Lucha Underground, Season 4, Episode 3: “Rest In Pieces”
Pentagon is STILL Lucha Underground Champion, even after facing The Monster, Matanza Cueto. Who will step up to the throne of the Collector of Bones? Meanwhile, it will be a first time ever, Three Way to the Grave Casket Match! Jeremiah Crane wants to bury both Mil Muertes and Fenix alive, for the love of Catrina!
Gifs to come courtesy of http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- Put Up or Shut-Up Challenge: Jack Evans VS ???; XO Lishus wins.
- Three Way to the Grave: Fenix VS Mil Muertes w/ Catrina VS Jeremiah Crane; Muertes wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
The Worldwide Underground meets in the locker room.
Ricky Mundo explains his trip to the Island of the Dolls. Dario Cueto told him about it, and it’s real! It’s amazing! It seems more creepier than anything to Jack Evans and PJ Black. But Ricky shrugs it off as he introduces “Rosa”. Rosa’s shy around new people. He pulls her string and she says “hola.” She’s a lot friendly than she looks.
Johnny Mundo and Taya walk in and thank the others for coming to the meeting. Rosa creeps them out as much as she does PJ and Jack. But Rosa aside, Johnny says the Reptile Tribe has declared war on the WWU. And Johnny is happy to give them a war. The WWU struck back last week, and tonight, Jack gets to give the second. Call out a snake and take them to Slam Town! Jack hates snakes… But he’s the Dragonslayer. But Dragons aren’t snakes, they’re fire-breathing monsters and honorable. Snakes are just gross. The WWU argues but Jack dismisses himself. Jake’s fear of snakes aside, has anyone seen Angelico? Johnny owes him a beating. The others leave Ricky and Rosa alone. She says not to worry, his secret is safe with her.
Put Up or Shut-Up Challenge: Jack Evans VS ???
The Dragonslayer and big mouth of the WWU puts out an open challenge like Johnny Mundo wanted, but no Reptile Tribe member answers. Jack’s fine with that, and he instead gets the flamboyantly confident new LU talent, “XO Lishus”! Fans are strongly behind XO, which is amplified by how they hate Jack. Especially after Jack snags the mic to introduce himself as “The Man, The Myth, the Legend”, Evans from the Heavens! The bell rings and we begin.
They circle, speed up and XO handsprings over to then slide under. XO hops up, rolls back and headscissors Jack. Jack runs back but XO dodges to then headscissor Jack again! XO wheelbarrows and arm-drags while doing the splits. XO runs in at Jack with a handspring SLAP! Jack doesn’t like that, but XO goes Matrix to dodge the clothesline. Jack runs over to standing moonsault XO down! XO kicks back from the floor, then gets to ropes. Jack runs over but is dumped out. XO runs, and FLIES!
A powerful crossbody, and XO celebrates with twerking. XO puts Jack back in, then does a twerking standing moonsault. Jack rolls out of the way but XO handsprings back to come in. Jack trips XO into the ropes, to then rake his fingers into XO’s face!
Fans boo and jeer but Jack tells them all to shut up. Jack drags XO over and into the Rings of Saturn. XO endures while fans rally. Jack wrenches the arm, and wonders what fans are clapping for. Fans rally anyway, and Jack whips XO corner to corner. Jack runs in with his own handspring, to eye rake! He backs off at 4, but fans boo and jeer. Jack grinds his boot into XO, then brings XO up over for muay thai knees. Fans cheer XO on and XO revesres the whip. Jack cartwheels and arm-wrings XO into a modified triangle! XO endures, and Jack shouts for him to “put up or shut up”. Fans rally again, and XO stomps on Jack. Jack shoves XO away, then runs in at XO in the corner.
XO hops up to boot and roll off the back. XO dropkicks then back elbows, then adds a jawbreaker! He then uses Jack as a step stool for a leg drop! Cover, TWO, and XO’s inexperience shows with forgetting to hook legs. Fans rally for the young star, and he whips Jack corner to corner. Jack goes up and over to then wheel kick XO down! Jack hits a standing corkscrew moonsault, cover, TWO! XO now shows his heart! Jack grows annoyed, but he doesn’t lose his confidence. He climbs up, but XO handsprings to headscissor Jack down! XO climbs now, and hits a splitting leg drop!
Cover, TWO! XO grows a bit flustered, another sign of inexperience. Fans rally for him though as he climbs back up. Jack intercepts with a boot! Jack climbs up, but XO fights back, SUPER facebuster! Cover, XO wins!
Winner: XO Lishus, by pinfall
XO may be new, but he put up and shut up Jack! Given some time, will this fabulous new star find his way to the top of the Temple?
Pentagon Dark is here!
The Lucha Underground Champion reviews that in Aztec Warfare, against 19 other great luchadors who all wanted his title, all failed to take it. Cueto’s Monster even tried, but he failed! And anyone else who wants this title, be prepared to fail, too. Because all his challengers will be broken, because Pentagon has #CeroMiedo!
But wait, the Machine Called Cage attacks with a discus lariat! Cage throws furious right hands, and then lifts up the belt. Cage, who lost his Gauntlet of the Gods to Mil Muertes, and who wasn’t even one of the 19 challengers in Aztec Warfare, makes it clear he wants his shot, by using the belt to SMACK Pentagon in the head. He leaves Pentagon down in the ring, but then thinks of something more: a table! The Terminator drums sound as he sets the table up at ringside. Cage drags Pentagon onto the apron, and into bomb position, to BOMB him through the table!
“Meet the luchador you can’t break. Because I’m not a man, I’m a Machine! And your next Lucha Underground Champion!” The Swolverine wants to break the Breaker of Bones, but will he regret challenging him with such aggression?
Fenix prepares for the main event.
Melissa Santos is with him backstage just moments from this life-or-death match. She can’t lose him. But he vows she won’t. He won the last Grave Consequences match he was in, remember? But last time, it was just one opponent. Tonight he has two, and they’re deadly. But don’t worry, he’s the Man of 1000 Lives. And they all belong to Melissa. She gives him a kiss for luck. Will it be the last kiss between her and the Bird of War?
Three Way to the Grave: Fenix VS Mil Muertes w/ Catrina VS Jeremiah Crane!
The Man of 1000 Lives, the Man of 1000 Deaths, and the Lucha Death Machine who loves pain. All three men battle for survival, but also for the destruction of the other two! Who will survive to grab glory, and power, in their hands?
As Catrina leads Mil Muertes down, she surely knows that both victory and the return of her own mortality are so close, she can taste it. Will she taste life again? Or will she just taste more defeat? Likewise, the twisted Crane does this for love, as he wants Catrina back. Will he be made whole through the demise of his opponents? Or will his body be broken along with his heart?
Lucha Underground returns from break and this first-ever match begins. Fenix, Crane and Muertes all stare down. Crane gives a thumbs down, but he gets SPEARED down by the Reaper’s Trident! Fenix kicks Muertes while Crane rolls away. Fenix throws a forearm, then runs, but Muertes whips him to a corner. Muertes runs in as Fenix slips out to the apron. Fenix kicks Muertes away, then hops up to springboard back. Muertes gets clear but runs into a SUPERKICK. Fenix comes back for a leaping DDT! Crane stands up and Fenix handsprings, but into a half-nelson DDT! Crane sits up and rallies the fans. He runs in at Muertes for the shining wizard, then goes side-to-side for the boot wash. Fenix runs in for a running boot!
Fenix climbs up, springboards but Crane dodges. Crane throws Fenix to the apron, mule kicks him, then drags him back in with a hip toss. Fans rally while Fenix gets out. Crane runs, and DIVES! The low-pe almost doesn’t hit, but it gets Fenix right in the waist. Crane fires up and drags Fenix up to throw him. Fenix hops up and mule kicks back, to then SUPER moonsault! Both men land roughly, but fans rally. Muertes climbs up?! And he falls onto them both! The Believers are fired up while all three men are down. Muertes gets up and uses the flower arrangement to hit Crane in the face. He then drags Crane up and around to bump him off a casket lid over and over and over. Fenix flounders while Muertes BOMBS Crane against the coffin.
Muertes drags Crane up while fans chant “Otra! Otra!” So he goes to bomb Crane at the announce desk. Crane resists and hits back, then boots Muertes into a seat. Catrina grows concerned as Crane gets a full lap around the ring. Crane makes the final turn, but Muertes SPEARS him again!
The Trident almost splits Crane in half! Fans are shocked, but are still loving this, too. Muertes goes under the ring to pull out a table. He sets it up at a corner, and fans move aside. Muertes drags Crane up but Fenix climbs to walk the rails. Fans give him space, to fly and huricanrana Muertes down! Fenix turns around, and Crane SMACKS him with an entire bouquet of roses! Crane drags Muertes up, but Muertes powers him back in a choke, to then CHOKE SLAM Crane on the casket!
Muertes goes back to his table, and to Fenix. Fans chant “Animo! Animo!” for Fenix, but Muertes brings him around. Crane hits Muertes, but it barely affects him. Muertes grabs Crane and brings him in, but both Crane and Fenix fight off the Flatliner. So Muertes just grabs them both around the throat. They break free again, SUPERKICK and boot combo. Fenix SUPERKICKS Crane, then huricanranas Muertes near the table. Crane uses Fenix as a step stool to knock Muertes into the table. It doesn’t break, so Crane BOMBS Muertes through that table! Fans lose their minds again, but Fenix goes right after Crane. Fans know “This is Awesome” as they brawl and go up the stairs. Crane and Fenix reach the top, and go around behind the fans. Crane prepares something, and gives Fenix a piledriver on the concrete! But the doors open, and Muertes appears behind him!
Muertes drags Crane in and rams the doors into him from both sides. Muertes rocks Crane down with a right, then drags him back up. Fans are on Muertes’ side, but Fenix is climbing up again. Meurtes has Crane in a fireman’s carry, but Crane fights for dear life as Muertes tries to toss him down to the ground! Crane gets down and rakes Muertes’ eyes, but Fenix FLIES IN!! He wipes them out with that insane crossbody!
The Believers are riled up but Catrina is worried. Fenix stands first, and brings Muertes up. Muertes hits him first, then hits him more. They go back to the stairs, and Fenix tumbles down every step. Crane is sent down after Fenix, and Muertes takes his time lumbering down to join them.
Muertes has the Believers on his side as he drags a new table out. He places it off to the side, and fans rally up. Muertes puts another table up in the ring, but Fenix revives. Muertes goes for Crane first and goes into the ring. He drags Crane up and over to a corner. Muertes hoists Crane up, and adjusts the table. He climbs up but Fenix joins in for a kinder surprise kick! Muertes is hung up, and Fenix pushes him down. Fenix goes after Crane with rights and chops, then climbs up to join him. Muertes rests by the other table he prepared, and Fenix hops up, but Crane denies the steiner with a shove, and Fenix crashes down on Muertes through that table!
Fenix gets back up quick, and sees Crane resting on this other table. Crane trips Fenix up hard, and positions the table again. Crane climbs up, rakes the eyes, and then hits a PILEDRIVER through the table! Fans lose their minds all over again, but Crane gives a thumbs up to Catrina. Crane opens a casket, and rolls the limp Fenix around. This much Catrina likes, because she hates Fenix with a burning desire. Melissa panics because she loves Fenix with a burning desire. Fenix is in the casket, but that’s just part one. Crane goes to close it, but running in with hair fire red with rage, it’s IVELISSE! And with poetic justice, she uses a ball peen hammer on Crane’s leg!! That’s in return for what Crane did to her last season!
Crane shouts and screams in pain, but Ivelisse shouts she wasn’t going to forget what he did. Crane grabs at her, so she smacks that arm, too! She smacks him a third time, and with such force that the hammer head comes off! So she just uses the handle to hold him still for knee strikes. Crane is draped over the ropes, but Ivelisse wants him to get back up. He does, and he flips her the bird. Bad move, because she takes that finger and breaks it! The Baddest Bitch is back in the Temple, and she’s busted Crane open! And with no mercy, she hits him again! Now Crane is in the casket, and she closes it on him! Crane is ELIMINATED! The pallbearers come and take him away, leaving it at Muertes and Fenix. The fans go nuts for Ivelisse while we go to break.
Lucha Underground returns once more, and Muertes moves the wreckage of wood tables out of his way. Fenix also returns to the ring, leaning against a corner. Muertes runs in, but into a SUPERKICK! Fenix side steps then back kicks Muertes, then rolls Muertes out, only to run into a stiff spinning powerslam! Muertes rains rights down, and rakes at the mask! This is a common thing for Muertes to do against Fenix, because if you hate someone, you definitely don’t respect them. Melissa protests, but there’s nothing the rules can do against that. Muertes then goes to untie a buckle pad. Fenix revives, and waistlocks Muertes. Meurtes elbows out, but runs into a boot. Both men stagger, and Melissa gets the fans going again.
Fenix runs at Muertes but is alley-oop’d overhead. Fenix stops himself from hitting that exposed buckle, but is ran right over! A close call, but Muertes is going to ensure Fenix hits that exposed hook, with a catapult swing! Fenix’s face goes right into steel, and he bleeds profusely. Muertes makes it worse by raking his fingers in, and even biting at the wound! Fenix is limp on the apron but Muertes just punches away even more. Melissa shouts for Fenix to get up, but Muertes works to undo more of that turnbuckle’s axle. Melissa finds herself surrounded by the Man and First Lady of Death, but Fenix revives. Fenix and Muertes brawl, then shift to a chop fight. Shot after shot but Muertes gets an edge with that killer right. Muertes stares into the eyes of Catrina, they both know what comes next.
Muertes drags a casket around while Melissa and the ref check on Fenix. That casket is put into the ring, another familiar sight of any Grave Consequences match. Fans chant “Animo!” and “Let’s Go Fenix!” Muertes has the casket up in a corner. He opens it up, and whips Fenix corner to corner at it. Fenix stops himself just inches away, Muertes runs in, but Fenix dodges him. Muertes stops himself short, but Fenix kicks him into it! But not all the way, that lid won’t close like that. Fenix stands Muertes up, to dropkick him back in! Now Muertes is all the way inside, and that’s part one! Fenix goes to close but Muertes holds it open! Melissa and Catrina shout for their men, but it’s Muertes who pushes Fenix away!
Muertes stalks Fenix but Fenix runs and doges. Fenix kicks back, then runs back, but is thrown overhead onto the casket! Fans lose their minds one more time, but then duel between the two. Muertes positions the casket on the mat, and then lifts Fenix. Fenix resists as Muertes tries to pick him up. Fenix fights back, but Muertes grabs him around the throat. But Fenix gets free to then chop and chop away! Fenix runs, handsprings, but Muertes slam dunks Fenix down! Muertes drags Fenix back up even as fans chant “Animo!” Muertes runs, but Fenix rolls, for Fenix Injection!! Both men are down, but stirring. Melissa and Catrina are both worried, but fans know “This is Awesome!”
Fenix fires off forearms and a heel kick! He gets to a corner, hops up, and flies, but into a CHOKE SLAM on the casket! The lid is dented, that casket might not even open. Muertes doesn’t care, he lifts Fenix up again, only for Fenix to headscissor him out of the ring! Fenix gets up, hops up, and as Muertes returns, missile dropkick! Fans fire up and it gives Fenix life. Fenix climbs again, jumps, but into a FLATLINER!
Melissa can barely watch as Muertes looms over Fenix. He drags Fenix up again, then drags him out. The third casket is still viable, and Muertes opens it. He drags Fenix over like a sack of potatoes, and plops him down inside. Muertes closes the lid, and wins!
Winner: Mil Muertes
The pallbearers return, and Melissa reluctantly makes the announcement. The Man of 1000 Deaths is victorious, and Catrina is almost euphoric over this defeat of the Immortal Firebird. Has Muertes earned himself his own Lucha Underground Championship opportunity? Has Catrina gotten the life force she needs?
In an undisclosed location…
The Monster, Matanza, is chained up again. “My boy”, Antonio says from above, “I know it’s not much, but it’s better than the cell you’ve been locked in.” Matanza must be upset over failing his father, but Antonio admits he failed Matanza. When Antonio offered up Matanza as the vessel to the Aztec Gods, he asked they let Matanza retain a little of his humanity. The gods granted that wish, which is why he has the key. The key holds his mortal soul. Dario took both key and Matanza from Antonio, planning to exploit the Monster. Dario kept the key close because he cared for his brother, just as Antonio cared for his son.
But that’s what got Dario killed and what weakened Matanza. Antonio does not tolerate weakness. He knows what he must do. Matanza will always be his son, but he was meant to be so much more. He tosses the key to Matanza?! Because he wants Matanza to kill what’s left of his own humanity by breaking that key! Become a true God! Do it! Matanza does, and the chains no longer hold him. “Good-bye, my boy.” What has Antonio done?! What will Matanza do to the world!?
A really solid episode for only two matches on the card. Clearly there’s something bigger and much more sinister planned for Ricky Mandel Mundo and “Rosa”. And for saying they’re going to call out the Reptiles and keep this fight going, I’m a bit disappointed we didn’t get a hint at it in the backstage area. But good for Jack to be fodder to a debuting wrestler, his ego calls for him to be the kind of guy to do that. Lucha Underground has always been a touch more progressive, and XO Lishus looks to pick up the mantle for Pimpinela, assuming Pimpi doesn’t return. Pentagon Dark has a good promo, but that attack from Cage was really good. Cage hasn’t had many chances at the top title for being a long-standing staple of the show, this will be a great feud.
The Three Way to the Grave, for being the first, is already the best of its kind, and just the best of all the Grave Consequences matches LU has put on. It also did an amazing job of integrating multiple stories, as Ivelisse makes a shocking return at the best possible moment. She screws Crane over for revenge, but surely he’ll come back somehow to get back at her. Lucha Underground is also progressive in this regard of co-ed matches, so expect at least one of those to be their blow-off. And Muertes goes over for many logical reasons: he’s already lost his fair share of Grave Consequences, it’s time for him to win one; Muertes needs wins overall to keep himself a credible threat to everyone; and it pushes Catrina’s story forward. I’m not really sure what she’ll do once she’s mortal again, but that’ll be for next week.
My Score: 8.7/10
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Platt’s MLW Fusion Recap & Review for 8/17/18
— Major League Wrestling (@MLW) August 18, 2018
Greetings & Salutations.
MLW Fusion begins with a tribute to Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart (RIP). This was followed by a recap of last weeks Teddy Hart vs John Hennigan match. If you haven’t seen it, go out of your way to do so. This sets up this weeks main event, as Hennigan will go on to challenge world champion Low KI.
MATCH # 1: THE HART FOUNDATION(W/BRIAN PILLMAN JR) VS. ACH/RICH SWANN
There are those “do you remember when…” moments you get when watching wrestling. Tonight’s debut of the Hart Foundation is one of them.
— Court Bauer (@courtbauer) August 17, 2018
Time restraints considered, these 4 had an entertaining match. I really liked the Hart Foundation’s music. The match started with a Brian Pillman chant. I must say, Pillman Jr’s hair has gotten much better(although he still dresses like a 90’s wrestler). Swann & ACH have good chemistry and have a tag title match coming up next week. In the end, the Hart Foundation pull it out with a little help from Fylin’ Brian Jr.
WINNERS: THE HART FOUNDATION
You’ll see @THETOMMYDREAMER in addition to TONS of action!
— Major League Wrestling (@MLW) August 18, 2018
Up next we get a War Games preview followed by a promo by Team Swerve. Half way through the promo, Team Swerve is attacked by Team Havoc with Tommy Dreamer making the save.
MATCH #2: MIKE PARROW (W/THE STUD STABLE) VS TOM LAWLOR IN A DOJO MATCH
— Parrow (@Parrow_) August 17, 2018
The sparring session between Lawlor and Seth Petruzelli was rudely interrupted by the Studs. After a Jake Hager(Jack Swagger) tease, we end up with friend of Chairshot Mike Parrow challenging the filthy one inside of the octagon. The bout very UFCish with elements of pro wrestling. I give them props for trying something different and tying in Lawlor’s legit mma roots. Lawlor wins with a submission hold, but this match was more about the post match beatdown of Petruzelli by The Dirty Blondes. This is used to set up next weeks tag match between The Blondes and The other two members of Team Filthy. Either way, the issue between these two factions is just getting started.
MAIN EVENT: LOW KI (CHAMPION) VS. JOHN HENNIGAN FOR THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Each week’s episode is uploaded at 6:05 p.m. ET! pic.twitter.com/uTq7wPbVs1
— Major League Wrestling (@MLW) August 18, 2018
We start with a prematch promo with Low Ki and his business partner Salina de la Renta. Low Ki speaks like a villain in a kung fu movie. I can dig it. It makes even the most mundane statements sound important. The match begins with Hennigan still playing up the beat down of Team Swerve by coming out with taped ribs. The match itself started off slow with a lot of mat chain wrestling. Both wrestlers did a good job of playing up the injured ribs of Hennigan throughout. As the match picked up steam, we get a few signature high spots from both. In the end, Hennigan crashes and burns on a Star Ship Pain attempt and Low Ki retains. Good TV main event. I like the decision of putting the title on an established veteran like Ki. It will help to make the man who is finally able to unseat him.
Overall a solid effort. The undercard matches tend to suffer do to lack of time. However, the main event consistently delivers week in and week out. We finally have a few peculating story lines, which should help the casual fan to follow along. PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: If your local cable provider doesn’t offer BeIn Sports, the MLW YouTube channel offers the previous nights show FOR FREE at 6pm eastern the following day. I highly recommend that you go out of your way to check it out.
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Mitchell’s WWE NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn 4!
NXT takes over Brooklyn for a fourth time! With Aleister Black out of action, will this FINALLY settle things between Ciampa and Gargano?
- NXT Tag Team Championships: The Undisputed Era VS Mustache Mountain; The Undisputed Era wins and retain the NXT Tag Team Championships.
- EC3 VS Velveteen Dream; Dream wins.
- NXT North American Championship: Adam Cole VS Ricochet; Ricochet wins and becomes the new NXT North American Champion.
- NXT Women’s Championship: Shayna Baszler VS Kairi Sane; Kairi wins and becomes the new NXT Women’s Champion.
- NXT Championship Last Man Standing Match: Tommaso Ciampa VS Johnny Gargano; Ciampa wins and retains the NXT Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
Charly Caruso, Sam Roberts & Pat McAfee are your NXT Kickoff Show panel!
Video interview with Ricochet.
The One and Only prepares to face Adam Cole for the NXT North American Championship. Does he feel any pressure going in? No, this moment is something he’s worked for 15 years. Ricochet has challenged Cole for this match but Cole has ducked him until now. THe King of Flight knows who Cole is, and Cole says he’s better. Ricochet knows Cole is on another level, and Ricochet isn’ ton that level. Ricochet is on the next level above them. The NXT NAC title represents not just the USA, but Mexico and Canada, at least. Is Cole a proper champion? Does Ricochet feel the pressure to represent? Ricochet feels the magnitude of this match as it’s his first 1v1 title match in NXT. He’s always exceeded expectations and overcome challenges, so he’ll just do what he does.
Ricochet says he’s better than the Undisputed Era, though he’s as world-traveled as they are. How long has he felt this way? It’s more a recent development, because the UE hide behind each other and their titles. Cole thinks he’s putting prestige on the belt, but Ricochet is going to show him what that’s really like once he becomes the new NXT NAC. There’s no limit to the confidence between Ricochet and Cole, who comes out on top when greatness collides?
GM William Regal joins the panel.
With the ambush attack on Aleister Black and no clear culprit, what does Regal know at this time? He knows that the Undisputed Era are in fact not the culprits. There is still so much to study and verify, but the panel will be the first people to know when he does. This mystery attacker, or attackers, disrupted TakeOver: Brooklyn 4, what will the punishment be? Regal has been in the business 35 years, but this is the hardest thing ever. He could lose a key member of the roster, who could have been something big in the business themselves. It changes the course of WWE History for no less than the next decade, as far as Regal can tell.
Does he worry about what Aleister Black will do when he comes back? Of course. But he has to be an authority figure, this is part of the job, although a stressful one. He put so much thought into what was the main event, but now things are completely different. Regal is more upset than flustered, especially on such an important night. Will he get to the bottom of this before the night is over?
History is Written by the Winners.
One moment changes everything. Johnny Wrestling is to blame for the Psycho Killer becoming THE NXT Champion. But just as both Gargano and Aleister Black were getting another shot, someone took out the Dutch Destroyer. The devious and the wicked are powered by their egos, but those very egos could be their downfall. One night, one moment to make history, whose NXT will this be when it’s all over?
NXT Tag Team Championships: The Undisputed Era VS Mustache Mountain!
The Savior of the Backbreaker and the Killer of Arms are ready to show Tyler Bate & Trent Seven that the titles are staying this side of the pond once and for all. But if it happened once, it can happen again, will British Strong Style knock Undisputed Era off the Mustache Mountain?
The introductions are made, the belts are raised, and we begin!
Fans are already dueling as Strong starts against Seven. They circle but O’Reilly distracts. Strong htis Bate then hits Seven. He chops and throws hands while O’Reilly tags in. O’Reilly keeps on Seven while Strong intercepts Bate. Bate and Strong brawl, then Strong throws Bate into Seven. Undisputed Era whip both Mustache Mountain, but both are reversed. The challengers dare the champions, and it’s a big brawl! Bops go up, in come Bang! Undisputed Era rolls out but Mustache Mountain pursues. Seven chops O’Reilly while Bate throws hands on Strong. Seven puts O’Reilly in the ring for a sharp chop, then tags Bate. Bate climbs while Seven throws O’Reilly down. Bate knee-board sentons onto O’Reilly, then rocks Strong with a right. Cover, TWO!
Bate brings O’Reilly up but has to scare Strong off. O’Reilly kicks Bate, then tags to Strong. Strong runs into a scoop slam! Tag to Seven, and Bate helps for the senton. Cover, ONE, but Seven keeps on him. Seven rocks Strong then whips, but Strong goes over his back to give Seven a backbreaker! Strong drags Seven over, then tags O’Reilly. They mug Seven in the corner, then O’Reilly gives muay thai knees and a kick. O’Reilly brings Seven back around, tags to Strong, and he holds Seven down for Strong to stomp out. Strong adds more stomps, then drags Seven up to throw hands and chops. Tag to O’Reilly again, and O’Reilly snapmares Seven for a knee drop. Cover, TWO, but O’Reilly throws toying kicks. Seven gets up and chops back, but can’t get away from O’Reilly.
O’Reilly swings on Bate, but falls for Seven’s feint into a DDT! Seven tags Bate, and Bate huricanranas and dropkicks Strong. Bate boots and knees O’Reilly to then hit the flying European Uppercut. Fans fire up but Bate runs into a boot. Strong tags in, but both he and O’Reilly go for a spin! Flashbacks to Royal Albert Hall, but Undisputed Era fights out of it. O’Reilly puts on a sleeper, but Bate still gets Strong, for a German Suplex and Samoan Drop combo! Fans love Bate’s superhuman abilities! Bate gives running EuroUppers to both men, but then gets run over by Strong’s leaping lariat! Strong staggers over to stomp, then tags O’Reilly again. O’Reilly throws forearms and a shoulder breaker, into a hammerlock. He grounds Bate while throwing in knees.
Fans duel while O’Reilly drops a knee and rains down palm strikes. He brings Bate over and Strong tags in. Strong chops Bate, then tags O’Reilly again. Gutbuster and knee drop! Cover, TWO! Bate crawls for his corner but O’Reilly is on him with body scissors and clubbing forearms. Tag to Strong while fans rally up, Strong basement boots Bate. Strong eggs Bate on, then brings him back up for a gut wrench. He bends Bate back with the Gory Stretch. Bate endures while fans rally up. Bate works his way out of the hold, then shoves Strong. O’Reilly tags in, for a shinbreaker and sweeping kick. He wrenches Bate’s ankle in a standing heel hook, but Bate fights back with his free leg. O’Reilly grabs that leg for a snap Indian Deathlock!
Tag to Strong, and Strong takes the hand-off, to sit down on the draping ankle. Tag to O’Reilly, and he adds one of his own. Another tag to Strong for a third go, but Bate shoves Strong all the way out! Bate crawls but Strong drags him out. Bate shoves him into barriers, then crawls more. O’Reilly comes in but is tossed back out! Bate crawls, but Strong stops him by grabbing a foot. Then O’Reilly trips Seven! Seven slaps O’Reilly away, Bate gets free, hot tag! Seven rallies on Strong, whipping him to a corner then tossing him on the rebound. Then he DIVES on O’Reilly!
Seven puts O’Reilly in, then runs corner to corner for clotheslines. He hits Strong, then O’Reilly, then Strong again. O’Reilly runs in but Seven ducks, so that boot hits Strong! Seven then lifts O’Reilly up for a powerbomb! He Dragon Suplexes Strong, then lifts for the side slam! Cover, TWO! Seven was close, but the fans cheer him on. Strong crawls to ropes but Seven is on him. Seven clubs away, then wrings Strong out, but gets a forearm. Strong elbows Seven, then tags O’Reilly. O’Reilly kicks Seven down, then suplexes for the brainbuster! Cover, TWO! Undisputed Era grows frustrated, but O’Reilly keeps Seven back. He knees Seven into his corner, then hits a forearm smash. Strong tags in, they both give Seven knees, then an Olympic Slam! Cover, TWO! Seven shows that heart like he had in their previous showdown.
Undisputed Era prepare something, but Bate gives O’Reilly a rolling kick! Strong gives Bate the side slam, but Seven back hands O’Reilly. Strong trips Seven, for the Strong Hold! Seven endures the stretch, while Bate gets caught in a triangle! Dual submissions have the fans fired up, but Bate deadlifts O’Reilly to bomb him into Strong! All four men are down but this crowd is standing up! The teams go to their corners, and Seven tags Bate. Bate goes after Strong and they throw bombing hands. “This is Awesome!” as Bate rocks Strong, to then throw O’Reilly at him! Both Undisputed Era are on the outside, so Bate FLIES! Bate hits O’Reilly, but Strong throws him to the ropes, only to get the rebound lariat! Bate puts Strong back in, and Bate gets Tyler Driver ’97!! Cover, TWO!? How?! Bate can’t believe it but fans are loving it.
Bate flounders to his feet, and decides to go up top. Strong stops him with right hands, then turns him around. Bate resists whatever Strong is after, then fights him down with back elbows. O’Reilly swings Bate’s leg into the post! Bate falls, Strong is on him with a shinbreaker to buckles! Tag to O’Reilly, and he kicks Seven down. Bate’s up, but O’Reilly rolls him into a heel hook! Now Bate endures leg torture and Seven has to watch on the corner. The referee won’t let Seven get in, but Bate is so far away. Fans rally up while Bate endures this role reversal. The ref stops Seven, but that allows Strong to drag O’Reilly and Bate over. Seven grabs a towel, but he can’t bring himself to throw it! Fans shout and duel, Seven throws the towel TO THE FANS! Strong runs at him but gets tossed out!
Bate uses all his arm strength to back stroke towards his corner! O’Reilly wrenches and pulls as hard as he can, but it’s not enough! Hot tag to Seven! O’Reilly lets go of Bate but gets rocked but rights. They go back and forth, SEVEN STAR LARIAT!! Cover, TWO!?!? Seven ain’t standing for that. He tags Bate, and he brings O’Reilly up. Bate climbs on one leg, but has to fight Strong off. Seven lifts O’Reilly, Knee Drop Burning Hammer!!! Cover, TWO?!?! This is inconceivable! But the Brooklyn fans are electric! Bate tags Seven back, and Mustache Mountain regroups. Fans want them to “Fight Forever!” but this has to end somehow. Seven drags O’Reilly up in a full nelson, but Strong knee smashes Bate! Strong gets a back hand, but Seven gets a chop block, then STRONG ELIMINATION! O’Reilly covers, Undisputed Era wins!!
Winners: The Undisputed Era, O’Reilly pinning; still NXT Tag Team Champions
The tiebreaker breaks the hearts of Mustache Mountain, but only proves Strong & O’Reilly are Undisputed tag team champions. Bate & Seven fall short here, but with NXT UK on the way, can they climb to the top of a new mountain? As for Undisputed Era, they know Rowe & Hanson have staked a claim. Can the War Raiders be the team to truly take those titles away?
Speaking of the War Raiders…
They appear right behind Strong & O’Reilly! And the raid is on! Rowe throws Strong out while Hanson keeps on O’Reilly. They feed O’Reilly to Thor’s Hammer! Then Hanson DIVES on Strong! Hanson returns to the ring to climb up. Rowe brings O’Reilly up, for FALLOUT! The warpath leads to the titles, will the Undisputed Era be crushed underneath these machines of war?
EC3 VS Velveteen Dream!
Worlds collide, but so do larger than life personalities. The #TopOnePercentExperience is here, with egos and grudges on the line. Who takes the spotlight for themselves?
Dream takes his time taking off his vest, to then throw it at EC3. EC3 throws it back, and tempers already flare. The bell rings, and EC3 keeps his eye on Dream. Fans duel but there are plenty of fans for Dream. Dream and EC3 tie up, but EC3 powers Dream back with a shove. He shoves Dream into a corner again, then goes after him in the corner. The ref backs him off and Dream tries to capitalize, but EC3 throws Dream out. EC3 throws Dream back in, but ends up in a headlock to a wristlock. Dream wrenches but EC3 reverses and wrings Dream out. EC3 goes after the fingers, then lifts and drops Dream. He brings Dream up again for another throw, then a grounded keylock. Dream works his way up while fans duel.
Dream knees low, then clubs EC3’s back. He gives EC3 a EuroUpper, then put shim in a corner. Corner to corner whip but EC3 reverses. Dream gets caught up top so EC3 kicks Dream’s ribs through the uprights. Dream ends up crotched. EC3 adds insult to injury as he bounces the ropes, then he clobbers Dream to the floor. He clobbers Dream again, but then Dream shoulders in. Dream slingshots but EC3 hip swivles that sunset flip. Dream pulls tights but gets punches for it. EC3 lifts but Dream slips out. Things speed up, EC3 takes Dream off his feet with a chop. EC3 whips but Dream kicks him away, only to run into a scoop slam. EC3 wants fans to say his name, then he drops the elbow. He clotheslines Dream and himself out but EC3 is just fine.
EC3 brings Dream to the ramp, for a lift. Dream reverses to the Sidewinder DDT! EC3 hits the ramp, and fans lose their minds. Dream gets to the ring and refreshes the count. He fetches EC3, to then throw EC3 into posts. Dream refreshes the count again before putting EC3 in the ring. Cover, TWO! Dream decides to go up! Big ax handle! He brings EC3 up to flapjack him on the ropes. Then they go in a corner and Dream throws hands. Dream backs off at 4 to put EC3 on the apron. He hotshots EC3, then drags him through for a neckbreaker. Cover, ONE, so Dream clamps on a neck wrench. EC3 endures as Dream twists his head around. Fans rally up and EC3 stands up.
Dream clobbers him, then turns him for a Rude Awakening, but EC3 stops it. EC3 powers things around, but Dream knees low to get that neckbreaker. Cover, TWO, but Dream “applauds” EC3. Dream says the fans don’t care about EC3. Dream throws EC3 out, then throws him into an announce desk. He bounces EC3 off it again and again, then grabs a bottle of water to SPLASH EC3 with it! Dream drinks the rest, then HHH spits it everywhere. He puts EC3 in the ring, but EC3 is on him for the STO DDT! Both men are down, but Dream gets himself to a corner.
EC3 stands and they throw hands. EC3 blocks to counter punch, but Dream whips him to a corner, only for EC3 to come out with a lariat. Top One Percent jabs and clothesline, then a big splash in the corner. EC3 runs for the rolling neckbreaker! EC3 fires up as he brings Dream up. Dream slips out to roll up, TWO! EC3 dodges the superkick but Dream denies the driver. EC3 blocks again, to get the Climax driver! Cover, TWO!
Dream rolls to a corner while EC3 stands. EC3 blocks the boot but gets a slap. That only angers EC3, and he fires haymakers! Dream flounders while EC3 clubs away on him. EC3 drags Dream up but Dream throat chops. Dream gets to a corner and to the top rope. EC3 grabs him and throws him down! Now EC3 climbs up top while Dream staggers around. EC3 hits a crossbody, but Dream rolls through! TWO, but EC3 gives back that slap. EC3 powerbombs Dream, but he’s not done there. Fans are a mix as he high stacks and deadlifts, for another bomb! Cover, TWO! Dream narrowly survives, but both he and EC3 slowly stand. Fans duel while EC3 puts Dream on the top rope. Dream and EC3 brawl but EC3 fires off many chops.
EC3 climbs but Dream still fights with him. EC3 wants the superplex, and gets the SUPERPLEX! Dream writhes but EC3 has to crawl for a cover, TWO! Dream crawls to the apron but EC3 stands again. EC3 joins Dream on the apron, lifts Dream, but Dream slips off and into the ring. SUPERKICK! To Dream Valley Driver! Cover, TWO! Dream is shocked, but he isn’t done yet. Dream drags EC3 up but EC3 slips out to German Suplex! Bridge, TWO! Both men are down again, but fans rally up. EC3 drags Dream over to the apron, but Dream lifts EC3, Dream Valley on the apron! Dream isn’t done yet, he climbs up top, for PURPLE RAIN ON THE APRON!! Cover, Dream wins!!
Winner: Velveteen Dream, by pinfall
Finally, it’s #DreamOver as he gets a TakeOver victory! Will Dream get his wish with a very important call from Vince?
NXT North American Championship: Adam Cole VS Ricochet!
The Panama City Playboy and the One and Only King of Flight were both in the ladder match to determine the first holder of this title. Adam Cole has led the Undisputed Era to immediate greatness in NXT, and for that, Cole feels Ricochet isn’t on his level. Ricochet agreed, because Ricochet’s on an even higher level. Who will prove themselves superior by walking out with the North American Championship tonight?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised and we begin. Cole and Ricochet stare down from across the ring while fans duel. They circle then tie up. Ricochet gets the wristlock to hammerlock, but Cole reverses to his own. Ricochet rolls through to reverse back, but so does Cole. Colde has Ricochet on his knees but Ricochet gets back up. Ricochet spins and flips through to reverse. Cole powers Ricochet to ropes, then whips out of the break. Ricochet rolls off Cole’s back to handspring, but Cole shows that Superkick and Ricochet backs off. Cole says Ricochet isn’t special like he is. Ricochet shrugs it off to circle with him. Cole gets a waistlock to headlock, and holds on tight. Ricochet gets up but Cole gets him back in the headlock. Ricochet slips behind and wrenches the arm. He whips but Cole reverses.
Cole sees Ricochet try to go up and over, just to get him back in the headlock. Ricochet powers out but Cole runs him over with a shoulder, “BAYBAY!” Cole brushes himself off but things speed up. Ricochet dropkicks Cole out of the air! Cole rolls out but Ricochet builds speed, to fake him out for a superhero landing. Ricochet grins, and dares Cole to not be a coward. Cole stays back, and avoids the slingshot. Ricochet shoulders and slingshots, hops up when Cole evades, but then is shoved down and out! Cole fetches Ricochet to throw him into barriers. Cole says he’s no coward, he’s a champion. He puts Ricochet back in to kick his ribs. Cole rains down rights, then walks off his frustration. He brings Ricochet up for a stiff neckbreaker. Cover, TWO! Ricochet checks his neck but Cole dares him to get up.
Cole toys with Ricochet, and still says “You’re not special.” Ricochet hits Cole back, but Cole knees low. Cole runs, and catches Ricochet into Ushigoroshi! Cover, TWO! Cole keeps on Ricochet with a knee to the spine, then a chinlock. Ricochet endures the squeeze while fans rally up. Ricochet gets a second wind and fights out. Cole kicks low, then whips Ricochet. Ricochet holds ropes to then back elbow Cole. Cole shoves Ricochet but runs into boots. Ricochet rolls to dropkick Cole out! Ricochet steadies himself, then builds speed, to FLY! Down goes Cole but Ricochet fires up. Ricochet puts Cole in the ring, and Cole gets to a corner. Ricochet runs in corner to corner, for a big uppercut to discus elbow. He bumps Cole on buckles then a corner Tiger Feint, to springboard EuroUpper! Cover, TWO!
Ricochet dares Cole to get up now, and then he lifts Cole up. Cole fights out but Ricochet elbows him away. Ricochet runs in for a shoulder tackle to swing kick. Ricochet slingshots and springboards, but lands on his feet for a standing shooting star! Then a springboard corkscrew! Cover, TWO! Both men are down from exhaustion, but Ricochet keeps his cool. Cole slowly stirs but Ricochet is on him. Ricochet tries but Cole fights out. Ricochet chops Cole, then gives him a forearm. He chops Cole again, then wrenches the arm before whipping. Cole reverses, but Ricochet handsprings, only to get a backstabber! Cover, TWO!
Cole grows frustrated with Ricochet. He brings Ricochet up, suplexes but Ricochet resists. Cole clubs Ricochet’s back, then tries again. Ricochet slips out and rocks Cole with a forearm. Both men stagger back, but Ricochet runs in. Cole puts him on the apron but gets rocked again. Ricochet springboards, but into a SUPERKICK, that he catches! Ricochet turns Cole around for another forearm! Then he runs, springboards, but into a SUPERKICK! Last Shot Brainbuster!! Cover, TWO!! Cole cannot believe it, and neither can Brooklyn! Cole drags himself to ropes while Ricochet flounders. Fans know “This is Awesome!” but Cole plans to end it. Ricochet dodges the shining wizard, rolls him up, TWO!
Cole hits Ricochet, but Ricochet hits Cole. Ricochet runs, ducks the kick, then gives a EuroUpper. Cole forearms, Ricochet boots, Cole enziguris! Ricochet knees, Cole boots, then SUPERKICK, but ENZIGURI! Cole falls on a cover, TWO!! Fans are thunderous for this action! Cole gets to a corner while Ricochet slowly stands. Fans chant “Mama Mia!” for Mauro’s sake. Ricochet seems lost, but Cole runs in. The Shining Wizard misses, and Ricochet hits a Reverse-Rana! Ricochet doesn’t cover, he drags himself to a corner, and the top rope! Ricochet aims but Cole rolls all the way out. Cole is on the apron, grinning at how clever he is. Ricochet runs over, for a SUPER HURICANRANA!
Everyone loses their minds while Ricochet puts Cole in. Ricochet climbs up while Cole flounders. Ricochet stands, One and Only 630!! Cover, Ricochet wins!!
Winner: Ricochet, by pinfall; NEW NXT North American Champion
The King of Flight succeeds! He flies to an entirely new tier as he becomes the second-ever NXT NAC! Ricochet can barely believe it himself, but it’s all real. Will he take that title to new heights like he promised?
NXT Women’s Championship: Shayna Baszler VS Kairi Sane!
The first time these two met, the Pirate Princess won and it was in the inaugural Mae Young Classic finals. The second time, the Queen of Spades won and it was for the title. This third time will be for the title again, but it will also be for the tiebreaker. Bully Baszler claims little Kairi has no killer instinct, but Kairi says Shayna has no idea what Kairi is capable of. Will someone #TapNapOrSnap? Or will it be Anchors Aweigh on these savage seas?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and this third time around begins. The two stare down while Ronda Rousey, Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir cheer the fourth Four Horsewoman of MMA from the front row. Shayna and Kairi approach, feeling each other out. Shayna gets a waistlock but Kairi gets the headlock. They reverse back and forth, and Kairi rolls to a takedown. Kairi goes for a heel hook, but Shayna gives on back. Kairi gets the rope and both women let the other go. Fans cheer for Ronda and by proxy for Shayna. Kairi goes for a leg but Shayna gutwrenches. Kairi lands on her feet, and gets the takedown. Jackknife, ONE, roll up, ONE, Stretch Muffler! Shayna shoves Kairi off and now Shayna is annoyed. They get head to head and start shoving. Now they start brawling!
Shayna whips and slides under the lariat, but then reverses Kairi’s whip. Kairi still headscissors Shayna then dropkicks her out. Fans fire up with Kairi as she gets to the apron. Flying forearm takes Shayna out! Kairi puts Shayna in, catches her breath, then follows her to ropes. Kairi chops Shayna, then chops her again. She runs, but into a low dropkick to the knee. Kairi clutches that leg and now Shayna has a target. Shayna takes that leg and stomps away on it. Shayna stalks Kairi and kicks her while she’s down. The referee warns Shayna but Shayna just grins. Shayna runs but is dumped to the apron. Kairi fires off forearms, then runs, but misses. Shayna kicks Kairi then hotshots the bad leg! She grounds ‘n’ pounds Kairi from both sides. Shayna drags Kairi around, and pulls on that knee.
Kairi fights back but Shayna just twists the leg past its limits. Fans audibly react while Shayna tortures Kairi’s leg. She positions it, for the ankle stomp! Kairi writhes in pain while the referee checks on her. Fans boo and jeer as Shayna mocks Kairi’s pirate scope. Shayna stalks Kairi to a corner, and puts the leg on the rope. She mocks the marching of the plank, to then kick the leg. Kairi stumbles to the mat, and Shayna toys with her. Kairi gets mad and dares Shayna to bring it. Shayna rocks her with a right, but Kairi comes back. They brawl, and kairi starts rocking Shayna! Kairi fires left and right and faster and faster! Shayna can only guard herself, but she still gets a back hand! Then the blockbuster! Then another!
Kairi fires up and gets her leg moving. She chops Shayna in a corner and it sits Shayna down. Kairi roars as she marches her plank on one leg. Kairi comes back for the Sliding D! Cover, TWO! Kairi isn’t done here, she goes straight up. Shayna rocks her with a swing kick! Shayna climbs and clubs away. She prepares a gutwrench, and gets the GUTWRENCH SUPERPLEX! Both women are down from exhaustion, but Shayna crawls over to Kairi. They sit up and throw forearms back and forth. They stand, and Kairi fires off haymakers. Shayna kicks the bad leg, then runs, to bicycle knee! Cover, TWO! Shayna again stalks Kairi, and brings her up. Kairi slips out of the suplex, runs, and INTERCEPTOR SPEAR! She hurries up top, for an InSane Elbow to Shayna’s back! But Kairi isn’t done, she wants to treat Shayna like she did Aliyah.
Kairi’s back up, but Shayna rolls out. That doesn’t stop Kairi, she DIVES on Shayna for a crossbody! Kairi puts Shayna in, then climbs up a third time. InSane Elbow #2!! Cover, TWO!! Kairi can’t believe Shayna survives, it’s infuriating! Kairi puts Shayna’s legs in the crisscross, for the Anchor Lock! Shayna slips around, Kirafuda Klutch!! They roll around, Kairi flailing and reaching! She is so close, and with a second wind, she gets the ropebreak! Shayna lets go but she is frustrated like never before. Fans are thunderous again as Shayna grabs that bad leg, for a spinning toehold! Kairi fights but Shayna grapevines. Shayna is Kairi’s anchor, keeping her in the middle of the ring. But wait, Kairi rolls and gets a MUDA LOCK! Shayna gets the ropebreak, and gets free.
Kairi pursues, for an Anchor through the ropes! The ref counts, so Kairi has to let go at 4. Kairi roars again, brings Shayna up, for an Alabama Slam! Then, for the fourth time, Kairi climbs up. Third InSane Elbow gets Shayna’s knees!! KIRAFUDA, roll through, KAIRI WINS!!
WInner: Kairi Sane, by pinfall; NEW NXT Women’s Champion
It came out of nowhere, but a win is a win! Kairi catches Shayna by surprise, and now the prize is all hers! The tiebreaker and the title go home with the Pirate Princess, and Bully Baszler’s Reign of Terror finally ends. How far will Kairi take this new adventure? When and where will the Queen of Spades come back for her throne?
NXT Championship Last Man Standing Match: Tommaso Ciampa VS Johnny Gargano!
What we thought was over was far from it. What we thought would be a Triple Threat was changed. Aleister Black only lost the title because of Gargano, but someone made sure he wouldn’t get back at either member of DIY when they attacked him in the parking lot. Now Johnny Wrestling and “Tommy Entertainment” will go around one last time, until there is only one man standing! How will this vicious rivalry end!?
No matter where you go, fans boo the Psycho “A**hole”. But he takes it all in and enjoys every second of it. That aside, the introductions are made, the belt is raised, and Gargano attacks Ciampa from behind! The bell rings and Gargano stomps a mudhole on Ciampa. Ciampa gets out, takes off his coat, and Gargano takes off his venom vest before throwing hands. Ciampa whips but Gargano Thesz Presses for fast hands! Gargano tees off in a corner for punches up top, and he goes way past 10! Maybe even past 20. Gargano stops but Ciampa puts him on the apron. Ciampa wants the DDT but Gargano drops down. Gargano comes back in, but into the double underhook. He slips out and throws Ciampa out, to then slide out.
Ciampa dodges and shoves him backwards into steps. Gargano writhes but stands quickly. Ciampa is right on him with clubbing forearms, then pulls the steps apart. He clubs Gargano again, then throws Gargano, only for Gargano to reverse. Ciampa hits barriers, but Gargano picks him up and throws him into more barriers. Gargano doesn’t care that a count begins, he positions the steps closer to Ciampa. Fans are on Gargano’s side as he keeps Ciampa on the ground. Gargano brings Ciampa up for more haymakers, then stalks him to the other end. He throws Ciampa into more barriers, then pulls up floor mats! Gargano is taking a page out of Ciampa’s playbook, but Ciampa hurries to his feet. Gargano brings Ciampa over but Ciampa digs his fingers into Gargano’s face!
Ciampa sends Gargano reeling, but then he swings him over the top of the barriers. He clubs away on Gargano, then drapes him out. Gargano hops off to shove Ciampa into a post. Gargano gets on the apron, and cannonballs! He wipes Ciampa out but he’s far from done. He throws Ciampa over the announce desk! Ciampa almost wipes Nigel and Mauro out! Gargano keeps going as he clears the desk. He stands on the desk, looming over a floundering Ciampa. Gargano brings Ciampa up but Ciampa resists. Ciampa lifts Gargano, to Air Raid onto the other announce desk! It explodes under their weight! The referee checks on both men as the fans lose their minds. A double count begins, but Ciampa crawls from the wreckage first. He stands, but Gargano slowly follows. The count reaches 7 but Gargano is up.
Ciampa is on him and puts him in the ring. Ciampa goes searching under the ring, and pulls out a chair. He brings that over and aims at Gargano, but Gargano fights him off. Gargano gets the chair but Ciampa kicks him away. Ciampa clubs Gargano into a corner, then stomps a mudhole into him. Fans boo and jeer but Ciampa gives Gargano the braced knee smash! “We’re not done by a long shot,” Ciampa promises, before giving Gargano another knee smash! Ciampa grabs that chair, and he wedges it in Gargano’s face. He stomps Gargano before backing up, but as Ciampa runs in, Gargano throws the chair into his knee! Gargano thrusts the chair into Ciampa’s ribs, then SMACKS it across Ciampa’s back! And another SMACK! Gargano won’t let the count climb as he thrusts the chair in again and again.
Gargano backs off to wedge the chair in a corner. Ciampa stands at 4, but Gargano hoists him up. Ciampa slips off, for a sleeper hold! Gargano flails but there are no ropebreaks. Gargano starts to fade, and Ciampa uses ropes for leverage. Ciampa says that “fairy tales die!” Gargano fades, but fans rally up for him. Ciampa keeps the weight on Gargano, then lets go. Gargano is down as the count starts. He stirs, but the count already reaches 5 by the time he sits up. Ciampa is on Gargano right away with another sleeper. They roll to the mat, but fans keep rallying for Gargano. Fans actually duel, but Gargano gets a secnod wind. Gargano packs Ciampa into buckles but the hold is still on. He tries again, but now Ciampa makes it a hangman’s sleeper. Gargano flails, scoops Ciampa, for a long dart into the chair!
Both men are down, but Gargano rolls out to escape the count. Ciampa manages to get up at 6, so Gargano searches under the ring. He brings out a table! Fans love the look of this as Gargano sets the table up. Gargano won’t leave it at this, he brings out a second table! He has them stacked, but Ciampa goes after him first. Gargano and Ciampa brawl, but then Gargano tries to suplex. Ciampa resists, fights back, then suplexes Gargano in. Gargano slips out, but Ciampa standing switches for a German Suplex. Ciampa holds on for another German Suplex. Gargano grabs the chair but Ciampa gets him to let go for a third German! Ciampa stands first and gives Gargano another braced knee smash!
Ciampa has the chair again, and rams it into Gargano’s ribs, and SMACKS it across the back. He SMACKS Gargano again, then tells him to stay down. Gargano doesn’t, so Ciampa SMACKS him again. The count returns, but Gargano still moves. Ciampa lifts Gargano, for Project Ciampa! He’s not done, he immediately gives Gargano a second! Then a THIRD! Gargano is done again, so Ciampa pulls up a chair and sits. Ciampa listens to the count while fans boo and jeer. Gargano stirs at 5, pushes himself up at 8, and somehow stands to SUPERKICK Ciampa! Somehow Gargano has enough in him to fight, but both he and Ciampa are down. The count begins and they stand at 5.
Ciampa throws a haymaker but Gargano gives one back. Ciampa gives another, but so does Gargano. Another from Ciampa, another from Gargano, and they pick up speed with these haymakers. Gargano gets more, blocks the boot then clubs away. Ciampa ducks, boots, but runs into the roll up and kick! Gargano runs but is put on the apron. Slingshot into the knee! Then double underhook, but huricanrana reversal, into enziguri! Gargano runs but into a boot, to come back with a forearm, only to get another German! Yet Gargano kicks and German Suplexes Ciampa! They give each other clotheslines, but it takes the third time to take each other down. The count only reaches ONE and they’re up!! The fans want them to “Fight Forever!” and it looks like they will.
Gargano fakes Ciampa out but gets a knee, to give a SUPERKICK. Ciampa blocks but still gets the discus forearm! The count reaches 5 this time, but Ciampa gets up at 7. Gargano follows at 9, but he wobbles over. Gargano slingshots, avoids the sweep to SUPERKICK and CANNONBALL! The cannonball misses this time, but Ciampa keeps on Gargano by throwing him into barriers. They make their way back to the steps, and Ciampa gives Gargano a butterfly piledriver! Gargano eats steps, and the count begins again. Ciampa stands at 6, but Gargano somehow stands at 9! Ciampa grows frustrated while Gargano flounders around. He goes back under the ring and pulls out the tool box. Flashbacks to TakeOver: Chicago II and the Street Fight as he clips strings from the ring mat.
Ciampa bounces Gargano off the steps before exposing the wood of the ring floor. He won with his hands cuffed, so he clearly feels he’ll win with his hands free. Ciampa fetches Gargano, but gets a face full of fire extinguisher! Ciampa flails and writhes, eyes stinging from the CO2! Gargano has a crutch, Ciampa’s former weapon of choice, and SMACKS Ciampa with it! The crutch breaks apart, but Gargano still uses it to attack. Gargano walks into the facelock, but he fights out. They brawl on opposite sides of the ropes, and Ciampa waves good-bye. But he gets the swing kick! Then a slingshot DDT onto the wood!! Gargano gives Ciampa a taste of his own medicine and fans let Ciampa know, “You Deserve It!” The count reaches 7 but Ciampa is still down. Ciampa rolls out to stand at 9, but Gargano DIVES on him!
Gargano puts Ciampa back in but Ciampa rolls back out. Gargano DIVES again! Ciampa is blasted back to the announce desk, and Gargano keeps on him with haymakers. SUPERKICK but Ciampa dodges and it hits a staff member! Ciampa throws Gargano into the corner of a monitor! Then gives him a chair knee through the timekeeper’s area!! Ciampa literally buries Gargano alive under the barriers, the chair, that downed staffer, and even the ring bell! Anythnig that isn’t bolted down is now on top of Gargano. The count begins as Ciampa looks down on the mountain of carnage he’s left behind. He wants the ref to count faster, just to be safe.
The count reaches 5, but somehow Gargano uncovers himself. It’s 8, and Gargano gets out from under the barrier! Ciampa was so close but still so far way from putting Gargano down. Fans love this superhuman effort, but Ciampa decides to add another element from Chicago. He has handcuffs! And he puts Gargano in a corner to cuff him. Gargano resists and pulls Ciampa into the post. Gargano has the cuffs now, and decides to follow Ciampa’s idea. He cuffs Ciampa’s hand, but Ciampa resists. Ciampa elbows Gargano right in the jaw! Ciampa goes back to the double stack tables, and brings Gargano up. Gargano fights out, lifts Ciampa in return, but Ciampa fights out. Ciampa hits Gargano, lifts him up, but Gargano slips into the ring. Gargano hits Ciampa and Ciampa teeters. Gargano SUPERKICKS Ciampa down through the tables!!
The count begins again, and passes 5 before Ciampa sits up. Ciampa uses what’s left of a crutch to stand at 9.5! Fans are getting their wish, these two look to “Fight Forever!” Ciampa staggers around but Gargano grimaces. Gargano locks his eyes on Ciampa, and fans know he has something brewing. Gargano goes out but Ciampa starts retreating. They end up on the stage, and Gargano kicks the crutch away. Gargano grounds ‘n’ pounds Ciampa on the ramp, then drags him up, to throw him into stage LED! That’s a flashback to the DIY breakdown. And then, GargaNO Escape! Ciampa taps, but that’s not how you win or lose this match.
Gargano grabs the cuffed hand, and drags Ciampa around by it, to cuff it to part of the stage! Ciampa can’t get away, so he begs for mercy. Gargano doesn’t show it, as he smashes Ciampa’s face into those LED boards! SUPERKICK! Ciampa is out, but Brooklyn wants “One More Time!” Gargano wants it, too, but Ciampa apologizes. Gargano says it’s too late for sorry, as he again SUPERKICKS Ciampa! Fans want yet another, so Gargano gives another SUPERKICK!
Gargano says Ciampa did this to himself. Ciampa begs and pleads with Gargano. But Gargano still doesn’t accept the apology, even as the count keeps climbing. Ciampa pleads, the referee counts, and Gargano… Pulls down his knee pad! Gargano gives Ciampa the Psycho Knee! But it also sends Gargano spilling over the edge and onto all the spare trunks! Both men are down, so now the count applies to both of them. The count reaches 5 but neither man stirs. Gargano shows signs of life at 7, crawls around, but CIampa slides off the stage just before 10!!
Winner: Tommaso Ciampa; still NXT Champion
Ciampa took so much damage, but it’s Gargano who suffers for going too far. Gargano loses by the slimmest of margins, but this is still Ciampa’s NXT. Ciampa leaves Gargano down and out, and possibly with a busted knee. He has the referee raise his hand, and he embraces the boos from Brooklyn. But then he comes back just to point and laugh at his fallen foe one more time. With Aleister Black still out with his own injuries from that ambush, who will step up to challenge the Blackhearted champion? As for Gargano, will this injury keep him out for a long time?
What an incredible night from NXT. They again set the bar really high on the main roster for Summerslam tomorrow. Another TakeOver opens with another amazing tag team championship match, and so many times I thought Mustache Mountain had it, but in the end it’s as I expected. Bate & Seven will move over to NXT UK to undoubtedly get those tag titles, but I’m also glad War Raiders made their presence known. We are going to hop onto that program right away, and I’m going to enjoy this taste of ROH in NXT. Then, Dream VS EC3 wasn’t enough to top previous Dream TakeOver matches, but what made it special was that Dream finally won. His pants read “Call me up” but let’s not let it be Vince, aka Raw. Dream needs to be “called up” by Paige and SmackDown or not at all.
Both the North American and Women’s Championships changed hands, and they were done so well that I can’t see anyone complaining. Cole VS Ricochet and Shayna VS Kairi were both back and forth because of how well they competitors knew each other, and it was great for the Faces to go over the Heel here. Ricochet makes Cole eat his words while Kairi shows Shayna she’s not unstoppable. These title changes set up great things for the future, especially with WWE Evolution on the horizon with a promised NXT Women’s Championship match. The way this works out for the combined Women’s Division is that we could see Kairi retain her title while fellow Stardom alum, Io Shirai, wins the second Mae Young Classic, to set up a Stardom-in-NXT instant classic down the road.
Then there was the Last Man Standing Match. The first one for the NXT Championship, and it already sets a high bar for the title. Actually it raises the bar for any Last Man Standing in the WWE period. With Aleister Black out, who knows what the Triple Threat would’ve been, but I’m willing to bet it still ended up very much the same: Gargano goes too far on Ciampa and it backfires, so that at the very least, Gargano doesn’t win. I can’t be sure how I really feel about Ciampa retaining this way, but I’m just curious if it’ll now tie itself into Aleister’s story. Aleister might accuse Ciampa of the attack to be completely wrong, but I wonder if they’d really just have Gargano go “It was me, Aleister! It was me all along!”
My Score: 8.8/10
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Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Report: G1 Climax 28, part 4!
AXS continues NJPW coverage with more from Block A! The Rainmaker takes on the Hangman for the first time ever! Plus, The Ace VS The Underboss once more!
Gifs can be found on http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- Jay White VS Michael Elgin; White wins.
- Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Bad Luck Fale; Tanahashi wins, by disqualification.
- Kazuchika Okada VS Hangman Page; Okada wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS TV set the scene for Round Three!
Kazuchika Okada hasn’t been himself since losing the IWGP Heavyweight Championship to Kenny Omega. He’s also been on a losing streak since then, with a quick 0-2 record in the first two rounds. Okada lost to The Switchblade, Jay White, and perhaps lost all of Chaos to him. Then he lost to Bullet Club OG, the Underboss, Bad Luck Fale. The Rainmaker desperately needs to get on the board before it’s too late. But in his way is Bullet Club new blood, Hangman Adam Page, who would love to make a big splash with a win over the former top champion. Will Hangman be the third defeat on Okada’s downward spiral? Or will Okada use the Problem Solver to solve his losing problem?
But first, the Underboss has his own match in a rematch from the New Japan Cup quarterfinals. Fale lost to Hiroshi Tanahashi back then, but Tanahashi himself lost to Jay White, same as Okada. Can the Once in a Century Talent gain ground against an angry Fale? Or will the Firing Squad make their presence known once again?
NJPW and AXS give us another quick rundown on the other A Block matches.
Minoru Suzuki brutalized Yoshi-Hashi but the Head Hunter held his own. However, Suzuki’s Gotch Piledriver won it for the Man with the Worst Personality. Chaos’ Togi Makabe battled Los Ingobernables de Japon’s King of Darkness, EVIL, and they went all over the arena. The Uncaged King Kong would fall to Everything is EVIL, the signature STO, and Evil would get the win. For the third match of this third round, we jump right into it!
Jay White VS Michael Elgin!
The Switchblade says Chaos is now his faction, but he still has to prove it. We come into his match with The Unbreakable Big Mike as he brings Elgin up for a cobra clutch suplex! White calls for a finish, and brings Elgin up again. Eglin spins out of Blade Runner, but White elbows him away. White goes to run but Elgin reels him into a discus elbow! Elgin drags White up but White slips out. White lifts Elgin but Elgin knees out of the saido suplex. Elgin aims at the wobbly White and hits another discus elbow! Then the Half ‘n’ Half! Elgin runs, and clobbers White with a clothesline! He’s not done, he double underhooks for a sit-out Tigerbomb! Cover, TWO!? White survives by the thinnest of margins! Big Mike is surprised, but the fans are rallying for him.
Elgin drags White back up, takes aim at a corner, but White fights back. White’s huricanrana is blocked by pure strength! Elgin brings White back up, and buckle bombs him in the corner! But the referee gets caught in it, too! Elgin checks on the ref, then he goes back to White. White gives Big Mike a low blow uppercut to Little Mike! Then, Blade Runner! The referee returns to count the cover, White wins!
Winner: Jay White, by pinfall; White earns 2 points, Elgin earns 0
The Switchblade takes the lead in Block A by any means necessary. White wants to reign over Chaos and all of NJPW as THE IWGP Heavyweight Champion. Will his streak continue and bring him all the way to the G1 Climax Finals?
Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Bad Luck Fale!
The Ace and the Underboss go around one more time, but this New Japan Cup rematch might be marred if the Bullet Club splinter cell show themselves. Can the two-time G1 Climax winner put Fale away before the Guerrillas of Destiny arrive?
Well that’s gonna be hard to do now, as Tonga Loa accompanies the lean, mean, Tongan machine to the ring. Even so, Tanahashi stays focused on his opponent. Red Shoes checks both men and finds they’re clean. He tells Tonga Loa to hop down off the apron, and Loa obliges. The bell rings, and Tanahashi immediately hits Fale with a dropkick! Tanahashi stomps away at the legs, then puts on leg on the ropes for another dropkick. Fans fire up with The Ace as he goes after the legs with more stomps. Tanahashi whips Fale but Fale reverses. Fale runs in but Tanahashi dodges to chop block! Fans chant for Tanahashi as he stalks Fale. Tanahashi brings Fale around to kick that bad knee. Fale staggers to ropes but Tanahashi refuses to let up. Tanahashi runs, but Fale follows, only for Tanahashi to drop toehold him.
Tanahashi puts Fale’s legs into a deathlock, pulling back on both knees. Fale reaches back to grab at Tanahashi, but then reaches out to grab ropes. Tanahashi honors the ropebreak, but then stomps Fale more. Fale slips out of the ring, and voids Tanahashi’s slingshot plancha. But Tanahashi lands on the apron, to cannonball onto Fale! Fans are thunderous as Tanahashi fires up. Tanahashi drags Fale up, and has camera men clear out. He whips but Fale reverses, sending Tanahashi over the rails into commentary! Roppongi 3K’s Sho almost gets wiped out. Fale grabs a chair from one of the other commentary tables! Red Shoes tells him to put it down, but Fale refuses. Fale even threatens Red Shoes with it! But this is all to distract the ref from seeing Loa stomp Tanahashi out!
Sho and commentary try to get Red Shoes’ attention, but Loa backs off in time. Fale lets go of the chair and goes over to fetch Tanahashi. Fans clear out with help from the Young Lions, and Fale bowls for chairs using Tanahashi! Fans cheer Tanahashi in attempts to power him up, but Fale leaves him to the mercy of the 20 count. The count reaches 10 before Tanahashi reaches ringside. Tanahashi stands and enters at 14. Fale is right on him, and stands on his ribs! He backs off at 4, but then comes back to kick Tanahashi while he’s down. Fale drags Tanahashi up and puts him on the ropes to bend him backward. Red Shoes counts, and Fale lets off at 4 again. Tanahashi grits his teeth but Fale clubs his back. Fale puts Tanahashi back on the ropes for more clubbing forearms.
Tanahashi writhes to a corner but fans continue to rally. Fale wags a finger, their cheers won’t help Tanahashi. Fale gives Tanahashi big body shots, then a scoop slam. He sits on Tanahashi for the cover, TWO! Tanahashi crawls but Fale looms over him. Fale sits Tanahashi up for a nerve hold! Fale digs his fingers into Tanahashi’s trapezius, but fans rally more. Tanahashi feeds off the energy and gets to his feet. He fights back with elbows, then forearms. Fale staggers, but comes back with one big forearm of his own. Fale has Tanahashi in a corner, and gives him clubbing clotheslines from both sides. Tanahashi is down and dazed while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns, and Fale says “It’s too easy, man.” He looms over Tanahashi in the corner. He brings Tanahashi up and whips him corner to corner. Tanahashi comes running out to dropkick Fale’s bad leg! Tanahashi dropkicks it again, then again! He brings Fale back for a waistlock, but Fale is too big and strong for the German Suplex. Fale elbows out, but Tanahashi hits him back with a palm strike. Fale falls down, Tanahashi grabs the leg, for a grounded dragon screw! The screw drives Fale’s leg into the mat, and now Fale writhes as he clutches the knee. Tanahashi keeps on him with an attempt at the Cloverleaf. He props Fale up and works to roll him over, but Fale is still big and strong. They struggle against each other, but Tanahashi gets the hold!
Fale endures, and he powers his way out, sending Tanahashi all the way out of the ring! Tanahashi and Fale both take a few moments to recover. Fale goes out but Tanahashi gets back in. Tanahashi runs, but into Fale’s grip! Fale rocks Tanahashi with a right, but then Tanahashi dragon screws the leg between the ropes! Fans chant “Go Ace!” for Tanahashi as he takes aim. Tanahashi runs, sunset flip, but Fale sits on him! TWO, but barely! Loa coaches Fale up while the fans are on Tanahashi’s side. Fale runs and splashes! TWO, but still close! Tanahashi gasps for air while Fale brings him up. Tanahashi throws hands, then bobs ‘n’ weaves with Fale. He hits a European Uppercut, but runs into a lariat!
Fale drags Tanahashi up, but Tanahashi palm strikes before he can throw the Grenade thumb spike. Fale fireman carries Tanahashi instead, for the Samoan Drop! Both men are down from exhaustion but Fale makes the cover. TWO as Tanahashi survives. Fans rally up but Fale is first to stand. Fale brings Tanahashi up, preparing a powerbomb. Tanahashi slips out of the crucifix to huricanrana! Cover, TWO!! But Tanahashi comes back with a Slingblade, but Fale’s size and strength help him get out of it. Tanahashi rolls Fale up instead, TWO! Tanahashi tries a fisherman, but Fale scoops him. That bad leg gives way, and Tanahashi comes back with the swinging neckbreaker!
Fans rally again while Loa is worried. Tanahashi runs, the Slingblade hits! But he’s not done, as he goes top rope… High Fly Flow FLOPS as Fale moves! Tanahashi and Fale stir and stand while the fans are thunderous. Fale runs in for a big corner clothesline! Then he grabs Tanahashi, for the Grenade thumb thrust to choke slam! Cover, TWO!? Tanahashi survives that brutal combination, but Fale prepares a bomb! He lifts Tanahashi, crucifix but Tanahashi pops out to bring Fale down with an inverted bulldog! Tanahashi hurries up top, for the HIGH FLY FLOW! Cover, but Loa drags Red Shoes out!!
And he attacks Tanahashi! It was only a matter of time before it came to this. Loa stomps Tanahashi out while Fale slowly sits up. Fans boo the Firing Squad, but they don’t care. Loa brings Tanahashi up, and Fale prepares a lariat. Tanahashi ducks, the lariat hits Loa! Then Tanahashi Slingblades Fale down! But it’s Tama Tonga with a Gun Stun outta nowhere! The quintessential leader of the Firing Squad is here. He tells Tanahashi to never defy them. Fale covers, Tonga drags Red Shoes in, but Red Shoes says F U, Firing Squad! He calls for the DQ!
Winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi, by disqualification; Tanahashi earns 2 points, Fale earns 0
The Tongans are furious with Red Shoes, and Tama grabs him around the collar. But then they go after Tanahashi, stomping and punching away. No one makes the rescue, so the Firing Squad leave when they feel satisfied. Will anyone, from wrestlers to administration, stand up to this pack of wolves?
Kazuchika Okada VS Hangman Page!
The Rainmaker hasn’t been acting quite like himself since Kenny Omega took the title from him. He’s already lost twice, but is he so vulnerable as to give the Problem Solver a guaranteed win? Or is Hangman’s first G1 Climax too soon to defeat the former IWGP Heavyweight Champion?
The bell rings and fans cheer for Okada. Hangman tunes it out as he jaws with The Rainmaker. The two circle then tie up. Hangman gets the wristlock, but Okada rolls and reverses. Hangman rolls and reverses back to a hammerlock then snapmare. He puts Okada in a chinlock, but Okada gets up and out. Okada gets the hammerlock, but Hangman gets the ropebreak. Okada honors the break, and fakes his punch, to pat Hangman on the shoulders. He’s all smiles, but Hangman scowls. Okada ducks Hangman’s punch, then catches the boot. He shoves Hangman, having fun with him. Hangman runs into a drop toehold, and Okada grins while Hangman gets to a corner. Fans cheer him on but Hangman clotheslines him out! Hangman keeps going, and DIVES onto the downed Okada!
Hangman loves throwing caution to the wind, but even that was crazy. He gets up and mocking asks, “This is Okada now?” Hangman puts Okada back in the ring, then walks circles around him, like a shark with blood in the water. He shows off his strength with a pumphandle deadlift, into a brinding Fall Away Slam! TWO, but Hangman keeps hold of a leg to roll Okada around. Hangman chops Okada bluntly, then stalks him to a corner. Hangman stands Okada for another chop, then continues to question Okada’s character. He snapmares Okada into a chinlock, and he gives slaps to Okada’s head. Fans rally up and Okada fights out, but Hangman clubs him. Hangman runs into a boot, but he avoids Okada’s back senton. Hangman hits his standing shooting star! Cover, TWO, but Hangman keeps his cool.
Hangman toys with Okada, then drags him back up. He scoops Okada for the slam, then slingshots out and in for the senton atomico! Fans applaud his ability, but still rally up for Okada. Hangman sits Okada up for a neck wrench. Okada endures and works his way up. He fights back but Hangman ear claps him. Hangman whips but Okada reverses to a DDT! Both men are down, but Okada kips up! Okada runs and rallies with forearms and elbows. He whips but Hangman reverses, only for Okada to come back with a back elbow. Okada brings Hangman up but Hangman gives body shots and a forearm. Hangman runs, but into a flapjack! Cover, TWO!
Fans rally behind Okada as he runs corner to corner. Hangman dodges, then runs back in, but Okada dodges. Okada puts Hangman up top to dropkick him to the floor! Okada goes out slowly to fetch Hangman, not satisfied with a possible count out win. He rocks Hangman with a EuroUpper, then whips him at barriers. Okada runs and boots Hangman into the crowd! Young Lions help clear fans out while Okada walks over to fetch Hangman. Okada drags Hangman out but Hangman fights back. Hangman rocks Okada, then slingshots for the Buck Shot! Direct hit and both men are down while we go to break!
NJPW on AXS returns and Red Shoes checks on both men on the outside. Hangman stands first, and he drags Okada up and into the ring. He positions Okada in the drop zone before climbing up top. Fans rally up, and Hangman MOONSAULT! It FLOPS as Okada evades! Okada stands but Hangman runs in, only to get a boot. Hangman tries again but Okada gets him in Alabama Slam position. Hangman fights out and clubs Okada from behind. He whips Okada but Okada reverses, only to miss the dropkick. Hangman jackknifes and rolls to lift Okada, but Okada fights against the Rite. Okada gut wrenches but Hangman reverses to his own. Hangman changes from Tombstone to inverted cradle piledriver! Cover, TWO!! Okada barely survives, but now fans are dueling between the two.
Hangman sits up, and stares wild eyed at Okada. He brings Okada up, prepares the Rite, but Okada grabs the ropes. Hangman pulls but then dumps Okada off. Okada hits Hangman with a forearm, then hurries up top. Hangman stops Okada, then climbs up to join him. Fans fire up but Okada resists the superplex. Okada fights back with body shots, then throws a forearm. Hangman falls back, but comes back with a forearm of his own. Okada teeters while Hangman climbs up. They stand on the very top, for a SUPER neckbreaker! But Okada rolls out of the ring. Hangman goes to a corner and climbs up again. Fans anticipate what’s coming, it’s Hangman’s SUPER ASAI MOONSAULT! He hits Okada, then puts him in the ring. Fans have sided with Hangman now as he slingshots, for another Buck Shot! Cover, TWO!!
Okada survives again, but his eyes are staring into space. Hangman calls for the finish! He brings Okada up, into position, but Okada sunset flips! TWO, but barely, and Hangman runs into a waistlock. Okada German Suplexes, but Hangman lands on his feet! Hangman aims at Okada, runs corner to corner, for a big dropkick! Then a scoop, but Okada reverses, into the Tombstone! But Okada’s too exhausted to make a cover! Fans duel as they rally up. Okada sits up, but Hangman slowly follows. Okada throws a forearm, but Hangman comes back with one. Now Okada boots Hangman, and he dares Hangman to return it. Hangman swings but Okada ducks to give a EuroUpper. Okada blocks the Superkick but gets the roaring elbow!
Hangman whips but Okada reverses and hits the dropkick this time. He brings Hangman up, wrings him out, but misses to get a SUPERKICK! Hangman runs, but is put on the apron. He rocks Okada agian, slingshots but into the RAIN– No, Hangman tilt-o-whirls through, to powerbomb Okada! High stack, TWO, roaring elbow! Fans fire up again as Hangman brings Okada up. Okada slips out, for a discus clothesline! He’s not done there, he swings Hangman out for THE Rainmaker! Cover, Okada wins!
Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall; Okada earns 2 points, Hangman earns 0
Okada is finally on the board! His losing streak ends, but it was still a tough fight. He still has a long way to go, can he climb back up to the top of A Block? And while Hangman goes 1-2, he still shows so much promise. Will he manage his own turn around to the top of the G1?
“Finally, finally, finally, the first victory!” Fans applaud for that. Okada jokingly says it was an easy win. But he is happy, and he thanks the fans. Okada seems to be holding back the tears, but the fans cheer him. But then he’s totally fine as he says, “Still, the G1 tournament has only just begun. I will dominate. And make it rain.” Okada drops the mic, still confident in himself. He may be more relaxed than normal, but will he still make the climb?
Hangman knows that since losing the title, Okada “has been a damn mess.” But this match was more about beating “the man that was the champion”. If Hangman could do that, he could do anything. He felt how close he was to getting those points. But now he’s got a fire burning.
Okada apologizes for the wait. “To all of you enjoying the G1 Climax,” it’s great. He’s enjoying himself, too. He hasn’t lost sight of the prize. He’ll keep having fun as he keeps winning. Okada knows the title matters, his shot at Kenny Omega matters, but what really matters is that it will all be Okada’s. We know from the standings that Okada has a long way to go to catch up to Jay White, but if anyone can do it, it’s the Rainmaker. Will he do it? Or is it already too late to take it all back?
I was hoping to see these moments from the G1 Climax. It was a nice surprise to get the last bit of White VS Elgin, and White going on this quick 3-0 tear is definitely a sign that NJPW appreciates his talent. Even if White doesn’t go to the Finals, his victories will definitely lead him to something. Plus, he and Okada need to settle who is truly leader of Chaos before it ends up like the Bullet Club Civil War. Then speaking of, obviously the Firing Squad would try to cheat. It backfired on them and Tanahashi gets the points, and as we know in real time, NJPW the company would issue a statement and “suspend” the Firing Squad in order to let the G1 Climax finish cleanly. This could go any direction after the “suspension” is over, it’s definitely intriguing.
Okada VS Hangman was great, and the stories involved are well thought out. Okada finally gets points, and he clearly feels some weight off his shoulders now. He vows to be back to his dominant ways soon enough, but that almost promises he’s not. This with White challenging his command of Chaos, Okada has a lot on his plate for the rest of the year. Hangman himself isn’t deterred, he knows he’s getting to that level. It’s only a matter of time before Hangman has his first singles title in NJPW, I’m really excited for when he gets that moment.
My Score: 8.2/10