NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 13 only just happened, but AXS TV already has it! Will Kenny Omega still be IWGP Heavyweight Champion after facing The Ace?
This coverage of Wrestle Kingdom 13 will be as AXS TV broadcasts it.
- IWGP United States Championship: Cody VS Juice Robinson; Robinson wins and becomes the new IWGP United States Champion.
- IWGP Intercontinental Championship No Disqualification Match: Christ Jericho VS Tetsuya Naito; Naito wins and becomes the new IWGP Intercontinental Champion.
- IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kenny Omega VS Hiroshi Tanahashi; Tanahashi wins and becomes the new IWGP Heavyweight Champion.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene for this year’s spectacular event!
Pro-wrestling may not have been invented by NJPW, but this is where it was perfected. Pro-wrestling has become more than just a sport to Japan, it is an art form! Strong Style: a religion. The Tokyo Dome: a temple. And leading it all as its messiah is The Ace, Hiroshi Tanahashi! Tanahashi kept this company alive by putting it on his back and carrying it. But it looked as if his glory days were behind him after The Rainmaker, Kazuchika Okada, got the better of him.
The Ace’s Rebirth began earlier this year, after a brutal beating by Minoru Suzuki over the IWGP Intercontinental Champion, a devastating loss to Zack Sabre Jr. in the New Japan Cup, and yes, another defeat by Okada to break Tanahashi’s title defense record. Tanahashi persevered to win the G1 Climax 28 Finals and earn his shot at the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. He also avenged losses to Jay White and Okada, and returns to the Tokyo Dome to complete his revival with an eighth title reign. However, another pillar of pro-wrestling would emerge, promising an evolved Strong Style.
The Cleaner, the Best Bout Machine, Kenny Omega, began his rise with the G1 Climax 26 Finals. Though Omega failed to become the top champion then, he did win the G1 Special in USA to become the inaugural IWGP United States Champion. Omega would defeat challengers like Chris Jericho, but he still had his goal of taking the heavyweight title for his own. And it would be at Dominion 2019, in a Best 2 Out of 3 Falls Match, that he finally defeated Okada, “igniting a struggle for the soul of NJPW.” Two philosophies clash with everything on the line! Who will raise the title as the one true face of Strong Style?
IWGP United States Championship: Cody VS Juice Robinson!
The American Nightmare took the title off of the Flamboyant One after mocking his style as a Kairi Sane ripoff. Juice responded by saying he meant no disrespect to anyone, least of all Cody’s father, The American Dream, Dusty Rhodes. Now this match is about settling scores and proving who belongs. Who comes away with this title solidly around their waist?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, but Cody tries to use it on Juice! Juice ducks it and throws hands back. The two brawl but Cody gets a headlock. Juice powers out but Cody slides under. Cody slips out of the back suplex and his knee buckles. But it was a fake out, as he hits the uppercut on Juice. Cody runs, but into a heel kick! Brandi Rhodes immediately distracts Juice, and Cody goes to roll him up. Juice elbows out then hits Cody with a big spinebuster! Juice goes to a corner and climbs, and he leaps on Cody! Cody rolls through but Juice shoves him away. Juice gets Cody on the rebound, Juice Box gutbuster hits! He climbs again but Brandi shields Cody! Juice hops down, Brandi wants to throw hands but it allows Cody to get away.
The referee tells Brandi to leave, so she leaves. Juice goes over to Cody on the apron but Cody hits him with a knee! Cody wants Cross Rhodes but Juice knees out! Juice grabs Cody and wants his finish, but Cody shoves Juice into a post! Juice hits the floor, and Brandi cheers Cody on. Cody drags Juice by that bad arm and clubs away on it. He puts Juice in the ring and grins as he goes after the arm again. Cody wrings Juice’s arm out, then shows off his cardio with some jumping jacks. Brandi gives Cody a kiss, and Cody drags Juice back up. Cody suplexes and holds Juice up, but Juice slips out. Juice shoves Cody but near the referee, and Brandi slithers in. Brandi SPEARS Juice!! And rains down fists from all sides!
The referee sees this and tells her to stop! Brandi begs not to disqualify Cody, and the ref doesn’t. Because he’s ejecting Brandi! Cody tells Brandi it’s fine, but then Juice gets him again! Cody slips out to hit Cross Rhodes! Cover, TWO!! Juice survives and shocks Cody! Cody keeps it together as he fires himself up. He stomps away on Juice then drags him up again. Cody wants to finish, but Juice fights out to get his double underhook. Juice jumps but Cody denies Pulp Friction again! Cody drags Juice up in the dragon sleeper, but Juice slips through to steal Cross Rhodes! Cover, TWO!! Cody lives and Juice can’t believe it. Juice and Cody slowly stand, and Juice takes aim. Cody ducks then springboards, Beautiful Disaster!
Cody grabs Juice, arms caught, and he steals Pulp Friction!! Cover, TWO!? Juice survives and Cody is in disbelief! Cody seethes as he loom over Juice. Fans rally but Cody takes off his weight belt to LASH Juice on the back! Fans boo as Cody throws the belt aside. Cody dares Juice to stand, and Juice slowly stirs. Cody slaps and stomps Juice, but Juice powers up to CHOP! They brawl now, jab for jab, and Juice gets an edge. Juice pumps up the left but gets a SUPERKICK! Juice wobbles and Cody runs, but the Beautiful Disaster gets the left hand! And then another!! Juice says it’s time, and he gets Cody up in the underhook. Pulp Friction!! But Juice doesn’t cover?! He gives Cody another Pulp Friction!! Cover, Juice Robinson wins!!
Winner: Juice Robinson, by pinfall; NEW IWGP United States Champion
The Juice has done it! He again holds the US title, and keeps the title in NJPW! With All Elite Wrestling taking up more of Cody’s time, will the American Nightmare leave Juice alone? What new heights will Juice take the title to in 2019?
IWGP Intercontinental Championship No Disqualification Match: Christ Jericho VS Tetsuya Naito!
Y2J made a shocking debut when he attacked the leader of Los Ingobernables de Japon and brutalized him until his mask was masked with blood. But as always, Naito found a way to be Tranquilo and shrug it off. Jericho oddly respects Naito after their first official match, in which Jericho took this title from Naito. LIJ’s Evil tried to avenge Naito in a match with Jericho, but Jericho made him pay for calling him out. “The greatest, most dominant Intercontinental Champion of all time, worldwide, in any country” told Evil to be grateful for being elevated to a new level. But when Jericho went to brutalize Evil after the match, Naito made the save! Naito now comes for both revenge and the belt, but will he get either now that the rules are out the window?
The introductions are made, Naito has forgone his usual tradition of slowly taking off his entrance gear because Jericho used that against him. Now Jericho takes his time, and Naito attacks him first! Naito knocks Jericho out of the ring and they brawl at ringside! Naito whips Jericho into barriers! And then chokes him with his own scarf! Naito throws Jericho into announce tables, and Red Shoes has no choice but to ring the bell. Naito bounces Jericho off the table and then drags him to the ramp! Fans cheer as Naito prepares and hits a piledriver on the ramp! Jericho clutches his head and neck but Naito shows no mercy as he stomps Jericho out.
Naito drags Jericho back to ringside and puts him in the ring. Naito unties a buckle pad to expose the steel rings. He uses the pad itself to SMACK Jericho around! Red Shoes barely gets clear as Naito throws the pad aside. Naito drags Jericho up for haymakers, and then whips him corner to corner. Jericho reverses band redirects to whip Naito to a safe corner. Naito boots back and huricanranas Jericho down! Naito poses and fans fire up. Jericho drags himself up but Naito kicks him back down. Naito drives elbows into Jericho’s neck, then whips him to the ropes. Jericho holds ropes but Naito clotheslines him out! Naito then builds speed, to fake Jericho out, but then come back, only for Jericho to SMACK him with a kendo stick!
Naito clutches his face and ear while Jericho enters the ring. Jericho rips his own shirt off to then SMACK Naito while he’s down. Fans rally for Naito but Jericho SMACKS him on the back. Jericho hops up top, mocks Naito’s poses, then leaps for a flying SMACK! Jericho hopes commentary likes what they see, before choking Naito with the kendo stick! Naito flails, but Jericho lets him down, so that he can stomp the stick into Naito’s face! Jericho picks the stick up again and toys with Naito. Naito stands to fire forearms! Naito runs but Jericho puts him on the apron. Jericho SMACKS Naito, then triangle jump dropkicks Naito all the way down! He confiscates a camera, like he always does, to get a good look at Naito while he flips him off.
Jericho stomps Naito again, then drags him up for a suplex! Naito springs up while clutching his back, but Jericho brings him around the corner to knee him against the barriers! Jericho brings Naito around to the commentary tables and bounces him off it. Jericho again references his first match with Naito as they stand up on the table. Fans watch as Jericho spikes Naito with a DDT! Jericho shows little remorse but Red Shoes tells him to finally get this back in the ring. Jericho drags Naito up to toss him over the railing. As he makes his way back around, Jericho rings the bell, declaring himself the winner already. Red Shoes assures everyone that’s not true, and this match continues after the break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Jericho runs Naito over at ringside. Jericho bumps Naito on the apron then puts him in the ring. Jericho climbs up and dares Naito to stand. Naito stands, and gets the crossbody! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up for Naito but Jericho just soaks it all up. Jericho drags Naito up but Naito hits back with haymakers. Naito runs but into a back elbow. Jericho runs, springboard, Lionsault! Cover, TWO! Jericho keeps his cool while fans continue to rally for Naito. Jericho drags Naito up again, and drops him with a big back suplex. Fans boo as Jericho flexes over Naito. Jericho toys with Naito while egging the fans on. Fans fire up for Naito, but Jericho still toys with him. Naito hits back with furious right hands! Naito whips, Jericho reverses, but Naito hits the flying forearms!
Both men are down and fans rally up again. Jericho and Naito slowly stand, and Naito fires off strikes! Naito whips and elbows Jericho down, then adds a basement dropkick. Naito whips again, but Jericho boots him. Jericho keeps kicking as Naito holds on to the other foot. Naito grabs both feet and spits on Jericho! Then he turns Jericho sideways for a draping neckbreaker! Naito drags Jericho up for another neckbreaker, then covers, TWO! Naito keeps his cool to toy with Jericho back. Jericho stands but Naito is on him in a corner with a snapmare. Naito grinds his foot into Jericho’s face and poses. He spits on Jericho more, then drags him up for a whip. Naito boots, sweeps, and swings in for the dropkick, but Jericho catches it!
Jericho wants and gets the Walls of Jericho! Naito endures the iconic stretch as fans are thunderous. Naito works on rolling through and he does! He throws hands and then flips Jericho away! Both men stand, Jericho ducks to enziguri! Naito staggers but catches the Code Breaker. He shoves Jericho back to hit the tornado DDT! Naito drags Jericho up, hammerlock and lift, GLORIA! Cover, TWO!! Jericho lives but Naito tranquilos. Naito drags Jericho up again, wrenches the arm, but Jericho denies Destino into the Walls! Naito endures again as he crawls for ropes. Fans rally but Jericho drags Naito away! Naito doesn’t give up, and he tries again. Naito gets the kendo stick to SMACK Jericho over and over! Jericho lets Naito go and both men are down again.
Naito uses the stick to help stand up, and now Naito grins. Naito turns to SMACK Jericho more! He drags Jericho up by his hair and whips, to SMACK him like it’s baseball! Then Naito jams the butt of the sword into Jericho. Naito calls his shot like he’s Babe Ruth, and swings for the fences! Strike! CODE BREAKER!! Cover, TWO!? Naito survives and Jericho can’t believe it! Jericho grabs the kendo stick for his own but drops it down? Jericho goes outside and fetches chairs from under the ring! He doesn’t stop at two, but brings in a total of five! No, eight! Jericho has one of the eight chairs and aims for Naito. Naito slowly stands, and Jericho jabs then SMACKS Naito with the chair. Jericho brings Naito around towards the chair pile, and lifts! But Naito counters with a DDT to the chairs!!
Naito hurries to clear out the chairs, then runs for a stolen Code Breaker!! Cover, TWO!? Jericho survives his own move and Naito is stunned. The fans have reached a fever pitch while Naito picks up the kendo stick. Naito uses it to prop himself up to the top. Jericho throws a chair at him! Jericho CHOPS Naito, then drags him out for a suplex. Naito slips out to German Suplex Jericho on a chair! Naito waits for Jericho to stand, and tilt-o-whirls, but Jericho denies Destino again. Jericho shoves Red Shoes, so that he can mule kick low blow Naito! Another Code Breaker! Cover, TWO?!? Naito survives the screwiest of cheats, and fans are as loud as they’ve ever been.
Jericho grabs one of the chairs, but thinks better of it. He goes out to grab the title belt! Jericho aims at Naito, daring him to stand. “You wanna be a champ?! C’mon, you stupid son of a b*tch!” Naito flounders to his feet, but sees Jericho coming! Naito flapjacks Jericho to snake eyes him on the exposed buckles! Then, DESTINO!! Cover, TWO!?! How did Jericho survive that?! Naito and Jericho slowly sit up, and Naito eyes the title. Naito picks it up, and rams it into Jericho’s face! And another DESTINO!! Cover, Naito wins!!
Winner: Tetsuya Naito, by pinfall; NEW IWGP Intercontinental Champion
The rivalry comes full circle! Naito defeats Jericho in a brutal match, and takes back his loss as well as the title! Jericho takes his frustrations out on a Young Lion while also snapping at fans. Naito celebrates by raking Red Shoes’ eyes! And he even returns to abusing the belt by dragging it on the ground. Is this war between LIJ and Y2J finally over? Or is it just entering a new chapter?
IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kenny Omega VS Hiroshi Tanahashi!
This match is about more than just a title. It is about philosophies in Strong Style. It is about staying at a main event level. And it is about solidifying legacies in both NJPW and all of wrestling. Will there be a changing of the guard or a changing of the title in the Tokyo Dome?
Introductions are made, the title is raised, and we begin! Fans are immediately fired up and dueling as Tanahashi and Omega circle. They approach and tie up, and Omega backs Tanahashi down. Tanahashi separates, and Omega backs off. They circle again, and Tanahashi slaps Omega! Omega shrugs it off as they tie up and go around. Omega pulls Tanahashi’s hair, but honors the ropebreak with a playful slap. Tanahashi responds with a heavy slap! Omega’s mad now and he fires off clubbing forearms! Omega slaps Tanahashi seriously now, then whips. Tanahashi reverses but Omega kicks him away. Omega whips Tanahashi to a corner but runs into an elbow. Tanahashi hops up but Omega catches him on the Electric Chair! Tanahashi slips out to get the abdominal stretch!
Omega hip tosses Tanahashi off, but Tanahashi rolls him up! TWO, and Tanahashi grabs a leg. Tanahashi goes to tie the legs up but Omega resists. Tanahashi stomps Omega’s leg then drops an elbow on it. He puts the leg in a toehold, but Omega pulls at Tanahashi’s hair. Red Shoes reprimands Omega, and Tanahashi wrenches the foot. Omega endures, drags himself towards ropes, but Tanahashi drags him back for another toehold. Tanahashi makes it a butterfly deathlock, but Omega SLAPS Tanahashi. Tanahashi slaps back and it’s a slap fight! Omega drags himself back again, and gets the ropebreak! Tanahashi lets go, but he doesn’t let up. He clubs Omega at the ropes, then stomps the target leg.
Tanahashi whips but Omega holds on. Omega fights back with forearms, but so does Tanahashi. Tanahashi gives a European Uppercut, and runs, but into Omega’s kitchen sink knee. Omega runs for a “flashing” elbow drop, then sits Tanahashi up for a stiff kick to the back. Omega kicks away on Tanahashi, then stomps him out. Fans duel as Omega drags Tanahashi up to put him in a corner. Omega grinds his boot into Tanahashi’s chin, but stops at Red Shoes’s count of 4. Omega encourages fans to make noise as he drags Tanahashi out for a running backbreaker! Cover, TWO! Omega keeps his cool as he toys with Tanahashi more. He drags Tanahashi up and whips him to ropes. Omega forearms Tanahashi on the back on the rebound. Omega ax handles Tanahashi, then whips him again for another forearm to the back.
Fans duel as Omega grimaces over Tanahashi. Omega drags Tanahashi up for another whip, but Tanahashi forearms Omega now! Tanahashi and Omega brawl, and Omega CHOPS Tanahashi. Omega whips and forearms Tanahashi in the back again. Omega toys with Tanahashi before giving him more stiff kicks across the spine. He sits Tanahashi up to slap him around, then brings him up for a big back suplex! Omega grins as Tanahashi rolls out of the ring and slumps to the floor. Omega pursues, and brings Tanahashi up, to back suplex him on the apron! Tanahashi slumps back down, but Omega isn’t done with him. Omega drags Tanahashi up for another CHOP! Omega whips Tanahashi into the barriers, but Tanahashi dropkicks Omega back! Both men are down and fans fire up!
Tanahashi drags himself up, then drags Omega up, but Omega rams him into the apron! Omega drags Tanahashi over and scoop slams him over railing onto the announce desk! Tanahashi is down in the aisle and Omega plays dumb while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Tanahashi stirs from behind the announce desk. Omega springboards off the barriers for an asai moonsault! He hits Tanahashi down, then even helps the commentary member that fell over back to his feet. Omega raises the commentator’s hand mockingly, then returns to ringside. Omega drags out a table from under the ring! He mocks Tanahashi’s comments about Omega not having grace as he drums on the wood. Omega sets the table up and drags Tanahashi back over. Tanahashi clubs Omega back, and eyes the table. Red Shoes tells him not to, but Tanahashi still grabs Omega. Tanahashi goes to throw Omega at the table, but swerves us all as he puts Omega right back in the ring.
Tanahashi enters the ring and Omega’s on him with hands. He gives Omega those haymakers right back, but then Omega CHOPS him again. Omega eggs Tanahashi own, and gives him another CHOP! Tanahashi swings, misses, and gets another CHOP! Omega whips but Tanahashi dodges to come back with flying forearms! Fans continue to duel as Tanahashi and Omega stand up. Tanahashi keeps on Omega with more haymakers. He whips Omega corner to corner, then runs in, and blocks Omega’s boot. Omega boots Tanahashi with the other foot, and runs for another boot, but Tanahashi blocks that into a dragon screw! Tanahashi gets to one corner while Omega crawls to another. Tanahashi runs and dropkicks Omega down! He scoops, slams and somersault sentons onto Omega! Cover, TWO!
Fans rally and duel as Tanahashi runs, but into Omega’s CHOP! Omega runs, Kotaru Krusher bulldog hits! Tanahashi rolls away and out of the ring, but Omega takes aim. The Terminator Drums start but Tanahashi gets in to dropkick Omega down! Tanahashi runs again, but into Omega’s huricanrana. Tanahashi rolls out again, but Omega keeps an eye on him as he crawls around the corner. The Terminator rises, builds speed, and FLIES! Direct hit at the ramp, but it’s double edged! Omega makes sure his legs can still move, and Red Shoes starts a ring count. The count reaches 10, the halfway point for NJPW. Omega drags Tanahashi back into the ring, not wanting a count-out victory for something this big. Omega climbs a corner and takes aim, for a missile dropkick to Tanahashi’s back!
Fans rally up as Omega drags Tanahashi to his feet. Omega slashes the throat and puts on the full nelson, Snap Dragon Suplex! But Tanahashi’s right up, only to get another Snap Dragon! Omega wants Tanahashi to stand, and he does. Omega gives the wobbly Tanahashi a V-Trigger! Tanahashi falls to his hands and knees while Omega grins. Omega drags Tanahashi up, lifts him in the Electric Chair, but Tanahashi slips around to get a facelock. Omega denies Twist ‘n’ Shout for a fireman’s carry. “You Can’t Escape!” Rolling Senton hits but Omega staggers on a bad leg. Omega still hops up top, but Tanahashi stops him for a SUPER Dragon Screw! Omega rolls and writhes, Tanahashi might have torn Omega’s tendons!
Fans rally and duel as Tanahashi stands. Tanahashi drags Omega up, Twist ‘n’ Shout neckbreaker hits! Tanahashi keeps on the legs with a Cloverleaf! Omega endures the pain in his legs and back as Tanahashi sits down deep. Fans near a fever pitch as Omega drags himself towards ropes. Tanahashi pulls Omega back, then sits down lower. Omega slips through but Tanahashi drags Omega up! Tanahashi steps over, to steal the Styles Clash!! The Ace borrows the move of the Phenomenal One, Omega’s former Bullet Club leader! Tanahashi puts Omega in a drop zone, climbs up top, and leaps for High Fly Flow!! Onto knees!! Omega saves himself from certain defeat with that one. Fans rally up again as both men are down in opposite corners.
Omega stands up first, takes aim, and runs corner to corner, but the V-Trigger misses Tanahashi! Omega hits nothing but buckle pad, and his knee hurts him all over again. Tanahashi drags Omega up from the apron, but Omega resists. Tanahashi grabs the bad leg, for another Dragon Screw! Omega writhes on the apron as he clutches his knee. Tanahashi joins Omega out there, and then runs to Slingblade Omega on the apron! Omega sputters and coughs but Tanahashi is not through with him. Tanahashi drags Omega over to the table, and puts him on the wood! Tanahashi climbs up top and Red Shoes tries to wave him off, but Tanahashi wants to go extreme! High Fly Flow but Omega moves! Tanahashi crashes through the table alone!!
Tanahashi is down in the wreckage, and Omega grins at the irony. A ring count begins again, and Omega drags himself up onto the apron. But again, Omega refuses to settle for a count-out victory. He drags Tanahashi out of the wreckage and into the ring at 14. Omega drags Tanahashi up on the apron, then through the ropes. He clubs and kicks away on Tanahashi, then climbs up top. Omega jumps for a guillotine double stomp! But Omega’s not done there, as he drags Tanahahsi up for a Dr. Wily Bomb! High stack cover, TWO!! So Omega goes again, another powerbomb! Another high stack, TWO!! Tanahashi shows super human heart but Omega shows inhuman relentlessness as he gut wrenches Tanahashi up for another bomb! Cover, TWO!?
Omega cannot believe Tanahashi survives, and fans are thunderous for this match. Omega chokes Tanahashi out of frustration, but stops at 4. He positions Tanahashi at the ropes, aims and BANG! Omega runs, but into a Slingblade! Both men are down, but Tanahashi has new life! Fans continue to duel and shout as we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as both men stand and start brawling. Tanahashi hits, Omega hits back. Omega’s knee bothers him so he can’t get everything behind his strikes, but he doesn’t back down. Omega starts throwing slapping palm trikes and more sharp chops, but somehow Tanahashi stays standing. Tanahashi then hits back with palm strikes of his own and things get fast and furious. Tanahashi gets an edge but Omega knees back. Omega rams his good knee into Tanahashi over and over. Omega throws palm strikes to Tanahashi’s head, then deadlifts him in a waistlock, for a snap German Suplex! But Tanahashi’s right back up! Tanahashi roars but Omega hits low. Omega CHOPS away, then whips. Tanahashi reverses but Omega steals the Slingblade!
Omega hurries to a corner and the top rope, to leap in his own High Fly Flow!! Cover, ONE!? Only one?! Omega and Tanahashi are both furious, but Omega runs to V-Trigger! Tanahashi staggers about then drops to his knees, but so does Omega. They grind forehead to forehead, but Omega shoves Tanahashi to ropes. Tanahashi hits back with palm strikes, but Omega gives a point blank V-Trigger. Omega gives another point blank V-Trigger, and Tanahashi drops to his hands and knees again. Omega sits Tanahashi up for another, but Tanahashi blocks it! Tanahashi dropkicks the bad leg, then runs. Omega reels him in, but Tanahashi fights out, only to get a Reverse-Rana! But Omega can’t cover because of the bad leg. Tanahashi crawls to the ropes but Omega takes aim, BANG! V-TRIGGER!
But Omega isn’t through with Tanahashi, he drags Tanahashi up, only for Tanahashi to palm strike slap him again! Omega still gives another V-Trigger! And then the Electric Chair lift! But Tanahashi steals the Reverse-Rana! Both men are down and fans are thunderous again! Tanahashi and Omega slowly sit up as fans duel. Tanahashi full nelsons Omega for his own Snap Dragon Suplex! Bridge cover, TWO!! Tanahashi roars and heads to the top rope. Omega stands, High Fly crossbody! Tanahashi hurries back up, High Fly Flow!! Cover, TWO!? Omega survives but Tanahashi’s too exhausted to be shocked! Omega crawls away to a corner, but Tanahashi crawls in pursuit. Tanahashi climbs up once more, but Omega stops him with a leaping V-Trigger!
Omega grits his teeth as he forces himself up again. He positions Tanahashi and clubs him on the back. Omega climbs as best he can, sits Tanahashi up, but Tanahashi resists as Omega applies the full nelson. The two stand up top, SUPER DRAGON SUPLEX!! But Omega can’t cover, so he decides to go back to his reliable BANG! Omega runs, to V-Trigger at the ropes! Omega drags Tanahashi up, Electric Chair lift, but Tanahashi reverses into huricanrana! Tanahashi gets up, runs, Slingblade! Tanahashi has Omega in the drop zone again and hurries up top once more. High Fly Flow!! Cover, Tanahashi wins!!
Winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi, by pinfall; NEW IWGP Heavyweight Champion
The Ace has his eighth reign!! The Best Bout Machine gave Tanahashi his best, but it wasn’t enough to deny the Once in a Century Talent. Tanahashi manages to stand, and Red Shoes raises his hand in victory. Red Shoes helps put the belt on Tanahashi while the Young Bucks help Omega out of the ring. Tanahashi takes up the mic to address the fans in attendance.
“Thank you all for coming out tonight!” Tanahashi has to admit, he wasn’t sure if he’d ever return to the Tokyo Dome. He thanks his friends, Shibata and Honma, for supporting him and giving him the strength to go on. Tanahashi especially wants to thank everyone else who pushed him to get here today. Tanahashi vows that now that he has the belt back, “things are going to look different around here. Thank you for everything!” But he must apologize, he has no strength left to air guitar. Well, if fans really want it…
Tanahashi pumps himself up, as well as the fans, and “Let’s Rock!” Tanahashi vows to “take care of this belt, always.” Now he’ll take his air guitar and get out of here. Once again, thank you all for the love and energy! “Aishimasu!” The Ace is back on top, will he usher in a new era of excellence?
An incredible two hour selection, and AXS TV is still going to give us more next week! The IWGP United States, Intercontinental and Heavyweight Championships, all in a row and all three titles changed hands! This was so great, and it really shakes things up for NJPW, as it should, with the emergence of The Elite’s All Elite Wrestling promotion. Cody is going to be running it, so naturally give the title to Juice to run with it. The story behind Jericho VS Naito makes it very natural for the title to change hands. With this being No Disqualifications, I want to say it’s their blow-off and Naito can move on to new challengers. Omega’s fate is unclear whether he’s NJPW, AEW or WWE, so it just made sense to give Tanahashi, a true staple of NJPW, the belt again.
My Score: 9.6/10
Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: New Japan Cup 2019 Part 1!
The 2019 New Japan Cup begins!
NJPW begins the 2019 New Japan Cup! Who among Tetsuya Naito, Kota Ibushi, Zack Sabre Jr. and EVIL will move on to the second round?
Coverage will be as broadcast by AXS TV
Find gifs on http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- Zack Sabre Jr. VS EVIL; ZSJ wins and advances to the second round.
- Tetsuya Naito VS Kota Ibushi; Ibushi wins and advances to the second round.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene to kickoff the 2019 New Japan Cup!
Spring brings the best in the world in this special single elimination tournament! Only one man will win the right to challenge the IWGP Heavyweight Champion in Madison Square Garden!
The first round has already seen a bit of action, with NJPW standards, Kazuchika Okada and Hiroshi Tanahashi, advance, but others falling victim to upsets. Juice Robinson lost to Chase Owens while Sanada overcome Hirooki Goto. The biggest surprises perhaps came from the biggest men losing to the Junior Heavyweights when Bad Luck Fale and Hiroyoshi Tenzan lost to Will Ospreay and Ryusuke Taguchi respectively. But tonight, two of the most anticipated matches take the spotlight! The rivalry of the last year takes the stage again as EVIL and Zack Sabre Jr. face off once again! Plus, Kota Ibushi returns from injury to battle Tetsuya Naito in a G1 Climax rematch! The Golden Star looks to be the comeback kid while the Uncontrollable Charisma wants to be a historic dual champion! Only one can make their dream come true tonight!
Zack Sabre Jr. VS EVIL!
Taka Michinoku welcomes everyone to Zack Sabre Time, and asks who everyone thinks will win this year’s New Japan Cup. Well it’ll be the man who won last yer’s winner, the Submission Master and British Heavyweight Champion! So Evil, you’ll #JustTapOut! C’mon over here! The King of Darkness responds to being called out, and we begin the next chapter of this already storied rivalry!
The bell rings and fans cheer Evil on as he circles with ZSJ. They slowly approach and Evil knees low. Evil headlocks but ZSJ tries to power out, only for Evil to hold on tighter. Evil gets the headlock takeover but ZSJ works for a headscissor counter. He can’t get it so he stands up. ZSJ spins through and arm-drags Evil off, but Evil headscissors him. Evil squeezes and ZSJ endures. ZSJ finds his way up and pops free, then dares Evil to come on. ZSJ headbutts and headlocks but Evil powers out and runs him off! Fans cheer as Evil waits for ZSJ to return. Taka keeps ZSJ calm as he gets back up. ZSJ and Evil circle again, and Evil calls for a test of strength. ZSJ accepts and they grapple, and Evil gets the double knuckle locks.
Evil brings ZSJ to his knees but ZSJ reels him to reverse. ZSJ hammerlocks but Evil switches to his own, but ZSJ switches back, and so on. ZSJ spins and drops to get the takedown but Evil pushes him away. Evil avoids the Penalty Kick but ZSJ ducks the clothesline. Evil blocks ZSJ’s boot to chop and senton! But ZSJ gets his knees up and reels Evil into an armbar! Evil stacks for a cover, TWO! ZSJ still has the arm, but Evil gets the ropebreak. ZSJ lets go but comes back for more. He cranks Evil’s arm back then stomps the hammerlock. ZSJ also kicks Evil in the chest and stomps his legs. ZSJ ties the legs up in a figure four and pulls hair. The referee reprimands ZSJ but ZSJ stays on the arm with pulling fingers and twisting the arm.
ZSJ uses the hammerlock to turn Evil for a cover, TWO! Evil tries to get feeling in his arm but ZSJ kicks him in the back. ZSJ looms over Evil and gives his bad arm toying kicks. ZSJ kicks Evil again, but Evil grabs the kick! Evil hands the foot to Red Shoes before he mule kicks ZSJ down! The 2018 cup winner is down while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Evil brings ZSJ up for forearms. Evil puts ZSJ in a corner then whips him corner to corner. ZSJ stops himself and comes back, but for a sidewalk slam! Fans fire up with Evil as he drags ZSJ back up. Evil suplexes ZSJ up and over then covers, TWO! Evil keeps his cool as he brings ZSJ up again. ZSJ blocks the fireman’s carry and goes after the arm with a double wristlock. Evil powers through but ZSJ slips out to a full nelson. Evil endures the hold and breaks free! He headlocks and knees ZSJ right down! Evil stalks ZSJ to a corner and headlocks, but ZSJ denies the bulldog into the abdominal stretch! They go around and around and Evil puts it on ZSJ! ZSJ endures and pries the arm off, to Pele it!
ZSJ gives Evil European Uppercuts in the corner! He goes corner to corner but Evil follows for a clothesline! Evil runs but ZSJ follows, only for Evil to see him coming and clothesline him again! Cover, TWO! Evil drags ZSJ right up, fireman’s carry, Darkness Falls! Cover, TWO! Sabre survives but Evil has more where that came from. Evil drags ZSJ up and slashes the throat. But ZSJ victory rolls! TWO and Evil has it on ZSJ, TWO!! ZSJ wants a backslide but Evil powers it around, backslide on ZSJ! TWO, Penalty Kick! Both men are down, and fans cheer for Evil while Taka coaches ZSJ. ZSJ goes right at Evil to keylock stomp the arm! ZSJ kicks at it but Evil only gets angry. Evil stands and ZSJ throws EuroUppers, but those only make Evil stronger. He CHOPS ZSJ off his feet!
Evil stands ZSJ up for another chop, but ZSJ stands on his feet. ZSJ gives Evil a shoulder breaker, but Evil gives one back! Evil spins but into a EuroUpper. ZSJ runs but Evil goes sideways, ZSJ catches the clothesline into an Octopus Stretch! He drags Evil down and he cranks back! Evil endures as ZSJ twists him all around! ZSJ has one arm trapped and the other arm back, but Evil uses a leg for the ropebreak! ZSJ lets go but he comes back to dig his elbow into the back. He grabs Evil’s arm and twists it in his legs! ZSJ Penalty Kicks Evil down again! ZSJ catches his breath while Red Shoes checks on Evil. Evil sits up but uses Red Shoes as a shield! Evil mule kicks ZSJ again, then drags him up, to place on Red Shoes! Magic Killer!!
Evil catches his breath and grins while he, ZSJ and Red Shoes slowly get up. ZSJ gets to a corner as Taka coaches him up. Evil runs in for a big clothesline! Evil roars and fans fire up as Evil drags ZSJ up to the top rope. He climbs up to join ZSJ, for a SUPERPLEX! Cover, TWO!! Sabre survives again but he clutches his own shoulder now. Evil stands and slashes the throat! He drags ZSJ up, spins him around but ZSJ slips through to scoop. Evil escapes but ZSJ standing switches. ZSJ rolls Evil back but the European Clutch is blocked! Evil wants a Half ‘n’ Half but ZSJ resists. ZSJ reaches for ropes but Evil shifts to a German Suplex! Evil takes aim, but ZSJ kicks the clotheslines away once, twice, but not the third time! Cover, TWO!! Fans are thunderous after that close call!
Evil roars and drags ZSJ up again. He spins ZSJ around but ZSJ slips around and hops up! Sleeper to victory roll to EuroClutch, to EVERYTHING- Is Octopus! ZSJ drags Evil down, Napalm Death! Evil is stuck, Evil taps! ZSJ wins again!
Winner: Zack Sabre Jr, by submission; advances to the second round
The 2018 New Japan Cup winner keeps on winning! ZSJ has a cup winning streak, will it continue all the way to the finals?
Tetsuya Naito VS Kota Ibushi!
This match feels almost too soon in the tournament! The leader of Los Ingobernables and the Golden Star could both have both made their way to the finals, but now only one of them will move on! Will Ibushi’s comeback lead him all the way to New York? Or will the IWGP Intercontinental Champion move towards being a historic dual champion in NJPW?
Fans love both stars so they’re naturally divided at the bell. Naito and Ibushi stare down as the cheers are thunderous. They start circling and then approach to tie up. Naito gets a headlock but Ibushi spins out for a keylock. Ibushi headlocks now but Naito punches out. Naito pulls hair and pushes Ibushi and things speed up. Ibushi hurdles Naito then again, but Naito ducks the kick and moonsault. Naito arm-drags but Ibushi headscissors, and the two break! Naito even hits Tranquilo. Fans cheer while Naito decides to roll out of the ring. Naito takes his time returning, telling Ibushi to relax. Ibushi doesn’t give Naito a choice, but then Naito escapes Ibushi to tease him about taking time. Ibushi returns but Naito is on him with kicks and elbows.
Naito whips but Ibushi reverses, but Naito grabs ropes. Naito dumps Ibushi out then sweeps the legs. He slingshots and dropkicks Ibushi down, a new take on his Cabron Combo. Naito has control while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Naito whips Ibushi into railing. Naito drags Ibushi up and brings him around the way, to whip him into more railing! Fans cheer Naito but also show concern for Ibushi as Naito whips him into railing a third time! Naito brings Ibushi around the railing and bounces him off the desks. Red Shoes tells Naito to bring things back to the ring but Naito bounces Ibushi off wood again. Naito leaves Ibushi behind and rests in the ring. Ibushi crawls his way back as the ring count begins. The count passes 5 of 20 as Ibushi stands. Ibushi returns ringside at 10 and hops in at 11. Naito is on Ibushi with a whip and big elbow, then a swift basement dropkick! Naito poses more while Ibushi writhes.
Fans cheer for Ibushi and Naito spits at them. Naito stomps Ibushi and drags him up into a cravat neck wrench. Ibushi endures as Naito cranks hard. Ibushi fights out with body shots but Naito elbows him down. Naito then brings Ibushi around for a neckbreaker and casually covers, TWO! Ibushi’s bad neck is a target and Naito keeps on it. Naito brings Ibushi up but Ibushi breaks free. Ibushi throws forearms but Naito just smirks. Ibushi throws more but Naito elbows him around the side. Naito throws more elbows into the neck and Ibushi slumps against the ropes. Naito toys with Ibushi but Red Shoes reprimands him. He whips but Ibushi reverses and dodges to whip back. Ibushi dropkicks Naito right down! Both men fall into each other but Ibushi’s up first.
Ibushi drags Naito up for a strike fest! Naito blocks the kick to kick the knee, but still runs into a roundhouse! Ibushi standing moonsaults! Cover, TWO! Ibushi keeps his cool as he drags Naito up again. Naito resists the German suplex and gets the standing switch. Ibushi throws elbows to break free. Ibushi runs in but Naito boots him from the corner. Naito runs out but into a huricanrana! Fans fire up while Naito bails out of the ring. Ibushi fires up with the fans and goes to the corner. Naito knows it’s coming and stops the Golden Triangle! Naito drags Ibushi out for a draping neckbreaker to the apron! Ibushi falls to the floor and Red Shoes checks on him. He’s somehow okay to continue and drags himself into the ring.
Naito is waiting again, and runs out from a corner, shotgun dropkick! Then he drags Ibushi up to the top rope and out for another draping neckbreaker! Cover, TWO!! Ibushi survives and Naito is surprised, but we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Naito drags Ibushi back up. Naito ties Ibushi up but Ibushi fights out with his free arm. Naito clubs Ibushi in the neck then hits a German Suplex, but Ibushi lands on his feet! Ibushi kicks but Naito ducks to enziguri! Naito whips but Ibushi reverses only for Naito to come back with flying forearms, only to be caught into a snap German! Both men are down but the fans fire up! Naito and Ibushi stir as fans duel. Red Shoes checks and they’re both okay to continue. Ibushi and Naito grit their teeth as they sit up. They head for each other and start throwing forearms. Ibushi hits, Naito hits, repeat. They slowly stand but the brawling continues.
Ibushi hits but Naito comes back. The two stare down and Ibushi throws a forearm. Naito throws one back, so Ibushi gives another. They start picking up speed and now they’re just swinging wild! Ibushi fires off many palm strikes but Naito throws slaps. Ibushi runs but into Naito’s spinebuster! Naito drags Ibushi up and to the top rope again. Naito climbs up behind Ibushi and fans anticipate something dangerous. Ibushi holds on so Naito clubs away. Naito stands Ibushi up, but Ibushi grabs at Naito’s leg. Ibushi turns around and trips Naito up! Naito manages to stay on the apron, but Ibushi stalks him from above. Ibushi drags Naito up while standing on the ropes. Ibushi lifts but Naito fights out! Naito slaps away on Ibushi’s face, then brings Ibushi in, TOMBSTONE on the apron!!
Naito puts Ibushi in the ring then drags him up again. Hammerlock and underhook, GLORIA! Cover, TWO!? Ibushi still lives but Naito isn’t fazed. Naito drags Ibushi up again, arm wrench and tilt-o-whirl, but into Ibushi’s own PACKAGE TOMBSTONE!! Cover, TWO!? Now Naito survives and shocks everyone! Fans duel as Naito and Ibushi drag themselves to opposite corners. Naito runs at Ibushi but into a roundhouse! Ibushi brings Naito in but Naito spins out for a tornado DDT! Naito aims at Ibushi and runs in, into a clothesline!! Ibushi drags Naito up and to a lift, SIT-OUT LAST RIDE! Cover, TWO!! Naito survives again but Ibushi is too tired to be frustrated. Ibushi drags Naito up and grabs both hands, but Naito dodges Kamigoye, DESTINO!! Cover, TWO!?!
Fans are thunderous as this match continues! Naito staggers up and drags Ibushi to his feet. Wrench and tilt-o-whirl but Ibushi slips out to roundhouse! Ibushi gives a shout out to the King of Strong Style as he aims from a corner. Naito sits up, BOMAYE!! Cover, TWO?!? Ibushi can NOT believe Naito survived again! But Ibushi vows to finish this, double underhook, Butterfly Driver! But he’s not done there, KAMIGOYE!! Cover, Ibushi wins!!
Winner: Kota Ibushi, by pinfall; advances to the second round
It took so much, but Ibushi makes it through the opening round! Naito’s dream is denied for now, what will it take for him to become the first-ever dual Heavyweight and Intercontinental Champion in NJPW history? As for Ibushi, he advances only to take on Zack Sabre Jr. next! Will Ibushi break ZSJ’s streak in the New Japan Cup? Or will he #JustTapOut?
Ibushi takes the mic and thanks Naito for that amazing match. “In 2019, in NJPW, I’ll show you a new version of Kota Ibushi.” Ibushi vows to go all the way and win! Will everyone else in the tournament, let alone Jay White, take this to heart?
Wow, what a great opening to the tournament! At first, I thought it was a bit of a shame that this will be it for the first round, no Okada or Tanahashi, but seeing they had matches with slightly less important opponents (sorry, Mike Elgin), the two matches we got were much more worthy of airtime. Evil VS ZSJ is again an incredible match, and it makes a lot of sense for ZSJ to win. While Sanada is in the tournament, too, he and Evil are still strongly in the Heavyweight Tag Team Division. ZSJ has a great New Japan Cup win streak story to tell, and it’ll make a loss, should one come, all the more exciting if it’s in the later rounds. ZSJ going for back-to-back tournament wins on top of a huge title match is great, but I can’t be sure the chances of it happening.
Naito VS Ibushi was a really great match, and it’s not just kayfabe saying this match could’ve been a logical tournament finals choice. Naito’s story of becoming a dual champion could’ve propelled the tournament to some interesting places, but at the same time, it doesn’t have to be told in the tournament. Ibushi is in NJPW to stay so it means a lot more that he gets a push in the tournament. He already has a hard road ahead of him if the second round pits him against ZSJ, but perhaps a Kota Ibushi that can get through such big names, much like ZSJ did in last year’s tournament, can be a Kota Ibushi that defeats Jay White in Madison Square Garden.
My Score: 8.8/10
Mitchell’s ROH Results & Report! (3/16/19)
Zack Sabre Jr. continues his journey in ROH!
Ring of Honor Wrestling Television, Episode 391
It’s ROH 17th Anniversary weekend, but the action keeps on rolling! The Submission Master returns, will he make Rocky Romero #JustTapOut?
- Shinobi Shadow Squad VS Silas Young & The Briscoes; Young & The Briscoes win.
- The Bouncers VS Brian Johnson & Joe Keys; The Bouncers win.
- Madison Rayne w/ Sumie Sakai VS Thunder Rosa w/ Holidead; Rayne wins.
- Zack Sabre Jr. VS Rocky Romero; ZSJ wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Shinobi Shadow Squad VS Shinobi Shadow Squad VS Silas Young & The Briscoes!
Cheeseburger leads Ryan Nova and Eli Isom into battle! Will their fighting spirits combined be enough to overcome the Last Real Man and #DemBoyz?
The bell rings and Isom begins against Jay Briscoe. Isom is no stranger to taking on former ROH World Champions, this could be his third upset on one already. They tie up and Jay waistlocks. Isom standing switches and throws Jay down but Jay reverses to a facelock, but Isom slips away. Fans applaud the Future of Honor keeping up with Jay. Jay and Isom circle again and Jay keeps Isom guessing on the grapple. Jay reels Isom in for a headlock, but Isom powers out, only for Jay to run him over. Things speed up and Isom kicks Jay. Isom runs but sees Jay follow. Jay fakes Isom out and kicks him down. Jay tags Mark and The Briscoes mug Isom. Mark suplexes but Isom slips out and shoves Mark. Mark turns around into Isom’s arm-drag!
Isom tags in Nova and Nova hops up for ax handles. Nova wrenches the arm but Mark rolls through. Mark breaks free but Nova dodges and fires off strikes. Nova wrenches and tags in Cheeseburger! Burger climbs up to drop his own ax handle. Burger wrenches but Mark pushes him away. Mark rushes at Burger but Burger crawls under and kicks him away. Burger speeds up but Jay stands in his way. Mark rocks Burger with a shotgun dropkick! Silas and the Briscoes take control as we go to break.
ROH returns and Silas taunts Burger to stand, only to stomp him down. Fans rally up for Burger and he throws body shots on Silas. Burger fires forearms but Silas shoves Burger for the backbreaker clothesline on the rebound! Silas drags Burger over and tags in Mark. Mark drops an elbow then drags Burger up. Mark suplexes and holds Burger up for a few seconds before dropping him down. Fans rally but Mark puts Burger in a camel clutch. Burger endures while Jay and Silas taunt him. Mark fish hooks Burger but lets up at 4. Mark blasts Nova but the ref keeps Isom from going after Mark. But he misses Mark biting Burger! Mark gets away with it then CHOPS Burger in a corner! Mark whips corner to corner but Burger dodges! Burger dodges Silas and Jay, too, hot tag to Isom!
Isom dropkicks Mark to his corner where Jay tags in. Silas runs at Isom but Isom puts him on the apron and dropkicks him down! Jay goes after Isom with a waistlock but is bucked off. Isom pops Jay up to a fireman’s carry! Nova intercepts Mark and DIVES on Silas! Air Raid Crash from Isom to Jay! Cover, TWO!! Isom almost had another former world champion caught! Isom keeps going but Jay blocks the suplex. Jay fights back but Isom throws his own forearms. Isom runs but into Jay’s fireman’s carry. Jay hits the Spicolli Driver while Mark climbs up! FROGGY-BOW! Jay covers, TWO!? Isom survives and The Briscoes are shocked!
The ref tells Mark to go to the corner but the Briscoes ignore him. #DemBoyz work together to finish this, double underhook but Isom fights out. Isom pushes Jay into Mark then kicks, suplex to brainbuster! Cover, TWO!! Another close call but Isom keeps his focus. Isom and Jay stand as fans rally up. Isom throws forearms and elbows then an enziguri. Jay staggers and Jay runs, but SUPERKICK for Jay! High-Low combo for The Briscoes! Mark keeps Burger out while Jay hits his Jay Driller! Cover, The Briscoes & Silas win!
Winners: Silas Young & The Briscoes, Jay Briscoe pinning
The Shinobi Shadow Squad struggles in the Six Man Tag Division against such accomplished opponents. Will it be the Last Real Man and Dem Boyz who move on towards the titles instead?
Rhett Titus speaks.
“Willie Mack, I heard you had plans to take the NWA National Title and defend it in every state across America.” Well Willie, plans change, because the Fittest is looking to take that belt and bring it with him on the Flex Express. Will Rhett’s own plans have to change after facing The Mack next episode?
The Bouncers VS Brian Johnson & Joe Keys!
The literally biggest team in the ROH Tag Team Division takes on two other Future of Honor stars. With physiques like theirs, JK and The Number One were hoping for sunny beaches and “beautiful baby dolls”, but instead got “busted up broads and their beer-swilling bozos”! Well that’s no way to talk about the fans or beer! The Bouncers make their way out with plenty of drinks, and Brian Milonas takes the mic. He and The Beer City Bruiser are here to kick ass and drink beer! Will they do just that against these rude rookies?
The Code of Honor is still upheld between the teams, and we start with Bruiser and Keys. Keys shows off his body while teasing Bruiser about the beer belly. Bruiser admits Keys wins the body building, but Bruiser has the fans as they chant “Beer! Beer!” along with him. Keys calls for a test of strength and Bruiser isn’t sure he’s serious. Keys shoves Bruiser and tells him to take it serious. Bruiser accepts the test, and SLAPS Keys off his feet! Keys gets up and kicks but Bruiser catches it. Bruiser spins Keys for an atomic drop. Keys gets to a corner but covers up from Bruiser’s punch. So Bruiser CHOPS instead! And CHOPS, and CHOPS! Fans cheer for more but Keys turns around to protect his chest. So Bruiser CHOPS his back! Keys scrambles to his corner and tags in Johnson.
Johnson fires off on Bruiser but Bruiser shoves him to run him over! Bruiser drags Johnson up but Johnson powers him to the corner. Keys anchors Bruiser’s feet and Johnson gets a sucker punch! Johnson stomps away in the corner then tags in Keys. Keys stomps Bruiser now but lets up at 4. Keys chops Bruiser back then goes to scoop. Bruiser’s too big for that, so Keys gives a European Uppercut. Johnson tags in and rams in his own uppercut. Johnson and Keys work together for a double scoop slam! Cover, ONE, and with power! Bruiser reaches for Milonas but Keys tags back in. Keys stomps Bruiser down then puts Bruiser back in the corner. Keys throws EuroUppers then gestures at Milonas. He runs in for a splash but Bruiser dodges! Keys hits buckles and both men are down!
Fans rally up as Bruiser crawls for his corner. Johnson shouts to Keys, and Keys tags him in. Johnson grabs Bruiser’s feet but Bruiser still gets to Milonas! The Mastodon rallies on both Future of Honor stars! Fans fire up as he pounces Keys out of the ring, then squashes Johson in a corner. Milonas whips Johnson corner to corner for another splash, then scoops. Johnson slips out and shoves Milonas away. Johnson dodges the clothesline but gets a pop-up spinebuster! Keys attacks Milonas from behind but Bruiser gets Keys. Bruiser whips Keys and Milonas gives Keys a pop-up spinebuster! The Bouncers say bottom’s up and grab Johnson. Milonas climbs and Bruiser holds Johnson up, draping leg drop! Cover, The Bouncers win!
Winners: The Bouncers, Brian Milonas pinning
They kicked ass, now they drink beer! Will the Bouncers find their way to the ROH World Tag Team Championships and drink to a title reign?
Madison Rayne speaks.
“Thunder Rosa, you think that you and Holidead can come into ROH and control the narrative and call the shots?” Here’s the reality: the Twisted Sisterz are the opposite of what the Women of Honor stand for. The Queen Bee vows to make a statement, but will it go the way she hopes?
Willie Mack speaks.
The inaugural NWA National Champion is all about making history, and he makes history with ROH next week. He’ll defend his title in all 50 states, and is already on number 5. If Rhett Titus wants to stay fit, then he better get ready for a fight!
Madison Rayne w/ Sumie Sakai VS Thunder Rosa w/ Holidead!
As The Queen Bee alluded to, The Twisted Sisterz have done what they want to who they want since joining the Women of Honor Division, including the Ray of Sunshine. Now Sumie stands beside Madison, will they put the trouble-makers in their place?
Madison doesn’t wait for the bell, she goes right at Thunder Rosa! She tackles Rosa down and the bell has to ring as she fires off right hands. Rayne puts Rosa in one corner then runs her all the way to the other. She bumps Rosa off a third then hits a sliding lariat. Rayne runs Rosa over with a shoulder and fires up while Rosa regroups with Holidead. Rayne doesn’t give Rosa much time to regain composure, she goes right out and rocks her with a right! She puts Rosa back in while Sumie keeps her eyes on Holidead. Rayne runs Rosa over with a clothesline but notices Holidead egging Sumie on. Rayne runs and wrecks Holidead with a dropkick! Sumie and the fans cheer Rayne on but Rosa hits Rayne back!
Rosa fetches Rayne and rams her into the apron. She then CHOPS Rayne against the apron, before shoving her into the ring. Rosa stomps Rayne then covers, TWO! Rosa drags Rayne up and bumps Rayne off the buckles. She stomps a mudhole into Rayne but backs off at 4. Rosa snapmares Rayne and kicks her sharp on the back. Holidead wants another so Rosa kicks Rayne again. Rosa runs and dropkicks Rayne in the back, covers, TWO! Sumie coaches Rayne up while Rosa mockingly applauds. Rayne throws body shots but Rosa clubs her down. Rosa scoops and slams Rayne down, then applauds herself. Rosa runs side to side for a BIG leg drop! Cover, TWO! The Queen Bee is in trouble while we go to break.
ROH returns and Rosa toys with Rayne. Rayne throws forearms back and enziguris! Rosa falls over and Rayne covers, TWO! Holidead is relieved but Rayne keeps on Rosa. Rosa throws Rayne down by her hair, then drags her up for chops. Rosa whips Rayne corner to corner then runs in for a big back elbow! She snapmares Rayne to a cover, TWO! Fans rally for Rayne but Rose wraps on a chinlock. Rayne endures and fights her way up, but Rosa throws her back down. Cover, TWO! Rosa grabs Rayne for more chops, then does a little salsa to show off. She whips but Rayne reverses and things speed up, Rayne SPEARS Rosa down! But Rayne is also down and a standing 10 count begins.
The count reaches 5 as both women sit up. Rosa grabs Rayne and brings her up but Rayne fires forearms! Rayne dodges Rosa and rallies with more forearms. Rayne fires up and goes corner to corner but Rose catches her! Rosa puts Rayne on the top rope but Rayne boots her back. Rayne leaps for the crossbody! Both women are back up, Rayne ducks a kick to give an enziguri! Cover, TWO! Rayne keeps on Rosa with a waistlock. She wrings Rosa out but Rosa goes to swing. Rayne adjusts and gets around Rosa again for a dragon sleeper. Rosa elbows out and brings Rayne up into the Gory Especial, and spins around for the facebuster! Cover, TWO!! Rayne survives and the Twisted Sisterz are shocked!
Rosa is furious as she drags Rayne right up onto her shoulder! Rosa spins but Rayne slips out for the Rayne Drop! Cover, Rayne wins!
Winner: Madison Rayne, by pinfall
The Queen Bee wins outta nowhere and gets revenge on behalf of Sumie Sakai! Will Rayne and others teach the Twisted Sisterz a lesson about being Women of Honor?
Team Coast2Coast speaks.
“We were gone for a very long time, but for good reason.” Shaheem Ali and Leon St. Giovanni were “rediscovering” themselves. But now C2C is better than ever and will take on the best in the world! Their return is next week against Jay Lethal and Jonathan Gresham, will Chocolate Man and the Human Rocket be ready for the Franchise and the Octopus?
Zack Sabre Jr. VS Rocky Romero!
The partnership of ROH and NJPW is on display as the Submission Master returns! But not only that, the player-coach of Roppongi 3K makes his own return! Will Rocky make a run in ROH for gold? Or will he #JustTapOut?
ROH returns with the bell! Fans cheer Rocky on as he circles with ZSJ. Rocky keeps away from ZSJ’s grip and then they approach. ZSJ still gets Rocky down with a headlock but Rocky keeps up with his reversals. ZSJ gets free but both he and Rocky smirk as they circle again. They tie up again and ZSJ gets the arm. He cranks on it to get Rocky to the mat. Rocky endures the wristlock and ZSJ grinds a knee in. Rocky gets to his feet but ZSJ wrenches and arm-drags Rocky back down. Fans cheer ZSJ’s technique as he twists and pulls Rocky’s arm. Rocky spins through and gets up to dropkick ZSJ out of the ring! ZSJ is frustrated already as he kicks the railing. Rocky waits for ZSJ as he catches his breath.
ZSJ returns and circles with Rocky. They tie up and ZSJ gets a leg. He trips Rocky and stands on his feet. ZSJ twists the leg around and then ties the legs up so he can go after Rocky’s neck with a wrench. But he also hooks the face so the ref counts. ZSJ lets up at 4 to bring Rocky into a Bow ‘n’ Arrow. Rocky pops out to a cover, TWO! Fans applaud as Rocky and ZSJ circle again. Rocky and ZSJ approach and Rocky gets ZSJ’s leg now. Rocky waistlocks but ZSJ wrenches to a switch. ZSJ wrenches again and brings Rocky to his knees. ZSJ brings Rocky further down as he mounts the arm to pull back. Fans applaud while Rocky endures the pair of knuckle locks.
Rocky and ZSJ go shoulder to shoulder but ZSJ gets the cover. TWO so ZSJ tries again. TWO as Rocky brings up the shoulder, so ZSJ pushes it down. Rocky bridges this time, and then anticipates ZSJ hopping on with a monkey flip! It’s a double cover, but Rocky rolls back, only to get caught into ZSJ’s armbar! Rocky rolls and shifts but ZSJ slips out to a hammerlock. Fans applaud this continued exchange as Rocky reaches back for ZSJ. Rocky leaps and snapmares but ZSJ headbutts back. ZSJ snapmares but Rocky handsprings through to dropkick him down! Rocky brings ZSJ up for a chop then a cravat. ZSJ endures but Rocky snapmares. ZSJ responds with his own snapmare, but then Rocky snapmares back. They go snapmare for snapmare, but then ZSJ shoves Rocky down for a neck crank! Rocky writhes while we go to one last break.
ROH returns once again as Rocky manages a ropebreak while in a modified Bow ‘n’ Arrow. ZSJ reluctantly lets go, and waits for Rocky to sit up. ZSJ clamps on a half straitjacket, then digs in elbows and knuckles to get the full. Rocky endures as fans rally up. Rocky feeds off the energy but ZSJ does his best to keep Rocky down. The two struggle against each other, and ZSJ digs a knee in to keep the straitjacket. Rocky stands and spins the straitjacket around but ZSJ spins it back on. ZSJ brings Rocky back down then flips him over, but Rocky uses that to reverse the hold! Rocky has ZSJ but ZSJ breaks free to throw a EuroUpper. ZSJ whips but Rocky elbows back. Rocky springboards for a tornado DDT! Both men are down but fans rally up.
Another standing count begins and Rocky sits up at 3. ZSJ follows and grabs Rocky first. Rocky dodges and huricanranas! Things speed up, Rocky springboards again for a crossbody! Cover, TWO! Rocky toys with ZSJ, then starts slapping him around. ZSJ EuroUppers then grabs a leg. Rocky misses the first enziguri but not the rewind! Fans fire up with Rocky as he runs corner to corner to start the Forever Clotheslines! He gets one, then another, but runs into a boot! ZSJ runs but into Rocky’s leaping knee, only to make it an STF! Rocky is caught, and ZSJ shifts sides! Rocky drags himself around and manages a ropebreak! ZSJ lets Rocky go and catches his breath. Now ZSJ toys with Rocky as he stomps him around. ZSJ kicks but Rocky gets mad. ZSJ pie faces so Rocky SLAPS away!
Rocky knees and hauls ZSJ up to the top rope. Rocky runs corner to corner for a top shelf knee! ZSJ falls to the apron but Rocky checks his shoulder first. Rocky brings ZSJ up but ZSJ resists the suplex. ZSJ goes after the arm but Rocky throws forearms. Rocky shoulders in but gets caught into an Octopus through the ropes! ZSJ lets go at 4 then shoves Rocky away. Rocky dropkicks ZSJ on the return! Rocky throws forearms and CHOPS, then ties ZSJ up in the ropes. He goes to the side and springboards for a guillotine missile dropkick! Cover, TWO!! ZSJ survives and Rocky is exhausted. Fans build to a rally for Rocky as he brings ZSJ up. Rocky throws forearms on ZSJ then eggs him on. ZSJ throws a EuroUpper, but Rocky comes back for fast hands. Rocky kicks and runs for a Sliced Bread! Cover, TWO!
Rocky drags ZSJ up again and wants more, but ZSJ escapes Sliced Bread 2 for the standing abdominal stretch! Rocky reaches but ZSJ rolls him away, then around, Hurrah! The double wrist-clutch octopus is on and Rocky taps quickly! ZSJ wins!
Winner: Zack Sabre Jr, by submission
The Submission Master brings in Another Year, Surely This One Will Be Better Than the Last. Will ZSJ’s first year in ROH be golden sooner rather than later?
Another ROH PPV, another disconnect between it and their television episodes. This episode, as all episodes are, was clearly recorded long before the PPV as nothing that happened at the PPV affects this episode’s events. For those who didn’t see the ROH 17th Anniversary, make sure to check here for the full card results. But for those who did, you know The Briscoes lost the the ROH World Tag Team Championships to Villain Enterprises, yet Jay & Mark still had the belts here. And all this makes it strange for commentary to vaguely reference the PPV when it hadn’t happened for them yet. The Six Man Tag they had was only okay, so I don’t see why it couldn’t have been three other Heels going against Shinobi Shadow Squad to get the spotlight instead.
In fact, seeing as how more Future of Honor stars were brought on for this episode, I’m starting to think that’s what episodes like this should be about. ROH Future of Honor stars can appear, get some television exposure, and take the card in place of literally anyone involved on the PPV card. And of course, facing Future of Honor stars meant an easy win for The Bouncers, who might finally be moving up now that they’re Faces. Meanwhile, Rhett Titus’ new gimmick is like if Lex Luger and Val Venis fused, but then the combination was slightly diluted. But Rhett VS Mack, even non-title, sounds fun. Pretty sure Mack wins that, but bringing NWA and its new championship into the fold of ROH’s many partnerships also sounds great.
Rayne VS Rosa was a good match, and I’m sensing this is building to something more. I’ve said before that having the Twisted Sisterz in WOH must mean Women’s Tag Team Championships are on the horizon, and it would be pretty big if Sumie Sakai joins Rayne in competing for those. I don’t think Rayne & Sumie would be the inaugural champions, that really should be the Twisted Sisterz given their resumes. But Sumie one day becoming a tag champ to be the first woman to have both the WOH World and Tag Team Championships would be a great thing for her own career. ZSJ VS Romero was a good match, and clearly ZSJ is set to dominate to at least a World Television Championship level. ZSJ VS Jeff Cobb would be great for the sheer difference in styles, but we know it’ll have to wait until after G1 Supercard.
My Score: 8/10