Lucha Underground Season 4, “Savagery”
With the Gift of the Gods Championship needing reformation, a Battle Royal will be held! Who will come out with a chance at THE Lucha Underground title?
Gifs can be found on http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- Gift of the Gods Battle Royal: Jake Strong wins and eliminates no one from next week’s Gift of the Gods Championship Match.
- The Mack VS Killshot; The Mack wins, by disqualification.
- Jake Strong VS Johnny Mundo; Strong wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Antonio Cueto tends to the Ancient Aztec Medallions.
The seven gold medals must be in pristine condition for tonight. But first, “The Savage” Jake Strong walks in, in a suit. Antonio offers him a seat, and Strong takes it. Antonio asks if Strong would like anything, Strong simply asks why he was asked into Antonio’s office. Well, since arriving in the Temple, Strong has been more dominant than even Antonio could’ve imagined. At Ultima Lucha, there’s no reason Strong can’t be in the main event. Antonio has no doubt that neither Marty the Moth nor Pentagon Dark could defeat him. Strong speaks up, and says he will become Lucha Underground not because Antonio handed it to him on a silver platter, but because he did it himself. “Thanks, but no thanks.”
Antonio understands. Strong doesn’t want anyone doubting his supremacy. Strong slams his fist on the desk, and says no man will. Of course not. Which is why Antonio will give Strong one of the seven Aztec Medallions. “They were forged 5000 years ago, and together, they create the Gift of the Gods.” Strong knows the story behind that title. Right, of course. Then in the ring, Strong will have the opportunity to prove his supremacy and be that much closer to the Gift of the Gods. Strong takes the medallion, and brings up “the sacrifices you’ve fed to your son.” Antonio better save some for him. Oh, and this isn’t Antonio’s Temple anymore. It’s Strong’s! But see you out there. There is more to The Savage than meets the eye. Will anyone be able to stop him from completely taking over Lucha Underground?
Antonio Cueto is ringside!
He presents the Gift of the Gods belt, and reminds us all that “Ultima Lucha Cuatro is right around the corner! Which means, we must decide a new Gift of the Gods Champion!” The Believers are excited to hear that, so Antonio lets us know that the medallions are already award to truly deserving luchadores.
First, Aerostar! The Man of Time and Space has been a major staple of Lucha Underground, so he’s a natural choice. Second, making a return to the Temple, Darewolf PJ Black! The Worldwide Underground’s adrenaline junkie survived an attack by Matanza Cueto, this GotG battle should be nothing to him. Third, it’s Hernandez! The Super-Mex is back with more swagger than before, but will he finally get Lucha Underground gold? Fourth, Big Bad Steve! The Infamous Inc. mechanic returns, all healed up and ready for this human demolition derby. Fifth, King Cuerno! The Hunter was Gift of the Gods Champion before, and looks to repeat now that it has an instant cash-in ability. Sixth, Jake Strong! The Savage is undefeated one on one, but will he be able to stay strong against six others?
And last but certainly not least, a certain star who was Missing in Action, the One Man Lucha Army, DANTE FOX!! Yes, the former Lucha Underground Trios Champion who has been absent since last season finally returns, and aims right for the top! The Believers are thunderous as Fox joins the field of seven. Antonio feels that the number 7 is unlucky, so next week, only SIX get to be in the Gift of the Gods Championship match. So yes, just like earlier this season, these seven will battle in a Battle Royal! The winner eliminates one of the losers, and that match is RIGHT NOW!
Gift of the Gods Battle Royal!
The bell rings, and we begin! The seven do their best to split up as Big Bad Steve wants payback on The Savage, and Super-Mex goes after Dante Fox. PJ Black goes after King Cuerno while Aerostar stays just out of reach. Aero goes after Strong but BBS hits Aero for it. It seems the Mechanic doesn’t want to share his revenge. Strong goes after Fox and Hernandez at the same time while PJ fights off Cuerno. BBS whips Aero but Aero dodges to tilt-o-tilt-o-tilt-o-whirl headscissor him down! Fans fire up with Aero as he runs, then rolls, but ends up in BBS’s Canadian rack, only to spin and arm-drag out of it! Aero baits BBS and dumps him out. BBS stays on the apron and rocks Aero back. He brags to long and gets a 619! Aerostar ELIMINATES Big Bad Steve!
Hernandez kicks Aerostar upon his return, then whips him. Aero reverses but Hernandez goes up and out to shoulder back in. Hernandez says “Suck It!” but then PJ Black and King Cuerno double boot him down! Black and Cuerno ELIMINATE Hernandez! Cuerno and Black go at it again, speeding up and trading hip toss counters. Black sends Cuerno out but Cuerno stays on the apron. PJ throws forearm after forearm but Cuerno holds on. Cuerno uses Black to get back in, but Strong clotheslines them both over to the apron! Black and Cuerno hold on, but Strong goes after each of them. Black blocks and Cuerno counter attacks with the swing kick! Fox runs at Strong but Strong tosses him up, Fox double missile dropkicks Black and Cuerno! Fox ELIMINATES Cuerno and Black!
Jake Strong, Aerostar and Dante Fox are the last three in. Strong throws Aero but Aero skins the cat. Strong throws Fox but Fox does the same. Aerostar kicks Strong away, then springboards, but Strong shoves him right down! Strong ELIMINATES Aerostar! But Fox has Strong! Fox gets Strong up but Strong holds on. Strong comes back in and tries to dump Fox out. Fox holds on and Believers duel. Fox gets out and goes behind, but gets an elbow. Strong throws Fox but Fox flips and lands on his feet on the apron. Strong rushes in but into a swing kick! Fox springboards and hits a missile dropkick! He has Strong on the ropes, builds speed, but runs into a boot. Strong runs, builds speed and clobbers Fox with a clothesline! Strong picks Fox up and throws him out!
Winner: Jake Strong
The Savage survives the Battle Royal, and Believers are divided. Antonio congratulates Strong on winning, and asks who he wishes to eliminate from next week’s title match. Strong says “Nobody!” He doesn’t care what Antonio thinks, Strong wants all seven men in the match, so that he can destroy every single one! Antonio accepts the choice, and we will have a “Seven to Survive” ELIMINATION Match for the Gift of the Gods Championship! Is that all? Strong will take anyone on and still snap them in half. Then Antonio has just the man. The Savage will take on… Johnny Mundo! The Guru of Greatness has a big match for the main event, will he be able to stop Strong’s streak? Or will he be down a leg before facing Matanza in their Sacrifice to the Gods match?
The Mack VS Killshot!
Before the hero from the streets and the Weapon of Lucha Destruction have their own separate grudge matches, they must settle things between each other. The Mack and Killshot were friends ever since entering the Temple, but things sure have changed. Will Mack gain momentum before facing death? Or will Killshot score points before putting his mask on the line?
Son of Havoc watches from high above, just as invested in this match’s outcome as any of the Believers. The bell rings and Killshot argues with The Mack. Killshot slaps Mack, Mack SLAPS Killshot! Havoc likes that. Killshot swings on Mack but things speed up. Mack spins and arm-drags Killshot but Killshot handsprings through. Killshot comes back but Mack dodges. Killshot handstand walks but Mack dropkicks him out of it! Mack fireman’s carry to Samoan Drop, to kip up and standing moonsault! Cover, TWO! Killshot gets to a corner but Mack runs around the world for a big forearm smash! Then side to side for a bicycle boot! Mack keeps moving, but runs into a knee trigger from Killshot!
Believers rally up as Killshot drags Mack up by his nose. Killshot gives sharp body shots but Mack goes for a stunner. Killshot denies that with a shove. Mack ends up on the apron, and Killshot sweeps the legs. Killshot mule kicks Mack into a Tree of Woe on the apron! Killshot hurries to the apron, for his Kill Stomps! Havoc isn’t liking that. Killshot puts Mack back in as Believers rally up. Mack sits up while Killshot soaks in the heat. Killshot stalks Mack, reels him in, but Mack denies the Half ‘n’ Half with an arm-drag. Mack boots Killshot but Killshot mule kicks, front kicks, but Mack ducks the roundhouse. Mack throws Killshot with a German Suplex! Havoc likes that! Mack gets up while Killshot is in a corner. Mack runs into the knee! Killshot hops up, but leaps into the stunner!
But wait! Mil Muertes runs in, and SPEARS Mack!!
Winner: The Mack, by disqualification
The Man of 1000 Deaths won’t let his opponent roll into Ultima Lucha so easily. But Son of Havoc hurries down to ringside to save Mack with springboard stomps! Killshot goes after Havoc and now the fight is on. Killshot feeds Havoc to Muertes’ urenage! But Mack rises, to go for a stunner. Muertes denies that into his Flat Liner! Death is coming, will it strike down a fan favorite? Will Havoc or Killshot hold onto their identity that is their mask?
Matt Striker interviews XO Lishus & Ivelisse in the ring.
Two thirds of the newest and most eclectic trio in Lucha Underground give Matt this exclusive interview. But what’s up? They were invited to face both the sneaky Reptile Tribe and the cowardly Rabbit Tribe, in a Three Way Trios Title Elimination Match at Ultima Lucha Cuatro. Believers like the sound of that. But then, do they accept the challenge? Joey Ryan is unfortunately out of action. This calls for a new partner, and they have found the tough young badass who has quite the future. Welcome… Sammy Guevara! Another Infamous Inc. alumni, Sammy returns from injury at the hands of The Savage.
Sammy stands with Ivelisse and XO, but then Famous B appears! He points out the exclusive contract Sammy is under. It’s nice Sammy wants to be part of that trio, but he signed a 7 year contract with no breaks to Famous B. Didn’t he check the fine print? Infamous Incorporate owns Sammy! So sorry Ivelisse and XO Lishus, but you’ll be receiving a Cease & Desist! If Sammy wants to go to UL4, team with Doctor Wagner and Texano, and Famous B will pull them from that Tijuana house show. The Believers want Sammy to fight the contract, but Famous B says “Git!” Sammy decides to DIVE instead! He wipes out Famous B, and puts that contract in the trash! Then he dumps the trash on Famous B, and SUPERKICKS the can! Sammy is a free agent now, can he help Ivelisse & XO take those trios titles?
Jake Strong VS Johnny Mundo!
The Savage is ready to take on anyone at any time, but the leader of the Worldwide Underground is aiming for the Monster, Matanza. Can Mundo keep his focus and get through Strong before looking to sacrifice the demigod to the gods? Or will Strong’s streak continue as he goes after the Gift of the Gods?
Lucha Underground returns as the bell rings. Mundo and Strong circle, and Mundo goes for a leg. Strong stops him with a takedown and waistlock. Strong rolls Mundo around and slams him down. He rolls Mundo around more but fans rally up. Mundo arm-drags out of a slam then arm-drags Strong again. He whips Strong but Strong reverses. Mundo stops himself but runs into a belly2belly! Strong circles Mundo as fans chant. He knees low then throws Mundo but Mundo comes back with the Flying Chuck! Cover, TWO! Mundo gets out and fires the fans up. He aims at Strong but Strong blocks the swing kick. Strong brings Mundo to the other side and bounces him off the post! Mundo goes down and Strong embraces both cheers and jeers.
Strong fetches Mundo from the floor to give him a LOUD chop! Mundo crawls but Strong pursues. Strong puts Mundo in a ring then takes his time returning. He stomps a mudhole into Mundo but backs off at 4. Strong drags Mundo back up as fans duel. Strong runs side to side for a big corner clothesline, then goes the other way for another. He keeps moving, and clobbers Mundo from behind! Strong grins as he looms over Mundo. He runs in, Vader Bomb meets boots! Mundo gets up and brings Strong over, for a tornado DDT! Both men are down but Believers fire up. A 10 count begins but Mundo is up quick. Mundo throws heavy hands and kicks and even forearms. He whips but Strong reverses, Mundo comes back with a calf kick. Then Shining Wizard! Standing shooting star, cover, TWO!
Fans rally behind Mundo as he aims at Strong. Mundo brings Strong up for Moonlight Drive but Strong powers out. Strong runs but misses, Mundo slides under and around to swing kick! Mundo springboards but Strong trips him up! Mundo tumbles from top rope to post to steps to floor! Strong goes out but from the other side. He comes around to knee and whip Mundo. Mundo leaps up and over the railing, then rocks Strong as Strong gives chase. The haymakers don’t slow Strong down, he keeps coming, and now they fight among the Believers. Mundo kicks, Strong grabs the leg for the ankle lock! Mundo “borrows” a drink from a fan to splash it in Strong’s face! Strong lets go, and Mundo gets moving. Strong just grimaces as he fires himself up.
Mundo gets moving, and leaps from railing to railing! Strong hurries to catch up to Mundo, but Mundo is ready. Mundo throws a punch but Strong blocks and counter punches. Strong drags Mundo to the railing, and shovels him over with a back drop! But Mundo lands on his feet, to powerbomb Strong to the floor!! The Believers lose their minds while Mundo sits up with a grin. Mundo mocks the “Strong!” hammer fist, then looms over The Savage. He drags Strong up and in, then climbs up top. Strong stirs but he’s in the drop zone. Mundo flips for the elbow! Cover, TWO! Strong survives the somersault elbow, and fans declare “This is Lucha!”
Mundo stands and stalks Strong, stomping and clubbing him in the corner. Strong keeps getting up, so Mundo fires up the fans and runs in. Strong puts him on the apron but Mundo hits back. Mundo climbs up but Strong hits back. Strong climbs up but Mundo resists. Mundo fights back with body shots, but Strong throws forearms. They brawl up top, Mundo rakes the eyes and forearms Strong away. Strong runs back, hops up, and throws Mundo with a SUPER overhead suplex! Then, Strong Vader Bomb! Cover, TWO!! Believers are thunderous while both men are down. A 10 count begins again, but Strong is up at 5. He drags Mundo up with the gut wrench, but Mundo holds on to ropes. Mundo turns it around into a Russian leg sweep! Mundo puts Strong in the drop zone, and jumps, but Strong rolls him up! TWO, ANKLE LOCK!
Strong has Mundo’s leg and Mundo is stuck int he middle of the ring. Mundo turns and shoves Strong all the way out. Strong comes back in, SUPERKICK! Moonlight Drive!! Cover, TWO!? Strong is superhuman, but both men are down again. Another 10 count begins, and Believers count along. Neither man stands until 9.5! Strong throws a haymaker, MUndo gives it back. Strong hits again, Mundo hits again. They go back and forth with Believers divided. Mundo kicks then gets an edge. He winds up, but Strong blocks the kick into another Ankle Lock! Mundo scrambles and reaches but Strong keeps pulling him away. Mundo rolls, but Strong holds on! Believers duel, but Mundo takes off an elbow pad and tosses it. The referee gets that out of the ring, so he doesn’t see Mundo low blow mule kick Strong!!
Not even Strong is strong enough to take that. Mundo is still “Johnny Rudo” deep down, and has Strong in another drop zone. Mundo climbs, even with a bad ankle, for Fin Del Mundo! He covers, TWO!? And ANKLE LOCK!! Strong has Mundo again, and Mundo scrambles. Mundo can’t, he taps! Strong wins!!
Winner: Jake Strong, by submission
The singles undefeated streak continues! Strong defeats a former Lucha Underground Champion and rolls right into that Seven to Survive match. But he’s not done with Mundo. The Savage grabs the ankle and Believers duel, but here comes Matanza?! The Monster stares at Strong, who grins. Strong gives Mundo over to the demigod, and Matanza clobbers Mundo! Matanza chokes and clubs and headbutts Mundo over and over! But here comes Taya! Taya saves her husband as she jumps on Matanza, but Matanza throws her down. Wera Loca is in danger as Matanza brinsg her up, for Wrath of the Gods! Mundo bleeds, but the real pain is seeing his wife beaten down. Matanza keeps going after Mundo to open that wound up more! Fans boo and jeer as the blood paints the mat.
Antonio Cueto walks out. Matanza stops slaughtering Mundo at the orders of his father. Mundo is in horrible shape and Ultima Lucha 4 is only weeks away. Will Mundo be able to survive the season finale? Or will he just be another Sacrifice to the Gods?
A pretty solid episode here. I’m starting to get the feeling “The Savage” Jake Strong is partially influenced by DC Comics Vandal Savage. His talk with Antonio Cueto and that voice change at one point, I’m thinking Strong isn’t just your average mortal wrestler. In Lucha Underground, where there is a time traveler, a human phoenix, a human dragon, an evil demigod and several undead, Strong being an eternally youthful warrior turned wrestler wouldn’t be too much of a stretch. Strong dominates that Battle Royal, but it was a good move for him to want all seven men to participate. Making it elimination was also a good move, that Gift of the Gods match could take an entire episode itself now.
Mack VS Killshot was pretty good, right up to Muertes attacking Mack. Havoc joining in was good, and the Heels stand tall. I’m betting next week, the go-home to the Ultima Lucha 4 multi-week event, we get Killshot & Muertes VS Mack & Havoc in a similar way to Muertes teaming with Fenix last time. Or at the very least, Muertes VS Havoc as a trade from Mack VS Killshot. Good to hear we are getting that triple threat trios match, and I really enjoyed the meta used in Sammy Guevara teaming with Ivelisse and XO. That line about a “seven year no break contract”, that was definitely Lucha Underground writers poking fun at El Rey’s own contracts for most talent, such as the apparent 7-year contract Pentagon and Fenix are under. Sammy will make a great addition to Ivelisse’s team, and I’m still confident they win the titles.
Strong doing double duty was pretty good, it adds to his character’s abilities. Mundo VS Strong was a great main event, it felt like a title match in itself. I really thought Mundo was going to win, but it makes sense for Strong to keep his singles streak until he goes for THE Lucha Underground Championship. Strong is looking to be a top character now, so it works that only another top character like Pentagon ends his streak. As for Mundo, Matanza really did a number on him and Taya. This really puts Mundo in the underdog position, as he should against a demigod, in a match where it’s kayfabe life or death. But at the same time, I’m pretty sure this means Mundo finds a way to win, and finally becomes a hero to the Believers.
My Score: 8.6/10
Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: New Japan Cup 2019 Part 1!
The 2019 New Japan Cup begins!
NJPW begins the 2019 New Japan Cup! Who among Tetsuya Naito, Kota Ibushi, Zack Sabre Jr. and EVIL will move on to the second round?
Coverage will be as broadcast by AXS TV
Find gifs on http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- Zack Sabre Jr. VS EVIL; ZSJ wins and advances to the second round.
- Tetsuya Naito VS Kota Ibushi; Ibushi wins and advances to the second round.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene to kickoff the 2019 New Japan Cup!
Spring brings the best in the world in this special single elimination tournament! Only one man will win the right to challenge the IWGP Heavyweight Champion in Madison Square Garden!
The first round has already seen a bit of action, with NJPW standards, Kazuchika Okada and Hiroshi Tanahashi, advance, but others falling victim to upsets. Juice Robinson lost to Chase Owens while Sanada overcome Hirooki Goto. The biggest surprises perhaps came from the biggest men losing to the Junior Heavyweights when Bad Luck Fale and Hiroyoshi Tenzan lost to Will Ospreay and Ryusuke Taguchi respectively. But tonight, two of the most anticipated matches take the spotlight! The rivalry of the last year takes the stage again as EVIL and Zack Sabre Jr. face off once again! Plus, Kota Ibushi returns from injury to battle Tetsuya Naito in a G1 Climax rematch! The Golden Star looks to be the comeback kid while the Uncontrollable Charisma wants to be a historic dual champion! Only one can make their dream come true tonight!
Zack Sabre Jr. VS EVIL!
Taka Michinoku welcomes everyone to Zack Sabre Time, and asks who everyone thinks will win this year’s New Japan Cup. Well it’ll be the man who won last yer’s winner, the Submission Master and British Heavyweight Champion! So Evil, you’ll #JustTapOut! C’mon over here! The King of Darkness responds to being called out, and we begin the next chapter of this already storied rivalry!
The bell rings and fans cheer Evil on as he circles with ZSJ. They slowly approach and Evil knees low. Evil headlocks but ZSJ tries to power out, only for Evil to hold on tighter. Evil gets the headlock takeover but ZSJ works for a headscissor counter. He can’t get it so he stands up. ZSJ spins through and arm-drags Evil off, but Evil headscissors him. Evil squeezes and ZSJ endures. ZSJ finds his way up and pops free, then dares Evil to come on. ZSJ headbutts and headlocks but Evil powers out and runs him off! Fans cheer as Evil waits for ZSJ to return. Taka keeps ZSJ calm as he gets back up. ZSJ and Evil circle again, and Evil calls for a test of strength. ZSJ accepts and they grapple, and Evil gets the double knuckle locks.
Evil brings ZSJ to his knees but ZSJ reels him to reverse. ZSJ hammerlocks but Evil switches to his own, but ZSJ switches back, and so on. ZSJ spins and drops to get the takedown but Evil pushes him away. Evil avoids the Penalty Kick but ZSJ ducks the clothesline. Evil blocks ZSJ’s boot to chop and senton! But ZSJ gets his knees up and reels Evil into an armbar! Evil stacks for a cover, TWO! ZSJ still has the arm, but Evil gets the ropebreak. ZSJ lets go but comes back for more. He cranks Evil’s arm back then stomps the hammerlock. ZSJ also kicks Evil in the chest and stomps his legs. ZSJ ties the legs up in a figure four and pulls hair. The referee reprimands ZSJ but ZSJ stays on the arm with pulling fingers and twisting the arm.
ZSJ uses the hammerlock to turn Evil for a cover, TWO! Evil tries to get feeling in his arm but ZSJ kicks him in the back. ZSJ looms over Evil and gives his bad arm toying kicks. ZSJ kicks Evil again, but Evil grabs the kick! Evil hands the foot to Red Shoes before he mule kicks ZSJ down! The 2018 cup winner is down while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Evil brings ZSJ up for forearms. Evil puts ZSJ in a corner then whips him corner to corner. ZSJ stops himself and comes back, but for a sidewalk slam! Fans fire up with Evil as he drags ZSJ back up. Evil suplexes ZSJ up and over then covers, TWO! Evil keeps his cool as he brings ZSJ up again. ZSJ blocks the fireman’s carry and goes after the arm with a double wristlock. Evil powers through but ZSJ slips out to a full nelson. Evil endures the hold and breaks free! He headlocks and knees ZSJ right down! Evil stalks ZSJ to a corner and headlocks, but ZSJ denies the bulldog into the abdominal stretch! They go around and around and Evil puts it on ZSJ! ZSJ endures and pries the arm off, to Pele it!
ZSJ gives Evil European Uppercuts in the corner! He goes corner to corner but Evil follows for a clothesline! Evil runs but ZSJ follows, only for Evil to see him coming and clothesline him again! Cover, TWO! Evil drags ZSJ right up, fireman’s carry, Darkness Falls! Cover, TWO! Sabre survives but Evil has more where that came from. Evil drags ZSJ up and slashes the throat. But ZSJ victory rolls! TWO and Evil has it on ZSJ, TWO!! ZSJ wants a backslide but Evil powers it around, backslide on ZSJ! TWO, Penalty Kick! Both men are down, and fans cheer for Evil while Taka coaches ZSJ. ZSJ goes right at Evil to keylock stomp the arm! ZSJ kicks at it but Evil only gets angry. Evil stands and ZSJ throws EuroUppers, but those only make Evil stronger. He CHOPS ZSJ off his feet!
Evil stands ZSJ up for another chop, but ZSJ stands on his feet. ZSJ gives Evil a shoulder breaker, but Evil gives one back! Evil spins but into a EuroUpper. ZSJ runs but Evil goes sideways, ZSJ catches the clothesline into an Octopus Stretch! He drags Evil down and he cranks back! Evil endures as ZSJ twists him all around! ZSJ has one arm trapped and the other arm back, but Evil uses a leg for the ropebreak! ZSJ lets go but he comes back to dig his elbow into the back. He grabs Evil’s arm and twists it in his legs! ZSJ Penalty Kicks Evil down again! ZSJ catches his breath while Red Shoes checks on Evil. Evil sits up but uses Red Shoes as a shield! Evil mule kicks ZSJ again, then drags him up, to place on Red Shoes! Magic Killer!!
Evil catches his breath and grins while he, ZSJ and Red Shoes slowly get up. ZSJ gets to a corner as Taka coaches him up. Evil runs in for a big clothesline! Evil roars and fans fire up as Evil drags ZSJ up to the top rope. He climbs up to join ZSJ, for a SUPERPLEX! Cover, TWO!! Sabre survives again but he clutches his own shoulder now. Evil stands and slashes the throat! He drags ZSJ up, spins him around but ZSJ slips through to scoop. Evil escapes but ZSJ standing switches. ZSJ rolls Evil back but the European Clutch is blocked! Evil wants a Half ‘n’ Half but ZSJ resists. ZSJ reaches for ropes but Evil shifts to a German Suplex! Evil takes aim, but ZSJ kicks the clotheslines away once, twice, but not the third time! Cover, TWO!! Fans are thunderous after that close call!
Evil roars and drags ZSJ up again. He spins ZSJ around but ZSJ slips around and hops up! Sleeper to victory roll to EuroClutch, to EVERYTHING- Is Octopus! ZSJ drags Evil down, Napalm Death! Evil is stuck, Evil taps! ZSJ wins again!
Winner: Zack Sabre Jr, by submission; advances to the second round
The 2018 New Japan Cup winner keeps on winning! ZSJ has a cup winning streak, will it continue all the way to the finals?
Tetsuya Naito VS Kota Ibushi!
This match feels almost too soon in the tournament! The leader of Los Ingobernables and the Golden Star could both have both made their way to the finals, but now only one of them will move on! Will Ibushi’s comeback lead him all the way to New York? Or will the IWGP Intercontinental Champion move towards being a historic dual champion in NJPW?
Fans love both stars so they’re naturally divided at the bell. Naito and Ibushi stare down as the cheers are thunderous. They start circling and then approach to tie up. Naito gets a headlock but Ibushi spins out for a keylock. Ibushi headlocks now but Naito punches out. Naito pulls hair and pushes Ibushi and things speed up. Ibushi hurdles Naito then again, but Naito ducks the kick and moonsault. Naito arm-drags but Ibushi headscissors, and the two break! Naito even hits Tranquilo. Fans cheer while Naito decides to roll out of the ring. Naito takes his time returning, telling Ibushi to relax. Ibushi doesn’t give Naito a choice, but then Naito escapes Ibushi to tease him about taking time. Ibushi returns but Naito is on him with kicks and elbows.
Naito whips but Ibushi reverses, but Naito grabs ropes. Naito dumps Ibushi out then sweeps the legs. He slingshots and dropkicks Ibushi down, a new take on his Cabron Combo. Naito has control while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Naito whips Ibushi into railing. Naito drags Ibushi up and brings him around the way, to whip him into more railing! Fans cheer Naito but also show concern for Ibushi as Naito whips him into railing a third time! Naito brings Ibushi around the railing and bounces him off the desks. Red Shoes tells Naito to bring things back to the ring but Naito bounces Ibushi off wood again. Naito leaves Ibushi behind and rests in the ring. Ibushi crawls his way back as the ring count begins. The count passes 5 of 20 as Ibushi stands. Ibushi returns ringside at 10 and hops in at 11. Naito is on Ibushi with a whip and big elbow, then a swift basement dropkick! Naito poses more while Ibushi writhes.
Fans cheer for Ibushi and Naito spits at them. Naito stomps Ibushi and drags him up into a cravat neck wrench. Ibushi endures as Naito cranks hard. Ibushi fights out with body shots but Naito elbows him down. Naito then brings Ibushi around for a neckbreaker and casually covers, TWO! Ibushi’s bad neck is a target and Naito keeps on it. Naito brings Ibushi up but Ibushi breaks free. Ibushi throws forearms but Naito just smirks. Ibushi throws more but Naito elbows him around the side. Naito throws more elbows into the neck and Ibushi slumps against the ropes. Naito toys with Ibushi but Red Shoes reprimands him. He whips but Ibushi reverses and dodges to whip back. Ibushi dropkicks Naito right down! Both men fall into each other but Ibushi’s up first.
Ibushi drags Naito up for a strike fest! Naito blocks the kick to kick the knee, but still runs into a roundhouse! Ibushi standing moonsaults! Cover, TWO! Ibushi keeps his cool as he drags Naito up again. Naito resists the German suplex and gets the standing switch. Ibushi throws elbows to break free. Ibushi runs in but Naito boots him from the corner. Naito runs out but into a huricanrana! Fans fire up while Naito bails out of the ring. Ibushi fires up with the fans and goes to the corner. Naito knows it’s coming and stops the Golden Triangle! Naito drags Ibushi out for a draping neckbreaker to the apron! Ibushi falls to the floor and Red Shoes checks on him. He’s somehow okay to continue and drags himself into the ring.
Naito is waiting again, and runs out from a corner, shotgun dropkick! Then he drags Ibushi up to the top rope and out for another draping neckbreaker! Cover, TWO!! Ibushi survives and Naito is surprised, but we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Naito drags Ibushi back up. Naito ties Ibushi up but Ibushi fights out with his free arm. Naito clubs Ibushi in the neck then hits a German Suplex, but Ibushi lands on his feet! Ibushi kicks but Naito ducks to enziguri! Naito whips but Ibushi reverses only for Naito to come back with flying forearms, only to be caught into a snap German! Both men are down but the fans fire up! Naito and Ibushi stir as fans duel. Red Shoes checks and they’re both okay to continue. Ibushi and Naito grit their teeth as they sit up. They head for each other and start throwing forearms. Ibushi hits, Naito hits, repeat. They slowly stand but the brawling continues.
Ibushi hits but Naito comes back. The two stare down and Ibushi throws a forearm. Naito throws one back, so Ibushi gives another. They start picking up speed and now they’re just swinging wild! Ibushi fires off many palm strikes but Naito throws slaps. Ibushi runs but into Naito’s spinebuster! Naito drags Ibushi up and to the top rope again. Naito climbs up behind Ibushi and fans anticipate something dangerous. Ibushi holds on so Naito clubs away. Naito stands Ibushi up, but Ibushi grabs at Naito’s leg. Ibushi turns around and trips Naito up! Naito manages to stay on the apron, but Ibushi stalks him from above. Ibushi drags Naito up while standing on the ropes. Ibushi lifts but Naito fights out! Naito slaps away on Ibushi’s face, then brings Ibushi in, TOMBSTONE on the apron!!
Naito puts Ibushi in the ring then drags him up again. Hammerlock and underhook, GLORIA! Cover, TWO!? Ibushi still lives but Naito isn’t fazed. Naito drags Ibushi up again, arm wrench and tilt-o-whirl, but into Ibushi’s own PACKAGE TOMBSTONE!! Cover, TWO!? Now Naito survives and shocks everyone! Fans duel as Naito and Ibushi drag themselves to opposite corners. Naito runs at Ibushi but into a roundhouse! Ibushi brings Naito in but Naito spins out for a tornado DDT! Naito aims at Ibushi and runs in, into a clothesline!! Ibushi drags Naito up and to a lift, SIT-OUT LAST RIDE! Cover, TWO!! Naito survives again but Ibushi is too tired to be frustrated. Ibushi drags Naito up and grabs both hands, but Naito dodges Kamigoye, DESTINO!! Cover, TWO!?!
Fans are thunderous as this match continues! Naito staggers up and drags Ibushi to his feet. Wrench and tilt-o-whirl but Ibushi slips out to roundhouse! Ibushi gives a shout out to the King of Strong Style as he aims from a corner. Naito sits up, BOMAYE!! Cover, TWO?!? Ibushi can NOT believe Naito survived again! But Ibushi vows to finish this, double underhook, Butterfly Driver! But he’s not done there, KAMIGOYE!! Cover, Ibushi wins!!
Winner: Kota Ibushi, by pinfall; advances to the second round
It took so much, but Ibushi makes it through the opening round! Naito’s dream is denied for now, what will it take for him to become the first-ever dual Heavyweight and Intercontinental Champion in NJPW history? As for Ibushi, he advances only to take on Zack Sabre Jr. next! Will Ibushi break ZSJ’s streak in the New Japan Cup? Or will he #JustTapOut?
Ibushi takes the mic and thanks Naito for that amazing match. “In 2019, in NJPW, I’ll show you a new version of Kota Ibushi.” Ibushi vows to go all the way and win! Will everyone else in the tournament, let alone Jay White, take this to heart?
Wow, what a great opening to the tournament! At first, I thought it was a bit of a shame that this will be it for the first round, no Okada or Tanahashi, but seeing they had matches with slightly less important opponents (sorry, Mike Elgin), the two matches we got were much more worthy of airtime. Evil VS ZSJ is again an incredible match, and it makes a lot of sense for ZSJ to win. While Sanada is in the tournament, too, he and Evil are still strongly in the Heavyweight Tag Team Division. ZSJ has a great New Japan Cup win streak story to tell, and it’ll make a loss, should one come, all the more exciting if it’s in the later rounds. ZSJ going for back-to-back tournament wins on top of a huge title match is great, but I can’t be sure the chances of it happening.
Naito VS Ibushi was a really great match, and it’s not just kayfabe saying this match could’ve been a logical tournament finals choice. Naito’s story of becoming a dual champion could’ve propelled the tournament to some interesting places, but at the same time, it doesn’t have to be told in the tournament. Ibushi is in NJPW to stay so it means a lot more that he gets a push in the tournament. He already has a hard road ahead of him if the second round pits him against ZSJ, but perhaps a Kota Ibushi that can get through such big names, much like ZSJ did in last year’s tournament, can be a Kota Ibushi that defeats Jay White in Madison Square Garden.
My Score: 8.8/10
Mitchell’s ROH Results & Report! (3/16/19)
Zack Sabre Jr. continues his journey in ROH!
Ring of Honor Wrestling Television, Episode 391
It’s ROH 17th Anniversary weekend, but the action keeps on rolling! The Submission Master returns, will he make Rocky Romero #JustTapOut?
- Shinobi Shadow Squad VS Silas Young & The Briscoes; Young & The Briscoes win.
- The Bouncers VS Brian Johnson & Joe Keys; The Bouncers win.
- Madison Rayne w/ Sumie Sakai VS Thunder Rosa w/ Holidead; Rayne wins.
- Zack Sabre Jr. VS Rocky Romero; ZSJ wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Shinobi Shadow Squad VS Shinobi Shadow Squad VS Silas Young & The Briscoes!
Cheeseburger leads Ryan Nova and Eli Isom into battle! Will their fighting spirits combined be enough to overcome the Last Real Man and #DemBoyz?
The bell rings and Isom begins against Jay Briscoe. Isom is no stranger to taking on former ROH World Champions, this could be his third upset on one already. They tie up and Jay waistlocks. Isom standing switches and throws Jay down but Jay reverses to a facelock, but Isom slips away. Fans applaud the Future of Honor keeping up with Jay. Jay and Isom circle again and Jay keeps Isom guessing on the grapple. Jay reels Isom in for a headlock, but Isom powers out, only for Jay to run him over. Things speed up and Isom kicks Jay. Isom runs but sees Jay follow. Jay fakes Isom out and kicks him down. Jay tags Mark and The Briscoes mug Isom. Mark suplexes but Isom slips out and shoves Mark. Mark turns around into Isom’s arm-drag!
Isom tags in Nova and Nova hops up for ax handles. Nova wrenches the arm but Mark rolls through. Mark breaks free but Nova dodges and fires off strikes. Nova wrenches and tags in Cheeseburger! Burger climbs up to drop his own ax handle. Burger wrenches but Mark pushes him away. Mark rushes at Burger but Burger crawls under and kicks him away. Burger speeds up but Jay stands in his way. Mark rocks Burger with a shotgun dropkick! Silas and the Briscoes take control as we go to break.
ROH returns and Silas taunts Burger to stand, only to stomp him down. Fans rally up for Burger and he throws body shots on Silas. Burger fires forearms but Silas shoves Burger for the backbreaker clothesline on the rebound! Silas drags Burger over and tags in Mark. Mark drops an elbow then drags Burger up. Mark suplexes and holds Burger up for a few seconds before dropping him down. Fans rally but Mark puts Burger in a camel clutch. Burger endures while Jay and Silas taunt him. Mark fish hooks Burger but lets up at 4. Mark blasts Nova but the ref keeps Isom from going after Mark. But he misses Mark biting Burger! Mark gets away with it then CHOPS Burger in a corner! Mark whips corner to corner but Burger dodges! Burger dodges Silas and Jay, too, hot tag to Isom!
Isom dropkicks Mark to his corner where Jay tags in. Silas runs at Isom but Isom puts him on the apron and dropkicks him down! Jay goes after Isom with a waistlock but is bucked off. Isom pops Jay up to a fireman’s carry! Nova intercepts Mark and DIVES on Silas! Air Raid Crash from Isom to Jay! Cover, TWO!! Isom almost had another former world champion caught! Isom keeps going but Jay blocks the suplex. Jay fights back but Isom throws his own forearms. Isom runs but into Jay’s fireman’s carry. Jay hits the Spicolli Driver while Mark climbs up! FROGGY-BOW! Jay covers, TWO!? Isom survives and The Briscoes are shocked!
The ref tells Mark to go to the corner but the Briscoes ignore him. #DemBoyz work together to finish this, double underhook but Isom fights out. Isom pushes Jay into Mark then kicks, suplex to brainbuster! Cover, TWO!! Another close call but Isom keeps his focus. Isom and Jay stand as fans rally up. Isom throws forearms and elbows then an enziguri. Jay staggers and Jay runs, but SUPERKICK for Jay! High-Low combo for The Briscoes! Mark keeps Burger out while Jay hits his Jay Driller! Cover, The Briscoes & Silas win!
Winners: Silas Young & The Briscoes, Jay Briscoe pinning
The Shinobi Shadow Squad struggles in the Six Man Tag Division against such accomplished opponents. Will it be the Last Real Man and Dem Boyz who move on towards the titles instead?
Rhett Titus speaks.
“Willie Mack, I heard you had plans to take the NWA National Title and defend it in every state across America.” Well Willie, plans change, because the Fittest is looking to take that belt and bring it with him on the Flex Express. Will Rhett’s own plans have to change after facing The Mack next episode?
The Bouncers VS Brian Johnson & Joe Keys!
The literally biggest team in the ROH Tag Team Division takes on two other Future of Honor stars. With physiques like theirs, JK and The Number One were hoping for sunny beaches and “beautiful baby dolls”, but instead got “busted up broads and their beer-swilling bozos”! Well that’s no way to talk about the fans or beer! The Bouncers make their way out with plenty of drinks, and Brian Milonas takes the mic. He and The Beer City Bruiser are here to kick ass and drink beer! Will they do just that against these rude rookies?
The Code of Honor is still upheld between the teams, and we start with Bruiser and Keys. Keys shows off his body while teasing Bruiser about the beer belly. Bruiser admits Keys wins the body building, but Bruiser has the fans as they chant “Beer! Beer!” along with him. Keys calls for a test of strength and Bruiser isn’t sure he’s serious. Keys shoves Bruiser and tells him to take it serious. Bruiser accepts the test, and SLAPS Keys off his feet! Keys gets up and kicks but Bruiser catches it. Bruiser spins Keys for an atomic drop. Keys gets to a corner but covers up from Bruiser’s punch. So Bruiser CHOPS instead! And CHOPS, and CHOPS! Fans cheer for more but Keys turns around to protect his chest. So Bruiser CHOPS his back! Keys scrambles to his corner and tags in Johnson.
Johnson fires off on Bruiser but Bruiser shoves him to run him over! Bruiser drags Johnson up but Johnson powers him to the corner. Keys anchors Bruiser’s feet and Johnson gets a sucker punch! Johnson stomps away in the corner then tags in Keys. Keys stomps Bruiser now but lets up at 4. Keys chops Bruiser back then goes to scoop. Bruiser’s too big for that, so Keys gives a European Uppercut. Johnson tags in and rams in his own uppercut. Johnson and Keys work together for a double scoop slam! Cover, ONE, and with power! Bruiser reaches for Milonas but Keys tags back in. Keys stomps Bruiser down then puts Bruiser back in the corner. Keys throws EuroUppers then gestures at Milonas. He runs in for a splash but Bruiser dodges! Keys hits buckles and both men are down!
Fans rally up as Bruiser crawls for his corner. Johnson shouts to Keys, and Keys tags him in. Johnson grabs Bruiser’s feet but Bruiser still gets to Milonas! The Mastodon rallies on both Future of Honor stars! Fans fire up as he pounces Keys out of the ring, then squashes Johson in a corner. Milonas whips Johnson corner to corner for another splash, then scoops. Johnson slips out and shoves Milonas away. Johnson dodges the clothesline but gets a pop-up spinebuster! Keys attacks Milonas from behind but Bruiser gets Keys. Bruiser whips Keys and Milonas gives Keys a pop-up spinebuster! The Bouncers say bottom’s up and grab Johnson. Milonas climbs and Bruiser holds Johnson up, draping leg drop! Cover, The Bouncers win!
Winners: The Bouncers, Brian Milonas pinning
They kicked ass, now they drink beer! Will the Bouncers find their way to the ROH World Tag Team Championships and drink to a title reign?
Madison Rayne speaks.
“Thunder Rosa, you think that you and Holidead can come into ROH and control the narrative and call the shots?” Here’s the reality: the Twisted Sisterz are the opposite of what the Women of Honor stand for. The Queen Bee vows to make a statement, but will it go the way she hopes?
Willie Mack speaks.
The inaugural NWA National Champion is all about making history, and he makes history with ROH next week. He’ll defend his title in all 50 states, and is already on number 5. If Rhett Titus wants to stay fit, then he better get ready for a fight!
Madison Rayne w/ Sumie Sakai VS Thunder Rosa w/ Holidead!
As The Queen Bee alluded to, The Twisted Sisterz have done what they want to who they want since joining the Women of Honor Division, including the Ray of Sunshine. Now Sumie stands beside Madison, will they put the trouble-makers in their place?
Madison doesn’t wait for the bell, she goes right at Thunder Rosa! She tackles Rosa down and the bell has to ring as she fires off right hands. Rayne puts Rosa in one corner then runs her all the way to the other. She bumps Rosa off a third then hits a sliding lariat. Rayne runs Rosa over with a shoulder and fires up while Rosa regroups with Holidead. Rayne doesn’t give Rosa much time to regain composure, she goes right out and rocks her with a right! She puts Rosa back in while Sumie keeps her eyes on Holidead. Rayne runs Rosa over with a clothesline but notices Holidead egging Sumie on. Rayne runs and wrecks Holidead with a dropkick! Sumie and the fans cheer Rayne on but Rosa hits Rayne back!
Rosa fetches Rayne and rams her into the apron. She then CHOPS Rayne against the apron, before shoving her into the ring. Rosa stomps Rayne then covers, TWO! Rosa drags Rayne up and bumps Rayne off the buckles. She stomps a mudhole into Rayne but backs off at 4. Rosa snapmares Rayne and kicks her sharp on the back. Holidead wants another so Rosa kicks Rayne again. Rosa runs and dropkicks Rayne in the back, covers, TWO! Sumie coaches Rayne up while Rosa mockingly applauds. Rayne throws body shots but Rosa clubs her down. Rosa scoops and slams Rayne down, then applauds herself. Rosa runs side to side for a BIG leg drop! Cover, TWO! The Queen Bee is in trouble while we go to break.
ROH returns and Rosa toys with Rayne. Rayne throws forearms back and enziguris! Rosa falls over and Rayne covers, TWO! Holidead is relieved but Rayne keeps on Rosa. Rosa throws Rayne down by her hair, then drags her up for chops. Rosa whips Rayne corner to corner then runs in for a big back elbow! She snapmares Rayne to a cover, TWO! Fans rally for Rayne but Rose wraps on a chinlock. Rayne endures and fights her way up, but Rosa throws her back down. Cover, TWO! Rosa grabs Rayne for more chops, then does a little salsa to show off. She whips but Rayne reverses and things speed up, Rayne SPEARS Rosa down! But Rayne is also down and a standing 10 count begins.
The count reaches 5 as both women sit up. Rosa grabs Rayne and brings her up but Rayne fires forearms! Rayne dodges Rosa and rallies with more forearms. Rayne fires up and goes corner to corner but Rose catches her! Rosa puts Rayne on the top rope but Rayne boots her back. Rayne leaps for the crossbody! Both women are back up, Rayne ducks a kick to give an enziguri! Cover, TWO! Rayne keeps on Rosa with a waistlock. She wrings Rosa out but Rosa goes to swing. Rayne adjusts and gets around Rosa again for a dragon sleeper. Rosa elbows out and brings Rayne up into the Gory Especial, and spins around for the facebuster! Cover, TWO!! Rayne survives and the Twisted Sisterz are shocked!
Rosa is furious as she drags Rayne right up onto her shoulder! Rosa spins but Rayne slips out for the Rayne Drop! Cover, Rayne wins!
Winner: Madison Rayne, by pinfall
The Queen Bee wins outta nowhere and gets revenge on behalf of Sumie Sakai! Will Rayne and others teach the Twisted Sisterz a lesson about being Women of Honor?
Team Coast2Coast speaks.
“We were gone for a very long time, but for good reason.” Shaheem Ali and Leon St. Giovanni were “rediscovering” themselves. But now C2C is better than ever and will take on the best in the world! Their return is next week against Jay Lethal and Jonathan Gresham, will Chocolate Man and the Human Rocket be ready for the Franchise and the Octopus?
Zack Sabre Jr. VS Rocky Romero!
The partnership of ROH and NJPW is on display as the Submission Master returns! But not only that, the player-coach of Roppongi 3K makes his own return! Will Rocky make a run in ROH for gold? Or will he #JustTapOut?
ROH returns with the bell! Fans cheer Rocky on as he circles with ZSJ. Rocky keeps away from ZSJ’s grip and then they approach. ZSJ still gets Rocky down with a headlock but Rocky keeps up with his reversals. ZSJ gets free but both he and Rocky smirk as they circle again. They tie up again and ZSJ gets the arm. He cranks on it to get Rocky to the mat. Rocky endures the wristlock and ZSJ grinds a knee in. Rocky gets to his feet but ZSJ wrenches and arm-drags Rocky back down. Fans cheer ZSJ’s technique as he twists and pulls Rocky’s arm. Rocky spins through and gets up to dropkick ZSJ out of the ring! ZSJ is frustrated already as he kicks the railing. Rocky waits for ZSJ as he catches his breath.
ZSJ returns and circles with Rocky. They tie up and ZSJ gets a leg. He trips Rocky and stands on his feet. ZSJ twists the leg around and then ties the legs up so he can go after Rocky’s neck with a wrench. But he also hooks the face so the ref counts. ZSJ lets up at 4 to bring Rocky into a Bow ‘n’ Arrow. Rocky pops out to a cover, TWO! Fans applaud as Rocky and ZSJ circle again. Rocky and ZSJ approach and Rocky gets ZSJ’s leg now. Rocky waistlocks but ZSJ wrenches to a switch. ZSJ wrenches again and brings Rocky to his knees. ZSJ brings Rocky further down as he mounts the arm to pull back. Fans applaud while Rocky endures the pair of knuckle locks.
Rocky and ZSJ go shoulder to shoulder but ZSJ gets the cover. TWO so ZSJ tries again. TWO as Rocky brings up the shoulder, so ZSJ pushes it down. Rocky bridges this time, and then anticipates ZSJ hopping on with a monkey flip! It’s a double cover, but Rocky rolls back, only to get caught into ZSJ’s armbar! Rocky rolls and shifts but ZSJ slips out to a hammerlock. Fans applaud this continued exchange as Rocky reaches back for ZSJ. Rocky leaps and snapmares but ZSJ headbutts back. ZSJ snapmares but Rocky handsprings through to dropkick him down! Rocky brings ZSJ up for a chop then a cravat. ZSJ endures but Rocky snapmares. ZSJ responds with his own snapmare, but then Rocky snapmares back. They go snapmare for snapmare, but then ZSJ shoves Rocky down for a neck crank! Rocky writhes while we go to one last break.
ROH returns once again as Rocky manages a ropebreak while in a modified Bow ‘n’ Arrow. ZSJ reluctantly lets go, and waits for Rocky to sit up. ZSJ clamps on a half straitjacket, then digs in elbows and knuckles to get the full. Rocky endures as fans rally up. Rocky feeds off the energy but ZSJ does his best to keep Rocky down. The two struggle against each other, and ZSJ digs a knee in to keep the straitjacket. Rocky stands and spins the straitjacket around but ZSJ spins it back on. ZSJ brings Rocky back down then flips him over, but Rocky uses that to reverse the hold! Rocky has ZSJ but ZSJ breaks free to throw a EuroUpper. ZSJ whips but Rocky elbows back. Rocky springboards for a tornado DDT! Both men are down but fans rally up.
Another standing count begins and Rocky sits up at 3. ZSJ follows and grabs Rocky first. Rocky dodges and huricanranas! Things speed up, Rocky springboards again for a crossbody! Cover, TWO! Rocky toys with ZSJ, then starts slapping him around. ZSJ EuroUppers then grabs a leg. Rocky misses the first enziguri but not the rewind! Fans fire up with Rocky as he runs corner to corner to start the Forever Clotheslines! He gets one, then another, but runs into a boot! ZSJ runs but into Rocky’s leaping knee, only to make it an STF! Rocky is caught, and ZSJ shifts sides! Rocky drags himself around and manages a ropebreak! ZSJ lets Rocky go and catches his breath. Now ZSJ toys with Rocky as he stomps him around. ZSJ kicks but Rocky gets mad. ZSJ pie faces so Rocky SLAPS away!
Rocky knees and hauls ZSJ up to the top rope. Rocky runs corner to corner for a top shelf knee! ZSJ falls to the apron but Rocky checks his shoulder first. Rocky brings ZSJ up but ZSJ resists the suplex. ZSJ goes after the arm but Rocky throws forearms. Rocky shoulders in but gets caught into an Octopus through the ropes! ZSJ lets go at 4 then shoves Rocky away. Rocky dropkicks ZSJ on the return! Rocky throws forearms and CHOPS, then ties ZSJ up in the ropes. He goes to the side and springboards for a guillotine missile dropkick! Cover, TWO!! ZSJ survives and Rocky is exhausted. Fans build to a rally for Rocky as he brings ZSJ up. Rocky throws forearms on ZSJ then eggs him on. ZSJ throws a EuroUpper, but Rocky comes back for fast hands. Rocky kicks and runs for a Sliced Bread! Cover, TWO!
Rocky drags ZSJ up again and wants more, but ZSJ escapes Sliced Bread 2 for the standing abdominal stretch! Rocky reaches but ZSJ rolls him away, then around, Hurrah! The double wrist-clutch octopus is on and Rocky taps quickly! ZSJ wins!
Winner: Zack Sabre Jr, by submission
The Submission Master brings in Another Year, Surely This One Will Be Better Than the Last. Will ZSJ’s first year in ROH be golden sooner rather than later?
Another ROH PPV, another disconnect between it and their television episodes. This episode, as all episodes are, was clearly recorded long before the PPV as nothing that happened at the PPV affects this episode’s events. For those who didn’t see the ROH 17th Anniversary, make sure to check here for the full card results. But for those who did, you know The Briscoes lost the the ROH World Tag Team Championships to Villain Enterprises, yet Jay & Mark still had the belts here. And all this makes it strange for commentary to vaguely reference the PPV when it hadn’t happened for them yet. The Six Man Tag they had was only okay, so I don’t see why it couldn’t have been three other Heels going against Shinobi Shadow Squad to get the spotlight instead.
In fact, seeing as how more Future of Honor stars were brought on for this episode, I’m starting to think that’s what episodes like this should be about. ROH Future of Honor stars can appear, get some television exposure, and take the card in place of literally anyone involved on the PPV card. And of course, facing Future of Honor stars meant an easy win for The Bouncers, who might finally be moving up now that they’re Faces. Meanwhile, Rhett Titus’ new gimmick is like if Lex Luger and Val Venis fused, but then the combination was slightly diluted. But Rhett VS Mack, even non-title, sounds fun. Pretty sure Mack wins that, but bringing NWA and its new championship into the fold of ROH’s many partnerships also sounds great.
Rayne VS Rosa was a good match, and I’m sensing this is building to something more. I’ve said before that having the Twisted Sisterz in WOH must mean Women’s Tag Team Championships are on the horizon, and it would be pretty big if Sumie Sakai joins Rayne in competing for those. I don’t think Rayne & Sumie would be the inaugural champions, that really should be the Twisted Sisterz given their resumes. But Sumie one day becoming a tag champ to be the first woman to have both the WOH World and Tag Team Championships would be a great thing for her own career. ZSJ VS Romero was a good match, and clearly ZSJ is set to dominate to at least a World Television Championship level. ZSJ VS Jeff Cobb would be great for the sheer difference in styles, but we know it’ll have to wait until after G1 Supercard.
My Score: 8/10