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
Andrew’s Impact Wrestling Uncaged Ratings & Review
With the tag titles changing hands last week, do we see more changes with Impact Wrestling Uncaged?
With the tag titles changing hands last week, do we see more changes with Impact Wrestling Uncaged?
The pseudo-PPV atmosphere is sure to bring in more consistent viewership, but they’re in an interesting spot. Taya and Tessa are really the only two credible Knockouts unless Gail comes out of retirement (since Rosemary, Su and Jordynne are in the same storyline), so we’ll probably see this get extended somehow. As for the other title match, The Machine has a lot of support and wrestling fans all know the money is in the chase. So I could see Cage getting “screwed” again, but I’d much rather see Cage with the title.
So let’s get hype for the show with a video package of the returning Reno Scum!
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) February 16, 2019
- Knockout’s Championship Street Fight: Tessa Blanchard vs Taya Valkyrie (c) – Taya retains via Double Footstomp through Table – *** 3/4
- ‘All Ego’ Ethan Page vs Willie Mack: Mack wins via Stunner – ** 1/2
- Elimination 4v4: Team Impact (Fallah Bahh, Sami Callihan, Eli Drake & Eddie Edwards) vs Team AAA (Puma King, Psycho Clown, Hijo del Vikingo & Aerostar): Team AAA 4-3 – *** 3/4
- Fatal 4 Way Impact World Championship: Killer Kross vs Moose vs Johnny Impact (c) vs Brian Cage: Johnny retains via Starship Pain on Moose – *** 1/4
Both women come out with throwback shirts. Tessa comes out with the old school Four Horsemen shirt and Taya comes out in her Perros de Mal shirt (old Triple A stable she was in with Perro Aguayo Jr). This match was a little awkward at times, and the first table they had ” La Wera Loca vs Diamond” painted on, didn’t break after two spear attempts. Really good hardcore style action, with chairs, insults, ring posts and another table. Definitely more of a brawl than wrestling, but after the table didn’t break the subsequent spots seemed to be a little off. Still a solid match, entertaining to watch, good way to start off the Uncaged show. Dios perdona, los perros no.
After a quick promo with Team Impact, Scarlett joins Melissa during the commercial break moment and she’s barely dressed and her and Melissa start doing squats. I mean they’re doubling down on sex sells, and I’m not even mad.
Mack and Page was a solid match. Good brawling, Willie’s agility outlasted Page’s strikes. One would assume the winner should be closer to an X Division title shot at least. So it should be interesting where this leads.
Killer Kross follows that with his typical chilling, slightly unhinged promo, and damn it was well done.
The interesting thing about the commercial break stuff tonight is Melissa doing live interviews with different people. It’s kinda neat, like extra content.
Team Triple A has a clap back promo after the commercial, which says the Cup is staying in Mexico. If memory serves, Team Triple A beat Team TNA in the first World X Cup, so I’m curious if they’ll pull from that for a storyline.
Sami Callihan calls out Swann one more time, Swann throws the shirt at Callihan, so a fight ensues. Swann gets the best of things momentarily, but an eye gauge allows Sami the opening to toss Rich around a little, Piledriver him on the stage and then Powerbomb him off the stage through a table. So I guess Sami will get the X Divison shot, but might have to go through Willie Mack first in the following weeks before Rebellion.
A lot of fun fast paced action, good dives, good strikes, nice story telling and only one slip so far from Aerostar. Eli Drake is the first one eliminated by Puma King because he tries to tell Eddie to not use the kendo stick, but tries to use it himself, Eddie catches him and takes his stick back, then pushing Eli. So one Gedo Clutch later, Eli is eliminated by pinfall. Fallah Bah eliminates Vikingo after a Twisted Running Powerslam. Aerostar eliminates Bahh after a Crucifix Pin when Bahh misses the Banzai Drop. Boston Knee Party from Eddie eliminates Aerostar. Piledriver from Sami eliminates Puma King. Two on one advantage with Sami and Eddie against Psycho Clown. Eddie hits a Boston Knee Party lays out Psycho Clown, but Sami pushes Eddie off and tries to steal the spotlight, only a two count, Psycho Rolls Up Sami for the pinfall elimination. Eddie has Psycho on the ropes, but Eli returns, takes Kenny the Kendo Stick and distracts Eddie. Then he hits Eddie to give Psycho a shot to hit a Backstabber, followed up the La Magistral for the victory. So Impact kinda played themselves, but it was a damn good match with a lot to unpack.
Melissa finally returns after a few commercial breaks off, with Sami Callihan and David Crist. This was ridiculous but great. Just erratic idiocy, they steal Melissa’s sandals at some point, David sings “Hey there Samuel” and Sami does a pitch like a dating service while Melissa is getting her sandals. So dumb, but great.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) February 16, 2019
Small promotional video package for Reno Scum. Returning to Impact for the first time since the first wave of GFW “invasion” (nearly 2 years).
A quick little moment with Dark Allie, Su Yung and Rosemary, followed by a commercial with Melissa and KM & Fallah Bahh. Very funny, Melissa plays off the wrestlers well. She needs to stick around since she’s got a nice personality and seems to work well with most of the guys.
Scarlett with a weird video package, her in a bed, a little moan and showing cleavage is her formula. So if it ain’t broke, I’m not gonna fix it, shut up, stop judging me!
LAX joins Melissa before the main event and the Latina comes out in her. She’s more animated that usual, very fun and entertaining. She even busts their chops a little, but they take it in stride and seem to enjoy each other’s company.
Since the match starts with only about 12 minutes before time limit the match wasn’t going to be a technical masterpiece, but for what it was it was fun. It was more of a brawl, since there were 3 bigger guys. Kross had a bunch of moments looking like a beat, Cage looked like a million bucks hitting the Drill Claw on both Moose and Kross. But Johnny pulled the opportunistic thing, and while Kross and Cage were tied up, Johnny pulls Moose to the corner, barely hits Starship Pain and sneaks in a pinfall before Cage finishes the Drill Claw + pin on Kross. So Johnny retains while looking like a punk, and the crowd wanted nothing to do with him. Terminator claps most of the match.
.@MrGMSI_BCage had the World Championship right within his fingertips once again…
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) February 16, 2019
Overall Score: 7.5/10
Solid solid show from start to finish. Tessa and Taya got things kicked off well, Melissa doing backstage interviews as the Twitch commercial break stuff was great. World Cup match was fun and set up a few storylines for the Impact stars while Team Triple A got the home field advantage win. Main event was a little disappointing to be honest. Johnny has worn out his fan support both in Mexico and on Twitch chat. Granted yes, I’m hopeful this is building towards a big blow off at Rebellion, maybe with Cage going over and Austin Aries returning, but I guess we’ll have to see.
Also from the main event, we see some cracks in the Moose and Kross alliance, so that could definitely be an interesting match in the near future.
So yeah, we have a lot to chew on moving into TV tapings for the shows leading up to Rebellion, but from a completely playlist mentality view point, Cage got screwed. Brian Cage better be getting this damn title soon, or I want him to put Don Callis through the announce table.
Now the weekly Twitch viewers portion:
- Week 1: High – 10,350 / Low – 8,500
- Week 2: High – 8,000 / Low – 6,500
- Week 3: High – 8,500 / Low – 7,900
- Week 4: High – 7,100 / Low – 5,300
- Week 5: High – 7,450 / Low – 5,650
- Uncaged: High – 9,000/ Low – 8,000
Well it looks like people just need a reason to tune in. Not only was this week mostly main event talent, but since the event had was named, I feel like people just expected better quality. So still no record breaking high, but solid numbers throughout the entire show.
Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: New Beginning in Sapporo Part 2!
Who leaves Sapporo with the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team titles?
NJPW continues in Sapporo with two HUGE tag team matches! The Rainmaker and The Ace look for further revenge while EVIL & SANADA defend their tag titles!
This coverage of New Beginning in Sapporo will be as aired by AXS TV.
Gifs can be found courtesy of http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: EVIL & SANADA VS Zack Sabre Jr. & Minoru Suzuki; EVIL & SANADA win and retain the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships.
- Kazuchika Okada & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Jay White & Bad Luck Fale; White & Fale win.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene!
The Ace is once again IWGP Heavyweight Championship after dethroning The Best Bout Machine at Wrestle Kingdom 13! But the record-setting 8-time champion has a very determined challenger in The Switchblade. Jay White has Gedo and the Bullet Club by his side, and now has his title match in Osaka! But before then, Hiroshi Tanahashi will look to slow White down with the help of his old rival, Kazuchika Okada! Will this amazing tag team be able to defeat White and Bad Luck Fale? Or will it only be a sampling of the Cutthroat Era’s coming?
And before that, Los Ingobernables de Japon’s Heavyweight Tag Team Champions broke even with their challengers in singles competition. Now it is time to face off for the titles! Can the two-time Tag League and Two Time Tag Champions be able to overcome the Undisputed British Tag Team Champions? Or will Suzuki-Gun have two tag titles around their waists? That match is now!
IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: EVIL & SANADA VS Zack Sabre Jr. & Minoru Suzuki!
Why wait for bells when you just wanna fight? Suzuki and ZSJ go right at Evil & Sanada as they enter the ring! ZSJ stomps Evil while Suzuki mugs Sanada on the outside. Red Shoes holds the belts, but Suzuki gets one to choke Sanada with it. Suzuki whips Sanada but Sanada reverses to send Suzuki into railing! Evil and ZSJ end up the leg men and brawl while the introductions are made. Evil whips ZSJ and goes to hip toss, but ZSJ counters to an abdominal stretch. ZSJ denies a counter but Evil still hip tosses out! Tag to Sanada, and LIJ go after ZSJ together. Double whips, clothesline, back senton! Cover, TWO! ZSJ rolls away but Sanada stalks him to a corner. Cold Skull whips ZSJ corner to corner but ZSj goes up and over. He fakes Sanada and rolls him up, TWO!
Sanada knees and whips ZSJ but ZSJ denies the dropkick. ZSJ misses the Peantly Kick, and Sanada trips him up! Sanada gets ZSJ in the Paradise Lock, but ZSJ slips out and toys with him. ZSJ kicks Sanada, but Sanada knees back. Sanada whips but ZSJ reverses. Suzuki gets a cheap shot and gets Sanada in a hanging armbar! ZSJ hits Evil just because. Suzuki lets Sanada go then goes after Evil. ZSJ keeps on Sanada and Suzuki mugs Evil. Suzuki brings Evil out to the crowd to bowl him through chairs. Suzuki laughs as he rams Evil with the railing. Then he throws chairs onto Evil! ZSJ twists Sanada around for a modified Octopus, then he hammerlock stomps an arm! Suzuki searches under the ring while ZSJ gives Sanada a shoulder breaker. Suzuki has a folding chair to jab Evil in the head!
The ring count passes 17, but Sanada manage to make it in at 19.5! ZSJ is on Sanada with an arm bar, to hammerlock, then digs his elbows into Sanada’s spine. ZSJ pulls back on Sanada’s free arm from wrist to elbow for another hammerlock. He makes it a buttefly of sorts, then a cover, TWO! ZSJ drags Sanada over and tags in Suzuki. Suzuki takes Sanada and wrenches, but then ZSJ wrenches, and they keep passing Sanada for wrenches. ZSJ boots the arm and then Suzuki boots the arm. Sanada clutches that tortured arm but Suzuki goes after it more against the ropes. REd Shoes counts but Suzuki lets go at 4. Suzuki toys with Sanada now, but Sanada hits back. Suzuki just laughs again and throws forearms back. They go back and forth, but Suzuki hits hard. The champs are in trouble while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns while Suzuki taunts Sanada. Sanada does sit up but Suzuki’s right on him with fast forearms. Suzuki kicks but Sanada dragon screws, only for Suzuki to counter into an armbar! ZSJ hits Evil to keep him away, but Sanada resists the arm. Suzuki gets the arms apart and has Sanada at full extension! Sanada flails while ZSJ keeps Evil down with his own armlock! Suzuki pulls as hard as he can, but Sanada gets a ropebreak with his feet. Suzuki holds on to slam the arm on the mat. Tag to ZSJ and he hands the wrench off to ZSJ. ZSJ hammerlocks and tweaks Sanada’s arm. ZSJ sits down on the arm to practically triangle it! Suzuki keeps Evil at bay with an armbar on the ropes! ZSJ shifts his weight into a modified Labell meets Rings of Saturn!
Suzuki tortures Evil on the apron but Red Shoes can’t do anything about that while he watches ZSJ and Sanada. Sanada shifts again and gets another ropebreak via feet. Suzuki keeps on Evil with body shots while ZSJ lets Sanada go. ZSJ dares Sanada to stand, and then rock shim with a European Uppercut. Sanada returns the EuroUpper, but his arms are hurting. ZSj shoulder breakers, then catches the leap frog for a flapjack! Penalty kick is CAUGHT! Dragon Screw! Suzuki runs in and gets a dragon screw, too! Fans rally for LIJ as Evil tags in! The King of Darkness rallies on ZSJ! He scoop slams ZSJ hard, then rocks him with forearms. Evil whips but ZSJ reverses, only for Evil to run him over!
Fans rally as Evil drags ZSJ up. ZSJ kicks but Evil blocks it to elbow the knee. ZSJ grabs the arm but Evil counters to a shoulder breaker! Evil blocks another kick, Fisherman Buster! Cover, TWO! Evil keeps his cool as fans fire up again. He drags ZSJ up again and turns him, but ZSJ turns and suplexes Evil! Then the neck twist! Both men are down from exhaustion, but they still come back for more. ZSJ wants revenge for Sapporo Part 1 as he throws EuroUppers. Things speed up and each man dodges the other, but then ZSJ runs into Evil’s lariat! Evil drags ZSJ up, fireman’s carry, but ZSj reverses to a Pele! ZSJ kicks then sweeps the legs! Both men are down again but Suzuki returns. Suzuki tags in and goes right at Evil with forearms.
Suzuki whips Evil corner to corner and boots him. He snapmares and Penalty Kicks! Cover, TWO! Evil barely escapes, but Suzuki toys with him now. Suzuki throws haymakers, then boots, but Evil hands it off to Red Shoes! Evil SUPERKICKS Suzuki down! Tag to Sanada! Sanada whips but Suzuki reverses. Sanada tumbles, springboards, but into Suzuki’s sleeper! ZSJ hits Evil again, and then helps Suzuki corner to corner train on Sanada! Snapmare, DOBULE Peanlty Kicks! Cover, TWO!! Sanada survives that string of attacks, but Suzuki stomps him down. We can hear someone throw the other into railing while Suzuki hammers away on Sanada in the corner. Red Shoes backs Suzuki off, but Suzuki runs back in. Sanada dodges, and Evil returns for a corner clothesline! He feeds Suzuki to Sanada’s back suplex!
Evil hits ZSJ and now LIJ has Suzuki isolated! They call for the finish and fans are thunderous! Evil lifts Suzuki, but ZSJ stops Magic Killer. Suzuki rolls Sanada into an Ankle Lock! ZSJ has Evil in the Octopus! Suzuki shifts to a kneebar! Sanada endures teh grapevine’d move, and Suzuki even grabs an arm! Sanada grabs Red Shoes to keep himself from tapping! ZSJ has shifted Evil into a grounded twist! Neither LIJ can get free as Suzuki shifts the position of his kneebar! Sanada endures, as does Evil. Fans cheer LIJ on, but Suzuki just twists the ankle harder! Sanada uses one last gas to get the ropebreak! Suzuki lets Sanada go, to come back for a sleeper. And then ZSJ Penalty Kicks! Suzuki also Penalty Kicks! Cover, but Evil breaks it in time!
Suzuki-Gun drags LIJ up but LIJ fights back! Suzuki wants his piledriver, and ZSJ wants his, but Evil and Sanada deny those, for Darkness Falls and TKO in stereo! LIJ fires up as they go after Suzuki again. MAGIC KILLER!! Cover, but ZSJ breaks it just in time! Sanada grabs Suzuki and Evil gets ZSJ. Skull End, but ZSJ counters the STO! Evil counters back, EVERYTHING IS EVIL!! And then for Suzuki, True Skull End, but Suzuki slips through! Sleeper, Gotch hold, but Evil saves Sanada! Everything is countered, but the Sleeper is escaped. MAGIC KILLER AGAIN!! Sanada climbs while Evil takes ZSJ out, Moonsault! Cover, LIJ wins!
Winners: Los Ingobernables de Japon, Sanada pinning; still IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions
The King of Darkness and Cold Skull are still golden! Suzuki-Gun’s quest to have two different companies’ tag titles has not worked out, it’ll be back to the drawing board for them. However, will Evil & Sanada now have a claim to the British Heavyweight Tag Team Championships?
Kazuchika Okada & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Jay White & Bad Luck Fale!
The Rainmaker and The Ace have fought hard over the IWGP Heavyweight Championship and the claim to being the best one ever, but now they are united in making sure the Switchblade does NOT become champion! Will this all-star alliance succeed against the new Bullet Club leader and his Underboss underling?
White refuses to let this dream team have their photo op. He insists he is the historic wrestler everyone should take pictures of, not the old generation. Tanahashi and Okada bite their tongues and bide their time, they’ll get at White after the break.
NJPW on AXS returns and White starts against Tanahashi. Fans are strongly behind The Ace but White just chuckles. They circle and Gedo can be heard shouting “You’re stupid!” at commentary. White lunges but Tanahashi stays away. They tie up and go around, and Tanahashi manages to power White to a corner. White turns it around, but backs off, only to get the leg! White grins as he shows how easy he could’ve gone after the bad leg. He backs off but tries a sucker punch! Tanahashi dodges and headlocks, and he grinds White down. White gets up but can’t power out of Tanahashi’s grip. Tanahashi grinds White down again but White fights out with body shots. White powers out this time, but Tanahashi fakes him out to get him back in the headlock!
Tanahashi grinds White on the mat but White powers back up. White again can’t power out so he pulls hair! Tanahashi pulls White’s hair in return! Tanahashi throws body shots then whips, but White reverses. White runs into an elbow, Tanahashi springboard crossbodies! Tanahashi air guitars and tosses it out. He brings White over and tags Okada. Okada and Tanahashi whip White and double elbow him down. Okada back sentons, then Tanahashi somersault sentons. The dream team shake hands and drop double elbows! Fans are loving this already! Okada drags White up and fans are thunderous for him. He snapmares White and then hits a running basement dropkick! Okada drags White up but White powers him to the corner. Tag to Fale, but Okada gets away.
Okada and Fale circle and tie up. Fale shoves Okada but Okada’s right back with hammering hands! Okada whips but Fale reverses and whips Okada hard into buckles! Fale looms over Okada then stomps him down. Fale drags Okada up and talks trash, so Okada hits back. Okada runs and handsprings over the back drop! He wants a sleeper and hops on as a backpack. Fale endures then drops back! Okada lets Fale go, and White attacks Tanahashi! White goes after Tanahashi on the outside and throws him into barriers! Okada bails out but Fale gives chase. Fale throws Okada into barriers, too! White chokes Tanahashi with camera cables! White says he IS the next champion! Fans boo while Fale takes a towel and chokes Okada with it. It was an Okada Dollar towel, too!
White keeps on Tanahashi in the front row with Euro Uppers. White takes apart barriers to throw the railings onto Tanahashi. He buries Tanahashi while the ring count climbs. Then White scoops slams a Young Lion onto Tanahashi! Fale chokes Okada on the ropes in the ring. Red Shoes backs Fale off, but he comes back to drag Okada up and dump him out. White goes right at Okada by ramming him into the apron and then the railing! And then the apron again, and then the railing! White rams Okada into the apron once more, then throws forearms. Red Shoes finally spots this and reprimands White. White plays innocent as he puts Okada back in the ring. Fale tags White in, and White soaks up the heat.
White runs corner to corner for a huge Euro Upper, and then suplexes Okada into the buckles! Cover, TWO!! Somehow Okada escapes! White takes his frustrations out on Tanahashi, then returns to Okada. White grinds his forearm into Okada’s face, then puts on a Half Crab. Fans rally up for Okada and Okada crawls for ropes. White pulls harder but Tanahashi comes it go after White. Fale throws Tanahashi out, and then tags back in. Fale goes after Okada’s leg with stomps. Okada hits back and clubs Fale. Okada hops on for a guillotine, but Fale simply puts Okada in the Bullet Club corner. Fale stomps a mudhole into Okada then tags White. White drags Okada up for a CHOP! White follows Okada to the open corner, then tells Tanahashi this CHOP is for him.
Fans continue to rally as White snapmares Okada into a chinlock. Okada feeds off the energy and fights out with body shots. Okada runs but into White’s back elbow! Cover, TWO! White keeps on Okada with another chinlock. Okada endures while Tanahashi and the fans rally up again. Okada gets up and fights back again, but White clubs him down. White puts Okada in a corner and whips corner to corner, but Okada reverses. Okada runs into White’s boot. White runs but into a flapjack! Both men are down but stirring while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns once more, and Okada crawls for his corner. Hot tag to Tanahashi! White stands and The Ace fires off forearms on him! Tanahashi whips but White reverses, only for Tanahashi to forearm him down! Tanahashi dropkicks Fale then goes after White again. He scoop slams White into a drop zone, then hops up. Second rope somersault senton hits! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi keeps his cool while fans rally up again. Tanahashi waits for White to stand then runs, but he runs into a CHOP! But he keeps going, only to run into another CHOP! Tanahashi still shakes it off, but runs into a waistlock. He elbows out but White chop blocks the bad leg! White catches his breath as he looms over Tanahashi.
White scoops Tanahshi but Tanahashi fights out. Tanahashi waistlocks but WHite standing switches to a saido suplex! Both men are down but White tags out to Fale. Fale corners Tanahashi and throws big body shots. Then he throws bit clubbing forearms! He taunts the fans and they boo back as he drags Tanahashi up. Fale whips corner to corner then runs in, but misses! Tanahashi waistlocks, but Fale’s too big for a German Suplex! Fale fights out of the waistlock, then suplexes Tanahashi. Okada saves Tanahashi, and then they double suplex Fale together! Fans rally up again and Tanahashi crawls, but he dropkicks White first! Hot tag to Okada!
The Rainmaker forearms and whips Fale, but Fale reverses. Okada hits Fale then hits the DDT! Okada kips up and fans fire up again! He drags Fale up and manages a scoop slam! Okada winces just a moment before climbing up top. Fale gets under and Okada rolls through. Okada runs back but into a Samoan Drop! Fale hits a big splash! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives but White goes after Tanahashi! White puts Tanahashi into railing while fans cheer Okada on. Fale aims, grabs Okada, but the Grenade is denied with a dropkick! Okada wants to lift Fale!? Fale reverses but Okada slips out. Okada runs but gets run over! Both men are down but Tanahashi returns to the corner. Hot tags to Tanahashi and White!
The Ace and Switchblade each dodge each other. White trash talks Tanahashi but the brawl is on! Tanahashi hits, then White hits, repeat. They build up speed back and forth, then White throws several. Tanahashi gives them all back, but White kicks out the bad leg. White whips but Tanahashi reverses. Tanahashi dodges and slingblades White down! Cover, TWO!! Okada hits Fale then tells Tanahashi to finish this. Tanahashi gets the Cloverleaf but White rakes the eyes! White kicks Tanahashi away while Fale puts Okada into barriers. Tanahashi dragon screws White! Fale runs in but Tanahashi blocks, hands off to Okada and Okada dragon screws! Tanahashi returns to White, running, but Gedo swipes him! White gets Tanahashi with a Complete Shot to German Suplex! Bridging cover, TWO!!
Fans are thunderous again as White slashes the throat. He drags Tanahashi up into position, and Fale chases Okada. Okada saves Tanahashi then has to fight off Fale. Fale rebounds, Tanahashi slingblades him down! White rocks Tanahashi, but Okada dropkicks him down! The dream team have each other’s backs! And they both power up to combine forces! Gut wrench to TOMBSTONE! Hand off, to STYLES CLASH! Tanahashi rolls White, for Okada’s elbow! Fans are at a fever pitch, but Gedo distracts Tanahashi. Fale attacks Tanahashi and dumps him off the top rope! Red Shoes reprimands Gedo but it’s too late. Okada leaps but into the Grenade! Fale corner splashes Tanahashi, and gives him a Grenade! Fale crushes Tanahashi with his boot while White crawls over. White has Fale stand down so he can finish Tanahashi.
White drags Tananashi up, fireman’s carry, Death Valley Driver! Cover, TWO!? Tanahashi survives but White isn’t done. He slashes the throat, drags Tanahashi, but ends up in Twist ‘n’ Shout! Fale whips Tanahashi but Tanahashi reverses to another Twist ‘n’ Shout! Red Shoes keeps Gedo out of the ring, but White gets a chair in the distraction! White swings but misses, Tanahashi slingblades White down! Tanahashi sees Fale coming, and manages a German Suplex! Gedo is in, but his brass knuckles miss to get a slap! White SMACKS Tanahashi from behind! Fans boo as White gets away with it. Dragon screw to the mat! And another! And then an inverted Figure Four! Okada wants to get in but Fale drags him back out. Tanahashi endures while Okada fights Fale off. So Gedo drags Okada out! Fale SPLASHES Okada! Fale lifts Okada, Bad Luck Fall!
Tanahashi still endures as White wrenches and pulls as hard as he can on the hold! Fale keeps his eyes on Okada while Tanahashi reaches and flails. Tanahashi taps, White and Fale win!!
Winners: Jay White & Bad Luck Fale, White by submission
The unthinkable has happened! The Switchblade has made the IWGP Heavyweight Champion tap out! Is the Cutthroat Era inevitable?
White picks up the belt and the mic to address Sapporo. White looks down at Tanahashi and says, “I told you that I would beat you and take this belt from you.” People think it’ll be a shock when White wins, but it will not be! White’s already beaten Tanahashi and everyone NJPW has to offer. And he made Tanahashi submit! Gedo rubs it in, but can The Ace pull off a miracle in Osaka?
White says “You can give it multiple names.” Call it Tanahashi is White’s “b*tch”, you can call it TGU: Tanahashi Gave Up. No, TTO: Tanahashi Tapped Out. That’s what the inverted figure four will be! Put it everywhere! #TTO!
Tanahashi responds by saying he used his knee as bait. White took that bait, but he wasn’t as big of a fish as Tanahashi expected. Is The Ace putting on a brave face? Or are he and his reign in more trouble than he knows?
A really great hour for NJPW, especially with big tag team matches. Evil & Sanada VS Suzuki & ZSJ was great because they knew how to play up all the story from the many, many matches all four men have had in the past. I honestly was surprised Suzuki-Gun lost, I thought they were going to end up double champions. But LIJ has been red hot, hence why they are all champions at this point, so it makes sense to keep that hot streak going. LIJ probably won’t lose those tag titles for a long time from what I can tell. No other heavyweight tag team looks strong enough right now.
Then in the special tag match for the main event, the dream team of Okada and Tanahashi had some really good chemistry with each other, and there was plenty of story to fuel this match, too. I’m a bit surprised White won, but NJPW doesn’t really use the kind of math a company like WWE would. WWE’s math would put it that White winning now means he won’t win the title in their New Beginning Osaka match, but NJPW isn’t so back and forth like that. White’s on his own hot streak, and literally has Gedo by his side, so Osaka might be the night we all Breath with the Switchblade.
My Score: 8.5/10