The Lady of NXT and the Pirate Princess are tied, and tonight is the rubber match! Will Lacey Evans use her Woman’s Right to leave Kairi Sane shipwrecked? Or will Kairi keelhaul Lacey on her way to the top? Plus, Roderick Strong and Danny Burch battle 1v1 ahead of TakeOver: Chicago’s NXT Tag Team Championship match!
All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service
- TM61 VS Mike Hughley & Robby Grand; TM61 win.
- Roderick Strong VS Danny Burch; Strong wins.
- Kairi Sane VS Lacey Evans; Kairi wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Shayna Baszler heads to the ring!
Somehow, the NXT Women’s Champion has her belt back after Crazy Nikki Cross literally stole it from her. The Queen of Spades is still the champion after defeating Dakota Kai in last week’s championship defense, but the Looney Lass did cut her celebrating short last week.
Shayna speaks on that, as she showed the entire locker room that when you step to her, you get smacked in the face with a dose of reality. “It doesn’t matter how brave you think you are to stand up to me,” Shayna is tougher, stronger and better. “And the strong will always defeat the weak. But there’s always gotta be one.” Fans chant “Nikki! Nikki!” for the would-be champion, the one who thinks laws don’t apply to them. Shayna tells Nikki that if she ever gets in her face again, it’ll be the last thing she ever does. Speak of the devil, here comes Nikki!
Shayna glares at Nikki as she stands on the stage and walks down the ramp. Nikki takes off the coat and sunglasses and has her wild-eyed grin as she hops into the ring. Fans sing “Nikki’s gonna kill~ you~” as Nikki and Shayna stare down. Shayna tells her to her face, that Nikki’s “stunt was a joke.” Don’t get it twisted, Shayna is the real NXT Women’s Champion! The only place Nikki is better than Shayna is in her own whacked out mind. Shayna asks what’s wrong with her. Is she crazy? “YES! YES!” Well if she ever tries that again, just know Shayna can put her out in a heartbeat. Shayna then tosses the mic at Nikki, but it just bounces off her. Nikki picks it up, and says “Do it, Shayna. Do it. Do it!!” She repeats “Do it! Do It!” and the fans join in.
Nikki begs Shayna to do it, and starts laughing maniacally. Shayna says the champion calls the shots. Nikki steps, and Shayan flinches! Shayna shoves Nikki, and Nikki tackles Shayna! It’s a brawl and it’s all going Nikki’s way! Shayna gets Nikki off her but only for a minute as Nikki hammers and stomps away in a corner! Nikki is all fired up, and she sees the belt on the mat. She goes to grab it, but Shayna rocks Nikki with a right. Shayna tosses Nikki out then throws her jacket off. Nikki crawls back in and hits Shayna back! Nikki climbs, for a flying crossbody! Shayna rolls out of the ring, and Nikki scurries back to the belt. Shayna’s bleeding from the mouth as she crawls away from Crazy Cross. Will Shayna get payback for Nikki drawing first blood? Or will Nikki officially become NXT Women’s Champion?
Something’s gonna happen, because this is happening at TakeOver: Chicago!
TM61 VS Mike Hughley & Robby Grand!
The Mighty Don’t Kneel, but they do bend the rules. Shane Thorne & Nick Miller have been on a win streak lately, because they use the ropes to help in pinfalls. The Street Profits and Heavy Machinery have fallen victim to The Mighty’s tricks, will the same go for ??? tonight?
Miller starts against Hughley and circles with him while the fans chant “Aussie Aussie Aussie! Oi oi oi!” Miller knees Hughley low, then clubs him down before giving him a chop. Miller chops more, then puts Hughley in the corner to tag in Thorne. Thorne is whipped in for the European Uppercut, then feeds Hughley into Miller’s forearm. Thorne stands on Hughley’s head to show disrespect, but backs off at 4. He brings Hughley up, but Hughley jawbreakers and tags in “Mr. Upgrade”. But Robby runs right into a dropkick! Thorne rains rights and lefts and forearms onto Robby, then backs off at 4. Miller tags in and brings Robby up by his nose. Fans duel but Miller lets go of the nose at 4. Robby hits back but is clubbed back down.
Miller hits Hughley for good measure, but then turns around into haymakers from Robby! Robby runs but into a cheap kick that the ref doesn’t see while Hughly protests. Miller grabs Hughley and throws him to the floor. Thorne tags in, and TM61 drags Robby up to feed him to Thorne’s clubbing clothesline to the back of the head! Or as they like to call it, the King Hit!
Thorne covers, TM61 wins!
Winners: TM61, Thorne pinning
The Mighty use more sneaky tactics, and even more aggressive moves, and they win again. Will Miller & Thorne climb up to the top and challenge the NXT Tag Team Champions in the future?
TM61 speaks in the ring.
Fans boo and jeer while Miller says “We’ve proven that we’re the best team in NXT.” Street Profits, TM61 won. Heavy Machinery, TM61 won. This is about winning and TM61 are winners. They will win against War Raiders, “Oney & Danny”, or the Undisputed Era, as long as they’re man enough to face them. All the teams shall kneel before The Mighty! Thorne & Miller have reestablished themselves with their true name, but will their words come true in the following weeks?
Lars Sullivan trains ahead of his NXT Championship match.
The Leviathan makes trainees tap to bearhugs and clubs them down with one arm at a time. Lars would slam and club and clobber the trainees until no one was comfortable, physically or emotionally. Even the biggest of the trainees that stepped to Lars still fell to the Freak Accident!
With his powers and aggression fully on display, will Aleister Black stand a chance of retaining his title at TakeOver: Chicago?
Roderick Strong VS Danny Burch!
The Undisputed Era’s Messiah of the Backbreaker takes on one-half of the one-two combination of brawlers. Strong and his friends don’t see Lorcan & Burch as a serious threat to their tag team title reign, but will the British Brawler change their minds?
The bell rings and Strong circles with Burch. They tie up, they push each other around, and Strong gets the takedown and float over to headlock. Burch slips out but Strong gets back on with a rear mount, and headlock. Burch slips out again and gets the arm wrench, but Strong snapmares. Strong wants the headlock back but Burch slips out again to put him in a hammerlock. Fans applaud the technical exchange while Strong stands. Strong headlock takeovers but Burch reverses back. Strong scrambles away to the ropes, and Burch honors the break. Burch dares Strong to come back, and the two tie up again. They go shoulder to shoulder, but Burch spins and trips up Strong to pull him around and kick out the arm! Burch goes after that arm, and puts it back in the hammerlock. Strong endures while reaching for ropes.
Strong runs around and puts Burch on the apron, but Burch shoulders back in. Burch climbs back in but Strong kicks him on reentry! Strong stomps and stomps, then rains rights down before bending Burch back in a half-clutch. He rakes the face then elbows Burch down. Burch gets to a corner but Strong gives him a sharp chop, then another even sharper one. Strong lifts Burch for the first pendulum backbreaker. Cover, TWO, but Strong keeps on Burch with a facelock. Fans rally for “Danny! Danny!” while Burch endures and powers up. Burch fights back with body shots, then runs, but into a dropkick! Cover, TWO! Strong dropkicks Burch while he’s down, going after that back more. Strong kicks Burch, then drags him up for a standing abdominal stretch.
Burch endures again, but he feeds off the fan energy. Strong puts on a waistlock but now Burch throws Strong out. Strong returns, but misses in the corner! Burch headbutts and brings them both down. Fans rally as they both stir, but Strong stands first. Strong clubs Burch, Burch hits back and we have a brawl. Burch clobbers Strong with haymakers, then European Uppercuts. Burch hits a running EuroUpper, then a clothesline. He throws Strong out and hops up to missile dropkick Strong down! Burch kip-up, EuroUpper, then German Suplex! Burch is all fired up as he flips Strong over with a clothesline! But as always, the Undisputed Era come out to bail out their pal!
But in response, Oney Lorcan & Pete Dunne appear and go after them!
The British Bruiserweight and the Boston Brawler brawl with Kyle O’Reilly & Adam Cole, and Burch cheers them on. However, Cole turns it around and throws Lorcan into steel steps! Dunne goes after Cole, then intercepts Kyle’s leap with a powerful forearm! Strong goes to pounce on Burch, but Burch sees him coming. Burch dodges the knee, then wrangles Strong down into the crossface! Strong endures, reaches, but Cole comes back up. This distraction gets Burch to let go. Burch hits Cole, but Strong comes back with the Backbreaker Strong!
Cover, Strong wins!
Winner: Strong, by pinfall
The Undisputed Era members help each other out, but there’s a certain someone lurking…
Strong turns around, and faces the wrath of Pete Dunne! Dunne fires off on the traitor, rocking him with that killer forearm. Dunne prepares the pumphandle, but O’Reilly chopblocks him down. Then Strong brings Dunne up for End of Heartache! Strong makes his leave, literally walking all over Burch. The Undisputed Era stand tall with lots of gold, but how long will it last?
Kassius Ohno finishes up a photoshoot.
The Knockout Artist is showing off the black and yellow, when Mr. Top One Percent interrupts.
EC3 wonders why they’re taking photos of Ohno. “Are we trying to break the camera?” EC3 is just joking, Ohno. But Ohno is a tremendous “wrassler”, but he’s not Top One Percent, he is not the golden goose, he is not the best here, the best there, the– We get it, EC3, you’re a lot of things, too. One of those is a narcissist. If he keeps talking like this, he’ll be 1% away from 99% unconscious. Ohno is ready to fight, but EC3 is booked up. Then how about a week from now? Ohno VS EC3, put it up in lights. Challenge accepted, but who will win this knockout of a match?
Aleister Black responds to The Leviathan.
“Lars Sullivan. You dared to do what the people thought was the unthinkable, and make it into a reality.” By that, he means STOP the Black Mass to then topple the champ. “But your actions last week do not determine my reality.” Aleister says Lars showed him what lies ahead. But next week, Aleister will make Lars’ reality #FadeToBlack. What does the Dutch Destroyer have in mind for his opponent in Chicago?
NXT looks at the coming “One & Only Dream” Match.
“For a while, the name ‘Ricochet’ always coincided with ‘this kid who can do flips’.” He set an expectation for himself, and would either keep it or exceed it. For 15 years, Ricochet clawed to the top of every promotion. “The One and Only? That must mean you’re blessed.” The Velveteen Dream sees himself as someone who is also blessed. “When you’re truly blessed, you don’t need to struggle.” You just have “it”. “It” is every word, every move, hooks the fans. Ricochet has the moves to wow, but can he make someone feel? Dream claims that anything Ricochet can do, Dream can do better. Ricochet wants Dream to prove it.
Dream was in and was eliminated from the Tough Enough show, but he didn’t let that stop him. He came back to be part of NXT. Ricochet has also earned his spot. “King” Ricochet isn’t on top. Dream chose to be a Prince. “And the difference between a King and a Prince, is that the King was good”, but the Prince will take over. Ricochet is focused, The Dream is confident. Who will take the throne that is the spotlight in Chicago?
Kairi Sane VS Lacey Evans!
The Model Soldier feels it is her duty to straighten out and clean up the NXT Women’s Division, but the Pirate Princess is not letting her do as she pleases. The series between these two is all tied up, who will take the tie breaker tonight?
Lacey shows Kairi that her right hand literally has Kairi’s name on it. The bell rings and the two circle. They tie up, and they power each other back and forth. Kairi wrenches the arm, but Lacey pulls hair. Lacey swings hands but Kairi ducks them to double chop in return. Kairi whips but Lacey reverses, so Kairi slingshots up for the headscissors! Kairi then runs to tilt-o-whirl into an inverted DDT! Rather tranquilo of her. Kairi keeps on Lacey by stomping that right hand! She wrenches the arm then whips Lacey. Lacey goes up and over, but Kairi catches the legs. Kairi shoulders but Lacey kicks her back. Lacey yanks Kairi down by her hair, then slingshots for the elbow drop! Cover, ONE.
Kairi shoves but Lacey blocks the kick to then punch Kairi in the stomach. Lacey makes Kairi look at that right hand before grinding it into Kairi’s face. It’s also a cover, TWO. Lacey taunts Kairi, but Kairi hits back. Lacey drags Kairi into a cobra clutch, and sits her down with a backbreaker. Fans rally while Kairi endures. Lacey thrashes Kairi around, but Kairi refuses to quit. Kairi stands up but Lacey swings her around before throwing her away. Lacey then runs in for the swinging bronco buster. Cover, TWO, and Lacey grows frustrated. Lacey drags Kairi up, daring her to do something. Lacey winds up, but Kairi blocks the backhand. Kairi ducks the roundhouse, and uses the pumphandle to flip Lacey over. Kairi winds up and gives Lacey rights of her own, but then runs into a knee!
Lacey drags Kairi back up, scoops her, and then slams her with authority. Push-up cover, TWO. Lacey walks over to a corner and climbs up, and spin jumps for a moonsault, but it flops as Kairi rolls out of the way! Kairi fires up, Interceptor spear! And another! And then a third!
Lacey crawls away after the hat trick of spears, but Kairi fires up even more. Kairi stomps the plank, then runs in for the Sliding D! She climbs up to the top, and gives the Flying Kabuki elbow! Cover, TWO! But into an armbar! Kairi goes after that right arm, and Lacey screams in pain. Lacey pushes up to a cover, TWO and Kairi lets Lacey go. Kairi brings Lacey up and onto her shoulders, for an Alabama Slam! Kairi keeps going, and climbs back up top. She sets sail on the Seven Seas with the InSane Elbow!
Cover, Kairi wins!
Winner: Kairi, by pinfall
The Pirate Princess takes the tie-breaker! The inaugural Mae Young Classic winner proves why she’s one of the best in the world, and why she deserves to be in NXT. Can Kairi continue her quest to the top and claim the gold of the NXT Women’s Championship?
Tommaso Ciampa is back.
Fans boo and jeer as the Psycho Killer slowly walks his way out to the ring. It’s a familiar scene for Ciampa, so he ignores the chants of “You Suck! You Suck!” Ciampa even chuckles, actually. But then they duel with chants of “Johnny Wrestling!” and “Psycho Killer!” and that gets him to pause. Ciampa grabs a mic and sits up on the corner while they shift to “You Tapped Out!” in reference to their Unsanctioned match. But the fact is, the fans gave up on him long before he gave up on them! Those chants disgust him. But he’s still going to talk, so either they make noise or shut up, it doesn’t matter to him. The fans chant “You Still Suck!” and “Johnny Wrestling!” Spare him the “Psycho Killer” crap, and then let’s talk about Johnny Gargano!
Ciampa says that last week, Gargano does what Gargano does, interrupting a match to make it about himself. Ciampa lets the fans chant “You Suck!” as he continues. Gargano had to announce to the world that he signed his contract for their Street Fight. Johnny Wrestling is now “Johnny Badass”? Fans chant that for him. Ciampa gets it, it’s adorable really. Gargano was doing it to take the heat off of how he almost crippled his wife, Candice LeRae. “And you know what the best part is?” This is on Gargano! Gargano brought Candice here, he called out Ciampa, and he insisted to have this fight, even when “blondie” and the refs insisted not to do this. Ciampa just defended himself. “The truth hurts, Johnny, I know that.”
But what Gargano should’ve done was listen to his wife. This fight is now on Gargano. Ciampa says Gargano has to not show up at Chicago on 6/16. “Your wife is broken, you will be broken, I win.” But speak of Gargano, here he comes!
Gargano has security all over him, but he throws them off and rushes the ring! He goes right at Ciampa, and Ciampa is ready! But then Gargano fakes Ciampa out and throws hands! Security gets on Gargano again, but they get thrown off again. Gargano goes after Ciampa more but now referees stop him. Ciampa gets away but Gargano breaks free again, to DIVE!
This sends Ciampa into the crowd! But Gargano won’t stop, he throws security into steel steps. He chases Ciampa down but Ciampa hits back. Ciampa kicks Gargano while he’s down but now security grabs Ciampa. They try to keep these two apart, but Gargano breaks free again to LEAP from the stands!!
Gargano wipes Ciampa and security out, but the others come back and take him away. Ciampa runs for it, but Gargano manages to return! They both return to the ring, but security holds Gargano back while fans chant “Let Them Fight!” Ciampa clobbers Gargano from behind! Fans boo while Ciampa staggers to his feet and stomps Gargano out. Ciampa then steals the GargaNO Escape!
Referees try to pry Ciampa off Gargano, but he won’t let go until he’s good and satisfied. Ciampa grins, then finally takes his leave. Gargano glares back at Ciampa, but Ciampa gives him another wave good-bye. But when Ciampa turns to go up the ramp, and Gargano sparks to life again, clobbering Ciampa from behind now! Gargano doesn’t stop, he puts Ciampa into the LED titantron! Then, to the same LED as weeks ago. Ciampa is BLEEDING from his forehead! Fans are in shock as Gargano barrels through the refs to put the bloody CIampa in the GargaNO Escape!!
Gargano is not letting go, no matter how much Ciampa taps or the referees pull on him. Will this coming Street Fight be what ends their year-long grudge? Will either man even be able to walk out of Chicago in one piece?
Another great and very full night for NXT. The time they have on the Network without commercials getting in the way should be reason enough not to put NXT on a television network. But that debate can be a different article.
NXT opening with a promo works a lot better than other WWE opening promos, though I will say Shayna did get a bit repetitive with her point of if Nikki ever pulls that stunt again, she’d make her pay for it. Though maybe she felt she had to repeat it since it didn’t seem to sink in with Nikki. Nikki and Shayna have a great brawl, and as I’d been wondering, Nikki is proving to be Shayna’s toughest challenge already. But as I also have said before, I don’t think Nikki wins this given SAnitY is on standby over on SmackDown. Nikki can definitely give Shayna her best match since joining NXT, and it serves as a great good-bye match for Nikki before graduating to SmackDown. Then Nikki can do this all over again with Asuka, IIconics, etc.
TM61 wins again but their cheating might be going to their head. It’s good that they’re finally able to call themselves “The Mighty”, but it’s too soon to be calling out Hanson & Rowe like that. I did sense they’d have a feud with War Raiders, but I was expecting them to be the more cowardly Heels about it. Lars’ “exhibition” segment was actually a good way to have him on the episode without taking up spots on the match card, and gives screen time to trainees who could one day be on the roster. Strong and Burch have a great match, but it was expected for the Undisputed Era to be why Strong wins. The NXT Tag title match will be great, and obviously win or lose, Dunne VS Strong must happen right after.
EC3 VS Ohno is going to be great, but when is Ohno finally moving up? That Ricochet VS Dream package was spectacular, and worthy of this great match. It does a great job of giving fans an idea of both men’s careers before NXT, and frames how they’re polar opposites in the way Dream VS Aleister were opposites in another way. Kairi VS Lacey III was great, establishing both women as strong members of the division. Kairi wins the match and breaks the tie because otherwise the MYC winner looks weak. Since Shayna will retain, she and Kairi can settle their series with a title match at TakeOver: Brooklyn 4 for Summerslam weekend. That feud can go either way. Same goes for the Gargano-Ciampa feud, but this ending segment puts things in Gargano’s favor. The Unsanctioned Match was pretty brutal, this Street Fight might make that look tame.
My Score: 8.5/10
Dragon Gate Fantastic Gate 2018 Results & Review (12/4/2018)
Mathew brings us more coverage with…Dragon Gate? Well I suppose something big did happen, even though King of Gate was still horrid. But hey, let’s see if PAC’s involvement helps things out.
We now return to Dragon Gate to take a small break from the AJPW Real World Tag League, which you should check out if you haven’t just yet since it’s been a great tournament.
As of right now, this will be my last Dragon Gate coverage for the year due to scheduling with the holidays and work, plus I need to get ready for matches of the year at the end of the month. We got a big show today since we got Open the Dream Gate Championship defended against PAC.
So let us see how things will turn out as we…dive right in.
Eight Man Tag Team Match
Dragon Dia & Tribe Vanguard (BxB Hulk, Kagetora & YAMATO) vs. Don Fujii, Gamma, Ryo Saito & Super Shisa
Review: Our opening contest is an eight-man tag match with Don Fujii, Gamma, Ryo Saito, and Super Shisa taking on three members of Tribe Vanguard, Kagetora and the Open the Twin Gate Champions, BxB Hulk and YAMATO along with Dragon Dia. Dragon Dia is a new wrestler in Dragon Gate as he is also considered to be Dragon Kid’s new apprentice whenever he decides to hang it up. Let’s see how Dragon Dia does and will he help Tribe Vanguard get the victory or will it be the other team?
The match was short and incredibly basic with nothing really too much to make the crowd seem overly invested in it in my opinion. Half of the match is pretty much Dia paying his dues in the ring while also getting a bit of offense into the match, so how did he do? From what I saw out of him, I thought he does have potential to be how Dragon Kid was but he has a long way to go if he wants to reach that level eventually. Dia did take a beating from the other team and even had Gamma kinda waterboard him while he was taking a Mexican Stretch. Tribe Vanguard would do stuff for a little bit into the match and they worked well with each other and not with Dia since he’s not really apart of their unit. Dia would get to have Fujii for a pinfall but he kicked out and hits Dia with a Lariat to end his momentum. Fujii would hit a Chokeslam onto Dia as Ryo would do his SaiRyo Rocket to get the pinfall victory.
Rating: Tony Schiavone and a quarter
Eight Man Tag Team Match
Hyo Watanabe, Kota Minoura, Masaaki Mochizuki & Yuki Yoshioka vs. Hiroshi Yamato & MaxiMuM (Jason Lee, Kaito Ishida & Naruki Doi)
Review: We get another eight-man tag match to continue this show as Masaaki Mochizuki is in action with Hyo Watanabe, Kota Minoura, and Yuki Yoshioka as the four take on Hiroshi Yamato and three MaxiMuM members, Jason Lee, Kaito Ishida, and Naruki Doi. While the opening match wasn’t really something that was memorable, I’m sure we’ll get some action in this one to pick stuff up. Which one of these four will win?
I’m still new to Hiroshi Yamato, but I’m still digging his singing type of gimmick and think it’s pretty funny. This one was a much better match than the opening contest since all of the competitors were more involved in this We had another small encounter with Mochizuki and Lee, and I still wanna see that match happen but I know we probably won’t get a singles match with them any time soon. Yuki is someone that keeps growing on me whenever I see him involved in these tag matches as he does show signs of progress and I hope to see big things from him in 2019. Jason Lee would try to do his taunt in the ring when he’s in his meditative state and rolled up Mochizuki for a two count and when Mochizuki would try to do the same taunt, Jason would just kick his head. Yuki would block Naruki’s Bakatare Sliding Kick but takes a German from Yamato, a Facebuster from Naruki, and a kick along with a German from Lee as they break the hold. Yuki would attempt a flash pin onto Kaito but Kaito would quickly maneuver out of it until Yuki pinned him back down as he gets the surprise victory!
Rating: Eric Bischoff
Shun Skywalker vs. U-T
Review: We only have two singles matches in this show and it’s time to get our first one underway as we have Shun Skywalker taking on U-T. It’s been a while since I’ve seen Shun in a singles match since the King of Gate Tournament and this might be the first time I’ve seen U-T in a singles match, so this is definitely a nice surprise since both men can go. Which one of these two will get the win?
If you were expecting a highflying type of match between these two, you don’t get that type of match here and while it did throw me off, I was honestly okay with it since they still did give us a technical match. For my first time seeing U-T in one on one action, I gotta say that seeing him more ground-based in this match was very surprising in a good way too since he’s very crisp in his ability. Shun Skywalker still continues to impress me every time I see him in the ring, so seeing both of these men deliver in this match made me feel very satisfied.
The match was also very even here and it looked like Shun was going to get him, but U-T would catch him with the Skayde to try and make him tap out to the hold until Shun would roll out of the hold and hits the Moonsault Press for a two count. Shun would hit a Reverse Suplex and goes to the top rope to go for another Moonsault as U-T puts his knees up before Shun could land. U-T would apply the Skayde once again but Shun would refuse to tap out of the hold once again and the bell rings to show that there’s a time limit draw. Huge ovation for these two in this match and I hope this isn’t the end for them.
Rating: Bruce Prichard
Six Man Tag Team Match
Dragon Kid, Bandido, & Flamita vs. DAGA & R.E.D. (Eita & Ben-K)
Review: Our next match is a six-man tag team match with Dragon Kid teaming up with Flamita and Bandido is they take on R.E.D. We found out that Dragon Kid and Eita are going to have one final match at Final Gate in a hair vs mask match, but I’m not sure if the Open the Brave Gate Championship is on the line yet. But this is sure to be an exciting tag bout and let’s see if R.E.D wins or the luchadors take it.
R.E.D starting the attack on their opponents before the match started in their typical heel fashion. The face team would start to make a comeback with Bandido and Flamita diving to the outside onto their opponents. Seeing Kid, Flamita, and Bandido team up worked out very well here with their Luchador agility with Bandido once again being on fire in this match and if he’s someone you follow, what the hell is wrong with you? Get on that shit right away if you like Lucha Libre. It’s a shame Ben didn’t win the belt but I know he’ll bounce back into something soon, maybe going back to the Open the Twin Gate picture with Big R. Eita and Dragon Kid going back at it develops more fuel into their story and I actually can’t wait for it to end and not because it felt like it went on for too long, but with the new stipulation they added to their match, it just adds a lot more involved for their eventual conclusion. After Flamita and Bandido did their tag team combo with Bandido hitting a Phoenix Splash after being flipped over, Eita and Kid are alone in the ring again. Dragon jumped off the ropes and got caught for a Super Kick and would go to finish off Kid but he hits the Bible onto Eita to get the surprise victory!
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a half
Eight Man Tag Team Match
Natural Vibes (Genki Horiguchi, Kzy, Susumu Yokosuka & YASSHI) vs. R.E.D. (Big R Shimizu, KAZMA SAKAMOTO, Takashi Yoshida & Yasushi Kanda)
Review: Our next match is another eight-man tag team match with R.E.D members, Big R Shimizu, KAZMA SAKAMOTO, Takashi Yoshida, and Yasushi Kanda taking on Natural Vibes members, Genki Horiguchi, Kzy, Susumu Yokosuka, and Brother YASSHI. Recently, Natural Vibes broke the record for most title defenses with the Open the Triangle Gate Championships and they still look to hold onto the titles for a long time to keep the record around more. Will Natural Vibes get the win or will it be R.E.D?
R.E.D once again attacking Natural Vibes before the bell would ring and both teams would start fighting to the outside of the ring and into the crowd near the bleachers until they got back into the ring as we get the match started now. The match felt a little too short for this type of match but I thought it was still solid enough for a quick little exhibition type of match. We had a little encounter with Takashi and Kzy during the middle of it where they would go back and forth and it did seem like Takashi was gonna win this little back and forth until Kzy hits his running Elbow Smash onto him. Natural Vibes started to get the shine in the match when Susumu hits an Exploder Suplex onto Kanda off the middle rope and Kzy tops it off with an Elbow Drop while YASSHI hits a Diving Headbutt for a two count. Members were taking each other out left and right until it was Genki and Takashi in the match now as he does his Backslide From Heaven to go for the pin but Big R picked him up in a Wheel Barrel position for a German Suplex. Big R would quickly pick him up for him and Takashi to hit a Doomsday Device and KAZMA topped it off with a Package Piledriver to give R.E.D the win.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a quarter
Open the Dream Gate Championship
Masato Yoshino (c) vs. PAC
Review: We now have our main event of the evening as Masato Yoshino defends his Open the Dream Gate Championship against PAC. This will be PAC’s second singles match in Dragon Gate ever since he made his return to the company and while his match was disappointing, he still wanted to make the challenge to prove himself. Only one gaijin won the Open the Dream Gate Championship and that man was Ricochet, so if PAC wins then he will be the second one to win it. Masato though won’t go down without a fight here as he defends Dragon Gate against this man. Will Masato retain once again or will we have a new champion?
While both R.E.D and MaxiMuM are surrounding the ring, none of them interfere in the match and I’m glad too because it would’ve been a little bit too much in this match, plus PAC needs to prove himself that he can defeat Masato on his own without any help. I thought this match was a great title defense and definitely PAC’s better match compared to his one with Flamita since this one had a nicer pace that didn’t make it drag out a bit at all and he played the heel persona well like how he did in WWE when he was considered the King of the Cruiserweights, but he’s now known as the Bastard Child in Dragon Gate. I think I liked Masato’s match against Ben-K a little bit better, this one was almost as good in my opinion. One spot I really did like was when Masato went for the Slingblade off the top rope and PAC just flipped out of it and it just looked more smooth. Also, the Corkscrew PAC did to the outside looks great despite him shooting himself a little bit too far since most of the people were a bit too close.
PAC pulled off a lot of power moves like the Pop-up Powerbomb and it looked like he had Masato right where he wanted him as he went to the top rope to go for the Black Arrow but he was able to catch himself once Masato moved out of the way and hits the Another Space and then would hit the first Torbellino as he calls for the submission finish to apply the Sol Naciente, but he wouldn’t hold it for long this time as PAC picked him up for the Powerbomb for a two count. PAC seems to be getting back control now as he would try to go for the Black Arrow once more time but Masato picked his knees up to make PAC land on it and rolled him up for a two count. Masato wouldn’t give PAC time to rest as he hits a second Torbellino and applies the Sol Naciente once again but PAC was unable to power out of it this time around as he falls onto the mat unable to move for a bit until his foot landed on the rope to break the hold. Both men would have bursts of energy in the last stand as Masato lands another Torbellino and PAC gets up quickly to hit Masato with a German Suplex and gets him up for a Powerbomb but Masato would Sunset Flip over him for a two count. PAC would hit a Lariat onto Masato to knock him down before hitting the German Suplex Hold for a two count, and it appears PAC has him right where he wants him as he went to the top rope to the Black Arrow and he connects this time for a three count and we have a new champion!
You heard right, PAC is the new Open the Dream Gate Champion. Part of me feels like it’s a bit too soon to win the belt since he just came back a couple of months ago but at the same time, they wanna capitalize on this while he’s still red hot since leaving WWE and it could potentially open new eyes to the product since most fans knew him as Neville. So in a business aspect, it’s a good idea and hopefully, it can lead to what the company is looking for. Let’s see how things turn out.
Rating: Bruce Prichard and a half
Overall: Aside from the two singles matches being the highlight of the show, nothing else really stood out with the multi-man tag matches throughout the night. U-T and Shun did great work together and PAC had a much better match than he did with Flamita and we got a new champion out of it to bring in a new era for Dragon Gate.
Favorite Match: Masato Yoshino vs. PAC
Least Favorite Match: Dragon Dia & Tribe Vanguard (BxB Hulk, Kagetora & YAMATO) vs. Don Fujii, Gamma, Ryo Saito & Super Shisa
Mitchell’s WWE Mixed Match Challenge 2 Results & Report! (12/11/18)
The Mixed Match Challenge is almost done, but there’s been a last-minute substitution! Apollo Crews replaces Finn Balor, can he help Bayley make it to TLC?
- Jinder Mahal & Alicia w/ The Singh Brothers VS Apollo Crews & Bayley; Mahal & Alicia win and advance to the Finals at TLC.
- The Miz & Asuka VS R-Truth & Carmella; Truth & Carmella win and advance to the Finals at TLC.
PLAY BY PLAY
It’s time for the Mixed Match Challenge Semifinals!
The final four teams will be cut down to just two tonight! The Season One champions are still in the running, but they’ve had a rough go of it this year. The Miz and Asuka lost to the #ExtremeFlair after Jeff Hardy stepped in for AJ Styles. However, not even the top seed still stands as the #FABULOUSTruth pulled off the biggest upset to date! Can Truth & Carmella pull off another upset against a tense and dysfunctional Team AWESKA?
As for the Raw Block, #Mahalicia is the only team standing with its original members! Of course, Jinder Mahal and Alicia Fox have yet to truly see eye to eye despite making it back from the bottom of the block. That said, Finn Balor must step down from the Mixed Match Challenge because of the beating Drew McIntyre gave him on Raw a week ago. In his place now stands Apollo Crews, who wants to finally make his mark on the main roster! Can this new Team A’n’B go all the way to TLC?
Backstage with Bayley & Apollo Crews.
New partners start big with a semifinals match, but the dynamic doesn’t change for Bayley. These two are more prepared than ever, and they’ll be so close to being the #30 spots in their respective Royal Rumbles! But the Singh Brothers come in to get them to slow down. No one cares about where they “think” they’re going, because they’re going home! The Maharrrrraja and Foxy will be Too Sweet. No, better: they can hug it out! Bayley boots the Bollywood Boys out, and says she and Apollo will worry about vacation destinations after the match.
Backstage interview with R-Truth & Carmella!
The FABULOUS Truth is ecstatic for tonight. They had a rough start but are on a roll. They’ll be up against the MMC Champions. Miz & Asuka were worried about every team but Truth & Carmella. Well Miz has run his mouth a long time, and Truth knows that from teaming with Miz back in the day. Truth knows for a fact Asuka carries that team. As for tonight, Mella & Truth will carry SmackDown’s flag all the way to TLC. They vow to win, and that’s the truth. Also, Miz said something about shoes? Check these! Carmella’s kicks are F A B U L O U A S! That’s not how you spell fabulous. That aside, let’s move on to choosing a vacation site. Truth likes the idea of Athens. Greece? Georgia? No, Ohio. Well on to match preparations!
Jinder Mahal & Alicia w/ The Singh Brothers VS Apollo Crews & Bayley!
Team A’n’B already meshed well together when they and The Boss, Sasha Banks, took it to #Mahalicia on Raw. However, Sasha Banks won’t be present to help cancel out Samir & Sunil, will #HugNation be able to overcome Shanti and head to TLC?
Bayley and Apollo talk on the way out, and it’s decided: once they win that vacation, they’ll go to Jamaica. “This one’s for Finn!” The teams then sort out, and the men begin. Apollo circles with Mahal and they tie up. Mahal gets a headlock and the Singhs already celebrate. Apollo powers out but Mahal runs him over with a shoulder. Mahal runs but Apollo gets up, only for Mahal to whip him. Apollo leaps over for the sunset flip, TWO! Backslide, TWO! Apollo rolls Mahal up, TWO! Mahal scrambles away and Alicia tags in. Mahal claims he had this, but Alicia doesn’t care. Vegas fires up for Bayley as she circles with Alicia. Bayley rolls Alicia, TWO! She tries again, ONE! A third time, TWO!
Alicia wants a breather and she bails out of the ring. She reprimands the Singhs and Mahal for not helping out. Alicia wants that 30th spot and vacation, but the Singhs and Mahal remind her she needs to win first. Alicia gets back in the ring, but Bayley gets her with a drop toehold! Bayley wants to put on an abdominal stretch, but Alicia resists. They go around and Bayley gets a facelock. The Singhs say that’s cheating, but Alicia drives Bayley into a corner. Alicia throws forearms then wrenches the arm. She kicks Bayley around then reels her in. Bayley reverses to a cradle, TWO! Bayley gets to a corner and flapjacks Alicia on the buckles! The Singhs coach Alicia up and she tags to Mahal!
Apollo comes in, but Mahal wants him to take it easy. Mahal kicks but Apollo blocks to counter punch. Apollo whips but Mahal hits a body shot. Mahal stomps a mudhole into Apollo, then whips him corner to corner. Apollo goes up and over and handsprings, then leaps over Mahal to hip toss him down. Fans fire up with Apollo and Apollo back flips. He lansd on his feet but walks into a hotshot and big knee! Cover, TWO! Mahal keeps his cool as he drives an elbow into Apollo’s head. He whips Apollo corner to corner hard and Apollo hits the mat. Mahal stomps away but Bayley keeps the Singhs back. Mahal drops knees then grinds Apollo down. The ref counts and Mahal stops at 4. Mahal brings Apollo up in a half nelson chinbar.
Apollo endures as fans rally up, and Apollo fights out. Mahal shoves Apollo and runs him over with an elbow! Cover, TWO! Mahal puts Apollo back in the half nelson, but Apollo endures. Fans rally up and Apollo fights back. Mahal shoves but Apollo kicks back. Apollo runs but into a clobbering clothesline! Mahal pulls back with a camel clutch. Fans rally again but Mahal wrangles Apollo back down. Mahal wrenches back on the chinlock, but Apollo endures. Fans rally up and Apollo gets moving. Apollo arm-drags out and enziguris Mahal down! Both men crawl for their corners, hot tag to Bayley!
Alicia comes in but Bayley rallies! Bayley puts Alicia in a corner for the back elbow, and corner punches! She gets 8, but Alicia slips out. Bayley jumps over to hit a big back suplex! Bayley runs in for the big knee, but Alicia gets to the apron. Alicia bumps Bayley off buckles, but Bayley hotshots her back! Bayley2Belly! Cover, but the Singhs drag Alicia out! The referee reprimands them but Apollo wipes them out with flying clotheslines! Apollo then leaps up again, asai moonsault takes them out again! He feeds Samir to Bayley2Belly! Then the same for Sunil! Bayley fires up but Mahal boots Apollo down! Bayley DIVES on Mahal! She puts Alicia back in, but walks into a boot!! Cover, Mahalicia wins!!
Winners: Jinder Mahal & Alicia Fox, Alicia pinning; advance to the MMC Finals at TLC
The dysfunctional duo makes it work! Granted, they succeeded against teams that had substitute members, such as how Curt Hakwins stepped in for Braun Strowman last week. But a win is a win, and now Mahalicia will represent Raw in the Finals! Who will they face in their shot at the 30th spots and the all-expenses-paid vacation?
Backstage interview with Mahalicia.
Did they ever think this day would come? Of course they did! Mahal meditated and visualized, and he sees himself, Alicia, and the Singhs on the beach. Alicia agrees with winning, but NOT with letting the Singhs joining them. They’re successful because SHE is the Captain! She’s driving this ship into Port Victory, without them! But Asuka comes over, laughing at how Mahalicia thinks they’re gonna win. It doesn’t matter what happened on tonight’s SmackDown, Asuka says she’s gonna win, because her match is next!
The Miz & Asuka VS R-Truth & Carmella!
The Season One champions are on the rocks right now as The Empress doesn’t appreciate The A-Lister trying to take credit for her work. Meanwhile, the fourth seed FABULOUS Truth have put in the work to make it back up from the bottom. Will we see another historic upset from Truth and the Princess of Staten Island?
“Las Vegas, make some noise! What’s up!?” The Miz and Asuka aren’t impressed, and aren’t in the mood for that Dance Break the fans are cheering for. The teams sort out and both Miz and Asuka say “I’ve got this.” Fans are on Asuka’s side. Miz concedes, and Asuka starts with Carmella. But then Miz calls over to tag in. Asuka refuses, because she’s got it. But then she chops him, which counts for a tag! Truth comes in and Asuka is annoyed. Truth rolls Miz up! TWO, but Truth stays on Miz. Miz powers out but Truth runs him over. Truth does his bunny hop dance, then things speed up. Truth holds ropes to do the rest of his dance. Miz runs in but Truth dodges to tilt-o-whirl Miz to a corner. Truth runs in to haymaker Miz. The ref backs Truth up and Miz kicks low.
Miz bumps Truth off buckles, then stomps him. Miz whips corner to corner but Truth goes up and over to dab on ’em! This annoys Miz and he runs back in, but Truth does the splits to dodge, then hip tosses Miz down! Truth clotheslines Miz out, and Carmella comes in, for the DANCE BREAK~! Asuka is furious at Miz while Truth and Carmella floss and twerk. Carmella calls out Asuka, so Asuka shows off her moves on the apron. Miz is annoyed but Truth hip tosses Miz back in! Truth throws hands then climbs up for corner punches. He gets 8 before Miz pushes him away and boots Truth down. Miz chokes Truth on the ropes, then hits his straddle attack. Cover, TWO!
Miz keeps on Truth with a camel clutch but Carmella rallies the fans. Truth gets up and fights back. Miz pulls hair to throw Truth down and deny the tag. Miz stalks Truth, to boot him down! Cover, TWO! Truth survives and Miz argues with the ref. Miz hears the fans rally and say “We Want Asuka!” Miz ignores that but gets rocked by haymakers from Truth! Truth back suplexes but Miz lands out to kick low and hit the basement DDT! Cover, but Carmella breaks it! Carmella goes back to her corner, but then Miz mocks the moonwalk. It wasn’t very good, but Miz stomps Truth down. Miz brings Truth up and uses his It Kicks. Miz winds up but misses, Truth rolls him up! TWO, and Miz clobbers Truth with a clothesline!
Fans rally but Miz grins as he runs corner to corner at Truth. He hits the dropkick, then keeps going to hit another. Miz soaks up the heat before running back in, but Truth clobbers him! Both men are down but fans are fired up. Truth and Miz crawl, hot tag brings in the ladies! Carmella rallies with lariats and a kick. She brings Asuka over for a bump off her boot. Asuka’s down but she dodges the bronco buster to then lift Carmella in a waistlock. Carmella screams and shouts to be let down, so Asuka gently sets Carmella back on her feet. To then lift her back up! Carmella fights out but gets the pop-up knee! Asuka runs, sliding wizard! Cover, TWO!
Carmella survives and Asuka grows frustrated. Miz is also frustrated but Asuka stays on Carmella with knees. Carmella jawbreakers and shoves Asuka away, Miz tags in! Miz goes after Truth but Truth punches him away. Truth rallies with the Lie Detector elbow! Cover, but Asuka breaks it! Carmella throws Asuka into buckles, and tunes up the band. She aims at Miz, but Miz uses Asuka as a shield?! The FABULOUS Kick hits Asuka, then Miz shoves Truth into Carmella before rolling Truth up! TWO!! FABULOUS KICK, to Scissor Kick! Cover, TWO!? Miz lives?! Fans are stunned but loving this!
Asuka throws Carmella out, then Miz dumps Truth out. Miz and Asuka catch their breath, but Asuka locks eyes with Miz. She knows what Miz just did, and he tries to say it wasn’t him. Asuka doesn’t believe Miz, she knows what she saw. Miz is afraid of what she’ll do, and says that they’re still a team. They can still win this together! Okay? No! Asuka fires off on Miz!! Buzzsaw! Miz is rocked, and Asuka ditches him! Truth gives Miz an Unprettier! Cover, Fabulous Truth win!!
Winners: R-Truth & Carmella, Truth pinning; advance to the MMC Finals at TLC
The Season One Champions are no longer in the tournament! The A-Lister made a major mistake thinking he could manipulate the Empress of Tomorrow, and now the FABULOUS Truth capitalize! It will be Truth & Carmella VS Mahal & Alicia at TLC, who wins to become the new Mixed Match Challenge Champions?
Last episode, last time for one of these. Admittedly, we all should’ve known, me especially, that this was not going to end with an amazing match up of top stars in the Finals. The big names like Finn Balor, Braun Strowman, Charlotte Flair, AJ Styles, etc were only in this second MMC to hook fans. WWE needs people to use Facebook Watch because of the deal they made, so that’s why we got great combinations to start. But naturally, it was all bait and switch, considering how those same big names would inevitably end up in more important stories like the titles and grudges we’re getting at TLC. Rest in peace, my dream of Bullet Club leaders and NXT Four Horsewomen members all in one match.
As for the bracket we did get, I knew it was going to end up this way. I thought Apollo was going to be Bayley’s second chance at that 30th spot after Finn had to step down for the sake of his match against Drew McIntyre. Then San Jose could cheer on their hometown girl as she goes against SmackDown’s finalist. However, Mahalicia still wins so that they are the Heels of the Finals. And while I knew Truth & Carmella were going to go in once Asuka ended up in the TLC Triple Threat, I really enjoy how they wrote it for the match. It was only a matter of time before Asuka got fed up with Miz’s ego, and this was the breaking point. Truth and Carmella will certainly benefit the most from being the 30th entrants, even if they aren’t destined to win the Rumbles.