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
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