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Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Report: New Japan Cup 2018 Finals!

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NJPW’s 2018 New Japan Cup has reached the finals! It will either be The Ace, Hiroshi Tanahashi, or the Submission Master, Zack Sabre Jr, that will win the cup and earn the right to challenge a top champion of their choosing! Will Tanahashi win to challenge Minoru Suzuki? Or will ZSJ make him #JustTapOut?

 

This review of The New Japan Cup 2018 will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Therefore, all images are courtesy of AXS TV.

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Zack Sabre Jr; ZSJ wins and will challenge Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at Sakura Genesis.

PLAY BY PLAY

AXS TV and NJPW review the finalists’ paths to this moment.

The Once in a Century Talent’s participation in this year’s New Japan Cup was unsure, given his injury at the hands of the Man with the Worst Personality, THE Minoru Suzuki. Suzuki won and now has the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. Hiroshi Tanahashi got through Taichi, Bad Luck Fale and even his teammate in Juice Robinson to get here. Should Tanahashi win, it’s almost certain his target would be Suzuki for sweet revenge. Meanwhile, Suzuki’s own protege, Zack Sabre Jr, proved he is both a Technical Wizard and a brutal brawler in his own right. ZSJ defeated Tetsuya Naito, Kota Ibushi and Sanada all through use of his unlimited arsenal of submissions.

ZSJ already has a victory over Tanahashi from the G-1 Climax last year, but Tanahashi also has a win over him in their own IWGP Intercontinental Championship match. This will be the rubber match between the two, who will win it all and call out the champion of their choice?

Two of the best in NJPW, but who will be THE New Japan Cup champion?

 

Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Zack Sabre Jr w/ Taka Michinoku!

As always, Taka Michinoku speaks before the match. “The finals of the 2018 New Japan Cup. Zack Sabre Jr. VS Hiroshi Tanahashi. Who wins?!” Fans choose Zack. “And who will take the cup?” Fans again choose Zack. Because the winner will be the man who can finish anyone anywhere with any hold, the man who has unlimited submissions, the man who defeated Naito, Ibushi and Sanada. That man is the Submission Master, ZSJ, Zack Sabre Jr! “To anyone who stands in Zack’s way, when he gets a submission”, you #JustTapOut! So Hiroshi Tanahashi, “C’mon over here!”

One of NJPW’s fastest rising stars takes on one of NJPW’s most decorated of all time. Tanahashi wants his IWGP Intercontinental Championship back while ZSJ wants to take the Rainmaker’s IWGP Heavyweight Championship. Who will win the cup to grant their wish?

NJPW on AXS takes a quick break, but comes back with the ring of the bell. This match has no time limit, so it can go as quick or as long as it takes. The fans already rally behind Tanahashi while he circles with ZSJ. ZSJ reaches at Tanahashi who keeps a safe distance. They tie up, ZSJ gets around to a waistlock but Tanahashi resists any other kind of hold. Tanahashi turns things around but ZSJ switches back. Tanahashi gets to the ropes, so ZSJ backs off. Fans rally again as the two circle. Tanahashi ties up with ZSJ but ZSJ spins and goes for the top wristlock. Tanahashi turns that back on him with strength and leverage, but ZSJ spins around to wrench Tanahashi’s arm. ZSJ wrenches more and brings Tanahashi down to the mat. Tanahashi sits up but ZSJ is all over his arm again.

ZSJ has Tanahashi on his hand and knees while torturing the other arm. Tanahashi stands and resists, and gets ZSJ in a drop toehold. Fans applaud while ZSJ reaches back for a chinlock. Tanahashi fights that off, then floats over to a facelock, but ZSJ slips out of that to put Tanahashi in a modified crossface. ZSJ grinds in elbows and fists while also going from chinlock to chinbar. He flips Tanahashi over to a cover, ONE. Tanahashi stands up while ZSJ backs off. They circle again while fans rally. Tanahashi is ready for ZSJ, and gets a leg. ZSJ leans back to slip out, but Tanahashi follows. Tanahashi grabs an arm but ZSJ resists the wristlock by clasping hands. Tanahashi rolls ZSJ and keeps on that arm.

ZSJ keeps his grip while Tanahashi sits on him, then ZSJ hooks around to bring Tanahashi to the mat. ZSJ wants an armbar but now Tanahashi clasps his hands together to resist. Tanahashi rolls towards ropes, but ZSJ traps a leg in a calf killer style hold. Tanahashi rolls over to get the ropebreak, so ZSJ has to let go, and Tanahashi rolls out of the ring. ZSJ waits for Tanahashi to return. Tanahashi makes sure his legs are good, as well as his arms, then he enters the ring. He and ZSJ circle again, then tie up, and Tanahashi shifts smoothly from wristlock to hammerlock to headlock. ZSJ fights back and tries to power out, but Tanahashi keeps a hold of him. Fans applaud as Tanahashi forces ZSJ to the mat.

ZSJ grinds his forearms into Tanahashi’s face but Tanahashi swats those away. They both stand up, but Tanahashi brings ZSJ back down with a headlock takeover. Only for ZSJ to get the headscissors! ZSJ squeezes Tanahashi’s head and neck with his figure-four knot. Tanahashi rolls around but ZSJ grinds in knuckles and elbows into Tanahashi’s back. Tanahashi powers out and goes for a cover, only for ZSJ to wrap him right back up in the headscissors! ZSJ props himself up to wrench Tanahashi’s neck, but Tanahashi works to roll ZSJ. Tanahashi pops out and floats over to a chinlock on ZSJ! Fans applaud this incredible exchange of technical skill.

ZSJ grabs at Tanahashi’s hair, then rolls around. ZSJ pushes against Tanahashi, then fights out. He powers out but Tanahashi runs him over. Tanahashi runs, ZSJ drops, so Tanahashi drops on him to get that headlock back! ZSJ resists again, hooking with his leg. Tanahashi swats the leg away and wrenches back. ZSJ tries again but can’t get Tanahashi’s head to go back. ZSJ tries with his hands now, getting them across Tanahashi’s face and nose. They battle with holds but Tanahashi pries free to keep his. ZSJ works again and gets the legs up, it’s headlock versus headscissors!

Tanahashi holds on to his hold and pops his head out of ZSJ’s. ZSJ rolls and sits up, then stands up. ZSJ looks for an opening but Tanahashi just switches sides of the headlock. Tanahashi switches back, then back again, keeping ZSJ guessing. ZSJ keeps trying, so Tanahashi hooks a leg to hit a headlock Russian leg sweep!

The Ace is in control while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns to fans rallying while Tanahashi stands up. Tanahashi drops an elbow, but is caught into ZSJ’s armbar! ZSJ can’t get the extension before Tanahashi scrambles and uses his legs for the ropebreak. ZSJ keeps on Tanahashi anyway, but lets go at the referee’s count of 4. Referee Red Shoes reprimands ZSJ but ZSJ catches his breath before going back for more. He grinds knees into Tanahashi while going after the arm. Tanahashi is still under the ropes, so Red Shoes tells ZSJ to break, but ZSJ keeps going. Tanahashi grabs the ropes, so ZSJ lets go this time. ZSJ watches Tanahashi check his arm. Tanahashi stands up, ZSJ gives him a European Uppercut. ZSJ gives Tanahashi another, so Tanahashi gives one back.

ZSJ picks the leg and brings Tanahashi down. He traps an arm, and pulls Tanahashi with a headlock. Tanahashi gets another ropebreak, and ZSJ is frustrated. ZSJ stomps Tanahashi, then toys with him with those kicks to the arm. ZSJ goes after the arm, and bends it from elbow to wrist. Tanahashi grits his teeth as he resists, and it forces ZSJ to use even his chin to force the bend. Tanahashi gives it one more go, but ZSJ Pele kicks the arm! ZSJ catches his breath while fans rally for Tanahashi. ZSJ stands on Tanahashi while pulling at limbs. Red Shoes backs ZSJ off and checks on Tanahashi. Tanahashi is good to continue, so ZSJ gives him another EuroUpper. Tanahashi retaliates with a body shot, so ZSJ picks a leg again and goes after that arm. ZSJ pulls Tanahashi in to the coil lock, then the other arm!

ZSJ has his foot on Tanahashi’s head as he pulls back on the arm. Tanahashi endures as he reaches with his legs agan, and gets another ropebreak. Fans applaud while ZSJ lets go. ZSJ keeps his cool while fans rally for Tanahashi again. ZSJ thinks on what to do next. He goes back after the arm and wrenches it, then wrenches the wrist. ZSJ goes left and right with the wrist, but Tanahashi fights back with body shots. Tanahashi fires off strikes on ZSJ, then whips ZSJ corner to corner. ZSJ reverses the whip but runs into Tanahashi’s boots. Tanahashi runs into a kick from ZSJ, then ZSJ whips, but Tanahashi comes back with a forearm smash.

Both men are down but the fans are applauding. The fans rally again while Tanahashi makes sure his arm is good. Tanahashi stands up and rocks ZSJ with forearms and body shots. Tanahashi scoop slams ZSJ, then climbs up, and hits a second rope senton!

Cover, TWO! Tanahashi keeps focus while fans chant “Go Ace! Go Ace!” Tanahashi fires off more body shots to ZSJ, then whips him corner to corner. ZSJ sticks out a boot but Tanahashi catches it, only for ZSJ to wrap him up in the Octopus Stretch!

ZSJ even pulls off Tanahashi’s sleeve to expose the athletic tape. He digs in elbows on Tanahashi’s ribs, then pulls back on fingers. Tanahashi endures it all, then uses power to get free and dragon screw ZSJ’s leg! Both men are down again, and fans rally for Tanahashi. Tanahashi stands up, and pulls his sleeve back down to cover his athletic tape wrap. Tanahashi runs but ZSJ is ready, and wrangles Tanahashi back into the hold, only for Tanahashi to reverse it onto him. ZSJ switches it right back, but Tanahashi switches it again. They move around in a circle, chasing the abdominal stretch, and it’s Tanahashi who gets the hold first. Tanahashi turns the hold into a pumphandle for a slam! Tanahashi can’t make the cover with his arms hurting him, but fans rally for him as he stands back up.

ZSJ slips out of the facelock to hop on for a sleeper hold! ZSJ then climbs around the front to get the triangle hold! Tanahashi holds on as ZSJ weighs him down and pulls him in. ZSJ is also careful not to end up in a cover. Tanahashi gets a second wind and he starts pushing ZSJ, but ZSJ hooks a leg to bring Tanahashi in deeper. Tanahashi won’t give in, he keeps pushing ZSJ. ZSJ keeps his shoulders up, but Tanahashi turns him enough to stomp him on the head. ZSJ starts to go limp, and Tanahashi breaks free, to go after the Cloverleaf!

Tanahashi turns ZSJ over, bending him sideways, but ZSJ works on an escape. ZSJ slips between the legs and drags himself to ropes, but Tanahashi drags him away! Fans are thunderous as Tanahashi sits down, but ZSJ slips around to pry his legs out. ZSJ hooks Tanahashi into the takedown, but Tanahashi clasps hands to resist the armbar. ZSJ slaps those hands, then pulls back. Tanahashi holds on, but ZSJ pries a single finger and undoes the grip! Tanahashi tries to roll so ZSJ quickly yanks on the arm, but Tanahashi stands up! He stands up for another dragon screw! ZSJ escapes the ring, clutching his leg. Michinoku coaches him up but the fans are on Tanahashi’s side as they rally. Tanahashi gets to a corner and climbs up, to FLY!

High Fly Flow Crossbody connects! Both men go down while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns again, and fans are thunderous while Red Shoes checks on Tanahashi and ZSJ. Both men are able to continue, so a ring count begins. It reaches 7 before Tanahashi stands. Tanahashi brings ZSJ up and puts him in the ring. Tanahashi waits for ZSJ to stand, then he runs, but into ZSJ’s EuroUpper. ZSJ throws Tanahashi to ropes but Tanahashi tumbles to the apron. Tanahashi brings himself back in, but ZSJ is ready, and goes after the legs. ZSJ drags Tanahashi into a kneebar, but Tanahashi drags himself to ropes for another ropebreak. ZSJ lets go and fans rally for Tanahashi again.

Michinoku coaches ZSJ to keep going, ZSJ stands and stomps on Tanahashi’s knee. He also kicks Tanahashi’s arm. ZSJ stands on the knee, pulls at the ankle, then stomps them both. Tanahashi writhes, but then fires himself up. ZSJ gives more toying kicks, but those only anger Tanahashi. Tanahashi blocks another kick, but ZSJ hops up into a guillotine. ZSJ gets body scissors, too, but Tanahashi endures to power ZSJ out into a swinging neckbreaker! Tanahashi holds on to ZSJ and gives him a second swinging neckbreaker, then stands him up for the third!

Tanahashi gets the cradle cover, TWO! Fans rally again while ZSJ flounders. Tanahashi fires up, gets to the apron, then climbs up, but ZSJ catches this second High Fly Flow Crossbody into a kneebar! ZSJ grapevines and twists Tanahashi’s ankle. Tanahashi endures, even as ZSJ sits up to add a heel hook. Tanahashi still gets the ropebreak, and ZSJ is further frustrated. Red Shoes checks on Tanahashi while ZSJ checks his own neck and shoulders. Tanahashi keeps going, but ZSJ stands up first. ZSJ gives a EuroUpper, Tanahashi gives back a forearm. ZSJ gives another EuroUpper, so Tanahashi gives one of his own. That shot sits ZSJ down, but he comes back for a flurry of EuroUppers. Tanahashi ducks the roundhouse but ZSJ sweeps the legs.

ZSJ stands up and takes aim from a corner. Tanahashi sits up, and blocks the Penalty Kick! Tanahashi dragon screws but ZSJ slips out to roll Tanahashi for the European Clutch bridging pin! TWO!! And Zack can’t believe it! Fans rally again while ZSJ catches his breath. ZSJ keeps his eyes on Tanahashi, and gives him more EuroUppers. Tanahashi stays standing to give a EuroUpper of his own. ZSJ falls but drags himself back up while Tanahashi hobbles over. ZSJ gives EuroUppers, Tanahashi gives one back that rocks ZSJ again. Tanahashi drags ZSJ up but his EuroUpper is blocked to a backslide attempt.

Both men fight the other, but ZSJ flips over to flip Tanahashi into the double wristlock back into the EuroClutch! TWO!! Penalty Kick! Cover, TWO, and ZSJ is furious. The fans are loving this match, though. They rally again while ZSJ waits for Tanahashi. Both men stand, and ZSJ goes after the leg. He wants the kneebar but Tanahashi sits down on the rolling takedown. Tanahashi pries ZSJ off the leg and goes for a full nelson. ZSJ uses his own leg to prevent it, then mule kicks Tanahashi away. ZSJ runs but into the slingblade! Cover, TWO, but Tanahashi gets the full nelson and Dragon Suplex!

Tanahashi bridges for the cover, TWO! But Tanahashi keeps going, getting himself to a corner and to the top rope. Fans are thunderous, Tanahashi hits THE High Fly Flow to ZSJ’s back. Then Tanahashi flips ZSJ over, and climbs back up. His leg slows him down but he still goes for High Fly Flow, only for it to flop! Michinoku coaches ZSJ up while the fans rally for Tanahashi one more time. Tanahashi’s leg bothers him again, but he still forces himself up. ZSJ also stands up, and goes after that very leg. Tanahashi slaps ZSJ away from a dragon screw, then rolls ZSJ back, to copy the EuroClutch! TWO, and ZSJ grabs Tanahashi into a sleeper, but then shifts to the calf killer!

Tanahashi writhes and flails, then rolls over only for ZSJ to roll him back. ZSJ moves Tanahashi all around to get back to the calf killer. ZSJ grabs both legs, keeping his leg hooked on, and drags Tanahashi away from the ropes. Tanahashi endures, uses the free leg to scrape ZSJ’s face, but ZSJ grabs that for a stretch muffler! Or as ZSJ calls it, Orienteering with Napalm Death!

Both of Tanahashi’s legs are being tortured now, with fans rallying, but Tanahashi taps! ZSJ wins!!

Winner: ZSJ, by submission

He did it! Zack Sabre Jr. does as Michinoku predicted, and wins the New Japan Cup with a submission. ZSJ denies Tanahashi his third career New Japan Cup victory, and we take a break as the young lions help Tanahashi to the back.

NJPW returns as Zack Sabre Jr. is presented the New Japan Cup trophy.

Michinoku also holds up ZSJ’s Revolution Pro Wrestling Undisputed British Tag Team and British Heavyweight Championships for the Technical Wizard. Michinoku then takes up the mic again to review, “The 2018 New Japan Cup, who is the champion?!” Congratulations, Zack, because you now have the right to challenge a champion for the April 1st event in Ryogoku, Sakura Genesis. Michinoku has a question, then. “What do you want next?!” ZSJ thinks on that a moment. “No question,” he says, “I want Okada.” Fans applaud that idea. Michinoku confirms, “The IWGP Heavyweight Champion, you have been chosen. Okada Kazuchika, c’mon over here!” And Okada appears!

The Rainmaker walks down to the ring, with Gedo in two. Fans chant “Okada! Okada!” as the IWGP Heavyweight Champion enters the ring. Michinoku knows Okada is a strong champion, but “faced with Zack Sabre Jr.’s submission holds… You JUST–” Gedo interrupts Michinoku!

Gedo takes that mic, and admits ZSJ has made a lot of guys tap out. ZSJ has incredible holds. But, they’re not gonna work on the Rainmaker. ZSJ can NOT make Okada tap out, and do you know why? Because Okada– Michinoku interrupts Gedo back!

Michinoku tells Gedo that ZSJ’s holds are on that “whole ‘nother level”, so he WILL take Okada out. As for Okada and ZSJ themselves, Okada simply holds up his title, while ZSJ holds up the middle finger. ZSJ it’s only going to be two weeks until Okada taps out. Okada says it’ll be two weeks until ZSJ goes down. Michinoku gives Okada some advice: when you get caught in one of ZSJ’s holds, “You JUST! TAP! OUT!”

As Okada and Gedo take their leave, Michinoku again reviews with the fans. “Who won the 2018 New Japan Cup tournament?” The man who can finish anyone anywhere with any hold, the man who has unlimited submissions, the man who defeated Naito, Ibushi, Sanada and now Tanahashi. And now he’s the man who will beat Okada, that man is the Submission Master, ZSJ, Zack Sabre Jr! Will Michinoku’s prediction come to fruition again at Sakura Genesis? Or will there be a Rainmaker lariat in his future?

 

Backstage interviews.

Hiroshi Tanahashi, exhausted as he is, manages to say, “It was in my reach, and then it wasn’t.” The Ace was about to catch up to the champion, but he’s still far away.

As for Zack Sabre Jr, a first-time New Japan Cup winner, ends it the way he started it: Orienteering with Napalm Death. Tanahashi was the old ace, ZSJ is the New Ace of NJPW. And Okada had a good run, but it’s time for a new, English champion. Michinoku points out ZSJ is already a champion in Revolution Pro, so all that’s left is Japan’s IWGP Heavyweight belt. Okada is powerful, no doubt, but now he will “experience a whole new kind of submission hold.” Okada can preapre all he wants, but he saw what happened to Tanahashi. The new era begins, it is the ZSJ Era. And those who stand in his way, #JustTapOut.

But Okada has something to say, too. “So, Zack Sabre Jr.” Congratulations on the win to be the best wrestler of the Spring. But ZSJ isn’t the best, Okada is the best. You aren’t the best until you beat Okada. “This is not a good matchup for you.” Ever since Okada became the Rainmaker, he’s only tapped out once. Only one man made him submit, so Okada looks forward to seeing what ZSJ tries. “Maybe I’ll give up. Or maybe I won’t.” Which means ZSJ either becomes the best, or he doesn’t. We’ll see at Ryogoku.

 


 

My Thoughts:

And incredible episode, and all with just one incredible match. Two of NJPW’s best today and this one match shows everything as to why they are two of the best. There was so much story focusing on how both men played the submission game. However, playing the submission game that ZSJ knows so well may have been Tanahashi’s downfall. Tanahashi had the size and strength advantage and should’ve tried harder to make this about strikes or slams, but he couldn’t get away from ZSJ’s holds. That is likely the point Gedo and Okada make with their promos. Okada can play the striking and power games better than ZSJ and those will be what helps the champion win. But win or lose, ZSJ is making great strides towards the top of NJPW, so he’ll surely be a top champion in the future.

My Score: 8.5/10


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Mitchell’s Ring of Honor Report! (7/7/18)

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ROH WRESTLING TELEVISION, Episode 355

ROH goes to the extreme as Cheeseburger and Bully Ray battle in a No Holds Barred Match! With no rules but to win, can Burger survive the hardcore legend?!

 

All images courtesy of the Fite.TV app and streaming service

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Riley Shepard & Gabby Ortiz VS Sumie Sakai & Stella Grey; Sumie & Stella win.
  • No Holds Barred: Bully Ray Dudley VS Cheeseburger; Bully Ray wins.
  • Titan VS Cody w/ Brandi Rhodes & Bernard the Business Bear; Cody wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Cody & Brandi Rhodes speak.

“You know those stories about pirates that plundered a ship and leave a man behind, marauders that raid a village and leave one behind?” Both fiction and reality, one person was always left behind to tell the tale. Titan, you’re going to experience that as Cody leaves just enough gas left for you to crawl back to CMLL. That way, he can tell them that if they want to maintain a relationship with Cody’s ROH, they need to send someone bigger, better. No one’s bigger than Cody. Cody laughs and hugs his wife, but will he need to be consoled by her after tonight?

 

Riley Shepard & Gabby Ortiz VS Sumie Sakai & Stella Grey!

The Women of Honor return as the inaugural ROH WOH Champion teams with the ROH Dojo graduate to take on the debuting Geek Gladiator and returning Gift of Gab. Can the Ray of Sunshine continue on her roll since becoming champion, even in 2v2 competition? Or will there be a shocking non-title upset from the Monster Factory graduates?

The Code of Honor is upheld, and Stella starts with Riley. They circle with the bell and tie up. Riley gets a headlock then wrenches the arm. Stella rolls through to reverse the wrench, then brings Riley to the mat. Riley gets up and arm-drags but Stella holds on. Stella has Riley in the armlock, but Riley gets up and whips. Stella reverses the whip, then drop toeholds, and Sumie adds the dropkick before Stella hits the elbow drop. Sumie goes back to her corner while Stella covers, TWO.

Stella brings Riley up but Riley rolls Stella away from Sumie. Riley kicks Stella down, then tags to Gabby. Gabby neck snaps Stella then hits a basement dropkick. Cover, TWO, but Gabby keeps her cool. Fans rally up while Gabby tags Riley back. They double Russian leg sweep Stella, then Riley cartwheels to drop knees. Cover, TWO, but Gabby & the Geek keep control while we go to break.

ROH returns and Stella suplex fights with Gabby. They go for a suplex at the same time, but cancel out. Stella suddenly throws Gabby overhead! Stella crawls for Sumie while fans fire up. Gabby crawls for Riley, hot tags to her and Sumie! Sumie rallies on Riley with Mongolian chops! She’s all fired up as she whips but Riley reverses, only for Sumie to hammerlock and forearm Riley! Sumie runs, and bowls Riley over with a forearm smash! She hits the shining wizard, covers, but Gabby breaks it up quick. Gabby and Riley double whips Sumie, but Sumie breaks through to hit them with double clotheslines! Gabby and Riley end up in opposite corners, so Sumie forearms Riley before grinding a boot into Gabby.

Sumie hits Riley with another forearm, then the swinging knee! She goes after Gabby but Gabby puts her on the apron. Sumie knocks Gabby away, then climbs up top. Missile dropkick! Riley gets up to roll Sumie, TWO! Sumie gets back at her with the TJ Neckbreaker! TWO! Sumie’s surprised, but she’s not done yet. She brings Riley up but Riley jawbreakers. Gabby returns for a jumping DDT! Riley fireman’s carry but Sumie slips out. Riley kicks away and rock Sumie with a roundhouse. Cover, but Stella breaks it just in time. Gabby hits Stella, then whips Stella, only for Stella to SPEAR her down! Riley gets Stella with an Exploder! She swings on Sumie but Sumie counters with a back elbow. Sumie then gets Riley in the Smash Mouth!

Cover, Sumie & Stella win!

Winners: Sumie Sakai & Stella Grey, Sumie pinning

Gabby & Riley did the Monster Factory proud, but it wasn’t enough to stop this Ray of Sunshine. Will the star of Japan’s Jersey Shore make this inaugural reign an instant classic?

 

ROH looks at what led to tonight’s No Holds Barred match.

Cheeseburger requested such an intense match after everything Bully Ray has done to him. It was back at Supercard of Honor XII that The Dawgs challenged Burger to a match, but Burger needed a partner. So Burger turned to a man he thought would help him in the tag team hall of fame legend. Bully accepted, and the two rallied on Rhett & Ferrara, only for Bully to turn on Burger mid-match! Bully was disgusted by Burger putting him on the spot. To Bully, Burger and wrestlers like him are what’s wrong with wrestling today.

Then, as Burger looked for payback at War of the Worlds back in May, Bully robbed him of it with a low blow! Bully let himself be counted out as he glared at fans, then came back to hurt Burger more with a powerbomb. Burger got back at Bully a couple days later with a low blow, only to suffer a SUPER sit-out powerbomb! Bully added insult to injury as he used chains to whip and lash Burger. Burger wins on the record books, but he wants more. Now he will enter the hardcore legend’s territory in a match with No Disqualifications and No Count Outs! Will Burger truly win against his Bully? Or will he be lucky to survive?!

 

No Holds Barred: Bully Ray Dudley VS Cheeseburger!

ROH is about to go extreme!

It’s Burger Time, but this won’t be fun and games. Bully literally let Burger win their past two meetings, once by disqualification, then by count-out. Now there’s no way for Bully to keep himself protected from a loss to the underdog, will Bully be a man and finish this fight?

Bully sure seems to do something, as he rushes the ring, already armed with a kendo stick!

Though, he doesn’t use it yet, as he sneaks up behind the fired up Burger for a low blow! Burger tumbles down and fans rain down boos and jeers as the bell rings. Fans do cheer “E C Dub! E C Dub!” for the legend, too, as the Hammerstein Ballroom is old stomping grounds for one half of Team 3D. Bully also shows he has a cheese grater for the Cheeseburger. Burger is clutching his nuts but Bully won’t give him time to rest. He hammers Burger down then brings in a trash can to SMASH Burger with it! Bully grimaces down at Burger as he drags him over, to whip him into barriers! Bully trash talks Burger, egging him on as he hammers Burger again. He brings Burger up and around to bounce off the timekeeper’s table.

Cary Silkin gets up from his seat, not wanting to be this close to the action, and Bully gets in his face about it. The fans sense a table in their future, but Bully puts Burger into the ring instead. Bully talks trash to Cary again, then goes back to Burger. Fans let Bully know what they think of him as he brings Burger up. Bully sets Burger on the top rope, and into a Tree of Woe, to stand on the crotch! Bully tortures Burger’s nuggets, and reminds everyone, especially the referee, that there are no disqualifications. He starts intimidating the referee, and fans boo and jeer. Bully watches Burger on the mat, refusing to quit. Burger drags himself up but Bully is on him again with a trophy lift! And then throws him to the mat! Bully mocks the fans by lending an ear, brother.

Bully, still talking crap to Cary, then grabs that kendo stick and takes his time playing around. He dares the ref to do something, then he SMACKS Burger across the back. Burger writhes in pain but Bully won’t end it. Bully continues to, well, bully the referee, but we take a commercial break.

ROH returns but Bully still toys with Burger. He lifts Burger up with the kendo stick to jab it into Burger’s ribs. Bully says “This is what you wanted.” He puts up his hands to jab and jab away. Burger wobbles as Bully winds up the Bionic Elbow, but Bully takes too long and Burger picks up the kendo stick! Burger SMACKS Bully back! And his front! Fans are fired up with Burger as he just swings for the fences! Bully is writhing in pain now as fans chant for Burger. Burger keeps going, then chokes Bully with the stick! Bully snapmares Burger off, then kicks him before picking him up for a powerbomb TOSS!

Burger crash lands on the mat, but Bully isn’t done with him. Bully is stinging from the kendo stick strikes, but Hammerstein shouts “We Want Tables!” Bully rejects that idea to present a chain! He whips and slaps Burger over and over with the steel, daring Burger to get up. The referee won’t let Bully continue, “He’s had enough!” Bully says “He’s had enough when I say he’s had a enough.” The ref pleads with Bully but Bully whips HIM with the chain! That’s the last straw for Colt Cabana, he rushes the ring!

Cabana SPEARS Bully and throws furious right hands! Hammerstein is thunderous as Cabana grabs that chain, to clothesline Bully with it! Fans are chanting “Colt Cabana!” as the ROH veteran takes that cheese grater, and hands it to Burger! He brings Bully around to open the way, and Burger goes up to ask, WAZZUP!? The cheese grater to the nuts, that’s what! And Burger grinds it in deep! Fans are thunderous for Burger, as Cabana tells him, “Burger! Get the tables!” Fans like that!

Burger & Cabana grab a table, drag it into the ring, but Bully revives and grabs Burger, to back suplex him down. Cabana is beside himself as Bully brings the table out for his own uses. Cabana tries to coach Burger up but Bully is on him again. Bully brings Burger over, sets him on the table, then hammers away to keep him there. Bully climbs up, takes aim, and leaps, but Burger dodges! The splash belly-flops through the table!

Burger crawls over, makes the cover, but there’s no referee! Another one appears, counts, TWO!! If only there wasn’t the delay, Burger would’ve won by now. But Burger still has something left. He fires up, takes aim, but now BJ Whitmer brings Cabana away from ringside. Bully boots Burger down, covers, Bully wins!

Winner: Bully Ray Dudley, by pinfall

Just as Burger was closing in on true victory, Bully pulls a win out of nowhere. The referee helps him stand up, but Bully shoves him out of the ring! Bully celebrates for himself, and surprisingly doesn’t beat down Burger more. Will this bully ever get what he truly deserves?

 

It’s Coleman’s Pulpit!

The Most Versatile Man in Sports Today returns to bring us the truth, for the truth will help you see. Today’s guest, or rather guests, are the most requested guests and the ROH World Six Man Tag Team Champions, The Kingdom.

The Kingdom’s Matt Taven & TK O’Ryan are honored to be on the show, they’re big fans of Caprice Coleman. Huge fans even. They were raised right, because they never come to a party without bringing a gift. The Kingdom remembers Coleman’s days in the Rebellion, and that sweet beret. They have a nice little surprise: a brand new… Dunce cap! Or rather, “Melvin” cap. Oh, and balloons, courtesy of Vinnie Marseglia. Want some wine? No thanks. Well alright. Vinnie drinks his from a balloon…?

Moving on, the two-time Six Man champs are going to learn who their next contenders are after a five-team Gauntlet match! Isn’t that a little fishy? The Kingdom had to wait a whole year to get their rematch, but a “merry bunch of Melvins” get a shortcut to a title match? Caprice is a smart man, is that a conspiracy to him? Perhaps. Coleman remembers a story, there was a guy who got everything handed to him. His parents bought him a luxury sedan for his 16th birthday, but then he wrecked it! So what did he do then? He just asked for another, and his parents got him one. This time it was a mid-size, because now he’d have to drive his siblings around. This “adversity” made that young man spruce up that car into the best out of what they head. Like The Kingdom and the titles!

Hey, wait. Are they the sedan in this story?! Is Coleman claiming there’s no conspiracy?! Well he just thought they were passed that. There IS a conspiracy! Matt is #TwoBeltsOneTaven and he should have THREE belts! He’s the real ROH World Champion! And by the way, that hat was calling Coleman a Melvin the entire time. Coleman tells “Pauly Shore” here that he is no Melvin, and they are his guests, “you jive turkey!” Says you, you Melvin jive turkey SUCKA! Back at you, you jive TIVE turkey! That’s Dr. Jive Turkey to you, Melvin! Doctor? More like SUCKA Jive Tive- Balloon pop. Y’all’re crazy. And that’s coming from Vinnie. Taven isn’t crazy, he’s a champion. And Coleman’s pocket square isn’t even real. The Kingdom storm out, leaving Coleman to close his segment with a “See you later.”

 

SoCal Uncensored speaks.

“Matt Taven, the Kingdom, I have to applaud you.” First, they took advantage of Three-Team Six Man chaos to keep those titles in the UK. Second, there’s now a “wacky gauntlet” so that SCU has to battle everyone else for a rematch they should already have. That’s fine by Daniels, because the SCU is happy to beat up all the filler ROH creates for this gauntlet to happen. In New York, all the wannabe badass trios can bring it on, because the SCU will bring that #MandatoryViolence. Will Daniels, Kaz & Scorpio win against four other would-be contenders to get their rematch with The Kingdom?

 

The Dawgs are desperate.

They need a third man to even be part of the Six Man Tag Gauntlet, but if they want Shane Taylor to be that third man, they need lots and lots of cash! Maybe they can squeeze some of the other guys for money. Ryan Nova comes along but doesn’t want any trouble. Then give up some cash! He doesn’t have any on him, so Rhett shakes him down. Look, it’s his wallet! Wait, all he has is $6 and a bunch of receipts? Now what? Can they at least give Ryan his wallet back? Yes, and a swift jab, too! “Keep the change, you filthy animal.” The Dawgs laugh their way out, but with barely enough money for drinks, how are they gonna pay the Notorious Hitman?

 

Titan VS Cody w/ Brandi Rhodes & Bernard the Business Bear!

The crossover of ROH and CMLL continue, but the American Nightmare vows to make this an ultimatum. Will the former ROH World Champion prove the oldest promotion needs to step it up? Or will he find that he’s the one not on CMLL’s level?

Cody upholds the Code of Honor with Titan, but then wants Titan to kiss the ring. Titan declines, he just wants to wrestle. The bell rings and the two circle. Cody wants Titan to hold on a moment, as he gets some push-ups in. Cody gets his pump and flexes, so Titan shows off his flexibility with neck stretches. Fans like that, and even Cody applauds. Fans chant “Lucha! Lucha!” for CMLL as Cody and Titan circle again. They tie up, Cody gets a headlock and takeover, but Titan stands back up. Titan fights out then powers out, but Cody runs him over. Titan kips back up, and Cody admits that was good. But then Cody kicks low and drops for the uppercut.

Titan comes back with quick kicks, then whips. Cody reverses and things speed up, but Titan shows his balance with the handstand, only for Cody to kick him down. Cody flexes to embrace both cheers and jeers. He stalks Titan to a corner, then whips him corner to corner, but Titan reverses. Titan runs in but is put on the apron. Titan swing kicks Cody away, then springboards for a crossbody! Dropkick on top, and Titan dares Cody to come back. Titan runs, but Bernard swipes at him! Titan backs the bear down, but Cody comes back. Cody misses but then Brandi trips Titan up. Cody pounces on Titan, then covers. TWO, but the former champion is still in control while we go to one more break.

ROH returns once more, and Cody goes after Titan’s mask! The referee counts so Cody backs off to hear the fans boo and jeer, brother. Fans only boo and jeer more as Cody goes side to side. Cody goes back to Titan and whips him into a corner. Cody gives a corner clothesline, then another. He slaps Titan, then embraces the heat. Cody runs corner to corner, but Titan follows with a big corner clothesline! Titan kicks Cody between ropes over and over, then springboards for a missile dropkick! He keeps moving, giving another dropkick to send Cody out. Titan and the fans rally up, and Titan builds speed, but Bernard trips him! Titan goes after Bernard, but then Cody rushes in. Cody swings on Titan, but Titan dodges and Cody hits Bernard instead! Cody checks on Bernard, but then Titan mule kicks and SUPER Asai Moonsaults!

Titan wipes out both Cody and Bernard! Bernard’s head came off! Is he dead?! Brandi tries to help the mascot, but Titan grabs her by the sling. The referee warns Titan, and Titan thinks better of it, so he just hits Cody again. Titan puts Cody back in the ring, then climbs up top. Fans fire up, but Cody sees him and goes to the opposite side. Titan hops down, but Cody boots him down! Cody shouts for Brandi to give him something. She throws in her hairspray, but it ends up closer to Titan. Titan picks it up, but the referee takes it away. This leaves Titan open to Cody’s low blow kick! Then Beautiful Disaster Kick! TWO!? Titan survives somehow, but Cody grows frustrated.

Cody drags Titan up, and the two brawl with forearms. They go back and forth, then Cody jabs and throws haymakers. Cody runs, but Titan goes Matrix to then calf kick! Titan runs, but Cody uses the ref as a shield. Titan stops, and in the distraction, Cody snatches the mask off!! Small package, Cody wins!!

Winner: Cody, by pinfall

Such disrespect and dishonor, but for the American Nightmare, a win is a win. Cody and Brandi laugh at the embarrassed luchador, but will they get the last laugh in the hunt for the ROH World Championship?

 


 

My Thoughts:

This was a good episode of ROH. Not as good as other weeks, but still good. The WOH Division tag match was alright, but it could’ve been better. Perhaps while Gabby & Riley have worked together and they have chemistry, they just weren’t as familiar with Sumie and Stella. That and the fans didn’t really know whether to cheer or boo Sumie, they went back and forth at times. In the end, Sumie’s team wins because the inaugural WOH Champion should only lose in singles competition, and only to someone fitting. With Deonna Purrazzo headed back to the WWE, it seems like it’ll be between Kelly Klein or Tenille Dashwood to be the next #1 contender.

That No Holds Barred Match went as could be expected. I like this new element of Bully targeting Cary Silkin, former owner of ROH before the Sinclair purchase, and still an active producer of the show. I bet Bully will end up facing Colt Cabana at some point, with how Cabana did his best to even things out for Cheeseburger. That Coleman’s Pulpit segment to hype up the Six Man Gauntlet was so goofy, I couldn’t help but like it. There was a lot of great detail in facial expressions and close-up camera cuts, like Vinnie preparing a balloon string garrote for Coleman. SCU stake their claim, but I wonder if one of these makeshift trios will come out on top instead. And I know Cody is the star right now, especially in his own mind, but Bully and Burger would’ve made a better main event all things considered.

My Score: 8/10


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Mitchell’s Lucha Underground Report! (7/11/18)

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Lucha Underground Season 4

Lucha Underground Season 4, “Sacrificio”

The Monster, Matanza, is a demigod on a rampage, and he prepares another Sacrifice to the Gods! Is anyone on the Lucha Underground roster safe?!

 

Gifs to come courtesy of http://frentique.tumblr.com/

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Sacrifice to the Gods: Matanza Cueto VS Cortez Castro; Matanza wins, and Cortez is sacrificed.
  • Ancient Aztec Medallion match: Ivelisse VS Joey Ryan; Ivelisse wins.
  • Triple Threat Ancient Aztec Medallion match: Son of Havoc VS Killshot VS The Mack; Mack wins, he and Havoc earn medallions.
  • Ancient Aztec Medallion match: Mil Muertes w/ Catrina VS Cage; Muertes wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Cortez Castro is in the ring.

The dirty cop who was investigating Dario Cueto has been invited out by Antonio. Antonio’s sources have sniffed out that Cortez is an undercover cop. But that’s fine, because Antonio is reporting a murder. Well, not a murder, but a sacrifice!!

Sacrifice to the Gods: Matanza Cueto VS Cortez Castro!

Antonio is killing two birds with one stone, or perhaps a pig? Either way, Matanza rushes the ring in a hurry! Cortez tries to fight him off with that kendo stick, but to no avail. Matanza headbutts Cortez down, then whips for the WRATH OF THE GODS! Cover, Matanza wins!

Winner: Matanza Cueto, by pinfall

The Monster God has won, and the Believers call for “Sacrifice!” With another flash of bloody lightning, Cortez disappears! That makes two souls devoured by the Temple, how many more will be taken to satiate Matanza’s blood lust?

 

Ancient Aztec Medallion match: Ivelisse VS Joey Ryan!

The Baddest Bitch made an impact in her return when she hammered her ex, Jeremiah Crane, then shoved him in a casket. Meanwhile, The Big Sleazy just wants to spread the love. Or at least the baby oil… Who will grab hold of gold to qualify for the Gift of the Gods?

The bell rings and Joey tucks the lollipop in his pants. He knows Ivelisse wants him, but he won’t let her slap him. She still does, with the other hand. He pie faces her back, then he gives her a face full of chest hair! Ivelisse grabs that hair and throws him by it! She chops the chest hair off him, then springboards for an arm-drag. Joey staggers, but Ivelisse throws him more with headscissors. She gives him a back elbow, he gives her a SLAP! Joey climbs on and grinds her face into the mat. Fans boo and jeer, but Joey just enjoys it more. He covers, TWO. He tries again, TWO! One more time, TWO! Joey swears that’s six, because it adds up. The referee disagrees with that logic. Joey goes back to Ivelisse for a chinlock.

Fans rally up for Ivelisse, and she stands up. Ivelisse fights out with body shots, but Joey shoves her. She comes back into an Octopus! Joey breaks out but Ivelisse throws him out. Ivelisse builds speed, but runs into a SUPERKICK! Joey covers, but rather lazily, TWO! He’s shocked, but he has something up his sleeve. Or rather, in his pants. He pulls the lollipop, but Ivelisse snapmares and kicks him down! Both wrestlers slowly get up, then speed up. Ivelisse rallies and enziguris, cover, TWO! Joey gets to a corner but Ivelisse is on him with a chop and a whip. He reverses, then sleazes it up as he runs in, but into a SUPERKICK. Ivelisse runs, but into a spinebuster! Cover, TWO!

The Believers rally up, and Joey stalks Ivelisse. He goes for the chest but Ivelisse counters and kicks away. Ivelisse throws him with a German Suplex! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up again, and Ivelisse gets going. Joey catches her with a  shoulder to the stomach, then prepares a bomb. He lifts her up but she fights out. She slaps away, then scorpion kicks into the running Destroyer! Cover, Ivelisse wins!

Winner: Ivelisse, by pinfall; earns an Aztec Medallion

Finally, the Baddest joins the Gift of the Gods seven-way! Can she skyrocket to the top with a free shot at the Lucha Underground Champion?

 

Triple Threat Ancient Aztec Medallion match: Son of Havoc VS Killshot VS The Mack!

The Lucha Underground Trios Champions weren’t so sure about each other when Antonio Cueto just decided to lump the Man from the Open Road in for the MIA Dante Fox. But then they turned it around in their first defense together against Infamous Inc. Will they be able to keep things together when they’re forced to fight over such a tempting singles prize?

But wait, Antonio Cueto has been thinking about this match all night. It’s missing something. Three champions fighting for one medallion, that’s great. But he always asks himself, “Could it be greater?” Believers seem to think so. So in a brilliant flash, it came to him: it’s missing a second medallion! The only one who gets nothing is the one who gets pinned or submitted! The stakes just got raised, who will be the odd man out?

Lucha Underground returns and the match begins! And while Killshot targets Havoc, Mack doesn’t want the team to implode like this. Killshot moves him aside, but Havoc counters. Killshot slips out of the suplex and shoves Havoc into Mack’s shoulder. Mack swings a kick but Killshot ducks it. The champions stare down, but the two who have been a team longest are the ones arguing the strongest. Killshot kicks Mack and then throws him out. He goes after Havoc, then throws him to ropes. Havoc dodges and speeds up to DIVE on Mack! Killshot builds speed but handsprings out, only to run into Havoc’s boots. Havoc goes up to springboard, asai moonsault wipes out Killshot & Mack!

Fans rally for Havoc as he puts Mack in the ring. Havoc throws hands on Mack then whips him. Mack counters with an arm-drag, then runs into the corner. Havoc dodges but Mack headstands and twerks! Mack dodges Havoc to back elbow him into the corner. Havoc rolls out but Mack takes aim. Mack builds speed but Killshot moves to intercept, only to get the running enziguri! Killshot goes back out and Mack builds speed again to FLY! Mack wipes out Havoc and Killshot! Fans are fired up as Mack puts Killshot back in the ring. Killshot is dazed but he still swings on Mack. Mack blocks and SLAPS the taste out of his mouth. Mack chops Killshot sharp in the corner, then whips him to ropes. Killshot reverses and wrings the arm out, to then kick it out. He stalks Mack to a corner to then stomp that arm.

Killshot brings Mack up and chops him in return. He kicks the arm, then trips Mack up. Havoc returns but Killshot ducks under. Killshot gives him a tilt-o-whirl backbreaker. Mack hits Killshot from the apron but Killshot sweeps the legs to SUPERKICK Mack down. Fans rally for Killshot as he stalks Havoc. He slaps Havoc in the head, then says he’s not a brother in arms, he’s a nobody! Killshot slaps Havoc more, but Havoc gets fired up. Havoc hits back, and it’s a brawl of heavy forearms. They go back and forth but Havoc gets the edge. Killshot knees low, then runs, but Havoc follows. Tilt-o-whirl DDT brings Killshot down!

Mack returns slowly while the other two are still down. He stands, but Killshot and Havoc follow. Mack hits Killshot, Killshot hits Havoc, and Havoc hits Mack.

They keep going, and Mack kicks Killshot. Havoc boots Mack, then handsprings but misses. Mack POUNCES to send Havoc out! Mack whips Killshot out but Killshot bumps him back. Killshot then slings in and German suplexes, but Mack is up! But Mack runs into a Spanish Fly and dropkick! Believers know “This is Awesome!” but far from over. Havoc returns, and kicks Mack back. He climbs up, lines up the shot, an double double stomps them! Rebound cutter!

But Mack kicks Havoc to a corner. Mack runs in for a big left, then a boot wash! He keeps going, inverted cannonball! Havoc staggers up, Mack Samoan Drops and kip-ups to a moonsault! Cover, TWO!! Fans are loving Mack as he puts Havoc on the top rope. Mack slaps Havoc before climbing up to join him. Havoc resists, then fights back with body shots. He clubs away on Mack’s back, fast and furious! Havoc headbutts Mack down, then adjusts. Killshot returns to grab his beard! Killshot fireman’s carry, Death Valley on the apron! He puts Havoc in, then climbs up for the killer stomps! Mack Stunner! But who to pin!? The loser loses a medal, so he chooses Kilslhot! Mack wins!!

Winner: The Mack, by pinfall; only Killshot does not earn an Aztec Medallion

The Mack helps himself and Son of Havoc join the Gift of the Gods match, but leaves his older friend out in the cold. They’re all still Trios Champions, but it doesn’t seem like Killshot is happy with how it went down. He and the others argue it out, but Killshot slaps the medallion out of Mack’s hand. Dysfunction always seems to follow the Trios Titles, will it lead to a tag team implosion?

 

Ancient Aztec Medallion match: Mil Muertes w/ Catrina VS Cage!

The Man of 1000 Deaths and the Machine fought over the Gauntlet of the Gods last season, but both men are without that prize after King Cuerno stole it from Mil. But in the Temple, revenge always gains rewards, so perhaps this will make it up to Cage. Can the Machine overcome death in order to then pursue the Gift of the Gods and Pentagon Dark’s Lucha Underground Championship?

The two behemoths stare down, then start brawling! Cage knees low but Muertes hits back. Cage hits a jumping knee, then runs, but into a big right from Muertes. Muertes whips but Cage reverses. Muertes clubs Cage’s back but Cage clobbers him with a clothesline. Yet Muertes comes back with one of his own! Muertes whips Cage again, then pops Cage up, but to get a headscissors! Cage swings but misses, Muertes tilt-o-whirls! Then backstabber! Cage goes out of the ring, but Muertes pursues. Believers are dueling as Muertes brings Cage up to ram him into the apron. Then he throws Cage into railing. Cage gets up and SUPERKICKS Muertes! And throws Muertes into the railings. Cage throws forearm after forearm, and the Believers are rabid!

Cage grabs Catrina, but she’s not worried. Muertes rocks Cage with a right! Then Muertes bumps Cage off a chair, and puts him back in the ring. Muertes goes to bump Cage but Cage counters. Cage swing kicks, then climbs up to DEADLIFT SUPERPLEX Muertes into the ring! Cover, TWO! Cage is surprised, but not deterred. Fans duel more as Cage whips Muertes . Muertes slides to a stop to rock Cage. Cage staggers towards the ref, Muertes runs in, and SPEARS the ref!

Cage jumped out of the way, then discus clotheslines Muertes down! He covers, but no ref to count! The Believers count to about 5 before a replacement ref enters! He counts, TWO! If only he was there sooner, Cage would’ve won. Cage hears the Terminator drums, but then he suddenly clobbers that second ref!

Muertes hits the Flat Liner, covers, but a third ref is slow to appearing. TWO, and now Muertes is the one angry with authority. The referee is caught into a CHOKE SLAM! Muertes lifts Cage, Cage slips out but Muertes elbows back. Muertes goes to throw Cage but Cage throws Muertes into a post! Cage lifts Muertes in a pumphandle driver! But there’s still no referee. Muertes gets away, but fans know “This is Awesome!” Cage builds speed to FLY! The Machine wipes out Muertes, and Believers are losing their minds! Cage brings Muertes around to bump off the apron, then fireman’s carry. Muertes slips out to RAINMAKER! Or, maybe, Death Maker. Muertes brings out a chair, but Cage SUPERKICKS it into him! Cage scoop slams Muertes, then brings that chair over.

Cage soaks in the applause of the Believers, but that fan wearing the Cuerno mask takes off that mask to reveal… He’s Pentagon Dark!!

The Lucha Underground Champion is back for revenge after what Cage did to him weeks ago! CERO MIEDO!! And he attacks! The referees can’t disqualify this as Pentagon SMACKS Cage with the chair!

Pentagon puts Cage in the ring, and Muertes slithers in. Muertes stalks Cage, and SPEARS! The Reaper’s Trident sets up for the Flat Liner! Cover, count, Muertes wins!

Winner: Mil Muertes, by pinfall; earns an Aztec Medallion

With an assist to the Bone Collector, the Man of 1000 Deaths earns his spot in the Gift of the Gods title match. He asks Catrina to bless his victory with the Lick of Death, but she cannot. Seems that after gaining her mortality, she gave up her dark rituals. Muertes doesn’t understand, but he’s very upset with his femme fatale. They disappear into the shadows, for now.

Pentagon Dark speaks.

“Cage, don’t be sad because you didn’t win that medallion.” Don’t worry, because next week they will battle for the Lucha Underground Championship! Cage gets what he wants, but Pentagon tells him right now, that just like Aztec Warfare, the night will end with Pentagon still champion. And Cage, “mi amigo”, my friend, you will come out with a broken arm! Because Pentagon Dark has CERO MIEDO! Will the Machine make good on the free shot the Bone Collector is giving him? Or will he lose an arm along with the match?

 

The Rabbit Tribe has gone down the rabbit hole.

Paul London wonders, can this furniture get any smaller? Saltador finally speaks, saying he finds it “quite comfortable.” Mala Suerte seems to agree. Mascarita Sagrada finally returns. Alright, muchachos, the White Rabbit is ready to see you. Vaminos! Yes, let’s go! The tripped-out trio follow Mascarita further down the rabbit hole and…

“I have been waiting for you.” They bow before the great White Rabbit. They wish to have his guidance. Oh? In exchange for what? “Anything that you wish.” Anything, you say? Yes, anything. Then kill the man who brought you to him. Wait. Kill Mascarita? Tick tock, Mr. London! Kill Mascarita or you will not get your wish. Well okay… London raises the blunt instrument, and SPLATTERS poor Mascarita.

Bravo, Mr. London, bravo! That was very entertaining. And now, they shall see how far they’re really willing to go. What new madness has come to Lucha Underground?

 


 

My Thoughts:

A pretty good Lucha Underground episode, and all about the Aztec Medallions and Gift of the Gods. Unless I’ve lost count, I think there’s one medallion left, and we’ve got a great field of competitors already. Cuerno, Dragon Azteca, Ivelisse, The Mack, Son of Havoc, and now Mil Muertes. These six alone will put on a great match, adding just about anyone as the seventh will make it better. Ivelisse does pretty good against Joey Ryan, and she was a shoe-in between how fans love her and how Joey has been booked in LU. The twist for the triple threat was great, it really gives a great story for the Trios Champions without even needing another team to face. Though, I do expect them to put those titles on the line soon, and then lose them because Killshot quits on the team.

Muertes VS Cage was great, even before Pentagon made that surprise appearance. Pentagon giving Muertes the win is fine, as it helps bring up a new wrinkle in Catrina’s story: Muertes’ reaction. He’ll want explanations as to why Catrina didn’t do the Lick of Death, which has been a staple of their segments since the beginning. Meanwhile, Cage VS Pentagon is set and is going to be a great match. Honestly it could go either way, and creates suspense as to who the eventual Gift of the Gods Champion will be challenging. The only thing not related to Gift of the Gods was the Sacrifice. There wasn’t a whole lot of pomp and circumstance with it, but it seems this will be Lucha Underground’s way of doing squash matches. At the same time, sacrificing Cortez should trigger the story with Captain Perez, so that’ll be interesting.

My Score: 8.5/10


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Mitchell’s WWE NXT Report! (7/11/18)

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Which team will be the NXT Tag Team Champions after tonight?

The NXT Tag Team Championships are defended in a rematch from Royal Albert Hall! Will Mustache Mountain defeat the Undisputed Era in the US like in the UK?

 

All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Adam Cole VS Danny Burch; Cole wins.
  • Kairi Sane VS Vanessa Borne; Kairi wins.
  • NXT Tag Team Championships: Mustache Mountain VS The Undisputed Era’s Kyle O’Reilly & Roderick Strong; The Undisputed Era wins and become the new NXT Tag Team Champions.

PLAY BY PLAY

Adam Cole VS Danny Burch!

The NXT North American Champion didn’t appreciate the British Brawler’s bad mouthing, or his challenge to a match 1v1. GM William Regal did, though, and has made this non-title match! Can Burch hit back on the Panama City Playboy in place of the injured Boston Brawler, Oney Lorcan?

The bell rings and fans duel. Cole and Burch circle then tie up. Burch pushes Cole back but Cole comes back with a wristlock. Burch reverses to a wristlock but Cole rolls and reverses. Cole gets a hammerlock but Burch spins through to overhead suplex Cole to the mat. Burch has the armlock and grinds Cole on the mat. Cole gets up and out with a stiff forearm. Burch sits down, but Cole is on him with a headlock takeover. “I don’t think so, Danny!” he trash talks as he grinds Burch’s head. Burch works his way back up, then powers out. Cole runs him over with a shoulder, then runs again. Things speed up and Burch runs Cole over in return. Burch runs, things speed up again, but Burch sees the dropkick coming. He counters with a drop toehold, but Cole pushes him away.

Burch side steps Cole to rock him with a forearm! Cole ends up outside but Burch fetches him. Cole shoves Burch into a post, then hits a neckbreaker to the floor! The ref has them get back in, and Cole leaves Burch down. The count climbs, but Burch beats it at 8. Cole is on him with another neckbreaker. Cover, TWO. Burch clutches his neck and gets to a corner, but Cole keeps his eyes on him. Cole walks over but into a right hand. Cole blocks the boot to stomp a mudhole into Burch, then backs off at 4. He drags Burch up for a snap suplex, then drives in a knee to the back. Cole trash talks Burch as he drives in another. Burch writhes to the ropes, but Cole says he’s “not in my league.”

Cole puts Burch in a corner, then throws forearms and body shots. Cole backs off at 4, then brings Burch out for a scoop slam. Cover, TWO! Burch rolls away but Cole is right on him with a chinlock. Fans rally up and Burch feeds off the energy. Burch fights back with body shots, but Cole bicycle boots him down! Cole drags Burch back up for elbows to the back of the neck. Burch gets to ropes but Cole keeps on him. Cole snapmares Burch back into the snapmare. “You’ll never beat me. Ever!” Fans rally up and Burch jawbreakers free. Burch chops and chops away on Cole, but Cole shoves. Burch ducks to Thesz Press and rain down hands.

Cole gets to a corner but Burch gives him a corner European Uppercut and clothesline, then a swing kick for good measure. Burch hops up, missile dropkick! Then a kip-up! He fires up, as do the fans. Burch drags Cole up, but Cole fireman’s carry. Burch slips out for a German Suplex, then a big lariat. Cover, TWO! Into a crossface! Cole is trapped, but he rolls free. Burch comes back with EuroUpper, headbutt and knee. Then another headbutt! Cole staggers, but Burch is on him in the corner. Burch hangs Cole up top, for London Tower! Cover, TWO!! So close and yet so far from pinning the NXT North American Champion. Burch gets up, keeping his cool. Fans rally up as Burch brings Cole back up. Cole resists the bomb, but Burch clubs away.

Burch suplexes but Cole knees out. Cole fakes Burch out for the mule kick, then the bicycle kick, to Ushigoroshi! Cover, TWO! Cole grows frustrated with Burch, but he knows “nobody can beat me!” Fans rally up again as Cole takes aim. SUPERKICK! But Cole isn’t done there, he brings Burch up for the Last Shot brainbuster! Then, with knee pad down, Cole runs for the Last Shot shining wizard! Cover, Cole wins!

Winner: Adam Cole, by pinfall

Burch proves how tough he is, but in the end, Cole wins again. Will the North American Champion’s reign continue without finding a worthy contender?

 

NXT Media interviews Candice LeRae.

Mrs. Wrestling knows she’s close to the championship, but then she encounters and confronts the NXT Women’s Champion. Shayna Baszler wants the little lady to stick to being the “cute little sidekick.” Candice slaps Shayna, and a brawl began! Referees, security and other women superstars had to pull them apart! There is a fire burning in the Women’s Division, will a match be the only thing that puts it out?

 

Backstage interview with Dakota Kai.

The Captain of Team Kick has heard the choice words of the Queen of Spades. But Dakota is going to face Shayna again really soon. She’s working her way up the ladder and will get another title shot. But the Lady of NXT, Lacey Evans, says no one cares what Dakota thinks. If those “dirty paws” ever grabbed the title, she’d just bring it down. What the Women’s Division is a lady with class, confidence and sophistication to elevate it. Let’s be honest, that’s not Dakota. Oh, so she goes from talking trash online to talking trash in face. How about Dakota kicks her class next week in a match? Lacey seems to accept the challenge, will she exercise her Woman’s Right to a victory? Or will all her talk be taken out with the trash?

 

Kairi Sane VS Vanessa Borne!

The vivacious Vanessa is bold enough to call out the inaugural Mae Young Classic winner, all over the Pirate Princess’ choice of costume. Will Kairi show Vanessa why she was a star of Stardom? Or will Vanessa get the upset and sink Kairi’s ship?

Fans are strongly behind Kairi at the bell. She and Vanessa circle, then tie up. Vanessa powers Kairi back to a corner, but shoves out of the break. Kairi puts her in the corner to push her, then honors the break. She threatens a punch, but just boops Vanessa on the forehead. Vanessa rushes out but into a waistlock. Vanessa standing switches and throws Kairi down. Kairi avoids the stomp, then blocks the kick, to Dragon Screw! Kairi runs, and rolls for a leg tweak. Cover, TWO, into a toe-and-ankle hold! Vanessa crawls to a ropebreak. Kairi lets go, and backs off to dare Vanessa to come back for more. Vanessa does, but runs into a crucifix! Kairi isn’t strong enough to bring Vanessa down, though, and Vanessa turns it into a Samoan Drop! Cover, TWO!

Vanessa keeps on Kairi with a body scissor squeeze. She throws forearms into Kairi, but fans rally up. Kairi endures and turns around to throw forearms at Vanessa. Vanessa forearms Kairi more, then brings her up for a spinning suplex! Cover, TWO, and Vanessa grows frustrated. Vanessa rams her knees and elbows into Kairi, then stomps her to a corner. Fans cheer Kairi on but Vanessa toys and trash talks the Pirate Princess. She throws Kairi to ropes for a motorcycle stretch! Vanessa lets go at 4, but turns things around into a draping cloverleaf! She even kicks away at Kairi’s back until the ref counts 4.

Vanessa throws Kairi down, then drops a big elbow. Fans rally up as Vanessa throws Kairi around more. Vanessa walks on Kairi, then climbs up top. She demands fans cheer for her, but then she misses the Vader Bomb! Kairi gets up and runs in, Blockbuster! Kairi and Vanessa slowly stand, and Kairi fires off double chops! She whips Vanessa but Vanessa reverses. Kairi rebounds to headscissor, then Interceptor spear! Kairi fires up while Vanessa crawls to the corner. Marching the plank, Kairi runs in for the Sliding D forearm! Kairi climbs up top, but Vanessa headbutts her. Vanessa throws Kairi down from the top rope! She’s not done, either, as she brings Kairi up. Kairi revives for the spinning back-fist. Vanessa clubs away on Kairi in return, then rolls her to a cover, TWO, and Kairi gets a modified cloverleaf of her own! Kairi calls this the Anchor Lock!

Vanessa taps, Kairi wins!

WInner: Kairi Sane, by submission

The Pirate Princess brings out something brand new, and it works! Vanessa is improving, but not enough to stop this great Stardom champion. Will Kairi sail towards an NXT Women’s Championship?

Kairi speaks.

“Shayna Baszler. I know you are strong, but I beat you before.” The MYC finals in fact. Kairi vows to do it again! And again! And again! “Again! Again!” echoes out with the NXT Universe. Kairi vows to come for that treasure, that NXT Women’s Championship! “Ahoy!”

 

Just in from NXT GM William Regal!

Seeing as how there are so many worthy contenders for Shayna Baszler’s title, it seems only fitting to give them all a chance! It will be a FATAL 4 WAY to decide a new #1 Contender! The Pirate Princess has one victory over the Queen of Spades, while Crazy Nikki Cross came close. At the same time, Mrs. Wrestling wants at Shayna something fierce over the comments the champ had for her, as does The EST, Bianca Belair! One woman will move on to be the number one, who will challenge the Reign of Terror?

 

NXT Media speaks with Aleister Black.

With two weeks left before the Embodiment of the End faces the Psycho Killer, the NXT Champion knows there’s always someone who thinks they’ll change things. But then Johnny Wrestling comes by and says Ciampa cannot be champion. Aleister doesn’t seem to take him seriously. Gargano wants to make sure Ciampa doesn’t win. Alesiter does understand that, but Gargano has to let him be the one to handle it. Gargano needs to worry about himself in the meantime. Gargano knows exactly what he’s doing. Aleister and Gargano part ways, the champion headed to the ring. But then Ciampa attacks Aleister! The Blackheart doesn’t want to wait two weeks, as he drags Aleister out onto a table for a draping DDT!!

Ciampa leaves Aleister down and out while medics are called. Ciampa waves good-bye, but will he be waving a white flag come their title match? Or has he just made Aleister’s reign #FadetoBlack?

 

NXT Tag Team Championships: Mustache Mountain VS The Undisputed Era’s Kyle O’Reilly & Roderick Strong!

While the Undisputed Era love to #ShockTheSystem, they were the ones shocked when Tyler Bate & Trent Seven defeated them in the Royal Albert Hall during the United Kingdom Championship special. The UE tried to deny it, claiming it was a fluke, but will they succeed in taking back the titles? Or will Mustache Mountain simply go 2-0 and send the Undisputed Era to the back of the line?

Fans duel already as the introductions are being made. The belts are raised and the bell rings, and Undisputed rush the champions! Strong goes after Seven while O’Reilly goes after Bate. They have them in opposite corners, then whip them out, but Mustache Mountain do-si-do to hit EuroUppers! Seven lifts and slams O’Reilly, then Bate slams Strong on top of him. Bate gets to a corner and knee-boards off Seven to senton on them both. Seven and Bate coordinate for the assisted back senton. Strong and O’Reilly get to ropes, but they get whipped across the way. They hold ropes to bail out, then regroup. Bate & Seven throw them out, but Undisputed come back in quick, only to fall for Bop and BANG!

Strong & O’Reilly go back outside but Bate & Seven keep on them. They brawl and chop outside, and Bate throws O’Reilly into the apron. Seven has Strong on the other side, throwing body shots at the steps. O’Reilly kicks Bate back, then goes to help Strong. They bump Seven into a post, then a shinbreaker to the steps!

Seven goes down in a heap, but Strong is still on him. They go into the ring while fans continue to duel at a fever pitch. Strong stomps the bad leg then tags in O’Reilly. O’Reilly runs to knee drop the bad knee. Seven does what he can to cover up as O’Reilly throws fast strikes. O’Reilly jams the knee with a leg DDT, then drags Seven back. Tag to Strong and Strong goes right at the leg brace. Strong pulls it off to expose the knee to stop it directly. Tag back to O’Reilly for dragon screws and a standing Indian deathlock! O’Reilly twists the leg, but Seven can only fight from the mat. Seven tries to get to Bate but O’Reilly cartwheels to more ground ‘n’ pound palm strikes. O’Reilly gets an outside heel hook! Tag to Strong and they torture the leg.

Fans have not slowed down one bit in their dueling chants. Strong goes after the knee but Seven fights as much as he can. Seven grabs hair but Strong doesn’t let go of the leg. Seven endures the pain, and kicks away with his free leg. Strong lets go, but tags O’Reilly. O’Reilly is on that bad leg, smashing it against the ropes! Seven manages to counter with a roll up, TWO! Seven shoves O’Reilly away but Strong tags back in. Strong whips but Seven kicks him away. Seven dumps Strong out but Strong drags Seven down. Seven shoves again, but O’Reilly runs in. O’Reilly gets tossed out hard, and Seven crawls! Bate is ready, but Strong anchors Seven long enough for O’Reilly to get to Bate! Seven misses his chance, and now Strong is on him again.

Strong puts the legs in an Indian deathlock and grinds his heel into the knee. Seven fights and endures, throwing hands and chops on Strong. Strong lets him go, but only long enough to bring him up. Seven chops, even on one leg. He fakes a chop, blocks a chop, and hits a DDT! Strong and Seven crawl, but O’Reilly boots Bate down! Seven chops O’Reilly, but O’Reilly gets the leg! Seven endures the heel hook, and fights with the other leg. O’Reilly lets go from being rocked by that right foot. Seven drags himself over, but so does O’Reilly. Hot tags to Bate and Strong! Bate rallies on the Undisputed Era! Big back drop for Strong! Then a corner EuroUpper. Bate whips corner to corner but Strong reverses, only to run into that knee lift! Flying EuroUpper, then the standing shooting star! Cover, TWO!

This match has been high energy from the start, but now fans are really fired up. O’Reilly runs in but gets taken for a ride. O’Reilly slips into a sleeper on Bate, but Bate bumps him off buckles. Strong runs in, but into an Exploder onto O’Reilly! Bate picks up Strong and spins him around, but then catches O’Reilly! Now we go for a spin AND a swing! Flashback to Royal Albert Hall!

Bate puts them both down on top of each other, then deadlifts Strong for a bridging German! TWO!! Seven is getting his knee checked on, but he knows Bate is going it alone right now. Fans are at a fever pitch as Bate slowly stands. Bate sees Seven is still in a bad way, so he goes after Strong. He tries the double underhook but has to rolling kick O’Reilly out. Bate runs into Strong’s boot, enziguri, and then whip. Rebound lariat from Bate! Then, TYLER DRIVER ’97!! Cover, but O’Reilly breaks it just in time! This match continues, but fans are loving it! Bate throws O’Reilly out, then checks on Seven. Seven wants to get in, because “This is Awesome!”

Bate isn’t so sure himself, his mentor is too wounded. Strong hits Bate but Bate hits Strong. Strong whips but counters the rebound for a half-nelson backbreaker! Tag to O’Reilly, Penalty Kick! Cover, TWO! But right into the brainbuster!! Cover, TWO!! Bate toughs it out for the sake of his mentor, but O’Reilly tags in Strong. The Undisputed Era coordinate but Bate fights them both off. Bate escapes Total Elimination! Strong has Bate but Bate hits back. Knee strike sends Bate into Seven! Seven tags and starts chopping away on Strong & O’Reilly! His one leg and both arms are working, so he uses them both to fire away strikes. He gets O’Reilly in a Snap Dragon! Then dodges Seven for a back hand and SEVEN STAR LARIAT!! Cover, TWO!!

This match isn’t done, but neither is Seven. Fans are thunderous while Seven and Strong slowly stand. Seven tries the torture rack, but that bad leg limits him. Strong escape to chop block the leg! Then, Inverted Cloverleaf! But Seven holds and attacks Strong’s leg to resist. Seven is stuck in a Strong Clutch, but Bate boots Strong down! Bate has to back off, but Seven shoves Strong away hard. O’Reilly tags in, and O’Reilly leaps onto Seven with a knee to knee! Then the heel hook returns! Seven endures like nothing before as he hammers away at O’Reilly’s own leg. Seven grabs the ref to resist tapping. He reaches for Bate, reaches for ropes, but is still so far away.

O’Reilly drags Seven all the way back, but Seven kicks and slaps. It’s a slap fight on the mat! O’Reilly wrenches back, but Seven still finds the grit to fight. Fans chant “YES! YES!” with every hit, and Seven frees himself! Seven crawls but so does O’Reilly. O’Reilly stays between Seven and Bate. Fans duel again, but O’Reilly goes for another leg hold! It’s a double knee bar!! Seven screams in pain, and Bate sees his mentor in pain. Bate grabs a towel, but Seven tells him not to throw it! Seven rolls for the ropes, for his corner, but O’Reilly wrenches back as hard as he can. Bate is so torn between pride and compassion, but Seven shouts for him not to quit! Seven fights with everything he has left, but Bate can’t do it! He throws in the towel!!

Winners: The Undisputed Era, by submission; NEW NXT Tag Team Champions

Bate couldn’t do it. He couldn’t watch his mentor, his brother in arms, suffer any longer. But that’s fine by the Undisputed Era’s standards, they just got their belts back. They all celebrate on the ramp, from O’Reilly to Strong to Cole and Fish. This is what it took to get those belts back, what will it take for someone to take them away?

 


 

My Thoughts:

This was a damn good NXT! All three matches felt strong, and can be considered as contributing to story. Adam Cole fights fair and square in his match with Burch, but he really couldn’t call upon the rest of the Undisputed Era given how important the main event was. But Cole does win fair and square, and so far he has no contenders to his title. There’s plenty of time before the next TakeOver special, so perhaps one will step up in the coming weeks. Vanessa does great even in losing to Kairi, but Kairi winning was only natural for the inaugural MYC winner. That Fatal 4 Way is going to be great, but if there’s one person we know isn’t winning, it’s Nikki Cross. Nikki is meant to join SAnitY on the main roster one way or another, but it could go any which way with the other three.

Of those three, bet more on Candice or Kairi. Bianca is still more Heel than Face, and even if this is NXT, it’s still WWE, and they prefer Face VS Heel. From there, either choice is great, because we either get the tiebreaker of Kairi VS Shayna, or we get the continuation of that sudden brawl between Shayna and Candice. In the NXT  Championship story, I did not expect Ciampa to pounce on Aleister like that. Maybe the night of their title match, but not this far out. They’ll play up Aleister’s condition next week, but I’m pretty sure he makes it to the match. But now I’m even more unsure of how that’ll go, what with Gargano adamant about Ciampa NOT winning the title before him. Maybe Gargano interferes just as Ciampa is about to win, which will Aleister as much as Ciampa, for a triple threat?

Then that main event was probably the best NXT Tag Team Championship match ever! Definitely one of the best since DIY VS Revival, DIY VS AoP, and the like. They also heaped a bunch of story into the match with that steel step shinbreaker and all the leg holds. You could really feel the animosity from the Undisputed Era, as well as the emotional conflict in Bate. Commentary did a great job reminding us that Seven trained Bate, and was anywhere from a big brother to a father figure for the younger wrestler. It’s rare for a match to end with someone literally throwing in the towel, but it really worked here. Undisputed Era wins while Mustache Mountain isn’t really weaker for it. Obviously Mustache Mountain’s rematch is in question with Seven’s bad leg, but I really hope we get a tiebreaker in the end.

My Score: 8.8/10


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