ROH WRESTLING TELEVISION, Episode 342
All images courtesy of the Fite.TV app and streaming service
- Punishment Martinez VS Shane Taylor; Martinez wins.
- Jay Lethal VS Caprice Coleman; Lethal wins.
- Triple Threat: Cody VS Christopher Daniels VS Matt Taven; Taven wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Punishment Martinez VS Shane Taylor!
Two of the literally biggest men in ROH do battle on Supercard of Honor Weekend to prove who is the superior monster. The Notorious Hitman has #Knockouts4Everybody, but will that keep him from being sent #SouthofHeaven?
The bell rings but no Code of Honor between these two. Taylor talks trash at Punishment, but the Reincarnation of the Purple Mist is ice cold as Taylor calls for a test of strength. Fans chant “Punishment! Punishment!” which Taylor notices. He shrugs it off and eggs Punishment on, and they tie up. Taylor knees low but he can’t push Punishment back. Punishment bridges back then powers up, but Taylor trips him to a cover. ONE, ONE, then Punishment kip-up and turns Taylor around. Punishment steps over, gets a headlock then shifts to the back and tries jumping onto Taylor’s shoulders, but Taylor slips out and shoves him away. They collide, Taylor staggers back but rebounds on the ropes to hit back, Punishment also rebounds to rock Taylor with a right hand!
Taylor checks his teeth, and they both smirk. Taylor hits back, but Punishment stands up. Punishment throws hands but Taylor evades, then Taylor throws hands but Punishment evades. Both men go evasion for evasion and we have a stand-off. Fans applaud while the two circle. Taylor gets a body shot but Punishment gets a back elbow. Punishment goes to whip but Taylor blocks and reverses. Punishment evades Taylor’s attacks, but his crossbody is caught! Taylor pops Punishment up on his shoulder but Punishment slips out, to then shove Taylor at the ropes. Punishment wants the hip toss but Taylor blocks that, too, so Punishment ducks the clothesline to give one of his own. Taylor stays standing, so Punishment boots him. Taylor is still standing as he retaliates with a swift left! Punishment stays standing, but Taylor whips him and follows, evades another boot, then clotheslines Punishment out of the ring.
Taylor sees Punishment still on his feet so he builds speed! Punishment hops up onto the apron, only to get blasted off it by Taylor! Taylor keeps moving, but he runs into Punishment’s roundhouse! Taylor staggers while we go to break.
ROH returns just as Taylor throws Punishment with a Fall Away Slam!
Then he adds a cannonball in the corner! And a cannonball from the apron! The Hitman topples Punishment over! He drags Punishment up into the ring, then climbs up to the top. Punishment gets up and rocks Taylor with a right, then throws him down in a Falcon Arrow! Cover, TWO! Punishment is not bothered, he takes aim at Taylor from across the ring. He runs corner to corner and leaps, but his splash is caught by Taylor! Taylor carries Punishment to the center of the ring, but Punishment slips out and boots him back into the corner. Punishment runs in, big corner splash hits this time, and so does the roaring forearm.
Punishment hits Taylor again, then whips him corner to corner. Taylor reverses and scoops Punishment up, but Punishment again slips out. Punishment ear-claps Taylor but Taylor hits back with a back elbow. Both men stagger, but Punishment grabs Taylor around the throat. Taylor takes advantage of Punishment’s bad eye to break free and rock him with a knee. Punishment goes down, Taylor shoves him back and gives him another knee! Taylor drags Punishment up, whips him, and choke slams Punishment!
Taylor essentially steals Punishment’s move, then runs for the big splash! TWO, and Taylor can’t believe it. Taylor stands up while Punishment is slowly stirring. He loads up, but Punishment boots away the punch to then SUPERKICK and spinning roundhouse Taylor out of the ring! Punishment sees Taylor is still on his feet, but dazed, so Punishment builds speed and FLIES!
The fans fire up for Punishment and he drags Taylor up and into the ring. Punishment enters and sees the attack coming, he spins Taylor around for HIS South of Heaven Choke Slam!
Cover, Punishment Martinez wins!
Winner: Martinez, by pinfall
But Punishment is not one for having his hand raised by a referee, Todd Sinclair barely gets away from Punishment’s wrath. Who else will suffer the wrath of Punishment on his path towards the ROH World Heavyweight Championship?
Coleman’s Pulpit returns!
The Most Versatile Man in this Sport Today has the most exciting episode ever! He finally gets a guest he’s been after for so long, it’s Jay Lethal!
As originally seen on February 5th via ROH’s YouTube channel, Coleman sits down with Lethal, but Lethal lets Coleman know that he’s not a big fan of the Pulpit. Coleman gets people on here just to ask ridiculous questions and say ridiculous things, all to poke and dig at them. Lethal won’t let that happen, he’s only agreed to do this show because the ROH administration asked him to, and because Coleman agreed to only ask two questions. Better make those questions count. Coleman is too busy being excited about having Lethal on the show. Who cares about all his other guests? All Coleman sees is a ratings boom! Coleman checked Lethal’s Wikipedia page, and has all this material. Lethal reminds him, only two questions, so make them good.
Coleman starts with how Lethal lost the ROH World Heavyweight Championship in August, 2016. Lethal’s goal in 2017 was to get it back, and the same for 2018. Is that Lethal’s goal in 2019, too, seeing as how Lethal still doesn’t have the ROH WHC back? First off, Lethal’s goals are none of Coleman’s concern. But yes, Lethal wants that title back, which is something Coleman will never know anything about, acting like this. Lethal has beat wrestlers Coleman can only dream of beating. Coleman has read the Wikipedia page, so he knows Lethal’s resume.
Lethal brings up that Jay Briscoe was undefeated for two years before Lethal beat him. Lethal won a double-header on PPV, never before seen in ROH. He even came back from a brutal beating that hospitalized him, and was humiliated when he was shaved bald on TV, all for the ROH world title. And Lethal won’t change a thing, because that title means you are the greatest in the world, no matter what. Coleman respects Lethal, and he remembers seeing those moments, especially the one with the hair. That was rough, since Lethal was losing anyway. Lethal doesn’t like Coleman’s tone, so Coleman moves on to his next question.
Lethal wrestled Ric Flair, who cares. He wrestled Sting, who cares. Kurt Angle, not bad. Coleman finds what he was looking for! Lethal’s relationships: he dated AJ L– Don’t go there. Coleman laughs it up even as Lethal slaps the papers away. This is why Lethal didn’t want to be on this “garbage” talk show. It will never get the ratings Coleman wants with how he tries to humiliate his guests. Lethal is furious with Coleman’s laughing fit, but Coleman “apologizes”. Lethal takes off his mic and storms out. Coleman is still highly amused with himself as he closes the Pulpit, “the place where I find out the truth, and the truth will help you, see you later. Ratings!” He may be all laughs now, but will Coleman be feeling good about this after he and Lethal have their match tonight?
SoCal Uncensored’s Frankie Kazarian speaks.
The Heavy Metal Rebel speaks to Hiromu Takahashi of Los Ingobernables de Japon. Once upon a time, the Ticking Timebomb was an ally of The Addiction, “fighting the good fight”, and learned many things from them. In this business, it’s called “getting a rub.” But now he’s in Japan, blowing up, successful and doing it all right, but he brings a stuffed animal to the ring? Daryl the Cat has the “marks” entertained, but not Kaz! Kaz thinks Daryl is stupid and “sucks”! After Kaz beats Hiromu 1v1, he’s going to take Daryl and shove him down Hiromu’s throat! Hiromu may be the ticking timebomb, but Kaz is the “gun you can’t unload”. Who will be left standing when these two explosive elements collide?
Jay Lethal VS Caprice Coleman!
The Franchise Player of ROH gets a chance at payback over the humiliation The Ambassador of the Grind attempted on his talk show! Who will have the last laugh before Supercard of Honor?
But Coleman doesn’t wait for the bell, he attacks Lethal from behind!
Lethal goes down while the bell rings, and Coleman goes out to attack Lethal again. Lethal hits back! They brawl on the outside among the streamers, and Lethal gets the edge with a chop and haymakers. Lethal snap suplexes Coleman to the floor! Coleman fights back with chops of his own, then stalks Lethal around the corner. Coleman gives another sharp chop. The referee tries to get this back in the ring but the two keep brawling. Lethal chops Coleman again and again, and again! He hits Coleman with a European Uppercut, then brings him around to sit him in a chair. Lethal gives another chop and Coleman spasms. Coleman hits back then chops back, but Lethal comes back with more chops, this brawl gets wild! Lethal kicks and gives Coleman a jackhammer suplex to the floor!
Fans fire up while Lethal looms over Coleman. They finally go inside the ring, but Coleman rolls quickly back out. Lethal follows but Coleman is on him with a kick and haymakers. Coleman brings Lethal around and whips, Lethal reverses, but Coleman uses the post to swing back around to dropkick Lethal down! Coleman composes himself before grinding his boot into Lethal’s neck. He drags Lethal up but Lethal pushes him into the apron before giving him another sharp chop. Lethal brings Coleman around for more chops, but Coleman hits back again. Coleman chokes Lethal at the apron but Lethal powers out and kicks Coleman low before putting him back in the ring. Coleman tries to swing out and dropkick Lethal again, but Lethal evades to enziguri Coleman down!
Lethal gets back in the ring while Coleman staggers, he builds speed, but Coleman gets out of the way. Lethal slides out and pursues, they both go back into the ring, and Lethal throws Coleman out onto the apron, for the triangle dropkick! Coleman tumbles down and Lethal builds up speed, to DIVE!
The Franchise is in control while we go to break.
ROH returns to Lethal still in control of Coleman. He brings Coleman up into a corner and chops again. Lethal whips but Coleman reverses, but Lethal boots Coleman back and knocks him down with the calf kick. Cover, TWO, but Lethal keeps his cool. He whips Coleman but Coleman holds the ropes. Lethal tries again but Coleman breaks free and throat chops Lethal. Coleman hits the STO, covers, TWO! Coleman catches his breath, a little frustrated, and puts Lethal in a chinlock on the mat. He grinds and squeezes Lethal but fans build to a rally.
Lethal works his way to his feet and fights out of the hold, but Coleman clubs him down with a double ax handle. Coleman grinds his foot into Lethal and holds on until the count of 4. He brings Lethal back up and whips him to ropes, but Lethal kicks Coleman away and then unloads more of those chops! Lethal calls for it, runs and handsprings, but into the cobra clutch and Russian leg sweep! Coleman holds on as he rolls it over to a cobra crossface!
Lethal endures as Coleman wrenches back. Lethal drags himself towards ropes, but Coleman wrenches back, so Lethal rolls the hold, only for Coleman to roll it back! Coleman wrenches as deep as he can, but Lethal powers up to his feet. Coleman swings Lethal out and avoids Lethal’s retaliation to hit a cravat cutter! Cover, TWO! Lethal rolls but Coleman brings him up.
Coleman whips but Lethal holds onto ropes, so Coleman unloads an overhand chop. Coleman tries again, but Lethal still holds on, so Coleman chops him again. The whip is denied a third time, and now Lethal dares Coleman to give him the chop. Coleman chops and chops, then Lethal turns it around to chop away on Coleman! Coleman pokes Lethal in the eyes. He whips Lethal corner to corner, then runs in, but Lethal avoids it. Coleman tumbles but lands on his feet, only to stagger backwards into Lethal’s torture rack lift. Lethal bends and stretches Coleman in the “Lethal Rack”, but Coleman rakes his eyes again. Coleman wrenches and heel kicks Lethal, but Lethal avoids the jump kick and the clothesline to handspring, LETHAL INJECTION!
Cover, Lethal wins!
Winner: Lethal, by pinfall
The Franchise shuts Coleman up with this victory right here. Between Supercard of Honor’s ROH World Tag Team Championship match with The Ace, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and the coming ROH Masters of the Craft special, can Lethal gain momentum that will take him back to the ROH World Heavyweight Championship?
The WOH Championship participants speak.
Kelly Klein knows “Mayu Iwatani is a tremendous addition to the Women of Honor Championship Tournament. Her list of accolades and accomplishments speak for itself.” Mayu Iwatani responds with that as a member of Stardom, she is excited to be part of this tournament to crown the very first ROH Women of Honor Champion. But Kelly wants to know if anyone thinks that Mayu or anyone else is going to step into her ring, the ring Kelly has dominated for over two years, and stop her? Mayu vows to win and “build the value of the belt” by defending it both in America, in Japan, and around the world. Kelly tells Mayu that she is definitely a star, but she is the next star Kelly will “knock out of the sky.” Mayu recaps her defeating HZK and Deonna Purrazzo, so in this third round, Kelly Klein, “I kick your ass.”
Meanwhile, the newest recruit to the WOH Division, Tenille Dashwood, puts the spotlight on herself as she admits the competition has been tough. That’s exactly why she came to ROH: “to work my way to becoming a champion and to show the world exactly how good I am.” Her opponent, Sumie Sakai, is so happy to fight for a chance at the WOH Championship in this tournament. She swept Oeda Tai, Hana Kimura and Kagetsu, while Emma defeated Stacy Shadows and Brandi Rhodes. They meet in the semifinals, and while they respect each other, Tenille lets everyone know she’s going to do everything she can to advance. Sumie “always loved wrestling in Japan”, but coming to ROH changed her life. She gets a bit emotional as she vows to win this tournament.
Which one of these four will make it to the finals and win it all at Supercard of Honor?
Triple Threat: Cody VS Christopher Daniels VS Matt Taven!
Before The American Nightmare settles things with The Cleaner, before SoCal Uncensored takes on Flip Gordon & The Young Bucks, and before The Kingdom tries to kill the conspiracy, the three big factions in ROH pit their leaders against each other! Or at least a self-proclaimed leader in Cody. Which captain will capture a win for their team going into New Orleans?
Wait a minute, who is this Cody is bringing out with him? Is that a new Bury the Bear? Cody snatches a mic and has the music stop so the formal announcement can be made: Apparently, this is Burnard the Business Bear. Hopefully Cody knows who is in the costume this time. Fans chant “Bear Up!” while things settle down with a commercial break.
ROH returns with the ring of the bell, and the three men watch each other closely as they circle. Taven and Daniels corner Cody, but Taven kicks Daniels! He tries to swing on Cody right after, but Cody sees that coming, and counters with the headlock and punch. Cody whips Taven, Taven ducks the punch but runs into Daniels’, and then Cody gets his. Taven bounces between Daniels and Cody as they punch him back and forth. The cycle ends with Cody kicking low and dropping down for the uppercut, then Daniels hits Taven with a back suplex. Daniels clotheslines Taven out of the ring, and now we revisit the feud of two former ROH world champions.
Cody and Daniels circle, tie up, and Cody gets the headlock. Daniels powers out and things speed up, they collide shoulder to shoulder but neither man falls. They run and collide with clotheslines, but again neither man falls. They trade forearms back and forth while Taven climbs up to the top rope, Taven flies in to missile dropkick them both down! Daniels and Cody roll out of the ring while Taven embraces the cheers and jeers. Taven sees Cody coming and bumps him away, then sees Daniels and does the same. Cody and Daniels are together, Taven builds speed, but Cody and Daniels get clear of his wrecking ball dropkick. Taven avoids Daniels’ clothesline and Daniels runs into Cody’s punch. Cody sees Taven running in and throws him with a back drop!
Daniels tries to get back in the ring but Cody yanks him back out for an overhand chop. Cody puts Daniels back in the ring then shakes hands with Burnard before reentering himself. Cody kicks Daniels, suplex, and he holds Daniels up before dropping him with a gord buster. The American Nightmare flexes, then keeps on Daniels with punches. He whips Daniels but Daniels reverses, Cody dodges to then DIVE on Taven!
Taven goes down but Daniels goes to the apron. Daniels kicks Cody away before hitting the Arabian Moonsault!
Daniels wipes Cody out but Taven pounces by pushing Daniels into a post! Taven picks up his walking stick, gives it a kiss, and swings at Cody but Cody ducks and retaliates with a kick. Cody puts Taven in the ring and picks up that walking stick for himself. Referee Todd Sinclair stops Cody from using it, which Cody protests. Cody turns around into Taven’s spinning bicycle kick! Taven drags Cody up and whips him to the ropes, but Cody sunset flips, only for Taven to roll through and hit a Shining Wizard! Why? “Because I’m Matt Taven!” Taven sees Daniels returning, so he hits Daniels with the triangle jump enziguri, the Kick of the King! Cody goes after Taven but Taven dodges and unleashes a strike fest, then Moonlight Drive!
Cover, TWO, but Taven keeps his cool. Daniels returns and shoulders in, then slingshot schoolboy roll. Taven rolls through but Daniels kicks out a leg, to then club him from behind with a clothesline! Cody is up but Daniels hits him with the atomic drop and STO! Daniels fires up and takes aim at Cody, but he hits Taven with a forearm smash first. Daniels whips Taven corner to corner, but Taven puts Daniels on the apron. Taven roundhouses Daniels down, then builds speed to FLY!
Direct hit to Daniels, and fans fire up, but then Cody runs over and FLIES, too!
Cody takes both Daniels and Taven out with one crossbody! The American Nightmare is all smiles while Burnard cheers him on, we go to break.
ROH returns once more as Cody jumps up and over Taven in the corner. Taven runs back out but into Cody’s powerslam! Cover, TWO, and Cody’s frustration grows. He rallies the fans before getting Taven with the takedown. Cody gets the Figure Four, and puts on the American Deathlock!
Taven’s bad knee is the target, but he endures as he crawls for ropes. Daniels returns, and uses the Best Moonsault Ever to break it!
All three men are down, but Daniels crawls to a cover on Cody, only for Taven to break it. Taven goes after Daniels and the two brawl with haymakers. Taven gets the edge, then whips but Daniels reverses. Daniels swings but misses, then runs to match pace, double crossbodies collide! Burnard coaches Cody back up while fans rally. Cody clears his head while Daniels and Taven get to a corner. Taven whips but Daniels reverses, Daniels runs in but Taven evades and rolls him up. Taven gets his feet on the ropes! TWO, and Taven argues with the ref. Daniels rolls Taven, TWO, and now he argues.
Taven knees low, loops around for Climax, but Daniels denies it. Daniels kicks Taven and goes for the double underhook, but Cody slips in the ring to hit the Beautiful Disaster kick! Taven revives and springboards, but Cody ducks to send the Kick of the King into Daniels! Cody throws Taven out then kneels in the Terminator pose. Some fans boo because that’s Kenny Omega’s thing, but other fans start up the drums. Cody rises, then builds speed, but Daniels tries to roll Cody up. Cody bucks Daniels off, then grabs him in the dragon sleeper while Taven slowly climbs up. Cross Rhodes hits!
But so does Taven’s frog splash!
Taven covers them both, Taven wins!!
Winner: Taven, by pinfall
No conspiracy here, Taven simply outsmarted two former world champions. The ROH world title is the only title Taven hasn’t held, can this big win help him leap over this Kingdom Conspiracy to complete the Grand Slam? And when Taven and Cody have a rematch at Masters of the Craft, who will draw First Blood?!
A pretty good extra go-home for Supercard of Honor, but it also builds itself as a go-home to the Honor Club special, Masters of the Craft. Punishment Martinez and Shane Taylor of a good match to lead into Martinez VS Ishii, which is of course a stiff match-up itself. Lethal does a solid side story match with Coleman that could be the beginnings of something. Lethal VS Jonathan Gresham is going to be a great match just on technique, and I hope it really adds to Gresham’s story. I really want to see him revive the ROH Pure Wrestling Championship.
The WOH Championship Tournament recap and promos were solid, and helps frame the semifinals and finals for Supercard. Then the Triple Threat main event was great, so much story on top of great action, and this new “Burnard” character could add an odd new dimension to “Bullet Club is (Not) Fine”. Burnard could be anyone, and when that reveal happens, it could be Bullet Club’s brand new member who bolsters Team Cody in this civil war. Taven winning was a real surprise, I thought it was going to be Cody. However, Taven is growing as a star Heel, like the ROH equivalent of The Miz or something. After this Kingdom Conspiracy story wraps up, I could see him challenging Dalton Castle, but maybe only winning through cheating to finally get the Grand Slam.
My Score: 8/10
Dragon Gate Fantastic Gate 2018 Results & Review (12/4/2018)
Mathew brings us more coverage with…Dragon Gate? Well I suppose something big did happen, even though King of Gate was still horrid. But hey, let’s see if PAC’s involvement helps things out.
We now return to Dragon Gate to take a small break from the AJPW Real World Tag League, which you should check out if you haven’t just yet since it’s been a great tournament.
As of right now, this will be my last Dragon Gate coverage for the year due to scheduling with the holidays and work, plus I need to get ready for matches of the year at the end of the month. We got a big show today since we got Open the Dream Gate Championship defended against PAC.
So let us see how things will turn out as we…dive right in.
Eight Man Tag Team Match
Dragon Dia & Tribe Vanguard (BxB Hulk, Kagetora & YAMATO) vs. Don Fujii, Gamma, Ryo Saito & Super Shisa
Review: Our opening contest is an eight-man tag match with Don Fujii, Gamma, Ryo Saito, and Super Shisa taking on three members of Tribe Vanguard, Kagetora and the Open the Twin Gate Champions, BxB Hulk and YAMATO along with Dragon Dia. Dragon Dia is a new wrestler in Dragon Gate as he is also considered to be Dragon Kid’s new apprentice whenever he decides to hang it up. Let’s see how Dragon Dia does and will he help Tribe Vanguard get the victory or will it be the other team?
The match was short and incredibly basic with nothing really too much to make the crowd seem overly invested in it in my opinion. Half of the match is pretty much Dia paying his dues in the ring while also getting a bit of offense into the match, so how did he do? From what I saw out of him, I thought he does have potential to be how Dragon Kid was but he has a long way to go if he wants to reach that level eventually. Dia did take a beating from the other team and even had Gamma kinda waterboard him while he was taking a Mexican Stretch. Tribe Vanguard would do stuff for a little bit into the match and they worked well with each other and not with Dia since he’s not really apart of their unit. Dia would get to have Fujii for a pinfall but he kicked out and hits Dia with a Lariat to end his momentum. Fujii would hit a Chokeslam onto Dia as Ryo would do his SaiRyo Rocket to get the pinfall victory.
Rating: Tony Schiavone and a quarter
Eight Man Tag Team Match
Hyo Watanabe, Kota Minoura, Masaaki Mochizuki & Yuki Yoshioka vs. Hiroshi Yamato & MaxiMuM (Jason Lee, Kaito Ishida & Naruki Doi)
Review: We get another eight-man tag match to continue this show as Masaaki Mochizuki is in action with Hyo Watanabe, Kota Minoura, and Yuki Yoshioka as the four take on Hiroshi Yamato and three MaxiMuM members, Jason Lee, Kaito Ishida, and Naruki Doi. While the opening match wasn’t really something that was memorable, I’m sure we’ll get some action in this one to pick stuff up. Which one of these four will win?
I’m still new to Hiroshi Yamato, but I’m still digging his singing type of gimmick and think it’s pretty funny. This one was a much better match than the opening contest since all of the competitors were more involved in this We had another small encounter with Mochizuki and Lee, and I still wanna see that match happen but I know we probably won’t get a singles match with them any time soon. Yuki is someone that keeps growing on me whenever I see him involved in these tag matches as he does show signs of progress and I hope to see big things from him in 2019. Jason Lee would try to do his taunt in the ring when he’s in his meditative state and rolled up Mochizuki for a two count and when Mochizuki would try to do the same taunt, Jason would just kick his head. Yuki would block Naruki’s Bakatare Sliding Kick but takes a German from Yamato, a Facebuster from Naruki, and a kick along with a German from Lee as they break the hold. Yuki would attempt a flash pin onto Kaito but Kaito would quickly maneuver out of it until Yuki pinned him back down as he gets the surprise victory!
Rating: Eric Bischoff
Shun Skywalker vs. U-T
Review: We only have two singles matches in this show and it’s time to get our first one underway as we have Shun Skywalker taking on U-T. It’s been a while since I’ve seen Shun in a singles match since the King of Gate Tournament and this might be the first time I’ve seen U-T in a singles match, so this is definitely a nice surprise since both men can go. Which one of these two will get the win?
If you were expecting a highflying type of match between these two, you don’t get that type of match here and while it did throw me off, I was honestly okay with it since they still did give us a technical match. For my first time seeing U-T in one on one action, I gotta say that seeing him more ground-based in this match was very surprising in a good way too since he’s very crisp in his ability. Shun Skywalker still continues to impress me every time I see him in the ring, so seeing both of these men deliver in this match made me feel very satisfied.
The match was also very even here and it looked like Shun was going to get him, but U-T would catch him with the Skayde to try and make him tap out to the hold until Shun would roll out of the hold and hits the Moonsault Press for a two count. Shun would hit a Reverse Suplex and goes to the top rope to go for another Moonsault as U-T puts his knees up before Shun could land. U-T would apply the Skayde once again but Shun would refuse to tap out of the hold once again and the bell rings to show that there’s a time limit draw. Huge ovation for these two in this match and I hope this isn’t the end for them.
Rating: Bruce Prichard
Six Man Tag Team Match
Dragon Kid, Bandido, & Flamita vs. DAGA & R.E.D. (Eita & Ben-K)
Review: Our next match is a six-man tag team match with Dragon Kid teaming up with Flamita and Bandido is they take on R.E.D. We found out that Dragon Kid and Eita are going to have one final match at Final Gate in a hair vs mask match, but I’m not sure if the Open the Brave Gate Championship is on the line yet. But this is sure to be an exciting tag bout and let’s see if R.E.D wins or the luchadors take it.
R.E.D starting the attack on their opponents before the match started in their typical heel fashion. The face team would start to make a comeback with Bandido and Flamita diving to the outside onto their opponents. Seeing Kid, Flamita, and Bandido team up worked out very well here with their Luchador agility with Bandido once again being on fire in this match and if he’s someone you follow, what the hell is wrong with you? Get on that shit right away if you like Lucha Libre. It’s a shame Ben didn’t win the belt but I know he’ll bounce back into something soon, maybe going back to the Open the Twin Gate picture with Big R. Eita and Dragon Kid going back at it develops more fuel into their story and I actually can’t wait for it to end and not because it felt like it went on for too long, but with the new stipulation they added to their match, it just adds a lot more involved for their eventual conclusion. After Flamita and Bandido did their tag team combo with Bandido hitting a Phoenix Splash after being flipped over, Eita and Kid are alone in the ring again. Dragon jumped off the ropes and got caught for a Super Kick and would go to finish off Kid but he hits the Bible onto Eita to get the surprise victory!
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a half
Eight Man Tag Team Match
Natural Vibes (Genki Horiguchi, Kzy, Susumu Yokosuka & YASSHI) vs. R.E.D. (Big R Shimizu, KAZMA SAKAMOTO, Takashi Yoshida & Yasushi Kanda)
Review: Our next match is another eight-man tag team match with R.E.D members, Big R Shimizu, KAZMA SAKAMOTO, Takashi Yoshida, and Yasushi Kanda taking on Natural Vibes members, Genki Horiguchi, Kzy, Susumu Yokosuka, and Brother YASSHI. Recently, Natural Vibes broke the record for most title defenses with the Open the Triangle Gate Championships and they still look to hold onto the titles for a long time to keep the record around more. Will Natural Vibes get the win or will it be R.E.D?
R.E.D once again attacking Natural Vibes before the bell would ring and both teams would start fighting to the outside of the ring and into the crowd near the bleachers until they got back into the ring as we get the match started now. The match felt a little too short for this type of match but I thought it was still solid enough for a quick little exhibition type of match. We had a little encounter with Takashi and Kzy during the middle of it where they would go back and forth and it did seem like Takashi was gonna win this little back and forth until Kzy hits his running Elbow Smash onto him. Natural Vibes started to get the shine in the match when Susumu hits an Exploder Suplex onto Kanda off the middle rope and Kzy tops it off with an Elbow Drop while YASSHI hits a Diving Headbutt for a two count. Members were taking each other out left and right until it was Genki and Takashi in the match now as he does his Backslide From Heaven to go for the pin but Big R picked him up in a Wheel Barrel position for a German Suplex. Big R would quickly pick him up for him and Takashi to hit a Doomsday Device and KAZMA topped it off with a Package Piledriver to give R.E.D the win.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a quarter
Open the Dream Gate Championship
Masato Yoshino (c) vs. PAC
Review: We now have our main event of the evening as Masato Yoshino defends his Open the Dream Gate Championship against PAC. This will be PAC’s second singles match in Dragon Gate ever since he made his return to the company and while his match was disappointing, he still wanted to make the challenge to prove himself. Only one gaijin won the Open the Dream Gate Championship and that man was Ricochet, so if PAC wins then he will be the second one to win it. Masato though won’t go down without a fight here as he defends Dragon Gate against this man. Will Masato retain once again or will we have a new champion?
While both R.E.D and MaxiMuM are surrounding the ring, none of them interfere in the match and I’m glad too because it would’ve been a little bit too much in this match, plus PAC needs to prove himself that he can defeat Masato on his own without any help. I thought this match was a great title defense and definitely PAC’s better match compared to his one with Flamita since this one had a nicer pace that didn’t make it drag out a bit at all and he played the heel persona well like how he did in WWE when he was considered the King of the Cruiserweights, but he’s now known as the Bastard Child in Dragon Gate. I think I liked Masato’s match against Ben-K a little bit better, this one was almost as good in my opinion. One spot I really did like was when Masato went for the Slingblade off the top rope and PAC just flipped out of it and it just looked more smooth. Also, the Corkscrew PAC did to the outside looks great despite him shooting himself a little bit too far since most of the people were a bit too close.
PAC pulled off a lot of power moves like the Pop-up Powerbomb and it looked like he had Masato right where he wanted him as he went to the top rope to go for the Black Arrow but he was able to catch himself once Masato moved out of the way and hits the Another Space and then would hit the first Torbellino as he calls for the submission finish to apply the Sol Naciente, but he wouldn’t hold it for long this time as PAC picked him up for the Powerbomb for a two count. PAC seems to be getting back control now as he would try to go for the Black Arrow once more time but Masato picked his knees up to make PAC land on it and rolled him up for a two count. Masato wouldn’t give PAC time to rest as he hits a second Torbellino and applies the Sol Naciente once again but PAC was unable to power out of it this time around as he falls onto the mat unable to move for a bit until his foot landed on the rope to break the hold. Both men would have bursts of energy in the last stand as Masato lands another Torbellino and PAC gets up quickly to hit Masato with a German Suplex and gets him up for a Powerbomb but Masato would Sunset Flip over him for a two count. PAC would hit a Lariat onto Masato to knock him down before hitting the German Suplex Hold for a two count, and it appears PAC has him right where he wants him as he went to the top rope to the Black Arrow and he connects this time for a three count and we have a new champion!
You heard right, PAC is the new Open the Dream Gate Champion. Part of me feels like it’s a bit too soon to win the belt since he just came back a couple of months ago but at the same time, they wanna capitalize on this while he’s still red hot since leaving WWE and it could potentially open new eyes to the product since most fans knew him as Neville. So in a business aspect, it’s a good idea and hopefully, it can lead to what the company is looking for. Let’s see how things turn out.
Rating: Bruce Prichard and a half
Overall: Aside from the two singles matches being the highlight of the show, nothing else really stood out with the multi-man tag matches throughout the night. U-T and Shun did great work together and PAC had a much better match than he did with Flamita and we got a new champion out of it to bring in a new era for Dragon Gate.
Favorite Match: Masato Yoshino vs. PAC
Least Favorite Match: Dragon Dia & Tribe Vanguard (BxB Hulk, Kagetora & YAMATO) vs. Don Fujii, Gamma, Ryo Saito & Super Shisa
Mitchell’s WWE Mixed Match Challenge 2 Results & Report! (12/11/18)
The Mixed Match Challenge is almost done, but there’s been a last-minute substitution! Apollo Crews replaces Finn Balor, can he help Bayley make it to TLC?
- Jinder Mahal & Alicia w/ The Singh Brothers VS Apollo Crews & Bayley; Mahal & Alicia win and advance to the Finals at TLC.
- The Miz & Asuka VS R-Truth & Carmella; Truth & Carmella win and advance to the Finals at TLC.
PLAY BY PLAY
It’s time for the Mixed Match Challenge Semifinals!
The final four teams will be cut down to just two tonight! The Season One champions are still in the running, but they’ve had a rough go of it this year. The Miz and Asuka lost to the #ExtremeFlair after Jeff Hardy stepped in for AJ Styles. However, not even the top seed still stands as the #FABULOUSTruth pulled off the biggest upset to date! Can Truth & Carmella pull off another upset against a tense and dysfunctional Team AWESKA?
As for the Raw Block, #Mahalicia is the only team standing with its original members! Of course, Jinder Mahal and Alicia Fox have yet to truly see eye to eye despite making it back from the bottom of the block. That said, Finn Balor must step down from the Mixed Match Challenge because of the beating Drew McIntyre gave him on Raw a week ago. In his place now stands Apollo Crews, who wants to finally make his mark on the main roster! Can this new Team A’n’B go all the way to TLC?
Backstage with Bayley & Apollo Crews.
New partners start big with a semifinals match, but the dynamic doesn’t change for Bayley. These two are more prepared than ever, and they’ll be so close to being the #30 spots in their respective Royal Rumbles! But the Singh Brothers come in to get them to slow down. No one cares about where they “think” they’re going, because they’re going home! The Maharrrrraja and Foxy will be Too Sweet. No, better: they can hug it out! Bayley boots the Bollywood Boys out, and says she and Apollo will worry about vacation destinations after the match.
Backstage interview with R-Truth & Carmella!
The FABULOUS Truth is ecstatic for tonight. They had a rough start but are on a roll. They’ll be up against the MMC Champions. Miz & Asuka were worried about every team but Truth & Carmella. Well Miz has run his mouth a long time, and Truth knows that from teaming with Miz back in the day. Truth knows for a fact Asuka carries that team. As for tonight, Mella & Truth will carry SmackDown’s flag all the way to TLC. They vow to win, and that’s the truth. Also, Miz said something about shoes? Check these! Carmella’s kicks are F A B U L O U A S! That’s not how you spell fabulous. That aside, let’s move on to choosing a vacation site. Truth likes the idea of Athens. Greece? Georgia? No, Ohio. Well on to match preparations!
Jinder Mahal & Alicia w/ The Singh Brothers VS Apollo Crews & Bayley!
Team A’n’B already meshed well together when they and The Boss, Sasha Banks, took it to #Mahalicia on Raw. However, Sasha Banks won’t be present to help cancel out Samir & Sunil, will #HugNation be able to overcome Shanti and head to TLC?
Bayley and Apollo talk on the way out, and it’s decided: once they win that vacation, they’ll go to Jamaica. “This one’s for Finn!” The teams then sort out, and the men begin. Apollo circles with Mahal and they tie up. Mahal gets a headlock and the Singhs already celebrate. Apollo powers out but Mahal runs him over with a shoulder. Mahal runs but Apollo gets up, only for Mahal to whip him. Apollo leaps over for the sunset flip, TWO! Backslide, TWO! Apollo rolls Mahal up, TWO! Mahal scrambles away and Alicia tags in. Mahal claims he had this, but Alicia doesn’t care. Vegas fires up for Bayley as she circles with Alicia. Bayley rolls Alicia, TWO! She tries again, ONE! A third time, TWO!
Alicia wants a breather and she bails out of the ring. She reprimands the Singhs and Mahal for not helping out. Alicia wants that 30th spot and vacation, but the Singhs and Mahal remind her she needs to win first. Alicia gets back in the ring, but Bayley gets her with a drop toehold! Bayley wants to put on an abdominal stretch, but Alicia resists. They go around and Bayley gets a facelock. The Singhs say that’s cheating, but Alicia drives Bayley into a corner. Alicia throws forearms then wrenches the arm. She kicks Bayley around then reels her in. Bayley reverses to a cradle, TWO! Bayley gets to a corner and flapjacks Alicia on the buckles! The Singhs coach Alicia up and she tags to Mahal!
Apollo comes in, but Mahal wants him to take it easy. Mahal kicks but Apollo blocks to counter punch. Apollo whips but Mahal hits a body shot. Mahal stomps a mudhole into Apollo, then whips him corner to corner. Apollo goes up and over and handsprings, then leaps over Mahal to hip toss him down. Fans fire up with Apollo and Apollo back flips. He lansd on his feet but walks into a hotshot and big knee! Cover, TWO! Mahal keeps his cool as he drives an elbow into Apollo’s head. He whips Apollo corner to corner hard and Apollo hits the mat. Mahal stomps away but Bayley keeps the Singhs back. Mahal drops knees then grinds Apollo down. The ref counts and Mahal stops at 4. Mahal brings Apollo up in a half nelson chinbar.
Apollo endures as fans rally up, and Apollo fights out. Mahal shoves Apollo and runs him over with an elbow! Cover, TWO! Mahal puts Apollo back in the half nelson, but Apollo endures. Fans rally up and Apollo fights back. Mahal shoves but Apollo kicks back. Apollo runs but into a clobbering clothesline! Mahal pulls back with a camel clutch. Fans rally again but Mahal wrangles Apollo back down. Mahal wrenches back on the chinlock, but Apollo endures. Fans rally up and Apollo gets moving. Apollo arm-drags out and enziguris Mahal down! Both men crawl for their corners, hot tag to Bayley!
Alicia comes in but Bayley rallies! Bayley puts Alicia in a corner for the back elbow, and corner punches! She gets 8, but Alicia slips out. Bayley jumps over to hit a big back suplex! Bayley runs in for the big knee, but Alicia gets to the apron. Alicia bumps Bayley off buckles, but Bayley hotshots her back! Bayley2Belly! Cover, but the Singhs drag Alicia out! The referee reprimands them but Apollo wipes them out with flying clotheslines! Apollo then leaps up again, asai moonsault takes them out again! He feeds Samir to Bayley2Belly! Then the same for Sunil! Bayley fires up but Mahal boots Apollo down! Bayley DIVES on Mahal! She puts Alicia back in, but walks into a boot!! Cover, Mahalicia wins!!
Winners: Jinder Mahal & Alicia Fox, Alicia pinning; advance to the MMC Finals at TLC
The dysfunctional duo makes it work! Granted, they succeeded against teams that had substitute members, such as how Curt Hakwins stepped in for Braun Strowman last week. But a win is a win, and now Mahalicia will represent Raw in the Finals! Who will they face in their shot at the 30th spots and the all-expenses-paid vacation?
Backstage interview with Mahalicia.
Did they ever think this day would come? Of course they did! Mahal meditated and visualized, and he sees himself, Alicia, and the Singhs on the beach. Alicia agrees with winning, but NOT with letting the Singhs joining them. They’re successful because SHE is the Captain! She’s driving this ship into Port Victory, without them! But Asuka comes over, laughing at how Mahalicia thinks they’re gonna win. It doesn’t matter what happened on tonight’s SmackDown, Asuka says she’s gonna win, because her match is next!
The Miz & Asuka VS R-Truth & Carmella!
The Season One champions are on the rocks right now as The Empress doesn’t appreciate The A-Lister trying to take credit for her work. Meanwhile, the fourth seed FABULOUS Truth have put in the work to make it back up from the bottom. Will we see another historic upset from Truth and the Princess of Staten Island?
“Las Vegas, make some noise! What’s up!?” The Miz and Asuka aren’t impressed, and aren’t in the mood for that Dance Break the fans are cheering for. The teams sort out and both Miz and Asuka say “I’ve got this.” Fans are on Asuka’s side. Miz concedes, and Asuka starts with Carmella. But then Miz calls over to tag in. Asuka refuses, because she’s got it. But then she chops him, which counts for a tag! Truth comes in and Asuka is annoyed. Truth rolls Miz up! TWO, but Truth stays on Miz. Miz powers out but Truth runs him over. Truth does his bunny hop dance, then things speed up. Truth holds ropes to do the rest of his dance. Miz runs in but Truth dodges to tilt-o-whirl Miz to a corner. Truth runs in to haymaker Miz. The ref backs Truth up and Miz kicks low.
Miz bumps Truth off buckles, then stomps him. Miz whips corner to corner but Truth goes up and over to dab on ’em! This annoys Miz and he runs back in, but Truth does the splits to dodge, then hip tosses Miz down! Truth clotheslines Miz out, and Carmella comes in, for the DANCE BREAK~! Asuka is furious at Miz while Truth and Carmella floss and twerk. Carmella calls out Asuka, so Asuka shows off her moves on the apron. Miz is annoyed but Truth hip tosses Miz back in! Truth throws hands then climbs up for corner punches. He gets 8 before Miz pushes him away and boots Truth down. Miz chokes Truth on the ropes, then hits his straddle attack. Cover, TWO!
Miz keeps on Truth with a camel clutch but Carmella rallies the fans. Truth gets up and fights back. Miz pulls hair to throw Truth down and deny the tag. Miz stalks Truth, to boot him down! Cover, TWO! Truth survives and Miz argues with the ref. Miz hears the fans rally and say “We Want Asuka!” Miz ignores that but gets rocked by haymakers from Truth! Truth back suplexes but Miz lands out to kick low and hit the basement DDT! Cover, but Carmella breaks it! Carmella goes back to her corner, but then Miz mocks the moonwalk. It wasn’t very good, but Miz stomps Truth down. Miz brings Truth up and uses his It Kicks. Miz winds up but misses, Truth rolls him up! TWO, and Miz clobbers Truth with a clothesline!
Fans rally but Miz grins as he runs corner to corner at Truth. He hits the dropkick, then keeps going to hit another. Miz soaks up the heat before running back in, but Truth clobbers him! Both men are down but fans are fired up. Truth and Miz crawl, hot tag brings in the ladies! Carmella rallies with lariats and a kick. She brings Asuka over for a bump off her boot. Asuka’s down but she dodges the bronco buster to then lift Carmella in a waistlock. Carmella screams and shouts to be let down, so Asuka gently sets Carmella back on her feet. To then lift her back up! Carmella fights out but gets the pop-up knee! Asuka runs, sliding wizard! Cover, TWO!
Carmella survives and Asuka grows frustrated. Miz is also frustrated but Asuka stays on Carmella with knees. Carmella jawbreakers and shoves Asuka away, Miz tags in! Miz goes after Truth but Truth punches him away. Truth rallies with the Lie Detector elbow! Cover, but Asuka breaks it! Carmella throws Asuka into buckles, and tunes up the band. She aims at Miz, but Miz uses Asuka as a shield?! The FABULOUS Kick hits Asuka, then Miz shoves Truth into Carmella before rolling Truth up! TWO!! FABULOUS KICK, to Scissor Kick! Cover, TWO!? Miz lives?! Fans are stunned but loving this!
Asuka throws Carmella out, then Miz dumps Truth out. Miz and Asuka catch their breath, but Asuka locks eyes with Miz. She knows what Miz just did, and he tries to say it wasn’t him. Asuka doesn’t believe Miz, she knows what she saw. Miz is afraid of what she’ll do, and says that they’re still a team. They can still win this together! Okay? No! Asuka fires off on Miz!! Buzzsaw! Miz is rocked, and Asuka ditches him! Truth gives Miz an Unprettier! Cover, Fabulous Truth win!!
Winners: R-Truth & Carmella, Truth pinning; advance to the MMC Finals at TLC
The Season One Champions are no longer in the tournament! The A-Lister made a major mistake thinking he could manipulate the Empress of Tomorrow, and now the FABULOUS Truth capitalize! It will be Truth & Carmella VS Mahal & Alicia at TLC, who wins to become the new Mixed Match Challenge Champions?
Last episode, last time for one of these. Admittedly, we all should’ve known, me especially, that this was not going to end with an amazing match up of top stars in the Finals. The big names like Finn Balor, Braun Strowman, Charlotte Flair, AJ Styles, etc were only in this second MMC to hook fans. WWE needs people to use Facebook Watch because of the deal they made, so that’s why we got great combinations to start. But naturally, it was all bait and switch, considering how those same big names would inevitably end up in more important stories like the titles and grudges we’re getting at TLC. Rest in peace, my dream of Bullet Club leaders and NXT Four Horsewomen members all in one match.
As for the bracket we did get, I knew it was going to end up this way. I thought Apollo was going to be Bayley’s second chance at that 30th spot after Finn had to step down for the sake of his match against Drew McIntyre. Then San Jose could cheer on their hometown girl as she goes against SmackDown’s finalist. However, Mahalicia still wins so that they are the Heels of the Finals. And while I knew Truth & Carmella were going to go in once Asuka ended up in the TLC Triple Threat, I really enjoy how they wrote it for the match. It was only a matter of time before Asuka got fed up with Miz’s ego, and this was the breaking point. Truth and Carmella will certainly benefit the most from being the 30th entrants, even if they aren’t destined to win the Rumbles.