All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service
- Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Finals: Roderick Strong & Pete Dunne VS The Authors of Pain w/ Paul Ellering; disqualified due to interference, the Undisputed Era will defend the NXT Tag Team Championships at TakeOver: New Orleans in a Triple Threat.
- Kairi Sane VS Vanessa Borne; Kairi wins.
- Killian Dain VS Lars Sullivan; no contest.
PLAY BY PLAY
The 3rd Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic is almost through!
And Charly Caruso reports from the NXT Control Center once again to let everyone know WWE Legends are here to watch this great final match, including Dustin Rhodes.
The Authors of Pain look to repeat while the makeshift team of Roderick Strong & Pete Dunne look to continue surprising us all. And for the first time ever, the winners of the Dusty Rhodes Classic tonight will face the NXT Tag Team Champions at TakeOver: New Orleans. However, the Undisputed Era’s Bobby Fish goes down with injury, so their ability to defend is brought into question on top of who will win.
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Finals: Roderick Strong & Pete Dunne VS The Authors of Pain w/ Paul Ellering!
There’s no point in waiting, the finals are NOW! Can the Messiah of the Backbreaker and the British Bruiserweight overcome Akam & Rezar to then move on to New Orleans? Or will the AoP simply continue their story of tag team supremacy?
Both sides are raring to go the moment they enter the ring. The formal introductions are made, the bell rings, and we start with Strong and Akam. Akam grabs and throws Strong at the AoP corner, then tags Rezar to mug their old WarGames ally. Rezar trash talks but Strong chops, then gets around Rezar to get to his corner. Rezar dares Strong to do it, so Strong tags in Dunne. Dunne circles and ties up with Rezar, they go back and forth with strikes. The fans are red hot and dueling while we go to break.
NXT returns to the AoP mugging Dunne on their side of the ring. Dunne still fights even as he’s being beat down, then springs up to chop and punch. Akam stomps him down and out while the fans duel, “A O P!” “SUCKS!” Dunne eggs Akam on so Akam hammers Dunne into the mat. Akam drags Dunne into a chinlock, but Dunne gets a ropebreak with his foot. The referee counts, Akam lets Dunne go and Dunne fights back again. Akam powers Dunne to a corner and hammers away with knees. He drags Dunne out, tags Rezar, and the AoP continue to mug Dunne. Rezar clubs Dunne in the back, then kicks him to the mat. Cover, TWO, and Dunne is up again to fight. Rezar rocks Dunne with a big knee, then tag to Akam for more stomps. Cover, TWO, but Akam keeps on Dunne.
The fans continue to duel while Akam tags in Rezar. Dunne fights both Authors but that’s a tall task, he ends up in the flying stomp sidewalk slam! Cover, TWO, but Rezar hammers on Dunne more. Another cover, TWO, so Rezar grinds a forearm into Dunne’s face. Rezar trash talks then drags Dunne up for another heavy right. Akam tags in, and Dunne endures more mugging from the massive monsters. But Dunne doesn’t seem intimidated at all, he grabs Akam’s hand and snaps the fingers! Dunne kicks the leg out, then kicks Akam’s head. Dunne runs for his corner but Akam brings him up in a fireman’s carry. Akam goes for a flapjack but Dunne makes it an arm-wringer! Both men go down, and crawl for their corners, hot tags to Strong and Rezar!
Strong rallies with chop after chop on Rezar, then forearms and elbows! He ducks Rezar’s counter, knees Akam down and out to then boot and enziguri Rezar. Strong keeps moving, forearm smash in a corner, forearms on the run! He can’t get Rezar down, but his dropkick does the trick! Rezar ends up in a corner, wrecking ball dropkick takes Akam out again. Corner shining wizard, Olympic slam!
Cover, TWO! Strong grows frustrated, but he won’t stop. He runs in, shirnign wizard then tag to Dunne. Forearm smash, enziguri, and then Dunne climbs up top to double stomp Rezar’s back! Cover, TWO! Dunne won’t let that stop him, he stomps Rezar over an dover, then brings him into a triangle hold. Rezar deadlifts Dunne! Akam tags in, and the AoP hit Dunne powerbomb neckbreaker! Cover, Strong breaks it with a dropkick! He dumps Rezar out while Dunne and Akam stand. Akam whips Dunne but Dunne goes up and over while Strong tags in. Enziguri then the lift, for Bitter End of Heartache!
Cover, Rezar breaks it just in time! Dunne & Strong go after Rezar, he shoves them away, so they come back with an enziguri and knee combo! Rezar’s down, Akam takes one himself! Strong & Dunne run, but into a boot and lariat respectively, and fans go wild with “NXT! NXT!” chants. All four men are down but stirring, but the Undisputed Era’s Adam Cole & Kyle O’Reilly appear!
They attack both teams, ruining this match! They throw Rezar into a post before stomping and punching away on Strong & Dunne, respectively.
There is no winner to the Dusty Rhodes Classic 2018, so what does this mean for the NXT Tag Team Championships at TakeOver: New Orleans? NXT General Manager, William Regal, appears to sort that out!
Regal has been in this situation before with the Undisputed Era. They assumed Bobby Fish’s injury and no winner tonight means no tag title defense, right? Too bad, because now, it will be the Undisputed Era VS Strong & Dunne VS The Authors of Pain, in a triple threat! The winners there will be the combined winners of the Dusty Rhodes Classic AND NXT Tag Team Champions! Cole & O’Reilly really put their stable in a bind. Can they find their way out of it when they have angry Authors as well as the Bruiserweight & the Backbreaker after them?
NXT takes a look back to William Regal’s “ground-breaking” announcement.
Regal remarked how NXT has always brought us “the very best competitors from various regions around the world.” As this brand grows and expands, there needs to be further methods to determine the top talent within the roster. Therefore, TakeOver: New Orleans will introduce the NXT North American Championship, in a Six Man Ladder Match! Regal would then sprinkle the announcements of those six men throughout the night, and we know now that it will be Ethan Carter III, Adam Cole, the Velveteen Dream, Lars Sullivan, Killian Dain & Ricochet!
Six amazing stars from around the world will compete for this brand new title. EC3 feels it is very fitting that with “100% of the world watching”, the Top 1% will rise up the ladder to his destiny. The Patrick Clark Experience says there is only one Dream, and only inaugural NXT NAC. Adam Cole feels that one champion will be him, the real history-maker in NXT! But the Beast of Belfast that he’ll bury five men in chaos. The Leviathan says his five opponents are actually five victims, who will begin his era with TakeOver. But Ricochet will prove there’s only one of him, and will make that title look good. Chaos, destruction, history, who will climb up to solidify it all by laying their hands on the NXT NAC belt?
NXT takes a look at what brought about the coming Unsanctioned Match.
“Johnny Freakin’ Wrestling” and the Psycho Killer were best friends, and the tag team known as DIY. They were NXT Tag Team Champions, on top of the world and living a dream, until they weren’t. Gargano took a ladder for Ciampa, but Ciampa took Gargano and betrayed him. “Why?” Why throw away a friendship and team so strong? They were like brothers, how was Ciampa even capable of that? Ciampa blames Gargano for being selfish. He carried DIY but Gargano always made it about himself. Gargano couldn’t understand Ciampa’s delusions, but he struck out on his own. Gargano almost had it, but fell short.
“And then BAM!” Ciampa returned, attacked, and screwed Gargano out of his NXT career on top of his title. When it couldn’t get any more personal, it did. The fans loved Gargano, even after he was gone, and that only angered Ciampa. Then Gargano came back to strike back! This Unsanctioned Match could get Gargano his job back, but most of all, it’ll give these two friends turned enemies the end to their grudge. Who will take this opportunity and use it to finally have their moment?
Kairi Sane VS Vanessa Borne!
The Pirate Princess of Stardom won the inaugural Mae Young Classic, but she still has to fight her way towards the NXT Women’s Championship. At the same time, the vivacious Vanessa wants to prove she’s more than just a pretty face. With Ember Moon and Shayna Baszler battling for the title at TakeOver: New Orleans, will either of these up-and-coming stars find themselves challenging the champion in the future?
The bell rings and the two circle. They tie up, Vanessa gets the waistlock and slam, then walks on Kairi to “kick dirt” in her face. Kairi gets up while Vanessa trash talks and circles with her again. She calls for a test of strength, Vanessa comes in only to kick and wrench the wrist. Fans boo but Kairi uses acrobatics to reverse the hole. Kairi arm-drags Vanessa, then runs in, but Vanessa puts her on the apron. Kairi slips under for the sunset flip, ONE, so she tries a normal roll up, ONE. Now Kairi goes for a double chickenwing cradle, continues through to a reverse bridge! TWO, but fans applaud for Kairi’s agility and technique.
Kairi runs, Vanessa catches her into a flapjack! Vanessa drags Kairi up and elbows her in the back of the head. Now Vanessa covers, ONE, so she bumps Kairi off buckles. She clubs away on Kairi until the referee backs her off, so she slingshot stomps Kairi into buckles! The referee checks on Kairi but Vanessa drags her out to a matchbook cover, TWO. Vanessa keeps on Kairi with a chinlock, but fans rally. Kairi stands up and fights back. Vanessa shoves her, Kairi dodges, and hits the Interceptor Spear!
Kairi roars as Vanessa gets to a corner. She rallies the fans as she marches, then runs in corner to corner for the Sliding D! Vanessa scrambles away but Kairi is up, flying kabuki forearm! Cover, TWO, but Kairi isn’t deterred. She readies her elbow as she climbs up again, but Vanessa trips her up. Vanessa climbs to join Kairi, Kairi resists the superplex. Kairi fights Vanessa off, and Vanessa ends up hanging onto the ropes. Kairi adjusts, and hits the double stomps!
The Pirate Princess isn’t done there. She goes back up, and drops anchor with the Seven Seas InSane elbow!
Cover, Kairi wins!
Winner: Kairi, by pinfall
Kairi wins tonight, righting the ship from her previous loss to Shayna Baszler. Will the MYC winner see her rival get the better of the Prophecy of Flame along with the NXT Women’s Championship? Or will Ember Moon manage another miracle defense in the Big Easy?
Lacey Evans speaks to NXT Media.
The Model Soldier and self-proclaimed Lady of NXT wishes to make a statement. “There is nothing that I can accomplish here in NXT until Mr. Regal stops allowing societal trash to walk around NXT.” As a mother, a U.S. Marine and a “force to be reckoned with”, she has shown the world what a strong woman is capable of. Yet opportunities continue to go to “complete psychos” like Nikki Cross. And NXT Women’s Champion, Ember Moon, when was the last time she made a difference? When was the last time Ember showed strength as a woman that didn’t involve jumping off the top rope? She won’t even consider Dakota Kai worth a comment.
But Kairi Sane, however, the “pathetic Pirate Princess”, is exactly whose opportunity Lacey plans to take, “just like a classy, confident and legitimate role model would.” Lacey promises to do her best not to lose her manners. Be that as it may, will Lacey manage not to lose against the Mae Young Classic winner when they meet next week?
The Undisputed Era finds William Regal backstage.
Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly demand Regal explain what he thinks he’s doing! Regal is “very aware” that Cole is already in the Six Man Ladder Match for the North American Championship, yet Cole is supposed to compete in the NXT Tag Team Championship match, too!? How is that fair? No one won the Dusty Rhodes Classic match tonight, so how are the Undisputed Era supposed to defend the tag titles?
To answer in order, yes, Regal knows what he’s doing, and tells them they have three options: 1) Cole competes in both matches; 2) O’Reilly competes on his own, 2v2v1; 3) Cole backs out of the Ladder Match to focus on the Tag Team Championships. The Undisputed Era’s a smart bunch, surely they can figure it out. Smart or not, is there any move Undisputed Era can make where they hold both the North American and Tag Team Championships?
NXT looks back at what’s led to Almas VS Aleister for the title.
The Embodiment of the End believes El Idolo’s ego has convinced him of “invalid truths”. But according to La Gerente, Zelina Vega, Almas is the “greatest champion in NXT history”. Aleister admits Almas has reached the top, but Aleister has been on his own path to the NXT Championship since arriving. That is the devil on his back driving him forward. Aleister still hasn’t lost in 1v1 competition, and promises Almas he will take that championship in New Orleans.
Vega admits Aleister got into “our heads”, with his jokes and win-loss record, but Almas proclaims Aleister is “going to respect the Championship and me!” Almas also swears to humiliate Aleister. He also assaulted Aleister out of nowhere last week, in a beating that went from parking lot to backstage to ringside, even involving a chair across Aleister’s back! Almas would hold the title up over the downed Dutch Destroyer, but will he be holding it at the end of TakeOver: New Orleans?
Ember Moon speaks on last week’s backstage brawl with Shayna Baszler.
“I am not sorry for anything that happened at the Performance Center.” Shayna disrespected a coach, acting like she owns the place. That’s not how a champion acts or how you get respect. Ember is the champion and represents the company in and out of the ring. But Shayna, she started this war. At TakeOver, Ember vows to end it. Can the War Goddess do just that against the Queen of Spades in their highly anticipated and highly personal rematch?
Killian Dain VS Lars Sullivan!
The Leviathan loves to dismantle and demolish any and every superstar put in his path, but so does the Beast of Belfast. These titans of NXT are both in the North American Championship Ladder Match, and both promise pain and misery for the others. As for tonight, these behemoths will battle, which monster will gain momentum before wreaking havoc on New Orleans?
The bell rings, and the two stare down as they step towards the other. They then tie up, Big Damo shoves Lars back, then they tie up again. Lars pushes Damo to ropes but Damo pushes him away. They go again and end up in a corner, then break. Lars growls, and Damo throws a punch. Lars grins and gives one back, then dares Damo to keep going. The behemoths brawl, but Lars gets the edge and starts throwing heavy right forearms. He staggers Damo with a European uppercut then runs, but into Damo’s bicycle boot! Lars ends up outside the ring, but he drags Damo out to ram him into the apron. The Leviathan snarls and roars while we go to break.
NXT returns once more to Lars clobbering Damo with crossface forearms. He wrenches and rakes Damo’s face, then throws even more crossface punches! Lars returns to the wrench while fans rally. Damo gets up to his feet and fights out of the hold with body shots. Lars knees back, then lifts, but Damo fights out of the slam with elbows. Damo throws a forearm, then another, and another. Lars swings back but Damo ducks to fireman’s carry, forward slam and back senton for the Belfast Blitz! But Damo keeps going, climbing up for the Vader Bomb, only to land on Lars’ knees!
Both behemoths are slow to standing up. Lars goes over and reels Damo in for a lariat. He then goes to a corner himself, climbs up high, but Damo stops him. Damo climbs up, but from the outside. There’s something sinister forming in Damo’s mind as he and Lars fight on the top. They double headbutt, and they both crash and burn to the floor!
The fans fire up as the behemoths tumble down, but now the Velveteen Dream appears?
Dream slips into the ring and looks at both Damo and Lars. The fans fire up and chant as he climbs up, and tries to decide who he’s going to jump on! But then Adam Cole returns! Dream hops down to look the Panama City Playboy in the eyes.
Both Dream and Cole pose, “BAYBAY!” but they’re not the only uninvited guests. EC3 walks down the ramp and to the ring!
Mr. Top 1% trash talks with Dream and Cole, but Damo and Lars rise up. Five of the men competing for the North American Championship are here, so why not have the sixth? Here comes Ricochet!
The King of Speed superhero lands in the middle of the others and the fans are going wild. Ricochet looks at each of his future opponents in turn, letting each of them know he’s just as ready. Who will prove they’re ready to be North American Champion by climbing up and taking history into their own hands?
Now this was a go-home show. It was another almost hour long episode and NXT used every minute of it properly. Charly gives us the official word that Bobby Fish is too hurt to compete. And then while AoP VS Strong-Dunne was great, Undisputed Era try to outsmart Regal by ruining the ending. Instead, we get a Triple Threat tag, and I’m pretty sure the Undisputed Era won’t go with Regal’s second option. Whether or not Cole does double duty, I’m expecting the return of Team Future Shock to defend those NXT Tag Titles, and probably even retain. AoP is basically set for a main roster debut after ‘Mania, and both Strong and Dunne still have plenty to do as singles competitors, especially once the North American Championship is in the mix.
The video packages and accompanying promos for the North American Championship, the Unsanctioned Match, the NXT Championship, and even Ember Moon’s interview for her Women’s Championship, were all very good. The NXT Championship review was my favorite with the special vocal edition of his theme. The Women’s Division had a good showing in Kairi’s match and Lacey’s interview promo to set up their “Post” TakeOver match, which I expect Kairi to also win unless Lacey cheats. The Dain-Lars match was shorter than expected, and never actually ended on camera, but that was fine when we got the six-way stand-off. The favorites for winning the NAC are still EC3 and Ricochet, but this really set up the possible stories to stem from that Ladder Match.
My Score: 8.5/10
AJPW Dream Power Series 2019 Results & Review (3/19/2019)
Mathew shows us some power! AJPW puts together a card that could rival anything all year. Does it live up to the expectations?
Mathew shows us some power! AJPW puts together a card that could rival anything all year. Does it live up to the expectations?
Welcome back to AJPW! We’re gonna talk about the last big show before this year’s Champions Carnival coming up in early April as we have a few title matches in this show that I couldn’t resist wanting to cover it.
We got some dealing with revenge along with one trying to make history. How’s this year’s Champions Carnival gonna shape up?
Let’s find out as we…dive right in.
- 0 Stars: Dave Meltzer
- 1 Star: Vince Russo
- 2 Stars: Tony Schiavone
- 3 Stars: Eric Bischoff
- 4 Stars: Bruce Prichard
- 5 Stars: Jim Cornette
Six Man Tag Team Match
Atsuki Aoyagi, Danji Tamura, & Hokuto Omori vs. Evolution (Atsushi Aoki, Hikaru Sato, & Yusuke Okada)
Review: Our opening contest is a six-man tag team match with our young lions, Atsuki Aoyagi, Danji Tamura, and Hokuto Omori taking on three members of Evolution, Atsushi Aoki, Hikaru Sato, and Yusuke Okada. Going up against three people from the junior division is a fair start to have them all fight each other in this tag bout and a better view of how the young guys are doing. Will Evolution school the young boys or will they somehow get one of the biggest wins in their starting careers?
As I’ve said, this match is mostly to showcase our future talent as they fight the vets of the game in the junior division. I do gotta admit that these three have definitely improved in the ring as they’re shaping up to be some of All Japan’s finest students. Evolution held off on their own and I’m glad they were their opponents for this match since they’re very easy to work with. Another thing I loved about the match is that they had a good amount of time instead of just being less than five minutes like how most matches will do. Yusuke and Hokuto are in the ring now and Yusuke would hit him with a Brainbuster for a two count and would quickly apply a Boston Crab onto him and Hokuto struggles to get to the ropes and once he does, Yusuke pulled him back in and would lock it in more as he would tap out to give Evolution the victory in a solid match.
Rating: Tony Schiavone and a half
Six Man Tag Team Match
Jun Akiyama, TAJIRI, & Ultimo Dragon vs. Black Menso-Re, Masanobu Fuchi, & Takao Omori
Review: We got another six-man tag team match here as Jun Akiyama, TAJIRI, and Ultimo Dragon will be taking on Black Menso-Re, Masanobu Fuchi, and Takao Omori. It’s been quite a while since we’ve seen Ultimo Dragon wrestling in All Japan, so I’ll never complain to see him in the ring. This is another match with the vets and Manso-Re for being a punching bag as it’ll most likely be a comedy style match. Which one of them will win?
Menso-Re starting with Ultimo Dragon as he wanted him first, but TAJIRI would slap Menso before the bell would ring and we would kick it off right now. They would do a little bit before Jun and Takao get tagged in, but we all care about TAJIRI and Fuchi getting tagged in now as Fuchi would try to get his hands on him. TAJIRI would be the sneaky heel with leaving the ring to sit with the crowd so he could avoid contact in the match. TAJIRI would get back in the ring only to tag in Ultimo as the crowd would just boo TAJIRI. Fuchi would do his antics with the punch to the forehead as the crowd eats it up but everything would backfire on Fuchi as he would miss a Dropkick to make the crowd boo Ultimo which is a shocker. Ultimo would kick Fuchi and attempt an Asai DDT but Fuchi would turn it around to a Backslide as Ultimo would kick out. Both TAJIRI and Jun would both make Fuchi miss a Dropkick and taunt him right after to make the crowd boo them. Ultimo would get Fuchi in the La Magistral and he gets the win for his team in a rather entertaining match.
Rating: Tony Schiavone and a quarter
Tag Team Match
NEXTREAM (Yoshitatsu & Yumi Aoyagi) vs. Sweeper (Jake Lee & Ryouji Sai)
Review: Our next match here is a tag team match as NEXTREAM members, Yoshitatsu and Yuma Aoyagi will be taking on members of Sweeper, Jake Lee and Ryouji Sai. Since Naoya is no longer Yumi’s partner, he’s gonna be paired off with Yoshitatsu this time around. Since all four of them are in the Champions Carnival, a win for either of them would give them some momentum leading to the tournament. Which one of these two teams will win and what will be the future payoff?
It seems like Yoshitatsu has a little gripe with Jake Lee in this match as he seems to be disgruntled when he was in the ring with him, especially when Jake would just best him during the first sequence with the chaining. Ryouji and Yuma are in the ring now and Ryouji with a series of kicks in the match and have him in a submission before Yoshi would break the hold and just stared at Jake again. Yuma is really growing out on his own as an individual and you can see that when he’s not partner with Naoya. Yuma would have Jake in a Headlock but Jake would attempt a Backdrop Driver as Yuma flipped it into a Crossbody as Jake kicked out at two. Once Jake kicked out, Yuma would try to turn the pin into a European Clutch as Jake kicked out at 2 as even the referee was shocked by this. Yuma would run into him as Jake kneed him in the face and hits him with a Backdrop Driver as he pinned Yuma for the victory.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a quarter
Six Man Tag Team Match
Atsushi Maruyama, KAI, & Zeus vs. Bomber (Dylan James & Joe Doering,) & Francisco Akira
Review: We have another six-man tag team match taking place as Atsushi Maruyama, KAI, and Zeus team up to take on Dylan James, Joe Doering, and Francisco Akira. KAI recently failed at Dragon Gate to win the Open the Twin Gate Championships, so he could at least try to win for his team but I think Zeus has a lot on his plate when it comes to their opponent since Dylan James and Joe Doering are a strong team to beat and wants to try and look powerful leading into the Carnival. Which one of these two teams will win the match?
Zeus and Dylan would charge at each other right away to test their strengths with also some chops and a test of strength as the two appear to be evenly matched, which is no surprised. KAI gets tagged in and he calls Joe to get tagged in since he wants to fight him as Dylan honors that request and lets Joe have a turn on the fun. Joe would start to make him regret that decision as he had the upper hand on him at first but KAI would hit a few Dropkicks on him but Joe still wouldn’t go down as he tackled him and went for an Elbow Drop before KAI moved and quickly tagged in Atsushi. The juniors get a turn on the fun as Francisco showed more of his impressive ability. One problem I had with the match was that the last few minutes are incredibly sloppy with Atsushi missing most of his kicks to Joe in the corner, Francisco slipping on his Moonsault to the outside, which he thankfully caught himself and redid it again. The finish would be with Joe hitting Atsushi with the Powerbomb and it looked like he got knocked out as he took the pinfall despite his shoulder being kinda up, so it looked botched but the referee still has a job to do as Joe just left the ring and walked to the back possibly frustrated.
Rating: Eric Bischoff
World Junior Heavyweight Title Match
Koji Iwamoto (c) vs. Kotaro Suzuki
Review: Our first title match of the show is Koji Iwamoto defending his Junior Heavyweight Championship against Kotaro Suzuki. The two fought each other in the A Block of the Junior Battle of Glory Tournament where Kotaro defeated Koji in the match but would eventually fail to win as Koji would actually be the one to win it all. Koji decided to defend the title against Kotaro since it was only fair due to him winning the match and wants to avenge that loss. Will Koji be able to retain his title again or will Kotaro get the upper hand on him again?
Kotaro showed no mercy to the champion as fought him to the outside and Slingshots him into the turnbuckle post and DDT’s him face first into the mat as you hear the loud thud and damage has been done to Koji. Kotaro has beaten Koji before so he knows what he has to do to try and defeat him again as he worked on Koji’s neck a bit during the match and gets the heat from the crowd. I know Kotaro is a Freelancer and is mostly at NOAH right now due to being a champion there, I hope he does stick around a little bit longer since I feel like the division could really use him as he’s a very talented individual. Koji would try to outrun him after he dodged him to the outside and it appeared as if Kotaro would botch but he quickly caught himself and dived to the outside to land on Koji, getting the better of him again.
Koji would finally be able to get a comeback as he hits an STO onto the ring apron to knock Koji down and most of the time, he would try to hit the Koko no Geijutsu but Kotaro would hold his ground to make sure he wouldn’t hit it but Koji would be able to deliver a German Suplex and a Dragon Suplex. Kotaro would land a few punches before Koji tried to hit the move again, but Kotaro would hold his ground again and kick his leg out to work on his neck before landing Gory Bomb Special and tops it off with the La Magistral for the pin and Koji would kick out various times whenever Koji would try to roll out of it and was so close to having a new champion. Koji would just use this time to hit a couple of STO’s in a row to weaken him down a bit. Koji would go for it again but he catches him for a Back Suplex to save himself a bit. Kotaro would now hit not one but two Excaliburs onto him to try and end it as Koji would somehow kick out of it again. It all came down to his as Koji would attempt the Koko no Geijutsu again as Kotaro would stop himself to pin him for a two count and they both would spin around as Koji would hit it this him but he picked him up to hit the Koko no Geijutsu properly this time and pins him to retain the title! After the match, various people from the junior division would come out and it looks like they all want a shot at the Junior Heavyweight Championship but Koji would have to pick one of them to be his opponent. It does look like, however, that Koji doesn’t have a clear opponent right now as he left the ring but I guess we’ll see soon.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and three quarters
World Tag Team Title Match
Strong BJ (Daisuke Sekimoto & Yuji Okabayashi) (c) vs. Violence Giant (Shuji Ishikawa & Suwama)
Review: Our next title match for this show is Strong BJ defending their titles against the team that they defeated them for, The Violence Giant. Strong BJ defeated them on January 13th to win the titles and after they retain their titles on the February 24 show, Violence Giant requested a rematch to bring the titles back home on their turf this time instead of the BJW show. If it’s anything like their previous match, it’s sure to be hard hitting and a not miss. Will Strong BJ remain on top or will Violence Giant bring the belts back home?
Shuji and Daisuke would be the ones to start off our match here with an incredible display of power as the two were unable to budge and they would tag in their respective partners. Suwama and Yuji were both also very hard-hitting as they would now fight outside of the ring as these two teams are making it personal. Strong BJ has been doing great work during this rivalry with the Violence Giant and they would even give Suwama a big beatdown but the former ace would even try his best to fight them off, even when he was on the corner and would kick Yuji to show his fighting spirit. Suwama would hit a Dropkick to save himself for a little bit and would tag in Shuji for the hot tag and Shuji does indeed come in hot with his Lariats, knees, anything he can throw along with the kitchen sink.
Yuji would brawl with Shuji to deliver some chops while Shuji would give him a couple of forearms and a headbutt to try and daze him but Yuji is pumped up and slams him down with a few Lariats. Once Yuji would hit another Lariat to Shuji, he would kick out at one that time around before getting hit with another one with a two count. What’s it gonna take to take Shuji down for good? Yuji would get to the top rope to hit the Splash and it looks like this could be it but Suwama would break the pinfall to save his partner. Strong BJ would have them up for the Torture Racks but they would get down for Suwama to hit a Back Suplex while Shuji hits a Dragon Suplex. Shuji is alone with Yuji again and would hit another Dragon Suplex and a Running Knee to get him out for another two count, he was so close! Shuji would pick Yuji up real quick for the Fire Thunder and goes for the pin as Daisuke breaks the pinfall this time around as Suwama would get Daisuke out of the ring. Shuji knew what he had to do to try and end it as he hits the Giants Slam and pins Yuji to win back the titles! Hell of a match and definitely topped their previous encounter at BJW. I would love to see Violence Giant get a fair and dominating run with this reign, can’t wait to see where this goes now.
Rating: Bruce Prichard and a half
— 全日本プロレス/alljapan (@alljapan_pw) March 14, 2019
Triple Crown Championship
Kento Miyahara (c) vs. Naoya Nomura
Review: This is our third title match and the main event of the show as we have Kento Miyahara defending his Triple Crown Championship against former NEXTREAM member, Naoya Nomura. On the February 24th show, Naoya Nomura would defeat Dylan James in a singles match and Kento Miyahara would have his second successful title defense against Suwama. After Kento would defeat Suwama, Naoya would come in to make the challenge to his stablemate and announce his departure from the NEXTREAM group in the process, leading him to also vacate the All Asia Tag Team Championship with Yuma Aoyagi. Kento is now 30 years old and while it’s his third title defense in this run, this will be his first time defending it while no longer in his twenties. If Kento can defeat Naoya, he’ll be the champion leading into the Champions Carnival and won’t defend the title until the tournament is over. Will Kento be able to retain it once again or does Naoya pull the surprise victory?
Kento came in here with a plan since he knew what he was gonna do to Naoya once he challenged him to this match, he didn’t wanna go easy on him despite being former teammates but he wants to see how badly Naoya wants the spotlight on him. They were fairly matched during the lock-up part of the match and they would start to fight outside for a little bit as Naoya would get Kento down as he taunts him when he got back in the ring. Naoya would hit him with a big forearm before going onto the apron to jump and Kento catches him with a knee and has him right where he wants him now. This is where Kento would just attack him with a few Headbutts as Naoya would try to deliver one to him but Kento gives him multiple ones as a counterattack and this is why you don’t mess with the champion.
Naoya would eventually make a comeback after being kicked around by Kento as he quickly got up to charge at him with a shoulder tackle and you can hear that too. He would hit a few more along with another forearm to the face as he goes for the Brainbuster but Kento would struggle to make sure he didn’t hit it and has Naoya over the ropes but wait, Naoya grabbed his leg to pull him over as he attempted a Death Valley Driver onto the apron as Kento jumped off to hit a Blackout. The two would be on the turnbuckle and Naoya gets behind him to attempt a German Suplex as Kento struggles, but Naoya would slam Kento’s head on the post and gets off the turnbuckle to hit the German Suplex as both men are down. Naoya would go to the top rope to hit the first Splash as Kento kicked out but Naoya would quickly get up again to hit one more as Kento still kicked out.
Kento would eventually hit him with a Blackout at full force and hits him with a German Suplex for another two count. Kento looks like he’s going for the Shutdown German Suplex Hold as Naoya would kick his knee out and hit him with a Spear and the two are down again. Kento would hit another Blackout on the back of his head and tries the German Suplex Hold once again as Naoya would still kick out at two as Kento is starting to get concerned with what he has to do now. Kento tried the Shutdown German Suplex Hold again as Naoya broke out of it and picked him up Fisherman style and dropped him on his head and picked him up for the Death Valley Driver as Kento fought him off but Naoya would hit him with a flurry of forearms to daze him and hits the Spear with the roll-up as Kento kicked out at two again! Naoya picked him back up but Kento would go back to delivering the Blackouts and it looks like Naoya is all out of fight as Kento finally hits the Shutdown German Suplex Hold to get the pinfall victory and his third successful title defense. Great match and a very impressive showing to Naoya but Kento is just still better than him right now. Kento will now officially be the Triple Crown Champion leading into the Champions Carnival. Three defenses down, eight more to go.
Rating: Bruce Prichard and a quarter
Overall: I thought it was a very solid show from top to bottom but the last three title matches were what sold it to me. I would highly recommend that you look out for those matches if you can find them online or subscribe to the streaming service and if you’re not already subscribed, what the hell is wrong with you? Get on that!
Favorite Match: Strong BJ (Daisuke Sekimoto & Yuji Okabayashi) vs. Violence Giant (Shuji Ishikawa & Suwama)
Least Favorite Match: Jun Akiyama, TAJIRI, & Ultimo Dragon vs. Black Menso-Re, Masanobu Fuchi, & Takao Omori
Mitchell’s WWE NXT Results & Report! (3/20/19)
Triple H addresses an NXT Championship dilemma!
NXT sees the return of HHH, but under sad circumstances. The Game will address Tommaso Ciampa’s injury, and what happens with his precious championship!
- NXT Championship Contenders Fatal 5 Way: Ricochet VS Adam Cole VS Aleister Black VS Velveteen Dream VS Matt Riddle; Cole wins and will face Johnny Gargano for the vacated NXT Championship at TakeOver: New York.
PLAY BY PLAY
Triple H opens NXT!
Full Sail is happy to see The Game, but he comes out holding the NXT Championship. HHH goes to the ring and also picks up a mic. He takes a moment to hear the fans chant for him and NXT before getting to business. “From those cheers, I don’t have to remind you of just how special this place is.” The building, the environment, the fans. “NXT is something special.” It is here in NXT and the ring that “dreams can become possibilities.” For some, the dream starts in NXT. For others, it takes a long time, maybe years of scratching and clawing, going up and down a road, just to get to this ring. But in reality, for every superstar, their dream can end at any moment.
HHH was going to announce the main event of TakeOver: New York, an epic years in the making, of Johnny “Wrestling” Gargano VS Psycho Killer, Tommaso Ciampa. But the reality has made that impossible now. Ciampa’s dream is on hold, because he needs neck surgery. That surgery has taken place, and now Ciampa must relinquish the title. But the beauty of NXT is that when one dream ends, another begins. And that new dream begins right here! Gargano continues his dream and he WILL compete for the NXT Championship! But against who? We find that out tonight! Five men step into this ring! Ricochet VS Adam Cole VS Aleister Black VS Velveteen Dream VS Matt Riddle!
Those five men fight for an opportunity to live a dream in New York, on the biggest stage yet, and compete for the title against Gargano. It will be decisive in New York, 2 Out of 3 Falls! The winner will walk out the NEW NXT Champion! A major match of former, current and future champions, but who will have a match with Gargano to determine NXT’s future?
Backstage interview with various superstars.
The Finest thinks Cathy Kelly was waiting for him. But since he showed up, what is his reaction to the big news tonight? Well tonight’s main event will be great, but Kona Reeves knows it won’t be The Finest. The Forgotten Sons appear next, and they don’t care about tonight’s main event. They are more concerned with next week’s main event, because in case people have already forgotten, they’re in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic FINALS! Aleister Black & Ricochet need to not forget Steve Cutler & Wesley Blake are coming. They hope one of those two win, so that they’ll be too focused on something else. Then it’ll be that much easier for the Forgotten Sons to go on and win the NXT Tag Team Championships. Then no one will forget them ever again.
NXT Media shares Tommaso Ciampa’s trip to Birmingham, Alabama.
This is not the first time Ciampa has been to the WWE’s preferred surgical facility. Ciampa has had one knee and both shoulders, but now the neck leaves him no choice but to have another surgery. The pressure on his spinal cord could paralyze Ciampa, so this is not just for his career, but for his life as he knows it. There are various bone graftings and now it’s just about time. When and where will the greatest sports entertainer in NXT make another return?
NXT’s contenders speak.
The King of Flight and the Embodiment of the End are one of the most unexpected duos in the tag team division. They work together because they expect the best from each other. But there’s no misunderstanding, it will be every man for himself tonight.
Velveteen Dream is already the NXT North American Champion, but he wants the biggest spotlight possible. The way he sees it, tonight’s Fatal 5 Way will be #DreamOver. And when Dream wins it all, then Dream will just be the first ever dual champion, on the grandest stage in NXT history.
The Original King of Bros is still undefeated, and is stoked to have such a big opportunity so soon. Riddle worked his ace off to get here, and nothing will stop him from going to NXT TakeOver: New York and becoming the new NXT Champion, bro.
Adam Cole says he is the one who makes history in NXT, and no one is more deserving! The inaugural North American Champion wants to be the first to also have the top title. He takes on four of the best to then go to the Barclays Center. That’s the very place Cole made his debut and held that title high above his head. He’ll do it again, when the announcement is made that he is the new NXT Champion! And that is Undisputed!
Backstage interviews with The Sky Pirates.
Io Shirai & Kairi Sane are very excited for tonight’s main event to see who goes to TakeOver. And speaking of, they’re both going, too, because they’re in a Fatal 4 Way for the NXT Women’s Championship. Are they concerned the title and their friendship will get in the way? Not at all! May the best woman win! Io and Kairi both want the title, and will fight each other if they need to. “Gurl, uh-uh!”
Bianca Belair knows this isn’t her business, but this shouldn’t be a Fatal 4. Shayna got in the way and kept Bianca from beating Io. And this doesn’t have anything to do with the little pirate! But now it does, so in New York, The EST will run through both of them to become the new NXT Women’s Champion. No one can do anything about it, because she still feels Un-De-Fea-Ted. Io holds Kairi back while Bianca takes her leave. Whether it’s Bianca, Kairi or Io, will there be a new Women’s Champion alongside a new NXT Champion in New York?
NXT Championship Contenders Fatal 5 Way: Ricochet VS Adam Cole VS Aleister Black VS Velveteen Dream VS Matt Riddle!
The One and Only, Panama City Playboy, Dutch Destroyer, Patrick Clark Experience and Original Bro wage war like NXT has never seen! Johnny Wrestling awaits, who moves on to challenge him for the vacant throne?
The fans are already fired up for “All These Guys!” as the bell rings. Cole goes after Aleister than Ricochet while Riddle chases Dream. Riddle originally wanted after Dream for the North American title, so why not have that out here? Dream has other ideas as he throws Riddle into barriers then gets back in the ring. Aleister and Ricochet work together against Cole then Dream. Ricochet clotheslines Cole out but Cole drags Ricochet out. Dream rolls ALeister, TWO! Riddle returns but Dream throws him back out. Aleister waistlocks but Dream throws him off. Dream runs into Aleister’s boots then Aleister hops up. Aleister leaps but Dream gets under. Dream lifts Aleister but Aleister slips out. Aleister sweeps but Dream jumps over and rolls through! Aleister slips out again to cradle, TWO!
Dream runs into Aleister’s boot! Aleister runs but Cole trips and drags him out. Cole swings but gets Aleister’s kick! Aleister clibms up but Dream sends him back down. Ricochet mule kicks and whips Dream but Dream reverses. Ricochet rolls off the back and handsprings to headscissor and dropkick! Dream bails out but Riddle’s back. Riddle gut wrenches Ricochet, then holds on to do it again! And again! Full Sail is thunderous for the “Bro!” but Cole is after him. Riddle standing switches but gets an enziguri from Cole. Cole stomps a mudhole, then hits his pose BAYBAY! ALeister attacks but Cole reverses. The Unexpected Duo work together, leg sweep and standing moonsault! Cole gets away, and now the tag team phenomenons face each other. They shake hands and circle. But Cole disrupts it by shoving Ricochet into Aleister!
Aleister falls out and Cole stomps away on Ricochet. Cole hits a neckbreaker then covers, TWO! Cole keeps Riddle out with a right hand then goes after Ricochet. He snap suplexes and covers, TWO! Ricochet just escapes, but Cole boots Aleister back out! Cole drags Ricochet up for a big back suplex! Cover, TWO! Another close call but Cole can’t put Ricochet away. Cole goes after Dream but Dream shoulders in. Ricochet somersault shotgun dropkicks Cole! Dream knees Ricochet out then throws heavy hands on Cole. Dream whips but Cole reverses, only for Dream to slide out. Cole runs over but gets an uppercut! Dream climbs up and ax handles Alesiter out.
Dream tosses Cole out then climbs, to LEAP for a big ax handle! He puts Cole in fast and climbs back up. Purple Rain- Riddle gets Dream with a German! Aleister kicks but Riddle reverses! Riddle wants and gets the BroMission!! But Dream breaks it with a falling elbow! Dream stalks Riddle as fans fire up again. Dream tosses Riddle out and turns his attention to Aleister. Aleister fires off a strike fest, sweep to knee! Cole returns but Aleister is ready, two-for-one quebrada! Aleister roundhouses Dream, covers, TWO! Dream survives but Aleister keeps going. Aleister lifts Dream with his foot, but Cole drags Aleister out by the other foot. Cole sends Aleister into steel steps! Cole returns to the ring, only to meet Riddle. They were going to fight to see who contends for the North American title, so now they have it out!
Riddle gets the edge with open palm CHOP after CHOP! Cole stomps Riddle’s bare foot! But his superkick is caught, Riddle gets Cole in a Bromission! But again Dream breaks it up with a leaping ax handle! Dream haymakers Riddle but Riddle ROCKS Dream with that right! Cole hits Riddle now, but Riddle hits back. Dream, Riddle and Cole brawl on their knees in a triangle of strikes. They slowly stand, throwing big hands, forearms and uppercuts. Riddle CHOPS Dream, Cole BOOTS Riddle, Dream SUPERKICKS Cole! Ricochet returns, rolls and PELES Dream down! Cole SUPERKICKS Ricochet but Riddle KNEES Cole! Aleister returns and fires off with Riddle, double roundhouses take them both out! All five men are down and Full Sail reaches a fever pitch!
Ricochet staggers up and goes after Riddle. He puts the Bro in the drop zone then climbs up. Fans hope they “Fight Forever!” as Cole intercepts Ricochet. Cole climbs up to join Ricochet, but Ricochet resists. Dream adds on, climbing up to join them. They brawl and Aleister staggers over. Riddle follows, and they’re all on the second rope! It’s a Double Russian Leg Sweep SUPERPLEX! All five men are down again and fans know “This is Awesome!” The referee checks on everyone in turn and they’re all okay to continue. Fans build to a rally as the five slowly stir. Cole, Riddle and Ricochet bail out while Dream meets Aleister. Dream and Aleister trade haymakers on their knees. Aleister fires off hand after hand but Dream powers him to a corner. Aleister boots Dream away then hops up, Meteora!
Dream’s up but gets a roundhouse and a German! But Riddle sentons the bridge! Riddle drags Aleister up in a deadlift Fisherman Buster! Cradle, but Cole breaks it! Cole drags Riddle up but Riddle fires off fast hands! Riddle misses, gets a SUPERKICK, and Last Ride brainbuster! Cover, but Ricochet breaks it! Ricochet drags Cole up but Cole breaks free. Ricochet fakes Cole out for a boot and an ax kick! He keeps going, fireman’s carry but Cole rakes eyes! SUPERKICK to the front, SUPERKICK to the back! Cole brings the knee pad down but misses the Last Shot Wizard to get a Reverse-Rrana! Cole rolls all the way out and Ricochet can’t believe it. But Ricochet also sees a prime target, and FLIES with the Sasuke Special! Ricochet wipes Cole out but hurries to get back up.
Dream returns to the ring but so does Riddle. The would-be North American Championship showdown happens as Riddle throws chops. Riddle swings up and around Dream’s clothesline to powerbomb, but Dream slips out! Dream wants but Riddle denies the Sidewinder, to wring Dream out for a Bro Trigger! Riddle reels Dream into the BroMission! Dream flails but Cole yanks the ref out! No Disqualifications, but plenty of consequences as Riddle BOOTS Cole! Riddle turns around into BLACK MASS! Aleister turns around into Dream Valley Driver! Dream hurries to the top rope, but Ricochet’s right up for a SUPER STEINER onto Aleister and Cole! Ricochet hurries up for his own, SHOOTING STAR onto Riddle! Cover, but LAST SHOT!! Cole covers, Cole wins!!
Winner: Adam Cole, by pinfall; will face Johnny Gargano for the NXT Championship
You never see the shot that takes you down! Cole came outta nowhere, and now he’s going to New York City! Will Cole finally make the NXT Championship #Undisputed? Or will Gargano once again become Johnny Champion?
I’m going to call this episode a one match classic, because how else would you describe it? First it is unfortunate for Ciampa to again be out with an injury, and an injury as serious as the neck, so I’m sure I speak for everyone by saying get well soon, Psycho Killer. But HHH had such a great speech to open the night, and it is very true, this became a massive opportunity for another superstar to move up. The five men chosen were the right choices, and this made for an amazing Fatal 5 Way.
However, it makes a lot of sense for this to be Adam Cole’s night. Aleister & Ricochet are not only busy on the main roster, but they’re in the Dusty Rhodes Classic finals, where I would think they defeat the Forgotten Sons and move on to the War Raiders. It wouldn’t be very good to give those two double duty on TakeOver Friday and possibly something on Mania Sunday. Then Velveteen Dream VS Matt Riddle can and will still happen, and that is going to be great. It would’ve been too epic if Dream was trying for both titles, even if it’s Wrestlemania Weekend. Gargano VS Cole is going to be great and really could go either way, but I feel that since Gargano VS Ciampa was the plan, Gargano might’ve won that title to have his triumphant victory on the biggest WWE weekend of the year.
My Score: 8.6/10