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Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Report: Sakura Genesis 2018!

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AXS TV and NJPW go all out to bring you a THREE EPISODE MARATHON to cover the entirety of Sakura Genesis! The biggest event of Spring features a star-studded line up, such as Will Ospreay VS Marty Scurll, The Golden Lovers VS Cody & Hangman Page, and Okada VS Zack Sabre Jr for THE IWGP Heavyweight Championship!

 

This review of Sakura Genesis 2018 will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Therefore, all images are courtesy of AXS TV.

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • 8 PM EST, Part 1 – Six Man Tag: Suzuki-Gun’s Minoru Suzuki & Killer Elite Squad VS Los Ingobernables de Japon; Suzuki- Gun wins.
  • Part 1 – IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Will Ospreay VS Marty Scurll; Ospreay wins and retains the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship.
  • 9 PM EST, Part 2 – IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship Triple Threat: Suzuki-Gun VS Roppongi 3K VS Los Ingobernables de Japon; Suzuki-Gun wins and retains the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championships.
  • Part 2 – The Golden Lovers VS Bullet Club’s Cody & Hangman Page; Cody & Hangman win.
  • 10 PM EST, Part 3 – IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada w/ Gedo VS Zack Sabre Jr w/ Taka Michinoku; Okada wins and retains the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.

PLAY BY PLAY

NJPW and AXS set the stage for Part 1!

The Aerial Assassin is a two-time champion, and has already reestablished himself by turning away Hiromu Takahashi, and even the legendary Jushin Thunder Liger. However, The Villain, Ospreay’s archnemesis, Marty Scurll, has come back for more. Ospreay finally overcame Scurll in a Fatal 4 Way that also involved Hiromu and Kushida at Wrestle Kingdom 12. But both Ospreay and Scurll know that when it’s 1v1, Scurll has Ospreay’s number. Can Ospreay finally “break the curse” and retain the title?

 

Six Man Tag: Suzuki-Gun’s Minoru Suzuki & Killer Elite Squad VS Los Ingobernables de Japon!

We jump into this match already in progress, as the Man with the Worst Personality in the World and his heavy hitters take on the Tranquilo One himself, and his IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions.

Sanada jumps over Lance Archer, then again, then dropkicks him down. Sanada keeps on Archer with a slingshot plancha! Suzuki coaches his men back up while the fans rally for Sanada. Sanada springboards and flies, but Davey Boy Smith Jr. catches him into a Northern Lights! Bridging cover, TWO, and Davey is frustrated. He drags Sanada up, prepares a powerbomb, but Sanada fights his way out. Sanada whips but Davey reverses, but Sanada tumbles to the apron, then springboards back in for the missile dropkick! Down goes Davey and fans applaud. Sanada and Davey crawl for their corners, and hot tags to Archer and EVIL.

EVIL sees Archer coming and dodges him to then give him a bulldog. EVIL adds on a big back senton, then fires up the fans as he runs in at Archer. Archer goes to boot but EVIL blocks that, only for Archer to duck his discus and run in for the side splash. Archer puts EVIL up top, then carries him out in reverse cruficix position, but Naito dropkicks his legs out. Suzuki rushes in and goes right at Naito! They go to the outside and Naito is whipped into the barriers. EVIL kicks Archer’s leg, then runs, but into a scrapbuster! Archer goes to tag but Naito gets back at Suzuki by putting him into barriers.

Sanada comes in to go after Archer, but Archer puts him in a corner. Archer runs in but misses, Sanada runs and hits the elbow, then EVIL hits the clothesline. Naito wants back in but Suzuki drags him back out. They brawl outside, and Suzuki goes after the leg with the Achilles lock. Meanwhile, EVIL hoists Archer up with Sanada, but Davey stops them from hitting Magic Killer by throwing Sanada with a German Suplex! EVIL kicks Davey, then runs, but into the lift. Archer returns to add the splash! Archer covers, Sanada breaks it! Naito breaks free of Suzuki but Suzuki still pursues. Davey brings Sanada up in the powerbomb, and Archer adds on, for the KILLER BOMB!!

But Sanada isn’t legal, it’s EVIL. They go after him while Naito fights to get back in the ring. EVIL fights KES off, handing Davey’s boot to Archer to then mule kick Davey. Archer grabs EVIL, EVIL breaks free but Archer spins him around, they give EVIL the Killer Bomb! Cover, Suzuki-Gun wins!

Winners: Suzuki-Gun (Suzuki & KES), Archer pinning

A big win for Suzuki-Gun over LIJ, but a bigger win for KES over the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions. Archer & Davey even raise the belts as if those already belong to them. Will this win give rise to new #1 contenders? And will those contenders prove to LIJ that #EverybodyDies?

Naito speaks.

“Hey you, the self-proclaimed ‘King of Pro Wrestling’.” Yes, he means Suzuki. Suzuki refers to the IWGP Intercontinental championship as his “treasure”. But it doesn’t look that way to Naito. To Naito, “the belt even seems like it wants to get away from you,” Suzuki. The belt shined brighter “when I used to throw it around.” The wannabe King of Pro-Wrestling just wants to be close to Naito. Naito understands, but why doesn’t Suzuki just express his feelings? “King! King! Please ascend to the ring, and let us hear your thoughts.”

Suzuki decides to take Naito up on that, and returns to the ring while Naito lounges on the mat. Suzuki picks up the mic to respond. “Oi, you little punk.” Who the hell does Naito think he’s talking to? This is THE Minoru Suzuki. The undisputed king of pro wrestling. “Sprawled out like that, the look suits you.” Naito relaxes even more, but Suzuki thinks “a liar and a con-man like you should be groveling on the ground.” Naito doesn’t sweat Suzuki’s threats. Suzuki tells all the “assholes gathered here at Ryogoku”, and especially Tetsuya Naito, that he and Suzuki-Gun are NUMBER ONE.

Suzuki goes to leave, kicking a Young Lion just because he can, but Naito picks the mic back up. “King! King!” Suzuki seems to be feeling rather irritable. At times like these, remember this phrase. You know the one. “Tranquilo! Chill out.” Now Suzuki is pissed! He throws chairs and a table at the ring, and at Young Lions. He then storms out, title in hand, but Naito is Tranquilo as ever. Will his disrespect of the “king” cost him some limbs?

 

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Will Ospreay VS Marty Scurll!

Familiar foes from across the pond have both come to the Land of the Rising Sun. The Aerial Assassin has never defeated the Villain 1v1, especially when a title is on the line. Can Ospreay finally break that curse? Or will his second reign end already?

Scurll takes a moment to carefully bestow his umbrella to one of the Young Lions, then Red Shoes makes sure neither man has anything hidden on them. The bell rings and we begin. Ospreay and Scurll circle, fans dueling between them. They tie up, Scurll gets around to the waistlock but Ospreay gets the switch. Scurll rolls and spins to reverse and trip Ospreay, but Ospreay kicks out. The fans applaud the early stand-off while the two circle again. They tie up, Scurll has a facelock but Ospraedy slips out to a hammerlock takedown. Scurll stands, rolls and spins, then gets Ospreay in the wristlock. Ospreay uses the ropes to flip, then snapmares Scurll, but Scurll gets the wristlock back.

Scurll knows he’s in Ospreay’s head, but Ospreay reverses the hold. Scurll spins, brings Ospreay to the mat and double wristlock covers, but Ospreay bridges up. Ospreay catches Scurll’s body and pushes up and onto Scurll’s shoulders. Ospreay sunset flips but Scurll rolls through to grab the leg. Scurll goes for the ankle lock but Ospreay turns over to break free and bring Scurll to the mat with a headlock takeover. Scurll headscissors, but Ospreay pops out, and roles reverse, but Scurll pops out. It’s another stand-off and the fans love it. Ospreay and Scurll circle again, keeping an eye on the other. They tie up again, Scurll gets the headlock. Ospreay powers out but Scurll runs him over. Scurll flaps his wings and fans echo “Woop Woop!”, but then Scurll gestures “up yours!”

Scurll runs, but Ospreay lies flat, which Scurll knew he would. Scurll grabs him in a chicken wing roll that ends up in the chicken wing hold! Ospreay arm-drags out, then runs, springboards but misses. He keeps moving, handspring arm-drag then whip, but Scurll headscissors. Ospreay cartwheels through, then swings a kick, tries a moonsault, swings another kick, but Scurll evades them all to make it to a corner. Fans applaud, but Ospreay just glares a hole through Scurll. Scurll wants a time out? There’s no time-outs in wrestling. In that case, Scurll fires himself up and has the fans rallying while he circles with Ospreay.

They tie up, Scurll kicks low then clubs hard on Ospreay’s back. He chops Ospreay, then kicks him. Scurll mocks the fans, then whips Ospreay but Ospreay dodges to headscissors and dropkick Scurll down. Scurll ends up outside the ring, and fans fire up again. Ospreay builds speed, but Scurll sees through the feint, and trips Ospreay up during the handspring. He grabs the fingers, but Ospreay shoves him away. Scurll returns but Ospreay kicks him down, to then handspring for the Sasuke Special! Down goes Scurll, but that move took a bit out of Ospreay, too.

They both slowly stir, and Ospreay stands up first. Scurll scurries away but Ospreay catches up and chops him. Scurll still wants that time out but Ospreay kicks him in the leg. Ospreay puts Scurll in the ring, but Scurll grabs his nose. Scurll tweaks the nose, then turns Ospreay around for a draping neckbreaker! Ospreay tumbles down and out, then Scurll builds speed, to SUPERKICK from the apron! Fans “Woop Woop!” while Scurll flaps, and we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns and Scurll chops Ospreay against the barriers. Scurll clubs Ospreay, then throws him into barriers. Red Shoes says to bring this back into the ring. Scurll obeys, but then goes after Ospreay on the apron. They both enter the ring now, and stalks Ospreay. Scurll wrenches Ospreay’s neck, then brings him backwards for a neck-cracker. He stomps Ospreay, then brings him up for a scoop slam against the ropes. Ospreay is hurting from neck to legs now as he gets back on the apron. Scurll walks over, then drags Ospreay up and through the ropes. Scurll has Ospreay elevated, and hits the draping DDT. Cover, TWO, but Scurll keeps on Ospreay with a palm strike to the neck.

Scurll drags Ospreay up into the torture rack, bending his back with every jump. Ospreay endures, but Scurll tosses him at a corner for inverted snake eyes, then a DDT! Cover, TWO, and Scurll argues with Red Shoes. He keeps his cool, and stalks Ospreay to the ropes. Scurll stands Ospreay up in powerbomb position, but it’s just for a neck-jamming jump. He brings up the wincing Ospreay for powerbomb lift, but it’s for the Gory Special! Scurll bends Ospreay but Ospreay slips out and rocks Scurll with a forearm. Ospreay throws antoher forearm but Scurll pushes him to a corner. Scurll runs into Ospreay’s boot and Ospreay goes to the apron. Ospreay slingshots but Scurll catches him, into a rope slingshot guillotine!

Scurll grins while Red Shoes checks on Ospreay. Ospreay clutches his neck while Scurll walks over. Scurll stomps Ospreay, then grinds him into buckle pads. Scurll snapmares Ospreay into a chinklock and neckwrench. Ospreay tries to pry his way out, so Scurll takes those arms and makes a straitjacket stretch. Fans rally and Ospreay fights his way up, but Scurll bends him back again. Ospreay rolls through and reverses the straitjacket onto Scurll! Scurll backs Ospreay to a corner, then arm-drags out, but Ospreay uses that momentum to handspring. Scurll lets Ospreay roll off his back, but misses the clothesline, and Ospreay handsprings for the enziguri! Both men are down, and fans applaud.

Scurll gets to a corner while Ospreay drags himself up by ropes. Fans duel, “Ospreay!” “Woop Woop!” Ospreay runs in at Scurll in the corner, hits the running European Uppercut, then sweeps the legs. He runs again, but Scurll dodges. Scurll runs but into another enziguri. Ospreay runs, and hits the elevated 619! Scurll staggers but stays standing, Ospreay brings him down with a springboard clothesline! Ospreay adds the standing shining star, covers, TWO. Fans duel more as both men crawl. Ospreay stands in a corner, then climbs up, but Scurll stops him with a grip on the nose.

Scurll climbs up but Ospreay slips down and tucks Scurll in. Scurll sticks his feet out but Ospreay pushes them up, Cheeky Nandos SUPERKICK to German Suplex! Ospreay fires up, and takes aim at Scurll, but runs into the EuroUpper. Scurll runs, but Ospreay sets him back on the corner. Scurll avoids Cheek Nandos this time, and hits a tornado DDT to roll through, but Ospreay counters his suplex with a stunner! Both men are down again as fans rally. Fans duel again while Ospreay stands up. Ospreay walks over to Scurll and throws strikes. He calls for the cutter, but Scurll grabs his fingers! Scurll hushes the crowd, but Ospreay breaks free.

Ospreay runs to ropes, but fakes Scurll out! Scurll’s dropkick hits nothing, Ospreay jackknife covers, TWO as Scurll bridges. They spin around, and Scurll wants a backslide, but Ospreay resists. Scurll goes for the chicken wing, but Ospreay elbows his wawy out. Scurll still has Ospreay, for the pumphandle into brainbuster! Cover, TWO, and Scurll is shocked. Fans duel again while Scurll catches his breath. Scurll walks over and brings Ospreay up, for shoves and slaps. Ospreay ducks, Scurll denies the full nelson, but Ospreay hits the wrap-around heel kick. Ospreay runs, but into the roaring elbow. Scurll runs and clotheslines Ospreay upside-down! Cover, TWO, and Scurll is in disbelief while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns as Scurll and Ospreay brawl on their knees. Scurll clubs Ospreay’s neck and bounces him off the mat. He brings Ospreay up, turns him around, but Ospreay resists to backslide! TWO, and Ospreay sends Scurll to the apron. Scurll holds on and “skins the cat”, but into piledriver position! Scurll still pulls Ospreay to the outside with him, and gives Ospreay a Tombstone to the ground! Ospreay clutches his neck while Scurll checks his own knees. Red Shoes checks on Ospreay, but Ospreay wants to continue. The ring count begins, and reaches 14 before Scurll stands and puts Ospreay in. Cover, TWO, and Scurll is again shocked. Scurll keeps on Ospreay, with a neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Scurll grows frustrated with Ospreay’s endurance.

Scurll kicks Ospreay’s shoulder, then clubs his neck. Ospreay is in pain but he also fires up. Ospreay hits back, rocking Scurll. Scurll gives a forearm, Ospreay gives one back. They go back and forth, hitting harder and harder, faster and faster! Scurll gets an edge but Ospreay boots him. Ospreay runs, but he falls for the feint! Scurll kicks out a leg, then runs, but into Ospreay’s flip-kick and enziguri! Ospreay runs, Scurll follows, but Ospreay catches him into a sit-out powerbomb! But Ospreay can’t cover, from the pain in his own body. Ospreay instead gets himself to a corner while Scurll sits up. Ospreay hits the Robinson Special! He isn’t done, he calls for the cutter. He runs, springboards, but Scurll dumps him down! Scurll rests in the ring while Ospreay is down on the ground.

Ospreay reaches the apron while fans rally. Scurll runs onto the apron, but Ospreay counters him with a boot! Ospreay drags Scurll up, and wants to suplex, but Scurll resists. Scurll enziguris Ospreay, and takes a moment to catch his breath. He stands up, lifts Ospreay, but Ospreay slips out and shoves Scurll away. Scurll runs back in, but Ospreay catches him into a SPANISH FLY!!

But Ospreay’s head hits the apron! The double edged Spanish Fly takes them both out. Red Shoes checks on them both, but especially Ospreay. Ospreay is bleeding from a sizable gash, but he doesn’t want anyone stopping this match. The 20 count reaches 11 before either man even stands up. It hits 15 as Ospreay gets in, but Scurll slumps back down! He springs up at 18, but Ospreay is ready with a corkscrew shooting star! Cover, TWO!! Ospreay roars with fury and rage as he stands up. He drags Scurll up, suplex onto the top rope, and rocks Scurll with a kick. Ospreay then goes to a corner, climbs up high, and goes for the Burning Star! But Scurll avoids it! Ospreay hits nothing, and Scurll takes aim from the corner, SUPERKICK to the back of the head! Cover, TWO!! We go to break while Scurll shakes his head.

NJPW on AXS returns, and Scurll sits up the bleeding and dazed Ospreay. Scurll glares at his rival, and gives him a slap. Scurll aims, kicks, but Ospreay blocks it! Ospreay roundhouses in return, but Scurll suplexes him into the chicken wing crossface! Ospreay rolls to a cover, TWO, to Scurll’s, TWO. Scurll swings but Ospreay dodges, and hits the OSCUTTER!!

But Ospreay can’t cover! Both men are down while Red Shoes checks on Ospreay. Between the neck and the blood, Ospreay is in a bad way. Fans rally, but Ospreay is still moving slow. Scurll gets at him first, and brings him up for a piledriver! Cover, TWO!? Scurll undoes his hair in frustration, and looms over Ospreay. Ospreay reaches up, but Scurll grabs that hand and the fingres, to SNAP them. Then the other hand SNAP, then mule kick. STOMP STOMP STOMP to the head!! Scurll will not stop, but neither does Red Shoes, out of respect for Ospreay’s wishes. Scurll brings Ospreay up, for the chicken wing, but Ospreay barely has the energy to even resist.

Ospreay reaches, but Scurll goes after that bad hand! Ospreay doesn’t tap, he just uses his legs for the ropebreak. Fans applaud his heart, and Scurll has no choice but to let go. Fans rally again, and Scurll racks his brain for ideas. He drags Ospreay up again but Ospreay holds the ropes. Scurll gets Ospreay to let go, and then gives him a neckbreaker driver! But he won’t stop there. Scurll picks Ospreay up, wants another Tombstone, but Ospreay fights out to stunner again! Ospreay runs in, Scurll alley-oops, but Ospreay lands on the corner to then jump for another Oscutter! Cover, Ospreay wins!!

Winner: Ospreay, by pinfall; still IWGP Jr. Heavweight Champion

Somehow, someway, the Aerial Assassin retains! Medics quickly attend to that head wound and neck, as well as Scurll’s own body. Ospreay finally did break the curse, the Villain no longer holds power over him. With this, will Ospreay truly become the best Junior in NJPW?

Ospreay speaks.

“Before I go see the doctor, I just want to quickly something” to Kushida. The Time Splitter is ringside on commentary, so he hears Ospreay. Ospreay beat Hiromu and Scurll 1v1, but he needs to prove his wins aren’t flukes. Ospreay wants Kushida one more time for the championship. “Yes or no?” Kushida thinks, and says yes! Ospreay’s championship offer has been accepted, will the Aerial Assassin be able to sweep his rivals 3-0? Or will Kushida take back the title?

Who is the top Junior in NJPW?

 

Backstage interviews.

Scurll is pissed by the idea that a Junior has to “upgrade” to the Heavyweights. Ospreay is the Jr. Champ, talking about gaining weight and moving up. Scurll is proud to be part of the Junior Heavyweight Division, the best division in the world. This match tonight proved that.

Ospreay himself says that he is literally giving his blood, his body and his passion to make the Jr. Heavyweight Championship prominent. That is why he challenged Kushida, who has four victories over him. Ospreay won once, but wants to prove he can do it again. The Aerial Assassin vows to prove he’s the best Junior in NJPW. And the doubters will see the lengths he goes to, to establish his title as THE title.

Kushida is sure he’s “the only guy suited for this battle.” He had to accept, seeing the look in Ospreay’s eyes. It is an honor for the champion to call him out, so he thanks Ospreay for that. But he apologizes for bringing this up, but he lost to the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Kazuchika Okada. That’s why Kushida can’t let Ospreay be champion forever. The Time Splitter and Aerial Assassin will meet for a sixth time! Can Ospreay repeat his victory? Or will Kushida turn the tide back towards him?


NJPW and AXS set the stage for Part 2!

It’s all about tag team action this time. The Golden Lovers reunited after The American Nightmare made it clear to the Cleaner that he wants to be the one true Bullet Club leader. Honor Rising saw Kenny Omega & Kota Ibushi best the Allied Forces of Cody & Marty Scurll, then outlasted The Young Bucks in an extreme showdown at Strong Style Evolved. Cody refuses to admit defeat, or admit that Bullet Club is anything but “fine”. He turns to The Problem Solver, Adam Page, for another tag team show down with Omega & Ibushi.

But first, Suzuki-Gun’s IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Champions, El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemura, defend those titles in a triple threat tag against previous champions, Sho & Yo, as well as LIJ’s Hiromu & Bushi. It is a complete rematch from NJPW’s 46th Anniversary show, will it also be a repeat performance for the Rogue Luchador and Heel Master?

 

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship Triple Threat: Suzuki-Gun VS Roppongi 3K VS Los Ingobernables de Japon!

El Desperado & Kanemaru found a way to cheat all their opponents out of the titles at the 46th Anniversary Show, but now they’re all back to do it again. Will the shining RPG3K take those titles back? Or will LIJ grab their first junior tag titles?

The fight starts even before the bell as RPG3K rush LIJ, then dropkick Suzuki-Gun down. Sho & Yo run to DOUBLE FLY!

RPG3K return and take down LIJ again. They have control of the ring, then Sho fetches Desperado. He feeds him to Yo and the bell rings to finally start this match. Yo stomps away on Desperado, then Sho adds on. Desperado begs for some mercy, but no such luck. RPG3K double whip but Desperado reverses. He chops Sho but Yo comes back, and Sho helps Yo headscissor Desperado down. Sho runs Desperado over, then RPG3K double dropkick Kanemaru back out. Yo brings Desperado up, and RPG3K double suplex him down. Cover, Hiromu breaks it up, so Sho goes after him. Desperado rolls away, and Rocky Romero hops up to trash talk Hiromu. Hiromu breaks free of Sho & Yo to chase Rocky! Rocky gets away into the crowd, but Desperado goes after RPG3K again.

RPG3K club him down then whip again, but Bushi tags in. RPG3K double elbow Desperado down, but Bushi boots Sho. Yo covers but Desperado isn’t legal. Bushi uses his shirt to choke Yo, that isn’t legal either! Hiromu throws Desperado while Yo grabs ropes. The referee counts but Bushi holds on until 4. Bushi tags in Hiromu, and Hiromu goes after Yo with a stiff chop. Hiromu chops Yo into the LIJ corner, then tags in Bushi. Bushi gives chops of his own, then stalks Yo to another corner for more chops. Bushi snapmares and kicks Yo, then tags Hiromu back in. They keep the others out while chopping Yo. Hiromu whips Yo corner to corner, hits a corner clothesline, then rolls Yo out for the basement dropkick. Cover, TWO, but Hiromu stomps on Yo.

Tag to Bushi, and LIJ double whip Yo for a double hip toss into Tu Lo Sabes. Cover, TWO, but Bushi drags Yo into an STF. Desperado wipes out Hiromu, then enters the ring to kick Bushi. Bushi swings but misses, and Desperado puts Bushi in the Suzuki-Gun corner. Kanemaru tags in via Bushi, then Desperado throws Bushi out. Suzuki-Gun goes after Yo together with corner to corner whip. Kanemaru hits a back elbow, Desperado hits a clothesline. Desperado drops Yo with a back suplex, then Kanemaru adds a basement dropkick. Cover, TWO, but Kanemaru keeps on Yo with a camel clutch. Kanemaru drops it to boot Bushi down, then stomps Yo down. Kanemaru scoop slams Yo and we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns as Kanemaru toys with Yo. He brings Yo up, suplexes him down, cover, ONE. Kanemaru knocks Hiromu off the apron, then whips Yo, but Yo reverses into an enziguri! Kanemaru stomps Yo down, and brings him up in a half-surfboard, but Yo dropkicks him away. Yo tags to Sho, and Sho rallies on Kanemaru. Sho whips Kanemaru but Kanemaru reverses. Things speed up again, Sho dropkicks Kanemaru down. Sho sees Desperado coming, and gets him with a spinebuster! Sho takes aim from a corner, and runs at Kanemaru for a big corner clothesline. He gets a waistlock but Kanemaru fights with elbows. Kanemaru grinds Sho’s eyes, then runs, and fakes out the dropkick into a Boston Crab.

Bushi comes in, Kanemaru lets Sho go. Kanemaru ducks the enziguri but is hit with the heel kick. Hiromu uses Kanemaru to tag back in, and whips Sho, but Sho reverses, so Hiromu uses that for his dropkick on Kanemaru. Sho runs Hiromu over, but Bushi kicks Sho. Bushi puts Sho in a corner and whips him corner to corner, but Sho puts him on the apron. Sho sweeps the legs and runs side to side, to blast Bushi with a basement dropkick. Hiromu rushes Sho but Sho spears him down! Sho crawls to his corner and tags in Yo. Yo dropkicks Hiromu, and again, but Bushi comes back. LIJ whip Yo but Yo reverses and sends them into each other. Yo dragon screws Bushi, then whips Hiromu, but Hiromu reverses to a back elbow.

Yo staggers, but rewinds on the rebound to run Hiromu over with forearms. Fans rally for RPG3K as Yo brings Hiromu up. Yo suplexes but Hiromu slips out, to kick Yo and whip him. Sho tags in while Yo reverses, and RPG3K give Hiromu a drop toehold to dropkick. RPG3K bring Hiromu up and suplex him onto Sho’s shoulder. Yo runs, and they combine for the slam and cutter. Kanemaru slips in and breaks the cover. Kanemaru kicks Yo, but Yo dumps Kanemaru out. Yo slingshots for the plancha and takes Kanemaru out. Sho deadlifts Hiromu and gives him the German Suplex. Sho holds on but has to let go as Bushi runs in. Bushi gets caught but fights back, yet Sho still gives him a German Suplex.

Sho fires up as he grabs Hiromu again. Hiromu fights and gets free, but Sho rocks him back. Sho runs, but into Hiromu’s SUPERKICK. Bushi adds the enziguri, then returns to his corner. Rocky rallies for Sho, but Bushi grabs him and puts him in the ring. Hiromu stomps away on Rocky! Sho shields his manager, so he just takes stomps for him. Hiromu drags Sho up and gives him a forearm. Hiromu runs, but into double knees from Sho & Yo! Yo takes out Bushi, then Sho feeds Hiromu to Yo’s back elbow. Hiromu staggers into Sho’s backstabber, which feeds Yo’s dropkick.

RPG3K fire up, and fans follow, but Kanemaru and Desperado rush in! Yo SUPERKICKS the beer out of Kanemaru’s mouth while Sho standing switches with Desperado. Hiromu SUPERKICKS Yo, then latches on to Sho. Bushi flies in, for a Sunset DOUBLE GERMAN!

Fans love it as LIJ stand tall. Hiromu pops Kanemaru up into a powerbomb, and Bushi keeps Yo out. Bushi runs, and DIVES into Yo! Then Hiromu brings Sho up, fireman’s carry, for the Time Bomb slam!

Cover, TWO!? Hiromu is shocked, but also smiling. He brings Sho up again, and rams Sho into a corner with a Death Valley Driver. Hiromu fires up and brings Sho up one more time. He swings Sho for an even strong Time Bomb slam! Cover, but Kanemaru yanks the referee out of the ring and right into barriers. Desperado clobbers Bushi with a belt, then drags Sho up as Kanemaru puts the ref back in the ring. Desperado double underhooks, and swings out for Pinche Loco!

Cover, Suzuki-Gun wins!

Winners: Suzuki-Gun (Desperado & Kanemaru), Desperado pinning; still IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Champions

More low down dirty tactics help Desperado & Kanemaru win. What will it take for these teams, or any team, to dethrone this devious duo?

 

The Golden Lovers VS Bullet Club’s Cody & Hangman Page!

Bullet Club is (not) fine, but you wouldn’t know it looking at these two teams. What started with a single Cross Rhodes to the Cleaner has escalated into a Bullet Club Civil War and a fight for leadership. Will Kenny Omega & Kota Ibushi keep on a roll? Or will #TeamCody finally get on the board?

Fans already chant for “Golden Lovers!” before the bell, which annoys Cody. Cody sees Kenny and Ibushi throw their shirts to the crowd, so wants to do the same. However, instead of throwing his shirt to a fan, he just throws it to Hangman. The teams sort themselves out, and Omega dares Cody to start. Cody takes Omega up on that challenge, and the bell rings. Fans rally for Omega as he circles with Cody. They tie up and push each other around, then break. They circle again, but Cody sucker punches at Ibushi. Ibushi avoids it, but Cody has to avoid Kenny now. Cody goes all the way out into the crowd, which the fans boo and jeer.

Omega waits for Cody, and Hangman helps Cody return to ringside. Cody slips into the ring, but then tags out to Hangman. Omega is disappointed, but Hangman gets his attention with some trash talk. They approach each other, but Hangman kicks low, then clubs Omega in the back. Hangman throws a haymaker, Omega gives it back, so Hangman puts on a headlock. Omega powers out but Hangman runs him over. Hangman runs, Omega keeps pace, but Hangman chops him. Hangman whips and Cody gets a cheap shot in. Omega swings on Cody, then dumps Hangman out onto him! Omega slingshots and takes them both out! He puts Hangman back in the ring, then fires the fans up. Omega climbs up top, then flies for a crossbody.

Tag to Ibushi, and Cody rushes in, only to get chops and haymakers. The Golden Lovers grab an arm each, and Cody knows what that’s for. Cody resists, and Hangman comes in to clobber Ibushi and Omega. Hangman chops Ibushi, then whips him, but Ibushi reverses. Things speed up as both Golden Lovers leap over Hangman. Ibushi gets a roundhouse in, then Omega adds the leap frog bulldog. Hangman rolls out of the ring, and Cody is on the other end. Omega fires the fans up, and he and Ibushi take their places. They call for it, and run corner to corner, but Cody and Hangman see the Cross Slash coming and intercept! They drag the Golden Lovers down, to then back suplex, but Ibushi slips out of his to huricanrana Hangman down!

Meanwhile, Cody grabs himself a chair and waits for Omega. Omega runs over, and Cody throws the chair into his face! Hangman runs Ibushi over on his end, and then regroups with Cody while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns, and Cody stomps away on Ibushi. He swiftly kicks Ibushi in the face, then grinds a knee into his chest. Cody brings Ibushi up for a right hand, then stomps in a corner. Cody tags Hangman, and Hangman grinds his boot into Ibushi’s face. Ibushi crawls for his corner but Hangman blocks his path. Hangman haymakers Ibushi, then grinds a forearm into Ibushi’s face at the ropes. He uses the ropes to hotshot Ibushi and tweak the arm. Cover, but Red Shoes already sees it’s a ropebreak. Hangman tags in to Cody, and Cody drops the ax handle. Cody stomps Ibushi more, then goes after that arm. He even bites the fingers! Cody grimaces as he puts Ibushi in a headlock. Cody punches Ibushi out of the headlock, then tags Hangman back in. He holds Ibushi down for Hangman to stomp.

Hangman toys with Ibushi, but that only riles Ibushi up. Ibushi throws punches, Hangman throws in a knee. Hangman whips but Ibushi reverses, only for Hangman to catch him into a fireman’s carry. Ibushi fights his way out, shoves and dropkicks Hangman down. Ibushi hot tags Omega, and Omega rallies on Hangman. Cody climbs up and leaps, but Omega gets him with a body shot. Omega clobbers Hangman with a spinning double ax handle, then covers, TWO. Fans rally for Omega as he brings Hangman up to the fireman’s carry. “You Can’t Escape!” Rolling senton, but Cody intercepts Omega as he climbs. Hangman climbs up, and brings Omega down with a SUPER neckbreaker! Cover, TWO!

Hangman tags Cody, and Cody taunts fans before throwing hands. Cody punches Omega, then gives him a little kiss on the forehead before stomping in a mudhole. Omega fights back, but Cody keeps him grounded. Cody brings Omega up for an arm wrench, and a shoulder breaker. He brings Omega over and tags in Hangman, and Hangman kicks Omega in the ribs. Hangman deadlift pumphandles Omega for the Fall Away bridge. TWO, so Hangman tags back to Cody. Cody sits Omega up for stomps, then snapmares him for a kick. He puts Omega in a butterfly stretch, going after neck and shoulders. Omega reaches and flails, and gets the ropebreak.

Cody throws Omega out of the ring, then follows out to fetch a table from under the ring. Hangman helps, but Omega fights his way out. Omega tries to suplex but Cody blocks while going for his own suplex. Omega wins the suplex war and throws Cody down on the ground. He fires himself back up but Hangman is there, and he scoop slams Omega on the folded table! Then Ibushi comes in, only to get scoop slammed, too! Hangman looms over them both, then stands the table up. The dent Omega’s and Ibushi’s bodies made is visible as Hangman brings Omega back up. Hangman sets Omega up on the table while Cody climbs high. But it’s at this moment that The Young Bucks appear. They want to know what Cody’s thinking.

Cody argues with them, but Omega slips off the table in that time. Matt & Nick Jackson still talk with Cody, but refuse to shake his hand. Cody goes back to Omega, and puts him in the ring. He tags in, and goes after Omega with a kick. Omega hits back with haymakers and chops, then whips, but Cody reverses. Omega dodges but Hangman gets in a cheap shot now. Cody hits the dropping uppercut, then runs, but Ibushi gives a cheap shot. Omega drops Cody with a kick, that busts Cody open! Both men crawl for their corners, but Hangman just skips the tag to tag out Ibushi. Hangman powers Omega to his corner and gives chops and shoulders.

Cody stands up and runs but into boots. Omega fights out and over, tag to Ibushi! Ibushi springboards to missile dropkick Cody. He hits Hangman for good measure, then whips Cody corner to corner. Cody reverses but Ibushi gets him with a huricanrana. Ibushi kicks Cody in the chest, then catches his breath while Omega comes in. Omega carries Cody, “You Can’t Escape!” Senton, shooting star, and consecutive moonsaults! Double cover, TWO. Cody’s face is a crimson mask while Ibushi kicks Hangman back out. Fans chant for the Golden Lovers as they push Cody out of the ring. Omega and Ibushi take positions again, and this time hit Cross Slash!

Fans fire up with Omega & Ibushi while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns to Omega putting Cody in the ring. Ibushi joins them, and fires off a strike fest. Omega lifts Cody, and uses a powerbomb to feed Cody to Ibushi’s German Suplex! The Golden Lovers see Hangman come in and throw him back out, then return to Cody. Omega and Ibushi position Cody, and climb up together. They take aim together, but Hangman runs in again. Hangman gets kicks for his trouble, but he’s saved Cody. Cody gets clear of the double springboard missile dropkicks, then throws Omega out. Ibushi gets a waistlock but Cody elbows him away. Cody throws Ibushi with an X-Plex, then covers, TWO.

Fans rally for Ibushi, but Cody tags in Hangman. Hangman stalks Ibushi, and brings him up. Ibushi fights off Hangman and Cody, sending Cody out. He boots Hangman away, but Hangman catches Ibushi into a fireman’s carry. Omega returns, but Hangman sees him coming. Hangman kicks Omega and dumps Ibushi, to then use Omega for the dropsault! TWO, and Hangman grows frustrated. He drags Ibushi and signals the end. He lifts Ibushi up, but Ibushi fights back. Ibushi lifts Hangman up but Hangman slips out, and Cody comes in to give Ibushi a Hammerlock DDT! But Omega has Cody in his sights, and hits a V-Trigger! Hangman swings but misses, and Omega throws him with a snap dragon suplex! Omega fires up, and aims at Hangman, “BANG!” He runs but into the powerslam from Cody!

Ibushi kicks Cody, then standing moonsault, but onto knees! Hangman hurries to German Suplex Ibushi, with the bridge, TWO! Everyone is down from exhaustion, but Hangman gets up and tags Cody in. Cody goes over to a corner and climbs while Hangman brings Ibushi up. Omega stops Cody, but Cody pushes him away. Ibushi throws Hangman out then PELE kick to Cody! Omega sees the table, and grabs Cody. Omega brings Cody over in Electric Chair position, but Cody fights his way out of that. But then Ibushi hops up to try and German Suplex Cody! Cody holds on to Omega, and then Hangman grabs Ibushi. Cody dumps Omega and aims at Ibushi, for a springboard missile dropkick Doomsday! Cover, TWO!!

Cody glares through his own blood, then signals to Hangman. Cody hits Omega with the Beautiful Disaster, but Omega holds on. Hangman boots Omega down, to fall through the table!!

Omega is wrecked through the hard wood, and bleeds from a cut on his back. Hangman signals the end, slingshot, but Ibushi dodges Buck Shot to DOUBLE PELE! Ibushi goes after Cody, sit-out powerbomb! TWO!? Fans rally and Ibushi stands up. He drags Cody back up, holding both arms, but Cody dodges Kamigoye. Cody wants Cross Rhodes but Ibushi fights back with knees to the head. Cody grabs that leg and uses it to suplex Ibushi over, but Ibushi lands on his feet to German Suplex Cody down! Ibushi fires up, brings the knee pad down, and sits Cody up again. Hangman grabs that leg to anchor Ibushi, then Cody rolls Ibushi with tights held! Bullet Club steals the win!!

Winners: Bullet Club (Cody & Hangman), Cody pinning

The American Nightmare gets the better of Golden Lovers and finally gets a win in this Civil War. Ibushi goes for revenge, but Hangman clobbers him down. Hangman stomps away on Ibushi, then Cody drags Ibushi up while Omega can only watch. Bullet Club mugs Ibushi with haymakers, but that’s not enough for Cody. Cody brings in a chair! Omega manages to stop Cody before he strikes, then goes after Cody with that chair. He swings on Cody and Hangman but they both get away. Omega checks on his friend while Cody and Hangman retreat. The fans are on the Golden Lovers’ side, even after they lost. This Bullet Club Civil War is far from over. Which side will be left standing at the end?

 

Backstage interviews.

The Golden Lovers have to sit down, their bodies are aching. Omega apologizes for not being much help at the end. He can’t believe the lost like that. “Everyone was counting on us to win.” Omega apologizes, but this won’t be the end for them. They’re back in sync, and will work harder to win next time.

As for Cody, he asks the room, “Do you know what being a wrestler is?” The definition is all kinds of screwed up. Some people thing it’s “bullshit chain-wrestling”, hold to hold. That’s not it. Wrestling is everything. Wrestling is bloody, like what Cody has on his face. Cody just gave his blood for Bullet Club. He designed new logos for the Bullet Club. “Why the Hell am I the bad guy in this narrative!?” Hangman agrees. The blood and sweat coming from Cody, “that’s leadership.” Cody is the leader, Kenny is a fool. Will Hangman’s words remain true the next time these forces collide?


And finally, NJPW and AXS set the stage for Part 3!

This main event match of Sakura Genesis 2018 is all about The Rainmaker defending his title against the 2018 New Japan Cup winner! Kazuchika Okada has reigned as champion for a historic 651 days, and has defended that title 10 times. With a win here, he would tie the record set by The Ace, Hiroshi Tanahashi. However, Suzuki-Gun’s Technical Wizard won the cup by going through Tetsuya Naito, Kota Ibushi, Sanada, and Tanahashi himself, all with submission based victories.

With the right to challenge a top champion, Mr. ZSJ is going right for the very top! Will Okada move towards history with an 11th successful defense? Or will the Submission Master make his own by being only the second man ever to make Okada #JustTapOut?

 

IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada w/ Gedo VS Zack Sabre Jr w/ Taka Michinoku!

As always, Taka Michinoku asks the crowd questions. “IWGP Heavyweight Championship, Kazuchika Okada VS Zack Sabre Jr. Who’s going to win?!” It’ll be the man who can get anyone anywhere with any lock. The man who used unlimited holds to defeat Naito, Ibushi, Sanada and Tanahashi, and take the New Japan Cup. The Man who will FORCE Okada to tap. When Zack catches you in a submission, #JustTapOut! He is the Submission Master, he is ZSJ, he WILL be IWGP Heavyweight Champion, he is Zack Sabre Jr! So then, Okada, “C’mon over here!” After some clean up of the Okada dollars, Red Shoes does his check while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns with a ring of the bell. Fans are already thunderous as ZSJ and Okada circle. They slowly approach, then back off. They tie up, and Okada brings ZSJ down, but ZSJ slips out and around. ZSJ goes for a number of facelocks, then rolls Okada around. ZSJ shifts to legs but Okada grabs at him, so ZSJ goes after the arm. He puts Okada on his back with a headlock, and traps an arm. Okada endures, and uses a headscissors to counters. ZSJ slips out easily and casually walks it off. Okada and ZSJ circle again while fans rally. They tie up, Okada drops to get the wristlock, but ZSJ grabs at the chin. ZSJ bends and brings Okada around but Okada gets the wristlock. ZSJ rolls and escapes, and they again circle. Okada keeps his guard up, but ZSJ still gets the headlock.

ZSJ shifts and traps on arm, then chinbars before going for the other arm. He has a modified abdominal stretch, then shifts to ghost pin, ONE but ZSJ keeps hold of Okada’s arms. ZSJ floats and rolls to another cover, TWO, and it’s a stand off. Okada and ZSJ reset and circle again while fans rally. They tie up, and push shoulder to shoulder. Okada bends ZSJ back with superior strength, but ZSJ bridges to avoid the cover. Okada sweeps the legs but ZSJ bridges again. Another sweep and another bridge, and ZSJ spins around to a wristlock. ZSJ wrenches the arm, but Okada rolls and trips ZSJ up. Okada goes after the leg with a shinlock, but ZSJ puts a facelock on Okada. Okada steps over on the toehold, but ZSJ hooks a leg around. ZSJ brings Okada around for an armbar, but Okada clasps hands.

ZSJ works to pry those hands apart, but Okada rolls him to a cover. ONE, and ZSJ lets go. They both spring up, and fans applaud this stand-off. The two circle again, tie up, and ZSJ brings Okada into a cravat. ZSJ wrenches the neck, but Okada reverses. ZSJ reverses back to the cravat, and brings Okada to his knees. Okada endures, goes to break free, but ZSJ sees it coming and manages to get the cravat back on. Okada arm-drags but ZSJ holds on, so Okada tries a scoop slam. ZSJ counters with a cravat takedown, but Okada gets back to his feet. They go against the ropes, so ZSJ has to let go. He doesn’t break clean as he digs elbows into Okada’s neck.

Okada ties ZSJ up in the ropes, and looks to chop ZSJ, but instead gives ZSJ a pat on the shoulder and head. ZSJ grabs that hand and makes Okada regret that. He goes to stomp the hammerlock but Okada gets clear. Okada drop toeholds ZSJ into a modified STF and surfboard combo!

ZSJ finds himself in a rare situation of being stuck in a submission. Okada shifts around, and goes from that hold to the Cloverleaf! ZSJ resists the turn over and grabs a leg. He gets a heel hook, and wrenches it deep. Okada endures as ZSJ twists and twists, but then rolls his way out the hold and to a waistlock. ZSJ stands up but Okada brings him back down. Okada loops himself around, and brings ZSJ into a trapped-leg calf killer! ZSJ endures the hold, and rolls back to chinbar Okada into the trapped-arm armlock. Okada rolls that around to a cover, TWO as ZSJ has to let go. ZSJ backs of but fans applaud while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns again as Okada and ZSJ catch their breaths. Okada and ZSJ circle again, getting pointers from their corner men. They tie up, forehead to forehead, and Okada gets wrist control. He brings ZSJ to his knees, but ZSJ stands up and rolls back to reverse the pressure. ZSJ brings Okada to his knees now, but Okada powers ZSJ over. Okada grabs a leg and wrenches the ankle, but ZSJ rolls and pries his way out to get a headlock. ZSJ gets the takeover but Okada counters with headscissors. ZSJ moves around and pops out to go after Okada’s ankle again. Okada endures the wrenching while fans rally. Okada works his way up and out but ZSJ catches him into a Bow ‘n’ Arrow stretch. ZSJ pulls back but Okada pops out to a cover, ONE, and Okada rocks ZSJ with a running European Uppercut!

Michinoku coaches ZSJ up but Okada is upon him. Okada whips but ZSJ comes back to catch him in an abdominal stretch. Okada hip tosses out, and brings ZSJ back up in a cobra clutch. ZSJ slips around to a hammerlock. Okada reverses to the cobra clutch, but ZSJ again counters to a top wristlock. Okada reverses but ZSJ reverses again, to the abdominal stretch. ZSJ has the cobra twist variant, then adds a chinbar, then a half straitjacket. Okada falls to his knees but also to the ropebreak. ZSJ lets him go, rather annoyed by this. ZSJ walks around, then toys with Okada, kicking his arm. He brings Okada up for a EuroUpper of his own, then another.

ZSJ brings Okada out and digs knuckles into the neck. He brings Okada down for a half crab, and leans way back before stomping the back of the leg. ZSJ walks around again while Okada clutches his leg. ZSJ comes back for the toehold, then goes after the other leg with a heel hook. Okada endures, but ZSJ shifts to a standing step-over, and uses his own legs to TWIST Okada’s! ZSJ casually walks around while Okada writhes in pain. ZSJ toys with Okada again, but Okada hits back with forearms and elbows. Okada stands and hits another elbow, but ZSJ hits back with another EuroUpper. ZSJ runs, and catches Okada’s dropkick into the STF! He bends Okada sideways with it, but Okada endures.

Okada crawls for ropes but ZSJ traps an arm. Gedo shouts for Okada, and Okada keeps trying, but ZSJ traps him into an inverted triangle hold! Okada keeps reaching, and ZSJ can’t get a leg into the hold before the ropebreak. ZSJ has to let go, and Gedo rallies the fans behind Okada. Okada stirs, but ZSJ toys with him again. Okada dares ZSJ to hit him, so ZSJ does, with a EuroUpper. ZSJ gives another, but Okada stays up. They both stand up, and ZSJ gives another EuroUpper, but Okada boots him back. Okada throws forearms, then a EuroUpper of his won, but ZSJ gives a EuroUpper back. ZSJ whips but Okada reverses, only to run into ZSJ’s back elbow. ZSJ runs out but into a flapjack! Both men are down while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns again as fans rally for Okada and ZSJ. Both men slowly sit up, with their corner men leading the charge. They stand, and Okada rallies on ZSJ. Okada whips, ZSJ reverses, but Okada blows past him. ZSJ dodges Okada, but runs into a boot! He goes down while Okada catches his breath. Okada takes aim from across the way, runs in for the back elbow, then kicks and hits a DDT. ZSJ goes to the apron, but Okada is on him. Okada thrusts a shoulder out but ZSJ catches him into a draping Octopus! Red Shoes calls for the break, and ZSJ lets go at 4. ZSJ drags Okada back up, but Okada rocks him with a forearm. Okada goes to suplex, but ZSJ counters with a wristlock. ZSJ makes Okada hit himself, but then Okada hits ZSJ with his free arm!

Okada boots ZSJ off the apron and down to the floor. Then he goes out to fetch ZSJ, and brings ZSJ around to whip him into barriers, then boot him over them. Okada has people clear out, and he FLIES over the barriers to bowl ZSJ over into chairs! Fans fire up for Okada while he stands over ZSJ. He drags ZSJ up as the ring count begins. They return at 9, and Okada stalks ZSJ at the ropes. He whips ZSJ, then picks him up for a spinebuster. Okada jackknifes and rolls through, but ZSJ uses that to get his Octopus! ZSJ brings Okada to the mat for another take on the triangle hold. Okada endures as ZSJ goes after the wrist and fingers. Okada crawls but ZSJ knows to get a leg this time. ZSJ puts one leg in a stretch muffler, while maintaining the figure four facelock.

Okada reaches blindly, and manages a ropebreak. ZSJ lets go, growing annoyed. Michinoku coaches him up and ZSJ stomps the hammerlock. ZSJ digs elbows and knuckles in here and there, then sits on the hammerlock, to then TWIST it. Gedo coaches Okada up, but ZSJ stands on that arm and then Okada’s face. ZSJ drags Okada up, and gives him a EuroUpper. ZSJ runs corner to corner, but Okada gets clear. Okada hoists ZSJ up but ZSJ kicks him away. ZSJ jumps, and grabs Okada in a guillotine! Okada powers his way out, but ZSJ just climbs around to a backpack sleeper hold. ZSJ climbs around again, and back to the guillotine, and adds the hammerlock. Okada powers out, and hits the reverse neckbreaker!

Both men fall but fans fire up. Okada stands and scoop slams ZSJ, but those arms slow him down as he goes to a corner. He climbs up, jumps, but ZSJ catches the elbow into an armbar! Okada rolls it but ZSJ rolls more, but Okada manages a ropebreak before ZSJ can finish the Disarmer. ZSJ is exasperated, but he does get up first. He kicks Okada, but Gedo and the fans rally. Okada hits back, but those arms are aching. ZSJ wants Okada to hit him more, then hits back. Okada hits ZSJ, then ZSJ hits Okada. ZSJ throws EuroUpper after EuroUpper, but Okada doesn’t flinch. Okada fires off forearms, then a boot, but ZSJ blocks that and retaliates with another EuroUpper. Okada staggers but comes back out with a blasting dropkick!

Both men are down again, but fans rally once more. Okada and ZSJ stir, and both Gedo and Michinoku coach up their man. Okada runs in but into a EuroUpper. ZSJ runs, but into the fireman’s carry. ZSJ slips out and goes for the Fujiwara, but Okada rolls, only for ZSJ to gives another EuroUpper. Zack tries another EuroUpper but Okada counters to a backslide. ZSJ slides off that, then blocks the Rainmaker into a kimura. Okada fights that but then ZSJ kicks the arm, and then a Pele. Okada still dropkicks ZSJ in the back, then whips ZSJ to dropkick him down from the front. Fans fire up, and Okada hits a Tombstone! Okada calls for the finish, but ZSJ grabs an arm! ZSJ brings Okada down into the hammerlock, then the other arm for the stretch! Okada endures, resists, and rolls out, to wring out.

ZSJ ducks the Rainmaker and flips Okada with the double wristlock, for the European Clutch! TWO!! And ZSJ is stunned! Okada gets the Tombstone position, but ZSJ slips out again. ZSJ uses a double leg takedown and underhook to roll Okada for another EuroClutch, TWO!! Penalty Kick! We go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns once more to thunderous fans. Michinoku coaches up ZSJ while Gedo coaches up Okada. ZSJ goes after Okada’s arm with headbutts, then gives Okada a forearm. Okada gives a forearm back, but ZSJ kicks that bad arm. Okada sits up, and now they both kick each other in the chest. They kick and kick, then ZSJ SLAPS Okada. ZSJ brings Okada up for a smack to the head, then runs, but Okada dropkicks him down! Okada drags ZSJ up, wristlock wring out, but ZSJ counters with an armbar takedown! ZSJ wants the Article 50 cross armbreaker, but Okada resists with clasped hands. Okada reaches but ZSJ gets extension. Okada tries to redo his hands but ZSJ reels him into a triangle hold. ZSJ binds Okada, but Okada endures.

Okada stands up, and deadlifts ZSJ, but the torture on that arm bring Okada back down. Red Shoes asks Okada how he feels, but Okada endures. Fans keep rallying while Okada fades, but Okada gets a second wind! Okada deadlifts ZSJ, but ZSJ lets go, only to take a lariat! Both men go down, and fans keep cheering. Okada sits up, still holding onto ZSJ’s wrist. He brings ZSJ up, for another lariat. Gedo is feeling it as Okada brings ZSJ up. Okada wrings him out, but ZSJ ducks and waistlock to the Octopus! ZSJ bends and stretches Okada all over, and wants both arms to complete his Hypernormalisation, but Okada resists! Okada pops out, flips ZSJ around, JUMPING Tombstone! But that’s not all, Okada wrings ZSJ out for THE Rainmaker!!

Cover, Okada wins!

Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall; still IWGP Heavyweight Champion

He has done it! Okada has tied Tanahashi’s record for defenses in a single reign! Okada has won his 11th title defense match, but it took so much out of him. Gedo and Michinoku both check on their man, with ice packs and medical attention. The challenger leaves the ring, and the champion has his hand raised.

Gedo speaks.

“Oi, I have one thing to say.” Zack Sabre Jr CAN’T make the Rainmaker tap out. Wanna know why? “He’s on a whole ‘nother level!” That felt good to say. Okada has tied the record for defenses. There’s a new record in sight, but just one problem. He has no one to fight! Even though they have no chance of winning, Gedo wonders if there’s anyone who wants to stop Okada from setting a record. Is there? Fans want to see if there is, too. Fans suggest Tanahashi himself! Okada takes the mic to say he has three things to say, but then Tanahashi appears!

The Ace is here in person, and he steps into the ring. He takes the mic while fans chant “Go Ace!” Tanahashi tells Okada that he did a good job. And congratulations on tying the record for title defenses. “It’s taken me a long time, but I am finally back, face-to-face with you.” Tanahashi thanks the fans for their support. But you see, “you can search around the globe, and the next challenger…” Sorry, he messed up, let him start over. You could search around the world and not find a challenger, besides Tanahashi! The tables have turned, because this time, Tanahashi breaks Okada’s streak. The Ace lets the champ have the ring, and the match is made.

Okada speaks, “I wanna say three things.” First, Zack Sabre Jr’s holds really were on a different level. And facing ZSJ made him even stronger. Second, what’s Tanahashi been up to? He got hurt, came back, repeat, lose a title and be only runner-up in New Japan Cup. How lame. Okada won’t bother calling him Tanahashi, he’s OLD Tanahashi. Third, there’s actually a third. This win today ties Old Tanahashi’s record of consecutive defense victories, and he’s grateful for that. NOT. Because now he will beat Tanahashi to make it 12! Then 13, 14, 15, all the way to 100. Okada will be the 100-victories IWGP Champion. He knows he sounds hasty, but he vows that “as the greatest champion” of NJPW, Okada will make it rain. He defends titles, sets records, and makes it rain! The Rainmaker lets the golden streamers flow, will he truly be NJPW’s Mr. 100?

 

Backstage interviews.

ZSJ admits Okada is really strong. Okada is the best, for now. But ZSJ vows to win the G-1 and then beat Okada, because he is the best wrestler in the world. He swears it.

Okada speaks on Tanahashi accepting the challenge, saying “It’s fine by me.” He hasn’t had a match with Tanahashi so far in this title run, so it makes sense to have it be them. They’re both tied at 11, not that the number is important. But if the number is what motivates Tanahashi, then Okada will accept. But who was it that stopped Tanahashi? Hint: the Rainmaker. So we already know how this ends. In order to see if he’s worthy of setting the record, Okada must get through the man that preceded him. Can Okada use The Ace as a stepping stone? Or will Tanahashi become a record eight time champion?

 


 

My Thoughts:

Three hours of NJPW in a row like that, a great move for AXS. This wasn’t every match on the Sakura Genesis card but it was all the best ones. We only saw part of that Six Man Tag, but it was really good and really builds onto this story of Suzuki-Gun VS LIJ. Killer Elite Squad is making a move for those IWGP Heavyweight Tag titles that EVIL & SANADA hold, and their match-up could go either way. Naito VS Suzuki is great just on story, given the clashing personalities. Ospreay VS Scurll, aka RIP Ospreay Part 1 given that Spanish Fly apron spot, was great. Great story for Ospreay to finally win, and he’s clearly working on getting through all his rivals and all the best Juniors 1v1 to boost the status of the division.

Part 2 having two full matches is great, we get everything that the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Triple Threat had, which still had Suzuki-Gun winning. If there was another talented Jr. Tag Team around, they could go up to Fatal 4, but there isn’t one so it’ll have to be about who gets Desperado & Kanemaru all to themselves. Golden Lovers VS Cody & Hangman was great, with plenty of story behind it and happening in the match itself. Familiarity between them all helped, and I was surprised that Cody-Hangman won, but not how. Cody gets meta, saying he doesn’t know why he’s the Heel in this, yet he does the Heel things, which just proves why he’s a genius Heel.

Part 3, just the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, is all you really need. Okada and ZSJ, with Michinoku and Gedo ringside, was amazing. The corner men do their part in adding story with their coaching and reactions. Okada surprisingly keeps pace with ZSJ in submission and technical wrestling, but as I had figured with New Japan Cup, the secret to Okada winning this was using his strength and strikes. The Rainmaker’s namesake is booked so strong, but Okada still used three of them anyway to be fair. ZSJ is still a star, and will still be a the top one day. Then setting up Okada VS Tanahashi, that’s going to be incredible, too, and quite possibly establish Okada as the best ever for NJPW.

My Score: 8.5/10 (part 1), 8.5/10 (part 2), 9/10 (part 3); overall: 9/10


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Mitchell’s WWE NXT Results & Report! (2/24/21)

We will learn #WhyColeWhy!

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Will Santos Escobar be stripped of the NXT Cruiserweight Championship?

NXT Cruiserweight, Santos Escobar, must face his doom! Karrion Kross and Escobar battle in a NO DISQUALIFICATION match! That is, if Escobar shows up!

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Dexter Lumis VS Johnny Gargano w/ The Way; Lumis wins.
  • Tyler Rust w/ Malcolm Bivens VS Leon Ruff; No Contest.
  • Io Shirai VS Zoey Stark; Shirai wins.
  • Xia Li w/ Tian Sha VS Kacy Catanzaro w/ Kayden Carter; Xia wins, by referee stoppage.
  • Grizzled Young Veterans VS Killian Dain & Drake Maverick; Grizzled Young Veterans win.
  • No Disqualification: Santos Escobar w/ El Legado del Fantasma VS Karrion Kross w/ Scarlett Bordeaux; Kross wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Dexter Lumis VS Johnny Gargano w/ The Way!

The Tortured Artist snatched Austin Theory away just as Johnny Freakin’ TakeOver was about to take on Kushida on Vengeance Day! But then surprisingly, Lumis gave Theory back without much of a fight. Will Johnny Gargano make sure Lumis doesn’t get away with that unpunished?

Speaking of, The Way pumps up back stage with “That’s The Way we uh-huh, uh-huh, we like it!” Theory says that should be a song! Um… Is Theory okay? Yes, of course! Well alright, but he doesn’t have to push himself if he doesn’t want to. Theory says he’s fine, Indi keeps her eyes on Theory as they all make their way out to the ring. And they make sure Theory stays away from Lumis. The no-look high-five doesn’t really work out this time, but that’s something minor. Will the North American Champion come away with a win over Lumis tonight?

The fans taunt Gargano with “Johnny Sucks!” as the bell rings. Lumis stares Gargano down but Gargano is unsettled by the fans cheering Lumis on. Gargano tries the “what’s that?!” trick but Lumis doesn’t even look away as Gargano rushes in! Lumis shows fist, Gargano falls over and scrambles away! Lumis slithers after him and that creeps Gargano out more! Gargano bails of the ring, Lumis slides to the apron but Gargano hammers away on him! Gargano gets back in, slingshots but into an UPPERCUT! Lumis stares at Theory, Theory gets antsy, Lumis builds speed but Gargano slingshots in! Lumis slides under and Gargano’s spear FLOPS! Lumis then goes under the ring?!

Gargano looks for Lumis and The Way look for him, too. Theory says he’s found Lumis! He’s behind Gargano! What?! Gargano turns around into Lumis’ UPPERCUT! And another! Lumis ROCKS Gargano with haymakers, then throws body shots in the corner! Lumis whips Gargano corner to corner, runs in but Gargano boots him away! Gargano runs, but into the THESZ PRESS! Lumis rains down fists, runs and drops an ax handle! Cover, ONE! Fans rally and duel, Lumis reels Gargano in but he stares at Theory. Lumis suplexes and holds Gargano up for a count of 10, even as Gargano kicks and flails! Gargano can’t escape, Lumis SLAMS him down!

Gargano rolls away and regroups with The Way, but Lumis keeps his eyes locked on Gargano. Lumis goes out after Gargano but Gargano RAMS him into the apron! Gargano throws Lumis down on the ramp, then rains down left hands! The ref starts the ring count, Gargano refreshes it, and Gargano “apologizes” to the ref. Gargano lines up a shot, but Lumis ducks the Penalty Kick to kip up and TOSS Gargano into the apron! Fans fire up, Lumis drags Gargano up and ROCKS him with another uppercut! Lumis whips Gargano into the ring, but The Way lurks close! Theory says he was just trying to call Indi over, and Indi rushes up on Lumis, only for Lumis to stare her down!

Indi has a nervous smile as she backs away into a post, and nervously says, “Call me.” LeRae steps up, leaps, but the rana is blocked! Lumis pops Candice to the apron, but Gargano baseball slides under her to hit Lumis! Gargano builds speed and DIVES! Direct hit and Lumis goes down as NXT goes picture in picture!

Gargano takes his time checking his chin while Lumis is down. The ref wants this to get back in the ring, Gargano checks with Theory but Theory says it worked out, didn’t it? Gargano bumps Lumis off the apron, CHOPS him, then CHOPS him again! Gargano puts Lumis back in, aims but Lumis ROCKS him with a haymaker! Gargano still SLINGSHOT SPEARS in! Gargano fires off fists, storms around the ring, then brings Lumis up for haymakers. Candice snaps at Indi to get her to pay attention. Does the Way have to worry about both kids now? Gargano climbs up in the corner to rain down more fists on Lumis’ head!

Lumis keeps fighting Gargano so Gargano snapmares him and basement dropkicks him in the back! Cover, TWO! Lumis gets to ropes, Gargano chokes him! The ref counts, Gargano lets off at 4, and Lumis drags himself up. Gargano is on Lumis but Lumis throws forearms back! Lumis backs Gargano down to a corner, stomps away (I swear I’ll stop), but Gargano turns it around to fire off forearms in return! The ref counts, Gargano stops at 4, and pushes Lumis around. Gargano clubs Lumis on the back, brings him up and hits a Russian Leg Sweep! Cover, TWO! Gargano grows annoyed and he drags Lumis up to put back on ropes for choking!

The ref counts, Gargano backs off (see? no way pun!), and The Way taunts Lumis up close. Gargano brings Lumis up, scoops him and slams him! Cover, TWO! Gargano gets the arm, drags Lumis around and reels him into a Camel Clutch! Lumis endures, NXT returns to single picture, and again Candice has to snap Indi out of whatever trance she’s in. Lumis still endures as fans rally, and Lumis fights up. Gargano tries to hold on with a sleeper hold, but Lumis RAMS Gargano into buckles! Lumis is free but Gargano hops right back on! Gargano elbows Lumis, hooks him up, but Lumis powers out to a BACKBREAKER!

Fans fire up, Lumis and Gargano stagger up, and Gargano walks into a BIG right hand! Lumis rallies with haymakers and uppercuts! Gargano is in a corner, Lumis runs in and clotheslines, to a BULLDOG! Lumis suplexes Gargano to rebound him off the ropes! Gargano staggers up into a BIG back suplex! Lumis kips up and drops a LEG! Cover, TWO!! Gargano survives and Candice is frustrated. Indi and Theory are the only ones not upset about this as Lumis hauls Gargano up. Gargano slips out of the scoop, ends up in a corner, and goes up and over Lumis to school boy! Lumis ducks the kick and stares down Gargano! Gargano gets the arm!

Johnny almost has GargaNO Escape, only for Lumis to roll over into the SILENCE!! Gargano scrambles around, ghost pins, TWO! Lumis sits up into a BUZZSAW! Gargano runs, into an UPPERCUT! Gargano rebounds, spins, but into a SPINEBUSTER! Lumis covers, TWO!! Gargano’s Wolverine-esque superhuman heart helps him survive! Lumis goes to a corner and climbs up and The Way moves away. Gargano runs in, Lumis punches him back, and Gargano falls to a drop zone! Lumis leaps, but he has to roll out of his double stomps as Gargano moves! Gargano kicks but Lumis gets under to get the clinch!

Gargano elbows out of that, runs, but into a pop-up UPPERCUT! Gargano SUPERKICKS on the rebound! Cover, TWO!! Lumis shocks Gargano with that and fans rally up! Candice distracts, Gargano tells the kids to get something for him. Theory goes to get a chair and he brings it over. Theory slides it in but Lumis stomps the chair down! The ref sees this and reprimands Gargano. Lumis uppercuts Gargano, Gargano ENZIGURIS! Gargano fakes his knee jamming, and he signals to Theory! Candice coaches Theory through getting on the apron and aiming at Lumis! Theory hesitates, Lumis stares Theory down, and Theory says, “My bad!”

Theory tries to explain, Gargano runs in, Lumis dodges and Gargano DECKS Theory!! Lumis drags Gargano into the URENAGE, and THE SILENCE!!! Gargano flails, reaches, fades, he is OUT! Lumis wins!!

Winner: Dexter Lumis, by submission

Lumis pats Gargano’s head, and Candice reprimands Theory! The Way couldn’t stay out of their own way, and now Lumis has a win over the North American Champion! Between Theory thinking of Lumis as a buddy, and Indi oddly infatuated, is Lumis going to cause The Way to go by the wayside?

 

William Regal waits for Santos Escobar.

If El Legado doesn’t arrive, Escobar will be STRIPPED of the NXT Cruiserweight Championship! Will Regal have to pull the trigger on his ultimatum?

 

NXT shares exclusive footage and interviews with MSK.

Wes Lee and Nash Carter look back on the night they won the 2021 Men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. Lee had a strange calm come over him, but Carter was so nervous. “It was one of those moments where everything you’ve every done flashes in your head.” From opponents to tag partners and best friends, these two have put in the grind for years. They’re the same two kids from Dayton, Ohio as they always have been. And to get the win, they were so emotional, crying happy tears. Everything they’ve worked for paid off. Finally, being here, establishing themselves as a force in the Tag Division, and all the praise and congratulations from family and friends, it made that worth it, too.

The reason Carter got into wrestling was his dad. They’d watch Raw every week on Monday. But when Carter was a freshman in high school, his dad passed. It only ignited Carter’s passion for the business even more. He said he’d be in the WWE one day, and this is the first time in a long time that he felt his dad’s pride and admiration. “The Legacy Lives On” is tattooed on Carter’s chest, and this feeling will be unforgettable for them both. Their names are etched forever on the plaque, but this is only the beginning. They’ve been hungry, they’re ready to eat! That’s why these two are the #MustSeeKids!

 

Backstage interview with MSK!

Next week, Lee & Carter get to cash in their NXT Tag Team Championship opportunity, as they earned from winning the Dusty Cup. But then GRIZZLED YOUNG VETERANS jump them!! James Drake punches away on Carter’s head while Zack Gibson puts Lee’s arm in a chair like a vice!! Referees rush in to get GYV to stop, and Lee clutches his hand! Did GYV just sideline MSK and delay their title shot?

 

Tyler Rust w/ Malcolm Bivens VS Leon Ruff!

Bivens Enterprise’s #DiamondintheRust took Kushida to the limit, but was about to be broken if not for Bivens throwing in the towel, so to speak. However, Bivens made sure to personally arrange this match for Rust, asking Ruff right after he was medically cleared for the damage done by Isaiah “Swerve” Scott. Bivens has a mic now to say, “Success is taking advantage of every key opportunity that is put forth in front of you!” And when it comes to success, you think about Ruff!

But when Bivens thinks of Ruff, he just thinks of “the son that I didn’t have, and never wanted.” Ruff, you hold a very special place in Biven’s heart, and has a special opportunity tonight! He will go 1v1 with Rust! And Rust will prove to us why he IS the diamond in the Rust! Will the former North American Champion simply be used to sharpen Rust’s edge?

Wait, as Ruff makes his entrance, SWERVE BOOTS Ruff off the apron!! Swerve goes after Ruff with clubbing forearms, still upset about Ruff getting opportunities handed to him! Swerve slams Ruff into the announce desk and vents to commentary. “Swerve is gonna start getting opportunities, and less hand-outs for this guy right here!” Swerve fireman’s carries Ruff to DEATH VALLEY DRIVE him into the apron!! The ref tells Swerve to leave but Swerve says he told Ruff this wouldn’t be that easy! Swerve does leave, and he might have just done Bivens another favor! Bivens claims Rust wins by forfeit, but will NXT management really count it that way?

No Contest

 

NXT shares footage from the WWE Performance Center.

It was yesterday that William Regal was talking with one of the newest signees, Zoey Stark, about an “opportunity” that was presented. He offered Stark a non-title match with NXT Women’s Champion, Io Shirai. Stark isn’t sure she heard that right, but Regal says after her great debut, there’s no one better he’d like to see face Shirai than Stark. Stark accepts that, how could she not?

Backstage interview with Zoey Stark!

We’re just moments away from only her second singles match in NXT and it is with THE NXT Women’s Champion. How is she feeling? Stark has so many emotions, her heart is pounding, but she is ready to get out there. But then she gets cut-off by technical difficulties! Will that be a bad omen on her opportunity with The Evil Genius?

 

NXT shares footage from earlier today.

Someone was reliving a classic Ted DeBiase moment. The Million Dollar Man challenges a little boy to dribble a basketball 10 times in a row for big money, only for DeBiase to mess the kid up! Oh, the one watching is Cameron Grimes! He’s seen enough, because time is money, after all! But that DeBiase, he was one smart guy! “With enough money, you can humiliate anyone!” Grimes has a lot of money, too, so he does a recreation of that basketball challenge! He has $1000 for 10 dribbles! The guy is up for that, and at 10… Grimes is confused! He didn’t watch the whole moment!! Grimes is the one suckered by his own scam! Grimes thinks DeBiase is to blame! Just proves money can’t fix stupid…

 

Io Shirai VS Zoey Stark!

Alright, the technical difficulties have been sorted out, and now it’s time for the Evil Genius to shine! But will Stark make this match a stark contrast from all Shirai’s other matches?

The bell rings and Stark circles with Shirai. They tie up, Stark powers Shirai to ropes, Shirai kicks free and the two go again. Shirai avoids Stark’s pick of the leg, they tie up, and Shirai throws Stark down, but the collar ‘n’ elbow stays on! Stark gets up, throws Shirai in return, but the grapple stays on again. Shirai gets up, Stark gets around to a waistlock, but Shirai wrenches an arm. Shirai has the wristlock, Stark rolls and handsprings and wrenches back! Stark hammerlocks, Shirai reaches back and throws elbows, then gets the headlock. Stark powers out, Shirai counters hip toss with arm-drag, and Stark staggers up. Stark avoids Shirai and manages a small back drop!

Shirai gets up, she spins Stark around, wrenches and kicks to whip. Stark reverses, Shirai reverses and hooks Stark up in an IRON OCTOPUS! Shirai digs her elbow in, Stark powers up but Shirai sunset flips! TWO, Shirai runs and basement dropkicks Stark down! Shirai stomps Stark to a corner, kicks at her, but Stark kicks back. Shirai CHOPS and CHOPS then sweeps the legs, to dig her boots in! SWINGING METEORA! Stark crawls along the ropes, Shirai runs in and 619’s, but Stark blocks to BOOT Shirai down! Stark builds speed but runs into BOOTS! Shirai swings to dropkick Stark back, then goes to a corner.

Shirai is slow to climb up, Stark intercepts with a GAMANGIRI! Shirai tumbles down as NXT goes to break!

NXT returns and Stark has Shirai in a facelock. Shirai throws body shots to get free, then throws forearms to back Stark down. Stark dodges to mule kick, front kick, kick a leg out, and then runs, but into a takedown! Shirai wants the arm but Stark holds on! Stark rolls, Shirai kicks low, but Stark ducks the buzzsaw to trip Shirai up! Stark runs again, to basement dropkick! Cover, TWO! Stark thought she had Shirai but she keeps her focus. Stark goes to a corner, hops up fast, and leaps for a 450! She has to roll through as Shirai moves, both women run to DOUBLE CROSSBODY! Both women are down and fans fire up!

The ref checks, both women are okay to continue, and Shirai sits up first. Stark follows and ghost pins! TWO, Stark hits a HALF ‘N’ HALF! Cover, TWO!! Shirai survives but Stark can’t believe how close she was! Starks wraps Shirai up in a chinlock and makes it a sleeper! Shirai endures so Stark KNEES her in the back! Stark kicks but Shirai blocks to elbow the leg, and SHOTEI! Shirai starts to rally with shoulder tackles, then a FLAPJACK! Stark goes to ropes, Shirai 619’s! Shirai climbs up top, takes aim and leaps to missile dropkick! Cover, TWO! Stark survives and Shirai gets annoyed. Shirai drags Stark up, reels her in and underhooks, but Stark back drops out!

Stark gets back to a corner, hops up again, but Shirai SHOTEIS again! Shirai climbs up to join Stark and club away on her back! Shirai stands up on the very top, to SUPER STEINER! Stark staggers up into Shirai’s double underhooks, for the TIGER BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Stark survives and Shirai is frustrated! Shirai stomps away on Stark, drags her up, but Stark gets around to a waistlock, for a GERMAN SUPLEX! Cover, TWO! Stark is shocked but she’s seeing why Shirai is a champion! Stark drags Shirai up again, Shirai resists the German to victory roll Stark into buckles! SHINKANSEN!! Shirai goes up, OVER THE MOONSAULT! Cover, Shirai wins!

Winner: Io Shirai, by pinfall

Stark may not have won but she showed she’s one to watch! Will Shirai be keeping her eye on Stark from now on? But speaking of someone to watch out for, here comes Toni Storm! “Oh, Io, Io, Io.” Look at her! “Willing to fight literally anyone in this division, besides me.” But Storm is no Stark or whatever he name is. She IS Toni Storm, and she kicked Shirai’s head off, and Shirai couldn’t do a thing about it! There’s a reason Shirai pinned Mercedes Martinez and not Storm: Shirai can’t beat her. Shirai gets a mic to respond! “I will fight you, any time, any place, anywhere!”

But will she? Because if Shirai thought she could beat Storm, surely by now she would’ve asked Regal for it! But Shirai hasn’t done that, because she’s scared. Storm knows it, but she dares Shirai to prove her wrong. “Go find Regal, make the match happen.” Shirai says Storm’s on! Will Regal only need to see this to make it happen?

 

Backstage interview with The Way.

Even though they’re on their way out, McKenzie asks for a moment of their time. Gargano says not now! They need to get out of here before “that psycho” Lumis comes back for them. Gargano says all Theory had to do was hit Lumis with a chair! How was that so hard?! Theory says the chair was unnecessary, and Lumis doesn’t deserve that. Lumis is just misunderstood. What?! He kidnapped Theory! Chloroform, white van! And Theory isn’t even the first person Lumis did that to! Lumis isn’t misunderstood, he’s PSYCHO! Is Gargano taking crazy pills? Candice, back Johnny up! Candice agrees, Lumis should be in jail. THANK YOU! Indi, you, too! Indi says she finds Lumis “kinda hot…”

WHAT THE… Gargano keeps Candice from cursing so he can see “HELL?!” What is going on here?! What is happening!? No, no, whatever this is with Indi, and Theory’s Stockholm Syndrome, get them down. They will fix this! Theory is going to therapy! Seriously? Yes! And not another word! It is happening! Will therapy be enough to undo whatever Lumis may or may not have done to Theory?

 

Grimes is back with the basketball scam!

He made sure to watch the entire DeBiase moment, and he’ll get the better of someone this time. Grimes is sure these people know him for his money. He has a handful of green and explains his basketball challenge. Maybe not this guy, but how about the little lady over here? If she can bounce the basketball 10 times, she’ll get $1000 of his money! Like the Million Dollar Man back in the day? Uh, n-no… Just dribble the ball! It ain’t rocket science! Maybe her friend over here would like to try instead? No, the lady he asked first takes the challenge on. And when she stands up, Grimes realizes she’s not so little… Well still, she has to dribble! “Let’s see what you got, honey!”

The young lady dribbles, Grimes counts, but she gets tricky with it and he misses! That’s more than 10! “Gimme my money, honey.” Grimes is out $2000 total now. Don’t hate the player, hate the game. CURSE YOU, DEBIASE! This ain’t over!!

 

Xia Li w/ Tian Sha VS Kacy Catanzaro w/ Kayden Carter!

The friendship of Spicy and KC Squared may be all but gone after the harsh training Xia was put through by “her.” Can Kacy save whatever is left of the old Xia? Or will she be “purged” to only make Xia stronger?

The bell rings and Xia rushes Kacy! Kacy dodges, fires off on Xia, but Xia shoves her away! Xia rushes in again but Kacy waistlocks. Xia reaches under but Kacy leap frogs over and around. Kacy handsprings, headscissors and fires up! Kacy is after Xia with a facelock, whips her, but Xia reverses. Kacy goes up and over but gets caught! Xia hotshots Kacy, then takes her fighting stance! Xia powers up, storms over again, and bumps Kacy off buckles! Kacy shoves Xia but Xia stomps Kacy down in the corner! The ref counts, Xia adds on a springboard stomp to top it off! Xia drags Kacy back up, snap suplexes, covers, TWO!

Xia keeps on Kacy with a chinlock then makes it a cobra clutch. Kayden and the fans rally as Kacy fights up, and Kacy slips out the back! Xia BOOTS Kacy down, drags her up and reels her in, but Kacy slips out of the Gory Especial to sunset flip! TWO, and Xia back kicks Kacy hard! Cover, TWO! Xia wraps Kacy up in the cobra clutch again, but Kacy fights up. Kacy throws Xia off, gets to a corner, and elbows her away! Xia runs back in but into a boot! Xia returns, but Kacy trips her into the corner! Kacy fires off stomps, furious fists, but Xia shoves her away! Kacy comes back with more fire, the ref counts but Xia shoves her, only for Kacy to SHOTGUN Xia back!

Kacy runs, hits an A-List Lariat, then hits a FLIPPING AX KICK! Cover, TWO! Xia bails out, Kacy grits her teeth and goes to the apron to leap! Xia catches her, moves her around, but Kacy slips out to a waistlock. Xia standing switches to RAM Kacy into the barriers! Tian Sha tells Xia to finish this, and Xia looms over Kacy. The ring count is climbing, Kacy’s leg is on steel steps and Xia STOMPS IT!! Xia may have just broken Kacy’s leg! The ref checks on Kacy as she writhes and cries in pain, but Xia doesn’t even show emotion on her face! Xia goes up the steps, and drags Kacy up by her hair! Xia brings Kacy to the apron and makes sure Tian Sha sees this!

The ref reprimands, Xia shows no mercy as she drags Kacy in. More referees come out to check on Kacy, the refs call this!

Winner: Xia Li, by referee stoppage

Kayden wants after Xia but the refs keep her back. Kayden shields Kacy, but then glares at Tian Sha. Kayden storms over and asks what their problem is! Boa blocks Kayden’s path, Xia goes after Kacy with a HEEL KICK!! Kayden rushes back to Kacy and Xia slips away to leave with Boa and Tian Sha. Xia warns Kayden that she is next. Will what Xia did to Kacy pale in comparison to what she’ll do to Kayden?

 

Regal is still waiting for Escobar.

Still no sign of El Legado, but the clock is ticking. Will Escobar have the courage to face Karrion Kross? Or will he have to sacrifice his Cruiserweight title reign?

 

NXT profiles next week’s WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship match.

After making history by winning the inaugural Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez are poised to take on the Irresistible Force & Shayna Baszler! The Queen of Spades says, “The Women’s Division now is all the scraps left over from when I left.” And when it comes to Raquel telling them, “You don’t run this place anymore… we do!” Well, that’s a joke to Nia. Nia says Raquel can talk about dominating all she wants, but when she runs into Nia, it’ll be a different story.

Raquel says Nia is the one kidding herself. Nia needs to wake up. Dakota says she and Raquel will be bringing those WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships to NXT. Shayna says Dakota is only confident because she has Raquel. That’s perfect, because now there’s someone who can carry her to the hospital. Dakota said it before, she is NOT the scared little girl from Shayna’s reign of terror. Dakota will kick Shayna’s head off once and for all! Will the alumni come back to humiliate this generation? Or will Raquel and Dakota turn the whole Women’s Division upside-down?

 

Cameron Grimes wants one more try!

No one gets over on Cameron Grimes! He challenges a random guy in the parking lot! Dribble the ball 10 times, win $1000! Like that DeBiase- YES LIKE THAT!! Just do it!! Why is it so difficult?! He gonna do it or what? Yeah, sure, The guy starts dribbling, and Grimes DECKS him!! Grimes tells DeBiase to #KissMahGrits! Money CAN by happiness! Wait, he still throws like, $1500 into the air. Will that guy wake up and still get Grimes’ money?

 

Grizzled Young Veterans VS Killian Dain & Drake Maverick!

Zack Gibson & James Drake ambushed MSK because, well, they’re sore losers. But will the Belfast Beast and Rockstar Spud SSSOOON avenge Lee & Carter?

Maverick comes out wearing a shirt with Dain’s face on it, and Dain does not approve! Dain pulls that shirt off Maverick and smacks him on the back with it before throwing it away. GYV make their entrance, Gibson has a mic, and he says, “I’m sorry to interrupt this little dance party, but we have some breaking news! Wes Lee of MSK fame has unfortunately broken his hand.” James Drake mockingly “sheds a tear,” but says that the main headline now is that Regal has given GYV a hefty fine! They were just saving the NXT Universe! Imagine a few weeks without MSK “joking around like little children!”

Gibson says in the finals of the Dusty Cup, “the better team lost! Let’s make no mistakes: there’s only one team destined for tag title glory, and it’s NOT MSK. And it’s certainly not Shrek ‘n’ Donkey! It’s the Grizzled Young Veterans, SSSSSSOON to be recognized as NXT Tag Team Champions!” Gibson and Drake get in with Shrek- er, Dain & Maverick, and teams sort out. Of course Dain wants to start, and he runs right at James Drake to SHOTGUN DROPKICK him down! Dain drags Drake up to throw BIG EuroUppers! Tag to Maverick, Dain & Maverick double whip, Dain uses Maverick to trip Drake up, and then Dain drops a back senton! Maverick is the human weapon again, scoop slam senton! Cover, TWO!

Maverick keeps on Drake with an armlock, then wrenches to a wristlock. Maverick hammerlocks, Drake endures and fights up to elbow free. Drake headlocks, tags Gibson, Maverick powers out but GYV leap frog to CLOBBER Maverick! Gibson sucker punches Dain, but he doesn’t fall! The ref is busy keeping Dain back, and Gibson scoops Maverick to an Electric Chair! Mr. Mayhem goes up top but Dain gets Maverick away from Liverpool’s Number One, to then choke grip Gibson! Drake leaps into a choke grip, and Dain SHOVES GYV out of the ring! Fans fire up as Maverick shakes Dain’s hand. Then Dain TOSSES Maverick out onto GYV! GYV goes down as NXT goes to break!

NXT returns and Gibson keeps Maverick from Dain! Maverick throws forearms, Gibson whips Maverick to the corner and tags in Drake. Drake rolls and run sin but Maverick knees him down! Gibson keeps Maverick cornered, until Maverick slips under! Hot tag to Dain! Dain rallies on GYV, then clinches Drake for an OVERHEAD SUPLEX! Dain RAMS Gibson into Drake then CLOBBERS Gibson! Gibson begs for mercy but Drake jumps on with a sleeper! Dain just shifts Drake to a fireman’s carry, scoops Gibson, SAMOAN DROP FALL AWAY SLAM COMBO! Big Damo pops Drake back up for the WASTELAND, and SENTON! Cover, Gibson breaks it!

The ref reprimands as Gibson hammers Dain and helps Drake up. GYV coordinate, but it’s Dain who DOUBLE SUPLEXES them! Hot tag to Maverick! Maverick climbs up, leaps and CROSSBODIES Drake! Maverick dropkicks Gibson down, fires up and throws strikes on Drake! Punch, kick, repeat, but Drake shoves him! Maverick gets under to dropkick the legs out then basement dropkicks Drake in the head! Maverick fires up, hits a forearm smash in the corner, but Gibson tags in before the bulldog attempt! GYV coordinate, MISSILE DROPKICK COMPLETE SHOT! Cover, Dain breaks it! Dain goes after Drake and CLOBBERS him! Gibson throws Dain out, but Dain drags him out with him!

Dain has Gibson’s ear, Drake DIVES to take Dain out! Gibson gets in but Maverick runs in to forearm smash and BULLDOG! Maverick hurries up a corner, but Drake goes after him! Maverick kicks him away but Gibson YANKS Maverick down! Tag to Drake, they coordinate again, TICKET TO MAYHEM!! Cover, GYV wins!

Winners: The Grizzled Young Veterans, by pinfall

The teamwork makes the dream work, and GYV are one step closer to their dastardly dream of being the first team to have held both NXT UK and NXT prime Tag Team Championships!

 

BREAKING NEWS!

William Regal DID see the confrontation earlier, and has made a match! In two weeks it will be Io Shirai VS Toni Storm, for the NXT Women’s Champion!

 

Finally El Legado arrives!

And just in time to make Regal’s deadline! Joaquin Wilde & Raul Mendoza stand guard as Escobar stays in the SUV. Will Escobar go through with the match tonight? Or is he just here to turn over the title?

 

NXT returns as Dain is still carrying Maverick around.

He doesn’t want NXT Media to bother them, he sets Maverick down. But then Alexander Wolfe and Imperium walk by. What is this? Wolfe says Dain used to be a monster. That shake of his head shows Wolfe is disappointed, but Dain asks for medics to check on Maverick. Will Dain let the Hatchet Man get in his head about his… well not friendship, but partnership with Maverick?

 

No Disqualification: Santos Escobar w/ El Legado del Fantasma VS Karrion Kross w/ Scarlett Bordeaux!

Mr. Doomsday and his femme fatale make their way to the ring, and we see that Escobar has yet to even exit the vehicle. Wait! Kross attacks Wilde & Mendoza!! He got the drop on Legado this time! Kross TOSSES Mendoza into a garage door, but Escobar attacks! He’s going through with the match his way, but will he be made to #FallAndPray all the same?

Kross picks Escobar up to RAM him into the side of a truck! Escobar kicks back, they brawl again, and Kross CLUBS and ROCKS Escobar! Escobar goes to the back of the moving truck, Kross is after him again with haymakers, and then he tosses him into the truck’s trailer. But Escobar SLAMS the door on Kross! Kross writhes and Escobar talks trash in Spanish now that he has the advantage. Escobar kicks and forearms but Kros TOSSES him back into the side of the truck! Escobar kicks again, Kross throws more forearms, but Escobar dodges and a forearm shot hits the truck! Kross shakes that arm while Escobar gets into the truck cab!

Escobar closes the door to protect himself, but Kross rips off the side mirror! Kross finds a PICKAXE under the truck!? What’s that doing there?! Kross uses it to TEAR into the door!! Escobar has to bail out the other side and he throws hands on Kross! Wilde returns to throw hands but Kross TOSSES Wilde onto the hood! Wilde tumbles, Mendoza runs in but he gets THROWN into the grill! Escobar SMASHES Kross with a trash can! Escobar talks more trash and then SMACKS Kross again! El Legado has the 3v1 advantage now and they mug Kross! They bump Kross off the truck, hammer him more, and then RAM him into the side of the trailer!

Escobar wants another one, and they set Kross up again. They tell “the dog” this is what he gets for messing with them! They RAM him into the side again, and then Escobar has Wilde and Mendoza drag Kross into the arena. They go to the special stage area and beat Kross up at the steps! Fans boo but Escobar says to bring Kross around. Kross DECKS Wilde, BOOTS Mendoza, and then takes them both to throw them into the PLEXIGLAS! They go crashing through and Escobar is shocked! Kross glares at Escobar and Scarlett laughs at Escobar’s false bravado! Kross ROCKS Escobar and Escobar goes into the ring!

Escobar runs but Kross BOOTS him down! Cover, ONE!! Kross keeps on Escobar and CLUBS him out of the ring! Kross stalks Escobar, but Mendoza returns! Kross just TOSSES him into other barriers! Escobar SMACKS Kross with a chair! And SMACKS him again! Escobar stomps Kross down, rips Kross’ shirt off, and tosses it aside like trash. Escobar drags Kross up, hammerlocks the bad arm and POSTS him! And then RAMS Kross into steel steps! Escobar grins and soaks up the heat as NXT goes picture in picture.

Escobar takes his time regrouping with El Legado, and they drag Kross back up. Kross rakes Escobar’s eyes! But Legado has the steel steps and RAMS Kross with them! Kross clutches the bad arm, Escobar KICKS it! Escobar stomps the bad arm, drags Kross up and clubs away on the shoulder! Escobar puts Kross in the ring, throws more forearms, then covers, ONE!! Escobar clamps onto the bad arm, stomps away on it, then wrenches the arm. Escobar puts Kross in a corner, wraps the arm around ropes and SCRAPES it along the rope! Kross pushes Escobar away but Wilde HOTSHOTS the arm for him!

Escobar drags Kross up, has the arm, and gives it a CODE BREAKER! Kross scrambles to a corner but Escobar CHOPS him! Escobar puts the arm around ropes and pulls on it again! Kross can only clutch the elbow as Escobar runs in to forearm smash! Escobar cravats Kross, jams him with a shoulder, then headbutts Kross’ shoulder! Escobar fires off forearms, but Kross hits back with his good arm! They brawl, Escobar shoves Kross and runs in to shotgun dropkick! NXT returns to single picture as Legado trips Kross up for Escobar’s basement dropkick! Scarlett is furious and shouts for Kross to get up! Escobar shoves Kross out and goes back for the chair!

Escobar jams the bad arm, then slips the chair around it! Escobar aims and POSTS the arm!! Kross grabs at Escobar with the good arm but Escobar SLAPS him down! Escobar sits the chair up and stomps Kross down. Escobar drags Kross up and over, for a DDT to the chair! Escobar drags Kross up and into the ring, covers, TWO! Legado is frustrated but Escobar dropkicks Kross down! Escobar throws Kross out, pursues, but Kross hits back with is good arm! So Legado swarms him! Kross fights them off, but Escobar DIVES! The Arrow from Hell takes Kross down into barriers!! Scarlett is furious again but can only watch on as Escobar stands on Kross’ bad arm.

Escobar stomps Kross, and stomps and stomps! Escobar kicks the bad arm, wrenches it and clamps onto the shoulder! Escobar puts Kross in, covers, TWO! Escobar drops elbows on Kross’ bad arm, then clamps on with a short arm scissor. Kross endures, tries to use his good arm but Escobar shrugs that off. Kross sits up, Escobar puts him in a corner, and then runs in to DOUBLE KNEE! SNAP SUPLEX! Uno amigo, and Escobar drags Kross up, only for Kross to block! Kross gets around to use the good arm for an EXPLODER! Kross sees Wilde and DECKS him! Escobar leaps into a catch, for another EXPLODER!

Escobar bails out, Kross shakes the bad arm and pursues. Escobar POSTS Kross again! Escobar brings the bad arm around the post, but Kross YANKS Escobar into it instead! Kross bounces Escobar’s head off steel steps! Mendoza runs in with a chair but Kross BOOTS him down! Kross takes the chair for his own now and has a wild grin! Escobar is a fish in a barrel but Wilde saves him from a full metal Con-Chair-To! Kross glares at Wilde, aims with the chair, and he JAMS Escobar in the ribs! Kross puts Escobar in the ring, but Mendoza LEAPS, into an EXPLODER! Wilde leaps, but the rana is blocked! BARRIER BOMB!!

Kross gets in, Escobar is in a corner, Kross hits a corner clothesline! And BOOT! Escobar flops back out, Kross follows, and they’re by the other steps! Kross brings Escobar up and around, DOOMSDAY SAIDO through the announce desk!! Fans are thunderous for “NXT! NXT!” and Scarlett seems euphoric now! Kross puts Escobar in the ring, hauls him up, and hits a DOOMSDAY SAIDO!! Kross aims from a corner, and winds up the hour hand. “TICK TOCK! TIME’S UP!!” BLINDSIDE FOREARM!! Cover, Kross wins!!

Winner: Karrion Kross, by pinfall

Escobar tried every trick in the book, but nothing can stop the sands of time! He still has the title, but will Escobar be in any shape to defend his Cruiserweight Championship? And will the clock start ticking on another champion’s reign?

 

NXT hears from LA Knight.

“Let me talk to ya. The question burning in everyone’s mind since TakeOver is, ‘Man, when’s LA Knight gonna debut?'” He’ll put it this way: the one thing that he asked is, “Whose game is it?” It’s HIS game. That means when he debuts, it’s on his time, his terms and done his way. What that means is Knight could debut next week, the week after that, or three months from now, because it doesn’t make a difference! In the end, everyone’s favorites, the ones that hold the gold, are just holding golden tickets to getting stomped out by LA Knight! That’s not an insult, that’s just a fact of life! But who will Knight go for first whenever it is he makes his in-ring debut?

 

Adam Cole is here!

After tweeting out that he will give us his explanation, Cole is finally here to do as he said! Cole goes to the ring, fans boo, and they don’t even feel like saying “BOOM” with him anymore. Cole takes a moment to watch a replay of last week, where Cole betrayed and booted Kyle O’Reilly to then give him a brainbuster to Kyle O’Reilly. Kyle has a herniated disc, not likely to return for several weeks, and fans chant, “You Suck!” for it. Cole gets a mic to say, “I… I had every intention of coming out here and explaining why I did what I did to Kyle, but… God, man, after watching that footage, I feel sick to my stomach.”

Everyone knows the NXT Championship is very important to Cole, especially the guys in the Undisputed Era. But Cole does not like the person he has become lately. At first, Cole was pissed off, because Kyle was getting opportunity after opportunity at the title, and he continued to fail. But that does not excuse Cole’s actions. After seeing it back, Cole is ashamed of himself. “Kyle, I know you’re sitting at home right now and you’re watching this. And I wish so, so badly that we could be having this conversation face to face, man to man, but we can’t.” They can’t, because of Cole.

Cole and Kyle know each other than anybody, and that means Kyle knows Cole hates admitting he’s wrong. Cole is telling us now that he was dead wrong. Kyle should be here in this ring, right here and now, but instead Cole made a stupid mistake and hates himself for it! Cole paces as he works on the words to say. “Kyle… Kyle, I am so, so sorry.” Cole will do whatever he can to fix this. Even if he can’t, he’ll try. “Wow, Adam. Really?” Roderick Strong confronts Cole! Now Cole feels bad?! Only now? For the past 10 days Cole didn’t feel bad for not letting Strong know what was going on? For what Cole did to Kyle, and to THE TEAM!?

“Adam, everything’s changed now. This whole thing, this Undisputed Era… This was built on trust! Love! A brotherhood!” The UE Boys would do whatever it took to have each other’s backs! And just like that, Cole “shattered that trust!” Strong wants Cole to look at him and understand this: Kyle IS going to heal up. They both know Kyle. But when Kyle does heal, Strong doesn’t know if he can save Cole from what Kyle’s gonna do to him! But wait, here comes Finn Balor! Strong tries to stop him but Balor pushes him aside and tackles Cole! Balor rains down fists, Strong gets in to pull him away from Cole, but Balor and Strong tumble out of the ring!

Balor kicks and stomps away on Strong but Cole RAMS Balor into barriers! And SUPERKICKS him down! Strong gets in the ring, Cole goes in to apologize, but Strong CLOBBERS Cole! And Strong is just as torn up as Cole was! Cole apologizes and he just wants things to go back to normal. Cole says this was his fault. Strong shouts, “What is happening?!” Cole starts to cry, but Strong sits with him. Strong says he’s sorry for hitting Cole. They’re brothers and they love each other! They hug it out and fans cheer! Cole keeps apologizing, he and Strong pat each other on the back, and then they shake hands. But Cole LOW BLOWS Strong?!?! That wasn’t a mistake!!

Cole tells Strong he is so STUPID! Cole says Strong is dead to him, and he takes the UE dog tag away from him! Then SUPERKICKS him down!! Was Cole just pretending to have regrets? Is there nothing undisputed anymore?!


My Thoughts:

Wow, this episode! And that’s meant in a good way, there was a lot of great, wild stuff. We had a really good match in Gargano VS Lumis, and some really crazy developments in that story. Theory thinking Lumis isn’t so bad is an alright choice, but I have no idea where this “Indi <3’s Lumis” is coming from. I get there’s a cliché of “daughter falls for bad boy” in sitcoms and family stories, but this still seems a bit out of nowhere. The pacing is what feels off, really. I still wish there were “Theory is hostage” antics but of course this is all leading to Gargano VS Lumis rematch for the North American Championship. I just don’t like the idea that it might come down to the loyalties of Theory and Indi, not that Lumis actually beats Gargano on his own merits.

The way (no pun intended this time, I swear) we learned about Rust VS Ruff getting on the card was arranged oddly. There was entrance, then a “earlier today” video, then Bivens has his promo to put Rust over and bury Ruff. We should’ve gotten the video first, then everything else. Swerve attacking Ruff was a good touch, though, and I guess any match being offered/given to Ruff is too much for Swerve. We got really good video packages for MSK and the coming Women’s Tag Title match, but what a twist for GYV to attack MSK and basically delay the NXT Tag Team Championship match. GYV VS Dain & Maverick was a good match, but of course GYV wins.

It seems Imperium and Wolfe are going to be the next feud for Dain & Maverick, and there could even be a chance of Dain being recruited/converted to Imperium! I don’t know if I want to see the dysfunctional duo break up, but Dain and Wolfe reuniting from their SAnitY days through Imperium would be an interesting story. Plus, one day we will be able to have NXT and NXT UK swap people around smoothly again, so with the North American Championship, NXT UK Heritage Cup, and another pair of tag titles out there, there could come a time when Imperium reigns from top to bottom.

Shirai VS Stark was very good, especially for Stark being new to NXT. But naturally, we’re getting Shirai VS Storm 1v1 now, but it does seem a little sudden for the long-awaited rematch from the second Mae Young Classic. The match itself will surely make up for that, though, and honestly could go either way, if Heel Toni decides to bend the rules or something. Then with Xia Li VS Kacy, it was obvious it would be brutal, but I didn’t think it’d be that brutal! Xia “breaking” Kacy’s leg, and threatening to do the same to Kayden, that is some serious Heel heat. I am still waiting for when Tian Sha/Mei Ling (Karen Q) gets back into action and tears up the Women’s Tag Division with Xia Li.

Grimes trying to recreate the Ted DeBiase basketball challenge, and messing up multiple times, was pretty hilarious. I have a feeling he’s not only going to waste his money on things but also on these silly bets until he’s basically back to where he was before #GameStonks. The story of Escobar waiting until the very last minute was pretty good, as was Kross going after him so he wouldn’t have a choice. Naturally Legado worked together for the entirety of the No DQ match, and I think the No DQ, brawling nature of the match made this work in Kross’ favor, as he felt much stronger than if this were a standard match. Kross wins so he can stay strong in his own path back to the NXT Championship, and I’m curious to see how this impacts Escobar’s title reign, if at all.

And speaking of, the NXT Championship scene is also attached to the #WhyColeWhy story. Cole taking the approach of, “It was impulsive and I regret it” was an interesting start, but from how he betrays Strong at the very last moment makes it seem it was an act. The anger Cole mentioned about Kyle getting his two opportunities might also be attached to jealousy, maybe some bitterness. Cole VS Kyle is definitely happening, but I think we’ll get a great Cole VS Strong first, maybe even Cole VS Balor, title optional. Heck, the title could be put up, but Kyle screws Cole over to set their own match up. The UE is basically all but over unless Fish returns and Cole is the one kicked out of the group. This could even be the long road to opening the door to Cole going to Raw/SmackDown, as much of a shame it’d be to see him finally move over.

My Score: 9.4/10


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AEW Coverage

Mitchell’s AEW Dynamite Results & Report! (2/24/21)

Who will be the Face of the Revolution?

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AEW Dynamite Coverage 2

The Revolution is so close, AEW Dynamite can almost taste it!

AEW Revolution is returning, and there is a ladder match with major stakes! Who will qualify and be one step closer to the TNT Championship?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Jon Moxley VS Ryan Nemeth; Moxley wins.
  • Brian Cage & Ricky Starks w/ Team Taz VS The Varsity Blondes; Cage & Starks win.
  • Brandon Cutler VS Jake Hager; Hager wins.
  • Hangman Page VS Isiah Kassidy w/ Matt Hardy; Hangman wins.
  • AEW Women’s Title Eliminator Tournament US Bracket: Britt Baker w/ Rebel VS Nyla Rose w/ Vickie Guerrero; Nyla wins and advances.
  • Face of the Revolution Ladder Match Qualifier: Rey Fenix VS Lance Archer w/ Jake the Snake; Archer wins and joins the AEW Revolution Ladder match.

PLAY BY PLAY

Jon Moxley VS Ryan Nemeth!

The Maniac is firing up for some huge title matches in the next few weeks! The 26th of February, he defends his IWGP United States Championship against Kenta! The 7th of March, he goes after the title Kenny Omega cheated away from him! Will the Hollywood Hunk merely serve as a tune-up?

The bell rings and Nemeth leaps at Moxley! Moxley denies the satellite DDT, Nemeth comes back to headlock but Moxley powers out. They ram shoulders, Moxley doesn’t budge, and he SLAPS Nemeth off his feet! Fans are fired up already, and Moxley gives Nemeth crossface forearms from all sides! Nemeth flops and flounders away but Moxley stalks behind him. Moxley drags Nemeth up and reels him in, but Nemeth gets around to throat chop! Nemeth rams knees in over and over, then runs, but Moxley gets around to SNAP BACK SUPLEX! Fans fire up again as Moxley looms over Nemeth. Moxley STOMPS Nemeth’s hand, then stalks him as he scrambles away.

Moxley wraps Nemeth’s arm around ropes, pulls on it, but lets off as the ref counts 4. Moxley CHOPS Nemeth in a corner, whips him corner to corner and runs in, but into a boot! Nemeth throws forearms, whips Moxley, but Moxley reverses. Nemeth goes up and over and RAMS in, then runs, only for Moxley to follow and CLOBBER Nemeth in the corner! Moxley runs but Nemeth dropkicks him down! Nemeth drags Moxley up but Moxley gets around to full nelson, then GUILLOTINE! Nemeth endures, Moxley underhooks him, PARADIGM SHIFT! Cover, Moxley wins!

Winner: Jon Moxley, by pinfall

The fans are going wild for the Maniac, and Moxley is ready to run wild in both NJPW Strong and AEW Revolution! Moxley gets a chair, a mic, and takes a seat to say, “From the moment that I woke up in the morning without the AEW World Championship, I knew that I would do whatever it takes for as long as it takes.” Crawl through mud, barbed wire and landmines, he’ll get back to the top and take the hill! And it turns out, that’s exactly what he’ll have to do now.

“What comes to your mind, what images… when you hear the words “Exploding barbed wire deathmatch? Fire, blood, burns, torture, agony? Vintage Japanese wrestling magazines.” Are you disgusted? Revolted? Do your palms sweat and hands shake? Or do you get a sick thrill? Moxley shares what those make him feel, and why he’s made every mistake and bad choice you can think of throughout the course of his life: “I’m an addict. I’m addicted to this!” He wants to live close to the flames. He wants to feel all the blood, sweat and tears, from the bottom of his soul to lay his soul bare! That’s a feeling he can’t get enough of!!

Fans cheer as Moxley says, “The thought, the idea of the Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatch, it’s too attractive. It pulls me in! I can’t resist it!” Even if it is a trap by Kenny Omega and his boys, that is not the first in a long line of sad guys who tried to take him out! Now, win, lose or draw, everyone in this building and watching at home, everyone who’s been with him this entire time, we will all know that when it’s all said and done, Moxley gave everything that he had! And if it is all over after Revolution, live on PPV, in the Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatch, “that seems like a perfect way, a HELL of a way, to go out.” Fans are thunderous for this match already, but who will survive when Maniac and Cleaner ride the line one more time?

 

AEW shares a post-Dynamite interview from last week.

Lance Archer and Rey Fenix were both informed that they would have a chance at the Face of the Revolution Ladder Match at the Revolution PPV. Cody Rhodes, Scorpio Sky and Penta El Zero Miedo are in that, but these two have had good chemistry teaming up given their recent matches. Archer wants Alex to understand, iron sharpens iron. They were a killer tag team because of the Murderhawk Monster. Archer doesn’t need to qualify, he’ll kick Fenix’s ass. Fenix wants Alex to translate for him. Archer wants to know what he just said.

Well, Fenix told Alex that Archer is the worst tag partner he’s ever had. Wow, really? Archer gets mad, pushes Fenix, and a brawl is on! Fenix used speed to dodge but not for long! Things didn’t end there, but they will end in the main event! Who joins the American Nightmare, Closer and Cero Miedo at Revolution?

 

The Young Bucks and family arrive backstage.

Matt & Nick are accompanied by Mama & Papa Jackson and they see the boy son the back of the crew truck. They get a group picture in front of that, and the parents are so proud. Will they be even prouder of their boys when they take it to the Inner Circle at Revolution?

 

Brian Cage & Ricky Starks w/ Team Taz VS The Varsity Blondes!

The Machine & Absolute are absolutely ready for The Icon and Darby Allin, but Sting has made it known he wants payback tonight. Will Cage & Starks be able to focus on Griff Garrison & Brian Pillman Jr. with Sting and the Relentless TNT Champion on the horizon?

Taz joins commentary to say his guys aren’t sweating the Blondes, Hook even has the car running with how quick they’ll handle this. Starks and BPJ start, Starks wrenches an arm to a wristlock, but BPJ wrenches back. BPJ has a wristlock, Starks slips through and wrenches back, but BPJ rolls and cartwheels and handsprings to BOP Starks with a boot! BPJ wrenches, tags Griff, and fans fire up as Griff CLUBS Starks’ arm. Griff wrenches, wristlocks, wrenches again, and tags BPJ back in. BPJ kicks Starks, Starks pulls hair and whips BPJ away, but BPJ gets under. BPJ hurdles, Starks ducks then hurdles, but BPJ trips Starks up! And then WRECKS Starks with a dropkick!

Fans fire up and Taz is annoyed as BPJ puts Starks in. BPJ steps over, La Magistrol, TWO! Starks hobbles up, BPJ is after him in the corner with a CHOP! BPJ wrenches then whips corner to corner, runs in but is put on the corner. BPJ ROCKS Starks, springboards, but Starks shoves him down! Starks distracts the ref and Cage drags BPJ up for a POST BOMB!! BPJ even lands hard on the floor before Cage puts him in, and Starks drags BPJ up by his mullet!

AEW goes picture in picture as Starks bumps BPJ off buckles. Cage tags in, stomps BPJ down, then ROCKS BPJ with a right! Cage bumps BPJ off more buckles, whips him corner to corner hard, and then whips him back the other way! Cage uppercuts and ENZIGURIS BPJ into a GERMAN SUPLEX! Cage fires up while BPJ is punch drunk and flops over. Cover, TWO! Cage throws hands on BPJ, drags him up, and tags Cage in. Team Taz mugs BPJ, Starks CLUBS BPJ down then stomps him. Starks drops a knee, covers, ONE! Starks has BPJ in a corner but BPJ CHOPS back. Starks stomps BPJ, CHOPS him back, then throws down hands!

The ref reprimands, Starks digs his knee in, but then lets off to taunt Griff. Starks reels BPJ in for a facelock, and a snap suplex! Tag to Cage and Cage stomps BPJ. Cage drags BPJ up, RAMS him into the open corner, and then RAMS him some more! Cage CHOPS BPJ, backs up and BOOTS him down! Cage soaks up the heat, drags BPJ up, then whips him corner to corner. BPJ goes up and over, O’Conner Rolls cage, TWO! BPJ hits buckles, Cage back suplexes him! Cover, TWO! Cage drags BPJ up, scoops him, and does bicep curls as AEW returns to single picture. Cage TOSSES BPJ up over his head, then tags in Starks. Starks CLOBBERS BPJ before he reaches Griff!

BPJ sits up and throws hands! BPJ CHOPS, Starks puts BPJ in a corner and CHOPS back! Starks snarls, runs corner to corner and hits a back body block! Starks goes up and hits a missile dropkick! Cover, TWO! Starks stands on BPJ, drags him up, and tags Cage in. Team Taz mugs BPJ more, Cage DECKS BPJ, and fans boo as Cage bumps him off buckles. Tag to Starks, Team Taz mugs BPJ again, and Starks snapmares BPJ to run and sucker punch Griff! BPJ gets up, Starks rolls him and swings, but BPJ dodges! Hoy tag to Griff! Griff rallies on Team Taz, Cage gets in but Griff BOOTS him back! Fans fire up, Griff hits an IVY LEAGUE SPALSH on Starks! Griff runs and FLIES to take out Cage!!

Fans are thunderous as Griff gets in, gets around Starks, and hits an ATOMIC FACEBUSTER! Cover, but Cage breaks it in time! Cage hauls Griff up but Griff slips out and BPJ hits a FLYING CLOTHESLINE! The Blondes coordinate, get Starks up, and Griff whips to pop Starks up! MISSILE DRPOKICK BOMB! Cover, TWO!?! Starks survives and fans are going nuts! Taz is a bit panicked, too, as Griff tags BPJ in. The Blondes double whip Starks but Cage tags in. Starks SPEARS Griff, Cage DISCUS LARIATS BPJ! Cage slashes the throat, drags BPJ up, DRILL CLAW!! Cover, Team Taz wins!

Winners: Team Taz, by pinfall

Taz tells Sting he better be paying attention! But wait, the lights go out! A car is pulling along a body bag, and the one driving is STING?! Sting undoes the bag, and out pops Darby Allin! Darby grins as he sports his own take on Sting’s face paint! And then, in the stadium, the snow, the crow and… IT’S STIIIIIING! He’s dragging in the same body bag! But he unzips the bag, to reveal HOOK! Taz’s son, Hook, just went for the same ride Team Taz put Darby through! And in the rafters, HERE COMES DARBY ON A ZIPLINE!! Darby drops in, has his board, and he JAMS Starks and Cage!

Sting gets his shots in, Taz frees his son from the bag, but Darby SMASHES Starks out of the ring! Then PLANCHAS! Sting throws his jacket off, kicks and CHOPS Cage, whips him corner to corner, then CLOBBERS him on the rebound! Sting runs corner to corner for a STINGER SPLASH! Cage wobbles, Sting kicks a leg out, and brings him back into the SCORPION DDT!! Will Sting and Darby do this and more come Revolution?

 

Tony Schiavone interviews Miro, Kip Sabian & Penelope Ford.

Schiavone already feels uncomfortable as he introduces the Best Man and the Superbad newlyweds. Miro asks why it’s uncomfortable. Because of what happened at the wedding. Kip says the fact they’re even having this interview is a joke! It is a complete joke! Beach Break was supposed to be the best day of their lives, a memory they’d cherish forever. Kip asks Schiavone what happened. It was destroyed. And by who? Chuck Taylor and Orange Cassidy. Miro says the Superbad Honeymoon didn’t even happen because of Chuck and Orange! And trust Miro, he will get those guys, and he will destroy “that walking human Xanax!”

But caving in Chuck’s head will be different. Not because Chuck can match Miro in the ring. It’s because Miro actually likes Chuck. Chuck is a good guy, he was a good butler, polishing Miro’s car, organizing the kettle bells, folding the laundry, all of that. So Miro wants to tell Chuck that he is welcomed back. Come home, Chuck! Miro will forgive Chuck, though he won’t forget what happened. Wait, an AEW staffer gives Schiavone a note. Schiavone reads it, and it’s a message to Miro! “Will you wrestle us at Revolution? Yes, No, Maybe, circle one. Hugs and kisses, Chuck and Orange.”

This is what Miro is talking about! This is childish! Chuck is not a child, do not act like one! Associating with Cassidy is doing this to him! Chuck can come home and live a good, happy life! Miro chews up the note and spits at Schiavone! That’s not an answer to the note. Will Chuck and Cassidy make the challenge much more mature for Miro next time?

 

Brandon Cutler VS Jake Hager!

The Dungeon Master wants revenge on behalf of the Young Bucks for what happened after the tag title match last week! But will he only get himself hurt for defending his friends?

The bell rings, fans fire up as Hager and Cutler circle, and the two approach, Cutler dodges to fire off hands, but Hager just tosses Cutler to a corner! Cutler dodges again, fires off more hands, climbs up to rain them down, but Hager picks him up to bring him out! Cutler sunset flips but Hager drags him up to whip. Cutler ducks and dodges to wheelbarrow, but into a GERMAN SUPLEX! Hager looms over Cutler, deadlifts him and GERMAN SUPLEXES him again! Fans want that “One More Time!” but Hager just fires off body shots in the corner! Cutler sputters as the ref backs Hager off, but Hager comes back to whip corner to corner, and BOOT Cutler down on the rebound!

Hager soaks up the heat, runs corner to corner with Cutler in the drop zone, HAGER BOMB! Cutler flounders to a corner, Hager digs his knee into Cutler’s head, but the ref counts. Hager lets off, drags Cutler back up and whips him to ropes. Cutler kicks Hager back! Then slips out and sends Hager into buckles to KICK again! Hager runs in but Cutler dumps Hager out! Cutler builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit but Cutler keeps going, and he FLIES! Direct hit takes Hager down and fans are fired up! Cutler pushes Hager in, aims and springboards, into a SPINEBUSTER! Hager fires up, fans boo, but Hager circles like a shark. Hager runs and builds speed to CLOBBER Cutler!! Cover, Hager wins!

Winner: Jake Hager, by pinfall

The Big Hurt put the hurt on Cutler, and the Inner Circle runs in to add on! Santana, Ortiz and Wardlow stomp Cutler down at the ropes but the YOUNG BUCKS run out! SUPERKICKS for Santana and Ortiz! Hager and Wardlow bail out to avoid their own superkicks, and the Bucks shield Cutler. Matt gets a mic to call out Jericho and MJF! “We don’t have to wait until Revolution! How about you get your stupid asses down to this ring, right here, right now?!” Y2MJF have their entrance going, but where are they? They’re talking via titantron as they’re backstage!

Why would they waste time going to the ring when they’ll just beat the living hell out of the Bucks at Revolution to become tag team champions? But they saw someone wandering backstage, does this guy belong to them? PAPA BUCK got beat up!! MJF says Papa being proud of his boys brought a tear to MJF’s eye. Back row to the spotlight. Look at your son, Nick! Jericho RAMS Papa Buck into the picture of Nick! Oh he’s getting blood on it! But he can’t favor one son over the other, say “hi” to MATT! They RAM Matt into that picture, and Jericho mockingly says they should get a doctor! Better yet, the Bucks should hurry to pick up the trash. Then they mock the Buck pose and run off!

The Bucks arrive a second too late, and they go to their father’s side. The Inner Circle runs away in their Escalade, and Matt is beside himself with rage! Will the Bucks make Y2MJF pay for making this personal?

 

AEW returns with the Bucks getting their father into an ambulance.

The Good Brothers are also with them, and they ride with Nick while Matt stays with Mama Buck. Will Papa Buck be alright after what Y2MJF did to him?

 

AEW profiles “The Crossroads” super match on next week’s Dynamite!

Originally intended for Revolution, the amazing crossover of Shaquille O’Neil & Jade Cargill VS Cody & Brandi Rhodes had to change when Mr. & Mrs. American Nightmare found out they were expecting! Red Velvet stepped to the plate on behalf of Brandi, and now things will happen on March 3rd, live on TNT!

Excalibur says that Shaq has been a presence for over 25 years. Tony Schiavone says Shaq is very well known even outside of the NBA. Jade had perhaps crossed a line, but Shaq couldn’t help but push the envelope. One thing has led to another, and we’ve reached a boiling point! JR knows this will mean a lot to Velvet so young in her career. Velvet knows she has the experience edge and grit, passion and heart unlike Jade. She will give it everything she’s got! Schiavone wants us to remember that despite Cody’s other ventures, he puts wrestling first. Shaq is not worried about Cody’s legacy, and JR knows that a world class athlete like Shaq isn’t just going to go through the motions.

Shaq has warned Cody that the Shaq Attack is coming. Excalibur says Cody and Velvet can win by relying on their experience and just about every bit of their skill, because they’ll have to. They can’t afford Shaq or Jade to get that one good shot in. JR says Cody is of course going to be a better wrestler, but size and strength are always a factor. That X-factor can be enough for Jade and Shaq to win. Size and strength, experience and skill, what wins when these two teams meet at the Crossroads?

 

Hangman Page VS Isiah Kassidy w/ Matt Hardy!

The Cowboy got one over on Big Money Matt, but not without Matt coming up with a Plan B! Revolution will have a first-ever 1v1 between these two, with the winner receiving ALL of the loser’s Q1 earnings! Will one of Hardy’s Private Party proteges make Page pay for pulling a fast one? Or will Hangman be hanging tough going towards Revolution’s big money match?

Wait, Hardy has recruited The Hybrid2 to his cause? Are they going to cash in on that $3700 bounty just to soften up Hangman for Hardy? Hangman makes his entrance, and he rushes right at Hardy! Hardy gets away but Kassidy goes after Hangman and the bell rings! Kassidy throws hands, whips but Hangman dodges to ROCK Kassidy with haymakers! Hangman stomps Kassidy in a corner, stomps him even more, then lets off as the ref counts. The fans fire up, Hangman throws his vest aside and whips Kassidy to ropes. Kassidy dodges but leaps into Hangman’s arms for a FALL AWAY SLAM!

Hangman kips up, Kassidy bails out, but Hangman hurries after. Kassidy gets back in, Hangman slides in but Kassidy stomps him! Kassidy drags Hangman up, CHOPS him, but Hangman CHOPS him back! Kassidy stomps and whips, Hangman comes back to CLOBBER him! Fans rally for Hangman while Kassidy sits up in a daze. Hardy talks smack to Hangman but Hangman just goes over to Kassidy. Hangman drags Kassidy up, Kassidy throws body shots but Hangman CLUBS him down! Hangman whips Kassidy corner to corner, runs in but Kassidy boots him! Kassidy hops up, leaps, but into a BOOT! Kassidy flops out and Hardy grows frustrated, but Hangman PLANCHAS Kassidy hard!

Fans are thunderous as Hangman glares as Hardy and TH2. Hardy backs up as Hangman storms over, but Hangman refreshes the count. Hangman drags Kassidy up, shoves him into railing, then CLOBBERS him into the front row of wrestlers! The ring count climbs, Hardy tells Hangman he’s a bastard! Hangman refreshes the count again, drags Kassidy from the crowd and dumps him ringside. Hangman stands Kassidy up to CHOP him! Kassidy flounders to the timekeeper’s area but Hangman brings him around to powerbomb lift. Kassidy escapes, gets in the ring but Hangman pursues! TH2 distracts the ref, Hardy anchors Hangman, Kassidy HOTSHOTS Hangman! Hardy POSTS Hangman!!

But the Dark Order’s Alex Reynolds & John Silver appear! They point out something happened, the ref looks and suspects Hardy. Hardy denies involvement but the ref doesn’t trust him! She EJECTS Hardy!! Hardy pleads with Aubrey but she doesn’t care! Fans taunt Hardy with “DELETE! DELETE!” Kassidy puts Hangman in to get past that and stomp Hangman down! Hardy tells TH2 it’s on them now. Kassidy stomps Hangman, but Hangman kicks back! Kassidy stomps more while Silver & Reynolds cheer Hangman on. Kassidy snapmares Hangman, clamps onto the arm and hooks a leg but Hangman throws body shots.

AEW goes picture in picture as Kassidy cranks on the cording hold. Hangman endures, fights free and gets to a corner. Kassidy storms over to stomp Hangman, then he wraps Hangman’s arm around the ropes to YANK on it! Hangman clutches that arm, bails out of the ring, Kassidy pursues and gets in Hangman’s face. Hangman pushes Kassidy back but Kassidy throws body shots. Kassidy puts Hangman’s arm between railing and pulls on it! The ref reprimands, counts, and Kassidy lets go at 4. Kassidy glares at the ref but then talks trash to the Dark Order. Kassidy goes into the ring, Hangman gets in, and Kassidy talks smack on him, only for Hangman to throw heavy hands on him!

Hangman swings, Kassidy whips but Hangman reverses to send Kassidy out of the ring! Hangman gets the bad arm working while Kassidy is down on the outside. Hangman builds speed to DIVE into an uppercut! Kassidy grins as Hangman stirs in the ring. Kassidy gets the arm, pulls it between the ropes, then slingshots to DROP onto the arm! Cover, ONE, but Kassidy SLAMS Hangman’s arm back down! Cover, ONE, so Kassidy SLAMS the arm again! Cover, TWO!! Hangman is still in this and Kassidy grows annoyed. AEW returns to single picture as Kassidy drags Hangman up. Fans rally, Kassidy wrenches to a keylock, but Hangman endures.

Hangman claws at Kassidy’s face to get him away! The ref reprimands, Hangman runs in but is put on the apron! Kassidy ROCKS Hangman, grabs at the bad arm, and wrenches it, only for Hangman to YANK Kassidy into the ropes! The Dark Order rallies behind Hangman and he BOOTS Kassidy away! Hangman slingshots but Kassidy ROCKS him first! Kassidy runs, but Hangman gets in to ROLLING ELBOW Kassidy! Cover, TWO!! Kassidy survives and fans are fired up! Hangman shakes the bad arm, drags Kassidy back up, and whips him to ropes. Kassidy reverses and SCREW HIGH KICKS!

Kassidy runs, but Hangman follows! Kassidy leaps, into a DEATH VALLEY DRIVER! Both men are down and fans are fired up! The standing count begins, the fans rally up, and both men stand at 3. Hangman runs in at Kassidy to corner clothesline him! Hangman snapmares Kassidy, runs and SLIDING- NO! Kassidy dodges, mule kicks and CHOPS! Kassidy reels Hangman in but Hangman suplexes to BRAIN BUSTER! Cover, TWO!!! Kassidy lives and “This is Awesome!” Hangman and Kassidy slowly stir. Hangman aims from a corner, runs at Kassidy, but Kassidy blocks the boot to BOOT back! And enziguri, to a POISON-RANA! Cover, TWO!?!

But Kassidy has the arm for an ARMBAR! Hangman endures as Kassidy pulls back! Hangman sits up, and gets the ropebreak! Kassidy lets go at the ref’s count of 4, and Hangman drags himself away. Kassidy gets up, runs over, but Hangman FLIPS him out to the apron! Kassidy grabs at Hangman’s arm but Hangman BOOTS him from below! Hangman runs to triangle LAR- HOT SHOT!! Kassidy counters Hangman at the right time, slithers back up to the apron, and springboards, but no Destroyer! Hangman gives him the DEADEYE! Cover, Hangman wins!!

Winner: Hangman Page, by pinfall

The Dark Order are as excited as anyone that Hangman outguns Isiah Kassidy! Matt Hardy returns to say “You chose the Dark Order over Big Money Matt Hardy! I wanted to give you the world, but you betrayed me.” Hardy will hurt him in more ways than he can imagine, and that includes the Dark Order! Hardy kicks Alan Angels out of the tunnel to TOSS him into the timekeeper’s table!! The Dark Order chase after Hardy while Hangman sees what just happened. Will Hardy make everyone pay for Hangman’s gambit?

 

AEW Media finds Kenny Omega… in a workshop?

Alex Marvez wants to ask Kenny what he’s doing here but Don Callis asks Marvez what he’s doing here. This is a private work space, and this is part of a very secret plan to construct what they’re calling, “The Moxley Extermination Chamber.” Omega says if you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself. Not because Omega takes pride in his work, but because after they shred Moxley, Omega wants to know Moxley goes BOOM and BOOM and BOOM because of him! Omega will have all the credit who puts Moxley out of action for good! Back to work, boys! Marvez, get out!! Just what is the Cleaner creating specially for the Maniac?

 

AEW Women’s Title Eliminator Tournament US Bracket: Britt Baker w/ Rebel VS Nyla Rose!

The Dentist took care of a replacement opponent in Madi Wrenkowski while the Native Beast brutalized the Brazilian Blackbelt in Tay Conti. Now these two face off to determine the first US Bracket finalist, and the first overall Final Four entrant! Will the Doctor be in or out after facing this Vicious Vixen?

The bell rings and fans rally as Britt and Nyla circle. They tie up, Nyla shoves Britt down and fans fire up! Britt gets up as Rebel coaches her, and Britt circles with Nyla again. They tie up, Britt headlocks, but Nyla pulls hair! Nyla powers up but Britt grinds the headlock. Nyla powers out, Britt pulls hair and keeps the headlock on! Nyla powers out clean this time and runs Britt over! Nyla scoops Britt and SLAMS her, then waits for her to get up, so she can scoop and SLAM her again! Britt bails out and Rebel is there. Nyla waits as Rebel coaches Britt up. Britt is walking to the stage? She’s throwing a fit, too! Nyla lets Britt do what she wants because a count-out is a win, too!

Britt storms her way back to ringside, tells cameramen to get out of her way, and she gets back in the ring. Nyla storms over but into a kick! Britt runs, dodges but Nyla fireman’s carries to a SAMOAN DROP! Britt grits her teeth but Nyla stomps her to a corner. Nyla digs her boots into Britt in the corner, the ref counts and Nyla lets off at 4. Nyla grins as she sets Britt up, and says she’s going to break Britt again! Nyla runs corner to corner, Rebel gets Britt out of the way, but Nyla stops short. Nyla stomps and chokes Britt at the ropes! The ref reprimands everyone but Britt, Nyla lets off and Britt gets up to BOOT back! Britt goes up top but Nyla ROCKS her first!

Nyla fireman’s carries and just TOSSES Britt! Nyla fires up, stomps Britt and dares her to get up. Britt bails out instead, fans are actually cheering Nyla on, but Rebel tries to counter their cheering with one of her own. Britt is at a corner, Nyla storms over and grabs at Britt through the ropes, only for Britt to YANK Nyla into the post! Was Britt suckering Nyla in!? Nyla hobbles while clutching the arm and the ring count climbs. Britt is after the arm at the railing, and BOOTS it! And BOOTS Nyla again!

AEW goes picture in picture, Britt gets in the ring and Rebel swipes at Nyla. Nyla gets pissed and Rebel runs away! Nyla gets in, Britt stomps her at the ropes over and over, but lets off as the ref counts. Britt taunts Nyla, but Nyla hits her low! Britt throws forearms, clubs her down, but Nyla gets up to kick back! Nyla tries to gut wrench but the bad arm holders her back! Britt gives that arm a CODE BREAKER! Cover, TWO! Nyla is still in this but Britt sits her up to KICK her in the back! And then fakes a kick, to HEEL KICK instead! Britt stands on the bad arm, pulls on it then STOMPS it down! Britt is after the arm with a hammerlock and adds on a chinbar!

Nyla endures, Britt elbows away on the bad arm, then cranks on the hammerlock. Nyla fights up but Britt RAMS her into a corner! Nyla clutches the arm, Britt blows a kiss to the fans, and she pulls off a corner buckle to expose steel! Britt is really raising the stakes as AEW goes to break!

AEW returns and both women are on the top rope! Nyla is in control, and she drags Britt up for a ONE ARMED SUPERPLEX!! Nyla hauls Britt back up, but Britt suplexes Nyla into the corner?! Both women are down, the standing count begins, and Rebel coaches Britt. Britt and Nyla stand at 7, Britt storms over to throw forearms on Nyla! Nyla gets up, Britt runs but Nyla CLOBBERS her! And starts to rally! LEAPING PALM STRIKE! Fans are torn as Nyla drags Britt to a drop zone, and Nyla climbs up. Rebel distracts, Nyla hops down to APRON URENAGE Rebel! Britt superkicks but misses! Nyla mule kicks, and NECKBREAKERS! Cover, TWO!!

Nyla is beside herself as Britt is still in this. Nyla drags Britt up, reels Britt in, but Britt resists the bomb! Britt slips free and BOOTS Nyla down! Rebel gets Britt her rubber glove, she’s ready to operate! But Britt turns around into a choke grip, and CHOKE SLAM! Rebel gets in but Nyla CLOBBERS her into a corner! Nyla sees she has two targets, and she CANNONBALLS Rebel! Nyla runs at Britt but Britt gets up to send her into the bare buckle! Britt then Russian Leg Sweeps to a RINGS OF SATURN! Nyla resists, Britt hooks her up, and she reaches with the glove hand! Nyla powers up to pick Britt up out of that, for an AIR RAID CRASH! Cover, TWO!! Britt survives!!

Nyla resets, and grabs the buckle pad that was set aside. The ref takes that, throws it away, Britt cradles Nyla! TWO, SUPERKICK!! Britt runs in to SUPERKICK again! Nyla is still up!? Britt runs in, tilt-o-whirls and hits a CRUCIFIX DRIVER! Cover, TWO, but to the RINGS OF SATURN! Britt wants those teeth! Nyla fights with clubbing forearms! Britt goes to ropes in a daze, staggers into a RIGHT HAND! Nyla drags Britt back up, reels her in, but Britt still resists the lift! Nyla powers through for a NASTY BEAST BOMB!! Cover, TWO!?!? Nyla’s bad arm couldn’t help in the cover and Britt survives again! “This is Awesome!” and worthy of this tournament’s golden opportunity!

Nyla drags Britt up, gut wrenches her, but Britt flails free! SUPER- NO! Nyla gets under, BEAST BOMB!! Cover, Nyla wins!!

Winner: Nyla Rose, by pinfall (advances to the US Bracket Finals)

The Dentist could not break the Native Beast, and now the former AEW Women’s Champion is that much closer to another chance! We find out this Sunday who her opponent will be! Will it be the former NWA Women’s Champion, Thunder Rosa, or the inaugural AEW Women’s Champion and a rival of Nyla’s, the one and only Riho, that meets the beast at the Crossroads?

 

AEW profiles Jurassic Express VS FTR & Tully Blanchard!

Dax Harwood says that FTR came to AEW with a lot of fanfare because fans have wanted to see dream matches like FTR VS The Young Bucks, FTR VS Kenny Omega & Hangman Page. Oddly enough, the one match FTR wanted most was with Jurassic Express because of the huge differences between Jurassic Express and FTR. Jungle Boy says the first time around with FTR back in the summer, FTR had to cheat to win! JB knows things could’ve been very different that night, and this rivalry has mostly gotten personal because of FTR. FTR kidnapped Marko Stunt! The audacity!

Stunt says they want to cut the horns of the beast that is Luchasaurus, but they didn’t realize that only unleased him! And then they go and kidnap “the weak link” in Stunt? Aren’t #TopGuys supposed to do #TopGuysShit? They don’t realize what they’ve done! Cash Wheeler says last week, Jurassic Express was confident because it was 3v2. But Tully wasn’t there. Tully will be here on 3/3, and when it’s 3v3, not even all three of Jurassic Express can “hold a candle” to Tully! Tully was the engine of the Four Horsemen! Him with FTR is a dream team! Luchasaurus admits Tully might be one of the best all time, but how long has it been since Tully got in the ring? “Things have changed. Times have changed.”

Dax knows it’s been since 1989, over 30 years, that Tully has wrestled in a ring. But he’s coming out of retirement just for Jurassic Express! That’s something Jurassic Express needs to have on their conscience! Even before FTR met Tully, they knew he was one of the most influential wrestlers in their career. With him by their side, they’re even greater than they already were. #TopGuysOut. But will FTR have to be the ones to #FearTheRevenge of Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy and Marko Stunt?

 

AEW has more in store for The Crossroads edition of Dynamite!

Ahead of their AEW World Tag Team Championship match, Y2MJF will have a press conference to discuss that and what they did to Papa Buck earlier tonight! Paul Wight (The Big Show) is officially All Elite, and Tony Schiavone will interview him in preparation of them cohosting the newest AEW weekly program, Dark Elevation! Then, after what went down with Big Money Matt and the Dark Order, there will be a HUGE 10 Man Tag! Hardy leads Private Party and The Hybrid2 against Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, Silver, Reynolds, and the man Hardy tossed through a table, Alan Angels! Will the Dark Order make Hardy pay before Hardy and Hangman settle up?

And to fill one of the spots in the Face of the Revolution Ladder match, the Dark Order’s Number 10, Preston Vance, goes 1v1 with The Acclaimed’s Max Caster! And of course, there will be THE AEW Women’s World Title Eliminator Finals, only one woman can face Hikaru Shida at Revolution!

Speaking of Revolution, there will be a Casino Tag Team Royale! We already know there will be Bear Country, Private Party, Top Flight, The Butcher & The Blade, Santana & Ortiz, and BOTH the Dark Order’s Uno & Stu and Reynolds & Silver! More will be announced during The Crossroads, but only one team can win a chance at the world tag team championships! And after the albeit “childish” challenge was issued, Miro and Kip have accepted! Will they force “Charles” to return “home?” Or will they get a nice serving of Freshly Squeezed Orange Punch?

 

Face of the Revolution Ladder Match Qualifier: Rey Fenix VS Lance Archer w/ Jake the Snake!

Cody Rhodes, Scorpio Sky and Fenix’s hermano, Pentagon, have already been named for this match. Another spot will be filled as the Firebird and the Murderhawk battle! Who joins an already star studded match and fight for a TNT Championship opportunity?

The bell rings and Fenix circles with Archer. They get in each other’s face, or rather Fenix in Archer’s shoulder, and Archer shoves him away. Fenix CHOPS Archer, Archer smiles, but Fenix KICKS and KICKS then dodges to mule kick. Archer blocks that last one to flip Fenix, but Fenix lands on his feet! Fenix runs but into a knee! Archer whips, Fenix goes Spiderman to heel kick but Archer deflects that to ROCK Fenix with a right! Archer whips, Fenix goes Spiderman again but the heel kick is still blocks! Fenix blocks the haymaker this time, CHOPS, blocks another haymaker and CHOPS, but Archer choke grips! Archer shoves Fenix to a corner, Fenix goes up and boots back!

Fenix leaps and RANAS Archer to ropes! Archer is up, Fenix handsprings but into a CLUBBING forearm! Fans boo Archer as he shakes out the stars spinning around his head. Archer drags Fenix up, bumps him off buckles hard, and then follows Fenix to the apron! Archer pulls Fenix back against ropes, lets off as the ref counts, and fans start to duel. Archer drags Fenix up, whips him to ropes, but Fenix holds the ropes to stop. Archer runs in but Fenix dumps him out! Fenix builds speed and DIVES! Direct hit, and Fenix tumbles off Archer into the front row! Fenix’s peers help him stay up, and he goes back to ringside after Archer.

Jake the Snake gives Fenix space at the steps as Fenix climbs up. Archer goes to the apron, Fenix climbs up, but now the Snake is lurking! Fenix stumbles and falls to the ramp! But Fenix gets up as Snake talks with Archer, and FLIES over Snake to take Archer down!! Fans are going nuts as Fenix gets up! Fenix glares at Snake, the ref has them stay apart, and Fenix goes to Archer. Fenix puts Archer against railing and CHOPS him! Archer goes around the way, Fenix CHOPS him again, but Archer CHOPS Fenix off his feet! Archer CHOPS Fenix over the railing! Fans are going nuts again as Archer paces and AEW goes picture in picture.

Archer drags Fenix up and over the railing, dumps him to ringside, but Fenix throws body shots. Archer ROCKS Fenix, puts him against the post, but Fenix moves and Archer POSTS himself! Fenix hurries up and DROPKICKS Archer down! Fenix pushes Archer into the ring, goes to the corner and aims, to springboard SPLASH! Cover, TWO!! Fenix covers again, TWO! Fenix CLOBBERS Archer, covers, ONE!! Fenix ends up tumbling out of the ring from the strength of that kick-out! Fenix gets back in but Archer kicks him low and ROCKS him again! Archer whips Fenix into a corner hard and Fenix flops to the mat.

Archer CLUBS and KICKS Fenix around, stomps him around, then snarls as he covers. TWO, and Archer is annoyed. Archer rains down rights, clubbing crossface forearms, and then covers again, TWO! Archer is even more annoyed with Fenix, glares at the ref, too, then goes back to Fenix at the ropes. Archer smothers Fenix against ropes, the ref counts, but Archer twists Fenix’s neck more. Fenix flops to the apron, Archer drags him back in, and AEW returns to single picture. Fenix fights back with body shots but Archer eggs him on. Fenix CHOPS Archer, CHOPS again, but Archer kicks and ROCKS him again!

Archer paces as fans boo, and Archer drags Fenix from ropes. Archer gives more clubbing forearms, drags Fenix up, but Fenix keeps fighting! Fenix CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS, but Archer CHOPS Fenix! Choke grip but Fenix fights out! Fenix elbows, goes to the apron, goes up but gets caught! Fenix fights the choke slam off so Archer just CLOBBERS him off the apron!! Archer goes out to drag Fenix back up, and whips him hard into the railing! Snake smirks as fans are freaking out! Archer drags Fenix up to whip him even harder into the other railing! The ref wants Archer to get this in the ring, Archer drags Fenix up to ROCK him against more railing! And again! And again!

Archer gets space, runs back in, and CANNONBALLS Fenix into the railing! Archer is having fun as he leaves Fenix behind and fans chant “This is Awesome!” Archer puts Fenix back in, looms over Fenix, and hauls him up for a suplex TOSS! Fenix ends up in a corner and flops against buckles! Archer storms over, drags Fenix up and puts him on the top rope. Archer CHOPS, inverted crucifix lifts, but Fenix slips out to fire off forearms! Fenix waistlocks, Archer elbows free but Fenix shoves him to a corner! 619 to the gut! FLYING DOUBLE STOMPS to the head!! Both men are down and fans are going nuts! Snake is going nuts but in a bad way as Fenix crawls to a cover, ONE?!?

Fans chant for “A E DUB! A E DUB!” as Fenix and Archer flounder up. Fenix CHOPS, wrenches, and fireman’s carries?! Archer slips off to waistlock and GERMAN SUPLEX! Fenix is down but stirring as fans rally up. Archer slowly stands, storms over to Fenix, and he drags Fenix back up by one arm. Archer CLUBS Fenix, knuckle locks and goes up the corner. Archer walks the tightrope, and gives us the MOONSAULT ATTACK! Cover, TWO!! Fenix still lives and Archer sighs. Fans rally and duel as Fenix stirs and gets to a corner. Archer is after him already, puts him through the ropes and bends him back again to CLUB him down! And CHOPS him on the back!

Archer brings Fenix around but Fenix fires off more CHOPS! Fenix CHOPS Archer to a corner, whips him corner to corner, but Archer reverses hard! Archer runs in to RAM Fenix, then he lets Fenix flop back down. Archer pulls on Fenix’s mask, but lets off to bring him up and around. Fans duel, Archer runs corner to corner and back elbows! Archer keeps moving, but Fenix SUPERKICKS back! Fenix slips out and around to GAMANGIRI! Archer flounders, Fenix dodges his boot to club away at the ropes! Fenix walks the tightrope now to PENALTY KICK! Both men are down, the fans are electric, Fenix covers, TWO!! Archer is still in this but Fenix is on him with DANIELSON STOMPS!

Fenix goes to a corner while Archer is in the drop zone. Fenix hops up and MOONSAULTS, but Archer moves, so Fenix somersaults through! ROLLING CUTTER!! Cover, TWO!! Archer survives again and Fenix can’t believe it! Fenix hauls Archer up, Archer whips him away and runs in to ROCK him with a right! Archer puts Fenix up top, hooks legs and brings Fenix out, FISHERMAN BUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Fenix survives again but Archer drags him back up! Archer goes up the corner, drags Fenix up to join him, but Fenix fights the choke grip to adjust! Archer body shots, Fenix rebounds, SUPER SPANISH FLY!! Cover, TWO!?!? How are either of these guys doing this?!

Fenix fireman’s carries, Archer pulls the mask! Fans boo, Fenix SUPERKICKS, mule kicks, forearms and CHOPS! Fenix fires up, runs, but gets DERAILED!! Both men are down but Archer fires up! Archer drags Fenix up and reel shim in, for a BUCKLE BOMB! Choke grip, CHOKE SLAM!! Cover, TWO?!?! Archer drags Fenix to a corner, hauls him up, CHOPS and inverted crucifix lifts, for the BLACKOUT BOMB!!! Cover, Archer wins!!!

Winner: Lance Archer, by pinfall (advances to the Revolution Ladder Match)

What a battle just to get into the PPV ladder match! How much harder will Archer fight to make sure #EverybodyDies and he gets his shot at Darby Allin? But Archer still shows respect to Fenix by sitting him up and offering a fist bump. Fenix gives that fist bump back, will these two circle back around for another instant classic?


My Thoughts:

An awesome episode with so much action that this episode went by really fast! Moxley opens with a really good win over Nemeth and a great promo to set up his side of the AEW World Championship match at Revolution. I like that we got a quick segment from Omega later to suggest he’s going to bring out another insane looking structure like that barbed wire bed from Full Gear 2019. The Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatch is definitely going to live up to that “Unsanctioned” match from Full Gear 2019, and might possibly outdo it somehow. It can go either way, but it really feels like Omega will retain so that he can keep this story of himself and everyone else in the Elite/Biz Cliz going.

Cage & Starks of course beat the Varsity Blondes but it was a pretty good match. The response from Sting and Darby was great, especially Darby ziplining in. This is like Batman and Robin or something taking on their Rogue’s Gallery. The Street Fight will be really good, but I oddly hope the rest of Team Taz stays out of it so that we can also get Darby VS Hobbs at some point, to revisit how Hobbs betrayed him to join up with Taz. Of course, Darby will also have a challenger after the Face of the Revolution Ladder match, but Darby VS Hobbs can always happen before or after that challenge. The challenge is for the TNT title, but it doesn’t have to be against Darby.

Cutler VS Hager was good, but it mostly worked as a vehicle to what The Inner Circle did to Mr. Jackson. That was some of the blatantly fake blood, but obviously Mr. Jackson wasn’t really going to bleed. They still could’ve done a bit more than paint him, though. The Bucks are definitely going to crash the “press conference” next week and that math will tell us a bit on Revolution. It would be interesting if Santana & Ortiz won the Casino Tag Team Battle Royale, then Y2MJF end up champs, giving us a new wrinkle in the Inner Circle dysfunction.

Hangman VS Kassidy was great, as was Hardy throwing Angels off the stage. Dark Order VS Team Hardy is going to be a really good go-home, and I bet Hangman helps out at some point. The interview segment with Miro & The Superbads was alright, but Chuck challenging Miro through a letter like they’re in grade school was funny. Their tag match at Revolution will be good, and I bet Trent returns through that to help his best friends beat Miro. We got a great hype package for Shaq & Jade VS Cody & Velvet, and another great one for Jurassic Express VS FearTullyReturning, and there’s a lot of other great stuff hyped up for the go-home.

Nyla VS Britt was a great match, but I am a bit surprised Britt didn’t win with cheating. The US Finals might flip the switch from Rosa VS Britt to Nyla VS Riho, another rivalry that was pretty big for the AEW Women’s Division. Maybe AEW will let Rosa’s quest for the AEW Women’s Title, NWA Women’s Title and revenge on Britt be what carries us through Spring into Summer so that by All Out 2021, she’ll have at least checked of two of those things. I’m just not sure the timing of the last few matches in the tournament. I know we get Riho VS Rosa as part of the Sunday special, but is there also going to be another Monday show on YouTube? Or is something planned for a pre-Revolution Dark? Maybe a double header on the go-home? US Finals happens, then the winner immediately has to face the Japan Finals winner?

Archer VS Fenix was awesome! Truly a match of the week contender, maybe even month. With Penta already in the ladder match, it does make some sense for Archer to win and move on. Fenix and Penta are meant to stay on the same page now that Death Triangle is possible, so pitting them against each other at Revolution would go against that. Archer also differs from the other participants so far. Cody is more technical and we have the high-flyer risk-takers in Penta and Scorpio, so Archer as a powerhouse is what changes things up. Number 10 VS Max Caster is an interesting match up that could go either way to add another interesting possibility into the match. I just hope Cody doesn’t end up winning, he doesn’t need to be dominating the TNT Division if he’s also going to be a daddy soon enough.

My Score: 9.5/10


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