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.
PLAY BY PLAY
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
Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: Power Struggle 2018 Part 3!
NJPW Power Struggle concludes with Chris Jericho defending his IWGP Intercontinental Championship against the King of Darkness, Los Ingobernables’ EVIL!
This coverage of Power Struggle will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Gifs can be found at http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- Jay White & Bad Luck Fale w/ Gedo VS Kazuchika Okada & Trent Barreta; Okada & Barreta win.
- The Golden Lovers VS Hiroshi Tanahashi & David Finlay; The Golden Lovers win.
- IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Chris Jericho VS Evil; Jericho wins and retains the IWGP Intercontinental Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene!
Y2J took the IWGP Intercontinental Championship from Tetsuya Naito after a brutal attack, and then continued that brutality after the match! The King of Darkness rescued the leader of Los Ingobernables de Japon, and now looks to take the title from Chris Jericho. Jericho didn’t appreciate Evil interfering in his business, and attacked Evil at the King of Pro-Wrestling event. Jericho vows to finish this, with the title on the line! Will the Walls of Jericho crumble when Darkness Falls? Or is the Greatest of All Time at What He Does going to prove just that to conclude Power Struggle 2018?
Jay White & Bad Luck Fale w/ Gedo VS Kazuchika Okada & Trent Barreta!
The Switchblade attempted a mutiny of Chaos but failed to overthrow the Rainmaker, so he joined up with the Bullet Club Firing Squad instead. Now Okada and Chaos want payback, and look for it in this tag team match. Will Okada make White and Gedo pay for their betrayal? Or will he and Trent #BreathewiththeSwitchblade?
Before the bell rings, Okada rushes White! White bails out but Okada pursues with a slingshot plancha! Trent goes after Fale while Okada whips White into railing. The bell rings just so this match can happen. Fans move aside as Okada brings White past the railing. Okada bowls White into chairs then rocks him with European Uppercuts. Okada brings White back to ringside and throws White into the apron’s edge. Trent keeps the Underboss on the ropes in the ring with chops and haymakers. White hits Okada at the corner! White throws Okada into railing now! Fale throws Trent out while White returns the favor, bowling Okada through chairs! Fans are again around the action as White clubs Okada.
White brings Okada back around and whips, but Okada reverses to send White back into railing! Okada boots White up and White ends up across both blue and white railing. Okada drags him out, draping DDT to the floor! Trent keeps on Fale with a wrecking ball dropkick and Fale staggers. Fans fire up and Trent builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit takes Fale down! Trent comes back but Fale brings him up in a bearhug. Fale rams Trent into a post, then runs him over with a clothesline! Okada grinds a boot into White and a 20 count finally begins. The count reaches 7 but Fale puts Trent in the ring. Fale throws big hands and close-range clotheslines. He whips Trent corner to corner hard and Trent tumbles up and then back down. Fale squashes him in the corner! And the splash! Cover, TWO!!
Trent survives and fans fire up. Okada glares at Gedo, who begs for some mercy. Fale choke slams Trent and Okada goes to save Trent but Gedo anchors his feet! Fale brings Trent up but Trent slips through to a sunset flip! Trent & Okada win!!
Winners: Kazuchika Okada & Trent Barreta, Trent pinning
But Fale won’t let Trent enjoy it, as he stomps him out! White clobbers Okada and throws him into barriers. White keeps going but Okada hits back. They brawl but the Young Lions try to separate them. The Young Lions get knocked around and the brawl continues. White keeps on Okada but Okada hits him back! They both go into chairs, but Gedo gets involved. Gedo gets knocked away but White clobbers Okada again. Gedo wants White to retreat, but White goes right at Okada again! Okada almost gets White with a gut wrench but Gedo gets White away. Okada blasts his way through the Young Lions to again brawl with White! Gedo separates White once more and things finally settle down.
White gets a mic and dares Okada to a 1v1 match any time, anywhere, no one else around. Okada replies, “Let’s do this right now!” But White doesn’t accept that, and takes his anger out on Young Lions. When will White man up to face Okada like he says?
The Golden Lovers VS Hiroshi Tanahashi & David Finlay!
The Best Bout Machine and The Once in a Century Talent compete for THE IWGP Heavyweight Championship, as Hiroshi Tanahashi has the challenging rights contract he won in the G1 Climax. But before their Wrestle Kingdom 13 showdown, we get a sampler as they join forces with friends for a tag team battle! Will Kenny Omega & Kota Ibushi hit two birds with one stone by proving they are a top level tag team while Omega proves he’s better than Tanahashi? Or will The Ace and the #BlockChampion gain major momentum going into the biggest NJPW event?
The teams meet and Tanahashi mocks the Cleaner’s finger gun. Tanahashi and Omega start arguing, then they start fighting! The bell rings and the brawl continues. Tanahashi hist, Omega hits, and back again. Tanahashi gets an edge and whips but Omega holds the ropes. Omega boots Tanahashi but misses the V-Trigger. Tanahashi swings but Omega dodges, and back again. The two stare down but the fans fire up. Omega and Tanahashi cool off, and Omega tags to Ibushi. Tanahashi tags to Finlay, and fans rally for both of them. Ibushi and Finlay circle and tie up. Finlay gets a waistlock but Ibushi gets the standing switch. Finlay reverses to a wristlock bu Ibushi reverses back. Ibushi wrenches but Finlay reverses, shifts to a headlock, but Ibushi reverses to a hammerlock and headlock. Finlay powers out and things speed up, Finlay dropkicks Ibushi down!
Ibushi checks his teeth while Finlay brings him up. Omega manages a tag as Finlay whips Ibushi. Things speed up as both Lovers hurdle Finlay. Ibushi roundhouses Finlay, and Omega hits the Kotaro Krusher bulldog! Omega covers, TWO! Omega brings Finlay up and bumps him off the buckles, then tags to Ibushi. Ibushi stomps Finlay, then throws forearms. Ibushi eggs Finlay on so Finlay gives forearms back, but Ibushi’s one forearm knocks Finlay over. Tag to Omega, and Omega mugs Finlay. Omega whips Finlay and runs him over with a back elbow. He stands Finlay up in an open corner for haymakers and CHOPS! Omega whips Finlay corner to corner hard and Finlay hits the mat. cover, but Tanahahsi breaks it. So Omega throws Tanahashi out and follows after! Omega whips Tanahashi into railing!
Omega returns to Finlay but Finlay hits back. They brawl, forearms for EuroUppers. Finlay runs but into the kitchen sink knee. Omega spots Tanahashi returning and slingshots out to take him down! Omega gets up and assures Ibushi he’s got this. But he enters and collides with Finlay! Tanahashi returns to his corner, Finlay gives him the tag! Tanahashi rallies on the Lovers, blocks Omega’s boot, and hits a dragon screw! Fans fire up with Tanahashi as he stalks Omega, Tanahashi runs but Omega dodges to fireman’s carry. “You Can’t Escape!” Rolling senton but a little slow to the corner. Omeag’s moonsault misses and Tanahashi dropkicks the leg out. Tanahsahi runs into a CHOP, but he palm strikes back! V-Trigger outta nowhere! Omega then ducks to snap dragon suplex!
Omega fires up and drags Tananashi into the Electric Chair. Tanahashi spins through to the Twist ‘n’ Shout! Fans rally up while both men are down. Ibushi and Finlay return to their corners, and reach out as Omega and Tanahashi crawl. Hot tags bring them both in, but both men dodges each other. Ibushi fires off a strike fest, then a Penalty Kick to standing corkscrew! Cover, TWO! Fans rally for Ibushi as he drags Finlay up. Finlay resists and fights out with elbows. Finlay forearms but Ibushi hits back. They brawl, fighting Irish spirit against Japanese bushido. Finlay staggers but EuroUppers. Ibushi forearms and they go back and forth. Ibushi kicks, then runs, but into a BIG urenage! Cover, TWO!! Finlay keeps his focus as he vows to finish this. He aims from a corner, but his cutter is blocked int a straitjacket German! Bridge, TWO!
Ibushi has both hands, but misses Kamigoye! Tanahashi Slingblades Ibushi, but gets Omega’s V-Trigger! Omega scoops Finlay up, and Ibushi comes in, Golden Indietaker! But they’re not done with Finlay, they sit him up for the Golden Trigger, only for Tanahashi to crossbody them both! Tanahashi runs again, but into V-trigger and roundhouse combo! Ibushi drags Finlay back in, Golden Trigger hits!! Cover, Golden Lovers win!
Winners: The Golden Lovers, Kota Ibushi pinning
Victory for the Cleaner and Golden Star! Omega taunts Tanahashi with both his belt and Tanahashi’s briefcase. Tick tock, Wrestle Kingdom is coming. Will Omega prove he can trump The Ace? Or will The Once in a Century Talent take the title for his own once more?
IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Chris Jericho VS Evil!
The Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolla has done what he wants when he wants since coming to NJPW, and that doubly goes for the two members of Los Ingobernables de Japon he’s gone after. Y2J left Tetsuya Naito bloody, and ambushed Evil as one of his acolytes. Will The King of Darkness make him pay for such disrespect? Or will Jericho simply add Evil to the List of wrestlers he’s defeated?
Jericho seems to mock LIJ as he takes his time with his wardrobe. He pulls off one mask to reveal he has another. Evil doesn’t wait for him to take that mask off, he attacks! The bell rings to get this match going, and Evil throws forearm after forearm into Jericho. Evil rakes Jericho’s eyes then whips him corner to corner. Jericho’s boot is blocked and Evil clotheslines back. Evil whips Jericho again, but Jericho bails out fast. Jericho wants to walk away already but Evil pursues him. Evil attacks Jericho and bowls him into chairs! Fans get clear as Evil clubs away. Jericho hits back and they brawl in the front row. Evil chops Jericho then follows him back to ringside. Evil bumps Jericho into a post, then suplexes him to the floor!
Jericho writhes but Evil looms over him. Evil has media clear out while he searches under the ring. Evil brings out a table! He sets it up nearby while Jericho leans on railing. Evil goes back to Jericho but the brawl continues. Evil throws Jericho into the apron, then brings him over to the table. Red Shoes tells Evil not to do it, but Evil still wants to use the table. Evil lifts but Jericho resists. Jericho back drops Evil to the ground! Jericho comes back to stomp Evil, then whips Evil into railing! Fans rally while Jericho confiscates a camera. Jericho films himself stomping Evil, then gives the camera back. Jericho uses his shirt to choke Evil, then dumps Evil over railing!
Red Shoes reprimands Jericho but Jericho goes to the commentary area. Jericho clears things out and slams Evil on the desk. Then he drags Evil onto that desk, and gives Evil a DDT to the desk! “Everything is Jericho!” while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns, and Jericho gloats over Evil. Jericho swats Young Lions and gets in Red Shoes’ face before going back to Evil. Jericho tosses Evil back over the railing then tosses the desk at more Young Lions! He takes the NJPW banner and blows his nose in it! Fans boo and jeer as Jericho tosses the banner away. Jericho talks trash to commentary before dropping double ax handles on Evil. He puts Evil in the ring and climbs up top. Evil stands and Jericho brings him down with a crossbody! Cover, TWO! Jericho stomps Evil out, then mocks the fans chanting for Evil. Jericho toys with Evil as he brings him up for chops. Evil staggers to a corner and Jericho gives him more chops, and forearms. Evil chops back but Jericho dropkicks him! Cover, TWO!
Fans rally for Evil but Jericho toys with him more. Jericho slaps Evil around but that angers Evil. Evil kicks and chops and haymakers back! Evil rakes eyes but runs into a SUPERKICK! Jericho hits the Lionsault! Cover, TWO! Evil survives again, but Jericho keeps his cool. Jericho drags Evil back up, scoops and slams him, then flexes his muscles. He stomps Evil in the face and kicks him in the back. Jericho goes to a corner and climbs while fans rally. Evil stops Jericho up top and gives him a chop. Evil climbs to join Jericho, but Jericho resists. They fight up there, and Jericho headbutts Evil down. Jericho adjusts as Evil stands, for a flying back elbow! Cover, TWO! Jericho stays calm while fans rally. Jericho flips the fans off then goes back to Evil. He still toys with Evil, so Evil hits back with chops!
Jericho kicks and scoops Evil, but Evil slips out. Evil blocks Jericho’s kick and hands it to Red Shoes, and kicks Jericho in the thigh! Evil throws punches and clotheslines Jericho out! Fans rally as Evil fetches Jericho. Evil brings Jericho up to club him, then whips him. Jericho reverses but Evil reverses back, Jericho collides with railing! Evil fires up and searches under the ring. Evil finds chairs! And he uses one on Jericho’s ribs! Evil puts it around Jericho’s head, and throws him at the post!! Jericho staggers, chair still around his head, and Evil SMACKS it off with another chair! Fans fire up for the ferocity, but Evil isn’t done with Jericho. Evil stalks Jericho and puts him back in the ring. Evil runs corner to corner for the corner clothesline! Then hits a fisherman suplex! Cover, TWO!
Fans rally and Evil brings Jericho up. Evil throws Jericho into buckles then stomps in a mudhole. Red Shoes counts and Evil backs off at 4. Evil runs back at Jericho, but the dropkick is blocked! Jericho wants the Walls but Evil resists. Evil throws Jericho off but Jericho dumps him out! Jericho hits the triangle jump dropkick! Evil hands on, so Jericho builds speed, only to run into a shoulder. Evil’s table is nearby, so Evil lines up a shot. He drags Jericho up, but Jericho resists the suplex. Evil keeps trying, but only manages to bring Jericho to the apron. Jericho breaks free of the facelock but gets a headbutt for it. Evil tries a new way, and leaps for an urenage through the table!! Both men crash and burn through the wood, and we go to break!
NJPW on AXS returns to find both men are still down. Red Shoes brings a 20 count, but neither man stirs until about 10. Evil sits up first at 13, followed by Jericho. They head for the ring and enter at 16. Evil climbs up top, aims and leaps, and the SUPER Back Senton manages to graze Jericho! Cover, TWO!! Jericho survives and Evil grows frustrated, but fans rally up. Evil drags Jericho up and wants a fireman’s carry but Jericho fights. Jericho rolls Evil up and gets the Walls of Jericho! Evil endures this iconic stretch and crawls for ropes, but Jericho pulls back while talking trash. Fans rally and Evil feeds off it to crawl further. Evil gives one last gasp, and gets the ropebreak!
Jericho lets go, thinking he won, but he didn’t. Jericho argues with Red Shoes, then shove shim down. Evil clobbers Jericho with a clothesline! Cover, TWO!! Evil lines up another shot, but Jericho elbows to counter. Jericho springboards but the Lionsault misses! Evil rolls through to fireman’s carry Jericho, Darkness Falls!! Cover, TWO!? Jericho barely survives and Evil can’t believe it! Fans rally again, and Evil prepares his shot. Evil slashes Jericho’s throat, drags him up, but Jericho victory rolls through! TWO, Jericho dodges but the Code Breaker is blocked. Double clotheslines bring both men down! Fans rally yet again and both men slowly stir.
Jericho CHOPS Evil, but Evil responds with a CHOP of his own. Jericho throws forearms but Evil responds. Now Jericho rakes the eyes then runs, but Evil follows, only to get a Code Breaker! Cover, TWO!! Evil barely survives and Jericho can’t believe it. Jericho slaps Evil as he tells him to stay down. Jericho rains down rights and bounces Evil’s face off the mat. “Everything is Jericho!” as he climbs up top. Evil stands again, and catches the ax handles. Jericho gets out of the STO but Evil blocks the clothesline. Evil hits his STO! Cover, TWO!! Jericho still lives and Evil is stunned! Evil prepares again, runs, and clotheslines Jericho again! Evil wants another but Jericho pushes him at Red Shoes! Jericho’s kick is blocked, Evil fireman’s carry, DARKNESS– Huricanrana! Roll through, to Walls of Jericho!!
Evil is stuck in the middle of the ring, but he crawls for ropes. Jericho sits deep, but Evil keeps trying. Evil gets close, but Jericho brings him away! Jericho gets an angle on the hold, Evil taps! Jericho wins!!
Winner: Chris Jericho, by submission; still IWGP Intercontinental Champion
The first defense is successful, and Jericho smiles an evil smile. But as always, he attacks afterward! He puts Evil back in the Walls of Jericho, even as the bell rings and Red Shoes shouts. But here comes Naito! Naito makes another save and he tees off on Jericho! Jericho bails out fast, taking the title with him. Naito invites Jericho to return but Jericho doesn’t. Jericho holds his hands and belt up high, but Naito gets a mic. “Chris Jericho, your next opponent… Is me.” Los Ingobernables de Japon’s Testuya Naito, “against self-proclaimed worldwide superstar, Chris Jericho. I’m gonna bury you, cabron.” The Ungovernable Charisma wants to make Jericho pay, will we see that happen at Wrestle Kingdom?
Chris Jericho says his match with Evil was an instant classic. That’s the first classic that Evil has ever had, but #257 for Jericho. Jericho has classic after classic after classic. He’s the GOAT for a reason. For those who don’t get that, perhaps the Japanese audience, it stands for Greatest of All Time. And it’s not a tagline, it’s not a catchphrase, it’st he truth. Find someone in the history of this world who has more Intercontinental Championship reigns that Y2J, he dares you! But you can’t! And not just because they pretend to not speak English. They won’t because “the foreigner won”. Jericho is undefeated in NJPW against Japanese, and he’ll stay that way.
Evil’s great, that was a great match, best in a long time for Jericho, but Jericho won like he said he would, and now Evil is famous thanks to him. Naito is famous thanks to Jericho, too. If Naito wants to be famous again, he should find someone else. Jericho says no more rematches for Naito ever. However, Jericho isn’t the match maker. Will NJPW management deem Naito worthy of another shot? Will Naito make the best of that opportunity and take the title back? Or will NJPW never, ever, EVER, be the same again?
What a great conclusion for the Power Struggle event. I’m surprised we got three matches, but two of them were surprisingly quick. The chaos in the minor Chaos VS Firing Squad match was great, it was like two separate singles matches rather than a tag team match. Chaos gets the rather meaningless win, and clearly White’s halfhearted “anywhere, any time” challenge implies Wrestle Kingdom will see Okada VS White as a blow-off. Now what would really make this match mean more is if there is a stipulation relating to who controls Chaos. If White wins, he and Gedo run Chaos as an extension of the Firing Squad so that their numbers grow. Of course, many of the Chaos members probably won’t go for it, and they would help Okada win in that scenario. But I’m sure Okada wins, stipulation or not.
The Golden Lovers VS Tanahashi & Finlay was great for being under 10 minutes. They barely slowed down once things got going, and while Omega and Tanahashi aren’t involved in the finish, it establishes Omega has an edge going into Wrestle Kingdom’s title match. There is a lot going on for The Elite as we go into 2019, with any number of things being reason for why Omega himself might be staying or going. I’d imagine the results of this IWGP Heavyweight Championship match is a major indicator of what is happening for Omega and by extension, The Elite. Then the IWGP Intercontinental Championship main event was really great. Jericho’s NJPW attitude has really kept him fresh, and he definitely meant it when Evil gave him a great match. Jericho VS Naito rematch is coming, and that could go either way by my estimation.
My Score: 8.6/10
Mitchell’s ROH Results & Report! (12/8/18)
Ring of Honor Wrestling Television, Episode 377
The real ROH World Champion and the “real” ROH World Champion battle before Final Battle! Will Jay Lethal and his allies bring down The Kingdom?
- Silas Young VS Flip Gordon; turned into…
- I Quit Match: Silas Young VS Flip Gordon; No Contest.
- Six Man Tag: Jay Lethal, Dalton Castle & Cody VS The Kingdom; Lethal, Castle & Cody win.
PLAY BY PLAY
Last time on ROH…
The Almighty Christopher Daniels explained that while Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky have new contracts, he does not. Daniels also explained that he had made the challenge to Marty Scurll to put his Survival of the Fittest ROH World Championship challenging rights on the line, and Scurll accepted! Final Battle will mean much more than a match to the Fallen Angel, but will The Villain do whatever he can to make sure this is Daniels’ final battle?
Silas Young VS Flip Gordon!
The Last Real Man feels pretty good about himself after beating The Sandman to make sure Flip Gordon would take his beating from Bully Ray. But the Captain of Flip Army looks to give Silas the receipt! Will Flip get some satisfaction just days before going against Bully in an I Quit Match?
Flip picks up a mic to speak to Silas. “You call yourself the Last Real Man? Well let’s see how much of a man you really are, and how about we have ourselves an I Quit match?” Silas’ response to the challenge is a throat chop! He clubs and stomps Flip, then decides to accept the challenge after all!
I Quit Match: Silas Young VS Flip Gordon!
The bell rings and Silas bumps Flip off buckles. Silas rips the shirt to CHOP Flip! Silas mocks the fans cheering Flip on, then snap suplexes Flip. He mocks the chanting as he lifts Flip up for another snap suplex. Silas stands up and eggs Flip on, so Flip fires off forearms! Flip whips but Silas reverses, only for Flip to go up and over. Flip goes Matrix with the handspring, to then kip up and PELE! Silas staggers and Flip springboards to a SPEAR! Silas rolls out and Flip builds up speed, to DIVE! Direct hit sends Silas into barriers, and Flip fires off hands! Fans fire up but Silas kicks low. Silas whips but Flip reverses to send Silas into more barriers! Flip drags Silas up for more forearms. Fans fire up as Flip stalks Silas.
Flip whips Silas into even more barriers, then brings him up for a snap suplex of his own! Silas writhes but Flip does not leave him alone. Flip puts Silas in the ring then climbs up. Flip aims and 450’s but rolls through as Silas evades. Silas gets Flip in the backbreaker and lariat, but Flip’s right up to SUPERKICK Silas! Flip runs, but Silas puts him on the apron. Silas ducks a clothesline but Flip ducks Silas’ triangle jump lariat! Flip trips Silas and brings him out for a brawl! Fans fire up as the haymakers fly. Flip dodges to mule kick from the apron, and climb up for a SUPER Asai! Down goes Silas and we go to break!
ROH returns and Flip gets a table! Flip puts the table in and starts setting it up in a corner. Flip fetches Silas but Silas throws a chair at him! Silas takes that chair and puts it in the ring, then puts Flip into a post! Silas grabs another chair and puts that in the ring, then puts Flip in the ring. Flip crawls but Silas flips him over to jab the chair into Flip’s ribs! And again! Fans say “Silas Sucks!” but Silas soaks up the heat as he jabs Flip again! Silas puts the chair down then sits the other chair up. He scoops and drops Flip onto the chair like a gutbuster! Silas again mocks the fans as he stomps Flip at the ropes.
Silas slingshots for double stomps and grinds his boots in. He takes the mic from the ref to shout “Give it up, Flip! Give it up!” Flip says “Never!” Silas drops the mic and stalks Flip to a corner. Fans rally for Flip but Silas throws forearms. Silas whips Flip but Flip slides to a stop. Flip swings but Silas ducks it to come back with a kick and a knee! Silas suplexes Flip onto the rope for the swinging neckbreaker! Silas then puts on a grounded full nelson for a modified stretch. Flip refuses to quit and rolls out to SUPERKICK Silas again! Silas slumps out of the ring and Flip slingshots. But Flip hits the floor as Silas dodges! Silas puts Flip in the ring then goes looking under the ring. He brings out a kendo stick!
Silas aims at Flip but Flip jabs and SMACKS Silas with the chair! Flip SMACKS and SMACKS and SMACKS! Flip picks up the kendo stick but here comes Bully Ray! Bully has a chain and wraps Flip up in it! And feeds Flip to Silas’ SPEAR through the table!! Fans boo and jeer, and even throw leftover streamers, all at Bully. Bully simply soaks it up as this match ends with Flip and Silas motionless in the wreckage. Will Flip even be able to compete against Bully at this rate? Or can Flip make Bully say the two words no one would ever expect to hear from him?
ROH’s pulse quickens.
Something is coming. Something that will get hearts pounding. But what is it? When and where will it appear?
SoCal Uncensored heads to the ring!
Frankie Kazarian & Scorpio Sky are the ROH World Tag Team Champions and are days away from a Ladder War for the titles! “Pittsbuuuuuuurgh~!” Wait, the Briscoes attack!! Jay & Mark stomp away on Kaz & Scorpio, and then Jay picks up the mic. “Y’all boys want a Ladder War with the Briscoes? Y’all know who we are?!” A Ladder War with them? They’re the OG’s of Ladder Wars, and of this “whole damn company”! But here come The Young Bucks! Matt & Nick Jackson go right after #DemBoyz with SPEARS! The Briscoes go running and fans are fired up for The Bucks. Matt & Nick look at Scorpio & Kaz as they get up. The four shake hands, but the Briscoes come back and shove SCU into The Bucks!
Naturally the Bucks misunderstand, so they SUPERKICK SCU! But then they SUPERKICK The Briscoes, too! Matt & Nick aren’t done here, they bring out a ladder! The Bucks bring it up but Kaz dropkicks it into them! Scorpio FLIES onto The Briscoes! Kaz puts the ladder in the ring and stands it up. SCU climb up the ladder on either side with the title belts and hold them up high! SCU have their contracts, but will they still have those belts after such an intense Triple Threat title match?
ROH takes a look at the coming WOH Women’s Championship Fatal 4 Way.
It was at Global Wars in November that Karen Q won a match to qualify for this very match. Sumie Sakai came out to look her third challenger eye to eye, but Karen Q wanted a fight! Sumie brought it, but then Kelly Klein appeared to join in! It was 2v1 until Madison Rayne rushed in! The four women fought back and forth and all over, culminating in the Ray of Sunshine taking flight! This Fatal 4 Way of femme fatales will be the inaugural champion’s biggest challenge yet, can she succeed? Or will the title soon find it’s second-ever owner?
Christopher Daniels speaks.
“It’s funny, sometimes I feel like every year there’s a come to Jesus moment for me, where I have to look at my life and put it in perspective.” Before Ladder War a couple years ago, Daniels spoke so strongly about holding onto the things he wanted if he thought he’d never have them again. And then the 15th Anniversary Show, he spoke of fighting so hard for the things he’d never had before. Now 2018, he looks back again and realizes he’s done just about everything he set out to do. No one would blame him to hang it up now. “He did it all, he had a great career, what a way to go out.”
But the problem is, Daniels refuses to go out. Final Battle returns and what he fights for now is another fight. That is the most important thing to him, more important than any title he’s ever held before. Daniels has no one to blame but himself. He acted in a way that compelled Joe Koff to create this deadline. And Daniels accepts that. But Daniels also realizes he’s wrong and he wants to make it right. In Koff’s eyes, giving Daniels another contract would just be an excuse for Daniels to do it all over again as the “evil bastard that started this.” So Daniels needs more time to convince everyone to keep him. The sand in the hourglass is running out, and it’s down to Final Battle against Marty Scurll.
Scurll won a world title shot at Survival of the Fittest. Daniels dared Scurll to prove he could win 1v1 with both of them at 100%, and Scurll accepted. But this isn’t just a chance at gold for Daniels, but at a new lease on life in ROH. So at Final Battle, Fallen Angel VS The Villain, Daniels knows exactly what it is to be a villain. Daniels knows what it means to dig up that evil and do what is necessary. Scurll is doing what Daniels has already done. So now it’s just them and this one match, but it’s also so much more. Daniels isn’t going to go out quietly, and Scurll will see that at Final Battle.
Six Man Tag: Jay Lethal, Dalton Castle & Cody VS The Kingdom!
The Franchise defends his ROH World Championship against The American Nightmare at Final Battle, but for tonight, they’ll work together to put Matt Taven in his place. At the same time, The Peacock battles the “real” ROH World Champion, with that would-be title on the line, to settle old scores and some new ones. Can Lethal, Cody & Castle shut The Kingdom down days before Final Battle?
The teams make their entrance, with Jay Lethal entering last. Cody politely helps with the ropes but Taven holds up his title while we go to break.
ROH returns and teams sort out. Fans are on Castle’s side, as well as Cody’s and Lethal’s. Vinnie Marseglia and TK O’Ryan talk trash while Taven insists the referee take his belt to the timekeeper just like Lethal’s. We start with the Sassy Wild Horse against The Franchise. Lethal circles with TK as fans cheer Lethal on. Lethal makes sure The Kingdom hears that chant, too. He and TK circle again, but Cody tags in. Cody flexes but lets Lethal exit before he circles with TK. Fans are on Cody’s side, but Castle tags in! Castle goes right at TK but in come Taven and Vinnie! Lethal and Cody don’t see it, because they’re too busy arguing with each other! They finally do and save Castle from the mugging. Now it’s three different brawls at once!
Cody has Vinnie while Lethal throws hands on Taven and Castle goes after TK. Cody CHOPS Vinnie while Lethal throws Taven out, but TK turns it around on Castle. Castle turns it back around as Cody throws Vinnie out. Cody uses the Beautiful Disaster to send Vinnie down, then DIVES on Taven and Lethal! TK whips Castle while Cody realizes who he hit, but Castle reverses to get TK in the overhead suplex! The Peacock fires up in his holiday sweater, then sees Lethal and Cody arguing again. Castle gets their attention by shouting “Hello~?!” Cody and Lethal return to their corner as Castle stomp a mudhole into TK. Castle tags Cody and Cody throws hands on TK. Cody wrenches and reels TK into a suplex. He holds TK up for a few seconds then throws him for a gordbuster.
Cody keeps on TK and wrenches again. Lethal tags and works with Cody to mug TK. Lethal chops TK in an open corner, then whips him for a back elbow. Cover, ONE, but Lethal stays on TK to tag Castle. Castle throws hands and half nelson snapmares TK. Castle drives elbows in then drags TK up. TK backs Castle down and elbows free. TK rolls and runs back in, but into a boot. Castle covers, TWO! The Kingdom is on the ropes while we go to break.
ROH returns and Castle brings TK up again. Castle bumps TK off buckles and tags in Cody. Cody brings TK up to bump him off buckles and chop. He whips TK corner to corner to then toss with a back drop! Cody flexes and fans fire up. Cody puts on a dragon sleeper but Taven attacks! Lethal attacks Taven,and then Vinnie rushes in. Castle comes back in and it’s another brawl! Taven rams shoulders into Castle while Lethal clubs Vinnie down. Taven throws Castle out then puts Cody in the Kingdom’s corner. He shouts to TK to get up, and The Kingdom mug Cody in the corner. TK tags Taven and Taven clubs away. Taven tags Vinnie and the Horror King stomps in a mudhole. Vinnie drags Cody up and gives him a European Uppercut. Vinne chops Cody, then tags TK.
TK throws body shots then mocks the fans. He snapmares Cody into a chinlock and grinds Cody to the mat. Fans rally up and Cody feeds off the energy. Cody fights back but TK throws him down by his hair. Cody hits Taven and Vinnie! He goes up and over to powerslam TK! Fans fire up as Cody catches his breath. Cody crawls to his corner, and tags in Castle! The Peacock rallies on The Kingdom, and gets TK with a back elbow. Castle runs in at TK but into TK’s elbow. TK hops up top but Castle boots a leg out. TK is stuck up there and Castle runs side to side. Castle goes on the apron but Taven trips him! Taven also takes out the Boys before throwing Castle into barriers on the far side!
The Kingdom mug Castle on their side of the ring, ramming him into the barriers. TK returns to the ring, and Taven puts Castle back in. Cover, ropebreak! TK tags Vinnie and Vinnie stomps Castle’s face. Vinnie puts Castle in a corner for stomps, then bumps Castle off buckles. Taven tags in and he mocks Castle. Taven taunts Lethal, but fans rally up with “Sweatshirt! Sweatshirt!” Castle stands but Taven is on him. Castle hits back with forearms and chops, but Taven knees low. Taven snapmares and hits Just the Tip of the knee! Fans boo as Taven covers, but Lethal comes in and Taven immediately lets off. Taven grins at Lethal but Lethal says he’s watching Taven closely. Taven brings Castle up but Castle small packages! TWO and Taven clobbers Castle with a clothesline! Cover, TWO! Taven is furious as we go to one last break.
ROH returns once more, and Taven drags Castle up by his hair. Taven puts on a facelock but Castle reverses to drive his knee into Taven, and give him a DDT! Both men are down but fans fire up. Castle crawls, as does Taven, hot tags to TK and Lethal! TK hits Cody for good measure, but Lethal rallies on him with lariats. Vinnie runs in but he gets lariats. Taven comes in and hits Lethal. Taven whips but Lethal reverses to back drop Taven! Vinnie kicks and whips but Lethal blocks. Lethal then reverses the whip into a powerslam! TK clubs Lethal and whips but Lethal ducks and gives TK a Lethal Combination! Cover, but Taven breaks it. Taven brings in chairs, and wants to give Lethal a Con-chair-to! The referee reprimands Taven but it’s Castle who saves the REAL ROH WHC!
Castle pulls off his sweater to attack Taven with it! Taven bails out but Castle gives chase! Castle dumps Taven over barriers, and chases him through the crowd! Back in the ring, Lethal wonders what happened. Lethal aims at TK but Cody tags in. Lethal won’t let Cody come in, and he goes after TK with a cutter! Vinnie kicks Lethal and hits him with Sliced Bread! Cody SUPERKICKS Vinnie! Cody runs at TK but TK dodges to kick and clothesline! Lethal boots TK then hits a spinning roundhouse. Lethal calls for it, and hits his handspring, but Cody denies the Injection by rolling TK up! TWO, Lethal aims at Cody?! SUPERKICK hits TK as Cody dodges!
Vinnie shoves Cody into Lethal, TK swings. Cody dodges, but TK gets him with a rocking haymaker! TK drags Cody up and Vinnie runs in to boot Cody down. Vinnie brings Cody up in the fireman’s carry, and TK goes to lift Vinnie, but Cody fights out. Cody shoves Vinnie into TK and Lethal brings Vinnie out. Cody gets TK with Cross Rhodes! Cover, Cody and team win!
Winners: Jay Lethal, Dalton Castle & Cody, Cody pinning
The Boys hurry to go find The Peacock, because that fight’s still happening. As for the ROH World Champion and his challenger, they stand in the ring together as Cody grabs a mic. “There’s nothing left to say, and there’s nothing left to do. I’ll see you at Final Battle.” Cody drops the mic because he’s right, there’s nothing left but to have this rematch two years in the making. Will The American Nightmare get the title back now that he finally has his 1v1 rematch? Or will The Franchise end his year still THE World Champion?
Time for a Final Battle rundown!
Dalton Castle promises Matt Taven he is “in for a treat”, because The Peacock will dish out a baker’s dozen of suplexes! Wait, is a baker’s dozen 20? Well, Castle’s giving no less than 20. But Matt Taven vows that Castle will remember who the real ROH World Champion is, because it’s Matt Taven. Who will be the real owner of that “real” world title after Friday the 14th?
Hangman Page wants to know what Jeff Cobb will do when he faces someone just as strong as him, just as tough as him, but is crazy enough to climb onto a Hammerstein Ballroom balcony and jump off it! But Cobb tells Page that Cobb’s first Final Battle will be Hangman’s last. Hangman feels that TV title should’ve been his a long time ago, but will he finally get it now?
Jonathan Gresham and Zack Sabre Jr. will step in the ring, and The Octopus promises he’s someone who can finally go hold for hold with the Submission Master. Who proves themselves the best technical wrestler in the world today?
Madison Rayne has worked her whole career for a moment like the WOH World Championship Fatal 4 Way. The Queen Bee vows to walk in a challenger and walk out the champion. But Kelly Klein vows to show Sumie Sakai is a fraud for not giving the Pretty Badass her fair shot. Stack the odds all you want, Kelly will make sure Final Battle will be where Sumie Sakai finally loses to her. Will the Queen Bee, Gatekeeper or Queen of Queens be the one to dethrone the Ray of Sunshine?
The American Nightmare says his rematch with Jay Lethal is “a convergence”, and ROH’s 2019 hinges on this match. Lethal is fired up because Final Battle comes to his hometown. He won’t let someone come into his house and take what he’s worked for! If Cody wants the belt, he’ll have to put up the fight of his life! Who celebrates the holidays with gold around their waist?
A pretty great go-home from ROH here. I don’t really feel the opening recap was needed, but it was fine. Christopher Daniels’ promo was amazing, it really frames his 2018 story and really ups the importance of this match that really only came into shape the last few weeks. Daniels has to win because that’s the story, it’d be a shame if he lost and was released from ROH like this. At the same time, I can’t be sure Daniels wins, because maybe there is a decision in reality that he’s going to retire from in-ring competition. As for the rest of SCU, they stood tall tonight in hyping up the Ladder War, but I wonder if that means they’re losing (probably to the Young Bucks) and even give up their contracts if Daniels is leaving, to show solidarity. It’s all or nothing for SCU in my mind.
I loved that Flip Gordon goes for an I Quit match with Silas Young just a week before another I Quit match with Bully. Flip is pretty over on his ability, but the guts and the aggression he’s showing are keeping him over. Bully naturally has to ruin tonight’s match, though I didn’t realize an I Quit could end on a No Contest. Bully VS Flip in their I Quit match is going to be brutal, and I really hope Flip wins. The attention given to the Women of Honor title is great, and I’m sure this Fatal 4 Way will be the best ROH Women’s match yet because the four chosen all have great amounts of experience. I feel that this has to be how Sumie loses, there’s nowhere else for her to go if she wins, unless ROH wants to start getting their women into extremer matches.
The Six Man Tag main event was great, there was a lot of great story elements with the history between all the people involved. I really liked that Castle took it upon himself to get Cody and Lethal back on the same page. And I liked that dysfunction didn’t bring the team down, they all found a way to win, and that means all the Faces go in hot. With Taven putting his purple title on the line, I have a feeling he retains because of a disqualification, or “Champion’s Advantage” as he’ll claim. He still has to be the one to go against Lethal to determine an “undisputed” ROH World Champion. Which also means Cody doesn’t win, especially now that he’ll be focusing on All Elite Wrestling. Maybe.
My Score: 8.5/10