ROH WRESTLING TELEVISION, Episode 357
The Peacock is banged up and bruised, but he’ll still putting his ROH World Championship on the line! Against THREE opponents! Will he survive as champion?
All images courtesy of the Fite.TV app and streaming service
- WOH Championship: Sumie Sakai VS HZK (Hazuki) w/ Oedo Tai; Sumie wins and retains the WOH Championship.
- ROH World Championship Fatal 4 Way: Dalton Castle w/ The Boys VS Matt Taven VS Cody w/ Bernard the Business Bear VS Jay Lethal; Lethal wins and becomes the new ROH World Champion.
PLAY BY PLAY
ROH reviews Best in the World 2018!
The Briscoes battled with the Young Bucks for the ROH World Tag Team Championships, and would score another win for Sandy Fork VS Everybody. The Greatest Man That Ever Lived and the K I N G went from great friends to bitter enemies in a grudge match. The Franchise Player made back another loss with a win over the Time Splitter. The Purple Mist and World Television Champion would punish the Problem Solver in their No Disqualification match for the title. A Bully would be run off by someone his own size. And a Peacock would survive both an American Nightmare and a British Villain to remain on top. With BitW finally behind us, what will happen going forward?
Jay Lethal heads to the ring!
The Franchise is here coming off his win over Kushida. He lets us know that when he won, “it wasn’t just a victory for me.” Lethal reminds us of the goal he set for himself, that if he’s going to return to the world title scene, he’d be at the top of his game. And if you ask Kushida, he’ll tell you that Lethal is. The best way to get back to the top was to avenge his losses, as few as they were. Best in the World, Lethal completed the list, so the only thing left to do is to get back in the world title picture. Lethal therefore officially declares while everyone is watching and listening, “Dalton Castle, I want a shot.” Fans like the sound of that, but instead of Castle appearing, it’s The Kingdom’s Matt Taven!
“No, no, no!” Taven protests as he storms out to the ring. How many times does Jay Lethal need? How many opportunities will he get? In six years, Taven’s gotten only two, and it’s the only belt he hasn’t had. The fans can boo but it’s all true. Two shots in six years, yet it always ends with interference and ROH did nothing about it. By the way, nice salmon shirt. Taven would be dressed up too but he actually does work. Castle has been ducking Taven with fake injuries, so Taven is the REAL World Champion! Fans still boo as he calls himself the “Uncrowned King”! Lethal needs to get in line behind him. But now, a former World Champion appears. It’s Cody!
The American Nightmare also brings Bernard the Business Bear! Cody and Bernard go to the ring, and Cody joins the conversation. Taven teases him over the black eye, but Cody admits Taven has a point. Taven is in line for a shot, as is Lethal. “But guys, I am next in line for a title shot.” However, the world champion himself appears now!
“Well this is pretty wild right here.” The last time this many people wanted something he had, it was 1997 and he got a Tamagachi. Jay and Cody look sharp, by the way. But to make something clear to all three, Castle feels like his body was run over by a herd of wildebeest. And yet he’s still ROH World Champion, and still has a diamond heart. He won’t back down from a challenge. And if it’s all three at once, then he’s up for it. Fans chant “Fatal Four Way!” and Castle is up for one of those. He’ll even do it TONIGHT! Is the Peacock courageous or crazy?
WOH Championship: Sumie Sakai VS HZK (Hazuki) w/ Oedo Tai!
The Ray of Sunshine and inaugural Women’s Champion defends her title for the second time ever. Stardom’s World Tiger #4 wants to make up for not winning the tournament, can she make good on this golden opportunity?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, but there’s no Code of Honor. HZK slaps Sumie’s hand away then swings on her, but Sumie ducks to Mongolian chop! The bell rings and Sumie is already fired up. She whips but HZK reverses to throw her down by her hair! There’s that new found edge from joining Oedo Tai. HZK picks Sumie up and throws her to a corner. She gets the fans into it as she claps while scraping her boot into Sumie. HZK then runs for the corner to corner for another boot wash! Sumie ends up outside the ring but HZK fetches her. She throws Sumie into barriers while Oedo Tai lurks.
HZK scoop slams Sumie right to the floor mats! She then stares down a fan, and flips him off! HZK drags Sumie up to throw into another barrier, then puts her back in the ring. HZK runs and dropkicks Sumie back out! Fans fire up as HZK climbs up and takes aim. HZK leaps for a SUPER SENTON! Direct hit! The young upstart is in control while we go to break.
ROH returns and HZK grinds Sumie with a headlock. Sumie gets free but not for long, as HZK uses body scissors to roll Sumie around! HZK stops to make it a cover, TWO! Oedo Tai knows HZK was close as she drags Sumie up. HZK prepares a full nelson but Sumie breaks out. Sumie and HZK trade forearms back and forth. Fairfax is on Sumie’s side as she gets an edge. HZK knees low, then runs, but into a back elbow. Sumie whips but HZK reverses only for Sumie to reverse back. Sumie gives an elbow then runs, for a big forearm smash! Fans fire up with the champ as she drags HZK up. She hits a Northern Lights with a bridge, TWO!!
Sumie rallies the fans up as she runs, but into a bicycle kick! HZK drags Sumie up, Full Nelson Slam! Running senton! TWO! HZK was close again, but she doesn’t lose focus. She runs in corner to corner for the back elbow, then climbs up for the tornado DDT! Cover, TWO! That was close but not enough. HZK drags Sumie up but Sumie counters to a small package, TWO! Code Breaker outta nowhere from HZK! Both women are down but the fans are fired up. HZK stands first and drags Sumie over. She climbs up again, and fans rally up. She jumps, but her senton flops as Sumie rolls away. Sumie fires up now as she takes aim. HZK stands and Sumie runs in for a modified shining wizard! Sumie keeps going, swinging fisherman neckbreaker, the TJ Special! Cover, TWO!!
Sumie was super close, but she’s not done yet. She climbs up top, but HZK stirs. Sumie waits and the fans fire up, for a big missile dropkick! Sumie then gives HZK the swinging knee. HZK slumps out of the ring, but Oedo Tai goes to her side. Sumie climbs up, to SUPER Crossbody onto them all! Fans are thunderous while Oedo Tai is reeling. Sumie drags HZK back up and in, then drags her back up while fans chant “This is Awesome!” Sumie hits the Fisherman Buster! Cover, TWO! HZK is young but she has heart beyond her years. Sumie’s fine with that, as she drags HZK up again. Dragon sleeper but HZK slips out. HZK kicks but Sumie blocks to double stomp.
Sumie climbs up now, but HZK crawls over. They brawl and a headbutt knocks HZK down. HZK gets back up to kick Sumie’s legs out, then she hits a DRAPING Code Breaker! Cover, TWO!? Sumie shocks everyone, and Hana Kanamura is pissed. She argues with the ref, but here comes Kagetsu! HZK holds onto Sumie while Kagetsu throws a kick, but Sumie ducks and the kick hits HZK! Sumie gives Kagetsu a big saido suplex, then drags HZK up. Smash Mouth! Cover, Sumie wins!
Winner: Sumie Sakai, by pinfall; still WOH Champion
The Ray of Sunshine survives the shadowy trio of Oedo Tai to remain the first and only champion. Will Sumie’s streak continue on to be the best of all time?
Marty Scurll speaks.
The Villain makes sure ROH staff knows where his powder should be. But then ace reporter, Gregory Helmsworth, asks him about that world title triple threat he lost. Shane, Greg, whoever you are, now’s not the time. No need to get hot, Mr. Cobblepot. That was the last straw, Scurll attacks! Staff security tries to stop him, but they only suffer his wrath the same as Helmsworth. Scurll takes Helmsworth’s fingers, and snaps them! He DARES Helmsworth to come back for more. Will the Villain soon find a vengeful hurricane coming through?
ROH World Championship Fatal 4 Way: Dalton Castle w/ The Boys VS Matt Taven VS Cody w/ Bernard the Business Bear & Brandi Rhodes VS Jay Lethal!
The Peacock’s body may be brittle, but his heart is indestructible! Which one will carry him through this match when the “Uncrowned King”, American Nightmare and Franchise Player are all gunning for his gold?
The bell rings and all four men stand off, but then Taven rushes Castle. Cody and Lethal brawl, too, as they have history. Castle ends up outside but he brings Taven with him. They continue to brawl, Taven targeting the bad back. Lethal clubs Cody then chops him. He bumps Cody off buckles while Taven rocks Castle with haymakers. Lethal whips Cody but Cody stops himself to drop down for the uppercut. Cody whips Lethal, but Lethal reverses. Lethal hip tosses and dropkicks, then avoids Taven’s missile dropkick. Taven gets to a corner, and Lethal chops him. Lethal whips corner to corner but Taven goes up and over. Things speed up and Taven kicks, punches, but misses the heel kick. Lethal chops Taven, then whips him again.
Taven holds ropes to dump Lethal to the apron, and the Kick of the King sends Lethal down. Taven rushes Cody but ends up on the apron now, and gets the Beautiful Disaster Kick! Castle returns and gets Cody with the knee to slam. Castle runs and clotheslines Cody out. Fans rally and Castle builds speed, but only to strut! The Peacock sees Cody coming and sends him back out. Taven runs in to clothesline Castle out, but then Lethal does the same to Taven. Lethal takes aim, builds speed, and DIVES onto Castle and the Boys! He gets back in and DIVES onto Taven! Then he DIVES on Cody! The trifecta is complete but Lethal still wants more. Lethal aims and builds speed, to DIVE on Castle & The Boys again! Then he DIVES onto Taven again! Lethal aims at Cody again, but Cody uses Bernard as a shield!
Well that was a trifecta, but not on the right target. Fans are still thunderous while Lethal puts Cody in the ring. Lethal chops, Cody chops, but Lethal chops again. Lethal backs Cody down to a corner, then whips him corner to corner. Cody back elbows out, then has Brandi toss him the Ring of Honor! The referee stops that, but Cody takes advantage to low blow Lethal! Taven returns, but Cody blocks Taven’s low blow to send it at Castle. Castle catches the leg, which leaves Taven open to Cody’s low blow! The referee finally gets Brandi to back away, and this leaves Cody and Castle.
Fans rally up as the two circle. Cody throws a forearm but Castle gives a swift jab. Cody throws another forearm, and Castle throws another jab. The brawl continues back and forth, but Castle gets the edge. The bad leg slows Castle down but he still uses those arms. He jabs Lethal and scoop slams him. Lethal rolls away but Taven returns. Castle grabs Cody, but Cody reverses to a takedown. Cody goes for the American Deathlock while Lethal throws Taven into barriers. Lethal takes his time, letting Castle suffer. Lethal climbs up top but Taven pushes him down. Taven climbs up, for the Frog Splash on Cody! Cover, TWO! Castle’s reign is in danger while we go to break.
ROH returns as Taven whips Lethal corner to corner at Cody. Lethal reverses, and Cody sends Taven all the way out of the ring. Lethal kicks Castle then catches Cody, and hits the DDT and Complete Shot side-by-side! Cover on Castle, TWO! Lethal drags Cody up to throw him out. Lethal positions Castle, then climbs up top. Fans rally behind him, and he takes aim… for Hail to the- Nope, saw that boot coming, so Lethal adjusts to a Figure Four! Castle’s bad leg endures the legendary hold, and he grabs the referee to keep from tapping. Cody returns and drags Lethal off the hold, but Lethal snapmares out of Cross Rhodes. Lethal boots, enziguris and spins to roundhouse Cody out. Taven runs in but his boot misses. Lethal chops him on the ropes, then keeps chopping.
The chops keep coming, faster and faster, harder and harder, until Taven is on the mat! Fans fire up with Lethal as he is the only man standing. Lethal drags Taven up, whips, but Taven reverses. Lethal sunset flips but Taven rolls through for #JustTheTip shining wizard! Cover, but Castle breaks it. Taven gets an elbow from Castle, but boots back from a corner. Taven runs, into Bangarang position, but he school boys out of it! But the referee is busy with Lethal’s injury. He’s late to the count, TWO! Taven is shocked and furious, he would’ve been champion twice over by now! Cody creeps up behind, ducks the enziguri to then give Cross Rhodes! Cover, TWO!! Taven somehow survives, and Brandi is furious for Cody’s sake.
Castle gets up but gets hands from Cody. He hits back, and Lethal comes in. Castle hits Lethal, as does Cody. But then Castle and Lethal both hit Cody. Castle and Cody hit Lethal, but then Castle hits them both. Lethal hits Castle, and all three men drop to their knees. Fans are loving this as they all get back up. Lethal enziguris Castle, but Cody rocks Lethal with a haymaker. Cody whips but Lethal reverses. Cody goes up and over, spinning powerslam! Cover, TWO! Castle stands but runs into a kick. Cody springboards, Beautiful Disaster! Taven returns, CLIMAX! Cover, but Cody breaks it. Taven shouts, “I hate you!” at Cody, and now they brawl. Lethal stands up, handsprings, DOUBLE Lethal Injection!
But Taven and Cody both roll away before he can cover one. Castle returns and scoops Lethal. Lethal slips out to give a cutter! Lethal fires up and the fans do, too. He handsprings again, Lethal Injection! Cover, but Taven drags the referee out! If Taven isn’t champ, no one else will be champ. But then Brandi SLAPS him! ROH Fatal 4 Ways can have disqualifications, but the ref lets this one slide. The match continues after one last break.
ROH returns once more, and Cody has a chair! He brings it around, but Lethal takes aim. Lethal DIVES, but Cody shields himself with the chair! Cody walks over to Lethal, but Taven FLIES! Taven walks over to them, and drags Cody into the ring. Taven looks under the ring, and finds a table! Fairfax hates Taven but the love this idea. Taven puts the table back in and starts setting it up. He drags Cody over to a corner and hoists him up top. Taven keeps Cody still with a swing kick, then climbs up to join him. Taven goes way up, but Castle returns! Castle adds on, and his powerbomb sends the SUPERPLEX through the table!!
Lethal returns and covers Taven, but ROPEBREAK saves the match. Fans know “This is Awesome!” as the ref clears the table out. ROH staff helps with that while Lethal goes after Castle. He and Castle brawl with big haymakers and slapping palm strikes. The brawl speeds up to be fast and furious! Castle gets the edge, but then misses his discus to get Lethal’s SUPERKICK! Lethal runs, handsprings, but misses the cutter. Castle gets him up and spins him around, but Lethal turns that to a victory roll! Then that becomes a Figure Four, but Castle turns it into a small package! TWO! Lethal dodges, handsprings, LETHAL INJECTION! Cover, LETHAL WINS!
Winner: Jay Lethal, by pinfall; NEW ROH World Champion
He’s done it!! The Franchise finishes his quest for redemption by once again becoming ROH WHC! Taven is furious over the screw job, while Cody and Brandi are distraught. As for the former champion, Castle stands up and faces the new champion. Lethal sets the belt down, and offers a handshake. Castle accepts it to uphold the Code of Honor. When and where will The Peacock come back for the rematch?
A great episode of ROH, though it does point out the glaring flaw in their system: TV coverage. They only now give a recap of Best in the World when that happened weeks ago. ROH does their best using Honor Club to keep fans more current with their events, but their TV needs to do something to help the company as a whole grow. But that aside, the two matches we got were great. The Women of Honor Championship was a fun match, and it really established Stardom’s Heel trio here as they almost get the upset on Sumie. Sumie wins so that Oedo Tai doesn’t have belts from both promotions, and to grow her legacy as the inaugural champion. Chances are it’ll still be Kelly Klein who takes that belt off Sumie as the strongest Heel in the WOH Division.
Then the “scheduled” ROH World Six Man Tag titles were moved back a week. In kayfabe, that’s because Taven was put into the World Championship. In reality, it was also way too soon. Kenny King, Chuckie T & Eli Isom only just became #1 contenders, give them time to rest and prepare to challenge the champs. But that’s fine, because this “impromptu” World Championship Fatal 4 Way was great. Of course, Honor Club had this match weeks ago, too, so anyone who closely followed ROH news already knew Lethal won. However, it was still great to see it for myself, everyone was so good in the match. Lethal wins, or rather Castle loses, because Castle is clearly worn down from all the matches he’s had while champion. Castle will recover while Lethal takes the baton, but the controversy following him might complicate things. Only time will tell how his reign goes.
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.