NXT UK has its first ever TakeOver! Which team will be the inaugural NXT UK Tag Team Champions? Will Pete Dunne’s historic reign continue or finally end?
- NXT UK Tag Team Championship Tournament Finals: Mustache Mountain VS Grizzled Young Veterans; Grizzled Young Veterans win and become the inaugural NXT UK Tag Team Champions.
- Jordan Devlin VS Travis Banks; No Contest.
- Jordan Devlin VS Finn Balor; Finn wins.
- No Disqualifications: Eddie Dennis VS Dave Mastiff; Mastiff wins.
- NXT UK Women’s Championship: Rhea Ripley VS Toni Storm; Storm wins and becomes the new NXT UK Women’s Championship.
- WWE United Kingdom Championship: Pete Dunne VS Joe Coffey; Dunne wins and retains the WWE United Kingdom Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
NXT UK has its own Performance Center!
The first international PC will give a place for everyone on the NXT UK roster to hone their craft, both in the ring and outside of it. Charlotte Flair and Finn Balor were NXT Alumni that came over to help celebrate the moment. British Strong Style all felt proud of where their Division is going. “Are you ready?”
Radzi shares footage of earlier today.
Travis Banks had arrived at the Empress Ballroom, but Jordan Devlin attacked him in the lobby! The Irish Ace throws the Kiwi Buzzsaw around then does the same to security before ramming Banks into a wall! Banks grabs that bad leg but Devlin adds more. Sid Scala got Devlin to stop, and got Banks medical attention. Banks was cleared to compete, but will he be able to stand against Devlin?
Every Empire has a Beginning.
The Empress Ballroom is where it all began. “We are just scratching the surface.” Tyler Bate was the first, but Pete Dunne has been the longest reigning WWE United Kingdom Champion. The UK Division slowly grew day by day, “and that brings us to today.” The official NXT UK brand is only in its infancy, yet it’s already making waves! Who will ride those waves all the way to take over history?
NXT UK Tag Team Championship Tournament Finals: Mustache Mountain VS Grizzled Young Veterans!
Trent Seven and Tyler Bate have been tag team champions everywhere they’ve been, and that includes the American NXT! But Zack Gibson and James Drake want to put a stop to that here and now! Are Gibson & Drake soon to be recognized as the inaugural NXT UK Tag Team Champions? Or will Seven & Bate be the first to hold tag titles on both sides of the pond?
Introductions are made, and Johnny Saint himself raises up those title belts. The teams sort out as fans chant for the “Big Strong Boys!” Bate starts against Gibson at the bell and fans only get hotter. Gibson tunes the fans out as they boo him and sing for Bate. Bate grins as he and Gibson circle. They tie up and are even in power. Gibson gets a chinbar to bring Bate to the mat. Gibson goes after the wrist but Bate kips up. Bate tries to get Gibson down, but Gibson uses the wristlock to bring him back down. Gibson wrenches as fans boo. Bate kips up and gets the headscissor takedown. Fans say “If you hate Gibson, shoes off!”
Gibson pops out and has the wrist but Bate brings him back down into the headscissors. Bate squeezes but Gibson moves around. Gibson pops out and covers, TWO as Bate gets one shoulder up. Gibson tries the other, TWO. He tries both, but Bate bridges! Bate manages to power up and stand, but Gibson drives him back down. TWO with another bridge, and the Big Strong Boy rolls it up and over into a straitjacket! Gibson arm-drags Bate off but Bate lands on his feet! Fans applaud but Gibson talks strategy with Drake. Gibson and Bate tie up and go around. Bate gets the wristlock but Gibson powers him to the corner. Drake tags in but Bate gets away! Gibson backs off and Drake waits as Seven tags in. Mr. Mayhem and the artful dodger circle and fans sing “Trent Seven Army!”
Seven and Drake tie up and push each other around. Drake puts Seven on the ropes then turns him around for clubbing forearms. Drake wrenches and brings Seven over but Seven breaks free. Seven chops away on Drake! That third one knocks Drake off his feet! Cover, ONE, so Seven drags Drake over. Tag to Bate and Bate climbs. Wastleland slam to knee-board senton! Bate brings Drake up for European Uppercuts. Bate whips Drake but Gibson bails Drake out. Fans boo as GYV regroups. Drake runs in but Bop goes up. He won’t let Bang hit, so Bate baits him with a test of strength. Drake falls for it, so Bate goes up, over, around and under to roll Drake up. TWO, and a dropkick drops Drake!
Bate handsprings and brings Drake back over. Drake breaks free and gets a headlock. Bate powers out but Gibson tags in. Bate sees Gibson coming and huricanranas! Seven tags in and gets the hand-off. Gibson throws forearms and goes after Seven’s arm. Seven powers out but Gibson runs him over. Things speed up and Seven hits a crossbody! Cover, TWO! Seven goes right after Gibson’s arm! Fans rally but Gibson whips out. Gibson swings but Seven ducks to scoop. Gibson slips out and tags Drake. Seven CHOPS away on both Grizzled Young Veterans! Seven hip tosses Drake down, then gets him in a waistlock. Gibson tags back in as Seven rolls Drake. Seven rocks Gibson with a right, then DIVES onto Drake! Drake backs away as Seven pursues. Drake suckers Seven into Gibson’s throat chop!
Gibson drags Seven up and into the ring to ground ‘n’ pound. Fans boo but Gibson tags in Drake. The GYV stomp Seven down, then Drake throws hands. Seven crawls but can’t get the tag. Fans rally up but Drake gives Seven a backbreaker. Cover, TWO! Drake wraps on a half nelson and chinbar. Seven endures and feeds off the fans’ energy. Seven fights his way up but Drake wrangles him back down. Fans sing again and Seven stands. Drake throws him out hard then tags Gibson. Gibson drags Seven up, and GYV combine for the slingshot stomp backbreaker! Bate comes over to check on Seven but Gibson tells him to back off. Gibson puts Seven in the ring and drags him back over. Drake tags in and Gibson feeds Seven to Drake’s forearm! Cover, TWO! Seven continues to survive but his arm and back are problems.
Drake drags Seven up but Seven fights back. Drake puts Seven in the corner but Seven fights out! GYV mug Seven, but Seven throws Drake at Gibson! Seven scrambles but Drake drags him back. Gibson tags in and he stomps Seven out. Seven has blood from his head, that’s from Drake’s sharp elbow. Fans sing “If you hate Gibson, stand up~!” but Gibson suplexes Seven and floats to a cover. TWO, but Gibson is right on Seven with a cobra clutch. Seven endures and gets his second wind, but Drake tags in. Drake slingshots but Seven bumps Gibson into him. Drake goes down and Gibson lets go since he’s no longer legal. Gibson throws Seven out and Drake goes after him. But Seven CHOPS Drake back! Drake forearms, Seven CHOPS! They go back and forth, but there’s also the ring count.
Drake forearms and Seven chops again. Seven chops and chops then gets back in at 7! Drake scrambles after to stop Seven from tagging Bate! Gibson tags in and the GYV isolate Seven all over again. Gibson brings Seven up for a forearm, but Seven hits Drake and boots Gibson! Seven runs but Gibson catches him, Bate still tags in! Bate fires off with haymakers and keeps Gibson from running away! Drake comes in but Bate whips and back drops him! Gibson runs but into Bate’s knee! Bate hops up, flying uppercut! Fans fire up with Bate as he grabs Drake for the airplane spin! Around and around he goes, but then he throws him at Gibson. Bate then suplexes Drake onto Gibson’s shoulders, and then lifts them both! Bate does a double spin!
Drake slips off but Bate keeps spinning Gibson until he’s too dizzy. Bate goes at Gibson on the apron but Drake gets him first. But Bate brings Drake out to join him. They brawl on the apron, and Bate exploders Drake at Gibson! Bate kips up as fans reach a fever pitch, then shooting star tackles both Gibson and Drake! Bate puts Gibson in, double underhooks, but Gibson resists. Gibson back drops but Bate lands on his feet. Bop up, BANG hits! Seven tags in and scoops Gibson for a running powerslam! Bate adds a headbutt! Seven covers, TWO!! Mustache Mountain can’t believe their tribute to The British Bulldogs didn’t get it done! Bate DIVES onto Drake! Seven brings Gibson up, Burning Hammer!! Cover, but Drake breaks it just in time!
Fans rally up as Gibson and Seven crawl. Seven hammers Gibson but Gibson kicks Seven. Fans know “This is Awesome!” as Seven grabs Gibson’s foot. Gibson kicks Seven’s bad leg, hot tags to Drake and Bate! Drake tries to roll but Bate sits on it. ONE, Drake sunset flips, ONE, Bate high stacks, ONE! Drake sunset flips again, TWO! Rolling kick from Bate! Bate tags Seven again and Seven picks Drake up. Bate runs and rebounds, but Gibson hits a code breaker! Seven chops Gibson, but Gibson puts him in a corner, and Drake makes Seven #GritYourTeeth! Gibson hits Helter Skelter and Drake adds a 450!! Cover, TWO!? Gibson and Drake can’t believe it, but fans are thunderous! The Grizzled Young Veterans regroup, and Gibson tags back in.
Gibson drags Seven up and feeds him to Drake’s scoop. Seven slips out to throw Drake at Gibson. Seven chops everyone, but gets caught into the enziguri and Shankly Gates! Gibson hammers away and sinks it in deep! Seven endures but Bate is slowly returning. Drake intercepts with a facelock, but Bate powers up. Drake puts Bate in his own Shankly Gates! Mustache Mountain reach for each other as they endure the holds. Bate powers up again, to lift Drake and Death Valley Drive him onto Gibson!! All four men are down but the Empress Ballroom is all but exploding! They chant “UK! Woop Woop!” for “British Wrestling!” Both teams regroup, and tags to Bate and Drake. Bate fires off a strike fest! Bate gives some to Gibson! Drake hits a forearm, but Bate hits a DOUBLE rolling kick!
Seven’s back and tags in again. Mustache Mountain want it, Rebound Snap Dragon! Cover, TWO!?! Drake survives, but Mustache Mountain has one more thing to try. Seven drags Drake up as fans hope they “Fight Forever!” Gibson lurks, and anchors Bate! Seven lifts Drake but Drake slips out. Drake shoves Seven into Bate, and Bate’s in an electric chair. Seven Star Lariat misses, Drak DIVES to Doomsday Bate! Fans lose their minds over that one. Seven is furious, he DIVES but into Drake’s shotgun kick! Gibson drags Seven up and in, and GYV coordinate. Drake scoops, Ticket to MAYHEM!! Cover, Grizzled Young Veterans win!!
Winners: Grizzled Young Veterans, James Drake pinning; NEW NXT UK Tag Team Champions
Liverpool’s Number One and his ally have become THE NXT UK Tag Team Champions! Are they soon to be recognized as the world’s number one tag team?!
Jordan Devlin VS Travis Banks!
The Irish Ace questions the Kiwi Buzzsaw’s pride and love for his homeland. Devlin knows he goes home to Ireland every week, but what about Banks and New Zealand? Banks didn’t appreciate any of the trash talk or the mockery, but as we saw, Devlin got the jump on Banks upon arriving at the arena. Banks is still good to go for this match, but will he be able to put up a fight?
But as Devlin smugly walks down the ramp, Banks DIVES onto him! The Buzzsaw wants payback in the worst way but that leg still bothers him. Even so, he goes right at Devlin with hands on the ramp! Devlin gets away, then baits Banks into steel steps! Banks bangs his bad knee, but he still throws heavy forearms! Devlin shoves Banks away to kick the bad leg! Then chop blocks it! The referee tells Devlin to put this in the ring so it can be a match, but Devlin doesn’t care. Devlin puts Banks’ leg on the steps to stomp away on it! Banks writhes away and referees come out. Fans tell Devlin what they think of him but he ignores them, too. Devlin revels in the heat while Sid Scala comes out to check on Banks.
Scala talks with Banks that this match is going to be called off. Devlin takes to the mic to say “I told the whole world, there’s a reason you never, ever bet against The Ace.” And now that he has no match, how about an interview with Devlin, “The Greatest Irish Wrestler Alive!” But wait, Johnny Saint comes out to inform Sid of something. Sid tells Devlin that they suspected such a thing as his attack earlier today. “But as luck would have it, we have ourselves a back-up plan.” What do they mean by that? Devlin doesn’t care who it is, bring them out. The lights go down, and the smoke rises. It’s Finn Balor!! The Extraordinary Man, Devlin’s former mentor and teacher, is here in Blackpool!! Will Finn show Devlin who the real greatest Irish Wrestler is?
Jordan Devlin VS Finn Balor!
Devlin wants to tune it out, but he can’t ignore that Blackpool is now part of Balor Club! The bell rings and fans lose their minds. Fans chant “Too Sweet! Woop Woop!” as the two Irishmen circle. Finn and Devlin stare down, and this match feels lik ea long time coming. Devlin SLAPS his former teacher, so Finn throws hands! Finn runs, dropkicks Devlin and takes aim from a corner. Slingblade! Finn hurries to a corner already, but Devlin bails out. Devlin knows the Coup de Grace well, and he wants to leave. Finn won’t let him, and gets him back in the ring! Devlin rolls back out but Finn pursues to forearm smash him down! Fans fire up as Finn flexes. Finn drags Devlin up and in, but Devlin catches him with the ropes! The referee reprimands Devlin but Devlin blasts Finn into barriers.
Devlin goes out to club and stalk Finn, but fans rally up. Devlin rams Finn into the apron, then into the ring. Finn staggers up but Devlin trips him up and uses those same double stomps! Devlin mocks Finn’s poses as he stalks Finn to the ropes. He chokes Finn on the ropes but lets up at 4. Devlin pulls Finn against the ropes and throws forearms. He whips but Finn reverses, but Devlin sunset flips. Finn rolls through to dropkick Devlin down! Fans fire up as Finn takes aim from the corner. Finn runs and dodges Devlin to swing kick him. Devlin’s in the drop zone and Finn hurries up top. Devlin stops Finn with a big dropkick! Finn crashes and burns to the floor! Devlin leaves Finn out there as the ring count begins.
The count passes 5 as Finn sits up. Finn crawls at 7 and stands at 8, to beat the count at 9.5! Devlin stomps away and rains down hands as fans boo. Cover, ONE, but Devlin stalks Finn to the corner. Fans rally up but Devlin throws body shots and chops. Finn grimaces as he CHOPS Devlin back! Finn CHOPS Devlin again to Blackpool’s delight. Devlin kicks back and returns the chops, but Finn chops him more! Finn blocks a boot but Devlin slaps him again. Devlin gets Finn in the urenage and standing moonsault! Cover, TWO! Devlin grows frustrated but he looms over Finn again. Devlin drags Finn up for an abdominal stretch. Finn resists but Devlin still gets the hold. Finn endures as fans rally, and he pops out to hip toss Devlin! Both men are down but standing up.
Finn dodges and gets Devlin in the abdominal stretch! Finn elbows away on Devlin, then throws a forearm to the back. Devlin slips out of the dragon sleeper to Pele! Finn CHOPS Devlin again, but walks into a boot, to give Finn HIS Pele! Both men are down but fans fire up. Finn sits up and gets to a corner. Devlin stands and runs in, but into boots. Devlin staggers and Finn rallies with forearms. Finn trips Devlin and gives him those double stomps! Finn aims at Devlin as fans chant “Too Sweet! Woop Woop!” Finn drags Devlin up but Devlin knees him abck, so Finn hits teh elbow drop DDT. Finn lifts Devlin again, 1916! Cover, TWO! Devlin survives but Finn keeps his focus. Fans fire up with Finn again as he aims. Slingblade! Finn runs into a SUPERKICK! Devlin headbutts, then ripcord back suplexes Finn down! Cover, TWO!
Devlin grows frustrated while fans continue to rally for Finn. Devlin kicks Finn in the ribs, then again. Finn gasps and sputters as Devlin talks trash and soaks up the heat. Devlin aims again, but Finn catches this kick for a takedown! He stomps away on Devlin until Devlin rolls out. Finn aims from the apron for a Penalty Kick! Finn drags Devlin in and climbs up top again, but Devlin trips him up! Devlin throws Finn into the post, then rolls him up. Feet on the ropes, TWO!! Devlin doesn’t cheat Finn, but he does Moonsault! Onto knees! Fans rally up again as Finn and Devlin stand. Finn grabs Devlin for the Bloody Sunday! He aims from the corner, shotgun dropkick blasts Devlin down! Finn climbs up one more time, and hits the Coup de Grace!! Cover, Finn wins!
Winner: Finn Balor, by pinfall
Devlin didn’t expect this match, or any match, on this historic Blackpool TakeOver, but he got the match of his life! Will Devlin get over a defeat at the hands of his former trainer? When and where will Travis Banks return to cut down The Irish Ace himself?
No Disqualifications: Eddie Dennis VS Dave Mastiff!
The Headmaster came into NXT UK bitter at his old friends for leaving him behind, but he’s since moved on to a different goal: becoming NXT UK’s one and only monster. The reason why is because of his run-in with The Bomber. Dennis is no longer undefeated, but he vows to end Mastiff’s own streak. There are no rules but to win, so who wins to establish themselves as the dominant force of this brand?
The bell rings and Dennis circles with Mastiff. Dennis and Mastiff talk, but then they start throwing forearms! Mastiff gets the better of Dennis but Dennis kicks low. Dennis runs but Mastiff follows. Dennis dodges but so does Mastiff, and Mastiff hits a big crossbody! Mastiff tries to cover but Dennis slips away. Dennis forearms Mastiff on the outside then clubs away. Dennis whips but Mastiff reverses to send Dennis into the steps! Mastiff tips the steps over and puts Dennis back in the ring. Mastiff brings the base steps with him and puts them in the ring. Fans like where Mastiff’s going with this, but Dennis doesn’t. Dennis bails out again and grabs a kendo stick. Mastiff pursues and Dennis SMACKS away!
Dennis pulls up the mats to reveal the ballroom’s floor. Mastiff elbows away but Dennis pursues to SMACK him with the stick some more! Dennis chokes Mastiff with it into a Russian Leg Sweep. Cover, TWO! Dennis keeps his cool as he chokes Mastiff with the stick again. Mastiff gets up and fights back, but gets more SMACKS! Fans duel while Dennis toys with Mastiff. Dennis stands Mastiff up, but Mastiff blocks the stick! Mastiff reels Dennis in for a headbutt! Then he SMACKS Dennis with the stick! Mastiff drags Dennis back up, lifts and powerbombs him down! Mastiff goes back to those steps and brings them over. He drags Dennis up in a fireman’s carry, but Dennis slips out. Dennis tries to lift Mastiff but Mastiff elbows out.
Mastiff runs but Dennis uses that momentum to hit the swinging side slam, on the steps! Fans love it, even as Dennis covers. TWO, and Dennis can’t believe it! Dennis pushes the steps out of the ring to clear some space. Dennis goes out and takes the ring announcer’s chair. He brings it back to the ring, swings on Mastiff, but Mastiff ducks! Mastiff picks Dennis up for the rolling senton! Dennis sputters but Mastiff looks to end this. Mastiff climbs up top but Dennis stops him! Dennis tries for the crucifix, and somehow tosses Mastiff for the powerbomb! Cover, TWO!! Mastiff survives and Dennis is again in disbelief! Dennis rolls out to fetch a table! Fans like the look of that as he puts the table in the ring. Dennis stomps Mastiff away from the table, then sets the table in the corner.
Fans sing for the table as Dennis picks Mastiff up. Mastiff back drops and sits on Dennis! Dennis crawls away but Mastiff pursues. Mastiff waistlocks and wants to German Suplex Dennis down, but Dennis fights him off. Dennis leaps, but into another rolling senton, on the ballroom floor! Mastiff adds a back senton! Fans want another but Mastiff drags Dennis into the ring. Mastiff catches his breath and fans sing for the table again. Mastiff climbs up, Arabian Press, but it flops! Dennis gets Mastiff in the Next Stop driver!! Cover, TWO!? Mastiff survives yet again, and Dennis pleads with the ref that was three! Fans rally up and Mastiff rolls to a corner. Dennis picks up the chair again and SMACKS Mastiff on the back!
Dennis hoists Mastiff up again, and wants to finish this. He picks Mastiff up in the crucifix again, and heads for the table! Mastiff slips out and the two collide with clotheslines. Neither man falls so they try again. Both men stay standing, but Dennis spins Mastiff. Mastiff gets around to German Suplex Dennis up high! Dennis is on the table, Mastiff runs, Into the Void through the table!! Fans lose their minds as Mastiff covers, Mastiff wins!
Winner: Dave Mastiff, by pinfall
The Bomber is a monster, and now he’s THE monster of NXT UK! With his undefeated streak intact, will Mastiff move on towards the title?
NXT UK Women’s Championship: Rhea Ripley VS Toni Storm!
The Mosh Pit Kid and the Lightning from Down Under both made it to the semifinals of the Mae Young Classic, but only Toni Storm went to the finals. Toni Storm won the MYC, but these two would meet again in the tournament to crown the inaugural NXT UK Women’s Champion. Rhea would shock everyone when she defeated Toni, and Toni would be out of action with a bad back. But Toni is back, and wants to get that title in a rematch from the finals! Will the Storm be ripped apart all over again? Or will she ride the Riptide all the way to victory?
Introducts are made, the belt is raised, and this epic rematch begins! Fans are strongly behind Toni’s side as they sing for her. Toni and Rhea slowly circle, then rush each other! Toni dodges and throws haymakers and clubbing forearms. Rhea gets loose but Toni is right back on her with forearms! Rhea shoves Toni again then flapjacks Toni! Now the two scrap on the mat! Rhea gets away but Toni gives chase. Rhea gets back in the ring and pushes Toni away. Toni keeps chasing her, then DIVES! Direct hit topples the champ! Toni stomps Rhea at the corner, then throws forearms. She chops Rhea then puts her back in the ring. Rhea gets Toni’s hair at the ropes, then kicks her back down. Toni staggers up but Rhea kicks her into the barriers! Flashbacks to their first match, but Toni’s back holds up.
Rhea puts Toni back in and bumps her off buckles. Fans duel as Rhea stomps a mudhole into Toni! Rhea drags Toni up to ram shoulders into her, but lets up at 4. Rhea checks her jaw, and she’s even angrier now. She stomps another mudhole into Toni but stops at 4. Rhea drags Toni to cover, TWO! Rhea drags Toni up as fans build to a rally. She puts on a body scissor and squeezes tight on Toni’s back. Toni sits up and pries at the hold, then pushes back for a cover. TWO and Rhea clubs Toni. Rhea grabs Toni’s hair and trash talks her. Toni pushes back again, TWO, and Rhea clubs Toni more. Toni turns around to throw forearms on Rhea! She breaks free but Rhea pushes her away. Rhea gives Toni clubbing forearms, then lifts in a stalling suplex! She drops Toni down, covers, TWO!
Rhea grows frustrated as fans rally up. Rhea drags Toni up for a scoop slam, then another. She’s clearly after the back, and covers, TWO! Rhea grins now, perhaps amused by Toni’s resilience. Rhea stands over Toni to put on the inverted cloverleaf, but Toni pushes her all the way to a post! Fans keep dueling as Toni runs in. Toni misses, and Rhea dropkicks her down! Cover, TWO! Toni narrowly escapes so Rhea kicks her in the back. Rhea grinds Toni’s face into the mat, then flips her over to drop the leg! And then another leg drop, cover, TWO! Rhea grows further frustrated as she picks Toni up again. Rhea tosses Toni then again! Toni keeps getting up so Rhea toys with her. Toni slaps Rhea so Rhea clubs and boots Toni. Rhea runs, but into Toni’s headbutt! Both women fall but fans are loving this!
A standing count begins as both women stir. The count passes 5 as they both sit up. Toni goes over to throw a forearm. Rhea hits back, and they stand up. Toni hits, Rhea hits, repeat. Then they pick up speed and the fans erupt for this! Toni and Rhea slow down, but then get a second wind! Toni gets the edge, and German Suplexes Rhea! She holds on, for another! Toni brings Rhea up again, but Rhea fights out with elbows. Rhea swings but runs into the underhook! She slips out to pumphandle, but Toni makes it a crossbody! TWO! Toni can’t believe it, but she won’t slow down. She drags Rhea back up for another underhook, but Rhea back drops! Toni sunset flips, TWO! Rhea sits, TWO, sunset flip, TWO! Rhea grabs the legs, and lifts for the inverted cloverleaf! Toni endures as she hangs off the mat.
Fans rally as Toni claws her way over. Toni reaches but Rhea drags her away! So Toni rolls to get Rhea in an ankle lock! Rhea endures as she reaches, and gets the ropebreak. Toni lets go and Rhea gets in the corner. Toni runs in, big hip attack! And then that third German Suplex! Bridging cover, TWO! Toni is shocked but fans are loving this. Toni slaps Rhea around and then drags her back up. She brings Rhea up for furious forearms and palm strikes. She back kicks but Rhea throws her down by her hair. Rhea covers but Toni gets out before a count. Rhea pumphandles, Riptde!! Cover, TWO!? Rhea cannot believe her best move failed!
Fans reach a fever pitch as Rhea drags Toni up again. Rhea reels Toni in for a big lariat, but brings her back up again. Rhea lariats again, but shows no mercy. She drags Toni up a third time, but Toni ducks and headbutts! Double underhook, STORM ZERO!! Cover, TWO!? Now Toni is the one shocked! Blackpool still loves it, and they duel again. Toni and Rhea slowly sit up but they’ve already given so much. Rhea and Toni lean on each other to stand, and Toni throws forearms! Rhea throws one back and rocks Toni. Pumphandle, But Toni slips out to grab Rhea’s hair! Underhooks, STROM ZERO AGAIN! Cover, Toni storm wins!!
Winner: Toni Storm, by pinfall; NEW NXT UK Women’s Champion
Don’t call it a comeback, Toni’s been here for years! And finally, it’s #ToniTime! The Storm takes over, will 2019 belong to her?
WWE United Kingdom Championship: Pete Dunne VS Joe Coffey!
The Bruiserweight is only the second-ever champion, but his reign of 603 days in monumental. However, the Iron King doesn’t care about days, he only cares about establishing his kingdom. The leaders of British Strong Style and Gallus finally go head to head one-on one. Will Dunne continue on to be an even greater champion? Or will Joe Coffey bring about a new era in the UK Division?
Introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we begin! Coffey and Dunne stare down as fans cheer. Coffey crosses his arms and stands still as Dunne circles him. Dunne approaches and Coffey puts up his dukes. They tie up and push each other around. Dunne puts Coffey on the ropes but lets up at 4 with a shove. Coffey and Dunne circle and tie up again. Dunne gets the arm and wrenches, then goes after the fingers and wrist. Coffey rolls and handsprings to reverse the wrench, then brings Dunne to the mat. Coffey slaps Dunne’s wrist, then rolls around. They both stand up and Dunne rolls and handsprings and even spins to break free. Dunne throws that heavy forearm but Coffey stays standing. Coffey and Dunne circle again, then tie up.
Dunne gets both wristlocks and brings Coffey’s hands to the mat. Dunne stands on one hand to go after the other. He twists the pinkie! Then the middle finger. Coffey headbutts Dunne’s leg, but Dunne drops down to get Coffey’s legs. Dunne has Coffey in a figure four knot, and a toehold. Coffey reaches back to grab Dunne in a headlock. Dunne gets up and whips, but Coffey catches Dunne. Coffey wants a crab but Dunne gets an armbar! Coffey scrambles to make it a cover, TWO, and Dunne avoids All the Best! Fans applaud this evenly matched match as the two circle again. Dunne and Coffey slow back down, but Coffey knees low. Coffey puts on a headlock then rocks Dunne with a heavy EuroUpper! He drags Dunne back up for another EuroUpper, then clamps on with a nerve hold.
Dunne endures so Coffey brings him up for a headlock. Fans rally as Dunne powers out. Things speed up and Coffey breaks through the clothesline, so Dunne goes sideways to pounce! Dunne grabs the legs again, and puts on the Regal Stretch! Dunne gives another tribute to William Regal with the combination deathlock and crossface! Coffey crawls around, gets his legs free, and gets the ropebreak! Dunne lets go, to kick Coffey in the arms! Dunne drags Coffey up and whips but Coffey reverses. Coffey pops Dunne up, but Dunne gets a hoverboard wristlock! Coffey powers through to suplex Dunne, but Dunne uses knees to fight back. Dunne swings back into the hoverboard! Coffey endures and powers his way to ropes. But Dunne shifts to grab the reaching arm!
Coffey uses power again to lift Dunne up into a facelock, and half hatch suplex! Cover, TWO! Coffey grows frustrated while fans rally up. Coffey drags Dunne up but Dunne fires forearms. The two brawl and Coffey gets an edge. Coffey tosses Dunne out hard, and Dunne hits apron on the way down! Coffey fetches Dunne and whips him at the steel steps. Dunne goes up and over to enziguri Coffey! Dunne brings Coffey around, but Coffey counters the suplex. Coffey walks into a kick, but then pop-up powerslams Dunne on the ramp! Both men are down and the referee checks on them. Coffey stands and refreshes the count. He waits for Dunne to stir as the count climbs. Champion’s Advantage is in Dunne’s favor but Dunne gets in at 6. Coffey is there to stomp him!
Coffey whips Dunne to one corner, then back in, then back again! He scoops Dunne for a walking backbreaker, then the side slam! Cover, TWO! Dunne lives and Coffey grows furious. Fans build to a rally and Dunne slaps Coffey! Coffey grits his teeth as he drops knees. Coffey stomps Dunne at the ropes but lets up at 4. Fans sing what they really think of Coffey, but he keeps on Dunne. Coffey lifts Dunne for a bearhug and squeezes tight! Dunne headbutts Coffey but Coffey spins around as he squeezes more. Dunne uses his forearms now, then grinds in an elbow. Coffey squeezes again, but fans rally again. Dunne grabs Coffey’s nose! Coffey breaks free and tosses Dunne with a belly2belly! Cover, TWO!
Dunne rolls to a corner but Coffey runs in, only to miss! Dunne headbutts Coffey, then bobs ‘n’ weaves to blast Coffey with a forearm! Now Dunne runs in, goes up and over and enziguris Coffey! Coffey standing switches and German Supelxes, but Dunne lands on his feet! Dunne buzzsaw kicks Coffey out of the ring! Dunne gets moving, SUPER Moonsault! Direct hit and they wipe out at the ramp! Blackpool loves this as Dunne drags Coffey back over. Dunne puts Coffey in as fans chant “UK! Woop Woop!” Coffey rocks Dunne with a right, then reels him in for a suplex, but Dunne X-Plexes! Cover, TWO! Coffey survives and Dunne grows frustrated. Both men are down as fans rally up.
Dunne sits up first but Coffey follows. Dunne whips but Coffey reverses. Coffey follows as Dunne goes up and over, and he leaps for a big crossbody! Coffey keeps moving to SPEAR Dunne in the back! And then a splash in the corner, followed by a powerbomb! High stack, TWO!! Dunne barely survives but the fans haven’t stopped cheering. Coffey stands first and drags Dunne up. He lifts Dunne, for a motorcycle hold into the Boston Crab! Dunne drags himself over but Coffey sits down deep. Dunne keeps moving but Coffey stomps his head! Coffey sits down deep again, Dunne looks like he’s unconscious! The referee checks but Dunne comes to life, and gets the ropebreak! Coffey lets go and both men are down. Fans build to another rally, and Coffey sits up first.
Coffey drags a dazed Dunne around, but Dunne gets the fingers! Coffey headbutts, but Dunne headbutts back. They go back and forth with headbutts, hitting again and again! They pick up speed and fans reach a fever pitch. Double headbutts take both men out! Blackpool love the “British Wrestling!” on display as both men stand up. Coffey runs over but misses, rebound German! But he’s up! Dunne gets Coffey with a complete shot, Koji Clutch! Coffey makes it a cover, TWO, and Dunne keeps the clutch. Coffey keeps moving and he deadlifts Dunne into a tombstone, but Dunne rolls through! Dunne has a kneebar, and a heel hook! Coffey endures the hold as fans rally and duel. Dunne twists the foot but Coffey fights his way back up. Coffey waistlocks and German Suplexes Dunne! Coffey springs right up, but runs into a knee!
Dunne pumphandles, but Coffey slips out. All the Best misses so Coffey double jumps, only to fly into a forearm! Dunne gets Coffey now, Bitter End!! Cover, TWO!? No one can believe Coffey survives! Blackpool is on their feet watching as Coffey crawls to a corner. Coffey rolls all the way out as fans sing Ironman. Dunne runs and hops up, but Coffey stops Dunne with a waistlock. Coffey brings Dunne down but Dunne has the fingers. Dunne elbows but Coffey SPEARS him into the post! Coffey lifts Dunne for an apron sit-out powerbomb!! Fans lose their minds all over again as both men crash and burn! The referee checks and they’re somehow okay to continue. Blackpool knows “This is Awesome!” but also far from over. The ring count begins and passes 5 before either man sits up. The count reaches 9, both men get in at 9.99!
Dunne and Coffey stare down and Coffey grins. Coffey rains down lefts and rights, then stomp after stomp! Dunne grabs Coffey’s hands to kick away on Coffey’s face! Then Dunne gets Coffey down to stomp him! Blackpool fires up with Dunne as he stalks Coffey. Dunne stomps the hands, buzzsaw kicks again, but runs into a pop-up EuroUpper! Coffey runs, but into an enziguri! All the Best is blocked, but it comes back the other way!! Cover, TWO?! Dunne survives and keeps his reign alive! Fans are thunderous and on their feet all over again. Coffey gets up as fans rally. He takes off the elbow pads, then calls for another. Coffey runs, but into an armbar takedown! Dunne wants it but Coffey clasps hands. Dunne grabs fingers, but Coffey rolls over. Coffey deadlifts for a buckle bomb!
But Dunne holds on with his legs, so Coffey climbs up. Coffey lifts Dunne for a SUPER BOMB! Fans lose their minds once more as both men crash down! Dunne and Coffey crawl to opposite ends as fans chant “UK! Woop Woop!” Coffey and Dunne pull themselves up with ropes as they stare across the ring. Fans reach a new level as the two men rush each other with fast hands! Neither man backs down, but Dunne ducks to throw big haymakers! Coffey staggers but Dunne keeps going! Coffey just leans on the ropes now and Dunne hammers away. Dunne slows but he doesn’t stop, until Coffey rakes the eyes! Coffey clubs Dunne, then brings him to a corner. He lifts Dunne in the Electric Chair, Mountain Top German! Bridging cover, TWO!! Fans sing to tease Coffey but Coffey is far from through.
Coffey stomps and hammers Dunne over and over, but stops at 4. Dunne looks out cold again but Coffey drags him back up. Coffey pumphandles, but Dunne counters with a DDT! Dunne pumphandles to show Coffey how it’s done, BITTER END!! He crawls to a cover but Coffey rolls away! Coffey survives again but fans are still cheering. Dunne goes over to Coffey at the ropes, but his back gives out. Coffey hits All the Best through the ropes! Dunne is dazed again but Coffey drags him up by his hair. Coffey bumps Dunne off buckles, then climbs up top. Coffey tells Dunne “This is MY Kingdom!” But Dunne shoves Coffey down to the floor! The referee checks on Coffey but he’s somehow okay.
Dunne goes out to fetch Coffey and brings him up for a forearm. Coffey hits another All the Best! He puts Dunne in, pumphandles, and steals the Bitter End into a powerslam! Cover, TWO!!! There is still life in Dunne, and the fans have not given up on him. Coffey vows to end this as he climbs up, but Dunne rises to join him! Dunne jumps WITH Coffey to the outside!! They hit barriers on the way down, and fans again lose their minds. Dunne makes it in the ring but Coffey pursues. Fans cheer just for their superhuman hearts if anything! Dunne ducks to rock Coffey, then pumphandles for his Bitter End!! Cover, TWO?!? Dunne grabs Coffey into a triangle, and snaps the fingers! Coffey taps, Dunne wins!!
Winner: Pete Dunne; still WWE United Kingdom Champion
The most brutal match of NXT UK’s history, of the WWE UK Championship’s history, and perhaps of both Dunne’s and Coffey’s careers! Dunne survives to deny the Iron King his throne, and his historic reign only grows all the more legendary!
But wait, who is that on stage? It’s WALTER!! The hottest commodity in European wrestling has arrived! And he walks right up to Pete Dunne in the ring with fans singing along to his theme. The Ring General and the Bruiserweight stare down as the Empress Ballroom duels. But before Walter can say anything to Dunne, Joe Coffey runs in, only to get a boot from Walter! Walter returns his attention to Dunne, and simply folds his arms behind him. Dunne puts the belt in his mouth to double fist. Is this the next challenger for the longest reigning champion of the modern ear? Is Dunne staring down the man who will end that reign?
This is the first UK TakeOver, but it is already on par with the best American TakeOver! The stories were all present and the action was all incredible, and with plenty of great surprises, too. We probably should’ve seen Jordan Devlin’s attack on Travis Banks coming, but I didn’t expect the match to be called off. This could be an indication that Travis Banks got hurt (again) since the last filming session. But WWE does great in improvising like this, and putting Finn Balor in Devlin’s place was a perfect choice. The story of former teacher and student always works, especially in how Devlin was so familiar with Finn’s style. But naturally Finn wins, because it’s too soon for Devlin to get a win over the inaugural Universal Champion and a staple of Raw’s roster. Plus, I think Banks was going to win for “Heel’s comeuppance”, anyway.
The tag team match, like all NXT TakeOver tag team matches, was a perfect opener to the show, and was an instant classic. The surprise here was that Mustache Mountain didn’t win. At the same time, it was such an obvious choice for them to win, it works perfectly that they don’t. Seven and Bate can now chase Gibson and Drake while Gibson and Drake brag over and over that they beat everyone’s favorites. Speaking of everyone’s favorite, the fans got to celebrate as Mastiff and Storm go over. Mastiff stays undefeated, and if there was a midcard title, he’d have it already. Storm gives Rhea her comeuppance for all the attitude, and finally has the UK Women’s title the way she was likely meant to have all along. Storm might move on to Jinny, assuming the main roster’s fresh start applies here, too.
Dunne VS Coffey may not have been the most exciting of Dunne’s matches, but it was still a great match between them. Those two falling spots, that first one had to be a mistake and the second was them making up for it. Either way, them being determined enough to continue no matter what is commendable. Coffey does not fall off in losing, he is still a top Heel, but again it’s a shame there’s no midcard title because I would love Coffey VS Mastiff in such a capacity. But now, WALTER is here in NXT UK! Walter is an incredible signing, and he brings his impressive reputation with him. Dunne wins because it’d be bad for Coffey to be a transitional champion to Walter. Instead, Walter is coming in as the bigger man, and after what will surely be another instant classic, he will end Dunne’s historic reign.
My Score: 9.2/10
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