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
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AJPW Champion Carnival B Block Ratings & Results: Part 4
Welcome to Part 4 of the All Japan Pro Wrestling Champion Carnival B block. This has been an interesting mix of younger men trying to prove themselves, freelancers trying to take over a new company, and the old guard proving they aren’t obsolete. There’s been some variety in the matches, and definite variety in how they portray concepts in the Carnival.
Matches have had comedic qualities, but never over the top. This has been a nice display of each participant respecting the prestige of the Carnival. So let’s see what matches we’ve got in this article.
KAI vs Yukata Yoshie
Yoshie continues to try very hard and capture some fan support (including myself). He moves pretty well for a big guy, he’s just inconsistent depending on his opponent.
KAI showed a lot of fighting spirit, going back and forth with striking and power. When KAI kicks out of a Thesz Press, Yoshie decides to go to the top rope for a big move. Realizing he might die, KAI does everything he can to stop Yoshie from hitting him with a move from the top rope.
Thankfully for KAI, a couple of step up Enzuigiris give him the opportunity to hit the Meteor Impact, and finally get a Carnival win.
Winner: KAI via Meteor Impact
Dylan James vs Yoshitatsu
There’s not a lot to say about this match in a preview. Yoshi is trying to put together a late surge, and Dylan is trying to save face.
This might be James’ longest match of the Carnival so far, and oddly, it was alright. The two men seem very evenly matched, Yoshi having the speed and experience edge, where James has the power and height advantage. Both men utilize what they are better at, and James looks to have the match won multiple different times.
Numerous lariats can’t put away Yoshitatsu. Yoshi eventually gets the advantage to put Dylan in the Koji Clutch. Even though he doesn’t tap it weakens him enough to set up for the Codebreaker from the corner. That’s two wins in a row, thanks to Jericho’s Codebreaker.
Winner: Tatsu via CBJ (Codebreaker of Jericho)
Rating: *** 1/4
Dylan James vs KAI
This is definitely not expected to be a clinic. A power guy in James, against KAI who’s been struggling a bit in the Carnival.
This match is basically what we expect. KAI hits a few strikes, James over powers him easily, hits a few big power moves. But when Dylan James goes for his Chokeslam, KAI rolls away, hits him with a kick, followed by a very nice Gannosuke Clutch.
Even though James kicks out right after the 3 and continues to attack KAI, when the referee admonishes him, he just seems surprised it was a pinfall. But when she implores that it was indeed a 3 count, he relents and heads to the back.
Winner: KAI via Gannosuke Clutch
Rating: ** 1/2
Yukata Yoshie vs Naomichi Marufuji
This is one of those matches where Yoshie’s inconsistency hurts him.
We get an actually beautiful comedic struggle match. Where Marufuji goes to try and lift Yoshie many times, but can’t lift the bigger wrestler. When Yoshie goes to do a power move, Marufuji finds ways to counter and flip out of them. So admittedly, this was a very enjoyable first few minutes that showed what both wrestlers can and can’t do.
Then we reach a spot, where Marufuji was supposed to follow Yoshie to the ropes, but Yoshie stops, hits the ropes a second time, and the wheels kind of fall off for a while. Sloppy exchanges, Yoshie not taking Marufuji’s blitz well, and then falling back into the corner early before a kick connects, just makes those couple minutes look bad.
Sloppy match or not, Marufuji wins with the move he innovated, the Shiranui (Sliced Bread).
Winner: Marufuji via Shiranui
Rating: ** 1/4
Jun Akiyama vs Yoshitatsu
Carnival Grandpa, fresh off his first loss to Suwama, now gets a surging Yoshitatsu.
This starts off as one of those weird matches where referee Wada is a little too involved. Akiyama continues his wily veteran ways by rolling in and out of the ring to keep Yoshi chasing, which visibly frustrates the younger wrestler. But Kyohei Wada is also getting sick of the rope-a-dope, so when Akiyama slides back in after Yoshitatsu went out to get him, Yoshi tries to collect his thoughts momentarily, but the referee fast counts him, forcing action to start.
This match is fantastic in the way it’s laid out. Yoshitatsu keeps looking better, more natural and overall seems to be enjoying himself, and it shows in his work. They both exchange momentum and it gets to a point where Tatsu looks like he might pull off a win. But when Yoshitatsu looks to lock in his Koji Clutch, Akiyama very cleverly counters it by cradling the legs, for a cheap, but cunning pinfall.
A harder loss than one may think, since this knocks Yoshitatsu out of being able to win B Block. Reason being, he’s lost to the current top 3 competitors, so if they were to all finish with the same record, Yoshitatsu loses on tiebreakers.
Winner: Akiyama via cradle counter to Koji Clutch
Current B-Block Standings:
Jun Akiyama: 4-1 (8 Points)
Naomichi Marufuji: 3-0 (6 Points)
Suwama: 3-1 (6 Points)
Zeus: 2-2 (4 Points)
KAI: 2-3 (4 Points)
Yoshitatsu: 2-3 (4 Points)
Dylan James: 2-4 (4 Points)
Yutaka Yoshie: 1-5 (2 Points)
As we see, Suwama still holds a tiebreaker over Akiyama if they were to end with the same record. But the only other man with a clear chance to win, is the currently undefeated Naomichi Marufuji, Zeus has a shot, but he needs to go on a huge run. At the current point, everyone in the bottom 4 are mathematically eliminated from winning the block.
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Mitchell’s Ring of Honor Report! (4/14/18)
ROH WRESTLING TELEVISION, Episode 343
ROH brings a whole lot of tag team action this week! The main event is a Tag Team Championship Contenders Gauntlet match, where the last team standing will challenge The Briscoes for the titles, and it includes The Kingdom and The Young Bucks! Plus, Frankie Kazarian VS Hiromu Takahashi to settle a long-standing grudge!
All images courtesy of the Fite.TV app and streaming service
- Frankie Kazarian VS Hiromu Takahashi; Takahashi wins.
- ROH World Tag Team Championship Contenders Gauntlet: The Young Bucks win and will challenge The Briscoes for the titles.
PLAY BY PLAY
Frankie Kazarian VS Hiromu Takahashi!
SoCal Uncensored’s Heavy Metal Rebel remembers the days when “Kamaitachi” was on the Addiction’s side. He also remembers when the Ticking Timebomb ditched The Addiction. After so much time has passed, will Kaz get back at Hiromu for leaving him and Daniels high and dry?
While making his way out to the ring, Hiromu takes notice of a fan’s Daryl the cat plushie and brings it to the ring with him. Kaz is annoyed as he has to make room for Hiromu to place the stuffed animal in the middle of the ring. Hiromu praises Daryl!
Daryl aside, fans are chanting for “Takahashi! Takahashi!” as Kazarian returns inside the ring. The bell rings without the Code of Honor and the two circle. They tie up and Kaz gets the waistlock but Hiromu gets the standing switch. Kaz breaks out to put on a wristlock but Hiromu reverses to his own wristlock. Kaz uses ropes to flip out of the hold then whip Hiromu, but Hiromu reverses. Things speed up as Kaz hurdles Hiromu, then he reverses the hip toss into a fireman’s carry bridge cover, ONE! Kaz goes for the legs but Hiromu pushes him away, Hiromu lies down as Kaz kips-up. Fans applaud as the two circle again.
Kaz talks trash to the fans, but Hiromu takes a time-out to again retrieve the Daryl doppelganger. Hiromu looks into the camera as he pretends to be a cat, cleaning its ears, but then he hurries into the ring as Kaz comes rushing out. Kaz swipes at Daryl, bane of his existence, but gets blasted by Hiromu’s running dropkick! Hiromu goes to the apron and leaps but Kaz gets clear. Hiromu turns around and ducks Kaz’s clothesline, only to run into his boot. Kaz grabs Hiromu and snap suplexes him into the barriers! Hiromu writhes while Kaz gets into the ring to embrace the heat. Hiromu clutches his ankles while we go to break.
ROH returns as Kaz chokes Hiromu against the ropes. The referee counts and Kaz backs off, but then slingshots over to give Hiromu an uppercut. Kaz taunts the fans before returning to the ring. He drags Hiromu up but Hiromu fires off chops. Kaz knees low then suplexes Hiromu up, but Hiromu slips out and lands on the apron. Hiromu punches Kaz a couple times, then shoulders in, but Kaz hits him with a guillotine leg drop! Hiromu hangs from the ropes, so Kaz springboards to give him another guillotine leg drop!
Cover, TWO, but Kaz keeps his cool. He talks trash and toys with Hiromu before bringing him up for a back suplex to backbreaker! Hiromu writhes again, but Kaz toys with him more. Kaz brings Hiromu up again for haymakers, then whips him corner to corner. Hiromu boots Kaz back then runs, but into Kaz’s kick. Kaz runs, but Hiromu follows to rally with forearms and elbows. Hiromu kicks, kicks and kicks Kaz down, then covers, TWO! The fans rally for Hiromu and Hiromu fires up. He whips and reels Kaz in, but Kaz dodges the lariat. Hiromu gets him with a back elbow instead, then runs, dodging Kaz to throw him with a huricanrana!
Kaz gets to a corner and Hiromu hits him with a clothesline. Hiromu rolls Kaz out then runs for a low dropkick. Kaz rolls out of the ring but Hiromu gets to the apron. Hiromu runs for the leaping dropkick! Down goes Kaz and Hiromu fires up! Hiromu drags Kaz up and into the ring, cover, TWO. Kaz slowly stands but Hiromu shouts “Timebomb!” Hiromu lifts Kaz in a fireman’s carry, but Kaz fights his way off. Kaz gets the waistlock but Hiromu bucks him off. Kaz runs back in but Hiromu puts him on the apron. Hiromu swings but Kaz ducks and shoulders back in. Kaz slingshots in for the DDT! Cover, TWO!
The fans chant for Hiromu, but Kaz drags him up and whips. Hiromu reverses and runs in, but Kaz slips out to the apron and hotshots Hiromu back! Kaz climbs up to springboard but Hiromu ducks under. Hiromu runs at him but Kaz puts him back on the apron. Hiromu slingshots in, but Kaz gets him with a cutter!
Cover, TWO! Kaz can’t belive it, and gets mad at the referee. Hiromu stirs while Kaz pushes the referee, and the referee pushes back and Hiromu rolls Kaz up! TWO, but Hiromu is right on Kaz with haymakers. Hiromu whips Kaz corner to corner but Kaz boots him down. Cover but Kaz puts his feet on the ropes, TWO! Kaz really can’t believe that, but he drags Hiromu up by his hair. He slaps Hiromu, then goes to run but Hiromu rolls him up again! TWO, into small package, TWO! Kaz swings but Hiromu ducks, SUPERKICK! Hiromu runs and takes Kaz off his feet with a fiery lariat! Fans fire up while Kaz staggers. Hiromu lifts him into the fireman’s carry, then swings him out for the Timebomb driver!
Cover, Hiromu wins!
Winner: Takahashi, by pinfall
The Timebomb shows the Heavy Metal Rebel that he’s more than just eccentric. With wins like this, can Hiromu find himself in contention for a singles title in ROH?
The Beer City Bruiser & Brian Milonas are attacking Team Coast 2 Coast!
Specifically, the Keg Man and the Kingpin are clubbing and clobbering Leon St. Giovanni! Bruiser stands LSG up against a wall to then flatten him with a body splash, then keeps him up so Milonas can do the same! They leave LSG writhing on the ground, having eliminated one team even before tonight’s Tag Team Gauntlet. Will the other teams be able to win once the bullying behemoths enter the match?
Caprice Coleman joins commentary.
The Most Versatile Man in Sports Today joins Ian Riccaboni and Colt Cabana to watch this massive tag team main event!
ROH World Tag Team Championship Contenders Gauntlet!
And speaking of massive, the first team out is literally the biggest team in all of ROH, Beer City Bruiser & Brian Milonas!
Normally being first out in such a match is a disadvantage, but this duo doesn’t seem bothered by it at all. They used the Human Rocket, Leon St. Giovanni, as an appetizer, will they feast on the other five- Well, four teams? But wait, Shaheem Ali still comes out for Team Coast 2 Coast!
He also has a microphone in hand. Ali looks at Bruiser & Milonas, and tells them, “You two think it’s a joke.” He saw what they did, jumping LSG backstage before this match, and they just assume Ali is going to back out. “You gotta be out your mind.” But he knows The Bruiser & Milonas only took Team C2C out because they’re scared! Ali isn’t afraid, he’ll take them both on! This Tag Team Gauntlet is starting out as a handicap!? That suits the big boys just fine, they exit the ring to flank Ali. Ali slips into the ring, the bell rings, and it begins!
The Beer City Bruiser & Brian Milonas VS Shaheem Ali!
Bruiser pursues Ali but Ali punches him away. Bruiser tumbles into Milonas, and Ali builds speed and FLIES!
Ali wipes Bruiser out but Milonas gets into the ring. Ali hops up and shoulders into the Kingpin, then slingshots over to run. He jumps but Milonas catches the crossbody, but Ali fights out with elbows. Fans rally with the endless elbows Ali gives Milonas, and Milonas falls back on his butt! Ali fires up and runs, and basement dropkick from the side. Milonas flounders but Bruiser is back. Ali sees him coming and counters with a low spinning backhand. Ali uppercuts and has both big men in the corners. He runs in but only gets Milonas as Bruiser gets clear. Bruiser runs at Ali but Ali gets around to a waistlock. Bruiser gets the standing switch and feeds Ali to Milonas’ boot. Ali staggers, and is sandwiched by Bruiser & Milonas! Ali flops to the mat, and Bruiser finally stands in his team’s corner.
Milonas brings Ali up and whips him hard corner to corner, then brings Ali back over for the first actual tag of this match. Bruiser comes in and throws haymakers, then tags Milonas back in. Bruiser whips Ali to a corner but Ali boots him back. Ali runs out but Bruiser back drops him onto Milonas’ shoulder, and Milonas brings Ali up for a sit-out powerbomb! Cover, TWO, and neither Bruiser nor Milonas can believe it. Milonas argues with the ref but then goes back to stomp Ali at the ropes. Without a partner, Ali is all alone while we go to break.
ROH returns to Ali fighting back but being kept down in Bruiser’s & Milonas’ corner. Milonas runs in but Ali dodges and kicks back. Bruiser tags in but Ali sees him coming. Ali gives him forearms and elbows, then a leaping heel kick. Milonas comes back but Ali rocks him with a headbutt! Milonas staggers back and sits down in a corner but Bruiser gets up and runs at Ali. Ali baits him into another corner, and Bruiser bounces off buckles, then Ali adds a complete shot! Cover, TWO! Ali keeps going, climbing up top, but Milonas clubs him with a forearm. Milonas climbs up to join Ali while Bruiser climbs up another corner. Milonas SUPERPLEXES Ali, Bruiser FROG SPLASHES! The Last Call combination!
Cover, three count, Bruiser & Milonas eliminate Ali.
Elimination: Coast 2 Coast
They took out LSG before the match and finish up by taking out Ali here. The next team up in the Gauntlet is… “OH! HELL! YEAH!!” It’s Big Rhett & Little Willie!
The Beer City Bruiser & Brian Milonas VS The Dawgs!
They may not have gotten anything for the 16th Anniversary Show, given how wasted they were, but Bruiser & Milonas are “two guys just as drunk as us!” Why have a match when they can have a beer? The Dawgs offer a drink to Bruiser & Milonas, and the big beer belly boys accept. They also down those drinks in about two seconds and then throw hands on The Dawgs! Bruiser & Milonas whip Ferrara & Rhett, respectively, but The Dawgs dodge the haymakers to spit beer in their faces! Rhett knocks Bruiser’s & Milonas’ heads together, then so does Ferrara. Then Rhett knocks Milonas’ & Ferrara’s heads together. Milonas stays standing, and runs at The Dawgs, but the Dawgs dump Milonas out. The Dawgs shove each other, then Rhett launches Ferrara at Bruiser. Bruiser catches Ferrara easily, but Rhett dropkicks Bruiser in the face! Cover, ONE, and things sort out to the teams’ corners.
Rhett tags Ferrara in, and The Dawgs cross Bruiser’s arms before whipping him backwards into buckles. Ferrara wants to whip Rhett in, but Rhett stops that. Rhett slaps some sense into Ferrara before whipping Ferrara in for the shoulder tackle. Ferrara runs at Rhett but Rhett redirects him in for another shoulder tackle. Ferrara wants to try again, Rhett spins him around an extra time, but Bruiser gets out of the way, sending Ferrara into buckles! Bruiser rocks Rhett with a right but Ferrara boots Bruiser. Rhett rocks Bruiser back while Ferrara hops up, Ferrara leaps for a flying huricanrana!
However, it sends Bruiser all the way to his corner and Milonas tags in. Ferrara doesn’t know that and Bruiser yanks him into buckles. Milonas steps up to Ferrara and gives him repeated hip attacks! He tags Bruiser back in, Bruiser knocks Rhett off the apron before giving Ferrara the cannonball!
Cover, TWO! Fans chant for “Little Willie”, and he starts slapping Bruiser. But Bruiser only has to slap Willie once to knock him down. Ferrara keeps trying but Bruiser chops him back into the corner. Milonas tags in and stomps Ferrara. Milonas brings Ferrara up and taunts Rhett before throwing Ferrara overhead! The Dawgs are in trouble while we go to break.
ROH returns to fans rallying for Ferrara. Milonas toys with him, so Ferrara bites Milonas’ fingers! Ferrara then crawls under, but Milonas brings him up. Ferrara sunset flips over, but there’s no way Little Willie can bring down Mastadon Milonas. Milonas jumps but Ferrara gets clear of his rear, hot tag to Rhett! Big Rhett rallies, big forearm to Bruiser and big enziguri to Milonas. Rhett gets around and knees Milonas low, then runs to boot him high. Milonas stays standing so Rhett unloads haymakers and chops. Milonas shoves but Rhett dodges to rock him with another right. Bruiser returns as Rhett runs again, and rocks Rhett with a right of his own! Bruiser whips Rhett corner to corner but Rhett goes up and over to then monkey flip Bruiser! Ferrara returns to leap from the apron, and tornado DDT Bruiser to the ground!
Fans fire up for The Dawgs as Milonas stands up. Milonas runs at Rhett but misses, Ferrara runs in to hit Milonas with a big back elbow. Rhett runs in to add on a helluva kick. Ferrara becomes the step stool, for Rhett’s bicycle kick to table top Milonas down! The Dawgs fire up while Milonas stirs. Rhett tags in Ferrara and Ferrara climbs while Rhett fetches Milonas. But Rhett can’t suplex Milonas up for the finisher! Milonas back drops Rhett then rocks Ferrara. Milonas climbs up to join him, SUPERPLEX! He covers while Bruiser keeps Rhett away, three count, Bruiser & Milonas eliminate The Dawgs.
Elimination: The Dawgs
That’s two teams in a row for ROH’s biggest tag team, and we’re now halfway through this gauntlet. But there’s no rest for the wicked, out come… The Motor City Machine Guns!
The Beer City Bruiser & Brian Milonas VS The Motor City Machine Guns!
And the former ROH World Tag Team Champions bring the fight to the exhausted hosses!
Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley throw hands on Bruiser & Milonas, but Milonas knocks Shelley down with one body shot. Sabin runs but Bruiser follows, to then flatten Sabin with a crossbody! Milonas adds the spinning back senton! Shelley stands up but Milonas is right on him. Milonas picks Shelley up and Bruiser runs in for a dropkick-started sidewalk slam! The MCMG are down while Bruiser & Milonas somehow have energy to spare. Milonas gets Sabin with those hip attacks, then Bruiser runs in, but Sabin dodges the cannonball! Milonas sees that and runs at Sabin, but Sabin dumps him out. Shelley returns and Bruiser goes after both MCMG, but then he runs into a drop toehold. Bruiser stays standing just on sturdiness, so Sabin runs to give him a bulldog! Then they hit Bruiser with double basement dropkicks.
The fans fire up while MCMG aim at Milonas. Shelley slingshots out, but Milonas catches him. Milonas puts Shelley on his shoulders but Sabin gets to the apron. Sabin gives Milonas a Penalty Kick, but then Bruiser rocks Sabin with a right hand! Bruiser goes out to the apron while Milonas holds the MCMG. Bruiser gets moving, but the MCMG get clear, that cannonball goes into Milonas!
The big men go down and MCMG take aim again. Bruiser stands up, but gets double SUPERKICKS! He still stands so they put him in the ring. Sabin puts Bruiser in a corner, and the MCMG give him the boot-kick combo. Shelley climbs while Sabin turns Bruiser around, for Skull & Bones!
Cover, MCMG eliminate Bruiser & Milonas!
Elimination: Beer City Bruiser & Brian Milonas
The former ROH World Tag Team Champions are the ones to finally eliminate the behemoth bullies, but now they’ll face… Matt & Nick Jackson, The Young Bucks!
The penultimate match-up is of two former ROH World Tag Team Champions! Fans erupt with excitement while we go to break.
The Motor City Machine Guns VS The Young Bucks!
ROH returns and these two teams are face to face in the ring with streamers everywhere. The ring is cleared while the fans start up the Terminator drums. Both teams are very familiar with each other, so they skip the formalities and go right to brawling! All four men throw hands fast and furious, and the Bucks get MCMG in opposite corners. The Bucks whip Sabin & Shelley at each other, but MCMG do-si-do and run back at the Bucks. The Bucks dodge but so do the MCMG, and back again, it’s the Bucks who get the double corner clotheslines! Fans applaud while the Bucks high-five, and then the fans chant “The! Elite! The the Elite!” as Matt helps Nick acrobatically crossbody onto Shelley.
Sabin runs at the Bucks but gets double kicks for it. Nick sweeps the legs while Matt runs and comes in with the basement dropkick. Matt’s back bothers him, though, he still hasn’t been able to let his body recover. But that doesn’t matter right now, he whips Nick at Shelly in a corner. Shelley boots Nick back, then boots Matt. Nick tries again but gets caught, Sabin returns and Shelley helps him to the apron. Shelley gives Nick a buckle complete shot, then Sabin climbs up to hit Matt with a missile dropkick. Fans are mixed over cheering and jeering the MCMG. Shelley keeps Nick in a corner while Sabin whips Matt in, Shelley drop toeholds Matt into Nick’s groin! Then Shelley’s boot grinds Matt’s head deeper in! Shelley even blows snot on the Bucks to add insult to injury.
Sabin drags Matt up and hoists him onto Nick’s shoulders for a Tree of Woe. Both Bucks are stuck in the corner, both MCMG run in, Sabin boots Nick while Shelley basement dropkicks Matt!
The Bucks tumble down, Nick slumping all the way out of the ring. Shelley puts some stank on his right hand, then brings Matt over to Sabin for the tag. Shelley swings on Nick but Nick hits him first. Sabin uses Shelley as a step stool to dropkick Nick down before he can enter. Matt revives and throws hands on the MCMG! Matt runs but into the Dream Sequence: atomic drop to dropkick to half-Muda and another dropkick! Fans are fired up, Sabin covers, TWO! Sabin keeps on Matt with a chinlock, but Nick rallies the fans. Matt feeds off that energy and fights his way out. Matt runs but Shelley trips him up. Shelley drags Matt out of the ring, but Matt SUPERKICKS him away!
Matt gets up and shoulders into Sabin, then slides under. Sabin goes after Matt, Matt standing switches but Sabin elbows Matt away to then elbow Nick down. Matt dodges Sabin and wheelbarrow, victory roll facebuster! Nick returns to his corner and Matt crawls that way, but Shelley goes after Nick! He yanks Nick off the apron, but gets a SUPERKICK like earlier! Nick gets back up, Matt gets the hot tag! Sabin runs at Nick but Nick shoulders in, then slingshots over for the facebuster.
Nick cartwheels to asai moonsault Shelley down, then runs back in to give Sabin a corner shining wizard. He keeps moving, and DIVES on Shelley. Matt is back and grabs Sabin, Nick helps him out with the Sliced Break, Sabin’s move! Nick adds another shining wizard, then both go out to Shelley to give him double SUPERKICKS! The Bucks have the fans all fired up, “The! Elite! The the Elite!” Nick tags in Matt and Matt drags Sabin up. Nick waits on the apron, but between Matt’s bad back and Sabin’s flailing, Sabin slips out to a facelock. Sabin tries to use Nick for the tornado DDT but Nick ducks, to then SUPERKICK Sabin off Matt. Matt SPEARS Sabin, and the Bucks combine for the springboard splash and standing moonsault combo!
Cover, TWO! The Bucks are surprised, but they don’t slow down. Nick rallies the fans again, and the two double whip Sabin. Sabin reverses but Matt goes up and over. Sabin blocks Nick’s kick and sends it at Matt, but Matt dodges, only for Sabin to SUPERKICK Matt! Nick SUPERKICKS Sabin back, then rushes at the returning Shelley. Shelley puts him on the apron and knocks him off with an elbow. Matt runs in but into Shelley’s cravat. Shelley runs for Sliced Bread, but Matt catches him into Tombstone position!
Nick hurries to the apron but Sabin quickly anchors his feet. Shelley slips out of the Tombstone but Matt gets him in the fireman’s carry! Nick kicks Sabin away then climbs up, More Bang for Your- No! Shelley’s knees catch Nick’s 450! And then Matt’s moonsault is tripped up by Sabin’s SUPER German Suplex! The fans fire up as Sabin and Shelley hurry to bring Matt up. MCMG want the same finish, but Nick trips Shelley up. Matt backslides Sabin, three count! The Bucks eliminate MCMG!
Elimination: Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin)
One team of former ROH World Tag Team Champions advance while the other is gone! We know who the last team left is, but we go to break before their introductions.
The Young Bucks VS The Kingdom!
ROH returns, and yes, it is TK O’Ryan & Vinnie Marseglia who were lucky last place in this Gauntlet. The Sassy Wild Horse & Horror King made their way out while ROH was on commercial break, but they’re already in control of Matt Jackson. Replay shows it was thanks to Matt Taven distracting the Bucks while TK & Vinnie entered from the crowd and attacked from behind.
In the present, someone tosses in a chair? It’s Nick Jackson, of course, but the referee isn’t going to allow this match to get extreme. However, this does give the Kingdom an opening to stomp and choke Matt behind the referee’s back. Vinnie tags in and chokes Matt against the ropes, then bends him backwards. The referee counts and Vinnie lets go at 4, but TK gives Matt a cheap shot boot. Nick rallies the fans and TK mocks it all while Vinnie clubs Matt in the back. Vinnie trash talks Matt, then clubs him more before standing on that bad back. He bends Matt back then throws him down before giving Nick a cheap shot. Matt runs in but Vinnie knees him away. Vinnie runs and tilt-o-whirls, but Matt denies the leg sweep. Vinnie rolls Matt forward instead, then bends him back with a chinlock.
TK talks trash to the fans while Vinnie drives in knees to Matt’s spine. Fans chant for “The! Elite! The the Elite!” but Vinnie tags TK in. TK turns Matt around to drive in forearms, then tags in Vinnie. Vinnie runs side to side for the forearm smash, then another, then throws Matt into the corner, but Matt uses that to knock TK down! Vinnie still gives Matt another forearm, then hoists Matt up top. Nick rallies the fans again while Vinnie climbs up. Matt fights back, but TK has crawled under the ring, all the way to the Bucks’ corner. Matt fires off hands and sends Vinnie down, then adjusts to hit the Macho Elbow! He can’t cover, so he crawls for his corner instead. TK lurks and trips Nick up just as Matt leaps over!
The Sassy Wild Horse mockingnly reaches to tag Matt, but mocks the fans a little too long, Matt SUPERKICKS TK down! Vinnie stands up and runs in, but into Matt’s boots. Matt hops up, and gives Vinnie a corkscrew stunner! Nick returns and Matt fires himself up. Matt crawls, as does Vinnie, hot tags to TK and Nick! Nick rallies on The Kingdom with kicks and elbows, then a Shining Wizard into the bulldog and clothesline! Fans fire up while The Kingdom regroup. Nick sees them, runs, and JUMPS!
He takes The Kingdom down, then puts TK back into the ring. Nick climbs up and takes aim, but TK rolls out of the ring. Nick hops down, and decides to go out to the apron, where he roundhouses TK! But that’s not all, he gives TK an apron German suplex! Nick puts TK back in the ring and fires up, but Vinnie grabs his feet. Nick stomps on Vinnie’s hands then hits the tornado DDT to the floor! He keeps going, shoulders in on TK and slingshots over for the sunset flip and Cease Sharpshooter!
TK endures the hold, Vinnie comes in and throws furious right hands. But Nick holds on! He glares Vinnie down, so Vinnie goes and gets his hatchet! The referee stops him from using the weapon, and even confiscates it. However, that still leaves the baseball bat! Vinnie jabs Nick in the ribs with the slugger, and TK rolls Nick up, TWO!? The screw job didn’t work! TK wants his bat and Vinnie tosses it to him, but Nick ducks the swing to tag in Matt! Matt rallies on the Kingdom with right hands back and forth between Vinnie & TK. TK clubs Matt in the back and that stops that. The Kingdom double whip Matt but Matt breaks the line to double clothesline them down!
Matt is all fired up but still very stiff. He goes to lift TK but that back limits him. The fans rally for him, but Matt still can’t get TK all the way up. When Matt finally does, Vinnie chop blocks his legs out! The Kingdom drag Matt up and throw him out. TK drags Nick in to watch Vinnie pull pads off the floor! But Vinnie takes too long enjoying the moment, because Nick breaks free and SUPERKICKS TK! Nick then goes to the apron and Penalty Kicks Vinnie down. Nick puts Matt back in the ring and the fans chant “Young Bucks! Young Bucks!” Matt goes after TK, but that bad back slows him down again. Nick helps Matt with the Tombstone scoop then hurries back to the apron. Nick springboards, Five Star Meltzer Driver!!
Cover, The Young Bucks win!!
Winners: The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson), Matt pinning
The Bucks are victorious! They overcome the Horror King & Sassy Wild Horse to earn themselves an ROH World Tag Team Championship match! They will challenge #DemBoyz, Jay & Mark Briscoe, in the near future. Will the Bucks end the Briscoe’s historic ninth title reign to begin their fourth? Or will the Briscoes continue to prevail in their war of Sandy Fork VS Everybody?
A really great night of action for ROH, even with just two matches and nothing else. The opening match of Kaz and Hiromu was great, even though I’m surprised it took this long for them to do something with that story. “Kamaitachi” leaving The Addiction was a long time ago, but I suppose with Hiromu hitting it so big upon returning to NJPW, there just wasn’t room in his schedule for a blow-off with either Kaz or Daniels. Hiromu going over here is great for his ROH career, and I think it’d be great if he got at least an ROH World Television Championship run within the next few months.
Then the Tag Team Gauntlet was of course incredible. It elevated all the regularly featured teams within the division, and not just for their in-ring abilities. Bruiser & Milonas are rising as a Heel team, and showed their endurance. Shaheem Ali showed grit as he toughed it out in a handicap against those two, while the Dawgs even established themselves as favorable Tweeners compared to Bruiser & Milonas. The MCMG VS Bucks was great as always, but The Kingdom are still top Heels in ROH with that sneak attack. I was surprised Taven didn’t stick around to interfere, but that’s been overdone so it actually turned out better that he didn’t. The Bucks go over in the end because they’re The Young Bucks, the best tag team across multiple promotions. Plus, now that they’re going Heavyweight in NJPW, they and The Briscoes could end up feuding over both ROH & NJPW belts.
My Score: 8.5/10
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Ja’von’s Impact Wrestling Report! (4/19/18)
Impact Wrestling continues the road to Redemption tonight, the final show before the new PPV makes its debut!
All images and tweets courtesy of Impact Wrestling’s twitter page
Braxton Sutter and Su Yung vs Fallah Bahh and Kiera Hogan: Braxton and Su Yung via pinfall
KM Open Challenge: Brain Cage via pinfall
Johnny Impact vs Kongo Kong: No Contest
Austin Aries vs Pentagon Jr. vs Fenix: Pentagon Jr. via pinfall
Braxton Sutter and Su Yung vs Fallah Bahh and Kiera Hogan:
This match kicks off Impact this week and Sutter comes out to introduce his partner Su Yung. The commentators hype up Yung as a HUGE threat to Allie and her Knockouts Championship. Kiera Hogan and Fallah Bahh make their way to the ring together doing the signature Fallah bahh head hit. Sutter and Yung get the jump on both Hogan and Bahh but Kiera and Fallah counter with Sutter thrown in the corner. Bahh goes for the splash but Braxton counters with an elbow. Fallah hits a belly to belly suplex on Sutter.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) April 20, 2018
Hogan tags in and meets Su Yung. Hogan is the upper hand a bit and Yung tags out leaving Hogan to deal with Sutter. The action is fast paced and Bahh and Sutter are now the legal men and Braxton knocks Bahh out of the ring and Su Yung does a barrel roll onto Bahh taking him out. Sutter brings him back in the ring and stays in control but Bahh eventually counters and they both tag in their partners as Hogan takes it to Su Yung and gets a two count. Yung fights back and attempts her finisher but Kiera fights back and hits a butterfly suplex. Sutter gets involved but Hogan gets a big shot on him sending him into the corner. Bahh comes in for the save but Su grabs the kendo stick and hits Fallah but it doesn’t faze him.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) April 20, 2018
While distracted with Su Braxton takes out Bahh and Su Yung hits the paincswitch on Kiera Hogan for the pinball victory. Post match Allie comes down the ramp and attacks Yung but Sutter breaks them apart and Yung takes advantage. It takes Sutter and a couple of refs to hold both these ladies back.
Winners: Braxton Sutter and Su Yung (Pinfall) This match allowed for everyone to shine and we got to see how the partnership Sutter and Yung would work together during a match. Yung looked strong here and loved the post match brawl between Allie and Su Yung.
LAX are in their clubhouse and worried about Scott Steiner being Eli’s partner for the title at Redemption. Conan reminds them that Stiener is a wildcard and hyped them up for the match.
Jimmy Jacobs and Kongo Kong are interviewed by McKenzie Mitchell backstage and says that pretty people like her and Johnny are in a bubble and don’t have to work for anything cause it’s hand to them. Jacobs says after tonight he wants Impact to see a monster staring back at him when he looks in a mirror.
A video package plays showcasing a deeper look into the House of Hardcore Match:
In my opinion this should be a fun match for the Impact crowd on Sunday. Bodies will be put on the line and tables will be broken but when it’s all said and done Eddie, Moose, and Dreamer will be victorious.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) April 20, 2018
KM’s Open Challenge:
KM makes his way to the ring and knocks a fan’s hat off his head. KM calls himself an innovator and will create a one of a kind match. He calls out the locker room and saying he will make history with them. Brian Cage answers the challenge and makes his way to the ring. KM tries to weseal his way out of the match and claim to be friends with Cage.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) April 20, 2018
KM tries to leave the ring but eats a back body drop for his troubles as the match begins. Cage hits a basement dropkick and multiple clothesline on KM in the corner. Cage hits a deadlift duplex and an elbow drop from the top followed by the discus clothesline and an F5 type maneuver for the pinfall victory.
Winner: Brian Cage via pinfall This match was basically a squash match to keep Brain Cage looking strong heading into his six way match on Sunday.
Johnny Impact vs Kongo Kong:
A video package is played showcasing Kong Kongo becoming the new big monster of Impact and how we get to Johnny Impact vs Kongo Kong tonight. The video package is narrated by Jimmy Jacobs. This is a first time ever match between the two.
Kongo Kong and Jimmy Jacons make their way to the ring for the match. Johnny Impact makes his way to the ring for this first time ever match. Impact starts with a big shot to Kong’s chest and doubles him over but Kong fights back and knocks him out of the ring. Impact comes in the ring very cautiously and tries to use his speed against the monster but to no avail as Kongo Kong catches him and knocks him down. Kong stands on the back of Impact’s head then tosses him in the corner for a big splash and knocks Johnny to the ground for a two count. Impact fights back and hits Kong with a big knee to the face then a standing shooting star press for a two count. Kong regains control and chokes Impact on the middle rope. Impact begins to rally with jabs and punches on Kong but they have no effect on Kong. Johnny goes for a springboard maneuver but Kong catches him and tries toss him but Impact lands on his feet. Kong drives Johnny to the outside of the ring. Impact then goes for a running attack off the steel steps but is swatted midair. Kong then hits a rolling Denton to Impact up against the steps. The ref comes out to check on Impact but Kongo Kong tosses him into the steel barricade. Jacobs and Kong set up the steps on the ring apron and Kong launches him like a lawndart face first into the steps.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) April 20, 2018
Winner: No Contest
A video package showcasing a deeper look into Allie vs Su Yung for the Knockouts Championship this Sunday.
THIS SUNDAY AT REDEMPTION – @AllieImpact will need every ounce of fire and determination she can muster as she faces he toughest challenger so far.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) April 20, 2018
Video package showcasing a deeper look into the X-Division Championship match this Sunday.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) April 20, 2018
A video package showcasing a deeper look into the Tag Team Championship match this Sunday.
THIS SUNDAY AT REDEMPTION – Scott Steiner and @TheEliDrake form an unlikely alliance as they team to challenge @Ortiz5150 and @SantanaLAX for the IMPACT World Tag Team Titles! #IMPACTonPop pic.twitter.com/opBKSvOzgE
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) April 20, 2018
Eli Drake is interviewed backstage by McKenzie Mitchell and Drake says he’s the only one to ever hold TWO briefcases and that he’s not down and out since losing the world title. Stiener shows up and says he will deliver the tag titles to Drake.
Impact Wrestling World Champion Austin Aries vs Pentagon Jr. vs Fenix (Non-Title):
Pentagon Jr. makes his way to the ring first followed by Fenix then the world champion Austin Aries. The match begins with a staredown and a game of one-upsmanship between the three men. Aries gets caught with a superkick from Fenix followed up by Pentagon Jr. hitting Fenix with a superkick of his own. Pentagon Jr. grabs Fenix with a wristlock and goes for a springboard maneuver but Fenix counters and sends Pentagon Jr. outside the ring. Austin comes back into the ring and takes it to Fenix hitting a diving elbow to the back of the neck from the corner to get a two count. Pentagon Jr. eventually finds his way back into the ring and takes it to both men. This match is fast pace as both Aries and Pentagon Jr. spill yo the outside and Fenix comes off the ropes with a springboard corkscrew. Fenix bring Pentagon back in for a near fall. Fenix goes for a package piledriver on Pentagon back Aries breaks it up by boxing Fenix’s ears and tries to lock in the last chancery but Pentagon breaks it up with a kick to the chest. As we go to break Aries attempts a suplex from the top rope.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) April 20, 2018
Back from break and Fenix hits a running elbow to Aries in the corner. Aries then attempts to lock inthe last chancery but Pentagon breaks it up. Pentagon and Fenix are known in some worlds as the Lucha Brothers and they hit a few double team maneuvers on Aries. Fenix and Pentagon Jr. exchange chips to each other as they argue who should pin Aries. Aries comes back to break them up but eats a double superkicks and sends him out of the ring for the rest of the match.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) April 20, 2018
Pentagon then hits a pop powerbomb for a two count then follows with the Pentagon Driver for the win.
Winner: Pentagon Jr. via pinfall