It’s the final NXT of 2018 and Heavy Machinery looks to go out with some gold! Will Tucker Knight & Otis Dozovic take the titles from The Undisputed Era?
- NXT Women’s Championship #1 Contender’s Fatal 4 Way: Bianca Belair VS Lacey Evans VS Mia Yim VS Io Shirai; Belair wins and will challenge Shayna Baszler for the title at TakeOver: Phoenix.
- Jaxson Ryker w/ The Forgotten Sons VS Mitch Taverna; Ryker wins.
- NXT Tag Team Championships: The Undisputed Era VS Heavy Machinery; The Undisputed Era wins and retains the NXT Tag Team Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
NXT Women’s Championship #1 Contender’s Fatal 4 Way: Bianca Belair VS Lacey Evans VS Mia Yim VS Io Shirai!
The Queen of Spades wants a real challenge, and is through with the Pirate Princess. Therefore, William Regal put it together that four of the best and freshest superstars gets their chance! Will it be the Un-De-Fea-Ted, the Lady of NXT, the Head Baddie in Charge, or the Genius of the Sky that heads to Phoenix to face #ShaynaTwoTime?
The bell rings and fans are pretty well divided. Lacey says she’ll be polite and step aside for the other three to fight. Mia and Bianca trash talk from past beef, but Io rolls Bianca up! TWO, and now Mia and Io chop back and forth on Bianca. They double whip and double clothesline Bianca, and Bianca bails out. Mia builds speed to DIVE onto Bianca! Fans fire up with Mia, but Lacey attacks Io! Lacey whips but Io uses it to DIVE onto Bianca! Io takes a rough landing of her own but Mia helps her up. They work together to go after Lacey now. They double dropkick Lacey to a corner, then Io whips Mia in for a big boot! Io runs in for a back elbow, and Mia comes back for a cannonball! Fans fire up with Io as she finishes off with double knees!
Io drags Lacey up and waistlocks. Mia aims but Lacey ducks, the roundhouse goes into Io! Lacey clubs away on Mia but is put on the apron. Lacey lands on her feet to sweep the legs and slingshot an elbow drop! Cover, TWO! Lacey keeps her cool while she looms over Mia, but Io returns. Lacey drop toeholds Io onto Mia! And then she hits the swinging bronco buster! Cover on Io, TWO! Lacey keeps her composure but she’s growing frustrated. Lacey drags Io up and puts her in the corner to grind her boot into Io’s stomach. The ref backs Lacey off but Lacey comes back to snapmare Io to a cover. TWO, but Lacey whips Io corner to corner. Bianca runs in to blast Io, then scoops her. Lacey runs in but Bianca swings Io at her. Io slips out and dumps Bianca out of the ring.
Lacey grabs Io and bumps her off buckles. Io shoves Lacey away but gets tripped up. Lacey covers, but Mia breaks it. Lacey throws Mia out but Io rolls Lacey up! TWO, and Lacey sweeps the legs to a cover, TWO! Fans applaud for this fast and furious action, and rally up for Io. Lacey rains down rights and then covers. But Bianca breaks it! Bianca drags Io up into the torture rack but Lacey ends up saving Io. Lacey and Bianca argue over whose prey and whose ring this is, but they end up working together to run Mia over! Bianca drags Mia up and she suplexes her with Bianca. Io saves Mia and then Io leaps. Bianca and Lacey catch her but Mia dropkicks them all down! It’s a double cover for Io, TWO and they toss Io out.
Mia rains rights on Bianca but Lacey kicks her down. Lacey covers Mia but Bianca drags her off. Bianca covers Mia but Lacey drags her off. They argue again and start shoving. Mia takes advantage to saido suplex and bridge on Bianca, but Lacey breaks it! Lacey kicks Mia down, but Io springboards in for a missile dropkick! Bianca SPEARS Io! All four women are down but Full Sail is fired up! Bianca gets up and covers Mia, TWO! She covers Lacey, TWO! Bianca’s frustrations boil up but she goes after Io. She puts Io in a full nelson, then double chicken wing, but Io rolls through to double stomp! Io drop toeholds Bianca to the ropes, Tiger Feint Kick!
Io hurries up top, and leaps for a big missile dropkick! Cover, but Lacey breaks it. Lacey throws Io out but Mia chops away on Lacey. Mia kicks and kicks but gets the Woman’s Right!! Cover, but Io narrowly breaks it! Io hits a shotei, then a scoop slam. She steps on Lacey, then hops up for the ASAI MOONSAULT! Cover, but Bianca whips away with her ponytail! Bianca lifts Io and tosses her out on Mia! Bianca lifts Lacey in the torture rack, K.O.D! Cover, Bianca wins!!
Winner: Bianca Belair, by pinfall; new #1 Contender
The EST is still Un-De-Fea-Ted, and is headed to TakeOver: Phoenix! Will Bianca be the ace that trumps the Queen of Spades?
Jaxson Ryker w/ The Forgotten Sons VS Mitch Taverna!
The Gunner of this three man unit hasn’t had many matches but he’s won every time. Will Ryker continue to #DoUntoOthers against even a physically impressive opponent as the “Real Man of Steel”?
The bell rings and the two big men tie up. Ryker powers Taverna to a corner and fires off big hands! He backs off at 4 but goes right back for a scoop. Taverna slips out and chops, but it does nothing to Ryker! Ryker shoves and slams Taverna with a spinebuster! Steve Cutler and Wesley Blake coach Ryker on as he shoves and knees Taverna. Ryker grabs Taverna by the head and grinds his face into the mat. He lets up at 4 but clubs Taverna back down. Blake and Cutler mock and taunt Taverna while Ryker thrashes him around. Ryker scoops and snake eyes Taverna before clubbing him with double ax handles! But Ryker isn’t done with him yet. Cutler and Blake tell him to end it, and he brings Taverna up for a rebound powerbomb! Cover, Ryker wins!
Winner: Jaxson Ryker, by pinfall
The Forgotten Sons all stay undefeated, not to mention staying focused. Will they close in on some championship gold in the New Year?
Velveteen Dream looks back on 2018.
The Experience was no different from 2017 to 2018. It was that the NXT Universe finally opened their eyes. Dream has impressed the fans as well as living legends. Don’t believe him? Just look at the tweets of Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels, and even Kurt Angle or John Cena. If you thought this year was something, just wait for 2019. #DreamOn.
Tommaso Ciampa speaks.
“I am a man of my word.” When he makes a promise, he delivers. Yet sometimes, Ciampa feels like a broken record. He feels like he’s a man alone in a room talking to a wall. But last week when he helped Johnny Gargano against Aleister Black, that was vindication. It proved someone has been listening this entire time. “Johnny Gargano listens. Johnny Gargano followed my lead, and look at what it led to.” Gargano pinned the former champion, Aleister Black, so where does that put Gargano? Gargano can’t have a shot at the title, that match is taken.
But shouldn’t Gargano get an opportunity at some other title? Like Ricochet’s North American Championship. Gargano is listening. This is what DIY always talked about. Two kids with no contracts, touring the world and “the day DIY took over NXT.” This TakeOver will be their takeover! Ciampa as NXT Champion, Gargano as North American Champion. “Two kids taking over the world. Johnny, the possibilities are endless.” Will Gargano truly follow Ciampa’s lead?
NXT Tag Team Championships: The Undisputed Era VS Heavy Machinery!
Kyle O’Reilly has already had three partners with these titles since coming to NXT. He would win them with Bobby Fish, defend them with Adam Cole, and regain them with Roderick Strong. But in all that time the titles have been Undisputed, Tucker Knight & Otis Dozovic have grown stronger. Tucky & Dozer have a six month winning streak and look to finally feast on gold before going to the main roster. Will Heavy Machinery have its fill? Or will they be sent to the main roster still hungry for their first taste?
The introductions are made, the titles are raised, and we begin with Strong against Tucker. Fans duel “Undisputed!” “Steaks and Weights!” as the two circle. Kyle distracts Tucker but he still fights Strong off. Tucker fights Kyle off then tackles Strong. Strong gets loose but gets thrown down with a waistlock. Tucker rolls Strong, TWO. He gets Strong again, TWO. Strong gets a headlock but Tucker powers out. Kyle tags in before Tucker runs Strong over. Kyle runs in but Tucker runs him over, too. Tucker hip tosses Strong but Kyle kicks Tucker in the legs. Kyle kicks Tucker to the Undisputed corner and tags in Strong. The Undisputed Era double whip Tucker but Tucker comes back with double clotheslines! Tag to Dozer!
Strong dropkicks Dozer’s leg but Dozer stays up. Strong throws hands but Dozer blocks the whip to reverse. Dozer sees Strong go up and over so he clobbers him from behind. Kyle runs in but he gets clobbered! Dozer grabs Strong and throws him across the way! Dozer scoops and slams Strong down, then drags him back up. He shoves Strong to the Heavy Machinery corner and tags in Tucker. Dozer whips Tucker in for a corner splash, then Tucker whips Strong at Dozer for the tackle. Tucker covers, TWO! Tucker drags Strong up in an armlock. Strong endures the wrenching and reaches for Kyle. Tucker keeps Strong away from Kyle a couple times but the third time’s the charm.
Kyle runs in but Tucker throws Strong aside to catch him. Kyle fights back but Dozer picks up Strong, and Heavy Machinery sandwich the Undisputed Era before double belly2bellies! Then Heavy Machinery ram bellies to squish Strong! Tucker whips Kyle but Kyle holds ropes. Kyle bails out and retreats but Tucker gives pursuit. Strong gets run over, and then Tucker puts Kyle in the ring. Tucker clobbers Kyle and kicks Strong, but Kyle kicks back. Kyle grabs a leg but the referee counts. Kyle lets go at 4, but Strong gets Tucker with a backbreaker to the floor! Strong perhaps meant to only drop him on the apron, but both of them crash and burn all the way down. The referee checks on both of them, but they’re somehow okay to continue.
Kyle goes after Tucker with kicks and Strong crawls his way back to the corner. Fans rally up for Tucker as Kyle throws hands. Tucker hits back with body shots but Kyle rocks him with a knee. Kyle puts Tucker in the ring but Tucker fights back more. Kyle rocks him with another knee, then tags Strong. The Undisputed Era mug Tucker with kicks and chops in the corner. Strong keeps Tucker down and clubs away. Strong laces Tucker’s leg in the ropes to pull on it. The ref counts and Strong lets up at 4, to then mock Dozer. Strong turns around into a shove from Tucker, but he comes back with haymakers. Tag to Kyle but Tucker fights back. Tucker sends Strong flying but Kyle dragon screws the leg in the ropes! Cover, TWO!
Kyle keeps on Tucker with a standing ankle lock. Tucker rolls and fights back with his free leg. Kyle shifts to ground ‘n’ pound with palm strikes, and then goes for an armbar! Fans rally and Tucker gets a ropebreak. Kyle lets him go and tags Strong. The Undisputed Era unload kicks and elbows, then an Olympic Slam from Strong! Cover, TWO! Strong keeps on Tucker’s leg with a modified deathlock. Tucker endures and fans rally up again. Tucker drags himself and Strong backwards, but then Kyle helps Strong drag Tucker back! Fans boo but Tucker clubs away on Strong. Tucker frees himself but Strong goes after Dozer. Strong turns around into a BIG clothesline! Both men crawl, hot tags to Kyle and Dozer!
Dozer rallies on the Undisputed Era with endless clotheslines! Kyle runs into a trapped-leg suplex! Dozer sandwiches Kyle and Strong in the machine! Fans fire up with Dozer as he pumps it up. Caterpillar elbow! Kyle runs and boots Dozer, but then runs into Dozer’s arms. Tag to Tucker and Strong saves Kyle. Tucker clobbers Strong then clubs Kyle. Dozer catapults Kyle at Tucker for a belly2belly! Aka the Hoss Toss! Cover, but Strong breaks it! Tucker shoves Strong out and goes up top! Tucker doesn’t normally moonsault, and he flops! Kyle tags Strong, and Strong runs in but misses. Tag to Dozer but Strong fires elbows off. Dozer runs Strong over, but gets a boot and enziguri on the rebound. Dozer clobbers Strong with a clothesline! Cover, TWO!! Strong lives but Dozer doesn’t lose heart.
Dozer drags Strong around and decides to climb now! Tucker rarely goes up, Dozer almost never goes up. Kyle runs over but gets a right hand. Strong kicks Dozer down! Strong climbs up to join Dozer, but Dozer resists. They struggle and Kyle comes in to tip the scales, SUPERPLEX BOMB! Cover, TWO!! Dozer lives but Strong tags Kyle. Kyle boots Tucker down and Tucker hits steps on the way. Dozer fights off Undisputed Era but still gets a big knee. Ax ‘n’ SMASH! Cover, TWO!! Kyle is furious but he tags Strong back in. Strong blasts Tucker with a dropkick, and then STRONG ELIMINATION!! Cover, Undisputed Era wins!
Winners: The Undisputed Era, Strong pinning; still NXT Tag Team Champions
Strong and O’Reilly win by the skin of their teeth! They manage to keep Heavy Machinery at bay, and continue their reign into 2019. Bobby Fish and Adam Cole join them in celebrating on the stage, because 2018 ends Undisputed. Will their promise of being completely draped in gold come true after all?
What a great episode to close out 2018! First off, I didn’t expect the Women’s Championship #1 Contenders match happening first. It started with the Faces working together and it almost became a tag team match rather than a Fatal 4 in just how the action went. Of course the Heels didn’t get along, and that made for some great stuff. The only sloppy part was no one being quite close enough to break Lacey’s pin on Mia. Technically Lacey would’ve won there if not for the ref slowing down just enough for Io. Another great part of it was that I expected Io Shirai to win, but instead it’s Bianca Belair. Perhaps Bianca can make the shift to at least Tweener against Shayna as far as characters. But their match will be great, and maybe Bianca will get it to everyone’s surprise.
Jaxson Ryker squashes his opponent, because it was filler. The Forgotten Sons haven’t gotten an actual story yet, maybe 2019 brings them going up against a fan favorite Face tag team so there are actual developments for Ryker, Cutler and Blake. With Heavy Machinery heading up to main and War Raiders banged up from WarGames, the only Face team right now is Lorcan & Burch. Perhaps a team like Mendoza & Carillo will get some character and they can be a new exciting Face midcard team. And speaking of Heavy Machinery, the fact they were advertised as the newest NXT Call-Ups killed any chance of surprise in tonight’s tag title match. They had their best match so far with Strong & O’Reilly, but it was too much to think they’d bring those tag titles with them to Raw or SmackDown. I just hope Vince doesn’t drag them down the Enzo & Cass route now…
My Score: 8.5/10
AJPW New Year Wars 2019 Results & Review (1/2-1/3/2019)
Well we told you Mathew was gonna cover it, and he had a small break from Stardom to add his expertise to the first two days of New Year Wars 2019. All Japan coverage time!
Welcome to our first All Japan Pro Wrestling show of the new year and last time I covered AJPW, I did the Real World Tag League where The Bomber won the whole thing and they’ll be fighting Violent Giants in this show.
If you’re reading the title right, it’s showing two days on there and that’s because I will be covering the two title matches that happened on the January 2nd show and then cover the whole January 3rd show.
We got a lot to cover and 2018 was a great year for AJPW but now let’s see how 2019 will go for them. Let’s find out as we…dive right in.
World Junior Heavyweight Title Match
Koji Iwamoto (c) vs. Yusuke Okada
Review: Our first title match for this show is for the World Junior Heavyweight Championship where Koji Iwamoto will defend his title against Yusuke. The junior division I’m not too crazy about in the company due to the lack of depth, so I didn’t pay much attention to it during the last few months but gonna give it a shot instead of just covering one match on this show. Yusuke came back a couple of months ago and he looks to be back in the mix for a title opportunity as he fights Koji, who won it back from Shuji Kondo. Will Koji retain the title or Yusuke becomes the new champion?
Now that I’ve seen this match, I can say it’s a step in the right direction for the division as a whole since you got Koji Iwamoto, who is a very talented individual that could very well be the one that would be a great leader to the division and then someone like Yusuke Okada to be a strong contender. Koji is someone I’ve always enjoyed when I see him wrestle in the ring but the lack of depth in the division made it hard for me to care about it as a whole that this was a very pleasant surprise to see. Okada came back better than ever since his return from injury and would show his progress in the ring.
Okada would start to destroy Koji with his Lariats to weaken him a little bit but Koji would still find a way to kick out of them. Okada attempts to finish him off with a Fisherman Buster but Koji would fight out of it and hits a quick STO before he would get him up for a Superplex and the competitors are down. Koji went to look to finish Okada off as Okada would struggle for a little bit until he got caught in a Dragon Suplex and a German Suplex Hold for a two count. Koji would finally hit the Koko no Geijutsu for the pinfall victory and I wish Ronda Rousey would use this throw as her finish instead, would look amazing. Okada puts up a good fight but not at that level where he needs to be just yet, so hard to make it a bit believable for him. Nobody else came out to challenge Koji as he celebrates his victory in a solid bout.
Rating: Bruce Prichard
World Tag Team Title Match
Violent Giants (Shuji Ishikawa & Suwama) (c) vs. The Bomber (Dylan James & Joe Doering)
Review: Our main event of this show and final match is Violent Giants defending their titles against the Real World Tag League winners, The Bomber. The two teams would fight in the finals of the tournament when The Bomber was able to pick up the win to know how this match here. We also found out on this show that Shuji Ishikawa is no longer a Freelancer and is now apart of the AJPW roster full-time. Will Violent Giants get some revenge to retain the titles or will The Bomber make lightning strike twice and take the titles with them this time?
The match is pretty much what you would expect it would go between these two and if you liked their first encounter during the finals, then chances are you’re going to like this one a lot better. The to would start off fairly evenly matched and the two teams would start to fight outside of the arena to the point where they would even fight up into the audience until they went back into the arena to get back to the fight. Dylan James keeps on improving and it’s about time he starts finding his voice in All Japan instead of just being a bust like the first half of his year in 2018, so I guess him teaming up with Joe Doering turned out to be the best thing to happen to him at the end of things. Violent Giants are always on point when it comes to tag team wrestling and no surprise why they’re Tokyo Sports Tag Team of the Year two years in a row.
Things start to get more intense in the ring once Suwama starts beating Doering down onto the mat before he tags in Shuji for the hot tag as him and Dylan start pummeling each other with strikes and slams. Shuji would deliver a Double Stomp onto the middle rope as he goes for a pin but Dylan kicks out at two as Joe helps his partner out by giving Shuji a Lariat and am Elbow Drop to top it off. Violent Giants start to go for a Double Powerbomb onto Dylan but Joe would break it up before he got tossed into the ropes as Joe catches them both with a Diving Body Press and the crowd goes nuts. The Bomber would look to go for their Double Piledriver onto Shuji as Suwama would fight Joe off before they could finish them off. Violent Giants start acting in sequence onto Dylan as they would hit him with a German Suplex, Backdrop Driver, and a Double Lariat to knock him down. Shuji would hit the Fire Thunder Driver but Joe breaks the count before being tossed back out again by Suwama. Shuji then has Dylan all by himself as he hits him with multiple knee strikes and does the Giant’s Slam as the Violent Giants retain the titles! After the match, Daisuke Sekimoto and Yuji Okabayashi challenged them to a title match at the Big Japan Wrestling show on January 13th and it’s sure to be a fun time. Great match and very hard-hitting, what more could you ask for?
Rating: Bruce Prichard and a half
Tag Team Match
Danji Tamura & Hokuto Omori vs. Atsuki Aoyagi & Yusuke Okada
Review: Our opening match is a regular tag team match with Yusuke Okada teaming up with Atsuki Aoyagi taking on the team of Danji Tamura and Hokuto Omori. Danji, Hokuto, and Atsuki are all new All Japan’s young lions as they made their debut on the January 2nd show and now I get to see them for this one. Will the new guys win or does Yusuke guide Atsuki to victory?
So how did our new guys fair off in this tag match? Well, I think that all three of them have potential and I don’t know who is who due to the music being cut out along with their names, but one of them had a really nice sequence with Yusuke. The match itself was an average tag match with the young lions getting showcased and all three of them had an equal chance to shine in this one. The match was about six minutes and Yusuke would have one of them in a Boston Crab to make them tap out for the victory. I wish all three of these men luck on their journey in the world of professional wrestling.
Rating: Tony Schiavone and a half
Tag Team Match
Hikaru Sato & Osamu Nishimura vs. Masanobu Fuchi & Yoshitatsu
Review: Our next match is another tag team match with Hikaru Sato and Osamu Nishimura taking on Masanobu Fuchi and Yoshitatsu. It looks like another tag match with probably some humor involved due to Fuchi being apart of it. Which one of these teams will win?
Yoshi, dude, please get rid of that Hunter Club shit. What purpose does it provide for you now? Nothing, so why keep wearing anything related to it at all? Just get rid of anything related to it already. Anyway, not that I got that little vent out of my system, I thought the match was a little bit average. The pop Fuchi still gets is an incredible feeling with the fans showing their love and support to him in the ring and even has fans resent his opponents, like how Hikaru would just kick him down and the boos he gets, is one of the loudest I’ve seen for an undercard or most of the time in general, it’s incredible. Fuchi would be in the match for pretty much the majority of it since Yoshi was only in for the beginning sequence before tagging in Fuchi. It would be Fuchi and Osamu in the ring and they would be cradled up to try and go for the pinfall as the two kick out to hold the position to pin the other but wait, Hikaru would push his partner to make him pin Fuchi and they steal the victory!
Rating: Tony Schiavone
Six Man Tag Team Match
Sweeper (Jake Lee, Koji Iwamoto & Ryouji Sai) vs. Atsushi Maruyama, Jun Akiyama & Zeus
Review: Our next match is a six-man tag match with our Sweeper members, Jake Lee, Koji Iwamoto, and Ryouji Sai taking on the team of Atsushi Maruyama, Jun Akiyama, and Zeus. I guess The Bodyguard is out with an injury since he’s not booked on this show at all. It’s always good to see Jake Lee in the ring and I feel like 2019 is going to be kind to him, but he needs to get a victory here to get some momentum. Can Sweeper sweep up the victory or will Uncle Jun and Daddy Zeus take it?
Ryouji and Zeus started the match off as the two would trade in some blows until Jake got tagged in as him and Zeus would have a little staredown before they got right into the action to fight each other. During the majority of this match was pretty much Zeus and Jun abusing Jake any chance they would get and I mean it since they just chop him down, stiff him, pretty much just beating the crap out of him and I feel like it’s tough love for Jake at this point. Once Jake was done being abused during this match, Koji would get tagged in now as he’s now in the ring with Atsushi for the remainder of the match and I wonder if he could be a potential contender for the Junior Championship? That question seems to be out of the question since Koji would just make quick work of him and hits the Koko no Geijutsu for the pinfall once Zeus was unable to break the pinfall in time. Decently paced match with more progression with Jake Lee and I wonder if he will encounter Zeus in singles action soon.
Rating: Eric Bischoff
Six Man Tag Team Match
The Bomber (Dylan James & Joe Doering) & Gianni Valletta vs. Evolution (Atsushi Aoki, Shuji Ishikawa & Suwama)
Review: We got ourselves another six-man tag match with The Bomber teaming up with Gianni Valletta since TAJIRI has a title match coming up tonight as they take on Evolution and no, not WWE’s Evolution. Evolution has Violent Giants and Atsushi Aoki in it. Yesterday, Violent Giants defeated The Bomber to retain the World Tag Team Championships as it looks like they’ll be fighting again in this match-up. Wonder if Bomber wins again they would get another rematch for the titles, only time will tell.
The Bomber would start the assault to Evolution to the outside of the ring once the bell would ring and they would start to get some of that heel heat in. Atsushi would now be the victim for the assault as he would just get chopped, slammed down, or just suffer a Lariat or two between the three men that are fighting him and Violent Giants. Suwama would help his partner out to get a little bit of offense in when he fights of Dylan a little bit, but Dylan would end his momentum with a few chops and a Lariat to the corner before hitting an Elbow Drop for a two count. Shuji would duck a Lariat for an STO and would tag in Suwama for a hot tag as he would start cleaning house for Evolution until Dylan tagged in Gianni for all three of them to try and gang up on Evolution, but Suwama would fight off Gianni and Joe for a little bit until Gianni was alone in the ring for Violent Giants to land their assault onto him. Suwama would pick Gianni up right away as he hits the Backdrop Driver for the victory as Evolution stands tall! Solid match and wonder who will Violent Giants defend the titles against next.
Rating: Eric Bischoff
GAORA TV Title Match
TAJIRI (c) vs. Minoru Fujita
Review: Our first title match for this show is TAJIRI defending the Gaora TV Championship against Minoru Fujita. TAJIRI has been on quite a roll with this title run with four successful title defenses under his belt with his last one being against Super Crazy. This is Minoru’s first match in AJPW during his entire career and he could very well take that title with him to Tokyo Gurentai. Can TAJIRI retain it again or will we have a new champion?
What can I really say about this match? I mean it wasn’t horrible by any means but at the same time, it just felt like a regular match without a title on the line, like just a special singles match. We all know TAJIRI’s glory days are long gone and he’s pretty much just having a good time with a lighter schedule to do as much as he can before he decides to fully hang it up for good. I haven’t really followed Minoru’s career all that much but I will say that he was still pretty mobile and would hit the moves he wanted to do without a problem like his dive to the outside and such. Don’t think were was anything really big that happened in the match except that Minoru would place a bag over TAJIRI’s head to blind him a little and hits a Splash off the top rope for a two count. Minoru would go back to the top rope and TAJIRI takes the bag off to spit green mist into his eyes once he jumped off the rope and does a Small Package to retain the title. Again, not a terrible match but just really standard.
Rating: Tony Schiavone and three quarters
All Asia Tag Team Title Match
NEXTREAM (Naoya Nomura & Yuma Aoyagi) (c) vs. Black Menso-re & Takao Omori
Review: Our next title defense for this show is NEXTREAM defending their All Asia Tag Team Championships against Takao Omori and Black Menso-re. These two teams are no strangers to each other as the two fought on October 10th where NEXTREAM would retain the titles and it looks like they want a rematch this time around. NEXTREAM has retained their titles twice during this run and would like to add a third defense if they can beat their opponents. Can NEXTREAM retain or do they lose it in the revenge match?
If we’re going to compare the two title matches these teams had against each other, I would say they were both equally as good but this one probably had a better flow throughout, so I think I would give the edge to this one at least for the time being, I don’t really recall how the partnership between Menso and Takao happened but for some reason they would work pretty well together with their different styles of speed and impact to make them a pretty solid team. NEXTREAM would keep proving themselves as a tag team and rise up in the ranks to better themselves as partners and individuals as Naoya and Yuma are both very talented wrestlers. Black Menso-re really is a talented guy and I hope to see him as a contender for the Junior title in the future since he would have a great match with Koji.
NEXTREAM would start to double team Menso with elbows into the corner as Yuma throws him into Naoya to catch him for a Gutbuster, then Yuma does a German Suplex, and Naoya finishes the combo with a Spear and goes for a pin but Takao jumped in to break the pinfall. Nomura would try to elbow Menso would counter it with a roll-up and no matter how many times Naoya would try to break out of it, Menso would somehow get him back into the same position until he was able to finally kick out and let go. Takao gets into the ring now and hits a few Ax Bombers onto Naoya before he had him up for a Package Driver as Menso tops it off with a Double Stomp for Yuma to break the near fall. Yuma would help his partner out by giving Takao a German Suplex and then Naoya does a German Suplex hold for Menso to break up the pinfall. Naoya isn’t done just yet as he would now hit a Splash off the top rope but Tako would kick out again as Naoya has enough and picks him up for the Death Valley Driver and NEXTREAM retains their titles!
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a half
Triple Crown Title Match
Kento Miyahara (c) vs. KAI
Review: Our main event for the night is Kento Miyahara defending his Triple Crown Championship for the first time in this reign against KAI. This match took place when KAI would pin Kento during the Real World Tag League and now he looks to be the one to dethrone the ace. Kento’s goal once he won the title back from Zeus was to surpass the record for most title defenses, which is currently held by Toshiaki Kawada with ten defenses under his final reign. This will be Kento’s first one so let’s see if he can fulfill this goal. Can Kento succeed in his first title defense or will KAI ruin his plans?
Pretty explosive start right away as Kento would attempt to go for the Blackout a couple of times once the bell rang but KAI would move out of the way every time he does and they have a stare down as the crowd starts cheering for them. KAI would pretty much outsmart him for the beginning of the match and it got to the point where Kento would even be outraged and throw him into the turnbuckle post, which looked like an okay idea but it would backfire once he attempted a Blackout onto the post as KAI moved out of the way and hits a Dragon Screw on his injured leg between the post. The two would keep fighting outside of the ring for a little bit until Kento would drop him against a guardrail and the two would get back inside. I think this was KAI’s best match that I’ve seen in quite some time as KAI is one of those wrestlers that can be a hit or miss depending on the opponent he fights and he was able to go toe to toe with Kento, even the crowd was supportive of KAI during the match at some point.
Kento starts to get a comeback in as he hits a German Suplex and then quickly gets up to hit not one but two Blackouts in the match to try and knock him out but KAI managed to kick out of it when he could. KAI would attempt to kick up Kento for a Powerbomb but he would struggle for a bit until KAI gathered enough strength to make it connect but Kento kicked out at two before KAI went to the top rope for a Frog Splash, only for Kento to put his knees up and risks hurting his leg a little bit more to get enough time to recover. KAI would deliver some kicks to the face and once he Irish Whipped him, Kento would duck and hit him with a Blackout and before he could hit one more, KAI would catch him to set up for a Fire Thunder Driver as he connected for a two count. KAI would have him up on his shoulders until Kento would get off to attempt a German, but KAI rolled out of it to get caught into a European Clutch for another two count. KAI attempts to go for his signature flash pin only for Kento to power out of it and catches him in a German Suplex Hold for a two count and he would eventually hit his Shutdown German Suplex Hold for the victory and his first successful defense in this reign.
So what was the big takeaway for this match? Well, it’s really because of KAI and not knocking his performance here since he did great but it was more of he wasn’t a very believable opponent for Kento and there was not one moment in the match where it seems like he had a chance to win the belt at all. If you have Kento make a claim to break a record, why would you have him lose in the first defense and against someone like KAI? So Kento retaining was the right call and a lot of people knew it would happen despite fans being behind KAI. No new challenger came out to fight Kento, so we’ll see who they pick next. Great match and a great way to close the show.
Rating: Bruce Prichard and a quarter
Overall: I thought this was a pretty solid show with only two matches that were mediocre while the rest deliver us some solid matches for the most part. All the title matches except for the GAORA one were the highlights of these shows and it’s showing us promise of what’s to come in 2019.
Favorite Match: Shuji Ishikawa & Suwama vs. Dylan James & Joe Doering
Least Favorite Match: Hikaru Sato & Osamu Nishimura vs. Masanobu Fuchi & Yoshitatsu
Mitchell’s WWE NXT Results & Report! (1/16/19)
NXT continues on the Road to Phoenix! The Limitless One looks to give the Knockout Artist payback on behalf of the King of Bros! Will Ohno #BaskInHisGlory?
- Street Profits VS The Metro Brothers; Street Profits win.
- Dominik Dijakovic VS Adrian Jauode; Dijakovic wins.
- Johnny Gargano VS Humberto Carrillo; Gargano wins.
- Keith Lee VS Kassius Ohno; Ohno wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Street Profits VS The Metro Brothers!
Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford want to put the #CurseofGreatness on the NXT Tag Team Division, and that requires winning the NXT Tag Team Championships. But before they can do that, that means racking up win after win. Will the Profits make their prophecy come true sooner rather than later in 2019?
The teams sort out, and it will be Ford starting against Chris Metro. Ford wants Christ to know that he does remember him. Chris shoves Ford, so Ford shoves him back! “Don’t sleep on me, boy!” Chris forearms back and whips but Ford reverses. Things speed up as Ford hurdles then dropkicks Chris! Ford kips up and shimmies at JC before whipping Chris. Tag to Dawkins and Dawkins runs Chris over. Dawkins helps Ford with the back suplex splash! The Profits fire each other up but they get a bit too rough as Dawkins shoves Ford over. JC tags in and slaps Dawkins, Dawkins ROCKS JC with a right! Dawkins sees Chris coming and Chris backs off a moment. Chris runs in, but into another of those killer rights! Ford laughs then tags in, to hit JC with the high-flying frog splash! Cover, and The Profits win!
Winners: The Street Profits, Montez Ford pinning
Their first match back and it was impactful! Dawkins and Ford celebrate with the Full Sail crowd, but will they be celebrating with titles soon enough? But then the Forgotten Sons attack to ruin the fun! Dawkins and Ford put up a good fight against Steve Cutler and Wesley Blake, but Jaxon Ryker changes that! Ryker wipes Dawkins out then catches Ford to ram him into the apron! Blake grabs Ford but Ford throws hands. Ford gets 3v1 and hit with a sit-out spinebuster! Fans taunt the Forgotten Sons that “We Forgot You!” but will the Profits remember them now? The Forgotten Sons make sure they do, as they stomp Ford and Dawkins out! And then the flying stomp inverted DDT combo! Will Ryker, Blake and Cutler continue to #DoUntoOthers on their own path towards the titles?
Backstage interview with Matt Riddle and Keith Lee.
The King of Bros won a match but lost a fight with Kassius Ohno, and now the Limitless One competes in his place. Riddle would love to sit ringside and watch Keith show Ohno what it is to be limitless. But Riddle also hopes Lee leaves something of Ohno left so he can get his turn, “bro”. Will Ohno be saying “Oh no!” against Lee later tonight? Or will the Knockout Artist expose the Limitless One’s limit?
Aleister Black speaks.
“Do you feel that, Tommaso Ciampa?” Of course he does. The days of TakeOver: Phoenix are coming, and everyone feels it. For Ciampa think that he was safe was foolish. Aleister will absolve Ciampa of his sins and take the title back. But everyone will be back at Full Sail, so let’s start this fight early? What will the Embodiment of the End do when he finds the Psycho Killer in the arena?
Bianca Belair heads to the ring!
The EST is the new #1 contender to Shayna Baszler’s NXT Women’s Championship and the two face off for the first time in Phoenix. But right now, the Un-De-Fea-Ted woman says that “chaos” tried to stop her rise. Bianca sent Nikki Cross packing, because this is her time to finish the climb. 2019 will be the Year of EST, and she has 20-20 vision when it comes to the title. Shayna, Bianca sees you. She has the title and her horsewomen galloping up behind her, but the EST of NXT will still be Un-De– But speaking of the Queen of Spades and her cohorts, here they come! Shayna, Jessamyn and Marina all walk down the ramp, their eyes locked on Bianca in the ring. Shayna leads the way into the ring, mic in hand, and sees the EST for herself.
“I gotta be honest with you, I just don’t see it.” Shayna knows Bianca has a lot of records, from fastest to strongest, but obviously not the smartest. If Bianca had even half a brain, she’d know that it doesn’t matter how big and strong those arms are, Shayna will still tear them off in Phoenix. Bianca tells Shayna, “Uh-uh.” The only thing Bianca’s arm will do is hold the title up after it’s all over. The fans are on Bianca’s side but Shayna says Bianca’s the same as all the others she faced. They can’t put their money where their mouth is and actually fight Shayna. Bianca is afraid of having a broken arm, afraid that the hype will be silenced, and afraid that instead of Un-De-Fea-Ted, she’ll become O-Ver-Rate-Ed. Fans duel while Bianca and Shayna stare down.
Shayna smirks as she asks about Bianca being worried about Marina and Jessamyn. She tells Bianca they’re the least of her worries. Bianca SLAPS Shayna! Then she dodges Jessamyn’s kick and Marina’s lunge! Bianca blows kisses good-bye, and tells her the fight’s coming. Will Bianca blow a Kiss of Death to the reign of #ShaynaTwoTime? Or will Shayna rock Bianca right in the kisser?
Dominik Dijakovic VS Adrian Jauode!
#FeastYourEyes on the five-tool tower, but as well as the Brazilian bulldog! Both men have mixed martial arts training in various styles, but whose combined style will win their first match of 2019?
The bell rings and Jauode uses his capoeria stance to throw Dijakovic off a bit. Dijakovic avoids one takedown then another, and the two circle again. They tie up and Jauode puts Dijakovic in a corner. The ref counts and Jauode picks Dijakovic for a body slam! Dijakovic holds Jauode off from a cover, and gets a facelock to counter. They stand up and Jauode gets another takedown! Jauode drags Dijakovic back up with the facelock. He gets a fireman’s carry takeover, but Dijakovic denies the cover. Dijakovic gets a waistlock, but Jauode turns and powers him to a corner again. The ref calls for the ropebreak, but Dijakovic clubs Jauode off. Dijakovic runs out to mule kick, front kick and back elbow! Jauode falls back and crawls to a corner.
Dijakovic runs corner to corner to splash, then elbow and club Jauode more. Dijakovic says “Time to fly!” and throws Jauode with a suplex! Fans applaud the power game as Dijakovic stalks Jauode. Jauode throws hands and backs Dijakovic down! Dijakovic punches and chops back, then throws forearms before one big clothesline! Or as he calls it, the Blood Line. Dijakovic stomps Jauode into the corner, then against the ropes. Dijakovic keeps stomping but Jauode gets a kneebar! Jauode drags Dijakovic down but Dijakovic gets the ropebreak. Jauode backs off, to then capoeria roundhouse back! Dijakovic staggers, but comes back with a discus boot! Dijakovic says “Feast Your Eyes!” before dragging Jaoude back up. He torture racks Jauode, to hit THE Feast Your Eyes! Cover, Dijakovic wins!
Winner: Dominik Dijakovic, by pinfall
Dijakovic said so, and Jauode did so! Will Dijakovic soon feast his eyes on a title opportunity?
The War Raiders prepare for Phoenix.
These modern day vikings tell the Undisputed Era that this gathering is to celebrate the victories, the scars, and the respect for them. But in Phoenix, “empires crumble, dynasties fall.” Ray Rowe & Hanson celebrate their coming victories. The Undisputed Era’s tactics were bold, and their strategies fierce. But at TakeOver: Phoenix, the era ends! And that is undisputed. Hanson & Rowe have lit the fire, will the Undisputed Era burn?
Johnny Gargano VS Humberto Carrillo!
Johnny Wrestling, or perhaps Johnny Venom, wants to be Johnny Champion as he challenges The One and Only for the NXT North American Championship in Phoenix! But that’s still over a week away, he wants to build momentum on the way there. Will he get that from Humberto Carrillo? Or will Humberto be more than Gargano expected?
Humberto got to show his skills on the first 205 Live back on Tuesdays against Cruiserweight Champion, Buddy Murphy. Unfortunately for Humberto, he lost to the Juggernaut, but he still had a great showing. Can Humberto have another great showing now that he’s back at Full Sail?
The bell rings and the two circle. They tie up and Gargano puts Humberto in the corner. He backs off quick, playing the good guy again. Gargano and Humberto circle, and Gargano rolls to a takedown. Gargano gets a toehold but Humberto spins and rolls to escape. Humberto wristlocks but Gargano spins and reverses. Gargano praises himself but fans go along with it. Humberto rolls and handsprings and reverses the wristlock back! Gargano rolls and throws a forearm! Gargano backs Humberto to a corner then whips him corner to corner. Humberto goes up and over and adds an extra flip!
Things speed up and Humberto leaps for a sunset flip. Gargano kicks but misses, Humberto kicks, misses, but comes back with an enziguri! Humberto whips Gargano but Gargano reverses. Things speed up again and Humberto hits a high-flying arm-drag! Gargano bails out but Humberto slides out. Gargano dodges and tosses Humberto, but Humberto lands on the apron to mule kick Gargano! Humberto runs but Gargano slingshot spears! Fans still fire up for that move as Gargano walks it off. Gargano stalks Humberto as fans duel. Gargano snapmares Humberto and dropkicks him in the head! Cover, TWO!
Gargano keeps on Humberto with a wrench, then a standing abdominal stretch! Humberto endures and fans rally up. Humberto fights free and throws haymakers! He scoops Gargano but Gargano slips out to shove Humberto. Gargano runs into a boot, then into buckles. Humberto fires off and whips, but Gargano reverses. Humberto handsprings to back elbow! Gargano rolls out, Humberto builds speed, and Humberto FLIES! Direct hit takes them tot he ramp! Humberto puts Gargano back in and climbs up top to leap for a BIG missile dropkick! Humberto rolls back to moonsault! Cover, TWO!! Gargano survives and Humberto is shocked!
Humberto keeps his cool but Gargano anchors a foot. Humberto stomps Gargano away then climbs up, moonsault gets boots! Gargano stands and SUPERKICKS Humberto! Humberto stays standing, and Gargano scoops him for a long dart into buckles! But Gargano isn’t done with Humberto yet, as he slingshots for the DDT! Cover, Gargano wins!
Winner: Johnny Gargano, by pinfall
Whether he’s Johnny Wrestling, Johnny Badass or Johnny Venom, Johnny is the winner of this match! Johnny heads for Phoenix and his title match with Ricochet, will we soon be calling him the new North American Champion?
Tommaso Ciampa speaks.
“Aleister Black, you like to refer tot he champ as ‘The Puppet Master.’ Boy, if I am the puppet master, than you are the ultimate puppet.” Aleister is so gullible to be running around that we won’t have to wait until Phoenix. Aleister doesn’t understand. “The Champ fights on the biggest, grandest stage.” So they will wait until Phoenix, that’s what main event players do. Not that Aleister would ever understand. Ciampa tells his “number one puppet” to listen closely to him. “Be careful what you wish for.” Is Ciampa denying or accepting the challenge? Will we find out next week?
Velveteen Dream speaks.
“23 years old and all this talent. How do you do it, Dream?” Is it easy? Is it natural? There is no secret formula, it is simply The Experience. This is the same Velveteen Dream who said in 2017 that the world won’t forget him. And then in 2018, he made that prophecy a reality. Just ask the legends and icons that took notice. Now in 2019, #DreamOver will evolve into #DreamOn. Dream’s back in action next week, who will experience the Experience up close and personal?
Keith Lee VS Kassius Ohno!
The Knockout Artist immediately dismissed both Keith Lee and Matt Riddle as the “shiny new toys” of NXT. But then the King of Bros KO’d KO at TakeOver: WarGames II. They had a rematch and Riddle won by Bromission, which infuriated Ohno. Ohno beat Riddle down to the point where he could not be medically cleared, so it will be the Limitless One going after Ohno on behalf of his friend. Will Lee make Ohno #BaskInHisGlory?
Fans sing for Lee even before the bell. The bell rings, and Lee circles with Ohno. Ohno keeps his distance and he backs to a corner. Lee backs off and they finally tie up. Ohno gets a headlock but Lee powers out. They collide and it’s Ohno who falls! Lee drags Ohno up in a gut wrench, but Ohno slips out. Ohno CHOPS, then kicks, then runs, but Lee leaps over him! Things speed up and Lee crossbodies Ohno down! Cover, TWO! Lee keeps on Ohno with a whip but Ohno holds ropes. Ohno bails out but Lee just builds speed! Ohno runs away so Lee gives up on flying for now. Lee wags his finger while fans sing again. Ohno returns just to refresh the count and take another breather. But Lee gives chase, and they go back in the ring.
Lee catches the sucker kick to rock Ohno with forearms and body shots! He grabs Ohno by the hair and whips, to hit a BIG back drop! Ohno writhes to a corner as fans chant “Keith Lee! Woop woop!” Lee runs in but Ohno trips him into buckles! Ohno runs back in to boot Lee! Lee grimaces but Ohno stomps and chops him. Ohno drags Lee out for a headlock punch, then another boot. Ohno boots Lee again and again, and Lee rolls to ropes. Lee puts his dukes up so Ohno boots him down, and drops the back senton! Cover, TWO! Ohno grows frustrated while fans rally up. Ohno stomps Lee and puts him in a double underhook stretch. Lee feeds off the rally and fights his way up, but Ohno puts him on the ropes for a stiff forearm!
Ohno whips Lee but Lee holds ropes. Ohno keeps trying but Lee keeps resisting, so Ohno rocks him with forearms, chops and kicks! The ref has OHno back off, so Ohno whips again. Lee reverses but Ohno reverses back to an arm wringer and rabbit punch forearm! Cover, TWO! Lee still lives but Ohno is on him with a chinlock. Fans rally again as Ohno puts the underhooks back on. Lee endures and powers up to his feet. Ohno kicks low then knees Lee in the head! Ohno drops another senton, but onto Lee’s knees! Lee and Ohno are down but fans rally up again. Ohno stands first but Lee follows. Lee counter punches Ohno then throws forearms of his own. Ohno staggers to a corner, Lee runs in for a big splash! Lee tosses Ohno across the ring!
Lee runs back in, but Ohno puts him on the apron. Ohno goes after Lee but Lee buckle bumps him, then slingshot crossbodies! Cover, TWO! Ohno wants a timeout but Lee will not give him one. Ohno wants to bro fist, but Lee just throws fists and knees! Lee clubs Ohno off his feet, then drags him back up. Ohno headbutts the gut, but Lee just gets mad now. Lee double chops Ohno! Lee runs, ducks the elbow and redirects to POUNCE!! Fans fire up as Lee lifts Ohno in the fireman’s carry. Ohno holds ropes and escapes, but Lee waistlocks instead. The ref counts and Ohno shoves Lee into the ref! Lee rocks Ohno, then checks on the ref. Ohno sneaks up to LOW BLOW! Ohno hits the roaring elbow! Fans boo as Ohno covers, but Ohno wins!
Winner: Kassius Ohno, by pinfall
Lee may be Limitless, but no man can withstand what Ohno did to him! Ohno feels proud of himself, but Riddle comes raging down the ramp! Riddle runs Ohno off, but he checks on his friend instead of throwing hands with Ohno. When and where will the King of Bros settle things with the Knockout Artist?
A really good episode of NXT here as we draw closer to Phoenix. We get quite a bit of action in this episode, and start right away with a pretty fun tag team segment. Profits win fast and Full Sail was into it, but this is to also set up their rivalry with the Forgotten Sons. Sadly, the Forgotten Sons just on their name alone is becoming a butt of jokes type trio. Fans don’t care about them, but maybe after an actual match with Ford & Dawkins, that “Stay Forgotten!” heat will shift to normal Heel heat. War Raiders had a pretty great viking promo to hype their match with Undisputed Era, I’m thinking the Undisputed Era will have a response on the go-home. I’m really curious to see how this match turns out, because it still feels like it’s 50-50.
Dijakovic VS Jauode was a solid match, but boy is it hard to type their names quickly. Dijakovic wins and perhaps he will get a North American Championship shot after Gargano VS Ricochet happens. Gargano VS Humberto was also solid, and perhaps this match was why they thought to give Humberto the shot against Buddy Murphy. After all, NXT episodes are taped in advanced, and Humberto really is a great in-ring talent. Aleister and Ciampa have a good pair of promos, and in combination with Ricochet confronting Gargano next week, I really hope something happens to bring about Aleister & Ricochet VS Heel DIY for the go-home! That match will be amazing and is TakeOver worthy just on paper.
I’m very curious about Dream only doing promos, and not in person. Is Dream dealing with injury that we haven’t heard too much about? Or are they just saving him while title matches are spoken for? Dream competing against anyone for either title will be a great lead into Wrestlemania season. Dream coming full circle to get a title against Aleister Black would be absolutely incredible! Then there’s the incredible main event of Lee VS Ohno. They did great with Ohno’s hard hits and Lee’s still surprising agility. Ohno cheating to win is perfect for his continued Heel turn, and now Riddle VS Ohno III is coming. I hope they put that on TakeOver and let them just go off! Riddle can win and Ohno will either settle things with Lee or strangely, finally head to main roster.
My Score: 8.5/10