Last night, New Japan Pro Wrestling hit the famed Cow Palace for their next foray into the United States for the G1 Special in San Francisco. Among the matches on the card was a high-flying affair for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship as Hiromu Takahashi defended against Dragon Lee.
During the bout, Dragon Lee set Takahashi for a cradle suplex that didn’t end well, as Takahashi was driven into the canvas on the top of his head. Fans watching knew it didn’t look good, however Hiromu was able to finish the match and wind up retaining his title.
According to Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio following the event, Takahashi reportedly collapsed backstage after the match and was sent to the hospital:
“He finished the match, retained the championship and I guess he collapsed backstage or something. They took him to the hospital and the preliminary word is they thought that he had a broken neck. Hopefully, it’s not as bad as that but that’s the word we got.”
EA’s Take: As soon as the spot happened I said to Dave (from Top Of The Morning Podcast), “He just broke his neck”. At the very least, Hiromu certainly must have a concussion because he was clearly out of it after the bump and looked like his eyes were pretty glossed over. I think the main question here is, which came from our Andrew Balaz, does this make Takahashi rethink his high-risk offense moving forward? Tough to say because we’ve seen cases where these kinds of injuries will force performers to change things up. We’ve also seen it not stop others such as Kota Ibushi, so the jury’s still out on that.
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WWE News: 205 Live Superstar Officially Added To SmackDown Live Roster
Mustafa Ali has officially joined SmackDown Live!
Last week’s episode of SmackDown Live (see all the results here) brought us a tremendous match-up and something fresh, which is one of many things that the WWE Universe has clamored for in recent weeks.
Despite coming up short, 205 Live’s Mustafa Ali gave WWE Champion Daniel Bryan a tremendous showing, something that fans of the Cruiserweight Division will not find as much of a surprise. Since WrestleMania back in April and his match against Cedric Alexander for the vacated Cruiserweight Title, Mustafa has really begun turning heads with his work weekly on the purple brand.
Now with last night’s RAW giving us the announcement of changes coming from The McMahon Family, we saw some of it take place. Tonight was no different after it was confirmed to start the show that Paige has been removed as General Manger of SmackDown Live (check that out here). As the broadcast continued, we got word of another as SmackDown Live has now officially added Mustafa Ali to its roster, competing once again tonight against Daniel Bryan, but this time in tag action.
— WWE (@WWE) December 19, 2018
At this time it’s not been addressed if this means Ali will no longer be appearing on 205 Live. However, there is already early talk that it will be similar to Lucha House Party on RAW where they work both shows.
WWE News: Shane McMahon Confirms Paige Is No Longer SmackDown General Manager
Paige is officially no longer the SmackDown General Manager!
In case you missed it, the big talk coming out of last night’s episode of Monday Night RAW was of course the appearance of Vince McMahon, along with Stephanie, Shane and Triple H, as the four announced that they would be taking control of RAW and SmackDown Live (see all things from RAW with Mitchell’s Live Report).
Of course, this left many members of the WWE Universe what this would mean for SmackDown Live General Manager Paige. It didn’t take long for us to find out as tonight’s SmackDown Live kicked off with Shane McMahon holding court in front of the entire locker room.
While commending the job that she did, Shane would confirm that Paige is no longer the General Manager. However, he would assure everybody that she wasn’t going anywhere and her role was merely changing, yet that was not revealed.
Thank you, @RealPaigeWWE!
— WWE (@WWE) December 19, 2018
EA’s Take: I’d like to see them go the manager route with Paige, I feel like that’s what they should have done from the start. The only thing is, does WWE want to go there with someone that they aren’t willing to put in harm’s way. I highly doubt it, even the risk of being at ringside for a match doesn’t feel like something they would do with her. So honestly, unless they put her in charge of the SmackDown Women’s Division, I’m not sure what to do with her on television at this point.