even speed up until they’re hitting each other at the same time.
Okada gets the edge, Ospreay staggers, but then Ospreay slips around to the full nelson. Ospreay goes to heel kick but Okada ducks and retaliates with a EuroUpper. Okada runs but into Ospreay’s flip kick and enziguri! Okada staggers but boots Ospreay again. He runs again, but into Ospreay’s Spanish Fly!
Cover, TWO! But Ospreay grabs the arm, and drags Okada up. With wild eyes glaring a hole in Okada, Ospreay clubs him with a clothesline, a bit like a Rainmaker! Cover, TWO!! Ospreay can’t believe it, but he keeps focus as he climbs up top. He stands up and focuses, for the inverted 450!
It hits, Ospreay covers, TWO! And again, Ospreay can’t believe it. Fans chant for Ospreay as he grits his teeth and glares at Okada again. Ospreay rallies the fans, prepares his elbow, Off with His Head! He drags Okada up, runs and springboards, but Okada again denies the OsCutter to lift Ospreay up into a Tombstone piledriver!
But Okada won’t end it there. He drags Ospreay up, swings him out, Rainmake– No, Ospreay flips through into a sit-out powerbomb!
Cover, TWO!? Ospreay is red hot with frustration, but he gets to a corner to take aim again. Okada slowly stirs, Ospreay unloads kicks and springboards for the OsCutter, but Okada dropkicks it out of the sky! Okada pulls Ospreay up, German Suplex and bridge! TWO! Both men are down from exhaustion, but fans are still rallying for Ospreay. Okada stands first, and brings Ospreay up again. He clotheslines Ospreay once, then brings him up again, for another. Okada isn’t done there, he brings Ospreay up, swings him out, but Ospreay dodges to handspring again! Only to get caught for the spinning Tombstone! Okada brings Ospreay up, for THE Rainmaker!
Cover, Okada wins!
Winner: Okada, by pinfall
Two of the best in NJPW, but it is still the IWGP Heavyweight Champion who stands tall. Fans still chant for Ospreay, and though it takes everything he has right now, Ospreay stands up. Okada offers Ospreay a handshake, but Ospreay goes in for the hug.
There is much adoration and respect between Chaos’ top champions as Ospreay also bows to his leader. Ospreay heads to the back while Red Shoes hands Okada his championship belt. With the great showing the Aerial Assassin gave against the Rainmaker, will he one day face him again for the title?
Meanwhile, Okada speaks. “I wanna say three things.” First, Ospreay really is amazing. He loves Ospreay as a wrestler, and also like a little brother. Second, he thanks the fans for supporting NJPW for 46 years. “Year 47 starts tomorrow.” He brings up Tanahashi, but no. Naito? No, not him either. Kenny Omega? No, done that already. But you can count on Okada! Third, there isn’t a third. Gedo isn’t in the ring right now, but today, on this 46th Anniversary, Okada wishes to end their partnership. Huh!? “Of course I’m joking, dumbass!” Gedo is relieved as Okada vows they’ll be together for the 47th, 48th, 49th, 50th, and so on! Gedo & Okada will still make it rain! For the 47th, 48th, 49th, 50th and forever!! While he vows to make it rain forever, will Okada be the IWGP Heavyweight Champion forever?
Ospreay assures everyone this match wasn’t about him showing disrespect to Okada. He just wanted to prove a point that a Junior Heavyweight can still hang with the Heavyweights. He knows he came so close, but that in itself an accomplishment. Ospreay thanks Okada for the lesson. As for Okada, he still feels Ospreay is an incredible wrestler. It’s why he’s the IWGP Jr. Champion. Appearing in the Anniversary Show is a rare privilege, and “competing against each other on such a big stage” will be a great memory for them both. It will definitely be a match fans remember for quite some time. How long will it be before we see Okada VS Ospreay II?
A great bit of NJPW action right here. Taichi VS Naito was a solid opener, and showed that while Taichi had people ringside to cheat for him, Naito was confident enough to do it alone. Naito wins because he’s been on a great roll as of late, and Taichi still has plenty of Heavyweight Division matches to make a good record for himself. At the same time, this feud can continue given how Suzuki-Gun and Los Ingobernables de Japon are in a bit of a faction war over various titles. I was surprised there were no post-match interviews for them, but perhaps Naito’s spit spoke for itself. The main event was a spectacular showing of two great champions, and Ospreay definitely shows that a Junior can hang with a Heavyweight. Okada wins because he’s Okada, and will roll right into the next title defense to challenge Tanahashi’s historic streak.
My Score: 8.5/10
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Mitchell’s WWE NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn 4!
NXT takes over Brooklyn for a fourth time! With Aleister Black out of action, will this FINALLY settle things between Ciampa and Gargano?
- EC3 VS Velveteen Dream; wins.
- NXT Tag Team Championships: The Undisputed Era VS Mustache Mountain; wins and
- NXT North American Championship: Adam Cole VS Ricochet; wins and
- NXT Women’s Championship: Shayna Baszler VS Kairi Sane; wins and
- NXT Championship Last Man Standing Match: Tommaso Ciampa VS Johnny Gargano; wins and
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Charly Caruso, Sam Roberts & Pat McAfee are your NXT Kickoff Show panel!
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Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Report: G1 Climax 28, part 4!
AXS continues NJPW coverage with more from Block A! The Rainmaker takes on the Hangman for the first time ever! Plus, The Ace VS The Underboss once more!
Gifs can be found on http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- Jay White VS Michael Elgin; White wins.
- Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Bad Luck Fale; Tanahashi wins, by disqualification.
- Kazuchika Okada VS Hangman Page; Okada wins.
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NJPW and AXS TV set the scene for Round Three!
Kazuchika Okada hasn’t been himself since losing the IWGP Heavyweight Championship to Kenny Omega. He’s also been on a losing streak since then, with a quick 0-2 record in the first two rounds. Okada lost to The Switchblade, Jay White, and perhaps lost all of Chaos to him. Then he lost to Bullet Club OG, the Underboss, Bad Luck Fale. The Rainmaker desperately needs to get on the board before it’s too late. But in his way is Bullet Club new blood, Hangman Adam Page, who would love to make a big splash with a win over the former top champion. Will Hangman be the third defeat on Okada’s downward spiral? Or will Okada use the Problem Solver to solve his losing problem?
But first, the Underboss has his own match in a rematch from the New Japan Cup quarterfinals. Fale lost to Hiroshi Tanahashi back then, but Tanahashi himself lost to Jay White, same as Okada. Can the Once in a Century Talent gain ground against an angry Fale? Or will the Firing Squad make their presence known once again?
NJPW and AXS give us another quick rundown on the other A Block matches.
Minoru Suzuki brutalized Yoshi-Hashi but the Head Hunter held his own. However, Suzuki’s Gotch Piledriver won it for the Man with the Worst Personality. Chaos’ Togi Makabe battled Los Ingobernables de Japon’s King of Darkness, EVIL, and they went all over the arena. The Uncaged King Kong would fall to Everything is EVIL, the signature STO, and Evil would get the win. For the third match of this third round, we jump right into it!
Jay White VS Michael Elgin!
The Switchblade says Chaos is now his faction, but he still has to prove it. We come into his match with The Unbreakable Big Mike as he brings Elgin up for a cobra clutch suplex! White calls for a finish, and brings Elgin up again. Eglin spins out of Blade Runner, but White elbows him away. White goes to run but Elgin reels him into a discus elbow! Elgin drags White up but White slips out. White lifts Elgin but Elgin knees out of the saido suplex. Elgin aims at the wobbly White and hits another discus elbow! Then the Half ‘n’ Half! Elgin runs, and clobbers White with a clothesline! He’s not done, he double underhooks for a sit-out Tigerbomb! Cover, TWO!? White survives by the thinnest of margins! Big Mike is surprised, but the fans are rallying for him.
Elgin drags White back up, takes aim at a corner, but White fights back. White’s huricanrana is blocked by pure strength! Elgin brings White back up, and buckle bombs him in the corner! But the referee gets caught in it, too! Elgin checks on the ref, then he goes back to White. White gives Big Mike a low blow uppercut to Little Mike! Then, Blade Runner! The referee returns to count the cover, White wins!
Winner: Jay White, by pinfall; White earns 2 points, Elgin earns 0
The Switchblade takes the lead in Block A by any means necessary. White wants to reign over Chaos and all of NJPW as THE IWGP Heavyweight Champion. Will his streak continue and bring him all the way to the G1 Climax Finals?
Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Bad Luck Fale!
The Ace and the Underboss go around one more time, but this New Japan Cup rematch might be marred if the Bullet Club splinter cell show themselves. Can the two-time G1 Climax winner put Fale away before the Guerrillas of Destiny arrive?
Well that’s gonna be hard to do now, as Tonga Loa accompanies the lean, mean, Tongan machine to the ring. Even so, Tanahashi stays focused on his opponent. Red Shoes checks both men and finds they’re clean. He tells Tonga Loa to hop down off the apron, and Loa obliges. The bell rings, and Tanahashi immediately hits Fale with a dropkick! Tanahashi stomps away at the legs, then puts on leg on the ropes for another dropkick. Fans fire up with The Ace as he goes after the legs with more stomps. Tanahashi whips Fale but Fale reverses. Fale runs in but Tanahashi dodges to chop block! Fans chant for Tanahashi as he stalks Fale. Tanahashi brings Fale around to kick that bad knee. Fale staggers to ropes but Tanahashi refuses to let up. Tanahashi runs, but Fale follows, only for Tanahashi to drop toehold him.
Tanahashi puts Fale’s legs into a deathlock, pulling back on both knees. Fale reaches back to grab at Tanahashi, but then reaches out to grab ropes. Tanahashi honors the ropebreak, but then stomps Fale more. Fale slips out of the ring, and voids Tanahashi’s slingshot plancha. But Tanahashi lands on the apron, to cannonball onto Fale! Fans are thunderous as Tanahashi fires up. Tanahashi drags Fale up, and has camera men clear out. He whips but Fale reverses, sending Tanahashi over the rails into commentary! Roppongi 3K’s Sho almost gets wiped out. Fale grabs a chair from one of the other commentary tables! Red Shoes tells him to put it down, but Fale refuses. Fale even threatens Red Shoes with it! But this is all to distract the ref from seeing Loa stomp Tanahashi out!
Sho and commentary try to get Red Shoes’ attention, but Loa backs off in time. Fale lets go of the chair and goes over to fetch Tanahashi. Fans clear out with help from the Young Lions, and Fale bowls for chairs using Tanahashi! Fans cheer Tanahashi in attempts to power him up, but Fale leaves him to the mercy of the 20 count. The count reaches 10 before Tanahashi reaches ringside. Tanahashi stands and enters at 14. Fale is right on him, and stands on his ribs! He backs off at 4, but then comes back to kick Tanahashi while he’s down. Fale drags Tanahashi up and puts him on the ropes to bend him backward. Red Shoes counts, and Fale lets off at 4 again. Tanahashi grits his teeth but Fale clubs his back. Fale puts Tanahashi back on the ropes for more clubbing forearms.
Tanahashi writhes to a corner but fans continue to rally. Fale wags a finger, their cheers won’t help Tanahashi. Fale gives Tanahashi big body shots, then a scoop slam. He sits on Tanahashi for the cover, TWO! Tanahashi crawls but Fale looms over him. Fale sits Tanahashi up for a nerve hold! Fale digs his fingers into Tanahashi’s trapezius, but fans rally more. Tanahashi feeds off the energy and gets to his feet. He fights back with elbows, then forearms. Fale staggers, but comes back with one big forearm of his own. Fale has Tanahashi in a corner, and gives him clubbing clotheslines from both sides. Tanahashi is down and dazed while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns, and Fale says “It’s too easy, man.” He looms over Tanahashi in the corner. He brings Tanahashi up and whips him corner to corner. Tanahashi comes running out to dropkick Fale’s bad leg! Tanahashi dropkicks it again, then again! He brings Fale back for a waistlock, but Fale is too big and strong for the German Suplex. Fale elbows out, but Tanahashi hits him back with a palm strike. Fale falls down, Tanahashi grabs the leg, for a grounded dragon screw! The screw drives Fale’s leg into the mat, and now Fale writhes as he clutches the knee. Tanahashi keeps on him with an attempt at the Cloverleaf. He props Fale up and works to roll him over, but Fale is still big and strong. They struggle against each other, but Tanahashi gets the hold!
Fale endures, and he powers his way out, sending Tanahashi all the way out of the ring! Tanahashi and Fale both take a few moments to recover. Fale goes out but Tanahashi gets back in. Tanahashi runs, but into Fale’s grip! Fale rocks Tanahashi with a right, but then Tanahashi dragon screws the leg between the ropes! Fans chant “Go Ace!” for Tanahashi as he takes aim. Tanahashi runs, sunset flip, but Fale sits on him! TWO, but barely! Loa coaches Fale up while the fans are on Tanahashi’s side. Fale runs and splashes! TWO, but still close! Tanahashi gasps for air while Fale brings him up. Tanahashi throws hands, then bobs ‘n’ weaves with Fale. He hits a European Uppercut, but runs into a lariat!
Fale drags Tanahashi up, but Tanahashi palm strikes before he can throw the Grenade thumb spike. Fale fireman carries Tanahashi instead, for the Samoan Drop! Both men are down from exhaustion but Fale makes the cover. TWO as Tanahashi survives. Fans rally up but Fale is first to stand. Fale brings Tanahashi up, preparing a powerbomb. Tanahashi slips out of the crucifix to huricanrana! Cover, TWO!! But Tanahashi comes back with a Slingblade, but Fale’s size and strength help him get out of it. Tanahashi rolls Fale up instead, TWO! Tanahashi tries a fisherman, but Fale scoops him. That bad leg gives way, and Tanahashi comes back with the swinging neckbreaker!
Fans rally again while Loa is worried. Tanahashi runs, the Slingblade hits! But he’s not done, as he goes top rope… High Fly Flow FLOPS as Fale moves! Tanahashi and Fale stir and stand while the fans are thunderous. Fale runs in for a big corner clothesline! Then he grabs Tanahashi, for the Grenade thumb thrust to choke slam! Cover, TWO!? Tanahashi survives that brutal combination, but Fale prepares a bomb! He lifts Tanahashi, crucifix but Tanahashi pops out to bring Fale down with an inverted bulldog! Tanahashi hurries up top, for the HIGH FLY FLOW! Cover, but Loa drags Red Shoes out!!
And he attacks Tanahashi! It was only a matter of time before it came to this. Loa stomps Tanahashi out while Fale slowly sits up. Fans boo the Firing Squad, but they don’t care. Loa brings Tanahashi up, and Fale prepares a lariat. Tanahashi ducks, the lariat hits Loa! Then Tanahashi Slingblades Fale down! But it’s Tama Tonga with a Gun Stun outta nowhere! The quintessential leader of the Firing Squad is here. He tells Tanahashi to never defy them. Fale covers, Tonga drags Red Shoes in, but Red Shoes says F U, Firing Squad! He calls for the DQ!
Winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi, by disqualification; Tanahashi earns 2 points, Fale earns 0
The Tongans are furious with Red Shoes, and Tama grabs him around the collar. But then they go after Tanahashi, stomping and punching away. No one makes the rescue, so the Firing Squad leave when they feel satisfied. Will anyone, from wrestlers to administration, stand up to this pack of wolves?
Kazuchika Okada VS Hangman Page!
The Rainmaker hasn’t been acting quite like himself since Kenny Omega took the title from him. He’s already lost twice, but is he so vulnerable as to give the Problem Solver a guaranteed win? Or is Hangman’s first G1 Climax too soon to defeat the former IWGP Heavyweight Champion?
The bell rings and fans cheer for Okada. Hangman tunes it out as he jaws with The Rainmaker. The two circle then tie up. Hangman gets the wristlock, but Okada rolls and reverses. Hangman rolls and reverses back to a hammerlock then snapmare. He puts Okada in a chinlock, but Okada gets up and out. Okada gets the hammerlock, but Hangman gets the ropebreak. Okada honors the break, and fakes his punch, to pat Hangman on the shoulders. He’s all smiles, but Hangman scowls. Okada ducks Hangman’s punch, then catches the boot. He shoves Hangman, having fun with him. Hangman runs into a drop toehold, and Okada grins while Hangman gets to a corner. Fans cheer him on but Hangman clotheslines him out! Hangman keeps going, and DIVES onto the downed Okada!
Hangman loves throwing caution to the wind, but even that was crazy. He gets up and mocking asks, “This is Okada now?” Hangman puts Okada back in the ring, then walks circles around him, like a shark with blood in the water. He shows off his strength with a pumphandle deadlift, into a brinding Fall Away Slam! TWO, but Hangman keeps hold of a leg to roll Okada around. Hangman chops Okada bluntly, then stalks him to a corner. Hangman stands Okada for another chop, then continues to question Okada’s character. He snapmares Okada into a chinlock, and he gives slaps to Okada’s head. Fans rally up and Okada fights out, but Hangman clubs him. Hangman runs into a boot, but he avoids Okada’s back senton. Hangman hits his standing shooting star! Cover, TWO, but Hangman keeps his cool.
Hangman toys with Okada, then drags him back up. He scoops Okada for the slam, then slingshots out and in for the senton atomico! Fans applaud his ability, but still rally up for Okada. Hangman sits Okada up for a neck wrench. Okada endures and works his way up. He fights back but Hangman ear claps him. Hangman whips but Okada reverses to a DDT! Both men are down, but Okada kips up! Okada runs and rallies with forearms and elbows. He whips but Hangman reverses, only for Okada to come back with a back elbow. Okada brings Hangman up but Hangman gives body shots and a forearm. Hangman runs, but into a flapjack! Cover, TWO!
Fans rally behind Okada as he runs corner to corner. Hangman dodges, then runs back in, but Okada dodges. Okada puts Hangman up top to dropkick him to the floor! Okada goes out slowly to fetch Hangman, not satisfied with a possible count out win. He rocks Hangman with a EuroUpper, then whips him at barriers. Okada runs and boots Hangman into the crowd! Young Lions help clear fans out while Okada walks over to fetch Hangman. Okada drags Hangman out but Hangman fights back. Hangman rocks Okada, then slingshots for the Buck Shot! Direct hit and both men are down while we go to break!
NJPW on AXS returns and Red Shoes checks on both men on the outside. Hangman stands first, and he drags Okada up and into the ring. He positions Okada in the drop zone before climbing up top. Fans rally up, and Hangman MOONSAULT! It FLOPS as Okada evades! Okada stands but Hangman runs in, only to get a boot. Hangman tries again but Okada gets him in Alabama Slam position. Hangman fights out and clubs Okada from behind. He whips Okada but Okada reverses, only to miss the dropkick. Hangman jackknifes and rolls to lift Okada, but Okada fights against the Rite. Okada gut wrenches but Hangman reverses to his own. Hangman changes from Tombstone to inverted cradle piledriver! Cover, TWO!! Okada barely survives, but now fans are dueling between the two.
Hangman sits up, and stares wild eyed at Okada. He brings Okada up, prepares the Rite, but Okada grabs the ropes. Hangman pulls but then dumps Okada off. Okada hits Hangman with a forearm, then hurries up top. Hangman stops Okada, then climbs up to join him. Fans fire up but Okada resists the superplex. Okada fights back with body shots, then throws a forearm. Hangman falls back, but comes back with a forearm of his own. Okada teeters while Hangman climbs up. They stand on the very top, for a SUPER neckbreaker! But Okada rolls out of the ring. Hangman goes to a corner and climbs up again. Fans anticipate what’s coming, it’s Hangman’s SUPER ASAI MOONSAULT! He hits Okada, then puts him in the ring. Fans have sided with Hangman now as he slingshots, for another Buck Shot! Cover, TWO!!
Okada survives again, but his eyes are staring into space. Hangman calls for the finish! He brings Okada up, into position, but Okada sunset flips! TWO, but barely, and Hangman runs into a waistlock. Okada German Suplexes, but Hangman lands on his feet! Hangman aims at Okada, runs corner to corner, for a big dropkick! Then a scoop, but Okada reverses, into the Tombstone! But Okada’s too exhausted to make a cover! Fans duel as they rally up. Okada sits up, but Hangman slowly follows. Okada throws a forearm, but Hangman comes back with one. Now Okada boots Hangman, and he dares Hangman to return it. Hangman swings but Okada ducks to give a EuroUpper. Okada blocks the Superkick but gets the roaring elbow!
Hangman whips but Okada reverses and hits the dropkick this time. He brings Hangman up, wrings him out, but misses to get a SUPERKICK! Hangman runs, but is put on the apron. He rocks Okada agian, slingshots but into the RAIN– No, Hangman tilt-o-whirls through, to powerbomb Okada! High stack, TWO, roaring elbow! Fans fire up again as Hangman brings Okada up. Okada slips out, for a discus clothesline! He’s not done there, he swings Hangman out for THE Rainmaker! Cover, Okada wins!
Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall; Okada earns 2 points, Hangman earns 0
Okada is finally on the board! His losing streak ends, but it was still a tough fight. He still has a long way to go, can he climb back up to the top of A Block? And while Hangman goes 1-2, he still shows so much promise. Will he manage his own turn around to the top of the G1?
“Finally, finally, finally, the first victory!” Fans applaud for that. Okada jokingly says it was an easy win. But he is happy, and he thanks the fans. Okada seems to be holding back the tears, but the fans cheer him. But then he’s totally fine as he says, “Still, the G1 tournament has only just begun. I will dominate. And make it rain.” Okada drops the mic, still confident in himself. He may be more relaxed than normal, but will he still make the climb?
Hangman knows that since losing the title, Okada “has been a damn mess.” But this match was more about beating “the man that was the champion”. If Hangman could do that, he could do anything. He felt how close he was to getting those points. But now he’s got a fire burning.
Okada apologizes for the wait. “To all of you enjoying the G1 Climax,” it’s great. He’s enjoying himself, too. He hasn’t lost sight of the prize. He’ll keep having fun as he keeps winning. Okada knows the title matters, his shot at Kenny Omega matters, but what really matters is that it will all be Okada’s. We know from the standings that Okada has a long way to go to catch up to Jay White, but if anyone can do it, it’s the Rainmaker. Will he do it? Or is it already too late to take it all back?
I was hoping to see these moments from the G1 Climax. It was a nice surprise to get the last bit of White VS Elgin, and White going on this quick 3-0 tear is definitely a sign that NJPW appreciates his talent. Even if White doesn’t go to the Finals, his victories will definitely lead him to something. Plus, he and Okada need to settle who is truly leader of Chaos before it ends up like the Bullet Club Civil War. Then speaking of, obviously the Firing Squad would try to cheat. It backfired on them and Tanahashi gets the points, and as we know in real time, NJPW the company would issue a statement and “suspend” the Firing Squad in order to let the G1 Climax finish cleanly. This could go any direction after the “suspension” is over, it’s definitely intriguing.
Okada VS Hangman was great, and the stories involved are well thought out. Okada finally gets points, and he clearly feels some weight off his shoulders now. He vows to be back to his dominant ways soon enough, but that almost promises he’s not. This with White challenging his command of Chaos, Okada has a lot on his plate for the rest of the year. Hangman himself isn’t deterred, he knows he’s getting to that level. It’s only a matter of time before Hangman has his first singles title in NJPW, I’m really excited for when he gets that moment.
My Score: 8.2/10
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Mitchell’s Ring of Honor Report! (8/11/18)
ROH WRESTLING TELEVISION, Episode 360
The 9-Time ROH World Tag Team Champions, Jay & Mark Briscoe, plan to show why they’re the Baddest Team on the Whole Damn Planet by taking on The Bouncers!
- The Briscoes VS The Bouncers; The Briscoes win.
- WOH Championship #1 Contenders Fatal 4 Way: Karen Q VS Tenille Dashwood VS Madison Rayne VS Kelly Klein; Madison wins and will challenge Sumie Sakai for the WOH Championship.
- Six Man Tag: Cheeseburger, Flip Gordon & Josh Woods VS Bully Ray, Shane Taylor & Punishment Martinez; rescheduled as…
- 3v2 Handicap: Cheeseburger & Josh Woods VS Bully Ray, Shane Taylor & Punishment Martinez; Bully, Taylor & Martinez win.
PLAY BY PLAY
The Briscoes VS The Bouncers!
The Baddest Tag Team in ROH takes on the literally biggest team in a non-title match. Tonight turns Sandy Fork VS Everybody into #DemBoys VS Beer City Bruiser & Brian Milonas, but will Jay & Mark turn them into two more notches on their belts?
Fans chant “Man Up!” as the bell rings. Mark starts against the Mastadon, and tie up. Milonas shoves Mark back to a corner, but Mark comes back with chops and haymakers. Mark tries but fails to whip, Milonas runs him over with a shoulder. Milonas fires body shots on Mark in a corner, then whips him corner to corner. Mark goes to the apron, counter punches Milonas, then climbs up for a crossbody. Milonas catches Mark but Mark fights back with palm strikes. Mark runs, but into Milona’s big body, and big overhead suplex! Jay tags in and boots Milonas. Milonas stays up so Jay rams a shoulder in. He still can’t topple Milonas, so he tries again. Milonas still stays up, so Jay rocks him with a European Uppercut. Jay runs and Mark tags in.
Milonas lifts Jay but Jay slips out to hold Milonas’ arms back. Mark comes in to mug Milonas with body shots to his belly. Jay hits BCB for good measure, then the Briscoes double whip. Milonas stays up after double shoulders, and BCB comes in. The Briscoes duck his double clotheslines and now they all brawl. The Briscoes rock the Bouncers, then run, but into double bellies! Fans boo and jeer while the Briscoes crawl to corners. The Bouncers coordinate but while BCB squashes Mark, Milonas misses Jay. Jay stomps a mudhole into Milonas while BCB does the same to Mark. BCB calls Jay out and they start shoving. They start brawling with big forearms, but BCB knees low. BCB runs but into a dropkick! Jay builds speed, but Milonas intercepts with a Bouncer Pounce!
Mark fires off Redneck Fu on Milonas, but Milonas reverses the whip. Mark uses that to wreck BCB with a dropkick. Milonas walks over but Jay dumps him over! Mark groups up the Bouncers for Jay to FLY! Fans fire up as Mark climbs up now for a SUPER corkscrew senton! The Briscoes have control while we go to break.
ROH returns and the Bouncers have control. BCB drops Mark with a Samoan Drop, and Milonas brings the straps down for his running back senton! Cover, TWO! Milonas tags BCB in and the Bouncers bring Mark up. They whip him into their corner, then BCB whips Milonas in. Mark dodges to then hit and chop BCB. Milonas boots Mark, and BCB holds Mark up while Milonas climbs. Mark fights back but he still gets the draping Mastadon leg drop! Cover, but Jay breaks it in time! Jay goes after both Bouncers with fast hands and elbows, then kicks to the guts. He runs, but into double body shots. The Bouncers sandwich Jay between their guts!
BCB throws Jay out, to then CANNONBALL! But Jay dodges, and BCB hits the floor! Jay hotshots Milonas, Mark flies in with a crossbody. Milonas still catches him, but Jay comes in to help. The Briscoes club and clobber Milonas to a corner. Mark runs corner to corner for a big clothesline, then Jay adds his own. Mark goes again, then they both stomp a mudhole into Milonas. BCB returns, but he ends up giving Milonas that hip attack! Jay manages to lift BCB in a fireman’s carry, for the Death Valley Driver! Mark covers, TWO! Jay kicks Milonas out, but BCB sends Mark to the apron. Mark gives Milonas an apron blockbuster while Jay rocks BCB. Jay gives BCB the neckbreaker, and Mark adds his Froggy-Bow! Cover, The Briscoes win!
Winners: The Briscoes, Mark pinning
The champions get a literally big win. The titles will be on the line at Honor Reunited in the UK, will #DemBoyz bring those titles back home to the States with them?
The Briscoes speak.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we are the Briscoes. And we are the Baddest Tag Team on the Planet!” Fans agree with that. Jay says they’re the 9-time ROH Tag Team Champions, and ain’t no team in the world taking the belts from them. Especially not “those bums from California”, SoCal Uncensored. The SCU don’t want none. But wait, here they come!
Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky eye the Briscoes from the ramp. Scorpio asks if somebody said “SCU”. The fans echo “SCU!” Be careful what you wish for, because the odds are in SCU’s favor. Dem Boyz see that, 3 against 2. But they don’t need odds. Scorpio can let The Addiction handle this. Bring it on then! ANd it’s a brawl! Security rushes the ring to keep this chaos at a minimum. Fans want to “Let Them Fight!” and fight they do, but we go to break.
WOH Championship #1 Contenders Fatal 4 Way: Karen Q VS Tenille Dashwood VS Madison Rayne VS Kelly Klein!
The Ray of Sunshine is still the inaugural reigning and defending Women’s Champion of ROH, and she has a line of eager challengers forming. The Queen of Queens, The Dancing Queen, the Queen Bee and the Gatekeeper all want that shot, but only one woman can get it!
The Code of Honor is upheld between Tenille, Madison and even Karen. Kelly doesn’t care, she’s just ready for the bell. Karen ducks out, she’s too smart for that. Kelly clobbers Tenille and Madison, then keeps on them with more clubbing forearms. Madison and Tenille work together to fight back and whip Kelly, but Kelly dodges them. But then she gets clothesline’d out of the ring by both of them. Tenille and Madison now circle as fans rally up. They tie up, Tenille rolls Madison, ONE. Madison rolls Tenille, TWO. Madison trips Tenille for a cover, ONE. Tenille returns the favor, ONE. The two stand off and fans applaud. Tenille and Madison shake hands again, but Karen rushes in. Karen gets kicked, then a double suplex. Karen rolls back out, and Tenille sucker punches Madison. She whips Madison, but Madison tilt-o-whirl headscissors.
Madison whips but Tenille reverses to forearm. Tenille runs but Kelly drags her out. Karen ambushes Madison and gives her a buckle bump. Karen bumps Madison on another buckle, then gives her a facelock to neckbreaker. Cover, TWO! Karen grows frustrated already, and she whips Madison corner to corner. Karen hits a runing forearm, then a back elbow. She keeps going but her boot misses. Tenille throws Kelly into barriers while Madison runs at Karen. Karen dodges to snap suplex Madison. Cover, but Tenille breaks it. Tenille brings Karen up to whip her, but Karen reverses. Karen runs in but into a boot. Tenille grabs Karen with body scissors, for her Tarantula! She lets go at 4, then she climbs up top. Karen stands and trips Tenille up.
Karen climbs up to join Tenille, but Tenille resists. Madison joins in from the other side, but here comes Kelly! It’s a TOWER OF DOOM! The double superplex powerbomb gives the Pretty Badass control, and we go to break.
ROH returns as Tenille is in a corner. She runs at Karen and rallies with lariats. Madison returns but Tenille puts her in a corner. Kelly runs in but misses Tenille to instead hit Madison. Tenille puts Kelly in another corner while Karen crawls to a third. Fans anticipate what’s coming, and Tenille gives Kelly a Taste of Tenille. She gives a Taste of Tenille to Karen, then a third serving to Madison! Tenille kicks Karen, double underhook for a butterfly suplex. Cover, but Kelly breaks it. Kelly drags Tenille up and tosses her out. Karen and Kelly brawl but Kelly lifts Karen up. Madison runs but Kelly catches her! Fall Away Slam and Samoan Drop! Cover, TWO!! Kelly is furious that Karen survived.
Tenille returns as fans rally up. Tenille gets to Kelly first, but Kelly blocks the suplex. Kelly hoists Tenille up but Tenille fights back. She knocks Kelly away, then adjusts, for a flying crossbody! Cover, TWO! Tenille gets up and wants Kelly to stand. Spotlight Kick! But Karen tosses Tenille! Cover on Kelly, TWO!? Karen is furious that she didn’t succeed. Madison kicks Karen, for the Rayne Check! High stack cover, Madison wins!
Winner: Madison Rayne, by pinfall; will challenge Sumie Sakai for the WOH Championship
The Queen Bee capitalizes on Karen Q, and now she gets her first shot at Sumie Sakai’s title. Sumie is there to lock eyes with her new contender. Will Sumie keep her reign going? Or will Rayne reign as the second-ever champion?
The American Nightmare, Cody, is here!
He, along with lovely wife, Brandi Rhodes, heads to the ring to speak. ROH takes a quick break, but comes back once Cody has mic in hand. Cody says he’s been rather “unlucky” as of late. “In both of my ROH Championship rematches, I have not been successful.” Cody noticed it, though. In both rematches, not a single one was one-on-one. He feels he’s created too much of a bad mood, he wants to bring our spirits up. Cody needs a certain someone that’s all business. Cody needs someone that is the top of the food chain, that doesn’t sing or dance, yes, drum roll please. Fans oblige and… Nick Aldis appears?
Yes, it’s the National Treasure, the NWA World Heavyweight Champion himself! Cody made the challenge for that very belt at All In, but Aldis is here to talk about that very match. They stood together in London and made history. The agreement to have a match at “the most iconic and history-making event” in modern wrestling was dependent on Cody providing an upside. Aldis needs something in return for the title that he stands for. But Cody wants to take it just because he wants it? No. Cody needs the ROH World Championship to put up, but he doesn’t have it, so what does he have instead? Because to Aldis, he has everything to lose and nothing to gain. “That sounds like bad business to me.”
Cody asks Aldis hold out his hand. He does, and Cody offers the literal Ring of Honor as collateral. Aldis should consider All In and their match. Aldis starts to leave, but Cody adds that “while you’re thinking about it,” Cody wants Aldis to consider how he’d like to move up from “the penny slots tot he high roller table.” Yes, the NWA World Title in front of 10451 people. Think of how Cody was defeating both Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi while Aldis was “beating up a 53-year-old history teacher”!
Aldis is mad now, and he gets back in the ring. He shows Cody that ring, on his finger. Aldis wants Cody to kiss the ring. But here comes the Bullet Club to keep the peace. Marty Scurll is also a good friend of Aldis, so he’s trying to talk reason into the NWA champ. Things cool down while we go to break.
Six Man Tag: Cheeseburger, Flip Gordon & Josh Woods VS Bully Ray, Shane Taylor & Punishment Martinez!
After months of the Hall of Fame legend of ECW belittling and, well, bullying the younger generation, it’s time for that younger generation to stand up! Bully has called Burger and Flip entitled and lazy millennials, but they and The Goods are anything but. Can this rag tag trio defeat Bully and the enlisted Hitman and Purple Mist?
But as Flip Gordon makes his way out, Bully Ray blindsides him, and puts him into a post! Burger and Woods defend the fallen Flip, but Bully waits for back-up. We go to break while medics check on Flip.
ROH returns again, and fans cheer for Flip while medics help him walk to the back. Bully’s team are already in the ring as Bully speaks. “What’re we gonna do now?” This was meant to be a Six Man Tag. If you don’t have a partner, throw the match out and give Bully’s team the win so he can go home. Fans cheer for various alternates, especially for Colt Cabana. What’s Colt’s answer? He’s not dressed, but then who? Burger speaks up, and says if the “big bastards” want to fight 3v2, he and Woods are up for it! A handicap match? Well, Bully doesn’t mind that, so that’s what we’re getting. Do Burger and The Goods stand a chance being down a man?
3v2 Handicap: Cheeseburger & Josh Woods VS Bully Ray, Shane Taylor & Punishment Martinez!
Mr. Top Prospect 2018 faces off against the Notorious Hitman while fans boo Bully. Taylor looks ready, but then he tags out to the ROH World Television Champion. Bully trash talks for Martinez as he stares Woods down. Woods isn’t scared as he ties up with Martinez. Fans rally while Martinez puts Woods in a corner. Woods shoves Martinez, then ducks to fire off body shots. He ducks again to give more shots, but Martinez knees low. Martinez whips but Woods reverses and ducks to German Suplex! Martinez gets to an open corner, then boots Woods down. Bully likes what he sees, and now Taylor tags in. Taylor brings Woods up for a big right forearm. He trash talks then swings Woods out, but Woods counters with a T-Bone!
Taylor is reeling, and he tags Bully in. Burger wants at Bully, and fans want him to try. Woods tells Bully to hush as he listens to the fans. Woods tags in Burger, and Burger stares Bully down. Burger isn’t scared, but Bully kicks him low. Bully brings Burger in, and lifts, but Burger pops out to fire off! Bully shoves Burger, then runs in, but misses in the corner. Burger hurries up top, but Martinez comes in. The ref is busy with Martinez, so Taylor runs over and pushes Burger down! Bully comes back to drag Burger up. He puts Burger in the corner and gets ready to stomp while we go to break.
ROH returns once more, and Bully trash talks Burger as he stalks behind him. Burger crawls for his corner but gets crossface forearms from Bully. Bully asks how that tastes. He then chooses Taylor and tags him in. Taylor brings Burger up into a corner, for a strong overhand chop. Fans rally up for “Cheese! Burger!” Burger fights back, but eats another right from Taylor. Taylor puts Burger in a corner, then stands on his face. The ref counts and Taylor backs off at 4. Fans continue to cheer, but then Taylor blasts Woods off the apron! Woods almost wipes out a camera man at the same time. Burger boots Taylor back, then hops up. Flying tornado DDT! But Burger has no one to tag in! Colt Cabana has had enough, he gets to the corner! This is back to a Six Man as Cabana gets the tag!
Cabana fires off on Taylor with both hands, then dodges Martinez. Martinez hits Taylor, then Cabana hits Martinez with the back elbow. Woods clotheslines Martinez out. Taylor returns but Cabana springboards for the quebrada while Woods leaps onto Martinez! Fans fire up as Bully runs into Cabana’s SPEAR! Cabana rains down rights, but then Burger tags in. Burger climbs up, Cabana keeps the way clear for his double stomps! Cabana slingshots out onto Bully! Burger fires up, but Taylor comes in for a tilt-o-whirl into a side slam! Cover, Team Bully wins!
Winners: Bully Ray, Punishment Martinez & Shane Taylor, Taylor pinning
Cabana’s heroic efforts were for naught as Bully’s team wins. And then to pile on, Bully tackles Woods while Taylor fires off on Woods. Martinez comes in to stomp Burger while Bully gets his chain. Bully punches Woods, then lashes Cabana while Taylor holds Burger down. Bully and his bullies keep the underdogs down, but here comes Flip Gordon! He has a chair and SMACKS Martinez with it! He SMACKS Taylor, too, then glares at Bully. They circle, but Bully runs! Bullies are cowards, but when will this Bully get what he deserves?
A solid episode right here that smartly takes into account other events ROH is involved in. Opening with Briscoes VS Bounces was good, it helped give Beer City Bruiser and Brian Milonas a good showing while making Jay & Mark even more impressive by defeating two men bigger than both of them. Great brawl with SCU to give us more in their story. I feel the Addiction should win, they can only chase titles to keep the countdown at bay for so long. Them winning changes things so that every title defense they have could be their last. Then nice bit of drama going towards All In as Aldis points out Cody doesn’t have the ROH WHC. I’ll just assume Cody gets the belt so that All In’s match still happens.
I was surprised it was Madison Rayne and not the Heels, Kelly Klein and Karen Q, who won. I think the reason is that Madison should at least get a shot at the WOH Championship, assuming she leaves Impact and ROH to be in WWE/NXT after the 2018 Mae Young Classic. Therefore, Sumie retains but it’ll probably be a fun match. That Six Man turned Handicap turned Six Man again was pretty good stuff. In light of what’s happening with CM Punk, Cabana gets even more Face power now that he’s helping Burger against Bully Ray. Flip Gordon does great coming back from being taken out to run off Bully’s team. I expect a rematch, with Burger, Flip and Cabana from the start to take on Bully and at least Taylor. Martinez might opt out to defend his ROH WTV title.
My Score: 8/10