All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service
- Kalisto VS Akira Tozawa; Kalisto wins.
- Drew Gulak VS Mark Andrews; Gulak wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
We finally have a new WWE Cruiserweight Champion!
The finals of the Cruiserweight Championship Tournament, as started by 205 Live General Manager, Drake Maverick, happened on the Grandest Stage of Them All! The Heart and Soul of 205 Live battled fast and furious, pitting every ounce of their determination, grit and desire against each other. Cedric Alexander would derail one 0-5-4, survive another, and avoid the last before giving Mustafa Ali a powerful Lumbar Check. The Age of Alexander begins, how long shall it reign?
Percy Watson joins the 205 Live commentary team!
Just like Nigel McGuinness–who will be back in a couple weeks–Mr. Showtime himself now covers both 205 Live and NXT! And what a night to make his 205 Live debut on, as Cedric Alexander will be here later on to celebrate.
Kalisto VS Akira Tozawa!
Ahead of next week’s Cruiserweight Tornado Tag match, the Lucha House Party’s Samurai of the Sun and the Stamina Monster of the Rising Sun go mano y mano to gain momentum for their respective teams.
The bell rings and the two circle. Tozawa points out the chants for him before he ties up with Kalisto. They go around in a circle and Tozawa gets the waistlock, but Kalisto pries his way out to an arm wrench. Tozawa rolls to reverse the wrench, then shifts to the wristlock. Kalisto cartwheels and reverses the wristlock, bringing Tozawa to his knees. He brings Tozawa back up to a headlock, but Tozawa powers out. They speed up, Kalisto handstand walks and handsprings to headscissor Tozawa. Tozawa backs off to a corner, Kalisto starts up a “Lucha! Lucha!” chant. Tozawa comes back and they circle again. They tie up, Tozawa puts Kalisto up against the ropes. The break is clean but tense, and Tozawa starts up “AH! AH!” chants.
They tie up again, and Tozawa puts Kalisto in a corner. Tozawa backs off to stomp Kalisto, then whips him corner to corner. Kalisto goes up and over and things speed up again. Kalisto sunset flips, Tozawa rolls through, Kalisto ducks the Penalty Kick and rolls Tozawa but Tozawa ducks the Listo Kick. Tozawa flips Kalisto to his feet and fakes the chop, to hit the jab! Kalisto staggers to a corner and Tozawa starts up another “AH! AH!” chant while he stomps a mudhole into Kalisto. Tozawa backs off for just a moment, then brings Kalisto back up. Kalisto hits back with body shots, but Tozawa rocks him with another stiff jab. Tozawa snapmares Kalisto, runs and hits the Penalty Kick and the back senton. Cover, TWO, but Tozawa keeps on Kalisto with a chinlock.
Kalisto powers his way up and fights out of the hold, but Tozawa rocks him again with another stiff right. Tozawa chops Kalisto to a corner, then chops him again. He clubs and stomps Kalisto in the corner, then brings Kalisto up for a corner to corner whip. Kalisto slips out as Tozawa runs in, and then he swing kicks Tozawa away. Kalisto springboards and hits the seated senton, then keeps moving for a springboard corkscrew crossbody! Fans fire up as Kalisto mule kicks and runs, he hits Tozawa with a Spike-rana! Cover, TWO!
Tozawa rolls to a corner but Kalisto dropkicks him in the back. Kalisto stands Tozawa up, rams in a shoulder, then puts him on the top rope. Kalisto climbs up to join Tozawa, “Lucha House Party, baby!” But Tozawa fights back with body shots. They brawl up there, but Tozawa knocks Kalisto down. He’s in the drop zone, but springs up to swing kick Tozawa. Kalisto climbs up again, but Tozawa again fights him. Kalisto uses a headbutt, but it’s a bit double-edged as they both wobble. After some adjustments, Kalisto brings Tozawa up, for a rebound Spanish Fly!
Cover, TWO! Kalisto grows frustrated, but he crawls over to Tozawa on the mat. They brawl on their knees, then up to their feet. They throw right forearms back and forth, but Tozawa gets the edge. Kalisto comes back with furious palm strikes and an elbow! Tozawa back kicks, swings but slides under, spinning roundhouse! Cover, TWO! Now Tozawa feels frustration while Kalisto gets to a corner. Tozawa is in another corner and fans chant “AH! AH!” while he takes aim. He runs corner to corner but Kalisto evades to then SUPERKICK Tozawa! Tozawa is dazed, Kalisto keeps on him with a knee to the stomach, and then a rolling Death Valley Driver!
He keeps going, kicking Tozawa in the chest. Tozawa sits up again, so Kalisto kicks him again, and again. Every time Tozawa sits up, Kalisto kicks him down. Kalisto backs up to a corner, fires up, and runs in, but into a monkey flip that sends him into buckles! The referee checks on Kalisto while Tozawa drags himself to the apron. Tozawa pulls himself up to the top rope while Kalisto is still down. He stands up and takes aim, but Kalisto rolls out of the way. Tozawa isn’t bothered, he hops down and builds speed to blast Kalisto with a baseball slide dropkick that sends him into the announce desk! Then he builds more speed to DIVE!
The Tozawa Torpedo hits and sends Kalisto back into the announce desk. Kalisto staggers while Tozawa gets back on the apron, for a cannonball! The fans are fired up, and so is Tozawa. He gets Kalisto back in the ring while fans chant “205! 205!” Kalisto is in the drop zone, fans chant “AH! AH!” while Tozawa climbs up. SUPER SENTON, but into Kalisto’s knees!
Kalisto’s knees hurt from that impact almost as much as Tozawa’s back. The fans rally while Kalisto drags himself to his feet. Tozawa also stands, Kalisto runs for a second Spike-rana, but Tozawa blocks it! Tozawa brings Kalisto up but Kalisto rolls through to a sunset flip, TWO into Tozawa’s seated cover, TWO, but Tozawa comes back with a jackknife cover. TWO as Kalisto bridges out! Kalisto goes for a backslide but Tozawa flips over, only to run into Salida Del Sol!
Cover, Kalisto wins!
Winner: Kalisto, by pinfall
Lucha House Party’s leader gains major momentum for the coming Tornado Tag match with this victory. Will the result be the same when Gran Metalik and Hideo Itami are added to the mix? Or will Tozawa & Itami beat some respect out of their rivals?
Tony Nese talks with Mark Andrews backstage.
The High-Fiving, Stage-Diving Welshman is a bit surprised to be seeing the Premier Athlete ahead of his match with Drew Gulak. But Nese was Gulak’s friend, until he turned into “this sadistic, egomaniac.” If anyone deserves vengeance on Gulak, it’s Nese. But he still hopes Andrews goes out there and kicks Gulak’s ass. With the 8-pack powerhouse supporting him, can Andrews settle his grudge with the gritty Philly grappler?
Drew Gulak VS Mark Andrews!
Just as Tony Nese said, the self-proclaimed greatest grappler in the Cruiserweight or any Division in the WWE today has grown in arrogance as well as aggression. Can Andrews settle the score with the Philly Fury here in New Orleans?
Before the match, Gulak speaks. “I am nothing if not a man of the people, and I have heard your concerns.” Gulak asks, “What better time than now, for myyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy…! POWERPOINT, PRESENTATION~!!” Fans are so excited for its return, but “the answer to that question is, ‘anytime but now.'” Fans boo. There’s a time for presentations, but not when Gulak is destroying the “pop-rock dimwit”, Mark Andrews. This is not Microsoft Office master, Drew Gulak, no. This is “the best submission specialist in the WWE!” It doesn’t matter who you are, you step to Gulak, you WILL tap out. Gulak finishes his speech just in time, so that he isn’t interrupted by Andrews’ entrance.
The bell rings and they tie right up. Gulak powers Andrews back then whips him to ropes, but Andrews collides with him shoulder to shoulder. Neither man backs down, so Andrews speeds up and throws Gulak with a headscissors then with arm-drags. Gulak blocks the third arm-drag but Andrews slips around to the other side and gets the hat trick. Gulak slips out of the ring to catch his breath, and Andrews waits for him to return. The ring count begins but Gulak takes his time. He returns at 7 and shoulders into Andrews, but Andrews comes back to kick at the leg. Andrews kicks Gulak around the ring but Gulak brings him down with a wristlock. Gulak keeps Andrews grounded with wristlock after wristlock, then grinds a knee into his chest.
The fans rally for Andrews and Andrews rolls and handsprings to flip Gulak over. Andrews walks right into Gulak’s scoop, and Gulak goes for the dragon sleeper! Andrews resists then manages to victory roll Gulak, TWO! Gulak gets to a corner, Andrews runs in but Gulak puts him on the apron. Andrews shoulders back in, then slingshots over, into a wheelbarrow bulldog! Fans fire up for Andrews while Gulak gets out to the apron. Gulak shoulders in but Andrews counters with a dropkick. Andrews joins Gulak on the apron, and hops up for a huricanrana, but Gulak goes to counter with a powerbomb. Andrews slips out on the back end, but Gulak shoves him into the turnbuckle cross bars! Down goes Andrews, and Gulak watches him writhe in pain.
Gulak leaves Andrews to the mercy of the ring count while embracing the heat. The count reaches 5 as Andrews stirs, he beats the count at 7. Gulak goes right at Andrews with springboard stomps, then brings him up into a cravat neck wrench. Andrews endures, reaches, and fights out while the fans rally. Gulak snapmares but Andrews lands on his feet, only for Gulak to run him over with a back elbow. Cover, TWO, but Gulak keeps his cool. He brings Andrews up for a pendulum backbreaker, then another. Cover, TWO, so Gulak puts on a chinlock. Gulak squeezes and grinds Andrews while fans rally again. He wants Andrews to give up, but Andrews refuses. Gulak wrenches and thrashes Andrews around, but Andrews endures. Andrews powers up and fights back but Gulak grounds him with a knee to the ribs.
Gulak bends Andrews back in a chickenwing chinbar, but fans keep rallying. Andrews feeds off the energy to fight back again, but Gulak knees him down again. Cover, TWO, but Gulak grins as he toys with Andrews. He grabs Andrews’ wrist and pulls as he stands on Andrews’ throat. The referee counts, Gulak lets go at 4, but then goes back for another chinlock. Andrews endures and fights back again, jawbreaker rocks Gulak. Gulak shakes it off but Andrews hits him with a forearm. Andrews ducks the punch to enziguri Gulak! Gulak staggers and falls to his knees while Andrews gets space. Fans build to a rally again, and Andrews runs in for the 619 to the stomach!
Gulak staggers again, Andrews takes aim and springboards for the crossbody! Andrews fires up, and hits a corkscrew standing moonsault! Cover, TWO! Andrews catches his breath while Gulak gets to ropes. Andrews whips but Gulak holds ropes, so Andrews throws a forearm. Another try but Gulak reverses, so Andrews tilt-o-whirls into the crucifix. They go ’round ‘n’ ’round, and Andrews brings Gulak down in the crucifix!
Cover, TWO, and Andrews grows frustrated. Andrews gets to a corner and climbs but Gulak grabs his foot. Andrews enziguris Gulak away, then runs for another wheelbarrow, but Gulak shoves him away, to then clobber Andrews from behind! Cover, TWO! And Gulak is shocked. Gulak glares at Andrews, and slowly brings him up by his beard. Andrews revives and starts chopping away at Gulak! Gulak hits back with palm strikes, and now it’s a slap fest! Gulak shoves Andrews, tilt-o-whirl on the rebound, but Gulak blocks the DDT! He suplexes Andrews, but Andrews counters into StunDog Millionaire!
Down goes Gulak, and fans fire up for Andrews as he hurries to a corner. Andrews climbs up, takes aim, but Gulak rolls away to the far side. Andrews hops down and walks over, only for Gulak to yank him into buckles! And then Gulak drags Andrews into the Gu-LOCK!
Andrews taps, Gulak wins!
Winner: Gulak, by submission
This time, Gulak is merciful and lets Andrews out at the bell. He continues to prove how talented a submission wrestler he is, but is he truly the best in the WWE today?
Wait, Gulak isn’t as merciful as he seemed. He goes back to Andrews, and puts him BACK in the Gu-Lock! The referee tries to stop Gulak while Andrews flails around, but it’s Tony Nese to the rescue!
The Premier Athlete hits the ring and hits Gulak with a takedown and fast hands! Gulak scrambles away but Nese FLIES!
He takes out Gulak, then fires up in the ring! Nese dares Gulak to get up and finish this, but Gulak wants no part of an angry former friend. “You always were a cheater.” This grudge is far from settled, will Nese defeat his nemesis in the gritty grappling Gulak?
205 Live General Manager, Drake Maverick, meets with a new team.
He has heard their request, and will grant it. These two superstars will be in Cruiserweight Tag Team action next week, but he does have some reservations about it. Who is he referring to? Why, it’s the Ungentlemanly Alliance, Jack Gallagher & THE Brian Kendrick!
Maverick admits he’s rather happy to have the Man with a Plan back in action, but reminds everyone that given the eye-injury Kendrick suffered at the hands–or rather, knee–of Hideo Itami, Maverick just hopes this won’t turn into “a vendetta”. Gallagher says, “Frankly, Mr. Maverick, a vendetta with Mr. Itami at this point, it’s beneath us.” Kendrick adds that he’s just as happy to be back, and as far as Itami goes, “consider it water under the bridge.” Maverick doesn’t seem quite convinced, but we can all be sure that with this team back, the budding Cruiserweight Tag Team Division just got a whole lot… crueler.
Drake Maverick heads to the ring.
The man formerly known as Rockstar Spud has been all smiles the last 48 hours in regards to the Wrestlemania Cruiserweight Championship match. He speaks to the New Orleans crowd to say, “I’m not gonna keep you, but I just wanna say, has this been the best weekend of WWE or what?!” The fans agree, it’s been pretty great. Maverick admits that nothing made him prouder than being appointed 205 Live General Manager. And he thinks they’re doing a hell of a job, don’t you? He sat ringside right by the announce desk–John Cena was in the front row–but Maverick was over on the other side, and watched “the Heart and Soul of 205 Live battle it out” for the title, “and they tore the house down!” Now, that brings him to present the NEW Cruiserweight Champion himself, Cedric Alexander!
The Carolina Kid is here and proudly holding onto his title after fighting for so long to get it. He enters the ring to join Maverick, and Maverick hands him the mic to speak. Fans let him know, “You Deserve It!”, and he thanks them. He wants to say that two years ago, everyone chanted, “Please Sign Cedric!”, and because of that, Alexander made it all the way to Wrestlemania to walk out a champion! Fans chant, “Yes You Did!” Alexander keeps it simple, and on behalf of himself and his family, “Thank you.” He loves them all, but before he can say more, Mustafa Ali appears.
The Beacon of Light walks to the ring and stands across from Alexander. Fans chant for “Mustafa! Mustafa!” to show they respect him as much as they do Alexander. Ali speaks, telling Alexander, “I came out here to tell you something face to face.” As his Wrestlemania opponent, as a member of the Cruiserweight Division, and as Alexander’s friend, Ali wants to say that Alexander doesn’t just deserve it, he earned it. They shake hands while fans applaud. Ali lets Alexander know there’s a long line of challengers waiting in the back, but fans are hoping for “One More Match!” between these two friends. But Ali reminds Alexander he’s still in that line. Another man who is in that line is Buddy Murphy! But where is he? He’s behind Alexander! And he gets the champion up for Murphy’s Law!
Maverick and Ali don’t notice until Alexander hits the mat, and by the time they react, Murphy’s out of the ring. Fans boo and jeer but the Best Kept Secret doesn’t care, he made his statement. Ali checks on Alexander while Maverick reprimands Murphy. Murphy was going to get his opportunity, he didn’t need to do this! But again, Murphy doesn’t care. Ali and Alexander both glare at Murphy, but Murphy just signals that he’s coming for that belt. Will the Age of Alexander survive when it goes up against the Aussie Action Hero?
A pretty good episode of 205 Live, all things considered. Great to see Percy Watson moving up in commentary, and I assume that means once Nigel returns, all WWE programming will have three person teams. Kalisto VS Tozawa have a great opener, but something confused me about Kalisto having this singles match but Lince Dorado taking his place in next week’s Tornado Tag. That aside, great for Kalisto to win, keeping him afloat in the Cruiserweight singles division. And with the return of THE Brian Kendrick, the Cruiserweight Tag Team Division… Well it can actually be one now. And them claiming they’re done with Itami is surely foreshadowing that they aren’t, and will attack during the Tornado Tag to prompt a Cruiserweight Tag Team Championship match involving all three teams.
Gulak VS Andrews left a bit to be desired, though. It didn’t help that something happened in the crowd to distract so many. I will note that it at least looked like one of the largest crowds 205 Live has had, and they at least snapped back to attention in time for the important parts. Gulak wins to stay strong going into the feud we’ve been waiting for: Team PowerPoint Civil War! This has been building since the ‘Zo Train turned them on each other, and now we finally get to progress with it. The Cruiserweight Championship celebration was more an acceptance speech, but it was still great. I thought Ali was going to turn, but he’s too popular for that, so leave it to Murphy to be Heel! He kinda botched his ambush, but oh well. A match of Murphy VS Alexander is going to be physical and incredible.
My Score: 8/10
Mitchell’s Women of Wrestling Results & Report! (1/18/19)
Prepare to be wowed by WOW, the Women of Wrestling! Who will be the first to step up to the Super Woman, Santana Garrett, on the very first night?
- The Beast VS Stephy Slays; The Beast wins.
- Abilene Maverick VS Fire; Maverick wins.
- Eye Candy VS Khloe Hurtz; Eye Candy wins.
- WOW World Championship: Santana Garrett VS Jungle Grrrl; Jungle Grrrl wins by count out, Santana Garrett retains the WOW World Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
Welcome to WOW!
The Women of Wrestling return to television with this season premiere! And what better way to kick it off than with THE WOW World Champion, Santana Garrett! The real-life Wonder Woman hits the ring with a newly designed title belt, and Santana is so happy to be here in front of the fans. And she’s especially proud to have her father, “TNT” Keny G watching live and in person. Both daughter and father are emotional over this moment. They’ve been through a lot, and they’re both so thankful that he’s here to cheer on his baby girl. The fans are happy for them, but here comes someone to crash the party! It’s Tessa Blanchard!
The second generation “Born Legend” stares down Santana, and takes the mic. Santana has her dad here, huh? Isn’t that sweet? Tessa says Grandpa Blanchard ran over his territory back in the day, while stepdad Magnum TA is one of the most respected men in this industry. And let’s not forget Tessa’s own father, THE Tully Blanchard, is a WWE Hall of Famer and an original Four Horseman! Keny probably laced up Tully’s boots. Actually, no, Keny probably carried Tully’s bags. WOW booker David McLane tries to keep the peace, but Tessa says Santana should be the one carrying her bags! David says Tessa coming in here bragging about her family tree doesn’t give her the right to just interrupt proceedings. Tessa says she’s not out here just to brag, she’s out here to go after the WOW World Championship.
David says that to get a shot at the title, you have to earn your way up. You don’t get something just because of dad, stepdad and granddad were special. Tessa says that because of who her dad is, she might as well be handed that belt. David asks Tessa to please leave. Tessa has to work for a shot. That’s fine by Tessa, she doesn’t want any trouble. But she will let Santana know that both she and the belt are Tessa’s. Santana says that she doesn’t see any of Tessa’s dads here. So get to the back of the line, girlfriend! Tessa smiles and nods, she knows she’ll get her match. But with the title on the line in the very first episode, will it be Santana Garrett or former champion, Jungle Grrrl, that Tessa will be targeting in the coming weeks?
The Beast has issued an open challenge!
She knows she’s the biggest and the baddest Woman of Wrestling, and looks to prove her superiority. She dares any woman in the locker room to step up and prove her wrong. While watching backstage, The Governor’s Daughter, Abilene Maverick, took advantage. Maverick tricked Stephy Slays about match times, and Slays was just a lamb to the slaughter! Slays realized she was fooled, but didn’t want to be a coward. She jumped into the ring, only to get demolished! Tonight, Slays wishes to prove she’s not so easily crushed. She takes on The Beast again, will she get payback on both Beast and Maverick? Or will it be more of the same?
The Beast VS Stephy Slays!
The bell rings and they tie up! Beast throws Slays into a corner hard! Slays gets right up, though, and goes again. Beast waistlock tosses Slays around, then SPEARS Slays to a corner! She rams shoulder after shoulder into Slays, then forearms! The ref counts and Beast backs off at 4. Beast runs in again but Slays dodges! Slays goes up and leaps, but into a belly2belly! Beast thrashes Slays then drags her up by her hair. Beast puts Slays in a corner then whips corner to corner for a big corner clothesline! Fans duel as Beast lifts Slays easily. Beast walks around and throws Slays with a Fall Away Slam! Slays rolls to ropes but Beast is on her again with another toss. Beast stands on Slays for a cocky cover, TWO!! Slays survives and shocks The Beast!
The Beast boots Slays back down and grins. She runs in but Slays rolls her up, ONE! Slays dropkicks and staggers Beast! Slays runs in again, victory roll countered to the Air Raid Siren! Cover, TWO!! Beast was cocky again but now she’s frustrated. Beast stomps Slays around, then drags her up for forearms. She kicks Slays while she’s down, then grins again. The sadistic specimen whips Slays corner to corner for another clothesline, then throws Slays with a gut wrench suplex! Beast grins as Slays slowly stands. Beast grabs Slays for a suplex, and slam! Cover, but Beast lets Slays up this time! Beast wants to make Slays pay for lasting this long, and she drags Slays up for a Beast Bomb!! Cover, Beast wins!
Winners: The Beast, by pinfall
Dominant for the second time against Slays, The Beast looks to be rolling on towards the title! Will she be the one to challenge the winner of tonight’s main event?
The Beast takes to the mic.
“I’m the biggest. I’m the baddest.” And she is THE BEAST! She roars in victory, will anyone ever come close to making a dent in her?
“My mom grew up in Georgia, my dad grew up in Mississippi, so I’m Southern Blood.” Fire was brought up in a strict upbringing, and she was a gifted student so there was a lot of pressure put on her to succeed. When she entered middle school, she went “off track”, and no one around her understood why. Fire was bullied for being smart, to the point of death threats. Wrestling was her way to feel stronger. Through wrestling, she realized anything was possible, like she could escape this reality. Fire steps up for who she really is, and for what she who to be. “If you want it enough, if you fight for it enough, there is no stopping you.” There is no stopping Fire now, will she blaze a trail to the title?
Abilene Maverick VS Fire!
The Governor’s Daughter shows off her new glittering robe as she makes her entrance, but we have a WOW debut for Fire tonight! Will Maverick be the first wrestler burned by Fire’s passion?
The bell rings and the two circle. Fans fire up for Fire and she feeds off the energy. Maverick plugs her ears to ignore it all, and she pushes Fire down with a wristlock! Fire kips up and wrings Maverick out! Fire has an armlock but Maverick endures. Maverick rolls and scoop slams Fire fast! Fire gets up fast, and the two circle again. They tie up and Fire pushes Maverick back. Fire whips but Maverick reverses, only for Fire to slide under and hit a big dropkick! Maverick is reeling as Fire runs corner to corner for a splash! Fire keeps moving but misses this time. Maverick misses and Fire gets a waistlock. Maverick pries free to reel Fire in for a shoulder! She throws Fire down by her hair, then drags Fire up for a big back suplex! Cover, ONE!
Maverick keeps her cool while Fire crawls. Fans rally but Maverick grabs Fire to throw her back down. Fans boo but Maverick soaks up their heat. Maverick kicks Fire while she’s down, then drags her up by her hair again. Fire hits back with forearms, and then kicks. Fire runs, basement dropkick! Cover, TWO! Fire keeps on Maverick at the ropes with a whip, but Maverick reverses to a drop toehold. Maverick grins as she picks Fire up again. Maverick rams Fire’s face back into the mat! Fire crawls while the referee reprimands Maverick. Maverick hotshots Fire on the ropes, then drags her over for springboard knee drops! Maverick soaks in the heat again, then runs corner to corner for a big knee! She kicks and rolls Fire, to mule kick her down! Cover, TWO!
Maverick keeps her composure as Fire continues to survive. Fans rally up for Fire again as Maverick drags her up. Scoop, but Fire slips out to shove! Fire dodges and elbows Maverick down! Fire rallies with more elbows, then brings Maverick to a snapmare and mule kick of her own! Maverick crawls and Fire runs corner to corner, big clothesline! She keeps going, hip attack! Then side to side for the shotgun dropkick! Cover, TWO!! Maverick survives and Fire can’t believe it! But fans fire up for Fire again as she drags Maverick back up. Fire fishermans, and swings for the neckbreaker! Cover, TWO!? Maverick survives and Fire is in shock! Fire keeps going, powered by the fans. She drags Maverick up again, but Maverick knees low, for the draping DDT!! Cover, Maverick wins!
Winner: Abilene Maverick, by pinfall
The Governor’s Daughter may not be the fan’s favorite, but she’s still the winner. Will Abilene make her move towards the WOW World Championship?
Abilene Maverick spots Stephy Slays in the medical area.
Wow, poor Slays didn’t learn her lesson the first time. But then Maverick gets a taste of her own medicine as The All Natural pushes her out of the way. It seems there’s someone with a bigger attitude than even Maverick. Will Khloe Hurtz bring the pain tonight?
Eye Candy VS Khloe Hurtz!
Sugary sweet but ready to fight, Eye Candy will look to ruin #KhloeTime tonight. Will Candy leave the fans with a sugar high? Or will the All Natural leave Candy crushed?
The bell rings and the two circle. They tie up and Candy rolls Hurtz, TWO! Candy is all smiles as she and Hurtz go again. Hurtz kicks low then wrenches to reel Candy in. Candy ducks and hooks, backslide! TWO and the two turn sideways. Candy and Hurtz fight for control, Candy drop toeholds into a camel clutch! She tucks Hurtz in for a cover, TWO! Hurtz runs in but Candy blocks to a suplex! Fans fire up with Candy as she hits a back senton! Cover, TWO! Candy keeps her cool as she drags Hurtz up into a fireman’s carry. Candy hits a rolling senton, then climbs up top. Hurtz trips her up, and hits a draping backstabber! Hurtz whips Candy corner to corner but Candy cartwheels and comes back with forearms! Candy even headbutts before adding the hip attack!
Fans fire up with Candy as she climbs up again! Candy shimmies and shakes then hits a big missile dropkick! Cover, TWO! Hurtz survives and Candy can’t believe it! Hurtz’s Ring Rats grow concerned as Candy drags her back up. Fireman’s carry, but Hurts fights out again. Hurts fireman’s Candy, does some squats, then hits a Samoan Drop! Hurtz drops the leg! Cover, TWO! Candy survives and Hurtz can’t believe it! Hurtz drags Candy up and suplexes, but Candy resists. Candy hits back and wrenches to the fireman’s carry. Death Valley Driver! Candy drags Hurtz over, climbs up top, MOONSAULT! Cover, Candy wins!
Winner: Eye Candy, by pinfall
What a shocker! The sweet Eye Candy gets a big win on the series premiere! Will this shocker send Eye Candy all the way to WOW Championship contention?
The Voodoo Doll asks the WOW roster, “Would you like to know what The Siren has in store for you?” Let the cards tell your fate. The Devil: Siren is the change that is coming to Women of Wrestling’s landscape. The Five of Wands: currently, there is a power struggle in the locker room. But that top spot will soon belong to her. And finally, Death: Siren is the final transformation, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. Siren has been to Hell and back, and has regained her power. She will sacrifice WOW to the darkness! Who will be the first?
WOW World Championship: Santana Garrett VS Jungle Grrrl!
The Wonder Woman of Wrestling is just one of eight children in her family, but she and her father grew closer through wrestling. Keny G brought her into the fold, and now they’re both living a dream together! But she again faces the Alpha Female, the one and only woman to have yet to be pinned in a match! Jungle Grrrl became WOW World Champion, but ended up getting in over her head in a Triple Threat. Santana pinned The Beverly Hills Babe to win the title, shocking everyone. But now Santana must prove she can defeat Jungle Grrrl 1v1, can Santana prove she deserves to be champion?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we begin! Fans are already fired up as the two circle and tie up. Santana waistlocks but JG standing switches. Santana headlocks then wrenches the wrist. JG rolls and reverses to her own wristlock, but Santana rolls and handsprings to reverse back. JG uses the ropes to flip through and wrench Santana back. Santana counters with another headlock, then a roll to a cover, TWO and JG gets Santana with a ghost pin! TWO, and Santana Oklahoma rolls! ONE and JG sweeps to a cover, ONE! The two stare down as fans fire up again. Santana and JG nod with respect as they circle again. They tie up and go for a test of strength. JG bends Santana back but Santana bridges. Santana comes back and rolls back to reverse the knuckle lock!
Santana throws an elbow while maintaining the grip. She whips but JG reverses to dropkick her down! Cover, TWO! JG stalks Santana and scoops her up, for a Jungle Driver! Cover, TWO! Santana survives but JG keeps her cool. JG stomps Santana and heads for a corner. She climbs up to the top rope, familiar territory, and leaps for the Jungle Splash! But she flops! Santana hurries up but Tessa Blanchard appears! Tessa goes after Keny G’s oxygen! Santana rushes out at Tessa and a fight is on! Santana throws Tessa around and into the ring, but she wasn’t aware of a ring count! It hits 10, and Santana loses!!
Winner: Junger Grrrl, by ring out; Santana Garrett retains the WOW World Championship
Champion’s Advantage is the only thing that saves Santana’s reign, but she still got suckered by the Born Legend! And now Tessa brings the fight to Santana, with a Hammerlock DDT! But Jungle Grrrl gets back at Tessa with a Jungle Driver! Tessa screwed Jungle Grrrl over just as much as she did Santana, and now she has problems. But wait, The Beast goes after Jungle Grrrl! These top predators are face to face but referees hurry to keep them apart. Fans want to “Let Them Fight!” but TV time is running out just as things are getting wild! Will Tessa pay for her interference? Will The Beast replace Jungle Grrrl as the Alpha Woman of Wrestling?
Apparently, this isn’t the beginning of the Women of Wrestling’s history. They’ve been around for a long time, trying in 2000 but fading away, until being revived in mid-2012. But even if this wasn’t the true beginning, this was a good beginning for their AXS TV run. There’s a lot of backstory to get caught up on, but it would seem they made sure to give us those needed recap packages so new viewers aren’t too lost. Many of these alter egos and their elaborate packages make me feel like WOW is an all women’s version of Lucha Underground, which is known for having many wrestlers come up with alternate characters to fit their universe. And there are even shared talents between WOW and LU, such as Shaul Guerrero and Kobra Moon.
As such, the story behind The Beast VS Stephy Slays rematch was made rather clear. It was a good match and Slays got to show plenty of heart, but obviously heart alone isn’t enough. The Beast wins to establish herself as the monster Heel to new viewers. And with Abilene Maverick (Callee Wilkerson) picking on her, that seems like a story going forward. Maverick VS Fire (Taylor Lewis) was also a solid match, and Maverick won to help towards that story with Slays. Eye Candy (Willow Nightingale) VS Khloe Hurtz (Katie Forbes) was decent, and Candy wins mostly so that it isn’t all Heels winning. There are WOW World Tag Team Championships, but they’ve been vacated for years, so I’m wondering if any teams will form out of these midcard stories to give us more action with that.
The main event was pretty good, just not as a match. First, I wouldn’t announce time limits when we know the show is only an hour, it just seems like a waste. Second, Santana VS Jungle Grrrl really only got going when Tessa came out to Heel it up. Third, that 10 count was probably the fastest 10 count I’ve ever seen. But the brawl between Tessa and Santana, and then the impending brawl between The Beast and Jungle Grrrl just managed to salvage things. We have our stories going forward, and at the very least, I wasn’t bored to sleep. There are some things that need work, and this was a rather tough time to move into the television wrestling sphere, but this isn’t a bad program to give a fair shake.
My Score: 8/10
Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Wrestle Kingdom 13 Results, Part 3!
NJPW and AXS wrap up Wrestle Kingdom 13 with the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship! Will Kushida be able to deny The Bone Soldier, Taiji Ishimori?
This coverage of Wrestle Kingdom 13 will be as AXS TV broadcasts it.
Gifs can be found on http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships #1 Contenders Gauntlet: Ryusuke Taguchi, Togi Makabe & Toru Yano win and will challenge Taiji Ishimori & The Guerrillas of Destiny for the titles at New Year’s Dash.
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Kushida VS Taiji Ishimori; Ishimori wins and becomes the new IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene for this year’s spectacular event!
The IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship had a rocky 2018. The Ticking Time-Bomb, Hiromu Takahashi, had only just won the belt off of Will Ospreay, and moved on to defend it against fierce CMLL rival, Dragon Lee, at the G1 Special in San Francisco. Hiromu won but was badly injured from that fight, and so a tournament between the four previous title holders was held! Kushida defeated Bushi while Marty Scurll again got the better of Will Ospreay. And in the tournament finals, Kushida would defeat The Villain to become a six-time champion. Meanwhile, The Bone Soldier would be resurrected as Taiji Ishimori joined Bullet Club! Ishimori was a Super Junior finalist, but missed out on his chance at the title. Now he gets his chance to have the title for his own, can he throw down the Time Splitter?
However, Ishimori’s focus might be split, as he is also one third of the current NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Champions. Tonight, five top teams in the Six Man Tag Division will compete, and the last team standing moves on to New Year’s Dash to challenge Ishimori and the Guerrillas of Destiny! Who comes out on top aimed at the Bullet Club’s fiercest trio? That match, is now!
NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships #1 Contenders Gauntlet!
First out for this gauntlet are the Bullet Club Elite’s trio of Marty Scurll, Hangman Adam Page and Yujiro Takahashi! The Villain has his umbrella, Hangman has his rope and Tokyo Pimp has both cane and vivacious valet. Chase Owens also hangs around, for moral support. Their opponents are David Finlay, Jeff Cobb and Yuji Nagata! Will either of these teams be able to complete the gauntlet and make a run at New Year’s Dash?
The Bullet Club VS David Finlay, Jeff Cobb & Yuji Nagata!
The teams sort out and it’ll be Blue Justice starting against The Villain. Marty and Yuji circle and tie up, and Marty gets a waistlock. Yuji reverses but Marty rolls and spins to reverse back. Yuji gets a headlock takeover but Marty headscissors so Yuji pops out. The two stand off and fans applaud. They circle again, and Marty kicks low. Marty throws forearms but Yuji throws them back. Yuji runs but Marty dodges for the 52 Fake Out! Marty flaps his wings and runs, but Yuji dodges. Yuji fakes Marty out to dropkick! Yuji drags Marty up but Marty gets the fingers! Marty calls for silence, but Yuji breaks fre. Yuji sweeps the legs then ties them up for a deathlock! Marty crawls and gets the ropebreak! Yuji lets Marty go but grabs the legs again to tag to Cobb.
Cobb grabs Scurll but Scurll rakes the eyes! Scurll tags to Hangman, and both Hangman and Yujiro go after Yuji and Finlay! The Elite surround Cobb but Cobb fires off haymakers and chops on all of them! Cobb runs, but Yujiro drop toeholds. Scurll adds a basement dropkick and Hang,an hits the standing shooting star! Cobb rolls away while fans cheer The Elite on. Marty and Hangman run crisscross for a SUPERKICK to another shooting star! They take down Hawaiian Hulk and put him in the ring. Fans rally up as Yujiro keeps Cobb’s attention. Hangman slingshots for the Buckshot lariat! Cover, TWO! Hangman keeps his cool as he goes to lift Cobb. He gets Cobb up but Cobb fights out, so Hangman forearms. Hangman kicks but is blocked into a Fall Away Slam!
Both men crawl for their corners, and fans rally as hot tags are made to Finlay and Yujiro! Finlay rallies on Tokyo Pimp with forearms. They start brawling with forearm after forearm back and forth, then Finlay European Uppercuts. Finlay kicks but Yujiro blocks that to throw him down, then adds a basement dropkick! Yujiro hits a Fisherman Buster, covers, but Yuji and Cobb break it! Scurll and Hangman throw them abck out and brawl on the outside. Yujiro lifts Finlay but Finlay slips out for a urenage backbreaker! Finlay fires up but Yujiro denies the cutter. Yujiro pushes Finlay to ropes and Chase swipes at Finlay’s feet! Finlay grabs Chase’s hair, but gets caught. Hangman runs in but gets Chase instead!
Yujiro gets mad at Hangman and shoves him, but Hangman shoves Yujiro back! Finlay rolls Yujiro up, Finlay’s team ELIMINATES The Elite! Chase and Hangman start shoving and Scurll has to keep the peace. It seems the Bullet Club is still not fine, but the action rolls on! The third team is Chaos’ Hirooki Goto and the Best Friends, Chuck Taylor and Trent Baretta!
David Finlay, Jeff Cobb & Yuji Nagata VS Hirooki Goto & Best Friends!
NJPW on AXS returns as Goto, Trent and Chuckie T enter the ring. And before the bell rings again, Goto and Best Friends attack! Cobb and Finlay are thrown out while the Fierce Warrior stays on Blue Justice! The bell does ring and Goto stomps away in the corner. Yuji hits back with forearm and now it’s a brawl! Yuji hits and runs but Goto follows to run him over! Goto drags Yuji back up for a lift but Yuji reverses to the Fujiwara Armbar! Best Friends save Goto but Finlay and Cobb return. Chuckie T dropkicks Cobb out but Finlay dropkicks him back. Trent runs in but to a kick. Finlay whips but Trent comes back with a shotgun knee!
Fans applaud as Trent slingshots at Cobb, but Cob turns it into a powerbomb lift! Trent gets to the apron and mule kicks Cobb, and then Chuckie FLIES onto Cobb and Finlay! The Kentucky Gentleman wipes them both out at the ramp, but then holds them back up, for Trent’s BIG Asai Moonsault! Back in the ring, Goto fights with Yuji. Yuji fires off kicks then whips. Goto reverses and redirects, to scoop Yuji into Ushigoroshi! Cover, TWO! Goto keeps his cool as he stomps Yuji out. He bumps Yuji in the corner then tags in Chuckie. Chuckie stomps a mudhole into Yuji then walks it off. He comes back to snapmare Yuji for a basement dropkick. Cover, TWO! Chuckie tags to Trent and Best Friends work together with double whips, elbows, and a hug! And then double elbows!
Trent stomps Yuji before bringing him up for a CHOP! He trash talks and pie faces Yuji before another CHOP. Trent whips but Yuji reverses into the Fujiwara! Chuckie attacks to save Trent, but then Finlay goes after Chuckie. Chuckie throws Finlay out and puts Yuji in the corner. Trent hits a running chop, Chuckie hits a clothesline, then he feeds Yuji to Trent for a tornado DDT. But Yuji powers out and gets Chuckie with an exploder! Trent kicks and whips but Yuji reverses to an overhead suplex! Fans rally as Yuji crawls for his corner. Hot tags to Cobb and Goto! Cobb fires off chops and haymakers on Goto, then whips corner to corner. He runs in for a BIG back elbow, then runs back in. Goto boots, runs, but into the Athletic Plex! Cobb standing moonsaults! Cover, but Chuckie breaks it!
Yuji throws Chuckie out as Cobb focuses on Goto. Cobb lifts Goto but Goto fights out of the Olympic Slam to get a sleeper! Goto rolls Cobb to a pin but Yuji breaks it. Goto and Cobb collide with clotheslines, but neither falls. They try again, but still neither falls. Cobb combs back but Goto deflects and spins to clobber him with a clothesline! Both men are down but fans rally up. Tag to Chuckie and he goes at Cobb in a corner. Chuckie goes corner to corner for a back elbow, then whips. Cobb holds the ropes, breaks free but gets a mule kick. Trent runs in to hit a back elbow, then Best Friends fire up with a double whip. Cobb reverses to pull them into each other, then he gives both Best Friends a single leg suplex! Fans fire up for Cobb’s superhuman strength.
Cobb tags Finlay, and Finlay hits Best Friends with back elbows! He goes corner to corner again and again, then hops up to hit Chuckie with a flying uppercut! He runs in but into Chuckie’s knee! Chuckie hits the snap piledriver! Cover, but Yuji breaks it! Goto and Trent throw Cobb and Yuji out and brawl on the outside. Fans fire up as Chuckie climbs. Chuckie moonsaults but FLOPS! Finlay rolls him up, Finlay’s team ELIMINATES Goto & Best Friends! An incredible roll already, but can Finlay, Cobb and Yuji keep it up? The fourth team is Suzuki-Gun’s Killer Elite Squad and Minoru Suzuki himself!
David Finlay, Jeff Cobb & Yuji Nagata VS Minori Suzuki & Killer Elite Squad!
NJPW on AXS returns as The Meanest Man in the World leads Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Lance Archer to the ring. And much like Chaos did, Suzuki-Gun strikes the moment they hit the ring! Things spill out of the ring and Suzuki keeps on Finlay at the bell. Yuji whips DBS to the barriers and quickly tags in! An old feud reignites as Blue Justice goes after Suzuki with kicks. He whips corner to corner but Suzuki boots him back. Suzuki and Yuji throw forearms, then Suzuki slaps! Yuji slaps, and now it’s a slap fight! Neither man slows down, but Yuji does stagger Suzuki. Suzuki escapes the exploder and goes for a guillotine! Then Suzuki shifts to an Octopus Stretch! Yuji slips out to hip toss and exploder! Cover, TWO!
Yuji keeps on Suzuki with a suplex, but Suzuki slips out to a sleeper hold. DBS tags in and throws forearms. He whips Yuji but Yuji dodges and fakes him out to dropkick the legs! Yuji tags to Cob and Cobb fires off on DBS! Cobb tries to lift but DBS fights out. DBS kicks away but Cobb grabs the leg. Cobb gets DBS in the Olympic Slam! Cobb moonsaults but misses! DBS hits Cobb with a BIG Back Suplex! Bridging cover, TWO! Suzuki and Yuji don’t stop brawling on the outside, and Yuji makes sure Suzuki doesn’t get away. Suzuki whips but Yuji reverses to send Suzuki into railing! Meanwhile, hot tags to Finlay and Archer! Finlay gets Archer with a Michinoku! Cover, TWO! DBS boots Finlay down, then KES hit Finlay with the Killer Bomb! Cover, Suzuki-Gun ELIMINATES Finlay, Cobb & Yuji!
The streak ends, and now we’re on to the fifth and final team! NJPW on AXS returns from break to reveal that it’ll be Ryusuke Taguchi, Toru Yano and Togi Makabe! But they don’t even make it to the ring before Suzuki-Gun strikes!
Minori Suzuki & Killer Elite Squad VS Ryusuke Taguchi, Toru Yano & Togi Makabe!
Suzuki-Gun throw hands and then throw their opponents into barriers! The ref has no choice but to ring the bell, and things slowly make their way to ringside. Suzuki whips Taguchi at the camera and sound crews, then he gets in the faces of commentary just because they’re there! Suzuki goes back to Taguchi to take off the rugby helmet and throw it at Taguchi. He puts Taguchi in the ring while Archer keeps on Makabe and Yano. Suzuki grinds his foot into Taguchi, then intimidates the ref. Suzuki drags Taguchi up for forearms, and Taguchi staggers about. Tag to DBS and he whips Taguchi for a boot. DBS pumps up and runs, for a leg drop, brother! Cover, TWO! DBS drags Taguchi up and tags Archer.
KES mug Taguchi, then scoop him for a double slam! Archer kicks Taguchi around, then drags him up for clubbing forearms. Archer climbs and goes Old School on the Funky Weapon, tagging Suzuki in as he does. Suzuki looms over the sputtering Taguchi, but he taunts Makabe and Yano. Taguchi hits back but Suzuki eggs him on. Taguchi keeps hitting but Suzuki rocks him with a right. Suzuki whips then dodges the Funky Weapon itself. He whips but Taguchi reverses to finally hit that Funky Weapon! Tag to Makabe! The Unchained Gorilla runs at Suzuki for corner to corner clotheslines! Then he roars as he gives corner punches! He hits all ten then laughs as he lifts Suzuki. Suzuki knees back then whips, and hits a boot in the corner. Suzuki snapmares then Penalty Kicks! Cover, TWO!
Fans rally up while Suzuki toys with Makabe. Makabe forearms but Suzuki gives it back. They keep going, forearm for forearm, back and forth. Makabe eggs Suzuki on, so Suzuki sneers as he winds up. Suzuki hits a HEAVY forearm and grins as Makabe staggers. Makabe stands and hits Suzuki back. Suzuki gives another heavy shot and Makabe again staggers. But Makabe starts grinning, and hits Suzuki again. Suzuki hits, Makabe hits, and the brawl is on. Makabe runs but into a kick. Suzuki runs, ducks, but gets the clothesline! Both men are down and fans fire up! Hot tags to DBS and Yano! YTR rallies on DBS with eye rakes. Yano looks to Taguchi for the call and Taguchi uses baseball signals! DBS headbutts Yano before the order completes!
DBS whips Yano corner to corner but misses. Yano runs corner to corner, to get the buckle pad! Taguchi gives another signals, and Yano understands. But Yano misses with the swing and DBS boots him down! Archer hits Taguchi, and then KES work together. Killer Hart Attack! Cover, TWO?! Archer argues with the referee but they just go again, high low! Cover, TWO!? Archer again argues with the referee, but KES try one more move. DBS lifts while Archer climbs, they hit Yano with a frog splash sidewalk slam! Cover, but Taguchi saves Yano! Archer swings on Taguchi but Taguchi dodges and runs! Funky Weapon is caught, but Makabe saves him. Suzuki and Makabe brawl again, but Suzuki follows to get Makabe in a sleeper! Then, Gotch Piledriver set up, but Funky Weapon saves Makabe!
Only for Suzuki to get the sleeper hold again! But Taguchi gives an extra bump to break free, then he runs to hit teh Funky Weapon again! Everyone’s down, but KES go after Yano again. They drag him up, Killer Bomb denied! Double low blow, denied! But double FUNKY WEAPON hits! DBS boots Taguchi but Makabe runs in. DBS stops him and KES double whip. Makabe breaks through for double clotheslines! Neither man falls so Yano makes sure to bump the ref. Taguchi intercepts Suzuki, double low blows! Archer thrown out, Yano rolls DBD, Yano and team win!!
Winners: Toru Yano, Togi Makabe & Ryusuke Taguchi, Yano pinning; #1 contenders to the NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships
The unlikeliest of trios wins it all! Suzuki is furious but all he can do is take it out on Young Lions. He grabs a chair and SMACKS away on them, then storms off to the back. Suzuki’s rage aside, will Taguchi, Makabe and Yano be able to pull off an upset against the Firing Squad? Is the New Year going to see new champions?
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Kushida VS Taiji Ishimori!
The Time Splitter is a six-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, but the new Bone Soldier is a three-time GHC Junior Heavyweight Champion. Who will prove themselves to be THE top Junior Heavyweight tonight?
Introductions are made, and a little Kushida comes out? Doc Brown Taguchi comes out and powers up the flux capacitor. And… BAM! Kushida’s all grown up! Science fiction aside, the belt is raised and we begin! Kushida and Ishimori circle and feel it out. They tie up and Kushida gets the wristlock. Ishimori rolls and handsprings to reverses. Ishimori whips but Kushida reverses, only for Ishimori to handspring over him. Thigns speed up and Kushida kicks otu the arm! Kushida already has his target but Ishimori rakes the eyes! Ishimori runs but things speed up again, Kushida hip tosses and cartwheel dropkicks! Ishimori rolls to a corner but Kushida follows up with a dropkick to that arm! Kushida runs more, tilt-o-whirl but Ishimori pops out. Kushida tries again and goes for the Hoverboard! Ishimori blocks to get Kushida’s arm in a Labell Lock!
Kushida endures as Ishimori bends him back. He rolls but Ishimori rolls through to keep the lock on. Kushida endures more but Ishimori wrenches harder. Kushida crawls for ropes and reaches, ropebreak with a foot! Ishimori lets Kushida go and Kushida rolls out of the ring. Ishimori stomps Kushida at the corner, then goes after him in a corner. Kushida chops back, but Ishimori gives his own chop! Ishimori wrenches and whips corner to corner, but Kushida reverses! Ishimori Spider-Mans through the ropes, and slides under Kushida. He goes back out to shoulder and springboard to drop Kushida with a flying lariat! Ishimori takes a moment to flex while Kushida clutches his shoulder.
Ishimori stalks Kushida to the ropes, then drags him up. Kushida hits back with forearms to the abs but Ishimori hits back. Kushida kicks Ishimori hard in the leg! Ishimori runs in and deflects boots to kick Kushida in the back! Kushida is stuck on the ropes as Ishimori runs side to side, and hits the sliding German Suplex! Fans rally as Ishimori springboards, 450 splash! But Kushida evades enough to get the arm! Ishimori resists as Kushida pulls, but Kushida gets the armbar! Ishimori endures, flails and reaches. Things shift, and now Kushida uses the Labell Lock! Ishimori endures and pries his way out, but gets caught in a triangle! Kushida throws elbows in, but Ishimori deadlifts! Fireman’s carry, but Kushida goes for his Hoverboard again. Ishimori slips out, runs, tilt-o-whirl takedown back to the Labell!
Kushida rolls through, and kicks at the arm. Ishimori avoids the kick, then kicks back. Ishimori clubs Kushida, then whips him. Kushida handsprings, but onto an Electric Chair. Kushida spins but is blocked! Ishimori brings Kushida back up, shifts to Tombstone position, for a gutbuster drop! But Kushida catches the feet! He passes Ishimori to the ref, to kick out the arm! Fans fire up with Kushida while Ishimori clutches his bad arm. Kushida grits his teeth, runs side to side, big enziguri! He keeps going, rolling Ishimori through to the package, but Ishimori counters back to his gutbuster! Cover, TWO!! Kushida survives and Ishimori is too sore to be frustrated.
Both men stir but Ishimori stands first. Ishimori drags Kushida back up, underhook, gutbuster! But Kushida makes it the Hoverboard! Kushida pulls on the double wristlock, but Ishimori moves around. Kushida rolls him and wrenches hard! Ishimori endures the twist in his arm, slips out the back, and rolls to fireman’s carry! Death Valley Driver!! But he’s too exhausted to cover! Both men stir and crawl again as fans rally. They get to opposite corners, and Ishimori runs in for a meteora! Ishimori drags Kushida back up, underhoo, but Kushida rolls to hit Back to the Future! But he’s not done there, he wants the sequel! But Ishimori resists, pushes Kushida away, and knee triggers! FAST BALL! Kushida runs, but into double stomps!
Ishimori roars as he drags Kushida back up. He underhooks, BLOODY CROSS!! Cover, Ishimori wins!!
Winner: Taiji Ishimori, by pinfall; NEW IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion
The Bone Soldier grabs his first IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship, and now reigns over the division!
Taiji Ishimori’s backstage interview
“I managed to catch that slippery otter.” And now Belt-san is with him. This must be tearing Kushida up inside. But from now on, as the champion, Ishimori will raise the bar for the NJPW Junior Division. “It’s reborn!” How long will this rebirth of the Junior Heavyweight Championship last?
A pretty good last part to AXS TV’s NJPW Wrestle Kingdom coverage. Of course, they kinda did things backwards. The first part was the big matches, the big finale with the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, so readers technically should go backwards with part 3 first, then part 2, then finish with part 1. Either way, the entirety of Wrestle Kingdom 13 was great, even these two opening matches. The trios gauntlet was pretty good for having a couple teams that seemed slapped together. I was really surprised to see it was one of those slapped together teams winning. Toru Yano, Togi Makabe and Ryusuke Taguchi are definitely a fun and funny trio, but I have no idea if they’ll be a match for Ishimori and Guerrillas of Destiny. Granted, Tama Tonga is trying to be a good guy, but on just pure ring skill, he, Loa and Ishimori should win.
And speaking of Ishimori, his match with Kushida was great. This match was so evenly booked that Ishimori came out as a slightly surprising winner. Just as I’d imagine this new Cutthroat Bullet Club keeping the trios titles, Ishimori will likely have the Junior Heavyweight Championship for some time. If Hiromu Takahashi makes a recovery and comeback, he’d be the only one right off the bat who could take the title in a rematch from their amazing Super Juniors match. And it could work for a Bullet Club VS Los Ingobernables de Japon scenario, since LIJ has a lot of the other belts.
My Score: 8.4/10