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Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Report! (5/1/18)

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Cedric Alexander successfully defended his WWE Cruiserweight Championship in Saudi Arabia against the Gauntlet winner, Kalisto! While the Lucha Dragon settles things with the aggressive grappler, Drew Gulak, who will step up to challenge the Age Of Alexander? And what of the Best Kept Secret, Buddy Murphy, weighing in?

 

All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Hideo Itami & Akira Tozawa VS Jack Gallagher & THE Brian Kendrick; Gallagher & Kendrick win.
  • Buddy Murphy VS Liam Louise; Murphy wins.
  • Drew Gulak VS Kalisto; Gulak wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

205 Live reviews the Greatest Royal Rumble’s Cruiserweight Championship match.

Current champion Cedric Alexander and former champion Kalisto opened the inaugural event in Saudi Arabia, and burned the house down! It was their first ever meeting but the Lucha Dragon and Soul of 205 Live were still familiar with each other’s style. In the end, the light speed luchador would be stopped with an amazing reversal of his finisher into Alexander’s. The Age of Alexander rolls on, who will rise to meet the challenge?

 

Hideo Itami & Akira Tozawa VS Jack Gallagher & THE Brian Kendrick!

The tag team action on 205 Live has been intense to say the least. This Strong Style duo has been going back and forth with the Lucha House Party for weeks no, even in losing the first ever 205 Live Tornado Tag. Meanwhile, the Ungentle Men are back as a team in their own right. Now, they said there are no hard feelings between them and Itami, but will that all change with this match?

The bell rings, and Tozawa starts against Gallagher. They circle, Tozawa staying out of Gallagher’s reach as he jabs. Gallagher swings and Tozawa ducks under to chop and chop. Tozawa fakes the third chop to hit his own jab! Gallagher sits down in a corner and Tozawa stomps a mudhole in while Montreal echoes the “AH! AH!” Gallagher blocks one to then headbutt and whip Tozawa. Tozawa reverses but Gallagher sunset flips, only for Tozawa to roll through and hit a Penalty Kick. Tozawa hits the back senton, then starts up more “AH! AH!” Gallagher retaliates with a jawbreaker, but both he and Tozawa tag out. Now it’s Kendrick and Itami, this will be the test of Kendrick’s word.

The two circle then tie up, and Kendrick gets the armlock. He grounds Itami but Itami drop toeholds back. Itami puts on a headlock, but Kendrick stands up and reverses to a wristlock. Itami hits back with a forearm, then dares Kendrick to bring the fight. Kendrick does with a stiff forearm of his own, and now they trade forearm for forearm. They go back and forth, Kendrick changes up to chops. Kendrick brings Itaim to his knees, but Itami fires back with haymakers. Kendrick clubs and kicks Itami, but Itami blocks. Itami dragon screws the leg, then stomps Kendrick back. Tag to Tozawa, and they double whip Kendrick corner to corner. Tozawa hits the elbow, Itami runs in and together they hit the corner kick combo.

Tozawa climbs up and takes aim for a big missile dropkick. Cover, ropebreak! Kendrick gets to a corner but Tozawa is on him with stomps. Tozawa backs up and runs back in, but Kendrick puts him on the apron. Tozawa fights Kendrick and Gallagher off, but Gallagher then anchors a foot. Kendrick boots Tozawa down to the ground! Gallagher sneaks back to his corner, then tags in. Gallagher drags Tozawa up and uses a Russian leg sweep to throw him into barriers!

They go back into the ring, and Gallagher covers, ONE. He tries again, TWO. Gallagher takes his time as he brings Tozawa up and over to his corner. Tag to Kendrick, and the Man with a Plan keeps on Tozawa, another familiar foe of his. Kendrick puts Tozawa in a chicken wing chinbar, but fans “AH! AH!” for Tozawa. Tozawa feeds off that energy and fights back, but Kendrick whips him to the corner. Tozawa takes out Gallagher, then blocks the saido suplex. Kendrick clubs him down but Tozawa slips under, tag to Itami! Itami rallies with kicks all over Kendrick. He lifts Kendrick and whips, but Kendrick reverses. Itami dodges Kendrick to hit Gallager down again, then he boots Kendrick away. Itami hops up and grabs Kendrick for the tornado hotshot! He climbs up again,and hits the flying clothesline! Cover, TWO!

But Itami keeps focus, he gives Kendrick a strike fest. Kendrick sits down, “RESPECT ME!” Hesitation dropkick! Itami is still moving as he brings Kendrick back up, but Kendrick snapmares out. Kendrick boots Itami, Itami staggers and Tozawa tags in, then Itami boots Kendrick in return. Kendrick rolls out of the ring while Tozawa fires up. Tozawa builds speed and DIVES!

The Tozawa Torpedo takes out both Ungentle Men! Tozawa puts Kendrick back in the ring, and runs for a tilt-o-whirl into the Octopus stretch! Gallagher attacks to break that hold, then knocks Itami down in return for eariler. Gallagher then goes back to his corner to tag in. He goes after Tozawa while Kendrick climbs up. Gallagher powerbomb lifts Tozawa, but Tozawa slaps Kendrick off the top to then huricanrana Gallagher away. Tozawa and Gallagher both stand up, and Tozawa catches Gallagher with his spinning roundhouse! Gallagher goes down but Tozawa goes up. Tozawa takes aim, but Kendrick runs back in, with Itami following. Itami bumps the ropes and that trips Tozawa up! Itami realizes his error, but Kendrick knocks him down with the calf kick. Tozawa falls to the mat, Itami is out of the ring, and Gallagher finishes with the Extraordinary Headbutt!

Cover, the Ungentle Men win!

Winners: Gallagher & Kendrick, Gallagher pinning

This was far from civil, but as Kendrick’s track record will show, it wasn’t the worst he’s done, either. Will the cruel winter continue to leave the other Cruiserweight tag teams out in the cold?

Meanwhile, it seems Itami is very upset with Tozawa. He shoves Tozawa down, and fans boo and jeer while he leaves. The fans chant “No Respect!” both because they don’t have any for Itami, and Itami apparently doesn’t have any for Tozawa. Is this tag team already on the rocks after a couple losses?

 

Drew Gulak speaks.

“This must be what it’s like to be Kalisto. Second place, runner-up.” Gulak says Kalisto squandered his opportunity at the Cruiserweight Championship in Saudi Arabia. Gulak isn’t surprised, though. Kalisto barely beat the “best submission specialist” in the WWE with all that flipping, flopping and flying. Gulak won’t let that work tonight, because he’s 100% this time. The second Kalisto enters the ring, it’s over. Gulak must prove that flying isn’t how you win in a #Better205Live. Because when you step to Gulak, you will tap out. Will Gulak keep his word while evening the score?

 

Buddy Murphy VS Liam Louise!

The Best Kept Secret returns to the Cruiserweight Division after not making weight a couple weeks ago. He didn’t get his shot at the champion, but he made it clear to Drake Maverick that he still wants after the Cruiserweight title. Will the Aussie Antagonist prove he’s worthy to challenge the Age of Alexander his first night back?

The bell rings and Murphy immediately manhandles Montreal’s Liam into a corner! Murphy stomps a mudhole, then suplexes Liam up and down. Murphy shows no mercy as he kicks and scrapes Liam against the ropes. He throws Liam down and stalks him to the other side. Murphy even slaps Liam, which the referee reprimands him for. Murphy walks back to Liam, and Liam hits a right forearm! The fans cheer, but Murphy gets mad. Murphy blocks the kick into a powerbomb! But he doesn’t cover, he deadlifts Liam back up for a second powerbomb, and then a third! Now Murphy covers, but he lets Liam go?! Murphy doesn’t want to win, he wants to hurt Liam. The referee checks on Liam, but he’s in no shape to continue, he calls it.

Winner: Murphy, by referee stoppage

The merciless Murphy wins his return match, and does not care about what he did to the local boy, Liam. Murphy only cares about getting the gold, and the champion knows it. Which is why Cedric Alexander appears!

Alexander promised to get even with Murphy should Murphy return, here’s his chance! The two rush each other and it’s a brawl on the stage! Alexander and Murphy throw hands back and forth, but Alexander trips up Murphy! Murphy kicks Alexander away to retreat, but Alexander pursues! Is the Best Kept Secret going to regret returning to the Cruiserweight Division?

 

Backstage interview with Cedric Alexander.

The Cruiserweight Champion feels good after his brawl

“What just happened out there?” For those who forgot, Buddy Murphy made a statement weeks ago with his sneak attack. That was Alexander’s long awaited response. The difference is, Alexander didn’t attack from behind. If Murphy wants the title as badly as he thinks he does, he knows where to find the champ. When and where will the Age of Alexander defend his championship against the Best Kept Secret?

 

Drew Gulak VS Kalisto!

Lucha House Party with their matracas

The Cruiserweight Crusader proclaims to be the best submission specialist in all of the WWE, but that still didn’t win him the Cruiserweight Championship #1 Contenders Gauntlet. Of course, the former champion didn’t win the Cruiserweight title back, either. But as Kalisto says in his selfie promo, it was thanks to his amigos that he picked himself back up. Will Gulak grind Kalisto into the ground? Or will the power of lucha carry Kalisto through?

The bell rings and the two circle. They feel each other out before tying up. Gulak gets the waistlock and slam, then he slaps Kalisto in the back of the head. Gulak keeps Kalisto from escaping with a partial Bow ‘n’ Arrow lock, then goes after the arm with a keylock into a half nelson. He rolls Kalisto with a full nelson to a cover, ONE. Kalisto pops out, rolls and cartwheels to reverse the wristlock onto Gulak. Gulak breaks free, but Kalisto starts up a “Lucha! Lucha!” chant. Gulak still hates chants, but he keeps his cool as he and Kalisto circle. They tie up, Gulak gets wristlock control and brings Kalisto down. Fans rally, and Kalisto springs up, but he can’t reverse the hold this time.

Gulak brings Kalisto to the mat again, and traps one arm in a hammerlock while bringing the other arm all the way down. It becomes a cover, ONE, but Kalisto can’t get away. He stands up but Gulak shifts to a headlock for a takedown. Gulak traps an arm again, but Kalisto works his way against the hold. Kalisto stands while fans rally, and he spins out to his own headlock. Gulak powers out and things speed up as Kalisto handstand walks. Kalisto handsprings back but Gulak avoids him completely. Fans applaud this exchange, not that Gulak was impressed. Kalisto says Gulak is just scared of his speed.

Gulak powers Kalisto to a corner, and dirties the break with that body shot. Gulak grabs a leg and brings Kalisto down into a Half Crab. Kalisto turns around while fans rally, and he hops to throw Gulak off! Gulak goes right after him again with stiff chops, then whips Kalisto corner to corner. Kalisto boots Gulak away then hops up, to fly for a spinning arm-drag! Kalisto keeps moving to Spike-Rana Gulak into the mat. Gulak slips out of the ring, but Kalisto takes aim, and slingshots for a corkscrew plancha!

But Gulak uses that to give Kalisto a gutbuster! Kalisto writhes on the ground while Gulak taunts him and his high-flying style. Gulak then rams Kalisto into the LED apron ribs first to add on to the damage. He stalks Kalisto around the corner, then brings him up and into the ring. Gulak stomps Kalisto around the ring, then brings him up into powerbomb position. He lifts, not for the bomb, but for the Gory Special!

Gulak keeps going with a deep, deep stretch, pulling on Kalisto’s chin to get all of that spine bending as Gulak squats. He makes it a backslide, TWO, but Gulak keeps on him with a take on the full Boston Crab. Kalisto slowly works his way out, but that makes it a cover, ONE. Gulak works to turn Kalisto back over, but Kalisto crawls to the ropes for the break. Gulak lets go of Kailsto but goes right back at him with stomps. He whips Kalisto to a corner, then clubs Kalisto with forearms. Gulak whips Kalisto corner to corner, then runs in for a corner clothesline. Cover, TWO. Gulak keeps on Kalisto with another Bow ‘n’ Arrow hold. He bends Kalisto backwards, saying he should give up already. Fans build to a rally for Kalisto, but Gulak stands up for a unique take on the Half Crab.

Gulak pulls Kalisto’s leg back while bending Kalisto’s back. Kalisto tucks and slips out to then kick Gulak away. Kalisto keeps kicking Gulak around the ring, but Gulak rocks him with one right forearm. Cover, TWO, but Gulak stalks Kalisto. Gulak goes after the mask! He almost has it off, but the referee works to stop him. Gulak won’t leave it alone, but Kalisto saves himself as he throws Gulak out of the ring. Kalisto pulls his mask back down while Gulak returns. Kalisto glares at Gulak, and unloads kicks on Gulak! He whips but Gulak reverses, Kalisto tumbles to the apron. Gulak runs over but into a Listo kick, then the springboard missile dropkick!

Gulak slips out the other side, so Kalisto slingshots out for a flying arm-drag! Kalisto throws Gulak to the ramp, but he wants Gulak to get up. Fans chant “Lucha! Lucha!” as Kalisto runs in. Gulak pops him up to the apron, but Kalisto jumps right back off for a flying headscissors! Fans fire up as Kalisto puts Gulak back in the ring. Kalisto takes aim from the apron, then springboards for the crossbody. Cover, TWO, and Gulak rushes Kalisto again, only to get dumped out to the floor. Kalisto takes aim again, and hits the knee-springboard senton!

Kalisto topples Gulak down and the fans fire up again. Both men are down, so the referee begins a ten count. Kalisto puts Gulak in and covers, TWO. Kalisto keeps focus and starts up another “Lucha! Lucha!” chant. He goes for Salida, but Gulak throws him off. Kalisto shoves Gulak but Gulak rolls under Kalisto’s jump to O’Conner roll! TWO and Kalisto speeds up for a sunset flip, TWO! Kalisto catches his breath while coming up with ideas. Fans love the action, declaring “This is Awesome!” Kalisto and Gulak slowly sit up, and Kalisto throws hands. Gulak hits back with palm strikes but Kalisto back kicks, another Spike-Rana connects. Kalisto keeps going, but his quebrada is caught into the GuLOCK!

Gulak has Kalisto trapped with dragon sleeper and body scissors. Kalisto taps, Gulak wins!

Winner: Gulak, by submission

The self-proclaimed best submission specialist makes good on his word, Kalisto did tap out. The other members of Lucha House Party return to check on their friend. Gulak is tempted to get greedy, but chooses discretion over aggression. Gulak wants to create a #Better205Live one win at a time, will this win lead him towards the Cruiserweight Championship?

 


 

My Thoughts:

Another solid night for 205 Live and the Cruiserweight Division. The opening tag team match was good but I really hope they don’t break up the team of Itami & Tozawa already. The Cruiserweight Tag Team Division isn’t even official, they can’t break up teams before we even get going! Even if they added the Daivari Brothers, as teased at the Greatest Royal Rumble, breaking up another team would make the net gain zero. Murphy’s return was expected, but that squash match was rather surprising. His confrontation with Alexander was good, and he’ll have a match with Mustafa Ali next week, so it sounds like Murphy VS Alexander will happen at Money in the Bank at the earliest.

Kalisto VS Gulak was great, and Gulak gets back on track with his win. The little moment of temptation was a nice touch, Gulak is violent but still logical. Should Alexander retain against Murphy, I’d assume Gulak moves up next to finally give us the match-up we’ve been waiting for since the dark days of Enzo Amore’s reign. And if Murphy wins, I’d imagine Alexander gets his rematch at Extreme Rules, maybe even in a No Disqualifications Match.

My Score: 8/10


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Coverage

Mitchell’s NJPW G1 Climax 31 Results & Report! (9/26/21)

Round three, A Block!

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NJPW G1 Climax 31

The G1 Climax rolls on!

The G1 Climax rolls on deeper into the Fall! Zack Sabre Jr. has defeated two top names in NJPW in a row, will he make it a third?

NOTE: NJPW no longer wants to feed AXS TV now that it is with Anthem and Impact Wrestling. But never fear, I will cover NJPW in the spirit of AXS in providing the most important matches of the show.

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Great-O-Kahn VS Yujiro Takahashi w/ Pieter; Khan wins.
  • Toru Yano VS Tanga Loa w/ Jado; Yano wins.
  • Tomohiro Ishii VS KENTA: Kenta wins.
  • Kota Ibushi VS Zack Sabre Jr; ZSJ wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Here are the current A Block standings! (Adjusted for Naito’s absence)

Great-O-Khan: 3-0, 6 points
Zack Sabre Jr: 2-0, 4 points
Shingo Takagi: 2-1, 4 points [has special singles bye]
Kenta: 2-1, 4 points
Yujiro Takahashi: 2-1, 4 points
Toru Yano: 2-1, 4 points
Kota Ibushi: 2-1, 4 points
Tanga Loa: 1-1, 2 points
Tomohiro Ishii: 1-2, 2 points

 

BONUS CONTENT: Takagi speaks after his win over Yuji Nagata.

“I’m HERE! I’ve returned to Kobe. Unfortunately, the scheduled main event, Takagi VS Naito, couldn’t happen as planned. But I’ll do my part to make sure that we get to see Shingo Takagi VS Tetsuya Naito very soon!” In order to do that, Takagi promises to win the G1! And that’s all he has to say about that. So now, the Dragon’s mission to make history has even more fuel for the fire! Will Takagi take the block, take the G1 trophy and name Naito as his Wrestle Kingdom challenger?

 

Great-O-Kahn VS Yujiro Takahashi w/ Pieter!

The Dominator technically leads the block given the allotted Naito points, but he still has to earn the other victories! Will the Tokyo Pimp get back up in the G1 with another shocking win?

The bell rings and Khan stares Yujiro down. Then he drops to dare Yujiro to take on his leg guard. Pieter thinks this is a trick but Yujiro walks up to try it. Yujiro gives kicks but Khan keeps his guard up. Yujiro kicks again but gets caught to a KNEEBAR! Yujiro scrambles to the ropebreak and Khan lets go. Khan waits on Yujiro and they reset. They feel out the grapple, Khan gets a leg then a waistlock then drags Yujiro down. Khan shifts to an arm but Yujiro wrenches. The two separate, tie up again, and Khan waistlocks for another takedown. Khan rolls but Yujiro prevents the cover. Yujiro gets a facelock but Khan counters with a takedown. Cover, ONE, and fans cheer the exchange.

Khan and Yujiro reset again, feel out a new grapple, and Khan has a facelock. Khan throws Yujiro over to a lateral press, ONE, but Khan keeps on with the facelock. Yujiro fights up, and BITES Khan’s hand! The ref counts, Khan grabs Yujiro’s ear with the claw! Khan CLUBS Yujiro’s ear, then kicks. Yujiro blocks to throw Khan down and he basement boots Khan away! Yujiro kicks Khan out of the ring then goes out to bring him up for a low knee. Yujiro CLUBS Khan, has Pieter bring him his cane, and then Pieter distracts the ref while Yujiro brings Khan up the ramp. Yujiro gets space to CANE SHOT Khan back down the ramp! Khan tumbles all the way to ringside!

Yujiro struts his way back and tosses the cane aside. Yujiro goes into the ring to let the ring count take care of Khan. Khan clutches his back as the count climbs all the way to 10 of 20. Khan manages to stand at 14 but with help of railing. Khan crawls and gets in at 19.5! Fans cheer but Yujiro drags Khan up by his beard. Yujiro snapmares Khan and then throws haymakers. Pieter’s almost dancing as Yujiro runs and basement boots Khan back down! Cover, TWO! Yujiro smirks while Khan tries to get feeling in his lower back. Yujiro drops a leg, drops an elbow and drops a headbutt. Cover, TWO! Yujiro grows annoyed but he gives toying kicks and head slaps.

Khan throws body shots and forearms but Yujiro SLAPS him! Yujiro scoops and SLAMS Khan, then runs to drop a leg, brother! Cover, TWO! Yujiro is again annoyed but he stomps Khan down. Fans rally up for Khan but Yujiro stomps him at the ropes. Yujiro brings Khan up but Khan CHOPS him! And CHOPS! And then throws forearms! Yujiro knees low, whips Khan to a corner and runs in to BOOT him! Yujiro runs but Khan kicks. Yujiro blocks, throws Khan down again but Khan avoids the basement boot! Khan returns the favor with the kick block and throw! Dead lift gut wrench suplex! Both men are down and fans rally up!

Khan and Yujiro slowly rise, and Khan reels Yujiro in. Yujiro throws forearms in return, but Khan RAMS Yujiro into a corner! Khan fires himself up and whips Yujiro corner to corner to then clothesline from behind! Khan hoists Yujiro up top, puts some stank on his hands and MONGOLIAN CHOPS Yujiro in the back! Yujiro falls into the Tree of Woe and then Khan makes sure Pieter is watching as he toys with Tokyo Pimp. Khan goes to the far corner, hits a three point stance and runs in to SLIDING BOOT Yujiro out of the Tree! Cover, TWO! Khan keeps his cool, and he starts taunting Yujiro back with toying kicks.

Khan asks Pieter what’s up with Yujiro but Yujiro springs up to CHOP! Khan CHOPS back! Khan eggs Yujiro on, Yujiro CHOPS back! They CHOP and CHOP, then Yujiro mule kicks! MONGOLIAN CHOPS and an URENAGE from Khan! Cover, TWO! KATAGATAMI! The head ‘n’ arm triangle squeeze the air out of Yujiro as Khan pushes up! Yujiro reaches out and gets a ROPEBREAK with a foot! Khan holds until the ref counts 4, and fans rally up as Khan slashes his throat! Khan drags Yujiro up, dragon sleepers and suplexes but Yujiro slips out! FISHERMAN BUSTER! Fans fire up as both men are down on the mat! Yujiro stirs as fans build to another rally and Khan slowly rises.

Yujiro runs at Khan to BOOT, then he runs to dodge a boot! Yujiro reels Khan in, INCOLLE SLAM! Cover, TWO! Khan is still in this but Yujiro still has tricks to try. Khan flounders to ropes, Yujiro storms over and brings him up. Yujiro has Khan lean on the ropes for his BOOT! Yujiro then reels Khan in for a fireman’s carry, MIAMI SHINE! Cover, TWO!! Khan still lives and Yujiro grows frustrated! Yujiro drags Khan up, reels him in, but no Pimp Juice! IRON CLAW SLEEPER!! Khan then spins Yujiro around but Yujiro slips out of the Eliminator to LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! Khan again survives, but Yujiro roars! Fans fire up with Yujiro as he goes back to Khan!

Yujiro drags Khan up, reels him in, IMP- NO! No Impaler as Khan whips, but DOUBLE LARIATS collide! Neither man falls so Yujiro roars again! But he runs into the KITSUJIGOROSHI!! And ELIMINATOR SLAM!! Cover, Khan wins!!

Winner: Great-O-Khan, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Yujiro earns 0)

The Dominator IS dominating the block! With the Naito forfeit giving him bonus points, he’s already at 8! Will Khan continue to run away with the lead? As for Yujiro, will he be able to get another win as good as his first?

 

Toru Yano VS Tanga Loa w/ Jado!

The Clown Prince was dominated by Great-O-Khan while the Silverback got a Blue Justice bye. Who gets back into the swing of things with round three?

Yano’s long introduction finishes and Loa Low Sweets with Jado. But Yano again gets impatient as the ref checks him for things. What is that bag that is suspiciously labeled as if it weren’t suspicious? It’s Yano’s stash of extra wrist tape AND handcuffs! Yano claims those are harmless but the ref gathers them all up and confiscates them. The bell rings and Loa still wants to make sure Yano has nothing else. Yano says it’s fine, they’ll wrestle. They tie up, Loa powers Yano to ropes and Yano calls for the ropebreak. Loa frisks Yano for himself, then lets off as he’s satisfied there are no tricks up Yano’s tights. Loa then dares Yano to bring the fight. Yano throws a forearm, Loa gives one back!

Fans like the serious look on Yano’s face as he and Loa keep throwing forearms back and forth! They pick up speed, Yano gets the edge but Loa DECKS him! Loa gets Yano up to DECK him again but he’s not satisfied. Loa ROCKS Yano again, “This is the G1!” He wants to see that fight! Yano rakes Loa’s eyes! Yano runs but Loa runs him over! Yano bails out but Loa goes out after him. Loa CLUBS Yano on the back, follows him around the way then CLUBS him again. Loa whips Yano but Yano reverses to send Loa into railing! Yano paces, the ring count starts, Yano goes after Loa’s shirt! Loa stops Yano from making this a hockey scrum, only to do the same to Yano!

Yano can’t see and Loa leaves him floundering around as the count climbs! We’re past 15, Loa shoves a Young Lion into Yano for good measure! Loa gets in at 17, Yano keeps floundering, but he gets his shirt down at 19 to get in at 19.9! Loa applauds then stomps Yano at the ropes. Loa drags Yano up, RAMS him into a corner, and then RAMS into him more and more. The ref counts, Loa lets off and fans rally up. Loa takes a few bows then drags Yano back up. Snapmare and run for a basement boot! Cover, TWO! Loa argues the count but the ref says it is fair. Loa pulls on an arm but Yano is dead weight. So Loa CHOKES Yano! The ref counts, Loa stops at 4, and “apologizes.”

Loa drags Yano up, whips him corner to corner and clotheslines! Then whip and redirect into the corner for another clothesline! Loa then reels Yano in for an EXPLODER! Cover, TWO! Fans cheer as Yano stays in this but Loa is annoyed. Loa CHOKES Yano again! the ref counts, Loa lets off and he sits Yano up for a chinlock. Yano endures as Loa leans on the hold. Yano throws elbows and gets free! But Loa headbutts Yano back! Loa whips, Yano holds ropes and taunts Loa, to then dodge and SLAP him! Loa runs at Yano but Yano dodges to clinch and BELLY2BELLY! Fans fire up and rally behind Yano as he gets up. Yano goes to a corner to untie the buckle pad!

Yano has the liberated pad but the ref grabs at him. Yano shoves the ref away to PAD SMACK Loa! Loa just grimaces so Yano SMACKS him again! Loa flexes, Yano SMACKS again but Loa roars. Yano freaks out, Loa kicks and whips, but Yano stops himself from running into bare buckles. Loa runs in, Yano sends him into the bare buckles! Fireman’s Carry Takeover! Fans fire up with Yano and he drags Loa up. Yano reels Loa in but Loa blocks the suplex. Loa wrenches, kicks and knees to ENZIGURI! Yano wobbles, Loa reels him in for a BLUE THUNDER BOMB! Cover, TWO! Yano survives but Loa is right on him with a CROSSFACE!

Yano endures the #OGKiller even as Loa cranks way back! Yano moves around, reaches out, but Loa thrashes him around! Yano keeps moving and gets the ROPEBREAK! The ref counts, Loa lets off but he asks Yano, “Why!? I want the two points!” Loa drags Yano up, reels him in, but Yano turns it into a gator roll! TWO, and Yano hurries up! Loa runs at him to SPEAR! Cover, TWO!! Loa hurries to get Yano up, scoops him but Yano fights free! Yano hits an atomic drop then a trip to a CATAPULT into the bare buckles! Loa staggers, Yano goes to low blow but the ref stops him! The ref won’t let Yano cheat right in front of him!

But then Loa shoves Yano into the ref! And LARIATS Yano down! Jado gets in because the ref is down! He drags Yano up, holds him for Loa, and Loa has the kendo stick! Yano fights free, dodges the stick and shoves Jado into the buckles! KENDO SMACK on Loa, then Yano plays dead like Jado hit him! Loa acts like he had no idea what Jado was doing, but the ref is distracted and Yano LOW BLOWS Loa! Schoolboy, Yano wins!!

Winner: Toru Yano, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Loa earns 0)

#YTRFTW! He keeps his chances alive while Loa flounders near the bottom! If not for those Naito points, Loa wouldn’t have anything! Can the Silverback rebound and finally earn his first two G1 points?

 

Tomohiro Ishii VS KENTA!

The Stone Pitbull is the one NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Champion with points, but only because Naito is out. As for Fang Revived, he defeated a fellow Bullet Club member without ruining the team dynamics. Will Ishii scratch the itch and earn himself a win? Or will Kenta take a bite out of him and keep his own chances alive?

Kenta taunts Ishii, waving his shirt like a bullfighter. The bell rings and Ishii stares Kenta down. Kenta mocks Ishii’s hunched posture and then bails out of the ring. Ishii stays patient as Kenta paces on the outside. Kenta takes his time returning, then again mocks the raging bull before he bails out again, “Ole~!” Kenta paces around again, slowly returns, then bails out as Ishii storms over. “Ole~” but then Ishii drags Kenta in from the apron! Ishii throws haymakers then whips, but Kenta holds ropes. Ishii runs in to clothesline, then keeps going to run Kenta over! Kenta bails out but Ishii is right out after him! Ishii drags Kenta up and whips him into railing!

Kenta flounders around and Ishii stalks him. Ishii drags Kenta up as fans rally, and Ishii whips Kenta into more railing! Kenta staggers closer to the timekeeper’s area and he grabs the ring bell! Ishii storms over to get a RING BELL SHOT! Kenta then POSTS Ishii, bad arm first! The ref reprimands and checks on Ishii, but what about the bell? Kenta drags Ishii up, wrenches the arm to an ELBOW BREAKER, then hammerlocks to RAM Ishii into railing! The ref wants this to get back in the ring but now he has to check on Ishii again. Kenta stomps Ishii, the ref tells him to back off, and Kenta smooths his hair. Kenta drags Ishii up and into the ring and fans cheer that this continues.

Kenta stomps Ishii around, but Ishii gets up as he snarls. Kenta KICKS the bad arm and Ishii falls over. Ishii kicks from below but Kenta stomps him down. Fans rally for “I-SHI-I!” but Kenta wrenches to an ELBOW BREAKER! Ishii clutches his arm but Kenta grabs it for an armlock. Kenta pulls it into a Fujiwara but Ishii endures, even as Kenta talks trash. Kenta keeps on the arm but Ishii crawls his way over to get a ropebreak. The ref counts, Kenta lets go with one hand but still uses leverage to crank the arm. The ref counts again, Kenta lets off to stomp Ishii. Kenta kicks the bad arm again but Ishii keeps getting up. Ishii even eggs him on!

Kenta KICKS more but Ishii fires forearms! Kenta gets the arm again, ELBOW BREAKER! Kenta rains down forearms but the ref has him back off. The ref checks on Ishii but Kenta copies Yano by undoing a buckle pad. Kenta drags Ishii up, whips him over but Ishii reverses! Kenta hits bare buckles and falls in a heap! Fans rally again as Ishii stands. Ishii gives toying kicks to Kenta and Kenta end up in a corner. Ishii CHOPS and CHOPS, fighting through the pain in his bad arm to hit Kenta again and again. Ishii then CHOPS and forearms again and again and again! Kenta falls down, Ishii only stops because his arm finally hurts too much.

Ishii goes back to Kenta, drags him up and whips him corner to corner. Kenta reverses but Ishii bounces off the corner to CLOBBER Kenta! Ishii drags Kenta up and reels him in but Kenta fights the lift. Kenta standing switches but Ishii elbows him away. Kenta BOOTS from the corner, climbs up and TORNADO HOTSHOTS Ishii! Kenta climbs, for the FLYING CLOTHESLINE! Cover, TWO! Kenta snarls but he kicks at Ishii. Ishii gets mad, swings on Kenta but Kenta catches the arm for a takedown! Kenta wants the Fujiwara again but Ishii gets a ropebreak! The ref counts, Kenta lets go, and Ishii gets to the apron.

Fans rally up but Kenta stomps Ishii down. Kenta then drags Ishii up through the ropes but Ishii throws body shots. Ishii suplexes but Kenta fights it! Kenta throws body shots then HOTSHOTS the arm! Kenta has Ishii through ropes, DRAPING DDT! Cover, ROPEBREAK! Kenta is annoyed but he slithers away to the far corner. Ishii gets up, Kenta runs in to BOOT Ishii down! Then he goes corner to corner again, HESITATION DROPKICK! Fans fire up as Kenta climbs up top! Ishii avoids the double stomps, then avoids the boot to waistlock and CORNER GERMAN! Fans cheer as both men are down again. They rally up for “I-SHI-I!” as he and Kenta stir.

Ishii fires himself up as he stands, and he runs back in at Kenta to clothesline! Kenta growls and throws a forearm! Ishii growls and they brawl with forearm after forearm! They each egg the other on as they go, no guard and no slowing down! Ishii ROCKS Kenta, and again, but Kenta LARIATS! Ishii doesn’t flinch! Ishii gives boxing elbows, Kenta BACK HANDS, but Ishii HEADBUTTS! Kenta DISCUS LARIATS! Both men are down again and fans rally up! Kenta drags himself over to ropes and then to the apron. Kenta climbs up the corner, leaps, DIVING DOUBLE STOMPS!! Cover, TWO!! Ishii survives Kenta’s coup de grace but Kenta drags Ishii back up.

Ishii gives low headbutts but Kenta KNEES him right back down. Kenta runs the ropes to KNEE Ishii against them! Kenta runs again but into a BIG shoulder tackle! Fans fire up as Ishii growls and roars! Ishii shakes out the bad arm, brings Kenta back up and reels him in. Ishii lifts, but Kenta fights out to KICK the bad arm! Kenta drags Ishii down into the omoplata and the crossface, GAME OVER! Ishii endures and fans rally up as Kenta pulls back harder! Ishii moves around, trying to find ropes while Kenta’s hands are in his eyes and blinding him! Kenta pulls back even harder and Ishii flails! Ishii kicks around and gets a ropebreak with a foot!

Fans cheer but Kenta shoves the ref away as he drives elbow after elbow into Ishii! Kenta sits Ishii up and runs to PENALTY KICK! But Ishii blocks it! Ishii gets up, Kenta fires off hands, but Ishii spins Kenta around for a GERMAN SUPLEX! Both men are down again but fans still rally. Ishii gets up, slaps feeling into his bad arm, and then drags Kenta back up. Kenta throws forearm after forearm but Ishii DECKS him with one! It was the bad arm, though, so Ishii is again clutching it in pain. Ishii drags Kenta back up, puts him on the top rope and climbs up to join him. Ishii gets Kenta up for the STALLING SUPERPELX! Ishii crawls to the cover, TWO!!

Fans fire up and build to another rally as Kenta survives. Ishii goes to a corner and watches Kenta rise. Ishii runs corner to corner but Kenta gets around for a sleeper! Ishii back suplexes but Kenta slips free! Kenta runs but Ishii LARIATS him down! Ishii roars and shakes the bad arm out before he runs again. BUSAIKU KNEE!! Kenta fires up and aims from a corner, runs in and BUSAIKU KNEE!! Cover, TWO!! Ishii survives two running knees but Kenta doesn’t get frustrated just yet. Fans rally for “I-SHI-I!” but Kenta drags Ishii back up. Fireman’s carry but Ishii throws elbows to hold it off. Kenta cross counters and fires off slapping palm strikes! Ishii falls and Kenta takes down his knee pad!

Kenta fireman’s carries, GO TO- NO! Ishii lands on his feet to HEADBUTT! Both men fall over and fans are thunderous! Ishii crawls his way over to Kenta to sit him up. Ishii builds speed for the SLIDING LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! Kenta lives and Ishii roars in frustration! Ishii powers up, drags Kenta up but Kenta fireman’s carries! GO TO- NO! Ishii facelocks but Kenta slips out of the suplex to SUPERKICK! Ishii swats the roundhouse to ENZIGURI! Kenta falls and Ishii fires up with the fans! Ishii runs to LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! Kenta survives and fans are thunderous again as Ishii gets him back up! Suplex to-

No, Kenta knees free then bumps Ishii off bare buckles! Roll up, Kenta wins!!

Winner: Kenta, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Ishii earns 0)

Did Fang Revive just pick up something from a Yano-esque tactic? Kenta also rubs in that he just seems to have Ishii’s number. Will Kenta keep things going until he’s number one with a bullet? As for Ishii, are his G1 chances already up in smoke?

 

Kota Ibushi VS Zack Sabre Jr!

The Golden Star is shining bright again after his win in round two, but he’s going against the Submission Master! ZSJ made Tetsuya Naito and Shingo Takagi #JustTapOut, will he make it a hat trick to start his G1 run?

The bell rings and the two circle. They feel out the grapple, Ibushi shoots in to waistlock but ZSJ switches to then go for arms. Ibushi moves around, ZSJ stays on top of him with a facelock but they end up in ropes. ZSJ lets off cleanly and fans cheer the sportsmanship. Ibushi and ZSJ circle again, feel out this exchange, and Ibushi drops down. ZSJ is ready again and goes for arms. Ibushi flips over, ZSJ gets a lateral press but no cover as Ibushi keeps moving around. ZSJ goes for an arm, Ibushi headscissors and pushes up for leverage. ZSJ bridges back, moves around and pops free to then pat Ibushi and back off. Ibushi keeps cool as he and ZSJ reset again.

They approach, feel out a new grapple and Ibushi puts ZSJ on ropes. Red Shoes calls for the break, ZSJ unhooks and Ibushi backs off with a pat of his own. But then ZSJ pie faces Ibushi, and ducks the roundhouse! ZSJ bails out and wants Ibushi to calm down. Ibushi waits and ZSJ slides back in to circle with him again. They knuckle lock, ZSJ steps over to trap the arm and then has a cravat. He shifts to a headlock, grinds Ibushi down, but Ibushi fights up to power out. Things speed up, ZSJ turns hip toss into a spin but Ibushi fights the backslide! Ibushi avoids the arm Pele and ZSJ avoids kick after kick! The fans cheer as even Red Shoes has to get out of the way when ZSJ goes to ropes for safety.

Fans rally for “I-BU-SHI!” as he waits on ZSJ. They reset and feel out another grapple. Ibushi then KICKS ZSJ in the leg, and ZSJ walks it off. ZSJ comes back, he and Ibushi again feel things out, but again Ibushi KICKS his leg. ZSJ shrugs it off as he and Ibushi go again. ZSJ gives a kick but Ibushi KICKS his leg out! Ibushi eggs ZSJ on but ZSJ circles around, guarding that left leg. ZSJ knuckle locks, rolls, wrangles Ibushi down but Ibushi kips up to KICK the leg! ZSJ eggs Ibushi on so Ibushi gives more kicks. ZSJ pays for egging Ibushi on but he gives back forearms. Ibushi KICKS the leg! ZSJ crumples but Ibushi runs in to BOOT him out of the ring!

Ibushi waits for ZSJ to stand and slingshots but ZSJ slides in. Ibushi forearms, but slingshots into a DRAPING GUILLOTINE! ZSJ then makes it a HANGING ARMBAR, but lets off as Red Shoes counts! ZSJ then wrenches and PELES the arm! Ibushi falls over as he clutches his arm, but ZSJ goes out after him, ZSJ twists the wrist and bends the fingers before he traps the arm and STOMPS it! Ibushi clutches his wrist while ZSJ goes into the ring. The ring count begins and Ibushi gets up at 5 of 20. ZSJ is after Ibushi as soon as he’ sin, but they’re in the ropes so Red Shoes calls for the break. ZSJ still tortures Ibushi’s arm to STOMP it again!

Fans rally up as ZSJ paces around. ZSJ kicks Ibushi’s bad arm but Ibushi dares him to keep going. ZSJ traps the arm for a TWIST! Now Ibushi’s the one for egging ZSJ on. Fans rally up as ZSJ says Ibushi’s arm is suffering for ZSJ’s leg. ZSJ gives little hip bumps and swift kicks, so Ibushi ROCKS him with a right! And again! And again! ZSJ gets the arm for an ELBOW BREAKER and a DOUBLE WRISTLOCK! ZSJ drags Ibushi down into body scissors as he keeps on the Kimura but Ibushi gets a ropebreak. ZSJ lets go to drag Ibushi back towards center. ZSJ wrenches the arm, twists elbow, wrist and fingers as he pushes towards the top wristlock! And he STOMPS it!

Fans cheer the technical savagery as ZSJ drags Ibushi up again. ZSJ wrenches but Ibushi ROCKS him with a right! ZSJ holds on to wrench again, so Ibushi forearms again! Ibushi fires off more forearms then whips but ZSJ reverses to wrench and ARM SNAP! ZSJ runs but into Ibushi’s FLYING KICK! Ibushi rallies the fans and he gets up. Ibushi dares ZSJ to stand, and then he fires off a strike fest! KICK to STANDING MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO! Ibushi keeps the fans going as he drags ZSJ up in a half nelson. ZSJ uses a leg to break free then he KICKS Ibushi’s bad arm! ZSJ whips, Ibushi goes up and over and rolls to RANA!

ZSJ bails out, Ibushi fires fans up and he PLANCHAS! Both men are down on the outside but fans fire up! Ibushi gets ZSJ into the ring and then aims from the apron. ZSJ stands, Ibushi springboards and missile dropkicks ZSJ down! Cover, TWO! Ibushi keeps his focus as he gets back up. Ibushi stands ZSJ up and reels him in but ZSJ blocks the bomb lift. ZSJ wrenches the bad arm to WRING it out into the mat! “There we go! Now we’ve got Ibushi going!” ZSJ drags Ibushi up as fans rally. ZSJ half nelsons then full nelsons but Ibushi powers out with an arm-drag. ZSJ EuroUppers, runs but fakes out the dropkick to then roll Ibushi to a headscissors ARMBAR! But Ibushi gets a ROPEBREAK!

ZSJ lets go but gives Ibushi toying kicks. Ibushi eggs ZSJ on so ZSJ gives him more. ZSJ stands up and dares Ibushi to follow. Ibushi sits up but ZSJ gives more swift kicks. Ibushi KICKS ZSJ off his feet! Ibushi eggs ZSJ on now and ZSJ gets up. ZSJ KICKS but Ibushi doesn’t seem bothered. Ibushi KICKS ZSJ and he staggers away to the corner! ZSJ comes back to KICK, but Ibushi shakes his head. Ibushi KICKS, ZSJ staggers but stays up this time. ZSJ KICKS, Ibushi KICKS! ZSJ still gets up and they go forehead to forehead. ZSJ fires EuroUppers but into a backslide! ZSJ slips through but into a short arm LARIAT!

Fans are thunderous as ZSJ gets to ropes. Ibushi runs but ZSJ hits a FLYING KICK! Almost like Ibushi’s earlier! ZSJ gets Ibushi up, SIT OUT BOMB! Also like Ibushi! Cover, TWO, but into a leg hook nelson and armlock! Ibushi endures partial Clarky Cat and moves around to get a ROPEBREAK! ZSJ lets go quickly and is too tired to be frustrated. ZSJ isolates Ibushi’s arm and STOMPS it again! Fans rally up hard as ever as ZSJ drags Ibushi up. ZSJ reels Ibushi in, scoops but Ibushi slips out to HALF ‘N’ HALF SUPLEX! ZSJ flounders away and Ibushi gets up as fans rally again. Ibushi roars and runs into the corner but ZSJ BOOTS him! ZSJ runs but into a POWERSLAM!

Ibushi rolls to the corner but ZSJ SHOTGUNS his legs out before the moonsault! Ibushi falls in a heap but ZSJ is also down, catching his breath. Fans rally for “I-BU-SHI!” “Z S J!” as ZSJ watches Ibushi sit up. PENALTY KICK! Cover, TWO, into an ANKLE LOCK! ZSJ stands up but Ibushi turns to stand. Ibushi fires forearms but ZSJ CRANKS the ankle! ZSJ leans on the hold but Ibushi still endures. Ibushi fights up again to DECK ZSJ with a straight shot! ZSJ sputters away and Ibushi crawls over that way. Ibushi powers up, runs, but ZSJ BOOTS the lariat away to wrench and PELE the other arm! BOOT but Ibushi V-TRIGGERS!! KENNY~!

ZSJ sits up slowly as Ibushi fires himself up. Ibushi calls upon the powers of Nakamura to BOMAYE! Cover, TWO! But Ibushi gets the wrists, only for ZSJ to pop him into an armbar! Ibushi clasps hands, ZSJ fights for control, they roll and Ibushi has a wrist for a BUZZSAW! Ibushi sits ZSJ up with double wrists, but ZSJ tilt-o-whirls around to an IRON OCTOPUS! ZSJ drags Ibushi down to the floor and gets the leg, a triangle modification of Napalm Death! Ibushi shifts around but he’s caught!! Ibushi VERBALLY quits, ZSJ wins!!!

Winner: Zack Sabre Jr, by submission (gains 2 points; Ibushi earns 0)

INCREDIBLE! The Submission Master sidelines Naito, slays the Dragon, and even makes the back-to-back G1 winner #JustTapOut!! And since he earned his points off Naito, you could even say he’s the REAL leader of A Block! And he makes sure Ibushi knows it, too! Is there any chance the Golden Star can still make it back to a fourth G1 finals in a row? Or is this just not his year?

As for ZSJ, he of course gets on the mic. “Oi. Everyone, good evening. Thank you so much for today. In this G1, I will do my very best!” ZSJ takes a bow before saying he’s OF COURSE joking with them. Bunch o’ idiots! He’s takin’ a piss, obviously. “Do your best? I don’t need to do my best, I’m beating these pricks on autopilot!” A Block is the one that needs to do their best! No one has an answer for the Soy Boy Tekker! “14 stone, Vegan technical wizard, smashing everyone in this bloody tournament. My word.” The G1 Climax is Zack’s! Take the bracket and throw it in the bin with Naito’s knees.

Oh and speaking of Naito, too bad for him. He was supposed to be in tonight’s main event. ZSJ looks right in the camera to talk to Naito cuz he knows he’s watching. Como estas, amigo? How you doing? Bien? Yeah? Well ZSJ’s MUY BIEN! Y’wanna know why? Cuz ZSJ will win the G1 while Naito’s ass is stuck on the couch! And while on the subject of dickheads, three down and six to go, “as you were.” ZSJ had perhaps the toughest opening schedule in the block, is it smooth sailing from here on out? Or will running into the Dominator next round change ZSJ’s tune?

 

Here are the current A Block standings!

Great-O-Khan: 4-0, 8 points
Zack Sabre Jr: 3-0, 6 points
Kenta: 3-1, 6 points
Toru Yano: 3-1, 6 points
Shingo Takagi: 2-1, 4 points [won special singles bye]
Yujiro Takahashi: 2-2, 4 points
Kota Ibushi: 2-2, 4 points
Tanga Loa: 1-2, 2 points
Tomohiro Ishii: 1-3, 2 points


My Thoughts:

Another great night for NJPW here. For one, Takagi adjusting his mission statement is pretty cool. Takagi VS Naito is definitely one we were all hoping to see but can’t with Naito’s knee injury. Looking ahead to Wrestle Kingdom in January is a positive sign since that gives a four month time table, but that’s all dependent on the plan being Takagi winning. Khan VS Yujiro was a good match but naturally Khan wins to keep his streak going. Yano VS Loa was a lot of fun and I like that Loa even brought up that he’s growing desperate for points. Yano stays strong so he perhaps could be a strong runner-up that makes things tricky for the block leaders.

Ishii VS Kenta was really good stuff, and I’m really surprised Kenta won with the dirty finish. Kenta is also in the same spot as Yano where his win-loss record could put pressure on one of the others in the final round. And the adjusted main event, Ibushi VS ZSJ, was awesome stuff, especially given the stories going into it. Ibushi’s record may say 2-2 but he’s been up and down in the G1, with tonight being a drop back down. This was the story I was expecting them to go with and it’s working out well, putting pressure on each match for him to get back up. ZSJ’s own story is that he is reminding everyone of his singles skills. ZSJ VS Khan in the next round is THE one to watch, that is going to say a lot about where A Block is going.

My Score: 9.1/10


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