All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service
- 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?
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
Mitchell’s Women of Wrestling Results & Report! (1/18/19)
Prepare to be wowed by WOW, the Women of Wrestling! Who will be the first to step up to the Super Woman, Santana Garrett, on the very first night?
- The Beast VS Stephy Slays; The Beast wins.
- Abilene Maverick VS Fire; Maverick wins.
- Eye Candy VS Khloe Hurtz; Eye Candy wins.
- WOW World Championship: Santana Garrett VS Jungle Grrrl; Jungle Grrrl wins by count out, Santana Garrett retains the WOW World Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
Welcome to WOW!
The Women of Wrestling return to television with this season premiere! And what better way to kick it off than with THE WOW World Champion, Santana Garrett! The real-life Wonder Woman hits the ring with a newly designed title belt, and Santana is so happy to be here in front of the fans. And she’s especially proud to have her father, “TNT” Keny G watching live and in person. Both daughter and father are emotional over this moment. They’ve been through a lot, and they’re both so thankful that he’s here to cheer on his baby girl. The fans are happy for them, but here comes someone to crash the party! It’s Tessa Blanchard!
The second generation “Born Legend” stares down Santana, and takes the mic. Santana has her dad here, huh? Isn’t that sweet? Tessa says Grandpa Blanchard ran over his territory back in the day, while stepdad Magnum TA is one of the most respected men in this industry. And let’s not forget Tessa’s own father, THE Tully Blanchard, is a WWE Hall of Famer and an original Four Horseman! Keny probably laced up Tully’s boots. Actually, no, Keny probably carried Tully’s bags. WOW booker David McLane tries to keep the peace, but Tessa says Santana should be the one carrying her bags! David says Tessa coming in here bragging about her family tree doesn’t give her the right to just interrupt proceedings. Tessa says she’s not out here just to brag, she’s out here to go after the WOW World Championship.
David says that to get a shot at the title, you have to earn your way up. You don’t get something just because of dad, stepdad and granddad were special. Tessa says that because of who her dad is, she might as well be handed that belt. David asks Tessa to please leave. Tessa has to work for a shot. That’s fine by Tessa, she doesn’t want any trouble. But she will let Santana know that both she and the belt are Tessa’s. Santana says that she doesn’t see any of Tessa’s dads here. So get to the back of the line, girlfriend! Tessa smiles and nods, she knows she’ll get her match. But with the title on the line in the very first episode, will it be Santana Garrett or former champion, Jungle Grrrl, that Tessa will be targeting in the coming weeks?
The Beast has issued an open challenge!
She knows she’s the biggest and the baddest Woman of Wrestling, and looks to prove her superiority. She dares any woman in the locker room to step up and prove her wrong. While watching backstage, The Governor’s Daughter, Abilene Maverick, took advantage. Maverick tricked Stephy Slays about match times, and Slays was just a lamb to the slaughter! Slays realized she was fooled, but didn’t want to be a coward. She jumped into the ring, only to get demolished! Tonight, Slays wishes to prove she’s not so easily crushed. She takes on The Beast again, will she get payback on both Beast and Maverick? Or will it be more of the same?
The Beast VS Stephy Slays!
The bell rings and they tie up! Beast throws Slays into a corner hard! Slays gets right up, though, and goes again. Beast waistlock tosses Slays around, then SPEARS Slays to a corner! She rams shoulder after shoulder into Slays, then forearms! The ref counts and Beast backs off at 4. Beast runs in again but Slays dodges! Slays goes up and leaps, but into a belly2belly! Beast thrashes Slays then drags her up by her hair. Beast puts Slays in a corner then whips corner to corner for a big corner clothesline! Fans duel as Beast lifts Slays easily. Beast walks around and throws Slays with a Fall Away Slam! Slays rolls to ropes but Beast is on her again with another toss. Beast stands on Slays for a cocky cover, TWO!! Slays survives and shocks The Beast!
The Beast boots Slays back down and grins. She runs in but Slays rolls her up, ONE! Slays dropkicks and staggers Beast! Slays runs in again, victory roll countered to the Air Raid Siren! Cover, TWO!! Beast was cocky again but now she’s frustrated. Beast stomps Slays around, then drags her up for forearms. She kicks Slays while she’s down, then grins again. The sadistic specimen whips Slays corner to corner for another clothesline, then throws Slays with a gut wrench suplex! Beast grins as Slays slowly stands. Beast grabs Slays for a suplex, and slam! Cover, but Beast lets Slays up this time! Beast wants to make Slays pay for lasting this long, and she drags Slays up for a Beast Bomb!! Cover, Beast wins!
Winners: The Beast, by pinfall
Dominant for the second time against Slays, The Beast looks to be rolling on towards the title! Will she be the one to challenge the winner of tonight’s main event?
The Beast takes to the mic.
“I’m the biggest. I’m the baddest.” And she is THE BEAST! She roars in victory, will anyone ever come close to making a dent in her?
“My mom grew up in Georgia, my dad grew up in Mississippi, so I’m Southern Blood.” Fire was brought up in a strict upbringing, and she was a gifted student so there was a lot of pressure put on her to succeed. When she entered middle school, she went “off track”, and no one around her understood why. Fire was bullied for being smart, to the point of death threats. Wrestling was her way to feel stronger. Through wrestling, she realized anything was possible, like she could escape this reality. Fire steps up for who she really is, and for what she who to be. “If you want it enough, if you fight for it enough, there is no stopping you.” There is no stopping Fire now, will she blaze a trail to the title?
Abilene Maverick VS Fire!
The Governor’s Daughter shows off her new glittering robe as she makes her entrance, but we have a WOW debut for Fire tonight! Will Maverick be the first wrestler burned by Fire’s passion?
The bell rings and the two circle. Fans fire up for Fire and she feeds off the energy. Maverick plugs her ears to ignore it all, and she pushes Fire down with a wristlock! Fire kips up and wrings Maverick out! Fire has an armlock but Maverick endures. Maverick rolls and scoop slams Fire fast! Fire gets up fast, and the two circle again. They tie up and Fire pushes Maverick back. Fire whips but Maverick reverses, only for Fire to slide under and hit a big dropkick! Maverick is reeling as Fire runs corner to corner for a splash! Fire keeps moving but misses this time. Maverick misses and Fire gets a waistlock. Maverick pries free to reel Fire in for a shoulder! She throws Fire down by her hair, then drags Fire up for a big back suplex! Cover, ONE!
Maverick keeps her cool while Fire crawls. Fans rally but Maverick grabs Fire to throw her back down. Fans boo but Maverick soaks up their heat. Maverick kicks Fire while she’s down, then drags her up by her hair again. Fire hits back with forearms, and then kicks. Fire runs, basement dropkick! Cover, TWO! Fire keeps on Maverick at the ropes with a whip, but Maverick reverses to a drop toehold. Maverick grins as she picks Fire up again. Maverick rams Fire’s face back into the mat! Fire crawls while the referee reprimands Maverick. Maverick hotshots Fire on the ropes, then drags her over for springboard knee drops! Maverick soaks in the heat again, then runs corner to corner for a big knee! She kicks and rolls Fire, to mule kick her down! Cover, TWO!
Maverick keeps her composure as Fire continues to survive. Fans rally up for Fire again as Maverick drags her up. Scoop, but Fire slips out to shove! Fire dodges and elbows Maverick down! Fire rallies with more elbows, then brings Maverick to a snapmare and mule kick of her own! Maverick crawls and Fire runs corner to corner, big clothesline! She keeps going, hip attack! Then side to side for the shotgun dropkick! Cover, TWO!! Maverick survives and Fire can’t believe it! But fans fire up for Fire again as she drags Maverick back up. Fire fishermans, and swings for the neckbreaker! Cover, TWO!? Maverick survives and Fire is in shock! Fire keeps going, powered by the fans. She drags Maverick up again, but Maverick knees low, for the draping DDT!! Cover, Maverick wins!
Winner: Abilene Maverick, by pinfall
The Governor’s Daughter may not be the fan’s favorite, but she’s still the winner. Will Abilene make her move towards the WOW World Championship?
Abilene Maverick spots Stephy Slays in the medical area.
Wow, poor Slays didn’t learn her lesson the first time. But then Maverick gets a taste of her own medicine as The All Natural pushes her out of the way. It seems there’s someone with a bigger attitude than even Maverick. Will Khloe Hurtz bring the pain tonight?
Eye Candy VS Khloe Hurtz!
Sugary sweet but ready to fight, Eye Candy will look to ruin #KhloeTime tonight. Will Candy leave the fans with a sugar high? Or will the All Natural leave Candy crushed?
The bell rings and the two circle. They tie up and Candy rolls Hurtz, TWO! Candy is all smiles as she and Hurtz go again. Hurtz kicks low then wrenches to reel Candy in. Candy ducks and hooks, backslide! TWO and the two turn sideways. Candy and Hurtz fight for control, Candy drop toeholds into a camel clutch! She tucks Hurtz in for a cover, TWO! Hurtz runs in but Candy blocks to a suplex! Fans fire up with Candy as she hits a back senton! Cover, TWO! Candy keeps her cool as she drags Hurtz up into a fireman’s carry. Candy hits a rolling senton, then climbs up top. Hurtz trips her up, and hits a draping backstabber! Hurtz whips Candy corner to corner but Candy cartwheels and comes back with forearms! Candy even headbutts before adding the hip attack!
Fans fire up with Candy as she climbs up again! Candy shimmies and shakes then hits a big missile dropkick! Cover, TWO! Hurtz survives and Candy can’t believe it! Hurtz’s Ring Rats grow concerned as Candy drags her back up. Fireman’s carry, but Hurts fights out again. Hurts fireman’s Candy, does some squats, then hits a Samoan Drop! Hurtz drops the leg! Cover, TWO! Candy survives and Hurtz can’t believe it! Hurtz drags Candy up and suplexes, but Candy resists. Candy hits back and wrenches to the fireman’s carry. Death Valley Driver! Candy drags Hurtz over, climbs up top, MOONSAULT! Cover, Candy wins!
Winner: Eye Candy, by pinfall
What a shocker! The sweet Eye Candy gets a big win on the series premiere! Will this shocker send Eye Candy all the way to WOW Championship contention?
The Voodoo Doll asks the WOW roster, “Would you like to know what The Siren has in store for you?” Let the cards tell your fate. The Devil: Siren is the change that is coming to Women of Wrestling’s landscape. The Five of Wands: currently, there is a power struggle in the locker room. But that top spot will soon belong to her. And finally, Death: Siren is the final transformation, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. Siren has been to Hell and back, and has regained her power. She will sacrifice WOW to the darkness! Who will be the first?
WOW World Championship: Santana Garrett VS Jungle Grrrl!
The Wonder Woman of Wrestling is just one of eight children in her family, but she and her father grew closer through wrestling. Keny G brought her into the fold, and now they’re both living a dream together! But she again faces the Alpha Female, the one and only woman to have yet to be pinned in a match! Jungle Grrrl became WOW World Champion, but ended up getting in over her head in a Triple Threat. Santana pinned The Beverly Hills Babe to win the title, shocking everyone. But now Santana must prove she can defeat Jungle Grrrl 1v1, can Santana prove she deserves to be champion?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we begin! Fans are already fired up as the two circle and tie up. Santana waistlocks but JG standing switches. Santana headlocks then wrenches the wrist. JG rolls and reverses to her own wristlock, but Santana rolls and handsprings to reverse back. JG uses the ropes to flip through and wrench Santana back. Santana counters with another headlock, then a roll to a cover, TWO and JG gets Santana with a ghost pin! TWO, and Santana Oklahoma rolls! ONE and JG sweeps to a cover, ONE! The two stare down as fans fire up again. Santana and JG nod with respect as they circle again. They tie up and go for a test of strength. JG bends Santana back but Santana bridges. Santana comes back and rolls back to reverse the knuckle lock!
Santana throws an elbow while maintaining the grip. She whips but JG reverses to dropkick her down! Cover, TWO! JG stalks Santana and scoops her up, for a Jungle Driver! Cover, TWO! Santana survives but JG keeps her cool. JG stomps Santana and heads for a corner. She climbs up to the top rope, familiar territory, and leaps for the Jungle Splash! But she flops! Santana hurries up but Tessa Blanchard appears! Tessa goes after Keny G’s oxygen! Santana rushes out at Tessa and a fight is on! Santana throws Tessa around and into the ring, but she wasn’t aware of a ring count! It hits 10, and Santana loses!!
Winner: Junger Grrrl, by ring out; Santana Garrett retains the WOW World Championship
Champion’s Advantage is the only thing that saves Santana’s reign, but she still got suckered by the Born Legend! And now Tessa brings the fight to Santana, with a Hammerlock DDT! But Jungle Grrrl gets back at Tessa with a Jungle Driver! Tessa screwed Jungle Grrrl over just as much as she did Santana, and now she has problems. But wait, The Beast goes after Jungle Grrrl! These top predators are face to face but referees hurry to keep them apart. Fans want to “Let Them Fight!” but TV time is running out just as things are getting wild! Will Tessa pay for her interference? Will The Beast replace Jungle Grrrl as the Alpha Woman of Wrestling?
Apparently, this isn’t the beginning of the Women of Wrestling’s history. They’ve been around for a long time, trying in 2000 but fading away, until being revived in mid-2012. But even if this wasn’t the true beginning, this was a good beginning for their AXS TV run. There’s a lot of backstory to get caught up on, but it would seem they made sure to give us those needed recap packages so new viewers aren’t too lost. Many of these alter egos and their elaborate packages make me feel like WOW is an all women’s version of Lucha Underground, which is known for having many wrestlers come up with alternate characters to fit their universe. And there are even shared talents between WOW and LU, such as Shaul Guerrero and Kobra Moon.
As such, the story behind The Beast VS Stephy Slays rematch was made rather clear. It was a good match and Slays got to show plenty of heart, but obviously heart alone isn’t enough. The Beast wins to establish herself as the monster Heel to new viewers. And with Abilene Maverick (Callee Wilkerson) picking on her, that seems like a story going forward. Maverick VS Fire (Taylor Lewis) was also a solid match, and Maverick won to help towards that story with Slays. Eye Candy (Willow Nightingale) VS Khloe Hurtz (Katie Forbes) was decent, and Candy wins mostly so that it isn’t all Heels winning. There are WOW World Tag Team Championships, but they’ve been vacated for years, so I’m wondering if any teams will form out of these midcard stories to give us more action with that.
The main event was pretty good, just not as a match. First, I wouldn’t announce time limits when we know the show is only an hour, it just seems like a waste. Second, Santana VS Jungle Grrrl really only got going when Tessa came out to Heel it up. Third, that 10 count was probably the fastest 10 count I’ve ever seen. But the brawl between Tessa and Santana, and then the impending brawl between The Beast and Jungle Grrrl just managed to salvage things. We have our stories going forward, and at the very least, I wasn’t bored to sleep. There are some things that need work, and this was a rather tough time to move into the television wrestling sphere, but this isn’t a bad program to give a fair shake.
My Score: 8/10
Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Wrestle Kingdom 13 Results, Part 3!
NJPW and AXS wrap up Wrestle Kingdom 13 with the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship! Will Kushida be able to deny The Bone Soldier, Taiji Ishimori?
This coverage of Wrestle Kingdom 13 will be as AXS TV broadcasts it.
Gifs can be found on http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships #1 Contenders Gauntlet: Ryusuke Taguchi, Togi Makabe & Toru Yano win and will challenge Taiji Ishimori & The Guerrillas of Destiny for the titles at New Year’s Dash.
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Kushida VS Taiji Ishimori; Ishimori wins and becomes the new IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene for this year’s spectacular event!
The IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship had a rocky 2018. The Ticking Time-Bomb, Hiromu Takahashi, had only just won the belt off of Will Ospreay, and moved on to defend it against fierce CMLL rival, Dragon Lee, at the G1 Special in San Francisco. Hiromu won but was badly injured from that fight, and so a tournament between the four previous title holders was held! Kushida defeated Bushi while Marty Scurll again got the better of Will Ospreay. And in the tournament finals, Kushida would defeat The Villain to become a six-time champion. Meanwhile, The Bone Soldier would be resurrected as Taiji Ishimori joined Bullet Club! Ishimori was a Super Junior finalist, but missed out on his chance at the title. Now he gets his chance to have the title for his own, can he throw down the Time Splitter?
However, Ishimori’s focus might be split, as he is also one third of the current NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Champions. Tonight, five top teams in the Six Man Tag Division will compete, and the last team standing moves on to New Year’s Dash to challenge Ishimori and the Guerrillas of Destiny! Who comes out on top aimed at the Bullet Club’s fiercest trio? That match, is now!
NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships #1 Contenders Gauntlet!
First out for this gauntlet are the Bullet Club Elite’s trio of Marty Scurll, Hangman Adam Page and Yujiro Takahashi! The Villain has his umbrella, Hangman has his rope and Tokyo Pimp has both cane and vivacious valet. Chase Owens also hangs around, for moral support. Their opponents are David Finlay, Jeff Cobb and Yuji Nagata! Will either of these teams be able to complete the gauntlet and make a run at New Year’s Dash?
The Bullet Club VS David Finlay, Jeff Cobb & Yuji Nagata!
The teams sort out and it’ll be Blue Justice starting against The Villain. Marty and Yuji circle and tie up, and Marty gets a waistlock. Yuji reverses but Marty rolls and spins to reverse back. Yuji gets a headlock takeover but Marty headscissors so Yuji pops out. The two stand off and fans applaud. They circle again, and Marty kicks low. Marty throws forearms but Yuji throws them back. Yuji runs but Marty dodges for the 52 Fake Out! Marty flaps his wings and runs, but Yuji dodges. Yuji fakes Marty out to dropkick! Yuji drags Marty up but Marty gets the fingers! Marty calls for silence, but Yuji breaks fre. Yuji sweeps the legs then ties them up for a deathlock! Marty crawls and gets the ropebreak! Yuji lets Marty go but grabs the legs again to tag to Cobb.
Cobb grabs Scurll but Scurll rakes the eyes! Scurll tags to Hangman, and both Hangman and Yujiro go after Yuji and Finlay! The Elite surround Cobb but Cobb fires off haymakers and chops on all of them! Cobb runs, but Yujiro drop toeholds. Scurll adds a basement dropkick and Hang,an hits the standing shooting star! Cobb rolls away while fans cheer The Elite on. Marty and Hangman run crisscross for a SUPERKICK to another shooting star! They take down Hawaiian Hulk and put him in the ring. Fans rally up as Yujiro keeps Cobb’s attention. Hangman slingshots for the Buckshot lariat! Cover, TWO! Hangman keeps his cool as he goes to lift Cobb. He gets Cobb up but Cobb fights out, so Hangman forearms. Hangman kicks but is blocked into a Fall Away Slam!
Both men crawl for their corners, and fans rally as hot tags are made to Finlay and Yujiro! Finlay rallies on Tokyo Pimp with forearms. They start brawling with forearm after forearm back and forth, then Finlay European Uppercuts. Finlay kicks but Yujiro blocks that to throw him down, then adds a basement dropkick! Yujiro hits a Fisherman Buster, covers, but Yuji and Cobb break it! Scurll and Hangman throw them abck out and brawl on the outside. Yujiro lifts Finlay but Finlay slips out for a urenage backbreaker! Finlay fires up but Yujiro denies the cutter. Yujiro pushes Finlay to ropes and Chase swipes at Finlay’s feet! Finlay grabs Chase’s hair, but gets caught. Hangman runs in but gets Chase instead!
Yujiro gets mad at Hangman and shoves him, but Hangman shoves Yujiro back! Finlay rolls Yujiro up, Finlay’s team ELIMINATES The Elite! Chase and Hangman start shoving and Scurll has to keep the peace. It seems the Bullet Club is still not fine, but the action rolls on! The third team is Chaos’ Hirooki Goto and the Best Friends, Chuck Taylor and Trent Baretta!
David Finlay, Jeff Cobb & Yuji Nagata VS Hirooki Goto & Best Friends!
NJPW on AXS returns as Goto, Trent and Chuckie T enter the ring. And before the bell rings again, Goto and Best Friends attack! Cobb and Finlay are thrown out while the Fierce Warrior stays on Blue Justice! The bell does ring and Goto stomps away in the corner. Yuji hits back with forearm and now it’s a brawl! Yuji hits and runs but Goto follows to run him over! Goto drags Yuji back up for a lift but Yuji reverses to the Fujiwara Armbar! Best Friends save Goto but Finlay and Cobb return. Chuckie T dropkicks Cobb out but Finlay dropkicks him back. Trent runs in but to a kick. Finlay whips but Trent comes back with a shotgun knee!
Fans applaud as Trent slingshots at Cobb, but Cob turns it into a powerbomb lift! Trent gets to the apron and mule kicks Cobb, and then Chuckie FLIES onto Cobb and Finlay! The Kentucky Gentleman wipes them both out at the ramp, but then holds them back up, for Trent’s BIG Asai Moonsault! Back in the ring, Goto fights with Yuji. Yuji fires off kicks then whips. Goto reverses and redirects, to scoop Yuji into Ushigoroshi! Cover, TWO! Goto keeps his cool as he stomps Yuji out. He bumps Yuji in the corner then tags in Chuckie. Chuckie stomps a mudhole into Yuji then walks it off. He comes back to snapmare Yuji for a basement dropkick. Cover, TWO! Chuckie tags to Trent and Best Friends work together with double whips, elbows, and a hug! And then double elbows!
Trent stomps Yuji before bringing him up for a CHOP! He trash talks and pie faces Yuji before another CHOP. Trent whips but Yuji reverses into the Fujiwara! Chuckie attacks to save Trent, but then Finlay goes after Chuckie. Chuckie throws Finlay out and puts Yuji in the corner. Trent hits a running chop, Chuckie hits a clothesline, then he feeds Yuji to Trent for a tornado DDT. But Yuji powers out and gets Chuckie with an exploder! Trent kicks and whips but Yuji reverses to an overhead suplex! Fans rally as Yuji crawls for his corner. Hot tags to Cobb and Goto! Cobb fires off chops and haymakers on Goto, then whips corner to corner. He runs in for a BIG back elbow, then runs back in. Goto boots, runs, but into the Athletic Plex! Cobb standing moonsaults! Cover, but Chuckie breaks it!
Yuji throws Chuckie out as Cobb focuses on Goto. Cobb lifts Goto but Goto fights out of the Olympic Slam to get a sleeper! Goto rolls Cobb to a pin but Yuji breaks it. Goto and Cobb collide with clotheslines, but neither falls. They try again, but still neither falls. Cobb combs back but Goto deflects and spins to clobber him with a clothesline! Both men are down but fans rally up. Tag to Chuckie and he goes at Cobb in a corner. Chuckie goes corner to corner for a back elbow, then whips. Cobb holds the ropes, breaks free but gets a mule kick. Trent runs in to hit a back elbow, then Best Friends fire up with a double whip. Cobb reverses to pull them into each other, then he gives both Best Friends a single leg suplex! Fans fire up for Cobb’s superhuman strength.
Cobb tags Finlay, and Finlay hits Best Friends with back elbows! He goes corner to corner again and again, then hops up to hit Chuckie with a flying uppercut! He runs in but into Chuckie’s knee! Chuckie hits the snap piledriver! Cover, but Yuji breaks it! Goto and Trent throw Cobb and Yuji out and brawl on the outside. Fans fire up as Chuckie climbs. Chuckie moonsaults but FLOPS! Finlay rolls him up, Finlay’s team ELIMINATES Goto & Best Friends! An incredible roll already, but can Finlay, Cobb and Yuji keep it up? The fourth team is Suzuki-Gun’s Killer Elite Squad and Minoru Suzuki himself!
David Finlay, Jeff Cobb & Yuji Nagata VS Minori Suzuki & Killer Elite Squad!
NJPW on AXS returns as The Meanest Man in the World leads Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Lance Archer to the ring. And much like Chaos did, Suzuki-Gun strikes the moment they hit the ring! Things spill out of the ring and Suzuki keeps on Finlay at the bell. Yuji whips DBS to the barriers and quickly tags in! An old feud reignites as Blue Justice goes after Suzuki with kicks. He whips corner to corner but Suzuki boots him back. Suzuki and Yuji throw forearms, then Suzuki slaps! Yuji slaps, and now it’s a slap fight! Neither man slows down, but Yuji does stagger Suzuki. Suzuki escapes the exploder and goes for a guillotine! Then Suzuki shifts to an Octopus Stretch! Yuji slips out to hip toss and exploder! Cover, TWO!
Yuji keeps on Suzuki with a suplex, but Suzuki slips out to a sleeper hold. DBS tags in and throws forearms. He whips Yuji but Yuji dodges and fakes him out to dropkick the legs! Yuji tags to Cob and Cobb fires off on DBS! Cobb tries to lift but DBS fights out. DBS kicks away but Cobb grabs the leg. Cobb gets DBS in the Olympic Slam! Cobb moonsaults but misses! DBS hits Cobb with a BIG Back Suplex! Bridging cover, TWO! Suzuki and Yuji don’t stop brawling on the outside, and Yuji makes sure Suzuki doesn’t get away. Suzuki whips but Yuji reverses to send Suzuki into railing! Meanwhile, hot tags to Finlay and Archer! Finlay gets Archer with a Michinoku! Cover, TWO! DBS boots Finlay down, then KES hit Finlay with the Killer Bomb! Cover, Suzuki-Gun ELIMINATES Finlay, Cobb & Yuji!
The streak ends, and now we’re on to the fifth and final team! NJPW on AXS returns from break to reveal that it’ll be Ryusuke Taguchi, Toru Yano and Togi Makabe! But they don’t even make it to the ring before Suzuki-Gun strikes!
Minori Suzuki & Killer Elite Squad VS Ryusuke Taguchi, Toru Yano & Togi Makabe!
Suzuki-Gun throw hands and then throw their opponents into barriers! The ref has no choice but to ring the bell, and things slowly make their way to ringside. Suzuki whips Taguchi at the camera and sound crews, then he gets in the faces of commentary just because they’re there! Suzuki goes back to Taguchi to take off the rugby helmet and throw it at Taguchi. He puts Taguchi in the ring while Archer keeps on Makabe and Yano. Suzuki grinds his foot into Taguchi, then intimidates the ref. Suzuki drags Taguchi up for forearms, and Taguchi staggers about. Tag to DBS and he whips Taguchi for a boot. DBS pumps up and runs, for a leg drop, brother! Cover, TWO! DBS drags Taguchi up and tags Archer.
KES mug Taguchi, then scoop him for a double slam! Archer kicks Taguchi around, then drags him up for clubbing forearms. Archer climbs and goes Old School on the Funky Weapon, tagging Suzuki in as he does. Suzuki looms over the sputtering Taguchi, but he taunts Makabe and Yano. Taguchi hits back but Suzuki eggs him on. Taguchi keeps hitting but Suzuki rocks him with a right. Suzuki whips then dodges the Funky Weapon itself. He whips but Taguchi reverses to finally hit that Funky Weapon! Tag to Makabe! The Unchained Gorilla runs at Suzuki for corner to corner clotheslines! Then he roars as he gives corner punches! He hits all ten then laughs as he lifts Suzuki. Suzuki knees back then whips, and hits a boot in the corner. Suzuki snapmares then Penalty Kicks! Cover, TWO!
Fans rally up while Suzuki toys with Makabe. Makabe forearms but Suzuki gives it back. They keep going, forearm for forearm, back and forth. Makabe eggs Suzuki on, so Suzuki sneers as he winds up. Suzuki hits a HEAVY forearm and grins as Makabe staggers. Makabe stands and hits Suzuki back. Suzuki gives another heavy shot and Makabe again staggers. But Makabe starts grinning, and hits Suzuki again. Suzuki hits, Makabe hits, and the brawl is on. Makabe runs but into a kick. Suzuki runs, ducks, but gets the clothesline! Both men are down and fans fire up! Hot tags to DBS and Yano! YTR rallies on DBS with eye rakes. Yano looks to Taguchi for the call and Taguchi uses baseball signals! DBS headbutts Yano before the order completes!
DBS whips Yano corner to corner but misses. Yano runs corner to corner, to get the buckle pad! Taguchi gives another signals, and Yano understands. But Yano misses with the swing and DBS boots him down! Archer hits Taguchi, and then KES work together. Killer Hart Attack! Cover, TWO?! Archer argues with the referee but they just go again, high low! Cover, TWO!? Archer again argues with the referee, but KES try one more move. DBS lifts while Archer climbs, they hit Yano with a frog splash sidewalk slam! Cover, but Taguchi saves Yano! Archer swings on Taguchi but Taguchi dodges and runs! Funky Weapon is caught, but Makabe saves him. Suzuki and Makabe brawl again, but Suzuki follows to get Makabe in a sleeper! Then, Gotch Piledriver set up, but Funky Weapon saves Makabe!
Only for Suzuki to get the sleeper hold again! But Taguchi gives an extra bump to break free, then he runs to hit teh Funky Weapon again! Everyone’s down, but KES go after Yano again. They drag him up, Killer Bomb denied! Double low blow, denied! But double FUNKY WEAPON hits! DBS boots Taguchi but Makabe runs in. DBS stops him and KES double whip. Makabe breaks through for double clotheslines! Neither man falls so Yano makes sure to bump the ref. Taguchi intercepts Suzuki, double low blows! Archer thrown out, Yano rolls DBD, Yano and team win!!
Winners: Toru Yano, Togi Makabe & Ryusuke Taguchi, Yano pinning; #1 contenders to the NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships
The unlikeliest of trios wins it all! Suzuki is furious but all he can do is take it out on Young Lions. He grabs a chair and SMACKS away on them, then storms off to the back. Suzuki’s rage aside, will Taguchi, Makabe and Yano be able to pull off an upset against the Firing Squad? Is the New Year going to see new champions?
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Kushida VS Taiji Ishimori!
The Time Splitter is a six-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, but the new Bone Soldier is a three-time GHC Junior Heavyweight Champion. Who will prove themselves to be THE top Junior Heavyweight tonight?
Introductions are made, and a little Kushida comes out? Doc Brown Taguchi comes out and powers up the flux capacitor. And… BAM! Kushida’s all grown up! Science fiction aside, the belt is raised and we begin! Kushida and Ishimori circle and feel it out. They tie up and Kushida gets the wristlock. Ishimori rolls and handsprings to reverses. Ishimori whips but Kushida reverses, only for Ishimori to handspring over him. Thigns speed up and Kushida kicks otu the arm! Kushida already has his target but Ishimori rakes the eyes! Ishimori runs but things speed up again, Kushida hip tosses and cartwheel dropkicks! Ishimori rolls to a corner but Kushida follows up with a dropkick to that arm! Kushida runs more, tilt-o-whirl but Ishimori pops out. Kushida tries again and goes for the Hoverboard! Ishimori blocks to get Kushida’s arm in a Labell Lock!
Kushida endures as Ishimori bends him back. He rolls but Ishimori rolls through to keep the lock on. Kushida endures more but Ishimori wrenches harder. Kushida crawls for ropes and reaches, ropebreak with a foot! Ishimori lets Kushida go and Kushida rolls out of the ring. Ishimori stomps Kushida at the corner, then goes after him in a corner. Kushida chops back, but Ishimori gives his own chop! Ishimori wrenches and whips corner to corner, but Kushida reverses! Ishimori Spider-Mans through the ropes, and slides under Kushida. He goes back out to shoulder and springboard to drop Kushida with a flying lariat! Ishimori takes a moment to flex while Kushida clutches his shoulder.
Ishimori stalks Kushida to the ropes, then drags him up. Kushida hits back with forearms to the abs but Ishimori hits back. Kushida kicks Ishimori hard in the leg! Ishimori runs in and deflects boots to kick Kushida in the back! Kushida is stuck on the ropes as Ishimori runs side to side, and hits the sliding German Suplex! Fans rally as Ishimori springboards, 450 splash! But Kushida evades enough to get the arm! Ishimori resists as Kushida pulls, but Kushida gets the armbar! Ishimori endures, flails and reaches. Things shift, and now Kushida uses the Labell Lock! Ishimori endures and pries his way out, but gets caught in a triangle! Kushida throws elbows in, but Ishimori deadlifts! Fireman’s carry, but Kushida goes for his Hoverboard again. Ishimori slips out, runs, tilt-o-whirl takedown back to the Labell!
Kushida rolls through, and kicks at the arm. Ishimori avoids the kick, then kicks back. Ishimori clubs Kushida, then whips him. Kushida handsprings, but onto an Electric Chair. Kushida spins but is blocked! Ishimori brings Kushida back up, shifts to Tombstone position, for a gutbuster drop! But Kushida catches the feet! He passes Ishimori to the ref, to kick out the arm! Fans fire up with Kushida while Ishimori clutches his bad arm. Kushida grits his teeth, runs side to side, big enziguri! He keeps going, rolling Ishimori through to the package, but Ishimori counters back to his gutbuster! Cover, TWO!! Kushida survives and Ishimori is too sore to be frustrated.
Both men stir but Ishimori stands first. Ishimori drags Kushida back up, underhook, gutbuster! But Kushida makes it the Hoverboard! Kushida pulls on the double wristlock, but Ishimori moves around. Kushida rolls him and wrenches hard! Ishimori endures the twist in his arm, slips out the back, and rolls to fireman’s carry! Death Valley Driver!! But he’s too exhausted to cover! Both men stir and crawl again as fans rally. They get to opposite corners, and Ishimori runs in for a meteora! Ishimori drags Kushida back up, underhoo, but Kushida rolls to hit Back to the Future! But he’s not done there, he wants the sequel! But Ishimori resists, pushes Kushida away, and knee triggers! FAST BALL! Kushida runs, but into double stomps!
Ishimori roars as he drags Kushida back up. He underhooks, BLOODY CROSS!! Cover, Ishimori wins!!
Winner: Taiji Ishimori, by pinfall; NEW IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion
The Bone Soldier grabs his first IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship, and now reigns over the division!
Taiji Ishimori’s backstage interview
“I managed to catch that slippery otter.” And now Belt-san is with him. This must be tearing Kushida up inside. But from now on, as the champion, Ishimori will raise the bar for the NJPW Junior Division. “It’s reborn!” How long will this rebirth of the Junior Heavyweight Championship last?
A pretty good last part to AXS TV’s NJPW Wrestle Kingdom coverage. Of course, they kinda did things backwards. The first part was the big matches, the big finale with the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, so readers technically should go backwards with part 3 first, then part 2, then finish with part 1. Either way, the entirety of Wrestle Kingdom 13 was great, even these two opening matches. The trios gauntlet was pretty good for having a couple teams that seemed slapped together. I was really surprised to see it was one of those slapped together teams winning. Toru Yano, Togi Makabe and Ryusuke Taguchi are definitely a fun and funny trio, but I have no idea if they’ll be a match for Ishimori and Guerrillas of Destiny. Granted, Tama Tonga is trying to be a good guy, but on just pure ring skill, he, Loa and Ishimori should win.
And speaking of Ishimori, his match with Kushida was great. This match was so evenly booked that Ishimori came out as a slightly surprising winner. Just as I’d imagine this new Cutthroat Bullet Club keeping the trios titles, Ishimori will likely have the Junior Heavyweight Championship for some time. If Hiromu Takahashi makes a recovery and comeback, he’d be the only one right off the bat who could take the title in a rematch from their amazing Super Juniors match. And it could work for a Bullet Club VS Los Ingobernables de Japon scenario, since LIJ has a lot of the other belts.
My Score: 8.4/10
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