The Cruiserweight Championship is on the line in the home state of Cedric Alexander! With family and friends there to support him, can the Souls of 205 Live defeat the Aussie Juggernaut, Buddy Murphy? Or will the bigger, stronger and faster #BestKeptSecret finally become a singles champion in WWE?
All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service
- Jack Gallagher & THE Brian Kendrick VS Lucha House Party w/ Gran Metalik; Kendrick & Gallagher win.
- WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Cedric Alexander VS Buddy Murphy; Alexander wins and retains the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
WWE and 205 Live review what led to tonight’s Cruiserweight Championship match.
The 205 Live GM, Drake Maverick, gave us a tournament to crown a new champion at Wrestlemania, and that new champion would be Cedric Alexander. However, Buddy Murphy wasn’t content to wait for Maverick to name him #1 Contender. While Alexander celebrated his victory the first 205 Live after ‘Mania, Murphy would strike in an ambush! Murphy has been in the WWE for five years via NXT, but his only accomplishment was being an NXT Tag Team Champion. Murphy’s patience has run out and his hunger has only grown. He claims no one else has gone through what he’s gone through to be where he is now. Murphy has put in so much work to cut weight to be a Cruiserweight.
There was a misstep where he didn’t make the cut and his title opportunity was delayed. But now Murphy is back, and Alexander welcomes the challenge. Alexander showed Murphy that he doesn’t fear the Best Kept Secret by brawling with him upon his return. Alexander himself has been where Murphy is, working hard to cut weight while thirsting after a championship. But because Alexander already has experience in maintaining his Cruiserweight qualifications, he is confident that the bigger and stronger Murphy won’t be able to last as long. Will the Age of Alexander survive a collision course with the Aussie Juggernaut?
Jack Gallagher & THE Brian Kendrick VS Lucha House Party w/ Gran Metalik!
The Ungentle Men go up against the Golden Lynx and Lucha Dragon while Drew Gulak joins commentary. The Philly Fury looks forward to tonight’s title match, of course favoring the more grounded competitor. The same goes for this match, but will Lince Dorado & Kalisto defy his #NoFlyZone and win tonight?
Gulak even has pamphlets on why LHS will lose, and hands them out while the teams sort out. Lince and Kendrick start, and circle with the bell. They tie up, Kendrick fireman carries but Lince headscissors. Kendrick moves around and slips out, to then grab a wristlock. He wrenches Lince’s arm into a hammerlock, but Lince snapmares out. Kendrick runs Lince over, cover, TWO. Kendrick keeps Lince down with stomps, then runs but Lince speeds things up and dropkicks Kendrick. Lince runs and headscissors Kendrick down then dropkicks him again. Tag to Kalisto, and the luchadors combine for an elevated splash. Cover, TWO, and Kendrick gets to ropes. Kalisto starts up the “Lucha! Lucha!” chants while tagging to Lince. Lince climbs while Kalisto holds on to Kendrick, and drops the ax handles.
Lince puts Kendrick in a headlock, but Kendrick fights back. Kendrick suplexes but Lince slips out, to then dodge Kendrick. Gallagher tags in and hits Lince with a forearm. Kendrick puts Lince on the apron for Gallagher to slam into the edge. Cover, ONE, but Gallagher keeps on Lince with a neck wrench. The fans rally with “Lucha! Lucha!” but Gallagher scoops Lince. Lince turns the slam into an inside cradle, TWO! Gallagher whips Lince but Lince rolls off Gallagher’s back to tag Kalisto! Kalisto springboards for the seated senton, then kicks away at Gallagher. Kalisto whips but Gallagher reverses, so Kalisto hits Gallagher with a headscissors. Fans rally again, and Kalisto runs in for a shoulder tackle. Kalisto climbs up, but Gallagher powers out of the tornado DDT. Gallagher tags to Kendrick, and Kendrick slips in to clobber Kalisto from behind!
Kendrick mocks the lucha chants, and the matracas, then stands on Kalisto’s head. He pulls Kalisto back to throw crossface forearms, then stands on Kalisto’s hand. Kalisto slips away but Kendrick whips him back to the corner for more forearms. Gallagher tags in and gives Kalisto a headbutt. Gallagher whips and runs Kalisto over with a back elbow. Cover, TWO, so Gallagher goes after Kalisto’s arm. Fans rally but Gulak complains about “Lince Dorito” and Gran Metalik making noise. Gallagher throws Kalisto down, then covers, TWO. Tag to Kendrick, and Gallagher lifts Kalisto to hotshot him to the ropes. Kendrick boots Kalisto down, cover, TWO. Kendrick wraps Kalisto up in a chinlock, then gives crossface punches before putting Kalisto in an armlock.
Fans rally while Kendrick grinds an elbow into Kalisto’s face. Kalisto powers up but Kendrick knees low. Kendrick whips Kalisto but Kalisto fights out of the corner. Kalisto dumps Kendrick up and out, then heads for his corner. Kendrick drags him away, but Kalisto shoves him back. Hot tag to Lince! Lince flies with a big crossbody, then dropkicks Gallagher away. He dodges Kendrick, then chops him down. Lince chops and chops, then runs corner to corner. Kendrick dodges but Lince hops up and flies for headscissors! Lince covers, TWO, but he keeps his cool. He whips Kendrick but Kendrick reverses. Lince handsprings, and hits the Golden Rewind!
But Kendrick ends up under the ropes, so Lince can’t cover. Lince doesn’t mind, he just builds speed, dodges Gallagher, and DIVES on Kendrick!
Down goes Kendrick and Metalik rallies with the matraca. Lince puts Kendrick back in but Gallagher is arguing with the referee. This allows Gulak to trip Lince up on the top rope! Kendrick grabs Lince for the Captain’s Hook, and Lince taps! Kendrick & Gallagher win!
Winners: Kendrick & Gallagher, Kendrick by submission
Give Gulak the assist for this one, because he was the only reason Lince Dorado fell to the mat. Gulak even joins them on the ramp side to shake their hands in congratulations. Does this make their alliance official? Is Gulak now one of the Ungentle Men?
Hideo Itami demands respect.
In fact, he feels he deserves it after defeating a former Cruiserweight Champion in Akira Tozawa. They’re no longer tag team partners, and nowhere near being friends. Respect aside, does Itami deserve a Cruiserweight Championship match in the future?
Cruiserweight superstars speak.
The Heart of 205 knows firsthand that “Buddy Murphy is the strongest, hardest hitting contender” in the Cruiserweight Division. But if Murphy thinks he’s going to be the one to dethrone Cedric Alexander, “he’s got another thing coming.” Mustafa Ali let Alexander know that, friend or not, he wants to be the one to do it.
However, Tony Nese disagrees.
“Let’s think about it: Buddy Murphy has been unstoppable.” Murphy wants it more, has worked hard, and he’s the better athlete. The Premier Athlete believes the Aussie Antagonist will win.
Backstage interview with Drake Maverick.
The 205 Live GM has seen superstars from both the Cruiserweight Division and SmackDown voice their opinions on who they think wins tonight. What is his take? Maverick is excited, and knows the roster is, too. We’ll all be on the edge of our seats. However, TJP had a negative and almost dismissive take. Maverick doesn’t play favorites, and if anyone has a problem with his management style, they can just knock on his door. But one thing you do have to do in the Cruiserweight Division is prove yourself in the ring, not on social media.
Alexander and Murphy are great examples of this, as they’ve both overcome obstacles to be here. Maverick feels that here, in North Carolina, Alexander’s home state, in front of family and friends, Alexander will put his all into it. Maverick knows Murphy himself is like a train barreling through the division, and wants to prove he’s more than just a secret. It doesn’t matter who wins, Maverick will be behind them 100%. #BigFightFeel, let’s all enjoy it.
WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Cedric Alexander VS Buddy Murphy!
The time for talk is over! It’s time for these two top Cruiserweight superstars to prove who is worthy of the title. Will Alexander continue his dream that he worked so hard to achieve? Or will Murphy achieve his own by ending Alexander’s?
The bell rings and we begin! Fans are on Alexander’s side, but Murphy taunts him with a flick of sweat at him. Alexander grins and ties up with Murphy. Murphy gets the arm and wristlock, but Alexander rolls through. Alexander reverses the wristlock, but Murphy spins to get the waistlock. Murphy spins Alexander and gets the arm again, but Alexander spins again, only for Murphy to power him to the mat. Alexander kips up, Murphy powers him back down, and repeat. Murphy keeps Alexander down on the third time, but Alexander headscissors. Murphy pops out but Alexander sweeps the legs for a cover, ONE, and roles reverse. Alexander handsprings and stares Murphy down while fans applaud. Murphy stands up, Alexander says this is “My House!”
They circle again while fans cheer for the home state hero. Murphy gets the waistlock, Alexander the standing switch but Murphy switches back. Alexander slips out of the back suplex, then rolls to handspring back. Murphy cartwheels through the headscissors, wagging his finger “no no no.” Alexander whips but Murphy headscissors, and now Alexander handsprings through! The two stare down, but fans are still rallying for Alexander. Murphy shoves him down then speeds things up, but Alexander rolls off his back. Alexander handsprings and headscissors Murphy out now. He builds speed, but fakes Murphy out, and they stare down again as Alexander handsprings back while Murphy slides in. Fans are loving this, and even Murphy has to grin.
Alexander says this is still his house, but Murphy starts swinging. Alexander bobs ‘n’ weaves to avoid Murphy’s punches, then dropkicks Murphy down! Cover, ONE, but Alexander keeps his cool. Murphy powers Alexander to a corner, and keeps Alexander from escaping, to then stomp and forearm away. Murphy runs in but Alexander puts him on the apron. Alexander rocks Murphy with a back elbow, then sends him down with the swing kick. Alexander builds speed again, to hit Murphy with a wrecking ball dropkick. Murphy hits the announce desk, but Alexander isn’t done. Alexander builds speed and DIVES!
The tope suicida sends Murphy over the announce desk now! Alexander climbs up to embrace the cheers from the fans. He then taunts Murphy before dragging him up. Murphy trips Alexander and Alexander lands on a monitor! Then Murphy back suplexes Alexander onto the apron edge! And then throws him into barriers! Murphy goes back into the ring only to refresh the count. He drags Alexander up and in, then kicks Alexander in the back. Alexander writhes in pain, but Murphy kicks and kicks him again. Cover, TWO, but Murphy still grins. Murphy wants the fans to cheer Alexander on as he toys with the champ. He whips Alexander corner to corner hard, then kicks him again. Fans still rally but Murphy keeps on Alexander with another hard corner to corner whip.
Alexander shouts in pain after the impact, but fans still chant. Murphy snapmares and kicks Alexander again, then scrapes the soles before giving another kick. Cover, TWO, so Murphy drives a knee in for the chinlock. Murphy bends Alexander back, but Alexander endures. Fans rally and Alexander fights his way up and out. Murphy clubs him then pushes him to the ropes for forearms on the rebound. He does it twice, then a third time, but Alexander retaliates with his own forearm! Alexander gives a strong European Uppercut, but that back slows him down. Murphy kicks low and suplexes Alexander, but Alexander slips out. Alexander mule kicks Murphy, then runs in for a shoulder tackle at the corner. Alexander swing kicks Murphy, then springboards, but Murphy calf kicks him out of the air!
Cover, TWO! Murphy keeps his cool while Alexander crawls to a corner. Murphy takes aim at Alexander, and runs in, double knees to the back of the head! He runs and slides to try again, but runs into Alexander’s SUPERKICK instead! Both men are down but the fans are firing up. Fans rally for Alexander as he and Murphy stir. Murphy stands first, and hits the first punch. Alexander gives a forearm back, and now we have a forearm fight. Murphy rocks Alexander, then goes for a knee, but Alexander blocks it! Alexander retaliates with the elbow! Murphy staggers while Alexander fires up, but Murphy holds the waistband. Alexander pries himself free to then roundhouse Murphy! Murphy rolls out, so Alexander FLIES!
Alexander wipes Murphy out and fans are loving it. The champ puts the challenger back in the ring while fans declare “This is Awesome!” Alexander hits the springboard clothesline! Cover, TWO, and Alexander is surprised. Alexander and Murphy stir, but Murphy yanks Alexander to the apron. Alexander rocks Murphy with a right, then springboards in, but into Murphy’s boot! Out goes Alexander, Murphy builds speed and now Murphy FLIES!
Both men wipe out, just missing the announce desk. Fans applaud while Murphy gets up. Murphy puts Alexander back in, then climbs up top. He leaps, but Alexander gets under. Murphy runs back, but into a scoop Michinoku driver! Cover, TWO! Alexander is shocked but he refocuses. He stands up and the fans are rallying strong as ever. Alexander hauls Murphy up off the ground, but his back won’t let him lift Murphy. He tries again, but Murphy slips out. Murphy boots Alexander from a corner. Murphy puts his boot up again, but Alexander blocks it, only for Murphy to bring him down for a knee strike! And then a deadlift into the running suplex! Cover, TWO, and now Murphy is shocked. Fans have not stopped cheering for Alexander as he crawls to ropes.
Murphy grins as he stalks Alexander to the apron. Murphy brings Alexander up, and has a bad idea. Alexander resists, Murphy clubs, but Alexander gets back in the ring. Alexander swing kicks again, then springboards back out for a #GetOverHere complete shot, to the apron!!
Murphy hits the edge, but both men are down from the fall. The referee checks on both men, but they seem okay to continue. The referee starts the ring count, and Alexander stirs. Murphy stirs at 4, but they’re both still crawling by 7. They both leap in at 9.5! Both Alexander and Murphy glare at each other. There is no quit in either man, and fans hope they “Fight Forever!” Alexander stands and dares Murphy to bring it. Murphy gives a forearm, so Alexander gives one back. Alexander runs, handsprings, but Murphy catches Alexander into inverted chicken wings. Murphy manages to power Alexander up onto his shoulder, for the AK DDT!
Cover, TWO!? Fans can’t believe it! They rally for Alexander as both men crawl to corners. Both men glare at each other from across the way, then run back in to throw fast and furious hands! Murphy blocks to unleash his strike fest, but Alexander dodges the knee to enziguri Murphy! Murphy still hits Alexander with a strong right, but Alexander comes back with an even stronger EuroUpper! Alexander kicks, Murphy blocks and pushes it away, to then rock Alexander with a knee! Cover, TWO!! Again, Murphy is shocked, but fans still love it. The fans again declare “This is Awesome!” while Murphy crawls over to Alexander. Murphy prepares the pumphandle, but Alexander victory rolls it, TWO. Alexander goes to kick, but Murphy turns it into a powerbomb! High stack cover, TWO, so Murphy gives Alexander a kamigoye! Cover, TWO!!
Murphy still can’t comprehend how Alexander is still going. Fans clap for “Go, Cedric! Go, Cedric!” Murphy brings Alexander up, then tells him he’s the true champ. Murphy throws Alexander to the ropes, but Alexander handsprings for the Neuralizer! Alexander runs, and hits another! Then, LUMBAR CHECK!
Cover, Alexander wins!!
Winner: Alexander, by pinfall; still WWE Cruiserweight Champion
Alexander does it! Though he was against a bigger and stronger opponent, Alexander proves he is the tougher and hungrier superstar. Raleigh is proud of their home state hero and give a standing ovation for the #AgeofAlexander. With the Aussie Juggernaut being turned away, who will be the next to challenge the Soul of 205 Live?
This was an incredible night for 205 Live. The growing story between Lucha House Party VS Gulak, Gallagher & Kendrick is taking shape, and it would seem my guess was right, Gulak is joining forces with Gallagher & Kendrick to make this a trios feud. I still think it’d be best to keep the titles as a Cruiserweight Singles and then a traditional two-man tag titles. Gulak can be the singles man while Kendrick & Gallagher go for the tag titles. Of course, WWE still needs to build up the Cruiserweight Tag Team Division, since they broke Itami & Tozawa up already. Maverick being informed about TJP’s tweet is a good touch to that story, I’m curious as to where it will go. The main event was incredible, almost 25 minutes and I dare say Match of the Week material.
My Score: 8.5/10
Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: New Japan Cup 2019 Part 1!
The 2019 New Japan Cup begins!
NJPW begins the 2019 New Japan Cup! Who among Tetsuya Naito, Kota Ibushi, Zack Sabre Jr. and EVIL will move on to the second round?
Coverage will be as broadcast by AXS TV
Find gifs on http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- Zack Sabre Jr. VS EVIL; ZSJ wins and advances to the second round.
- Tetsuya Naito VS Kota Ibushi; Ibushi wins and advances to the second round.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene to kickoff the 2019 New Japan Cup!
Spring brings the best in the world in this special single elimination tournament! Only one man will win the right to challenge the IWGP Heavyweight Champion in Madison Square Garden!
The first round has already seen a bit of action, with NJPW standards, Kazuchika Okada and Hiroshi Tanahashi, advance, but others falling victim to upsets. Juice Robinson lost to Chase Owens while Sanada overcome Hirooki Goto. The biggest surprises perhaps came from the biggest men losing to the Junior Heavyweights when Bad Luck Fale and Hiroyoshi Tenzan lost to Will Ospreay and Ryusuke Taguchi respectively. But tonight, two of the most anticipated matches take the spotlight! The rivalry of the last year takes the stage again as EVIL and Zack Sabre Jr. face off once again! Plus, Kota Ibushi returns from injury to battle Tetsuya Naito in a G1 Climax rematch! The Golden Star looks to be the comeback kid while the Uncontrollable Charisma wants to be a historic dual champion! Only one can make their dream come true tonight!
Zack Sabre Jr. VS EVIL!
Taka Michinoku welcomes everyone to Zack Sabre Time, and asks who everyone thinks will win this year’s New Japan Cup. Well it’ll be the man who won last yer’s winner, the Submission Master and British Heavyweight Champion! So Evil, you’ll #JustTapOut! C’mon over here! The King of Darkness responds to being called out, and we begin the next chapter of this already storied rivalry!
The bell rings and fans cheer Evil on as he circles with ZSJ. They slowly approach and Evil knees low. Evil headlocks but ZSJ tries to power out, only for Evil to hold on tighter. Evil gets the headlock takeover but ZSJ works for a headscissor counter. He can’t get it so he stands up. ZSJ spins through and arm-drags Evil off, but Evil headscissors him. Evil squeezes and ZSJ endures. ZSJ finds his way up and pops free, then dares Evil to come on. ZSJ headbutts and headlocks but Evil powers out and runs him off! Fans cheer as Evil waits for ZSJ to return. Taka keeps ZSJ calm as he gets back up. ZSJ and Evil circle again, and Evil calls for a test of strength. ZSJ accepts and they grapple, and Evil gets the double knuckle locks.
Evil brings ZSJ to his knees but ZSJ reels him to reverse. ZSJ hammerlocks but Evil switches to his own, but ZSJ switches back, and so on. ZSJ spins and drops to get the takedown but Evil pushes him away. Evil avoids the Penalty Kick but ZSJ ducks the clothesline. Evil blocks ZSJ’s boot to chop and senton! But ZSJ gets his knees up and reels Evil into an armbar! Evil stacks for a cover, TWO! ZSJ still has the arm, but Evil gets the ropebreak. ZSJ lets go but comes back for more. He cranks Evil’s arm back then stomps the hammerlock. ZSJ also kicks Evil in the chest and stomps his legs. ZSJ ties the legs up in a figure four and pulls hair. The referee reprimands ZSJ but ZSJ stays on the arm with pulling fingers and twisting the arm.
ZSJ uses the hammerlock to turn Evil for a cover, TWO! Evil tries to get feeling in his arm but ZSJ kicks him in the back. ZSJ looms over Evil and gives his bad arm toying kicks. ZSJ kicks Evil again, but Evil grabs the kick! Evil hands the foot to Red Shoes before he mule kicks ZSJ down! The 2018 cup winner is down while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Evil brings ZSJ up for forearms. Evil puts ZSJ in a corner then whips him corner to corner. ZSJ stops himself and comes back, but for a sidewalk slam! Fans fire up with Evil as he drags ZSJ back up. Evil suplexes ZSJ up and over then covers, TWO! Evil keeps his cool as he brings ZSJ up again. ZSJ blocks the fireman’s carry and goes after the arm with a double wristlock. Evil powers through but ZSJ slips out to a full nelson. Evil endures the hold and breaks free! He headlocks and knees ZSJ right down! Evil stalks ZSJ to a corner and headlocks, but ZSJ denies the bulldog into the abdominal stretch! They go around and around and Evil puts it on ZSJ! ZSJ endures and pries the arm off, to Pele it!
ZSJ gives Evil European Uppercuts in the corner! He goes corner to corner but Evil follows for a clothesline! Evil runs but ZSJ follows, only for Evil to see him coming and clothesline him again! Cover, TWO! Evil drags ZSJ right up, fireman’s carry, Darkness Falls! Cover, TWO! Sabre survives but Evil has more where that came from. Evil drags ZSJ up and slashes the throat. But ZSJ victory rolls! TWO and Evil has it on ZSJ, TWO!! ZSJ wants a backslide but Evil powers it around, backslide on ZSJ! TWO, Penalty Kick! Both men are down, and fans cheer for Evil while Taka coaches ZSJ. ZSJ goes right at Evil to keylock stomp the arm! ZSJ kicks at it but Evil only gets angry. Evil stands and ZSJ throws EuroUppers, but those only make Evil stronger. He CHOPS ZSJ off his feet!
Evil stands ZSJ up for another chop, but ZSJ stands on his feet. ZSJ gives Evil a shoulder breaker, but Evil gives one back! Evil spins but into a EuroUpper. ZSJ runs but Evil goes sideways, ZSJ catches the clothesline into an Octopus Stretch! He drags Evil down and he cranks back! Evil endures as ZSJ twists him all around! ZSJ has one arm trapped and the other arm back, but Evil uses a leg for the ropebreak! ZSJ lets go but he comes back to dig his elbow into the back. He grabs Evil’s arm and twists it in his legs! ZSJ Penalty Kicks Evil down again! ZSJ catches his breath while Red Shoes checks on Evil. Evil sits up but uses Red Shoes as a shield! Evil mule kicks ZSJ again, then drags him up, to place on Red Shoes! Magic Killer!!
Evil catches his breath and grins while he, ZSJ and Red Shoes slowly get up. ZSJ gets to a corner as Taka coaches him up. Evil runs in for a big clothesline! Evil roars and fans fire up as Evil drags ZSJ up to the top rope. He climbs up to join ZSJ, for a SUPERPLEX! Cover, TWO!! Sabre survives again but he clutches his own shoulder now. Evil stands and slashes the throat! He drags ZSJ up, spins him around but ZSJ slips through to scoop. Evil escapes but ZSJ standing switches. ZSJ rolls Evil back but the European Clutch is blocked! Evil wants a Half ‘n’ Half but ZSJ resists. ZSJ reaches for ropes but Evil shifts to a German Suplex! Evil takes aim, but ZSJ kicks the clotheslines away once, twice, but not the third time! Cover, TWO!! Fans are thunderous after that close call!
Evil roars and drags ZSJ up again. He spins ZSJ around but ZSJ slips around and hops up! Sleeper to victory roll to EuroClutch, to EVERYTHING- Is Octopus! ZSJ drags Evil down, Napalm Death! Evil is stuck, Evil taps! ZSJ wins again!
Winner: Zack Sabre Jr, by submission; advances to the second round
The 2018 New Japan Cup winner keeps on winning! ZSJ has a cup winning streak, will it continue all the way to the finals?
Tetsuya Naito VS Kota Ibushi!
This match feels almost too soon in the tournament! The leader of Los Ingobernables and the Golden Star could both have both made their way to the finals, but now only one of them will move on! Will Ibushi’s comeback lead him all the way to New York? Or will the IWGP Intercontinental Champion move towards being a historic dual champion in NJPW?
Fans love both stars so they’re naturally divided at the bell. Naito and Ibushi stare down as the cheers are thunderous. They start circling and then approach to tie up. Naito gets a headlock but Ibushi spins out for a keylock. Ibushi headlocks now but Naito punches out. Naito pulls hair and pushes Ibushi and things speed up. Ibushi hurdles Naito then again, but Naito ducks the kick and moonsault. Naito arm-drags but Ibushi headscissors, and the two break! Naito even hits Tranquilo. Fans cheer while Naito decides to roll out of the ring. Naito takes his time returning, telling Ibushi to relax. Ibushi doesn’t give Naito a choice, but then Naito escapes Ibushi to tease him about taking time. Ibushi returns but Naito is on him with kicks and elbows.
Naito whips but Ibushi reverses, but Naito grabs ropes. Naito dumps Ibushi out then sweeps the legs. He slingshots and dropkicks Ibushi down, a new take on his Cabron Combo. Naito has control while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Naito whips Ibushi into railing. Naito drags Ibushi up and brings him around the way, to whip him into more railing! Fans cheer Naito but also show concern for Ibushi as Naito whips him into railing a third time! Naito brings Ibushi around the railing and bounces him off the desks. Red Shoes tells Naito to bring things back to the ring but Naito bounces Ibushi off wood again. Naito leaves Ibushi behind and rests in the ring. Ibushi crawls his way back as the ring count begins. The count passes 5 of 20 as Ibushi stands. Ibushi returns ringside at 10 and hops in at 11. Naito is on Ibushi with a whip and big elbow, then a swift basement dropkick! Naito poses more while Ibushi writhes.
Fans cheer for Ibushi and Naito spits at them. Naito stomps Ibushi and drags him up into a cravat neck wrench. Ibushi endures as Naito cranks hard. Ibushi fights out with body shots but Naito elbows him down. Naito then brings Ibushi around for a neckbreaker and casually covers, TWO! Ibushi’s bad neck is a target and Naito keeps on it. Naito brings Ibushi up but Ibushi breaks free. Ibushi throws forearms but Naito just smirks. Ibushi throws more but Naito elbows him around the side. Naito throws more elbows into the neck and Ibushi slumps against the ropes. Naito toys with Ibushi but Red Shoes reprimands him. He whips but Ibushi reverses and dodges to whip back. Ibushi dropkicks Naito right down! Both men fall into each other but Ibushi’s up first.
Ibushi drags Naito up for a strike fest! Naito blocks the kick to kick the knee, but still runs into a roundhouse! Ibushi standing moonsaults! Cover, TWO! Ibushi keeps his cool as he drags Naito up again. Naito resists the German suplex and gets the standing switch. Ibushi throws elbows to break free. Ibushi runs in but Naito boots him from the corner. Naito runs out but into a huricanrana! Fans fire up while Naito bails out of the ring. Ibushi fires up with the fans and goes to the corner. Naito knows it’s coming and stops the Golden Triangle! Naito drags Ibushi out for a draping neckbreaker to the apron! Ibushi falls to the floor and Red Shoes checks on him. He’s somehow okay to continue and drags himself into the ring.
Naito is waiting again, and runs out from a corner, shotgun dropkick! Then he drags Ibushi up to the top rope and out for another draping neckbreaker! Cover, TWO!! Ibushi survives and Naito is surprised, but we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Naito drags Ibushi back up. Naito ties Ibushi up but Ibushi fights out with his free arm. Naito clubs Ibushi in the neck then hits a German Suplex, but Ibushi lands on his feet! Ibushi kicks but Naito ducks to enziguri! Naito whips but Ibushi reverses only for Naito to come back with flying forearms, only to be caught into a snap German! Both men are down but the fans fire up! Naito and Ibushi stir as fans duel. Red Shoes checks and they’re both okay to continue. Ibushi and Naito grit their teeth as they sit up. They head for each other and start throwing forearms. Ibushi hits, Naito hits, repeat. They slowly stand but the brawling continues.
Ibushi hits but Naito comes back. The two stare down and Ibushi throws a forearm. Naito throws one back, so Ibushi gives another. They start picking up speed and now they’re just swinging wild! Ibushi fires off many palm strikes but Naito throws slaps. Ibushi runs but into Naito’s spinebuster! Naito drags Ibushi up and to the top rope again. Naito climbs up behind Ibushi and fans anticipate something dangerous. Ibushi holds on so Naito clubs away. Naito stands Ibushi up, but Ibushi grabs at Naito’s leg. Ibushi turns around and trips Naito up! Naito manages to stay on the apron, but Ibushi stalks him from above. Ibushi drags Naito up while standing on the ropes. Ibushi lifts but Naito fights out! Naito slaps away on Ibushi’s face, then brings Ibushi in, TOMBSTONE on the apron!!
Naito puts Ibushi in the ring then drags him up again. Hammerlock and underhook, GLORIA! Cover, TWO!? Ibushi still lives but Naito isn’t fazed. Naito drags Ibushi up again, arm wrench and tilt-o-whirl, but into Ibushi’s own PACKAGE TOMBSTONE!! Cover, TWO!? Now Naito survives and shocks everyone! Fans duel as Naito and Ibushi drag themselves to opposite corners. Naito runs at Ibushi but into a roundhouse! Ibushi brings Naito in but Naito spins out for a tornado DDT! Naito aims at Ibushi and runs in, into a clothesline!! Ibushi drags Naito up and to a lift, SIT-OUT LAST RIDE! Cover, TWO!! Naito survives again but Ibushi is too tired to be frustrated. Ibushi drags Naito up and grabs both hands, but Naito dodges Kamigoye, DESTINO!! Cover, TWO!?!
Fans are thunderous as this match continues! Naito staggers up and drags Ibushi to his feet. Wrench and tilt-o-whirl but Ibushi slips out to roundhouse! Ibushi gives a shout out to the King of Strong Style as he aims from a corner. Naito sits up, BOMAYE!! Cover, TWO?!? Ibushi can NOT believe Naito survived again! But Ibushi vows to finish this, double underhook, Butterfly Driver! But he’s not done there, KAMIGOYE!! Cover, Ibushi wins!!
Winner: Kota Ibushi, by pinfall; advances to the second round
It took so much, but Ibushi makes it through the opening round! Naito’s dream is denied for now, what will it take for him to become the first-ever dual Heavyweight and Intercontinental Champion in NJPW history? As for Ibushi, he advances only to take on Zack Sabre Jr. next! Will Ibushi break ZSJ’s streak in the New Japan Cup? Or will he #JustTapOut?
Ibushi takes the mic and thanks Naito for that amazing match. “In 2019, in NJPW, I’ll show you a new version of Kota Ibushi.” Ibushi vows to go all the way and win! Will everyone else in the tournament, let alone Jay White, take this to heart?
Wow, what a great opening to the tournament! At first, I thought it was a bit of a shame that this will be it for the first round, no Okada or Tanahashi, but seeing they had matches with slightly less important opponents (sorry, Mike Elgin), the two matches we got were much more worthy of airtime. Evil VS ZSJ is again an incredible match, and it makes a lot of sense for ZSJ to win. While Sanada is in the tournament, too, he and Evil are still strongly in the Heavyweight Tag Team Division. ZSJ has a great New Japan Cup win streak story to tell, and it’ll make a loss, should one come, all the more exciting if it’s in the later rounds. ZSJ going for back-to-back tournament wins on top of a huge title match is great, but I can’t be sure the chances of it happening.
Naito VS Ibushi was a really great match, and it’s not just kayfabe saying this match could’ve been a logical tournament finals choice. Naito’s story of becoming a dual champion could’ve propelled the tournament to some interesting places, but at the same time, it doesn’t have to be told in the tournament. Ibushi is in NJPW to stay so it means a lot more that he gets a push in the tournament. He already has a hard road ahead of him if the second round pits him against ZSJ, but perhaps a Kota Ibushi that can get through such big names, much like ZSJ did in last year’s tournament, can be a Kota Ibushi that defeats Jay White in Madison Square Garden.
My Score: 8.8/10
Mitchell’s ROH Results & Report! (3/16/19)
Zack Sabre Jr. continues his journey in ROH!
Ring of Honor Wrestling Television, Episode 391
It’s ROH 17th Anniversary weekend, but the action keeps on rolling! The Submission Master returns, will he make Rocky Romero #JustTapOut?
- Shinobi Shadow Squad VS Silas Young & The Briscoes; Young & The Briscoes win.
- The Bouncers VS Brian Johnson & Joe Keys; The Bouncers win.
- Madison Rayne w/ Sumie Sakai VS Thunder Rosa w/ Holidead; Rayne wins.
- Zack Sabre Jr. VS Rocky Romero; ZSJ wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Shinobi Shadow Squad VS Shinobi Shadow Squad VS Silas Young & The Briscoes!
Cheeseburger leads Ryan Nova and Eli Isom into battle! Will their fighting spirits combined be enough to overcome the Last Real Man and #DemBoyz?
The bell rings and Isom begins against Jay Briscoe. Isom is no stranger to taking on former ROH World Champions, this could be his third upset on one already. They tie up and Jay waistlocks. Isom standing switches and throws Jay down but Jay reverses to a facelock, but Isom slips away. Fans applaud the Future of Honor keeping up with Jay. Jay and Isom circle again and Jay keeps Isom guessing on the grapple. Jay reels Isom in for a headlock, but Isom powers out, only for Jay to run him over. Things speed up and Isom kicks Jay. Isom runs but sees Jay follow. Jay fakes Isom out and kicks him down. Jay tags Mark and The Briscoes mug Isom. Mark suplexes but Isom slips out and shoves Mark. Mark turns around into Isom’s arm-drag!
Isom tags in Nova and Nova hops up for ax handles. Nova wrenches the arm but Mark rolls through. Mark breaks free but Nova dodges and fires off strikes. Nova wrenches and tags in Cheeseburger! Burger climbs up to drop his own ax handle. Burger wrenches but Mark pushes him away. Mark rushes at Burger but Burger crawls under and kicks him away. Burger speeds up but Jay stands in his way. Mark rocks Burger with a shotgun dropkick! Silas and the Briscoes take control as we go to break.
ROH returns and Silas taunts Burger to stand, only to stomp him down. Fans rally up for Burger and he throws body shots on Silas. Burger fires forearms but Silas shoves Burger for the backbreaker clothesline on the rebound! Silas drags Burger over and tags in Mark. Mark drops an elbow then drags Burger up. Mark suplexes and holds Burger up for a few seconds before dropping him down. Fans rally but Mark puts Burger in a camel clutch. Burger endures while Jay and Silas taunt him. Mark fish hooks Burger but lets up at 4. Mark blasts Nova but the ref keeps Isom from going after Mark. But he misses Mark biting Burger! Mark gets away with it then CHOPS Burger in a corner! Mark whips corner to corner but Burger dodges! Burger dodges Silas and Jay, too, hot tag to Isom!
Isom dropkicks Mark to his corner where Jay tags in. Silas runs at Isom but Isom puts him on the apron and dropkicks him down! Jay goes after Isom with a waistlock but is bucked off. Isom pops Jay up to a fireman’s carry! Nova intercepts Mark and DIVES on Silas! Air Raid Crash from Isom to Jay! Cover, TWO!! Isom almost had another former world champion caught! Isom keeps going but Jay blocks the suplex. Jay fights back but Isom throws his own forearms. Isom runs but into Jay’s fireman’s carry. Jay hits the Spicolli Driver while Mark climbs up! FROGGY-BOW! Jay covers, TWO!? Isom survives and The Briscoes are shocked!
The ref tells Mark to go to the corner but the Briscoes ignore him. #DemBoyz work together to finish this, double underhook but Isom fights out. Isom pushes Jay into Mark then kicks, suplex to brainbuster! Cover, TWO!! Another close call but Isom keeps his focus. Isom and Jay stand as fans rally up. Isom throws forearms and elbows then an enziguri. Jay staggers and Jay runs, but SUPERKICK for Jay! High-Low combo for The Briscoes! Mark keeps Burger out while Jay hits his Jay Driller! Cover, The Briscoes & Silas win!
Winners: Silas Young & The Briscoes, Jay Briscoe pinning
The Shinobi Shadow Squad struggles in the Six Man Tag Division against such accomplished opponents. Will it be the Last Real Man and Dem Boyz who move on towards the titles instead?
Rhett Titus speaks.
“Willie Mack, I heard you had plans to take the NWA National Title and defend it in every state across America.” Well Willie, plans change, because the Fittest is looking to take that belt and bring it with him on the Flex Express. Will Rhett’s own plans have to change after facing The Mack next episode?
The Bouncers VS Brian Johnson & Joe Keys!
The literally biggest team in the ROH Tag Team Division takes on two other Future of Honor stars. With physiques like theirs, JK and The Number One were hoping for sunny beaches and “beautiful baby dolls”, but instead got “busted up broads and their beer-swilling bozos”! Well that’s no way to talk about the fans or beer! The Bouncers make their way out with plenty of drinks, and Brian Milonas takes the mic. He and The Beer City Bruiser are here to kick ass and drink beer! Will they do just that against these rude rookies?
The Code of Honor is still upheld between the teams, and we start with Bruiser and Keys. Keys shows off his body while teasing Bruiser about the beer belly. Bruiser admits Keys wins the body building, but Bruiser has the fans as they chant “Beer! Beer!” along with him. Keys calls for a test of strength and Bruiser isn’t sure he’s serious. Keys shoves Bruiser and tells him to take it serious. Bruiser accepts the test, and SLAPS Keys off his feet! Keys gets up and kicks but Bruiser catches it. Bruiser spins Keys for an atomic drop. Keys gets to a corner but covers up from Bruiser’s punch. So Bruiser CHOPS instead! And CHOPS, and CHOPS! Fans cheer for more but Keys turns around to protect his chest. So Bruiser CHOPS his back! Keys scrambles to his corner and tags in Johnson.
Johnson fires off on Bruiser but Bruiser shoves him to run him over! Bruiser drags Johnson up but Johnson powers him to the corner. Keys anchors Bruiser’s feet and Johnson gets a sucker punch! Johnson stomps away in the corner then tags in Keys. Keys stomps Bruiser now but lets up at 4. Keys chops Bruiser back then goes to scoop. Bruiser’s too big for that, so Keys gives a European Uppercut. Johnson tags in and rams in his own uppercut. Johnson and Keys work together for a double scoop slam! Cover, ONE, and with power! Bruiser reaches for Milonas but Keys tags back in. Keys stomps Bruiser down then puts Bruiser back in the corner. Keys throws EuroUppers then gestures at Milonas. He runs in for a splash but Bruiser dodges! Keys hits buckles and both men are down!
Fans rally up as Bruiser crawls for his corner. Johnson shouts to Keys, and Keys tags him in. Johnson grabs Bruiser’s feet but Bruiser still gets to Milonas! The Mastodon rallies on both Future of Honor stars! Fans fire up as he pounces Keys out of the ring, then squashes Johson in a corner. Milonas whips Johnson corner to corner for another splash, then scoops. Johnson slips out and shoves Milonas away. Johnson dodges the clothesline but gets a pop-up spinebuster! Keys attacks Milonas from behind but Bruiser gets Keys. Bruiser whips Keys and Milonas gives Keys a pop-up spinebuster! The Bouncers say bottom’s up and grab Johnson. Milonas climbs and Bruiser holds Johnson up, draping leg drop! Cover, The Bouncers win!
Winners: The Bouncers, Brian Milonas pinning
They kicked ass, now they drink beer! Will the Bouncers find their way to the ROH World Tag Team Championships and drink to a title reign?
Madison Rayne speaks.
“Thunder Rosa, you think that you and Holidead can come into ROH and control the narrative and call the shots?” Here’s the reality: the Twisted Sisterz are the opposite of what the Women of Honor stand for. The Queen Bee vows to make a statement, but will it go the way she hopes?
Willie Mack speaks.
The inaugural NWA National Champion is all about making history, and he makes history with ROH next week. He’ll defend his title in all 50 states, and is already on number 5. If Rhett Titus wants to stay fit, then he better get ready for a fight!
Madison Rayne w/ Sumie Sakai VS Thunder Rosa w/ Holidead!
As The Queen Bee alluded to, The Twisted Sisterz have done what they want to who they want since joining the Women of Honor Division, including the Ray of Sunshine. Now Sumie stands beside Madison, will they put the trouble-makers in their place?
Madison doesn’t wait for the bell, she goes right at Thunder Rosa! She tackles Rosa down and the bell has to ring as she fires off right hands. Rayne puts Rosa in one corner then runs her all the way to the other. She bumps Rosa off a third then hits a sliding lariat. Rayne runs Rosa over with a shoulder and fires up while Rosa regroups with Holidead. Rayne doesn’t give Rosa much time to regain composure, she goes right out and rocks her with a right! She puts Rosa back in while Sumie keeps her eyes on Holidead. Rayne runs Rosa over with a clothesline but notices Holidead egging Sumie on. Rayne runs and wrecks Holidead with a dropkick! Sumie and the fans cheer Rayne on but Rosa hits Rayne back!
Rosa fetches Rayne and rams her into the apron. She then CHOPS Rayne against the apron, before shoving her into the ring. Rosa stomps Rayne then covers, TWO! Rosa drags Rayne up and bumps Rayne off the buckles. She stomps a mudhole into Rayne but backs off at 4. Rosa snapmares Rayne and kicks her sharp on the back. Holidead wants another so Rosa kicks Rayne again. Rosa runs and dropkicks Rayne in the back, covers, TWO! Sumie coaches Rayne up while Rosa mockingly applauds. Rayne throws body shots but Rosa clubs her down. Rosa scoops and slams Rayne down, then applauds herself. Rosa runs side to side for a BIG leg drop! Cover, TWO! The Queen Bee is in trouble while we go to break.
ROH returns and Rosa toys with Rayne. Rayne throws forearms back and enziguris! Rosa falls over and Rayne covers, TWO! Holidead is relieved but Rayne keeps on Rosa. Rosa throws Rayne down by her hair, then drags her up for chops. Rosa whips Rayne corner to corner then runs in for a big back elbow! She snapmares Rayne to a cover, TWO! Fans rally for Rayne but Rose wraps on a chinlock. Rayne endures and fights her way up, but Rosa throws her back down. Cover, TWO! Rosa grabs Rayne for more chops, then does a little salsa to show off. She whips but Rayne reverses and things speed up, Rayne SPEARS Rosa down! But Rayne is also down and a standing 10 count begins.
The count reaches 5 as both women sit up. Rosa grabs Rayne and brings her up but Rayne fires forearms! Rayne dodges Rosa and rallies with more forearms. Rayne fires up and goes corner to corner but Rose catches her! Rosa puts Rayne on the top rope but Rayne boots her back. Rayne leaps for the crossbody! Both women are back up, Rayne ducks a kick to give an enziguri! Cover, TWO! Rayne keeps on Rosa with a waistlock. She wrings Rosa out but Rosa goes to swing. Rayne adjusts and gets around Rosa again for a dragon sleeper. Rosa elbows out and brings Rayne up into the Gory Especial, and spins around for the facebuster! Cover, TWO!! Rayne survives and the Twisted Sisterz are shocked!
Rosa is furious as she drags Rayne right up onto her shoulder! Rosa spins but Rayne slips out for the Rayne Drop! Cover, Rayne wins!
Winner: Madison Rayne, by pinfall
The Queen Bee wins outta nowhere and gets revenge on behalf of Sumie Sakai! Will Rayne and others teach the Twisted Sisterz a lesson about being Women of Honor?
Team Coast2Coast speaks.
“We were gone for a very long time, but for good reason.” Shaheem Ali and Leon St. Giovanni were “rediscovering” themselves. But now C2C is better than ever and will take on the best in the world! Their return is next week against Jay Lethal and Jonathan Gresham, will Chocolate Man and the Human Rocket be ready for the Franchise and the Octopus?
Zack Sabre Jr. VS Rocky Romero!
The partnership of ROH and NJPW is on display as the Submission Master returns! But not only that, the player-coach of Roppongi 3K makes his own return! Will Rocky make a run in ROH for gold? Or will he #JustTapOut?
ROH returns with the bell! Fans cheer Rocky on as he circles with ZSJ. Rocky keeps away from ZSJ’s grip and then they approach. ZSJ still gets Rocky down with a headlock but Rocky keeps up with his reversals. ZSJ gets free but both he and Rocky smirk as they circle again. They tie up again and ZSJ gets the arm. He cranks on it to get Rocky to the mat. Rocky endures the wristlock and ZSJ grinds a knee in. Rocky gets to his feet but ZSJ wrenches and arm-drags Rocky back down. Fans cheer ZSJ’s technique as he twists and pulls Rocky’s arm. Rocky spins through and gets up to dropkick ZSJ out of the ring! ZSJ is frustrated already as he kicks the railing. Rocky waits for ZSJ as he catches his breath.
ZSJ returns and circles with Rocky. They tie up and ZSJ gets a leg. He trips Rocky and stands on his feet. ZSJ twists the leg around and then ties the legs up so he can go after Rocky’s neck with a wrench. But he also hooks the face so the ref counts. ZSJ lets up at 4 to bring Rocky into a Bow ‘n’ Arrow. Rocky pops out to a cover, TWO! Fans applaud as Rocky and ZSJ circle again. Rocky and ZSJ approach and Rocky gets ZSJ’s leg now. Rocky waistlocks but ZSJ wrenches to a switch. ZSJ wrenches again and brings Rocky to his knees. ZSJ brings Rocky further down as he mounts the arm to pull back. Fans applaud while Rocky endures the pair of knuckle locks.
Rocky and ZSJ go shoulder to shoulder but ZSJ gets the cover. TWO so ZSJ tries again. TWO as Rocky brings up the shoulder, so ZSJ pushes it down. Rocky bridges this time, and then anticipates ZSJ hopping on with a monkey flip! It’s a double cover, but Rocky rolls back, only to get caught into ZSJ’s armbar! Rocky rolls and shifts but ZSJ slips out to a hammerlock. Fans applaud this continued exchange as Rocky reaches back for ZSJ. Rocky leaps and snapmares but ZSJ headbutts back. ZSJ snapmares but Rocky handsprings through to dropkick him down! Rocky brings ZSJ up for a chop then a cravat. ZSJ endures but Rocky snapmares. ZSJ responds with his own snapmare, but then Rocky snapmares back. They go snapmare for snapmare, but then ZSJ shoves Rocky down for a neck crank! Rocky writhes while we go to one last break.
ROH returns once again as Rocky manages a ropebreak while in a modified Bow ‘n’ Arrow. ZSJ reluctantly lets go, and waits for Rocky to sit up. ZSJ clamps on a half straitjacket, then digs in elbows and knuckles to get the full. Rocky endures as fans rally up. Rocky feeds off the energy but ZSJ does his best to keep Rocky down. The two struggle against each other, and ZSJ digs a knee in to keep the straitjacket. Rocky stands and spins the straitjacket around but ZSJ spins it back on. ZSJ brings Rocky back down then flips him over, but Rocky uses that to reverse the hold! Rocky has ZSJ but ZSJ breaks free to throw a EuroUpper. ZSJ whips but Rocky elbows back. Rocky springboards for a tornado DDT! Both men are down but fans rally up.
Another standing count begins and Rocky sits up at 3. ZSJ follows and grabs Rocky first. Rocky dodges and huricanranas! Things speed up, Rocky springboards again for a crossbody! Cover, TWO! Rocky toys with ZSJ, then starts slapping him around. ZSJ EuroUppers then grabs a leg. Rocky misses the first enziguri but not the rewind! Fans fire up with Rocky as he runs corner to corner to start the Forever Clotheslines! He gets one, then another, but runs into a boot! ZSJ runs but into Rocky’s leaping knee, only to make it an STF! Rocky is caught, and ZSJ shifts sides! Rocky drags himself around and manages a ropebreak! ZSJ lets Rocky go and catches his breath. Now ZSJ toys with Rocky as he stomps him around. ZSJ kicks but Rocky gets mad. ZSJ pie faces so Rocky SLAPS away!
Rocky knees and hauls ZSJ up to the top rope. Rocky runs corner to corner for a top shelf knee! ZSJ falls to the apron but Rocky checks his shoulder first. Rocky brings ZSJ up but ZSJ resists the suplex. ZSJ goes after the arm but Rocky throws forearms. Rocky shoulders in but gets caught into an Octopus through the ropes! ZSJ lets go at 4 then shoves Rocky away. Rocky dropkicks ZSJ on the return! Rocky throws forearms and CHOPS, then ties ZSJ up in the ropes. He goes to the side and springboards for a guillotine missile dropkick! Cover, TWO!! ZSJ survives and Rocky is exhausted. Fans build to a rally for Rocky as he brings ZSJ up. Rocky throws forearms on ZSJ then eggs him on. ZSJ throws a EuroUpper, but Rocky comes back for fast hands. Rocky kicks and runs for a Sliced Bread! Cover, TWO!
Rocky drags ZSJ up again and wants more, but ZSJ escapes Sliced Bread 2 for the standing abdominal stretch! Rocky reaches but ZSJ rolls him away, then around, Hurrah! The double wrist-clutch octopus is on and Rocky taps quickly! ZSJ wins!
Winner: Zack Sabre Jr, by submission
The Submission Master brings in Another Year, Surely This One Will Be Better Than the Last. Will ZSJ’s first year in ROH be golden sooner rather than later?
Another ROH PPV, another disconnect between it and their television episodes. This episode, as all episodes are, was clearly recorded long before the PPV as nothing that happened at the PPV affects this episode’s events. For those who didn’t see the ROH 17th Anniversary, make sure to check here for the full card results. But for those who did, you know The Briscoes lost the the ROH World Tag Team Championships to Villain Enterprises, yet Jay & Mark still had the belts here. And all this makes it strange for commentary to vaguely reference the PPV when it hadn’t happened for them yet. The Six Man Tag they had was only okay, so I don’t see why it couldn’t have been three other Heels going against Shinobi Shadow Squad to get the spotlight instead.
In fact, seeing as how more Future of Honor stars were brought on for this episode, I’m starting to think that’s what episodes like this should be about. ROH Future of Honor stars can appear, get some television exposure, and take the card in place of literally anyone involved on the PPV card. And of course, facing Future of Honor stars meant an easy win for The Bouncers, who might finally be moving up now that they’re Faces. Meanwhile, Rhett Titus’ new gimmick is like if Lex Luger and Val Venis fused, but then the combination was slightly diluted. But Rhett VS Mack, even non-title, sounds fun. Pretty sure Mack wins that, but bringing NWA and its new championship into the fold of ROH’s many partnerships also sounds great.
Rayne VS Rosa was a good match, and I’m sensing this is building to something more. I’ve said before that having the Twisted Sisterz in WOH must mean Women’s Tag Team Championships are on the horizon, and it would be pretty big if Sumie Sakai joins Rayne in competing for those. I don’t think Rayne & Sumie would be the inaugural champions, that really should be the Twisted Sisterz given their resumes. But Sumie one day becoming a tag champ to be the first woman to have both the WOH World and Tag Team Championships would be a great thing for her own career. ZSJ VS Romero was a good match, and clearly ZSJ is set to dominate to at least a World Television Championship level. ZSJ VS Jeff Cobb would be great for the sheer difference in styles, but we know it’ll have to wait until after G1 Supercard.
My Score: 8/10