Lucha Underground Season 4, “Seven to Survive”
The Gift of the Gods title is on the line in a seven-way ELIMINATION Match! The last luchador left wins a guaranteed path to THE Lucha Underground Champion!
Gifs can be found on http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- Gift of the Gods Championship Seven to Survive Match: Jake Strong VS King Cuerno VS Aerostar VS Hernandez VS Big Bad Steve VS PJ Black VS Dante Fox; Strong wins and becomes the new Gift of the Gods Champion.
PLAY BY PLAY
Gift of the Gods Championship Seven to Survive Match: Jake Strong VS King Cuerno VS Aerostar VS Hernandez VS Big Bad Steve VS PJ Black VS Dante Fox!
The Seven Ancient Aztec Medallions have all come together again and now we will crown a new Gift of the Gods Champion! Antonio Cueto attempted to make this match less but The Savage wanted more. Therefore, the title will be rewarded to the one luchador who can outlast the other six! Will Strong prove he’s the strongest there is? Or will it be the King of Hunters, the Man of Time and Space, The Super-Mex, the Mechanic, the Darewolf or the returning One Man Army instead?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we begin! Fox boots Strong right out of the ring! Then he boots Aerostar, then aims at Big Bad Steve. BBS stops the boot to give a kick only to get an enziguri! Hernandez runs at Fox but Fox sends him out. PJ and Cuerno both get Fox and put him in a corner. They double whip but Fox reverses to kick PJ and whip Cuerno. Fox mule kicks and goes for a cutter but PJ pushes him away. Fox ducks Cuerno, then jumps up and back for double cutters! Fans fire up and Fox feeds off it. Fox goes to a corner and springboards for a BIG inverted 450! Fox wipes them all out and Believers are thunderous!
Dante Fox stands first, and brings Hernandez into the ring. Fox takes aim and springboards again, but Hernandez catches the crossbody. Hernandez cradles Fox, then pops him up, but Fox sunset flips. Hernandez says “Suck it!” then lifts Fox up. Fox Matrix handsprings under the clothesline, then enziguris Hernandez to the ropes! He whips but Hernandez blocks with power. Hernandez reels Fox into a lariat, then swaggers about. Hernandez drags Fox up and into a Razor’s Edge, but Fox slips out to a backslide! Cover, Fox ELIMINATES Hernandez! Super-Mex is the first man out and he can’t believe it! He has no choice but to leave, and fans chant “GIT! GIT!” on top of singing “Hey hey hey~, good-bye~!” We are down to six as we go to break.
Lucha Underground returns and the remaining six brawl in the ring. Cuerno, Strong, BBS and even Aerostar stomp away on Fox while PJ lurks outside. Fox is kicked out of the ring, and then Strong goes after Aerostar. PJ goes after BBS and bump shim off buckles. Cuerno goes after Aerostar while Strong fetches Fox. BBS hits PJ back while Cuerno dumps Aero out. Strong bounces Fox off the announce desk, then throws heavy haymakers. Cuerno dumps Aerostar over railings into the upper deck while Fox and Strong go up the stairs. Strong bounces Fox off walls while Cuerno gives Aero a Death Valley Driver onto chairs!
PJ and BBS have also brought their brawl to the Believers, and PJ rocks BBS with a big right forearm. BBS hits back harder, while Cuerno gets help balancing on a railing. Aero gets out of the way while Cuerno lands on his feet, but then Aero FLIES back in for a huricanrana! Fox rocks Strong, then jumps for his own headscissors, but Strong blocks! Strong brings Fox back up, to bomb him into the wall! Fox slumps down while Strong roars. PJ brings BBS around and back into the ring. Famous B gets in to defend his client, while giving him a monkey wrench. BBS takes the assist while Famous B hands PJ a card. PJ kicks Famous B in his b’s! But BBS uses the wrench to CRACK PJ in the back! PJ falls on Famous B’s b’s! Cuerno runs in, but gets a CRACK of that wrench!
Fans chant for Steve, but Strong narrowly avoids that wrench. Big Bad Steve hasn’t forgotten what Strong did to him. But in flies Aerostar, to get a CRACK! BBS beats Aero with the wrench, Believers chant “Steve!” with every hit. BBS winds up, and “STEVE!” But PJ gets up to kick Big Bad Steve in his little bad Steve! Strong comes in but PJ dodges him. PJ runs in but is put on the apron. He hits Strong back in the eye then springboards for another eye poke! PJ aims and hits Strong in the little savage! He moves the wrench aside and springboards for the Wolfsault! Cover, TWO! Strong refuses to be eliminated so soon.
PJ shoulders into Strong then slingshots for the sunset flip. TWO, into the Ankle Lock! PJ flails, PJ taps, Strong ELIMINATES PJ Black! But Strong doesn’t stop until he hears the SNAP! PJ Black’s ankle is snapped, and now there are only five as we go to break.
Lucha Underground returns as The Savage Strong and Big Bad Steve face off. Strong hits BBS, but BBS hits back! Fans chant “Strong!” and “Steve!” as they go again. Strong hits, Steve hits, then Steve runs to boot Strong down! Fans fire up as Cuerno adds on his own dropkick. Fox springboards in, jams an ankle, and turns around into a saido suplex! Fans rally up and Aerostar returns. Aero keeps his eyes on Cuerno and Steve. BBS gets him first and in a full nelson. Cuerno helps out with a CHOP! BBS brings Aero up and whips him into a pop-up cutter! Cuerno rolls and dropkicks Aero out. Fans fire up but now Cuerno and Steve square off.
Cuerno throws a haymaker, but BBS responds. Cuerno hits BBS with a palm strike, and dares BBS to come back. BBS does, so Cuerno roundhouses! BBS staggers but hits back with a haymaker. Cuerno runs to knee trigger BBS! BBS ends up on ropes as fans want “Otra! Otra!” Cuerno opens up Steve’s shirt, for the CHOP! Cuerno whips Steve and runs in but is put on the apron. He blocks Steve’s punch to give back a kick. Cuerno climbs up and leaps over Steve. He rolls, double clotheslines take them both out. But wait, who is bringing in a forklift?! Is that Drago?! He got someone to drive this forklift in, to help out Aerostar! The Super Amigos work together and Aerostar ascends! Believers fire up as Aerostar goes up and up and up… TO FLY!! Aerostar hits both Cuerno and Steve!!
Believers lose their minds over that insanely high crossbody! Aerostar crawls to a cover on BBS, Aerostar ELIMINATES Big Bad Steve! Famous B is upset, but it’s time for him and Steve to “GIT! GIT!” Aerostar, King Cuerno, Jake Strong and Dante Fox are the final four as we go to break.
Lucha Underground returns as Strong gets back in the ring. Cuerno and Aerostar are there, so Strong chooses Aerostar. He puts him against the ropes and throws forearms into the kidneys. Strong then scoops Aerostar, carries him around, and slams him down hard. Strong then goes to Cuerno in a corner, and gives him forearms to the back. He reels Cuerno in for a big suplex. Strong soaks up the heat as he stomps Cuerno in the chest. Strong brings Cuerno up for haymakers as fans rally. He whips Cuerno but Cuerno kicks him away. Cuerno runs, but into the powerslam! Cover, TWO! Strong looms over Cuerno while fans duel. Strong gets fans chanting his name as he goes after the leg. He puts on the Ankle Lock!
Cuerno endures and crawls for ropes, but Aerostar springboards for meteora on Strong! Aero speeds things up and hits a tilt-o-whirl headscissor to throw Strong down. Aero kicks away at the legs, then runs to leap for the trust fall! He takes out Strong, covers, TWO! Fans rally up as Aerostar gets back up. Aero runs but into a pop-up, and the Ankle Lock! Strong twists the foot and Aero taps! Strong ELIMINATES Aerostar! The Savage still pulls on the ankle, and Aero taps more. But it’s Cuerno who steps in before the ankle snaps. Cuerno kicks Strong then enziguris and dropkicks! Cuerno helps Aero safely make it backstage while we go to break.
Lucha Underground returns as our final three gather in the ring. Fox crawls towards Strong as fans rally up. Cuerno watches the vulnerable prey and says it’s time to end it. Strong stirs, Fox stands and Cuerno slowly enters. The three circle, keeping eyes on the other two. Fans build to a rally, and Strong swings on Cuerno. Cuerno ducks to knee trigger Fox. Cuerno hits Strong with a forearm, then runs to double knee Fox. He runs at Strong but into the Ankle Lock! Cuerno throws Strong out of the ring, but Fox runs in. He puts Fox on the apron then swing kicks him down. Cuerno aims at both Fox and Strong, builds speed, and DIVES! Hell’s Arrow gets Strong but Fox dodges! Believers are thunderous as Fox chooses to go up top.
Fox reappears high up in a familiar perch. He aims down at Strong and Cuerno before he FLIES!! The swanton takes out Strong, Cuerno and Fox’s own tailbone! Believers lose their minds from seeing Fox risk a lot for that shot, but “This is Lucha!” Fox stands first and puts Cuerno in the ring. He climbs up to the top rope and aims, for a 450 splash! Cover, but Strong yanks him off?! Why!? Perhaps it is ego that Strong wants to eliminate them both, but he gets a boot from Fox for it! Fox gets on the apron, springboards in, but into a knee trigger from Cuerno. Then another! Cuerno brings Fox up, Thrill of the Hunt driver! Cover, TWO!! Fox survives and fans fire up again.
Cuerno stands and grabs Fox’s legs. Fans duel as Cuerno puts on the leg half of a surfboard. He grabs at the arms and pulls Fox back for the full surfboard! But then he makes it a half nelson with the use of his legs. Fox endures so Cuerno shoves him away. Cuerno drags Fox up again and gives him a CHOP! Cuerno runs in corner to corner, but misses Fox. Strong comes in, Strong Vader Bomb! ROPEBREAK! Fox stands on the top rope, Strong turns around, but Fox leaps over him. Fox rolls to give Cuerno Rolling Thunder! Then Fox ducks Strong to hit a springboard stunner! Cover, TWO!! Strong survives and all three men are down.
Believers rally up for them and Fox stands again. Fox drags Strong around as fans say “This is Awesome!” Strong is on the Aztec seal as Fox gets on the top rope. Fox aims for the BIG Swanton, but gets knees! Strong suffers damage from that, too, but he and Fox still get up. Strong kicks but Fox blocks and sends it into Cuerno. Fox SUPERKICKS Strong but Cuerno calf kicks Fox! All three men are down again, but fans still rally. Cuerno sits up first, but Strong follows. Fox is next, but Cuerno feeds off the energy. Strong and Fox grit their teeth as they glare at each other and Cuerno. All three men approach at the center of the ring.
Strong hits Cuerno, Cuerno hits Strong. Fox hits Cuerno, Strong hits Fox. Strong hits Cuerno, Cuerno hits Strong. Fox kicks Cuerno and then Strong. Strong hits Fox, Cuerno hits Strong. Strong hits Cuerno, Fox hits Strong. Fox hits Cuerno, Cuerno kicks Fox. All three men stand up tall, and Strong throws hands on both Cuerno and Fox back and forth. Strong throws haymaker after haymaker, then roars, but runs into double boots! Fox and Cuerno let Strong roll away, and boot each other. Both men stagger back, but Cuerno runs in. Fox boots Cuerno, then dodges as Cuerno runs back in. Fox runs into Cuerno’s boot, Cuerno hops up but Fox gives him a springboard Spanish Fly! He drags Cuerno up, wants and hits the Fox Catcher! Cover, Fox ELIMINATES Cuerno! Fox and Strong are our final two!
Strong slowly returns but Fox sees him hobbling around. The fans duel as the two men stare down. Strong jumps up but Fox dropkicks him away. Fox builds speed but fakes Strong out, to then go to the post for the retrograde Asai! Strong gets clear, kicks Fox low, then rocks him with a right. Strong throws Fox at the ring but Fox spins around to kick Strong. Fox is on the apron, and leaps for a missile dropkick! Strong ends up hitting railing but Fox hits hard on the floor. The referee checks on both men but they’re okay to continue. Believers rally up again, and Fox gets in the ring at 6. Strong gets in at 8, but runs into a SUPERKICK! Jackknife cover, TWO! This still isn’t over, and Fox stalks Strong to a corner.
Fox throws forearm after forearm, then hoists Strong onto the top rope. Fans duel as Fox runs in, but into Strong’s boot. Fox swings a kick, but Strong blocks it, and wants the leg! Fox pushes Strong away, then goes Matrix again, but Strong is ready for the kick! Strong has the Ankle Lock again!! Fox endures as fans duel. He’s so close but he doesn’t give in. He reaches for ropes but Strong pulls him away! Fox rolls but can’t get Strong off the foot, he’s still in the hold! Strong brings him back around, Fox taps!
Winner: Jake Strong, by pinfall; NEW Gift of the Gods Champion
The Savage conquers the field of seven, having eliminated the majority of them. Fans chant “This is bullsh*t!” but Strong is the winner whether they like it or not. Strong raises the belt in victory, but then he goes after Fox for his real trophy! He has Fox back in the Ankle Lock, and SNAPS the ankle! Fans tell Strong what they really think of him as he stands over Fox with his title. The Savage has the key to taking the entire Temple for his own, will his undefeated streak continue through challenging THE Lucha Underground Champion?
Atop the roof of The Temple…
Johnny Mundo shadowboxes his coming fight with Matanza Cueto. Aerostar appears, and tells him, “No amount of training you can do will prepare you for The Monster.” But Matanza slaughtered Mundo’s friends, attacked his bride, and ruined the wedding. Now Mundo will give Matanza a funeral. Aero says that if Mundo faces Matanza alone, “it will be your funeral.” Aero wants Mundo to trust him, that without Aerostar’s help, Mundo won’t stand a chance. He’ll just be another Sacrifice to the Gods. Well given how Aerostar did in the Seven Way, he stands a better chance alone. Mundo doesn’t need a partner.
But then Aerostar whistles, and in flies Drago! Mundo saved Aerostar’s oldest friend, so the two of them are going to return the favor. The Gauntlet of the Gods? That stupid metal glove Cage used to wear? How is that supposed to help? Put it on. No thanks, Mundo isn’t a glove guy. Drago snarls, and Mundo changes his mind. Mundo puts on the Gauntlet, and he feels its power almost immediately. “I feel like… Like a god…! This is incredible!!” Is Aerostar sure about this? “Only time will tell.” Mundo is in love with the glove, but can the God of Greatness defeat the Monster Cueto?
This was a pretty great episode with just the one match. It was all pretty great, especially Drago the Builder helping Aerostar hit the highest high spot in some time. Everyone outside of Hernandez looked really good in this match, Hernandez got eliminated surprisingly fast. Obviously if Strong had done what he wanted and been the man eliminating all six other men, he’d be too strong. Cuerno may not have gone full Face, but I like that he repaid Aerostar for the favor of hiding the Gauntlet of the Gods. Cuerno, Fox and Strong made a great final three, and clearly the majority of fans wanted anyone but Strong. However, Strong is now champion, and with the new cash-in ability, watch for him to cash in on no less than a beat up Pentagon after his Cero Miedo match with Marty the Moth.
Speaking of the Gauntlet of the Gods, Aerostar and Drago giving that to Mundo is an interesting twist. I was just picturing Mundo getting help from the remaining members of Worldwide Underground, but perhaps this twist helps Mundo keep a Face appearance. I’m going to enjoy seeing how the Gauntlet comes into play for Mundo during Ultima Lucha, and if that bridges over into season 5.
My Score: 8.4/10
AJPW New Year Wars 2019 Results & Review (1/2-1/3/2019)
Well we told you Mathew was gonna cover it, and he had a small break from Stardom to add his expertise to the first two days of New Year Wars 2019. All Japan coverage time!
Welcome to our first All Japan Pro Wrestling show of the new year and last time I covered AJPW, I did the Real World Tag League where The Bomber won the whole thing and they’ll be fighting Violent Giants in this show.
If you’re reading the title right, it’s showing two days on there and that’s because I will be covering the two title matches that happened on the January 2nd show and then cover the whole January 3rd show.
We got a lot to cover and 2018 was a great year for AJPW but now let’s see how 2019 will go for them. Let’s find out as we…dive right in.
World Junior Heavyweight Title Match
Koji Iwamoto (c) vs. Yusuke Okada
Review: Our first title match for this show is for the World Junior Heavyweight Championship where Koji Iwamoto will defend his title against Yusuke. The junior division I’m not too crazy about in the company due to the lack of depth, so I didn’t pay much attention to it during the last few months but gonna give it a shot instead of just covering one match on this show. Yusuke came back a couple of months ago and he looks to be back in the mix for a title opportunity as he fights Koji, who won it back from Shuji Kondo. Will Koji retain the title or Yusuke becomes the new champion?
Now that I’ve seen this match, I can say it’s a step in the right direction for the division as a whole since you got Koji Iwamoto, who is a very talented individual that could very well be the one that would be a great leader to the division and then someone like Yusuke Okada to be a strong contender. Koji is someone I’ve always enjoyed when I see him wrestle in the ring but the lack of depth in the division made it hard for me to care about it as a whole that this was a very pleasant surprise to see. Okada came back better than ever since his return from injury and would show his progress in the ring.
Okada would start to destroy Koji with his Lariats to weaken him a little bit but Koji would still find a way to kick out of them. Okada attempts to finish him off with a Fisherman Buster but Koji would fight out of it and hits a quick STO before he would get him up for a Superplex and the competitors are down. Koji went to look to finish Okada off as Okada would struggle for a little bit until he got caught in a Dragon Suplex and a German Suplex Hold for a two count. Koji would finally hit the Koko no Geijutsu for the pinfall victory and I wish Ronda Rousey would use this throw as her finish instead, would look amazing. Okada puts up a good fight but not at that level where he needs to be just yet, so hard to make it a bit believable for him. Nobody else came out to challenge Koji as he celebrates his victory in a solid bout.
Rating: Bruce Prichard
World Tag Team Title Match
Violent Giants (Shuji Ishikawa & Suwama) (c) vs. The Bomber (Dylan James & Joe Doering)
Review: Our main event of this show and final match is Violent Giants defending their titles against the Real World Tag League winners, The Bomber. The two teams would fight in the finals of the tournament when The Bomber was able to pick up the win to know how this match here. We also found out on this show that Shuji Ishikawa is no longer a Freelancer and is now apart of the AJPW roster full-time. Will Violent Giants get some revenge to retain the titles or will The Bomber make lightning strike twice and take the titles with them this time?
The match is pretty much what you would expect it would go between these two and if you liked their first encounter during the finals, then chances are you’re going to like this one a lot better. The to would start off fairly evenly matched and the two teams would start to fight outside of the arena to the point where they would even fight up into the audience until they went back into the arena to get back to the fight. Dylan James keeps on improving and it’s about time he starts finding his voice in All Japan instead of just being a bust like the first half of his year in 2018, so I guess him teaming up with Joe Doering turned out to be the best thing to happen to him at the end of things. Violent Giants are always on point when it comes to tag team wrestling and no surprise why they’re Tokyo Sports Tag Team of the Year two years in a row.
Things start to get more intense in the ring once Suwama starts beating Doering down onto the mat before he tags in Shuji for the hot tag as him and Dylan start pummeling each other with strikes and slams. Shuji would deliver a Double Stomp onto the middle rope as he goes for a pin but Dylan kicks out at two as Joe helps his partner out by giving Shuji a Lariat and am Elbow Drop to top it off. Violent Giants start to go for a Double Powerbomb onto Dylan but Joe would break it up before he got tossed into the ropes as Joe catches them both with a Diving Body Press and the crowd goes nuts. The Bomber would look to go for their Double Piledriver onto Shuji as Suwama would fight Joe off before they could finish them off. Violent Giants start acting in sequence onto Dylan as they would hit him with a German Suplex, Backdrop Driver, and a Double Lariat to knock him down. Shuji would hit the Fire Thunder Driver but Joe breaks the count before being tossed back out again by Suwama. Shuji then has Dylan all by himself as he hits him with multiple knee strikes and does the Giant’s Slam as the Violent Giants retain the titles! After the match, Daisuke Sekimoto and Yuji Okabayashi challenged them to a title match at the Big Japan Wrestling show on January 13th and it’s sure to be a fun time. Great match and very hard-hitting, what more could you ask for?
Rating: Bruce Prichard and a half
Tag Team Match
Danji Tamura & Hokuto Omori vs. Atsuki Aoyagi & Yusuke Okada
Review: Our opening match is a regular tag team match with Yusuke Okada teaming up with Atsuki Aoyagi taking on the team of Danji Tamura and Hokuto Omori. Danji, Hokuto, and Atsuki are all new All Japan’s young lions as they made their debut on the January 2nd show and now I get to see them for this one. Will the new guys win or does Yusuke guide Atsuki to victory?
So how did our new guys fair off in this tag match? Well, I think that all three of them have potential and I don’t know who is who due to the music being cut out along with their names, but one of them had a really nice sequence with Yusuke. The match itself was an average tag match with the young lions getting showcased and all three of them had an equal chance to shine in this one. The match was about six minutes and Yusuke would have one of them in a Boston Crab to make them tap out for the victory. I wish all three of these men luck on their journey in the world of professional wrestling.
Rating: Tony Schiavone and a half
Tag Team Match
Hikaru Sato & Osamu Nishimura vs. Masanobu Fuchi & Yoshitatsu
Review: Our next match is another tag team match with Hikaru Sato and Osamu Nishimura taking on Masanobu Fuchi and Yoshitatsu. It looks like another tag match with probably some humor involved due to Fuchi being apart of it. Which one of these teams will win?
Yoshi, dude, please get rid of that Hunter Club shit. What purpose does it provide for you now? Nothing, so why keep wearing anything related to it at all? Just get rid of anything related to it already. Anyway, not that I got that little vent out of my system, I thought the match was a little bit average. The pop Fuchi still gets is an incredible feeling with the fans showing their love and support to him in the ring and even has fans resent his opponents, like how Hikaru would just kick him down and the boos he gets, is one of the loudest I’ve seen for an undercard or most of the time in general, it’s incredible. Fuchi would be in the match for pretty much the majority of it since Yoshi was only in for the beginning sequence before tagging in Fuchi. It would be Fuchi and Osamu in the ring and they would be cradled up to try and go for the pinfall as the two kick out to hold the position to pin the other but wait, Hikaru would push his partner to make him pin Fuchi and they steal the victory!
Rating: Tony Schiavone
Six Man Tag Team Match
Sweeper (Jake Lee, Koji Iwamoto & Ryouji Sai) vs. Atsushi Maruyama, Jun Akiyama & Zeus
Review: Our next match is a six-man tag match with our Sweeper members, Jake Lee, Koji Iwamoto, and Ryouji Sai taking on the team of Atsushi Maruyama, Jun Akiyama, and Zeus. I guess The Bodyguard is out with an injury since he’s not booked on this show at all. It’s always good to see Jake Lee in the ring and I feel like 2019 is going to be kind to him, but he needs to get a victory here to get some momentum. Can Sweeper sweep up the victory or will Uncle Jun and Daddy Zeus take it?
Ryouji and Zeus started the match off as the two would trade in some blows until Jake got tagged in as him and Zeus would have a little staredown before they got right into the action to fight each other. During the majority of this match was pretty much Zeus and Jun abusing Jake any chance they would get and I mean it since they just chop him down, stiff him, pretty much just beating the crap out of him and I feel like it’s tough love for Jake at this point. Once Jake was done being abused during this match, Koji would get tagged in now as he’s now in the ring with Atsushi for the remainder of the match and I wonder if he could be a potential contender for the Junior Championship? That question seems to be out of the question since Koji would just make quick work of him and hits the Koko no Geijutsu for the pinfall once Zeus was unable to break the pinfall in time. Decently paced match with more progression with Jake Lee and I wonder if he will encounter Zeus in singles action soon.
Rating: Eric Bischoff
Six Man Tag Team Match
The Bomber (Dylan James & Joe Doering) & Gianni Valletta vs. Evolution (Atsushi Aoki, Shuji Ishikawa & Suwama)
Review: We got ourselves another six-man tag match with The Bomber teaming up with Gianni Valletta since TAJIRI has a title match coming up tonight as they take on Evolution and no, not WWE’s Evolution. Evolution has Violent Giants and Atsushi Aoki in it. Yesterday, Violent Giants defeated The Bomber to retain the World Tag Team Championships as it looks like they’ll be fighting again in this match-up. Wonder if Bomber wins again they would get another rematch for the titles, only time will tell.
The Bomber would start the assault to Evolution to the outside of the ring once the bell would ring and they would start to get some of that heel heat in. Atsushi would now be the victim for the assault as he would just get chopped, slammed down, or just suffer a Lariat or two between the three men that are fighting him and Violent Giants. Suwama would help his partner out to get a little bit of offense in when he fights of Dylan a little bit, but Dylan would end his momentum with a few chops and a Lariat to the corner before hitting an Elbow Drop for a two count. Shuji would duck a Lariat for an STO and would tag in Suwama for a hot tag as he would start cleaning house for Evolution until Dylan tagged in Gianni for all three of them to try and gang up on Evolution, but Suwama would fight off Gianni and Joe for a little bit until Gianni was alone in the ring for Violent Giants to land their assault onto him. Suwama would pick Gianni up right away as he hits the Backdrop Driver for the victory as Evolution stands tall! Solid match and wonder who will Violent Giants defend the titles against next.
Rating: Eric Bischoff
GAORA TV Title Match
TAJIRI (c) vs. Minoru Fujita
Review: Our first title match for this show is TAJIRI defending the Gaora TV Championship against Minoru Fujita. TAJIRI has been on quite a roll with this title run with four successful title defenses under his belt with his last one being against Super Crazy. This is Minoru’s first match in AJPW during his entire career and he could very well take that title with him to Tokyo Gurentai. Can TAJIRI retain it again or will we have a new champion?
What can I really say about this match? I mean it wasn’t horrible by any means but at the same time, it just felt like a regular match without a title on the line, like just a special singles match. We all know TAJIRI’s glory days are long gone and he’s pretty much just having a good time with a lighter schedule to do as much as he can before he decides to fully hang it up for good. I haven’t really followed Minoru’s career all that much but I will say that he was still pretty mobile and would hit the moves he wanted to do without a problem like his dive to the outside and such. Don’t think were was anything really big that happened in the match except that Minoru would place a bag over TAJIRI’s head to blind him a little and hits a Splash off the top rope for a two count. Minoru would go back to the top rope and TAJIRI takes the bag off to spit green mist into his eyes once he jumped off the rope and does a Small Package to retain the title. Again, not a terrible match but just really standard.
Rating: Tony Schiavone and three quarters
All Asia Tag Team Title Match
NEXTREAM (Naoya Nomura & Yuma Aoyagi) (c) vs. Black Menso-re & Takao Omori
Review: Our next title defense for this show is NEXTREAM defending their All Asia Tag Team Championships against Takao Omori and Black Menso-re. These two teams are no strangers to each other as the two fought on October 10th where NEXTREAM would retain the titles and it looks like they want a rematch this time around. NEXTREAM has retained their titles twice during this run and would like to add a third defense if they can beat their opponents. Can NEXTREAM retain or do they lose it in the revenge match?
If we’re going to compare the two title matches these teams had against each other, I would say they were both equally as good but this one probably had a better flow throughout, so I think I would give the edge to this one at least for the time being, I don’t really recall how the partnership between Menso and Takao happened but for some reason they would work pretty well together with their different styles of speed and impact to make them a pretty solid team. NEXTREAM would keep proving themselves as a tag team and rise up in the ranks to better themselves as partners and individuals as Naoya and Yuma are both very talented wrestlers. Black Menso-re really is a talented guy and I hope to see him as a contender for the Junior title in the future since he would have a great match with Koji.
NEXTREAM would start to double team Menso with elbows into the corner as Yuma throws him into Naoya to catch him for a Gutbuster, then Yuma does a German Suplex, and Naoya finishes the combo with a Spear and goes for a pin but Takao jumped in to break the pinfall. Nomura would try to elbow Menso would counter it with a roll-up and no matter how many times Naoya would try to break out of it, Menso would somehow get him back into the same position until he was able to finally kick out and let go. Takao gets into the ring now and hits a few Ax Bombers onto Naoya before he had him up for a Package Driver as Menso tops it off with a Double Stomp for Yuma to break the near fall. Yuma would help his partner out by giving Takao a German Suplex and then Naoya does a German Suplex hold for Menso to break up the pinfall. Naoya isn’t done just yet as he would now hit a Splash off the top rope but Tako would kick out again as Naoya has enough and picks him up for the Death Valley Driver and NEXTREAM retains their titles!
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a half
Triple Crown Title Match
Kento Miyahara (c) vs. KAI
Review: Our main event for the night is Kento Miyahara defending his Triple Crown Championship for the first time in this reign against KAI. This match took place when KAI would pin Kento during the Real World Tag League and now he looks to be the one to dethrone the ace. Kento’s goal once he won the title back from Zeus was to surpass the record for most title defenses, which is currently held by Toshiaki Kawada with ten defenses under his final reign. This will be Kento’s first one so let’s see if he can fulfill this goal. Can Kento succeed in his first title defense or will KAI ruin his plans?
Pretty explosive start right away as Kento would attempt to go for the Blackout a couple of times once the bell rang but KAI would move out of the way every time he does and they have a stare down as the crowd starts cheering for them. KAI would pretty much outsmart him for the beginning of the match and it got to the point where Kento would even be outraged and throw him into the turnbuckle post, which looked like an okay idea but it would backfire once he attempted a Blackout onto the post as KAI moved out of the way and hits a Dragon Screw on his injured leg between the post. The two would keep fighting outside of the ring for a little bit until Kento would drop him against a guardrail and the two would get back inside. I think this was KAI’s best match that I’ve seen in quite some time as KAI is one of those wrestlers that can be a hit or miss depending on the opponent he fights and he was able to go toe to toe with Kento, even the crowd was supportive of KAI during the match at some point.
Kento starts to get a comeback in as he hits a German Suplex and then quickly gets up to hit not one but two Blackouts in the match to try and knock him out but KAI managed to kick out of it when he could. KAI would attempt to kick up Kento for a Powerbomb but he would struggle for a bit until KAI gathered enough strength to make it connect but Kento kicked out at two before KAI went to the top rope for a Frog Splash, only for Kento to put his knees up and risks hurting his leg a little bit more to get enough time to recover. KAI would deliver some kicks to the face and once he Irish Whipped him, Kento would duck and hit him with a Blackout and before he could hit one more, KAI would catch him to set up for a Fire Thunder Driver as he connected for a two count. KAI would have him up on his shoulders until Kento would get off to attempt a German, but KAI rolled out of it to get caught into a European Clutch for another two count. KAI attempts to go for his signature flash pin only for Kento to power out of it and catches him in a German Suplex Hold for a two count and he would eventually hit his Shutdown German Suplex Hold for the victory and his first successful defense in this reign.
So what was the big takeaway for this match? Well, it’s really because of KAI and not knocking his performance here since he did great but it was more of he wasn’t a very believable opponent for Kento and there was not one moment in the match where it seems like he had a chance to win the belt at all. If you have Kento make a claim to break a record, why would you have him lose in the first defense and against someone like KAI? So Kento retaining was the right call and a lot of people knew it would happen despite fans being behind KAI. No new challenger came out to fight Kento, so we’ll see who they pick next. Great match and a great way to close the show.
Rating: Bruce Prichard and a quarter
Overall: I thought this was a pretty solid show with only two matches that were mediocre while the rest deliver us some solid matches for the most part. All the title matches except for the GAORA one were the highlights of these shows and it’s showing us promise of what’s to come in 2019.
Favorite Match: Shuji Ishikawa & Suwama vs. Dylan James & Joe Doering
Least Favorite Match: Hikaru Sato & Osamu Nishimura vs. Masanobu Fuchi & Yoshitatsu
Mitchell’s WWE NXT Results & Report! (1/16/19)
NXT continues on the Road to Phoenix! The Limitless One looks to give the Knockout Artist payback on behalf of the King of Bros! Will Ohno #BaskInHisGlory?
- Street Profits VS The Metro Brothers; Street Profits win.
- Dominik Dijakovic VS Adrian Jauode; Dijakovic wins.
- Johnny Gargano VS Humberto Carrillo; Gargano wins.
- Keith Lee VS Kassius Ohno; Ohno wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Street Profits VS The Metro Brothers!
Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford want to put the #CurseofGreatness on the NXT Tag Team Division, and that requires winning the NXT Tag Team Championships. But before they can do that, that means racking up win after win. Will the Profits make their prophecy come true sooner rather than later in 2019?
The teams sort out, and it will be Ford starting against Chris Metro. Ford wants Christ to know that he does remember him. Chris shoves Ford, so Ford shoves him back! “Don’t sleep on me, boy!” Chris forearms back and whips but Ford reverses. Things speed up as Ford hurdles then dropkicks Chris! Ford kips up and shimmies at JC before whipping Chris. Tag to Dawkins and Dawkins runs Chris over. Dawkins helps Ford with the back suplex splash! The Profits fire each other up but they get a bit too rough as Dawkins shoves Ford over. JC tags in and slaps Dawkins, Dawkins ROCKS JC with a right! Dawkins sees Chris coming and Chris backs off a moment. Chris runs in, but into another of those killer rights! Ford laughs then tags in, to hit JC with the high-flying frog splash! Cover, and The Profits win!
Winners: The Street Profits, Montez Ford pinning
Their first match back and it was impactful! Dawkins and Ford celebrate with the Full Sail crowd, but will they be celebrating with titles soon enough? But then the Forgotten Sons attack to ruin the fun! Dawkins and Ford put up a good fight against Steve Cutler and Wesley Blake, but Jaxon Ryker changes that! Ryker wipes Dawkins out then catches Ford to ram him into the apron! Blake grabs Ford but Ford throws hands. Ford gets 3v1 and hit with a sit-out spinebuster! Fans taunt the Forgotten Sons that “We Forgot You!” but will the Profits remember them now? The Forgotten Sons make sure they do, as they stomp Ford and Dawkins out! And then the flying stomp inverted DDT combo! Will Ryker, Blake and Cutler continue to #DoUntoOthers on their own path towards the titles?
Backstage interview with Matt Riddle and Keith Lee.
The King of Bros won a match but lost a fight with Kassius Ohno, and now the Limitless One competes in his place. Riddle would love to sit ringside and watch Keith show Ohno what it is to be limitless. But Riddle also hopes Lee leaves something of Ohno left so he can get his turn, “bro”. Will Ohno be saying “Oh no!” against Lee later tonight? Or will the Knockout Artist expose the Limitless One’s limit?
Aleister Black speaks.
“Do you feel that, Tommaso Ciampa?” Of course he does. The days of TakeOver: Phoenix are coming, and everyone feels it. For Ciampa think that he was safe was foolish. Aleister will absolve Ciampa of his sins and take the title back. But everyone will be back at Full Sail, so let’s start this fight early? What will the Embodiment of the End do when he finds the Psycho Killer in the arena?
Bianca Belair heads to the ring!
The EST is the new #1 contender to Shayna Baszler’s NXT Women’s Championship and the two face off for the first time in Phoenix. But right now, the Un-De-Fea-Ted woman says that “chaos” tried to stop her rise. Bianca sent Nikki Cross packing, because this is her time to finish the climb. 2019 will be the Year of EST, and she has 20-20 vision when it comes to the title. Shayna, Bianca sees you. She has the title and her horsewomen galloping up behind her, but the EST of NXT will still be Un-De– But speaking of the Queen of Spades and her cohorts, here they come! Shayna, Jessamyn and Marina all walk down the ramp, their eyes locked on Bianca in the ring. Shayna leads the way into the ring, mic in hand, and sees the EST for herself.
“I gotta be honest with you, I just don’t see it.” Shayna knows Bianca has a lot of records, from fastest to strongest, but obviously not the smartest. If Bianca had even half a brain, she’d know that it doesn’t matter how big and strong those arms are, Shayna will still tear them off in Phoenix. Bianca tells Shayna, “Uh-uh.” The only thing Bianca’s arm will do is hold the title up after it’s all over. The fans are on Bianca’s side but Shayna says Bianca’s the same as all the others she faced. They can’t put their money where their mouth is and actually fight Shayna. Bianca is afraid of having a broken arm, afraid that the hype will be silenced, and afraid that instead of Un-De-Fea-Ted, she’ll become O-Ver-Rate-Ed. Fans duel while Bianca and Shayna stare down.
Shayna smirks as she asks about Bianca being worried about Marina and Jessamyn. She tells Bianca they’re the least of her worries. Bianca SLAPS Shayna! Then she dodges Jessamyn’s kick and Marina’s lunge! Bianca blows kisses good-bye, and tells her the fight’s coming. Will Bianca blow a Kiss of Death to the reign of #ShaynaTwoTime? Or will Shayna rock Bianca right in the kisser?
Dominik Dijakovic VS Adrian Jauode!
#FeastYourEyes on the five-tool tower, but as well as the Brazilian bulldog! Both men have mixed martial arts training in various styles, but whose combined style will win their first match of 2019?
The bell rings and Jauode uses his capoeria stance to throw Dijakovic off a bit. Dijakovic avoids one takedown then another, and the two circle again. They tie up and Jauode puts Dijakovic in a corner. The ref counts and Jauode picks Dijakovic for a body slam! Dijakovic holds Jauode off from a cover, and gets a facelock to counter. They stand up and Jauode gets another takedown! Jauode drags Dijakovic back up with the facelock. He gets a fireman’s carry takeover, but Dijakovic denies the cover. Dijakovic gets a waistlock, but Jauode turns and powers him to a corner again. The ref calls for the ropebreak, but Dijakovic clubs Jauode off. Dijakovic runs out to mule kick, front kick and back elbow! Jauode falls back and crawls to a corner.
Dijakovic runs corner to corner to splash, then elbow and club Jauode more. Dijakovic says “Time to fly!” and throws Jauode with a suplex! Fans applaud the power game as Dijakovic stalks Jauode. Jauode throws hands and backs Dijakovic down! Dijakovic punches and chops back, then throws forearms before one big clothesline! Or as he calls it, the Blood Line. Dijakovic stomps Jauode into the corner, then against the ropes. Dijakovic keeps stomping but Jauode gets a kneebar! Jauode drags Dijakovic down but Dijakovic gets the ropebreak. Jauode backs off, to then capoeria roundhouse back! Dijakovic staggers, but comes back with a discus boot! Dijakovic says “Feast Your Eyes!” before dragging Jaoude back up. He torture racks Jauode, to hit THE Feast Your Eyes! Cover, Dijakovic wins!
Winner: Dominik Dijakovic, by pinfall
Dijakovic said so, and Jauode did so! Will Dijakovic soon feast his eyes on a title opportunity?
The War Raiders prepare for Phoenix.
These modern day vikings tell the Undisputed Era that this gathering is to celebrate the victories, the scars, and the respect for them. But in Phoenix, “empires crumble, dynasties fall.” Ray Rowe & Hanson celebrate their coming victories. The Undisputed Era’s tactics were bold, and their strategies fierce. But at TakeOver: Phoenix, the era ends! And that is undisputed. Hanson & Rowe have lit the fire, will the Undisputed Era burn?
Johnny Gargano VS Humberto Carrillo!
Johnny Wrestling, or perhaps Johnny Venom, wants to be Johnny Champion as he challenges The One and Only for the NXT North American Championship in Phoenix! But that’s still over a week away, he wants to build momentum on the way there. Will he get that from Humberto Carrillo? Or will Humberto be more than Gargano expected?
Humberto got to show his skills on the first 205 Live back on Tuesdays against Cruiserweight Champion, Buddy Murphy. Unfortunately for Humberto, he lost to the Juggernaut, but he still had a great showing. Can Humberto have another great showing now that he’s back at Full Sail?
The bell rings and the two circle. They tie up and Gargano puts Humberto in the corner. He backs off quick, playing the good guy again. Gargano and Humberto circle, and Gargano rolls to a takedown. Gargano gets a toehold but Humberto spins and rolls to escape. Humberto wristlocks but Gargano spins and reverses. Gargano praises himself but fans go along with it. Humberto rolls and handsprings and reverses the wristlock back! Gargano rolls and throws a forearm! Gargano backs Humberto to a corner then whips him corner to corner. Humberto goes up and over and adds an extra flip!
Things speed up and Humberto leaps for a sunset flip. Gargano kicks but misses, Humberto kicks, misses, but comes back with an enziguri! Humberto whips Gargano but Gargano reverses. Things speed up again and Humberto hits a high-flying arm-drag! Gargano bails out but Humberto slides out. Gargano dodges and tosses Humberto, but Humberto lands on the apron to mule kick Gargano! Humberto runs but Gargano slingshot spears! Fans still fire up for that move as Gargano walks it off. Gargano stalks Humberto as fans duel. Gargano snapmares Humberto and dropkicks him in the head! Cover, TWO!
Gargano keeps on Humberto with a wrench, then a standing abdominal stretch! Humberto endures and fans rally up. Humberto fights free and throws haymakers! He scoops Gargano but Gargano slips out to shove Humberto. Gargano runs into a boot, then into buckles. Humberto fires off and whips, but Gargano reverses. Humberto handsprings to back elbow! Gargano rolls out, Humberto builds speed, and Humberto FLIES! Direct hit takes them tot he ramp! Humberto puts Gargano back in and climbs up top to leap for a BIG missile dropkick! Humberto rolls back to moonsault! Cover, TWO!! Gargano survives and Humberto is shocked!
Humberto keeps his cool but Gargano anchors a foot. Humberto stomps Gargano away then climbs up, moonsault gets boots! Gargano stands and SUPERKICKS Humberto! Humberto stays standing, and Gargano scoops him for a long dart into buckles! But Gargano isn’t done with Humberto yet, as he slingshots for the DDT! Cover, Gargano wins!
Winner: Johnny Gargano, by pinfall
Whether he’s Johnny Wrestling, Johnny Badass or Johnny Venom, Johnny is the winner of this match! Johnny heads for Phoenix and his title match with Ricochet, will we soon be calling him the new North American Champion?
Tommaso Ciampa speaks.
“Aleister Black, you like to refer tot he champ as ‘The Puppet Master.’ Boy, if I am the puppet master, than you are the ultimate puppet.” Aleister is so gullible to be running around that we won’t have to wait until Phoenix. Aleister doesn’t understand. “The Champ fights on the biggest, grandest stage.” So they will wait until Phoenix, that’s what main event players do. Not that Aleister would ever understand. Ciampa tells his “number one puppet” to listen closely to him. “Be careful what you wish for.” Is Ciampa denying or accepting the challenge? Will we find out next week?
Velveteen Dream speaks.
“23 years old and all this talent. How do you do it, Dream?” Is it easy? Is it natural? There is no secret formula, it is simply The Experience. This is the same Velveteen Dream who said in 2017 that the world won’t forget him. And then in 2018, he made that prophecy a reality. Just ask the legends and icons that took notice. Now in 2019, #DreamOver will evolve into #DreamOn. Dream’s back in action next week, who will experience the Experience up close and personal?
Keith Lee VS Kassius Ohno!
The Knockout Artist immediately dismissed both Keith Lee and Matt Riddle as the “shiny new toys” of NXT. But then the King of Bros KO’d KO at TakeOver: WarGames II. They had a rematch and Riddle won by Bromission, which infuriated Ohno. Ohno beat Riddle down to the point where he could not be medically cleared, so it will be the Limitless One going after Ohno on behalf of his friend. Will Lee make Ohno #BaskInHisGlory?
Fans sing for Lee even before the bell. The bell rings, and Lee circles with Ohno. Ohno keeps his distance and he backs to a corner. Lee backs off and they finally tie up. Ohno gets a headlock but Lee powers out. They collide and it’s Ohno who falls! Lee drags Ohno up in a gut wrench, but Ohno slips out. Ohno CHOPS, then kicks, then runs, but Lee leaps over him! Things speed up and Lee crossbodies Ohno down! Cover, TWO! Lee keeps on Ohno with a whip but Ohno holds ropes. Ohno bails out but Lee just builds speed! Ohno runs away so Lee gives up on flying for now. Lee wags his finger while fans sing again. Ohno returns just to refresh the count and take another breather. But Lee gives chase, and they go back in the ring.
Lee catches the sucker kick to rock Ohno with forearms and body shots! He grabs Ohno by the hair and whips, to hit a BIG back drop! Ohno writhes to a corner as fans chant “Keith Lee! Woop woop!” Lee runs in but Ohno trips him into buckles! Ohno runs back in to boot Lee! Lee grimaces but Ohno stomps and chops him. Ohno drags Lee out for a headlock punch, then another boot. Ohno boots Lee again and again, and Lee rolls to ropes. Lee puts his dukes up so Ohno boots him down, and drops the back senton! Cover, TWO! Ohno grows frustrated while fans rally up. Ohno stomps Lee and puts him in a double underhook stretch. Lee feeds off the rally and fights his way up, but Ohno puts him on the ropes for a stiff forearm!
Ohno whips Lee but Lee holds ropes. Ohno keeps trying but Lee keeps resisting, so Ohno rocks him with forearms, chops and kicks! The ref has OHno back off, so Ohno whips again. Lee reverses but Ohno reverses back to an arm wringer and rabbit punch forearm! Cover, TWO! Lee still lives but Ohno is on him with a chinlock. Fans rally again as Ohno puts the underhooks back on. Lee endures and powers up to his feet. Ohno kicks low then knees Lee in the head! Ohno drops another senton, but onto Lee’s knees! Lee and Ohno are down but fans rally up again. Ohno stands first but Lee follows. Lee counter punches Ohno then throws forearms of his own. Ohno staggers to a corner, Lee runs in for a big splash! Lee tosses Ohno across the ring!
Lee runs back in, but Ohno puts him on the apron. Ohno goes after Lee but Lee buckle bumps him, then slingshot crossbodies! Cover, TWO! Ohno wants a timeout but Lee will not give him one. Ohno wants to bro fist, but Lee just throws fists and knees! Lee clubs Ohno off his feet, then drags him back up. Ohno headbutts the gut, but Lee just gets mad now. Lee double chops Ohno! Lee runs, ducks the elbow and redirects to POUNCE!! Fans fire up as Lee lifts Ohno in the fireman’s carry. Ohno holds ropes and escapes, but Lee waistlocks instead. The ref counts and Ohno shoves Lee into the ref! Lee rocks Ohno, then checks on the ref. Ohno sneaks up to LOW BLOW! Ohno hits the roaring elbow! Fans boo as Ohno covers, but Ohno wins!
Winner: Kassius Ohno, by pinfall
Lee may be Limitless, but no man can withstand what Ohno did to him! Ohno feels proud of himself, but Riddle comes raging down the ramp! Riddle runs Ohno off, but he checks on his friend instead of throwing hands with Ohno. When and where will the King of Bros settle things with the Knockout Artist?
A really good episode of NXT here as we draw closer to Phoenix. We get quite a bit of action in this episode, and start right away with a pretty fun tag team segment. Profits win fast and Full Sail was into it, but this is to also set up their rivalry with the Forgotten Sons. Sadly, the Forgotten Sons just on their name alone is becoming a butt of jokes type trio. Fans don’t care about them, but maybe after an actual match with Ford & Dawkins, that “Stay Forgotten!” heat will shift to normal Heel heat. War Raiders had a pretty great viking promo to hype their match with Undisputed Era, I’m thinking the Undisputed Era will have a response on the go-home. I’m really curious to see how this match turns out, because it still feels like it’s 50-50.
Dijakovic VS Jauode was a solid match, but boy is it hard to type their names quickly. Dijakovic wins and perhaps he will get a North American Championship shot after Gargano VS Ricochet happens. Gargano VS Humberto was also solid, and perhaps this match was why they thought to give Humberto the shot against Buddy Murphy. After all, NXT episodes are taped in advanced, and Humberto really is a great in-ring talent. Aleister and Ciampa have a good pair of promos, and in combination with Ricochet confronting Gargano next week, I really hope something happens to bring about Aleister & Ricochet VS Heel DIY for the go-home! That match will be amazing and is TakeOver worthy just on paper.
I’m very curious about Dream only doing promos, and not in person. Is Dream dealing with injury that we haven’t heard too much about? Or are they just saving him while title matches are spoken for? Dream competing against anyone for either title will be a great lead into Wrestlemania season. Dream coming full circle to get a title against Aleister Black would be absolutely incredible! Then there’s the incredible main event of Lee VS Ohno. They did great with Ohno’s hard hits and Lee’s still surprising agility. Ohno cheating to win is perfect for his continued Heel turn, and now Riddle VS Ohno III is coming. I hope they put that on TakeOver and let them just go off! Riddle can win and Ohno will either settle things with Lee or strangely, finally head to main roster.
My Score: 8.5/10