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Stardom Dream Slam in Tokyo Results & Review (3/28/2018)

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Here we are, as we have Stardom’s next show uploaded fully!  We will crown our first Future of Stardom Champion, Hiromo Mimura’s final match, the return of Saki Kashima, and a double title match between Toni Storm and Viper.

Before we start, I also need to point out that the show marks the final appearance for Fuka, who has been a general manager, trainer and ring announcer for Stardom since the promotion’s debut in 2010. Act Yasukawa, Natsumi Showzuki, Haruka Kato and Takumi Iroha all came to the ring to bid her farewell, and video messages for Fuka from Kris Wolf and Kairi Sane (formerly Kairi Hojo) were played. Very emotional for them and good luck to Fuka. Let’s…dive right in.

 

Tag Team Match
Hanan & Leo Onozaki vs Ruaka & Nao Yamaguchi

Review: We’re opening up the show with a Future of Stardom division tag team match with all of our newcomers here as they look to showcase their talents for the audience. The match itself was almost four minutes as all four of them had their chance to do a few things here and there in the match. Leo and Nao are improving a bit while Hanan looks to be the better of the four, and Ruaka I still can’t get fully behind, but then again she is young and she even picks up the win with a Fisherman Suplex on Onozaki.

Recommended: This one is pretty skippable.

 

Tag Team Gauntlet Match
Apache Sisters vs. HZK & AZM vs. Kaori Yoneyama & Keneisha Moon vs. Hiroyo Matsumoto & Natsuko Tora vs. Bea Priestley & Xia Brookside

Review: This is a regular gauntlet match where two teams enter the match first and when one is eliminated, the next team comes out and they do that til the fifth team is in and a winner will be announced. The first two teams in this match are HZK/AZM taking on Kaori/Keneisha. Starts off with AZM and Kaori, as Kaori looks to be on a roll during the match as she out maneuvers both her and HZK a little bit, and then she tagged Keneisha Moon in who while I like her look, not too impressed with her as she was slow and sloppy on some spots, didn’t even hold herself up for the end. HZK would pin Keneisha with a sloppy Michinoku Driver in three minutes, and now Bea/Xia are the next opponents. This bout was much better compared to the previous one as it lasted twice as long and had more time for everyone in the ring. Xia, just don’t use the Curb Stomp anymore, she was doing fine in the match and much better than her Three Way Match, but the Curb Stomp she does is just plain awful and I think she needs a new finisher, but Xia pins AZM with that horrendous Curb Stomp and now we get the Apache Sisters. This one didn’t even last two minutes as Mary Apache would made Xia tapout with the Atlantida and now we have Hiroyo/Natsuko as our last team. Now this one was a much better match actually since we had nice fast pacing action and just delivered us a much better five minute bout between the two teams, but Faby Apache would win hitting her version of the Pedigree and looks like they’ll fight Kagetsu and Hana Kimura for the Goddesses of Stardom Championships on March 31st.

Recommended: It was decent enough for a viewing.

 

Future of Stardom Championship Match
Shiki Shibusawa vs Starlight Kid

Review: Here are our two finalists in the tournament as one of them looks to make history and win the Future of Stardom Championship, which looks a nice small white belt similar to the Wonder of Stardom one. Shiki wastes to time as she starts to take the advantage soon as the bell rings to make her victory a quick one, but Spring Tig- I mean Starlight Kid is having none of that as she would eventually fight back despite a botched 619, at least she tried. The last two minutes of the match saved it as we had some nice close calls and we now have our first champion, Starlight Kid after hitting her Rounding Moonsault, congrats to Starlight! After the match, Starlight would name her first challenger and it is AZM as they two will face off at the April 1st show which is shaping up really nicely.

Recommended: It was a good match, watch it if you’ve been following the tournament.

 

Singles Match
Natsumi vs Io Shirai

Review: We have ANOTHER debut here and her name is Natsumi who is the daughter of Mary Apache and she surprisingly does her interview speaking English and gotta say that it’s pretty impressive of her, and then I saw who she was facing and gotta say good luck since she’s gonna need it. For Io the match is kinda important to her since she’s close to the Apache Sisters as well as her being trained by their mother, Gran Apache. Natsumi has a lot to work on and I’m sure she was also nervous with her match being against one of the best female wrestlers right now, but she did show some nice moves and can go if put in the right direction, but her selling needs a lot of work. Good job for Io for helping her out in the match and pulling out the win with her famous Moonsault Press, showing why she’s still Stardom’s ace.

Recommended: Worth a viewing at least.

 

Hiromi Mimura Retirement Match
Hiromi Mimura & Konami vs Jungle Kyona & Momo Watanabe

Review: Here we are, Hiromi’s final wrestling match in her career and I don’t know what her plans are for after, but I wish her well with what she does next. It seems like Hiromi hand picked her opponents for this one as Jungle and Momo reunited JK GReeeN just for this match and guess it seems fitting since they shared the ring together when they were considered the rookies. The match starts off harmless, nice back and forth action, and then suddenly just about everyone on the roster lines up to hit a move on the turnbuckle as their little goodbye to Hiromi, except for Sumire Natsu who goes to hit her with the whip, but kisses her instead…nice. Kagetsu would then put a mask on her until Io just bitch smacked Hiromi, and then Jungle and Momo throw Konami into Hiromi as she dropkicks her own partner! Even after having the shit kicked out of her, Hiromi would still do her SHOUT chant and then get kicked down, and then repeat again like they’re trying to tell her to shut up or something. This match is great and I love the last five minutes of it, so emotional for these women, nice action between Hiromi and Jungle, but Jungle had to pull the trigger and won with her Hammer Throw Powerbomb.

After the match, they would have a retirement ceremony for Hiromi as it starts with her grandmother coming into the ring to give her flowers, she would then give a speech about her struggles of becoming a professional wrestler and how she was able to overcome them as she also now passes her SHOUT onto Mayu Iwatani who has supported her throughout her career. However, Mayu said she did not want to inherit her skills and SHOUT. She would grab a jar and have the audience together for one final SHOUT chant before the ten bells would play as she makes her exit from the world of professional wrestling. Good luck and thank you, Hiromi.

Recommended: Yes

 

SWA & ICW Women’s Double Championship Match
Toni Storm (c) vs. Viper (c)

Review: Alright we got our double title match where we have Toni Storm defending her SWA Championship (And not her World of Stardom again) against Viper who will put up her ICW (Insane Champsionship Wrestling) Women’s Championship. Toni is the second SWA Champion and has defended the title fifteen times which is a very impressive reign and hopes to make it a sixteenth time when she takes on Viper while also hoping to add another title to her collection as they both have three championships and one will have a fourth and the other will be down to two. This match was great, hard hitting, told a nice story, crowd was into it. Viper and Toni went all out to deliver this type of match with us, Viper nearly killed Toni with a Cannonball on the outside while Toni was sitting on a chair, and even Toni hits a Piledriver on the outside, these ladies are killing it. Fifteen minutes later, we have a new SWA Champion as Viper won with a Diving Body Press, Joe Doering would be pleased. Viper has ended Toni’s long reign as SWA Champion, as she was then challenged by Jungle Kyona to a match for the title on April 1st as Viper accepts.

Recommended: Great match, definitely watch it.

 

Six Man Tag Team Match
Mayu Iwatani, Tam Nakano & Saki Kashima vs Kagetsu, Hana Kimura & Sumire Natsu

Review: Saki Kashima has made her return to Stardom after being away from 2013, but nice to see her back and hope she sticks around for a nice long career. Saki has had some ring rust, but expected when you haven’t been wrestling for five years, but damn can she sell. Any more or kick she took, she would make it look more vicious to sell it better for the match and she just makes it look good. The match was entertaining as it also continued the story of Oedo Tai and Tam Nakano to get ready for that Explosing Death Match coming on on April 1st. I also found out that it actually is Mayu who is fight Toni on that show for the World of Stardom Championship finally, so another one to look forward to. Impressive bout and good showing by Saki, however it wasn’t enough as Kagetsu would hit Oedo Roller Coaster (450 Splash) to pick up the win for her team. After the match, it was announced the “Stardom Draft” will take place on 4/15, specifically for the three main factions in Stardom, Oedo Tai, Queen’s Quest and Stardom Army. A three way match between Kagetsu, Io Shirai and Mayu Iwatani will be held that day to determine the order of the picks. Interesting to see where this would lead.

Recommended: I enjoyed it, fun spots and good story progression.

Overall: Despite the undercard being weak, the last three matches all delivered to give us quality action, title changes, and a proper farewell to one of their own.

Favorite Match: Toni Storm vs. Viper

Least Favorite Match: Hanan & Leo Onozaki vs Ruaka & Nao Yamaguchi

Score: 7.5/10

See you all for the March 31st show.


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AJPW Champion Carnival B Block Ratings & Results: Part 4

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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.

 

4/16

 

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

Rating: ***

 

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

 

4/18

 

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

Rating: ***

 

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)

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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

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • 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?

 


 

My Thoughts:

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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Coverage

Ja’von’s Impact Wrestling Report! (4/19/18)

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Impact On Pop Redemption

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

QUICK RESULTS

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

PLAY-BY-PLAY

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Winner: No Contest 

A video package showcasing a deeper look into Allie vs Su Yung for the Knockouts Championship this Sunday.

Video package showcasing a deeper look into the X-Division Championship match this Sunday.

A video package showcasing a deeper look into the Tag Team Championship match this Sunday.

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.

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.

Pentagon then hits a pop powerbomb for a two count then follows with the Pentagon Driver for the win.

Winner: Pentagon Jr. via pinfall


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