ROH WRESTLING TELEVISION, Episode 354
It’s Best in the World Weekend, and ROH makes sure to deliver even on free TV! The Kingdom has cried conspiracy, but the ring leader, Matt Taven, gets his chance to shine. Can he defeat one of CMLL’s most decorated in Ultimo Guerrero? Plus action from young stars like Josh “The Goods” Woods and Jonathan Gresham!
- Jonathan Gresham VS Kenny King; King wins.
- Josh Woods VS Facade w/ Danni; Woods wins.
- Ultimo Guerrero VS Matt Taven w/ TK O’Ryan; Taven wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Jonathan Gresham VS Kenny King!
The Octopus has worked to revive a more technical grappling style to ROH, but he hasn’t quite gotten it to stick. Meanwhile, the K I N G is reeling from a loss to his former friend, Austin Aries, at the Best in the World PPV. Which man will rebound with a win in the Hammerstein Ballroom?
The Code of Honor is upheld and the bell rings. Gresham and King circle as fans rally up. They tie up, and Gresham gets the arm wrench to wristlock. King pries his way out, but Gresham gets him in a hammerlock. King reaches for ropes but spins through to overhead arm-drag. They both stand up and King arm-drags Gresham again, into an armlock. Gresham sits up and arm-drags but King holds on arm-drag Gresham again. Gresham headscissors to counter, but King pops out. They stand off, and fans applaud.
King and Gresham circle as fans duel. More fans are on King’s side as he ties up with Gresham again. King powers Gresham to a corner, then pats the shorter Gresham on the head as they break. They circle again, tie up, and Gresham goes low to come back up with a keylock. He brings King to the mat, trapping an arm while pulling on King’s neck. Gresham then shifts and rolls to crucifix, TWO. King arm-drags Gresham again, but Gresham works his way up again. King puts Grehsam in a corner, then back elbows on the break. He whips Gresham corner to corner but Gresham goes up and under. Gresham offers the leg, but it’s only bait to bring King in for a headlock. King powers out then runs Gresham over. King dances and grins, then runs again.
Gresham stops him with another offer of the ankles. King pushes the feet aside to get moving again. Gresham tries again, and King grabs the legs to tell Gresham to stop. But Gresham uses that moment to smack Kenny’s wrists against each other. Gresham gets the headlock takeover but King pops out. Gresham gets another takeover, then another, but King keeps powering out. King gets a takeover, but gets caught in the headscissors while we go to break.
ROH returns and Gresham is clamped onto King with a sleeper hold and body scissors. King carries Gresham as a backpack as he pries his way out, and he throws Gresham off with force. King stalks up behind Gresham and carries him in a fireman’s carry. Gresham grabs ropes as he resists. King gets him to let go, then hits Gresham with the chin-check to spinning enziguri! Cover, TWO! King keeps on Gresham with a backbreaker, then stalks Gresham to a corner. He clubs and kicks Gresham’s back, then whips Gresham corner to corner hard. King rolls Gresham over for a hammerlock clutch. Fans duel as Gresham endures. King blocks the ropes but Gresham still reaches. Gresham stands and fights out. Gresham throws a forearm, then tries for a lift, but that bad back won’t let him. King stomps on the back, then covers. TWO, but King won’t let up.
Fans rally as King scoops and slams, then gets to the ropes. King springboards but Gresham avoids the leg drop. Both men get to a corner, and Kenny runs in, but misses those shotgun knees. Gresham runs in now, for a big boot. He goes again for another! Gresham fires up but King follows, only to end up in a drop toehold that sends him into buckles. Gresham gets moving again, for a big dropkick! Fans are fired up with Gresham as Kenny crawls out. Gresham climbs on and goes for a sleeper, but King puts him on the apron. King gets the Eddie Gordo kick, then slingshots. Gresham sees it coming and slips back inside. King manages to stay on the apron, and as Gresham runs, King returns to SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO!
King can’t believe it, but fans are rallying. He brings Gresham up, fireman’s carry, but Gresham lands on his feet to small package! But the cradle is rocking, it’s TWO after TWO. They keep moving, fighting for control, but fans are loving it. It lands in Gresham’s favor, TWO! So close, but King rocks Gresham with a forearm for it. King runs, but Gresham follows to springboard quebrada! Fans rally up again as both men slowly stir. King is up first, but Gresham isn’t far behind. Gresham throws a forearm, so King gives it back. Gresham hits, then King hits, and back again. They pick up speed, but King blocks to counter and then give a spinning forearm. But Gresham’s back up for an enziguri!
Gresham runs in but is put on the apron. He shoulders back in, then climbs up top. Gresham leaps, crossbody but roll through! TWO! Gresham rolls and spikes King with that huricanrana! High stack cover, TWO, but Gresham Oklahoma rolls. King rolls through, fireman’s carry, Royal Flush! Cover, King wins!
Winner: Kenny King, by pinfall
The K I N G breaks even as he gets a win back on his record. Will the two-time ROH World Television Champion manage to fight his way back up towards that title? Will Gresham ever get that “signature win” he’s seeking?
ROH looks ahead to two weeks.
In two weeks, ROH TV Episode 356, it will be the first ever Six Man Tag GAUNTLET! The winning trio will then earn a title shot at the World Six Man Tag Team Champions, The Kingdom! Who will enter the gauntlet? And who will win to challenge the champions?
Josh Woods VS Facade w/ Danni!
It’s time to #GoNinjaGoNinjaGo as the Aerosol Assassin takes on The Goods in his ROH return match. Meanwhile, The Notorious Hitman, Shane Taylor, is watching is current rival closely, as their grudge is not so easily settled. Can Woods focus on the Neon Ninja before him? Or will he be too distracted by the serious threat looming nearby?
The Code of Honor is upheld and the bell rings. Facade comes out quick with a boot to the face, but Woods doesn’t fall down. Facade runs, but into Woods’ boot! Woods gutwrenches, and throws Facade! He holds on to do it again! Woods drags Facade up for a third time, but Facade huricanranas out. Facade thrust kicks, then runs, then ducks the clothesline to a waistlock. Woods powers his way out to a standing switch, then throws Facade down. Woods pulls on the arm, but Danni and fans rally up for Facade. Facade endures and powers up, to fight out. Woods comes back but misses, Facade hits a roundhouse. Facade runs but into a punch. Woods whips Facade, but Facade ducks to quebrada!
Woods gets out of the ring, and Facade builds speed, but runs into another punch. Facade is down but Woods covers, TWO. Fans rally for Facade but Woods stalks him. Woods throws Facade overhead, then fires up. He runs into the corner, but Facade dodges. Facade mule kicks, then again, but that spinning back kick is blocked! Woods kicks but Facade Matrix handsprings to come back with a calf kick. Facade gets up but Woods hits back with forearms and knees. Woods whips but Facade goes out to the apron. Facade hits Woods away, then climbs up top. Facade walks the tight rope, for a missile dropkick! Fans rally and Woods goes out of the ring again. Facade builds speed again, double hop for the springboard senton! Down goes The Goods, but fans fire up!
Facade puts Woods back in the ring, then aims again. He springboards, bulldog! Cover, TWO! Facade can tell he’s close, and Danni keeps the fans going. Facade prepares another move, but is caught by Woods into the waistlock. They go into the corner, roll, Chaos Theory! But Woods isn’t done, as he fireman’s carry and Widowmaker! Cover, Woods wins!
Winner: Josh Woods, by pinfall
The Goods downs the Neon Ninja, but the Hitman gives him credit. Woods knows Taylor is there, so he calls him out. “Last time we fought, you knocked me out. And I’ve been fighting my whole entire life.” Woods has been hit a lot, but he never felt something like that. Woods knows something is up. Taylor responds, asking what Woods means by that. What’s up is that Taylor’s #OnePunchShane for a reason. But maybe Woods is just a glutton for punishment, so anywhere, anytime. If he wants another shot at Taylor, just come get it. Then why not here and now?
Taylor double checks, he wants to fight here in New York? Bet! Taylor makes his way to the ring and Woods is ready. But then Taylor reconsiders. “The Hell I look like, fighting in front of these people for free?” Taylor is pretty sure New York treats stars like trash. “Just ask Carmelo Anthony.” NBA aside, Taylor says ROH needs to sign the contract, because #BigMoneyShane doesn’t fight for free. Taylor leaves Woods and the fans wanting more, but when and where will it happen?
The Dawgs speak.
Big Rhett & Little Willie heard about that Six Man Tag Gauntlet, and they want in. But that means getting a third man for the job. This might not be the best way to recruit one… It’s okay, Rhett and Shane Taylor go way back. Yes, they’re going to talk with Shane Taylor.
They explain to Shane about the Six Man Tag Gauntlet and how they need a third man, so who better than him? Don’t worry, they’ve got money, drinks, just… Not right now. They have a certified IOU! Seriously? It’s on a napkin. And IOU’s don’t work. Come back with money. Real money. If it’s a big jar of change like last time, he’ll unload on both of you. Rhett and Ferrara argue as Shane makes his way out of the room. Will they get enough money for Shane to accept? Or will they be shut out of the Gauntlet completely?
ROH looks at what led to next week’s No Holds Barred match.
Cheeseburger requested such an intense match after everything Bully Ray has done. It was back at Supercard of Honor XII that The Dawgs challenged Burger to a match, but Burger needed a partner. So Burger turned to a man he thought would help him in the tag team hall of fame legend. Bully accepted, and the two rallied on Rhett & Ferrara, only for Bully to turn on Burger mid-match! Bully was disgusted by Burger putting him on the spot. To Bully, Burger and wrestlers like him are what’s wrong with wrestling today.
Then, as Burger looked for payback at War of the Worlds back in May, Bully robbed him of it with a low blow! Bully let himself be counted out as he glared at fans, then came back to hurt Burger more with a powerbomb. Burger got back at Bully a couple days later with a low blow, only to suffer a SUPER sit-out powerbomb! Bully added insult to injury as he used chains to whip and lash Burger. Burger wins on the record books, but he wants more.
“My first hardcore match. How fitting it takes place in New York City, your hometown, Bully.” Burger has nothing to lose and Bully can’t get the job down. Burger vows to use the fire in his heart and the gold boots on his feet to kick Bully’s ass! Will Burger’s first extreme match be his last?
Ultimo Guerrero VS Matt Taven w/ TK O’Ryan!
The relationship of ROH and CMLL is on display as The Kingdom’s Ring Leader revives a rivalry with Mexico’s Ultimate Warrior. In fact, Taven is still the NWA World Historic Welterweight Championship under CMLL, on top of being one-third of the ROH World Six Man Tag Champions. Can Taven prove himself in singles competition in his quest to become a Grand Slam Champion? Or will Ultimo earn himself opportunities in both promotions instead?
The bell rings but no Code of Honor because Taven does not like Ultimo at all. They circle, but Ultimo takes offense to O’Ryan banging on the apron. Ultimo scares O’Ryan off with a kick, then turns his attention back to Taven. They tie up, and Ultimo gets a waistlock, but Taven counters with a drop toehold. Taven floats over to a headlock, but Ultimo stands up. Ultimo reverses to a wristlock and brings Taven to the mat. Taven headscissors back, but Ultimo pops out. Fans chant “Lucha! Lucha!” for the CMLL Legend and he joins in, “Lucha Libre! Lucha Libre!” Taven mockingly applauds, he doesn’t care. Streamers fly in, Taven definitely doesn’t like that. O’Ryan takes those for him to tear them up, but Ultimo chases O’Ryan off again.
Ultimo returns to the ring and circles with Taven again. They tie up, but Taven kicks low. Taven throws hands and a European Uppercut, then flexes as Ultimo falls. Taven drags Ultimo back up to put him in a corner with a hard buckle bump. He then stomps a mudhole into Ultimo, and O’Ryan chokes Ultimo against the ropes! O’Ryan gets away with it, then Taven keeps on Ultimo with a corner to corner whip. Ultimo reverses and reverses direction, and his whip sends Taven up and over to the outside! Taven manages to hold on, but Ultimo sweeps the legs to then blast him off with a baseball slide! Fans fire up and clap along with Ultimo. Ultimo goes outside, and he rocks Taven with a chop. Ultimo then whips Taven so hard, he goes tumbling over the barriers!
Taven wipes out the trash can full of streamers, yet that fan’s beer somehow goes undamaged. Fans are loving it, though, as Taven crawls his way back. Meanwhile, Ultimo throws O’Ryan into barriers for good measure. Ultimo keeps going, throwing O’Ryan into more barriers. Taven returns, and he’s thrown into barriers nearby. Ultimo refreshes the count, then climbs up top. Ultimo aims, and LEAPS! Taven escapes damage, but O’Ryan is taken out by that elbow!
Ultimo gets up while Taven builds speed. Taven wrecks Ultimo with a dropkick! Ultimo hits barriers, and Taven rubs in that he’s a champ! Taven brings Ultimo up, and runs with him to throw him into barriers on the far side. Taven even snags a fan’s drink! The crossover champion has control while we go to break (before we can see what he was planning with that beer).
ROH returns and Taven has Ultimo back in the ring. Taven has the chinlock on, but fans are rallying behind “Lucha Libre!” Ultimo powers up and fights out, but Taven knees low. Ultimo hits back, then runs, but into Taven’s fireman’s carry. Taven spins to throw Ultimo over the top rope. Ultimo manages to hold on, but Taven sends him down with the Kick of the King. O’Ryan talks trash while Taven builds speed, but then Ultimo yanks O’Ryan over! Taven FLIES, but onto O’Ryan! The Kingdom wipes out, and Ultimo borrows a beer to take a sip. He then throws the rest of it on The Kingdom! Fans are loving this as Ultimo brings a chair over. He sits Taven down, then sits O’Ryan on Taven’s lap. Ultimo gets room, runs and barrels into them both!
Fans are thunderous for the lucha legend throwing caution to the wind, “This is Awesome!” Ultimo is up first, and fans chant “SI! SI!” as Ultimo raises the roof. Ultimo is back in the ring but Taven returns. Taven gets to a corner, but Ultimo chops him sharply. Uno mas! Uno mas! And still, uno mas! Uno, dos, tres, all the way to diez! But Ultimo isn’t over, he whips Taven corner to corner. Taven reverses but Ultimo goes up. Taven climbs up to join him, only to get a SUPER Gordbuster! Cover, TWO!
Fans rally while Taven stirs. Ultimo stands up and stalks Taven to a corner. He whips Taven corner to corner again, but Taven goes up and over. Ultimo catches Taven, but Taven slips out, only to get a stiff back elbow. Ultimo runs corner to corner, for the headstand… swinging bronco buster! AKA Senton de la Muerte! Cover, ROPEBREAK! Taven survives, and Ultimo is a bit surprised. Ultimo drags himself up to his feet while Taven sits up. Fans are dueling now as Ultimo tries to bring Taven up. He gets him up but Taven headscissors. Ultimo sunset flips but Taven rolls through for the Shining Wizard! Taven falls back into the cover, TWO! Taven throws a tantrum while we take one more break.
ROH returns once more, and Ultimo breaks free of Taven’s hold. Ultimo swings on Taven, but Taven turns that around into a swinging neckbreaker! Taven positions Ultimo, runs, LIONSAULT! Cover, TWO! Taven is again frustrated, but fans and Ultimo fire up with “Lucha Libre!” again. Ultimo staggers up while Taven takes aim. Taven hits a forearm smash, then hoists Ultimo up for a swing kick. He climbs up to join Ultimo, but Ultimo blocks the Super Steiner! Ultimo hits a SUPER Powerbomb! Cover, TWO!
Both men are down from exhaustion alone. Ultimo sits up first, but Taven slowly follows. Ultimo stands first, and goes over to Taven. He hits Taven, but Taven hits back. Taven runs, springboards, Kick of the King again! Taven keeps going as he drags Ultimo over. He climbs up, but Ultimo trips him up! O’Ryan distracts while Ultimo climbs up. Ultimo slaps O’Ryan away! But wait, red balloons float out from under the ring! It seemed odd the Horror King wasn’t ringside, but surely that means he’s here after all. And yes, Vinnie Marseglia appears from the other side! He POPS a balloon near Ultimo’s ear! Ultimo falls down, and Taven comes back with CLIMAX! Cover, Taven wins!
Winner: Matt Taven, by pinfall
The Kingdom just can’t leave each other alone. They always help each other out, but in the worst ways possible, as they screw over the CMLL legend. The only #KingdomConspiracy is how they’re always winning by bending the rules.
“What more do I have to prove?” What will it take so that the Melvins of the world recognize Matt Taven’s greatness? Taven respects Ultimo, but it doesn’t matter where you are, “Matt Taven will always, ALWAYS be better than you!” The Six Man Tag Gauntlet is coming. Will a team rise up that can finally shut these three up?
A solid episode of ROH for Best in the World Weekend. As most episodes just after a PPV, it doesn’t outright acknowledge anything that happened at said PPV so as not to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen it. Therefore, the opening match of Gresham VS King was essentially filler since King’s next story likely isn’t booked yet. The match was great, but King getting a win helps keep him afloat in the ROH TV title rankings. I still want Gresham’s story to become that of reviving the ROH Pure Wrestling Championship and subsequent match type, it just seems where he’s heading with all he’s said and done over the last several months. Woods VS Facade was a bit clunky, they haven’t had enough time with each other. Woods VS Taylor should be a good rematch, though.
I know ROH isn’t using the term “No Holds Barred” but they should because that’s what Cheeseburger VS Bully Ray is. No Disqualifications, No Count Outs, that’s basically No Holds Barred. Given there are no rules, that may be the only way Burger stands a chance of winning, but it still looks unlikely. Then the main story of the night is the Six Man Tag Gauntlet coming soon. Five teams, which SoCal Uncensored was mentioned as one, that’s going to be great. SoCal Uncensored might be the team that wins, assuming some form of Bullet Club with the Young Bucks isn’t entered. Taven VS Ultimo Guerrero was great, but Heels gotta Heel with that finish. I hope there’ll be a twist where Taven is told he will both defend the Six Man titles and challenge for the world title, forcing him to choose which is more important.
My Score: 8/10
Andrew’s Stardom 5 Star Grand Prix Red Stars Ratings & Review: Day 7 & 8
We get another combined article because of the way Stardom likes to stagger matches in this tournament.
Day 7 actually didn’t have any Blue Star matches at all, so now the articles will be titled a little differently. I need that Rick and Morty clip about getting your shit together and direct it at Stardom booking. Oh wait, I can!
So with that established, I guess we should look at the matches to come. Tam is eliminated but still has 3 matches to go. So she can go from a measly 2 to a respectable 8 if she can put a few wins together. Utami and Rachael however are still very much in the thick of things, and even face one another on Day 8.
Let’s find if anyone else gets eliminated, or if we continue to have the top half stay alive.
Rachael Ellering vs Tam Nakano
Rachael’s promo is fake and over enthusiastic, whereas Tam’s was realistic and a little bubbleheaded. So it’s really hard for me to ever connect to Ellering’s promos, cause she’s not convincing and her matches thus far have been…umm…shall we say, sub par. So sadly Tam seems to be in the plucky underdog role this year and always getting close with not much of a pay off. So let’s she if she picks up a win to play spoiler, or continues to come up short.
I have no clue what it is about most of Rachael’s matches, but they are hard to watch. Rachael’s Pump Kick that she over uses never looks impactful, she doesn’t take or sell offense well, and it’s just a schlog. This match was no different.
Tam’s kicks are usually crisp, but they hit awkwardly and slowly. Tam even went for a bottom rope assisted Back Body Drop, but Rachael’s foot cause the middle rope and it just looked sloppy. Tam still sold her back, while Rachael focused it, so that was good.
We also see a decent barrage at the end of the match with some false finish rollups, Rachael’s Bossman Slam and then Ellering finally finishes this with the Fallaway Powerbomb.
Winner: Ellering via Fallaway Powerbomb
Rating: * 1/2
Kagetsu vs Kimber Lee
Kimber always has this oddly endearing way of cutting a promo. She talks fairly slowly (the way people do when you’re speaking a language people might not understand), which I find ridiculous, but she says all the correct babyface things. Kagetsu however has a skull mask on her head, pops up into frame and just starts talking casually about things. She just wants to end the match, eat some good food and head to Osaka. It’s casually dismissive of Kimber, but not cruel, perfect tweener kind of temperature.
Kagetsu takes the early advantage and does the cocky heel thing by throwing Kimber to the outside. Hazuki and Sumire get in a few cheap shots before rolling her back in. Kagetsu takes a drink of water and then we get her water spit/mist spot. Which I’m still not sure why that isn’t a disqualification, but I like it, so I’m not questioning it.
After the initial cockiness, Kimber takes advantage of Kagetsu taking her foot of the gas and puts together some offense. A few well placed kicks and suplexes lead to the Swanton Bomb attempt, but Kimber misses. After a little more struggle, Kagetsu eventually hits a Chokeslam and then enough of the Oedo Coaster to get the pinfall.
Not Kagetsu’s best work, but it was a fairly short match and Kimber isn’t positioned as a threat in this tournament.
Winner: Kagetsu via Oedo Coaster
Rating: *** 1/4
Kimber Lee vs Tam Nakano
The opening promos are pretty low energy for both women. Kimber talks about being eliminated but fighting for herself and Tam tries her best to psych herself up. The lack of points is effecting both of these women. Who will get the ball moving to end on a high note?
Not a bad match, just fairly short. Given that all of the Grand Prix matches have a 15 minute time limit, even the longer ones are a little short. Both women utilize a fair amount of kicks and flexibility in their offense, so the mirror aspect was on full display.
Kimber does her split spot, Tam goes for a Buzzsaw Kick, but Kimber blocks it and tries to sweep the leg, but Tam does a split and they both start throwing forearms from the split position. Kimber hits a kick combination first, which drops Tam but only for two. In her opening promo Tam put some emphasis on not wanting to lose to kicks, since those are kinda her thing.
Maintaining advantage, Kimber goes to the top rope but Tam shows some fight. Eventually hitting the Avalanche Snapmare and going up for her Diving Idol Knee, for only a near fall. After a few more close calls, Kimber catches Tam coming off the ropes for a Brain Buster, pulls her to a corner and lands the Swanton Bomb for the pinfall.
Valiant efforts in all her matches, but Tam really can’t catch a break.
Winner: Kimber via Swanton Bomb
Rating: ** 1/4
Rachael Ellering vs Utami Hayayshishita
Well, ya know I’m usually overly disinterested in whatever Rachael’s been doing, but this match was a little different. She basically got to play the heel since she was being very tough on Utami and showing some personality while arguing with the referee. So when it comes down to Rachael’s involvement, it wasn’t the thing that brought the match down, for a change.
However, after the initial burst from Rachael and the playing up a few strikes on the outside, the match never kick it into another gear. It basically was treading water for the last half. Signature moves were hit, Utami landed her Sleeper Hold takeover into the Coquina Clutch, but Rachael got out of it. I’m guess the high point was supposed to be Rachael hitting a Superplex, but nothing felt important, desperate or impressive.
The match ends just as Utami cinches in an Inside Cradle, but the time expires. All of the draws in this tournament are a little off putting.
Winner: Time Limit Draw
Red Stars Standings:
Kagetsu 4-1-1 (9 Points)
Rachael Ellering 4-1-1 (9 Points)
Jungle Kyona 3-1-2 (8 Points)
Utami Hayashishita 3-1-2 (8 Points)
Konami 3-3 (6 Points) – Eliminated
Kimber Lee 2-4 (4 Points) – Eliminated
Tam Nakano 1-5 (2 Points) – Eliminated
Natsuko Tora 1-5 (2 Points) – Eliminated
You know Stardom, you know what happens when you make Tam look good but don’t give her wins? Nothing happens, it’s actually decent story telling and could set up for a big upset of Kagetsu on the Finals day. So as much as the fan in me hates watching Tam come up short (Naito fans around the world know that feel), her determination and the storyline wrinkles could pay off later.
As for the two days…meh? Nothing stood out and these really just felt like matches to set up for the final swerve. These kind of days happen in all tournaments, it just hit really hard in these four matches. I just really really hope Rachael doesn’t win Red Stars.
Mathew’s Stardom 5 Star Grand Prix Blue Stars Results & Review: Day 8
So tomorrow is the last day of the Five Star Grand Prix where we will have our final four matches and the final match on the same day but we got two matches left to cover before we go to the final day.
This show is for people that didn’t have their six matches before the final day and we’re using this to make sure they’re all caught up to speed and we can see who has a chance to make it and who doesn’t. I know it says day 8 in my headline but I had no matches on the seventh day, so I decided to just skip it and go where I have my actual matches. So who wins these two matches?
Let’s find out and…dive right in.
Grand Prix Blue Stars Match
Kelly Klein vs. Natsu Sumire
Review: It’s pretty clear that Sumire is pretty much eliminated and even if she does win this match and her last one, the fact that Mayu would hold the tiebreaker over her if she lost today and won tomorrow, but would still be out if Momo won on the final day since she’d have nine points while Sumire would still have eight if she won both and wouldn’t matter, but she has been one of the highlights of this tournament due to her personality flourishing a lot more here and the fans loving her more and more. Sumire in her pre-match interview seems to be more focused on her bust size and even talked about the supplements she’s been taking for a couple weeks now and is disappointed that there’s been no change in her results just yet and hopes to provide progress updates. Kelly is her opponent tonight and if Kelly does win here, she’ll be in the top spot of the standings and would have a strong chance of winning. Can Kelly win again or will Sumire ruin it for her?
Once again, Sumire made the match fun when it was needed due to it not being the best bout in the tournament here but they did work with what they got, even if it was as pretty standard as they come. Kelly did an okay job in the match as well and probably my least favorite outing of her in the Grand Prix and she just wanted to dominate Sumire. Sumire was mostly doing her antics that you would see in her matches with the false handshakes, cradling them up when they least expect it, and just whipping them. It looked like Kelly was going to go for the win here and when she ran the ropes, Kagetsu kicked her in the back to stun her long enough for Sumire to grab the Oedo Tai sign so she could hit Kelly with it, but Kelly moved out of the way causing the sign to bounce off the ropes and hit Sumire instead in which it gets turned around for Kelly to hit the Fireman’s Carry Slam for the victory and she’s now in first place.
Rating: Tony Schiavone
Grand Prix Blue Stars Match
Hazuki vs. Mayu Iwatani
Review: A win here is very crucial for Mayu Iwatani if she wants to tie it up with Kelly, otherwise she would be eliminated from the tournament and her opponent, Hazuki would take the top spot with nine points and potentially win the whole thing if things work out in her favor. The last time the both of them fought one on one was around February during the ROH Women of Honor tournament and Mayu would come out the winner of that match and Mayu wants to beat her again to show she’s on a whole different level now. Who will take the top spot of the standings, Mayu or Hazuki?
Hazuki is in my top 5 wrestlers of Stardom right now and this match here with Mayu just solidified my statement for this claim. This whole tournament, she has been one of the most consistent wrestlers in her matches with her sequences being on point, her moves are crisp, and how to handle a match lately has been outstanding that she should be under peoples radar. Hazuki right away was being aggressive with Mayu before the bell even rang when she attacked her from behind and kept rolling her up which failed, but she kept on the attack by throwing her around into chairs on the outside and even destroyed Mayu’s arm during the whole match and not holding back on her, I love this side of Hazuki.
This match is one of my favorites in my block next to Hazuki/Momo still being my favorite one, but this one was still pretty damn close with their chemistry in the ring together gave us a special match and it’s not even their last one for their block. They told a great story in the ring, executed everything almost flawlessly, seeing a more aggressive side of Hazuki in her previous two matches, and Mayu selling it all to make it look more dangerous than it probably is, but they were just on point with everything together. Hazuki was pulling out all the stops with having her in the Crossface, working on her arm, stiff Dropkicks and a Codebreaker, but it still wasn’t enough to take Mayu out as she hits the Dragon Suplex Hold and gets the victory to tie first place with Kelly Klein. After the match, she told the crowd that she was now in first place and hopes the crowd will still support her as she looks to win it all at the final.
Rating: Bruce Prichard
Overall: Can’t really give it a fair assessment due to only having two matches with one being average and the other one being great, but the average of it was solid enough. I’m glad to see that all three of my picks are in the top 4 of potential winners and excited for the last day since it’s stacked.
Favorite Match: Hazuki vs. Mayu Iwatani
Blue Stars Standings:
Mayu Iwatani: 4-2 (8 Points)
Kelly Klein: 4-2 (8 Points)
Momo Watanabe: 3-2-1 (7 Points)
Hazuki: 3-2-1 (7 Points)
Nicole Savoy: 3-3 (6 Points)
Jamie Hayter: 2-4 (4 Points)
Saki Kashima: 2-4 (2 Points)
Natsu Sumire: 2-4 (4 Points)
Now that we have our final standings before the final show tomorrow, we see that our top 4 people that could still win this are Mayu Iwatani, Kelly Klein, Momo Watanabe, and Hazuki. We’re gonna break down the final card for tomorrow and see who has a real chance and how can it be done.
- Mayu Iwatani vs. Momo Watanabe
- Hazuki vs. Natsu Sumire
- Kelly Klein vs. Nicole Savoy
- Saki Kashima vs. Jamie Hayter
Here is how these four can win.
Mayu Iwatani: Defeat Momo Watanabe and Nicole Savoy defeats Kelly Klein.
Momo Watanabe: Defeat Mayu Iwatani and Nicole Savoy defeats Kelly Klein.
Kelly Klein: Defeat Nicole Savoy
Hazuki: Defeat Nicole Savoy, Momo Watanabe defeats Mayu Iwatani, and Nicole Savoy defeats Kelly Klein
If Momo and Hazuki do win their matches and Kelly loses, these two will be in a tie and it’ll be interesting to see who gets the final spot since they did tie it up in their outing, interesting direction if that’s the case.
Joe’s CMLL Results & Review (9/17/2018)
CMLL Arena Puebla Show Monday
El Asturiano and Black Tiger vs Espiritu Maligno and Fuerza Chicana
Maligno and Asturiano start out the match exchanging arm drags. Maligno is bare foot so Asturiano while having him in a hold bites his feet. Not very hygienical. Tiger and Chicana make their way in trading holds. Tags are made briefly and they pick up the pace but Chicana and Tiger come back in soon after to continue the faster pace. Maligno misses a splash and Tiger gets him in a surfboard stretch for the submission, then Asturiano pins Chicana with a hurricanrana pin combo. First Fall: El Asturiano pins Fuerza Chicana with a hurricanrana.
Black Tiger hits a monkey flip on Maligno to start the round and then hits a pose. Asturiano and Chicana are in to follow. He ends up feigning a dive to the outside. Maligno and Chicana start to get heat on the other team by double teaming both guys when they get the chance. Malingo hits a baseball slide to Asturiano in the corner and then they get both of them in submissions. Some elaborate stretches. Second Fall: Espiritu Maligno submits El Asturiano with a submission hold.
Third round starts with Asturiano being double teamed. Maligno hits a drop kick on him sending him out bringing in Black Tiger to get doubled. All four are in the ring now exchanging chops. Maligno gets Asturiano in a Gory Guerrero special into a pinning combination for the pin. The Chicana gets Black Tiger in a single leg boston crab for the win. Third Fall: Fuerza Chicana submits Black Tiger with a single leg boston crab.
Winners: Espiritu Maligno and Fuerza Chicana
Oro Jr, Super Astro Jr, and Tigre Rojo Jr vs King Rocker Jr, El Malayo, and King Jaguar
King Jaguar and Oro Jr start off with some chain wrestling, exchanging holds. They meet a stale mate and King Rocker come in and continue to exchange holds and chain wrestle. Tigre Rojo and Malayo come in and pick up the pace. Malayo gets Rojo in the corner to get an advantage on him, but it doesn’t work out. Oro Jr and Rojo hit a combo neck breaker on Malayo. Super Astro hits him with a dive for a pin. Tigre Rojo gets King Jaguar in an arm bar for the first fall. First Fall: Tigre Rojo Jr submits King Jaguar with an arm bar.
King Rocker starts the second fall with Oro jr and Oro gets him to the outside and then hits a pose. Astro comes in there next with Malayo. Astro gets him to the outside and then feigns a dive and hits an elaborate pose. After that Rojo and Jaguar come in and he too gets Jaguar to the outside and feigns a dive. Finally Rocker and Malayo are working over Tigre Rojo. Once they dispose of him they start to triple team Astro Jr. Jaguar hits a big baseball slide dive on Astro. Oro Jr gets hit with a basement drop kick to the hit by King Rocker for the second fall. Second Fall: King Rocker pins Oro Jr with a basement drop kick.
Oro and Rocker start out in the third round. This becomes a triple team attack soon. It doesn’t last for long and Oro Jr, Astro, and Rojo go for dives but they get dodged and then it becomes a brawl. They exchange spots and go for pins that get broken up. Astro hits a top rope headbutt on Malayo and pins him. Oro hits a power slam on Rocker and then Tigre and him do a double team move where Rojo flips Oro onto Rocker for the pin. Third Fall: Oro pins Rocker while being flipped by Tigre Rojo.
Winners: Oro Jr, Super Astro Jr, and Tigre Rojo Jr
Guerrero Maya, Fuego, and Stigma vs El Sagrado, Misterioso, and Tiger
Interesting note, the Arena Puebla is called Temple of Pain in translation. They should do Lucha Underground out of here. Maya and Misterioso start out in the match, and as they exchange holds and perform some mat wrestling, I’d like to point out how hype Fuego’s entrance is. After they go to a stale mate Sagrado and Stigma come in. They don’t last long and Fuego and Tiger get in there and pick up the pace.
Tiger irish whips Fuego into his corner and this causes his teammates to come in and triple team Fuego for a moment. Fuego’s teammates come in to confront. Fuego makes a come back and gets Tiger to the outside and then a brawl breaks out on the outside. After that Maya starts to get triple teamed. Misterioso hits a weak drop kick bringing Maya to the outside then hits a pose, but Fuego rolls him up. First Fall: Fuego rolls up Misterioso.
The second round is started with Stigma getting triple teamed. After they dispose of Stigma to the outside, Maya comes in to try his hand but the numbers are too much. El Sagrado hits an elbow drop for the second fall. Second Fall: El Sagrado hits an elbow drop on Guerrero Maya for the pin.
Maya starts the fall getting triple teamed but made a come back by hitting everyone with a tilt-a-Whirl back breaker. After that Stigma and Fuego came and hit middle rope dives. They all start to exchange spots now, one at a time. Fuego hits his matrix bridge spot and then hits a dive. Stigma hits a big hurricanrana on Misterioso. Tiger and Stigma start to exchange chops.
Eventually Tiger hits a big power bomb. Fuego hits a big victory roll on Misterioso and the ref takes forever to go for the count and Sagrado breaks it up. Misterioso hits a reverse power slam and Fuego breaks up the pin and then he hits a big dive. Stigma hits a pinning combination on on Sagrado and Maya hits a spring board, shoulder block on Tiger for the win. Third Fall: Guerrero Maya hits a shoulder block on Tiger for the win.
Winners: Guerrero Maya, Fuego, and Stigma