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
- 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.”
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.”
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!
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?
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?
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
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