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Mitchell’s WWE NXT Report! (5/2/18)

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After the betrayal at TakeOver: New Orleans, the British Bruiserweight, Pete Dunne, returns to NXT! And he’s after Roderick Strong’s head! Can the Messiah of the Backbreaker get away in one piece from the UK Champion’s wrath? Plus, Candice LeRae has her second NXT match against Ms. EST, Bianca Belair!

 

All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Kairi Sane VS Shazza McKenzie; Kairi wins.
  • TM61 VS The Street Profits; TM61 wins.
  • Kona Reeves VS Patrick Scott; Reeves wins.
  • Candice LeRae VS Bianca Belair; Biancawins.
  • Roderick Strong w/ The Undisputed Era VS Pete Dunne; Dunne wins, by disqualification.

PLAY BY PLAY

The Undisputed Era talks among themselves.

They’re not just fighters, and not just champions, they’re givers. Adam Cole gave Oney Lorcan history, because Lorcan is now the answer to “Who did Adam Cole defeat in his first title defense of the NXT North American Championship?” He can tell everyone about it, “you’re so very, very welcome.” And Danny Burch stuck his nose in their business? Burch got what he deserves, and Kyle O’Reilly dares him to try again. Bobby Fish wants to let Burch and Lorcan both know that rehab is open for new patients. “And last but very very least”, Pete Dunne, what Strong did at TakeOver will pale in comparison to tonight. “Because we are untouchable. We are unstoppable”, and as always, “we are Undisputed.”

The Undisputed Era is confident they'll continue to rule over NXT.

 

Kairi Sane VS Shazza McKenzie!

The Pirate Princess defeated the current NXT Women’s Champion back in the Mae Young Classic. But to make her way to that title, she’ll have to defeat this newest Aussie addition to the Women’s Division. Will Shazza shock us all with a debut win?

The bell rings and fans cheer for Kairi. She and Shazza circle, then shake hands to show respect to each other. Shazza throws a heart, Kairi catches, Kairi throws it overboard. She then rolls Shazza up, ONE, and Shazza hits back. Shazza whips but Kairi dodges to headscissor on the rebound. Shazza gives her a forearm, so she gives Shazza double chops. Kairi runs, Interceptor Spear! She’s fired up now as she walks the plank. Kairi runs in corner to corner for the Sliding D forearm! Kairi climbs up, flying kabuki elbow! But she’s not down, she lifts Shazza up and gives her an Alabama Slam! And with Shazza in the drop zone, Kairi climbs up again, and Sets Sail with the InSANE Elbow!

Cover, Kairi wins!

Winner: Kairi, by pinfall

The MYC winner continues to capture wins in the NXT Women’s Division. Will she catch up to the Queen of Spades and challenge her for that Women’s Championship?

But now Lacey Evans appears.

The Lady of NXT lost to Kairi all the way back in New Orleans, but she seems in an oddly good mood here in Full Sail. She joins Kairi in the ring and says “a true lady with class always has the courage to admit when they are wrong.” Lacey tells Kairi that with everything she stands for, she apologizes. From the MYC to this match tonight, Kairi does deserve to be in NXT. “So from one legitimate lady to another”, Lacey apologizes. The fans don’t trust her, they say “No! No!” And Kairi agrees with them. So Lacey sucker punches Kairi with a knockout right hand! Kairi goes down in a heap while Lacey grins. That wasn’t very ladylike. Will Kairi get revenge on Lacey before going for the NXT Women’s Champion?

 

Backstage interview with Candice LeRae.

It’s been a rough week for Mrs. Wrestling after what Tommaso Ciampa did to her husband, Johnny Gargano. What is his condition? Candice admits this hasn’t been an easy year. She joined NXT and was so optimistic that Mr. & Mrs. Wrestling would be on top of the world, but someone they considered family will now stop at nothing to ruin their lives. Candice thought they got past all this, but then she had to watch Ciampa brutalize Gargano, and Gargano be taken out on a stretcher. Candice cries, but she has to prepare for her match tonight. Can Candice recover emotionally so that she can be ready physically for Bianca Belair?

 

Lars Sullivan speaks.

“From day one, Lars Sullivan has been the man in NXT.” When he enters the ring, there are two certainties: he ascertains what he desires; and take it, no matter what happens to those in his way. Lars was almost the North American Champion at TakeOver: New Orleans, so all those that hold gold are now his targets! The Leviathan loves to hurt anyone and everyone put in the ring with him. “The Era of Destruction will begin.”

NXT, you've been warned.

 

TM61 VS The Street Profits!

Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford keep it 100 on their pursuit of the NXT Tag Team Championships. At the same time, Shane Thorne & Nick Miller are The Mighty, and also want those titles for themselves. Which team will come out of this match one step closer to the Undisputed Era’s Free Bird style formation?

Ford and Miller start with the bell. They give a quick handshake of respect, then tie up. Miller gets the wristlock and wrench, but Ford rolls and spins to reverse the hold. Ford whips but Miller reverses, so Ford handsprings over Miller’s back. Ford brings Miller down with a windmill kick, then whips while tagging Dawkins in. Dawkins runs Miller over, and both Street Profits soak in the cheers. Thorne gets in but the Profits hit both The Might with an alley-oop missile dropkick! Ford hits them both, and the Profits control the ring. Miller returns but Dawkins speeds up to hit a bulldog. Dawkins misses the spinning splash and Miller tags to Thorne.

Miller drops Dawkins with a back suplex, then Thorne adds on the slingshot senton. Thorne brings Dawkins up then tags Miller in. The Mighty double whip and double back elbow, then moonsault and fist drop. Miller covers, TWO, but he keeps on Dawkins with a chinlock. Fans duel between Dawkins and TM61. Dawkins sits up and powers out but Miller throws him to the ropes. Dawkins kicks Miller away, double clotheslines bring them both down! Both men crawl for their corners, hot tags to Thorne and Ford. Ford rallies, hits Miller for good measure, then hits Thorne with the back elbow.

Ford is all fired up, but Thorne puts him on the apron. He still fights off The Mighty, hitting Miller with a stiff kick from the apron. Ford runs in and leaps for a sunset flip! Thorne rolls through to roll Ford up in return, and Miller helps Thorne put his feet on the ropes!

TM61 win!

Winners: TM61 (Thorne & Miller), Thorne pinning

Not only do the Mighty not kneel, the Mighty don’t play fair! The ref completely missed it, so Thorne & Miller completely cheat the Profits out of a win. Dawkins & Ford argue with the referee but there’s no changing his mind. Miller & Thorne leave the winners, but will they pay for angering the Profits?

 

NXT takes a look at the War Raiders.

Ray Rowe & Hanson have brought war to NXT. They destroyed Heavy Machinery, Riddick Moss and Tino Sabbatelli all at once in their debut. Then they manhandled the Metro Brothers in their in-ring debut. “It’s the same story everywhere we go.” Heavy Machinery, their war on NXT starts with you. Tucker Knight & Otis Dozovic dare Hanson & Rowe to try, but who will be left standing after this colossal collision next week?

 

Backstage interview with Kassius Ohno.

Ohno is a friend of Gargano, and was a friend of Ciampa’s. What is his take on this situation? Ohno knows what kind of person Gargano is, and what kind of person Ciampa has become. “Ciampa is a coward,” and seeing what he did to Gargano, Ohno knew he has to make Ciampa feel that helpless. Ohno vows to get even with Ciampa on Gargano’s behalf, but will the Psycho Killer only make the Knockout Artist another victim?

 

Kona Reeves VS Patrick Scott!

The energetic and positive Patrick Scott may be his opponent, but all of the NXT Universe shall bear witness the return of “The Finest” superstar in WWE today. From smile to hair to jewelry and clothing, Reeves has the finest you can find anywhere. Will Reeves’ in-ring return also be #TheFinest victory?

The bell rings and Reeves circles with Scott. Fans are on Scott’s side as he ties up, but Reeves puts him in a corner. Reeves breaks but eggs Scott on. Scott circles with him again, and they tie up, but Reeves gives a stiff knee and stiff forearm to him. Reeves puts Scott in a corner and trash talks him that he IS the Finest. Reeves whips Scott corner to corner but Scott goes up and over. Scott wrenches the arm but Reeves powers out and runs him over. Reeves gets mad as he throws more hands and stomps on Scott. Reeves backs off at the referee’s count, but then goes right back to Scott, ramming him into the buckles. He then lifts Scott for a big gut wrench suplex, then positions Scott before climbing up. Reeves once again declares “I’m the Finest!” before dropping The Finest Elbow!

But that’s not all, Reeves picks Scott up for The Hawaiian Drop!

Cover, Reeves wins!

Winner: Reeves, by pinfall

Finest or not, a win is a win, and Kona Reeves won. Will Reeves create the Finest win streak to reach a championship opportunity?

 

EC3 speaks.

At TakeOver: New Orleans and the North American Championship Ladder Match, the fans saw five stars, but only one Golden God. He was impressive in his first NXT match, but imagine how great he’ll be in his first 1v1 match! “The sequel is always superior to the original.” The Top 1% makes his NXT TV debut next week, and vows to “transcend NXT into NX3”. Will Ethan Carter III succeed and transform the brand as we know it?

 

NXT Media caught up with Dakota Kai.

Captain Kick loves how strong the Women’s (R)Evolution in WWE is right now, such as Ember Moon debuting on Raw and even the Iconic Duo on SmackDown. There’s so many opportunities here in NXT, she wants to make her mark. Then, is she scared of Shayna Baszler? Dakota refuses to talk about that right now. That’s when Vanessa Borne steps in.

“The way Dakota’s been handling Shayna Baszler lately is just… pathetic.” Vanessa says she would’ve slapped Shayna. She’s not scared of anyone, not even Shayna, and certainly not Dakota. Dakota knows she and Shayna have issues, but Dakota isn’t afraid of Vanessa. These two women have “issues” with each other, what will happen when they bring those issues to the ring?

 

Candice LeRae VS Bianca Belair!

Mrs. Wrestling’s second match on NXT TV should be something to celebrate, but her mind is with her husband while he’s out with injury. Can she manage to snap back and put up a fight against the dominant Ms. EST?

The bell rings and the two circle. They tie up while fans duel, and Bianca gets a waistlock. She throws Candice down, then blows a kiss. Candice stands up and circles with Bianca again. They tie up, Bianca gets a headlock. Candice powers out but Bianca runs her over. Bianca drags Candice up for the scoop but Candice slips out. They speed up, Candice tilt-o-whirls to throw Bianca. They keep moving, Candice rolls Bianca to a cover, TWO. Candice goes after Bianca but misses, yet gives Bianca a back elbow. Candice climbs up while Bianca staggers back, and leaps for the crossbody. Bianca catches her easily as the StrongEST woman in NXT, then shifts to slam Candice down. Cover, TWO, but Bianca keeps on Candice with a deadlift clean and jerk! She carries Candice around in the military press, then tosses Candice like a long dart at buckles!

Candice is dazed, but Bianca keeps on her with the torture rack. Bianca bends Candice, torturing her from shoulder to waist. Fans rally and Candice fights back with elbows. Bianca tosses her but Candice arm-drags Bianca. Candice forearms and chops away on Bianca! She unleashes all her anger on Bianca, then hits a running back elbow. Bianca goes down and Candice climbs up, for the missile dropkick. Candice keeps going, running the ropes, but Bianca shoves her off the tornado DDT. Bianca drags Candice up, and throws her with the Alley-Oop Bomb!

Cover, Bianca wins!

Winner: Bianca, by pinfall

That may have been Bianca’s BiggEST win ever! But it must be noted that Candice was a bit vulnerable given her situation. Can Candice recover from her first loss on NXT TV? Will Bianca put together one of the bEST win streaks?

 

Roderick Strong w/ The Undisputed Era VS Pete Dunne!

When Mustache Mountain, Tyler Bate & Trent Seven, were removed from the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic due to injury, an opening was made. The WWE UK Champion didn’t have to accept Roderick Strong’s offer to join him in that tournament, but he did, and they went all the way to the finals. However, all it got Dunne was a stab in the back from Strong when Strong decided to join the Undisputed Era. Now the Bruiserweight is back and he’s out for blood! Will he break the Messiah of the Backbreaker in their grudge rematch?

But before heading to the ring, Strong shows off his new entrance titantron!

The bell rings and Dunne goes right at Strong with a forearm! Dunne unleashes more fast hands, but then backs off at the referee’s count. Strong goes right back at Dunne and they grapple on the ground. Dunne gets loose of Strong’s grip and kicks him in the ribs! Strong bails out of the ring but Dunne pursues, with a flying forearm off the apron. Dunne then puts Strong back in the ring, but Strong is ready with a backbreaker! Strong drags Dunne up by his hair, then puts him in a corner for forearms. Strong whips but Dunne reverses then rocks Strong with a forearm to the back.

Dunne follow Strong out again, but Strong grabs his feet. Dunne clubs him away, then jumps, but into a dropkick! Strong drags Dunne back up and into a torture rack, to toss his back at the apron! He leaves Dunne down and writhing while he catches his breath. Strong goes back out and gives a SHARP chop to Dunne. They go back in the ring, Strong stomps away on Dunne. Dunne kicks back but Strong hammers away on him. Strong covers, TWO, but Strong just grinds a knee into Dunne while pulling him in. Fans rally for the UK Champ but Strong just stomps Dunne more. Adam Cole taunts Dunne from ringside, Strong covers, TWO.

Strong puts Dunne in a seated abdominal stretch to torture the ribs. Fans rally for Dunne again, and Dunne works his way out of the hold. Strong kicks Dunne away, though, then he mocks the double fist post. Strong stomps Dunne more, from shoulders to legs and back again. He brings Dunne up for the arm wrench, and an over the shoulder backbreaker. Cover, TWO, but Strong keeps focus. Strong sits on Dunne while pulling his legs back in a knot. Fans rally but Strong lifts Dunne up. Strong tries to suplex but Dunne resists. Dunne fights back then suplexes Strong for the X-Plex!

Strong writhes now while Dunne recovers. The Undisputed Era coach Strong back up and now it’s a brawl of haymakers and chops. Dunne gives a European Uppercut, but Strong reverses the whip. Dunne goes up and over and hits the enziguri! Strong staggers while Dunne climbs up, Dunne stomps the arm! Dunne goes after that hand, but Strong throws Dunne out of the ring. Cole and Kyle stay back, but Dunne gets a knee on reentry! Strong drags Dunne out, for a draping butterfly backbreaker! Cover, TWO! Fans applaud Dunne’s resiliency, then rally for him to get up.

Strong gets up first, and brings Dunne up, but Dunne counters the Olympic Slam to then enziguri Strong again! Dunne walks into Strong’s boot and enziguri, and Strong throws forearms and chops. Dunne counters the slam again, to arm-drag Strong into a sleeper hold!

Strong endures, but Dunne shifts to the armbar! Strong rolls to a cover, ONE, so Strong just gets to safety at the ropes. Dunne drags himself out to the apron and then climbs up again. Strong anchors Dunne’s legs but Dunne hits him back. Strong swings to kick Dunne, then climbs up, SUPER Olympic Slam!!

Cover, TWO! And the Undisputed Era is shocked! They all shout for Dunne to stay down, but fans rally for Dunne to get up. Strong rocks Dunne with rights, but Dunne doesn’t back off. In fact, Dunne fires up. Strong gives forearm after forearm, but Dunne catches that chop! Dunne takes those fingers, and snaps them! Strong cowers to a corner but Dunne unleashes furious hands. Dunne throws Strong with a German Suplex, then kicks him right in the head. He keeps going, pumphandle for the Bitter End!

Cover, but the Undisputed Era attacks!

Winner: Dunne, by disqualification

But as the assault continues, it’s Lorcan & Burch to the rescue!

They brawl with Cole and Kyle, and give back for last week’s beating. Cole and Kyle go running, so Dunne has Strong all to himself. He sends Strong flying out of the ring with another stiff forearm! The Undisputed Era are in retreat while Dunne, Burch & Lorcan stand tall! Have the Undisputed Era run their mouths and stuck their foots right into some serious trouble?

 


 

My Thoughts:

A solid episode of NXT and another fully stocked episode at 57 minutes. Kairi opens the night against newcomer Shazza, and squashes her quite quickly. Of course it was all to lead into a proper program with Lacey Evans, these two could put one some good matches like their “After TakeOver” match a few weeks ago. The Lars Sullivan and EC3 videos were well done, much better than the selfie vids main roster chooses to do. Street Profits VS TM61 was a good match, but I’m surprised by TM61 essentially turning Heel with the rope spot. I suppose there has to be a new Heel team somewhere with the NXT Tag Team Division losing its biggest Heels in SAnitY and AoP. This could be a good program to bring these teams up in the ranks.

I have a feeling Ciampa will take that win against Ohno next week. Then Aleister Black can have his turn while Gargano “recovers”. I’m not sure how to feel about this new Kona Reeves. The big money Heel is already cliche in NXT with GLORIOUS Bobby Roode, Tino & Moss, and–though he’s not a complete Heel–EC3. I don’t see this new persona getting Reeves anywhere higher than the North American Championship, and even then not actually winning it. The Undisputed Era continue to grow as obnoxious Heels and getting proper Heel heat despite Adam Cole’s popularity. Strong and Dunne were having a great match, and it looks like Lorcan & Burch will be helping Dunne. They’ll probably be involved in a Six Man Tag match, but likely to lose so that it’ll be Mustache Mountain returning to help their fellow British wrestler win in another Six Man Tag.

My Score: 8/10

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Sendai Girls BIG SHOW in Sendai Results & Review (10/14/2018)

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It’s been a few months since I’ve done Sendai Girls and it looks like I have some stuff cleared up and it gives me time to cover their latest show, BIG SHOW in Sendai.

Last time we covered them, Hamada was stripped of the title due to drug possession and a match between DASH Chisako and Chihiro Hashimoto, and I was gonna cover that show but too much stuff happened and I was unable to watch it in time. Hashimoto would defeat DASH to win back the vacant title and it was like she never lost it. We got another stacked show and a new title added to the promotion, so expect something to happen.

Let’s find out and…dive right in.

 

Tag Team Match
Ami Sato & Mei Suruga vs. Mikoto Shindo & Mio Momono

Review: Our opening bout is a tag team match with Ami Sato and Mei Suruga taking on Mikoto Shindo and Mio Momono. We got Mio and Mikoto from Marvelous while Mei is from Gatoh Move to give us a promising opening tag bout. Will the girls from Marvelous get the win or will it go to Ami and Mei?

The match went pretty much how you would expect it to go with a short but very standard tag match with all four of these women just showcasing what they can do. If I had to pick one that would stand out in the match, it would have to be Mio since she’s the one that probably did the most in the match so it was easier to give her more of the credit than the others. Ami though has gotten better from the last couple of times I’ve seen her working and she still has a long way to go if she wants to be considered a future star, but the potential is there. Not a whole lot to talk about the match as Mio would try to get the win with a Diving Crossbody with Ami kicking out at two as Mio quickly turned it into a Fujiwara Armbar. Ami wouldn’t tap out as Mio tried to pin her again with a Crucifix but Ami kicked out again and Mio turned it into another submission hold as Ami tapped out.

Rating: Tony Schiavone and a half

 

Six Man Tag Team Match
Aiger, Alex Lee & Sakura Hirota vs. Hikaru Shida, KAORU & Riho

Review: We now have a six-man tag match with most of the women being freelancers for this bout. Since Aiger is involved in the match, then there’s no doubt that there will be mostly comedy involved in the match since that’s what all of her matches on Sendai Girls have been so far. Which of these two teams will win?

I really don’t know how to describe this match right here. It was a comedy like I expected it to be with Aiger being involved for the majority of the match with Riho and KAORU, but it did start out entertaining with Aiger holding onto KAORU’s shoulders while behind like as if she was a ghost, even the referee was playing along with it but the whole comedy bit of the match dragged on a little bit longer than anticipated and ruined the momentum of it. We didn’t get to see much of Hikaru, Alex, and Sakura in the match due to it being relatively short around six minutes. Anyway, Sakura would hold Hikaru in place for Aiger to spit her ghost magic but Hikaru ducked for Sakura to take the blows and KAORU would Big Boot Sakura down. Hikaru would hit a Running Knee Strike on Sakura to get the win for her team.

Rating: Tony Schiavone

 

Tag Team Match
DASH Chisako & Hiroyo Matsumoto vs. Millie McKenzie & Rhia O’Reilly

Review: We have another tag match here with DASH Chisako and Hiroyo Matsumoto teaming up this time as the two will take on Millie McKenzie and Rhia O’Reilly. Both Millie and Rhia are freelancers in the UK wrestling scene and they make their way over to Sendai to take on Sendai’s crowd favorite and one of the top Japanese freelancers around. Will DASH and Hiroyo win or will the UK girls take the victory?

This match was much better than the previous two that were on the show. I’m sure people know of Millie due to her relationship with Pete Dunne, but this is my first time seeing her wrestle and I was fairly impressed with her ability and what she can do in the ring here. I liked the combination of both of these teams here since they both worked well with their styles and just had a nice flow in their match here. DASH is someone who I do hope one day wins the big one in Sendai Girls since she only won the tag titles in Sendai, so I think it’ll be nice to see her win the world title at least once during her career and she actually is good in the ring while also being a favorite of the crowd. Not much to say about Hiroyo because most of us know how great she is in the ring and she still proved it here even when she wasn’t in the match a lot. Rhia though I didn’t see too much of here in the match, she’s an interesting one and someone to possibly keep an eye on if you’re into the UK women’s scene. Around eight minutes of solid wrestling, DASH would go to the top rope after having Millie down on the mat as Rhia would climb to the top with DASH to try and Superplex her, but Hiroyo would sneak up behind Rhia to catch her into a Powerbomb while DASH hits her Frogsplash onto Millie as she picked up the win!

Rating: Eric Bischoff and a quarter

 

Sendai Girls Junior Title Match
Ayame Sasamura vs. Manami

Review: Sendai has introduced a new title into the promotion instead of just the Tag Team and World titles, this time we have the Junior Championship. From what I can gather, their Junior Championship is pretty much the equivalent version of Stardom’s Future of Stardom Championship where it’s for people for a younger age and/or little years of experience. They held a tournament for the title and our two finalists are Ayame Sasamura, representing K-DOJO and Manami. Who will become the first Junior Champion?

I think it’s safe to say that Manami has improved from the times that I’ve seen her perform in the ring and she’s only fourteen years old with about a years worth of experience under her belt, Meiko knows how to train her students and she could be her star pupil when she’s eighteen. I haven’t seen much of Ayame since I don’t really follow K-DOJO, but she did pretty well here from how I’ve seen her perform in this match. This match was surprisingly more technical than I anticipated it to be and they did a great job giving us that type of match while making it interesting with the experience they have under their belt.

The match is about ten minutes and that’s actually a pretty fair time length for the newbies since they’re still growing and there’s so much you could do in that short amount of time and most of the time, it can turn into a great story. While Ayame had probably the most control of the match, Manami would get the shine near the ending of the bout where you see her resiliency and never give up attitude as she would try to get the quick roll-up victory over Ayame but she kicked out. Ayame would catch Manami in for an STO but Manami would kick out of it in time and Ayame would try it again but would have Manami’s arm around her neck when she slammed her down as she goes for the pin and we have our first champion crowned! Ayame is officially the first Junior Champion of Sendai Girls and she’s earned this victory while Manami had a great showing in the match that she could potentially claim that title soon if she keeps it up. Solid work from both of these women.

Rating: Eric Bischoff and a half

 

Tag Team Match
Aja Kong & Meiko Satomura vs. Hana Kimura & Mika Iwata

Review: We got one more tag match before the main event as we have Meiko Satomura teaming up with Aja Kong to take on Hana Kimura and one half of the Sendai Girls Tag Team Champions, Mika Iwata. If you guys remember, Mika and Hana fought on the first show I covered for them on April 19th and they had a solid match with a mutual respect for each other, but now it looks like that they’ll be teaming up this time to take on these two legends. How will Mika and Hana’s partnership fair against Meiko and Aja?

I don’t get what’s going on in Hana Kimura’s head right now and I say this because when I see her wrestle in Sendai or Wrestle-1 with her cheer leading gimmick, she does amazing work and gives us better performances but gives us the exact opposite of that whenever I see her in Stardom like she’s not even trying there anymore. In Stardom, I think she only had one solid match against Hazuki but the rest is just forgettable and I just don’t get why she just switches off there while she does better in the other two promotions, it’s just annoying.

Can we call this a match? I mean, we could but it felt like it was just more of a beat down since that is what Mieko and Aja pretty much do in this match by destroying both Hana and Mika here while they get very little offense in the bout. It’s not that it’s a bad thing either since you have Hana and Mika getting sympathy from the crowd and whenever they do get to hit a big move like Hana being able to hit Aja with a Brainbuster, the crowd gets really into it right after and you need those types of reactions for fans to get behind you. Aja may be almost fifty years old, but she has proven that she can still beat the daylights out of you despite her age and still throws a mean punch when she wants to while also knowing to give her opponent that moment to get a shine in the match. For Hana and Mika teaming up here in the match, they had an interesting chemistry while Mika is also another one who I consider one of Sendai’s best and a future World Champion down the road if she sticks around with the company. Mika would get momentum into the match with her Superkicks to both Meiko and Aja but it wouldn’t last too long as Meiko had to give them a little history lesson as to why Meiko can still destroy you without a second thought as she hits Mika with the Death Valley Driver and pins her for the victory while both Hana and Mika put up a valiant effort. Solid story and great wrestling, nothing more you can ask for.

Rating: Bruce Prichard

 

Sendai Girls World Title Match
Chihiro Hashimoto (c) vs. Cassandra Miyagi

Review: We got our main event for the evening as we have Chihiro Hashimoto defending her championship against Cassandra Miyagi. On September 15th, Chihiro and Mika would defeat Cassandra and Heidi to win the Sendai Girls Tag Team Championships and now it looks like Cassandra is looking to get revenge by taking the World Championship away from her. Will Chihiro retain the title and solidify herself as the ace of the company or will Cassandra win the big one finally?

Cassandra is definitely a top heel of the company and she has proven that tonight in the main event. I’m used to seeing her in tag team matches since she is a former tag champ but I haven’t seen her in one on one action until now and it showed me how great she actually is in the ring here. She was able to dominate the champion while making each other look strong at the same time and was even crisp with her moveset whenever she needed to do something from a strike or a power move, she knew when to hit it and execute it. Cassandra was able to generate enough heat in the match by making Chihiro feel vulnerable during the match as if Cassandra had her number in the match and would even spit black stuff into her face to get more of those heel tactics in there and even staying on top of her opponent to make sure she didn’t have a single advantage into the match.

It’s usually the main events of these Sendai Girls shows that make you enjoy the company a lot more like once you get past the weak undercard of the show and watch it all the way through to the end, the last 2 or so matches give you a very nice reward and it’s worth it. I enjoyed this match from top to bottom with the level of intensity from Cassandra, Chihiro showing why she’s the companies top star, the story and chemistry they shared in the ring. Cassandra looked like she had Chihiro beat when she lands the Tombstone for a two count and would quickly get up for the Swanton Bomb as she connects for another two count, Chihiro is not ready to quit just yet. Chihiro starts to finally get some momentum into the match with various Clotheslines and some German Suplexes to get the behemoth dazed until she was able to hit her German Suplex Hold and retains the title!

I was honestly kinda hoping for Cassandra to win the match here since her performance felt like it would be a great time to finally win the belt and have a nice dominating reign, but it looks like Chihiro is still at the top. However, that doesn’t mean you should count Cassandra out because she’s proven that she’ll be a key player. While Chihiro was putting a promo in the ring, Sendai would get an unexpected visit by none other than the World of Stardom Champion and your glorious Prime Minister, Kagetsu! That’s right, Kagetsu made a surprise return to Sendai Girls as she made her way to the ring and I don’t know the exact translation, but it seems like Kagetsu has talked about how she’s no longer the same Kagetsu that Sendai used to remember as she evolved during her time in Stardom while the Sendai roster appeared to be talking down on our Prime Minister. Meiko would have some words with Kagetsu and it appears as if she would challenge Kagetsu to a match here at Stardom at a later date. I hope the match happens before the end of the year and could be a classic way to close the year out. Get hyped!

Rating: Bruce Prichard and three quarters

 

Overall: While the first two matches were a bust, the show would slowly increase in quality with the last two matches stealing the show with a great main event and a surprise return to close it all off. I don’t know when we’ll get Kagetsu vs. Meiko, but I cannot wait.

Favorite Match: Chihiro Hashimoto vs. Cassandra Miyagi

Least Favorite Match: Aiger, Alex Lee & Sakura Hirota vs. Hikaru Shida, KAORU & Riho

Score: 7/10

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Takeshi Morishima: Traces To Nowhere

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Takeshi Morishima was arrested on November 4th in Kabukichō, Tokyo for punching a taxi driver and breaking his cheekbones, in a row over fare.

Fare he didn’t have by the way, which came to about 18,000 yen. It wasn’t just a case of him leaving his wallet at home, he had deliberately gotten a cab without it.

Details later emerged about Morishima’s disturbing state of mind and sequence of behavior leading up to the event, but we need to look further back to see the roots of the problem.

The majority of wrestlers enter the dojo system very young; usually about seventeen or eighteen. The rules are they must be healthy in body and mind, and have a High School Diploma. They usually go from the closed world of High School sports, into the cloistered world of the dojo. They go straight from their parents houses too. In the dojo they devote themselves to training, and they are only allowed out perhaps for an hour or so on a Saturday, and then perhaps only to a local convenience store, and if there are enough people to wait in the dojo on the seniors, they may even be allowed out to the cinema.

Nightlife, drinking, women, socializing, are all forbidden, and in many ways they are like Geisha, they wait on their elders and the people of their own age they do meet, they find they have little in common with, unless they too are in wrestling.

In the dojo their days are regimented, and even when they make their debuts and are allowed a little more freedom, their lives are still controlled and although they don’t have the cooking\cleaning\waiting on senior in the dojo schedule anymore or knocking on doors in the morning in hotels to get hungover, bruised, battered, and exhausted wrestlers out of bed, they have tours and promotional duties, and people are on hand to tell them where they should be. The same thing happens with touring bands, some people get so used to it, they wind up taking their families shopping at 4am; some people go from tour to tour, never going home.

The lucky ones (and this is most of them) adjust well to their freedom, some marry and have a support network of partners and children or else family, others leave and still stay in the wrestling business in some way, they become trainers, start their own promotions, promote events, open restaurants, write books.

Others do not adjust (although it is rare), and very sadly Takeshi Morishima seems to have been one of these people, who did not, although he did try to get some experience for life after wrestling, it doesn’t seem to have lasted long (and the company no longer exists).

It also didn’t help that he seemed to be pathologically lonely, and came from a small fragmented family, who he didn’t seem particularly close to, which is why in later years he clung to Kenoh, whom he used to call at midnight to chat. Kenoh always said that Morishima was a generous person, who never let him pay for anything. Morishima’s kindness was such that when he made his debut, he bought young Hitoshi Kumano a steak dinner.

Kenoh credits him with teaching him how to live as a wrestler, and it is a shame that Morishima could not ultimately take his own advice.

In 2016, Takeshi Morishima started his downward spiral, probably caused by a depressive condition and burnout (he was an active wrestler and had corporate duties as well following the shake up after Misawa’s death), but maybe there was an underlying condition as well that emerged at that time. His diagnosis of diabetes hit him hard its true (and Kenoh said he cried bitterly, both in the ring and outside of it), and his mental health deteriorated under the shock of being advised to retire, but at the same time he was posting odd things on social media, like rambling crazy statements about things which made no sense. Wrestling was all he had ever known, aside from High School Judo.

He left NOAH under a cloud, and vanished for three years. In the three years he was missing he bounced from job to job, concert security, bouncer, bartender, pizza maker, deliveryman for fast food, luggage porter, flower-shop employee, the list goes on.

In July 2018 he announced out of the blue that he was returning to wrestling, and he would hold his comeback event at Korakuen Hall in October on his 40th birthday, which he would call “GENESIS”. It was later announced that the main event would be himself versus Takashi Sugiura (NOAH’s GHC Heavyweight Champion). He didn’t look comfortable being there, his body language showed how nervous he was, he spoke with his eyes shut and brushed hair out of his face, he mumbled. Afterwards he practically fled the arena and got into a waiting car and collapsed against the seats. A feature with BATTLEMEN served to highlight how fragile he was.

“GENESIS” was never going to happen, and maybe that was for the best.

On the 10th September, Morishima was rushed to hospital after suffering severe pain in his feet, which was later diagnosed as “septic arthritis” (a condition diabetics are susceptible to) and he underwent emergency surgery. The event was called off and it was announced it would be rescheduled at a later date.

No replacement date was ever announced, as it seemed Morishima’s behavior was becoming not just erratic, but dangerous. When he appeared at “Flight” a few weeks before his hospitalization, fans expressed concern at his behavior, Kenoh (it seemed) was also worried by it, but Takashi Sugiura was angered by it and blasted him for being rude as to go so far to plug his own event, make a challenge to him and then leave.

It’s sadly true. Morishima, didn’t stay around for the aftershow party (although Kenoh had hoped he would), but left to drink with Takeshi Rikio and post comments like “I am not interested in Uchida’s NOAH, I am only interested in Misawa’s NOAH”.

An odd comment to make for a man who had been invited to a 20th anniversary for someone he had a rocky relationship with about a promotion he had arranged to fight the champion of.

After the cancellation of the event, everything went quiet on Morishima, and people assumed that aside from the “naked drinking with DDT” (usual wrestler antics that no one takes much notice of), that he had gone back to training for his eventual return and rehabbing from surgery.

His odd behavior of turning up at Puro Weekly unannounced and in a Halloween Mask, and then posing with an issue, raised eyebrows, but the people of Kabukichō told a different story.

After his arrest it was discovered that Morishima had spent the days, not training, but drunk and wandering around the district, telling everyone he was “a star”. It was later revealed that he would take a taxi to the district, and then ask people in the bars and any wrestlers he recognized who where there, for money for the taxi. This led to several establishments banning him due to the harassment of their patrons, and, as his behavior was less than exemplary, he soon gained a reputation as a mean drunk.

Housing also appeared to be an issue for him at this time (he used to have a beautiful apartment during his NOAH days and he kept a box of candy when he settled down to watch films), but now it seemed he was virtually homeless, sleeping at the homes of people he had known for a few hours, one time even as a live in employee in a restaurant he worked in. He also used to go and visit indie promotions and beg money from the younger wrestlers, at one time making them collectively cough up 500 yen for his taxi, whom he had left waiting outside while he sat and watched the show.

There were days when he couldn’t even change his clothes.

On the night in question, he came into “The Stanley Bar” which is run by professional wrestler, Naoshi Sano, and tried to borrow money from him. The store manager told him that Mr. Sano wasn’t there, and as he cleaned the store, Morishima made strange comments to him like “I’m a pro wrestler, and your sweeping the floor”, playing with his phone, playing with the mail that had come to the store and eating sweets. In the past he had begged for drinks, only having what amounted to £10.00 or $12.00 in his pocket.

He left saying something like he had a few sweets left, and would be back with friends. During his visit, he apparently grabbed the managers arm, and left a huge bruise.

It is proposed that Morishima took a taxi, and drove around looking for people who he could beg fare off. The driver, realizing that the fare was already very high, stopped the cab and told him to pay, and that is when the row broke out.

Morishima claims he was not drinking; but his reputation is against him, and the manager of “The Stanley Bar” says he has never seen him sober.

News on Morishima has gone very quiet since his arrest, but I don’t think that prison would be the right choice, and neither would giving him his freedom. Morishima needs to be court ordered somewhere to deal with his issues. NOAH offered to help him once, and he wouldn’t take it.

He is only going to get help if he has no other choice, left to his own devices, he is like Takashi Sugiura says, “a child”.

The reaction from the puro world has been one of disappointment, on NOAH’s side, Naomichi Marufuji has said that for his own sake and that of society, Morishima needs to sort himself out. Old friend, Makoto Hashi (long retired and making a good living as a physiotherapist), said that Morishima needs to make a choice as to what he wants to do, he needs to grow as a person, and not as a wrestler.

And that has been Morishima’s problem; he has never managed to escape his own celebrity. It would have been far better for him that when he came back, he announced that he was returning as a trainer, any number of promotions would have snapped him up immediately, who wouldn’t want to say that they had been trained by Takeshi Morishima, who was once known as “NOAH’s Monster” and was one of the greatest and most memorable Ring of Honor champions, who holds the distinction of being the only Japanese one? It would have given him an income, he could have lived at the dojo, his food would have been prepared for him by the trainees, he would have eaten healthily (another bonus as the trainees are fed on dishes high in protein) and he would have had a support network in place of old friends, and people to talk to and importantly, look out for and after him.

But now sadly with this assault charge and odd behavior, who is going to want to be in the ring with him, let alone be trained by him, if he is capable of bouts of temper which seriously injure members of the public?

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Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: King of Pro Wrestling 2018 Part 2!

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NJPW King of Pro Wrestling

NJPW King of Pro Wrestling 2018 continues as The Ace once again puts up his Wrestle Kingdom IWGP Heavyweight Champion contract on the line! Will he keep it?

 

This coverage of King of Pro Wrestling will be as broadcast by AXS TV.

Gifs can be found at http://frentique.tumblr.com/

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • EVIL VS Zack Sabre Jr w/ Taka Michinoku; No Contest.
  • Wrestle Kingdom 13 IWGP Heavyweight Championship Contract Match: Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Jay White w/ Gedo; Tanahashi wins and retains the Wrestle Kingdom 13 IWGP Heavyweight Championship contract.

PLAY BY PLAY

NJPW and AXS TV set the scene!

Hiroshi Tanashi is still the owner of the Wrestle Kingdom contract after an intense battle with long-time rival with Kazuchika Okada. It was the first win The Ace had over The Rainmaker in four years, but the celebration was cut short by The Switchblade, Jay White! White called his shot at the contract based on how he beat both Tanahashi and Okada in the G1 Climax. This is also fueled by White losing to Tanahashi at Wrestle Kingdom 12, so White wants to make sure Tanahashi doesn’t even go. Will Tanahashi get back at White for everything as of late? Or will he #BreathewiththeSwitchblade?

But first, Los Ingobernables de Japon continues its war with Suzuki-Gun. The King of Darkness has lost to the Submission Master in recent tag team matches, but they once again go 1v1 to settle things. Will Darkness Fall? Or will ZSJ make Evil #JustTapOut?

 

EVIL VS Zack Sabre Jr. w/ Taka Michinoku!

As is standard for Taka accompanying Zack, Taka makes the introductions. “Welcome to Zack Sabre Time.” This is a special singles match, and who is gonna win? “Zack!” Who!? “Zack!” Yes, your winner will be the man who can finish with any lock, anywhere, anytime. It will be “the man who possesses the deadly Zack Driver”. It will be the man that “when he locks on a submission, no matter who you are, you Just Tap Out!” He is the master of all pro-wrestling, he is ZSJ, he is Zack Sabrrrre, JUNIOR! Taka also adds “This is NOT Evil”, because “Everything is NOT Evil”. So Evil, c’mon over here! With that, Evil makes his entrance, accompanied by servants of darkness.

But wait! Before Evil can enter the ring, one of his servants attacks him! Because it was CHRIS JERICHO in disguise! Jericho wears the IWGP Intercontinental Championship around his waist, so there’s no doubting who it is. Jericho drags Evil up and throws him into barriers! Evil flounders as Jericho stomps him and chokes him with camera cables. Jericho throws Evil into the apron, then into the ring. ZSJ lets Y2J keep on Evil with a rain of rights. Fans rally for Evil but Jericho whips him corner to corner for a big clothesline! Jericho then gives Evil a Code Breaker! And yes, off comes the mask so that everyone can see his face. ZSJ is rather amused to see Jericho laying Evil out, makes things easier for him.

Jericho picks up his IWGP Intercontinental Championship belt, and aims at Evil. Evil staggers to his feet, and turns around into a belt smash! Jericho holds up the title, then looms over Evil as he flexes. Evil already wanted after Jericho for what he did to Naito, but will Evil be able to get revenge for himself?

Jericho leaves and referees check on Evil. ZSJ wants his match with Evil, but the referees tell him they can’t have it if Evil is hurt. ZSJ circles like a vulture as medics check on Evil. The medics say this match must be called off! Fans don’t like it, but understand after what happened. ZSJ doesn’t like it, and goes after the medic who made the call! He wrangles the man down with a double wristlock, then goes after the Young Lion trying to stop him! ZSJ tells the referee to leave or he’ll be next. The referee backs off and ZSJ starts kicking away on Evil. Then he puts him into the coil lock and pulls on the arm. ZSJ adds insult to injury with all his different holds, but here comes Naito!

Naito attacks ZSJ with the fury meant for Jericho, and they start brawling! Naito and ZSJ trade forearms, then ZSJ gives European Uppercuts. ZSJ whips but Naito reverses into a tornado DDT! Naito sees ZSJ roll out and regroup with Taka and builds speed. Taka and ZSJ panic, expecting a dive, but Naito instead rolls and Tranquilos! ZSJ is furious but Taka calms him down. ZSJ is denied his match but LIJ is denied retribution on Y2J. Who will get what they want first? And who will regret ever starting the fight?

 

Chris Jericho rampages backstage.

Much like after his confrontation with Tetsuya Naito, Jericho throws anything he can get his hands on and tosses it at whoever is around. He slaps a Young Lion to the floor, then asks “You see what happens? You think it’s bullsh*t, don’t you?” Well that’s life. The IWGP Intercontinental Champion has returned to NJPW and Ryogoku. Evil gets in Y2J’s business, has to call him out over the title, and this is what he gets. “The greatest, most dominant Intercontinental Champion of all time in any country, worldwide.” It doesn’t matter if it’s America, Canada, Australia or “this sh*thole,” Japan. Evil didn’t get his match tonight, but he will get his match in Osaka, NJPW Power Struggle, for the title! Does that sound good? “Evil: Dead.”

Zack Sabre Jr. has something to say about the incident.

“Oi, Jericho, mind your own business.” ZSJ didn’t need any help beating up Evil. He didn’t fly all the way here for a No Contest. ZSJ doesn’t have a problem with Y2J, so long as Y2J stays on his boat. But also, Naito sure took his sweet time getting out there. Where was he when Jericho started beating down Evil? What a “good friend”. Maybe Bushi should take lead in LIJ so Naito can retire or something.

Evil and Naito have their own response.

“You son of a bitch, Jericho!” Evil can barely walk but he forces himself to head to the back. Naito figures Jericho just has too much time on his hands. As for Naito himself in all this, he’s been saying it a long time: He wants after ZSJ. Naito already “smashed up the King for him”, meaning Minoru Suzuki. Getting a chance to redeem himself for past losses should be his reward. “So, Mr. Zack Sabre Jr, please do me the honor.” He humbly waits a reply. Adios! Will there be a collision course of LIJ, ZSJ and Y2J in the near future? Who will come out the victors in such a battle?

 

Wrestle Kingdom 13 IWGP Heavyweight Championship Contract Match: Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Jay White w/ Gedo!

The Ace only lost to one man during the G1 Climax 28, and that was The Switchblade. However, that one loss alone gives the young Jay White the impression that he should be the one heading for the Tokyo Dome, not the man who won the G1 Climax 28 Finals. White waited until Tanahashi had tired himself out against Kazuchika Okada in Kobe to strike again. Now in the Ryogoku Sumo Hall, White looks to end the Once in a Century Talent once and for all! Who wins and walks away with the title match contract in his hands?

The briefcase is opened and the contract is presented to White and Gedo for verification. Fans already cheer “Go Ace!” as both men put their jackets aside. This epic match finally begins, after the break.

NJPW on AXS returns and the bell rings. White bails right out, and fans boo. White and Gedo act like it isn’t a problem, but obviously the trolling begins early. Tanahashi waits patiently as White takes his time returning. The two circle, fans rally for Tanahashi, and the two tie up. They push each other back, but Tanahashi gets White to the ropes. White turns things around, and lets go for the ropebreak. But then Gedo distracts Tanahashi, allowing White to clobber The Ace from behind! White stomps away as fans boo, and Tanahashi slips out of the ring. White follows to chop Tanahashi against barriers, then whip him into others! Togi Makabe seems to catch White’s attention, so White gives him a dirty bird before chopping Tanahashi again.

White brings Tanahashi over and whips, but Tanahashi reverses to send White into barriers! Tanahashi then runs in to blast White with a dropkick! White goes over the railing and into the front row! Tanahashi fires up but then Gedo hits him in the back! Red Shoes reprimands Gedo, but Tanahashi gives Gedo a kick to the gut! Tanahashi puts Gedo in the ring, but Gedo begs for mercy. But this keeps Tanahashi from seeing White return, to chop block Tanahashi in the leg! White mocks the air guitar, then goes after the leg. Tanahashi writhes but White gives the leg a toehold screw to the mat. White plays air guitar on Tanhashi’s leg before giving him another leg screw. White then drags Tanahashi’s leg out onto the apron, to slam it on the edge!

Tanahashi writhes but White isn’t done with that leg as he elbows it against the apron. White slams the leg again, then tells Red Shoes to leave him alone. White drags Tanahashi to a corner and slings the leg into the post! Tanahashi shouts in pain while fans boo White. White distracts Red Shoes while Gedo uses the WK13 contract briefcase to smack Tanahashi’s leg! Gedo grins as he gets away with it, and White covers. Red Shoes says no to the cover, he knows something is up. White drags Tanahashi around and goes for a half crab. Tanahashi fights with his good leg and kicks White away. Fans rally and Tanahashi fights back with body shots.

Tanahashi runs in but White dumps him out. White again distracts Red Shoes, thinking Tanahashi has hit the floor. But Tanahashi instead boots Gedo away while skinning the cat! White sees Tanahashi and goes after the leg with elbows! Then he puts the foot on his shoulder for a knee jacker! Tanahashi writhes again while White looms over him. White stands on the bad leg and fans boo. White drags Tanahashi onto the ropes and bends him back. He gives forearms to the back but Red Shoes counts. White stops at 3, but then just comes back to do it again. He stops at 4 this time, then stomps Tanahashi’s calf. Fans continue to rally but Tanahashi is down. White taunts Tanahashi now, and brings him around by his hair.

White stands Tanahashi up, snapmare and a slap! Fans boo the disrespect, but White doesn’t care. White waits for Tanahashi to stand, but Tanahashi fires forearms! White kicks the bad leg and Tanahashi staggers away. Tanahashi dodges White in the corner, and catches White’s boot to give him a dragon screw! Finally some offense, and it evens things as far as legs. Both men slowly stand, and Tanahashi throws more forearms. He puts White in the corner, then scoop slams him into the drop zone. Tanahashi hops up, second rope somersault senton! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi keeps on the leg, and gives it a grounded dragon screw! He wants both legs, and goes for the Cloverleaf! White resists and crawls, and gets the ropebreak! Tanahashi lets White go but the fans rally again.

Tanahashi grabs the legs again and pulls on White. White kicks him in the shoulder, but Tanahashi holds on. White kicks him in the bad leg, and Tanahashi lets go. Tanahashi staggers as White stands. Tanahashi comes back, and White uses a saido suplex to throw him over and out! The Ace is down and out while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns as White fetches Tanahashi. White throws Tanahashi backwards into railings, then throws him again. He throws Tanahashi a third time as he shouts and eggs him on. White puts Tanahashi in the ring, then hobbles around to go looking under the ring. White finds himself a folding chair, his favorite item. Red Shoes won’t allow this, but they’ve gone this way before during the G1. As Red Shoes and White argue, Tanahashi gets White’s leg and dragon screws him between the ropes! White tumbles to the floor, but Tanahashi gets moving. Tanahashi climbs up and camera crews get out of the way, for the High Fly Flow crossbody! It hits, but it’s double edged considering the bad leg. Even so, fans are fired up for The Ace!

Tanahashi is up and puts White back in the ring. Tanahashi feels the energy of the fans, and gets moving, but runs into a chop! He keeps moving, but gets another chop! Tanahashi actually seems more annoyed than hurt, but he turns around into White’s complete shot! Then White deadlifts Tanahashi for a German Suplex! Both men are down but fans rally again. White sits up and glares at Tanahashi with wild eyes. They grind foreheads and then stand. White gives a forearm, Tanahashi gives one back. White gives another forearm, but Tanahashi gives another back. The fans fire up while White staggers, but White comes back for another forearm. Tanahashi gives a forearm, then another, then another. He fires body shots but White kicks low.

Tanahashi still hits back, body shot after shot then a EuroUpper! He turns around but into White’s strike fest! Tanahashi comes back with a palm strike! And then another palm strike! White grabs Tanahashi’s hair, but Tanahashi gives him a third palm strike! White wobbles, Tanahashi runs, but White catches him! Tanahashi slips out of Blade Runner and gets a full nelson, but White breaks that to elbow. White swings, but Tanahashi gets a half nelson that he uses to spin White around. White slips out of the facelock, reels Tanahashi in and around, but Tanahashi again slips out. Tanahashi swings but White counters, only for Tanahashi to slip out again, to a waistlock. White breaks free of that, and both men give forearms! Both men are rocked but stay standing, and fans applaud that incredible exchange.

White hits Tanahashi, then again. He whips but Tanahashi reverses, into a swinging neckbreaker! But Tanahashi doesn’t let off, he brings White back up, for another swinging neckbreaker! He still holds White, and brings him up again, but White gets a swinging suplex! Both men are down, but White flounders to a corner. Fans rally up for Tanahashi, and he slowly sits up. White grabs him, only to get a third swinging neckbreaker! Tanahashi runs, and hits the slingblade! But he sees Gedo getting on the apron, so he knocks him off with a forearm smash! White gets Tanahashi but Tanahashi slips out, full nelson to Dragon Suplex! With a bridge! TWO!! So close yet so far from finishing this, but Tanahashi keeps moving. Tanahashi gets up top, and waits for White to stand. High Fly Flow crossbody!

But Tanahashi keeps going! He’s back up top, High Fly Flow splash! Cover, but Gedo drags Red Shoes out! Gedo won’t let his new protege lose yet. He also lurks with brass knuckles! Gedo gets in and goes right at Tanahashi, but Tanahashi dodges to counter with a palm strike! But then White gets Tanahashi with the low blow! Everyone’s down while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns once more, and White crawls his way to the chair he found earlier. White stands up with it, and sees Tanahashi sit up. White goes to swing, but Tanahashi gives him a low blow in return! Both men are down, feeling the pain, but Tanahashi gets up first. Tanahashi takes that chair of White’s, sets it down, and scoop slams White on the chair! Then he goes up top, for a High Fly Flow! But White moves, so Tanahashi belly flops on the chair! Tanahashi writhes with the pain in his ribs as White grabs the chair for his own again. White grits his teeth, and throws the chair in Tanahashi’s face! But where’s Red Shoes? White shouts for Gedo to get the ref, and Gedo forces Red Shoes in, ice pack and all.

White drags Tanahashi up, calling for the end. Blade Runner countered into a small package! Tanahashi wins!!

Winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi, by pinfall; still holds the WK13 IWGP Heavyweight Championship match contract

For all the dirty tricks White used, it was a pure wrestling counter that defeated him! The Ace still heads for the Tokyo Dome, but the Switchblade won’t stand for it! He stomps away on Tanahashi, then fights off any of the Young Lions that try to save him. White grabs that leg and stomps away on it, then gives it another leg screw! Gedo says White should finish this, so White drags Tanahashi back up. But before he can hit Blade Runner, The Rainmaker appears! Okada runs White and his former manager out of the ring and fans are thunderous! However, Gedo distracts Okada on the opposite end, so that White can attack from behind! But Okada still fights White off! So Gedo attacks! But it does nothing! Okada throws hands on Gedo!

Gedo shouts for White to help, but it’s Jado who appears. Jado, being Gedo’s former tag partner and therefore a Chaos member, wants to keep the peace between former friends. Gedo clings to Jado for safety, and Jado has Okada back away. Fans aren’t sure what to make of this, but then the Firing Squad appears? Tama Tonga, Tonga Loa, Bad Luck Fale and Taiji Ishimori saunter out here and flank the ring. What are they doing out here when this is a Chaos issue? The Bullet Club’s splinter cell enters the ring, and White starts to get anxious. White wants things to settle down, but Taiji and Fale grab Jado and Gedo! They’re making it as if they’re on Okada’s side? They want Okada to get his shots in on Gedo?

Okada isn’t so sure, and neither are the fans. But Okada thinks it over, and he does run to build speed. Only for Tama Tonga to get him with a Gun Stun!! They’re not on Okada’s side, but on Gedo’s! As was Jado, it seems. And now, Gedo, Jado and the Firing Squad stomp away on Okada! White throws Young Lions and whoever else around on the outside before joining the others in the ring. Gedo and the others let White pick up Okada, and he gives a Too Sweet at the end of his throat slash, before hitting Blade Runner! Fans boo this new alliance, especially as they Low Sweet. The Bullet Club theme hits, but is that what this alliance will be now? Or will it be something far more dangerous?

Tanahashi returns to the ring, and goes to his rival, and seemingly only ally in this new fight. Will Tanahashi be able to hold onto his Wrestle Kingdom contract at this rate? Will Okada keep control of Chaos in this state? Or can they turn the tide before they’re swept under?

 

Backstage interviews.

The Bullet Club comes through, and wonders if the world is tilting. Because he feels the shift towards their side of things. “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, dogs, cats and children of all ages,” Tama Tonga presents Jay White. White says this was “inevitable.” White met Fale way back in London in 2014, and since then, it was inevitable that White would end up with these guys. It was never going to be White and the #BCElite, Kenny Omega and such. “What is that ripoff sh*t?!” No, the #OGBC is where White belongs, and they’re going to take the Club back to its roots. “Get used to these faces, we’re taking over.” They have like minds, like attitudes and like aggressions! Switchblade joins the Brotherhood, the Firing Squad, the BC OG’s!

Tanahashi meanwhile stops to say “Here it is. My ticket tot he future.” Is Tanahashi a relic of the past? Is his time so long ago? “It needs to be said, there is a future for everyone.” No matter your age, no matter your job, “everyone deserves a future.” Tanahashi didn’t come back to stay who he was before. He came back to keep pushing forward! So please understand, and stick with him until the Tokyo Dome.

Alliances have been made, battle lines have been drawn and goals have been set. When the dust settles come January 4th, 2019, who will be standing atop NJPW as THE IWGP Heayvweight Champion? Who will be standing as THE top faction? Or will there be no one left standing at all?

 


 

My Thoughts:

An incredible hour for NJPW as part two of three for King of Pro Wrestling. I did not expect the opening match to end up in a no contest, but it was a great surprise for Jericho to show up and go after Evil. I knew Evil was going to go after Jericho for the title, but Naito going after Zack Sabre Jr. is a good addition to this story. Naito VS ZSJ will be a great rematch, then clearly Evil VS Jericho will be great. Naito will likely win, as the leader of LIJ should stay strong. However, I don’t really feel Evil will win, as it’d seem odd if he was the only member of LIJ to have a belt, but I’m betting he’ll get really close.

Tanahashi VS White was great, and all the attempts at cheating were well done given Gedo’s presence. Tanahashi wins but this new alliance of White, Gedo and Firing Squad is a crazy development. It adds a new layer to the Chaos civil war White was starting against Okada as well as the Bullet Club civil war that’s continued since the G1 Special in San Francisco. I don’t think this’ll cause Chaos and Bullet Club Elite to join up to stop White and Tama Tonga, but it should.

My Score: 8.6/10

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