Tonight, TJP, Mustafa Ali, Hideo Itami and Drew Gulak compete in a Fatal 4 Way to name a #1 Contender to Cedric Alexander’s Cruiserweight Championship!
All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter
- Akira Tozawa VS Jack Gallagher; Tozawa wins.
- Lucha House Party VS Ryan Depolo & Chris Robinson; Lucha House Party wins.
- WWE Cruiserweight Championship #1 Contender’s Fatal 4 Way: Mustafa Ali VS Hideo Itami VS TJP VS Drew Gulak; Gulak wins and will challenge Cedric Alexander for the Cruiserweight Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
205 Live GM, Drake Maverick, sets the scene for tonight!
This week promises a majorly competitive and important main event match. One man earns a shot at the Soul of 205 Live and a title opportunity. Maverick made sure to carefully select the contenders based on recent in-ring records as well as their overall body of work in the Division.
The Philly Stretcher and submission specialist, Drew Gulak, has put away the picket signs and PowerPoint presentations to instead put his opponents in the punishing GuLOCK. He even swept Lucha House Party 1-2-3 with all tap-out victories. Then there’s the FilAm Flash and “Cruiser-Great”, TJP, who constantly reminds us all that he was the inaugural (New Era) Cruiserweight Champion. Despite Maverick’s personal opinions, there’s no denying that TJP has talent and always has standing in the ranks of the Division. It was his recent win over the Scottish Supernova, Noam Dar, that put him over the top and into this match.
The Japanese Legend and Innovator of the GTS, Hideo Itami, has a resume that speaks for itself. Itami beat out Mustafa Ali and Buddy Murphy but lost to Alexander in their first-ever 1v1 encounter. However, that doesn’t mean he can’t prove himself worthy in a rematch. And speaking of rematches, the Heart of 205 Live and Beacon of Light, Mustafa Ali, rounds out the field. Ali impresses over and over, especially in his No Disqualifications match with Buddy Murphy. Ali had his shot at Alexander at Wrestlemania, but he’s hungry for more. “Four men, one opportunity”, who turns this win into a shot at the championship?
Akira Tozawa VS Jack Gallagher!
The Stamina Monster lost to the Man of the Hour last week in a fast first-ever encounter. Can he recover against the Ungentle Gentleman here tonight?
Drake Maverick is ringside on commentary for this match, as well as the main event, because he wants to have a front row seat for history.
Before the match begins, we watch the selfie video of Gallagher & Kendrick. They explain that Drew Gulak isn’t the only man who wants a title. Gallagher & Kendrick have been the most menacing duo on 205 Live, but some of the WWE Universe seem to forget Gallagher is great in singles competition, as well. Therefore, Tozawa’s defeat is a necessary key to this reminder.
The bell rings and fans “AH! AH!” already for Tozawa. Tozawa grins as he circles with Gallagher. They tie up and Gallagher knees low. Gallagher brings Tozawa down with a wristlock, then brings him up for a full nelson. Tozawa feeds off a fan rally but Gallagher snapmares him. Gallagher runs Tozawa over, then runs. Tozawa jumps up but is caught into a fireman’s carry. He escapes and shoves Gallagher, but Gallagher comes back with a sunset flip. Tozawa rolls through to Penalty Kick Gallagher and hit the screaming back senton! Tozawa fires up and fans “AH! AH!” again. He stomps away on Gallagher, but Gallagher stands up to power Tozawa down. Gallagher grounds ‘n’ pounds, then brings Tozawa up. Tozawa chops, and chops, then fakes the chop to hit the jab!
Gallagher staggers out to the apron, and Tozawa knocks him down. Tozawa builds speed but ends up caught in the apron! Gallagher hammers and stomps away on Tozawa, but backs off to embrace the heat. He drags Tozawa up and into the ring, then wipes his feet before covering. ONE, but Gallagher tries again. ONE again, so Gallagher goes after Tozawa with a chinbar. Fans rally and Tozawa fights out. Gallagher clubs him and stomps him again, then drags him up for a scoop slam. Cover, TWO, but Gallagher keeps on Tozawa’s arm. Tozawa endures, and reaches for arms. Fans rally up again, but Gallagher presses him into the mat. Gallagher pulls on the fingers and wrenches the wrist and elbow! Tozawa endures the torture and manages to get the ropebreak.
Gallagher backs off at 4, then goes after Tozawa’s hand again. He brings Tozawa up to wrench the wrist, then uses his leg for leverage. Hammerlock stomp! The referee checks on Tozawa, but Tozawa won’t quit. Gallagher conducts the crowd in a mocking “AH!” Tozawa gives “AH! AH!” back, so Gallagher kicks the bad arm. Gallagher runs, but into Tozawa’s back kick. Tozawa swings, slides under and hits the roundhouse! Gallagher goes down, so Tozawa goes up. Gallagher rolls out, so Tozawa changes plans and DIVES! The Tozawa Torpedo hits! Tozawa puts Gallagher back in, then climbs up again. Gallagher stands and gets the missile dropkick! Cover, TWO! Tozawa grows a little frustrated but he keeps on Gallagher. Gallagher blocks the saido suplex to go after the arm again. Tozawa pushes Gallagher and throws him with a huricanrana. He then gets Gallagher in a tilt-o-whirl Octopus stretch!
Gallagher pries his way out for a tilt-o-whirl side slam! Gallagher grimaces as he brings Tozawa up with a gut wrench. He then makes it a falling powerbomb! Cover, TWO! Gallagher grows frustrated, but he takes aim at Tozawa in a corner. He runs in but misses the dropkick. He lands on his feet, though, and grabs Tozawa. Gallagher suplexes Tozawa back in but Tozawa slips out. Tozawa comes back with a Shining Wizard! Gallagher’s down again, so Tozawa climbs up again. Fans echo “AH! AH!” but Gallagher stops Tozawa with a forearm. Gallagher climbs up and goes after the arm more. Tozawa fights back with body shots, “AH! AH!” He tosses Gallagher down for a rough landing. Tozawa then adjusts, for the SUPER SENTON! Cover, Tozawa wins!
Winner: Akira Tozawa, by pinfall
The Stamina Monster conquers the cruel winter! But this former Cruiserweight champion has something on his mind, and walks over to GM Maverick. Tozawa tells him that “I want a rematch with Lio Rush!” Maverick says he’ll take it into consideration. Will Rockstar Spud fulfill this request and give Tozawa another chance at the 23 Year Old Piece of Gold?
TJP speaks while he lounges backstage.
“So Drake Maverick finally got it right.” Unfortunately, Maverick doesn’t score points for “figuring out the obvious”: the main event was always TJP. The best technical wrestler in the game takes out the “Loser-Weights” like he did Noam Dar. Then the Cruiserweight title comes home.
Hideo Itami speaks while warming up backstage.
The Japanese legend first speaks in Japanese, then shifts to English. He knows Cedric Alexander survived their first match, but next time, he won’t. Are both Itami and TJP getting ahead of themselves?
Lucha House Party VS Ryan Depolo & Chris Robinson!
While Gran Metalik is not in Indiana to join his amigos, the Premier Athlete isn’t here to follow through on the challenge he issued to Kalisto. Kalisto calls Tony Nese out, but the Golden Lynx knows that while Nese & Buddy Murphy have size and strength, LHS has speed and heart! For now, can Lince Dorado & the Lucha Dragon satisfy their hunger for competition with Depolo & Robinson?
The bell rings and Dorado starts against Depolo and they move in close. Dorado shows a test of strength, but he keeps changing hands. That’s because he’s actually getting Depolo to do the “Lucha! Lucha!” dance. Depolo figures it out, so he swings on Dorado. Dorado dodges and Kalisto distracts with a matraca. Depolo mocks the Lucha dance, but he turns around into Dorado’s chop! Dorado wrenches an arm but Depolo reverses. Dorado handsprings through to reverse back and puts on a headlock. Depolo powers out, but Dorado goes up and over from the corner. Dorado speeds up, ducks under, then runs again to headscissor Depolo down. Depolo swings but Dorado blocks all his strikes to then SUPERKICK Depolo to a corner.
Dorado takes aim from the other corner, for a bronco buster! He drags Depolo over and tags in Kalisto. Murphy watches backstage as Dorado helps Kalisto with the elevated splash, then adds his planking splash. Fans are fired up, as are Lucha House Party. Kalisto kicks Depolo then tags Dorado back in. Dorado whips but Depolo reverses, only to get the heel kick! Robinson jumps in but gets a Listo Kick. Dorado takes aim at both men, DOUBLE Golden Rewind stunners! Dorado runs to FLY onto Robinson! Kalisto tagged in as Dorado was on his way out, so Kalisto gives Depolo the Salida Del Sol! Cover, Lucha House Party wins!
Winners: Lucha House Party, Kalisto pinning
The fastest team in the Cruiserweight Division continues to soar, but they’ve only just begun to battle the muscular Murphy & Nese. Who will come out on top when speed goes up against strength?
Drew Gulak speaks while preparing backstage.
“Tonight’s Fatal 4 Way will be a chaotic free for all.” It basically embodies everything he sees wrong in 205 Live. Matches like this can be unpredictable, but Gulak promises that the result will be as always: someone WILL tap out.
Mustafa Ali speaks from the shadows.
All Ali has to do to earn a Wrestlemania rematch is “eat a few rib-breaking kicks from Hideo Itami.” Then he’ll hobble around on one leg after TJP twists it off with that Kneebar. And after that, he’ll survive “whatever horrendous torture Drew Gulak puts me through.” Lastly, he’ll climb up to the top rope, and hit his 0-5-4 on someone and win. “Should be a piece of cake.”
WWE Cruiserweight Championship #1 Contender’s Fatal 4 Way: Mustafa Ali VS Hideo Itami VS TJP VS Drew Gulak!
From the Beacon of Light to Don of Nihon to FilAm Flash to Philly Stretcher, each man in this match has had at least one match against Cedric Alexander. Which man will overcome the other three to then get their desired rematch with the Cruiserweight title on the line?
The bell rings and the four men stare each other down. They circle counter clockwise, and both Gulak and Itami go after Ali! But TJP stays back, letting them do the work for him. However, they notice he’s alone, so instead of ending up 2v1, he agrees to help them. They move aside and TJP runs in at Ali, but Ali goes up and over! TJP hits buckles while Ali hits Itami. Gulak hits Ali, then whips Ali to ropes. Ali kicks Gulak away, but TJP kicks Ali. TJP whips Ali but Ali reverses. Gulak side steps to send TJP to the ropes, but TJP goes Spider-Man to stay on the apron. Gulak swings on Ali but Ali ducks under to hit TJP. Ali then trips up Gulak, and catapults him at TJP! TJP goes down while Ali rolls Gulak, but Itami breaks the cover with a kick.
Itami demands respect while he stomps out Ali. Itami drags Ali up and whips him corner to corner. Ali boots Itami back, but then Gulak comes up. Ali knocks Gulak away, then springboards backward at Itami, but Itami kicks him out of the air! Itami embraces the heat while Alexander watches from backstage. Itami drags Ali up to whip, then give him the kitchen sink knee. Cover, but TJP breaks it with a shove. Itami glares at TJP now, but TJP runs away. Ali rolls Itami, TWO. Itami swings but Ali ducks as he runs. Ali tilt-o-whirls on Itami but transfers to TJP to throw TJP with the headscissors! Itami kicks but Ali blocks to counter with a kick of his own. Gulak returns to clobber Ali with a clothesline!
Gulak looms over Ali, then drags him up for a neck wrench. Ali endures while fans rally up. Ali fights with body shots but Gulak throws him down by his hair. Gulak brings Ali back up for a gord buster! Cover, but TJP breaks it again. TJP wants mercy from Gulak and Itami, and Gulak keeps the peace. They agree to beat up Ali first, and bring Ali up. They double whip and TRIPLE back drop Ali! TJP gets them to coordinate, and they double whip Itami into Ali for a corner clothesline. Then Itami feeds Ali to them, for a double suplex. They hold him up, but TJP leaves Gulak to do that alone as he rolls Gulak up! Itami kicks the cover apart just in time. TJP gets mad at Itami, but Itami and Gulak are mad at TJP for being a sneak.
Meanwhile, Ali climbs up top, to FLY in with a crossbody! He gets all three at once! Ali fires up while Gulak slumps out of the ring. Ali chops away at TJP, then whips him to ropes. TJP reverses to a standing abdominal stretch. TJP wrenches a wrist while fans rally up, but he sees Itami coming. He manages to evade Itami’s attack to then trap Itami into a separate standing abdominal stretch! He brings them together for an amazing submission fusion! But look who’s lurking in the background…
Gulak creeps ito the ring while TJP waits for a tap, and he grabs TJP into his Gory Gulak Special! He bends TJP’s arms way back, then brings him down for a backslide. TWO by just inches. Another try, another TWO. Gulak keeps trying, but TJP pops him into a cover for TJP! ONE and Gulak sits on a cover. ONE and it goes back to TJP, but ONE and Gulak goes for a high stack cover. TJP sidewinds the headscissors, but then Gulak gives a headscissors hold of his own. TJP pops out but Gulak sweeps the legs. Gulak covers but TJP kicks out. TJP returns the sweep and cover, but Gulak kicks out. The two stand off and fans applaud the technical exchange. But then Itami barrels into TJP and knocks him into Gulak. Gulak rolls out while Itami stalks TJP to a corner.
TJP warns him about Ali, and Itami does see Ali crawling. Itami kicks and stomps Ali, then tells TJP to climb. TJP cooperates while Itami picks Ali up in an electric chair. But Ali slips out the back to shove Itami into TJP! Ali then runs in, SUPER STEINER sends TJP into Gulak! Fans fire up with Ali, but Itami grabs him. Ali ducks the attack to then rally with lariats. He whips but Itami reverses, to flapjack dropkick Itami out. TJP kicks Ali low, then whips. Ali slides to a stop then slides out to roundhouse TJP away. TJP staggers and Ali takes aim, somersault X-Factor! Gulak returns but Ali builds speed to tilt-o-whirl satellite DDT! Cover, but Itami and TJP both break it just in time. All four men are down but the fans know “This is Awesome!”
Fans rally up as all four men stir. Gulak and Ali are up first, and Gulak shoves his familiar foe into a flapjack. TJP kicks Gulak down but Itami boots TJP down, only for Ali to SUPERKICK him down! All four men are down again, and now fans really like it. Ali drags himself up with the ropes while the others barely stir. TJP sits up next while the others get to corners. TJP fireman’s carry but Ali slips out. They speed up, double crossbodies! Ali and TJP are down again while Itami drags himself. Gulak follows and stares down with the sinister striker. Gulak says “I respect you.” He does? Yes, now shake his hand! Itami trusts Gulak, but gets a slap for it! Itami slaps back, so now it’s a brawl!
They go back and forth with forearms, but Itami runs to boot Gulak. Gulak runs to boot Itami, but Itami boots back. Itami boots Gulak again, but it’s Gulak who suplexes Itami! Cover, ONE, and Gulak is shocked. Itami crawls but Gulak brings him up for another suplex. Itami knees out and fires off a kick. He suplexes Gulak, Falcon Arrow! Cover, ONE and now Itami is a bit shocked. Both gritty gladiators glare at each other as they crawl over. They brawl on their knees with elbows and forearms. They put their full weight into each other, but end up outside the ring. The fists keep flying as they go around the corner. Gulak chops Itami, but Itami slaps and kicks Gulak. Ali takes aim at them both, but TJP intercepts Ali with the low dropkick!
Ali hits ropes, and TJP hits a triangle wrecking ball. But Gulak & Itami yank him off the apron to put him into barriers. Then it’s back to the brawl! Ali recovers and climbs up quick to SUPER CANNONBALL! He wipes Itami & Gulak out, then puts TJP back in. Ali runs, springboards, tornado DDT! TJP is down in the drop zone, so Ali climbs up again. 0-5-4!! Cover, but Itami drags him out the side! Itami smacks Ali’s face off steel steps, then dropkicks Ali’s head into them! Itami drags Ali up and around to throw him into a post! Ali is down and out, but Itami isn’t done with him. He drags Ali around by his hair and into the ring. Gulak pounces, putting Itami into post! Gulak puts on the GuLOCK!! Ali is OUT, Gulak wins!!
Winner: Drew Gulak, by submission
Cedric Alexander sees this shrewd and sadistic bit of opportunism from backstage, learning who he faces next first hand. Jack Gallagher & THE Brian Kendrick join their triumphant ally in celebrating, as well. Will they and Gulak be celebrating after he makes the Age of Alexander tap out? Or will the Soul of 205 Live keep from being GuLOCK’d down?
A really good night for 205 Live from top to bottom. Maverick’s tradition of opening video packages was great this week with the four contenders featured. Then we go right into a solid opener with Tozawa and Gallagher. Gallagher makes a good point that he and Kendrick aren’t just giving up on being champions in the Cruiserweight Division. Tozawa wins and wants another go at Lio Rush, but Gallagher & Kendrick can still go after the impending Cruiserweight Tag Team Championships. They’ll obviously be joined by Lucha House Party, and Nese & Murphy. Hopefully WWE invests in a fourth team because three isn’t enough. I’m still hoping it’s the Daivari Brothers and even Lorcan & Burch.
The four individual promos from TJP, Itami, Gulak & Ali were well-done, and that Fatal 4 Way was amazing. I like the element that the Heels were working together to go after the one face, only for TJP to be the one to break that alliance. It really fits his character to be the opportunistic one, but then just as I thought that was going to bring him the win, it goes the other way. Gulak getting the win through Ali is a great callback to their feud way back in the early days of 205 Live. And speaking of callbacks, we finally get Gulak VS Alexander for the title, like what I expected back in those dark Enzo Amore days. I can’t be sure who wins, but I’m pretty sure the match will be just as amazing as this Fatal 4 Way tonight.
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