After she used a DQ to retain at Super Show Down, SmackDown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch will again defend her title, WITHOUT Champion’s Advantage!
- SmackDown Women’s Championship, No Champion’s Advantage: Becky Lynch VS Charlotte Flair; Double Count-Out, Lynch retains the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
- WWE World Cup Qualifying Match: Samoa Joe VS Jeff Hardy; Hardy wins and qualifies for the WWE World Cup.
- Shelton Benjamin VS AJ Styles; Styles wins.
- WWE World Cup Qualifying Match: Randy Orton VS The Big Show; Orton wins and qualifies for the WWE World Cup.
PLAY BY PLAY
SmackDown Women’s Championship, No Champion’s Advantage: Becky Lynch VS Charlotte Flair!
No sense in wasting time, it’s time for the Lass Kicker to see if she can defend her title against The Queen without cheating!
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and Indianapolis behind Becky with the bell. Becky and Charlotte circle and tie up. They push each other around, but Becky manages to put Charlotte in a corner. She honors the break at 4 but still says she’s gonna win this. They circle and fans rally up for Becky again. They tie up and Becky goes after the arm with a wristlock. Charlotte reverses to her own wristlock, but Becky reaches for ropes. Charlotte keeps her from them so Becky stomps a foot. Becky gets a wristlock as fans duel. Charlotte bends back and kips up to arm-drag Becky off. Charlotte gets the takedown and the legs but Becky gets away. The Queen tells the champ she was that close. Becky shoves Charlotte because she disagrees. Charlotte scoops and slams Becky!
Becky gets to a corner and boots Charlotte back. She bumps Charlotte off buckles, then grinds her face on the ropes! She bumps Charlotte again, then goes for a third. Charlotte turns it around to bump Becky, but Becky dodges the chop. Becky kicks a leg out then throws Charlotte into buckles! Becky drags Charlotte up to throw her back down. Cover, ONE! Becky runs to drop the leg, then she parodies the styling and profiling to drop the elbow. She goes for the other leg but Charlotte dodges to roll up. TWO, jackknife cover, TWO! Double clotheslines take both women down! Indy rallies up for both women as they stir. Becky and Charlotte crawl at each other, the grudge in their glare.
Becky stands but walks into Charlotte’s neckbreaker. Charlotte scoops but Becky slips out to kick the spear away. Becky goes to throw Charlotte but Charlotte reverses. Becky dodges to jump kick Charlotte! She wants the arm but Charlotte breaks free to dragon screw a leg! Both women slowly stand but Charlotte runs into an elbow. Becky runs and arm-drags Charlotte for an arm-bar. She grinds a knee into Charlotte’s head as she pulls on the arm. Charlotte shifts around but Becky bridges through for full extension! Charlotte endures as Becky moves around to keep the hammerlock. They stand up and Becky knees low. Becky whips but Charlotte catches the dropkick! Charlotte wants the Boston Crab but Becky crawls and scrambles for ropes. Becky can’t reach them before Charlotte turns her around, for a catapult into buckles!
Becky bails out of the ring but Charlotte takes aim. Charlotte slingshots and topples Becky down! The Queen takes control while we go to break.
SmackDown returns and both women stand again. Becky knees and whips but Charlotte tumbles to the apron to boot her away. Charlotte heads for a corner but Becky pursues. Charlotte climbs but Becky intercepts with forearms! And then she throws Charlotte right down! Cover, TWO! Becky can’t believe it but Charlotte is hurting on that left side. Fans rally up while Becky grits her teeth. She glares down at Charlotte and brings her up for European Uppercuts. Charlotte counters one into a back slide attempt but Becky pulls hair! Becky mule kicks then pumphandles for the Becksploder! Cover, TWO! Becky grows frustrated but she still has ideas. Fans chant but Charlotte hits the backbreaker to STO! Charlotte chops Becky again and again, and again and again! She whips and catches Becky into a back suplex!
Charlotte is too tired to cover from here, but she kips right back up! She staggers over but doesn’t cover. She wants to go up top again! Becky trips her up again, bringing her right to the mat! Now Becky gets to the corner and climbs her way up. Becky aims at Charlotte, but Charlotte dodges the crossbody! Oklahoma roll, TWO! Becky enziguris Charlotte down! But she won’t cover, either, she wants to go up top! Becky aims but now Charlotte trips her up with ropes. Charlotte grabs hair but Becky throws forearms. Becky gets a super takedown into the armbar!
Charlotte resists and shifts to make it a cover. The two struggle for control and Charlotte hammers away with her right hand. Charlotte makes it a cover, ONE and Becky holds on. Another cover, ONE, to a deadlift and sit-out! Cover, TWO!! This match ins’t over, so we go picture in picture! Both women are down and the referee checks on them. They’re okay to continue, and slowly stir. Charlotte makes sure her arm is still working, but a 10 count begins. The count passes 5 and Charlotte finally sits up. Becky follows but Charlotte grabs a leg. Becky forearms that away to then hit leaping forearms! Cover, TWO!! This still isn’t over and Becky is furious. She tries again, TWO! Again, TWO! Both women grit their teeth as they rise up.
They start throwing hands, Becky with the haymakers and Charlotte with the chops. They go back and forth, Becky then Charlotte. Neither woman backs down even as they stagger about. Becky hits, Charlotte hits, repeat. Becky gets an edge with a headbutt! She runs, but Charlotte follows to boot her down! Cover, TWO!! Both women are down again, how much do they have left to give? We return to single picture as fans duel again. Charlotte crawls over but not to cover. She wants the Figure Four, but Becky pushes her right into buckles! Charlotte’s down and Becky bails out. Becky wants her belt, because a count out is still one way out. But Charlotte won’t her run, she grabs her at the ram and throws her back in!
Becky shoves Charlotte into the ref, then kicks her low. The ref turns around to see Becky wants to use the belts. Becky throws it down, defending she wasn’t gonna hit Charlotte. Charlotte rolls her up! TWO and Becky has it, TWO! SPEAR!! But Charlotte can’t cover before Becky rolls out again! Becky is down but “This is Awesome!” Charlotte crawls her way over but to a corner, for a SUPER MOONSAULT! That crashes and burns!! Becky Becksploders her to the floor! Becky leaves her for dead as the count restarts! Charlotte barely stirs before 5, but crawls over at 8. Becky goes to dropkick but Charlotte catches her into an exploder of her own! Now they’re both down and the count starts a third time. Charlotte puts Becky in at 3, then stalks her from behind. NATURAL SELECTION!! But Becky bails out again!!
Charlotte is furious that her former friend keeps fleeing. She dares her to fight her, but then Becky pushes her into the LED apron. The count is at 5 but Charlotte won’t let Becky get in! They both fall from the apron, but the count is at 9! Instead of getting in, Charlotte goes to throw Becky, but Becky counters and throws Charlotte into barriers!
Double Count-Out; Becky Lynch is still SmackDown Women’s Champion
The Champion’s Advantage only applied to disqualifications, so Becky gets away with her belt again. But she won’t get away from the fight as Charlotte pursues! They brawl on the ramp and Becky boots Charlotte right down! But she still can’t get away, Charlotte SPEARS Becky through the LED stage wall!! Indianapolis loses its mind while the SmackDown staff panic to get medics. Forget who is the best woman on SmackDown, will either woman be okay to compete?!
WWE World Cup Qualifying Match: Samoa Joe VS Jeff Hardy!
The Destroyer was again denied the WWE Championship, but there was no controversy this time. The Charismatic Enigma wanted to destroy The Viper, but was instead put through hell at Hell in a Cell. Now both men get a chance at the inaugural WWE World Cup to determine who is the best in the WWE today. Will the Coquina Clutch be denied by a Twist of Fate? Or will the man immune to fear still be put to sleep?
The bell rings and Joe goes right at Hardy with forearms and headbutts! Joe bumps Hardy off buckles then stalks him to a corner. He chokes Hardy on the ropes but backs off at 4. That leg is still bothering him but Joe comes back for more. Hardy throws hands, kicks, but Joe powers out of the Twist. Hardy rebounds and dropkicks the bad leg. Joe bails out to rest his leg while we go to break.
SmackDown returns and Hardy has Joe in a chinlock. Joe fights out and headbutts to then chop Hardy. Hardy comes back with forearms but then runs into the big back elbow! Joe paces while Hardy is down on the mat. Joe drags Hardy up and drives elbows into the shoulders. Fans duel while Hardy sits back up. Joe wrenches Hardy’s neck but Hardy hears fans building to a rally. Hardy feeds off the energy and fights up but Joe throws him down to then back senton! Cover, TWO! Joe keeps his cool while he drags Hardy back up. Joe headbutts Hardy to a corner then throws those swift jabs. He rolls Hardy out to then pull back on the arms. He digs a knee into Hardy’s back but Hardy endures.
Hardy fights his way up to fight out and throw hands. Hardy whips but Joe reverses, only for Hardy to knock him down. Joe staggers into the atomic drop, then Hardy uses the leg splitting leg drop! Joe clutches his back leg and crawls to ropes. Hardy says “DELETE!” but Joe yanks him right out of the ring. Joe brings Hardy up to bounce him off the steel steps. Joe kicks but hits only steel! Hardy and Joe crawl into the ring, but Hardy goes after that leg! He throws elbows and stomps and even drops a leg. Joe gets to ropes so Hardy backs off. Hardy comes back with a dropkick then more stomps! The referee backs Hardy off to check on Joe, but Joe won’t quit over this.
Hardy stomps Joe more but Joe throws a heavy hand! Joe can only hobble, but that bad leg is too bad. The referee calls the match!
Winner: Jeff Hardy, by referee decision; qualifies for the WWE World Cup
Indy isn’t happy with this, but neither is Joe. Hardy is headed to Crown Jewel along with John Cena and Kurt Angle, but who else will join them?
SmackDown GM Paige addresses the Women’s Championship incident.
After the brawl “got ugly”, both Becky and Charlotte require medical attention. But there was no real winner, so they will face each other once more, at WWE Evolution! And there will be another first at this All Women’s PPV, in WWE’s first ever Last Woman Standing match!
It’s time for Miz TV!
The Hollywood A-Lister is back to host his Most Must-See WWE Talk Show, and promises big things from his guests tonight, after the break.
SmackDown returns and The Miz says Paige told him to be “professional”, so professional is what he’ll be. Though that seems hard for him to do as he must introduce his guests as the champion and challenger for the WWE Championship. First, the Phenomenal AJ Styles! The WWE Universe in Indianapolis is glad to see Styles is still champion after his No Holds Barred match with Samoa Joe at Super Show Down. The Miz sits with Styles and wants to ask something. After what Joe put Styles through, how’s the family? Miz means this in the most sincere way, as a new father. That rage surely led to Styles’ victory, but now Styles will be facing a man who won’t attack from behind, and would only break into your home to tend to your garden. This man is “better than a boy scout” snore, Daniel Bryan.
The Yes Man makes his way to the ring and Indy is even happier to see him! Miz is especially sour that he lost his #1 contender’s match to Bryan so quickly. All it took was a small package counter out of the Skull-Crushing Finale, and Bryan was the new contender to the WWE world title. Bryan and Styles shake hands and Miz is already disappointed to see this “mutual respect.” No one wants to see that for the most coveted prize in sports entertainment! Bryan knows Miz asked about the title match, but does he want to talk about their match? It won’t take too long. Styles likes that one. Miz seethes while fans cheer for Bryan. But Miz is remaining professional.
Back to Styles, he’s been a champion for 11 months and defended against some of the best. Where does Bryan place among them? Styles says Joe was the greatest because he went out of the ring and right to his doorstep, making it personal. But Bryan, this is going to be in the ring, in the House that AJ Styles Built! So Styles thinks he’s better than everyone? How does Bryan feel about that? Bryan points out Styles isn’t trying to say that. But it’s good that Styles thinks he’s better. What? How?
Bryan says Miz doesn’t know a thing about this, but Bryan wants to beat a worthy opponent. And no one is more worthy than AJ Styles, as he has had the most-coveted title for over 300 days! Styles has earned the right to think he’s better, and Bryan still has a lot to prove. Therefore, Bryan is glad Styles thinks he’ll win, because Bryan knows he can win. Miz uses this to get Styles going. Styles says that Bryan hasn’t exactly faced someone Phenomenal. Styles and Bryan are having good time poking fun at the Two-Minute Man, which has been Miz’s name for a long time. But their match at Crown Jewel, their WWE World Championship match, is the very thing Bryan fought to come back.
Bryan talked about fighting for his dreams, but he never said what his dream was. Not mind games, not having fun, not reuniting teams, and certainly not fighting “this jerk.” Bryan’s dream that kept him going was one thing and one thing only: The WWE World Championship. Styles is the only thing in the way of his dream. Styles stands up to be face to face with Bryan, and Miz backs up to give them space. The Phenomenal One isn’t moving out of the way. That took long enough. Finally it gets interesting for The Miz. Styles has a question for Bryan: How good does it feel to punch Miz in the face? Punching that guy? It feels great, it’s so fun!
Miz gets upset, and sees they’d easily pick on him. He’s tried to remain professional, but to be honest, Bryan won with a fluke! Just look at the footage! Miz got a shoulder up! He demanded a rematch but Paige wouldn’t give it. Miz has won again and again, but Bryan has his stupid roll-up!? At least when Miz won, he knocked Bryan out! And as for Styles, he’s just Bryan with an accent! Styles has been champ for a year yet it’s never been more irrelevant! Do you know why the title doesn’t main event? Look in the mirror! Miz doesn’t care who wins at Crown Jewels, Miz calls next! Styles smiles but Miz says to wipe that smile off his face. Styles faces the man who beat Bryan last week, so “good luck”. Shelton Benjamin heads to the ring! Can the Gold Standard be better than Phenomenal?
Shelton Benjamin VS AJ Styles!
SmackDown returns as Benjamin bucks Styles off the waistlock. Benjamin runs but Styles arm-drags him. Benjamin blocks the next arm-drag and brings Styles down with a Russian leg sweep. Oh and Miz and Bryan are both on commentary.
Benjamin puts Styles in a corner to then throw forearms. Styles throws forearms back and whips, but Benjamin reverses and hits a big corner knee. Benjamin snapmares and covers, ONE. He puts Styles in a chinlock but fans rally for Styles. Styles stands up and jawbreakers out. He runs but into the big back body drop! Cover, ONE, but Benjamin covers again. ONE, and Styles gets away to the ropes. Benjamin puts Styles in a corner and throws in a shoulder. He backs off at the ref’s count but comes back to throw haymakers. Styles hits back with chops and forearms. Styles whips but Benjamin reverses. Benjamin leaps but Styles dodges the corner splash! Miz and Bryan argue about line of succession in terms of challenging for the title while Styles gives Benjamin the Phenomenal Blitz! Benjamin dodges the back hand but Styles dodges the dragon whip to PELE!
Both men are down but Styles gets up. He wants the Clash but Benjamin resists. Benjamin pops Styles up from fireman’s carry to suplex, but Styles slips out. Benjamin runs but into a boot. Styles slingshots but into a BIG knee from Benjamin! Styles crashes down and a ring count begins. Benjamin waits while Bryan says Benjamin is ten times the wrestler Miz is. Benjamin pursues Styles on the outside to then throw him into the barriers. He bounces Styles off the apron then off barriers again. The Gold Standard has control while we go picture in picture. Benjamin drags Styles up again to whip him into barriers! He refreshes the count then puts Styles in the ring. Cover, TWO! Benjamin grows frustrated but he puts Styles into a sleeper hold and body scissors.
Styles endures the squeeze from Benjamin, and manages to slip out of the body scissors. He fights back with elbows but Benjamin throws him down by his hair. Benjamin backs off while Miz applauds. Benjamin puts Styles in a corner for shoulders, then hoists him up to the top rope. He climbs up to join Styles and prepares a superplex. Styles slips out, trips Benjamin up, then uses the Electric Chair to drop him! We return to single picture while both men are down. A 10 count begins but Styles is up at 6. Benjamin follows but Styles knocks him down with clotheslines. Styles gives the Phenomenal Blitz in full and then hits the sliding forearm! Indy fires up with Styles as he hits the corner clothesline. Styles lifts but Benjamin slips out. Benjamin suplexes but Styles slips out. Styles gets Benjamin in the Calf Crusher!
Benjamin endures while Bryan compliments Styles’ ability. Benjamin gets the ropebreak and Styles lets him go. Styles goes back at Benjamin but Benjamin puts him against ropes for knees. Benjamin walks into a swift kick from Styles! Styles runs in but Benjamin puts him on the corner. Styles hits Benjamin away, then springboards, Phenomenal Forearm! Cover, Styles wins!
Winner: AJ Styles, by pinfall
Bryan applauds the champ, but Miz is still surly. Styles raises his belt up high, but will he still be raising his belt after Crown Jewel?
Aiden English is in the ring.
The Drama King hears the chants for “Rusev Day!” but brings up the glimpse of #OneNightinMilwaukee. English has six figure offers for that much alone, but he gives us the Director’s Cut. We again see Lana visit English in his hotel room. The Ravishing Russian tells English that she “wants” English to know how much he means to Rusev. English’s singing of Rusev’s praises, that’s awesome right back. Lana really appreciates what English has done for them. English is so thankful, and he says they mean the world to him. But then he makes a move towards Lana, and Indy gets interested. But English won’t give us the rest until Rusev appears. The Bulgarian Brute obliges!
Rusev glares daggers at English but English says he won’t show the rest. However, we all know what comes next. English gives his offer: he will destroy the video, if Rusev kicks Lana to the curb so that they can reunite Team Rusev Day! Fans chant for Rusev Day, but here comes Lana! Lana tries to reason with Rusev first before any of them speak on the mic. English says Rusev’s made his choice! “C’mon, buddy!” Rusev makes his way to the ring, but then says that this is really serious. Go ahead, play the tape. No, SmackDown is a family show, and no man should have to see his wife like that. Well fine, Lana will play the rest. And how will she do that? English got hacked, that’s how! Gasp! Well, English’s password being “I <3 Rusev”, that’s easy to break in. Hit it!
The footage rolls, and we continue from where it left off. English makes his move, but Lana stops him. This was a misunderstanding, English wanted a hug but she still left. Indy chants “Creep! Creep!” and English feels like a fool, both in the past and in the present. He admits it, they got him. But the offer’s still on the table, Lana. Maybe when you get tired of Rusev Days, treat yourself to an Aiden Night. Rusev chases Aiden down! And beats him down! English turns the tables but then runs away to the ramp. The Drama King is actually the Fool, but will he get what’s coming to him on a very special Rusev Day~?
Rey Mysterio will return on SmackDown 1000!
Not only that, but the King of Lucha, the man of the 619, will have a qualifier for the WWE World Cup! But it will be against the current United States Champion, Shinsuke Nakamura! Will Mysterio be able to overcome the King of Strong Style in his WWE television return? Or will a Kinshasa be in his near future?
WWE World Cup Qualifying Match: Randy Orton VS The Big Show!
The Viper continues to hunt the heroes of the WWE Universe, but he’s not above chasing a title like “best in the WWE”. However, the World’s Largest Athlete is back and he wants to prove that size is everything. Will the Legend Killer be able to bring down WWE’s greatest giant? Or will Crown Jewel become that much bigger?
The bell rings and Show puts Orton in a corner. Orton avoids the big chop but not the body shot. He bails out and Show roars. Indy is happy to see him, but Show keeps his eyes on Orton. Orton slithers back out of the ring while we go to break.
SmackDown returns once again and Show has Orton by the throat! Orton breaks free and DDT’s Show down! Orton catches his breath while getting to his feet. Cover, TWO and with force! Orton stomps Show’s limbs, then wraps on a chinlock. Show endures while fans build to a rally. Show stands up and powers Orton down with a back suplex! Orton sits up first but Show follows as he shakes the cobwebs out. Show rallies on Orton with clubbing clotheslines then a big corner bump. He keeps moving and easily runs Orton over! Fans fire up with Show but Orton bails out of the ring. Show pursues, and puts Orton back in the ring. Orton is on Show with the dropkick, then drags him out for a GIANT draping DDT! Cover, TWO! Show still lives, and Orton backs away.
Orton aims at Show, he wants to bring something back just for Show. Orton runs in, but Show SPEARS him down! Cover, TWO!! Orton survives that steamrolling, but fans let Show know “You Still Got It!” Show knows he still has something left, and prepares the big hand! Orton bails out, but Show grabs him and brings him up by his chin! Show drags Orton all the way in, clamps on the hand, and lifts, for the GIANT Choke Slam! Cover, TWO!? Orton survives again and Show can’t believe it. Fans want the slam “One More Time!” and Big Show prepares the Weapon of Destruction! Orton bails out again, but the referee wants Show to stay back. Show refuses, but Orton pokes his eye! Then RKO!! Cover, Orton wins!
Winner: Randy Orton, by pinfall; qualifies for the WWE World Cup
The Apex Predator always has something up his sleeve, and he joins four other great former champions in the tournament. The World Cup is half formed, who will be the other four men competing to be the best in the WWE?
A pretty solid episode of SmackDown, but perhaps lacking in some areas. We start fast and furious with the Women’s Championship match, and it was actually okay they did a Double Count-Out if it meant giving us a match at WWE Evolution. I thought we were just going to go to that but this holdover was good. Especially with that stage spot! I’m thinking both Charlotte and Becky were okay, but kayfabe selling that Charlotte had cuts at best and a bad wrist at worst will play into the story for these two as Becky loves arm submissions. This first-ever Last Woman Standing match is going to be great, but I’m still holding onto Becky retaining.
Obviously the night was dominated by Crown Jewel build, but clearly Saudi Arabia wants certain stars for the World Cup they’re funding. John Cena was an automatic in, and aside from Samoa Joe, the first SmackDown entrants are all basically older stars from the previous era. We know Rey Mysterio is on his way, and goes against Shinsuke Nakamura. I’m pretty sure it’s a safe bet Mysterio wins to qualify to make this World Cup a trip back in time. There’s also little chance anyone not in the World Cup, the world title match or the Universal Championship Triple Threat will be on the card, as an 8-man tournament will be SEVEN matches. Hopefully Nakamura does something anyway, he hasn’t defended his title or done much of anything since getting it.
“The Rest of One Night in Milwaukee” was as expected. We find out English was exaggerating and he looks like a creep. Rusev VS English is going to be fun, and I think it makes sense for Rusev to win here so that the husband and wife triumph over their former friend turned conniving enemy. The best part of tonight was the stretch from Miz TV to Benjamin VS Styles. I liked that Miz tried stirring the pot, as Miz is wont to do, but Bryan and Styles (being ROH alumni) kept things respectful yet still competitive. Benjamin VS Styles was a great match, and naturally Styles wins. Miz wants next, but I’m sure something will happen where he loses his cool and at least goes after Bryan, maybe even add himself to the world title match to make for two triple threats on one show.
My Score: 8.5/10
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