Tonight, one man will earn the opportunity at Cedric Alexander’s Cruiserweight Championship in Saudi Arabia! But only by getting through a Gauntlet Match! Will it be a former champion like Kalisto or TJP, or a first-time hopeful like Drew Gulak, Tony Nese or Mustafa Ali that stands tall at the end?
All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service
- WWE Cruiserweight Championship #1 Contenders Gaunlet Match: Kalisto wins and will face Cedric Alexander for the Cruiserweight Championship at the Greatest Royal Rumble.
PLAY BY PLAY
Drake Maverick outlines tonight’s Gauntlet Match.
Only five of the best superstars on the 205 Live roster will compete in “the most grueling” match for a chance at the Cruiserweight Championship at the Greatest Royal Rumble. Drew Gulak vows to continue his quest for a #Better205Live. He will defeat any and all opponents and make them tap out. Tony Nese knows Gauntlets require stamina, which is perfect for the Premier Athlete. Kalisto says he’ll take that first step towards being a two-time champion! Inaugural champion TJP says he could “get up of the couch” and make the best tap out. No one will stop “The Best of All Time” from bringing the title back to where it all began. Mustafa Ali knows he was close to being Cruiserweight Champion at Wrestlemania. No matter the hand he’s dealt, he won’t fold. One of these five will survive the Gauntlet, who will meet Cedric Alexander in Saudi Arabia?
WWE Cruiserweight Championship #1 Contenders Gaunlet Match!
Buddy Murphy would have been #1 Contender already if not for both his sneak attack on the champion, and not making weight to be part of the Cruiserweight Division. However, his loss will be someone else’s gain. This Gauntlet is going to go all night, and by the end, we will have a challenger for Cedric Alexander! First up are…
Mustafa Ali! The Beacon of Light draws Number One but that doesn’t bother him. Ali will go for as long as it takes to earn another Cruiserweight Championship match.
His opponent will be… TJP! The “Cruiser-Great” and inaugural (New Era) Cruiserweight Champion is Number Two, is it already game over for Ali?
TJP already trash talks Ali as he makes his way into the ring. He clearly feels he should’ve just been made the #1 contender, but he doesn’t mind showing why he deserves that right. The bell rings and we begin.
Mustafa Ali VS TJP!
The two circle, then tie up. TJP puts Ali on the ropes but he honors the break with a dab. Ali doesn’t like the swagger, so he wrenches TJP’s arm. He wrenches and brings TJP down but TJP stands back up, to then roll and reverse to a drop toehold. TJP puts Ali in a facelock and loops an arm for the float over, TWO. Ali arm-drags TJP down to an armlock. TJP spins again to whip, but Ali wrenches TJP’s arm again. Ali puts TJP back in the armlock, but TJP pulls hair. He puts Ali in a corner then whips corner to corner, but Ali goes up and over. Ali handsprings back but only to run into TJP’s shoulder.
TJP runs and things speed up, TJP catches Ali into a dragon’s lair pin! ONE into Ali’s crucifix, ONE to TJP’s standard cover, ONE again. Ali sweeps TJP’s legs for another cover, ONE and TJP returns the favor. ONE as Ali bridges out and runs. He cartwheels over TJP, TJP sunset flips but Ali rolls through. TJP guards when Ali shows a punch, so Ali rolls behind him. TJP doesn’t know where Ali went, until Ali dropkicks him in the back! Fans applaud and Ali dabs to mock TJP. TJP gets mad and kicks, but Ali blocks to give a kick of his own! TJP falls out of the ring but hurries back in, only to run into Ali’s flapjack dropkick. This sends TJP back out, and he decides to stay out when he sees Ali ready to strike.
Fans boo and jeer while TJP catches his breath. The referee counts and Ali waits for TJP. Ali stops waiting and slips out to go after TJP. TJP slips back in but Ali grabs his foot. TJP uses that to hotshot Ali into the ropes! Then he wraps Ali up in a rope-assisted Octopus Stretch!
Ali shouts in pain while the referee counts. TJP lets go at 3, but then he hits Ali with a wrecking ball dropkick! Ali falls to the floor, but TJP drags him back up into the ring. Cover, TWO, but TJP keeps his cool. He brings Ali up while Dasha Fuentes interviews Cedric Alexander backstage.
She knows the Cruiserweight Champion is paying close attention to this Gauntlet match, because he’ll be defending his title against the winner this Friday. But is Buddy Murphy and that ambush of his still on Alexander’s mind? Alexander says Murphy made a statement with that attack, but he also made “the biggest mistake” when he couldn’t make weight. When Murphy does return, Alexander promises to make a statement of his own. But of course, Murphy’s loss makes for “a hell of an opportunity” for the five men in the Gauntlet. If the winner of this match brings their A Game at Greatest Royal Rumble, then Alexander has his work cut out for him. But this is the #AgeofAlexander, he’ll be ready.
While the interview happens, TJP puts Ali in a corner and grinds a boot into Ali’s throat. TJP backs off at the ref’s count, but toys with Ali. He snapmares Ali and hits the slingshot senton, then covers. ONE, but TJP keeps on Ali with a half-surfboard stretch. Ali endures while fans build to a rally. Ali stands up and works to turn TJP, but TJP turns Ali back to bring him to his knees. TJP shifts from surfboard to straitjacket, and bends Ali all the way back against his knees. Ali endures while fans rally again, and rolls over to make it a double wristlock cover. TWO, and TJP yanks Ali into the ropes! Ali snaps back into TJP’s Russian leg sweep and prawn hold cover. TWO, but TJP turns that into a Koji clutch!
Ali endures again while fans rally. He rolls TJP as best he can, but TJP breaks the hold. Ali hits back, giving TJP both an overhand and backhand chop. TJP hits back with a spinning back kick, then whips Ali into a corner. Ali goes up and over then runs, throwing TJP with a headscissors. Ali rallies on TJP, whips but TJP reverses to send him into a corner. TJP runs in but Ali slips out to the apron, and he hits back with a roundhouse. TJP staggers while fans fire up. Ali slingshots in, somersault facebuster! Cover, TWO!
Ali keeps his cool, and stands up over TJP. He brings TJP up for a suplex but TJP slips out. TJP shoves Ali to a corner and Ali bounces off buckles. Ali staggers back into TJP’s double chickenwing, but Ali reverses the Dodon Buster into a victory roll! TWO, and TJP gets to a corner. TJP goes up and over but Ali side steps, only to run into TJP’s back elbow. TJP hops up but Ali rocks him with a palm strike. Ali climbs up to join TJP, but TJP pushes him away! Ali lands on his feet, but TJP’s missile dropkick goes after the knee, flipping Ali onto his back. TJP grabs Ali for the Kneebar!
TJP gets the grapevine! Ali endures while fans rally. He reaches for the ropes as he shouts in pain. He drags himself and TJP over and gets the ropebreak. Fans cheer the heart of the Heart of 205 Live, but TJP holds on until 4 in the count. TJP grabs Ali’s leg but Ali holds onto the ropes, even as Ali stands back up. TJP yanks Ali off the ropes but Ali fights back with haymakers, so TJP carries Ali into a corner! Ali clubs TJP to get him off his leg, and TJP staggers away. TJP runs in and blocks Ali’s boot to go back after the bad leg, but Ali shoves him away with the good leg. Ali hops up and launches himself for a flying tornado DDT! Fans applaud while Ali crawls over. He positions TJP then climbs up top, for the 0-5-4!
It hits, Ali covers, he eliminates TJP!
The “Cruiser-Great” is done for the night, but this was just the beginning for the Beacon of Light. Ali has only minutes to rest before his next opponent comes out. Number Three into the Gauntlet is… A familiar foe, in Drew Gulak!
Mustafa Ali VS Drew Gulak!
Ali knows all too well how Gulak loves to torture an opponent’s joints and his knee is an easy target. Will the self-proclaimed BEST submission specialist in all of the WWE grind Ali into dust?
Gulak taunts Ali as he hobbles around, cornering Ali as he goes for the leg. Ali dodges and rolls Gulak up, TWO, but Ali keeps on Gulak with clubbing forearms. Gulak powers Ali up and throws him legs first at the ropes! Ali rolls out of the ring, clutching his bad leg. Gulak won’t give him time to recover as he goes out to fetch him, but he still walks into Ali’s drop toehold! Gulak hits the ground and both men are down as the referee counts. Ali manages to stand up and put Gulak back in the ring. He climbs up but Gulak goes to intercept, onto to get punched away. Ali leaps for the crossbody! But Gulak rolls through to a Half Crab! He works to turn Ali but Ali pushes him away.
Gulak runs back but into a small package, TWO, and Gulak clobbers Ali with a clothesline! Cover, TWO, but Gulak grins as he looms over the exhausted Ali. Gulak drags Ali around by that bad leg, and stomps it every so often. Ali writhes in pain, but Gulak keeps going as he puts Ali’s leg on the rope and stands on it. Gulak’s weight bends that knee a bad way, and even tortures the ankle. We go picture in picture for a Greatest Royal Rumble plug while Gulak drags Ali up for a chop. Ali falls back, Gulak sits him up and pulls on that bad leg. Gulak grinds a forearm into Ali’s face while stretching that leg all the way back.
Ali endures, and reaches up to claw at Gulak’s face. Ali pops out of the hold and fights back with body shots. Gulak chops back, then shoves Ali to flapjack him on the rebound. Ali’s leg takes part of the hit, Gulak covers, TWO. Gulak stays on that leg with the knee wrench. He shouts for Ali to give up, then drops an elbow before he grapevines the knee wrench. Gulak digs his elbow into Ali’s knee while he again shouts for Ali to give up. Ali endures the pain while keeping this from becoming a cover. The fans rally, and Ali fights back with haymakers. Gulak keeps on the knee but Ali clubs away, so Gulak shifts to stomping that leg. Gulak then dragon screws the leg, and Ali writhes again. Cover, TWO, but Gulak keeps his cool.
Gulak drags Ali up but Ali hits back with body shots and forearms. Ali gives more forearms, but Gulak scoops him. Ali slips out and shoves Gulak to ropes, but Gulak catches Ali’s huricanrana and turns it into a Half Crab! Gulak drags Ali away from the ropes, so Ali is stranded as he endures the pain. Ali manages to roll but Gulak rolls him back. Ali stands up and enziguris Gulak down! Fans rally while Ali gets to a corner. Ali drags himself up with the ropes, Gulak runs in, but Ali slips out and roundhouse kicks him away. Fans fire up and Ali rolls in, but Gulak counters the facebuster into a powerbomb! Matchbox cover, TWO, but Gulak puts the Half Crab back on. Ali endures the pain all over again as Gulak sits all the way down. Gulak tortures Ali by adding in an armlock!
This crab is part Bow ‘n’ Arrow, but Ali does not give up. Fans rally and Ali fights for the ropes. He reaches, and gets the break! Gulak lets go while the fans applaud, he’s growing frustrated. But Gulak keeps on Ali, dragging him up again to bounce him off buckles. Gulak asks Ali if he’s “had enough”, but when Ali doesn’t answer, he bounces Ali off more buckles. Gulak knows Ali likes flying, so he puts Ali on the top rope. He uses the top rope to wrench that bad knee, but Ali ear-claps Gulak back! Ali adjusts while Gulak steadies himself. Ali bumps Gulak off buckles now, then drags him back up for a hangman’s half crab!
Gulak gets a taste of his own medicine, but lets go at the ref’s count of 4. Gulak tumbles out of the ring and to the floor. Ali adjusts, but Gulak is upon him already. Ali punches Gulak back down to then FLY!
Down goes Gulak! Fans chant for Ali while he clutches his leg. Ali drags Gulak up and into the ring, but Gulak is ready, he chop blocks the leg out! Ali collapses, and Gulak drags him back up for the dragon sleeper, but Ali slips around to roll Gulak! TWO, but Ali uses the momentum to hop up and jump back for another flying tornado DDT! Gulak flounders into a drop zone, and Ali hurries back up top. That bad leg slows him down, and then it gives out. Ali still tries, but Gulak springs up to shove Ali off! Ali hits the steel steps on the way down!
The referee checks on Ali, but he is out. Gulak doesn’t care, he drags Ali up and into the ring. He doesn’t go for a cover, either, but for the GuLOCK!
The referee has no choice, he has to call it. Gulak eliminates an unconscious Ali.
Elimination: Mustafa Ali
Fans boo and jeer but Gulak wants his hand raised in victory. He hasn’t won the Gauntlet yet, but he does have some revenge, because he eliminated the man who eliminated him in the Cruiserweight Championship Tournament. However, Number Four in the Gauntlet is… TONY NESE!
Drew Gulak VS Tony Nese!
The Premier Athlete skips the self-indulging and storms his way right down to the ring. Gulak got his payback, can Nese get his?
Gulak rushes Nese the second he’s in the ring but Nese is ready! Nese takes Gulak down and hammers away with left hands! Gulak gets away but only for a moment as Nese drags him back in and stomps him out. Nese doesn’t let up, he drags Gulak up and puts him in a corner for body shots. Nese whips corner to corner and then back drops Gulak! The Premier Athlete fires up and stomps Gulak more. He drags Gulak up but Gulak hits back with body shots and chops of his own. Gulak swings but Nese handsprings to evade, then mule kicks Gulak. Nese hits a knee lift to roundhouse to leg sweep, but Gulak rolls out of the ring. That doesn’t stop Nese, Nese runs and FLIES!
Down goes Gulak again, and the fans fire up with Nese. Nese says Gulak wanted this, then he throws Gulak into barriers. He drags Gulak back up and throws him into more barriers. Nese resets the ring count, then fetches Gulak. He puts Gulak against the apron to give him a sharp chop. Nese gives Gulak more chops as he says Gulak started this when he turned on Nese months ago. Nese then takes aim, and throws Gulak over the announce table, right into Vic’s chair. Fans want “One More Time!” Nese resets the count first, then drags Gulak up to his feet. Nese backs up, and throws Gulak into the side of the announce desk now.
Fans still want more, but the referee insists they bring this back to the ring. Nese obeys, and puts Gulak in the ring. He drags Gulak up, daring him to keep fighting. Gulak hits back, so Nese runs him over! Nese stomps Gulak more, roaring with rage. He drags Gulak up, but Gulak throws Nese out to the apron. Nese wobbles, but he avoids Gulak to kick him back. Gulak falls down and Nese goes to a corner, and he springboards for the triangle moonsault! Gulak gets out of the ring but Nese lands on his feet, to then slide out and rock Gulak with a roaring left forearm! Fans fire up for Nese as he drags Gulak up and into the ring again.
Nese toys with Gulak a bit, then sits him up in the corner. While Nese says Gulak isn’t on Nese’s level, Gulak grabs Nese’s beard! Nese stomps a mudhole into Gulak in return, then runs for the Premier Kneese!
Nese drags Gulak out of the corner, but that’s not enough for Nese. He puts Gulak back in the corner, and brings down the knee pad. Nese says Gulak deserves this, then he runs, but Gulak evades! No second Premier Kneese, but there is a second GuLOCK!
Gulak has Nese trapped! Nese flails, then taps!
Elimination: Tony Nese
Gulak lets him go, and Nese shouts in frustration. Nese’s thirst for vengeance got the better of him, and now he’s out of the Gauntlet match! The fans rub it in by chanting “You Tapped Out!” as he makes his exit. But now we know who is the last man into the Gauntlet: KALISTO!
Drew Gulak VS Kalisto!
The Lucha Dragon is a former Cruiserweight Champion, and is in the best position to win. Will he keep his focus and bring the #LuchaHouseParty to Saudi Arabia?
Kalisto rushes the ring but Gulak slips out. Gulak rests against the announce desk, but Kalisto wants to get going. The fans chant “Lucha! Lucha!” with Kalisto while Gulak clears his head. Kalisto dares Gulak to get back in, and Gulak does, at his own pace. Kalisto rushes him again, and Gulak slips out of the ring again. Gulak walks around the ring while the referee keeps Kalisto in it. Gulak lets the ring count climb to 6 while he recovers. He returns at 7, but then slips back out the second Kalisto runs at him. Fans boo and jeer but Gulak doesn’t care. Gulak slides in but then back out, continuing to frustrate Kalisto.
Gulak returns this time, and now he rushes Kalisto, but Kalisto’s ready with a dropkick! Kalisto follows Gulak out this time to keep the fight going. He Listo kicks Gulak against the barriers! Fans echo “Lucha! Lucha!” while Kalisto stands Gulak up for another Listo kick. Kalisto reenters the ring then dropkicks Gulak back down, then builds speed to DIVE! But Gulak turns it into a slam!
Kalisto crashes and burns into barriers while Gulak gets away. Gulak rests against the LED apron while the referee checks on Kalisto. Kalisto is okay to continue, so a new ring count begins. Gulak leaves Kalisto to the mercy of the count while Dasha Fuentes interviews Tony Nese.
The Premier Athlete is clearly furious, how does he rebound from this? He has no words, and simply leaves, seething. Meanwhile, the count climbs, and Kalisto finally stirs. Kalisto beats the count at 9.5! Gulak keeps on him with elbows to the head, and he even rips the tail of Kalisto’s mask. Gulak stomps on Kalisto, showing neither respect nor mercy to the luchador. He rakes at the mask’s eyes, then puts Kalisto in the dragon sleeper. Kalisto slips out and gets to the ropes for safety. Gulak stalks Kalisto, then drags him up again. Gulak snap suplexes Kalisto, covers, TWO. But Gulak isn’t frustrated, he just grins and laughs it off. He stomps Kalisto and then clubs away with crossface forearms. He forces Kalisto down to a cover, ONE, so Gulak puts a chinlock on.
Kalisto endures, and fans rally with “Lucha! Lucha!” chants. Kalisto fights up and out with body shots, but Gulak knees low. Gulak walks into Kalisto’s boot, then Kalisto spins things around to headscissor throw Gulak down. Gulak gets to a corner then side steps, but Kalisto responds with a SUPERKICK! Kalisto hops up for a tornado DDT, but Gulak blocks that to hang Kalisto up on the ropes. Kalisto bounces off and down, and Gulak gets a third GuLOCK!
Kailsto flails and reaches with his legs, so Gulak drags him up. Gulak lifts Kalisto, but can’t get Kalisto up. He keeps trying, but Kalisto uses that to sling Gulak forward into buckles! Gulak is dazed, Kalisto stands up, and hits the Salida Del Sol!
Cover, Kalisto wins!!
Winner: Kalisto, by pinfall
The Lucha Dragon wins the Gauntlet! He will face Cedric Alexander at the Greatest Royal Rumble for the Cruiserweight Championship! And to join in on the celebration, it’s the rest of Lucha House Party, Lince Dorado & Gran Metalik.
And speaking of the Cruiserweight Champion, Cedric Alexander is still here, and he makes his way out on stage.
The Soul of 205 Live applauds for Kalisto, but he signals that he won’t give the belt up so easily. Lucha House Party is confident their leader will bring the Cruiserweight Championship back from Saudi Arabia, will the #AgeOfAlexander end already?
An incredible night of action, and it was all in one match! The Cruiserweight Division has been on a hot streak ever since January and there’s no signs of slowing down. Just about everything in this was spot on, especially with the action. Ali and TJP starting was a great combination, and with Ali going over, it makes you think he might pull off the miracle of lasting the entire night. However, it feeds his title chase story to go down in the second round. Gulak really builds his aggressive Heel points with going for submission over pin. It also perfectly works towards story that Nese only fails because he wanted to punish Gulak over beat him.
For a moment, I thought Gulak would win it all, but eliminating three men would be too much too soon for him. But since Nese’s revenge is still unsatisfied, they can continue their rivalry instead. Kalisto wins as the last man so that it doesn’t really hurt Gulak’s rankings. The Greatest Royal Rumble is partially filler when it comes to the Cruiserweight Championship, so Kalisto is the choice for the best in-ring action without doing any real harm when Alexander retains. The real title program will be Alexander VS Murphy at Backlash, as Murphy could easily return as soon as next week.
My Score: 8.5/10
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MLW Fusion Ratings and Results: 5/25/2018
Well the coverage for MLW Fusion goes back to me this week! With the Cavaliers having their backs against the wall, and Christopher Platt being a busy man, I’ll take the hot tag since we all know he’s the workhorse of the duo.
So let’s see what kind of show they build around their first ever televised World Championship match.
Opening segment sees Shane ‘Swerve’ Strickland pulling up with Barrington Hughes, Salina de la Renta confronts him, says the car isn’t the only thing rented and walks off. Barrington Hughes scream “Bruja” and explains it means witch, while Strickland jokes and says ” More like b-” cuts off the word and goes to the intro package.
Santana Garrett vs Chelsea Green
So apparently Garrett is undefeated since debuting in MLW last October, but you can’t really see why. Chelsea/Laurel Van Ness has some exposure and has proven to be able to put on some solid matches, this wasn’t one of them.
Every transition looked slow and like they were obviously waiting for each other. Even the Laurel Van Ness “transformation” seemed rushed and wasn’t exactly explained well by the announce team.
A few slow transitions, attempts at big looking spots just fell flat. We got a lot of Chelsea getting across her character, but match wise, this was a waste of 10 minutes.
Wait! These two are friends?
— #MLWFusion on BeIN Sports Fridays (@MLW) May 26, 2018
Winner: Garrett via Arm Twist Spike DDT
Rating: * 1/2
Team Filthy promo package explaining what happened two weeks ago with Jimmy Havoc.
Prize Fight Open Challenge: Simon Gotch vs Danny Santiago
So apparently it’s if the person lasts 5 minutes, they get…250 – 250 dollars. No extra zeros, just two hundred and fifty dollars.
The Capoeira white belt Santiago, got his first kick caught and countered into an Exploder Suplex. Game over man.
Team Filthy are supposed to be douchey heels and this fits them perfect. In they style of the stereotypical 80s antagonists, they mock Santiago and saunter off.
Well, that didn't take long! We're not sure Danny Santiago is really an MMA master!
— #MLWFusion on BeIN Sports Fridays (@MLW) May 26, 2018
Winner: Simon via Gotch Piledriver
Rating: N/A (Squash Match)
Kaci Lennox finds MJF for an interview but he finds out that Joey Janela and Aria Blake used his locker room for implied smoking, drinking and sex. So MJF freaks out like a poorly acted typical rich white boy and huffs off saying they’ll hear from his lawyer.
MLW Heavyweight Championship: Pentagon Jr w/Salina de la Renta vs Shane Strickland
Holy Christ, Salina has a Mariachi band enter the ring before Shane’s entrance to play the Mexican national anthem.The crowd looks a combination of amused and confused…but it’s definitely unique.
There’s a couple nice spots i the match I’ll go over since it was actually a fairly long match for TV. Pentagon ties Swerve up with the camera cables on the apron, hitting a variety of knife edge and Kobashi style chops. The referee is giving both men a lot of leeway throughout the match, so it’s nice to see the implication that it will end in the ring.
A big Mexican Destroyer on the apron is what we’re greeted with after the second commercial break and the match starts to pick up there. Swerve kicks out of a Pentagon Driver and Feat Factor, but the back half of the match was mostly dominated by Pentagon. Out of frustration, Salina gives Pentagon a chair and it seems like the referee will let it play. It looked like Pentagon was going for a Superplex into the opened chair, but Swerve blocked him and knocked Pentagon down.
They tease the spot that ended their Wrestle Circus match of a Swerve Stomp onto a seated Pentagon, but Pentagon counters it with a Powerbomb. Salina’s usual stoicism finally breaks and she jumps on the apron after Strickland kicks out again. This leads to the “Oops” moment for heels, and Pentagon hits Salina with the Red Mist when Shane moves out of the way, giving Strickland the opening to barely sneak out a win.
What an incredible match! pic.twitter.com/3c6EAUdu48
— #MLWFusion on BeIN Sports Fridays (@MLW) May 26, 2018
Winner: Strickland via Swerve Stomp
Rating: *** 1/2
Not a bad show at all, even if the match ratings aren’t through the roof, the storytelling and character development was solid. The main event was hurt by two commercial breaks and the ending sequence went a little too long. But that’s all nit picking.
All in all, as a television product, MLW Fusion is showing every week that they have enough characters to appeal to different demographics. I know personally MLW has already surpassed ROH in my personal book of what I will go out of my way to make time for. Major League of Wrestling baby!
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Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Report: Wrestling Hi no Kuni 2018!
AXS TV’s coverage of NJPW takes one step closer to THE Wrestling Dontaku event with the “Land of Fire”. Fittingly, two red hot feuds will burn up the ring with titles on the line! The IWGP Tag Team Champions defend against Killer Elite Squad, while THE Minoru Suzuki looks to teach Tetsuya Naito some respect.
This review of Wrestling Hi no Kuni 2018 will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Therefore, all images are courtesy of AXS TV.
- IWGP Tag Team Championships: Los Ingobernables de Japon’s EVIL & SANADA VS Suzuki-Gun’s Killer Elite Squad; LIJ wins and retains the IWGP Tag Team Championships.
- IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Minoru Suzuki VS Tetsuya Naito; Naito wins and becomes the new IWGP Intercontinental Champion.
PLAY BY PLAY
AXS TV and NJPW review the build to tonight’s matches.
Two factions are the focus of two major feuds over two major titles in NJPW! The Man with the Worst Personality finds the Tranquilo Testuya Naito as little more than a nuisance. Suzuki treats the Intercontinental Championship belt far better than Naito did, will he beat Naito down to keep it from him? Meanwhile, Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr. go after Sanada and the recovered EVIL for the IWGP Tag Team Championships, to finally give the world a rematch from Wrestle Kingdom. Will EVIL & Sanada stay Tranquilo? Or will KES prove that #EverybodyDies?
IWGP Tag Team Championships: Los Ingobernables de Japon’s EVIL & SANADA VS Suzuki-Gun’s Killer Elite Squad!
We come into this heavyweight tag match part way, as Archer and Davey Boy bring EVIL up and around. They go for Magic Kiler, and hit it! Cover, TWO?! The fans cheer but Davey and Archer are both shocked and furious. They drag EVIL up again, and try for the Killer Bomb, but Sanada springboards and dropkicks for the save. Sanada runs into a tilt-o-whirl, then inverted crucifix lift, but Sanada slips out to put Archer in the dragon sleeper. Archer reverses so that he has the dragon sleeper, but as Archer lifts, Sanada slips out back into his. Davey headbutts Sanada to break the hold, then whips him to a corner. Sanada stops himself from going into exposed buckles, then moonsaults into grabbing Davey in the dragon sleeper!
Sanada feeds Davey to EVIL’s mule kick, then adds a kick while EVIL runs. EVIL runs Davey over with a clothesline, cover, TWO. Sanada dropkicks Archer away, and LIJ fires up with the fans. They lift Davey, and steal Magic Killer!
Cover, but Archer drags the ref out! Archer boots Sanada, but Evil kicks Archer, only to run into the spinning side slam. Red Shoes is slowly recovering, but Archer uses this time to fetch a chair from under the ring. Archer brings it in the ring, wedges it in the bare-buckle corner, then goes to EVIL. He brings EVIL up but Sanada rushes over. Archer goes to double choke slam but they both elbow out. Archer runs but LIJ send him into the chair!
LIJ drag Davey up and they have more chairs now. EVIL puts a chair on Davey’s neck, and uses the other chair to SMACK it! Davey flounders as he gasps, but EVIL lifts him, for the Darkness Falls! Cover and Red Shoes returns to count, TWO! Sanada returns, and he slingshots to take Archer out. EVIL grabs Davey, STO! Cover, LIJ wins!
Winners: Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL & SANADA), EVIL pinning; still IWGP Tag Team Champions
The champions retain in what was clearly a brutal contest. Their championship reign continues, what will it take to dethrone the Cold Skull and Prince of Darkness?
IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Minoru Suzuki VS Tetsuya Naito!
The leader of Suzuki-Gun defends his title against the leader of Los Ingobernables de Japon. While he was champion, Naito did all he could to disrespect the belt itself, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to be champion. Will he be able to stay Tranquilo while going up against The Man with the Worst Personality in the World?
Red Shoes shows Naito the belt while Naito removes his unnecessary clothing. This undressing in itself annoys Suzuki. Naito finishes, and the bell rings. Fans chant for Naito as he casually walks to test his knees. Naito and Suzuki circle, approach, but then Naito backs off. He circles with Suzuki again, and Suzuki swings test kicks. Naito fakes lunging in, and backs off with a grin. Suzuki goes after Naito with kicks, then whips, but Naito reverses. Naito throws Suzuki out, then runs, to Tranquilo! Suzuki is pissed, and gets in the ring, but Naito slips out. Suzuki builds speed, to copy Tranquilo! Naito brushes the taunting off, but doesn’t enter the ring just yet. He paces around the outside, with Suzuki watching him the entire time. Naito rolls into the ring, to then roll back out.
Naito gets on the apron and Suzuki rushes over, but Naito sweeps the legs. He drags Suzuki out and whips him right into barriers. Naito whips Suzuki to the barriers on the other side, then kicks and clubs away on him. They go back in the ring, and Naito brings Suzuki up for the snapmare and headscissors. Suzuki endures as Naito wrenches his neck. Naito squeezes, but Suzuki keeps it from being a cover. Suzuki won’t quit so Naito covers, TWO. Naito stomps and kicks Suzuki, then toys with him. Naito fakes a punch to then club, but Suzuki just gets mad. He toys with Suzuki more, but Suzuki boots him down. Suzuki dares Naito to get back up as he goes to the ropes. Naito chooses not to, so Suzuki returns the toying kicks.
Naito sits up with every kick, a smile on his face. Suzuki drags Naito up, and Naito goes after the eyes! Naito spits on Suzuki, then throws hands. Suzuki eggs Naito on, so Naito whips him corner to corner. Naito runs in but Suzuki puts him on the apron. Suzuki blocks Naito’s punch and catches it into a hanging triangle! Red Shoes counts, and Suzuki lets go at 4. Suzuki then goes to the apron, and Penalty Kicks Naito down. Fans applaud while Suzuki goes down to drag Naito up, and whip him into barriers! Naito hits hard, and tumbles over to the outside. Suzuki barges through the gate and then rips apart the hard plastic railings to SMACK Naito with it!
Then Suzuki throws a chair down on Naito! Then another! Suzuki apparently takes offense at one of the young lions, and boots said young lion into the crowd! Red Shoes tells Suzuki to bring this back to the ring. Suzuki uncovers Naito, to then wrap and wrench his arm in other railings. Red Shoes reprimands Suzuki, then argues with him! Suzuki releases Naito while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns to Suzuki prowling outside the ring. Suzuki drags Naito up and over to the ring, but Naito fights back. The 20 count passes 15, but Suzuki knees Naito low to reenter the ring. Naito reenters at 19, saving the match. Suzuki drags Naito up for a kick to the back, then scowls at the fans cheering for Naito. He kicks Naito in the chest, but fans only cheer stronger. Suzuki kicks and kicks, and kicks again. He scowls but Naito still sits up. Suzuki drags Naito up into a cravat hold, then snapmares for another kick tot he back. Cover, TWO, and fans applaud. Suzuki goes after an arm now, twisting the wrist and fingers in all directions, then down to the elbow for a mounted hammerlock. Suzuki grabs a leg to add a Half Crab into it.
Naito is bent in all directions, but doesn’t give up, so Suzuki lets him go to stomp him out. Suzuki toys with Naito, but Naito keeps grinning. Suzuki brings Naito up for a knee to the chin, but Naito keeps smiling. Naito takes another stiff knee, but sits up again. Suzuki actually welcomes that. Naito stands up and chops Suzuki, but Suzuki kicks back. Naito rakes the eyes, and spits, but Suzuki clubs him back. Suzuki knees then whips but Naito reverses and runs Suzuki over. Naito adds a dropkick, brings Suzuki up for a neckbreaker, then poses. Fans rally for “Naito! Naito!” as he brings Suzuki up. He whips Suzuki to a corner then sets the legs sideways, for a draping neckbreaker! Naito keeps going with a standing neckbreaker, then adds another dropkick to the back.
Suzuki clutches his neck and head while Naito stands. Naito digs his heel into Suzuki as he poses. Suzuki swats him away and sits up, eyes wild with anger. Suzuki stands up, and grins with Naito, to then unleash body shots. He whips Naito corner to corner and boots him, then snapmares to Penalty Kick. And another! And another! Cover, TWO, but Suzuki keeps his focus. Now Suzuki grinds his heel into Naito’s face, then stands him up. Naito suddenly hits a tornado DDT! Suzuki clutches his neck again, but both men are down. They slowly stand up, and Suzuki dares Naito to hit him. Naito does, so Suzuki gives back. Naito gives a forearm, so Suzuki winds up for one of his own. Suzuki staggers Naito with that one, but Naito comes back with a chop.
Suzuki gives another strong forearm, and Naito staggers again. Naito chops again, but Suzuki gives another sharp forearm. Suzuki wants Naito to keep hitting him, so Naito chops again. Suzuki rocks Naito with another forearm, and Naito sits down. Naito shakes the cobwebs out while Suzuki trash talks. Naito chops, Suzuki forearms. Suzuki gives more forearms, then whips, but Naito hits a leaping forearm! Naito stands up, runs in, but Suzuki blocks the kick to go after the knee. Suzuki runs but into an atomic drop, and Naito hits the kick. Suzuki sits down, and Naito hits the swinging dropkick!
Naito gets up and drags Suzuki to his feet. Suzuki knows Naito is bringing him to the top rope, so Suzuki grabs Red Shoes! Naito gives up on the lift, and Suzuki shoves Red Shoes away. Naito tries again, and climbs up to the top with Suzuki. Suzuki grabs Naito’s leg for a hanging heel hook!
Naito endures as Suzuki uses gravity to help pull that knee. Red Shoes recovers and counts, Suzuki lets go at 4, but the damage has been done. Naito clutches his knee while Red Shoes checks on him. Suzuki returns and stomps the knee. Red Shoes wants Suzuki to back up, but Suzuki argues with him again. Suzuki won’t let up, he stomps the knee even as Red Shoes checks. Suzuki stands on the bad knee, but Naito won’t give up. Fans rally for Naito, and Red Shoes backs Suzuki up. Naito rolls to ropes and Red Shoes checks on him, but Suzuki just grins as he looms over them. Suzuki kicks the bad leg, then stomps it, toying with Naito like a cat with a mouse. Naito sits up and Suzuki kicks him more.
Naito crawls but Suzuki moves Red Shoes aside to bring Naito up. Suzuki kicks and kicks, then wraps the leg into a kneebar! Naito endures, but Suzuki has it grape-vined. Suzuki even traps the far leg while twisting the heel. Naito screams in pain but Suzuki only makes it worse. Naito drags himself and Suzuki over, and gets the ropebreak! Suzuki lets go, but he comes right back. He kicks Naito’s leg, then drops elbows on it. Suzuki goes into the Figure Four! Naito endures the legendary hold, but fans rally for him. Suzuki puts as much pressure on the legs as he can, but Naito refuses to quit. Naito rolls and drags towards ropes, screaming in pain, and gets another ropebreak. Suzuki lets go again, but he has complete control as we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns, and Suzuki throws Naito’s bad leg onto the mat. Suzuki toys with Naito again, but Naito slowly stands. Naito goes to kick, but Suzuki blocks and lifts him, only for Naito to turn it into a DDT! Suzuki and Naito stand, Naito enziguris Suzuki to a corner. Naito hobbles over, climbs up, and turns Suzuki around for the inverted tornado DDT. Cover, TWO! Fans fire up with Naito, and Naito drags Suzuki back up. Naito wrenches the arm, and tilt-o-whirls, but Suzuki slams him down and puts the Kneebar back on! Suzuki even manages a headlock in it!
Naito reaches with his one free limb, but Suzuki shifts back to just the kneebar. Naito drags them both around again, but Suzuki breaks to drag him away. Suzuki puts the kneebar back on, and now Naito is stranded. Naito sits up, but Suzuki uses a leg to sit him back down. Naito goes back towards ropes but Suzuki stands with an ankle lock to drag him away. Suzuki drops down to grape-vine, and we’re back to the kneebar. Red Shoes checks on Naito, but Naito keeps conscious. Suzuki laces his legs into a figure four, then goes after the heel hook. Fans rally for Naito as Naito sits up and shouts at Suzuki. Naito drags himself around again, but Suzuki lets go to drag him back! Suzuki returns to the kneebar all over again.
Naito won’t give up, even though Suzuki wrenches and twists his leg in all directions. Naito grabs Red Shoes to keep himself from tapping. Suzuki goes for the heel hook, but Naito uses that opening to roll and roll, to the ropebreak! Suzuki lets go again, and fans continue to rally for Naito. Naito slowly stirs, but Suzuki is waiting for him to stand. Suzuki drags Naito up and gives body shots and quick palm strikes even. Then he grabs Naito in a sleeper hold! Naito flails and reaches, but Suzuki keeps him away. Red Shoes checks, and Naito is fading. They sit down, but fans aren’t giving up on Naito. Naito turns a bit purple as Red Shoes checks on him more. Naito revives, and uses that second wind to stand. Suzuki spins him around, but Naito uses that spin to spin Suzuki into a neckbreaker!
Both men are down now, both tired and sore from this battle. Fans rally for Naito again, but Suzuki is stalking him with that sinister grin. Suzuki brings Naito up, but Naito strikes first with slapping palm strikes! Naito staggers Suzuki, but keeps slapping! Sweat flies off Suzuki with every shot, but then Suzuki kicks Naito’s leg out. Suzuki drags Naito up into the sleeper again, then goes to judo throw him. Naito lands on his feet, and lifts Suzuki into a brainbuster! Fans fire up and Naito hobbles over. He brings Suzuki up, wrench and tilt-o-whirl, Destino!
Cover, Naito wins!!
Winner: Naito, by pinfall; NEW IWGP Intercontinental Champion
Tranquilo prevails as Naito defeats Suzuki! Naito has the title back, but his body went through so much to do it. Naito’s team comes out to celebrate the night with him. LIJ now has two titles under their possession with EVIL & SANADA retaining their titles. Suzuki is helped out of the ring while we go to break.
Red Shoes raises Naito’s hand.
The new champion is clearly too exhausted and sore to celebrate properly. Suzuki himself is too sore and tired to go past ringside. Hiromu Takahashi helps Naito, and Naito has a proper moment of his hand held up high. Suzuki staggers up to his feet and shoves the young lions away. He doesn’t want their help, even if he’s falling against railings and such. Back in the ring, Naito staggers to his feet, mic in his hand.
“Buenas Noches, Kumamoto!” Naito knows “it’s been about two years and five months since New Japan had an event in Kumamoto.” It’s been a long time since fans here saw LIJ. This premium pro-wrestling experincing was enjoyable, yes? Fans cheer to confirm. Naito knows that two years ago, “something terrible happened here in Kumamoto.” Many people bear the scars. So Naito has to tell them, that it is important to not give up. But the desire and will to change and the courage to take the first step is also important. that’s why LIJ uses pro-wrestling to inspire everyone to have that courage. Fans applaud in appreciation for that.
Naito continues to say that the next time they’re in Kumamoto, they can expect “an even better version of LIJ!” In other words, “until we meet again, Tranquilo! Chill out.” Naito thanks all their fans for their support, and this is the finale of tonight’s event. Furthermore, they will do their victory chant. Please shout with them to your heart’s content! “EVIL, Bushi, Sanada, Hiromu, and Naito, we are… Los Ingobernables de Japon!” With more gold in their possession, is it only a matter of time before they are THE top faction in NJPW?
Suzuki staggers around, and a young lion still tries to assist him. “Well, well, well…” Suzuki says this is only the beginning for him and Naito. “Don’t think you’ll get off so lightly.” He then staggers back out, knocking part of the set over on purpose.
Naito comments that today’s title match comes about a year after he and the Intercontinental Championship “broke up.” But now, they’re “back together.” Naito’s feelings haven’t changed, he still has “no use for this belt.” And the same goes for the title. But until next time, hasta luego. Is Naito only champion so that he can say he’s better than Suzuki? And will Suzuki come back to take back the belt Naito doesn’t even like?
This was another great hour of action, with really only one-and-a-half matches. I do wish we got a bit more of LIJ VS KES, but the ending is naturally the best part. EVIL & SANADA make a great duo, as do Archer & Davey Boy, but LIJ is so strong that it might take more than just 2v2 to defeat them. Hiromu & Bushi have been on the other end of this same LIJ VS Suzuki-Gun battle, but it might only be a matter of time for them to take the Jr. Tag Team Championships. Suzuki VS Naito is rightfully the meat of the show, though, and the story between them was a great part of it. Naito was rebellious as ever, but he shows he has grit and guts. Naito leading LIJ has made it one, if not the, top group, and I’m sure more great things are yet to come.
My Score: 8.7/10
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Mitchell’s Ring of Honor Report! (5/19/18)
ROH WRESTLING TELEVISION, Episode 348
Two major matches worthy of Pay-Per-View, but ROH TV brings them to you for free! First, The Franchise, Jay Lethal, looks to settle with Punishment Martinez. Can Lethal make up for his previous loss? Then, a huge Six Man Tag of SoCal Uncensored VS The Bullet Club’s Cody, Page & Scurll with possible title implications!
All images courtesy of the Fite.TV app and streaming service
- Jay Lethal VS Punishment Martinez; Lethal wins.
- Shane Taylor VS Joey “Diesel” Daddiego; no contest.
- Six Man Tag: SoCal Uncensored VS The Bullet Club’s Cody, Hangman Page & Marty Scurll; Bullet Club wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Jay Lethal VS Punishment Martinez!
ROH’s Franchise Player wants to get back to the top, but to do that, he seeks to undo the losses he’s suffered. First up is the Reincarnation of the Purple Mist, the monstrous Martinez. Martinez has heard of Lethal’s “agenda”, but he has one, too. “And that’s to leave you laying at my feet again when I take you South… of Heaven.” Can Lethal avenge his loss and take another step towards the ROH World Championship?
Martinez doesn’t wait for a bell, he rushes right at Lethal! Lethal dodges Martinez’s boot, then the clothesline, to clothesline Martinez out of the ring. The bell sounds, and fans chant for Lethal. Lethal builds speed and Martinez hops up to the apron, but Lethal dropkicks him right back off! Lethal keeps going, and DIVES!
Martinez hits barriers but Lethal gets back in, to DIVE again! Lethal keeps going, he gets the Trinity! But he’s not done, he gets a fourth! And a fifth! And a sixth! The fans in Pittsburgh are thunderous as Lethal returns to the ring once more, for lucky number seven! Fans chant “Lethal! Lethal!” and the Franchise soaks it all up. Martinez clutches his leg on the ground while Lethal catches his breath. Lethal fetches Martinez into the ring, then goes after that bad leg with kicks. Lethal goes after the leg with elbow drops and wrenching, then kicks away at it. Martinez limps to a corner but Lethal bumps him off buckles. Lethal chops Martinez, but Martinez shoves him away to then clobber with a discus clothesline. Martinez evens things up while we go to break.
ROH returns and Lethal goes after Martinez’s leg again. Lethal DDT’s the foot, then covers, ONE. Martinez checks his knee but Lethal puts him in a corner. Lethal uses the ropes to wrench the leg, but backs off at 4. Lethal stomps away on the leg, but Martinez rocks him with a right. Martinez tries to turn things around, but Lethal comes back with haymakers and chops. Martinez glares at Lethal, so Lethal goes after the leg again. Lethal brings Martinez out via that leg, then chops again, but Martinez still glares. Lethal elbows the knee, then goes around, for the Figure Four, but Martinez powers him away. Martinez manages to stand but Lethal is on him again with body shots. Lethal clubs Martinez, but Martinez rocks him back with an uppercut and a stiff right.
Martinez runs in for the back elbow, then hits the spinning clothesline and roaring right. He drags Lethal up, then drops him with a sidewalk slam. Cover, TWO. Fans rally for Lethal, but Martinez drags him up. Martinez whips, but Lethal kicks him away, only for Martinez to fire back with the spinning roundhouse. The bad knee keeps Martinez from making the cover, and fans rally up for Lethal. Martinez gets up and limps over to Lethal, then goes to a corner. He climbs up, but Lethal stands up to trip him up. Lethal clubs that knee while positioning Martinez, then runs to dropkick the knee. Lethal climbs up now, but Martinez resists the superplex. Martinez powers out and ear claps Lethal back. Martinez knocks Lethal down with a right, then slowly adjusts, for the flying windmill kick!
The bad knee makes that move a tad double-edged, but Martinez still covers, TWO! Martinez keeps his cool while he stands up. He drags Lethal up, then whips, but Lethal dodges to then catch Martinez into a facelock. Martinez blocks the suplex, but Lethal keeps trying. Lethal gets Martinez up, up, and over! Fans applaud while both men are down from exhaustion. Martinez stands first while we go to another break.
ROH returns again, and Lethal gets the Figure Four! Martinez endures the pain while fans chant “Tap! Tap!” Martinez reaches, drags himself, and gets the ropebreak. Lethal lets go, but then kick that bad leg. He brings Martinez up, then handsprings, but into a full nelson throw! Martinez runs and curb stomps Lethal down! Cover, TWO! Martinez is surprised, but fans chant for Lethal. Martinez drags Lethal up again, then hoists him to the top rope. He rocks Lethal with a right, then hobbles around before climbing up. Fans rally again, but Martinez grabs Lethal’s throat. Lethal fights back, going after the leg. Martinez tries again, but Lethal keeps fighting back. Lethal bumps Martinez’s head right off the buckle, and fans fire up. Lethal adjusts, and leaps for Hail to the King!
Cover, TWO! Lethal is surprised, but he keeps his cool. Lethal stands up first and kicks Martinez, then again. Martinez kicks back, then lifts Lethal in a torture rack. The leg gives out and Lethal slips off. Lethal trips Martinez, and goes for the Figure Four again! But Martinez clutches Lethal’s throat. Lethal breaks free, and dodges one punch. Martinez spins, but his leg gives out again. SUPERKICK from Lethal! Then, handspring for the Lethal Injection!
Cover, Lethal wins!
Winner: Lethal, by pinfall
The Franchise gets even with Martinez and crosses off one name from his list. Who will Lethal look to go after next on his #RoadBacktoGlory?
The WOH Champion has her first challenger.
Sumie Sakai won the inaugural Women of Honor Championship Tournament to then become THE inaugural Women of Honor Champion. However, the returning Jenny Rose made it clear that she wants to be Sumie’s first opponent as champion. Sumie doesn’t want to fight Jenny, because they’re friends, but if it’s over the title, she will. Sumie wants this to be a friendly bout, but Jenny doesn’t seem so concerned about that. The ROH WOHC is on the line next week, will the inaugural champion stay champion by the end?
Shane Taylor VS Joey “Diesel” Daddiego!
Joey D returns to ROH! “Everybody has to get up and go to work everyday. Some of us just work that much harder than everybody else.” And if Joey does that here in ROH, it won’t matter who he’s up against, he can run through them! However, the Notorious Hitman isn’t just anyone. Taylor has made it his mission to expel all the dead weight from ROH so that he can get that money. Which man’s mission will destroy the other’s?
The bell rings and Taylor swings on Joey. Joey ducks, and throws body shots. Joey bobs and weaves on Taylor, but he can’t lift him. Taylor clubs Joey and rocks him with a stiff forearm. Taylor catches Joey, then trash talks him before giving him the sit-out choke slam bomb! He adds on a body splash, then covers, TWO! And Taylor is shocked. Joey gets to a corner, and fans rally up for him. Taylor is slightly amused now, and runs in, but misses the cannonball! Joey gets up, and throws hands on Taylor. Joey shows why he’s a Golden Gloves winner, but Taylor shoves him away. Taylor misses, but Joey connects! Joey tries to lift Taylor again, and does! He slams Taylor with the Daddiego Valley Driver!
Cover, TWO! Taylor rolls away but Joey follows him out. Joey comes running in, but the Drive-by Dropkick is intercepted by the One Hitter Quitter! Taylor drags Joey up and throws him into barriers. Taylor rocks Joey with another OHQ, then puts Joey into another barrier. The referee checks on Joey, but Taylor dares Joey to get up again. Taylor throws his own body shots and right hands, then sits a chair up. He sits Joey in the chair, then gets another chair. Taylor grins, and sits that other chair down. Taylor says he gave Joey a chance, before ramming forearm after forearm into Joey’s face. He sets Joey across the two chairs, with bad intentions in mind. Taylor backs off, and climbs up onto the apron, for a FLYING SPLASH!
Pittsburgh is thunderous after that. Joey is somehow conscious and moving, but the referees insist Taylor stay back. Taylor takes a ref, and Choke Slams him!!
That’s money down the drain for the Hitman. But Taylor doesn’t seem to care, as he threatens the other ref to keep this match going. The referee seems unwilling, so Taylor threatens him. A security staff rushes out to try and talk Taylor down, but Taylor only takes him and throws him in an exploder. Taylor sees another security staff, and hits him with the choke slam bomb! The third security staff tries but only gets the sit-out driver, the same move Taylor used on Ryan Nova. Taylor is a monster, but this match is over.
Is there anyone in ROH who can stop the rampage of the Notorious Shane Taylor?
Cody & Brandi Rhodes speak.
Cody’s ready. He is ready for tonight’s main event, as Bullet Club’s “Luxury Trio” take on SoCal Uncensored. And after they win, Cody has some news. It’s a secret, it’s a surprise, and he knows Scurll isn’t around, but… Well maybe Brandi can say what it is. Nevermind, Cody… No, Brandi. Nevermind, Cody goes ahead and says it: “At Best in the World, I am going to be taking my rematch against the ROH World Champion, Dalton Castle.” Cody compliments Brandi on a “good job”. Mr. & Mrs. American Nightmare are smiling now, but will The Villain be smiling when he hears the news?
ROH’s Enforcer has gone too far.
Bully Ray came into this company as a welcomed addition, whose experience and wisdom in the business was an asset. However, Bully has let his personal opinion grow into a grudge against all the “young boys” coming in. Bully crossed a line when he assaulted then terminated two young stars last week, and Cheeseburger came out to tell him to his face, “You’re a piece of sh*t.” Cheeseburger would get a choke slam for it, but Joe Koff would step up next. Koff was warned but still kept Bully around, and now he knows. Koff terminated Bully as the Enforcer, but Bully decided to come out of retirement! Will Bully take his grudge into the ring? Will Cheeseburger be able to get retribution?
Is the Bullet Club really Fine?
The Young Bucks were almost ROH World Tag Team Champions again, but The Briscoes resorted to chair shots and beat downs to retain. However, the beating went on longer than expected, as Bullet Club members were slow to respond. Hangman Page ran into an ambush, as did Flip Gordon. Scurll was a no show, and Cody showed up too late to be of use, as he also got a beating. #DemBoyz are still champions, will they soon conquer all of ROH?
Six Man Tag: SoCal Uncensored VS The Bullet Club’s Cody w/ Bernard the Business Bear, Hangman Page & Marty Scurll!
To add to the question “Is Bullet Club Fine?”, the three members of this #LuxuryTrio don’t even arrive together. The American Nightmare, his Problem Solver and his Villain are the more unified combination of Bullet Club, but can they hold it together to defeat a truly cohesive Almighty Daniels, Heavy Metal Rebel and California Closer?
Fans chant for Bullet Club as the teams sort out. Cody and Scorpio Sky start, and they tie up at the bell. Scorpio gets behind but Cody wrenches Scorpio’s arm into a shoulder breaker. Scorpio gets to the ropes, and Cody honors the break with a cartwheel. Fans applaud and Cody grins. Cody and Scorpio tie up again but Scorpio kicks low and snap suplexes Cody down. Fans boo and jeer, and Cody kicks back for the falling uppercut. Cody wrenches the arm, then suplexes Scorpio up. Cody shows off some strength, and fans fire up as he gordbusters Scorpio down. The Bullet Club is doing fine so far while we go to break.
ROH returns, and Daniels has Scurll trapped in the headscissors. However, Scurll headstands, and claps his legs together as fans “Woop! Woop!” for him. Scurll pops out and pats Daniels’ head before strutting away. Daniels is furious but the fans are thunderous for the cheeky Villain. Fans chant “Marty! Marty!” but Daniels doesn’t want ot hear it. Scurll winds up and… Tags to Hangman! Fans chant “Hangman! Hangman!” but Kaz wants in. Daniels tags, and this old grudge returns. Kaz rushes at Hangman but Hangman arm-drags him, then hip tosses him. Hangman goes for legs but Kaz shoves him away. Kaz arm-drags Hangman, then hip tosses him, but now Hangman shoves Kaz away. Hangman gets the headlock takeover, but Kaz the headscissors, Hangman pops out. Kaz gets the takeover, Hangman just misses the headscissors, but the fans applaud this stalemate.
Hangman and Kaz start throwing hands! They speed up, fast and furious, and fans love it. Hangman gets the edge, but turns into a forearm. Kaz runs, but into Hangman’s roaring elbow! Hangman and Kaz run and collide with clotheslines, but neither falls. Kaz runs in but Hangman dodges to take out Scorpio. Hangman then turns Kaz around, scoops him up, but has to drop him as Daniels runs in. Hangman kicks Daniels, then uses him for the Dropsault! TWO, but Hangman keeps his cool. Hangman tags to Cody, Cody springboards in for the missile dropkick. Fans chant “Cody! Cody!” and he teases Kaz. Cody kicks low, then whips but Kaz kicks low. Kaz then hits Hangman just because, and dodges Cody from the corner. Cody puts Kaz on the apron, then back elbows Kaz. Cody goes for the Beautiful Disaster, but Kaz ducks and the kick goes into Scurll!
Scurll goes down and Daniels grabs Cody for a Blue Thunder Bomb. Kaz rains down rights, then brings Cody into the SCU corner. Tag to Daniels, and Daniels whips Cody into a calf kick. The one and only ROH Grand Slam Champion chokes Cody on the mat with both hands. He lets up at 4, then tags to Scorpio. Scorpio lifts Cody into a backbreaker, then covers, TWO. Scorpio scrapes Cody’s face then tags back to Daniels. Daniels and Scorpio double whip Cody corner to corner, then Daniels hits the forearm smash. Daniels hoists Cody up to the top rope, then gives a palm strike. Kaz adds a bicycle kick, then Scorpio the SUPER Steiner. Daniels covers, TWO, but puts Cody in a chinlock while we go to one last break.
ROH returns once again, and fans rally for Cody. Daniels has Cody in a facelock, but Cody fights his way over to his corner. Daniels knees low, then hits Hangman for good measure. Scurll hits Daniels back, but Daniels and Cody hit with double clotheslines. Both men are down and fans rally for Cody. Cody and Daniels crawl, hot tags to Scorpio and Scurll! The Villain rallies, throwing hands and stomps in a corner. Scurll stomps a serious mudhole, and the fans are loving it. Kaz comes in, and kicks low. Kaz mocks the wing flaps, but falls for the feint. Scurll kicks Kaz out of the ring, but Scorpio clubs Scurll. Scorpio runs, but into a drop toehold from Cody, Scurll adds a basement dropkick. Hangman adds the standing shooting star, and fans fire up all over again.
Scurll takes aim at Scorpio, goes to the apron, SUPERKICK. Scurll slips into the ring but Daniels tosses him out, to then hit the Arabian Press moonsault. But Cody climbs and FLIES! Cody wipes them out but then Kaz slingshots for the huricanrana. But Hangman hits the Shooting Star tackle! Bullet Club regroups, but Scorpio FLIES! Scorpio wipes them and even Kaz out, but that isn’t the end. Daniels climbs up, but Cody pursues. They brawl up top, and Cody resists Daniels’ attempts, to then SUPERPLEX Daniels onto everyone else!!
Everyone goes down but the fans are thunderous once again. Fans chant “ROH! ROH!” while the Villain crawls after the Fallen Angel. The ring count climbs high, and luckily it’s a 20 count. The count passes 13 but no one is back in the ring. It reaches 18, but only now does anyone stand. They all get in at 19.5! Scurll fires up, and stands with Daniels. Daniels and Scurll go back and forth with haymakers, then Scurll hits a European Uppercut. Scurll takes Daniels’ fingers and… Eye poke from Daniels, then an STO!
Daniels fires up whiel fans jeer, but he ends up in Hangman’s powerbomb. Hangman rushes at Kaz, but Kaz puts him on the apron to then slingshot cutter. Kaz rushes Cody, but Cody goes up and over to then hti the spinning powerslam. Cody spots Scorpio, but runs into a shoulder, and a slingshot cutter of Scorpio’s. Scorpio rocks Scurll with a knee lift, but finds himself reeled into a pumphandle brainbuster. Scurll fires up and calls for the end. He gets the fans worked up, does the spin and “Chicken Wing!” But Scorpio backs Scurll into buckles. Daniels returns, as does Kaz. Hangman tags in before The Addiction double whip Scurll. Scurll dodges The Addiction, and Hangman gets a Double Buckshot!
Scorpio catches Hangman into a cradle, TWO. Scorpio kicks low but misses the other kick, and ends up in Cody’s “Din’s Fire” vertabreaker!
Hangman jackknifes Scorpio up into the Rite of Passage!
Cover, Bullet Club wins!
Winners: Bullet Club (Cody, Scurll & Page), Page pinning
Bullet Club is fine enough to win, but the SCU are sore losers, and they attack from behind with Scurll’s umbrella in a low blow on Page! Daniels clobbers Cody on his own, but Scurll returns to take his umbrella back and use it. However, he swings at Daniels, who dodges, and hits Cody!!
Bullet Club is left in a state of shock as ROH goes off the air. Will Bullet Club be fine after being left speechless?
A great hour of action for ROH, everything was entertaining and important to story. Lethal VS Martinez was a great opening, and definitely had story and action worthy of a PPV. Lethal wins to keep that mission of his alive, and if it’s about making up for losses, I hope that means he goes after Silas Young, and even goes after the ROH World TV title as part of it. Great to see Joey Diesel back, but wow was it to make him a sacrifice to Taylor. Taylor ups his Monster Heel status with everything, but still great for Joey that he was still moving after that chair splash spot. Joey might be Taylor’s true opponent in this story of his, and another go would be fun to watch. Good plugs for Briscoes, Bully and WOH, can’t wait to see what’s next for those.
The Bullet Club is (Not) Fine story continues to grow and evolve between both ROH and NJPW. This tension between Cody and Scurll over wanting the World Championship is great stuff, and the Six Man Tag really played on that. The Six Man Tag was a great match in itself, but adding the story element of Cody accidentally kicking Scurll, paralleled by Scurll accidentally hitting Cody, made it even greater. Hangman continues to rise as a star, but the real story will be whether Cody and Scurll come to blows over challenging Dalton Castle. My guess would be that they do, and winner moves on to challenge Castle. Or it ends up a Triple Threat and that in itself brings Cody and Scurll to blows, which could cost them both the title.
My Score: 8.5/10