All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service
- Akira Tozawa & Hideo Itami VS Lucha House Party; no contest.
- Mark Andrews VS Drew Gulak; postponed to next week.
- Tony Nese VS Jonathan Pierce; Nese wins.
- Buddy Murphy VS Kalisto; Murphy wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Akira Tozawa & Hideo Itami VS Lucha House Party!
The Stamina Monster and the Innovator of Pain use Strong Style while the Golden Lynx & King of the Ropes fight with lucha libre agility. This tag team rematch has pride and honor on the line, who will come out earning the other team’s respect?
Both sides are ready to fight right away, but we start with Itami and Metalik. Itami gets a waistlock and takedown, then floats around into another quick takedown. He mounts then tauntingly slaps Metalik before demanding they “Respect Me!” Instead, Lince starts up the “Lucha! Lucha!” chants. Itami turns around and knees Metalik in the stomach, then rocks him with a right hand and left kick. He keeps up the kicks, but Lince gets his attention. The two trash talk, but then Itami pie-faces Lince, and the Lynx wants in! The referee keeps him back, so Itami goes back to Metalik. He puts Metalik in a corner, then whips him corner to corner, but Metalik catches him with a thrust kick! Metalik then runs out of the corner to hit Itami with a sling-dog!
Metalik keeps going, he walks the ropes to missile dropkick Itami down. Cover, TWO, but Metalik keeps on him with an arm wrench. Tag to Lince, they double whip and double hip toss, then stomp and standing moonsault. Cover, TWO, but Lince keeps on Itami with stomps. Lince goes after the arm again, then tags Metalik. Metalik continues the wrenching, then suplexes, but Itami slips out and staggers back. Tozawa tags in and Itami boots Metalik. Metalik gets moving when he sees Tozawa, but runs right into a kick to the stomach! Tozawa brings Metalik up to snapmare and Penalty Kick him down, then hit the back senton, but Metalik makes it a crucifix pin! TWO, Metalik swings but misses. Tozawa goes for a back suplex but Metalik fights his way out. Metalik runs and handsprings, but into Tozawa’s dropkick!
Tozawa covers, TWO! He keeps on Metalik while he tags in Itami. Itami knocks Lince down before he and Tozawa double whip Metalik corner to corner. Tozawa hits a back elbow, then they combine for a knee-kick combo! Itami suplexes, covers, TWO. Lince protests but Itami keeps on Metalik while he taunts the Lynx. He drags Metalik over and tags in Tozawa, Tozawa chops Metalik. Tozawa chops again, then fakes the chop to hit the jab. Cover, TWO, but Tozawa is on him again. Tag to Itami, Itami kicks and whips Metalik. He knocks Metalik over with the kitchen sink knee, then mocks the “Lucha! Lucha!” right in Lince’s face. Itami stomps Metalik, but Metalik revives to chop and forearm Itami back. Itami slaps Metalik then kicks away on him, but Metalik responds with a dropkick!
Both men are down, but stirring. Metalik tags in Lince! Lince knocks Tozawa down then brawls full speed with Itami! He backs Itami down, whips but Itami reverses, only for Itami to run into Lince’s spinning heel kick! Lince keeps going with more kicks, then runs to springboard, quebrada! He won’t let up, he hammers away with both hands. Itami gets away, then boots Lince back to give him his strikes. Lince slaps and slaps, then whips but Itami reverses, Lince handsprings into the Golden Rewind stunner!
Itami ends up all the way out of the ring, so Lince fires up. He builds speed, Tozawa tries to intercept, but Lince evades to FLY onto Itami! Lince wipes Itami out, but Tozawa builds speed to DIVE!
The Tozawa Torpedo takes out Lince, but as everyone regroups, Metalik builds speed to FLY!
Metalik’s corkscrew plancha takes everyone out! He drags Itami up and puts him in the ring while fans chant “Lucha! Lucha!” Metalik isn’t legal, but he still sets Itami up for Lince. Lince covers, TWO. Lince drags Itami up and over, Metalik tags in. They both get Itami up for Metalik’s fireman’s carry, but Itami fights his way out. Itami even goes after the mask! Metalik defends his face, Lince comes in to clobber Itami! Lince stomps and clubs Itami, Tozawa comes in but even he gets clobbered. Lucha House Party is livid, the referee has to throw the match out.
But Tozawa comes back for more! He ends up in a 2v1, until Itami returns to chop block Lince’s legs! Now Itami and Tozawa beat down the luchadors. An extra referee comes out to back them off, but Itami continues to demand respect. There wasn’t a lot of respect, but this was definitely an aggressive encounter. Another thing is for sure, neither side is through with the other. What will it take for these two teams to settle the score?
Drew Gulak speaks.
The Cruiserweight Crusader lets us know that unfortunately, his match with Mark Andrews has been postponed until after Wrestlemania because he requested it. Fans might think this is mind games but this is the opposite. Gulak believes in a #Better205Live, and simply wants Andrews to be at 100% for their match. Andrews needs to recover from his “grueling bout” with Tony Nese last week, because then there will be no excuses when Gulak “utterly annihilates” him. He would’ve prepared a PowerPoint presentation detailing why he tortured Andrews in his “GuLock” dragon sleeper during their Cruiserweight Championship Tournament match. But the more Gulak thought about it, he realized he only needed one slide to say it.
“The battle in the ring is won and lost on the mat”, and Gulak is the best submission specialist in WWE. He can do it to anyone, and when you step to him, you will tap out.
But Mark Andrews responds.
Does Drew Gulak think he’s the only one who can use the ring to prove a point? Andrews has come back to 205 Live to prove his own point. Gulak crossed the line, plain and simple. But this isn’t about flying versus ground, this is Andrews VS Gulak. When Andrews gets his hands on Gulak next week, Gulak will wish he never underestimated the underdog, and will never disrespect him again. Will the Post-Mania episode of 205 Live feature a High-Fiving, Stage-Diving victory? Or will it be another gritty grinding from Gulak’s ground game?
Tony Nese VS Jonathan Pierce!
Before the show, 205 Live GM Drake Maverick talked with the Premier Athlete. Losing to Mark Andrews last week may have been a setback, but that’s why Maverick put Nese in this match tonight. Nese just has to get back on the horse and use that untapped potential to remind everyone why he’s the Premier Athlete.
The bell rings and Nese circles with Pierce. They tie up, Nese pushes Pierce back, Pierce flexes at Nese. He says his is “way better” than Nese’s. They tie up again, Nese puts Pierce in a corner, then shows his muscles. Nese gets near Pierce, Pierce uses the ropes for safety, then gets a sucker punch on Nese. Pierce chops Nese, then whips him to a corner, but Nese comes back with a back elbow. Nese hops up and jumps back but Pierce gets under. Nese dares Pierce to come at him, then handsprings under to mule kick and knee lift, then roundhouse and leg sweep. He toys with Pierce, then chops him in return. Nese whips Pierce, Pierce holds ropes and bails out. Pierce wants out, but Nese slides out of the ring to rock him with a left forearm!
Nese embraces the cheers and jeers, then drags Pierce up and into the ring. He takes aim from the apron, to then triangle moonsault!
But Nese isn’t done there. Pierce gets to the apron, Nese drags him back up, Pierce hotshots Nese back! Pierce sees his opening and gets to the corner. He climbs up, Nese stops him with a leaping left uppercut! Nese then kicks Pierce off the top to dump him with a gutbuster. Pierce gets to a corner, so Nese brings the knee pad down. Nese runs to the adjacent corner, for the Premier KNEE-se!
Cover, Nese wins!
Winner: Nese, by pinfall
Nese snaps back to a win after a few losses, but will this be enough to prove to Maverick that Nese is ready for bigger and better in the Cruiserweight Division?
Lucha House Party regroups in the trainer’s room.
Clearly, Lince’s leg is hurting from Itami’s cheap shot to it. Kalisto has his match, but he promises to check in after. But he turns around, and Buddy Murphy is there.
Murphy assures Kalisto their match won’t be personal. The Best Kept Secret is in 205 Live and the Cruiserweight Division to become Cruiserweight Champion. It just happens that Kalisto stands in his way. Murphy will do Kalisto a favor and make it quick so he can get back to his friends. Murphy is bigger, stronger and apparently more confident, will he be the brick wall that stops Kalisto’s breakneck speed?
Buddy Murphy VS Kalisto!
The mission is clear: keep winning, and you’ll get your shot at the Cruiserweight Championship. With that in mind, both the Daredevil from Down Under and the Lucha Dragon want to win and move into contention. Will size matter when things move at high speeds?
The bell rings, the two circle, and then tie up. Murphy powers Kalisto to a corner, but backs off at the referee’s orders. He gives Kalisto a little bump, but Kalisto doesn’t take it lightly. They tie up again and Murphy gets the headlock, Kalisto tries to power out but Murphy holds on. Murphy throws Kalisto down with a headlock takeover, Kalisto headscisors but Murphy pops out. Kalisto reverses roles, getting the headlock takeover but popping out of the headscissors. Murphy sweeps legs, Kalisto gets out, Kalisto sweeps legs but Murphy gets out. The two stand off and the fans applaud.
Murphy and Kalisto both stand up and circle again. They tie up, Murphy turns it to a wristlock and brings Kalisto down. Kalisto gets up but Murphy brings him back down, and again, and again. Murphy wrenches the fingers, bending Kalisto’s arm back. Kalisto slips out to hsi feet and wrenches Murphy back. Murphy reverses, snapmares, runs and headscissors, but Kalisto stays on his feet! Kalisto copies Murphy’s “Shhh…!” then speeds up again to handstand walk to handspring headscissors. Murphy stays on his feet and wags his finger at Kalisto. This exchange excites the fans so much, they chant “205! 205!”
Kalisto goes at Murphy with the waistlock, Murphy standing switches but Kalisto switches back. They go back and forth with switches until Murphy throws Kalisto out. Murphy runs, slides out and chases Kalisto, but Kalisto goes to arm-drag. Murphy blocks so Kalisto spins to the other side and gets the arm-drag. Kalisto keeps moving, and manages to tilt-o-whirl headscissor Murphy down. Murphy’s back up but into a dropkick! Kalisto is fired up while Murphy gets to a corner. He runs in but Murphy puts him on the apron, only for Kalisto to swing kick Murphy away. Kalisto climbs up to the top rope, takes aim, and spins for a flying arm-drag! Murphy ends up outside the ring, Kalisto runs but fakes him out with a rebound while Murphy slides in, for another stand-off. And fans are loving it!
The chants of “205! 205!” echo out again while the two men stand up. Kalisto changes it to “Lucha! Lucha!” as he gets in Murphy’s face. Murphy just throws Kalisto into a corner, then tosses him back in when he tries to escape. Kalisto can’t get out, Murphy rocks him with a right hand! Murphy stomps on Kalisto, then backs off at the ref’s count. Kalisto comes back but Murphy blocks the kick and sweeps the legs. Murphy stomps Kalisto more, then drags him up and around into an abdominal stretch. The fans chant for “Buddy Murphy!” as he grinds an elbow into Kalisto’s side.
Kalisto endures the hold while fans rally for him. He works his way out of the hold, getting up and around into a sleeper hold! Kalisto’s weight brings Murphy to his knees, but Murphy gets a second wind to power Kalisto into buckles. Murphy breaks free, then swiftly kicks Kalisto right back. Murphy catches his breath before walking over to fetch Kalisto, but Kalisto kicks him in the face! Kalisto shoulders in, then swing kicks again. Murphy staggers, Kalisto springboards for a seated senton! Kalisto keeps moving, building speed, to hit a tilt-o-whirl DDT!
Cover, TWO! Kalisto can’t believe it. Murphy crawls around, getting to ropes. Kalisto joins him on the apron, clubbing away. Murphy shoves Kalisto so Kalisto kicks back. Kalisto shouts, “Lucha House Party, baby!” but Murphy fights back. He kicks and forearms Kalisto, to then suplex him to the apron!
Even Murphy crashes and burns a bit on that one. The referee checks on them while the fans lose their minds. Murphy and Kalisto are both somehow okay to continue, and Murphy gets Kalisto into the ring. Cover, TWO, and now Murphy can’t believe it. Murphy grits his teeth as he stands up, and brings Kalisto up. He rocks Kalisto with an elbow, then another. Murphy drags Kalisto up to whip him hard into buckles. Kalisto writhes from the pain in his back, while Murphy endures the pain in his own ribs. Murphy whips Kalisto hard again, to go chest first, then runs but into the windmill kick!
Both men are down but stirring. Fans rally while Kalisto drags himself around to a corner. Murphy follows, but Kalisto elbows him away. Kalisto then kicks, hops up, jumps over, to then springboard backwards onto Murphy’s shoulders. If Kalisto wanted a reverse-rana, he doesn’t get it as Murphy makes that more like an Electric Chair drop! Murphy still rolls out of the ring, and Kalisto builds speed, to FLY!
Kalisto topples Murphy over, then gets him back in the ring. Fans actually chant “This is Awesome!” as Kalisto hits Murphy with the spike-rana! Cover, TWO! Kalisto is shocked! Murphy rolls back out again, fans continue to declare “This is Awesome!” while Kalisto stalks him. Murphy shoves Kalisto away, then monkey flips Kalisto to the announce desk!
The Lucha Dragon crash lands right on the monitors, and fans lose their minds all over again. Kalisto slumps down to the floor while the ref counts. Murphy heads for the ring while the count reaches 5. He leaves Kalisto at the count’s mercy, it reaches 8. Kalisto sprints to beat it at 9.9! Murphy can’t believe it, but he keeps on Kalisto with a right hand. Kalisto responds, and unleashes furious palm strikes! Murphy blocks the big one, lets out his strike fest, finishing with a back elbow that rocks Kalisto to a corner. Murphy runs in, but into Kalisto’s boot. Kalisto hops up, flies for headscissors, but Murphy blocks that with strength to make it a powerbomb! High stack cover, TWO, but Murphy flips Kalisto over for a knee trigger!
Cover, TWO!! And Murphy is truly stunned. But the fans are loving every second, giving a standing ovation even. Murphy stands back up while fans chant “205! 205!” He brings Kalisto up and then to the top rope. Murphy climbs up, but Kalisto resists as fans hope they “Fight Forever!” Kalisto fights Murphy off on the top rope, then adjusts, and sunset flips over! But Murphy holds on to deny the powerbomb! He goes to punch Kalisto, but Kalisto evades to trip Murphy up. Murphy hits buckles, Kalisto rolls him for the Listo Kick! Then the Sunset Powerbomb!!
TWO!? HOW?! Fans only know “This is Awesome!” Both men stir, Kalisto starts up the “Lucha! Lucha!” chants. They both stand, Kalisto goes for Salida but Murphy blocks. Murphy wants a backslide but Kalisto blocks. Kalisto swings a punch but Murphy uses that for the pumphandle. Murphy lifts, Kalisto flails, but Murphy’s Law STILL happens!
Cover, Murphy wins!
Winner: Murphy, by pinfall
The Best Kept Secret may not be a secret anymore. He’s gotten two huge wins, and he’s certainly impressed Nashville tonight. Is there no stopping the Aussie Action Hero’s rise towards the top of the Cruiserweight Division?
Drake Maverick speaks.
The General Manager of 205 Live and Cruiserweight Division congratulates Buddy Murphy, but that’s not why he’s here. Maverick wishes to reflect on the changes to the Division over the last few months. Cruiserweight Championship Tournament: huge success, thanks to the WWE Universe and the 16 athletes who stepped up. Maverick couldn’t be prouder of his roster, but especially Cedric Alexander and Mustafa Ali, who will compete for the Cruiserweight Championship as part of Wrestlemania “in front of over 70 thousand people.”
But Maverick has a message for the WWE Universe. Wherever you are on Sunday, be ready for Wrestlemania so you can feel that roller coaster ride of emotions! You’ll see Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar, Ronda Rousey, Daniel Bryan, but the match that everyone will talk about is Alexander VS Ali! And you can say, “I was there! I saw a new WWE Cruiserweight Champion crowned, and that was my Wrestlemania Moment!” The GM is just as pumped as anyone for this amazing match, who will win when the Heart and Soul of 205 Live collide?
205 Live takes a closer look at the Cruiserweight Championship Wrestlemania match.
It all started on January 30th, when SmackDown GM, Daniel Bryan, introduced the WWE Universe to 205 Live GM, Drake Maverick. It was Maverick’s idea to “usher in a new era” with his 16 man, single-elimination tournament that would culminate at The Grandest Stage of Them All! Cedric Alexander, who had already fought so hard to earn previous title shots, said no one has been hotter than him in the Cruiserweight Division. But Mustafa Ali said this tournament was his “opportunity to show the world” what he’s all about. Alexander would overcome Gran Metalik, TJP, and even NXT’s Roderick Strong while Ali would defeat Jack Gallagher, NXT’s Buddy Murphy and his familiar foe in Drew Gulak. It all resulted in “the best Cruiserweight competition” week in and week out.
Neither Alexander nor Ali could help be emotional when they won their semifinal matches to earn their spot on the Show of Shows. And neither man has been in a position where so much was on the line. Ali makes his PPV debut, let alone his Wrestlemania debut. Alexander dreams of adding his name to the same list as Rey Mysterio, Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko, those who inspired him. Alexander is the Soul, Ali is the Heart. However, souls leave the body, but Ali will always have his heart. But using your heart means not using your brain. This is man versus man, two warriors fighting for a dream they’ve both had forever, wanting the same thing and hoping to steal the show in the process. Who will be the one to win the grand prize on the Grandest Stage of Them All?
What a great episode! THIS is a Wrestlemania Go-Home! And the craziest thing about it, the advertised match didn’t even happen! That in itself was disappointing, but between Gulak’s and Andrews’ promos and the matches we go instead, it didn’t matter in the end.
The tag team match, while ending in a No Contest, was still great with the action and the story. Tozawa-Itami VS Lucha House Party has to be the match-up for the inaugural Cruiserweight Tag Team Championships after Wrestlemania, it just makes so much sense to do it. From there, WWE can add more teams to the Cruiserweight Tag Team Division, which may also include recruiting more talent in general since two teams isn’t really a division. Nese, while going up against a jobber to fill for time, was still good as always. Pierce even did a good job of being the arrogant kind of jobber thinking he could stack up against the 205 Live full-timer.
Then, the Best Kept Secret puts on quite possibly his best singles match ever, and Nashville ate it up. 205 Live finally feels like it is being properly received by live audiences, and it’s insane to think it is through Kalisto and Buddy Murphy. Before this opportunity in 205 Live, Murphy was lingering in NXT Limbo, but now he’s revitalized himself and the show with amazing performances. He may very well be a key player in the coming days, and could even find himself in the title scene already. Closing with a video package was more for the Network audience, but it was a really great package to frame the title match. Alexander’s story of coming up short and Ali’s story of inspiring change are both so strong, and that match really could go either way.
My Score: 8.5/10
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Mitchell’s WWE NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn 4!
NXT takes over Brooklyn for a fourth time! With Aleister Black out of action, will this FINALLY settle things between Ciampa and Gargano?
- EC3 VS Velveteen Dream; wins.
- NXT Tag Team Championships: The Undisputed Era VS Mustache Mountain; wins and
- NXT North American Championship: Adam Cole VS Ricochet; wins and
- NXT Women’s Championship: Shayna Baszler VS Kairi Sane; wins and
- NXT Championship Last Man Standing Match: Tommaso Ciampa VS Johnny Gargano; wins and
PLAY BY PLAY
Charly Caruso, Sam Roberts & Pat McAfee are your NXT Kickoff Show panel!
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Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Report: G1 Climax 28, part 4!
AXS continues NJPW coverage with more from Block A! The Rainmaker takes on the Hangman for the first time ever! Plus, The Ace VS The Underboss once more!
Gifs can be found on http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- Jay White VS Michael Elgin; White wins.
- Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Bad Luck Fale; Tanahashi wins, by disqualification.
- Kazuchika Okada VS Hangman Page; Okada wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS TV set the scene for Round Three!
Kazuchika Okada hasn’t been himself since losing the IWGP Heavyweight Championship to Kenny Omega. He’s also been on a losing streak since then, with a quick 0-2 record in the first two rounds. Okada lost to The Switchblade, Jay White, and perhaps lost all of Chaos to him. Then he lost to Bullet Club OG, the Underboss, Bad Luck Fale. The Rainmaker desperately needs to get on the board before it’s too late. But in his way is Bullet Club new blood, Hangman Adam Page, who would love to make a big splash with a win over the former top champion. Will Hangman be the third defeat on Okada’s downward spiral? Or will Okada use the Problem Solver to solve his losing problem?
But first, the Underboss has his own match in a rematch from the New Japan Cup quarterfinals. Fale lost to Hiroshi Tanahashi back then, but Tanahashi himself lost to Jay White, same as Okada. Can the Once in a Century Talent gain ground against an angry Fale? Or will the Firing Squad make their presence known once again?
NJPW and AXS give us another quick rundown on the other A Block matches.
Minoru Suzuki brutalized Yoshi-Hashi but the Head Hunter held his own. However, Suzuki’s Gotch Piledriver won it for the Man with the Worst Personality. Chaos’ Togi Makabe battled Los Ingobernables de Japon’s King of Darkness, EVIL, and they went all over the arena. The Uncaged King Kong would fall to Everything is EVIL, the signature STO, and Evil would get the win. For the third match of this third round, we jump right into it!
Jay White VS Michael Elgin!
The Switchblade says Chaos is now his faction, but he still has to prove it. We come into his match with The Unbreakable Big Mike as he brings Elgin up for a cobra clutch suplex! White calls for a finish, and brings Elgin up again. Eglin spins out of Blade Runner, but White elbows him away. White goes to run but Elgin reels him into a discus elbow! Elgin drags White up but White slips out. White lifts Elgin but Elgin knees out of the saido suplex. Elgin aims at the wobbly White and hits another discus elbow! Then the Half ‘n’ Half! Elgin runs, and clobbers White with a clothesline! He’s not done, he double underhooks for a sit-out Tigerbomb! Cover, TWO!? White survives by the thinnest of margins! Big Mike is surprised, but the fans are rallying for him.
Elgin drags White back up, takes aim at a corner, but White fights back. White’s huricanrana is blocked by pure strength! Elgin brings White back up, and buckle bombs him in the corner! But the referee gets caught in it, too! Elgin checks on the ref, then he goes back to White. White gives Big Mike a low blow uppercut to Little Mike! Then, Blade Runner! The referee returns to count the cover, White wins!
Winner: Jay White, by pinfall; White earns 2 points, Elgin earns 0
The Switchblade takes the lead in Block A by any means necessary. White wants to reign over Chaos and all of NJPW as THE IWGP Heavyweight Champion. Will his streak continue and bring him all the way to the G1 Climax Finals?
Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Bad Luck Fale!
The Ace and the Underboss go around one more time, but this New Japan Cup rematch might be marred if the Bullet Club splinter cell show themselves. Can the two-time G1 Climax winner put Fale away before the Guerrillas of Destiny arrive?
Well that’s gonna be hard to do now, as Tonga Loa accompanies the lean, mean, Tongan machine to the ring. Even so, Tanahashi stays focused on his opponent. Red Shoes checks both men and finds they’re clean. He tells Tonga Loa to hop down off the apron, and Loa obliges. The bell rings, and Tanahashi immediately hits Fale with a dropkick! Tanahashi stomps away at the legs, then puts on leg on the ropes for another dropkick. Fans fire up with The Ace as he goes after the legs with more stomps. Tanahashi whips Fale but Fale reverses. Fale runs in but Tanahashi dodges to chop block! Fans chant for Tanahashi as he stalks Fale. Tanahashi brings Fale around to kick that bad knee. Fale staggers to ropes but Tanahashi refuses to let up. Tanahashi runs, but Fale follows, only for Tanahashi to drop toehold him.
Tanahashi puts Fale’s legs into a deathlock, pulling back on both knees. Fale reaches back to grab at Tanahashi, but then reaches out to grab ropes. Tanahashi honors the ropebreak, but then stomps Fale more. Fale slips out of the ring, and voids Tanahashi’s slingshot plancha. But Tanahashi lands on the apron, to cannonball onto Fale! Fans are thunderous as Tanahashi fires up. Tanahashi drags Fale up, and has camera men clear out. He whips but Fale reverses, sending Tanahashi over the rails into commentary! Roppongi 3K’s Sho almost gets wiped out. Fale grabs a chair from one of the other commentary tables! Red Shoes tells him to put it down, but Fale refuses. Fale even threatens Red Shoes with it! But this is all to distract the ref from seeing Loa stomp Tanahashi out!
Sho and commentary try to get Red Shoes’ attention, but Loa backs off in time. Fale lets go of the chair and goes over to fetch Tanahashi. Fans clear out with help from the Young Lions, and Fale bowls for chairs using Tanahashi! Fans cheer Tanahashi in attempts to power him up, but Fale leaves him to the mercy of the 20 count. The count reaches 10 before Tanahashi reaches ringside. Tanahashi stands and enters at 14. Fale is right on him, and stands on his ribs! He backs off at 4, but then comes back to kick Tanahashi while he’s down. Fale drags Tanahashi up and puts him on the ropes to bend him backward. Red Shoes counts, and Fale lets off at 4 again. Tanahashi grits his teeth but Fale clubs his back. Fale puts Tanahashi back on the ropes for more clubbing forearms.
Tanahashi writhes to a corner but fans continue to rally. Fale wags a finger, their cheers won’t help Tanahashi. Fale gives Tanahashi big body shots, then a scoop slam. He sits on Tanahashi for the cover, TWO! Tanahashi crawls but Fale looms over him. Fale sits Tanahashi up for a nerve hold! Fale digs his fingers into Tanahashi’s trapezius, but fans rally more. Tanahashi feeds off the energy and gets to his feet. He fights back with elbows, then forearms. Fale staggers, but comes back with one big forearm of his own. Fale has Tanahashi in a corner, and gives him clubbing clotheslines from both sides. Tanahashi is down and dazed while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns, and Fale says “It’s too easy, man.” He looms over Tanahashi in the corner. He brings Tanahashi up and whips him corner to corner. Tanahashi comes running out to dropkick Fale’s bad leg! Tanahashi dropkicks it again, then again! He brings Fale back for a waistlock, but Fale is too big and strong for the German Suplex. Fale elbows out, but Tanahashi hits him back with a palm strike. Fale falls down, Tanahashi grabs the leg, for a grounded dragon screw! The screw drives Fale’s leg into the mat, and now Fale writhes as he clutches the knee. Tanahashi keeps on him with an attempt at the Cloverleaf. He props Fale up and works to roll him over, but Fale is still big and strong. They struggle against each other, but Tanahashi gets the hold!
Fale endures, and he powers his way out, sending Tanahashi all the way out of the ring! Tanahashi and Fale both take a few moments to recover. Fale goes out but Tanahashi gets back in. Tanahashi runs, but into Fale’s grip! Fale rocks Tanahashi with a right, but then Tanahashi dragon screws the leg between the ropes! Fans chant “Go Ace!” for Tanahashi as he takes aim. Tanahashi runs, sunset flip, but Fale sits on him! TWO, but barely! Loa coaches Fale up while the fans are on Tanahashi’s side. Fale runs and splashes! TWO, but still close! Tanahashi gasps for air while Fale brings him up. Tanahashi throws hands, then bobs ‘n’ weaves with Fale. He hits a European Uppercut, but runs into a lariat!
Fale drags Tanahashi up, but Tanahashi palm strikes before he can throw the Grenade thumb spike. Fale fireman carries Tanahashi instead, for the Samoan Drop! Both men are down from exhaustion but Fale makes the cover. TWO as Tanahashi survives. Fans rally up but Fale is first to stand. Fale brings Tanahashi up, preparing a powerbomb. Tanahashi slips out of the crucifix to huricanrana! Cover, TWO!! But Tanahashi comes back with a Slingblade, but Fale’s size and strength help him get out of it. Tanahashi rolls Fale up instead, TWO! Tanahashi tries a fisherman, but Fale scoops him. That bad leg gives way, and Tanahashi comes back with the swinging neckbreaker!
Fans rally again while Loa is worried. Tanahashi runs, the Slingblade hits! But he’s not done, as he goes top rope… High Fly Flow FLOPS as Fale moves! Tanahashi and Fale stir and stand while the fans are thunderous. Fale runs in for a big corner clothesline! Then he grabs Tanahashi, for the Grenade thumb thrust to choke slam! Cover, TWO!? Tanahashi survives that brutal combination, but Fale prepares a bomb! He lifts Tanahashi, crucifix but Tanahashi pops out to bring Fale down with an inverted bulldog! Tanahashi hurries up top, for the HIGH FLY FLOW! Cover, but Loa drags Red Shoes out!!
And he attacks Tanahashi! It was only a matter of time before it came to this. Loa stomps Tanahashi out while Fale slowly sits up. Fans boo the Firing Squad, but they don’t care. Loa brings Tanahashi up, and Fale prepares a lariat. Tanahashi ducks, the lariat hits Loa! Then Tanahashi Slingblades Fale down! But it’s Tama Tonga with a Gun Stun outta nowhere! The quintessential leader of the Firing Squad is here. He tells Tanahashi to never defy them. Fale covers, Tonga drags Red Shoes in, but Red Shoes says F U, Firing Squad! He calls for the DQ!
Winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi, by disqualification; Tanahashi earns 2 points, Fale earns 0
The Tongans are furious with Red Shoes, and Tama grabs him around the collar. But then they go after Tanahashi, stomping and punching away. No one makes the rescue, so the Firing Squad leave when they feel satisfied. Will anyone, from wrestlers to administration, stand up to this pack of wolves?
Kazuchika Okada VS Hangman Page!
The Rainmaker hasn’t been acting quite like himself since Kenny Omega took the title from him. He’s already lost twice, but is he so vulnerable as to give the Problem Solver a guaranteed win? Or is Hangman’s first G1 Climax too soon to defeat the former IWGP Heavyweight Champion?
The bell rings and fans cheer for Okada. Hangman tunes it out as he jaws with The Rainmaker. The two circle then tie up. Hangman gets the wristlock, but Okada rolls and reverses. Hangman rolls and reverses back to a hammerlock then snapmare. He puts Okada in a chinlock, but Okada gets up and out. Okada gets the hammerlock, but Hangman gets the ropebreak. Okada honors the break, and fakes his punch, to pat Hangman on the shoulders. He’s all smiles, but Hangman scowls. Okada ducks Hangman’s punch, then catches the boot. He shoves Hangman, having fun with him. Hangman runs into a drop toehold, and Okada grins while Hangman gets to a corner. Fans cheer him on but Hangman clotheslines him out! Hangman keeps going, and DIVES onto the downed Okada!
Hangman loves throwing caution to the wind, but even that was crazy. He gets up and mocking asks, “This is Okada now?” Hangman puts Okada back in the ring, then walks circles around him, like a shark with blood in the water. He shows off his strength with a pumphandle deadlift, into a brinding Fall Away Slam! TWO, but Hangman keeps hold of a leg to roll Okada around. Hangman chops Okada bluntly, then stalks him to a corner. Hangman stands Okada for another chop, then continues to question Okada’s character. He snapmares Okada into a chinlock, and he gives slaps to Okada’s head. Fans rally up and Okada fights out, but Hangman clubs him. Hangman runs into a boot, but he avoids Okada’s back senton. Hangman hits his standing shooting star! Cover, TWO, but Hangman keeps his cool.
Hangman toys with Okada, then drags him back up. He scoops Okada for the slam, then slingshots out and in for the senton atomico! Fans applaud his ability, but still rally up for Okada. Hangman sits Okada up for a neck wrench. Okada endures and works his way up. He fights back but Hangman ear claps him. Hangman whips but Okada reverses to a DDT! Both men are down, but Okada kips up! Okada runs and rallies with forearms and elbows. He whips but Hangman reverses, only for Okada to come back with a back elbow. Okada brings Hangman up but Hangman gives body shots and a forearm. Hangman runs, but into a flapjack! Cover, TWO!
Fans rally behind Okada as he runs corner to corner. Hangman dodges, then runs back in, but Okada dodges. Okada puts Hangman up top to dropkick him to the floor! Okada goes out slowly to fetch Hangman, not satisfied with a possible count out win. He rocks Hangman with a EuroUpper, then whips him at barriers. Okada runs and boots Hangman into the crowd! Young Lions help clear fans out while Okada walks over to fetch Hangman. Okada drags Hangman out but Hangman fights back. Hangman rocks Okada, then slingshots for the Buck Shot! Direct hit and both men are down while we go to break!
NJPW on AXS returns and Red Shoes checks on both men on the outside. Hangman stands first, and he drags Okada up and into the ring. He positions Okada in the drop zone before climbing up top. Fans rally up, and Hangman MOONSAULT! It FLOPS as Okada evades! Okada stands but Hangman runs in, only to get a boot. Hangman tries again but Okada gets him in Alabama Slam position. Hangman fights out and clubs Okada from behind. He whips Okada but Okada reverses, only to miss the dropkick. Hangman jackknifes and rolls to lift Okada, but Okada fights against the Rite. Okada gut wrenches but Hangman reverses to his own. Hangman changes from Tombstone to inverted cradle piledriver! Cover, TWO!! Okada barely survives, but now fans are dueling between the two.
Hangman sits up, and stares wild eyed at Okada. He brings Okada up, prepares the Rite, but Okada grabs the ropes. Hangman pulls but then dumps Okada off. Okada hits Hangman with a forearm, then hurries up top. Hangman stops Okada, then climbs up to join him. Fans fire up but Okada resists the superplex. Okada fights back with body shots, then throws a forearm. Hangman falls back, but comes back with a forearm of his own. Okada teeters while Hangman climbs up. They stand on the very top, for a SUPER neckbreaker! But Okada rolls out of the ring. Hangman goes to a corner and climbs up again. Fans anticipate what’s coming, it’s Hangman’s SUPER ASAI MOONSAULT! He hits Okada, then puts him in the ring. Fans have sided with Hangman now as he slingshots, for another Buck Shot! Cover, TWO!!
Okada survives again, but his eyes are staring into space. Hangman calls for the finish! He brings Okada up, into position, but Okada sunset flips! TWO, but barely, and Hangman runs into a waistlock. Okada German Suplexes, but Hangman lands on his feet! Hangman aims at Okada, runs corner to corner, for a big dropkick! Then a scoop, but Okada reverses, into the Tombstone! But Okada’s too exhausted to make a cover! Fans duel as they rally up. Okada sits up, but Hangman slowly follows. Okada throws a forearm, but Hangman comes back with one. Now Okada boots Hangman, and he dares Hangman to return it. Hangman swings but Okada ducks to give a EuroUpper. Okada blocks the Superkick but gets the roaring elbow!
Hangman whips but Okada reverses and hits the dropkick this time. He brings Hangman up, wrings him out, but misses to get a SUPERKICK! Hangman runs, but is put on the apron. He rocks Okada agian, slingshots but into the RAIN– No, Hangman tilt-o-whirls through, to powerbomb Okada! High stack, TWO, roaring elbow! Fans fire up again as Hangman brings Okada up. Okada slips out, for a discus clothesline! He’s not done there, he swings Hangman out for THE Rainmaker! Cover, Okada wins!
Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall; Okada earns 2 points, Hangman earns 0
Okada is finally on the board! His losing streak ends, but it was still a tough fight. He still has a long way to go, can he climb back up to the top of A Block? And while Hangman goes 1-2, he still shows so much promise. Will he manage his own turn around to the top of the G1?
“Finally, finally, finally, the first victory!” Fans applaud for that. Okada jokingly says it was an easy win. But he is happy, and he thanks the fans. Okada seems to be holding back the tears, but the fans cheer him. But then he’s totally fine as he says, “Still, the G1 tournament has only just begun. I will dominate. And make it rain.” Okada drops the mic, still confident in himself. He may be more relaxed than normal, but will he still make the climb?
Hangman knows that since losing the title, Okada “has been a damn mess.” But this match was more about beating “the man that was the champion”. If Hangman could do that, he could do anything. He felt how close he was to getting those points. But now he’s got a fire burning.
Okada apologizes for the wait. “To all of you enjoying the G1 Climax,” it’s great. He’s enjoying himself, too. He hasn’t lost sight of the prize. He’ll keep having fun as he keeps winning. Okada knows the title matters, his shot at Kenny Omega matters, but what really matters is that it will all be Okada’s. We know from the standings that Okada has a long way to go to catch up to Jay White, but if anyone can do it, it’s the Rainmaker. Will he do it? Or is it already too late to take it all back?
I was hoping to see these moments from the G1 Climax. It was a nice surprise to get the last bit of White VS Elgin, and White going on this quick 3-0 tear is definitely a sign that NJPW appreciates his talent. Even if White doesn’t go to the Finals, his victories will definitely lead him to something. Plus, he and Okada need to settle who is truly leader of Chaos before it ends up like the Bullet Club Civil War. Then speaking of, obviously the Firing Squad would try to cheat. It backfired on them and Tanahashi gets the points, and as we know in real time, NJPW the company would issue a statement and “suspend” the Firing Squad in order to let the G1 Climax finish cleanly. This could go any direction after the “suspension” is over, it’s definitely intriguing.
Okada VS Hangman was great, and the stories involved are well thought out. Okada finally gets points, and he clearly feels some weight off his shoulders now. He vows to be back to his dominant ways soon enough, but that almost promises he’s not. This with White challenging his command of Chaos, Okada has a lot on his plate for the rest of the year. Hangman himself isn’t deterred, he knows he’s getting to that level. It’s only a matter of time before Hangman has his first singles title in NJPW, I’m really excited for when he gets that moment.
My Score: 8.2/10
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Mitchell’s Ring of Honor Report! (8/11/18)
ROH WRESTLING TELEVISION, Episode 360
The 9-Time ROH World Tag Team Champions, Jay & Mark Briscoe, plan to show why they’re the Baddest Team on the Whole Damn Planet by taking on The Bouncers!
- The Briscoes VS The Bouncers; The Briscoes win.
- WOH Championship #1 Contenders Fatal 4 Way: Karen Q VS Tenille Dashwood VS Madison Rayne VS Kelly Klein; Madison wins and will challenge Sumie Sakai for the WOH Championship.
- Six Man Tag: Cheeseburger, Flip Gordon & Josh Woods VS Bully Ray, Shane Taylor & Punishment Martinez; rescheduled as…
- 3v2 Handicap: Cheeseburger & Josh Woods VS Bully Ray, Shane Taylor & Punishment Martinez; Bully, Taylor & Martinez win.
PLAY BY PLAY
The Briscoes VS The Bouncers!
The Baddest Tag Team in ROH takes on the literally biggest team in a non-title match. Tonight turns Sandy Fork VS Everybody into #DemBoys VS Beer City Bruiser & Brian Milonas, but will Jay & Mark turn them into two more notches on their belts?
Fans chant “Man Up!” as the bell rings. Mark starts against the Mastadon, and tie up. Milonas shoves Mark back to a corner, but Mark comes back with chops and haymakers. Mark tries but fails to whip, Milonas runs him over with a shoulder. Milonas fires body shots on Mark in a corner, then whips him corner to corner. Mark goes to the apron, counter punches Milonas, then climbs up for a crossbody. Milonas catches Mark but Mark fights back with palm strikes. Mark runs, but into Milona’s big body, and big overhead suplex! Jay tags in and boots Milonas. Milonas stays up so Jay rams a shoulder in. He still can’t topple Milonas, so he tries again. Milonas still stays up, so Jay rocks him with a European Uppercut. Jay runs and Mark tags in.
Milonas lifts Jay but Jay slips out to hold Milonas’ arms back. Mark comes in to mug Milonas with body shots to his belly. Jay hits BCB for good measure, then the Briscoes double whip. Milonas stays up after double shoulders, and BCB comes in. The Briscoes duck his double clotheslines and now they all brawl. The Briscoes rock the Bouncers, then run, but into double bellies! Fans boo and jeer while the Briscoes crawl to corners. The Bouncers coordinate but while BCB squashes Mark, Milonas misses Jay. Jay stomps a mudhole into Milonas while BCB does the same to Mark. BCB calls Jay out and they start shoving. They start brawling with big forearms, but BCB knees low. BCB runs but into a dropkick! Jay builds speed, but Milonas intercepts with a Bouncer Pounce!
Mark fires off Redneck Fu on Milonas, but Milonas reverses the whip. Mark uses that to wreck BCB with a dropkick. Milonas walks over but Jay dumps him over! Mark groups up the Bouncers for Jay to FLY! Fans fire up as Mark climbs up now for a SUPER corkscrew senton! The Briscoes have control while we go to break.
ROH returns and the Bouncers have control. BCB drops Mark with a Samoan Drop, and Milonas brings the straps down for his running back senton! Cover, TWO! Milonas tags BCB in and the Bouncers bring Mark up. They whip him into their corner, then BCB whips Milonas in. Mark dodges to then hit and chop BCB. Milonas boots Mark, and BCB holds Mark up while Milonas climbs. Mark fights back but he still gets the draping Mastadon leg drop! Cover, but Jay breaks it in time! Jay goes after both Bouncers with fast hands and elbows, then kicks to the guts. He runs, but into double body shots. The Bouncers sandwich Jay between their guts!
BCB throws Jay out, to then CANNONBALL! But Jay dodges, and BCB hits the floor! Jay hotshots Milonas, Mark flies in with a crossbody. Milonas still catches him, but Jay comes in to help. The Briscoes club and clobber Milonas to a corner. Mark runs corner to corner for a big clothesline, then Jay adds his own. Mark goes again, then they both stomp a mudhole into Milonas. BCB returns, but he ends up giving Milonas that hip attack! Jay manages to lift BCB in a fireman’s carry, for the Death Valley Driver! Mark covers, TWO! Jay kicks Milonas out, but BCB sends Mark to the apron. Mark gives Milonas an apron blockbuster while Jay rocks BCB. Jay gives BCB the neckbreaker, and Mark adds his Froggy-Bow! Cover, The Briscoes win!
Winners: The Briscoes, Mark pinning
The champions get a literally big win. The titles will be on the line at Honor Reunited in the UK, will #DemBoyz bring those titles back home to the States with them?
The Briscoes speak.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we are the Briscoes. And we are the Baddest Tag Team on the Planet!” Fans agree with that. Jay says they’re the 9-time ROH Tag Team Champions, and ain’t no team in the world taking the belts from them. Especially not “those bums from California”, SoCal Uncensored. The SCU don’t want none. But wait, here they come!
Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky eye the Briscoes from the ramp. Scorpio asks if somebody said “SCU”. The fans echo “SCU!” Be careful what you wish for, because the odds are in SCU’s favor. Dem Boyz see that, 3 against 2. But they don’t need odds. Scorpio can let The Addiction handle this. Bring it on then! ANd it’s a brawl! Security rushes the ring to keep this chaos at a minimum. Fans want to “Let Them Fight!” and fight they do, but we go to break.
WOH Championship #1 Contenders Fatal 4 Way: Karen Q VS Tenille Dashwood VS Madison Rayne VS Kelly Klein!
The Ray of Sunshine is still the inaugural reigning and defending Women’s Champion of ROH, and she has a line of eager challengers forming. The Queen of Queens, The Dancing Queen, the Queen Bee and the Gatekeeper all want that shot, but only one woman can get it!
The Code of Honor is upheld between Tenille, Madison and even Karen. Kelly doesn’t care, she’s just ready for the bell. Karen ducks out, she’s too smart for that. Kelly clobbers Tenille and Madison, then keeps on them with more clubbing forearms. Madison and Tenille work together to fight back and whip Kelly, but Kelly dodges them. But then she gets clothesline’d out of the ring by both of them. Tenille and Madison now circle as fans rally up. They tie up, Tenille rolls Madison, ONE. Madison rolls Tenille, TWO. Madison trips Tenille for a cover, ONE. Tenille returns the favor, ONE. The two stand off and fans applaud. Tenille and Madison shake hands again, but Karen rushes in. Karen gets kicked, then a double suplex. Karen rolls back out, and Tenille sucker punches Madison. She whips Madison, but Madison tilt-o-whirl headscissors.
Madison whips but Tenille reverses to forearm. Tenille runs but Kelly drags her out. Karen ambushes Madison and gives her a buckle bump. Karen bumps Madison on another buckle, then gives her a facelock to neckbreaker. Cover, TWO! Karen grows frustrated already, and she whips Madison corner to corner. Karen hits a runing forearm, then a back elbow. She keeps going but her boot misses. Tenille throws Kelly into barriers while Madison runs at Karen. Karen dodges to snap suplex Madison. Cover, but Tenille breaks it. Tenille brings Karen up to whip her, but Karen reverses. Karen runs in but into a boot. Tenille grabs Karen with body scissors, for her Tarantula! She lets go at 4, then she climbs up top. Karen stands and trips Tenille up.
Karen climbs up to join Tenille, but Tenille resists. Madison joins in from the other side, but here comes Kelly! It’s a TOWER OF DOOM! The double superplex powerbomb gives the Pretty Badass control, and we go to break.
ROH returns as Tenille is in a corner. She runs at Karen and rallies with lariats. Madison returns but Tenille puts her in a corner. Kelly runs in but misses Tenille to instead hit Madison. Tenille puts Kelly in another corner while Karen crawls to a third. Fans anticipate what’s coming, and Tenille gives Kelly a Taste of Tenille. She gives a Taste of Tenille to Karen, then a third serving to Madison! Tenille kicks Karen, double underhook for a butterfly suplex. Cover, but Kelly breaks it. Kelly drags Tenille up and tosses her out. Karen and Kelly brawl but Kelly lifts Karen up. Madison runs but Kelly catches her! Fall Away Slam and Samoan Drop! Cover, TWO!! Kelly is furious that Karen survived.
Tenille returns as fans rally up. Tenille gets to Kelly first, but Kelly blocks the suplex. Kelly hoists Tenille up but Tenille fights back. She knocks Kelly away, then adjusts, for a flying crossbody! Cover, TWO! Tenille gets up and wants Kelly to stand. Spotlight Kick! But Karen tosses Tenille! Cover on Kelly, TWO!? Karen is furious that she didn’t succeed. Madison kicks Karen, for the Rayne Check! High stack cover, Madison wins!
Winner: Madison Rayne, by pinfall; will challenge Sumie Sakai for the WOH Championship
The Queen Bee capitalizes on Karen Q, and now she gets her first shot at Sumie Sakai’s title. Sumie is there to lock eyes with her new contender. Will Sumie keep her reign going? Or will Rayne reign as the second-ever champion?
The American Nightmare, Cody, is here!
He, along with lovely wife, Brandi Rhodes, heads to the ring to speak. ROH takes a quick break, but comes back once Cody has mic in hand. Cody says he’s been rather “unlucky” as of late. “In both of my ROH Championship rematches, I have not been successful.” Cody noticed it, though. In both rematches, not a single one was one-on-one. He feels he’s created too much of a bad mood, he wants to bring our spirits up. Cody needs a certain someone that’s all business. Cody needs someone that is the top of the food chain, that doesn’t sing or dance, yes, drum roll please. Fans oblige and… Nick Aldis appears?
Yes, it’s the National Treasure, the NWA World Heavyweight Champion himself! Cody made the challenge for that very belt at All In, but Aldis is here to talk about that very match. They stood together in London and made history. The agreement to have a match at “the most iconic and history-making event” in modern wrestling was dependent on Cody providing an upside. Aldis needs something in return for the title that he stands for. But Cody wants to take it just because he wants it? No. Cody needs the ROH World Championship to put up, but he doesn’t have it, so what does he have instead? Because to Aldis, he has everything to lose and nothing to gain. “That sounds like bad business to me.”
Cody asks Aldis hold out his hand. He does, and Cody offers the literal Ring of Honor as collateral. Aldis should consider All In and their match. Aldis starts to leave, but Cody adds that “while you’re thinking about it,” Cody wants Aldis to consider how he’d like to move up from “the penny slots tot he high roller table.” Yes, the NWA World Title in front of 10451 people. Think of how Cody was defeating both Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi while Aldis was “beating up a 53-year-old history teacher”!
Aldis is mad now, and he gets back in the ring. He shows Cody that ring, on his finger. Aldis wants Cody to kiss the ring. But here comes the Bullet Club to keep the peace. Marty Scurll is also a good friend of Aldis, so he’s trying to talk reason into the NWA champ. Things cool down while we go to break.
Six Man Tag: Cheeseburger, Flip Gordon & Josh Woods VS Bully Ray, Shane Taylor & Punishment Martinez!
After months of the Hall of Fame legend of ECW belittling and, well, bullying the younger generation, it’s time for that younger generation to stand up! Bully has called Burger and Flip entitled and lazy millennials, but they and The Goods are anything but. Can this rag tag trio defeat Bully and the enlisted Hitman and Purple Mist?
But as Flip Gordon makes his way out, Bully Ray blindsides him, and puts him into a post! Burger and Woods defend the fallen Flip, but Bully waits for back-up. We go to break while medics check on Flip.
ROH returns again, and fans cheer for Flip while medics help him walk to the back. Bully’s team are already in the ring as Bully speaks. “What’re we gonna do now?” This was meant to be a Six Man Tag. If you don’t have a partner, throw the match out and give Bully’s team the win so he can go home. Fans cheer for various alternates, especially for Colt Cabana. What’s Colt’s answer? He’s not dressed, but then who? Burger speaks up, and says if the “big bastards” want to fight 3v2, he and Woods are up for it! A handicap match? Well, Bully doesn’t mind that, so that’s what we’re getting. Do Burger and The Goods stand a chance being down a man?
3v2 Handicap: Cheeseburger & Josh Woods VS Bully Ray, Shane Taylor & Punishment Martinez!
Mr. Top Prospect 2018 faces off against the Notorious Hitman while fans boo Bully. Taylor looks ready, but then he tags out to the ROH World Television Champion. Bully trash talks for Martinez as he stares Woods down. Woods isn’t scared as he ties up with Martinez. Fans rally while Martinez puts Woods in a corner. Woods shoves Martinez, then ducks to fire off body shots. He ducks again to give more shots, but Martinez knees low. Martinez whips but Woods reverses and ducks to German Suplex! Martinez gets to an open corner, then boots Woods down. Bully likes what he sees, and now Taylor tags in. Taylor brings Woods up for a big right forearm. He trash talks then swings Woods out, but Woods counters with a T-Bone!
Taylor is reeling, and he tags Bully in. Burger wants at Bully, and fans want him to try. Woods tells Bully to hush as he listens to the fans. Woods tags in Burger, and Burger stares Bully down. Burger isn’t scared, but Bully kicks him low. Bully brings Burger in, and lifts, but Burger pops out to fire off! Bully shoves Burger, then runs in, but misses in the corner. Burger hurries up top, but Martinez comes in. The ref is busy with Martinez, so Taylor runs over and pushes Burger down! Bully comes back to drag Burger up. He puts Burger in the corner and gets ready to stomp while we go to break.
ROH returns once more, and Bully trash talks Burger as he stalks behind him. Burger crawls for his corner but gets crossface forearms from Bully. Bully asks how that tastes. He then chooses Taylor and tags him in. Taylor brings Burger up into a corner, for a strong overhand chop. Fans rally up for “Cheese! Burger!” Burger fights back, but eats another right from Taylor. Taylor puts Burger in a corner, then stands on his face. The ref counts and Taylor backs off at 4. Fans continue to cheer, but then Taylor blasts Woods off the apron! Woods almost wipes out a camera man at the same time. Burger boots Taylor back, then hops up. Flying tornado DDT! But Burger has no one to tag in! Colt Cabana has had enough, he gets to the corner! This is back to a Six Man as Cabana gets the tag!
Cabana fires off on Taylor with both hands, then dodges Martinez. Martinez hits Taylor, then Cabana hits Martinez with the back elbow. Woods clotheslines Martinez out. Taylor returns but Cabana springboards for the quebrada while Woods leaps onto Martinez! Fans fire up as Bully runs into Cabana’s SPEAR! Cabana rains down rights, but then Burger tags in. Burger climbs up, Cabana keeps the way clear for his double stomps! Cabana slingshots out onto Bully! Burger fires up, but Taylor comes in for a tilt-o-whirl into a side slam! Cover, Team Bully wins!
Winners: Bully Ray, Punishment Martinez & Shane Taylor, Taylor pinning
Cabana’s heroic efforts were for naught as Bully’s team wins. And then to pile on, Bully tackles Woods while Taylor fires off on Woods. Martinez comes in to stomp Burger while Bully gets his chain. Bully punches Woods, then lashes Cabana while Taylor holds Burger down. Bully and his bullies keep the underdogs down, but here comes Flip Gordon! He has a chair and SMACKS Martinez with it! He SMACKS Taylor, too, then glares at Bully. They circle, but Bully runs! Bullies are cowards, but when will this Bully get what he deserves?
A solid episode right here that smartly takes into account other events ROH is involved in. Opening with Briscoes VS Bounces was good, it helped give Beer City Bruiser and Brian Milonas a good showing while making Jay & Mark even more impressive by defeating two men bigger than both of them. Great brawl with SCU to give us more in their story. I feel the Addiction should win, they can only chase titles to keep the countdown at bay for so long. Them winning changes things so that every title defense they have could be their last. Then nice bit of drama going towards All In as Aldis points out Cody doesn’t have the ROH WHC. I’ll just assume Cody gets the belt so that All In’s match still happens.
I was surprised it was Madison Rayne and not the Heels, Kelly Klein and Karen Q, who won. I think the reason is that Madison should at least get a shot at the WOH Championship, assuming she leaves Impact and ROH to be in WWE/NXT after the 2018 Mae Young Classic. Therefore, Sumie retains but it’ll probably be a fun match. That Six Man turned Handicap turned Six Man again was pretty good stuff. In light of what’s happening with CM Punk, Cabana gets even more Face power now that he’s helping Burger against Bully Ray. Flip Gordon does great coming back from being taken out to run off Bully’s team. I expect a rematch, with Burger, Flip and Cabana from the start to take on Bully and at least Taylor. Martinez might opt out to defend his ROH WTV title.
My Score: 8/10