NJPW finishes its Destruction tour with Kobe! The Ace defends his guaranteed IWGP Heavyweight Championship match opportunity against The Rainmaker!
This coverage of Destruction in Kobe will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Gifs can be found at http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- Wrestle Kingdom 13 IWGP Heavyweight Championship Contract Match: Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Kazuchika Okada; Tanahashi wins and retains the contract.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS TV set the scene!
The Once in a Century has made quite the comeback in 2018. He would return from injury to compete in his 17th G1 Climax and win! However, there are still scores to settle before Wrestle Kingdom. Kazuchika Okada has been one of Hiroshi Tanahashi’s most powerful rivals. Okada would retain the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, and in a match against The Ace, break Tanahashi’s record for most successful consecutive defenses. Kenny Omega would take that title from Okada later on, but Okada would make his own comeback.
Eventually, Okada and Tanahashi would meet in the G1 Climax Block A, and it would be that time limit draw that allowed Tanahashi to go to the finals! Tanahashi wants to prove he can actually defeat Okada, but Okada wants to prove this is his era in NJPW! Who wins the rights to that title match contract to meet the IWGP Heavyweight Champion in the New Year?
Wrestle Kingdom 13 IWGP Heavyweight Championship Contract Match: Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Kazuchika Okada!
The Ace and the Rainmaker are two of the best in all of NJPW, and perhaps the world. As such, they’ve met time and again in the ring, and each time, the younger star has come out on top. The best Tanahashi managed was that draw during this year’s G1 Climax. But with the contract guaranteeing a shot at the top title on the line, can Tanahashi finally pull off a win over Okada?
The introductions are made, the Wrestle Kingdom 13 briefcase is set down and the contract inside is verified. We go to break before setting this incredibly important match in motion.
NJPW on AXS returns as fans are thunderous with chanting. The bell rings and we begin! Tanahashi hears the fans chanting his name but Okada brushes it off. The two circle and feel it out. They tie up, but break as neither man backs down. They circle and go again, and Okada gets behind. Tanahashi standing switches but Okada wrenches to a wristlock. Tanahashi spins through to get his own wristlock, but Okada rolls. Okada gets a takedown and has a toehold. Tanahashi endures and works against things. He rolls and gets Okada in a chinlock. Okada rolls back the other way to get a hammerlock. Tanahashi drop toeholds and gets a headlock. Okada pries his way out, but Tanahashi brings him back in.
Tanahashi gets a headlock takeover, but Okada keeps his shoulders up. Okada rolls Tanahashi to a cover, ONE, so he headscissors. Tanahashi pops out, and fans applaud the technique. Fans rally up with “Go Ace!” as the two circle again. They tie up, and Okada manages to power Tanahashi back to the ropes. Okada honors the break, but throws a forearm. Tanahashi walks into a boot, but stays standing. They stare down, then fire off forearms! They’re fast and furious, neither man slowing down! Tanahashi gets an edge but Okada knees low. Okada whips but Tanahashi reverses to hip toss Okada down. Fans rally behind Tanahashi as Okada gets to a corner. Tanahashi runs in but Okada goes up, Tanahashi slides out. Tanahashi grabs a leg and trips Okada! He turns Okada over to elbow the knee, then slams the leg on the apron, and Okada slumps to the floor.
Tanahashi leaves Okada down and out, and a ring count begins. Okada stands up at 4 and gets in at 6, but Tanahashi dropkicks him back down! Fans fire up as Tanahashi aims, and slingshots for the splash! It proves a little double-edged, as Tanahashi clutches his bad knee. Red Shoes checks on both men, but Tanahashi is up first. Tanahashi climbs into the ring, and Red Shoes makes sure that knee is okay. Okada gets up and in, and waits as Tanahashi stands. Okada runs in and dropkicks the leg out! Tanahashi writhes and clutches the leg again, but Okada keeps on him. Okada smashes the knee on the mat! Tanahashi writhes more, but Okada just paces. Okada grabs the leg and drops an elbow on it. Okada even stands on the leg just to aggravate it. Fans boo but Okada shrugs it off.
Okada drags Tanahashi up and bumps him off buckles. He stomps the bad leg, but fans rally up for Tanahashi. Okada wraps the bad leg on the ropes and pulls. He stops at the ref’s count of 4 and backs away. Red Shoes checks Tanahashi, and Tanahashi says he’s fine. Okada runs in, but into an elbow! Tanahashi hops up but Okada ducks under the crossbody! Tanahashi crashes, we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Okada paces around Tanahashi. Okada goes after the legs again, and sits down on a special figure four kneelock. Tanahashi endures and fans rally for him. Tanahashi drags himself around but Okada pulls harder. Ropebreak! Okada holds on until 4, and fans boo. Okada somersaults to his feet and simply paces again. He brings Tanahashi up but Tanahashi throws body shots. Okada tanks it all, and even eggs Tanahashi on. Tanahashi keeps hitting him, Okada keeps egging him on. Tanahashi gets through to Okada but Okada kicks him. Okada kicks again, but gets a dropkick to the other leg! Then a chop block! Then the dragon screw! Tanahashi gives Okada a taste of his own medicine as far as leg damage.
Fans continue to rally as both men get to opposite ends. They stand and approach, Tanahashi knocks Okada over with a back elbow, then drops an elbow and a somersault senton! Tanahashi catches his breath and stands back up. He throws forearms on Okada again, then scoop slams him into a drop zone. Tanahashi hops up, and hits another somersault senton! Cover, TWO! “Go Ace!” returns as Tanahashi stalks Okada. Okada staggers up while Tanahashi runs. Okada ducks the clothesline to give a big back elbow! He brings Tanahashi up to whip him corner to corner, but Tanahashi can barely run on that bad leg. Okada still gives him a back elbow, a kick, and a DDT! It stands Tanahashi right up, cover, TWO! Fans rally but Okada looms over Tanhashi.
Tanahashi stands, Okada wants the Alabama lift. Tanahashi resists, but Okada still gets him up. Okada can’t hold him as Tanahashi fights with clubbing forearms. They struggle for control, but Okada gets Tanahashi up again. Tanahashi fights out, but Okada reverses. Tanahashi reverses back, they trade dodges, Tanahashi dropkicks low again. He runs at Okada, but into the reverse neckbreaker! It was double-edged given the knee he dropped Tanahashi on. Both men are down but fans rally up. Both men stand, Okada shotgun dropkicks Tanahashi to a corner! Okada gets up, walks over, and stands Tanahashi for back elbows. He hoists Tanahashi up, blocks a kick to give an elbow, then dropkicks Tanahashi! Tanahashi holds on for dear life, but Okada goes off on that knee! Red Shoes backs Okada off while fans boo.
Okada waits in the opposite corner while Red Shoes tries to help Tanahashi. Young Lions help sit Tanahashi up and Tanahashi gets in, but collapses as the bad leg buckles. Okada keeps on Tanahashi with a shin breaker! Then loop through, Figure Four a la the Nature Boy! Tanahashi endures, Okada drops back to put on more pressure. Fans rally as Tanahashi works against the hold. Tanahashi pries Okada’s leg off but Okada brings it back down. Okada puts on the pressure, but Tanahashi keeps fighting against the hold. Fans keep cheering while Red Shoes asks if Tanahashi is done. Tanahashi isn’t done, and works to roll the hold over. Okada brings it back, and the pressure stays on Tanahashi. Tanahashi tries again, and turns it over! Now Okada endures, so he rolls it back quick, ROPEBREAK! Red Shoes unties the two, and Tanahashi slumps to the floor.
Okada follows Tanahashi out, and smashes the knee on the floor mat! Tanahashi writhes to the railing, but Okada doesn’t leave him alone. Okada brings Tanahashi up, but Tanahashi gut wrench scoops Okada! Tanahashi hits the Tombstone on the outside! Both men are down while we go to break!
NJPW on AXS returns, and Red Shoes checks on both men. They’re somehow okay to continue, so a ring count begins. Tanahashi drags himself in at 7, but Okada barely stirs. Okada finally sits up at 15, but Tanahashi climbs up?! Tanahashi aims, High Fly Flow crossbody brings Okada crashing back down! Fans continue to cheer even as Tanahashi clutches both knees now. Tanahashi drags himself back up at 6, then brings Okada up and in at 9. He wants Okada to stand, then runs, but into a wring out! Tanahashi denies Rainmaker to hit the swinging neckbreaker! He runs, Slingblade! Cover, TWO!! And a close one! But Tanahashi won’t stop, he gets back to the top rope. He aims, for High Fly Flow! Okada gets his knees up! Both men are down after that, but the fans haven’t stopped once.
Tanahashi sits up, Okada follows. They crawl around towards each other, and slowly stand. Okada scoops but Tanahashi blocks. Okada tries again but again Tanahashi blocks. Tanahashi tries to scoop but Okada blocks. They fight for gut wrench control, and Okada gets Tanahashi up! Tanahashi flails and gets back down. Tanahashi elbows away on Okada, then throws forearms. Okada hits him back, so Tanahashi hits Okada again. Okada throws a forearm. Tanahashi throws a forearm. Okada throws a European Uppercut, then another. Tanahashi staggers, Okada gives him a third. Okada toys with Tanahashi now, but Tanahashi gets up and fires off! Okada dropkicks the leg out! He whips Tanahashi, but Tanahashi falls on his face, the legs giving out.
Red Shoes checks on Tanahashi, but Okada won’t let Tanahashi quit. Okada brings him up, for another shin breaker, but Tanahashi sunset flips! TWO, but now Tanahashi has Okada’s leg, for a grounded dragon screw! Both men are down as fans fire up again. Tanahashi stands first and runs, but into the dropkick! Okada staggers, brings Tanahashi up, and wrings him out, but Tanahashi denies the Rainmaker again! Tanahashi full nelsons but Okada breaks out. Okada fireman’s carry, Death Valley Driver countered into a neckbreaker! Tanahashi grits his teeth as he gets up, and he runs again, but into the gut wrench! But he tilts it back and has Okada in position! but Okada slips out, wrings out, but gets a palm strike! Tanahashi shouts, but Okada dropkicks the back of the leg! Wring out, SLINGBLADE!
Tanahashi hurries to bring Okada to a drop zone. He hurries up to the top rope, and takes aim… HIGH FLY FLOW! Cover, but Tanahashi comes off it from his own leg pain. He tries again, TWO!! The momentary pause keeps Okada in this match. Fans are thunderous again as Tanahashi drags himself to the corner. Tanahashi forces himself up to the top rope again, leaps, but into Okada’s dropkick! Tanahashi writhes with pain in his ribs now, but Okada grits his teeth. Okada drags Tanahashi up, scoops him, TOMBSTONE! His own legs slow him down, but he still calls for his finisher. He brings Tanahashi up, wrings him out, but Tanahashi ducks! Tanahashi wants to steal Rainmaker, but Okada ducks under, to wring Tanahashi out. He sees Tanahashi ready to counter, so he ducks, spins, discus lariat!
Okada fires up and wants the real deal now. He drags Tanahashi up again, wrings him out, but Tanahashi counters with Dragon Suplex! Bridging cover, TWO!? That was as close to three as possible! Fans are thunderous now, and both men still stir. Tanahashi drags himself to a corner, drags himself up top once more, but Okada dropkicks him down! Okada climbs up to join Tanahashi and drags him into gut wrench position. Okada wants it, but Tanahashi holds on for dear life. Tanahashi fights back, gets behind Okada, and clubs him down. Okada hits back, climbs back up, and goes for another gut wrench. Tanahashi holds on and fights back again. Okada steps back, but clubs Tanahashi again. Okada climbs up a third time, but Tanahashi throws a swift palm strike! Tanahashi stands up, knocks Okada down, falling High Fly Flow!
Tanahashi couldn’t cover there, but he’s determined to do it his way. He gets back up top, for another High Fly Flow crossbody! But that’s not it, he wants another! HIGH FLY FLO SPLASH!! Cover, Tanahashi wins!!
Winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi, by pinfall; still owns the Wrestle Kingdom 13 IWGP Heavyweight Championship contract
The Ace does it! He finally gets a win over Okada, while holding on to his shot at the top title in NJPW! It took many High Fly Flows, but they were all worth it. We go to break while both men recover.
NJPW on AXS returns…
And Tanahashi finally stands up again. He has his hand raised in victory, and his contract briefcase returned to him. Tanahashi raises the briefcase in victory, but then JAY WHITE appears! And gives Tanahashi the Blade Runner! The Switchblade again makes it very clear that he wants that contract, and going after a weakened Ace is him making a statement. But then he stares down at the leader of Chaos, the very faction White also wants in his possession. And he stomps away on Okada! Young Lions are no match for White, he throws them around, and gives one a German Suplex! White goes after Okada again as the bell rings frantically.
White goes outside and gets in Rocky Romero’s face. He demands Rocky’s chair, but Rocky refuses, so White shoves him down! White takes the chair, folds it up, and brings it to the ring with him. But wait, here comes Yoshi Hashi! The Head Hunter takes a bit of a nasty spill, but he still gets up to go after White! Hashi is bloody but he throws forearms on White. Hashi checks on Okada, but White has the chair and SMACKS Hashi in the face! White has now floored three men, and even takes some of Hashi’s blood to wipe on his face like war paint. White goes back into the ring, takes the chair again, but here comes Gedo! Okada may have let Gedo go as a manager, but surely Gedo is still Okada’s friend as he takes that chair from White.
Fans cheer for Gedo as he stares White down. Gedo checks on Okada, and Okada stands. Okada stares White down as White shouts “I told you that I would come for you!” But Gedo SMACKS Okada?! Fans want to know why, but Gedo just has White bring Okada up again, for Blade Runner! Gedo grabs a mic, and says, “I guess this ‘biggest loser’ match is over.” Because no matter who won, “neither of you bums is fit to be the main event at the Tokyo Dome!” Wanna know why? Because you both lost to White in the G1, “you’re both just a couple of failures.” White taunts Tanahashi and Okada while Gedo says the only man worthy of the briefcase is The Switchblade! Fans boo but White holds the briefcase up like it’s already his.
Gedo orders a camera man to focus on only White. “These two dogs lying around on the ground, don’t even put them in the shot.” Only show Jay White! Gedo then declares, “Breath with the Switchblade! New Era: coming soon!” A betrayal followed by a proclamation and an ultimatum. With Gedo behind him, will Jay White rise all the way to the top of NJPW? Or will Okada and Tanahashi have their revenge soon enough?
Jay White says “Okada, I told you the day after New Year’s Dash when you brought me into Chaos, I would come for you.” And what did Okada do? He laughed. But was he laughing after losing to White in the G1? He certainly isn’t laughing after tonight. And Okada won’t be laughing when White takes the briefcase from Tanahashi, something Okada couldn’t do. And as for Tanahashi, White vows to tear him apart and spill his blood! Tanahashi, Okada and everyone in NJPW will breath with the Switchblade.
As for Tanahashi, he cusses while asking “Do you know how many years it took for me to finally beat Okada, you son of a bitch?!” The Ace wants blood as much as White, who will bring the other down while holding up that Wrestle Kingdom contract?
An amazing and intense episode for NJPW on AXS here. This IWGP Heavyweight Championship contract match was so good, with all the story behind it of how familiar Okada and Tanahashi are. You could feel Tanahashi fighting to do everything he had to to finally beat Okada again, while also seeing that Okada was rather confident he’d still win. Okada almost came off as a Heel with how he treated Tanahashi’s leg while being so calm about everything. It’s great that Tanahashi retains, because it would be a shame if in his first defense he just loses the contract, and to Okada. And obviously, with Gedo on White’s side now and White gunning for everything, there is plenty for Okada to still do without having a direct path to the title.
My Score: 8.7/10
Mitchell’s ROH Results & Report! (4/13/19)
Who qualifies for the Crockett Cup?!
Ring of Honor Wrestling Television, Episode 395
ROH plays host to a Crockett Cup Qualifying Match! Will The Briscoes make it through Willie Mack and Jeff Cobb? Or will #DemBoyz be left out in the cold?
- Shane Taylor VS Luchasaurus; Taylor wins.
- Katie Forbes & Mazzerati VS Sumie Sakai & Mayu Iwatani; Sakai & Iwatani win.
- Crockett Cup Qualifying Match: The Briscoes VS Jeff Cobb & Willie Mack; The Briscoes win and move on to The Crockett Cup tag team tournament.
PLAY BY PLAY
The Briscoes speak.
“So when we heard that they’re bringing back the Crockett Cup for 2019…” “Classic.” “We was hyped.” “Hyped!” The Crockett Cup, let’s go! But then they were making Jay & Mark qualify? What the hell? Jay felt disrespected hearing that. They’re 10-time tag team champions and they have to qualify!? But that’s fine, “watch this!” Because at the end, when they’ve won the whole thing atop a pile of bodies, “y’all did this.” Cobb, Mack, the Road to the Cup starts tonight. The Briscoes have warned their opponents, but will they be the ones left out?
Shane Taylor VS Luchasaurus!
The Notorious Hitman wants a championship and the paycheck that comes with it, and will go after anyone he has to to get there. But can he get past the towering beast put before him?
Taylor refuses the Code of Honor to tell Luchasaurus that it doesn’t matter where he came from, he’s in Taylor’s town. Taylor pie faces Luchasaurus but Luchasaurus gives it back. The bell rings and they tie up. They break and then go again, to break again. Fans cheer on Luchasaurus as he dares Taylor to bring it. Taylor runs in but gets a boot. Luchasaurus has his dukes up and Taylor likes the look of that. They circle and Luchasaurus kicks Taylor sharp in the leg. Luchasaurus stalks Taylor but Taylor comes back to circle with him. Taylor gets a swift JAB in, then talks trash, but Luchasaurus swings a kick. Taylor ducks it to give Luchasaurus a CHOP! Luchasaurus stays standing and gives Taylor kicks! Taylor staggers and Luchasaurus runs in, but Taylor puts him on the apron.
Luchasaurus headbutts Taylor but Taylor dodges the boot. Taylor gives another strong JAB, then slingshots Luchasaurus in for a stunner! Fans cheer that show of strength as Taylor covers. TWO, but Taylor keeps on Luchasaurus with clubbing forearms. The wrestling T-Rex is in trouble as we go to break.
ROH returns as Taylor puts Luchasaurus in a corner for CHOPS! Taylor whips Luchasaurus corner to corner then runs in, but into a boot. Luchasaurus boots again but Taylor grabs it. Luchasaurus pries free to give Taylor a knee! Taylor catches Luchasaurus for a CHOKE SLAM! Cover, TWO! Taylor taunts Luchasaurus as he drags Luchasaurus up. Fans rally and Luchasaurus grabs Taylor for a choke! Taylor breaks free and grabs for Luchasaurus, but he blocks it! Luchasaurus gives a strike fest, and a cartwheel for Snake Bite headscissors! Rolling buzzsaw! Cover, TWO! Taylor survives but Luchasaurus keeps his cool. Luchasaurus drags Taylor up but Taylor hits back. They brawl with big shots back and forth, but Luchasaurus gets the edge.
Luchasaurus swings but Taylor bobs ‘n’ weaves to headbutt! Taylor runs but into a knee! Then a back heel kick! Luchasaurus runs, dodges, but still gets clobbered with a clothesline! Cover, TWO! Taylor keeps his cool while he trash talks Luchasaurus. But Luchasaurus sits up and grabs Taylor by the throat! They both stand, but Taylor tries to break free. Luchasaurus lets him go to swing a heel kick. Taylor ducks it, to get the return kick! And another big heel kick! Luchasaurus hits his CHOKE SLAM! And a standing moonsault, but to knees! Taylor survives and then blocks the boot to give a massive urenage! He rolls Luchasaurus for a knee! Greetings from the 216! Cover, Taylor wins!!
Winner: Shane Taylor, by pinfall
The Hitman takes down the Monster from the Mesozoic! Will this be what Taylor needs to go for gold?
Last time on ROH…
The Octopus, Jonathon Gresham, went for revenge on The Last Real Man for adding insult to injury on his bad leg. But after getting bloodied, Silas Young got his hands dirty by sneaking in a low blow! Silas won, and in an interview afterward, Silas told Gresham via the camera that Gresham’s revenge didn’t go the way he thought. Sure he busted Silas open, but Silas-
Wait, Gresham finds Silas. Silas is talking crap, and he looks like crap, too. Gresham’s sure talking big. He may have busted Silas open, but he couldn’t get the job done, huh? Gresham says all their match proved was that Silas couldn’t win fair and square. Silas claims he won with a wrestling move a la that small package cradle. Gresham says Silas is lucky Gresham won’t punch him again. ROH security keeps this from getting any more heated, but there is much left to settle between Octopus and Last Real Man. Will Silas prove he’s a man by giving Gresham a fair rematch?
Tenille Dashwood joins commentary.
She has great news: she’s cleared to compete! When and where will she bring the spotlight back on her and head for that Women of Honor World Championship?
Katie Forbes & Mazzerati VS Sumie Sakai & Mayu Iwatani!
The All Natural and her friend, The Fox, make their ROH TV debuts as a team, but will they stand a chance against two former WOH World Champions?! Just how bright will the Ray of Sunshine and Queen of Stardom shine as a dynamic duo?
The Code of Honor is denied with a flick of the hair and an L for loser on the foreheads. Mazz starts for her team against Mayu! Fans fire up for “Stardom! Stardom!” as Mayu tries the Code again. Mazz SLAPS Mayu and calls her a loser! Mayu kicks and whips Mazz and things speed up. Mayu springboards and arm-drags Mazz then hip tosses her down. She snapmares with hair and covers, TWO! Mazz gets away while Mayu knips up, and fans fire up for the decorated Joshi star. Mazz tags to Forbes but Mayu tags to Sumie. Sumie has the fans on her side but Forbes ignores it. They tie up and Forbes shoves Sumie down. Sumie gets back up and ties up with Forbes again.
Forbes uses the height advantage for leverage, but Sumie kicks at her legs. Sumie goes to whip but Forbes blocks. Forbes whips Sumie but misses in the corner. Sumie fires off Mongolian chops! And chops and chops and chops! Fans fire up but Forbes throws Sumie by her hair! Forbes sits Sumie up for her “enhanced” hip attack! Sumie scrambles to a corner and Forbes handsprings corner to corner for a back elbow. Forbes adds insult to injury with her “All Natural” Stink Face! The ref counts and Forbes backs off at 4. Forbes drags Sumie to a cover, TWO! The duo of champions is in trouble as Forbes drags Sumie to her corner and we go to break.
ROH returns as Mazz whips Sumie corner to corner. Mazz then runs in, but into a boot! Mazz staggers but comes back in to block the next boot. She puts Sumie’s leg on the ropes to kick it. Mazz suplexes and covers, TWO! Mazz keeps her cool and runs to drop the leg, but Sumie gets clear! Sumie crawls but Forbes goes around to the corner and drags Mayu off the apron! Forbes teases Sumie as she holds Mayu up. Sumie gets attacked from behind and Forbes gives Mayu a snake eyes on the apron. Mazz drags Sumie up and whips but Sumie reverses. Mazz grabs ropes and spins to heel kick Sumie away. She gives Sumie a DDT, then covers, but Mayu breaks it! Mazz is furious but fans rally up for Sumie. Mazz spins but Sumie dodges to kick and TJ Neckbreaker!
Fans rally up and Sumie crawls for her corner. Hot tag to Mayu! Mayu aims and dropkicks Mazz down! She drags her back up but Forbes runs in to attack. The duo double whips Mayu but she reverses and wristlocks for a springboard DOUBLE arm-drag! Fans fire up as Mayu gives them both the basement dropkick! Mayu fires up now as she stays on Mazz. She drags Mazz up for a Northern Lights! Bridging cover, TWO! Mazz lives but Mayu stomps her down before tagging Sumie. Mayu climbs one corner as Mazz staggers up, missile dropkick sends her back down! Sumie is perched, crossbody! Cover, TWO!! Mazz survives and Forbes attacks Sumie just because.
Sumie slaps Forbes then puts her in a corner. The Joshi duo double whips but Mazz dodges and spins things around. Mazz sends Sumie into Mayu, then Forbes grabs them both for a DOUBLE Fireman’s Carry! The All Natural does squats with that weight, then hits a DOUBLE Samoan Drop! Mazz flounders to cover Sumie but Sumie gets up. Mazz throws hands then drags Mayu back in. Sumie hits Mazz while Forbes goes to throw Mayu. Mayu blocks and then SUPERKICKS Forbes! Mazz hits Sumie back then goes after Mayu. Mayu SUPERKICKS Mazz, then Smash Mouse from Sumie! Cover, Sumie & Mayu win!!
Winners: Sumie Sakai & Mayu Iwatani, Sakai pinning
The duo of former champions toughs it out and gets the win! Will this new team make big waves in the WOH Division’s growing tag scene?
PJ Black speaks.
“Let me start from the beginning.” The Darewolf came in with a chip on his shoulder, thought he knew better and was just plain better. But his loss to Bandido really hurt. PJ’s been doing this for 22 years now, but given how long he’s been doing this, the frustration is building. He’s been trying to take shortcuts to get ahead, but it doesn’t work. ROH is built on honor and respect, of course, but PJ’s been doing the opposite. Now he’s doing some soul searching and rethinking his mindset. He knows he has to do it differently now. LifeBlood sets a great example for him, and he’ll learn to follow the honor in Ring of Honor. PJ knows now he didn’t know better, but will he be able to make it right in a rematch next week in episode 396?
Crockett Cup Qualifying Match: The Briscoes VS Jeff Cobb & Willie Mack!
The most decorated tag team in ROH were practically offended that they’d have to qualify for the return of the iconic tag team tournament! But as the “baddest tag team on the whole damn planet”, they’ll gladly beat up anyone and everyone they have to in order to win it all. Will #DemBoyz be able to overcome the ROH World Television and NWA National Heavyweight Champions? Or will Cobb and Mack be the duo to #ManUp and make it into the Crockett Cup?
ROH returns as both teams uphold the Code of Honor. That’s surprising for the way The Briscoes have been acting lately. Fans duel for the two teams as they sort out. Mack and Mark start and stare down with the bell. Fans rally up and Mack circles with Mark. They tie up and Mack powers Mark to a corner. Mark turns it around and grinds his forearm in. He backs off at 4 but Mack dodges the chop to give a chop! Mack CHOPS again, but Mark CHOPS back. They trade CHOP after CHOP! Neither man backs down as they keep firing them off! Mack eggs Mark on but Mark knees low. Mark headlocks but Mack powers out to his own. Mark powers out but Mack runs him over!
Mack speeds things up and hurdles over Mark, to then hit a BIG Thesz Press! He fires off hands then runs for a Stone Cold elbow drop. Fans fire up as Mack brings Mark up and powers him to the corner. Cobb tags in and rams his shoulders in. Cobb throws European Uppercuts then whips Mark to a corner. He scoops Mark on the rebound to then suplex! Cobb holds Mark up for a count of 15! Mark flops up and out of the ring! Jay hurries to regroup with his brother and get him back in this. Mark goes back in to tag Jay and Jay circles with Cobb.
They tie up and Jay waistlocks Cobb. Cobb pries his way out to a wristlock but Jay rolls and spins and drop toeholds. Jay gets a facelock but Cobb powers him to a corner! Cobb lets Jay go clean and now the hair comes down from both men. Fans fire up as Cobb shakes the locks out. Jay calls for a test of strength, but with the Hawaiian Hulk? They tie up, but Jay kicks low. The Briscoes tag and mug Cobb while we go to break.
ROH returns as Jay uppercuts Cobb to a corner. Jay throws more uppercuts then whips corner to corner. Cobb reverses but runs into a back elbow. Jay tags in Mark and the Briscoes double whip, to run Cobb over with double shoulders! Fans cheer that as Mark covers, ONE! Mark keeps his eyes on Mack while stomping Cobb. Cobb grits his teeth and throws body shots back. Cobb rocks Mark but Mark hits Mack! Mark still gets forearms from Cobb then Cobb whips to elbow Mark down. Cobb brings Mark up for more forearms, then whips again. Mark holds ropes and Jay tags in. The Briscoes swarm and Mark feeds Cobb to Jay’s boot!
Mark hits Mack again for good measure while Jay drags Cobb up again. The Briscoes throw Cobb out then Mark climbs to corkscrew moonsault onto them both! The South Sussex Chicken flies and takes them both out! Mark puts Cobb in for Jay and Jay covers. TWO, but Jay keeps on Cobb with a headbutt. Jay kicks and bumps Cobb in a corner then stomps in a mudhole. He grinds his boot in but backs off at 4. Jay drags Cobb up to tag Mark, and The Briscoes mug Cobb again. Mark stays between Cobb and Mack as he CHOPS and forearms Cobb. He puts Cobb back in the corner and tags in Jay. They mug Cobb more and Jay rams his shoulders in. Jay brings Cobb around and manages to snap suplex him! Fans cheer that as Jay tags Mark.
Mark clubs Cobb but Cobb throws hands. Mark knees low and clubs Cobb again, but Cobb dodges to DROPKICK! Cobb rolls, hot tag to Mack! The Return of the Mack rallies on The Briscoes! Running leg lariat puts Mark in a corner! Mack goes side to side for a sharp forearm, then side to side again for a bicycle boot! Mark sits down and Mack goes corner to corner for the inverted cannonball! Cover, TWO! Mark survives but Mack keeps his cool. Mack whips Mark corner to corner but Mark reverses. Jay runs in to forearm, and feed Mack to Mark’s shotgun dropkick! Mark drags Mack to a cover, TWO! Tag to Jay and the Briscoes stomp out Mack while we go to one last break.
ROH returns again as Mark holds Mack in the Briscoe corner. Jay distracts the ref while Mark rakes Mack’s eyes, but then the ref has to keep Cobb back. Jay stomps a mudhole into Mack in that time, then both Briscoes grind their boot in. The ref reprimands them both but Jay keeps going to EuroUpper Mack. Tag to Mark and The Briscoes continue to mug Mack. Mark rocks Mack with an uppercut, then stalks him to an open corner for more stomps. Mack throws hands but Mark haymakers and headbutts him down. Mark snapmares Mack to a neck wrench! Fans rally up as Mack endures. Mack works his way up and fights his way out. Mark clubs Mack back then runs, but into Mack’s pop-up complete shot! Both men are down but fans fire up as they stir.
Mack and Mark crawl, hot tag to Cobb but Jay still runs in! Cobb catches Jay for a BIG overhead belly2belly suplex! Mark staggers up and gets one of his own! Cobb sees the Briscoes in opposite corners, so Cobb runs for a big leaping elbow on Jay, then corner to corner for one on Mark! Cobb scoops Mark but Jay saves him. The Briscoes double whip but Cobb reverses to pull them into each other! Cobb gets a leg each, and gives both Briscoes a single leg suplex! Fans fire up as Cobb hits a STANDING MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO!! Mark lives and gets to a corner but Cobb goes at him for CHOPS. Cobb whips but Mark goes up and forearms Cobb back. Mark ducks Cobb to PELE! Tag to Jay, and Jay runs to clobber Cobb! Cover, TWO!
Jay grows frustrated but he drags Cobb up for a neckbreaker, only for Cobb to power out and SUPERKICK! Hot tag to Mack! Mack rallies on Jay with clotheslines and elbows! Mack scoops to a Samoan Drop! And knip up to his own standing moonsault! Cover, TWO! Jay still lives and gets away. Mack builds speed but Jay gets away again. Mack pursues but Mark wrecks Mack with a dropkick! Cobb comes around, but gets an apron blockbuster! The Briscoes suckered both opponents in! Jay gets Mack in and fans cheer “Man Up!” Jay underhooks Mack but Mack powers out and ducks to hit a big exploder! Cover, TWO! Mack keeps cool as he whips Jay corner to corner. Jay reverses but runs into a boot. Mack climbs up but Jay intercepts! Mark springboards in, Doomsday! Cover, but Cobb barrels in to break it up!
Fans know “This is Awesome!” and far from over! The Briscoes throw Cobb out then go back to Mack. Mark tags in and Jay helps Mark get Mack up. Canadian rack, but Cobb blasts Jay down! Mack escapes, STUNNER! TO GERMAN!! Mack climbs up, FROG SPLASH!! Cover, TWO!! Mark survives and Mack cannot believe it! Cobb drags Mark up to whip but Jay saves Mark at the ropes. Mark baits Cobb in to send him out, and Jay BOOTS Cobb down! Mark drags Mack up and throws a CHOP! Mack CHOPS back, Mark CHOPS back, repeat! They go for forearms next, then Mack back hands. Mack runs but into a forearm. Mark runs but into a BOOT! Mack runs but Jay headscissors! Jay underhooks, JAY DRILLER! Mark up, FROGGY-BOW!! Cover, The Briscoes win!!
Winners: The Briscoes, Mark Briscoe pinning; advance to the Crockett Cup Tournament
Against a team as tough as they are strong, the Baddest Team on the Whole Damn Planet makes it into the more prestigious tag tournament in the world! Will #DemBoyz beat the best teams in NJPW, NWA and CMLL to take the whole cup, too?
What a great episode of ROH! Taylor VS Luchasaurus was a solid opener, both guys are big but agile so it made for a good match-up. Taylor wins because he’s a strong enough Heel to go after Face champion Jeff Cobb for that ROH World TV title. Of course, by this time in real-time, Cobb is dual champion with both the ROH WTV and NEVER Openweight Championship after G1 Supercard. I’d imagine Cobb being that strong now, I doubt Taylor wins. And there’s obviously a lot more to Silas VS Gresham, their next rematch will be just as good if not better than their previous. The PJ Black VS Bandido rematch next week will be a great match for TV, but I wonder if PJ really will keep it clean like he’s been saying.
The WOH tag match was pretty good, but I’m both surprised and disappointed it wasn’t just an exhibition of how great Sumie Sakai and Mayu Iwatani are. Even after watching her as Khloe Hurtz on Women of Wrestling, and full-well knowing she was trained by Rob Van Dam, I still don’t see how she and a tag partner could’ve lasted this long against two former champions. Especially when, at the time of this taping, Mayu was still WOH Champion and a champion in Stardom. Sumie and Mayu still win, thankfully, and this just seems to further push that ROH is considering their own Women’s Tag Championships. A sadder irony of tape delay is that while Tenille Dashwood is cleared to compete, her contract expired and it doesn’t seem like she’s renewing with ROH. There goes my idea that she’d say Kelly Klein was the one who attacked and injured her.
The tag match main event was incredible! It really is a shame this wasn’t part of the Crockett Cup itself, but if this was just a qualifier, all the matches of the tournament are going to be insane! And I would really hope with how hard The Briscoes fought to get in, they at the very least go to the finals. The Briscoes should also beat Villain Enterprises as payback for losing the ROH World Tag Team Championships to them. Then hopefully once they’ve won the Crockett Cup, The Briscoes go back after the Guerrillas of Destiny to at least take back the ROH tag titles and we get the 2v2 match we were supposed to get in the first place.
My Score: 8.3/10
Mathew’s AJPW Champion Carnival B Block Results & Review: Part 3
Another few days, Mathew brings us another part of the Champion Carnival! All Japan’s biggest tournament of the year keeps churning in quality! How is B block going?
Another few days, Mathew brings us another part of the Champion Carnival! All Japan’s biggest tournament of the year keeps churning in quality!
Welcome back to the Carnival, as we look at the next three shows for the part of the ongoing tournament.
The last part had a lot of solid matches and some nice victories that changed the game a little bit. As we get a little bit closer to the finals, the standings for this set of matches should be interesting.
Will Yoshitatsu remain the only one undefeated now or someone breaks that? Let’s see who will move up or down in the standings as we…dive right in.
- 0 Stars: Dave Meltzer
- 1 Star: Vince Russo
- 2 Stars: Tony Schiavone
- 3 Stars: Eric Bischoff
- 4 Stars: Bruce Prichard
- 5 Stars: Jim Cornette
Champion Carnival B Block Match
Jake Lee vs. Yoshitatsu
Review: Our first match for this show is Jake Lee taking on Yoshitatsu. Jake Lee was recently able to get his first win when he defeated Joel Redman. Yoshitatsu is currently the only one undefeated when he won against Suwama at the last show. Jake would need to have another win here to move up while Yoshi winning would move him to the top spot. Can Jake get another win or will Yoshi remain undefeated?
Yoshi, I know you spent money on Hunter Club gear and I’m sure you’re very proud of yourself but I think you should let that go. You’re not in New Japan anymore, no real need for it and just move forward. Anyway, I thought this was an enjoyable match but if I had to nitpick one thing, it would be that I wish there was a lot more intensity in the match since you kinda felt that when they had a tag match in the last big show I did for them and it didn’t feel like a grudge match or anything for the first half of it. Yoshi having good matches back to back is a very pleasant surprise and I hope that momentum keeps on going as we go forward with the tournament. The chemistry between them was a really nice touch with a great showing by both these men. Jake psyched Yoshi out with a punch to the gut and ran towards him only to get caught in a Koji Clutch which Jake rolled him up for a two count. Yoshi would eventually hook the Koji Clutch all the way after countering his Backdrop and it looked like he had him tapped but Jake answered the referee, making him break it up and pin him for a two. Jake would deliver two knees to his chest before hitting the Backdrop Driver to get the three count, ending the only winning streak we had for B Block.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a half
Champion Carnival B Block Match
Suwama vs. Sam Adonis
Review: Our next match is Sam Adonis taking on Suwama. Suwama recently lost to Yoshitatsu but he’s still in a good position with only one win and one loss as he still has time to bounce back. Sam currently has zero wins and two losses, so he would need to get a win here if he would wanna stay in the game a little longer. Can Suwama bounce back or does Sam sweep his chances under the rug?
Suwama is a great opponent for Sam as they have similar styles, making it easier for Sam to work with and show more of what he could do in the ring as he gave a much better performance here than his previous match against Joel. They were able to showcase enough power and strikes to make it rather engaging for the audience who are fans of this type of style, to begin with. It also shows how helpful Suwama can be with his opponents to help make them look good while bringing out your potential as the match progresses. Sam would get Suwama down with a few hits such as the Blockbuster and even lifted him for a Running Powerslam as Suwama was still able to kick out and gets frustrated as he goes to grab a chair for later. Suwama would attempt another Last Ride after failing the first time as Sam would use a dirty tactic of biting his fingers to make him let go as he grabbed the chair to try and strikes him, but Suwama grabbed it and threw it to the side. When the referee wasn’t looking, Sam would hit him with a low blow and roll him up for a two count. Sam isn’t done as he hits a Lariat and a modified Brainbuster it looked like as he shocked the fans by picking up his first win in the tournament. More of this Sam and he’ll be in good shape.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a quarter
Champion Carnival B Block Match
Naoya Nomura vs. Joel Redman
Review: Onto the next show as the one opening this up is Naoya Nomura taking on Joel Redman. Nomura recently suffered his first loss when he fought Joe Doering but he’s still in a good spot as he’s still in first place with the three wins he already has under his belt. Joel recently got his first win when he defeated Sam Adonis and he now has a chance to climb up the ladder a little bit more if he can take Nomura down here. Will Nomura get another win and secure his spot or will Joel pull him down a bit?
I see Joel went back to his better gear than his previous one, thank goodness because he looks a lot better without the singlet. Speaking of Joel, he delivers another great performance in his match against Nomura who also performed just as great as Joel did. Joel was able to do arm manipulation once he threw Nomura into the turnbuckle to know where he needed to take the advantage over him. Nomura did great selling the injury and getting the crowd behind him when he hits Joel with the Spear to try and get momentum back on his side. Nomura would be able to hit a Northern Lights Suplex and another Spear with a roll-up as Joel would still kick out of it. Joel was able to catch him into the Fujiwara Armbar and it looked like he had him ready to tap but Nomura would grab the ropes. Joel saw him going towards the apron and hits a Suplex from the other side and catches him for a Spinning Tombstone and Nomura would still kick out of it, but he quickly turned it back into the Fujiwara Armbar and Nomura tapped out! I know it’s been 7 years since this match happened, but I would love to see Joel Redman fight Zack Sabre Jr again, like immediately.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and three quarters
Champion Carnival B Block Match
Suwama vs. Takashi Yoshida
Review: Our match to close our block for this show is Takashi Yoshida coming back as he takes on Suwama. Suwama has one win and two losses while Takashi is one win and one loss as of right now, so they’re pretty much about even right now. Suwama would need to win the match here though if he can stay in the game. Which one of these two giants comes out the victor in this brawl?
I wasn’t too fond of the first half of the match due to it being a little bit clunky and the fighting around the outside of the arena dragged on a little bit longer than it needed to, plus the camera angles for most of it didn’t help out at all. Outside of that though, the middle of the match was a lot better than I highly anticipated since you got two giants duking it out as best they could with the throat thrusts, Lariats, and a Powerbomb from Takashi along with other power moves. While I’m still not a big fan of Takashi, he has been performing in this tournament much better than anticipated since he used this time to actually showcase his move set properly. Suwama was also able to help Takashi out in the match to make him perform better like how he did with Sam the previous night.
Takashi would have Suwama in his clutches as he hits him with a Diving Elbow Drop for a two count and would do his throat thrusts with a Lariat as Suwama would counter the Lariat with a Lariat of his own on his arm. Suwama would be able to hit the Backdrop and Takashi would be able to kick out of it and Suwama wants to call for the finish when he sets him up for the Last Ride. Once he had Takashi up for the Last Ride, he would just drop him down without doing the full move and I’m not exactly sure what happened there. Suwama would pick him up instead of pinning him as he hits one more Backdrop to get the pinfall victory in a solid match but sloppy beginning and end.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a quarter
Champion Carnival B Block Match
Joe Doering vs. Sam Adonis
Review: Our final show for this article as our opening match is Joe Doering taking on Sam Adonia. Both of these men are currently with one win and two losses under their belt, meaning one of them is going to have to suffer a third loss and be in a rather bad position with the standings. Which one of them will be in last place?
The first minute or so was basically Sam hiding behind the rope so he wouldn’t be touched as you have Joe waiting by the ropes, not having any of his crap today as he just wants to beat him up. Which is exactly what he does do when they’re outside of the ring for a couple of minutes as the two were back and forth, but it was mostly Joe that was getting the upper hand. Joe got him back in the ring as he would look to put him away as Sam would distract the referee long enough to kick Joe in the dick and down goes the giant. Joe is unable to move as Sam would pin him down to get the pinfall victory, leaving Joe in last place with three losses.
Rating: Tony Schiavone and a quarter
Champion Carnival B Block Match
Joel Redman vs. Takashi Yoshida
Review: Our final match for this set of matches is Joel Redman taking on Takashi Yoshida. Joel is even right now with two wins and losses while Takashi only has one win still but with two losses, meaning things aren’t looking so hot for Takashi right now. Is Joel does win here, then he’ll be in first place next to Naoya Nomura and if Takashi wins, the majority of them will all be tied up except for Joe and Nomura. Which one of them will get the victory?
It’s so weird seeing Takashi trying to chain wrestle Joel at the beginning of the match and the shocking part of it is him doing it well on top of that, scary sight if you ask me. Joel is, of course, more technically sound compared to Takashi, so of course, he would win this part of the bout. Takashi performed a lot better here than he did in his previous match with Suwama from beginning to end while Joel keeps on proving his worth with all the matches he’s been in. Joel would give Takashi a couple of kicks to take him down before he does his Diving Knee Drop off the top rope for a two count. It looked like Joel was gonna go for the Spinning Tombstone but Takashi would fight out of it to pick him up as Joel gets off him to go for a Backslide with Takashi kicking out. Takashi would hit the Kong Lariat to knock him down and Joel would still kick out, leaving Takashi frustrated and would pick him up to hit the Cyber Bomb as he gets the victory over Joel.
Rating: Eric Bischoff
Overall: Aside from one match, the rest of the show was solid again as usual as I’m very happy with my results so far as it comes to the quality of the matches with an exception for a couple that happened. Our next set of shows should give us a better assessment to see where people stand and who will have no chance of making it.
Favorite Match: Joel Redman vs. Naoya Nomura
Least Favorite Match: Joe Doering vs. Sam Adonis
Naoya Nomura: (3-2) (6 Points)
Yoshitatsu: (2-1) (4 Points)
Daichi Hashimoto: (2-1) (4 Points)
Suwama: (2-2) (4 Points)
Jake Lee: (2-2) (4 Points)
Joel Redman: (2-2) (4 Points)
Takashi Yoshida: (2-2) (4 Points)
Sam Adonis: (2-2) (4 Points)
Joe Doering: (1-3) (2 Points)
Opinion2 days ago
Steve Cook To The WWE Universe: Let Them Go!
Blog1 day ago
Chris: Examining The WWE SmackDown Live Shake-Up
News2 days ago
Chairshot Wrestling News Shuffle: New WWE Signings, Daniel Bryan Hurt? Sasha Still Unhappy and More! (4/18/19)
Opinion9 hours ago
Carol: Is Lacey Evans The Right Opponent For Becky Lynch?