ROH Wrestling Television, Episode 407
From PCO to Mark Haskins to Flip Gordon to even Jeff Cobb, Matt Taven has retained the ROH World Championship. Can Hot Sauce Tracy Williams succeed where others have failed?
- The Kingdom VS The Bouncers; The Kingdom wins.
- Brian Johnson VS Josh Woods; Woods wins.
- ROH World Championship: Matt Taven VS Tracy Williams; Taven wins and retains the ROH World Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
The Kingdom VS The Bouncers!
While their charismatic leader prepares for battle, the Horror King and Sassy Wild Horse have one of their own! Will Vinnie Marseglia and TK O’Ryan be able to bounce Brawler Brian Milonas and the Beer City Bruiser to then cheer on Taven? Or will tonight’s ringside ban be the least of their concerns after this?
There is no Code of Honor upheld by the Kingdom, but that’s par for the course. Milonas starts against TK and TK has to fire himself up before tying up with the Mastodon. Milonas easily shoves TK away and grins as TK gets up. TK runs back at Milonas but gets shoved down again! Milonas shows a punch and TK scrambles away! Vinnie distracts Milonas, and TK rakes Milonas’ eyes! TK CHOPS away on Milonas in the corner, but Milonas comes back to bump TK off the buckles. Fans chant ‘BEER! BEER!” with each hit, then Milonas whips TK to back drop him down! TK gets up to get CHOPS from Milonas, then another whip. Milonas gives big double chops, and Bruiser likes what he sees. Milonas whips TK corner to corner but TK goes up and over.
TK baits Milonas to go up and over again, and again, and then again. Milonas stops to catch his breath, then they keep going. TK continues to evade Milonas, then dropkicks the tired Mastodon down. TK celebrates a little too much, because as he kneels and waves, Milonas falls on him! The referee checks on both men, and Milonas realizes he squashed TK underneath him. Milonas gets up and Bruiser calls him over. The tag is made and Bruiser back suplexes. TK slips out to tag in Vinnie! Vinnie runs in, but Bruiser runs him over! Bruiser scoops and carries Vinnie around, but Vinnie slips out to shove Bruiser into buckles! Vinnie runs side to side but Bruiser dodges him in the corner. Bruiser runs in but gets a big knee! Vinnie runs out, tilt-o-whirls, but can’t bring Bruiser down in the leg sweep!
Bruiser swings but VInnie dodges, only to get “BEER!” jabs! TK runs in, and he gets jabs, too! Bruiser punches TK then Vinnie and repeat. Bruiser winds up to take a bite, but Vinnie fish hooks Bruiser’s mouth! So Bruiser bites Vinnie’s fingers! The referee reprimands Bruiser, but Bruiser reminds us, “I can’t bite! I ain’t got no teef.” Tag to Milonas, but Vinnie boots Bruiser. Vinnie whips Bruiser but Bruiser reverses to feed Vinnie to Milonas’ Scrapbuster! TK climbs up while Vinnie bails out, but he leaps into Milonas’ arms! Milonas adjusts and Bruiser dropkicks for the sidewalk slam! Fans fire up with the Bouncers as Bruiser tags in. Milonas helps Bruiser build speed to CANNONBALL off the apron! He wipes out both TK and Vinnie!
Bruiser gets up and high-fives fans as he puts TK back in. Bruiser goes to whip Vinnie but Vinnie whips Bruiser into the post! He hit his teeth! Vinnie grabs Bruiser again to smash his mouth off railing! Bruiser clutches whatever teeth he has left while ROH goes to break.
ROH returns and Vinnie clubs Bruiser with crossface forearms. “You wanna bite me?!” Vinnie makes Bruiser bite ropes as he shoves his face against the middle one. The ref counts and Vinnie lets up at 4, but he distracts the ref while TK pulls Bruiser in more! TK adds an uppercut then backs off, leaving Bruiser to rest on the ropes. Vinnie kicks the ropes to jam Bruiser’s teeth more! Fans rally up with chants of “BEER! BEER!” but Vinnie drags Bruiser back up to put him in a corner. Vinnie runs side to side for a forearm smash, then another! He bumps Bruiser off buckles again, for Sliced Bread! Cover, TWO! Vinnie seethes while Bruiser checks his gums.
Vinnie wrenches Bruiser’s neck and hooks the mouth but the ref stops him. Bruiser gets up but Vinnie throws European Uppercuts. Tag to TK and The Kingdom double whip. Bruiser blocks the flapjack but gets body shots. The Kingdom both run, but into double sidewalk slams! All three men are down but Milonas and the fans rally up. Bruiser crawls, hot tag to Milonas! The Brawler rallies with big hands on The Kingdom! He blasts TK with a shoulder, then POUNCES Vinnie! Milonas grabs TK but gets a JAB! TK runs but into the crossbody! Milonas shouts to Bruiser, and the Bouncers coordinate. But Vinnie trips Bruiser up! Vinnie then anchors Milonas to disrupt the superplex, and TK crossbodies to cover! The Kingdom win!
Winners: The Kingdom, TK O’Ryan pinning
No Last Call, no Closing Time! The Kingdom keeps the bar open, but can Taven make it their night in the main event?
The Bouncers stay respectful, offering beers for the #ToastofHonor. The Kingdom’s response: they do take the beers, and the mic. “ROH is prided on elite tag team wrestling.” And there’s no doubt the Bouncers are elite. Fans agree with that. “But tonight, you guys proved to us that you’re exactly like everybody here. A big, fat loser.” And then they pour the beer on the floor!? The Bouncers clobber and whip The Kingdom to run them over! That’ll show The Kingdom to disrespect them and beer!
ROH hears from Matt Taven.
“Beware of the quiet man. For while others speak, he watches. And while others act, he plans. And when they finally rest, he strikes. That ol’ soft bark with a big bite.” The problem is, Matt Taven never rests! He’s worked harder than anyone in ROH history to become the world champion! And he will not be satisfied. The finish line is nowhere in sight, and there is work to be done. Taven will be ready for the quiet man, but he also wants the quiet man to know that “IIIII’M the world champion, and my bark is as big as my bite.”
ROH also hears from Tracy Williams.
“I’m standing here right now, going into the biggest match of my ROH career so far, and of my entire wrestling career so far.” Tracy earned this opportunity, and he doesn’t take it lightly. Taven holds a title that has also been held by some of the greatest professional wrestlers in history. Taven added his name to the list, so hopefully he enjoyed his time with the title. Tracy is coming to take the title. The Kingdom can’t stop him from out-wrestling Taven. Taven better hold on tight, because that belt will be going home with Tracy.
Brian Johnson VS Josh Woods!
The Number One feels The Goods hasn’t been good since he won the 2017 Top Prospect Tournament. In fact, Johnson feels Woods is the biggest bust in the tournament’s history. But Woods is all about “less is more” and being #DownToFight. Will Johnson still feel like “the one” after he actually gets in a fight with The Goods?
Johnson keeps his distance as Woods gets in the ring. The Code of Honor is upheld but Johnson also talks trash and shoves Woods. Johnson boasts and brags that he’ll be the top guy soon enough, but then Woods picks him up for a slam! Woods stalks Johnson, waistlocks and deadlifts, but Johnson grabs ropes. Johnson elbows Woods out and gets all smug again, but then gets a BOOT to the gut! Woods grimaces but Johnson yanks Woods into buckles. Johnson throws forearms and stomps away in the corner. He throws in elbows, then gets his arrogance back. Johnson whips Woods but Woods reverses it. Johnson goes up but Woods catches him!
Woods yanks but Johnson holds onto the ropes. Johnson elbows Woods down, then gets some space. He runs at Woods in the corner for a big back elbow, then throws a slapping haymaker. Johnson runs corner to corner, but Woods catches him and carries him, before throwing him with an exploder! Woods clobbers Johnson then stalks Johnson to a corner. He whips Johnson corner to corner and then runs in, but Johnson dodges! Woods rams into the post and falls to the floor! Johnson is smug again as ROH goes to break.
ROH returns and Johnson has Woods in a chinlock. Woods endures and fans rally up. Woods fights his way up and out of the hold and throws elbows. Johnson shifts to a facelock but Woods powers him into a corner! Woods throws big hands on Johnson then whips. Johnson holds the ropes and Woods’ arm jams. Johnson then runs to clothesline Woods down! Cover, TWO! Johnson is furious that Woods is still in this. But Woods is clutching his arm, so Johnson goes after it. He slams it on the mat, then grabs it for an armbar DDT! “That’s a top prospect?!” Johnson isn’t impressed but Woods hits back. Johnson wrenches the arm to a standing armlock, but Woods endures. Fans rally up and Woods fights back with his good arm giving forearms. But Johnson wrenches more.
Woods still throws forearms but Johnson yanks. Johnson wrenches again but Woods forearms free! And throws a big knee! Woods rallies with forearms then a belly2belly! Fans fire up with Woods as he runs corner to corner for a shining wizard! Johnson falls and Woods covers, TWO! Johnson survives and Woods is shocked. Woods grabs a leg but Johnson grabs ropes. Johnson kicks Woods’ bad arm then kicks a leg out! Woods falls and Johnson uses the ropes to cover! But the ref sees that as clear as the nose on his face! Johnson clubs away on Woods, but Woods snapmares back. Woods hits another big knee! Wrench to fireman’s carry, SEISMIC TOSS! Cover, Woods wins!
Winner: Josh Woods, by pinfall
The Goods still has it! It’ll be awhile before the Number One is better than Mr. Top Prospect 2017, but can becoming Mr. Top Prospect 2019 help with that?
ROH looks back to how Hot Sauce became a contender.
It was War of the Worlds Tour, 5/11/19, Tracy Williams VS Eli Isom. LifeBlood’s Hot Sauce got the Future of Honor up for a crunching piledriver and won the match, and has lined up his ROH World Championship shot for tonight! Can Hot Sauce succeed where others have failed? Or will The Kingdom still hold gold thanks to Matt Taven?
ROH World Championship: Matt Taven VS Tracy Williams!
Former world champion, Jay Lethal, joins commentary to watch the man that took the title from him at G1 Supercard. Despite being on the losing end of a Best 2 Out of 3 Falls series with Kenny King, Lethal will get another shot at the world title at ROH Manhattan Mayhem on July 20th! Who meets The Franchise Player in Hammerstein?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and the Code of Honor is actually upheld. Taven and Tracy back off for the bell, and we begin!
Tracy is fired up already as he circles with Taven. Taven gets to a corner and uses the ropes as defense, then trash talks a fan that his girl’s going home with Taven. Lethal is practically pacing at commentary as Taven and Tracy tie up. Taven wrenches to a wristlock but Tracy reverses to hammerlock then headlock and takeover. Taven headscissors but Tracy pops out. The two stand off and fans cheer as they circle again. Taven and Tracy tie up and Taven waistlocks. He spins Tracy for a snapmare then crucifix, TWO! Taven brags about how good he’s doing and Tracy “applauds.” Tracy and Taven circle again, but Taven again uses the ropes as defense. Taven has Tracy cool of while ROH goes to break.
ROH returns again, and Tracy steps through to drop on the toehold! Taven kicks but Tracy catches it! To roll it into a heel hook! Taven scrambles and gets the ropebreak. Tracy lets go and wants to know where the champ’s confidence went. Taven slowly gets up but again uses ropes as defense. To then sucker CHOP Tracy! Taven whips Tracy but Tracy reverses to CHOP back! Tracy reels Taven in for a trapped-arm saido suplex! Taven stands but Tracy is on him with another CHOP! Tracy CHOPS in the corner and Taven reels towards another. The CHOPS keep coming but Taven kicks back. Taven suplexes but Tracy slips out to CHOP again! Tracy goes to suplex but Taven powers him into buckles.
Taven rams his shoulders in then runs corner to corner, only for Tracy to slip out and swing boots into Taven! Tracy fires up while Taven staggers and falls back. Tracy slingshots but rolls through as Taven bails out. Taven turns around into a wrecking ball dropkick! Tracy throws forearms on Taven as they go around the ring. Tracy CHOPS away with palm strikes and kicks, then chases him back in the ring. Taven bails back out but Tracy is on him at the barriers. Taven ducks the chop to then throw Tracy into a post! Tracy’s bad shoulder collides with steel, then Taven throws Tracy into railing! Taven puts Tracy in but decides to take the night off early. He takes his belt back and blows kisses to his fans. But the fans boo as Taven goes up the ramp.
Tracy pursues and throws hands in front of the stage! And CHOPS, too! Fans cheer as Tracy drags Taven up the steps to bounce him off them! Taven crawls as the 20 count reaches 10, but Tracy climbs up onto stage. Tracy fires up and FLIES with a forearm! He takes Taven down and fans cheer for “R O H!” The ref gets Tracy to drag Taven back to the ring, and the action goes back inside. Fans fire up with Hot Sauce as he aims. Taven runs in but gets kicks! The toe gets Taven in the face! Tracy climbs but Taven rocks him with a forearm. Taven climbs up to join Tracy but Tracy grabs Taven! The two fight up top with body shots, but then Taven grabs Tracy for a SUPER Russian Leg Sweep!! Tracy crashes and burns on ropes, apron and cameraman!
Taven builds speed to WRECK Tracy with the dropkick! “Because I’m… Matt Taven.” Taven soaks up the heat from the fans while ROH goes to one more break.
ROH returns once more as Taven and Tracy are down in the ring. Taven crawls to a corner while Tracy goes to the opposite end. Tracy runs in but Taven dodges, only to run into an elbow. Tracy hops up and leaps for a Sicilian Slice leg drop! Hot Sauce stays hot as he climbs up again. Taven is in the drop zone and Tracy leaps, but Taven gets clear of the double stomps. Tracy rolls through but turns around into Taven’s Slingblade to sleeper hold! But Tracy powers out and puts one on Taven! Tracy hops on but Taven powers him into buckles. Taven is free, but Tracy reels him back in! The ref calls for a ropebreak but Taven breaks free again. Taven hoists Tracy up and enziguris the bad shoulder! Taven grabs Tracy, but Tracy pushes him away.
Tracy misses the clothesline in the corner but elbows Taven away. Tracy hops up but Taven enziguris again! Taven has Tracy in the other corner and back up top. He CHOPS Tracy then shouts at a fan, “Suck on that, fatty!” Taven climbs but Tracy has him for a half hatch DDT to the top buckle! Tracy fires up, hops up, and leaps for a flying DDT!! Cover, TWO! Taven survives and Tracy can’t believe it! Both men are down and fans rally up as a standing count begins. Tracy sits up first but Taven slowly follows. Tracy drags Taven to his feet and wants a piledriver, but Taven blocks. Taven back drops but Tracy sunset flips, only for Taven to roll through and give Tracy #JustTheTip of the knee! Both men are down again and another standing count begins!
Fans cheer and rally as both men stir again. Both men get to ropes and stand. Taven runs at Tracy but gets buckles. Tracy throws forearms then whips corner to corner. Taven stops himself, rolls back and enziguris Tracy again! Tracy escapes the back suplex, but Taven ducks the discus. Tracy blocks the boot to hit a LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! Into a Crossface!! Taven flails but Tracy shifts to the Ankle Lock! Tracy has Taven away from ropes, but Taven keeps fighting. Tracy drops down to an STF! Fans rally both ways as Taven crawls, to a ropebreak! Tracy can’t believe he couldn’t finish it there. Tracy springboard stomps Taven, then slashes the throat. He drags Taven up and wants the piledriver, but Taven back drops again. Tracy sunset flips again, but Taven rolls through again for more of #JustTheTip!
Taven headlocks but Tracy denies the Climax, to spin around and swing a lariat. Taven blocks that, into another headlock, and the CLIMAX! But Taven has to crawl to the cover, TWO!? Tracy lives and Taven is stunned! But the fans know “This is Awesome!” Taven focuses and drags Tracy to a drop zone. Taven climbs, leaps, frog splash onto knees!! Cover, TWO!! Tracy knees low then drags Taven in, PILEDRIVER! Cover, TWO!! Taven survives the driver and now Tracy is beside himself. Fans are fired up for both men as another standing count begins. Tracy sits up first but Taven follows again. Tracy grabs Taven but Taven rolls through. Taven runs around but can’t get free of Tracy’s grip, so he sends Tracy into the ref! And then he throws Tracy’s bad shoulder into an exposed turnbuckle! The buckle Taven exposed during commercial comes into play! Taven steps through to lock the arm, CLIMAX! Cover, Taven wins!
Winner: Matt Taven, by pinfall; still ROH World Champion
The Kingdom’s king survives LifeBlood’s technical genius! But now Lethal is ready for a major rematch in Manhattan! Will things finally be settled between Lethal and Taven? Who comes out proving they are the one true ROH World Champion?
A pretty good ROH to help set up the Manhattan Mayhem special in a few weeks. Honestly, that’s the only thing this episode did, despite solid matches. Bouncers VS Kingdom was one good way to keep TK O’Ryan and Vinnie Marseglia from interfering with the main event, along with the mentioned ringside ban. Kingdom is still the better tag team so it makes sense for them to win. Perhaps we get a longer feud of Kingdom VS Bouncers to determine contenders to the ROH World Tag Team Championships. Manhattan Mayhem will see those titles on the line, Guerrillas of Destiny VS The Briscoes, and I can’t be sure the titles change hands because it doesn’t seem like that big of a PPV. Though perhaps it’ll have to be then or else ROH is never actually getting those titles back.
Obviously Josh Woods beats Brian Johnson because for starters, that’s how this story was going with Johnson talking so much trash to bring the match about. Secondly, “The Number One” is some kind of bootleg GLORIOUS Bobby/Robert Roode. For me, Johnson is dangerously close to “go away” heat with this smugness. But I have a feeling that alone will take him far in this year’s Top Prospect Tournament. Last year, the tournament was “scrapped” as Jeff Cobb kept blowing it up, but I’m pretty sure this year goes off like the others before it. I don’t know all the entrants, but I doubt the winner of that overcomes Shane Taylor if Shane Taylor is still ROH World TV Champion by the end of it.
The main event was much better, and naturally since it was for THE ROH World Championship. Tracy Williams did great, but as expected, he didn’t win. For one, this was a televised world title match, on only episode 407, it’s just not how things are done. Secondly, we’re getting Taven VS Lethal now in Manhattan, and this will for the time being settle things between them. We never really got the story I had hoped for with each man having their own version of the world title belt, but the matches have been good enough. I would expect Taven to win again, but I’m wondering where Kenny King is to complain that Lethal is still getting this shot at all. King won the 2 out of 3 series, so he has an actual reason to get a shot before Lethal. Maybe with the episode left before Manhattan Mayhem, King drops a promo about this.
My Score: 8.1/10
Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Live Results & Report! (7/16/19)
The BEST! Town Hall Meeting, in the WOOOOOORLD~!
It’s the SmackDown After Extreme Rules!
And STILL your W, W, E, World, Heavy, Weight, CHAMPION~, Kofi Kingston! But not only that, the New Day have the SmackDown Tag Team Championships back! What is next for this GOLDEN New Day on the way to Toronto?
- Aleister Black VS Cesaro; Aleister wins.
- Liv Morgan VS Charlotte Flair; Flair wins.
- Ember Moon & ??? VS Fire & Desire; Moon & Bayley win.
- Six Man Tag: The New Day VS Randy Orton, Samoa Joe & Elias; Orton, Joe & Elias win.
- WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships: The IIconics VS The Kabuki Warriors w/ Paige; The Kabuki Warriors win by count-out, The IIconics retain the titles.
- Apollo Crews VS Andrade Almas w/ Zelina Vega; wins.
- Kevin Owens VS Dolph Ziggler; No Contest.
PLAY BY PLAY
Kevin Owens speaks for the WWE Universe!
The only thing we’ve gotten from this new McMahon policy is MORE SHANE! And no one wants that! Shane tried to silence Kevin but he refused to stop. Shane claiming to be Best in the World is an insult to every superstar in the company. Security chased Kevin off, but Kevin wouldn’t stay gone. He made sure that when Shane least expected it, he got a STUNNER!
But now, Shane has security ready to apprehend Kevin should things get out of hand again. Kevin walks through the door and sees Shane. Shane heard all that yammering, and has an idea: the SmackDown Town Hall. Everyone and anyone can get their complaints out. Shane will hear them all out, but he will not tolerate insubordination. Kevin sees what Shane is up to. But Kevin says he works for the WWE, not Shane. But the WWE is under the McMahon Family. Shane is the boss, and he will not have Kevin spreading lies. So Shane personally tells Kevin he has the night off. Go somewhere else and enjoy yourself. Kevin heads back out the door, but will he listen to Shane’s orders?
The SmackDown Town Hall Meeting begins!
Superstars from The New Day to the Kabuki Warriors and even Buddy Murphy are present on stage while they wait for Shane McMahon to appear. “The BEST, in the WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORLD~” gets his proper introduction, and perhaps his longest yet, before the meeting officially begins.
“As you can see, Kevin Owens-” Fans cut Shane off with boos and chants of “You Suck! You Suck!” But Shane repeats that Kevin has the night off and is barred from the building. And now we have our first ever SmackDown Town Hall. This is for any superstar that is respectful to Shane to air grievances. Who wants to speak first? The various superstars seem hesitant, but one man who doesn’t is ROMAN REIGNS! Bayley and the New Day bark for the Big Dog. Roman says it straight: no one respects Shane. And if Shane wants diplomacy, how about he kiss Roman’s ass? Superstars like Charlotte Flair and Randy Orton are a little surprised. Shane says that was not respectful, so now Roman will be fined.
Shane wants more superstars to speak, and picks Charlotte to speak. Charlotte defends Shane, Roman’s words were uncalled for. But from one wrestling royal family to another, Charlotte thanks Shane for all the opportunities she has been given. It makes Charlotte sick that Kevin would take advantage of Shane! But then LIV MORGAN speaks up! Charlotte, stop being phony. Is there anything real about Charlotte? Oh snap~! Wait who is this child? Does she work here? Oh right, because everyone is borne with a blue tongue. And Charlotte forgot about Liv until Kevin mentioned Liv in a burp. Shane keeps the peace and moves things along. Shane picks out the #BestKeptSecret, Buddy Murphy.
Murphy knows Kevin mentioned him, but he doesn’t need anyone else to fight his battles. Kevin should keep Murphy’s name out of his mouth, or he’ll slap the taste out of Kevin’s mouth. Shane loves this fire, he’ll talk with Murphy later. Shane also picks out Apollo Crews. Apollo steps up and does have something to say. Hopefully this is healthy dialogue, but… “Everybody, including myself, agrees with what Kevin Owens said last week.” Except for Zelina Vega and Andrade Almas. Don’t kiss up to the fans, Apollo. If he wants a “healthy” conversation and an opportunity, prove it in the ring. Almas tells Apollo that tonight, he’ll be pinned in the center of the ring!
Elias then strums his electric guitar to introduce himself, and take his turn speaking. The “Greatest Acquisition in SmackDown History” is interrupted by the New Day. Big E tells Elias he is the greatest jackass in SmackDown history! Keep it clean, guys, c’mon. But Kofi Kingston will not agree with Kevin, #TheNorthRemembers, but there are some good points he’s made. How long did it take Kofi to be WWE Champion? TOO LONG! Shane says they need to cut Kofi off, but Kofi says no one is getting opportunities! There goes the mic. Fans boo this oppression of free speech but Shane plays dumb. This Town Hall went great for the first time, and thanks for participating. This concludes the meeting. But was anything really settled under this?
Cesaro stays back to speak up. What brings the Swiss Cyborg of Raw over here? Wild Card rule allows Cesaro to challenge Aleister Black to a rematch from Extreme Rules! He hopes Aleister will pick, a fight, with him. And obviously that means tonight. Shane likes the idea, and makes it reality! Cesaro VS Black, who wins in this gritty rematch?
Shane continues to brag that he doesn’t have to rule with an iron fist. But he does get another STUNNER!! Kevin defies the authority again, and mocks Shane’s shuffle. What will be the consequences of such defiance?
Aleister Black VS Cesaro!
Both men wanted a fight and they got one at Extreme Rules. But the fighting is far from over as they do it again here on SmackDown! Will the Embodiment of the End make the Swiss Cyborg #FadetoBlack twice in one week?
The bell rings and Aleister circles with Cesaro. They tie up and Aleister ducks to throw forearms. Cesaro knees back then throws the European Uppercuts. Cesaro whips but Aleister reverses to kick Cesaro back and then down! Alesiter runs but fakes Cesaro out to springboard and sit down. SmackDown goes picture in picture as Aleister stares a hole through Cesaro.
Cesaro catches his breath as he stares back at Aleister. Aleister watches Cesaro consider his options. Cesaro runs in and shoulders Aleister away, but Aleister kicks him back! Aleister is on Cesaro in a corner with those kicks, then kicks him against the ropes. Cesaro forearms back but Aleister keeps on kicking. ALeister has Cesaro in another corner, but Cesaro catches a kick to dump Aleister out! Aleister hits the floor while Cesasro checks his chest. Cesaro goes out to fetch Aleister, putting him in the ring and stalking him to the other side. Cesaro knees Aleister against the ropes then throws more uppercuts. Aleister BOOTS back, but Cesaro keeps on giving EuroUppers! Cesaro suplexes Aleister and covers, TWO!
Cesaro keeps his cool as he wraps Aleister up in a chinlock. Then he adds an arm of Aleister’s for a partial straitjacket. Aleister endures and fights out to give more kicks. Aleister whips but Cesaro reverses, only to run into an elbow. Aleister hops up and hits the meteora! Cesaro is reeling as Aleister grits his teeth. Aleister throws forearms and uppercuts of his own. He whips but Cesaro reverses, to pop-up uppercut! Cover, TWO! Aleister checks his teeth but gets a basement uppercut! Cover, TWO! Aleister even pushed Cesaro’s face as he kicked out. Cesaro wraps back on and has the cobra clutch. Aleister fights his way up but Cesaro knees him over and over. Cesaro wrangles Aleister down and grinds him into the mat.
Aleister fights up again and kicks at Cesaro’s legs. He runs but back into a sleeper hold! SmackDown returns to single picture as Cesaro leans his full weight on Aleister. Fans rally up as Aleister endures again. Aleister fights up and arm-drags out, to bobs ‘n’ weave and counter punch. Cesaro knees low but runs into Aleister’s elbows! Aleister fires off, sweeps and thrusts the knee! He kips up and fans fire up with him! Aleister runs, quebrada! Cover, TWO! Cesaro escapes and Aleister is angry, but not without focus. Aleister waits for Cesaro to stand, but Cesaro gets clear to give back an uppercut! Cesaro throws more uppercuts, runs and BOOTS Aleister down! Cover, TWO! Into a Crossface! Cesaro pulls back but Aleister endures.
Fans rally and Aleister reaches. Aleister rolls Cesaro to a cover, TWO! Cesaro puts Alesiter in a corner but mises and gets post! Aleister runs in to knee trigger Cesaro down! The Cyborg is down, but Aleister picks him up with his foot. Aleister spins, BLACK MASS! Cesaro’s mouth guard goes flying!! Cover, Aleister wins!
Winner: Aleister Black, by pinfall
That’s a 2-0 sweep for the Dutch Destroyer! Will Cesaro want to keep this going? Or is Aleister moving on to even tougher fights?
Dolph Ziggler finds Shane backstage.
The Show-Off knows Shane got got by Kevin, but tonight is about teaching Kevin a lesson. It should be Ziggler. No, Kevin got away. But if Kevin wants to give the people what they want, then he should want this match, too. Make it the main event of the show! Well if that’s the case, Shane will make the match. The Best in the World and Ziggler want to air some grievances on Kevin, but will it go their way?
SmackDown shares exclusive footage from after Extreme Rules.
After losing the SmackDown Tag Team Championships, Daniel Bryan was going crazy. His mission to #SaveTagTeamWrestling failed! He followed his dream, he tried to elevate the “jokers” to a main event status, but he failed! So if Bryan wants to change the world and save everyone, he has to aim higher. Bryan has to go where Bryan has not gone before. He knows now what he must do. But what does this mean for his apparent announcement later tonight?
Liv Morgan VS Charlotte Flair!
The Juvenile Delinquent made her presence known during the SmackDown Town Hall Meeting, and did so by confronting the Queen! Will she pay for her insolence? Or will she make the show #SmackDownLIV with a huge return victory?
The bell rings and Liv circles with Charlotte. They tie up and Charlotte just shoves Liv down. Charlotte doesn’t take Liv serious for a second, but then Liv goes Matrix to dodge her! Liv fires off forearms and then hits a huricanrana! She keeps moving to dropkick Charlotte down! Charlotte scrambles to a corner and Liv waves. Liv and Charlotte stand, and Liv ducks to waistlock. Charlotte elbows out to club Liv to a corner. Charlotte stomps Liv and then pulls her against the ropes. She lets up at the ref’s count of 4 with a “WOO~!” Charlotte drags Liv up to CHOP her! Those Flair CHOPS echo out and then Charlotte back suplexes. Liv slips out to enziguri Charlotte down!
Liv hits a swinging stomp onto Charlotte’s back! She drags Charlotte to a cover, TWO! Charlotte’s tougher than that as a nine-time Women’s Champion. But Liv keeps moving, huricanrana blocked into a powerbomb! Charlotte Figure Fours to the Figure Eight! Liv taps, Charlotte wins!
Winner: Charlotte Flair, by submission
Again, there’s a reason she’s #CharlotteNineTime. The Queen shows the delinquent the gap between them, is it only a matter of time before Charlotte gets her tenth?
As for Liv, sore and sobbing as she is, she grabs a headset. Charlotte is right, Liv isn’t real enough. But she vows to be real when she returns again. What does this mean for the future of SmackDown Liv?
Dolph Ziggler calls Kevin Owens.
He has to get Kevin’s number from a referee, but he dials it up all the same. Will Kevin pick up? Will Kevin take the bait of this main event play?
Ember Moon & ??? VS Fire & Desire!
The Shenom has been bullied by Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville, not that they see it that way. God’s Greatest Creation and the Gladiator Gal want to push Ember around, but will they be able to when Ember has back-up? Though, speaking of, who is her back-up? The mystery partner is… BAYLEY! The SmackDown Women’s Champion is feeling great after beating both Raw’s Goddess and Loony Lass, will she and SmackDown’s War Goddess put out the fire and desire?
The bell rings and Mandy attacks Ember while Sonya goes after Bayley! Sonya throws knee after knee into Bayley while Mandy pushes Ember out. Mandy then returns to their corner to tag in, and Sonya feeds Bayley to a Kiss from a Rose! Then sliding wizard from Sonya! Mandy covers, TWO! Mandy clubs Bayley down then chokes her on the ropes. The ref counts and Mandy lets up because she knows. Mandy wraps Bayley up for a chinlock but Bayley fights out to a saido suplex! Tag to Ember to shotgun dropkick Mandy down! Ember lights Mandy up with those kicks! She has Mandy in a corner and stomps away. Ember whips corner to corner and htis an elbow. She rolls Mandy to climb up, but Sonya runs in. Bayley gives Sonya the Bayley2Belly! ECLIPSE for Mandy! Cover, Moon & Bayley win!
Winners: Ember Moon & Bayley, Moon pinning
And that is the power of a champion and a #Shenom! Will this show Mandy and Sonya what you get for bullying?
Kayla Braxton congratulates the winners, and asks the champ who she wants for Summerslam. Well Bayley is so happy that she’s finally through with Alexa. Now she can do what she really wants: elevate this SmackDown Women’s Division! Bayley wants someone worthy, someone with charisma but she’s also never faced. Someone who would treat the title right if they end up winning. Hmm… That sounds like Ember! Ember says “Hell yeah!” These two look ready to have a Summerslam showdown, but who comes out on top of the Blue Brand?
Backstage interview with Shinsuke Nakamura!
The NEW WWE Intercontinental Champion is congratulated, but he says he is a storm. Now Nakamura is free to rain down his chaos on the entire roster. But as he turns around, the Beacon of Light is there. Mustafa Ali congratulates the champ, but he seems to be the first one who wants at the gold. Can Ali weather the storm that is the King of Strong Style?
Don’t you dare be sour! Clap for your SIX-TIME champs and WWE Champion, and FEEL~ the POWER~! It’s a golden New Day, yes it is! Pancakes are flying and the belts are shining. Give it up for ya bois! You might as well call Kofi Kingston “Simon Phoenix” because he dismantled the Submission Machine, Samoa Joe. Yes, Kofi is the Demolition Man and the W, W, E, World, Heavy, Weight, CHAMPION~! But wait wait, look! The New Day had a great victory to dethrone the Planet’s Tag Team Champions to become the six-time, W, W, E, World, Tag, Team, CHAMPIONS~! “And look at us now.” African-American Leprechauns holding all the gold! White gold, even. BABYYY~!
Now everyone can guess what Bryan’s announcement is, but before we hear about a 10 minute lecture about recycling, fracking, and the ice cream licking epidemic that is downright nasty, Big E accepts the tag title rematch here and now in Worcester! The Planet’s Tag Team Champions come out and the New Day is ready to fight. But Bryan says nothing, and just leaves with Big Red Rowan. Was the tag title rematch not his announcement? Oh wait here Bryan comes again. Bryan wants to say something, but he can’t bring himself to say it. So again, he leaves. Wait, third time’s the charm. Bryan is clearly working on how to phrase it. Fans cheer “NEW! DAY ROCKS!” and it only angers him. Bryan drops the mic this time, so we’re not getting his announcement. At least not yet.
But now Samoa Joe comes out! Kofi is all smiles as Joe says while Bryan isn’t in the mood for championships, Joe wants one. Kofi’s back-up dancers are passing out title matches like it’s Christmas in July. So take up their example and put that title back on the line here and now! Fans want to see that match again, and Joe wants Kofi to be the man he claims to be. But wait, is that… Elias?! The Drifter tells Joe that “with all due respect”, he had his chance and he lost. If there is anyone primed and ready to take that world title from Kofi, it’s Elias. But then Randy Orton appears!
The Viper didn’t win the Cross Brand Top Ten All Star Battle Royal to go against Lesnar, but Orton says he hasn’t had the world title in some time. So he’s gonna just take it. ANd he’ll do it with the most dangerous three letters in wrestling: R K O. But Elias says no everyone can have the match tonight. But there can be a Six Man Tag to make a point. So it’s a Six Man Tag, playa? A challenge, playa? Champion’s Huddle. The New Day accept this challenge, playa! Orton opts out. Wow…! The Viper doesn’t want to strike? Seems more like the snake is a little limp. That gets Orton to opt back in! Will The New Day pay for that joke? Or will they have the last laugh?
Six Man Tag: The New Day VS Randy Orton, Samoa Joe & Elias!
Holla holla! SmackDown returns as these teams sort out. Kofi starts with Elias at the bell. They tie up and Elias headlocks right away. Kofi powers out but Elias runs him over with a shoulder. Elias runs but Kofi hurdles and elbows Elias down! Cover, TWO! Orton slithers in to distract Kofi and Elias kicks Kofi down. Tag to Joe and Joe mugs Kofi with those swift jabs. Joe drags Kofi up and whips him from open corner to open corner. Kofi hits buckles hard and falls to the mat. Fans rally with the New Day clap, and Kofi double stomps Joe down! Cover, ONE!
Kofi mule kicks and snapmares to then tag Woods. They combine with the speed combo of kick, lariat and rebound splash! Woods hits an elbow, then tags Big E for the Big Splash! Cover, TWO! Big E drags Joe up but Joe headbutts back. Tag to Elias and Elias runs, but into Big E’s abdominal stretch! With spanks! Fans chant along and Big E shoves Elias to elbow him down. Tag to Woods and Woods is the human weapon, wheelbarrow splash! Cover, ONE! Woods puts Elias in a corner with a chop, then whips him. Elias reverses but runs into a boot. Woods somersaults, Honor Roll hits! Cover, TWO!
Elias powers Woods against ropes and Orton yanks Woods down by his hair! The ref misses that as Elias distracts him. Elias goes after Woods with forearms in the open corner. The ref backs Elias off but only for a moment. Elias whips Woods to elbow him down, cover, ONE! Elias mugs Woods with a rain of rights, then throws Woods out of the ring. The New Day is in trouble as SmackDown goes picture in picture.
Elias catches his breath while Woods is down. Tag to Joe and Joe fetches Woods. Joe drags Woods up to put into the ring, then keeps between him and the New Day. He mocks Woods to crawl for a tag, but then stomps Woods down. Joe rains fists and elbows down. Joe drags Woods over and tags in Orton. Orton stomps Woods’ limbs, then his stomach. He drags Woods up to toss back out the ring, then goes out to back suplex Woods on the announce desk! Woods writhes to the floor but Orton looms over him. Orton drags Woods up and in and covers, TWO! Tag to Elias, and SmackDown returns to single picture as he stomps Woods down.
Elias drags Woods back up but fans rally. Elias wraps on a chinlock and thrashes about. Woods endures and reaches for his corner. Woods fights out but Elias knees low. Elias keeps Woods from the corner but Woods clubs away. Elias pulls hair to yank Woods down! Then he hits both Big E and Kofi with cheap shots. Joe BOOTS Big E down on the outside! Elias has Woods on the top rope to CHOP, then climbs up to join him. He stands Woods up, but Woods resists! Woods fights back and sends Elias down. Woods adjusts and leaps for a missile dropkick! Both men are down and fans rally up. Hot tags to Orton and Kofi!
Kofio springboards and rallies! He hits Orton, he hits Joe, then he dropkicks Orton! Kofi leaping lariats Orton down! Fans are fired up with Kofi as he hits the New~ Day~ Boom Drop! Kofi then aims from the corner as fans clap along. Orotn rises but avoids Trouble in Paradise. Kofi avoids the RKO, runs, hops and crossbodies! Cover, but Elias breaks it in time! Big E gives Elias a belly2belly! Joe runs BIg E over but Woods goes after Joe. Joe whips Woods but gets sent out! Woods fires up and FLIES! Direct hit takes out Joe! Woods hurries back and baits Elias into a kick! But Joe yanks Woods down to put on the Coquina Clutch! Woods goes to sleep while Elias KNEES Big E down! Elias returns to Kofi, but gets Trouble in Paradise!
RKO ON KOFI!! Cover, Orton’s team wins!
Winners: Randy Orton, Samoa Joe & Elias, Orton pinning
Most importantly, the Viper took out THE WWE World Champion! Does this put the Apex Predator at the front of the line for Summerslam?
SmackDown returns as Carmella looks for R-Truth.
Wait where is he? The washing machine? Why? Because he’s hiding! But now he’s stuck. Just help him out. Careful now, careful. Okay, the lid is off. How did Kane do this? There ain’t no bathroom in here. Carmella has a better spot, but it’ll involve a costume. Okay, because the 48/7 European 7/11 24/7 I-75 277 Champion ain’t no joke. Yeah, they’ll go to Comic Con. No no he ain’t no con. He did his time. Not that! Just follow her. Right, right. Truth falls out of the washing machine! Man down! It’s okay, just get up. Who will Truth cosplay as he and Mella go to Comic Con?
WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships: The IIconics VS The Kabuki Warriors w/ Paige!
Peyton Royce and Billie Kay perhaps shocked the world when they were the ones who came out of Wrestlemania’s historic Fatal 4 Way Women’s Tag Title Match as the winners. However, and for whatever reason, they’ve yet to actually defend those titles in the three months that have passed. But finally, a team has them backed against the wall! Will the Empress of Tomorrow and the Pirate Princess truly becoming #JoshiRoyalty when they have the gold around their waist? Or will Asuka and Kairi Sane find what makes the future IIconic?
SmackDown returns as the introductions are made and the belts are raised. The teams sort out and it will be Kairi and Peyton to start in this long-awaited title match!
Peyton slaps Kairi, and that was a mistake. Kairi CHOPS Peyton, then whips. Peyton reverses but Kair rebounds and tags Asuka. Headsicssors and waistlock to a Code Breaker and Blockbuster! Kairi hits Billie down while Asuka cover,s TWO! Asuka keeps moving but misses the hip attack. Billie tags while Peyton hits her leg lariat! Billie BOOTS, covers, TWO! Kairi and Paige coach Asuka while Billie talks trash. Asuka heel kicks Billie down! Billie bails out and Peyton checks on her. The ring count begins and the IIconics remember Champions’ Advantage. They get up at 7, but then don’t go in! The let the count hit ten!!
Winners: The Kabuki Warriors, by count-out; The IIconics are still WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions
The Kabuki Warriors are furious! They chase the IIconics down and throw them into posts! Then Billie gets barriers! Asuka drags Peyton into the ring and gives her a corner hip attack! ROUNDHOUSE! Kairi is up top, and is roaring as she hits her InSane Elbow! The champions cheated Asuka and Kairi out of a real match, but will there be a rematch to remedy this?
Apollo Crews VS Andrade Almas w/ Zelina Vega!
SmackDown returns as El Idolo and La Muneca are already in the ring. The rising star makes his entrance and shows his physique on the way to the ring. But Almas goes after Apollo as soon as he enters! This is par for the course from the not so tranquilo Idolo. The referee checks on Apollo, and Apollo still wants this match to happen. The ref rings the bell, and Almas runs to knee Apollo in the corner! Almas fires off but Apollo hits back. Apollo misses his enziguri and Almas stomps him out for it. Almas drags Apollo up, boot feint to sharp elbow! Almas then puts Apollo in the corner, goes corner to corner, CIEN SHADOWS! Cover, Apollo turns it around to a crucifix! Apollo wins!!
Winner: Apollo Crews, by pinfall
Their egos get the better of Almas and Vega! Can Apollo turn this into something even greater in the coming weeks?
Kevin Owens VS Dolph Ziggler!
It seems KO took the bait. What trap has Shane set for him in response to the stunner from earlier tonight?
The bell rings and Kevin blocks the superkick! Ziggler escapes the stunner, but then Kevin FLIES out onto him! Kevin wipes Ziggler out and shouts “I told you it’s MY show!” He puts Ziggler in, climbs up again, and leaps for a swanton, onto knees! Ziggler hits the Famouser! Cover, TWO! Ziggler drops a leaping elbow and covers, TWO! Ziggler grows frustrated but tries another elbow. Cover, ONE! Ziggler wraps on a chinlock and then shifts to an armlock then the crossface. Fans rally up and Kevin fights up, but Ziggler rakes his eyes! Ziggler drags Kevin up for a neckbreaker! Cover, TWO!
Ziggler wrangles Kevin back down but fans keep rallying. Kevin fights up again but Ziggler shifts to a chinlock. Ziggler rakes the eyes again, then squeezes tight. But Kevin fights up and out, only for Ziggler to kick the leg. Ziggler whips but Kevin reverses, only to run into buckles. Ziggler hits a corner splash! Then the satellite DDT! Cover, TWO! Ziggler’s fury builds while Kevin rolls to a corner. Ziggler runs in but misses to hit the post! SUPERKICK from Kevin! Kevin climbs again, leaps again, NOW the swanton hits! Cover, TWO!! Ziggler survives and Kevin is growing frustrated. But here comes the stacked deck: Shane leading Drew McIntyre, the B-Team, Elias, The Revival, and many many more! This might as well be a Lumberjack match now!
Kevin sees he’s surrounded, but then gets a ZIGZAG! Cover, TWO!! Kevin survives and Shane is frustrated for Ziggler. The unofficial lumberjacks pace about and Ziggler fires himself up. Ziggler drags Kevin up to throw into a post! Ziggler toys with Kevin, but Kevin SLAPS him! But Ziggler throws hands and stomps! The ref backs Ziggler off, but comes back to throw Kevin into the post again! Shane mocks Kevin’s pain while fans boo and jeer. Ziggler stomps but misses his kick! STUNNER!! Cover, but Shane drags Kevin out! So he gets a STUNNER! Kevin bails out before the horde gets a hold of him! Kevin gives up this battle so he can continue the rebellion!
Kayla Braxton asks Shane about this foiled plan. Shane says Kevin will pay! He forces himself up and walks, coughing for air. What will Shane and his squad do to make sure Kevin and every superstar that stands opposed to him learn their place?
Well this was certainly a wild episode of SmackDown. Not as good as it could’ve or should’ve been, but still really wild. Recap at the start aside, that “Town Hall meeting” was a pretty fun idea to open the show. Obviously Shane is becoming a dictator while we get some nice promos and interaction between those truly underutilized superstars. It was actually pretty genius to have Roman Reigns speak out against Shane and then do nothing else for the rest of the night. Roman’s already beaten Shane, so it’s not like he has to do anything more to him. Clearly things are shifting so that Kevin has the biggest spotlight in the story. I just wish there was better scheduling so that the main event actually gets the time it deserves.
But much like Raw last night, SmackDown was able to get the point across. Tonight’s point: Kevin 3:16 says he’ll stunner anyone on Team Shane. I don’t know if stories intertwine with Shane and Ziggler taking on Kevin and Miz as a tag team, but doing that might save room on the Summerslam card. And the build towards then might involve more of Kevin having to duck and dodge stacked decks like those other Heels surrounding him. At least it means Murphy and the Authors of Pain got to do stuff, even if it’s just chasing Kevin like he’s the 24/7 Champion. Speaking of, great little moment for Truth. That fall out of the washing machine was shoot, but he played it off well. I can’t wait to see the 24/7 Championship at a Comic Con.
Aleister Black VS Cesaro Round 2 was as good, if not better, than the Extreme Rules match, and that made it amazing for SmackDown! Aleister’s sweep of Cesaro should lead him to the Intercontinental Championship, but Mustafa Ali makes an appearance to make a point that he wants after Nakamura, too. Either choice will be great, and we’ve got three weeks to see who we’re getting. Maybe a contender’s match of Aleister VS Ali? Meanwhile, Bryan’s “career-altering announcement” was obviously just some hype, but it does bring some intrigue. His line about going where he’s never gone before is interesting, and makes me think it might not be about the SmackDown Tag titles at all.
The Six Man Tag we got instead was pretty great, playa. The Heels win to give us three strong choices for Kofi’s Summerslam opponent, but given Samoa Joe just lost, Elias still doesn’t feel quite ready, and the history of Kofi and Orton in Kofi’s 11 years in the WWE, I think it’s Orton. If Kofi is to prove he is one of the best WWE World Champions, beating Orton would go a long way towards that. The SmackDown Women’s Championship seemed built a little too fast, though. It was great for Bayley to be Ember’s mystery partner, since it was almost too obvious for it to be Carmella. Bayley and Ember put Fire & Desire away pretty easily, but it’s not as fun when a champion just chooses a challenger. Their match will be great, but there should’ve been another week of action to have someone earn the spot.
Kudos to kayfabe Liv Morgan for wanting to “be real” and earn her spot in the locker room. She gave Charlotte a bit of a fight, but Charlotte is Charlotte and she wins very easily. I’m curious to see what Liv will be like when she returns. The women’s tag title scene is still a mess, though. For three months, the IIconics have been the cover girls for how Vince robbed us of #LegitHuggable doing awesome stuff, like going to TakeOvers to take on whatever female teams NXT and NXT UK could come up with, as well as all teams from Raw and SmackDown. But nope, go with the Aussie Mean Girls and pretend those titles aren’t important. And when we finally get a title match somewhere, it’s the Heels being extra cowardly and losing on purpose. Obviously this is to extend things to Summerslam (we hope) but it still stinks in the moment.
My Score: 8.1/10
Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: G1 Climax 29, Part 2!
Time for B Block to begin the Climax!
NJPW returns home!
After the G1 Climax made it’s United States debut, the action returns to Japan for B Block to begin the round robin! More big names in NJPW will battle, who takes crucial points in this summer blockbuster?
Coverage of the G1 Climax 29 will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Gifs to come courtesy of https://frentique.tumblr.com/
- Shingo Takagi VS Juice Robinson; Robinson wins.
- Jon Moxley VS Taichi; Moxley wins.
- Testuya Naito VS Toru Yano; Yano wins.
- Tomohiro Ishii VS Jeff Cobb; Ishii wins.
- Hirooki Goto VS Jay White; Goto wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene for this first round finale!
The classic tournament kicked off deep in the heart of Texas, spreading Strong Style to the world! The A Block has had their turn, now B Block steps up! Their ten wrestlers will wage war to take their first steps towards the Tokyo Dome!
Tetsuya Naito is once again IWGP Intercontinental Champion, but his destino of becoming a dual champion is still very possible. Jon Moxley has become the Death Rider, and even IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion, and vows to prove he is THE purveyor of violence. The Stone Pitbull is always a force to be reckoned with, but being NEVER Openweight Champion might give him that edge to finally take the top spot! The Flamboyant Juice Robinson lost his title but has gained a new fire. Toru Yano may be a trickster, but he promises to fight fair and be serious threat to everyone’s run!
The Fierce Warrior is ready to prove his training with Shibata and the LA Dojo will help him return to prominence. The Switchblade, Jay White, won’t have anyone else saying they’re the best in the world before him. Jeff Cobb is a Hawaiian Juggernaut and a suplex machine planning to give the entire Block a Tour of the Islands. The Raging Dragon all but dominated the Super Juniors, and now he’ll prove he can dominate bigger competition! Suzuki-Gun’s Sliest and slickest wrestler relaxes with his pals, but he’ll fight when it matters most. This year’s G1 is packed more than ever, who from these ten take a critical first win to lead the pack?
Shingo Takagi VS Juice Robinson!
It is muscle versus machismo as the Dragon’s G1 debut already brings him up against some strong competition. Can Shingo hang with the big boys? Or is he going to bite of more than he can chew right out the gate?
The bell rings and these two circle. Fans duel as the two tie up and push each other around. Shingo backs Juice up but Juice turns it around to put Shingo on the ropes. Juice lets up but Shingo swings on him. Juice gets back, and the two circle again. Shingo and Juice tie up again, and Shingo knees low. Shingo headlocks but Juice powers out. They collide shoulders but neither falls. Shingo dares Juice to try again, and he does. They collide, and still neither man budges. Juice dares Shingo to try, but Shingo forearms Juice instead. Juice gives one back, and it’s a back and forth of forearms. Shingo kicks low then whips, but Juice reverses, and speeds things up, only to leap into the fireman’s carry! Juice slips out but Shingo elbows him back, to run, into Juice’s elbow!
Juice runs but into Shingo’s elbow. Shingo runs but into Juice’s leg lariat! Shingo bails out and fans cheer. Juice hears his fans cheering as he aims. Juice slingshots but Shingo dodges to yank him down for a DDT to the floor! The ref checks but Juice is okay to continue. Shingo drags Juice up and puts him back in. Shingo slingshots to drop a knee and then grinds it in. The ref counts and Shingo backs off. Shingo comes back to stand Juice up and whip for a low knee. Then he runs to run Juice over! Fans cheer this super strength and Juice is dazed. Shingo drags Juice back up to a suplex, high and fast! Cover, ONE! Juice is tougher than that, but Shingo keeps on him with a neck wrench. Juice endures as Shingo shifts to an armlock. Shingo drives in elbows then drags Juice back down to a chinlock.
Fans cheer as Juice fights up and out of the hold. Juice headbutts but Shingo gives a forearm back. Juice forearms Shingo, so Shingo CHOPS. That was a blunt one, but Juice gives one right back. Shingo CHOPS, Juice grits his teeth. Juice puts some stank on his CHOP, but Shingo double hand CHOPS Juice off his feet! Juice is reeling again as Shingo runs over to clothesline him right out! Shingo aims as Juice rises, the Dragon runs but into the slingshot spear! Juice fires himself up now as the crowd rallies behind him. Shingo gets to a corner but Juice runs him over with an elbow. Juice starts rallying and whips Shingo to a SPINEBUSTER!
Fans fire up with Juice as he goes up top. Juice leaps, and hits the crossbody! Cover, TWO! Juice keeps his cool while fans duel. Shingo sits up but Juice is on him. Shingo resists the lift and clubs away. Juice headbutts back then fireman’s carries, but Shingo denies Juice Box to run and slide! Juice dodges that and full nelson slams Shingo down! Cover, TWO! Fans duel again as Juice thinks of what he has to do. Juice walks over to Shingo and blocks the punch to jab away! Fans echo “JUICE! JUICE!” but the Left Hand is denied by Shingo’s right! And then Shingo’s left lariat! Both men are down but the fans are fired up for them both!
Juice finds his way to ropes in a daze while Shingo aims from the corner. Shingo runs in and blocks the boot to clothesline! Then he runs, only for Juice to return the clothesline! Shingo sits down and Juice run in, CANNONBALL only gets buckles! Shingo avoids the impact and both men are down again! Fans rally up as Shingo rises. Shingo drags Juice up in a wheelbarrow, for a suplex! Cover, TWO!! Juice still lives and Shingo is frustrated. Shingo grits his teeth as he stands back up. He drags Juice back up, chicken wings, but Juice slips out. Juice ducks the lariat and chicken wings Shingo. Shingo resists the turn but Juice turns him around to a fireman’s carry. Juice Box hits! Shingo flies off from the gutbuster!
Juice crawls to one corner while Shingo stands in the other. Shingo flops down, so Juice tries again. CANNONBALL hits! Juice is feeling it now as he drags Shingo up to the top rope. He headbutts Shingo again, then climbs up to join him. SUPERPLEX! But Juice holds on, for a JACKHAMMER! Cover, TWO!! Shingo survives and Juice is beside himself! Fans are thunderous as both men slowly stand. Juice calls for it, and stalks Shingo. Juice grabs the arms and turns Shingo around, Pulp Friction denied! Shingo runs to slide and lariat! Both men are down again and fans rally again. Shingo gets to a corner and drags himself up. Juice goes to the opposite end, but the two meet with clothesline!
Neither falls, so they try again. Still neither falls, so Shingo throws elbows from both sides. Juice staggers, but comes back with a CHOP! Juice fires up, runs, but Shingo follows to clothesline and SAIDO! But Juice is right back up!? His and Shingo’s lariats collide, but Juice comes around for a discus left! Fans are thunderous again as Juice drags Shingo up again. Juice chicken wings, turns, but pops out into NOSHIGAMI! But Shingo has to crawl after Juice. He runs, AX BOMBER! Cover, TWO!? Juice survives and Shingo is stunned! But the fans are reaching that fever pitch as Shingo fires up again. Shingo drags Juice back up, pump handle, but Juice resists. So Shingo gives point blank clotheslines again and again.
Shingo tries the pump handle again, but Juice rolls him up! TWO!! Shingo blocks the boot, but gets the Left Hand of God! And a second! Chicken wings, PULP FRICTION!! Cover, Juice wins!!
Winner: Juice Robinson, by pinfall; earns 2 points
The Flamboyant One is only the second man to pin Shingo Takagi in NJPW! But this is just the beginning, will Juice and/or Shingo make it to the end of the Block?
Jon Moxley w/ Shota Umino VS Taichi w/ Miho Abe!
The Lunatic has truly freed himself, and has already put his mark on NJPW by becoming their IWGP United States Champion in his debut. Now in his G1 Climax debut, he looks to keep things rolling through the summer. Will the Death Rider leave the Holy Emperor behind in the dust? Or will there be one too many tricks up Taichi’s sleeve for even Mox to survive?
But speaking of, as Moxley makes his way down from the crowd, Taichi attacks from behind! Taichi stomps Moxley down right in front of the fans, then uses Mox’s own jacket to choke him! Security keeps fans clear as Taichi brings Moxley around to ram into railing! Taichi takes someone’s umbrella to SMACK Moxley down! Then he chokes Moxley on the railing. Moxley fights back and starts throwing CHOPS! Moxley CHOPS Taichi and then stomps him to ringside. The bell finally rings the bell to incentivize these two back to the ring.
Moxley drags Taichi over in a headlock but Taichi shoves him into a post! Taichi looks under the ring and brings out a chair. The referee is shoved aside so that Taichi can jam the chair into Moxley’s ribs! And then SMACK him on the back! Moxley writhes from that chair shot while fans duel. Taichi wants Moxley to stand, and he does, for Taichi to clothesline him down! Taichi goes into the ring and lets the ring count begin. Moxley drags himself up at 6 of 20, stands at 10, but hobbles. Moxley clutches that bad back as we get to 15, but still gets in at 19! To get Taichi’s buzzsaw! Cover, TWO!
Taichi decides to get serious already, so off come the pants! He aims at Moxley, but Moxley gets clear of the kick. Moxley forearms, Taichi kicks, Moxley headbutts, and Taichi enziguris! Fans duel more as Moxley is dazed. Taichi vows to end this, and Alabama lifts. Moxley sunset flips and covers, TWO! Moxley blocks a kick to give more forearms. He CHOPS and forearms in the corner, the classic combination! Then he gives knees before he whips Taichi corner to corner. Taichi reverses, but Moxley comes out to clothesline Taichi down! Moxley clutches his back while Taichi gets to the apron. Moxley dropkicks Taichi down, then builds speed, to DIVE! Direct hit sends Taichi into railing and Moxley into commentary!
Fans rally as Moxley gets back up. “You went and pissed me off,” he growls as he goes looking under the ring. He finds a table! Moxley sets this up, hearkening back to the US title match. He shoos Miho and drags Taichi over, fireman’s carry, but Taichi flails and escapes. Taichi back kicks, powerbomb position, but Moxley resists! Taichi kicks away on Moxley’s face, but Moxley forearm back! URENAGE THROUGH THE TABLE! Fans are loving Moxley as he flips off Taichi. Miho panics as Moxley drags Taichi up and in. He mocks Miho and blows a kiss before taking off his knee pads. Moxley runs to give a bare-knee shining wizard! Cover, TWO!! Taichi survives and surprises Moxley, but Moxley loves having to hurt Taihci more.
Moxleyd rags Taichi up but Taichi slips out of the butterfly. Moxley resists the suplex, but Taichi shoves him into the ref! BIG enziguri! Both men are down and fans duel between the two. Taichi crawls to the ropes and has Miho bring him a chair. Taichi encourages the heat to rise, but Moxley kicks him low! Moxley has the chair, and Taichi begs for mercy. Moxley throws the chair into Taichi’s face! Fans are thunderous for Moxley as the referee returns. Moxley moves the chair aside then drags Taichi up in the underhooks. Taichi slips out, waistlock to Gedo Clutch! TWO!! Moxley blocks the superkick to throw Taichi down! Underhooks, lift, DEATH RIDER! Cover, Moxley wins!
Winner: Jon Moxley, by pinfall; earns 2 points
A debut befitting the Lunatic! Moxley thrives in the chaos, and his G1 debut is a success! He says one down, eight more to go, but how far can the Death Rider go in the Climax?
Testuya Naito VS Toru Yano!
The Uncontrollable Charisma’s goal is within reach now that he has the IWGP Intercontinental Championship back. But the Clown Prince of NJPW loves to play spoiler. Will #YTR be the first to deny Naito his Destino? Or is Naito taking over all but inevitable?
Yano insists Naito hurry with his wardrobe, but Naito goes at his own leisurely pace no matter what. If anything, he takes longer just to annoy Yano. Yano is pacing as Naito finally takes off his button-up shirt only to reveal a T-shirt. Yano sees Naito’s shirt is Los Ingobernables de Japon merch, so he gets his YTR merch shirt back. The bell rings and both men circle with shirts on.
Yano taunts Naito as they go around the ring, but then Naito backs off. Naito seems to not hear Yano’s taunts at all, but he does fake Yano out again. And a third time. Yano says to hell with this, and goes for the buckle pads! Naito stops him with clubbing forearms and a whip. Yano reverses and then goes back to freeing “Steve” the buckle pad! Naito kicks low then whips Yano at the corner, but runs into Yano’s elbow. And Yano decides to free “Tom,” Steve’s twin brother. But Naito attacks Yano again. Naito whips but Yano holds ropes. Yano taunts Naito, but Naito steals Yano’s ideas by going back to Tom! Yano has to stop Naito this time, then whips Naito to ropes. Naito again steals an idea, by holding ropes and hollering!
Yano is not amused, and certainly not after Naito SPITS on him! Yano wipes himself with his shirt, but Naito pulls it over Yano’s head! And rolls him up! TWO!! Yano survives but runs into an atomic drop. Naito hits the kick, sweep and slingshots in. Yano covers up, so Naito waits. Yano lets his guard down, Combinacion Cabron! Fans cheer as Naito walks to the other corner. Naito fetches Steve but Red Shoes grabs the buckle pad. Red Shoes won’t let Naito use Steve as a weapon, but Naito shoves Red Shoes down using Steve! Naito then tests his swing, and like a baseball batter, he chokes up on the grip. But Red Shoes snatches Steve away! And Yano rolls Naito up! TWO!!
Naito kicks low but Yano pulls hair. So Naito pulls hair. Yano swings but Naito ducks, wheelbarrow victory roll but Yano sits on it, TWO! Yano swings, Naito waistlocks but Yano elbows out. And then Yano puts Red Shoes’ shirt over his head?! So that he doesn’t see the low blow uppercut! Yano then yanks Naito’s shirt over his head, runs, and SPEARS Naito down! Red Shoes gets free of his own shirt as Yano rolls Naito, and WINS!?
Winner: Toru Yano, by pinfall; earns 2 points
Was that the spoiler right there?! Has Toru Yano just put the curse of the Clown Prince on Naito!? Needless to say, Naito is not happy about this. Is there any coming back from losing to Yano?
Tomohiro Ishii VS Jeff Cobb!
If their tag team encounter in Dallas wasn’t clear enough, these two big bad behemoths want to battle it out the baddest way possible! The Stone Pitbull will test the G1-debuting Hawaiian Juggernaut, will Cobb pass the test?
The bell rings and the two stare down. Then they tie up and are in a deadlock in the middle of the ring. Ishii shifts to a headlock, but Cobb lifts him with one arm! And brings him to the ropes for the break. Ishii lets go and Cobb dares him to bring it. Ishii shoves so Cobb shoves back. Now they throw forearms! Ishii gets the edge and runs, but he only nudges Cobb with that shoulder. Cobb wants Ishii to try again, so Ishii does. Again, Cobb only takes a step back. Cobb swings on Ishii but Ishii gets under to waistlock. Cobb elbows free and bounces Ishii off the shoulder, but Ishii rebounds to hit back. But Cobb does the same, and the two collide solid in the middle. Fans are loving these two rams, but Ishii goes back to forearms.
Ishii runs and collides but Cobb stays up. Ishii keeps ramming into him again and again, then dodges Cobb, only for Cobb to run him over! Cobb drags Ishii up for a headbutt, then clubbing forearms at the ropes. He CHOPS Ishii against ropes, and again! But Ishii seems to like it!? Ishii stays up to take another CHOP, and eggs Cobb on. Cobb throws a forearm and Ishii goes to a corner. Cobb drags Ishii up to CHOP and forearm over and over. Ishii barely flinches as Cobb keeps throwing the hands. Ishii turns it around to show Cobb how it’s done! Forearm, CHOP, repeat! Ishii rocks Cobb over and over, refusing to let Cobb up or down! Ishii stops when he tires out, and Cobb can finally flop over.
Fans fire up for Ishii as he stalks Cobb. Ishii drags Cobb up for one more CHOP, then dares Cobb to get up. Ishii CHOPS more, but Cobb CHOPS back. Again, Ishii eggs Cobb on. Cobb tries forearms but Ishii CHOPS again. Cobb grits his teeth as he takes another, and another, and another! He staggers back to a knee, Ishii CHOPS him to the corner. Ishii wants Cobb to show him what he’s got and starts slapping him around. Cobb gets those forearms and CHOPS going again, but Ishii headbutts back. Ishii whips but Cobb blocks with strength! Cobb whips Ishii to a corner, catches Ishii, and overhead belly2belly suplexes him! Ishii ends up in a corner and Cobb hits a corner clothesline, and back elbow!
Cobb scoops Ishii but Ishii slides out to whip. Cobb reverses, reels Ishii in, Athletic Plex! Cover, TWO! Cobb toys with Ishii now, then throws more forearms. Ishii gives them back and we have another back and forth. They pick up steam and the fans are loving it! Ishii hits Cobb as soon as Cobb hits him, and Cobb starts to stagger. Ishii piles on the forearms, but Cobb gets a JAB! The Pitbull goes reeling backwards while Cobb catches his breath. Cobb is on Ishii in the corner with more forearms, then whips corner to corner. Ishii comes back to run Cobb over! Fans cheer as Ishii has new life! Ishii goes to suplex Cobb, and gets him up and over! Cover, TWO and Cobb rolls through to deadlift Ishii! For a pop-up to the suplex, but Ishii slips out.
Ishii runs and things speed up as Cobb hurdles. But Ishii fakes out the dropkick! Ishii runs in, but Cobb scoops and pops up for the suplex! Standing moonsault! The Gachimuchi covers, TWO! Cobb can’t believe he didn’t put Ishii away! But he dares Ishii to come back now with toying slaps. Ishii stands and Cobb aims a fist, but Ishii flops down. Fans rally as Cobb eggs Ishii on. Cobb throws down hands, then elbows. Ishii fires himself up by headbutting the mat! Cobb throws more elbows, but Ishii just gets mad. Ishii leans into the elbows! Ishii backs Cobb down in this way, then gives his own forearm! And corner clothesline! Ishii hauls Cobb up to the top rope and climbs up to join him. Ishii brings Cobb up, SUPERPELX!
Fans fire up with Ishii as he aims at Cobb. Ishii runs and clotheslines, but Cobb stays up to LARIAT Ishii! Cobb drags Ishii up top now, and then he climbs up to join him. Roles are reversed as Cobb SUPERPLEXES Ishii! Cobb crawls to a cover, TWO! Ishii still lives but Cobb has more to give. Cobb drags Ishii up from behind in a waistlock, but Ishii fights out with elbows. Cobb blocks and counter elbows, but Ishii blocks the kick to give elbows back. HEADBUTT from Cobb! Cobb drags Ishii up, PILEDRIVER! Cover, TWO!? Cobb doesn’t lose his cool, he whips but Ishii holds ropes. Ishii boots back, but runs into a scoop. He escapes and suplexes but Cobb resists. Cobb swings but Ishii blocks, then waistlocks to a BIG back suplex!
Both bulky men are down as fans are rallying up. Cobb is in the corner and Ishii runs in, only for Cobb to catch him and slam him down! Ishii rises, to powerslam Cobb! But now Cobb rises, only to run into Ishii’s German Suplex! Cobb rises again, grabs Ishii for an EXPLODER! But Ishii’s right up again, only for Cobb to dropkick him! Ishii rebounds to LARIAT! Ishii sits Cobb up, runs, sliding D caught!? Cobb lifts but Ishii standing switches, to hit a Dragon Suplex! Ishii runs again, LARIAT flips Cobb over! Cover, ONE!? And with power! SUPERKICK! German Suplex! Bridging cover, TWO!!
Fans rally as Cobb pulls down the straps! Cobb drags Ishii up again, whips him, but has to duck the lariat. Cobb throws a forearm and a boot, then scoops, only for the back to give out. Enziguri from Ishii! Ishii sits Cobb up, he runs, SLIDING D! Cover, TWO!! These men are proving to be titans as Ishii just gets up again. Ishii drags Cobb up, but it’s COBB who suplexes! Ishii escapes, and tanks the lariat to headbutt. Cobb forearms, Ishii headbutts harder! Cobb swings, but into Ishii’s facelock, and BRAIN BUSTER! Ishii crawls to the cover, Ishii wins!
Winner: Tomohiro Ishii, by pinfall; earns 2 points
And the Stone Pitbull truly earned those points! He took a bite out of Cobb, but will either man have anything left to make it to the finals?
Hirooki Goto VS Jay White w/ Gedo!
“What a difference a year makes,” as Kevin Kelly puts it on commentary. From betraying Bullet Club’s Elite to joining Chaos to betraying Chaos to join the new #Cutthroat Bullet Club, the Switchblade has had a meteoric rise, but also an equally surprising fall. White was IWGP Heavyweight Champion but then lost it in Madison Square Garden. Will White be able to reclaim everything he lost? Or will the Fierce Warrior of Chaos refuse to Breathe with the Switchblade?
The bell rings and fans are on Goto’s side. White doesn’t care, but he does bail out to take his time with Goto. White already brings out a chair, goes to the other side of eh railing, and he lets Gedo have a seat. Gedo accepts and cheers White as a fan. This is White’s way of saying he won’t need Gedo’s tricks to beat Goto. But White says it’s up to him when he gets in. Goto rushes out to get at White, but White slips inside the ring. White taunts Goto into getting back in, then ducks the clothesline to headlock. Goto powers out and the two collide with shoulders. Goto fires off forearms and then whips White. White reverses but Goto comes back with more forearms!
Goto whips again but White bails out. But Goto gives chase to kick and whip White into railing! White is down and Goto stomps him. Goto puts White in and runs to run White over. White gets up but Goto clotheslines White right out! Fans fire up with Goto as he goes out to club White down. Goto stomps and clubs White around the corner, then he chases Gedo off. White goes back to the ring and Goto heads back. Goto gets in but Gedo grabs a foot! White uppercuts Goto down! So much for not having Gedo help. White drags Goto to the apron to elbow and club away on. White rams Goto’s chest into the edge, and Gedo is all smiles. But White isn’t done, he suplexes to gourd buster Goto on the apron!
Goto is down and White rolls into the ring. Red Shoes waits before starting the count. Goto stirs and slowly gets up at 10. But the climb reaches 15 before he stands, and is in at 17. White stomps Goto out of the ring and then rams him into railing! And the apron! And the railing again! Then the apron again, before whipping Goto into railing on the far side! Fans boo but White soaks up the heat. White refreshes the count and fetches Goto again. He puts White in and covers, but Red Shoes refuses. White is annoyed, but he toys with Goto. Goto CHOPS White back! And again and again and again! But he runs into White’s elbow! White drops Goto with a neckbreaker then covers, TWO! Fans rally up for Goto while White catches his breath.
White drags Goto up to CHOP him now. And again, and again! White eggs Goto on so Goto hits back. White rakes Goto’s eyes and wrenches the neck in a cravat. Goto endures as fans rally up. Goto fights up and out but White clubs him back down. White cravats again but Goto fights back. White elbows Goto down to a knee, then suplexes. Goto resists, then suplexes back! But White lands on his feet to throw Goto down by his hair! White kicks and slaps Goto around but Goto only gets mad. Goto CHOPS but White forearms. Goto chops more and more and more! White kicks a leg out and then looms over Goto. White stomps Goto but Goto catches the foot. Now they throw forearms, and then Goto spins through to lariat!
Both men are down but fans fire up. Goto and White crawl to opposite ends of the ring and Gedo is worried. White is in a corner and Goto runs in to clothesline. White resists the saido but Goto shoves to fireman’s carry! But White flails and gets free, only to get a kick! Goto runs in again, windmill kick in the corner! Saido suplex! Cover, TWO! Goto doesn’t stop, he brings White up again. White resists the lift and clubs away. Goto clubs White away but misses in the corner. Goto dodges a chop but runs into a boot, only to clothesline through it! White sits down and Goto rains down rights. Goto whips corner to corner but White slides, spins Goto around and DDT’s! Both men are down again but fans still rally.
White sits up first and drags Goto up. Half hatch suplex but White holds on to rotate, for a second. White drags Goto up again, but Goto denies the third. Goto powers White to a corner and rams his shoulder in, but White uses the third half hatch to throw Goto into buckles! White drags Goto up again, twisting suplex! Cover, TWO!! Goto survives the #BladeBuster and Gedo argues with Red Shoes. White still grins as he chinlocks Goto and hauls him up. Goto resists the half nelson suplex, but White CHOPS him. White whips but Goto reverses, only for White to reverse. But then Goto reverses again, for the neckbreaker across his knee! Both men are down again but stirring as fans continue to rally.
White forearms Goto but Goto gives it back. Goto eggs White on and White returns to forearm Goto. Goto forearms White again and White goes staggering. White comes back for more forearms, knees and elbows. White uppercuts Goto then again. He whips but Goto reverses to follow, and then denies the complete shot. Goto shoves but White dodges. They each follow the other, dodge for dodge, and Goto runs into the SAIDO! Gedo wants White to finish this, and White looks to do just that. White fires off strikes and then a point-blank LARIAT! White grins and applauds himself as he catches his breath. Fans rally for Goto as White drags Goto up by his hair. Goto breaks free but White SLAPS him back down!
White keeps slapping Goto but Goto just gets angry. Goto feeds off those slaps, but runs into the URENAGE! White uses the cocky standing pin, but Red Shoes refuses to count that. White mockingly shakes Goto’s hand before dragging Goto back up. But Goto is dead weight, so White has to work extra hard to get him up. Red Shoes wants to check on Goto but White shoves him down! Goto revives and LARIATS White! Goto and White are both slowly stirring, but White signals to Gedo. Gedo fetches something as White hauls Goto up. But Goto gets White with the USHIGOROSHI! Goto has new life and the fans are fired up with him! Goto waits for White to stand, but White stays down. So Goto drags White up, but White is also limp. Goto stomps White but it’s all White’s plan.
White grins as he crawls, and even as Goto stomps him. Goto has White at the ropes but Red Shoes reprimands Goto. Gedo protests while Goto eggs White on. White revives, but Blade Runner denied! So White suplexes, only for Goto to spin through. White forearms but Goto headbutts! Goto drags White up, Inverted GTR! Cover, TWO!! Goto drags White back up and turns him around, but White fights out! White snapmares Goto and catches him but Goto slips out. White slips out again, but then Goto snapmares him off the full nelson. Goto dragon sleepers but White slips out, and the two pull hair to deny the other. Goto has White, and headbutts him over and over! Final Cut!
The fans are thunderous, but here comes Gedo! Goto scares Gedo off, but White escapes the fireman’s carry. Goto again denies Blade Runner, SHOTEN KAI!! Cover, TWO!! But Goto doesn’t let that deter him! He drags White back up, fireman’s carry again, USHIGOROSHI TO FINAL CUT! Cover, TWO!? But Goto won’t stop until he’s one! BUZZSAW! TRUE G, T, R!! Cover, Goto wins!!
Winner: Hirooki Goto, by pinfall; earns 2 points
The Fierce Warrior is finally victorious! NJPW goes to break while both men recover.
NJPW returns once again…
And the victorious Goto finally stands to have his hand raised. His training with Shibata has truly paid off. Fans cheer as the Fierce Warrior takes to the mic.
“It’s been awhile. To be able to perform for all of you, and even better, to get the victory, it makes me so happy!” Fans are also glad as they continue to cheer. The G1 Climax has only just begun, and Goto knows even tougher challenges lie ahead. But Goto will say this: “The G in G1 stands for GOTO!” Goto says his piece and fans cheer again. Will Goto make good on this critical first victory to rise back towards the top?
NJPW Media Backstage Interview
Hirooki Goto thanks Shibata for help in his training. He also thanks all the young guys at the LA Dojo. This wouldn’t be possible without any of them. “However, I can’t really say that I’ve made a complete comeback.” Goto knows this is just one step up the ladder. All his training partners, Shibata, and everyone at LA Dojo may not be in the G1, but he will carry their emotions with him into the ring. He will use them as motivation to win. The G1 begins and a single lose could cost him. That is how he sees it, that is how he will fight. Can Goto again rise to the finals and take the entire tournament?
Another great block of wrestling from NJPW! Obviously this is just the portion of night 2 that had to do with the G1 Climax, but that’s because these were the five matches that mattered. And what great surprises in some of these, like Yano and Naito! That was definitely an entertaining match, and if anything, this only makes it more likely Naito will fight his way to the finals. He wants to make history, and he’ll rip whoever he has to apart. Moxley VS Taichi was great, and of course Moxley wins because he’s Moxley, and Taichi can definitely be sacrificed to him and Naito for their respective builds. Shingo VS Juice was a great opener for tonight, and it is great for Shingo to have a competitive match like this. He and Ospreay aren’t exactly in the running as I see it, but strong showings are more than enough for them.
Cobb and Ishii was so great, both these guys just love to hit hard and move fast. If they aren’t getting a NEVER Openweight Championship match at a later event, that will be a real letdown. Then Goto VS White was a real good main event, and as commentary was putting over, probably Goto’s best in a long time. Goto’s win serves to spark his own story of the veteran comeback like Hiroshi Tanahashi in the A Block. Plus, White got plenty of great accomplishments over this last year, from being the top champion and being the NJPW main event of G1 Supercard, so he can give up these hard fought matches for the sake of the others. He’ll give everyone else in the B Block great matches, and maybe a new story for him can spark from this tournament.
My Score: 8.8/10
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