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Mitchell’s WWE NXT TakeOver: New Orleans Report! (4/7/18)

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All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Six Man NXT North American Championship Ladder Match: EC3 VS Adam Cole VS Ricochet VS Velveteen Dream VS. Lars Sullivan VS Killian Dain; Cole wins and becomes the new NXT North American Champion.
  • NXT Women’s Championship: Ember Moon VS Shayna Baszler; Shayna wins and becomes the new NXT Women’s Champion.
  • Dusty Rhodes Classic/NXT Tag Team Championship Triple Threat: The Undisputed Era VS The Authors of Pain w/ Paul Ellering VS Roderick Strong & Pete Dunne; Undisputed win, retain the NXT Tag Team Championships and win the Dusty Rhodes Classic.
  • NXT Championship: Andrade “Cien” Almas w/ Zelina Vega VS Aleister Black; Black wins and becomes the new NXT Champion.
  • Unsanctioned Match: Johnny Gargano VS Tommaso Ciampa; Gargano wins and has his NXT contract back.

PLAY BY PLAY

The NXT Kickoff Panel interviews Adam Cole.

He clutches onto one of the NXT Tag Team Championship belts but is also going for the North American Championship. Cole is pulling double duty, but tonight is a “living, breathing travesty”, it’s TakeOver: Let’s Screw Undisputed Era. He says it’s ridiculous. And what is Pat McAfee doing there? He’s not worth Cole’s time. But Pat tells Cole soem breaking news: the NAC Ladder Match starts the night! The very first night is the ladder match?! Cole has to do that before the triple threat tag?! Yes, take it up with management. How is Cole going to address this possible lose-lose night? Regal wishes that’s how it’ll go. Tonight is the biggest challenge in Undisputed Era’s career, but they’ll find a way because they always come out on top!

Sam Roberts asks what the goal was with last NXT’s interruption? To prove a point: the Undisputed Era is the best team in NXT and ALL of the WWE. No one else deserves the Dusty Rhodes Classic cup or the Tag Team Championships, “and that’s a fact”. Cole storms out before Pat can finish asking his next question, how will Cole’s mood be once the show starts?

 

Backstage interview with Roderick Strong & Pete Dunne.

Tonight, the sold-out TakeOver puts both the Dusty Cup and the NXT Tag Team Championships on the line. How are these two feeling? “Tonight’s huge!” Strong has always wanted to be champion here, and tonight it can happen. Strong wanted a tag partner he felt he could trust, and that’s Dunne. Dunne says the Undisputed Era put their foots in their mouths when they stuck their noses in someone else’s business, so now Dunne vows to put his foot and more into their mouths. The Authors of Pains are also part of the match, and Strong knows “they’re big bad dudes”, but while Akam & Rezar bring the fight, so will they. When it’s winner takes all in the triple threat tag, who will come out the combined Dusty Rhodes Classic winners and tag team champions?

 

Triple H has Johnny Gargano sign the Hold Harmless Agreement.

This paperwork is necessary for the Unsanctioned Match, as Gargano is no longer an employee and WWE cannot be held responsible for what Tommaso Ciampa does to him in their match.

 

Candice LeRae joins the panel.

Mrs. Wrestling speaks on her husband’s ultimate grudge match with a former best friend. This is like the Twilight Zone to her. Ciampa was a roommate, a best friend, the best man at their wedding, yet he seems like a completely different person. The match is more than just about Gargano getting his dream job back, with how special NXT is, but this is a personal fight. What is Gargano’s state after what Ciampa has done to him? As his wife, Candice doesn’t always agree with her husband’s decisions, but she understands and accepts his choice.

Neither of them are happy about what happened, “I want my husband back.” This has changed Gargano, too, and “it’s unsettling how calm he seems.” Gargano has no nerves or anxiety, he’s eerily calm. Pat knows Gargano has everything to lose as well as gain here, because this could be a permanent good-bye. Is he fighting for revenge or for his career? “He’s fighting for his dream.” Which is Candice more worried about? Gargano’s job or his health? She admits it’s a gamble, but she still supports him. She hopes for the best but prepares for the worst, if it means they can both be in NXT together.

Referee Drake Wuertz joins via video call to say that he’s really only part of the match to count pins and submissions. Other than that, there’s no rules, anything can happen. Unsanctioned means no rules, but Pat can’t understand what else is there for a ref to do! Drake agrees, but he’s not sure about this, either. Sam asks Drake about his relationship with Gargano and Ciampa. Drake had to count the pin that fired Gargano from NXT to begin with. Drake knows now he made a bad call but he was in a bad spot. That pinfall will haunt him for a long time. Will he be able to do another hard call tonight? Drake takes a moment, but says he will. As for Candice, she’s at a loss for words. Anything can happen in the Unsanctioned Match, can Johnny Wrestling get back to NXT?

 

Drew McIntyre joins the Kickoff Panel.

How does the former NXT champion feel? He’s doing rehab for his injury these last four months, but he did #WWJCD: What Would John Cena Do? McIntyre has been 100% focused to get back. He’s been watching Andrade “Cien” Almas, the man who defeated him, “the man’s cocky but he gets the job down.” Almas and Vega are a great duo, and he dropped McIntyre on his head. McIntyre promises when he returns, he’s not just taking Almas’ arm, but his head. What does McIntyre see happening tonight? It doesn’t really matter, so long as the best man wins, because McIntyre will be back to go after either of them. But who would McIntyre like better? Again, doesn’t matter, he still goes after Almas either way.

 

Cane Hill opens the show with live music!

Specifically, they play the theme song they provided for TakeOver: New Orleans, “It Follows”.

 

Six Man NXT North American Championship Ladder Match: EC3 VS Adam Cole VS Ricochet VS Velveteen Dream VS Lars Sullivan VS Killian Dain!

With NXT bordering between developmental and a brand unto itself, William Regal felt it necessary to make an entirely new championship! And what better way to give this new belt meaning than to have six amazing talents from around the world compete to be the first? The Panama City Playboy has another match to worry about tonight, will he be able to focus on grabbing history for his own? Or will another of the contenders climb above the rest?

All six men watch the belt hoisted high above the ring. The bell rings, and already fans say, “This is Awesome!” The six men are standing around but EC3 slips out. Cole and Dream pounce on Ricochet, but then Lars and Damo pounce on them. Only the monsters remain in the ring, but they notice EC3 egg them on, so they go out after him! He’s cornered, but Cole and Dream come over. The behemoths get the better of the three, but then Ricochet springboards and FLIES!

Ricochet wipes out Lars and Damo, and the fans lose their minds! The One & Only King of Speed gets a ladder in the ring and stands it up. Ricochet climbs up but Dream intercepts to knock him away. Dream moves the ladder aside, but Ricochet goes after him. Ricochet whips but Dream reverses, Ricochet rolls off his back to handspring headscissor and dropkick Dream down! Fans are all fired up for the red-hot Ricochet, but Dream puts him on the apron. Ricochet punches Dream away but Dream trips up the springboard to send him crashing and burning. Dream gets the ladder, but Cole comes in to stop that. Cole throws hands and kicks, then a mudhole stomp.

Damo grabs Cole but Cole enziguris Damo down. Dream runs out, but Cole gets him with the Ushigoroshi! Cole hurries up but EC3 gets in, so Cole hops down, but into a shoulder jawbreaker. EC3 keeps Lars out, splashes and snapmares Cole to a neck snap. The fans rally but Lars returns to clobber EC3, then do the same to Cole. Lars whips Cole, pop up into a powerslam! Then he scoops EC3, for another powerslam! Damo returns and dumps Lars out, to then build speed and DIVE!

The Beast of Belfast wipes out the Leviathan, but he enters just as Ricochet does. Damo rallies on him and Dream with big rights. Damo scoops Dream, then catches Ricochet, but Cole kicks and they all fall down. Cole brawls with Ricochet, but then Damo adds on. He grabs them both and Dream comes in for 2v2 brawling. Damo has Cole in a corner while Dream European Uppercuts Ricochet. EC3 comes in and it’s a five man brawl. Lars carries in another ladder like it’s nothing, and throws it at them all!

They go down like bowling pins! Lars roars as he picks that ladder back up and rams Damo with it. Then he knocks EC3 and Cole down with it, then puts the ladder around his head to hit Dream and Ricochet, then EC3 and Cole again! Lars sits the ladder in a corner, and boucnes Damo off it. Lars gets another ladder, grabs Dream, and just drops him on it, ribs first! The Leviathan finally stands a ladder up, and climbs. Ricochet catches up to him and throws hands on the big man. Ricochet gets up and over but Lars holds onto the ladder to deny the sunset flip pwerbomb. EC3 and Dream keep the ladder down, and work to pry Lars off with Ricochet. Cole returns, climbs up and punches Lars, and the powerbomb is completed!

This leaves Cole on the very top, and he climbs! But Damo returns to stop him. Cole tells the “punk” off, but Damo just headbutts Cole down. Damo dumps the ladder over, then tosses Ricochet onto the other! He stands the other ladder back up and begins to climb, but Cole dropkicks him. EC3 returns and hits Damo with a super bulldog! EC3 and Cole fight over the ladder, then decide to work together to use it on Lars. They wedge Lars in the corner and throw hands. Then they spot Damo and go after him. EC3 brings out a new ladder, and Cole helps him with it to make a bridge. They go back to Damo, and double whip him into it, the ladder clotheslining Damo down!

EC3 and COle return to ram Lars again, and even high-five. The Top 1% copies Cole’s pose, and Cole takes offense, so he Death Valley Drivers EC3 on a ladder. SUPERKICK to Dream, SUPERKICK to Damo, SUPERKICK to Lars, then SUPERKICK to EC3! And yes, SUPERKICK to the flying Ricochet, from “ADAM COLE, BAYBAY!”

Cole finds himself all alone again, and gets a ladder up. He climbs up with the fans fired up behind him, but Lars returns to tip it over. Cole hotshots on ropes but Dream rams Lars down. Dream climbs up to the top, and hits Damo with a PUrple Rain Maker elbow! He won’t slwo down, he hits one on Cole! Dream wants the hat trick, taking aim at Ricochet, and he hits it to the back of Ricochet’s head. Now Dream is the one all alone, and he grabs a ladder. Lars returns an dpins Dream into a corner with the ladder. Dream taps out, but that doesn’t matter. Lars runs corner to corner, but Dream shoves that ladder in his face! Dream sets the ladder up again, and climbs to the very top. Fans sense what’s coming next as Dream takes aim at Lars. SUPER Purple Rain Maker!

And it hits! The fans are loving this as Dream gets himself back up. Dream sets one of the other ladders up in a corner, then adjusts the ladder he used. He climbs, but EC3 returns to get him. EC3 pulls Dream down and powerbombs him into the corner ladder!

Dream goes down, and EC3 has the fans rallying as he flounders back to the main ladder. Damo blasts EC3 with a dropkick, but EC3 counters with the modified STO. He gives Lars a cutter, too, then finally climbs. Cole yanks him off, then climbs, so EC3 clubs him back. EC3 puts Cole in a fireman’s carry, SUPER TKO!

Everyone is down, but EC3 and Damo are stirring. EC3 climbs while fans again say, “This is Awesome!” Damo stops EC3, bicycle boot knocks EC3 down. Now Damo tries the climb, but Cole goes after him. Damo throws Cole to a corner, then brings EC3 up for the Wasteland slam. Damo sets a ladder on top of EC3, and hits the back senton! EC3 writhes from being crushed, but Damo won’t stop there. Damo climbs up, but Cole returns and clubs him. Cole climbs up, positions himself for a sleeper, but Damo jumps and they both fall on EC3!

The Vader Bomb takes them all out, but Lars slowly returns while fans again say, “This is Awesome!” Cole slumps out of the ring while Damo and Lars rise. The monsters lock eyes again, but Ricochet comes in. Lars tosses Ricochet aside but Ricochet dodges in the corner to hit Darmo with a bicycle kick, then hit Lars with one. Ricochet keeps moving, roaring elbow to Damo, but Lars catches him. Lars puts Ricochet in a corner and throws him across the way! Damo sees that, fans want Damo to “Throw Him Back!” So he does! Ricochet bounces out of the ring, and now the monsters are alone again for a brawl! They go back and forth, Lars runs but into Damo’s mule kick. Damo throws elbows and EuroUppers, then clobbers Lars with a lariat. Damo runs at Lars, but Lars catches him!! Lars slams Damo out of the Divide!

Lars grabs a ladder, stands it up, and begins to climb. Ricochet returns to go after Lars, pulling him off for a roundhouse! Ricochet climbs, but Lars tips the ladder, so Ricochet moonsaults off onto Damo and Cole! Fans lose their minds while Ricochet crawls away from the wreckage. He springboards and dropkicks Lars down, but then EC3 kicks Ricochet down. EC3 puts Ricochet on the top rope and chops away at him. He moves things around, but Ricochet hits back, and EC3 ends up on a ladder again. Ricochet takes aim, and hits a Shooting Star onto EC3 and the ladder!

Everyone is down again, but Ricochet has the fans rallying. Ricochet positions a ladder and climbs up, but Dream returns! Dream rocks Ricochet with a right, then takes another ladder. He misses hitting Ricochet, but Ricochet hits Dream with a heavy haymaker. They go ladder against ladder and make a new bridge. Dream rocks Ricochet again, then finishes the ladder bridge before placing Ricochet on it. Dream climbs up again, but Ricochet intercepts him. They brawl while they climb, and end up balancing on the bridge. The fans beg, “Please Don’t Die!” Ricochet trips up Dream, and looks to leap on him, but Dream kicks him in the stomach. Dream sits up while Ricochet sits down. Dream throws hands and finds footing, for a very scary rolling Death Valley!

The fans lose their minds as both men go down. Referees check on Ricochet and Dream, they’re somehow okay to continue. But while they’re down, Lars gets up. Lars lariats Dream back down! He drags Dream up, sets him on the original ladder bridge, then climbs onto the apron. He sees EC3 coming and clubs him, to bring him out, for a FREAK ACCIDENT!

The ladder breaks!! Lars takes himself out with EC3 and Dream, and the fans are losing their minds harder than ever. But again, “This is Awesome!” While these three men are still down and out, Damo grabs Ricochet and puts him on a new ladder bridge. Damo climbs up, but Cole goes after him. Cole brawls with Damo, but it does nothing. Damo just brings Cole with him as he jumps onto Ricochet!

And that ladder breaks, too!! All six men are wrecked on the floor, but fans chant “NXT! NXT!” The fans also want them to “Fight Forever!”, as impossible as that might seem. Lars drags himself up into the ring, and he goes into the ring to climb the one ladder standing. But Damo is slowly following. Lars is almost there, but Damo stops him. They brawl while they climb. Somehow EC3 returns, and uses a ladder to jab at them both. Lars and Damo come down while EC3 sets up the ladder. Cole returns and climbs with EC3, side by side with Damo and Lars. They all reach while brawling, not letting anyone else get ahead of them.

Dream returns and adds on, while also adding a third ladder. The ladders go three wide while Dream climbs and Ricochet returns. Dream comes the closest but has to let go as the brawl gets stronger. No one is backing down, so Cole just takes EC3 with him in a Russian leg sweep! Dream and Ricochet kick the monsters down, Dream paws at the belt, but Ricochet brawls with him. Ricochet ducks a punch to then turn Dream, for a SUPER Neckbreake! This leaves the monsters left on the ladders. Damo clubs Lars down, but Lars grabs Damo, for a SUPER Freak Accident! No one is left on the ladders, but the fans are loving it. Lars drags himself up again, climbing for the top, but Ricochet leaps in out of nowhere to bring him down!

Ricochet leaves Lars on the ground as he positions a ladder back under the belt. He climbs, but Cole tips him off and out! Cole climbs up, grabs the belt, and brings it down! Adam Cole wins!!

Winner: Adam Cole, NEW NXT North American Champion!

The Undisputed Era’s double duty superstar makes history, just as he promised! Cole has a belt all to his own, but will he have the energy to help Kyle O’Reilly return the tag team championships later on?

 

NXT Women’s Championship: Ember Moon VS Shayna Baszler!

While the Queen of Spades made it to the finals of the Mae Young Classic and sees herself as a champion already, the Prophecy of Flame simply sees her as a bully. Ember may have survived Shayna in Philadelphia, but will this war end in New Orleans with the War Goddess still champion?

The bell rigns and Ember goes right at Shayna, but Shayna dodges to rock Ember with a right hand! Shayna smirks, but Ember gets her with a swing kick. Ember drags Shayna out, then dropkicks her into steel steps. SHe puts Shayna back in the ring, but Shayna’s right up. Ember runs, dodges, and hits a flying Code Breaker! Cover, TWO, but Ember puts Shayna in a crossface! Shayna rolls her, Ember holds on, Shayna gets the ropebreak. Ember lets go at 4, Shayna gets out of the ring. Ember stalks from the apron, but Shayna blocks the kick to trip the champion up. Shayna taunts Ember before putting her into the barriers, then back in the ring. Cover, ONE, but Shayna goes after that left arm.

Ember gets away so Shayna lets her hair down. Shayna runs and htis Ember with a knee, then a gut wrench suplex and a kick. Cover, TWO, but Shayna isn’t bothered. She just bends Ember back in a Bow & Arrow. The fans rally for Ember, Ember fights out, then slips up and around for a headscissor. Ember runs at Shayna, handspring forearm! She runs, but Shayna follows for another knee. Shayna runs but into Ember’s roll up, TWO. Ember tries again but Shayna spins her around, big knee lift! Cover, TWO! Shayna keeps her cool, daring Ember to get up again. Shayna grabs Ember in a sleeper, but Ember throws her off.

Ember dropkicks Shayna, matchbook cover, TWO, and Shayna slips around to a sleeper! Ember backs her into buckles but Shayna holds on, so Ember jumps to fall on Shayna. Shayna lets go, the fans applaud while Ember crawls to a corner. The fans rally while Ember pulls herself up. Shayna stands and runs in but Ember evades. Ember comes back with kicks, then runs to dropkick Shayna down again. Ember keeps going, half-hatch suplex and kip-up. The fans fire up as Ember runs, sliding complete shot! Cover, TWO.

Ember grits her teeth as she brings Shayna back up. She clubs Shayna, whips but Shayna reverses, Ember springboards but Shayna ducks under, letting Ember hit the mat. Shayna stands on Ember’s hand, and Ember senses what’s coming. Shyna goes to stomp, but Ember gets clear! Ember sweeps Shayna’s legs, then stands on Shayna’s hand to turn things around! Ember stomps on Shayna’s arm!

Shayna writhes, but the referee backs Ember off. Ember doesn’t care, she gets right at the arm for an arm wringer. Matchbox cover, TWO, but Ember keeps her focus. She kicks Shayna’s arm, then decides to climb up top. Ember takes aim, but Shayna bumps ropes to trip her up. Shayna kicks Ember while she’s stuck, giving a swift kick to the head, then a dropkick to the back. The referee backs her off, and Shayna takes a moment to recover. She pops her arm back in with the help of the post! Then she goes to Ember from the outside, but Ember is ready. Ember kicks her down, then gets another wicked idea in her head. She adjusts, takes aim, and leaps for a SUPER Eclipse!

Both women are down on the outside! The referee checks on them, and sees they’re okay to continue. He begins a ten count, and Ember begins to stir. The count reaches 8 when both women get in the ring. Shayna still works to get her arm working, but Ember crawls over. Shayna suddenly pops Ember into the Kirafuda!

Ember reaches, pries, and goes after the bad arm! Shayna lets go, Ember keeps on the arm with hammering forearms, but Shayna gets her in a triangle hold! Ember high stacks that, TWO, so DEADLIFT POWERBOMB! Another cover, TWO!! And Ember can’t believe it! But she won’t let that stop her, as she grits her teeth. The fans rally while Ember gets to the top rope again. Ember takes aim, and jumps for another Eclipse!

But gets dragged into the Kirafuda!!

Ember is caught! She goes for the bad arm, but Shayna won’t let that stop her anymore! Shayna uses her hair to finish the lock, keeping Ember in. Ember tries anything, from the bad arm to prying at the legs. Ember flails, reaches, but she starts to fade. Shayna rolls her away, Ember keeps trying, but she can’t get out. Fans rally, Ember gets a second wind to make it a cover, TWO, and the hold stays on. Ember’s out, Shayna wins!!

Winner: Shayna, by submission; NEW NXT Women’s Champion

The Submission Magician has done it! She has defeated the #Shenom to get her hands on what she felt was hers all along. Now that Shayna reigns over the Women’s Division, will there be any stopping her from doing what she wants to who she wants?

 

Adam Cole gets checked out in the trainer’s room.

The new North American Champion is very tender, but Kyle O’Reilly wants a partner out there. It doesn’t look good for the Undisputed Era, how will they hold on to their belts like this?

 

Dusty Rhodes Classic/NXT Tag Team Championship Triple Threat: The Undisputed Era VS The Authors of Pain w/ Paul Ellering VS Roderick Strong & Pete Dunne!

The premier tag team tournament that honors the godfather of NXT, the American Dream, returned for a third year. However, Adam Cole & Kyle O’Reilly felt that with Bobby Fish down with injury, they had to do something to protect their titles. They ruined what were the finals of the tournament, but William Regal wouldn’t allow it to end that way. Thus, this triple threat was made! Who will come away with all the prizes in this amazing combination of tag team matches?

The Authors don’t wait for the bell, they go right at the weakened Undisputed Era! It is a brawl with all six men going left and right. Akam & Rezar get control with a big boot to Cole, then another to Kyle. Strong gets thrown out and then so does Dunne. They focus on Kyle, neckbreaker bomb, but Cole manages to break the cover. Akam & Rezar throw the battered Cole out, and then clear off the Spanish announce table! Ellering coaches them as they bring Cole up, but Dunne & Strong come in. Akam & Rezar boot them away, then go back to Cole, but he slips out of the double choke slam! He can’t get away, though, they make it a double POWERBOMB!

Cole goes down through the table, but then Kyle flies in to knee Rezar! He boots Akam, too, but then turns into Strong’s chop. Kyle still knees Strong down, but Dunne is upon him with a hoverboard wristlock! They fall to the mat, Kyle makes it a cover, then to an armbar, but Dunne slips out. Dunen swings but Kyle blocks and counters with a strike fest that dumps Dunne on his head. Strong chops Kyle, then catches a knee into a backbreaker. Strong knees Akam out, then dropkicks Rezar. Rezar stays up so Strong unloads, and lets Kyle forearm Rezar out for him. Strong then gets Kyle into a full nelson backbreaker, cover, TWO!

The Messiah of the Backbreaker knows he’s close, so he hoists Kyle up. Kyle slips around to put Strong in the guillotine! He wrenches, Strong works to make it a cover, but Kyle slips into a triangle! Akam returns and stomps Kyle, but Kyle grabs that foot into an ankle lock!

Kyle has two holds at once, but then Dunne comes in, only for Rezar to use him in a powerbomb to break it all! Everyone is down, but Ellering coaches his team up as Rezar gives knees to Strong. Akam actually tags in, and they mug Strong with knees. Akam stomps Strong, then gives him body shots. He tags Rezar in, and they continue to mug Strong. Rezar knocks Strong around, covers, ONE. Rezar puts Strong in a modified clutch, but fans rally. Strong stands up, fights back, but gets thrown overhead! Kyle returns and kicks at Rezar, but Rezar sits him down with a forearm. Cole is barely stirring, so Kyle goes it alone as he throws forearms, but gets thrown in a German Suplex! yet he’s right back up! To fall right out…

Strong crawls for his corner but Rezar intercepts him. Rezar tags in Akam and they again mug Strong in their corner. Akam drags Strong up for kicks to the stomach, then tags Rezar for more mugging of Strong. The referee checks on Cole but he’s nowhere near the ring. Rezar taunts Dunne while standing on Strong. He tags in Akam, and they mug Strong with another knee to the ribs. Akam taunts Dunne but fans rally for Strong. Akam tags Rezar back in, Rezar hits Dunne just because, but Kyle returns, only to get booted down again. Strong boots Rezar then enziguris him, and crawls for his corner. Kyle grabs Strong, but Strong shoves him off, tag to Dunne!

The British Bruiserweight rallies on Akam with strikes and an enziguri. Kyle whips Dunne to a corner but Dunne goes up and over. Dunne gets a waistlock, but Kyle gets the standing switch and German, but Dunne lands on his feet! Dunne kicks Kyle in the back, but then Rezar grabs him, only for Dunne to reverse the slam into a DDT! Cover, TWO! Kyle gets up and kicks Dunne, so Dunne slaps him. They brawl fast and furious, but Dunne get s the edge with a palm strike. Kyle kicks, then they both palm strike, but Akam runs them both over with clotheslines! The Authors grab one each, for the Super Collider!

They’re not done there, they drag Kyle up. Rezar runs, LAST CHAPTER! Cover, but STrong breaks it just in time! Strong hits Akam with a knee, then goes after Rezar. Rezar throws Strong out instead, then goes to Dunne. But Dunne gets the fingers! And snpas them! Then tag to Strong. Strong lifts Rezar but Rezar fights him off, shoving Strong into Dunne. Dunne goes down, but Strong puts Rezar into the corner, for a shining wizard! He then brings Rezar out, Olympic Slam! Cover, TWO! But Strong won’t stop, he tags in Dunne. Dunne climbs up, but Kyle anchors his foot. Strong goes after Kyle, and drops him on the apron! And Dunne adds double stomps! Strong swing kicks Rezar, then hits a knee lift, to then hit the knee and enziguri comb! Strong lifts Rezar, hand-off to Dunne, Bitter End of Heartache!

Cover, Akam breaks it! Strong goes after Akam and dumps him out, then runs, but his wrecking ball dropkick misses. Akam rushes Strong, but Strong puts him into steps! Dunne swings at Kyle but Kyle dodges to counter with the ax kick, Dunne still gets the enziguri! Dunne lifts Kyle, Bitter End! Cover, but Strong breaks it!? And he hits Dunne with End of Heartache?! He puts Kyle on the cover, Undisputed Era wins?!

Winners: The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole & Kyle O’Reilly, O’Reilly pinning), still NXT Tag Team Champions

What is going on!? Why did Strong do that to Dunne when they would’ve won?! Why did he help his enemies in the Undisputed Era? Or, are they enemies? Strong takes the armband, and is now a member of the Undisputed Era!!

 

NXT Championship: Andrade “Cien” Almas w/ Zelina Vega VS Aleister Black!

The Embodiment of the End has sought the NXT Championship ever since joining this brand. El Idolo has let his ego run wild on his way to the top. Will the devil on Aleister’s back be satisfied with making Almas #FadeToBlack? Or will Almas get the respect he and Vega feel he deserves?

The bell rings, and the two run at each other! Aleister grazes Almas and the two brawl with haymakers. Aleister gives Almas a strike fest, Almas bails out, Aleister fakes him out with a springboard, but then actually jumps on him with a SUPER moonsault! Almas goes down, but Aleister puts him in the ring. Aleister glares at Vega to keep her back, then goes back to Almas. Almas slips out of the ring to overhand chop Aleister. Aleister hits back and puts Almas in the ring but Almas clobbers him. Almas whips, Aleister rolls off his back and goes for the crucifix, but makes it an Octopus hold! Shift to a sunset flip, TWO, and Almas gets out of the ring again.

Aleister pursues him, punching him around the corner. Aleister kicks Almas against barriers, then puts him in the ring, but Vega being Vega, she hits Aleister with a flying headscissors!

She sends Aleister into the steel steps! Vega then shouts to Almas, Almas gets Aleister in the ring, cover, TWO. Almas rains rights on Aleister, then brings Aleister up to put him into the post. The fans duel while Almas stomps a mudhole into Aleister. Almas whips Aleister corner to corner, then blocks Aleister’s boots into a draping backbreaker and clubbing forearm. Cover, TWO, so Almas stomps away on Aleister. Almas goes to the apron and grabs Aleister in the hanging triangle! The ref counts and Almas lets go at 4, to then springboard missile dropkick! Cover, TWO, but Almas keeps on Aleister in the chinlock.

Fans rally and Aleister fights his way out of the hold, but Almas switches to a chinbar and armlock. Almas wrenches Aleister while Vega trash talks him. The fans continue to rally, and Aleister fights his way up. he puts Almas in a corner but Almas holds on, so Aleister rams him to buckles again. Almas brings Aleister around, but the third time is the charm, and Aleister gets free. Aleister runs but back into a sleeper! He backs Almas into buckles and gets free again, to then back elbow Almas away. Almas boots back, then hops up, but Aleister fights him off. Aleister turns around, but Almas gets him right back into the hanging triangle! Almas lets go, and Aleister staggers away, but he counters the springboard missile dropkick with a knee lift!

Fans rally while both men are down, Vega shouting for her man. Both men stir, then stand up and brawl. Almas blocks but Aleister counters. Aleister rallies with forearms, sweeps the leg and slides in for a knee! Aleister kip-ups, and the fans fire up, he runs in for a forearm smash on Almas. He whips Almas back into the buckles, then springboards for the Quebrada!

TWO, and Vega is relieved. She tries to get Almas back into this while Aleister climbs up. Almas springs up to stop him, then chops him for good measure. Almas climbs up to join Aleister, but Aleister resists with body shots. Aleister adjusts, sunset flip but Almas lands on his feet! Almas misses Cien Knees, Aleister boots him back but then Almas gets around Aleister for a German Suplex! Vega tells Almas to seize opportunity, and Almas climbs up. Moonsault, Almas lands on his feet to moonsault again onto Aleister! Cover, TWO, and Vega is frustrated for Almas. Almas goes after Aleister’s arm, but Aleister forearms back.

They brawl with forearms back and forth, Aleister getting the edge. Almas kicks, so Aleister kicks and knees, but the roundhouse misses. Almas throws elbows from both sides, then runs, but narrowly avoids Aleister’s back hand to give a back elbow of his own! Cover, ONE, and Vega can’t believe it. Almas runs, Aleister hits a big knee, cover, TWO! Vega coaches Almas up, and Almas stands up. Aleister also stands as the fans rally. Almas forearms Aleister, then they both forearm, both chop, and both roundhouse! They both fall back to the mat, and fans applaud while Vega is shocked. She tells Almas to think, to be the smarter man. The fans like it, though, and declare “This is Awesome!”

The ref starts a ten count, and it reaches 6 before either man stirs. They get up, Aleister elbows Almas away, and Almas ends up in a corner. Aleister runs in at Almas, Almas hip-tosses Aleister into buckles! Almas fires up and runs, but Aleister intercepts the knees. Aleister kicks then runs, but Almas dumps him out over the top rope! Almas runs, jumps and hits Aleister with a corkscrew plancha! He keeps going, putting Aleister back in the ring to cover, TWO! Vega and Almas can’t believe it! But Almas calms down to then direct Vega. Vega grabs the belt and gives it to El Campeon, who brings it into the ring. The referee takes the belt away from Almas, but this is a distraction so Vega can hit Aleister with a spike-rana!

Vega slips out and Almas covers, TWO! And Vega throws a tantrum. She tells Almas to finish this now, and fans rally as Almas drags Aleister back up. He puts Aleister in the hammerlock, but small package counter, TWO! BLACK MASS!!

Cover, but Vega cheats the ropebreak! Vega laughs to herself while Aleister can’t believe it. Almas slumps out of the ring to buy himself some time. Aleister goes for another moonsault, but Vega anchors his feet! He manages to kick free, but Almas runs over and trips him up! Vega tells Almas to keep going, and Almas climbs up. Almas forearms Aleister, then continues on up, draping double stomps!

Almas isn’t done there, CIEN KNEES!!

Cover, TWO!! And neither Almas nor Vega can believe it! Fans are all fired up for this, even though Vega is furious. Almas stalks Aleister on weak legs. He drags Aleister up, and prepares the hammerlock, but Aleister lifts with a fireman’s carry. Almas slips out then swings that back elbow, but Aleister dodges and the referee almost takes the hit. Aleister goes for Black Mass, but Almas dropkicks him in the back! Both men are down again, Aleister clutching his back. Almas gets to ropes, and they both end up on the apron. Almas grabs Aleister, but Aleister fights back, sitting him down with a chop. Deja vu to Philadelphia, Almas goes to the other end, and comes back for Cien Knees against the post!

Aleister is dazed, but he tells the referee he’s okay to continue. Almas comes over and drags Aleister up, draping him on the top rope, but Aleister slips back in and dumps Almas out! Vega coaches Almas up, but Aleister builds speed to FLY!!

But Aleister doesn’t stop, he gets Almas back in the ring, only to walk right into the Hammerlock DDT!! Cover, TWO!? Aleister survives and no one can believe it! Almas argues with the referee, but Vega’s climbing up top? Everyone sees this, she jumps, but onto Almas!

Almas catches her, but then Alesiter hits another BLACK MASS!!

Cover, Aleister wins!!

Winner: Aleister Black, by pinfall, NEW NXT Champion

The devil on his back has what it wants! Aleister is now THE NXT Champion, the 13th ever, which is incredibly fitting. Vega throws a fit, but it’s her own fault for getting a little too involved. Aleister is ecstatic, having achieved his goal. He fought so hard to get it, how hard will he fight to keep it?

 

Unsanctioned Match: Johnny Gargano VS Tommaso Ciampa!

They were once friends in Team DIY, but that changed when the Psycho Killer chose to be selfish. Things got worse when Ciampa returned to blindside Gargano after his loss at TakeOver: Philadelphia, and then again to cost him both the title and his job in NXT. But Gargano would return the favor by attacking Ciampa out of nowhere, and now it’s all led to this. In a match with no rules but to win, can Johnny Wrestling get his job back? Or will Ciampa add one last insult to injury and be rid of Gargano once and for all?

And if it wasn’t clear from the booing and the chants of “Asshole! Asshole!” as well as “You Suck! *clap clap* You Suck!” during his entrance, New Orleans does not like Ciampa one bit. Not that it matters to him, he takes it all in stride. But in stark contrast, everyone loves Gargano as he makes his entrance. The referee, Drake Muertz, does not wear official referee stripes, because this is not in line with official NXT regulations. That aside, the bell rings, and we begin.

Gargano and Ciampa stare down, Ciampa saying this is his moment. The fans continue to make noise, in support of Gargano and in anger towards Ciampa. Gargano and Ciampa continue to glare at each other, until they suddenly explode into a brawl! They both punch fast and furious, and Gargano knocks Ciampa over, then jumps on him with a Thesz Press! Gargano rains hands but Ciampa shoves him off. Ciampa throws Gargano to the apron, but Gargano comes back with the slingshot spear!

Gargano doesn’t care for the cover, he just throws more hands! Ciampa kicks back then puts Gargano in a corner. Gargano slips out and throws more hands, then stomps a mudhole into Ciampa! Gargano stomps and stomps and stomps because he can, and the fans love it! He goes back to Ciampa, drags him up for a corner to corner whip, but Ciampa reverses, only for Gargano to reverse back. Ciamap hits buckles, then Gargano clotheslines him out of the ring. Gargano takes aim, runs and DIVES!

Gargano just manages to hit Ciampa and bring him down. The fans are all fired up and cheering as Gargano stalks Ciampa. Gargano rocks Ciampa with a left hand, then another, but Ciampa knees back. Ciampa clubs Gargano’s back, and the fans boo. Ciampa whips, but Gargano reverses, and Ciampa ends up in the crowd! While Ciampa writhes, Gargano backs up then runs, and leaps onto Ciampa! The referee hurries into the crowd, to keep with them as Gargano rains down more lefts on Ciampa.

Gargano backs off to then drag Ciampa back up, but Ciampa shoves him back into the barriers. Ciampa drags Gargano, suplex and gordbuster onto those rails, to then club and club and club away on Gargano’s back. He pushes Gargano away, then climbs back over the rails to drag Gargano up, for a backbreaker! Ciampa’s knee brace adds extra pain into the move, and he dares Gargano to “do something, you piece of garbage!” But when Gargano doesn’t get up, Ciampa peels away floor mats! The concrete is exposed while fans boo and jeer. Gargano gets up and hits Ciampa with a forearm, but Ciampa boots him back. Ciampa stands over Gargano, clubbing him as he brings him up. He lifts Gargano, but Gargano resists! Ciampa keeps trying, Gargano keeps resisting. Ciampa gets him up, but Gargano slips out, then to the apron, for a mule kick!

Gargano is right on the dazed Ciampa by throwing him across the English announce table! The fans chant, “Mama Mia!”, since Mauro Ranello is too busy getting clear. Speaking of clear, Gargano decides to clear the table! Gargano gets on the table and drags Ciampa up to join him. He pulls Ciampa up in powerbomb position–and with a bit of a wedgie–but Ciampa resists the lift to hit Gargano low with a monitor! Ciampa grabs Gargano now, Gargano again resists the lift, but Ciampa still SUPERPLEXES Gargano from table to floor!

Both of them crash land and writhe from the impact! The fans rally for Gargano, but the referee checks on both men to be sure they can continue. Ciampa is first to sit up, and he glares down at Gargano. He rains rights down on him, and fans boo and jeer. Ciampa takes the announce desk cover and sets it up as a ramp, to then back suplex Gargano against it! The cover cracks but doesn’t break, and Ciampa stands up on the desk to embrace the heat. Ciampa sits and watches the writhing Gargano while the fans vent their displeasure. He then kicks Gargano right across the back, then puts him on the apron to ram his chest into the edge. Ciampa pushes Gargano into the ring, not for a cover, but to drop elbows and stomps on him.

Ciampa continues to stomp Gargano, and fans return to calling him an “Asshole!” He whips Gargano hard and Gargano tumbles up and down, landing on his head and shoulders. Ciampa enjoys it as he stalks Gargano again. He taunts Gargano, saying he should give up, but Gargano instead throws more left hands! Gargano throws hands, Ciampa boots, but Gargano comes back for the discus lariat, only for Ciampa to duck under and slam Gargano with a back suplex! Cover, ONE, so Ciampa puts Gargano in a Cloverleaf. Gargano grabs Ciampa’s beard to deny the hold, but Ciampa throws hands to weaken Gargano. Ciampa gets Gargano’s legs, and brings him into the Cloverleaf hold!

Gargano endures, but Ciampa bends him back further. Fans rally for Gargano, and Gargano gets to ropes. There are no ropebreaks, so Ciampa just holds onto the hold as long as he wants! Gargano keeps crawling, and gets himself out of the ring. Ciampa joins him on the apron, stomping and stomping away again without mercy. Then he sits down, and sarcastically claps to mock the fans. The Sicilian Psycho glares down at Johnny Wrestling, then goes searching under the ring. The fans let Ciampa know, “You’re a Wanker!” Ciampa can’t find what he’s looking for on that end, and accuses the referee of removing “it”. He sees Gargano moving, and keeps him down with a knee to his head! Again, that knee brace adds to the impact, and Gargano clutches his head. Ciampa scares a fan and takes their crutches?!

We all know what Ciampa’s done with crutches in respect to Gargano in the past. He waves “bye bye” like he did that night he cost Gargano his job before. Ciampa slips into the ring, armed with the crutches. Fans boo and jeer while rallying for Gargano, but he’s down on the mat. Ciampa uses the crutch to shovel Gargano up to his knees, then thrusts the crutch, but Gargano ducks! Ciampa tries to swing on the return, but Gargano ducks that, too. Gargano gets Ciampa with a strong left hand, then dodges the crutch again to throw a one two combo. Ciampa drops the crutch, Gargano goes for it, but Ciampa kicks him away. Ciampa picks the crutch back up, Gargano dodges and rolls Ciampa, for the school boy kick, which sends Ciampa out of the ring!

The fans cheer Gargano on as he goes over to where Ciampa is on the apron. They’re both slow to standing up, but Gargano stands Ciampa up for another left hand. Ciampa teeters on the edge as Gargano keeps punching. Ciampa sits down, Gargano reaches for him, but Ciampa sweeps his legs out! When Ciampa sees they’re back to the exposed concrete, he drags Gargano up, and tries to suplex him again. Gargano resists, for the sake of his life, and swing kicks Ciampa back. Gargano sees where he is, and slingshots over, but Ciampa blocks it! Ciampa hoists Gargano up and shifts him around, preparing for an Air Raid! Gargano slips out, to powerbomb Ciampa to the concrete!!

A sickening thud as Ciampa’s back hits the floor! And fans are losing their minds! But at the same time, they tell Ciampa, “You Deserve It!” Ciampa writhes in pain on the ground while the referee checks on him. Gargano rests in the ring while Ciampa drags himself up and in. Both men are down, but a crutch is halfway between them. Gargano and Ciampa each eye the weapon, and the fans know what they’re thinking. They both crawl for the crutch, and grab it at the same time. They tug-o-war over it, and Gargano gets the better of Ciampa!

Gargano has ownership of the crutch, and smacks Ciampa over and over with it! One for the betrayal, one for the sneak attack in Philly, and the rest for screwing him out of the title and his job! He even sweeps Ciampa’s bad knee with it. Gargano goes running in but Ciampa dumps him to the outside. Ciampa staggers over, but Gargano SMACKS him in the back of his head!

Gargano gets to the apron, slingshot DDT! Cover, TWO! Gargano keeps his frustration in check, and the fans continue to cheer him on. Gargano gets to a corner, and decides to expose one of the cross bars, as well as the buckle itself. He goes back to Ciampa, bringing him up and carrying him, but Ciampa slips out of the long dart to push Gargano into the top buckle. Ciampa clubs Gargano in the back, then hoists him up in the torture rack. Gargano slips out but Ciampa blocks the kick. Gargano evades Ciampa’s haymaker, but that back elbow gets Gargano right in the jaw. Ciampa gets space while Gargano checks his teeth. Ciampa runs back, and knees the slingshot spear down! Torture rack, Tower Hacker sit-out powerbomb! TWO! Gargano shows the same heart he showed back in Philly, and fans hope they “Fight Forever!”

Ciampa gets to a corner and watches Gargano stir. He waits for Gargano to sit up, and does a callback to their days as DIY. Knee strike to the back of Gargano’s head! Cover, TWO!! And Gargano can’t stand it! The fans keep cheering for Gargano, even as he is dazed. Fans say, “We Want Tables!” while Ciampa adjusts his knee brace. He brings Gargano up, preparing a lift, but Gargano resists again. Ciampa clubs Gargano to weaken him, then lifts, but still Gargano resists. Gargano slips under and starts throwing heavy left lariats! Gargano shouts “This is MY moment!” and starts unloading overhand chops across Ciampa’s face!

Ciampa shoves him, but Gargano tilt-o-whirls on the rebound, but Ciampa clobbers him with a lariat! Then the powerbomb lift, but Gargano slips out again, for the Reverse-Rana! It’s not the cleanest, but Gargano doesn’t care, he fires up to run and tilt-o-whirls! He gets Ciampa in the Garga-No Escape!

The fans chant “YES! YES!” while Ciampa flails and endures. Ciampa reaches, fades, but drags himself to ropes! The ropebreak doesn’t matter, and Gargano pushes them back to the middle of the ring! Ciampa comes close, but he instead rakes at Gargano’s eyes! Fans boo and jeer again, but again, there are no rules. Gargano blindly reaches and rolls while Ciampa undoes his wrist tape. The fans rally, but Ciampa gets enough slack on the tape, to go after Gargano! Gargano blocks the choke, and the two brawl with haymakers. The tape keeps them together as they throw those heavy hands, but neither man backs down. Their punches get stronger and meaner, then faster and faster.

Gargano gets the edge, and fans chant “YES! YES!” but Ciampa kicks Gargano in the balls! A legal low blow gives CIampa a chance to grab the other crutch, and smack Gargano with it! Then he brings Gargano up, for the powerbomb backbreaker, aka Project Ciampa!

Cover, TWO!? Ciampa can’t believe it, but the fans love it! Both men are down, barely stirring. Fans rally for Gargano once more, but it’s Ciampa who gets up first. Gargano crawls over to Ciampa, but Ciampa just shakes his head. Ciampa says this is his moment, but Gargano just fires off palm strikes! Ciampa responds with his own, then spins for the lariat, but turns into a SUPERKICK! Gargano then clobbers Ciampa with a left, and lifts for the long dart into the exposed buckle!

He’s not done there, he mule kicks Ciampa! That’s still not enough, he gives Ciampa the DIY MULE KICK! Cover, TWO?! But how?! Yet the fans chant “NXT! NXT!” Gargano crawls to a corner, and drags himself up to the top rope. Ciampa crawls to follow, and they brawl as Ciampa makes the climb. That knee brace adds to the knee strike, and Ciampa adds a headbutt. Ciampa brings Gargano up in the fireman’s carry, then adjusts, but Gargano fights out again. Gargano elbows Ciampa n the head over and over and over, then adjusts for standing corner punches. But he punches one too many times, Ciampa gets him in a SUPER Project Ciampa!!

Cover, TWO!?!? Somehow, someway, Johnny FREAKIN’ Wrestling survives! Fans again chant “NXT! NXT!” but Ciampa undoes his knee brace… Ciampa clutches his knee, but he stands up to bring the knee pad down. He exposes his knee completely, but Gargano sits up. Ciampa prepares another DIY knee, but Gargano uses the discarded brace as a weapon on that knee! Gargano then grabs the crutch, and breaks it apart to make a jagged edge. Gargano rushes Ciampa with it, but stops short as Ciampa covers up. The fans want Gargano to finish it, but Gargano can’t bring himself to be worse than Ciampa. Deep down, Gargano is still Ciampa’s friend, so he puts down the crutch.

Gargano sits down with Ciampa, flashback to the Cruiserweight Classic, but Ciampa swings at him with the knee brace! Gargano ducks it, and puts Ciampa back in the Garga-No Escape! Ciampa reaches for the brace, so Gargano slips around to the other side, using the brace in an STF!!

Ciampa taps, Gargano wins!!

Winner: Gargano, by submission; wins back his NXT contract

Gargano is BACK in NXT! And Candice LeRae runs out to celebrate with him! Mr. & Mrs. Wrestling are together in NXT!

They were both betrayed by Ciampa, so it is both their victory that Gargano gets back at him here tonight. With this grudge put behind them, what does the future hold for Johnny & Candice in NXT?

 


 

My Thoughts:

TakeOver specials are always great, but this was flat out amazing. It was great booking to schedule the Six Man Ladder Match first, because it put a lot of pressure on Adam Cole since he chose to do double duty. I did not expect Cole to win because of this, but it was great to see the fans pop for him so unanimously. Then in that amazing Dusty Rhodes Classic/NXT Tag Title match, I really didn’t expect that swerve coming. I thought Undisputed Era would win using the other teams against each other, but instead, Strong goes back to his ROH roots and is not only Heel but Heel on the Undisputed Era’s side. Now the UE rolls four deep and 100% ROH talent, I can’t wait to see where this leads.

The NXT Women’s Championship was great, especially with Ember returning all the bullying and such to Shayna, but Shayna showing how gritty she could be with that shoulder-fix spot. With how well Shayna has been doing in the ring and even on the mic, it was inevitable for her to become champion. It was also great out-of-character stuff to see her celebrate with Ronda Rousey and Jessamyn Duke, she’s the first of the MMA Horsewomen to really make it in pro-wrestling, so fans can all be happy for her regardless of her being Heel or Face. The NXT Championship was also great, so much of Almas’ offense was from his match with Gargano, Aleister knew it, and he gets the better of Almas because of it. As McIntyre said in the kickoff, a feud of him and Aleister is going to be amazing.

And the most amazing part of it all, was the FORTY MINUTE main event of the Unsanctioned match! And every minute was worth it, this was like taking their Cruiserweight Classic Match, doubling it, and adding all their instant-classic NXT tag team title matches on top of it. So much story, so much aggression, and spots I never could have imagined. Of course Gargano wins, he has so much still to do in NXT, but the match was booked so well that it still made it feel like the most amazing thing in the world to see.

My Score: 9.5/10


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Coverage

Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: Destruction in Beppu 2018!

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NJPW Destruction In Beppu

NJPW moves on to the next stop in their Destruction tour! Tetsuya Naito and Minoru Suzuki have fierce history, and now it comes to Beppu!

 

This coverage of Destruction in Beppu will be as broadcast by AXS TV.

Gifs can be found at http://frentique.tumblr.com/

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • NEVER Openweight Championship: Hirooki Goto VS Taichi w/ Miho Abe; Taichi wins and becomes the new NEVER Openweight Champion.
  • Tetsuya Naito VS Minoru Suzuki; Naito wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

NJPW and AXS TV set the scene in Beppu!

Suzuki-Gun is out for the heads of Los Ingobernobles de Japon. Back in April, the team leaders faced off for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. Tetusya Naito took that belt from Minoru Suzuki, only to be blindsided, bloodied and beaten by Chris Jericho! The Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolla now has that championship, but Suzuki is still seeking vengeance on the casually charismatic Naito. Suzuki almost destroyed Naito at Road to Destruction: Beppu, now he looks to finish the job! Can Naito survive the savage Suzuki? Or will this be the last we see of Tranquilo for some time?

But first, the Sliest Wrestler in the World wants his first singles gold in NJPW! However, Taichi is going for the Fierce Warrior of Chaos and his NEVER Openweight Championship. The last time these two met, it was in a Triple Threat with Mike Elgin included. Elgin won it, only to lose it back 1v1 against Goto. Can Goto keep his belt in this new 1v1 match? Or will he lose it again to the cunning “Holy Emperor”?

 

NEVER Openweight Championship: Hirooki Goto VS Taichi w/ Miho Abe!

Although Taichi moved up from lightweight to heavyweight to prove he could hang with the biggest and baddest, this title is technically open to all weights. Either way, can Taichi use his many tactics to take that title from Goto? Or will the perennial NEVER OC keep a tight grip on his favorite belt?

NJPW on AXS jumps into this match as Taichi has Goto down. Fans fire up as Taichi aims at Goto. Goto sits up, Taichi buzzsaws! Cover, TWO! Taichi keeps his cool, and tears off his pants! He’s serious now as he focuses. Goto stops the Superkick to get the headlock, but Taichi counters with a back suplex! Goto stands up to get an enziguri! Cover, TWO!! Taichi grows ever closer to winning, but he hasn’t got it yet. He drags Goto up and calls for a bomb, but Goto blocks. Taichi gives quick kicks to Goto’s face, then goes for the bomb again. He gets Goto up but Goto back drops him down! Goto and Taichi catch their breath as they stand. Taichi swings but Goto grabs him. Taichi denies the saido suplex, but not the Hell Wheel slam!

Both men are down but stirring as fans cheer. Goto stands first, gritting his teeth. He dares Taichi to stand, and Taichi rises. Goto grabs Taichi for a sleeper hold! Taichi reaches for ropes but Goto keeps him away. Taichi fades even as Miho rallies for her man. Fans duel as Goto squeezes tight. Red Shoes checks on Taichi with a lift of his hand. Taichi’s hand stays up, but Goto shifts to a dragon sleeper! Taichi grabs Red Shoes, and Yoshinobu Kanemaru sneaks in and attacks! He knocks everyone down, including Red Shoes, which keeps the referee from seeing Kanemaru kick and stomp Goto! Kanemaru slaps Goto, but runs into a BIG clothesline! Goto drags Kanemaru up and tosses him out, then goes after Taichi. He lifts Taichi up but now Desperado attacks! Suzuki-Gun helps it’s own, but Goto whips Desperado and clotheslines him out!

Goto doesn’t see Taichi grab his mic stand, especially with Roppongi 3K taking care of Desperado & Kanemaru. He finally turns around, but manages to duck the stand to fireman’s carry! Ushigoroshi! Miho shouts as Goto drags Taichi up for a dragon sleeper. Taichi slips out but still ends up in the Shotenkai, suplex to STO! But there’s no ref to count! Goto has covered for at least 5, but there’s no referee to be found. Fans rally up as Goto checks on Red Shoes. Goto goes back to Taichi for stomps, and then drags him up for clubbing forearms. He eggs Taichi on, Miho helps Red Shoes in. Taichi sits up, to get Goto’s buzzsaw kick! Goto drags Taichi up, but Taichi breaks free, only to get a headbutt! Goto drags Taichi up again, Inverted GTR! Cover, TWO!? Taichi shocks Goto by surviving!

Goto drags Taichi up but who is that storming down the ramp?! It’s Takashi Iizuka! Red Shoes stops the wild Iizuka and his metal hand at the ropes, but Goto takes care of him personally with a forearm smash! Iizuka is down, but Taichi gets away with a low blow! Then he uses the body scissor clutch to cover, TWO!? Goto escapes that wild screw job, but now everyone is down. Fans rally up as Iizuka rises. Goto and Taichi each crawl to a corner while Red Shoes also stirs. Taichi SUPERKICKS Goto! But he’s not done there, he drags Goto up, for a Last Ride! High stack cover all the way, TWO!? How did Goto survive?! Taichi keeps going, Black Mephisto reverse neckbreaker!! Cover, Taichi wins!!

Winner: Taichi, by pinfall; NEW NEVER Openweight Champion

Miho leaps into the ring to celebrate with her Star of Hokkai, as he now holds his first singles championship in NJPW! Of course, she and practically everyone else with connection to Suzuki-Gun helped him do it. Will Taichi rise to new greatness? Or will Goto return to bring this star crashing down soon enough?

 

Tetsuya Naito VS Minoru Suzuki!

To say there is no love lost between these two would be an understatement. The Uncontrollable Charisma gets on the nerves of the Meanest Man in the World, but The King of Pancreas isn’t exactly El Ingobernable’s favorite person, either. Will these two men make the title “Destruction in Beppu” literal in the course of this grudge match?

As always, Naito takes his time taking off his elaborate entrance attire. If anything, it’s part of his nonchalant mind games. But Suzuki won’t let him finish, he attacks Naito as he’s taking off the tearaway pants! The bell rings and Suzuki tosses Naito out of the ring. Suzuki kicks and knees and clubs Naito against the railing, then brings him to the other side to throw him into more railing. He stomps and punches Naito, but Naito comes back with a forearm. They trade shots back and forth, Suzuki standing low. Naito staggers around a corner but Suzuki puts him in the ring. Suzuki stomps and kicks Naito around, then throws more knees. He whips Naito but Naito reverses to knock Suzuki over and hit a basement dropkick! Naito puts Suzuki in a corner with the heel of his boot.

Suzuki slips out but Naito pursues. Naito whips Suzuki at railings and Suzuki almost tumbles over them. Naito brings Suzuki up to whip him into more railing. Suzuki simply snarls as Naito grinds and stomps him. Suzuki even eggs Naito on. Naito puts more effort into the heel of his boot, but Red Shoes wants them to bring this back to the ring. Naito brings Suzuki up to ram him into railing again. Suzuki staggers but Naito pursues. Naito elbows and clubs Suzuki against the railing, then puts him back in the ring. Fans applaud, but Suzuki catches Naito into a draping armbar! Red Shoes counts but Suzuki lets go at 4, to run and boot Naito to the railing! Naito is down, but Suzuki doesn’t leave him there. Suzuki brings Naito outside and around to bounce him off an announce desk.

Suzuki brings Naito toward the entrance ways, and fights among the fans! He bowls Naito through chairs! Then he wraps a chair around Naito’s head to choke him with the legs! Red Shoes counts and Suzuki lets go at 4. Suzuki watches Naito slowly stand, to jab a chair into Naito’s ribs! Naito clutches his side as he slumps to the floor. Suzuki leaves him for dead, but brings blue railing with him just because. Naito stirs and Suzuki watches for him. Naito makes his way back to ringside and Suzuki eggs him on again. He throws chops but Suzuki just knees Naito back. The ring count has reached 13 by the time Suzuki shoves Naito back in the ring. Suzuki has Naito on the apron, for another draping armbar off that apron edge! Red Shoes counts, and again Suzuki lets go at 4.

Suzuki returns into the ring, to toss Naito back on. They again go around as Suzuki knees and forearms Naito. Suzuki backs off to blast Naito with his own John Woo dropkick! Naito is in trouble while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns to see Suzuki picking on a Young Lion now! He dumps the younger wrestler over the railing, then he takes some swipes at various commentary teams. Suzuki makes a full lap around the ring, and boots that same Young Lion! Red Shoes counts and it reaches 10 before Suzuki goes back to Naito. Suzuki puts Naito back in at 14, but hears the fans rallying up for Naito. He paces as Naito slowly stands up. Suzuki kicks Naito stiff in the chest, then brings him up for a snapmare into another stiff kick. Naito writhes while Suzuki simply looms over him menacingly. Suzuki kicks Naito again and again, then covers, TWO! Suzuki has Naito with the mounted double wristlock!

Naito endures the torture of his arm as Suzuki makes it a hammerlock. Naito kicks and flails his legs while fans rally up. He feeds off that energy, but Suzuki shifts to a Fujiwara! Naito endures new arm pan as Suzuki even uses Naito’s own wristband against him! Red Shoes reprimands Suzuki so Suzuki ditches the wristband. Naito reaches and gets to ropes for the ropebreak! Suzuki lets him go, but stomps that bad arm. Suzuki eggs Naito and the fans on. He bumps Naito with his knee, then kicks Naito in the chest again. He knees Naito to a corner but Naito comes back with sharp chops! Suzuki just smiles and laughs it off. He kicks Naito more, then throws stiff forearms. Naito is in the corner and fans rally again, but Suzuki simply spits at the cameraman.

Suzuki brings Naito out but Naito reverses the whip. Suzuki runs out into an atomic drop and the neckbreaker! Both men are down, but making their way back up. Naito stands first and throws a forearm. Suzuki replies and now they go back and forth. Suzuki hits Naito stiff but Naito comes back, Naito blocks a kick to fire off. He whips Suzuki, running dropkick, sweeps the legs and shouts “O-sama!” at The King as he hits the swinging dropkick! Fans fire up as Naito poses. Suzuki sits up with another snarl but Naito stands on his head as he poses. Naito grinds in his heel but Suzuki still grits his teeth. Naito keeps toying with Suzuki, but Suzuki grins. Suzuki fights his way out of a waistlock to then throw stiff forearms. Naito pie faces, so Suzuki hits him harder. Naito hits back, Suzuki hits harder again.

Suzuki whips Naito corner to corner and hits a big boot! He snapmares Naito down and runs for a Penalty Kick! Then another! And another! Then another! Suzuki stomps Naito over and over, then drags him up to toss him back out of the ring. Naito flounders away but Suzuki pursues. Suzuki opens the gate and rips up railing to confiscate someone’s folding chair. Red Shoes won’t allow Suzuki to use this one, and they tug o’ war over it while Naito staggers over. Suzuki kicks Naito away, then brings him around to throw him into more railing. Fans rally for Naito but Suzuki decides to confiscate the timekeeper’s table! Suzuki folds the legs and brings it around, to SMACK Naito with it! Naito’s face left a dent in the wood, but Suzuki isn’t done with either one! Suzuki sets the table up, but Naito clubs Suzuki!

Naito and Suzuki brawl but Suzuki gets a facelock choke. Suzuki squeezes Naito, then puts him on the already damaged table. Suzuki then fetches another chair, but Red Shoes again stops Suzuki. Red Shoes wraps himself around the legs of the chair so Suzuki gives up on that. Naito gets away from the table but Suzuki meets him on the apron. Suzuki puts on another sleeper to squeeze the life from Naito. He even makes it a hangman’s sleeper! Suzuki lets go of Naito and Naito flops to the floor. Fans boo Suzuki and cheer Naito, so Suzuki tells them off. Suzuki drags Naito up as fans grow thunderous.

Suzuki adjusts the table’s position, and wants a Gotch Piledriver! Naito holds on for dear life, and breaks free to elbow Suzuki back. He then brings Suzuki over, for a neckbreaker through the table!! Both men are down in the wreckage while we go to break!

NJPW on AXS returns as Naito brings a dazed Suzuki up from the splintered wood. Naito wants to put Suzuki in the ring but Suzuki collapses. Naito leaves him out there and a ring count begins. It passes 10 before Suzuki stirs. Suzuki gets up at 14 but flops back down. The count nears the end, but Suzuki gets in at 19! And Naito meets him with a dropkick! Naito brings Suzuki up, hammerlocks, GLORIA! Cover, TWO! Suzuki is tougher than that, but Naito has more moves to use. He brings Suzuki up, wrenches the arm, but Suzuki elbows him away. Suzuki whips Naito but Naito comes back with leaping forearms! Naito hurries to wrench but Suzuki mule kicks Naito’s knee. Naito hobbles and Suzuki runs in, but into an elbow.

Now Naito puts Suzuki up top, climbs up to join him, but Suzuki grabs at the legs. They brawl up there, and Suzuki brings Naito down into an Achilles Lock! Naito flails and writhes as Suzuki pulls on the ankle and knee! Naito drags himself over as fans rally up, and gets the ropebreak! Suzuki lets Naito go but he won’t leave him be. He stalks Naito as he crawls. Suzuki kicks the bad leg, then brings Naito up for stiffer kicks. He stomps the other leg, then grabs the bad one. He elbows the knee and stalks Naito as he limps around. Suzuki brings Naito up but Naito throws forearms and kicks. Suzuki just kicks the bad leg then whips. Naito can barely run, so Suzuki runs, but into a low dropkick! Naito then hits the tornado DDT!

Fans rally as Naito aims. He runs but Suzuki denies the tilt-o-whirl and sweeps the legs, to roll Naito into a kneebar! Suzuki grapevines the leg and even pulls on the ankle, and drags Naito away from ropes. Suzuki steps through to wrench the leg into another kneebar! Naito endures the torture while fans rally again. Naito drags himself around as Suzuki twists as hard as he can. Red Shoes checks if this is it, but then Suzuki traps the free leg using his legs! Naito keeps trying, but Suzuki drags him away again. Suzuki drops down into a toehold, and Naito is again writhing. Naito flails but he doesn’t tap. Naito reaches but Suzuki shifts to a standing Half Crab! Suzuki pulls as far back as he can as he sits down on Naito! Naito still endures, so Suzuki moves around for another Achilles Lock!

Naito shouts and grits his teeth. The fans have not cheering him on, but Suzuki just takes all that as a challenge to hurt Naito more. Naito grabs Red Shoes so Suzuki shifts around to get back to the kneebar and cradle. He even traps one of Naito’s arms in there! Naito gets the arms free but that leg is still Suzuki’s chew toy! Naito grabs at Red Shoes again so Suzuki pulls hard all over again. Suzuki has both legs trapped with his grapevine, but Naito refuses to give up. Fans refuse to stop cheering him on, and this gives Naito the will to keep reaching. Suzuki doesn’t give up pulling on that bad leg, and rolls Naito over for yet another variation of trapping one leg while twisting the other! Red Shoes asks if Naito wants to stop, but Naito refuses.

Suzuki gets bored with that hold, so he gets up, and puts Naito in a Figure Four! Suzuki has used just about every hold imaginable, and hopes the Nature Boy’s favorite finishes this. Naito continues to endure but Suzuki puts more leverage into the hold. He twists Naito around, but Naito uses that moment to finally get a ropebreak! Suzuki lets Naito go, but drags Naito up. Suzuki fires off fast palm strikes from both sides, then wraps on the sleeper hold! Somehow Naito isn’t out cold yet, but he is turning purple. Fans continue to rally, but Suzuki shifts to his Gotch Piledriver! Naito holds on with whatever he has left, so Suzuki knees and slaps him. Suzuki brings Naito around, but Naito tilt-o-whirls into Destino!!

Both men are down, and Red Shoes checks on them. Suzuki rolls while clutching his sore head. Naito stirs and Suzuki actually likes seeing that. Suzuki hits Naito with a forearm, and Naito hits back. Suzuki hits again, but so does Naito. The forearms continue to fly as they both slowly rise to their feet. Suzuki hits Naito, but Naito hits back. Suzuki grins, and gives another swift shot to Naito. Naito hits back, but Suzuki hits harder. Naito staggers around,  Suzuki hits him again, Naito immediately hits back! Suzuki felt that one, but he still grins. He slaps Naito, Naito slaps Suzuki. Suzuki slaps, Naito slaps. Suzuki slaps, Naito slaps, repeat faster and faster! Naito takes slap from all sides, but gets a slap in the gap! And another! And another! Enziguri! Naito spits at Suzuki, then drags him up, to steal the piledriver!! Cover, TWO!!

Fans are still thunderous as Naito brings Suzuki back up. Tilt-o-whirl, DESTINO! Cover, Naito wins!!

Winner: Tetsuya Naito, by pinfall

It took so much out of him, but THE Ungovernable wins in the end. Both men are helped up while we go to break.

 

NJPW on AXS returns…

And Naito finally stands to have his hand raised in victory. Suzuki is down on the floor while Los Ingobernables de Japon has joined their fearless leader in the ring. Suzuki finally gets up and staggers off, but he surely won’t let this loss slow him down. As for Naito, he takes the mic to speak to the crowd.

“Buenos Noches, Beppu~!” He thanks them for coming tonight, for this return after a year and five months, as well as his first big match since then. What did they think? Did they like it? Beppu says yes! He notes the match earlier of LIJ’s Evil, Bushi & Sanada, and of course himself in the main event. And the fans surely know they’re still short that one member. Naito promises that next time, they’ll be back with that member, and LIJ will be at 100% strength!

By the way, the last time they were in Beppu and all the times before that, Naito has always ended up holding the mic. Did they notice? Well then the fans know what comes next, right? To everyone who supports LIJ in Beppu, this NJPW Beppu grand finale will be their roll call! “EVIL! BUSHI! SANADA! HIROMU! Y NAITO! Nosotros Los Ingoberrrrrnableeees~! DE JAPON!!” LIJ stands tall, tired as they are. Will LIJ only grow stronger as time goes by? Will they become the top faction in all of NJPW?

 

Backstage interviews.

Naito thinks back to April and Kumamoto, that and this makes two wins in a row against “The King.” The result was as he expected, and winning against Suzuki doesn’t do anything for him now. Naito knows in Kumamoto, he said it’s important “to return to normal, to not give up”. But that desire and will to change, the courage to take that first step, those are also important. Naito likes how that sounds, “the courage to take the first step.” As for what that means, Naito leaves that up to our imaginations. The answer of course is Tranquilo. Naito takes things easy, but will it be so easy to make it back to a title?

 


 

My Thoughts:

A really great episode right here. The bit of Goto VS Taichi we got was good, and it was pretty clear Taichi is the kind of weasel Heel who needs a lot of outside distracts to beat the big name. There is a big chance Goto will come back for that belt, that’s just his constant story in NJPW, but perhaps Taichi can use all his allies and assists to retain in sneaky ways so that Goto has to think of something else to fight for. We saw at Fighting Spirit Unleashed that he’s up for fighting Jeff Cobb just to test both men’s power levels. With Jeff Cobb being ROH World Television Champion, should Goto get that NEVER Openweight title back, I wouldn’t mind them at least having a Championship VS Championship match to see if someone becomes both.

And of course, the main event, the meat of the episode, was incredible. Much of this Suzuki VS Naito match was like their previous meeting but with new twists using that to their advantage. Just as I was wondering where Suzuki’s submission skills were, he goes after those bandaged legs. Naito shows some real grit, but bordered dangerously on too much. They stayed in one hold for quite a long time, but it still seemed to work for the match. It was great for Naito to go over, and while he says it doesn’t really help him, it also doesn’t hurt Suzuki. Both men are still strong no matter what, but I’m thinking at the very least, this could lead Naito back to Jericho and that IWGP Intercontinental Championship.

My Score: 8.6/10


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Mitchell’s ROH Results & Report! (10/13/18)

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Ring of Honor Wrestling Television, Episode 369

The Kingdom made it known that Matt Taven still wants that ROH World Championship when they attacked Jay Lethal. Why? Because HEEE’S MATT TAVEN!!

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Kenny King VS Chase Owens; King wins.
  • Flip Gordon VS Shane Taylor; No contest.
  • Fatal 4 Way Tag: The Addiction VS The Young Bucks VS Best Friends VS EVIL & SANADA; The Young Bucks win.

PLAY BY PLAY

Witness the Death Before Dishonor aftermath!

Jay Lethal defended his ROH World Championship successfully against Will Ospreay. But then the red balloons signaled doom! The Kingdom would jump both Lethal and Ospreay, and would even withstand The Octopus, Jonathan Gresham, coming to the rescue. Taven would finish the job, and reveal his newly shaved head, while also revealing HIS ROH World Championship belt! Taven would throw down Lethal’s belt, because “IIIII’M Matt Taven, the REAL Ring of Honor World Champion!” Will The Kingdom truly reign over all? Or will The Franchise Player have something to say about this?

 

The Kingdom is here!

Fans are NOT happy to see them. Matt Taven, TK O’Ryan and Vinnie Marseglia take the ring and move both referee and ring announcer aside so that they can go through with their ceremony. “Ladies and gentlemen, what is about to happen in this ring should have happened a long, long time ago.” TK makes sure neither ref nor announce moves as he speaks on the Kingdom Conspiracy. ROH has tried to silence them for far too long, but now the world will hear them out. Vinnie makes the referee hold their belt, and Vinnie takes the mic. “The conspiracy is dead.” TK makes the announcer officially say their message.

“This man has held the CMLL Historic NWA Welterweight Championship, the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship. He was the winner of the ROH Top Prospect Tournament. He held the ROH World Television Championship, the ROH World Tag Team Championship, two times he held the ROH World Six Man Tag Team Championship.” Taven was the Honor Royale winner, and has sold out Sumo Hall, Arena Mexico, ECW Arena, Hammerstein Ballroom and is the “reason that ROH and NJPW sold out Madison Square Garden.” Most of those are exaggerations… But most of all, TK bullies the ring announcer into reading the very last thing. “He is your ROH World Champion, THE Matt Taven.” That is factually inaccurate, but the Kingdom insists it is truth.

Taven takes the belt from the referee, and holds it up high as TK and Vinnie force the referee to raise his hand in victory. The Kingdom believe their leader to be the newest ROH WHC, but they’re the only ones. When will Taven be the actual ROH Grand Slam Champion he wishes to be?

 

The Top Prospect Tournament is OVER!

But not because we have a winner, but because Jeff Cobb says so! Cobb came to Death Before Dishonor to confront Punishment Martinez, but Martinez didn’t take him seriously. Which is why he SMACKED Cobb in the back with a chair! To no affect! Cobb glared at Martinez, then reeled him in for a slam! Cobb wants the ROH World Television Championship, when and where will he get it?

 

Kenny King VS Chase Owens!

The K I N G of Sin City has been on a Bullet Club hunting spree. First, he beat The Villain at his own game, then used those same tricks to solve the Problem Solver. But now, making a Ring of Honor Television debut, it’s the Crown Jewel of New Japan! Can Chase stop Kenny’s streak at two? Or will Kenny keep getting the better of the Bullet Club?

Kenny and Chase uphold the Code of Honor and the bell rings. Kenny and Chase circle and tie up. Chase gets a wristlock, but Kenny reverses to a hammerlock. Chase reverses to a fireman’s carry takedown, and then shifts to an armlock. Kenny gets up but Chase wrenches to a hammerlock. Kenny works his way out with a spin and Japanese arm-drags Chase, followed by an standard arm-drag. He has Chase in the armlock now, but Chase is up and whips. Kenny reverses but Chase blocks the hip toss into an arm-drag. Chase aims but Kenny avoids the superkick. Kenny jumps but Chase deflects the dropkick. Kenny handsprings and fans applaud this stand-off. The King swags about but Chase shrugs it off. Chase and Kenny circle and tie up, and Kenny gets a headlock.

Chase powers out but Kenny runs him over. Kenny breaks it down with his dance, then things speed up. Chase hurdles but dodges the punch to put Kenny on the apron. Kenny forearms back but Chase dropkcisk hsi feet out. Chase builds speed for a big wrecking ball dropkick! Fans fire up for the Crown Jewel despite Kenny being their hometown boy. Chase whips Kenny but Kenny spins through to rock him with a right! Kenny kicks but Chase ducks and gets in the ring. Chase knees Kenny’s shoulder thrust to then drag him out for a draping complete shot! Cover, TWO! Chase is in control while we go to break.

ROH returns as Kenny punches and kicks Chase off. Kenny whips but Chase reverses into a chin-check then mule kicks before hitting the running swing neckbreaker! Chase covers, TWO, but he keeps on Kenny with a fireman’s carry. Kenny fights his way out to then throw jabs. He bobs ‘n’ weaves with Chase to rock him with a right. Kenny whips and drops Chase with a spinning heel kick! Chase gets to the apron and swings back, but Kenny counters with the Eddy Gordo kick. Chase tumbles down and Kenny builds speed to FLY! Kenny hits the twisting plancha and Vegas fires up. Kenny gets Chase up and in then climbs up top. He leaps for the crossbody! Cover, TWO! Kenny grinds a forearm in for another cover, TWO. He wraps Chase in a chinlock with a knee into the back.

Chase fights his way up, throws body shots, and breaks free. Kenny shoves but Chase comes back with a jawbreaker. Chase runs, ducks and hits back with a forearm. He rallies with more forearms, jumps the sweep and hits an enziguri! Kenny gets to a corner while Chase runs in for a running European Uppercut. Chase then rolls Kenny out for a Shining Wizard! Cover, TWO! Chase brings Kenny up for a chop. Then he whips Kenny, but Kenny goes up and over into a sunset flip, TWO! Kenny runs into Chase’s swing, for a swinging facebuster! Cover, TWO!

Chase keeps his cool as he double guns. BANG and he brings Kenny up, but Kenny gets out of the package driver. Kenny swings but Chase blocks to fire off a strike fest! Chase runs but into an elbow. Kenny runs but into a boot! Chase goes for the rebound back suplex but Kenny slips out of it, but jams his leg! The referee checks on Kenny but Chase senses something’s up. Chase moves the referee aside, but still gets caught in Kenny’s cradle! Kenny wins!!

Winner: Kenny King, by pinfall

The #BulletClubSilencer continues to steal victories, not because he has to, but because he wants to. Is there any way to stop the K I N G from riding the line? Or is he going to climb up the ladder by any means necessary?

 

Team Coast2Coast speaks.

“It was a slow Summer”, but Shaheem Ali is back at 100%, they beat The Kingdom, and now have momentum going into their ROH World Tag Team Championship match next week! But they’re still undefeated, too! So now, Ali & Leon St. Giovanni get their shot at The Briscoes! Can they take those titles from #DemBoyz, Jay & Mark? Or will they fail to #ManUp when it’s Sandy Fork VS Everybody?

 

Flip Gordon VS Shane Taylor!

The high-flying Captain of Flip Army and the hard-hitting Notorious Hitman have had their past battles, such as for a chance at the ROH World TV title. Flip just went through a brutal Tables Elimination Tag match at Death Before Dishonor against Bully Ray and Silas Young. Flip already feels beat up from going through hardwood, will he feel even worse after a round with the One Hitter Quitter?

Before the match, Flip takes to the mic. “Listen, Shane. I have no problem fighting you tonight. But first, there’s something I need to get off my chest.” Flip calls out Bully Ray for putting Colt Cabana through a table. He made sure the odds were stacked in a match of his choosing, in the match that he made famous. But what happened? Flip still put Bully AND Silas through tables! But Bully couldn’t handle that, so he cheated. Flip wants to know what Bully wants. A TLC? A Las Vegas Street Fight? What does Bully want? “Do you know who I am?” Bully is here!

And Bully says Flip needs to focus on Taylor. What’s wrong, Flip? Is Bully under his skin? Is Flip upset over getting kicked in the balls and kept down? Flip says he beat Bully at his own game, but Bully says it only matters what the referee saw. Speaking of, Taylor comes in with a chair, but Flip sees him in time! Taylor stays back as Bully says be more concerned with everyone else. Because Silas Young slithers in to uppercut Flip in the balls! Bully mocks Flip as he says “It happened again.” Flip’s in the same spot as always: down on his knees in pain, because Bully is too smart for him. Then Bully tells Taylor to finish it off, and make it stiff! Taylor SMACKS Flip across the back!

Bully mockingly calls for help from the back while he shoves the referee down. Then he mocks Ian Riccaboni and the Vegas audience. Taylor SMACKS Flip again! Bully keeps egging Ian on, as Silas gives Flip the knee and Misery neckbreaker! Flip is down and out and all alone, and Bully asks again, “Do you know who I am?” Bully and his new crew stand tall as Vegas boos and jeers, will anyone put these three in their place?

No Contest

 

The Briscoes speak.

Jay & Mark know Coast 2 Coast are undefeated in 2018, but that will only make it worse when they lose. When the ROH World Tag Team Championships are on the line, “y’all don’t stand a chance in hell.” Will Ali & LSG shock the world? Or will they simply crash and burn against the 9-time and mean-as-hell champions?

 

Jay Lethal speaks.

“The fact that we have sold out Madison Square Garden, I get goosebumps just thinking about it.” Lethal’s generation grew up loving pro-wrestling and dreaming of being at MSG. It is now a reality for ROH. There are always doubters and naysayers, let them talk. But the fact is, ROH and NJPW did it. “The little kid inside of me is smiling ear to ear knowing that I am going to get to wrestle at Madison Square Garden.” The only thing that could make it even sweeter, is if when they arrive, Lethal is still ROH World Champion. Lethal wants us all to believe and to know, that come April, the belt will be with the greatest wrestler in the world today, and that’s him. April is a long ways away, will Lethal keep his promise?

 

The Kingdom head out.

They’ve got everything they need, namely their ROH World Championship belt. There is still a question of validity, when will Lethal and Taven settle the issue of who is the REAL real World Champion?

 

Fatal 4 Way Tag: The Addiction VS The Young Bucks VS Best Friends VS EVIL & SANADA!

Teams that cross ROH and NJPW lines collide in this massive main event! Will Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian, Matt & Nick Jackson, Chuckie T & Trent Baretta or Los Ingobernables de Japon’s King of Darkness and Cold Skull make major moves towards World Tag Team Championship contention?

ROH returns with all eight men standing in their teams, but then the Kentucky Gentleman throws the first punch! It all explodes into a brawl and they pair off! Chuckie has Sanada, Trent has Daniels, Evil has Nick Jackson while Kaz has Matt. The Fallen Angel throws Nick out so he can go after Evil, but the other six don’t see the Bucks regroup. Nick climbs up, and with Matt’s help, he launches onto everyone else! The Bucks control the ring as they double whip Kaz. Nick sweeps and Matt low dropkicks, then they go after Daniels with the gutbuster to swinging neck and backbreaker! Trent runs into double kicks but Chuckie saves him from the alley-oop attack. Chuckie puts Matt in a corner, then dodges Nick to send the brothers into each other.

Trent enziguris Nick then Chuckie scoops Matt. Trent directs Chuckie, and Matt gets the Long Dart Cutter! Fans fire up as the Best Friends– are stopped from hugging as Evil & Sanada attack! LIJ rake the eyes of both Best Friends, then they double whip Trent. They double elbow Trent down and drop toehold Chuckie onto him, and Evil adds a big back senton to sandwich them both! The Addiction return and run both LIJ over. They double wrench Evil and bring him to his knees. Kaz kicks, Daniels clubs, and Kaz double stomps! Sanada runs into a scoop slam, and then The Addiction work together for the back suplex splash and lionsault!

Kaz slingshots out to huricanrana Evil down, but Sanada slingshots to splash on him. Daniels DIVES and hits Sanada! But then Matt wrecks Daniels with a dropkick, and sets up the pins for Nick. Nick runs for a corkscrew moonsault! But wait, Trent builds up speed, Chuckie intercepts to hug! The Best Friends hit The Addiction to then DOUBLE FLY onto all six opponents! Chuckie puts Daniels in but the ref checks on Daniels given his neck. Daniels says he’s fine, and the bell rings to finally make this match official!

Chuckie hotshots Daniels and Trent rolls him up! TWO!! This match was almost the fastest in ROH history given all that brawling didn’t count. Trent keeps on Daniels but Daniels jawbreakers him away. Sanada tags in per the rules of Four Corner Survival tags, and goes after Daniels. He grabs Daniels’ nose then slaps it! Sanada puts Daniels down and ties him up in the Paradise Lock! Daniels is stuck but Kaz comes in. Sanada trips him and ties him up right beside Daniels! That’s double Paradise, and Sanada kicks them both out of it! Cover on Daniels, TWO! Sanada tags Evil and Evil slaps Daniels around. Daniels fires chops and forearms in return, but the kick is blocked. Evil gives Daniels over to the referee, to mule kick Daniels in the buttocks! Evil rakes Daniels’ back, twice!

Daniels crawls to ropes but Evil is on him. Evil whips and hits the sidewalk slam. Cover, TWO! Evil keeps Daniels down with a chinlock, but fans build up to a rally while we go to one last break.

ROH returns as Daniels blocks Evil’s kick! Daniels gives it to the ref and he mule kicks Evil in the buttocks! But the payback continues as Daniels gives Evil an atomic facebuster! Both men are down and fans rally up. Best Friends drop off their corner and put on their shades as they swagger over to trip up Kaz! Sanada gets the tag from Evil and both LIJ go after Daniels. They double whip but Daniels sends them into each other. Daniels rolls Evil up, ONE, but Daniels clotheslines Sanada right down. Evil swings at Daniels, Daniels ducks and tags in Nick Jackson! Nick rallies on LIJ with kicks and elbows. He shining wizards Sanada and hits the bulldog clothesline combination! Chuckie T tags in but both Best Friends enter.

They go after Nick together, double whip but Nick kicks the sunglasses off Chuckie. Nick chops and slaps Trent, to go “Lucha Libre~!” on both Best Friends! Matt comes in and wheelbarrows Chuckie for the victory roll bomb! Cover, TWO!! Matt gets Chuckie up and fireman’s carry, but Chuckie slips out. Chuckie gets to a corner, goes up and over Matt, then throws Nick overhead onto Matt! Kaz puts Chuckie on the apron and slingshots him in for the cutter! Sanada runs in, wants Skull End but Kaz reverses, only for Sanada to suplex him into the draping swinging neckbreaker! Trent is in, dodges Sanada and hits the tornado DDT! Evil is in but he gets a chop. Trent runs but Evil uses the ref as a shield, to then mule kick and suplex Trent onto the ref’s shoulder, for Magic Killer!

Nick’s up, SUPERKICK on Evil! SUPERKICK misses Daniels, Daniels hits Angel’s Wings! SUPERKICK from Matt, Chuckie gives Matt the Awful Waffle driver! Cover, TWO!! Trent returns and the Best Friends coordinate. Chuckie tags Trent then puts Matt in the corner, back elbow boot combo! Trent scoops Matt, Chuckie climbs up, dum dum stomp Dude Buster!! Cover, but Nick breaks it with a swanton! Kaz bumps Chuckie off apron, but fans are rallying for Bucks and Best Friends.

Nick and Trent stand and trade right hands. Both men collide with clotheslines, but Daniels runs in. Daniels only gets Trent, then turns around for a SUPERKICK! Kaz gets a SUPERKICK! Chuckie gets a SUPERKICK! Evil blocks the Superkick but Matt saves Nick from the Everything is Evil STO! Double SUPERKICKS! Sanada flies in, for SUPERKICKS! The Bucks grab Trent and set him up in the tombstone. Nick cartwheels and asai moonsaults The Addiction down! Nick hurries up, dial it up, springboard for the Five Star Meltzer Driver!! Cover, The Young Bucks win!!

Winners: The Young Bucks, Matt Jackson pinning

The arguably top tag team in the world win big in this big match! Will Matt & Nick find themselves again challenging for the ROH World Tag Team Championships in the near future? Will it be the Briscoes or Team Coast2Coast who hold those belts when they do?

 


 

My Thoughts:

A pretty great episode of ROH here. We’re now past Death Before Dishonor, and while Jay Lethal is still world champion, clearly we’re seeing the start of an “Undisputed ROH World Champion” story. Lethal also vows to be THE champion come April, maybe they find a way to extend this idea all the way to the G1 Supercard so that Madison Square Garden will be the place where either Lethal or Taven establishes themselves as THE champion. Also, personally, I would’ve tried to change things up more than just making the belt strap purple. But hey, ROH is on a small budget. If you don’t believe me, get a closer look at the “red carpet” Kenny King had. Those gold stars looked hand-made, and cheaply. King beats Chase Owens with another sneaky move, but surely someone higher ranking in Bullet Club like Cody will put a stop to King’s streak.

The moment Flip called out Bully, it should’ve been clear things would turn out this way. Bully, Silas and Taylor are becoming quite the force, so I’m wondering who Flip can enlist to help him. He’s become good friends with The Bullet Club, but they’re all in other stories. Short of Silas’ old buddies turning face, I don’t see anyone big enough both literally and in kayfabe that could help. Then that Four Corners Survival tag was pretty awesome. All the teams got to display their abilities, but naturally The Young Bucks win. Episode 370 will be great with the ROH World Television and World Tag Team Championships on the line. I’m sure Coast2Coast will look strong but I’m thinking The Briscoes retain to give us one more battle with The Bucks. Oh, and Jeff Cobb will obviously win, but in an epic good-bye to Martinez.

My Score: 8.5/10


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Mitchell’s Lucha Underground Results & Report! (10/17/18)

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Lucha Underground cover image

Lucha Underground Season 4, “Savagery”

With the Gift of the Gods Championship needing reformation, a Battle Royal will be held! Who will come out with a chance at THE Lucha Underground title?

 

Gifs can be found on  http://frentique.tumblr.com/

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Gift of the Gods Battle Royal: Jake Strong wins and eliminates no one from next week’s Gift of the Gods Championship Match.
  • The Mack VS Killshot; The Mack wins, by disqualification.
  • Jake Strong VS Johnny Mundo; Strong wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Antonio Cueto tends to the Ancient Aztec Medallions.

The seven gold medals must be in pristine condition for tonight. But first, “The Savage” Jake Strong walks in, in a suit. Antonio offers him a seat, and Strong takes it. Antonio asks if Strong would like anything, Strong simply asks why he was asked into Antonio’s office. Well, since arriving in the Temple, Strong has been more dominant than even Antonio could’ve imagined. At Ultima Lucha, there’s no reason Strong can’t be in the main event. Antonio has no doubt that neither Marty the Moth nor Pentagon Dark could defeat him. Strong speaks up, and says he will become Lucha Underground not because Antonio handed it to him on a silver platter, but because he did it himself. “Thanks, but no thanks.”

Antonio understands. Strong doesn’t want anyone doubting his supremacy. Strong slams his fist on the desk, and says no man will. Of course not. Which is why Antonio will give Strong one of the seven Aztec Medallions. “They were forged 5000 years ago, and together, they create the Gift of the Gods.” Strong knows the story behind that title. Right, of course. Then in the ring, Strong will have the opportunity to prove his supremacy and be that much closer to the Gift of the Gods. Strong takes the medallion, and brings up “the sacrifices you’ve fed to your son.” Antonio better save some for him. Oh, and this isn’t Antonio’s Temple anymore. It’s Strong’s! But see you out there. There is more to The Savage than meets the eye. Will anyone be able to stop him from completely taking over Lucha Underground?

 

Antonio Cueto is ringside!

He presents the Gift of the Gods belt, and reminds us all that “Ultima Lucha Cuatro is right around the corner! Which means, we must decide a new Gift of the Gods Champion!” The Believers are excited to hear that, so Antonio lets us know that the medallions are already award to truly deserving luchadores.

First, Aerostar! The Man of Time and Space has been a major staple of Lucha Underground, so he’s a natural choice. Second, making a return to the Temple, Darewolf PJ Black! The Worldwide Underground’s adrenaline junkie survived an attack by Matanza Cueto, this GotG battle should be nothing to him. Third, it’s Hernandez! The Super-Mex is back with more swagger than before, but will he finally get Lucha Underground gold? Fourth, Big Bad Steve! The Infamous Inc. mechanic returns, all healed up and ready for this human demolition derby. Fifth, King Cuerno! The Hunter was Gift of the Gods Champion before, and looks to repeat now that it has an instant cash-in ability. Sixth, Jake Strong! The Savage is undefeated one on one, but will he be able to stay strong against six others?

And last but certainly not least, a certain star who was Missing in Action, the One Man Lucha Army, DANTE FOX!! Yes, the former Lucha Underground Trios Champion who has been absent since last season finally returns, and aims right for the top! The Believers are thunderous as Fox joins the field of seven. Antonio feels that the number 7 is unlucky, so next week, only SIX get to be in the Gift of the Gods Championship match. So yes, just like earlier this season, these seven will battle in a Battle Royal! The winner eliminates one of the losers, and that match is RIGHT NOW!

Gift of the Gods Battle Royal!

The bell rings, and we begin! The seven do their best to split up as Big Bad Steve wants payback on The Savage, and Super-Mex goes after Dante Fox. PJ Black goes after King Cuerno while Aerostar stays just out of reach. Aero goes after Strong but BBS hits Aero for it. It seems the Mechanic doesn’t want to share his revenge. Strong goes after Fox and Hernandez at the same time while PJ fights off Cuerno. BBS whips Aero but Aero dodges to tilt-o-tilt-o-tilt-o-whirl headscissor him down! Fans fire up with Aero as he runs, then rolls, but ends up in BBS’s Canadian rack, only to spin and arm-drag out of it! Aero baits BBS and dumps him out. BBS stays on the apron and rocks Aero back. He brags to long and gets a 619! Aerostar ELIMINATES Big Bad Steve!

Hernandez kicks Aerostar upon his return, then whips him. Aero reverses but Hernandez goes up and out to shoulder back in. Hernandez says “Suck It!” but then PJ Black and King Cuerno double boot him down! Black and Cuerno ELIMINATE Hernandez! Cuerno and Black go at it again, speeding up and trading hip toss counters. Black sends Cuerno out but Cuerno stays on the apron. PJ throws forearm after forearm but Cuerno holds on. Cuerno uses Black to get back in, but Strong clotheslines them both over to the apron! Black and Cuerno hold on, but Strong goes after each of them. Black blocks and Cuerno counter attacks with the swing kick! Fox runs at Strong but Strong tosses him up, Fox double missile dropkicks Black and Cuerno! Fox ELIMINATES Cuerno and Black!

Jake Strong, Aerostar and Dante Fox are the last three in. Strong throws Aero but Aero skins the cat. Strong throws Fox but Fox does the same. Aerostar kicks Strong away, then springboards, but Strong shoves him right down! Strong ELIMINATES Aerostar! But Fox has Strong! Fox gets Strong up but Strong holds on. Strong comes back in and tries to dump Fox out. Fox holds on and Believers duel. Fox gets out and goes behind, but gets an elbow. Strong throws Fox but Fox flips and lands on his feet on the apron. Strong rushes in but into a swing kick! Fox springboards and hits a missile dropkick! He has Strong on the ropes, builds speed, but runs into a boot. Strong runs, builds speed and clobbers Fox with a clothesline! Strong picks Fox up and throws him out!

Winner: Jake Strong

The Savage survives the Battle Royal, and Believers are divided. Antonio congratulates Strong on winning, and asks who he wishes to eliminate from next week’s title match. Strong says “Nobody!” He doesn’t care what Antonio thinks, Strong wants all seven men in the match, so that he can destroy every single one! Antonio accepts the choice, and we will have a “Seven to Survive” ELIMINATION Match for the Gift of the Gods Championship! Is that all? Strong will take anyone on and still snap them in half. Then Antonio has just the man. The Savage will take on… Johnny Mundo! The Guru of Greatness has a big match for the main event, will he be able to stop Strong’s streak? Or will he be down a leg before facing Matanza in their Sacrifice to the Gods match?

 

The Mack VS Killshot!

Before the hero from the streets and the Weapon of Lucha Destruction have their own separate grudge matches, they must settle things between each other. The Mack and Killshot were friends ever since entering the Temple, but things sure have changed. Will Mack gain momentum before facing death? Or will Killshot score points before putting his mask on the line?

Son of Havoc watches from high above, just as invested in this match’s outcome as any of the Believers. The bell rings and Killshot argues with The Mack. Killshot slaps Mack, Mack SLAPS Killshot! Havoc likes that. Killshot swings on Mack but things speed up. Mack spins and arm-drags Killshot but Killshot handsprings through. Killshot comes back but Mack dodges. Killshot handstand walks but Mack dropkicks him out of it! Mack fireman’s carry to Samoan Drop, to kip up and standing moonsault! Cover, TWO! Killshot gets to a corner but Mack runs around the world for a big forearm smash! Then side to side for a bicycle boot! Mack keeps moving, but runs into a knee trigger from Killshot!

Believers rally up as Killshot drags Mack up by his nose. Killshot gives sharp body shots but Mack goes for a stunner. Killshot denies that with a shove. Mack ends up on the apron, and Killshot sweeps the legs. Killshot mule kicks Mack into a Tree of Woe on the apron! Killshot hurries to the apron, for his Kill Stomps! Havoc isn’t liking that. Killshot puts Mack back in as Believers rally up. Mack sits up while Killshot soaks in the heat. Killshot stalks Mack, reels him in, but Mack denies the Half ‘n’ Half with an arm-drag. Mack boots Killshot but Killshot mule kicks, front kicks, but Mack ducks the roundhouse. Mack throws Killshot with a German Suplex! Havoc likes that! Mack gets up while Killshot is in a corner. Mack runs into the knee! Killshot hops up, but leaps into the stunner!

But wait! Mil Muertes runs in, and SPEARS Mack!!

Winner: The Mack, by disqualification

The Man of 1000 Deaths won’t let his opponent roll into Ultima Lucha so easily. But Son of Havoc hurries down to ringside to save Mack with springboard stomps! Killshot goes after Havoc and now the fight is on. Killshot feeds Havoc to Muertes’ urenage! But Mack rises, to go for a stunner. Muertes denies that into his Flat Liner! Death is coming, will it strike down a fan favorite? Will Havoc or Killshot hold onto their identity that is their mask?

 

Matt Striker interviews XO Lishus & Ivelisse in the ring.

Two thirds of the newest and most eclectic trio in Lucha Underground give Matt this exclusive interview. But what’s up? They were invited to face both the sneaky Reptile Tribe and the cowardly Rabbit Tribe, in a Three Way Trios Title Elimination Match at Ultima Lucha Cuatro. Believers like the sound of that. But then, do they accept the challenge? Joey Ryan is unfortunately out of action. This calls for a new partner, and they have found the tough young badass who has quite the future. Welcome… Sammy Guevara! Another Infamous Inc. alumni, Sammy returns from injury at the hands of The Savage.

Sammy stands with Ivelisse and XO, but then Famous B appears! He points out the exclusive contract Sammy is under. It’s nice Sammy wants to be part of that trio, but he signed a 7 year contract with no breaks to Famous B. Didn’t he check the fine print? Infamous Incorporate owns Sammy! So sorry Ivelisse and XO Lishus, but you’ll be receiving a Cease & Desist! If Sammy wants to go to UL4, team with Doctor Wagner and Texano, and Famous B will pull them from that Tijuana house show. The Believers want Sammy to fight the contract, but Famous B says “Git!” Sammy decides to DIVE instead! He wipes out Famous B, and puts that contract in the trash! Then he dumps the trash on Famous B, and SUPERKICKS the can! Sammy is a free agent now, can he help Ivelisse & XO take those trios titles?

 

Jake Strong VS Johnny Mundo!

The Savage is ready to take on anyone at any time, but the leader of the Worldwide Underground is aiming for the Monster, Matanza. Can Mundo keep his focus and get through Strong before looking to sacrifice the demigod to the gods? Or will Strong’s streak continue as he goes after the Gift of the Gods?

Lucha Underground returns as the bell rings. Mundo and Strong circle, and Mundo goes for a leg. Strong stops him  with a takedown and waistlock. Strong rolls Mundo around and slams him down. He rolls Mundo around more but fans rally up. Mundo arm-drags out of a slam then arm-drags Strong again. He whips Strong but Strong reverses. Mundo stops himself but runs into a belly2belly! Strong circles Mundo as fans chant. He knees low then throws Mundo but Mundo comes back with the Flying Chuck! Cover, TWO! Mundo gets out and fires the fans up. He aims at Strong but Strong blocks the swing kick. Strong brings Mundo to the other side and bounces him off the post! Mundo goes down and Strong embraces both cheers and jeers.

Strong fetches Mundo from the floor to give him a LOUD chop! Mundo crawls but Strong pursues. Strong puts Mundo in a ring then takes his time returning. He stomps a mudhole into Mundo but backs off at 4. Strong drags Mundo back up as fans duel. Strong runs side to side for a big corner clothesline, then goes the other way for another. He keeps moving, and clobbers Mundo from behind! Strong grins as he looms over Mundo. He runs in, Vader Bomb meets boots! Mundo gets up and brings Strong over, for a tornado DDT! Both men are down but Believers fire up. A 10 count begins but Mundo is up quick. Mundo throws heavy hands and kicks and even forearms. He whips but Strong reverses, Mundo comes back with a calf kick. Then Shining Wizard! Standing shooting star, cover, TWO!

Fans rally behind Mundo as he aims at Strong. Mundo brings Strong up for Moonlight Drive but Strong powers out. Strong runs but misses, Mundo slides under and around to swing kick! Mundo springboards but Strong trips him up! Mundo tumbles from top rope to post to steps to floor! Strong goes out but from the other side. He comes around to knee and whip Mundo. Mundo leaps up and over the railing, then rocks Strong as Strong gives chase. The haymakers don’t slow Strong down, he keeps coming, and now they fight among the Believers. Mundo kicks, Strong grabs the leg for the ankle lock! Mundo “borrows” a drink from a fan to splash it in Strong’s face! Strong lets go, and Mundo gets moving. Strong just grimaces as he fires himself up.

Mundo gets moving, and leaps from railing to railing! Strong hurries to catch up to Mundo, but Mundo is ready. Mundo throws a punch but Strong blocks and counter punches. Strong drags Mundo to the railing, and shovels him over with a back drop! But Mundo lands on his feet, to powerbomb Strong to the floor!! The Believers lose their minds while Mundo sits up with a grin. Mundo mocks the “Strong!” hammer fist, then looms over The Savage. He drags Strong up and in, then climbs up top. Strong stirs but he’s in the drop zone. Mundo flips for the elbow! Cover, TWO! Strong survives the somersault elbow, and fans declare “This is Lucha!”

Mundo stands and stalks Strong, stomping and clubbing him in the corner. Strong keeps getting up, so Mundo fires up the fans and runs in. Strong puts him on the apron but Mundo hits back. Mundo climbs up but Strong hits back. Strong climbs up but Mundo resists. Mundo fights back with body shots, but Strong throws forearms. They brawl up top, Mundo rakes the eyes and forearms Strong away. Strong runs back, hops up, and throws Mundo with a SUPER overhead suplex! Then, Strong Vader Bomb! Cover, TWO!! Believers are thunderous while both men are down. A 10 count begins again, but Strong is up at 5. He drags Mundo up with the gut wrench, but Mundo holds on to ropes. Mundo turns it around into a Russian leg sweep! Mundo puts Strong in the drop zone, and jumps, but Strong rolls him up! TWO, ANKLE LOCK!

Strong has Mundo’s leg and Mundo is stuck int he middle of the ring. Mundo turns and shoves Strong all the way out. Strong comes back in, SUPERKICK! Moonlight Drive!! Cover, TWO!? Strong is superhuman, but both men are down again. Another 10 count begins, and Believers count along. Neither man stands until 9.5! Strong throws a haymaker, MUndo gives it back. Strong hits again, Mundo hits again. They go back and forth with Believers divided. Mundo kicks then gets an edge. He winds up, but Strong blocks the kick into another Ankle Lock! Mundo scrambles and reaches but Strong keeps pulling him away. Mundo rolls, but Strong holds on! Believers duel, but Mundo takes off an elbow pad and tosses it. The referee gets that out of the ring, so he doesn’t see Mundo low blow mule kick Strong!!

Not even Strong is strong enough to take that. Mundo is still “Johnny Rudo” deep down, and has Strong in another drop zone. Mundo climbs, even with a bad ankle, for Fin Del Mundo! He covers, TWO!? And ANKLE LOCK!! Strong has Mundo again, and Mundo scrambles. Mundo can’t, he taps! Strong wins!!

Winner: Jake Strong, by submission

The singles undefeated streak continues! Strong defeats a former Lucha Underground Champion and rolls right into that Seven to Survive match. But he’s not done with Mundo. The Savage grabs the ankle and Believers duel, but here comes Matanza?! The Monster stares at Strong, who grins. Strong gives Mundo over to the demigod, and Matanza clobbers Mundo! Matanza chokes and clubs and headbutts Mundo over and over! But here comes Taya! Taya saves her husband as she jumps on Matanza, but Matanza throws her down. Wera Loca is in danger as Matanza brinsg her up, for Wrath of the Gods! Mundo bleeds, but the real pain is seeing his wife beaten down. Matanza keeps going after Mundo to open that wound up more! Fans boo and jeer as the blood paints the mat.

Antonio Cueto walks out. Matanza stops slaughtering Mundo at the orders of his father. Mundo is in horrible shape and Ultima Lucha 4 is only weeks away. Will Mundo be able to survive the season finale? Or will he just be another Sacrifice to the Gods?

 


 

My Thoughts:

A pretty solid episode here. I’m starting to get the feeling “The Savage” Jake Strong is partially influenced by DC Comics Vandal Savage. His talk with Antonio Cueto and that voice change at one point, I’m thinking Strong isn’t just your average mortal wrestler. In Lucha Underground, where there is a time traveler, a human phoenix, a human dragon, an evil demigod and several undead, Strong being an eternally youthful warrior turned wrestler wouldn’t be too much of a stretch. Strong dominates that Battle Royal, but it was a good move for him to want all seven men to participate. Making it elimination was also a good move, that Gift of the Gods match could take an entire episode itself now.

Mack VS Killshot was pretty good, right up to Muertes attacking Mack. Havoc joining in was good, and the Heels stand tall. I’m betting next week, the go-home to the Ultima Lucha 4 multi-week event, we get Killshot & Muertes VS Mack & Havoc in a similar way to Muertes teaming with Fenix last time. Or at the very least, Muertes VS Havoc as a trade from Mack VS Killshot. Good to hear we are getting that triple threat trios match, and I really enjoyed the meta used in Sammy Guevara teaming with Ivelisse and XO. That line about a “seven year no break contract”, that was definitely Lucha Underground writers poking fun at El Rey’s own contracts for most talent, such as the apparent 7-year contract Pentagon and Fenix are under. Sammy will make a great addition to Ivelisse’s team, and I’m still confident they win the titles.

Strong doing double duty was pretty good, it adds to his character’s abilities. Mundo VS Strong was a great main event, it felt like a title match in itself. I really thought Mundo was going to win, but it makes sense for Strong to keep his singles streak until he goes for THE Lucha Underground Championship. Strong is looking to be a top character now, so it works that only another top character like Pentagon ends his streak. As for Mundo, Matanza really did a number on him and Taya. This really puts Mundo in the underdog position, as he should against a demigod, in a match where it’s kayfabe life or death. But at the same time, I’m pretty sure this means Mundo finds a way to win, and finally becomes a hero to the Believers.

My Score: 8.6/10


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