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Mitchell’s WWE Mae Young Classic 2 Results & Report! (10/24/18)

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WWE MYC 2018

The Mae Young Classic semifinals are here! Who between Toni Storm, Meiko Satomura, Rhea Ripley and Io Shirai will move on to the finals at WWE Evolution?

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Toni Storm VS Meiko Satomura; Storm wins and advances to WWE Evolution.
  • Io Shirai VS Rhea Ripley; Shirai wins and advances to WWE Evolution.

PLAY BY PLAY

The second WWE Mae Young Classic is in the homestretch!

A field of 32 became a Sweet Sixteen, became an Elite Eight, and is now a Final Four! That means for 28 other women, the MYC ended in failure, frustration, and even tears. The Lightning from Down Under stormed through the bracket while the living legend proved to be a Final Boss for her opponents. The Genius of the Sky continues to fly while the Aussie with a new attitude dragged opponents under the Riptide. Only two head to the first ever All Women’s PPV this Sunday, which dream match will come true at Evolution?

 

Toni Storm VS Meiko Satomura!

Storm has been making a name for herself in the United Kingdom Division and all around the world, but Satomura has been making a name for herself since WCW! They had a match with each other back in Japan, but that ended in a draw. The rematch happens as part of this historic tournament, who finally gets the win to move on to the finals?

Toni and Meiko shake hands to show this is a respectful match-up. The bell rings and fans cheer. The two circle and tie up as fans duel. Toni gets a wristlock but Meiko rolls and wrenches back. Toni spins and gets inside to wrench to a hammerlock. Meiko works her way against the hold and gets a headlock. She brings Toni to the mat but Toni keeps her shoulders up. Toni rolls Meiko to a cover, ONE as Meiko rolls it back. Toni slips out the back to get her own headlock, but Meiko rolls Toni. TWO, but Toni brings it back. Meiko gets to a headscissor, but Toni moves around. Toni turns Meiko over and gets the legs, then shifts to a headlock. Meiko stands up and sweeps the legs into her own mount. Toni works against it but Meiko lets her go, only to kick her!

Toni gets mad as she gets up and the two circle again. She kicks Meiko now, and puts on another headlock. Meiko powers out and they collide shoulders. Neither one backs down so Toni goes again. They collide, and neither backs down again. Meiko kicks, uppercuts, runs but Toni follows to boot her down! Cover, ONE, and Meiko rolls away. Toni stays on her with stomps, almost toying with the legend. Toni brings Meiko up for a big headbutt. Then another, then a kick. Cover, TWO! Toni keeps her cool, and she brings Meiko up for a snap suplex. Float over to cover, TWO! Toni drags Meiko up and wrenches the arm before whipping to ropes. Meiko reverses and kicks Toni sharply in the leg. Meiko keeps kicking and Toni gets to ropes.

The referee backs Meiko off, but only for a moment. Meiko gets the leg and kicks away at it, before dropping into a toehold. Meiko goes after both legs for a take on the Figure Four! Toni fights as fans rally, but Meiko hits her down and rolls her over for a full deathlock. Toni gets the ropebreak and Meiko lets her go. Meiko comes back with more kicks, even as Toni gets to a corner. Toni drags herself up but Meiko keeps on her with forearms. Meiko whips Toni corner to corner and runs in for the big forearm smash. She reels Toni in but Toni elbows her away. Toni throws a forearm, then whips Meiko. Meiko comes back with the spinning heel kick! Down goes Toni, but fans rally up on both sides.

Meiko stands Toni up for European Uppercuts, but Toni counters to a backslide! TWO, but Toni’s right on Meiko with a deatlock STF! Meiko endures as Toni pulls on the neck. Fans rally again, and Meiko manages to drag herself and Toni towards ropes. Toni wrenches as hard as she can, fans continue to rally, and Meiko still forces the ropebreak! Toni lets Meiko go and has control over the legend. She stomps Meiko into a corner, then runs corner to corner for the hip attack! Fisherman suplex and bridge! TWO!! Toni stomps Meiko, then kicks her out of the ring. Meiko staggers while Toni builds speed, Toni DIVES! The tope suicida takes Meiko out, but Toni’s own elbow takes some damage. Fans chant “Mae Young Classic!” in appreciation for this action.

Toni drags Meiko up and into the ring. She aims from a corner, and runs for the enziguri! Cover, TWO! Toni grows frustrated, but she keeps on Meiko with a kick across the face. She keeps kicking Meiko but Meiko just gets mad! Toni runs, boots Meiko down, but Meiko is up to boot Toni! Toni boots Meiko again, then whips. Meiko reverses and drives in a knee, then a DDT! Meiko runs, handspring leg drop guillotine! But she isn’t done, she drags Toni back up, fireman’s carry, Death Valley Driver! Cover, TWO!! Meiko is shocked and furious! Meiko decides to finish this another way, and Toni sits up in a daze as Meiko runs in for the kick! But Toni blocks it, and gets a German Suplex! Then double underhook, STORM ZERO!! Cover, TWO!? HOW!? But Full Sail loves it, because “This is Awesome!”

A 10 count begins but Toni gets up first. Toni staggers over, wants another Storm Zero, but Meiko breaks out to Pele! And buzzsaw! Cover, TWO!! Toni survives again, but in comes the Scorpion Rising kick!! Cover, TWO!?! Full Sail is thunderous as Toni defies Meiko! Meiko lifts Toni, Toni slips out, STORM ZERO AGAIN! Cover, TONI WINS!!

Winner: Toni Storm, by pinfall; advances to the finals at Evolution

Incredible! Storm makes it through the Final Boss, and now moves on to this Sunday! If the Lightning from Down Under can shock the world here, can lightning strike twice as she takes the entire tournament?

Fans show their respect for the living legend as they chant “Thank you, Meiko!” Meiko and Toni show their respect for each other as they bow on their hands and knees. Then as Meiko makes her way up the ramp, Triple H is there to meet her and show his own respect with a handshake and a bow. This is surely not the last we’ve seen of the Joshi Strong Style pioneer, where and when we will see the Final Boss again?

As for Toni, Kairi Sane is here to present her with a bouquet of roses. The Pirate Princess defeated Toni last year to the move on to the finals and win it all, so surely she must be wishing Toni luck on doing the same this year.

In-ring interview with Toni Storm.

Toni repeated as one of the Final Four, and now she is one of the finalists and going to WWE Evolution! How does it feel? Toni hears the fans chant for her, and says “As if I just beat Meiko Satomura, a legend!” She can now stand in this ring and say she is truly living her dream. And it’s all thanks to the girls in the back working their butts off and the fans supporting them all. Now Toni can say she is truly living the dream she was dreaming since she was 10. She thanks the fans, and the fans give her another round of applause. And just as he did for Meiko, HHH appears to shake Toni’s hand at the top of the ramp. But the dream isn’t over yet, can she succeed in winning it all and become the second Mae Young Classic winner?

 

Io Shirai VS Rhea Ripley!

Shirai is one of World Wonder Ring Stardom’s biggest stars, but that doesn’t impress the upstart Aussie one bit. Io wants to prove she’s one of the world’s best, and winning the MYC would be a big step towards that. Rhea just wants to win and doesn’t care who is in her way. Who meets Toni Storm at Evolution?

Shirai wants a handshake, but Rhea still refuses to show respect as she simply taps the hand. The bell rings and the two tie up. Rhea uses her height and power to push Shirai down. Shirai gets back up and they tie up again. Rhea shoves Shirai down a second time, but Shirai is right back up. Shirai speeds things up, Rhea gets out of the handspring’s way, but the dropkick drops her! Shirai kips up and runs, but into the flapjack toss! Rhea covers, TWO! Rhea kicks Shirai in the head then clubs away on her back. Fans boo and jeer as Rhea stalks and stomps Shirai more. Rhea taunts Shirai at the ropes, then drags her up and around into a seated armlock. Shirai endures as fans rally up.

Shirai kicks Rhea in the face but Rhea rams forearms into ribs! Rhea kicks Shirai while she’s down, then stands on her back. She flexes those guns before stomping Shirai more. She pushes Shirai to a cover, TWO! Rhea keeps her cool as she keeps on Shirai with another seated abdominal stretch. Shirai endures as Rhea clamps a hand on her side. Fans rally as Shirai endures the claw grip. Shirai uses her free hand to punch Rhea off her, but then Rhea rocks Shirai with a right. Rhea rains forearms down, then puts Shirai in the body scissors. She squeezes Shirai, but fans rally up again. Shirai grits her teeth as she works to pry the feet apart. She can’t, so she pushes back to make it a cover, TWO! Rhea clubs Shirai while keeping the body scissors on.

Shirai continues to endure while fans continue to rally. Shirai makes it a cover again, TWO and Rhea lets Shirai go to dropkick her down! Cover, TWO! Rhea argues with the ref, but that was the count. Shirai gets to the ropes but Rhea stomps her again. Rhea brings Shirai up and suplexes. She holds Shirai up there for a good 10 seconds or so before dropping Shirai down. Cover, TWO! Rhea goes again, TWO! Frustration builds but Rhea puts the body scissors back on. Fans still chant for Shirai, but Rhea thrashes Shirai around. Shirai endures the squeeze but Rhea mounts and slaps her around. Rhea keeps squeezing Shirai while clubbing her in the back. Fans continue to rally and Shirai reaches. Shirai slips around inside the scissors to get in Rhea’s face with forearms! She goes faster and faster, and gets Rhea to let go.

Both women are down, but fans rally up. Rhea sits up and kicks Shirai even as they’re both on the mat. They both get up and Rhea whips. Shirai turns the powerbomb into a huricanrana pin! TWO, so Shirai runs to dropkick Rhea down! Rhea flounders all the way out of the ring but Shirai fires up. Shirai builds speed and DIVES! Direct hit on Rhea at the ramp! Shirai herself still struggles to get up, and the ring count reaches 6 before she reaches the apron. Rhea yanks Shirai back out, but the count is still refreshed as Rhea leaves Shirai for dead. Shirai flops around at 5, and Rhea thinks she has this. The count reaches 8, Shirai springs up to get in at 9! Rhea is furious, and clubs away with both hands!

Fans boo and jeer but Rhea keeps going as she drags Shirai up. Rhea shouts “Do you think you can stop me?!” Shirai SLAPS Rhea, so Rhea rocks her with a right! Shirai is out as she falls to her knees! Rhea brings Shirai up, suplexes, but Shirai slips out to uppercut! They shout at each other, and Shirai gives uppercut after uppercut! Rhea staggers onto the ropes, Shirai gives her the 619! Shirai keeps going as she climbs up top, and leaps for the missile dropkick! Cover, TWO!! Rhea isn’t done, but both women are down. Shirai drags Rhea to a drop zone and fans declare “This is Awesome!”

Shirai hops up but Rhea yanks her off! Rhea sees Shirai is stuck, so she goes over and turns her around. She climbs up to join Shirai, clubbing her with forearms the whole way. Rhea stands on the very top, and gets the SUPERPLEX! She crawls to a cover, TWO!! Shirai lives and Rhea is at a loss for words. Fans hope they “Fight Forever!” but there will be a winner somehow. Rhea drags Shirai up, pumphandles, but Shirai slips out to shove Rhea into the post! Shirai fires herself up and fans rally up. Shirai runs in at Rhea, meteora! Then with Rhea in the drop zone, Shirai jumps up, ASAI MOONSAULT! Cover, Shirai wins!!

Winner: Io Shirai, by pinfall; advances to the finals at Evolution

The Genius of the Sky triumphs! She and Toni Storm are our MYC 2018 finalists! Rhea may not be happy about it, but losing here doesn’t mean she’s done. As he did for Meiko and Toni, HHH shows his respect to Rhea with handshake at the top of the ramp. When and where will the Riptide strike again?

Just as Kairi did for Toni Storm earlier, she returns to present Io Shirai with a bouquet. Best friends from Stardom get to celebrate Shirai following in Kairi’s footsteps.

In-ring interview with Io Shirai.

Shirai’s WWE debut has been through the MYC 2018, and now she’s in the finals and part of WWE Evolution! How does it feel? “Thank you so much, everyone! I will win, I will be number one! Thank you so much!” Shirai is ready to be the world’s best woman wrestler, but will she be ready for the Storm?

 

The Mae Young Classic 2018 finalists are on stage!

Triple H gives Io Shirai a handshake and hug to commend her getting this far. He stands with Kairi Sane and Performance Center coach, Sara Amato, as Toni Storm returns to join them. Toni and Shirai see each other for the first time as finalists and future opponents, and give each other a hug to show their respect and camaraderie. The five stand for the fight photo opportunity. It’s hard for Shirai and Storm to be mad at each other given their friendship and the excitement of the moment, but they’ll have to fight on Sunday. Will it be the Genius or the Lightning that wins the second-ever Mae Young Classic?

 


 

My Thoughts:

An excellent episode to wrap up the WWE coverage of the Mae Young Classic! Both matches were so good, but of course they would be given the talents involved and the time allotted to both. I felt it coming that Toni Storm would put on a superhero effort to not just survive Meiko Satomura but to then win. Meanwhile, Io Shirai was the natural choice but Rhea Ripley looked so strong against such an internationally established talent. All four women come out looking so strong even in losing. And luckily for everyone, but mostly WWE, Storm has recovered from her injury that even momentarily forced her to relinquish titles in both the NXT UK Division and wXw Women’s Division. Storm can have her match with Shirai as planned, with no worries about substitutes or kayfabe explanations as to why she couldn’t make it.

However, that said, I’m still hoping for my personal plan of Japanese Strong Style dominating WWE Evolution. If Shirai wins the MYC Finals and Kairi Sane retains the NXT Women’s Championship, we can have a Stardom in NXT story going towards TakeOver: WarGames. Plus, Shayna Baszler can move up to main to join Ronda Rousey, and we can finally try the Four Horsewomen VS Four Horsewomen idea for Survivor Series. But either way, I expect the MYC Finals to be a match that potentially steals the show alongside that NXT Women’s Championship so that any fans who haven’t been watching NXT start watching it.

My Score: 8.8/10


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Andrew’s G1 Climax 31 FINALS Day Results & Match Ratings: 10.21.2021

Kota Ibushi looks to 3-Peat, Kazuchika Okada looks to win his first G1 in 7 years! Who will win?

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Kota Ibushi looks to 3-Peat, Kazuchika Okada looks to win his first G1 in 7 years! Who will win?

So we get a fairly basic card. A few undercard tags, the semi-main contains Shingo and most of the main players not in the Finals. Jeff Cobb goes from a shot in the Finals to the opening match, that’s a big blow to the ego.

There’s a few interesting threads that can be pulled at, but the major draw is the G1 Climax 31 Finals. So let’s get to it!

Ratings:

  • Ryohei Oiwa & Kosei Fujita vs El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru: Kanemaru wins via Boston Crab @8:40 – **
  • United Empire (Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan) vs Toru Yano & Yuji Nagata: Yano wins via Roll-Up @8:29 – **
  • House of Torture (EVIL, SHO & Yujiro Takahashi) w/Dick Togo vs Hirooki Goto, YOSHI-HASHI & Tomohiro Ishii: EVIL wins via Everything is Evil @11:20 – * ½
  • KENTA, Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa & Chase Owens w/Jado vs Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma, Tiger Mask IV & Hiroshi Tanahashi: Chase wins via Package Piledriver @10:41 – ** ½
  • 5 Minute UWF Rules Match::Katsuyori Shibata vs Zack Sabre Jr: Time Limit Draw @5:00 – *****
  • TenCozy, Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato vs Hiromu Takahashi, BUSHI, SANADA & Shingo Takagi: Shingo wins via Pumping Bomber @12:17 – *** ½
  • G1 Finals: Kota Ibushi vs Kazuchika Okada: Okada wins via Referee Stoppage @25:37 – *** ¼

 

Results:

Ryohei Oiwa & Kosei Fujita vs El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru

Commentary doesn’t even really try to hide the fact that these Young Lions are very early in their careers and have no real chance. They are in this match to learn, build endurance and get experience.

Nothing special in this match, they give the Lions a few flash pinfall attempts but again, we all know better. More just moments of surprise cause the Suzuki-Gun duo were playing with their food. Still far too fresh in their training to show anything more than basics, and all I’ll say is, they didn’t embarrass themselves, so that’s a positive.

United Empire (Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan) vs Toru Yano & Yuji Nagata

So one of the most successful teams and singles wrestlers this year, against a clown and a veteran. I mean Nagata is no slouch, but he’s not in a position to be upsetting two rising stars. Maybe Yano pulls off some thievery, but I’m not really intrigued.

Early on we see the usual Yano stuff of shenanigans and turnbuckle pads going missing. Nagata gets tagged in and we get some real wrestling. However, Cobb and Nagata square off outside when they aren’t the legal men, and Yano executes the miraculous shot to the Ding-Ding, and Rolls-Up O-Khan for the win!

This does continue the weird story between O-Khan and Yano, so at least there’s a thread of story, but it does definitely leave Cobb in a weird spot.

House of Torture (EVIL, SHO & Yujiro Takahashi) w/Dick Togo vs Hirooki Goto, YOSHI-HASHI & Tomohiro Ishii

Early on SHO starts with the mind games having a CHAOS towel in the ring and wiping his body with it, and being generally mocking. Things start quick, turnbuckle pads are taken off, people get wrapped into ropes and I suppose this is a more tolerable usage of EVIL. House of Torture can torture the 6 man division with bad wrestling and cliché paint by numbers heel work.

Togo uses the garrot on HASHI, but HASHI and Goto manage to hit GYR on EVIL, but Dick Togo of course gets involved to distract the referee. Chairs lay out the CHOAS members, Everything is EVIL on HASHI and yeah yeah, House wins and challenge for the six mans. Ugh.

KENTA, Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa & Chase Owens w/Jado vs Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma, Tiger Mask IV & Hiroshi Tanahashi

So wait, we get all Bullet Club members against the veteran Hontai Squad? I mean Tanahashi has looked extremely mortal lately, and he’s not really bringing a ton of back up. When Makabe is the second best one on your squad, and he’s barely wrestled this year…you gotta wonder.

Makabe starts things off and we can see his back and waist heavily taped. So it looks like Makabe’s part time schedule could have something to do with injuries. Injured or not, Makabe gets the most of Loa, brings in Honma, then Honma eats some offense from Tama, until Honma counters and lands a big suplex. Tiger Mask IV comes in and actually cleans house, it takes a little bit before Tama does the Double Leapfrog Haku Chop to start taking control.

Bullet Club smacks around Tiger Mask until KENTA eats a Tiger Driver (ironic, I’m aware) and then Tanahashi gets tagged in. Tanahashi works to get a measure of revenge on the Bullet Club, but  then we get some spam moments. G.o.D. tries to take out Makabe, but Makabe wipes out G.o.D. easily. Makabe brings in Honma, Honma takes it to Chase Owens, but no avail. A missed Kokeshi, a blocked Brainbuster attempt, and then C Trigger into Package Piledriver gives Chase the win.

Chase looks to be setting up a challenge, but KENTA blindsides Tanahashi with the belt. KENTA and Chase play tug of war a little, Chase tells KENTA he pinned him, KENTA says he doesn’t care, and Chase relents. He says KENTA can get the first shot, but he got next.

5 Minute UWF Rules Match: Katsuyori Shibata vs Zack Sabre Jr

This…this is amazing. Shibata gets his first match in 4 years, and it’s against the most perfect wrestler for Shibata to have a technical and safe exhibition match.

Since its UWF this is usually done in a points system like the old IMPACT Grand Championship. But a 1 round exhibition doesn’t allow for anything beyond a Draw, but this is wonderful. It’s a technical marvel with counters, submissions, references to Inoki’s classic on the ground pose that we saw Great-O-Khan reference back to during the G1. This is just a great moment, and hard to do any real play by play, but it’s a technical marvel. Hell, Shibata looks better than he ever has.

WAIT – After the match Shibata says “Next time I’m in the ring, I will be in my ring gear”. He punctuates the line with a hard flat back bump and a kip up. …Shibata is back? SHIBATA IS BACK?!

TenCozy, Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato vs Hiromu Takahashi, BUSHI, SANADA & Shingo Takagi

Taguchi and Hiromu start off with a good bit of comedy, before everyone not named Tenzan starts doing the Mongolian Chops, much to Tenzan’s chagrin. Wato has some nice spots early before LIJ do their wonderful Bum Rush. BUSHI comes in, uses the shirt and then LIJ starts dominating Wato. Wato manages to get a little space and get Kojima in and we get Machine Gun Chops on SANADA in the corner!

Hiromu tries to block it, gets shoved in the corner for his own chops, BUSHI tries to stop it, and gets put in the corner for the Triple Stacker of Chops. Shingo looks, and then drops off the apron and decides he’s just gonna let them play. Shingo does cut off Kojima before he does his signature Elbow, so Shingo didn’t ignore his team, just decided he wasn’t gonna fall into the dumb spot.

Signature spams, LIJ pain train, signature spam again, and then we get solid call backs. Shingo and Tenzan are the last two, Shingo uses Mongolian Chops, Tenzan responds in his own way. Some haymakers thrown, a Headbutt from Tenzan, the attempted Flying Headbutt, but Shingo cuts him off, Pumping Bomber, and Shingo wins!

G1 Finals: Kota Ibushi vs Kazuchika Okada

So they feel each other out early, and have the usual fast pace wild swings that get dodged and end in a small rest moment where they just smile and absorb the energy of the match. Before Ibushi can really get anything going, the arrogance of the Rainmaker returns. Very deliberate shots, perfectly rolling through his Slingshot Senton, and his single foot Dropkick. It’s really interesting to see Okada reverting back to his old self. The 2017 form is further exemplified by Shibata’s return since it helps to bring everyone back to “brighter days”.

Okada goes for his corner Hip Attack, but now Ibushi gets to start a comeback. Dropkick, Roundhouse Kicks, Standing Moonsault and Okada powders. After some fighting on the outside, Okada takes control again and hits a DDT on the ramp, which has Ibushi pretty much out. Okada waits in the ring until about 18, before he decides that’s not how he wants to win. Drags Ibushi in, tries the Money Clip, Ibushi won’t go in comfortably, Okada rocks him, whips him into the ropes, hits the Million Dollar Dropkick, and finally gets the Money Clip sunk in. Okada is in a different aggressive form that we haven’t seen since 2018 when his nearly 2 year title reign ended and he went balloon crazy.

Savage Elbow, Rainmaker Pose, Zoom Out…Wind up…Rainmaker misses and Ibushi returns with his own Lariat turning Okada inside out. Now they stand up for the strike exchange. Okada falls into an old Nakamura trap, where he starts winning the exchange, taunts the challenger and gets rocked. Ibushi grins, hits the Frankensteiner sending Okada to Powder. So now it’s Moonsault time for Ibushi, and lands perfectly on Okada.

Going back inside, Ibushi looks for Kamigoye, Okada blocks and then ducks the Round Kick, goes for a Backslide, but Ibushi rolls through and kicks Okada. Okada then eats a V Trigger and a Kamigoye…but it’s only 2! Okada flips Ibushi over when he attempts another Kamigoye, Double Legged Cradle, but ibushi kicks out. They lay each other out, Ibushi crawls to the top rope, Phoenix Splash and…Ibushi lands weird. He immediately grabs his arm, Red Shoes goes over to Ibushi, and after a few moments Red Shoes calls for the bell.

Okada wins the G1 off of Ibushi missing the Phoenix Splash and possibly dislocating his right arm.

Overall Score: 7.25/10

There’s a dark poetry in the ending to this year’s G1. Starting with Naito’s injury and ending with Ibushi’s injury, just makes this a fairly cursed year which plays into the cursed aspect of this World Heavyweight Championship. In a way, this works out for the best since if this tournament was supposed to make a newer wrestler and ended the same way, there would always be an asterisk. But it’s Okada, he’s a proven commodity and no one will really question his victory. I really appreciated the fact that he always loomed close while Ibushi was struggling with the doctor and through his injury. He held his hand many times, even seemed to tell him it’s fine, we’ll do it correctly 1 more time in the future.

Katsuyori Shibata returns, Kazuchika Okada returns to the a level of prominence by winning the G1 Climax 31 and this is a nice way to remind people of the names that many of the current crop of IWC fans know. New Japan grew quickly because of AJ Styles and Kenny Omega’s Bullet Clubs, but in the last few years we’ve seen many of the names we know fall to the back or go to different companies. This could be a return to form finally for New Japan.

Even if it ended off a failed Phoenix Splash, it could help New Japan rise from the ashes of community favor like a Phoenix.


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Andrew’s IMPACT Results & Match Ratings: 10.21.2021

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Bound for Glory is on Saturday! How does IMPACT! hype us up for one of their crowning PPVs of the year?!

We get to see Mickie in an IMPACT ring for the first since 2015, Heath tries to get answers out of Rhino and we’ll probably see a lot of Josh Alexander and Christian Cage fleshing out the last little bits of the World Title match.

Aside from that, do we get anything of note to talk about, or is it just an appetizer for the real show on Saturday?

Ratings:

  • Bullet Club (Chris Bey & Hikuleo) vs FinJuice: NO CONTEST/Double Pinfall – ***
  • Jordynne Grace & Fallah Bahh vs Tenille Dashwood & John Skyler vs Chelsea Green & Crazzy Steve: Tenille wins via Spotlight Kick – ***
  • Pick Your Poison: Savannah Evans w/Tasha Steelz vs Mickie James: Mickie wins via Mick DDT – *** ¼
  • Alex Zayne vs Trey Miguel: Miguel wins via Meteora – ** ¾

 

Results:

The Insiders Stream on YouTube didn’t start until about 9:00pm, I’m not sure why IMPACT constantly has issues, but YouTube is not a hard platform to utilize. These delays are inane and embarrassing.

Bullet Club (Chris Bey & Hikuleo) vs FinJuice

Bey and Leo try some trickery early, but Finlay keeps pace. When Leo gets back into the match he starts throwing Finlay around a bit, which opens up opportunity for Bey. Bey looks to get flashy, but Finlay manages to get Juice in and Juice comes in hot. He nearly flips Bey out of the ring, takes Leo off the apron and tags in Finlay for some tandem work.

Leo breaks up the pinfall and then throws out Juice. Finlay grabs Bey in a Backbreaker/STO combination but Bey’s feet bump the referee. Leo chokeslams Finlay, puts Bey on top, but it takes the new referee too long to show up and it’s only a two count. We see Hikuleo trying to finish things, while the new referee tries to wake up the original referee. Leo gets double teamed, Juice Rolls Up Leo and then Bey Rolls Up Finlay, both referees count a 3 count for the different pinfalls. So we get a little call back to Beer Money and Motor City Machine Guns if we’re staying within TNA Universe.

This will probably end up a triple threat, unlike the MCMG/Beer Money double pinfall which ended in overtime.

There’s a long segment with Josh Alexander giving us his story. It’s not a bad segment, but the only advantage to the show starting late means I got to rewind for the match and speed through most of this. Alexander is a great story, but I already mostly know it, and would really like to see him win at Bound for Glory. Get the title back on a wrestler on the actual IMPACT roster.

Jordynne Grace & Fallah Bahh vs Tenille Dashwood & John Skyler vs Chelsea Green & Crazzy Steve:

This is a Digital Media Championship preliminary match. I find it interesting that there’s 3 men and 3 women. So instead of one or two for “inclusion” it’s actually an even spread. The way the teams are broken apart is interesting too where it’s Power vs Crazy vs Opportunistic.

The gimmicks actually paid off in the match. Jodynne massacred kids, but then things started to get a little messy. Fallah gets a handle on things, squishes the world, and then looks to BAHHnzai Drop on Tenille but Kaleb gets involved. A little more confusion, Steve hits King Kill 33 on Fallah, but Skyler pulls Steve out of the ring. Tenille hits the Spotlight Kick and the Opportunistic team win because well…there was an opportunity.

Pick Your Poison: Savannah Evans w/Tasha Steelz vs Mickie James

Mickie takes a moment to absorb the accolades from the crowd first, and then we see a quick strategy twist. Savannah looks for a few Haymakers and using her reach to her advantage, where Mickie just finds a few quick strikes and interesting angles to land some offense. Mickie looked to be building some momentum, and then Tasha got involved.

Savannah starts to dominate after the assist from her second. Big Bear Hug in the middle has Savannah just ragdolling Mickie until she can land a few choice Forearms. Mickie fights out, Sole Butts, a few nice attacks and Mickie hits the Avalanche Thesz Press, but only a 2 count. Deonna’s music plays as Savannah kicks out, Mickie is distracted and then we see Savannah lay in some big shots. The Full Nelson Bomb only gets Savannah a 2. Mick Kick rocks Mickie and then Mick DDT for the win. Hardcore Country wins the match.

Deonna walks down, mouths off…actually pushes Mickie…so I’m confused about the no contact clause…but then Rehwoldt shows up behind Mickie and wipes her out.

Alex Zayne vs Trey Miguel

The Sauce against the other guy who can’t speak but likes to try to use food analogies and sucks at it, aka, Trey Miguel. He’s like a Young Will Ospreay with less ability to talk…so no upside at the moment cause Ospreay was pretty awful up until a year or two ago.

So this is just a lot of counters, blocks, Arm Wringers, not much direct offense, just a lot of choreographed spots. This feels like a much slower paced version of a Ricochet/Ospreay match from 2016. Zayne is a more fluid wrestler, and he just makes everything look good. Miguel does a weird Cradled Octopus but Zayne responds with a Handspring Frankensteiner, as an early highlight spot.

Miguel in Ospreay fashion hits the Cheeky Nandos, into the corner stuck Tiger Feint, Meteora and Trey wins.

Thankfully Maclin attacks Trey after the match so I feel generally better. Bullet Club comes out and take out both Maclin and Trey. El Phantasmo just baby faced himself in my house.

Show ends with the usual talking segment hyping the World Title match. Alexander gets a “You Deserve It” from the crowd and portrays himself as the everyman fighting for his boys. Christian’s music hits and Captain Charisma vacuum shows up to stir a pot that doesn’t need to be stirred.

Christian taking the experienced thrives under pressure condescending veteran angle is…annoying. Like I said a few weeks ago, the boxes they are trying to play in, I don’t love. Alexander does flip the script nicely talking about how people classified him as nothing more than a Tag Team guy, and “sounding familiar” strikes a chord with Christian. Small scuffle as Christian tries to snip back, but it’s fairly paint by numbers.

Overall Score: 5/10

Low key? This was a pretty lame episode for an Impact Go Home. The matches weren’t really anything special, with the most happening during Pick Your Poison, but it effectively being a non-issue. The YouTube delay of course hurt my enjoyment of the show, but even without the delay, I don’t really feel like this would’ve registered much higher on my scale.

I am looking forward to Bound for Glory because of who’s in the matches, but this episode didn’t help sell it. Thankfully it’s already sold out, and most people probably decided if they were purchasing it by now.

When it comes down to it, I’m expecting quite a few title changes, even though I’m figuring that Mickie’s involvement is more of a one off to give the rub to younger talent and cement her dominant reign. Alexander I would love to see win the belt and The IInspiration would do wonders and put an immediate spotlight on a division that has floundered behind a lack of real teams and no real direction.

So I’ll see all of you on Saturday for Bound for Glory!


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