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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Live Report! (5/15/18)

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Two of SmackDown's best are not done with each other yet!

SmackDown comes to London with a #Mellabration! The Princess of Staten Island vows to outdo the Royal Wedding with a party in her own honor. Will anyone crash the party? Plus, the Phenomenal One and the King of Strong Style will determine their stipulation for their Money in the Bank WWE Championship rematch!

 

All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifying Tag Match: The New Day VS The Bar; The New Day wins and chooses ??? to join the Men’s MITB Ladder Match.
  • Andrade “Cien” Almas w/ Zelina Vega VS Jake Constantino; Almas wins.
  • Women’s Money in the Bank Qualifying Triple Threat: Becky Lynch VS Mandy Rose VS Sonya Deville; Becky wins and joins the Women’s MITB Ladder Match.
  • AJ Styles VS Shinsuke Nakamura; Nakamura wins and will choose the stipulation for their WWE Championship match at MITB next week.

PLAY BY PLAY

Renee Young introduces Daniel Bryan!

The Goat has the O2 giving a standing ovation of “YES! YES!” as he heads to the ring. Bryan won at Wrestlemania, was impressive in the Greatest Royal Rumble match, and won at Backlash. However, Big Cass would beat him up and Rusev would shut him out of the Money in the Bank match. Fans have not stopped chanting, by the way. Bryan wants those at home to “Feel that! Fell ALL of that!” Was Bryan disappointed? Sure. Does he like losing? Does anyone like losing? “NO! NO!” When Bryan made his return, he was just happy to be back doing what he loves. “But now, it’s not enough to be back.” Bryan wants to do more than just be back, he wants to be on top! Bryan will fight and climb and scratch and claw for it all. And before it’s all over, Bryan will be WWE Champion!

But Big Cass says to “Hold on.” The Human Skyscraper, who was a “Cass-Hole” of a sore loser at Backlash, says that he was just listening to Bryan run his mouth, “and I am sick of it.” Bryan may have fooled the fans into drinking the Kool-Aid, but not Cass. Bryan feeds the fans “heart-warming” crap! Cass knows the truth about Bryan. Renee brought up Rusev’s win Bryan’s “first major setback”, but Cass disagrees. Cass was his setback, was the reason Bryan lost and will be why Bryan keeps losing. Cass will make sure Bryan never achieves his dreams again. He admits he loss, but he only tapped out to then beat “the holy hell” out of Bryan. And he did! Cass beat Bryan down, and will continue to beat him down, and his 7 foot shadow will follow Bryan all over the WWE.

Sure, Bryan lasted 75 minutes in the GRR, wow~! But what happened when Cass showed up? Cass booted Bryan, eliminated him, and proved to us all that “Daniel Bryan is a loser.” Bryan should’ve let that little guy from Montreal take his place, because he at least took that beating with dignity? Cass asks if Bryan is a loser. Fans say “No! No!” but Cass says “YES!” Should Bryan have stayed retired? “YES!” Should Bryan let Brie “wear the pants” in the family? “YES!” Cass drops then mic then heads to the ring. He stands across from Bryan, but Bryan doesn’t back down. The fans support Bryan while Cass climbs inside. Cass mocks “YES!” but Bryan fires off!

Bryan goes at the legs, then throws more right hands and kicks! Fans are fired up as Bryan pulls on the leg with the ropes. Bryan doesn’t let up, even as he has Cass on the mat! Referees appear to stop Bryan from beating Cass down. Cass stands up and hobbles, but Bryan comes around from the outside! Bryan slings Cass’ leg into the post! And then again! Bryan backs off again, but then gives Cass a chop block! He grabs that leg, for a heel hook! Cass shouts in pain and even taps out, but it doesn’t do a thing with this being a fight and not a match! The referees order Bryan to let go, but Bryan doesn’t let go until he’s satisfied. Fans cheer while Cass retreats to the back. Cass has incurred the wrath of The Goat, will he regret ever trying to bully Bryan?

 

The Miz is in London!

The Most Must-See Superstar is already one of SmackDown’s Money in the Bank entrants, and is himself a past winner of the contract. He joins commentary to have a front row look at who will join him and The Bulgarian Lion in that match.

 

Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifying Tag Match: The New Day VS The Bar!

Awwwwwww, London~! While this may be a tag team match, it will help at least one man get into the Men’s MITB Ladder Match. Xavier Woods managed to beat the Celtic Warrior with the help of Big E & Kofi Kingston, but that same help backfired against the Swiss Cyborg. Will “ya boys” The New Day or The Bar break the tie in their favor?

The bell rings and Woods starts against Cesaro. Cesaro lunges but Woods ducks under to SUPERKICK Sheamus off the apron! Then he counters Cesaro to throw chops and haymakers. Cesaro reverses the whip but Woods ducks under again to rock him with a roaring elbow. Woods takes aim at Sheamus, then builds speed to FLY! Woods takes out Sheamus, then gives shade to Miz before hitting Cesaro with a slingshot jump kick! Cover, TWO, but Woods keeps on Cesaro. Cesaro suplexes but Woods slips out, then Woods ducks and runs for a wheelbarrow. Cesaro blocks it with strength, then brings Woods up and over. Sheamus tags in, Cesaro adjusts, and Sheamus adds a double ax handle to the back suplex. Cover, TWO, but The Bar is in control. Sheamus rocks Woods then tags in Cesaro, and The Bar double whip for the Bar Lariat.

Woods rolls away while The Bar brags and we go picture in picture. Cesaro pushes Woods off the apron, then distracts the ref so Sheamus can get a cheap shot. Big E protests but the referee keeps him back. Cesaro tags Sheamus, and Sheamus fetches Woods to rock him with a European Uppercut. Sheamus puts Woods in the ring, then drives a knee in for the keylock. He keeps Woods on the mat, but Woods feeds off the energy from the fans. Woods stands up, and fights back, but Sheamus shoves and catches him into the Irish Curse backbreaker! Cover, TWO, but Sheamus drags Woods back over. Cessaro tags in, and taunts the New Day as he brings Woods up. Woods fights back, but Cesaro whips him away to knock him down with a back elbow. Cover, TWO, so it’s back to the chinlock.

Woods endures while The New Day and fans rally. Woods stands up but Cesaro tags in Sheamus. Sheamus kicks Woods and The Bar whip Woods for Super Saiyan Kicks! The Bar embraces the heat while stomping Woods. Sheamus tags Cesaro, and Cesaro swaggers about. Woods rolls him up, TWO, and Cesaro puts the chinlock back on. He brings Woods back to the mat, but Woods feeds off a new rally. Woods stands up, hits a jawbreaker, but Sheamus tags in to knock Big E down. Woods ducks Sheamus, but there’s no one to tag. Sheamus rocks him with a bicycle knee, then brings him back over to tag in Cesaro. Cesaro climbs up while we go single picture, and drops the elbow into the backbreaker. Cover, TWO, so Cesaro chokes Woods against the ropes. Sheamus gets another cheap shot, Cesaro covers, TWO.

Fans rally for the New Day again, and Woods fights back. Woods backs Cesaro down, but Cesaro whips him to ropes. Woods throws Cesaro out of the ring! Big E returns, and Woods crawls over for the hot tag! Sheamus tags in, but Big E is upon him with belly2belly suplexes! Big E slams Sheamus down, then swivels the hips. He runs for the Big Splash, but into knees! Sheamus runs in but Big E throws him down, covers, TWO. Big E and the fans rally with New Day claps, but Cesaro dsitracts and Sheamus rolls up. TWO, Cesaro tags in. Big E scoops Sheamus but Cesaro saves him. The Bar double mule kick and double DDT! Cover, TWO! Cesaro puts on the Sharpshooter!

Fans rally, and Woods returns, but Sheamus drags Woods out. Woods puts SHeamus into a post, then saves Big E. Both Big E and Cesaro head for corners, Cesaro runs into an elbow. Woods tags in, Tornado DDT! Cover, TWO!! Woods stands up and brings Cesaro up, but Cesaro throat chops. Cesaro runs but into the post, Woods hits the wheelbarrow facebuster. Sheamus breaks the pin, then brawls with Big E! Sheamus kicks and kicks, but Big E throws him out to then DIVE THROUGH HIM! They both go to the floor, and fans fire up as Woods climbs up. Woods hits the Springboard Elbow! New Day wins!

Winners: The New Day (Big E & Woods), Woods pinning; one member qualifies for the Men’s MITB match.

With one out of three going into this major ladder match, who will The New Day choose? Plus, with only one spot left in the match, who will be the final entrant from SmackDown?

 

The Bludgeon Brothers speak.

Harper & Rowan say that “Family is for the weak”, Usos. “Friendship is an abscess waiting to be pierced,” The Club and The Bar. “Joy is a disease,” New Day. “The Cure is to Bludgeon.” Time’s up for the SmackDown Tag Team Division, who will be purged first?

 

SmackDown GM Paige is in her office.

Yes, she would’ve loved to go to the Royal Wedding, but she didn’t get an invite. Carmella, no, no horse-drawn carriages. Just stop. But she’ll call Carmella back. Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville are here, the “power trip” didn’t work. Mandy still won, and now she’s in the Women’s MITB– No, that wasn’t a qualifying match. It should’ve been. Relax, or you won’t get one at all. So then Mandy is getting one? But not Sonya? No they’re both getting one tonight. Against who? Becky Lynch. As a handicap match? They’re winning, obviously, right? No, it’s not a handicap match, it’s a triple threat. Only ONE woman qualifies, so good luck out there.

 

Backstage interview with AJ Styles.

The Phenomenal One has a non-title rematch with Shinsuke Nakamura, winner chooses how their MITB match goes down. What will Styles choose if he wins? Styles doesn’t think it’ll be “if”, but “when” he wins. And it could be a scaffolding match, or a pole on a pole match. No wait, Bull Rope Hell in a Cell Inferno Match! Where the referee is Elvis, right? No, Renee, that’s silly. But it doesn’t matter what Styles chooses, it’ll be entertaining for everyone except the “Con Artist”. Nakamura can pretend not to know English, but Styles knows the international language of forearms to faces. It doesn’t matter where or when, Nakamura can’t win in the House that AJ Styles Built!

 

Andrade “Cien” Almas w/ Zelina Vega VS Jake Constantino!

El Idolo is FINALLY on SmackDown! The former NXT Champion has Lamaneca by his side even on the main roster as he goes against local boy, Jake Constantino. Will Almas’ Tranquilo style translate to the Blue Brand as successfully as it did to NXT?

The bell rings, and he ties up with Jake. Almas gest the waistlock but Jake the standing switch, but Almas elbows his way out. Vega likes what she sees, but then Jake dropkicks Almas down. Almas gets up and CHOPS Jake down. Almas puts Jak ein a corner and stomps a mudhole into him, with both feet. El Idolo grins, then pumps himself up. He runs corner to corner, for CIEN KNEES! But that’s not all, he brings Jake up for the Hammerlock DDT!

Cover, Almas wins!

Winner: Almas, by pinfall

An impressive victory in his debut, and he barely broke a sweat, too.

Zelina Vega speaks.

“This is SmackDown Live, huh?” She was expecting more. After all the anticipation, Almas finally arrives and they get some scrub? “Pathetic!” Just as pathetic as every superstar that thinks they can do what Almas can. “Our message is clear: We didn’t come to SmackDown Live to place nice. We came to TAKE OVER!” Will El Idolo take over SmackDown like he did NXT?

 

Rusev has his own room, thanks to Aiden English.

The Drama King tried to get a better room, but it’s London, “Home of the Pedestrian.” The food, the Rolling Stones, they’re overrated. Rusev will get satisfaction when he wins MITB. And English has a new song just for the occasion. But as he’s tuning up, Lana enters. Lana wishes English to save his voice, for a “Ravishing” new song. Lana vows to also win the Women’s MITB, because she’s going up against Billie Kay next week. She will CRUSH Billie, and together, they will be the first ever Mrs. & Mrs. MITB! Machka in the Bank will RULE SmackDown! On what day? On… RUSEV DAAAAAAY~!

 

Here ye, Here ye!

It’s time for the Royal Mellabration! The fair princess of Staten Island arrives. The very same princess who defeated Charlotte Flair twice to become the SmackDown Women’s Champion. “May God ignore the Queen, and God Save Carmella!” With pomp and circumstance, Carmella makes her entrance and heads to the ring.

She carefully positions her championship on the leopard print pillow before speaking. “Before I begin, I just wanted to give you all a little thrill.” She’ll give everyone the chance to show their love for her. She’s so nice, right? For the next 10 seconds or so, shower her with the praise as she deserves as the first Ms. MITB and now Women’s Champion. Ready, cheer! Nope, they boo and jeer. That doesn’t sit well with Carmella.

“You people will line up outside of a hospital” just to see a baby, but they won’t respect Carmella? No, they won’t. She is the Princess of Staten Island, and she commands them to bow down! Bow. Down!! These fans remind her of all the other women on SmackDown. None of them think she’s good enough or deserving of the title. But guess what, Not-So-Great Britain? #MellaIsMoney and #MellaIsChampion. That makes her better than them. Better than you, you, and definitely “be’er than you!” She’s better than Charlotte, than Becky Lynch, than Alexa Bliss, Nia Jax and Ronda Rousey! She’s better than Trish Stratus AND Lita put together! Paige interrupts the party, and the fans love it!

London’s own Glampire walks to the ring, and Carmella assumes she’s here to teach the fans respect. No, but she is here to say it’s great to be home. Paige hears out the fans chant “This is Your House!” then gets to business. She knows Carmella thinks she’s better than everyone. That’s quite the proclamation. But Paige has a proclamatino of her own: Carmella’s opponent for Money in the Bank. Carmella insists she’s not defending at MITB, but Paige insists she is. Against… ASUKA!! The Empress of Tomorrow is in London, too! Carmella protests right in Paige’s ear, but it doesn’t change Paige’s mind. Asuka heads to the ring and stares Carmella down with that sinister grin.

Fans know “Asuka’s gonna kill~ you~”, so Carmella snags her belt and retreats. No words necessary for this, Carmella is fearful for her reign. Will the Empress dethrone the Princess to rebuild her empire?

 

Backstage interview with Shinsuke Nakamura.

The Rockstar hasn’t defeated AJ Styles yet, but tonight might change that. How does he feel about hsi chances? “What does ‘chance’ mean?” Nakamura clearly continues his “No Speak English” act, and then says that “chance” is the wrong word. It is a certainty that Nakamura will win. Styles will lose, and get a #Knee2Face, and then another and another and another, and so on and so forth. When Nakamura is done, Styles’ nose smashed, cheeks broken and face utterly gone, Nakamura will dishonor Styles, and take that title for his own.

 

Women’s Money in the Bank Qualifying Triple Threat: Becky Lynch VS Mandy Rose VS Sonya Deville!

With Absolution broken up and the best friends set up against each other, will God’s Greatest Creation or the Gladiator Gal go on to join Charlotte, Ember Moon and Alexa Bliss in the ladder match? Or will the Lass Kicker beat two for the price of won and bring her #StraightFire to the match instead?

The bell rings, and clearly Becky is alone against Mandy & Sonya. She manages to fight them both off, then throw Mandy out. Becky puts Sonya in a corner with buckle bumps, then to another corner. Sonya reverses and toys with Becky before giving body shots. Becky dodges to jump kick Sonya back, but Mandy returns. The duo formerly known as Absolution beat Becky down, but fans are on Becky’s side. Mandy scoops and slams Becky, then Sonya rams in a knee to the ribs. Mandy turns on Sonya with a roll up, ONE! The friends aren’t so friendly while we go picture in picture. Becky rolls Sonya but Many breaks the cover. Mandy goes after Becky at the ropes, choking the former women’s champion with Sonya’s help.

Mandy & Sonya corner Becky and fire off with kicks. They mug Becky together, then double suplex. Becky rolls out, and Sonya goes out to fetch her while Mandy poses. Mandy follows, and the two throw Becky into the apron. They throw her into barriers, too, then toy with Becky as she writhes on the ground. They kick her around before putting her back in. Mandy covers, but Sonya yanks her off. Sonya shoves Mandy, Mandy shoves back, but the two realize to keep their cools. Mandy goes after Becky, but Becky boots her back. Becky boots Sonya, then jumps, but they both duck under to double shoulder tackle Becky down. Then Sonya sucker punches Mandy! We return to single picture as the Jersey Deville stands tall.

Fans rally for Becky, but Sonya is on her with body shots and kicks. Sonya backs off to then return with forearms. Sonya whips Becky but Becky kicks her back. Becky runs and rallies with lariats and a calf kick. Becky has the fans fired up as she throws Sonya with a Becksploder! Sonya gets to a corner, but Becky runs in. Sonya kicks ehr away, then drives her down with a knee, but Mandy returns to toss Sonya out. Mandy covers, TWO! Mandy keeps on Becky but Becky small packages, TWO. Becky dodges the knee and brings Mandy around, but Mandy throws her into buckles. Mandy gives Becky a butterfly facebuster! Cover, but Sonya returns to toss Mandy! Sonya covers, TWO!

Sonya scrapes Mandy out before going back to Becky for body shots. Becky hits back and these two slug it out. Sonya puts Becky in a corner, and gives more body shots. Sonya hoists Becky up to the top, then climbs up to join her. Mandy returns and joins in to electric chair Sonya. Becky adjusts, and it’s a missile dropkick doomsday!

All three women are down, but fans rally up. Becky stirs first, and crawls to a cover on Mandy. TWO, and Becky brings Mandy up while Sonya slip sout of the ring. Mandy and Becky brawl, but Mandy kicks low to try another facebuster. Becky slips out and brings Mandy down again, but Sonya kicks Becky and Mandy! Sonya hits the slinding knee, covers, TWO! Sonya can’t believe that Becky still lives. Becky drags herself up, but Sonya has her in a suplex. Becky blocks, and scoops but Sonya slips out. Mady flies in but the knee goes into Sonya! Becky grabs Mandy but Mandy reverses to roll up, TWO into the Disarm-her! Mandy reaches, but can’t, she taps! Becky wins!

Winner: Becky, by submission; qualifies for the Women’s MITB match

The Lass Kicker has turned her losing streak around with a big win tonight! She enters the second-ever Women’s MITB, can she be the second-ever Ms. MITB?

 

Superstars speak on MITB.

“They say that ambition makes for strange victims.” And Big Cass is one of them. The only thing big about Cass is his mouth. Samoa Joe has known and dealt with “fake tough guys” like Cass his entire life. When it comes time to take their convictions and walk them through the fire, even big men end up short. Cass has made a habit of targeting those smaller than him. But ambition has made Cass Joe’s new target. Joe wants that title opportunity, and next week, he promises to prove how small Big Cass really is. Cass is an obstacle that Joe will put to sleep.

The IIconics take a moment to adjust the camera. Word Association game. London = Loud. Lana = Loser. And Billie = Beautiful. Oh, and winner! Briefcase = Perfect Accessory. Contract = Championship. Future = IIconic.

 

AJ Styles VS Shinsuke Nakamura!

From Wrestlemania to Backlash, the Phenomenal One and King of Strong Style have fought with everything they have, yet there has not been a truly satisfactory ending to this Dream Rivalry. With one more championship match coming at Money in the Bank, this non-title rematch will have major implications. Who will win here tonight in London? And what will they choose to be the stipulation that ends this rivalry once and for all?

SmackDown returns and this match happens for the first time on television. Styles and Nakamura tie up, Styles gets the standing switch but Nakamura the standing switch. Styles snapmares but Nakamura reverses to an arm wrench. Nakamura goes after the wrist but Styles rolls through to reverse it onto Nakamura. Fans duel while Nakamura rolls and kips up to cartwheel. Nakamura puts on the arm wrench but Styles goes to back suplex. Nakamura rolls Styles, TWO, and now Styles rolls Nakamura. TWO, and the two have a stand-off. Styles and Nakamura approach each other, but Nakamura hits low. Nakamura toys with Styles, then gives him a knee. Nakamura runs, but into Styles’ dropkick!

Styles brings Nakamura back up, and over to a corner for a buckle bump. Styles chops Nakanura, then rocks him with a right. He tries to suplex but Nakamura blocks and counters with knees. Nakamura runs but into a backbreaker! Styles goes after Nakamura but Nakamura slips out of the ring. Fans duel while Styles slingshots for a forearm!

They both go down, but Styles gets up first. Styles brings Nakamura up and into the ring, but Nakamura slips back out the other side. Styles targets him from the apron, but Nakamura intercepts the knee with a kick! Nakamura then positions Styles, for the running knee lift! Fans keep dueling while Nakamura puts Styles in the ring for a cover. TWO, but Nakamura keeps his focus while we go to break.

SmackDown returns and Nakamura tees off on Styles at the ropes. The referee backs him off, but Nakamura goes back for more. Fans continue to duel while Nakamura throws hands on Styles. Styles goes to a corner, but Nakamura rams knees into him anyway. Nakamura brings Styles up for BAD Vibrations, then sits him down for Good Vibrations. Nakamura drags Styles up but Styles hits back, only to get knees. Styles resists the Inverted Exploder and elbows his way out, but misses the clothesline while Nakamura hits the Dynamic Dropkick! Cover, TWO, and Nakamura grows frustrated. He brings Styles up and around for a chinlock while fans rally again. Nakamura shifts it to a dragon sleeper, trapping one arm. Styles endures, and tries to stand up, but Nakamura keeps him down.

Nakamura wrenches back more, but Styles fights out with knees to Nakamura’s face. Styles goes after Nakamura, but Nakamura fires off his strike fest. Nakamura puts Styles up on the top rope, then climbs up, but Styles slips down and out. Nakamura shoves him away, but Styles comes back, only to run into a boot, and yet give a PELE! Both men fall to the mat, and a ten count begins. The count reaches 4 before Styles stands. Nakamura stands, and they beat the count at 7. Styles gets the Phenomenal Blitz! Then the sliding forearm! Styles fires up while Nakamura gets to a corner, and Styles hits a corner clothesline. Nakamura fights against the fireman’s carry, so Styles hits the wheelbarrow facebuster. Cover, TWO!

Both men stand again, and Nakamura powers Styles to a corner. Styles catches Nakamura into the Calf Crusher, but Nakamura. Nakamura thrusts the knee but Styles evades. Styles slips out of the fireman’s carry but Nakamura gets him with the heel kick, into the Landslide driver! Cover, TWO! Nakamura grows frustrated, but fans know “This is Awesome!” Nakamura drags Styles up and puts him back in a corner. He hoists Styles onto the top rope, then backs up, but Styles avoids the Top Shelf Knee. Styles springboards but Nakamura sweeps the legs to hit that knee! Styles tumbles down to the apron while Nakamura catches his breath. Nakamura joins Styles, and fans rally while they stand up. Nakamura has evil intentions but Styles resists.

Styles holds on for dear life, then suplexes, but Nakamura lands on his feet. They brawl on the apron, then Nakamura climbs up for a FLYING KNEE! Nakamura brings Styles in for a cover, TWO! Fans fire up as Nakamura takes aim from a corner. He waits for Styles to stand, but Styles catches him into the Clash position! Nakamura kicks him away, but he ends up in Ushigoroshi! Cover, TWO! Styles stands up while fans again chant “This is Awesome!” Styles runs, but into a boot! Nakamura stands up now, and hits a sliding KINSHASA! Cover, TWO!?

Nakamura is furious, but he goes right back to a corner. He fires up again, as promised, but runs into a windmill heel kick! Styles drags Nakamura up and around, but Nakamura shovels him up and onto the apron. He knocks Nakamura, springboards, but Nakamura evades! Styles keeps himself from hitting the ref, but he sees Nakamura coming this time. Nakamura fakes a low blow?! Styles defends that it’s a fake, but Nakamura pounces! Inverted Exploder! Then, KINSHASA!! Cover, Nakamura WINS!

Winner: Nakamura, by pinfall; may choose the stipulation for the MITB WWE Championship match

It doesn’t matter how he did it, Nakamura defeats Styles! The Con Artist gets away with another masterpiece of a crime, and he rubs it in Styles’ face. What stipulation will he choose for their fourth Dream (Re)Match? Will Styles be able to survive the schemes of the King of Strong Style?

 


 

My Thoughts:

SmackDown did much better tonight, and a touch better than Raw, even though there was some confusion as to why with a few things. Bryan being confronted by Cass, and snapping on Cass, works much better here than Vince trying to have the same with Roman and Mahal. For starters, all fans love Bryan. Second, Bryan makes a much more believable underdog meets victim (for lack of a better word). His fight with Cass will get much more momentum for him than Roman going up against Mahal and supposedly up against the administration. I like the meta behind Vega’s promo after Almas’ squash match victory. Almas as a former NXT Champion deserves a bit more than a jobber his first time out, so hopefully this leads to a string of matches with established stars to give them TV time, too.

SmackDown’s approach to the MITB qualifiers is also more unique. Tag teams compete for a singles opportunity, but perhaps this can still help towards the rumored Tag Team MITB match. New Day wins, meaning they put one man in the Men’s MITB, but the other two can still be in the Team MITB. Same goes for The Bar, since they lost. The Bludgeon Brothers call out all the other teams in their promo, and tag teams have given good MITB promos, so perhaps this is all foreshadowing that Team MITB. There are weeks left before the PPV, so perhaps Raw and SmackDown will use them to give us this match.

Thankfully the #Mellabration didn’t go on too long before someone showed up to do something. Paige gets her hometown hero moment while also giving Carmella some comeuppance. Just like Nia having to take a match, so does Carmella, and Carmella does well being a Heel champion with not wanting any part of any contender. Asuka being the challenger, she better win to finally make Carmella eat her words. Tonight’s Women’s Triple Threat was great, it had all kinds of story between Mandy and Sonya, and unlike Bayley on Raw, Becky used it to her advantage and came out the winner. If Asuka better beat Carmella, Becky BETTER win the MITB, because she really needs it to help her get back in the spotlight.

The only confusion was Nakamura VS Styles. It wasn’t for a title, yet it somehow felt better than the Backlash title match. That might be more a comment on Backlash than the story as a whole, but making this match here tonight is both good and bad. It’s good because it gets people in seats and watching at home, and the match itself was genuinely good. It’s bad because it makes little sense in story. Why not just let Paige or Shane choose a stipulation for them? Or is it simply because WWE has nothing else to fill out the weeks leading to MITB? I won’t let the confusion count against the action, but it continues to make WWE’s writers and booking look content to just coast compared to all other promotions.

My Score: 8.3/10

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(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.10 ~16TH NOVEMBER 2018

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Another wonderfully in depth recap of this week in Pro Wrestling NOAH. How is the Global League going? Let’s see what else has been going on in NOAH.





CURRENT TOUR RECAP
NOAH were in Hiroshima on the 12th November; Hiroshima is a city of mixed emotion for NOAH, for some it is home, but for the promotion as a whole it has sad associations, as Mitsuharu Misawa died there in 2009.

Hitoshi Kumano, (a local bear), took charge of fundraising for the Heavy Rain Fund (Hiroshima was hit badly earlier in the year by floods, and the mascot got yelled at by Mitsuya Nagai). Nagai was wound up by Naomichi Marufuji as well, who held the ropes open for him, a tactic which served to wind Kenoh up too. It was also the event where Kotaro Suzuki got his win over HAYATA, and sat on the ropes holding the belt up to both Daisuke Harada and HAYATA. Kotaro Suzuki later said that HAYATA bought out his trump card in the previous match (“the Headache”), and so he bought out his too, and that he would be no match for him with his own number of various maneuvers which he would bring out in the title match. They had their final match before the championship match on the 17th in Osaka, and they will both go into the match with one victory each over the other in the build up for the challenge.

Fan support is very much on the side of HAYATA (who is not NOAH born unlike Suzuki who is seen as an outsider, despite being NOAH born) to bring the championship home.

Mitsuya Nagai clashed with Naomichi Marufuji, and was chopped to shreds. Marufuji said he looked like a “boiled octopus” afterwards. Katsuhiko Nakajima would dismiss Nagai as “small fish” on the 14th, but Nagai would break through the dark cloud on the 16th when he ended the winning streak of Kohei Sato.

Despite his fluke win and spazz out victory celebration against Takashi Sugiura, Kaito Kiyomiya suffered two defeats in a row; the first being against Atsushi Kotoge on the 14th and Cody Hall on the 16th. Kotoge, however, has been on a roll and defeated Go Shiozaki on the 16th.

In a rare moment on the 14th, Masa Kitamiya and Kenoh shook hands. Kitamiya said that he did it to acknowledge that he and Kenoh (who lost to him) had practically fought to the death for the win, and that he didn’t trust wrestlers who had no ambition. Speaking of Kenoh, during the huge tag on the 16th November, his victory over

Marufuji seemingly wasn’t enough, and he decided to get his face again.

Marufuji (now with both shoulders needing athletic support) just looked tired and like he’d had enough.

The show on the 16th November was a shift in the league; Kohei Sato, Kazusada Higuchi and Go Shiozaki had their perfect records beaten by Mitsuya Nagai, Mohammed Yone and Atsushi Kotoge, and Nakajima avenged his loss against Quiet Storm in Global League 2017.

As Global League is beginning to heat up, everyone is talking about not letting anymore victories slip through their fingers, but of course, not all matches can go to a draw, and someone has to lose. There can only be two finalists, and ultimately one winner.

Full recap of Global League 2018 so far, can be found here.

Noah will be back on Saturday 17th November at the Edion Arena in Osaka, (gong sounds at 18.30).

NEWS

THE EVOLUTION OF KENOH 
The upcoming “Wrestlers Directory” 2018 (basically a guide to who is who, what, and where in 2018) was previewed and Naomichi Marufuji and Kenoh were profiled with their changing looks over the years. 

Kenoh made the following comments about his entry:

  • His 2009 picture is ugly
  • Like all trainees, he debuted with a shaved head. Says he didn’t used to cut it, and its awkward to look at it, says he didn’t think he had any money to cut it.
  • It doesn’t really translate well, but Kenoh says he cut his hair in 2012 because it had been long for long enough. In another rough translation he says that he looks like a child of badboy parents, who has been forced to pose.
  • Kenoh said about his expression that it doesn’t change, because in his every day life, he does not laugh a lot.
  • In 2015, Kenoh says that “I admired him and went blonde, but I can no longer say I have the aspiration to be like him” (he is talking about Morishima, who very sadly, has let a lot of people down, including Kenoh).

YOSHIKI INAMURA ADDED TO THE NOAH ROSTER PAGE 
At the moment there is not too much information on him apart from his birthday (November 18th 1992), his height and weight, blood type and birthplace (Otawara City in Tochigi Prefecture), date of debut and finisher. His finisher isn’t anything special at the moment, and doesn’t have a special name, being listed only as a “tackle”.

He doesn’t have a Twitter account yet.

CHRISTMAS AT MUSCLE GRILL
Naomichi Marufuji’s current restaurant MUSCLE GRILL in Tokyo will be having a Christmas party on the 22nd December. Naomichi Marufuji, Hi69, Tadasuke, Atsushi Kotoge and Junta Miyawaki will be attending, but obviously this depends on whether or not they manage to stay injury free.

Event is now full.

HAJIME OHARA IN CHINA
Hajime Ohara has missed some Noah dates as he is training the Eastern Hero Athletes in Shanghai, and also when they visit the Noah dojo in Saitama. Ohara is known to be a very strict trainer with a lot of emphasis on health and well-being, which goes further than working out as he is a big advocate for healthy eating and avoiding alcohol (although he does seem to have a weakness for cake); he has banned smoking during training sessions, forbidding his students to smoke while on breaks.

NOAH IN 2019 
Noah have announced the dates for “Navigation for The Future 2019”. The tour will run from January 6th to Friday, February 1st. They have also announced their (provisional) Korakuen Hall schedule for 2019.

TAKESHI MORISHIMA UPDATE
There has been no real news following Morishima’s arrest earlier in the month, but further sad details have come to light about his behavior prior to the arrest and his living circumstances.

Morishima it seems was (and is) homeless and without any form of income, and was begging for drinks, even using the tactic of asking to drink with the bar staff as it meant he would be given free drinks.

The management company who were sponsoring his return had originally put him up in an apartment, which they paid the rent for. The deal was that Morishima would concentrate on his return, however, Morishima didn’t do this, and preferred alcohol to training. The President of the company, seeing that Morishima wasn’t giving anything in return despite repeated requests for him to change his ways, eventually lost his patience and told Morishima to pack up and leave.

Morishima, seemingly unconcerned about this, told him flippantly that he was drinking in Shinjuku, and if he wanted the keys, he should come and get them.

GHC BELT NEWS

  • GHC Heavyweight Champion: Takashi Sugiura
  • GHC Junior Champion: Kotaro Suzuki
  • GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: Naomichi Marufuji & Akitoshi Saito
  • GHC Junior Tag Champions: Minoru Tanaka & Hi69

The winner of Global League 2018 will earn the right to challenge Takashi Sugiura for the GHC Heavyweight title, if he himself wins, Sugiura says that he will nominate Masato Tanaka as his challenger.

Kotaro Suzuki will defend the GHC Junior Heavyweight title against HAYATA on the 17th November at Edion Arena, Osaka.

The GHC Heavyweight Tag titles have not had a challenger as of yet, and probably won’t until after Global League wraps up. Mitsuya Nagai has hinted that he may challenge, but Saito said that he will not be granted a title shot. Katsuhiko Nakajima was asked if he was going to challenge after the Global League match with Saito, and said cryptically, he was “in the mood for shopping” (i.e., shopping around to see what deal is best).

The GHC Junior Tag Championship will be challenged for by Koji Kanemoto and Hiroshi Yamato on the 25th November at Korakuen Hall. Seiya Morohashi has also challenged for them, his partner at this time is as yet unknown, but it is thought it will either be TAMURA or Kouki Iwasaki.

TOUR TIDBITS

  • Atsushi Kotoge drinks “Revolutionary Coffee”
  • Naomichi Marufuji sat on a wet bench wearing thin grey pants…
  • There was a cat at the hotel in Ehime, much to YO-HEY’s delight
  • Kaito Kiyomiya appears to be being fitted for tailored suits (long gone are the days of the oversize one thank god)
  • Daisuke Harada celebrated his 32nd birthday on the 13th November (President Uchida did not even know it was his birthday!), and Yoshiki Inamura will celebrate his 26th birthday on November 18th, Takashi Sugiura bought him an early birthday cake and a small party was held at a restaurant Inamura had been taken out to by his seniors.
  • Shu Nishinaga said Ally (the ring announcer) “whined like a child” for udon noodles.
  • Naomichi Marufuji says he was disturbed by mosquitoes, in November, which woke him up at 2.30am
  • Kenoh apparently went jogging in the Imperial Palace Gardens in Kyoto (a fan who saw him, thought he was a blonde delinquent fleeing the law before it was discovered it was Kenoh)

KING SHAMELESS CORNER 
After weeks of silence. Takashi Sugiura is back, posting a picture of Masao Inoue holding an ice cream cone with white foam in it and labeling it “mood” and photographing erotic looking food.

I’ll leave it to your (and his) dirty imagination as to what exactly he meant by oysters being “erotic”…

BROADCASTS
The final night of Global League, 25th November, will be broadcast at 6pm on Saturday 8th December
The event on the 12th December, will be broadcast on the 15th December
The event on the 16th December, will be broadcast on the 22nd December

This is more than usual, and all seem to be going out on a weekly basis. This makes me wonder if the network are trying something out.

LINKS
K-FORCE: music inspired by Katsuhiko Nakajima
ARTICLE: “Traces to Nowhere: the tragic story behind the Takeshi Morishima arrest”
News article on Takeshi Morishima’s drunken and chaotic life
Enjoy what I do? Help me do it full time.
IPW are the official vendors of Noah merchandise, please click here for shop
English translation of “Heir to the Ark” (Naomichi Marufuji’s biography) ~ work in progress





Enjoy the Pro Wrestling NOAH content? Let us know on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!

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Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: King of Pro Wrestling 2018 Part 3!

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NJPW King of Pro Wrestling

NJPW King of Pro-Wrestling continues with an epic Triple Threat for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship! Can Kenny Omega defeat both Kota Ibushi AND Cody?

 

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

  • IWGP Heavyweight Championship Triple Threat: Kenny Omega VS Kota Ibushi VS Cody; Omega wins and retains the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.

PLAY BY PLAY

NJPW and AXS TV set the scene!

The Golden Lovers reunited and it feels so good. But Kenny Omega felt even better after finally becoming the IWGP Heavyweight Champion! Omega promised his best friend a shot at the title. Omega and Kota Ibushi battled in the G1 Climax 28, and it would be the Golden Star who shined bright. However, The American Nightmare suggested something even more epic than just Golden Lover VS Golden Lover. Cody interjects himself into this match for a Triple Threat for the top title in NJPW. Will this match make the Golden Elite stronger? Or only serve to tear them apart all over again?

 

IWGP Heavyweight Championship Triple Threat: Kenny Omega VS Kota Ibushi VS Cody!

The Best Bout Machine, the Golden Star and the American Nightmare have all had their differences, but now they’re all on the same side. Or are they? Cody already has the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship, on top of the NWA Worlds Championship and even a part in the ROH World Six Man Tag Team Championships. Perhaps Cody is just adding to his collection. Of course, he’ll have to get through both Golden Lovers to do it. Who will come out of this epic match as the best heavyweight in all of NJPW?

The three men make their entrances, the introductions are made and the belt is presented. Red Shoes does his check, and the match begins after the break.

NJPW on AXS returns as the three friends shake hands and hug to prove this is respectful. The bell rings and the three circle. They keep their eyes on each other, and Omega ties up with Cody first. Cody ties up with Ibushi at the same time, but he fights both Golden Lovers. Cody throws Ibushi out hard and focuses on Omega. He gets a headlock and Omega powers out. Cody runs Omega over, then things speed up. Cody slides under, kicks and drops for the uppercut. Omega bails out as Ibushi comes in. Ibushi and Cody tie up, and Cody gets a headlock. Ibushi powers out, Cody runs him over but Ibushi kips right up. Things speed up again and Ibushi dropkicks Cody down. Cody bails out and Ibushi builds up with the fans. Ibushi runs but Omega stands in his way.

The Golden Lovers talk but Cody goes after them both! Cody throws hands on Ibushi, then whips. Ibushi reverses and the Golden Lovers work together, roundhouse to Kotaro Krusher. Ibushi covers but Omega yanks him off. Omega covers but Ibushi yanks him off. Omega apologizes and says “Dozo (go ahead)”. Ibushi covers, TWO! Omega knew that would happen. He and Ibushi stand up but Cody knocks them into each other! Cody suplexes Omega and tosses him! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up while Cody fetches Ibushi on the outside. Cody suplexes Ibushi for the gordbuster! Cody goes back to Omega in the ring but Omega throws body shots. Omega runs but into the kitchen sink knee! Cody covers, ONE! Cody goes back to Ibushi, and suplexes Ibushi. Ibushi slips out and fires forearms. Ibushi whips Cody into railing, then runs in, only to be tossed up and over!

Cody leaves Ibushi behind, but Omega is ready with a kick and haymakers. Omega backs Cody to a corner, then chops. Omega whips corner to corner but Cody reverses and back drops Omega. Cover, TWO! Cody keeps his cool while fans rally up. Ibushi stirs in among the chairs while Cody springboards at Omega. Omega ducks under then huricanranas Cody on the return! Cody bails out and Omega fires up. The Terminator Drums begin, and Omega builds speed, to FLY! Omega gets just enough of Cody, and then puts him back in the ring. Fans rally for everyone as Ibushi returns. The Golden Lovers work together again. Omega says Cody, “You Can’t Escape!” Rolling senton, Ibushi shooting star, Omega moonsault, but then Omega grabs Ibushi for an electric chair! Ibushi slips out, and is just disappointed in his friend.

Cody watches as Omega apologizes, but this time Ibushi is ready. Ibushi elbows Cody away, but then Omega kicks Ibushi low. Omega whips Ibushi but Ibushi reverses. Ibushi runs in, but Omega goes up and over. Omega runs at Cody but Cody goes up and over, to then get Omega in the spinning powerslam! Cody runs at Ibushi but Ibushi goes up and over to hit Cody with a powerslam! Then the moonsault! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, focusing on Ibushi. All three men slowly sit up, and Ibushi brings Cody up. Cody pokes Ibushi’s eyes, then kicks Omega. Cody wants to work together with Omega, “We’re friends, too!” Omega admits that’s true, and they double suplex Ibushi. But then Cody rolls Omega up, TWO! Omega gets mad and the two start shoving. Then they start brawling! Cody SUPERKICKS, but runs into a chop!

Omega wants a snap dragon but Cody breaks free. Cody trips Omega and puts on a Figure Four! Omega slaps Cody, so Cody punches back. It’s a brawl inside the Figure Four, but Cody gets an edge. Omega gives it back, but here comes Ibushi! He kicks Omega, but Omega makes it an ankle lock! The submissions are linked, but Ibushi gets free. Ibushi then kicks Cody. He kicks at Omega, Omega ducks but Ibushi moonsaults! Cover, Cody breaks it while breaking his lock. The three men are still very even while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns, and Ibushi is the first to stand. Cody is next so Ibushi goes after him. Ibushi whips Cody corner to corner but Cody goes up and over to roll up. Ibushi rolls through, misses the kick but moonsaults, onto knees! But then Cody walks into a Snap Dragon Suplex! OMega brings Ibushi up, Aoi Shoudou! Cody comes back but misses the Beautiful Disaster. Omega gives Cody another Snap Dragon, then he takes aim. BANG, Omega runs, but Ibushi intercepts with a missile dropkick! Cody hits Ibushi with one of his own, then he drags Ibushi up. Cody gives Ibushi an arm wrench and DDT, covers, TWO! Fans rally up again but Cody keeps his cool. Cody shows off his stamina by doing push-ups and flexing. He then drags Ibushi up again and clubs away on the arm.

Cody whips but Ibushi counters. Cody dodges to DIVE onto Omega! But then Ibushi runs, Golden Triangle stopped by Cody’s clubbing forearm. Cody drags Ibushi out, but Omega stops the Cross Rhodes. Cody shoves Omega away, then goes back to Ibushi. Ibushi kicks Cody away, Omega grabs Cody to powerbomb through the announce desk! Cody writhes amid the wreckage, but Ibushi jumps on Omega with a corkscrew moonsault! All three men are down on the outside! Ibushi is up first and he brings Omega up with him. Cody crawls out of the wreckage but Ibushi puts Omega in the ring. Ibushi takes aim, but he sees his friend can barely stand. He ditches the springboard, to look Omega in the eyes. Ibushi dares Omega to bring it on, and Omega fires himself up. The Golden Lovers tie up!

They break, they tie up again, then it’s a brawl of forearms! Omega hits, Ibushi hits, repeat. Omega staggers a bit but he still hits back. Ibushi staggers a bit but he hits back. Omega boots back, and Ibushi takes a moment to wipe his mouth. Ibushi boots, and Omega boots back. Ibushi boots again, and Omega checks his ear. Omega runs in but gets a boot, then a strike fest! Ibushi kicks but Omega blocks to CHOP. Omega then hits a Snap Dragon! Ibushi sits up but Omega is on him. BANG, but Ibushi is ready, only for Omega to kick away his clothesline. Omega wants another Kotaro Krusher but Ibushi slips out the back. Ibushi wants a German Suplex but Omega lands on his feet! V-Trigger blocked, but it comes back!

Ibushi still swings on Omega but Omega dodges. Ibushi dodges back, only to run into another V-Trigger! POISON-RANA! But Ibushi pops right up! To CLOBBER Omega! Both Golden Lovers are down, sore and dazed. Cody has returned to the apron while The Young Bucks can only watch on with intense focus. Ibushi stirs, and fans rally up. He says he’ll end it, and he climbs up top. Cody comes over to shove Ibushi down! Cody climbs up now but has to kick Omega away. Omega staggers, Cody hops, and hits a Destroyer! Cover, TWO!! Omega survives, and now Cody grows frustrated. Cody stands again, and waits for Omega to stand. Omega does, and Cody wants Dinn’s Fire. Omega slips out of it, heel kick tot he back of Cody’s head! Cody slumps in a corner, and Omega runs in, V-Trigger to the back!

Cody is hurting but Omega doesn’t stop. Omega hauls Cody up to the top rope, then climbs up to join him. Omega wants a full nelson, but Ibushi can be seen crawling in. Cody resists and fights back, but Omega clubs him back. Ibushi gets in and creeps over. Cody sends Omega down, but Ibushi’s right up! Omega pulls Ibushi down, climbs up, but Ibushi kicks Omega in the back! Ibushi drags Omega up, scoops, and goes to lawn dart, but Omega slips out. Omega kicks, powerbomb lift, and buckle bumps him into Cody’s back! Cody ends up in a Tree of Woe now, as Omega gives Ibushi a Death Valley Driver! Cover, TWO! Ibushi survives, but Cody’s still stuck. Omega says BANG, and gives Ibushi a V-Trigger. Then electric chair, but Ibushi slips out to inverted suplex, Lawn Dart into Cody! Everyone’s down while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns again as the three men finally stir. Cody gets to the apron while Ibushi stands. Ibushi goes after Cody, wanting to German Suplex him back in. Omega sees this, hops up the other side, to then springboard to add a powerbomb to Ibushi’s German Suplex! Omega gets up while the other two are down, and he has two targets now. Fans rally up as he double guns, double BANG! He goes for Ibushi first, V-Trigger hits! Then to Cody, V-Trigger hits! Omega keeps on Cody with the electric chair, but Cody spins around and out, and he powerbomb lifts Omega. Cody throws Omega, and Ibushi uses that for his German Suplex! That’s usually a Golden Lovers move! Ibushi covers, but Cody breaks. Omega rolls away while Cody keeps on Ibushi with right hands. Cody then hits Omega with the Beautiful Disaster!

Cody fires up, and he goes outside to search under the ring. He doesn’t find what he wants on that end, though. He goes around the other side, and he finds a table! Cody brings it out and sets it up, but Omega has come after him. Omega clubs Cody but Cody bounces him off the wood. Cody goes back to Ibushi in the ring, and brings Ibushi up. He clubs away on Ibushi, and prepares a powerbomb. Ibushi resists, so Cody clubs him more. Cody gets Ibushi up for a Canadian rack, but Ibushi slips out. Omega returns to springboard, but Cody shoves him down! Omega falls through the table! At least it broke…

As for Cody, he just grins. He goes to a corner and climbs up. Cody aims at Ibushi, but Ibushi stops him with a forearm. Ibushi climbs up and has fans on his side. Ibushi hits the SUPERPLEX! But small cradle from Cody! TWO, and Cody springboards, only to get Ibushi’s kick! Ibushi brings Cody up, powerbomb lift, Golden Star sit-out! Cover, TWO! Ibushi keeps his focus, but now Omega emerges from the wreckage. Cody resists as Ibushi brings up his wrists, then he dodges Kamigoye! Cody reels Ibushi in, but ends up in a straitjacket suplex! Bridging cover, but Cody keeps one shoulder off. Ibushi rolls around and brings Cody up, Kamigoye!! Cover, but Omega blocks Red Shoes’ hand! Omega keeps this match going, to Ibushi’s frustration. Omega tries to reason with him, but Ibushi just tunes him out. And then chops him!

Ibushi fires off palm strikes from all sides, so Omega has no choice but to hit back. Cody returns, but his chop doesn’t bother Ibushi at all. Ibushi CHOPS Cody and he’s down and out again! Omega fires off on Ibushi, but Ibushi just needs one strike to get back. They go back and forth with those palm strikes, but Ibushi kicks. Omega grabs the other leg, but Ibushi brings Omega around for a mount. Ibushi makes it a cover but Omega keeps his shoulders up. So Ibushi just starts the ground ‘n’ pound! Omega does his best to cover up but Ibushi finds openings. Omega hits back but Ibushi keeps hitting harder. Now Ibushi uses closed fists, Red Shoes reprimands that. Ibushi keeps going but Red Shoes brings Ibushi away. Red Shoes tries to talk sense into Ibushi, but Ibushi just gives Omega a knee! Ibushi covers, TWO!!

Omega survives, and Ibushi grows frustrated. Ibushi drags Omega up, but Cody drags Ibushi out! Cody goes after Omega now, Cross Rhodes! Cover, TWO as Cody gets out the way of those flying double stomps! Ibushi crushes Omega, and Cody throws Ibushi out. Cody goes back to Omega, waiting for him to stand. Omega does, Cody hits another Cross Rhodes!! Cover, TWO?! Omega survives by some sheer force of will! Ibushi slowly return, but Cody stands first. Cody kicks Ibushi down, then drags him up and in. Cody lifts Ibushi, and hits Dinn’s Fire!! Cover, but Omega breaks it just in time! Cody’s infuriated now, and he decides to “borrow” a chair! He realizes what he’s doing, and drops the chair. Fans applaud that, but then Omega decides to use his IWGP US title belt! But then he reconsiders it again.

Cody tosses the belt to Nick Jackson, and picks up the chair again! He brings the chair in and aims at Ibushi, but Omega shields his friend. Cody stomps Omega instead, and prepares the chair! Ibushi grabs it and takes it away. Then he roundhouses Cody down! Omega gives Ibushi a POISON-RANA! And the Butterfly Wings!! Cover, TWO!? Ibushi survives and flounders about, but Omega reloads. BANG, V-Trigger! Electric chair lift, ONE-WINGED ANGEL!! Cover, Cody is too late, Omega wins!!

Winner: Kenny Omega, by pinfall; still IWGP Heavyweight Champion

Omega apologizes profusely to his friend he did the most damage to. The Best Bout Machine still has his belt, but what of his best friends? We’ll see after the break.

 

NJPW on AXS returns…

Matt & Nick Jackson help check on Ibushi. Omega signals for water while ice packs are brought in. Matt fetches the water and helps refresh Ibushi. Omega holds Ibushi’s hand, in hopes Ibushi is okay. Ibushi finally stirs, which is a huge relief to Omega. Cody helps Omega bring Ibushi up slowly and carefully. Omega also signals for the mic. He receives the mic and his belt, and Red Shoes raises his hand to make the victory official. Cody leaves the ring for the moment while Omega speaks. “Just a moment. I’ll wait until Ibushi can stand up.” Fans applaud such honor, respect and compassion from the champion. Omega tells Cody that he should be in here, too. They’re all a team, so stand with them.

Cody, though reluctant, knows Omega won’t “talk on the mic until all the Elite members can stand together,” so he joins them again. “Okay, Ibushi, whenever you’re ready, we’ll stand up and close it out.” Ibushi sits up, and Omega takes that to mean he’s good. “Everyone, let’s all stand, not as the Bullet Club, but as The Elite.” Was this the first time the fans here have seen a triple threat? Perhaps for some. Well he won’t ask individually, but did they like it? Were they entertained? Yes, they were. It is thanks to the fans that this match became a reality. And thanks to NJPW, for that matter.

Of course, any other organization could try, but they can’t do it like them, in Elite Style. So he again expresses his appreciation. And finally, the Tokyo Dome main event is set, huh? There’ll be a press conference soon enough, so there isn’t much else to say. Therefore, “I must bid you adieu.” Omega hugs Ibushi, who now stands on his feet. Omega hugs Cody, because he also loves Cody and his dog. And of course, Omega hugs the Bucks, he loves them, too. And not to forget the Elite who aren’t here, he loves them, too. So good bye, and good night- Wait, Hiroshi Tanahashi is here?! The Ace and his Wrestle Kingdom 13 contract now stand ringside. Tanahashi joins Omega in the ring.

Omega tells Tanahashi, “we’re both pretty tired. So if you have something to say, this is your chance.” Omega hands Tanahashi the mic as fans chant “Go Ace!” Tanahashi tells Omega, “Kenny-kun, I’m angry.” About what? “Everyone was clapping, but don’t forget this is NJPW.” Guess he’ll be the one to tell Kenny, “your time is up.” This will be settled at the Tokyo Dome. Tanahashi drops the mic but Omega picks it up. Omega is sure that the Tokyo Dome would chant “Go Ace”, but this is still Ryogoku. And here, it’s good bye and good night, BANG! Omega shrugs off Tanahashi’s cryptic ultimatum, but will he be able to shrug off Tanahashi’s wrestling? Or is Tanahashi predicting an end to start the New Year?

 

Backstage interviews.

Cody notes that last year, Cody surprised Ibushi with a challenge for the Dome. No one likes to lose, but Cody swallowed his pride for friendship. It still leaves a bad taste, but Cody is excited for the future. You’re not supposed to make friends in wrestling, but here they are. Is Ibushi okay? Yeah, just sore. They’ll get him ice. Ibushi shakes Cody’s hand then the Bucks’. The Elite will support their leader. “Then after that, buckle up.” No one in the Elite knows what the future holds, but they know they’ll face it together. Omega has his match for Wrestle Kingdom, but where will the rest of The Elite end up?

 


 

My Thoughts:

An incredible hour for NJPW and AXS, and it’s great that it was just the Triple Threat. There is so much of wrestling today where The Bullet Club’s Elite are the center of it, from what stories they all have in NJPW and ROH to who WWE eagerly wants to have for themselves. It was very fitting for Cody after all the action to say that 2019 could be a wild ride that still isn’t 100% certain, and we’re seeing that now in real-time with talks of all the contracts for The Elite. Whatever this insanely over collection of wrestlers chooses, I know their fans will follow, regardless of reaction.

As for the match in question tonight, it truly was epic. This probably gives whatever was the best triple threat ever a run for its money. It went the distance of 43 minutes, and it made everything count. The Golden Lovers working together, Cody using them against each other physically, and then eventually Omega and Ibushi having no choice but to fight each other, just brilliant stuff. And what makes it all even better is that at the end of the match, they’re all still friends. They remember the point of the match, they understand each other’s positions, and they know to stick together because they’re stronger together. Omega wins and now Omega VS Tanahashi is pretty much finalized. If Tanahashi ends up winning, then his line tonight will be true because it likely means Omega is going elsewhere. Only time will tell.

My Score: 8.8/10

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