The second WWE Mae Young Classic moves into its second round! Mercedes Martinez and Meiko Satomura collide in a battle of international veterans!
- Toni Storm VS Hiroyo Matsumoto; Storm wins and advances.
- Kacy Catanzaro VS Rhea Ripley; Ripley wins and advances.
- Taynara Conti VS Lacey Lane; Lane wins and advances.
- Mercedes Martinez VS Meiko Satomura; Satomura wins and advances.
PLAY BY PLAY
The 2018 WWE Mae Young Classic has its Sweet 16!
There are any number of underdog, Cinderella and international icon stories still left in the brackets, and who knows how many brackets were busted in just the first round! But we’re far from done, because now the MYC must cut things down to eight! Half of the round happens in one night, who will take one step closer to WWE Evolution?
Toni Storm VS Hiroyo Matsumoto!
The second round opens strong with these two forces of nature! The Aussie Storm and returning MYC competitor overcame her United Kingdom rival in Jinny, while Lady Godzilla went power for power against Rachel Evers. Whose Joshi Strong Style will prove to be the stronger tonight and send them to the quarterfinals?
The two shake hands to show their respect, and the bell rings. Fans duel between “Let’s Go, Toni!” and “Destroyer!” Toni and Hiroyo tie up and go around the ring. They break, circle again then tie up. Toni gets the wristlock but Hiroyo reverses to her own. Toni spins and bridges to roll and reverse back. She brings Hiroyo to the mat then pulls on the arm. Hiroyo gets up and fights back to get a headlock. She gets the headlock takedown, but Toni pries her way out to get the arm again. Toni wrenches and wristlocks, but Hiroyo reverses around to another headlock. Toni gets the headlock and the takeover, but Hiroyo gets the headscissors. Fans like this back and forth as Toni works her way out of the hold.
Fans rally up and Toni pops out to then offer another handshake. Hiroyo takes it, but then she kicks low! She chops Toni then chops her again. She whips Toni but Toni reverses. Hiroyo holds ropes and slips out, but Toni counters the hotshot. Toni shoulders out but Hiroyo counters to the middle rope hotshot! Hiroyo climbs up while Toni catches her breath. Hiroyo leaps for a big missile dropkick! Cover, TWO! Toni gets to ropes while Hiroyo grins. Hiroyo looms over Toni while fans rally up. Toni throws forearms and kicks then goes to snap suplex, but Hiroyo blocks. Hiroyo goes to suplex and gets Toni up and over! Cover, TWO! Hiroyo brings Toni up for a chop that knock hers back down. She stomps Toni then brings her up. Fans duel while Hiroyo scoops Toni for the backbreaker.
Toni gets to a corner but Hiroyo is on her with a mudhole stomp. Hiroyo grinds her boot in and then backs off. She runs corner to corner but Toni counters with a snap German Suplex! Now Toni fires up, and she runs at Hiroyo for the hip attack! And the Perfect Plex! Cover, TWO! Toni grits her teeth as she brings Hiroyo up for forearms. Hiroyo answers and now we go back and forth with strikes. Toni gets an edge but Hiroyo gives back palm strikes from both sides. Hiroyo fires up but turns around into Toni’s forearm! Toni runs but Hiroyo follows. Toni dodges but Hiroyo still comes back with a clothesline! Hiroyo fires up and brings Toni up. She wants a bomb but Toni back drops. Hiroyo sunset filps, high stacks, TWO, into the Boston Crab!
Hiroyo sits down low on it and Toni endures the bending of her back. But Hiroyo sits all the way down in her Half Crab! Toni screams in pain, but still drags herself over for the ropebreak! Hiroyo lets go and brings Toni into the drop zone. Hiroyo climbs, Vader Bomb knee drop! Cover, TWO! Toni survives but Hiroyo is far from done with her. Hiroyo waits for Toni to stand, then runs, but into a headbutt! Another snap German Suplex! Bridge cover, TWO!! Toni keeps going, and wants another German, but Hiroyo resists. Hiroyo fights her way out, and goes for the saido suplex. Toni resists with a wheelbarrow lock, but Hiroyo still gets Toni up and down for the Rock Drop! Cover, ROPEBREAK!
Hiroyo goes for another, but Toni wheelbarrows to the victory roll, TWO!! BIG clothesline from Hiroyo, cover, TWO!! Hiroyo can’t believe it, but she won’t stop there. She clubs Toni with another clothesline, and then another. Hiroyo wants the hat trick, as do the fans at Full Sail. Toni stands, Hiroyo reels her in, but Toni gets around and rolls Hiroyo into a jackknife clutch cover! TONI WINS!
Winner: Toni Storm, by pinfall; advances to the quarterfinals
The Storm shocks Lady Godzilla, and maybe even herself! Toni perhaps survives Hiroyo’s strength, but a win is a win. Toni goes into the quarterfinals once again, but will this second time bring her to the finals?
Kacy Catanzaro VS Rhea Ripley!
The American Ninja Warrior turned Wrestler surprised many with not just her gymnastics inspired moves but also her victory over the Daughter of the Desperado. Meanwhile, the Aussie with an Attitude used that newfound attitude to take out the Afrolicious MJ Jenkins. Can Kacy become the Cinderella story of this tournament? Or will Rhea rip up that fairy tale ending before it even begins?
Kacy is again the underdog on both size and experience, and she can’t get Rhea to shake her hand either. The bell rings and Rhea swings. Kacy gets under and gets the waistlock, but Rhea easily shakes her off to then whip and run Kacy over. Rhea “applauds” Kacy but then things speed up. Kacy leaps but Rhea catches her. Kacy silps out to kick away at the leg, but then Rhea kicks. She misses and Kacy keeps moving to then handspring headscissor! Rhea stays standing, and then blocks the whip with just power. She whips Kacy in but Kacy goes up and over. Rhea puts Kacy on the apron but Kacy dropkicks her away. Kacy slingshots and switches up to headscissor Rhea! Just like she did to Reina Gonzalez! Rhea rolls and staggers, but she sees Kacy coming in. Kacy gets hotshot’d on the ropes! Cover, ONE!
Rhea stomps Kacy then brings her up to put her in the corner hard. Kacy bounces off buckles but Rhea keeps on her. Rhea drags Kacy up and prepares a suplex, but Kacy counters to a cradle! TWO and Rhea dropkicks Kacy down! Cover, TWO! Rhea grows frustrated but fans are on Kacy’s side. Rhea kicks Kacy in the corner, then throws her by her hair. Kacy crawls but Rhea kicks her while she’s down. Rhea mocks the “spider monkey” as she throws her down again. She dropkicks Kacy back down, covers, ONE! Rhea grows annoyed with Kacy and clubs her SO hard! Fans duel and Kacy fights back. Rhea clubs her back down then drags her back up, for a stalling suplex. Rhea shows off now as she walks around with Kacy before slamming her down. Cover, TWO!
Kacy continues to frustrate Rhea, and Rhea brings her around for an inverted Cloverleaf! Kacy endures and reaches for ropes, but Rhea holds on tight. Fans rally and Kacy gets moving around, but Rhea yanks her up higher. Kacy flips and throws Rhea, but Rhea just boots her back down. Rhea stomps, covers, TWO! Rhea shoves Kacy around then brings her back up. She says Kacy doesn’t belong, then whips, but Kacy comes back to tilt-o-tilt-o-whirl DDT!! Both women are down but Full Sail is fired up! A ten count begins but Rhea rolls out to save herself from that. Kacy stands and takes aim at Rhea, for a slingshot corkscrew plancha!
Both women wipe out again, but Kacy gets Rhea in. Kacy runs and rallies with forearms and a dropkick! She fires up, run sin and hits a must-see lariat! She even adds an elbow! Kacy aims, springboards, but flops! Rhea clubs Kacy but Kacy keeps fighting! She goes for it again, double springboard missile dropkick! Then a spinning splash! Cover, TWO! Rhea crawls to a corner but fans are fired up all over again. Kacy handsprings but Rhea catches her to kick her in the ribs. Then the pumphandle, for the Rip Tide powerbomb! Cover, Rhea wins!
Winner: Rhea Ripley, by pinfall; advances to the quarterfinals
The Cinderella Story ends for the American Ninja Warrior and the Aussie prodigy moves on. Will Rhea redeem herself in her second MYC by going all the way to the end?
Taynara Conti VS Lacey Lane!
The Brazilian Black Belt beat the bubbly and “glumsy” Jessie Elaban while the 3D Academy alum managed to conquer The Mountain in Vanessa Kraven. Size is no longer a factor, so whose skill and ability best the other to bring them a victory?
Lacey wants a handshake, but Taynara gives a martial arts bow instead. Either way there’s respect to start the match. The bell rings and the two circle. Fans are on Lacey’s side as she gets the wristlock. Taynara counters and throws her, then dares her to come back. Lacey does but Taynara throws her again. Lacey gets up and dodges Taynara to then swing around and roll Taynara, TWO! Taynara gets a waistlock now but Lacey bucks her off to boot her down! Lacey runs in but is sat down on the second rope for Taynara to then throw her down by her hair! Taynara kicks Lacey while she’s down, then tells the ref to back off.
Taynara goes to drag Lacey out but Lacey holds ropes. So Taynara kicks Lacey’s arm! Lacey holds on with the other arm so Taynara kicks that arm! Taynara lifts Lacey up to monkey flip and mount, TWO! Taynara is already frustrated so she drags Lacey up for a half nelson. Fans rally up and Lacey fights out. Lacey runs but Taynara reels her in by her hair. Lacey slips around to throw Taynara by HER hair! Taynara staggers and Lacey lariats. Lacey wrenches and hammerlocks to then hammer away on Taynara before giving her a complete shot! Cover, TWO!! Lacey was close and fans rally up for her. She brings Taynara up but Taynara knees low. Taynara says the trophy is hers! She picks Lacey up but Lacey fights out of Taynara’s hold to Crucifix Pin Bomb! Cover, Lacey wins!!
Winner: Lacey Lane, by pinfall; advances to the quarterfinals
That victory was fast, and Taynara is furious! Lacey denies Taynara her Taya Goshi and her supposed destiny, but can Lacey continue her Cinderella Story all the way to a happy ending? For that matter, who will she meet in the next round? That’s to be decided in tonight’s main event!
Mercedes Martinez VS Meiko Satomura!
Mean Ms. Martinez wants to outdo her run in the inaugural MYC and squashed the dreams of the Queen Bee, Ashley Rayne, to take the first step. But the Japanese Joshi legend stands in her way after having dismissed Killer Kelly. Both women have hundreds of matches under their belts, but who will move one step closer towards THE match at WWE Evolution?
The two veterans shake hands and bow because of the utmost respect they have for each other. The bell rings and they circle as Full Sail fires up again. They tie up and push back and forth. Meiko gets the arm then the wristlock, but Mercedes works her way under to get the takedown. Mercedes traps the leg while rejecting Meiko’s headscissors. Mercedes shifts to a cravat then a facelock as fans rally. Meiko gets up but Mercedes goes from wrench to shoulder breaker to wristlock. Meiko rolls and reverses to the wristlock. Mercedes gets up as Meiko goes for the hammerlock. Meiko arm-drags to then get the armlock on the mat. Fans duel while Mercedes works her way up and out. Meiko wrenches the wrist again, then starts kicking! She sweeps the leg and drops the knees, cover, TWO! Meiko backs off while Mercedes stands.
The two circle but Meiko kicks to then get the headlock. Meiko spins to a drop toehold to then float over to the facelock! Mercedes works against the hold but Meiko butterflies the arms. Mercedes works her way out and then powers Meiko up for the Northern Lights Suplex! Cover, TWO! Mercedes is on Meiko with the facelock. Meiko works against it but Mercedes shifts to a headlock and takeover. Meiko bridges then headscissors. Mercedes endures the squeeze, but she rolls around to pop her way out. Then she gives Meiko a big palm strike! Mercedes glares as she stands Meiko up for more palm strikes, and a SHARP chop! Meiko hits back with palm strikes but Mercedes’ forearm rocks her back. Mercedes drags Meiko up for a whip but Meiko reverses, only to end up in the two-hand choke slam! Cover, TWO!
Mercedes grits her teeth as she goes for a ground ‘n’ pound of elbows. She keeps that leg trapped while pulling on Meiko’s head in a guillotine. Meiko endures and fights out with forearms. Mercedes slams forearms down then staggers away, but she’s not done yet. She drags Meiko up and gives her a big European Uppercut. She fires more forearms in the corner, then another sharp chop. Mercedes whips Meiko corner to corner but Meiko blocks the boot to give a swift roundhouse! Meiko fires herself up now as she climbs up top! She glares down at Mercedes but Mercedes uses the ropes to trip her up. Mercedes drags Meiko out for the draping swinging neckbreaker! Cover, TWO!! Fans duel as Mercedes drags Meiko back up.
Mercedes goes for the fisherman but gets caught into a Fujiwara Armbar! Mercedes rolls but Meiko holds on! Meiko pulls back hard but Mercedes rolls again, to get the ropebreak! Meiko lets go but the damage is done. She drags Mercedes up for a mule kick, then a stiff kick to the chest. Mercedes sits up but for another kick, then another kick! Meiko stomps Mercedes then climbs up top. Frog Splash! Cover, TWO!! Mercedes survives and Meiko is shocked. Meiko keeps her focus as she drags Mercedes up again. She wraps on a headlock but Mercedes counters with a saido suplex! Mercedes crawls to the cover, TWO! Mercedes gets to a corner and fires herself up while Meiko stirs. Fans fire up with Mercedes as she drags Meiko to her feet.
Mercedes fisherman but Meiko counters with a knee and a DDT! Meiko brings Mercedes around for stomps, then up for another, stiffer DDT! Meiko runs to hit the running handspring knee drop! Cover, TWO!? Mercedes survives, Meiko is furious, but fans are loving this! Meiko drags the limp Mercedes up and “This is Awesome!” Meiko fireman’s carry but Mercedes fights out. The Pele is BLOCKED but that knee connects! Mercedes keeps going, fisherman to the Fisherman Buster! Cover, TWO!? Meiko survives and now Mercedes can’t believe it! Full Sail can’t, either, but they’re loving it! They give a standing ovation for this instant classic!
Mercedes lurks behind Meiko and kicks her in the ribs. She goes after the legs, and then the arms. Mercedes wants and gets the surfboard, into the Dragon Sleeper! But Meiko resists with everything she has! She elbows Mercedes and gets free. Meiko runs to windmill kick Mercedes down! Mercedes staggers and Meiko runs for a step-up scorpion kick! Cover, Meiko wins!!
Winner: Meiko Satomura, by pinfall; advances to the quarterfinals
An absolute classic finishes this half of the Sweet Sixteen! Both women are among the elite of Women’s Wrestling around the world, but only one could join the Elite Eight! Meiko Satomura continues her first MYC run while ending Mercedes’ second. But even in defeat, Mercedes shows respect and admiration for the all-time great. This living legend faces Lacey Lane in the next round, will she end yet another youngster’s dream?
An incredible night of action for just the first half of round two. All four matches were amazing but especially that main event. Storm VS Matsumoto was a great story of the younger Toni having to endure and survive the veteran Hiroyo’s savvy and strength. Toni therefore shows her savvy when she wins by a special roll up and not a finisher. As I said last week, it makes sense for Toni to win, she’s a cornerstone of the NXT UK Women’s Division so she needs to build momentum with that brand’s debut still on the way. Rhea Ripley wins for similar reasons, but also because not every underdog can win. Kacy does great, not letting her moderate mistake mess her up, but Rhea wins because this new attitude needs to be worth something. I forget what the brackets were but I’d love to see Toni VS Rhea one day.
Taynara Conti VS Lacey Lane was one of the faster matches in this tournament, which was a surprise in itself. Taynara is really expressive and vocal so she’s going to be great as a Heel. She’s had some play in NXT but she’s likely in waiting until Shayna Baszler and/or Kairi Sane moves up to main roster. Lacey herself is young and can go far in the next wave of NXT Women, and is becoming the other underdog story in this tournament. However, knowing that she goes up against Meiko now, she’s likely ending her great run next round. Mercedes VS Meiko was amazing and that’s not just hype. Both women are so great from top to bottom, it’s a shame this was only a Sweet Sixteen and not a Semifinal match instead, but there’s just so much talent it’s hard to keep everyone.
My Score: 8.8/10
Andrew’s Impact Wrestling Uncaged Ratings & Review
With the tag titles changing hands last week, do we see more changes with Impact Wrestling Uncaged?
With the tag titles changing hands last week, do we see more changes with Impact Wrestling Uncaged?
The pseudo-PPV atmosphere is sure to bring in more consistent viewership, but they’re in an interesting spot. Taya and Tessa are really the only two credible Knockouts unless Gail comes out of retirement (since Rosemary, Su and Jordynne are in the same storyline), so we’ll probably see this get extended somehow. As for the other title match, The Machine has a lot of support and wrestling fans all know the money is in the chase. So I could see Cage getting “screwed” again, but I’d much rather see Cage with the title.
So let’s get hype for the show with a video package of the returning Reno Scum!
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) February 16, 2019
- Knockout’s Championship Street Fight: Tessa Blanchard vs Taya Valkyrie (c) – Taya retains via Double Footstomp through Table – *** 3/4
- ‘All Ego’ Ethan Page vs Willie Mack: Mack wins via Stunner – ** 1/2
- Elimination 4v4: Team Impact (Fallah Bahh, Sami Callihan, Eli Drake & Eddie Edwards) vs Team AAA (Puma King, Psycho Clown, Hijo del Vikingo & Aerostar): Team AAA 4-3 – *** 3/4
- Fatal 4 Way Impact World Championship: Killer Kross vs Moose vs Johnny Impact (c) vs Brian Cage: Johnny retains via Starship Pain on Moose – *** 1/4
Both women come out with throwback shirts. Tessa comes out with the old school Four Horsemen shirt and Taya comes out in her Perros de Mal shirt (old Triple A stable she was in with Perro Aguayo Jr). This match was a little awkward at times, and the first table they had ” La Wera Loca vs Diamond” painted on, didn’t break after two spear attempts. Really good hardcore style action, with chairs, insults, ring posts and another table. Definitely more of a brawl than wrestling, but after the table didn’t break the subsequent spots seemed to be a little off. Still a solid match, entertaining to watch, good way to start off the Uncaged show. Dios perdona, los perros no.
After a quick promo with Team Impact, Scarlett joins Melissa during the commercial break moment and she’s barely dressed and her and Melissa start doing squats. I mean they’re doubling down on sex sells, and I’m not even mad.
Mack and Page was a solid match. Good brawling, Willie’s agility outlasted Page’s strikes. One would assume the winner should be closer to an X Division title shot at least. So it should be interesting where this leads.
Killer Kross follows that with his typical chilling, slightly unhinged promo, and damn it was well done.
The interesting thing about the commercial break stuff tonight is Melissa doing live interviews with different people. It’s kinda neat, like extra content.
Team Triple A has a clap back promo after the commercial, which says the Cup is staying in Mexico. If memory serves, Team Triple A beat Team TNA in the first World X Cup, so I’m curious if they’ll pull from that for a storyline.
Sami Callihan calls out Swann one more time, Swann throws the shirt at Callihan, so a fight ensues. Swann gets the best of things momentarily, but an eye gauge allows Sami the opening to toss Rich around a little, Piledriver him on the stage and then Powerbomb him off the stage through a table. So I guess Sami will get the X Divison shot, but might have to go through Willie Mack first in the following weeks before Rebellion.
A lot of fun fast paced action, good dives, good strikes, nice story telling and only one slip so far from Aerostar. Eli Drake is the first one eliminated by Puma King because he tries to tell Eddie to not use the kendo stick, but tries to use it himself, Eddie catches him and takes his stick back, then pushing Eli. So one Gedo Clutch later, Eli is eliminated by pinfall. Fallah Bah eliminates Vikingo after a Twisted Running Powerslam. Aerostar eliminates Bahh after a Crucifix Pin when Bahh misses the Banzai Drop. Boston Knee Party from Eddie eliminates Aerostar. Piledriver from Sami eliminates Puma King. Two on one advantage with Sami and Eddie against Psycho Clown. Eddie hits a Boston Knee Party lays out Psycho Clown, but Sami pushes Eddie off and tries to steal the spotlight, only a two count, Psycho Rolls Up Sami for the pinfall elimination. Eddie has Psycho on the ropes, but Eli returns, takes Kenny the Kendo Stick and distracts Eddie. Then he hits Eddie to give Psycho a shot to hit a Backstabber, followed up the La Magistral for the victory. So Impact kinda played themselves, but it was a damn good match with a lot to unpack.
Melissa finally returns after a few commercial breaks off, with Sami Callihan and David Crist. This was ridiculous but great. Just erratic idiocy, they steal Melissa’s sandals at some point, David sings “Hey there Samuel” and Sami does a pitch like a dating service while Melissa is getting her sandals. So dumb, but great.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) February 16, 2019
Small promotional video package for Reno Scum. Returning to Impact for the first time since the first wave of GFW “invasion” (nearly 2 years).
A quick little moment with Dark Allie, Su Yung and Rosemary, followed by a commercial with Melissa and KM & Fallah Bahh. Very funny, Melissa plays off the wrestlers well. She needs to stick around since she’s got a nice personality and seems to work well with most of the guys.
Scarlett with a weird video package, her in a bed, a little moan and showing cleavage is her formula. So if it ain’t broke, I’m not gonna fix it, shut up, stop judging me!
LAX joins Melissa before the main event and the Latina comes out in her. She’s more animated that usual, very fun and entertaining. She even busts their chops a little, but they take it in stride and seem to enjoy each other’s company.
Since the match starts with only about 12 minutes before time limit the match wasn’t going to be a technical masterpiece, but for what it was it was fun. It was more of a brawl, since there were 3 bigger guys. Kross had a bunch of moments looking like a beat, Cage looked like a million bucks hitting the Drill Claw on both Moose and Kross. But Johnny pulled the opportunistic thing, and while Kross and Cage were tied up, Johnny pulls Moose to the corner, barely hits Starship Pain and sneaks in a pinfall before Cage finishes the Drill Claw + pin on Kross. So Johnny retains while looking like a punk, and the crowd wanted nothing to do with him. Terminator claps most of the match.
.@MrGMSI_BCage had the World Championship right within his fingertips once again…
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) February 16, 2019
Overall Score: 7.5/10
Solid solid show from start to finish. Tessa and Taya got things kicked off well, Melissa doing backstage interviews as the Twitch commercial break stuff was great. World Cup match was fun and set up a few storylines for the Impact stars while Team Triple A got the home field advantage win. Main event was a little disappointing to be honest. Johnny has worn out his fan support both in Mexico and on Twitch chat. Granted yes, I’m hopeful this is building towards a big blow off at Rebellion, maybe with Cage going over and Austin Aries returning, but I guess we’ll have to see.
Also from the main event, we see some cracks in the Moose and Kross alliance, so that could definitely be an interesting match in the near future.
So yeah, we have a lot to chew on moving into TV tapings for the shows leading up to Rebellion, but from a completely playlist mentality view point, Cage got screwed. Brian Cage better be getting this damn title soon, or I want him to put Don Callis through the announce table.
Now the weekly Twitch viewers portion:
- Week 1: High – 10,350 / Low – 8,500
- Week 2: High – 8,000 / Low – 6,500
- Week 3: High – 8,500 / Low – 7,900
- Week 4: High – 7,100 / Low – 5,300
- Week 5: High – 7,450 / Low – 5,650
- Uncaged: High – 9,000/ Low – 8,000
Well it looks like people just need a reason to tune in. Not only was this week mostly main event talent, but since the event had was named, I feel like people just expected better quality. So still no record breaking high, but solid numbers throughout the entire show.
Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: New Beginning in Sapporo Part 2!
Who leaves Sapporo with the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team titles?
NJPW continues in Sapporo with two HUGE tag team matches! The Rainmaker and The Ace look for further revenge while EVIL & SANADA defend their tag titles!
This coverage of New Beginning in Sapporo will be as aired by AXS TV.
Gifs can be found courtesy of http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: EVIL & SANADA VS Zack Sabre Jr. & Minoru Suzuki; EVIL & SANADA win and retain the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships.
- Kazuchika Okada & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Jay White & Bad Luck Fale; White & Fale win.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene!
The Ace is once again IWGP Heavyweight Championship after dethroning The Best Bout Machine at Wrestle Kingdom 13! But the record-setting 8-time champion has a very determined challenger in The Switchblade. Jay White has Gedo and the Bullet Club by his side, and now has his title match in Osaka! But before then, Hiroshi Tanahashi will look to slow White down with the help of his old rival, Kazuchika Okada! Will this amazing tag team be able to defeat White and Bad Luck Fale? Or will it only be a sampling of the Cutthroat Era’s coming?
And before that, Los Ingobernables de Japon’s Heavyweight Tag Team Champions broke even with their challengers in singles competition. Now it is time to face off for the titles! Can the two-time Tag League and Two Time Tag Champions be able to overcome the Undisputed British Tag Team Champions? Or will Suzuki-Gun have two tag titles around their waists? That match is now!
IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: EVIL & SANADA VS Zack Sabre Jr. & Minoru Suzuki!
Why wait for bells when you just wanna fight? Suzuki and ZSJ go right at Evil & Sanada as they enter the ring! ZSJ stomps Evil while Suzuki mugs Sanada on the outside. Red Shoes holds the belts, but Suzuki gets one to choke Sanada with it. Suzuki whips Sanada but Sanada reverses to send Suzuki into railing! Evil and ZSJ end up the leg men and brawl while the introductions are made. Evil whips ZSJ and goes to hip toss, but ZSJ counters to an abdominal stretch. ZSJ denies a counter but Evil still hip tosses out! Tag to Sanada, and LIJ go after ZSJ together. Double whips, clothesline, back senton! Cover, TWO! ZSJ rolls away but Sanada stalks him to a corner. Cold Skull whips ZSJ corner to corner but ZSj goes up and over. He fakes Sanada and rolls him up, TWO!
Sanada knees and whips ZSJ but ZSJ denies the dropkick. ZSJ misses the Peantly Kick, and Sanada trips him up! Sanada gets ZSJ in the Paradise Lock, but ZSJ slips out and toys with him. ZSJ kicks Sanada, but Sanada knees back. Sanada whips but ZSJ reverses. Suzuki gets a cheap shot and gets Sanada in a hanging armbar! ZSJ hits Evil just because. Suzuki lets Sanada go then goes after Evil. ZSJ keeps on Sanada and Suzuki mugs Evil. Suzuki brings Evil out to the crowd to bowl him through chairs. Suzuki laughs as he rams Evil with the railing. Then he throws chairs onto Evil! ZSJ twists Sanada around for a modified Octopus, then he hammerlock stomps an arm! Suzuki searches under the ring while ZSJ gives Sanada a shoulder breaker. Suzuki has a folding chair to jab Evil in the head!
The ring count passes 17, but Sanada manage to make it in at 19.5! ZSJ is on Sanada with an arm bar, to hammerlock, then digs his elbows into Sanada’s spine. ZSJ pulls back on Sanada’s free arm from wrist to elbow for another hammerlock. He makes it a buttefly of sorts, then a cover, TWO! ZSJ drags Sanada over and tags in Suzuki. Suzuki takes Sanada and wrenches, but then ZSJ wrenches, and they keep passing Sanada for wrenches. ZSJ boots the arm and then Suzuki boots the arm. Sanada clutches that tortured arm but Suzuki goes after it more against the ropes. REd Shoes counts but Suzuki lets go at 4. Suzuki toys with Sanada now, but Sanada hits back. Suzuki just laughs again and throws forearms back. They go back and forth, but Suzuki hits hard. The champs are in trouble while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns while Suzuki taunts Sanada. Sanada does sit up but Suzuki’s right on him with fast forearms. Suzuki kicks but Sanada dragon screws, only for Suzuki to counter into an armbar! ZSJ hits Evil to keep him away, but Sanada resists the arm. Suzuki gets the arms apart and has Sanada at full extension! Sanada flails while ZSJ keeps Evil down with his own armlock! Suzuki pulls as hard as he can, but Sanada gets a ropebreak with his feet. Suzuki holds on to slam the arm on the mat. Tag to ZSJ and he hands the wrench off to ZSJ. ZSJ hammerlocks and tweaks Sanada’s arm. ZSJ sits down on the arm to practically triangle it! Suzuki keeps Evil at bay with an armbar on the ropes! ZSJ shifts his weight into a modified Labell meets Rings of Saturn!
Suzuki tortures Evil on the apron but Red Shoes can’t do anything about that while he watches ZSJ and Sanada. Sanada shifts again and gets another ropebreak via feet. Suzuki keeps on Evil with body shots while ZSJ lets Sanada go. ZSJ dares Sanada to stand, and then rock shim with a European Uppercut. Sanada returns the EuroUpper, but his arms are hurting. ZSj shoulder breakers, then catches the leap frog for a flapjack! Penalty kick is CAUGHT! Dragon Screw! Suzuki runs in and gets a dragon screw, too! Fans rally for LIJ as Evil tags in! The King of Darkness rallies on ZSJ! He scoop slams ZSJ hard, then rocks him with forearms. Evil whips but ZSJ reverses, only for Evil to run him over!
Fans rally as Evil drags ZSJ up. ZSJ kicks but Evil blocks it to elbow the knee. ZSJ grabs the arm but Evil counters to a shoulder breaker! Evil blocks another kick, Fisherman Buster! Cover, TWO! Evil keeps his cool as fans fire up again. He drags ZSJ up again and turns him, but ZSJ turns and suplexes Evil! Then the neck twist! Both men are down from exhaustion, but they still come back for more. ZSJ wants revenge for Sapporo Part 1 as he throws EuroUppers. Things speed up and each man dodges the other, but then ZSJ runs into Evil’s lariat! Evil drags ZSJ up, fireman’s carry, but ZSj reverses to a Pele! ZSJ kicks then sweeps the legs! Both men are down again but Suzuki returns. Suzuki tags in and goes right at Evil with forearms.
Suzuki whips Evil corner to corner and boots him. He snapmares and Penalty Kicks! Cover, TWO! Evil barely escapes, but Suzuki toys with him now. Suzuki throws haymakers, then boots, but Evil hands it off to Red Shoes! Evil SUPERKICKS Suzuki down! Tag to Sanada! Sanada whips but Suzuki reverses. Sanada tumbles, springboards, but into Suzuki’s sleeper! ZSJ hits Evil again, and then helps Suzuki corner to corner train on Sanada! Snapmare, DOBULE Peanlty Kicks! Cover, TWO!! Sanada survives that string of attacks, but Suzuki stomps him down. We can hear someone throw the other into railing while Suzuki hammers away on Sanada in the corner. Red Shoes backs Suzuki off, but Suzuki runs back in. Sanada dodges, and Evil returns for a corner clothesline! He feeds Suzuki to Sanada’s back suplex!
Evil hits ZSJ and now LIJ has Suzuki isolated! They call for the finish and fans are thunderous! Evil lifts Suzuki, but ZSJ stops Magic Killer. Suzuki rolls Sanada into an Ankle Lock! ZSJ has Evil in the Octopus! Suzuki shifts to a kneebar! Sanada endures teh grapevine’d move, and Suzuki even grabs an arm! Sanada grabs Red Shoes to keep himself from tapping! ZSJ has shifted Evil into a grounded twist! Neither LIJ can get free as Suzuki shifts the position of his kneebar! Sanada endures, as does Evil. Fans cheer LIJ on, but Suzuki just twists the ankle harder! Sanada uses one last gas to get the ropebreak! Suzuki lets Sanada go, to come back for a sleeper. And then ZSJ Penalty Kicks! Suzuki also Penalty Kicks! Cover, but Evil breaks it in time!
Suzuki-Gun drags LIJ up but LIJ fights back! Suzuki wants his piledriver, and ZSJ wants his, but Evil and Sanada deny those, for Darkness Falls and TKO in stereo! LIJ fires up as they go after Suzuki again. MAGIC KILLER!! Cover, but ZSJ breaks it just in time! Sanada grabs Suzuki and Evil gets ZSJ. Skull End, but ZSJ counters the STO! Evil counters back, EVERYTHING IS EVIL!! And then for Suzuki, True Skull End, but Suzuki slips through! Sleeper, Gotch hold, but Evil saves Sanada! Everything is countered, but the Sleeper is escaped. MAGIC KILLER AGAIN!! Sanada climbs while Evil takes ZSJ out, Moonsault! Cover, LIJ wins!
Winners: Los Ingobernables de Japon, Sanada pinning; still IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions
The King of Darkness and Cold Skull are still golden! Suzuki-Gun’s quest to have two different companies’ tag titles has not worked out, it’ll be back to the drawing board for them. However, will Evil & Sanada now have a claim to the British Heavyweight Tag Team Championships?
Kazuchika Okada & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Jay White & Bad Luck Fale!
The Rainmaker and The Ace have fought hard over the IWGP Heavyweight Championship and the claim to being the best one ever, but now they are united in making sure the Switchblade does NOT become champion! Will this all-star alliance succeed against the new Bullet Club leader and his Underboss underling?
White refuses to let this dream team have their photo op. He insists he is the historic wrestler everyone should take pictures of, not the old generation. Tanahashi and Okada bite their tongues and bide their time, they’ll get at White after the break.
NJPW on AXS returns and White starts against Tanahashi. Fans are strongly behind The Ace but White just chuckles. They circle and Gedo can be heard shouting “You’re stupid!” at commentary. White lunges but Tanahashi stays away. They tie up and go around, and Tanahashi manages to power White to a corner. White turns it around, but backs off, only to get the leg! White grins as he shows how easy he could’ve gone after the bad leg. He backs off but tries a sucker punch! Tanahashi dodges and headlocks, and he grinds White down. White gets up but can’t power out of Tanahashi’s grip. Tanahashi grinds White down again but White fights out with body shots. White powers out this time, but Tanahashi fakes him out to get him back in the headlock!
Tanahashi grinds White on the mat but White powers back up. White again can’t power out so he pulls hair! Tanahashi pulls White’s hair in return! Tanahashi throws body shots then whips, but White reverses. White runs into an elbow, Tanahashi springboard crossbodies! Tanahashi air guitars and tosses it out. He brings White over and tags Okada. Okada and Tanahashi whip White and double elbow him down. Okada back sentons, then Tanahashi somersault sentons. The dream team shake hands and drop double elbows! Fans are loving this already! Okada drags White up and fans are thunderous for him. He snapmares White and then hits a running basement dropkick! Okada drags White up but White powers him to the corner. Tag to Fale, but Okada gets away.
Okada and Fale circle and tie up. Fale shoves Okada but Okada’s right back with hammering hands! Okada whips but Fale reverses and whips Okada hard into buckles! Fale looms over Okada then stomps him down. Fale drags Okada up and talks trash, so Okada hits back. Okada runs and handsprings over the back drop! He wants a sleeper and hops on as a backpack. Fale endures then drops back! Okada lets Fale go, and White attacks Tanahashi! White goes after Tanahashi on the outside and throws him into barriers! Okada bails out but Fale gives chase. Fale throws Okada into barriers, too! White chokes Tanahashi with camera cables! White says he IS the next champion! Fans boo while Fale takes a towel and chokes Okada with it. It was an Okada Dollar towel, too!
White keeps on Tanahashi in the front row with Euro Uppers. White takes apart barriers to throw the railings onto Tanahashi. He buries Tanahashi while the ring count climbs. Then White scoops slams a Young Lion onto Tanahashi! Fale chokes Okada on the ropes in the ring. Red Shoes backs Fale off, but he comes back to drag Okada up and dump him out. White goes right at Okada by ramming him into the apron and then the railing! And then the apron again, and then the railing! White rams Okada into the apron once more, then throws forearms. Red Shoes finally spots this and reprimands White. White plays innocent as he puts Okada back in the ring. Fale tags White in, and White soaks up the heat.
White runs corner to corner for a huge Euro Upper, and then suplexes Okada into the buckles! Cover, TWO!! Somehow Okada escapes! White takes his frustrations out on Tanahashi, then returns to Okada. White grinds his forearm into Okada’s face, then puts on a Half Crab. Fans rally up for Okada and Okada crawls for ropes. White pulls harder but Tanahashi comes it go after White. Fale throws Tanahashi out, and then tags back in. Fale goes after Okada’s leg with stomps. Okada hits back and clubs Fale. Okada hops on for a guillotine, but Fale simply puts Okada in the Bullet Club corner. Fale stomps a mudhole into Okada then tags White. White drags Okada up for a CHOP! White follows Okada to the open corner, then tells Tanahashi this CHOP is for him.
Fans continue to rally as White snapmares Okada into a chinlock. Okada feeds off the energy and fights out with body shots. Okada runs but into White’s back elbow! Cover, TWO! White keeps on Okada with another chinlock. Okada endures while Tanahashi and the fans rally up again. Okada gets up and fights back again, but White clubs him down. White puts Okada in a corner and whips corner to corner, but Okada reverses. Okada runs into White’s boot. White runs but into a flapjack! Both men are down but stirring while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns once more, and Okada crawls for his corner. Hot tag to Tanahashi! White stands and The Ace fires off forearms on him! Tanahashi whips but White reverses, only for Tanahashi to forearm him down! Tanahashi dropkicks Fale then goes after White again. He scoop slams White into a drop zone, then hops up. Second rope somersault senton hits! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi keeps his cool while fans rally up again. Tanahashi waits for White to stand then runs, but he runs into a CHOP! But he keeps going, only to run into another CHOP! Tanahashi still shakes it off, but runs into a waistlock. He elbows out but White chop blocks the bad leg! White catches his breath as he looms over Tanahashi.
White scoops Tanahshi but Tanahashi fights out. Tanahashi waistlocks but WHite standing switches to a saido suplex! Both men are down but White tags out to Fale. Fale corners Tanahashi and throws big body shots. Then he throws bit clubbing forearms! He taunts the fans and they boo back as he drags Tanahashi up. Fale whips corner to corner then runs in, but misses! Tanahashi waistlocks, but Fale’s too big for a German Suplex! Fale fights out of the waistlock, then suplexes Tanahashi. Okada saves Tanahashi, and then they double suplex Fale together! Fans rally up again and Tanahashi crawls, but he dropkicks White first! Hot tag to Okada!
The Rainmaker forearms and whips Fale, but Fale reverses. Okada hits Fale then hits the DDT! Okada kips up and fans fire up again! He drags Fale up and manages a scoop slam! Okada winces just a moment before climbing up top. Fale gets under and Okada rolls through. Okada runs back but into a Samoan Drop! Fale hits a big splash! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives but White goes after Tanahashi! White puts Tanahashi into railing while fans cheer Okada on. Fale aims, grabs Okada, but the Grenade is denied with a dropkick! Okada wants to lift Fale!? Fale reverses but Okada slips out. Okada runs but gets run over! Both men are down but Tanahashi returns to the corner. Hot tags to Tanahashi and White!
The Ace and Switchblade each dodge each other. White trash talks Tanahashi but the brawl is on! Tanahashi hits, then White hits, repeat. They build up speed back and forth, then White throws several. Tanahashi gives them all back, but White kicks out the bad leg. White whips but Tanahashi reverses. Tanahashi dodges and slingblades White down! Cover, TWO!! Okada hits Fale then tells Tanahashi to finish this. Tanahashi gets the Cloverleaf but White rakes the eyes! White kicks Tanahashi away while Fale puts Okada into barriers. Tanahashi dragon screws White! Fale runs in but Tanahashi blocks, hands off to Okada and Okada dragon screws! Tanahashi returns to White, running, but Gedo swipes him! White gets Tanahashi with a Complete Shot to German Suplex! Bridging cover, TWO!!
Fans are thunderous again as White slashes the throat. He drags Tanahashi up into position, and Fale chases Okada. Okada saves Tanahashi then has to fight off Fale. Fale rebounds, Tanahashi slingblades him down! White rocks Tanahashi, but Okada dropkicks him down! The dream team have each other’s backs! And they both power up to combine forces! Gut wrench to TOMBSTONE! Hand off, to STYLES CLASH! Tanahashi rolls White, for Okada’s elbow! Fans are at a fever pitch, but Gedo distracts Tanahashi. Fale attacks Tanahashi and dumps him off the top rope! Red Shoes reprimands Gedo but it’s too late. Okada leaps but into the Grenade! Fale corner splashes Tanahashi, and gives him a Grenade! Fale crushes Tanahashi with his boot while White crawls over. White has Fale stand down so he can finish Tanahashi.
White drags Tananashi up, fireman’s carry, Death Valley Driver! Cover, TWO!? Tanahashi survives but White isn’t done. He slashes the throat, drags Tanahashi, but ends up in Twist ‘n’ Shout! Fale whips Tanahashi but Tanahashi reverses to another Twist ‘n’ Shout! Red Shoes keeps Gedo out of the ring, but White gets a chair in the distraction! White swings but misses, Tanahashi slingblades White down! Tanahashi sees Fale coming, and manages a German Suplex! Gedo is in, but his brass knuckles miss to get a slap! White SMACKS Tanahashi from behind! Fans boo as White gets away with it. Dragon screw to the mat! And another! And then an inverted Figure Four! Okada wants to get in but Fale drags him back out. Tanahashi endures while Okada fights Fale off. So Gedo drags Okada out! Fale SPLASHES Okada! Fale lifts Okada, Bad Luck Fall!
Tanahashi still endures as White wrenches and pulls as hard as he can on the hold! Fale keeps his eyes on Okada while Tanahashi reaches and flails. Tanahashi taps, White and Fale win!!
Winners: Jay White & Bad Luck Fale, White by submission
The unthinkable has happened! The Switchblade has made the IWGP Heavyweight Champion tap out! Is the Cutthroat Era inevitable?
White picks up the belt and the mic to address Sapporo. White looks down at Tanahashi and says, “I told you that I would beat you and take this belt from you.” People think it’ll be a shock when White wins, but it will not be! White’s already beaten Tanahashi and everyone NJPW has to offer. And he made Tanahashi submit! Gedo rubs it in, but can The Ace pull off a miracle in Osaka?
White says “You can give it multiple names.” Call it Tanahashi is White’s “b*tch”, you can call it TGU: Tanahashi Gave Up. No, TTO: Tanahashi Tapped Out. That’s what the inverted figure four will be! Put it everywhere! #TTO!
Tanahashi responds by saying he used his knee as bait. White took that bait, but he wasn’t as big of a fish as Tanahashi expected. Is The Ace putting on a brave face? Or are he and his reign in more trouble than he knows?
A really great hour for NJPW, especially with big tag team matches. Evil & Sanada VS Suzuki & ZSJ was great because they knew how to play up all the story from the many, many matches all four men have had in the past. I honestly was surprised Suzuki-Gun lost, I thought they were going to end up double champions. But LIJ has been red hot, hence why they are all champions at this point, so it makes sense to keep that hot streak going. LIJ probably won’t lose those tag titles for a long time from what I can tell. No other heavyweight tag team looks strong enough right now.
Then in the special tag match for the main event, the dream team of Okada and Tanahashi had some really good chemistry with each other, and there was plenty of story to fuel this match, too. I’m a bit surprised White won, but NJPW doesn’t really use the kind of math a company like WWE would. WWE’s math would put it that White winning now means he won’t win the title in their New Beginning Osaka match, but NJPW isn’t so back and forth like that. White’s on his own hot streak, and literally has Gedo by his side, so Osaka might be the night we all Breath with the Switchblade.
My Score: 8.5/10