Wrestling Dontaku 2018 has its AXS TV finale as two of the best in NJPW fight for THE title, the IWGP Heavyweight Championship! The Rainmaker has tied The Ace in successful title defenses at 10. Now Kazuchika Okada goes for the record, but can he keep Hiroshi Tanahashi from taking the title?
This review of Wrestling Dontaku 2018 will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Therefore, all images are courtesy of AXS TV.
Gifs courtesy of http://frentique.tumblr.com
- IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada VS Hiroshi Tanahashi; Okada wins and retains the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS TV review what led to this major match.
The magic number is 11. That’s because both Kazuchika Okada and Hiroshi Tanahashi reached 11 successful defenses in their respective IWGP Heavyweight Championship reigns. However, The Ace, who vowed to “bring new life to NJPW”, feels a champion “should be super strong, almost disgustingly so.” But Okada was the one to stop his reign. Something about Okada reminded Tanahashi of himself in that 12th defense. Okada won and went on to have his own winning streak of 11 defenses. Tanahash has to admit Okada “reached another level”, and “has found a new passage as champion.” This is the Okada Era.
But Okada ran out of contenders, so Gedo dared anyone to step up. And that was Tanahashi’s moment. They’re tied, so Tanahashi vows to end Okada’s reign no matter what. “The situation was perfect.” Only Tanahashi could challenge in this moment. But Okada would point out Tanahashi’s cycle of injuries and returns. Tanahashi admits to that. But he will deliver for the fans. Okada agrees this match just makes sense. And both men want to be the champion. Will the Ace triumph with #Love&Energy? Or will Okada make it rain once again?
IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada VS Hiroshi Tanahashi!
The Once in a Century Talent set the record, but the Rainmaker tied it. Both men stand at 11, and history hinges on this match! Will Okada make or will Tanahashi break the streak?
The belt is presented while we take a short break.
NJPW on AXS returns, and the match officially begins. The fans are already thunderous, cheering for The Ace. Tanahashi and Okada stare down, then approach. They feel it out, but Okada backs off. Okada comes back and they circle. They tie up, and Okada powers Tanahashi back step by step. They reach the ropes, and Okada honors the break. Tanahashi turns things around, swings but misses, and Okada goes for the chop, but stops just before the hit. He instead gives Tanahashi a pat on the shoulder, then backs off. Tanahashi and Okada circle again, then tie up again. Tanahashi gets the waistlock, but Okada reverses to an arm wrench, only for Tanahashi to do the same. Okada rolls, wrenches, but Tanahashi reverses again. Okada falls to a knee, Tanahashi shifts to a hammerlock. They stand, and Okada works for a way out.
Okada gets the hammerlock but Tanahashi turns it right back around. Tanahashi shifts to a headlock and grinds Okada to his knees. Okada works his way up and bearhugs back, but he can’t power out of the headlock. Tanahashi grinds more, but Okada pushes Tanahashi’s face now. Okada tries again, but still can’t escape Tanahashi’s hold. Fans rally and Okada stands. Tanahashi gets the headlock takeover, and Okada can’t get the headscissors counter. Tanahashi traps an arm, but Okada works with his other. They stand up again, and Okada pries off the hold, but Tanahashi powers him back in. Okada uses body shots now, and goes after the hold again. Okada gets out and puts it onto Tanahashi!
Tanahashi fights out and powers Okada off, but Okada runs him over. Okada poses then gets moving again, but things speed up. Okada wants his Rainmaker lariat now, but Tanahashi ducks and gets around. Tanahashi goes for a full nelson, but Okada fights out of the lift, only to run into an arm-drag. Okada headscissors but Tanahashi pops out, and roles reverse as Okada arm-drags and Tanahashi headscissors. Okada pops out, the two stand off, and fans applaud. Both men catch their breath and stand up. They circle again, and fans are still thunderous for Tanahashi. They tie up, Tanahashi gest the arm but Okada forearms and elbows him off. Okada whips but Tanahashi reverses, then blocks Okada’s kick. Tanahashi elbows the knee, then chop blocks it!
Tanahashi runs, but into the tilt-o-whirl. He slips out and dropkicks the knee, and Okada staggers to a corner. Tanahashi runs in, but misses the splash, and Okada puts him up top. Okada returns the favor and dropkicks Tanahashi down! Tanahashi holds onto the ropes to keep himself from hitting the floor. He skins the cat, but Okada is there, and looks to turn that headscissors into the Tombstone. Tanahashi keeps grip of the ropes, so Okada turns him around for the draping DDT off the top rope! Tanahashi clutches his head while Okada sits up. Okada slides out of the ring, and walks around to bring Tanahashi out with him. Okada whips Tanahashi at the railings, then adds the boot! Tanahashi tumbles up and over, and Okada drags him back up. Okada drags Tanahashi up onto the railing and gives Tanahashi another draping DDT!
Tanahashi hits the floor mats, and Red Shoes checks on him. Tanahashi is okay to continue, so Okada rolls into the ring to wait for him. The 20 count begins, and reaches 7 before Tanahashi stirs. Tanahashi stands up at 14 to get in at 15. Fans applaud, but Okada is on him again. Okada drags Tanahashi up, snapmare and running dropkick! Okada stands on Tanahashi to pose, riding the line of confident and cocky. He lets up, and Tanahashi slowly stands. Tanahashi hits with forearms, but Okada eggs him on. Tanahashi throws more and more, but Okada drops him with a European Uppercut. Okada checks his teeth, then goes back to Tanahashi. He brings Tanahashi up and bumps him off buckle pads.
Okada gives forearms, then dares Tanahashi to hit back. Tanahashi does, and his forearms back Okada down now. Okada boots, Tanahashi punches, then Okada clubs Tanahashi down. Tanahashi sits in a corner, and Okada stomps a mudhole into him. Okada drags Tanahashi up, then snapmares him into a chinlock. He traps an arm, but Tanahashi reaches and flails. Tanahashi powers up as fans rally for him, and he fights his way up and out. Okada grinds in a knee and brings Tanahashi down for a chinbar. Tanahashi endures the wrenching and twisting of his neck, but Okada shifts back to the chinlock. Tanahashi stands up and fights out. Okada clubs Tanahashi again, then turns him around, but Tanahashi grabs Okada to bring him around, for Tanahashi’s neckbreaker! Fans cheer while both men stir and we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns, and both men stand up. Tanahashi throws forearms, then ducks Okada’s to throw more. He whips Okada but Okada reverses, only for Tanahashi to knock him down with a leaping forearm! Tanahashi stands and dropkicks Okada in the corner. He whips Okada corner to corner but Okada reverses, but Tanahashi dropkicks his leg out! Tanahashi stands first, then runs, but Okada ducks and speeds up to run him over with a back elbow. Okada catches his breath and checks on his leg while Tanahashi stands. Okada whips Tanahashi corner to corner and back elbows, then kicks to DDT. Cover, TWO, but barely.
Okada keeps his cool, and brings Tanahashi back up. He scoop slams, then goes up top. He takes aim, but has to jump over Tanahashi. Tanahashi dodges in the corner then runs back, but into Okada’s Alabama lift. Tanahashi flails, but Okada still gives him the reverse neckbreaker! Okada bring Tanahashi back up, scoops him and slams him again, then goes back up top. He really wants this move, and leaps for the flying elbow! Okada hits, but he doesn’t cover. Okada poses for the Raimaker, but Tanahashi gets up in his face. Tanahashi kicks, Okada blocks, but then Okada kicks and Tanahashi blocks. Tanahashi dragon screws the leg! Okada slips out of the ring, hobbling even. Tanahashi runs, goes to the top rope, and LEAPS!
The High Fly Flow crossbody wipes Okada out and fans are fired up! Tanahashi gets up first, and brings Okada up for a forearm. He then has people clear out, and runs at Okada, but into a tilt-o-whirl and the TOMBSTONE! Both men are down, but Red Shoes checks on Tanahashi with concern for his head and neck. Fans are also concerned for the two men’s well-being. The 20 count begins, and reaches 15 before either man stirs! Okada gets in at 17, then Tanahashi springs to life to beat it at 19.5! The match continues, but both men are tired and sore.
Both men slowly stir as fans rally up. Okada and Tanahashi crawl towards each other, grinding forehead to forehead before throwing forearms. Each shot takes a lot to give, and a lot to take. Okada hits, Tanahashi hits, repeat. Tanahashi stands and hits Okada, but Okada stands to give one back. Tanahashi hits again, then Okada hits again, repeat. Okada staggers, and gives a European Uppercut. Tanahashi staggers, so Okada gives him another, and another. Tanahashi drops to the mat, and Okada wants him to get up again. Fans rally for Tanahashi as well while Red Shoes checks on him. Okada toys with Tanahashi as The Ace tries to stand. Tanahashi gets up, and throws furios forearms! Okada gives them back and they go back and forth, again and again.
Okada staggers, gets up, gives a shot but then Tanahashi staggers him again. Tanahashi fires off and tops it off with a EuroUpper of his own! Tanahashi kicks Okada around, toying with him now. He brings Okada up, whips but Okada reverses. Tanahashi holds the ropes to avoid the dropkick, then runs, Okada goes for the flapjack but Tanahashi clubs out to hit the swinging neckbreaker! Tanahashi runs, and hits the Slingblade! Cover, TWO! But Tanahashi won’t slow down! Tanahashi climbs up top, takes aim, HIGH FLY– FLOP! Okada narrowly avoids the splash, and we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns, and Okada gets up first this time. He stalks Okada, and dropkicks him in the back. He brings Tanahashi up, whips, and dropkicks him again. But Okada won’t stop there, he brings Tanahashi up. Okada swings him out, but Tanahashi counters the Rainmaker with a Slingblade!
Tanahashi can’t get to the cover, he’s too sore. Okada himself is dazed, but fans are thunderous. Red Shoes checks on both men, but they’re okay to continue. Tanahashi and Okada stir while Gedo drums the apron. Gedo coaches Okada up, but Okada can barely move. Okada and Tanahashi slowly move towards each other, and slowly get back up. Okada scoops, he wants the Tombstone again but Tanahashi resists. Tanahashi holds onto Okada’s leg to deny the lift. Tanahashi lifts Okada! But he can’t hold Okada up as Okada counters. Okada gets Tanahashi up, but Tanahashi fights out and puts Okada in a corner. Tanahashi turns around, but Okada blasts him down with a dropkick!
Okada grins as he crawls over to Tanahashi. He brings Tanahashi up, but Tanahashi gut wrenches! Tanahashi staggers, readjusts, and gives Okada the Tombstone! But no cover as Tanahashi turns Okada onto his belly, to then climb up top! Tanahashi aims, and High Fly Flow to the back! He turns Okada back over, climbs up again, and High Fly Flow but into knees! Both men are down again, but the fans haven’t slowed down at all. Okada crawls after Tanahashi, and they both stand up. Okada goes for but Tanahshi dodges. Tanahashi swings but Okada gets around, German Suplex with bridge! ONE?! And Tanahashi is all fired up! He swings on Okada, but Okada gets around. Okada swings Tanahashi out, but Tanahashi ducks, Snap Dragon Suplex!
Tanahashi keeps going, but runs into the dropkick, yet stands right back up to Slingblade Okada again! Both men are down again, exhausted, sore and maybe even dazed. Tanahashi sits up first, and gets himself to the corner. He climbs up again, but Okada stands. Tanahashi leaps, but Okada dropkicks the crossbody out of the sky! Tanahashi rolls around from the impact while Okada stands and roars. Okada drags Tanahashi up, swings him out, but Tanahashi ducks. Tanahashi swings Okada out and steals the Rainmaker! Cover, ONE! Okada won’t be beat by his own move. Okada drags himself to the ropes but the fans rally for Tanahashi. Tanahashi and Okada stand, and Tanahashi SLAPS Okada.
Okada comes back but gets another strong strike. Tanahashi gives Okada another, and another. Okada staggers, but he still comes back for more. Tanahashi clubs and slaps Okada, then drags Okada up. Okada grabs him, swings him out, but Tanahashi slaps the Rainmaker away. Okada keeps hold of the wrist, though, and tries again, but Tanahashi just slaps him again. The grip still stays, so Tanahashi slaps hima gain! That gets Okada to let go. Tanahashi gets himself going again, but Okada reels him in, swings him out, RAINMAKER!!
Cover, Okada wins!!
Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall; still IWGP Heavyweight Champion
IT HAS HAPPENED! Okada makes history with this twelfth successful defense! NJPW history was made in the most epic fashion it could be. Both men need ice, the common denominator of this match. Tanahashi is helped up while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns once more.
The champion stands, and is presented with the winner card to commemorate his achievement, as well as the belt he fought so hard to keep. Gedo helps Okada put it on while Tanahashi is helped to the back. Red Shoes raises Okada’s hand, and the fans applaud. Gedo takes the mic to speak. “As expected, Okada cruised to a new record.” However, this was just another box to check off for him. No one can stop Okada, “Not now, not ever!” Why is that? “Beeeecause he’s on a whole ‘nother level!” To close out Wrestling Dontaku 2018, Gedo shall pass the mic to the “utterly flawless IWGP Heavyweight Champion”, The Rainmaker, Okada himself.
Okada speaks, saying “I wanna say three things.” First: however you address Hiroshi Tanahashi, “he is tough.” Second: Okada did it. 12 in a row! Though he admits, he doesn’t really care about setting records, he just wants to be the best IWGP champion he can. Third: There isn’t a third. Well, that’s what he wishes he could say. But in regards to his next challenger, seems no one is stepping up. “I guess they’re all afraid.” From Marufuji to Kenny Omega to Minoru Suzuki to Shibata to Bad Luck Fale, a draw with Kenny, to Cody, to EVIL, to Naito, to Sanada, to ZSJ, to Tanahashi. Fans applaud for that impressive list. Okada remembers that draw, though. Yes, in Osaka-Jo Hall, it was a 60 minute draw. Fans sense where he’s going with this. “KENNY OMEGA!” And Kenny appears!
Kenny Omega heads to the ring to stand with Okada. Okada tells Omega that “I can’t settle for a draw in my title reign.” But they ran out of time last match. So let’s do it again, no draws, NO time limits! Fans like the sound of that. Omega picks up the mic and says, “I think we can do even better than that, Kazuchika. How about a best of three match?” Okada’s response: “No time limits, best of three. I like it, that sounds fun!” And they’ll use it to finish what they started in Osaka-Jo. The match is set, and Omega takes his leave, ready to prepare.
As for Okada, he is excited for victory number 13. Then 14, 15, and so on past 100. He will then return here as champion, and once again, MAKE IT RAIN!! Okada soaks in the spotlight as his confetti rains down. Will Okada add on to his historic reign? Or will 13 be bad luck when going against The Cleaner?
Tanahashi admits he lost when it counted. But he won’t give up. He vows to become stronger, with tears in his eyes. “The best version of me is yet to come!”
Okada admits that while he said he doesn’t care, he wondered if he’d feel something about breaking the record. He won, but it just felt like any other defense. Though he must also again acknowledge that Tanahashi is tough. Okada is glad he won.
Omega thanks his fans for supporting him, but the journey is not over. The biggest, most difficult match is coming, but “we always make magic at Dominion.” Omega and Okada will bring the best out of each other. “See you there. Good-bye, and good-night, BANG.” The Cleaner, the Rainmaker, one more time. Will Omega finally take the title for his own?
Truly amazing action here with just one match. As noted by commentary, NJPW built itself back up by putting themselves on Tanahashi’s back, and obviously that succeeded. Then NJPW has built Okada up organically, and Okada himself puts his all into his matches to earn that push. And it all makes sense in both kayfabe and business to put the two historically best against each other to more or less pass that torch and come full circle. Okada being the record setter is great, and then upping the ante with the Okada-Omega rematch in Best of Three Falls is more than fitting. Nothing else would’ve been good enough for Dominion 2018, or for Omega to take that belt. [Highlight for Spoilers]
My Score: 9/10
Mitchell’s WWE NXT UK Results & Report! (2/20/19)
It’s Storm VS Ripley, Round 3 for the NXT UK Women’s Championship in Phoenix!
NXT UK continues in Phoenix with a massive Women’s Championship rematch! Tied at 1-1, will it be Rhea Ripley or Toni Storm that comes out on top?
- Mark Andrews & Flash Morgan Webster VS The Coffey Brothers; The Coffey Brothers win.
- Trent Seven VS Shane Thorne; Seven wins.
- NXT UK Women’s Championship: Toni Storm VS Rhea Ripley; Storm wins and retains the NXT UK Women’s Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
The NXT UK Women’s Championship saga continues!
The Mosh Pit Kid was furious that she lost the title to the Lightning Down Under. Rhea Ripley believes she’s the best of both worlds, but Toni Storm will happily beat her again. There’s no more time for talk, they settle the score tonight! Who stands tall at the conclusion of this epic rivalry?
Mark Andrews & Flash Morgan Webster VS The Coffey Brothers!
The Welsh Air Force has come close but just missed the mark when it comes to the NXT UK Tag Team Championships. As for Joe and Mark Coffey, they finally give it a go! Will Gallus go through Andrews & Webster and straight for the gold?
The teams sort out and Webster starts against Coffey. They go around and tie up, Mark gets a waistlock slam! Mark is right on Webster with a biel! Webster boots back and fights out of the Gallus corner, only to run into a CHOP! Mark tags Joe and the brothers work together to scoop slam Webster. Joe keeps Webster from Andrews and stomps out his stomach. Joe pops Webster up but Webster lands on his feet to dropkick Joe! Tag to Andrews! Andrews runs and headscissors, but Joe blocks! Joe brings Andrews up but Andrews slips out to boot Joe away! Andrews hops up, flying headscissors! Andrews slides and Peles! Mark tags in and Joe reverses the whip. Joe feeds Andrews to Mark for a waistlock. Andrews fights out and runs, but into the pop-up European Uppercut!
Mark hits Webster for good measure before stomping Andrews out. Mark throws heavy body shots then scoop slams Andrews fast. He drops knees on Andrews’ back, then pushes him to the corner. Tag to Joe and the brothers mug Andrews. Joe keeps Andrews from Webster as he stomps Andrews more. Joe throws body shots against the ropes, then in the corner. Andrews can barely cover up as Joe throws hands. Joe whips corner to corner hard and Andrews bounces off the buckles! Joe drags Andrews over and tags in Mark. The Coffey Brothers continue to mug and isolate Andrews. Fans rally up as Mark full nelsons Andrews. Mark drags Andrews over, tag to Joe. The Coffey Brothers double wrench, lift and CHOP Andrews down! Joe keeps Andrews away from Webster again with a full nelson of his own.
Joe thrashes Andrews around then grinds him to the mat. Andrews endures and fans rally up. Andrews stands and slips out, but Joe sees the wheelbarrow coming. Joe elbows and clubs Andrews down. Andrews almost reaches Webster, but Joe stops him just inches away. Joe uses the butterfly full nelson, but fans rally up. Joe swings Andrews around and around, then throws him overhead! Cover, TWO! Andrews lives but Joe stays right on him. Joe whips Andrews to the Coffey corner, but Andrews fights out! Andrews runs, but into a bomb! He slips out, hot tag to Webster! The Modfather rallies on the Coffey boys! Webster throws EuroUppers, but runs into a lift. Webster lands on his feet, gets around, goes around, big crossbody and fast hands!
Phoenix fires up as Webster hits the springboard quebrada on Mark! Webster runs corner to corner but is put on the apron. Webster hits back with a swift knee! And he Tiger Feints to huricanrana Joe into barriers! Webster leaps up and over Mark, knee trigger! Tag to Andrews and Webster gives him the assist on the standing 450! Cover, but Joe breaks it! The Coffey Brothers regroup but Webster is on them. Joe throws Webster out then tags in. Joe goes at Andrews but gets CHOP after CHOP! Andrews throws forearms, too, but Joe pushes him back. Joe blocks the tilt-o-whirl DDT, but Webster tags in on the back side! Webster knee triggers Joe then gives Andrews a boost, tornado DDT!
Joe bails out and Mark runs in, for a Modfather headbutt! Andrews and Webster double FLY onto both brothers! They quickly get Joe in, Andrews tags. Webster wrenches, but Joe pushes him away. Joe gets clear of Andrews for a corner splash! Joe suplexes, Stun-Dog Millionaire! Hot tag to Webster! Webster climbs and Andrews DIVES onto Mark! But Mark catches Andrews for a suplex onto the apron! Webster sentons but onto Joe’s knees! Joe SPEARS Webster to the corner and tags Mark. Mark rocks Webster with a forearm, Joe tops it off with All the Best for the Bells! Cover, the Coffey Brothers win!
Winners: The Coffey Brothers, Mark Coffey pinning
Gallus is as gallus does! The Coffey Brothers have begun their tag team quest in NXT UK, when and where will they reach the tag team titles?
Welcome to the Nina Samuels Show.
Ladies and gentlemen, please take your seats, the show is about to begin. The Rose Pink Devil looks to take center stage, but when and where will the spotlight finally shine?
Jordan Devlin speaks.
“This is the Irish Ace, Jordan Devlin, back in beautiful Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland.” He’s fresh off another MVP performance in the Worlds Collide tournament. But Travis Banks had to stick his nose in Devlin’s business. Devlin will make this clear: grow eyes in the back of your head. They’re far from through. Will Ace and Buzzsaw ever be through with each other?
NXT UK, get ready for Kay Lee Ray.
What makes KLR the best woman in NXT UK already? It’s not confidence, it’s not her red hair, it’s not even that she’s Scottish. It’s that she’s smart. She’ll show everyone around the world what she can do. She had to watch and wait, but that means she knows what everyone is capable of. It doesn’t matter if it’s Storm, Ripley or any of these other “girls”. It only matters that KLR is here now.
Trent Seven VS Shane Thorne!
The man from Mustache Mountain wants to be NXT UK Tag Team Champion with Tyler Bate, but he’ll show he can still get it done in singles competition! Will he get a win against The Worst of NXT?
The bell rings and the two circle. They tie up and go around, and Seven pushes Thorne towards a corner. Thorne pushes Seven towards the other corner, but Seven escapes to a waistlock then headlock. They end up on the ropes and they separate. Seven and Thorne circle and tie up again. Seven gets the arm and wrenches, keeping Thorne from ropes. Fans applaud as Seven wrenches Thorne down to the mat. Thorne moves around and reverses the wrench. Seven reverses back but Thorne rocks him with a right. Thorne bumps Seven off buckles then chops him! Seven CHOPS back! And CHOPS him! And CHOPS him! Seven fires up but Thorne gets a headlock. Seven powers out but Thorne runs him over.
Things speed up and Thorne whips Seven, only for Seven to come back with a crossbody! Cover, TWO! Thorne hurries to a corner but Seven runs in for a big clothesline! Seven whips corner to corner but Thorne reverses. Thorne runs in but is put on the apron. Thorne grabs hair and beard, then hotshots Seven’s arm! The referee reprimands Thorne but Thorne drags Seven into the post. Thorne pulls the arm into the steel, but lets up at 4. Thorne goes back into the ring to scrape and kick and stomp Seven in the corner. He stands Seven up to wrench the arm and bring Seven to the mat. Fans rally up while Seven endures. Seven powers up and fights back but Thorne throws him down by his hair. Thorne kicks away on Seven then covers, TWO!
Thorne keeps on Seven with a keylock. Seven endures but fans rally up again. Seven powers up and hits a stunner! Thorne staggers back, into a CHOP! And another CHOP! Seven fakes the chop to hit the DDT! Thorne flounders while fans fire up with Seven. Seven runs corner to corner for another CHOP! Snap Dragon Suplex! Scoop driver! Cover, TWO! Seven goes for and gets the Figure Four! Thorne endures the legendary leg lock and fans are shouting. Seven and Thorne start slapping each other! Thorne manages to turn the hold over, putting the pressure on Seven! Seven turns it back over, but then Thorne gets the ropebreak. They end up on the apron while the leg lock is still on, so Thorne turns and brings them both crashing to the ground!
Thorne is laughing as he and Seven separate. They stand and Seven chops Thorne. Thorne throws a haymaker, but Seven chops back. They brawl as the ring count climbs. Thorne back suplexes Seven on the apron at 7! Thorne climbs up top but Seven runs over to CHOP him back. Seven and Thorne fight with chops, and Seven gets an edge. Seven climbs up to join Thorne, for a SUPERPLEX! Cover, TWO! Thorne survives but Seven isn’t done with him yet. Seven goes for the Figure Four again but Thorne cradles! TWO, and Seven CHOPS Thorne. Thorne throws haymakers but Seven throws CHOPS! Seven throws slapping body shots but Thorne throws a EuroUpper. Thorne gloats but Seven grabs him for the wristlock ripcord. Thorne slips through to ripcord Seven for a kitchen sink knee! Then he double chicken wings, pop-up to a German Suplex! Cover, TWO!!
Seven survives but Thorne is right on the bad arm! Thorne folds the arm for a modified crossface, but Seven slips through. Seven fights out with elbows and chops. Ripcord, Seven Star Lariat!! Cover, Seven wins!
Winner: Trent Seven, by pinfall
The man from Mustache Mountain bests the Worst in their first singles encounter! Will this help Seven reach the top of the mountain in the singles division as well as the tag division?
Backstage interview with Jack Gallagher.
The Ungentle Gentleman was last in NXT UK at the Royal Albert Hall and the inaugural WWE United Kingdom Championship tournament. Gallagher sees NXT UK making history itself, but will he be joining for more action? That’s a question for GM Johnny Saint to answer. What will Saint’s answer be in regards to having the 205 Live Cruiserweight crossing over?
NXT UK Media catches up with Joseph Conners.
The Righteous Killer trains at the new UK Performance Center as he speaks on “breaking the shiny new toys.” However, he lost to Ligero- Stop right there. He and Ligero have a long history. But Conners will tell everyone that his loss was just an off day. Those off days are long behind him. Conners is more focused than ever, and he will show everyone that he always has and always will be better than the Leeds Luchador. Will Ligero be the shiniest toy Conners breaks?
The Grizzled Young Veterans head to the ring!
Zack Gibson and James Drake are in Phoenix as the inaugural NXT UK Tag Team Champions, but they’ll also defend them during this state-side excursion. Gibson takes the mic and introduces himself as Liverpool’s Number One, and introduces Drake. Together, they are the Grizzled Young Veterans. “For 13 long, hard years,” they traveled the world to show everyone what they already knew. And now they stand before the fans “with these shiny new NXT UK tag titles, which prove exactly what we already knew: that we are the very best tag team anywhere around the world!”
But being the best does have a drawback. Gibson would much rather be home in Liverpool, sitting back and enjoying his life. But instead, they’ve been dragged against their will to this desert, just so they can educate the “ignorant Yanks” as to why British Wrestling is the best, and as to why GYV are the best of the best. Johnny Saint insisted they make the trip. Saint insisted they have the best competition. But no, Gibson and Drake are the best competition. The other teams should be flying to the UK to find them. The GYV have set a new standard. Any tag team from 205 Live or NXT USA, line up because GYV are not impressed. Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch, come challenge them, because they are the standard-bearers SOON to be recognized as “the most important” team anywhere in the WWE.
Speaking of, the One Two Combination head right out! Lorcan & Burch want Gibson & Drake to hold their horses. On behalf of Phoenix, please shut up! No one wants to hear what Gibson’s got to say. But Burch has said it a million times, he’s proud to be British. But he’s also proud to represent the American NXT, the one Gibson claims has no competition. Nothing makes Burch prouder than to team with Lorcan. Now they’re supposed to wait for the match until next week, but why wait? Lorcan & Burch rush the ring, but Gibson & Drake bail out. Fans boo as the Grizzled Young Veterans take their titles and run. The champs fight on their time, but will their time be up very soon?
NXT UK Women’s Championship: Toni Storm VS Rhea Ripley!
The first time, the Mosh Pit Kid shocked the world when she beat the Lightning Down Under to become the first-ever champion. The second time was finally #ToniTime. Now in the third time around, the score will be settled. Who will take the title back to the UK after burning it down in Phoenix?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and Rhea sucker punches Toni! Rhea rains down rights on Toni but the referee tries to restore order. Rhea throws Toni into the corner but Toni staggers back up. Toni wants the match to happen, so the ref rings the bell. Rhea is right on her again! The ref counts but Rhea rams shoulders in until 4! Rhea stalks Toni to another corner and stomps a mudhole in! She drags Toni up to whip but Toni holds ropes. Rhea goes after her with more furious forearms, and then throws her down on the mat. Rhea stomps Toni then talks trash. She whips Toni but Toni redirects and dropkicks Rhea down! Cover, ONE!
Toni stays on Rhea with EuroUppers! Toni rocks Rhea to the ropes and throws forearms of her own. The ref backs Toni off, Rhea yanks Toni into the ropes! Rhea then yanks Toni out of the ring and to the floor! Rhea tells the fans to shut up as she clubs Toni around. She rams Toni into the apron then refreshes the count. Rhea rams Toni into the apron again, then scoops her to ram her into the post! She dumps Toni back in and covers, TWO! Fans rally up for Toni but Rhea stomps her more. Rhea drags Toni up for clubbing forearms. Rhea mocks the fans for cheering Toni on, so the fans boo and jeer Rhea. The Mosh Pit Kid grounds ‘n’ pounds Toni then pulls her hair! The ref counts and Rhea lets up at 4. Rhea wraps Toni up in body scissors and squeezes.
Toni endures and fans rally again. Rhea pulls Toni’s hair more but Toni turns it to a cover, ONE! Rhea keeps the squeeze on and thrashes Toni about, but Toni makes it another cover. ONE, and Rhea rolls Toni to a cover of her own. TWO, and Toni is still in the scissors. Rhea rolls her again, TWO, and Toni starts stomping the back of Rhea’s head! Toni stomps her way out of the hold! Rhea scrambles away from Toni as fans fire up. Toni throws big forearms but Rhea shoves and dropkicks her down! Cover, TWO! Rhea keeps her cool while she stalks Toni. “You think you’re so good!” Rhea slaps Toni around then drags her up. Toni hits back with palm strikes and forearms, but Rhea knees low. Rhea throws Toni to the mat again, then looms over her as fans boo.
Rhea stands on Toni’s hair and flexes! She lets up at 4, but then stomps Toni to get the legs. Rhea lifts Toni in the inverted cloverleaf! Toni endures while fans rally up. Toni crawls her way towards the ropes, then rolls to throw Rhea out! Rhea hurries back up but Toni roundhouses her back down. Toni builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit wipes Rhea out! Toni drags Rhea back in and gets a waistlock, German Suplex! Rhea flounders to a corner as fans fire up with Toni. Toni runs in for the hip attack! Then she waistlocks Rhea again, German Suplex! Bridging cover, TWO! Toni keeps focus as she drags Rhea back up.
Toni underhooks, but Rhea resists. Rhea slips out to throw forearm after forearm! She clobbers Toni with a clothesline! Rhea drags Toni up for another! Rhea drags Toni up again, but Toni dodges to hit a backstabber! Both women are down but fans fire up. A standing count begins and reaches 5 before either woman sits up. Toni and Rhea meet at 7 to start throwing forearms from the mat. They brawl as they head back to their feet. Rhea SLAPS Toni, then runs, but Toni rocks her with a forearm! Toni whips but Rhea reverses to boot! Rhea swings but Toni dodges to headbutt! Toni falls on the cover, TWO!!
Rhea survives but Toni keeps going. Toni drags herself to a corner then wills herself up top. Rhea trips her up! Rhea CHOPS Toni but Toni headbutts back! Toni adjusts, but Rhea enziguris her down! Rhea roars as she climbs up to join Toni. SUPERPLEX! Rhea crawls to the high stack cover, TWO!! Toni barely escapes and Rhea can’t believe it! Rhea stomps away on Toni then drags her back up. Rhea scoop slams Toni into the corner then stomps a mudhole! She backs off at 4 then drags Toni up. “You think it’s Toni Time, huh!?” Rhea throws heavy hands on the dazed Toni. Rhea runs in, but Toni goes up and over, sending Rhea into post! Toni floats over, underhooks, Storm Zero!! Cover, Toni wins!!
Winner: Toni Storm, by pinfall; still NXT UK Women’s Champion
The trilogy concludes and the Lightning strikes! Toni Time can finally move on, who will be her first fresh challenger on the Road to Wrestlemania Weekend?
Another great episode of NXT UK. Good to see the Coffey Brothers have a tag team match. Obviously while the WWE United Kingdom Championship is reserved for Walter come the next UK TakeOver, it’s good for Joe and Mark to try the tag team division. They have a great match with Andrews & Webster, and obviously win to keep themselves strong. Of course, Gallus likely won’t challenge for the tag titles without Mustache Mountain being involved. Gibson gives another solid promo, and the exchange with Lorcan & Burch was good, too. Grizzled Young Veterans VS Lorcan & Burch is going to be a fun match next week, but pretty sure GYV retains. They won’t lose those titles until Mustache Mountain is involved. The next UK TakeOver might even up the intensity by making it a Triple Threat, since a simple rematch of GYV VS MM would be hard to outdo the original.
Seven VS Thorne was good, and it’s good to see Thorne showing up in NXT UK. WWE Worlds Collide was used to tease Thorne coming over now that he no longer has Nick Miller for a tag partner. “The Worst” can help the UK midcard grow, but I wouldn’t say he’s midcard title material just yet. The same for Jack Gallagher. It’s great to have crossovers between NXT UK, NXT and 205 Live, but I don’t see Gallagher winning a title just yet. Devlin hypes a rematch with Travis Banks, and that match will be incredible, especially if they get a special stipulation. Then the main event, the Women’s Championship was another instant classic. Rhea going after Toni’s back was good referencing of the story from their first match. Naturally Toni wins, because it is time to move on to new challengers.
My Score: 8.4/10
Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Results & Report! (2/19/19)
Who’s next for the unstoppable Buddy Murphy?
The Cruiserweight Champion continues to be the Juggernaut, Buddy Murphy! Who will step up to challenge him next? Do they stand a chance of dethroning him?
- TJP VS Humberto Carrillo; Carrillo wins.
- Ariya Daivari VS Johnny Lyons; Daivari wins.
- Mike Kanellis w/ Maria VS Cedric Alexander; Alexander wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
At Elimination Chamber, The Cruiserweight Champion outlasted the Stamina Monster!
Buddy Murphy took everything Akira Tozawa threw at him, but it wasn’t enough to slow down the Juggernaut. Now we move to the home stretch of the Road to Wrestlemania. Starting next week, there will be another Cruiserweight tournament! The winner of the field of eight will take on Buddy Murphy in New York! Therefore, tonight’s matches are a last-minute moment to make a case for entering the tournament!
First up, a first-ever match of the first-ever (New Era) Cruiserweight Champion and the newest star to the Division. TJP is a technical wizard but Humberto Carrillo is the Ultimo Ninja! Will Carrillo fly high over the FilAm Flash? Or will TJP make a huge leap towards bring the title back to where it all began?
And in the main event, The Lover and Fighter, Mike Kanellis, will take on another former Cruiserweight Champion in Cedric Alexander. Mike has impressed despite losing to Kalisto and THE Brian Kendrick, but Maria says every loss is a step closer to THE win Mike needs. Mike wants to show the third time’s the charm, but can he break his losing streak by breaking the Soul of 205 Live?
TJP VS Humberto Carrillo!
The Cruiser-Great always feels entitled to big opportunities, but just like everyone else, he’ll have to earn his way through the coming #1 Contender’s Tournament. The Ultimo Ninja is more than ready to prove himself against the inaugural champion, but is he ready for the inaugural champion?
The bell rings and Humberto circles with TJP. Fans like both guys as they tie up. TJP waistlocks to snapmare and ghost pins, ONE and Carrillo gets his own cover, ONE. The two circle and tie up again, and TJP gets a headlock. Carrillo powers out but TJP slides under. TJP shoves but things speed up as Carrillo keeps up with TJP. Carrillo runs and acrobatically arm-drags TJP out of the ring! Carrillo builds up speed but spots Drew Gulak and Jack Gallagher coming down the ramp. The Submission Commission want Carrillo to stay safe and sound with feet on the ground. TJP slides in while Carrillo actually listens to Gulak & Gallagher for a moment. Carrillo and TJP tie up and TJP cartwheels to a hammerlock. Carrillo flips through but TJP wrenches again. Fans rally for Carrillo as he handsprings and sweeps the leg!
Carrillo gets a Gulak approved takedown to a standing kneebar. TJP spins with the headscissors to bring Carrillo down! TJP claps along with the fans but Carrillo powers his way up. Carrillo cartwheels through the next spin, then leaps, but TJP throws him down! Cover, ONE! TJP puts the shoulders down again, ONE! TJP goes to put his weight on Carrillo but Carrillo acrobatically monkey flips him away! Carrillo runs into the corner at TJP but TJP puts him on the apron. Carrillo rocks TJP then climbs up, big crossbody! Cover, TWO! Carrillo CHOPS TJP, then runs in for another acrobatic move, only for TJP to plant him on the mat! Gulak tells Carrillo he shouldn’t have done that. TJP traps one arm and grabs the other to YANK it! Carrillo writhes, clutching the arm, while TJP looms over him.
TJP drags Carrillo up and wrenches the arm. TJP whips and runs Carrillo over with an elbow. Fans duel and rally while TJP drags Carrillo up. TJP scoop slams Carrillo down, then slingshot sentons! Cover, TWO! TJP drags Carrillo up while Gulak & Gallagher coach Carrillo. TJP kicks and dropkicks Carrillo down then wraps on a chinlock. Fans rally while TJP toys with Carrillo. TJP hammerlocks and chinlocks Carrillo but Carrillo fights his way up and out. TJP whips but Carrillo rolls over TJP’s back. Carrillo dodges in the corner then runs back in. TJP goes up and over and Carrillo hits post! TJP hoists Carrillo into the Tree of Woe, then gets the fans clapping along as he stands on Carrillo’s face. The ref counts and TJP backs off, to go around the world for a basement dropkick! Cover, TWO, to Gulak’s and Gallagher’s relief.
TJP snapmares Carrillo back into a trapped arm. TJP goes after the other arm again and pulls. Fans rally up as Carrillo endures. Carrillo powers up to a fireman’s carry, but TJP slips out. TJP shoves Carrillo to a corner but runs into an elbow. TJP runs back in but into a boot. Carrillo hops up and leaps, big sunset flip! TJP rolls through but Carrillo dodges the Penalty Kick. Carrillo kips up, misses the roundhouse but hits the enziguri! TJP bails out and Carrillo FLIES out onto him! Carrillo takes TJP out but Gulak and Gallagher scold Carrillo for that. Carrillo puts TJP in and covers, TWO! Gulak and Gallagher coach Carrillo on staying in the ring and on the mat. Carrillo heads to the corner and climbs up high, not at all what they said.
Carrillo leaps but rolls through as TJP gets under. TJP huricanranas but Carrillo sunsets! TWO, and Carrillo fires off more kicks! Carrillo reverse somersaults to the moonsault! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up as Carrillo keeps his cool. Carrillo drags TJP to the drop zone and hops up for the headstand. TJP pushes him over but Carrillo shoulders and slingshots back in. Carrillo wheelbarrows but TJP rolls through to the STF! With a modified crossface! Gulak and Gallagher say Carrillo got himself into this situation, now he has to get himself out. Carrillo crawls and crawls and gets the ropebreak! TJP lets Carrillo go but the damage has been done. Carrillo gets on the apron and TJP joins him out there.
TJP toys with Carrillo then drags him up. Carrillo shoulders TJP but TJP fires off forearms. Carrillo rocks TJP with one big right, then runs in, but is put back in the ring. TJP misses the shoulder and gets rocked agani. Carrillo leaps up, missile dropkick! Headstand, Aztec Press! Cover, Carrillo wins!
Winner: Humberto Carrillo, by pinfall
It wasn’t safe and sound on the ground, but a win is a win! Gulak & Gallagher accept that much, and Carrillo has pinned the former champion! Gulak & Gallagher join Carrillo in the ring, and compliment him on the ground game he did right. They have the fans applaud Carrillo’s victory! The young Cruiserweight is hoisted onto the shoulders of the Submission Commission, but will he live up to his potential?
Tony Nese speaks.
“I finally proved to Noam Dar once and for that I’m the better man.” When he was beating the Scottish Supernova to a pulp, it finally occurred to the Premier Athlete: 205 Live is his for the taking. He could be better than anyone in the Division, it’s just about believing in himself. Whatever mental block that’s been holding him back, Nese smashed it down when he smashed Dar through the timekeeper’s area. This is a Premier Promise: he will win the tournament, he will win the Cruiserweight Championship, and he will do it at Wrestlemania. But will he really do it against his Body Guy buddy, Buddy Murphy?
Backstage interview with Mike & Maria Kanellis.
Mike’s had a hard time picking up wins. Was it wise to go after someone as accomplished as Cedric Alexander? Maria speaks on Mike’s behalf. Is it wise to ask about Alexander’s accomplishments when Mike has accomplished so much himself? Mike has been in the business for 16 years and has been a champion all over the world! Does anyone think Mike has been successful for taking the easy way out? That’s a question, Kayla. Mike has not taken the easy matches or the easy opponents. Because you don’t make it to Wrestlemania that way. Tonight, Mike defeats the Pride of 205 Live to prove why he’s the most dangerous man here. Will this be the night Mike turns it all around?
Ariya Daivari VS Johnny Lyons!
The Privileged Lion is sick of being a sidekick, he’s finally putting himself first again. He tells the fans in New Orleans that they are bearing witness to the Daivari Destruction of the Cruiserweight Division. He swears to beat his opponent so bad, no one here can say the referee made the wrong call. Football fans will get that better than most. Because unlike the Saints, Daivari’s actually going to the big game. But will Lyons have a surprise for the Persion Lion?
The bell rings and Daivari circles with Lyons. They tie up and Lyons gets a headlock. Daivari pulls Lyons’ hair and puts him in a corner. Daivair jabs away on Lyons and then stomps a mudhole into him. He throws Lyons corner to corner but Lyons goes up and over and dropkicks Daivari back! Fans fire up but Lyons misses in the corner and gets a big roundhouse from Daivari! Nawlins rallies for their local Lyons but Daivari drags him aruond to kick him while he’s down! Daivari stomps away on Lyons, then wrenches him into the hammerlock lariat! But Daivari isn’t done there, he drags Lyons up again for a cobra clutch! Daivari puts on body scissors, Lyons taps out!
Winner: Ariya Daivari by submission
Cobra clutch or Million Dollar Dream, Daivari uses it to destroy the dreams of young Johnny Lyons. Daivari will want to live a dream of everyone’s and go to Wrestlemania, but will he bust in the Contender’s Tournament?
Buddy Murphy speaks.
“I’ve got to hand it to Drake Maverick.” It must be so hard for a GM to run a brand with a champion as strong and dominate as Murphy. Maverick’s trying to get Murphy the challengers he wants. First was Mustafa Ali, the Heart of 205 Live. Murphy left Ali heartbroken. Next was Cedric Alexander, the savior of the Division and wanted to redeem himself. But the Age of Alexander came crashing down. And then the Royal Rumble put Murphy against three big names: the leader of the Lucha House Party, Kalisto; the savage striker, Hideo Itami; and the Stamina Monster that dethroned the King of the Cruiserweights, Akira Tozawa. Murphy got the challenge he asked for and beat that challenge.
Tozawa got a second chance at Elimination Chamber, but it ended like every other night: Murphy’s hand held high. So who’s next? Maverick put this tournament together to pit eight of the best to fight THE best. Murphy declares he’s the greatest of all time, but who will meet him on the Grandest Stage of Them All?
Mike Kanellis w/ Maria VS Cedric Alexander!
For Mr. & Mrs. Kanellis, it isn’t about the losses, or even about the wins, it’s about getting THE win that will define a career. Will Mike get that win tonight on the verge of the #1 Contender’s Tournament? Or will the Age of Alexander begin its resurrection on the road back to Wrestlemania?
Maria does not join commentary this time. Perhaps she’s sick of Aiden English grilling her about Mike’s win-loss record, despite her philosophy on it. She moves her chair up in front of commentary and takes a seat to watch her husband even closer. Alexander makes his entrance, and we begin.
The bell rings and fans already cheer Alexander on. Alexander claps along as he circles with Mike. Mike and Alexander tie up and Alexander gets a waistlock. Mike gets to the ropes then reverses to a wristlock. Alexander trips Mike and gets a facelock, then scrambles around. Mike reverses the facelock but Alexander powers him to a corner. The ref calls for a break but Mike turns it around. Mike shoves Alexander then eggs him on. Alexander rushes Mike but Mike uses ropes as defense. Alexander toys with Mike but Maria says it’s fine. Mike and Alexander circle again and tie up. Mike gets a headlock and grinds Alexander down. Alexander powers up but can’t power out of Mike’s grip. Mike grinds Alexander down more but fans rally up.
Alexander feeds off the energy and powers out this time. Mike runs him over with a shoulder, then things speed up. Alexander arm-drags Mike down into an armlock! Mike scrambles around but Alexander grinds him down. Alexander wrenches but Mike kicks low. Mike CHOPS Alexander, then again. Mike elbows Alexander down then drags him back up. Alexander handsprings and headscissors Mike down, then dropkicks him, too! Fans cheer while Mike gets to a corner. Alexander CHOPS Mike back, and Maria seethes. Alexander buckle bumps and CHOPS Mike again. Mike kicks back but misses his chop, Alexander CHOPS Mike again. Alexander snapmares Mike to dropkick him in the back! Cover, TWO! Alexander keeps his cool while Mike gets to a corner again.
Alexander stomps Mike down then CHOPS him yet again. He whips Mike corner to corner then runs in, but Mike puts him on the apron. Alexander hits Mike back then springboards, but Mike punches him out of the air! Alexander is dazed and Mike catches his breath. Mike rains down rights on Alexander but fans rally up for the former champion. Mike snapmares Alexander to then drive elbow after elbow into Alexander’s shoulder and chest. Maria applauds while the fans boo. Mike says he’s the best in the world as he drags Alexander over. Mike snapmares Alexander for more elbows into the shoulders! He sits Alexander up to basement dropkick him against the ropes! Mike pulls Alexander back against the ropes but lets up at 4. Mike drags Alexander onto the apron and rocks him with another right!
Fans boo and Mike tells them to shut up. Mike stalks Alexander but walks into a CHOP! Alexander CHOPS Mike more, then brings him out for European Uppercuts. Alexander runs but into a pop-up, that he turns into a wheelbarrow victory roll! TWO, and Mike rocks Alexander again! Mike whips Alexander face first into buckles! Alexander is dazed again while Mike grits his teeth. Mike drags Alexander to a cover, TWO! Mike puts Alexander in a chinlock but Alexander endures. Maria likes what she sees as Mike grinds his knee into Alexander’s back. Fans rally up and Alexander powers up. Alexander jawbreakers free! Both men stagger and Alexander throws haymakers. Mike responds but Alexander bobs ‘n’ weaves and CHOPS! Uppercut! Alexander dropkicks the legs out then dropkicks Mike in the face!
Fans fire up as Alexander gets to a corner. Alexander and Mike slowly stir while Maria grows worried. Alexander rallies on Mike with forearms and elbows. Mike kicks but Alexander blocks to the stiff back elbow! Alexander runs, handsprings, Neuralizer kick! Mike staggers to a corner, but dodges Alexander. Alexander goes to the apron and springboards, but his legs give out and he tumbles down! This happened to Alexander weeks ago, is it a bad sign? Mike takes advantage by stomping the legs! Fans boo and jeer but Mike and Maria laugh while the referee checks on Alexander. Mike comes back and grabs the bad leg. Mike spins through but Alexander cradle counters! TWO, and Alexander SUPERKICKS Mike down! Mike and Alexander are both down from exhaustion and pain.
Fans rally for Alexander while Maria shouts for Mike. Alexander stands first and hobbles over to Mike. Alexander lifts but the bad leg prevents much more. He throws forearms into Mike instead, and tries again, but Mike fights out. Mike fireman’s carry but Alexander slips out. Alexander pushes Mike, handsprings through, but into Mike’s SUPERKICK! Mike picks Alexander up, Samoan Driver! Cover, TWO!! Alexander lives and the Kanellises are furious! Fans rally up but Maria tells them to shut up. Mike drags Alexander back up, but Alexander uppercuts him! Mike throws another right, but Alexander kicks! Alexander misses the back hand and Mike pushes him to a corner. Mike runs into a boot, Alexander hops up, but Mike hits another rocking right!
Mike drags Alexander out, Backpack Stunner! Cover, TWO!! Mike grows frustrated, but he slaps himself back into focus. Mike drags Alexander up once more but Alexander shoves him away. Alexander rolls Mike up, TWO! Penalty Kick misses, small package, TWO! Backslide, TWO! Sudden Michinoku! Cover, TWO!! Now Alexander is shocked, but Maria is still worried for her husband. Mike crawls to the ropes but Alexander grabs the legs. Mike kicks Alexander away but Alexander comes back. They brawl between the ropes, Mike hotshots Alexander down. Mike drags Alexander back up to suplex but Alexander lands on the apron. They brawl more and double boot! Both men fall but Mike lands on the floor. Alexander’s still in the ring as the count begins.
Mike starts crawling away, he doesn’t seem to care anymore. But Alexander staggers his way over to Mike, only to get a SPINEBUSTER on the ramp!! The referee checks on Alexander as he writhes in pain. Mike crawls back towards the ring and gets in. The ring count passes 5 but Alexander hasn’t gotten up. Alexander crawls at 7, at 9, and gets in at 9.9!! Mike is furious but he goes right at Alexander. Alexander grabs ropes to deny the hold. Mike stomps Alexander out and drags him back over. Mike turns Alexander over for a Boston Crab! Alexander endures the leg and back pain as he crawls for the ropes. He reaches, but Mike sits down deep! Alexander still gets the ropebreak! Mike and Maria are beside themselves but New Orleans is loving this!
Mike paces to keep his cool while Maria glares at Alexander. Alexander makes it to the ropes as Mike blows a kiss to Maria. Mike runs in but Alexander dumps him out. Alexander builds speed and FLIES! Direct hit takes Mike out! Alexander puts Mike back in but can barely move on his own. Maria gets in Alexander’s way! Fans boo as Maria plays goalie, but Alexander gets past. To get a SUPERKICK!! Dragon sleeper, swinging neckbreaker! Cover, Mike wins!? No, no! The referee saw Alexander get his shoulder up! It was a TWO!! Alexander kicks out by mere inches, but it’s still a kick-out! The match must continue! Mike runs into Alexander, Alexander rolls but Mike sits on it! TWO, into the LUMBAR CHECK! Cover, Alexander wins!!
Winner: Cedric Alexander, by pinfall
The narrowest of margins was the difference between a victory and a defeat! Alexander finds himself on the upside of the decision, but Maria actually smiles. Does she still believe the career-defining win is on the horizon? As for Alexander, is he going to repeat his path to Wrestlemania from 2018? Or is there a roadblock in the way for both of them just around the corner?
Drake Maverick speaks.
The 205 Live GM has made his decision on the first Cruiserweight superstars to enter the tournament. Deciding was not taken lightly, as he again considered both recent performances as well as past accomplishments. Therefore, the first of the first round matches Maverick has decided on are: Kalisto VS Tony Nese; and THE Brian Kendrick VS Drew Gulak. Half the field has been named, which of these first four in will make it to the finals? Who else will join as the last four in and join them on the Road to Wrestlemania?
A really great episode of 205 Live, and I like the announcement of another Cruiserweight tournament. Last year when Drake Maverick was first introduced to the show, the tournament was a necessity because of circumstances (Enzo Amore) but it was so good, doing it this year is a good move. Learning half the field now is alright, and gives Maverick time, in kayfabe, to figure out the other four after the matches we just got tonight. Kalisto VS Nese and Kendrick VS Gulak are going to be great, and the stories are all there. Nese wants to finally be champion, even if it’s going to be against his good pal, Buddy Murphy. Kendrick and Gulak are enemies and will fight even fiercer now that a chance at the title is involved. Nese is a given but Kendrick VS Gulak could probably go either way.
I was wondering when Gulak & Gallagher would make themselves Carrillo’s corner men and turns out that was tonight. Carrillo and TJP had a great match, and it’s great for Carrillo to defeat another Cruiserweight Division staple. I almost thought Gulak & Gallagher were going to Electric Chair Drop Carrillo while celebrating, but there’s a lot of time for their story to develop. As great as Carrillo is, his story with Gulak & Gallagher will sidetrack him from the title one way or another. Daivari sadly can’t do the story he was going to with Hideo Itami after Itami got his release. Daivari had to settle for getting cheap heat off of local sports teams. I’m not sure if he’s in the tournament, but his new push would dictate that he is, and probably reaches the semifinals just so he looks good.
Alexander VS Mike was incredible, certainly Mike’s best match since coming to the WWE. Which is a shame, he should’ve been doing way more on Raw or SmackDown than what they had him do. Mike might make it far in the tournament, if he’s even in it. Alexander is definitely in the tournament, but I feel like it’d bee too easy to say he’ll return to Wrestlemania. As Murphy said in his promo tonight, he’s beaten just about everyone around, and he continues to establish himself as one of history’s best Cruiserweights. I’m betting on Kushida finally debuting in WWE to skyrocket to the top. He’ll make every match he has in the tournament into an instant classic, and then give us another one at Wrestlemania with Murphy to take that title and stop the unstoppable.
My Score: 8.5/10