AXS continues NJPW coverage with more from Block A! The Rainmaker takes on the Hangman for the first time ever! Plus, The Ace VS The Underboss once more!
Gifs can be found on http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- Jay White VS Michael Elgin; White wins.
- Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Bad Luck Fale; Tanahashi wins, by disqualification.
- Kazuchika Okada VS Hangman Page; Okada wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS TV set the scene for Round Three!
Kazuchika Okada hasn’t been himself since losing the IWGP Heavyweight Championship to Kenny Omega. He’s also been on a losing streak since then, with a quick 0-2 record in the first two rounds. Okada lost to The Switchblade, Jay White, and perhaps lost all of Chaos to him. Then he lost to Bullet Club OG, the Underboss, Bad Luck Fale. The Rainmaker desperately needs to get on the board before it’s too late. But in his way is Bullet Club new blood, Hangman Adam Page, who would love to make a big splash with a win over the former top champion. Will Hangman be the third defeat on Okada’s downward spiral? Or will Okada use the Problem Solver to solve his losing problem?
But first, the Underboss has his own match in a rematch from the New Japan Cup quarterfinals. Fale lost to Hiroshi Tanahashi back then, but Tanahashi himself lost to Jay White, same as Okada. Can the Once in a Century Talent gain ground against an angry Fale? Or will the Firing Squad make their presence known once again?
NJPW and AXS give us another quick rundown on the other A Block matches.
Minoru Suzuki brutalized Yoshi-Hashi but the Head Hunter held his own. However, Suzuki’s Gotch Piledriver won it for the Man with the Worst Personality. Chaos’ Togi Makabe battled Los Ingobernables de Japon’s King of Darkness, EVIL, and they went all over the arena. The Uncaged King Kong would fall to Everything is EVIL, the signature STO, and Evil would get the win. For the third match of this third round, we jump right into it!
Jay White VS Michael Elgin!
The Switchblade says Chaos is now his faction, but he still has to prove it. We come into his match with The Unbreakable Big Mike as he brings Elgin up for a cobra clutch suplex! White calls for a finish, and brings Elgin up again. Eglin spins out of Blade Runner, but White elbows him away. White goes to run but Elgin reels him into a discus elbow! Elgin drags White up but White slips out. White lifts Elgin but Elgin knees out of the saido suplex. Elgin aims at the wobbly White and hits another discus elbow! Then the Half ‘n’ Half! Elgin runs, and clobbers White with a clothesline! He’s not done, he double underhooks for a sit-out Tigerbomb! Cover, TWO!? White survives by the thinnest of margins! Big Mike is surprised, but the fans are rallying for him.
Elgin drags White back up, takes aim at a corner, but White fights back. White’s huricanrana is blocked by pure strength! Elgin brings White back up, and buckle bombs him in the corner! But the referee gets caught in it, too! Elgin checks on the ref, then he goes back to White. White gives Big Mike a low blow uppercut to Little Mike! Then, Blade Runner! The referee returns to count the cover, White wins!
Winner: Jay White, by pinfall; White earns 2 points, Elgin earns 0
The Switchblade takes the lead in Block A by any means necessary. White wants to reign over Chaos and all of NJPW as THE IWGP Heavyweight Champion. Will his streak continue and bring him all the way to the G1 Climax Finals?
Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Bad Luck Fale!
The Ace and the Underboss go around one more time, but this New Japan Cup rematch might be marred if the Bullet Club splinter cell show themselves. Can the two-time G1 Climax winner put Fale away before the Guerrillas of Destiny arrive?
Well that’s gonna be hard to do now, as Tonga Loa accompanies the lean, mean, Tongan machine to the ring. Even so, Tanahashi stays focused on his opponent. Red Shoes checks both men and finds they’re clean. He tells Tonga Loa to hop down off the apron, and Loa obliges. The bell rings, and Tanahashi immediately hits Fale with a dropkick! Tanahashi stomps away at the legs, then puts on leg on the ropes for another dropkick. Fans fire up with The Ace as he goes after the legs with more stomps. Tanahashi whips Fale but Fale reverses. Fale runs in but Tanahashi dodges to chop block! Fans chant for Tanahashi as he stalks Fale. Tanahashi brings Fale around to kick that bad knee. Fale staggers to ropes but Tanahashi refuses to let up. Tanahashi runs, but Fale follows, only for Tanahashi to drop toehold him.
Tanahashi puts Fale’s legs into a deathlock, pulling back on both knees. Fale reaches back to grab at Tanahashi, but then reaches out to grab ropes. Tanahashi honors the ropebreak, but then stomps Fale more. Fale slips out of the ring, and voids Tanahashi’s slingshot plancha. But Tanahashi lands on the apron, to cannonball onto Fale! Fans are thunderous as Tanahashi fires up. Tanahashi drags Fale up, and has camera men clear out. He whips but Fale reverses, sending Tanahashi over the rails into commentary! Roppongi 3K’s Sho almost gets wiped out. Fale grabs a chair from one of the other commentary tables! Red Shoes tells him to put it down, but Fale refuses. Fale even threatens Red Shoes with it! But this is all to distract the ref from seeing Loa stomp Tanahashi out!
Sho and commentary try to get Red Shoes’ attention, but Loa backs off in time. Fale lets go of the chair and goes over to fetch Tanahashi. Fans clear out with help from the Young Lions, and Fale bowls for chairs using Tanahashi! Fans cheer Tanahashi in attempts to power him up, but Fale leaves him to the mercy of the 20 count. The count reaches 10 before Tanahashi reaches ringside. Tanahashi stands and enters at 14. Fale is right on him, and stands on his ribs! He backs off at 4, but then comes back to kick Tanahashi while he’s down. Fale drags Tanahashi up and puts him on the ropes to bend him backward. Red Shoes counts, and Fale lets off at 4 again. Tanahashi grits his teeth but Fale clubs his back. Fale puts Tanahashi back on the ropes for more clubbing forearms.
Tanahashi writhes to a corner but fans continue to rally. Fale wags a finger, their cheers won’t help Tanahashi. Fale gives Tanahashi big body shots, then a scoop slam. He sits on Tanahashi for the cover, TWO! Tanahashi crawls but Fale looms over him. Fale sits Tanahashi up for a nerve hold! Fale digs his fingers into Tanahashi’s trapezius, but fans rally more. Tanahashi feeds off the energy and gets to his feet. He fights back with elbows, then forearms. Fale staggers, but comes back with one big forearm of his own. Fale has Tanahashi in a corner, and gives him clubbing clotheslines from both sides. Tanahashi is down and dazed while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns, and Fale says “It’s too easy, man.” He looms over Tanahashi in the corner. He brings Tanahashi up and whips him corner to corner. Tanahashi comes running out to dropkick Fale’s bad leg! Tanahashi dropkicks it again, then again! He brings Fale back for a waistlock, but Fale is too big and strong for the German Suplex. Fale elbows out, but Tanahashi hits him back with a palm strike. Fale falls down, Tanahashi grabs the leg, for a grounded dragon screw! The screw drives Fale’s leg into the mat, and now Fale writhes as he clutches the knee. Tanahashi keeps on him with an attempt at the Cloverleaf. He props Fale up and works to roll him over, but Fale is still big and strong. They struggle against each other, but Tanahashi gets the hold!
Fale endures, and he powers his way out, sending Tanahashi all the way out of the ring! Tanahashi and Fale both take a few moments to recover. Fale goes out but Tanahashi gets back in. Tanahashi runs, but into Fale’s grip! Fale rocks Tanahashi with a right, but then Tanahashi dragon screws the leg between the ropes! Fans chant “Go Ace!” for Tanahashi as he takes aim. Tanahashi runs, sunset flip, but Fale sits on him! TWO, but barely! Loa coaches Fale up while the fans are on Tanahashi’s side. Fale runs and splashes! TWO, but still close! Tanahashi gasps for air while Fale brings him up. Tanahashi throws hands, then bobs ‘n’ weaves with Fale. He hits a European Uppercut, but runs into a lariat!
Fale drags Tanahashi up, but Tanahashi palm strikes before he can throw the Grenade thumb spike. Fale fireman carries Tanahashi instead, for the Samoan Drop! Both men are down from exhaustion but Fale makes the cover. TWO as Tanahashi survives. Fans rally up but Fale is first to stand. Fale brings Tanahashi up, preparing a powerbomb. Tanahashi slips out of the crucifix to huricanrana! Cover, TWO!! But Tanahashi comes back with a Slingblade, but Fale’s size and strength help him get out of it. Tanahashi rolls Fale up instead, TWO! Tanahashi tries a fisherman, but Fale scoops him. That bad leg gives way, and Tanahashi comes back with the swinging neckbreaker!
Fans rally again while Loa is worried. Tanahashi runs, the Slingblade hits! But he’s not done, as he goes top rope… High Fly Flow FLOPS as Fale moves! Tanahashi and Fale stir and stand while the fans are thunderous. Fale runs in for a big corner clothesline! Then he grabs Tanahashi, for the Grenade thumb thrust to choke slam! Cover, TWO!? Tanahashi survives that brutal combination, but Fale prepares a bomb! He lifts Tanahashi, crucifix but Tanahashi pops out to bring Fale down with an inverted bulldog! Tanahashi hurries up top, for the HIGH FLY FLOW! Cover, but Loa drags Red Shoes out!!
And he attacks Tanahashi! It was only a matter of time before it came to this. Loa stomps Tanahashi out while Fale slowly sits up. Fans boo the Firing Squad, but they don’t care. Loa brings Tanahashi up, and Fale prepares a lariat. Tanahashi ducks, the lariat hits Loa! Then Tanahashi Slingblades Fale down! But it’s Tama Tonga with a Gun Stun outta nowhere! The quintessential leader of the Firing Squad is here. He tells Tanahashi to never defy them. Fale covers, Tonga drags Red Shoes in, but Red Shoes says F U, Firing Squad! He calls for the DQ!
Winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi, by disqualification; Tanahashi earns 2 points, Fale earns 0
The Tongans are furious with Red Shoes, and Tama grabs him around the collar. But then they go after Tanahashi, stomping and punching away. No one makes the rescue, so the Firing Squad leave when they feel satisfied. Will anyone, from wrestlers to administration, stand up to this pack of wolves?
Kazuchika Okada VS Hangman Page!
The Rainmaker hasn’t been acting quite like himself since Kenny Omega took the title from him. He’s already lost twice, but is he so vulnerable as to give the Problem Solver a guaranteed win? Or is Hangman’s first G1 Climax too soon to defeat the former IWGP Heavyweight Champion?
The bell rings and fans cheer for Okada. Hangman tunes it out as he jaws with The Rainmaker. The two circle then tie up. Hangman gets the wristlock, but Okada rolls and reverses. Hangman rolls and reverses back to a hammerlock then snapmare. He puts Okada in a chinlock, but Okada gets up and out. Okada gets the hammerlock, but Hangman gets the ropebreak. Okada honors the break, and fakes his punch, to pat Hangman on the shoulders. He’s all smiles, but Hangman scowls. Okada ducks Hangman’s punch, then catches the boot. He shoves Hangman, having fun with him. Hangman runs into a drop toehold, and Okada grins while Hangman gets to a corner. Fans cheer him on but Hangman clotheslines him out! Hangman keeps going, and DIVES onto the downed Okada!
Hangman loves throwing caution to the wind, but even that was crazy. He gets up and mocking asks, “This is Okada now?” Hangman puts Okada back in the ring, then walks circles around him, like a shark with blood in the water. He shows off his strength with a pumphandle deadlift, into a brinding Fall Away Slam! TWO, but Hangman keeps hold of a leg to roll Okada around. Hangman chops Okada bluntly, then stalks him to a corner. Hangman stands Okada for another chop, then continues to question Okada’s character. He snapmares Okada into a chinlock, and he gives slaps to Okada’s head. Fans rally up and Okada fights out, but Hangman clubs him. Hangman runs into a boot, but he avoids Okada’s back senton. Hangman hits his standing shooting star! Cover, TWO, but Hangman keeps his cool.
Hangman toys with Okada, then drags him back up. He scoops Okada for the slam, then slingshots out and in for the senton atomico! Fans applaud his ability, but still rally up for Okada. Hangman sits Okada up for a neck wrench. Okada endures and works his way up. He fights back but Hangman ear claps him. Hangman whips but Okada reverses to a DDT! Both men are down, but Okada kips up! Okada runs and rallies with forearms and elbows. He whips but Hangman reverses, only for Okada to come back with a back elbow. Okada brings Hangman up but Hangman gives body shots and a forearm. Hangman runs, but into a flapjack! Cover, TWO!
Fans rally behind Okada as he runs corner to corner. Hangman dodges, then runs back in, but Okada dodges. Okada puts Hangman up top to dropkick him to the floor! Okada goes out slowly to fetch Hangman, not satisfied with a possible count out win. He rocks Hangman with a EuroUpper, then whips him at barriers. Okada runs and boots Hangman into the crowd! Young Lions help clear fans out while Okada walks over to fetch Hangman. Okada drags Hangman out but Hangman fights back. Hangman rocks Okada, then slingshots for the Buck Shot! Direct hit and both men are down while we go to break!
NJPW on AXS returns and Red Shoes checks on both men on the outside. Hangman stands first, and he drags Okada up and into the ring. He positions Okada in the drop zone before climbing up top. Fans rally up, and Hangman MOONSAULT! It FLOPS as Okada evades! Okada stands but Hangman runs in, only to get a boot. Hangman tries again but Okada gets him in Alabama Slam position. Hangman fights out and clubs Okada from behind. He whips Okada but Okada reverses, only to miss the dropkick. Hangman jackknifes and rolls to lift Okada, but Okada fights against the Rite. Okada gut wrenches but Hangman reverses to his own. Hangman changes from Tombstone to inverted cradle piledriver! Cover, TWO!! Okada barely survives, but now fans are dueling between the two.
Hangman sits up, and stares wild eyed at Okada. He brings Okada up, prepares the Rite, but Okada grabs the ropes. Hangman pulls but then dumps Okada off. Okada hits Hangman with a forearm, then hurries up top. Hangman stops Okada, then climbs up to join him. Fans fire up but Okada resists the superplex. Okada fights back with body shots, then throws a forearm. Hangman falls back, but comes back with a forearm of his own. Okada teeters while Hangman climbs up. They stand on the very top, for a SUPER neckbreaker! But Okada rolls out of the ring. Hangman goes to a corner and climbs up again. Fans anticipate what’s coming, it’s Hangman’s SUPER ASAI MOONSAULT! He hits Okada, then puts him in the ring. Fans have sided with Hangman now as he slingshots, for another Buck Shot! Cover, TWO!!
Okada survives again, but his eyes are staring into space. Hangman calls for the finish! He brings Okada up, into position, but Okada sunset flips! TWO, but barely, and Hangman runs into a waistlock. Okada German Suplexes, but Hangman lands on his feet! Hangman aims at Okada, runs corner to corner, for a big dropkick! Then a scoop, but Okada reverses, into the Tombstone! But Okada’s too exhausted to make a cover! Fans duel as they rally up. Okada sits up, but Hangman slowly follows. Okada throws a forearm, but Hangman comes back with one. Now Okada boots Hangman, and he dares Hangman to return it. Hangman swings but Okada ducks to give a EuroUpper. Okada blocks the Superkick but gets the roaring elbow!
Hangman whips but Okada reverses and hits the dropkick this time. He brings Hangman up, wrings him out, but misses to get a SUPERKICK! Hangman runs, but is put on the apron. He rocks Okada agian, slingshots but into the RAIN– No, Hangman tilt-o-whirls through, to powerbomb Okada! High stack, TWO, roaring elbow! Fans fire up again as Hangman brings Okada up. Okada slips out, for a discus clothesline! He’s not done there, he swings Hangman out for THE Rainmaker! Cover, Okada wins!
Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall; Okada earns 2 points, Hangman earns 0
Okada is finally on the board! His losing streak ends, but it was still a tough fight. He still has a long way to go, can he climb back up to the top of A Block? And while Hangman goes 1-2, he still shows so much promise. Will he manage his own turn around to the top of the G1?
“Finally, finally, finally, the first victory!” Fans applaud for that. Okada jokingly says it was an easy win. But he is happy, and he thanks the fans. Okada seems to be holding back the tears, but the fans cheer him. But then he’s totally fine as he says, “Still, the G1 tournament has only just begun. I will dominate. And make it rain.” Okada drops the mic, still confident in himself. He may be more relaxed than normal, but will he still make the climb?
Hangman knows that since losing the title, Okada “has been a damn mess.” But this match was more about beating “the man that was the champion”. If Hangman could do that, he could do anything. He felt how close he was to getting those points. But now he’s got a fire burning.
Okada apologizes for the wait. “To all of you enjoying the G1 Climax,” it’s great. He’s enjoying himself, too. He hasn’t lost sight of the prize. He’ll keep having fun as he keeps winning. Okada knows the title matters, his shot at Kenny Omega matters, but what really matters is that it will all be Okada’s. We know from the standings that Okada has a long way to go to catch up to Jay White, but if anyone can do it, it’s the Rainmaker. Will he do it? Or is it already too late to take it all back?
I was hoping to see these moments from the G1 Climax. It was a nice surprise to get the last bit of White VS Elgin, and White going on this quick 3-0 tear is definitely a sign that NJPW appreciates his talent. Even if White doesn’t go to the Finals, his victories will definitely lead him to something. Plus, he and Okada need to settle who is truly leader of Chaos before it ends up like the Bullet Club Civil War. Then speaking of, obviously the Firing Squad would try to cheat. It backfired on them and Tanahashi gets the points, and as we know in real time, NJPW the company would issue a statement and “suspend” the Firing Squad in order to let the G1 Climax finish cleanly. This could go any direction after the “suspension” is over, it’s definitely intriguing.
Okada VS Hangman was great, and the stories involved are well thought out. Okada finally gets points, and he clearly feels some weight off his shoulders now. He vows to be back to his dominant ways soon enough, but that almost promises he’s not. This with White challenging his command of Chaos, Okada has a lot on his plate for the rest of the year. Hangman himself isn’t deterred, he knows he’s getting to that level. It’s only a matter of time before Hangman has his first singles title in NJPW, I’m really excited for when he gets that moment.
My Score: 8.2/10
Mitchell’s ROH Results & Report! (4/13/19)
Who qualifies for the Crockett Cup?!
Ring of Honor Wrestling Television, Episode 395
ROH plays host to a Crockett Cup Qualifying Match! Will The Briscoes make it through Willie Mack and Jeff Cobb? Or will #DemBoyz be left out in the cold?
- Shane Taylor VS Luchasaurus; Taylor wins.
- Katie Forbes & Mazzerati VS Sumie Sakai & Mayu Iwatani; Sakai & Iwatani win.
- Crockett Cup Qualifying Match: The Briscoes VS Jeff Cobb & Willie Mack; The Briscoes win and move on to The Crockett Cup tag team tournament.
PLAY BY PLAY
The Briscoes speak.
“So when we heard that they’re bringing back the Crockett Cup for 2019…” “Classic.” “We was hyped.” “Hyped!” The Crockett Cup, let’s go! But then they were making Jay & Mark qualify? What the hell? Jay felt disrespected hearing that. They’re 10-time tag team champions and they have to qualify!? But that’s fine, “watch this!” Because at the end, when they’ve won the whole thing atop a pile of bodies, “y’all did this.” Cobb, Mack, the Road to the Cup starts tonight. The Briscoes have warned their opponents, but will they be the ones left out?
Shane Taylor VS Luchasaurus!
The Notorious Hitman wants a championship and the paycheck that comes with it, and will go after anyone he has to to get there. But can he get past the towering beast put before him?
Taylor refuses the Code of Honor to tell Luchasaurus that it doesn’t matter where he came from, he’s in Taylor’s town. Taylor pie faces Luchasaurus but Luchasaurus gives it back. The bell rings and they tie up. They break and then go again, to break again. Fans cheer on Luchasaurus as he dares Taylor to bring it. Taylor runs in but gets a boot. Luchasaurus has his dukes up and Taylor likes the look of that. They circle and Luchasaurus kicks Taylor sharp in the leg. Luchasaurus stalks Taylor but Taylor comes back to circle with him. Taylor gets a swift JAB in, then talks trash, but Luchasaurus swings a kick. Taylor ducks it to give Luchasaurus a CHOP! Luchasaurus stays standing and gives Taylor kicks! Taylor staggers and Luchasaurus runs in, but Taylor puts him on the apron.
Luchasaurus headbutts Taylor but Taylor dodges the boot. Taylor gives another strong JAB, then slingshots Luchasaurus in for a stunner! Fans cheer that show of strength as Taylor covers. TWO, but Taylor keeps on Luchasaurus with clubbing forearms. The wrestling T-Rex is in trouble as we go to break.
ROH returns as Taylor puts Luchasaurus in a corner for CHOPS! Taylor whips Luchasaurus corner to corner then runs in, but into a boot. Luchasaurus boots again but Taylor grabs it. Luchasaurus pries free to give Taylor a knee! Taylor catches Luchasaurus for a CHOKE SLAM! Cover, TWO! Taylor taunts Luchasaurus as he drags Luchasaurus up. Fans rally and Luchasaurus grabs Taylor for a choke! Taylor breaks free and grabs for Luchasaurus, but he blocks it! Luchasaurus gives a strike fest, and a cartwheel for Snake Bite headscissors! Rolling buzzsaw! Cover, TWO! Taylor survives but Luchasaurus keeps his cool. Luchasaurus drags Taylor up but Taylor hits back. They brawl with big shots back and forth, but Luchasaurus gets the edge.
Luchasaurus swings but Taylor bobs ‘n’ weaves to headbutt! Taylor runs but into a knee! Then a back heel kick! Luchasaurus runs, dodges, but still gets clobbered with a clothesline! Cover, TWO! Taylor keeps his cool while he trash talks Luchasaurus. But Luchasaurus sits up and grabs Taylor by the throat! They both stand, but Taylor tries to break free. Luchasaurus lets him go to swing a heel kick. Taylor ducks it, to get the return kick! And another big heel kick! Luchasaurus hits his CHOKE SLAM! And a standing moonsault, but to knees! Taylor survives and then blocks the boot to give a massive urenage! He rolls Luchasaurus for a knee! Greetings from the 216! Cover, Taylor wins!!
Winner: Shane Taylor, by pinfall
The Hitman takes down the Monster from the Mesozoic! Will this be what Taylor needs to go for gold?
Last time on ROH…
The Octopus, Jonathon Gresham, went for revenge on The Last Real Man for adding insult to injury on his bad leg. But after getting bloodied, Silas Young got his hands dirty by sneaking in a low blow! Silas won, and in an interview afterward, Silas told Gresham via the camera that Gresham’s revenge didn’t go the way he thought. Sure he busted Silas open, but Silas-
Wait, Gresham finds Silas. Silas is talking crap, and he looks like crap, too. Gresham’s sure talking big. He may have busted Silas open, but he couldn’t get the job done, huh? Gresham says all their match proved was that Silas couldn’t win fair and square. Silas claims he won with a wrestling move a la that small package cradle. Gresham says Silas is lucky Gresham won’t punch him again. ROH security keeps this from getting any more heated, but there is much left to settle between Octopus and Last Real Man. Will Silas prove he’s a man by giving Gresham a fair rematch?
Tenille Dashwood joins commentary.
She has great news: she’s cleared to compete! When and where will she bring the spotlight back on her and head for that Women of Honor World Championship?
Katie Forbes & Mazzerati VS Sumie Sakai & Mayu Iwatani!
The All Natural and her friend, The Fox, make their ROH TV debuts as a team, but will they stand a chance against two former WOH World Champions?! Just how bright will the Ray of Sunshine and Queen of Stardom shine as a dynamic duo?
The Code of Honor is denied with a flick of the hair and an L for loser on the foreheads. Mazz starts for her team against Mayu! Fans fire up for “Stardom! Stardom!” as Mayu tries the Code again. Mazz SLAPS Mayu and calls her a loser! Mayu kicks and whips Mazz and things speed up. Mayu springboards and arm-drags Mazz then hip tosses her down. She snapmares with hair and covers, TWO! Mazz gets away while Mayu knips up, and fans fire up for the decorated Joshi star. Mazz tags to Forbes but Mayu tags to Sumie. Sumie has the fans on her side but Forbes ignores it. They tie up and Forbes shoves Sumie down. Sumie gets back up and ties up with Forbes again.
Forbes uses the height advantage for leverage, but Sumie kicks at her legs. Sumie goes to whip but Forbes blocks. Forbes whips Sumie but misses in the corner. Sumie fires off Mongolian chops! And chops and chops and chops! Fans fire up but Forbes throws Sumie by her hair! Forbes sits Sumie up for her “enhanced” hip attack! Sumie scrambles to a corner and Forbes handsprings corner to corner for a back elbow. Forbes adds insult to injury with her “All Natural” Stink Face! The ref counts and Forbes backs off at 4. Forbes drags Sumie to a cover, TWO! The duo of champions is in trouble as Forbes drags Sumie to her corner and we go to break.
ROH returns as Mazz whips Sumie corner to corner. Mazz then runs in, but into a boot! Mazz staggers but comes back in to block the next boot. She puts Sumie’s leg on the ropes to kick it. Mazz suplexes and covers, TWO! Mazz keeps her cool and runs to drop the leg, but Sumie gets clear! Sumie crawls but Forbes goes around to the corner and drags Mayu off the apron! Forbes teases Sumie as she holds Mayu up. Sumie gets attacked from behind and Forbes gives Mayu a snake eyes on the apron. Mazz drags Sumie up and whips but Sumie reverses. Mazz grabs ropes and spins to heel kick Sumie away. She gives Sumie a DDT, then covers, but Mayu breaks it! Mazz is furious but fans rally up for Sumie. Mazz spins but Sumie dodges to kick and TJ Neckbreaker!
Fans rally up and Sumie crawls for her corner. Hot tag to Mayu! Mayu aims and dropkicks Mazz down! She drags her back up but Forbes runs in to attack. The duo double whips Mayu but she reverses and wristlocks for a springboard DOUBLE arm-drag! Fans fire up as Mayu gives them both the basement dropkick! Mayu fires up now as she stays on Mazz. She drags Mazz up for a Northern Lights! Bridging cover, TWO! Mazz lives but Mayu stomps her down before tagging Sumie. Mayu climbs one corner as Mazz staggers up, missile dropkick sends her back down! Sumie is perched, crossbody! Cover, TWO!! Mazz survives and Forbes attacks Sumie just because.
Sumie slaps Forbes then puts her in a corner. The Joshi duo double whips but Mazz dodges and spins things around. Mazz sends Sumie into Mayu, then Forbes grabs them both for a DOUBLE Fireman’s Carry! The All Natural does squats with that weight, then hits a DOUBLE Samoan Drop! Mazz flounders to cover Sumie but Sumie gets up. Mazz throws hands then drags Mayu back in. Sumie hits Mazz while Forbes goes to throw Mayu. Mayu blocks and then SUPERKICKS Forbes! Mazz hits Sumie back then goes after Mayu. Mayu SUPERKICKS Mazz, then Smash Mouse from Sumie! Cover, Sumie & Mayu win!!
Winners: Sumie Sakai & Mayu Iwatani, Sakai pinning
The duo of former champions toughs it out and gets the win! Will this new team make big waves in the WOH Division’s growing tag scene?
PJ Black speaks.
“Let me start from the beginning.” The Darewolf came in with a chip on his shoulder, thought he knew better and was just plain better. But his loss to Bandido really hurt. PJ’s been doing this for 22 years now, but given how long he’s been doing this, the frustration is building. He’s been trying to take shortcuts to get ahead, but it doesn’t work. ROH is built on honor and respect, of course, but PJ’s been doing the opposite. Now he’s doing some soul searching and rethinking his mindset. He knows he has to do it differently now. LifeBlood sets a great example for him, and he’ll learn to follow the honor in Ring of Honor. PJ knows now he didn’t know better, but will he be able to make it right in a rematch next week in episode 396?
Crockett Cup Qualifying Match: The Briscoes VS Jeff Cobb & Willie Mack!
The most decorated tag team in ROH were practically offended that they’d have to qualify for the return of the iconic tag team tournament! But as the “baddest tag team on the whole damn planet”, they’ll gladly beat up anyone and everyone they have to in order to win it all. Will #DemBoyz be able to overcome the ROH World Television and NWA National Heavyweight Champions? Or will Cobb and Mack be the duo to #ManUp and make it into the Crockett Cup?
ROH returns as both teams uphold the Code of Honor. That’s surprising for the way The Briscoes have been acting lately. Fans duel for the two teams as they sort out. Mack and Mark start and stare down with the bell. Fans rally up and Mack circles with Mark. They tie up and Mack powers Mark to a corner. Mark turns it around and grinds his forearm in. He backs off at 4 but Mack dodges the chop to give a chop! Mack CHOPS again, but Mark CHOPS back. They trade CHOP after CHOP! Neither man backs down as they keep firing them off! Mack eggs Mark on but Mark knees low. Mark headlocks but Mack powers out to his own. Mark powers out but Mack runs him over!
Mack speeds things up and hurdles over Mark, to then hit a BIG Thesz Press! He fires off hands then runs for a Stone Cold elbow drop. Fans fire up as Mack brings Mark up and powers him to the corner. Cobb tags in and rams his shoulders in. Cobb throws European Uppercuts then whips Mark to a corner. He scoops Mark on the rebound to then suplex! Cobb holds Mark up for a count of 15! Mark flops up and out of the ring! Jay hurries to regroup with his brother and get him back in this. Mark goes back in to tag Jay and Jay circles with Cobb.
They tie up and Jay waistlocks Cobb. Cobb pries his way out to a wristlock but Jay rolls and spins and drop toeholds. Jay gets a facelock but Cobb powers him to a corner! Cobb lets Jay go clean and now the hair comes down from both men. Fans fire up as Cobb shakes the locks out. Jay calls for a test of strength, but with the Hawaiian Hulk? They tie up, but Jay kicks low. The Briscoes tag and mug Cobb while we go to break.
ROH returns as Jay uppercuts Cobb to a corner. Jay throws more uppercuts then whips corner to corner. Cobb reverses but runs into a back elbow. Jay tags in Mark and the Briscoes double whip, to run Cobb over with double shoulders! Fans cheer that as Mark covers, ONE! Mark keeps his eyes on Mack while stomping Cobb. Cobb grits his teeth and throws body shots back. Cobb rocks Mark but Mark hits Mack! Mark still gets forearms from Cobb then Cobb whips to elbow Mark down. Cobb brings Mark up for more forearms, then whips again. Mark holds ropes and Jay tags in. The Briscoes swarm and Mark feeds Cobb to Jay’s boot!
Mark hits Mack again for good measure while Jay drags Cobb up again. The Briscoes throw Cobb out then Mark climbs to corkscrew moonsault onto them both! The South Sussex Chicken flies and takes them both out! Mark puts Cobb in for Jay and Jay covers. TWO, but Jay keeps on Cobb with a headbutt. Jay kicks and bumps Cobb in a corner then stomps in a mudhole. He grinds his boot in but backs off at 4. Jay drags Cobb up to tag Mark, and The Briscoes mug Cobb again. Mark stays between Cobb and Mack as he CHOPS and forearms Cobb. He puts Cobb back in the corner and tags in Jay. They mug Cobb more and Jay rams his shoulders in. Jay brings Cobb around and manages to snap suplex him! Fans cheer that as Jay tags Mark.
Mark clubs Cobb but Cobb throws hands. Mark knees low and clubs Cobb again, but Cobb dodges to DROPKICK! Cobb rolls, hot tag to Mack! The Return of the Mack rallies on The Briscoes! Running leg lariat puts Mark in a corner! Mack goes side to side for a sharp forearm, then side to side again for a bicycle boot! Mark sits down and Mack goes corner to corner for the inverted cannonball! Cover, TWO! Mark survives but Mack keeps his cool. Mack whips Mark corner to corner but Mark reverses. Jay runs in to forearm, and feed Mack to Mark’s shotgun dropkick! Mark drags Mack to a cover, TWO! Tag to Jay and the Briscoes stomp out Mack while we go to one last break.
ROH returns again as Mark holds Mack in the Briscoe corner. Jay distracts the ref while Mark rakes Mack’s eyes, but then the ref has to keep Cobb back. Jay stomps a mudhole into Mack in that time, then both Briscoes grind their boot in. The ref reprimands them both but Jay keeps going to EuroUpper Mack. Tag to Mark and The Briscoes continue to mug Mack. Mark rocks Mack with an uppercut, then stalks him to an open corner for more stomps. Mack throws hands but Mark haymakers and headbutts him down. Mark snapmares Mack to a neck wrench! Fans rally up as Mack endures. Mack works his way up and fights his way out. Mark clubs Mack back then runs, but into Mack’s pop-up complete shot! Both men are down but fans fire up as they stir.
Mack and Mark crawl, hot tag to Cobb but Jay still runs in! Cobb catches Jay for a BIG overhead belly2belly suplex! Mark staggers up and gets one of his own! Cobb sees the Briscoes in opposite corners, so Cobb runs for a big leaping elbow on Jay, then corner to corner for one on Mark! Cobb scoops Mark but Jay saves him. The Briscoes double whip but Cobb reverses to pull them into each other! Cobb gets a leg each, and gives both Briscoes a single leg suplex! Fans fire up as Cobb hits a STANDING MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO!! Mark lives and gets to a corner but Cobb goes at him for CHOPS. Cobb whips but Mark goes up and forearms Cobb back. Mark ducks Cobb to PELE! Tag to Jay, and Jay runs to clobber Cobb! Cover, TWO!
Jay grows frustrated but he drags Cobb up for a neckbreaker, only for Cobb to power out and SUPERKICK! Hot tag to Mack! Mack rallies on Jay with clotheslines and elbows! Mack scoops to a Samoan Drop! And knip up to his own standing moonsault! Cover, TWO! Jay still lives and gets away. Mack builds speed but Jay gets away again. Mack pursues but Mark wrecks Mack with a dropkick! Cobb comes around, but gets an apron blockbuster! The Briscoes suckered both opponents in! Jay gets Mack in and fans cheer “Man Up!” Jay underhooks Mack but Mack powers out and ducks to hit a big exploder! Cover, TWO! Mack keeps cool as he whips Jay corner to corner. Jay reverses but runs into a boot. Mack climbs up but Jay intercepts! Mark springboards in, Doomsday! Cover, but Cobb barrels in to break it up!
Fans know “This is Awesome!” and far from over! The Briscoes throw Cobb out then go back to Mack. Mark tags in and Jay helps Mark get Mack up. Canadian rack, but Cobb blasts Jay down! Mack escapes, STUNNER! TO GERMAN!! Mack climbs up, FROG SPLASH!! Cover, TWO!! Mark survives and Mack cannot believe it! Cobb drags Mark up to whip but Jay saves Mark at the ropes. Mark baits Cobb in to send him out, and Jay BOOTS Cobb down! Mark drags Mack up and throws a CHOP! Mack CHOPS back, Mark CHOPS back, repeat! They go for forearms next, then Mack back hands. Mack runs but into a forearm. Mark runs but into a BOOT! Mack runs but Jay headscissors! Jay underhooks, JAY DRILLER! Mark up, FROGGY-BOW!! Cover, The Briscoes win!!
Winners: The Briscoes, Mark Briscoe pinning; advance to the Crockett Cup Tournament
Against a team as tough as they are strong, the Baddest Team on the Whole Damn Planet makes it into the more prestigious tag tournament in the world! Will #DemBoyz beat the best teams in NJPW, NWA and CMLL to take the whole cup, too?
What a great episode of ROH! Taylor VS Luchasaurus was a solid opener, both guys are big but agile so it made for a good match-up. Taylor wins because he’s a strong enough Heel to go after Face champion Jeff Cobb for that ROH World TV title. Of course, by this time in real-time, Cobb is dual champion with both the ROH WTV and NEVER Openweight Championship after G1 Supercard. I’d imagine Cobb being that strong now, I doubt Taylor wins. And there’s obviously a lot more to Silas VS Gresham, their next rematch will be just as good if not better than their previous. The PJ Black VS Bandido rematch next week will be a great match for TV, but I wonder if PJ really will keep it clean like he’s been saying.
The WOH tag match was pretty good, but I’m both surprised and disappointed it wasn’t just an exhibition of how great Sumie Sakai and Mayu Iwatani are. Even after watching her as Khloe Hurtz on Women of Wrestling, and full-well knowing she was trained by Rob Van Dam, I still don’t see how she and a tag partner could’ve lasted this long against two former champions. Especially when, at the time of this taping, Mayu was still WOH Champion and a champion in Stardom. Sumie and Mayu still win, thankfully, and this just seems to further push that ROH is considering their own Women’s Tag Championships. A sadder irony of tape delay is that while Tenille Dashwood is cleared to compete, her contract expired and it doesn’t seem like she’s renewing with ROH. There goes my idea that she’d say Kelly Klein was the one who attacked and injured her.
The tag match main event was incredible! It really is a shame this wasn’t part of the Crockett Cup itself, but if this was just a qualifier, all the matches of the tournament are going to be insane! And I would really hope with how hard The Briscoes fought to get in, they at the very least go to the finals. The Briscoes should also beat Villain Enterprises as payback for losing the ROH World Tag Team Championships to them. Then hopefully once they’ve won the Crockett Cup, The Briscoes go back after the Guerrillas of Destiny to at least take back the ROH tag titles and we get the 2v2 match we were supposed to get in the first place.
My Score: 8.3/10
Mathew’s AJPW Champion Carnival B Block Results & Review: Part 3
Another few days, Mathew brings us another part of the Champion Carnival! All Japan’s biggest tournament of the year keeps churning in quality! How is B block going?
Another few days, Mathew brings us another part of the Champion Carnival! All Japan’s biggest tournament of the year keeps churning in quality!
Welcome back to the Carnival, as we look at the next three shows for the part of the ongoing tournament.
The last part had a lot of solid matches and some nice victories that changed the game a little bit. As we get a little bit closer to the finals, the standings for this set of matches should be interesting.
Will Yoshitatsu remain the only one undefeated now or someone breaks that? Let’s see who will move up or down in the standings as we…dive right in.
- 0 Stars: Dave Meltzer
- 1 Star: Vince Russo
- 2 Stars: Tony Schiavone
- 3 Stars: Eric Bischoff
- 4 Stars: Bruce Prichard
- 5 Stars: Jim Cornette
Champion Carnival B Block Match
Jake Lee vs. Yoshitatsu
Review: Our first match for this show is Jake Lee taking on Yoshitatsu. Jake Lee was recently able to get his first win when he defeated Joel Redman. Yoshitatsu is currently the only one undefeated when he won against Suwama at the last show. Jake would need to have another win here to move up while Yoshi winning would move him to the top spot. Can Jake get another win or will Yoshi remain undefeated?
Yoshi, I know you spent money on Hunter Club gear and I’m sure you’re very proud of yourself but I think you should let that go. You’re not in New Japan anymore, no real need for it and just move forward. Anyway, I thought this was an enjoyable match but if I had to nitpick one thing, it would be that I wish there was a lot more intensity in the match since you kinda felt that when they had a tag match in the last big show I did for them and it didn’t feel like a grudge match or anything for the first half of it. Yoshi having good matches back to back is a very pleasant surprise and I hope that momentum keeps on going as we go forward with the tournament. The chemistry between them was a really nice touch with a great showing by both these men. Jake psyched Yoshi out with a punch to the gut and ran towards him only to get caught in a Koji Clutch which Jake rolled him up for a two count. Yoshi would eventually hook the Koji Clutch all the way after countering his Backdrop and it looked like he had him tapped but Jake answered the referee, making him break it up and pin him for a two. Jake would deliver two knees to his chest before hitting the Backdrop Driver to get the three count, ending the only winning streak we had for B Block.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a half
Champion Carnival B Block Match
Suwama vs. Sam Adonis
Review: Our next match is Sam Adonis taking on Suwama. Suwama recently lost to Yoshitatsu but he’s still in a good position with only one win and one loss as he still has time to bounce back. Sam currently has zero wins and two losses, so he would need to get a win here if he would wanna stay in the game a little longer. Can Suwama bounce back or does Sam sweep his chances under the rug?
Suwama is a great opponent for Sam as they have similar styles, making it easier for Sam to work with and show more of what he could do in the ring as he gave a much better performance here than his previous match against Joel. They were able to showcase enough power and strikes to make it rather engaging for the audience who are fans of this type of style, to begin with. It also shows how helpful Suwama can be with his opponents to help make them look good while bringing out your potential as the match progresses. Sam would get Suwama down with a few hits such as the Blockbuster and even lifted him for a Running Powerslam as Suwama was still able to kick out and gets frustrated as he goes to grab a chair for later. Suwama would attempt another Last Ride after failing the first time as Sam would use a dirty tactic of biting his fingers to make him let go as he grabbed the chair to try and strikes him, but Suwama grabbed it and threw it to the side. When the referee wasn’t looking, Sam would hit him with a low blow and roll him up for a two count. Sam isn’t done as he hits a Lariat and a modified Brainbuster it looked like as he shocked the fans by picking up his first win in the tournament. More of this Sam and he’ll be in good shape.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a quarter
Champion Carnival B Block Match
Naoya Nomura vs. Joel Redman
Review: Onto the next show as the one opening this up is Naoya Nomura taking on Joel Redman. Nomura recently suffered his first loss when he fought Joe Doering but he’s still in a good spot as he’s still in first place with the three wins he already has under his belt. Joel recently got his first win when he defeated Sam Adonis and he now has a chance to climb up the ladder a little bit more if he can take Nomura down here. Will Nomura get another win and secure his spot or will Joel pull him down a bit?
I see Joel went back to his better gear than his previous one, thank goodness because he looks a lot better without the singlet. Speaking of Joel, he delivers another great performance in his match against Nomura who also performed just as great as Joel did. Joel was able to do arm manipulation once he threw Nomura into the turnbuckle to know where he needed to take the advantage over him. Nomura did great selling the injury and getting the crowd behind him when he hits Joel with the Spear to try and get momentum back on his side. Nomura would be able to hit a Northern Lights Suplex and another Spear with a roll-up as Joel would still kick out of it. Joel was able to catch him into the Fujiwara Armbar and it looked like he had him ready to tap but Nomura would grab the ropes. Joel saw him going towards the apron and hits a Suplex from the other side and catches him for a Spinning Tombstone and Nomura would still kick out of it, but he quickly turned it back into the Fujiwara Armbar and Nomura tapped out! I know it’s been 7 years since this match happened, but I would love to see Joel Redman fight Zack Sabre Jr again, like immediately.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and three quarters
Champion Carnival B Block Match
Suwama vs. Takashi Yoshida
Review: Our match to close our block for this show is Takashi Yoshida coming back as he takes on Suwama. Suwama has one win and two losses while Takashi is one win and one loss as of right now, so they’re pretty much about even right now. Suwama would need to win the match here though if he can stay in the game. Which one of these two giants comes out the victor in this brawl?
I wasn’t too fond of the first half of the match due to it being a little bit clunky and the fighting around the outside of the arena dragged on a little bit longer than it needed to, plus the camera angles for most of it didn’t help out at all. Outside of that though, the middle of the match was a lot better than I highly anticipated since you got two giants duking it out as best they could with the throat thrusts, Lariats, and a Powerbomb from Takashi along with other power moves. While I’m still not a big fan of Takashi, he has been performing in this tournament much better than anticipated since he used this time to actually showcase his move set properly. Suwama was also able to help Takashi out in the match to make him perform better like how he did with Sam the previous night.
Takashi would have Suwama in his clutches as he hits him with a Diving Elbow Drop for a two count and would do his throat thrusts with a Lariat as Suwama would counter the Lariat with a Lariat of his own on his arm. Suwama would be able to hit the Backdrop and Takashi would be able to kick out of it and Suwama wants to call for the finish when he sets him up for the Last Ride. Once he had Takashi up for the Last Ride, he would just drop him down without doing the full move and I’m not exactly sure what happened there. Suwama would pick him up instead of pinning him as he hits one more Backdrop to get the pinfall victory in a solid match but sloppy beginning and end.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a quarter
Champion Carnival B Block Match
Joe Doering vs. Sam Adonis
Review: Our final show for this article as our opening match is Joe Doering taking on Sam Adonia. Both of these men are currently with one win and two losses under their belt, meaning one of them is going to have to suffer a third loss and be in a rather bad position with the standings. Which one of them will be in last place?
The first minute or so was basically Sam hiding behind the rope so he wouldn’t be touched as you have Joe waiting by the ropes, not having any of his crap today as he just wants to beat him up. Which is exactly what he does do when they’re outside of the ring for a couple of minutes as the two were back and forth, but it was mostly Joe that was getting the upper hand. Joe got him back in the ring as he would look to put him away as Sam would distract the referee long enough to kick Joe in the dick and down goes the giant. Joe is unable to move as Sam would pin him down to get the pinfall victory, leaving Joe in last place with three losses.
Rating: Tony Schiavone and a quarter
Champion Carnival B Block Match
Joel Redman vs. Takashi Yoshida
Review: Our final match for this set of matches is Joel Redman taking on Takashi Yoshida. Joel is even right now with two wins and losses while Takashi only has one win still but with two losses, meaning things aren’t looking so hot for Takashi right now. Is Joel does win here, then he’ll be in first place next to Naoya Nomura and if Takashi wins, the majority of them will all be tied up except for Joe and Nomura. Which one of them will get the victory?
It’s so weird seeing Takashi trying to chain wrestle Joel at the beginning of the match and the shocking part of it is him doing it well on top of that, scary sight if you ask me. Joel is, of course, more technically sound compared to Takashi, so of course, he would win this part of the bout. Takashi performed a lot better here than he did in his previous match with Suwama from beginning to end while Joel keeps on proving his worth with all the matches he’s been in. Joel would give Takashi a couple of kicks to take him down before he does his Diving Knee Drop off the top rope for a two count. It looked like Joel was gonna go for the Spinning Tombstone but Takashi would fight out of it to pick him up as Joel gets off him to go for a Backslide with Takashi kicking out. Takashi would hit the Kong Lariat to knock him down and Joel would still kick out, leaving Takashi frustrated and would pick him up to hit the Cyber Bomb as he gets the victory over Joel.
Rating: Eric Bischoff
Overall: Aside from one match, the rest of the show was solid again as usual as I’m very happy with my results so far as it comes to the quality of the matches with an exception for a couple that happened. Our next set of shows should give us a better assessment to see where people stand and who will have no chance of making it.
Favorite Match: Joel Redman vs. Naoya Nomura
Least Favorite Match: Joe Doering vs. Sam Adonis
Naoya Nomura: (3-2) (6 Points)
Yoshitatsu: (2-1) (4 Points)
Daichi Hashimoto: (2-1) (4 Points)
Suwama: (2-2) (4 Points)
Jake Lee: (2-2) (4 Points)
Joel Redman: (2-2) (4 Points)
Takashi Yoshida: (2-2) (4 Points)
Sam Adonis: (2-2) (4 Points)
Joe Doering: (1-3) (2 Points)
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