Will Cold Skull shock the Rainmaker again?
With Kota Ibushi still holder of The Right to Challenge contract, we must now determine who he faces! Will Kazuchika Okada make it rain into the new year? Or will SANADA change everyone’s plans?
Coverage of King of Pro-Wrestling 2019 will be as broadcast on AXS TV
- IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada VS SANADA; Okada wins and retains the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene for the Sports Day finale!
The Rainmaker has pointed to the Cold Skull as a true rival, and Sanada feels “lucky to have a rival in my generation.” Okada knows many have had the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, and “that history is really what makes this belt so desirable.” Sanada is no different. He wants that belt more than anything in this world. And the belt sparkles even brighter because the champion is his rival. The G1 Climax loss to the Cold Skull, after previously being 6-0, was a hard one to take for Okada. But he didn’t want to lose his “cool reputation,” either. Taking the title from Okada will make it even greater a moment for Sanada. But Okada revels in being the main attraction. No one wants silver after being the gold medalist, and that goes for them both. Only one man can be on top of NJPW! But who will be the one going to Wrestle Kingdom?!
IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada VS SANADA!
This is the only match this finale will need! Will the Rainmaker get back at the Cold Skull for that one loss? Or will one loss become two, and crown a NEW champion?
The introductions are made, the fans are dueling with a strong split down the middle, and the belt is raised. The extravagant jackets are put aside, and this match begins after the break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Okada reveals the shorts! Fans love the shorts, and are dueling all over again. The bell rings, Okada runs at Sanada but Sanada dodges the shotgun dropkick! Sanada comes back and the two brawl with forearms! Neither man falls back, but Sanada again dodges the dropkick! And again! Okada dodges Sanada’s clothesline to hit an uppercut, then whips. Sanada avoids yet another dropkick! And heads up fast! Moonsault but Sanada lands on his feet as Okada evades! Okada waistlocks and wristlock ripcords, but Sanada ducks to dragon sleeper! Okada arm-drags, and they both dropkick! Fans fire up as the two are staring down face to face. The dueling only gets louder as the two reset.
Okada and Sanada take a moment to catch their breath and circle. They approach and feel out the grapple. They slowly tie up, and Okada slips through. Sanada blocks the waistlock to get a standing switch, but Okada drops to a knee. Okada switches back, but Sanada wristlocks back. They stand, Sanada wrenches, and Okada grits his teeth as he rolls to wrench back. Fans continue to duel as Sanada wrenches and hammerlocks back. Okada reaches back to headlock, but they end up on the ropes. Red Shoes calls for the ropebreak, and Okada takes his time. Classic Okada fakes the chop to pat Sanada on the shoulders. Sanada runs into a kick, and Okada headlocks. Sanada powers out but Okada runs him over with a shoulder! Okada stands Sanada up to club him in the head, and again. Okada brings Sanada up and turns him around for a neckbreaker! Cover, ONE!
Fans duel more as Okada brings Sanada up into a chinlock. Sanada endures and pries against the hold, but Okada digs his knee in. Sanada scoots and gets the ropebreak with a foot. Okada lets go at 2, to run and basement dropkick! Sanada bails out of the ring and rests on railing, but Okada goes out to fetch him. Okada throws a European Uppercut, then whip Sanada at the railing! Okada then BOOTS Sanada over the railing! He drags Sanada up to his feet and onto the railing, but Sanada was ready! Sanada hops off the railing, puts Okada up on it instead, draping Magic Killer! Sanada catches his breath while Red Shoes checks on Okada. Okada is okay to continue, so Sanada gets up to fetch Okada now. Red Shoes gets the ring count going but Sanada fireman’s carries to snake eyes Okada on railing! The count reaches 10 of 20 but Sanada gets in. The count hits 15 but Okada jumps in! Sanada covers, TWO!
Fans rally up again for both men, and Sanada stands Okada up to wrench and whip. Sanada hits a back elbow in the corner then snap suplexes Okada out. Cover, TWO! Sanada is annoyed but he knows Okada well enough to know that wasn’t enough. Sanada chinlocks Okada now, and he squeezes tight. Okada endures, fights his way up, and fights out with elbows. But Sanada knees low and whips Okada corner to corner again. Sanada runs in but gets a boot. Okada runs but Sanada elbow shim down. Standing moonsault flops, Okada hits Sanada with a basement uppercut! Both men are down as we go to break!
NJPW on AXS returns and Okada kips right up! Sanada slowly rises, and Okada runs in to rally with forearms and elbows! Okada whips but Sanada reverses, only for Okada to dodge, dodge and elbow! Fans fire up with Okada as he stands Sanada up. Okada whips him corner to corner and hits a back elbow, then kicks low to DDT Sanada down! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up and Okada looms over Sanada. Okada wants Sanada to stand, and Sanada does, to get an Alabama lift. But Sanada resists and slips out to then whip Okada corner to corner. Okada reverses, Sanada tumbles out but Okada triangle dropkicks Sanada down! Sanada hits railing on the way down, right in front of commentary! Okada goes out to fetch Sanada again, whipping him into more railing! And he again boots Sanada over! Okada then runs corner to corner, to FLY!! He bowls Sanada into the front row! Thankfully, Young Lions cleared the fans out.
Okada heads back to ringside while Red Shoes checks on Sanada. Somehow, Sanada is okay, so this match continues. Okada wasn’t perfectly unharmed, though, he has to check his legs as he rolls in. The ring count begins again and climbs up to 10 of 20 already. Sanada only stirs at 12, but Okada asks Red Shoes to stop. The rivals want this to happen in the ring, and Sanada makes it back. Okada stands over Sanada, and Sanada throws a forearm, but feebly. Okada watches his rival try again, but he still can’t get a lot of power behind his hits. Okada DECKS Sanada with one! Sanada sits up and Okada eggs him on. Sanada slowly stands and gives another forearm, but it still isn’t much. Sanada keeps trying but Okada staggers Sanada with another.
Okada makes Sanada stand now, and scoops to slam him down. Classic Okada goes to a corner, climbs up top, but Sanada runs in. Okada hops over and uppercuts back, but then Sanada hurdles, hurdles and dropkicks! Okada bails out, Sanada PESCADO! Now Sanada’s back in this! Fans fire up as Sanada stands on the announce desk. Sanada walks off the soreness before putting Okada in. Sanada drags Okada up, blocks the kick, and puts Okada in Paradise! Fans cheer as Sanada stands on the Rainmaker! Sanada goes to the corner and wants the fans to get loud. The fans get loud, and then Sanada kicks Okada out of Paradise! Cover, TWO! Fans duel again as Sanada stands Okada back up. Okada blocks the suplex and elbows back, but Sanada reels Okada in. Okada lands on his feet, dodges in the corner, but Sanada elbows him away. Sanada moonsaults but lands on his feet as Okada dodges, and Okada hits the shotgun dropkick!
Both men are down, with Sanada in a corner. Okada gets up and heads over, dragging Sanada into the drop zone. Okada climbs up top, takes aim, but Sanada is up, so Okada hits a BIG missile dropkick! Sanada is blasted back down and fans rally up again. Okada drags Sanada up, scoops and slams, and wants to do this right. Okada climbs again, leaps, MACHO ELBOW! But he isn’t done there, because he hits the Rainmaker Pose! Okada drags Sanada up, waistlock to wristlock, but Sanada ducks again! Sanada dragon sleepers, Okada arm-drags but Sanada arm-drags back to get the dragon sleeper back! Okada drops and victory rolls, TWO! Sanada fireman’s carries, and flips Okada into the dragon sleeper! But Okada spins around to Alabama, but Sanada slips to the dragon sleeper again.
Okada drops and Sanada holds no, and then gets Okada up. But Okada turns it to gut wrench! Sanada holds on and flails, but Okada powers him through! But Sanada kicks and they flip back, now Sanada has Okada in position! TOMBSTONE! And then, fireman’s carry, TKO! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives but Sanada vows to end it! Fans are getting loud again as Sanada dragon sleepers, SKULL END! The body scissors are on and Okada is enduring the squeeze! Okada kicks and moves around, pops out of the sleeper, but Sanada stays wrapped on. Sanada drags Okada back into Skull End! Sanada squeezes as tight as he can, and Okada starts to fade. Red Shoes checks, but Okada comes back to life and pops out again! Sanada holds on as tight as he can but Okada’s legs are reaching. Again Sanada gets Okada into the hold!
Okada keeps flailing, gasping through his mouth. Fans rally and duel as Okada starts to fade again. Red Shoes checks, but Okada is barely holding on. Okada pops out, bridges back to a cover, TWO!! Sanada still has an arm, but Okada resists being dragged back in. Sanada sits up to hop on Okada’s back, but Okada fights off the sleeper. Okada pries his arm free, wristlock, RAINMAKER!! But he can’t make the cover right away! He rolls over, puts an arm on, TWO!! Sanada survives and we go to break!
NJPW on AXS returns and both men are slowly rising. The two go forehead to forehead on the mat, and Okada throws the first forearm! But Sanada comes back with one of his own! Okada hits Sanada, Sanada hits back! Okada grimaces as he comes back with another forearm, but Sanada nods his head as he hits another. The two stand, the fans rally up, and Okada hits Sanada again. Sanada hits back, so Okada hits back. They go back and forth, picking up speed! Okada uppercuts, but Sanada gives one of his own! Both men are wobbling, but their determination doesn’t falter. Okada gives another uppercut, but so does Sanada! Okada falls to a knee! Okada uppercuts, Sanada uppercuts, and Okada drops to the mat! Okada slowly gets up, but Sanada’s on him with a flurry of forearms!
Sanada spins, but Okada spins, but Sanada blocks the clothesline, spins Okada, and cravats to Shiranui, dragon sleeper! But Okada turns it around to his own dragon sleeper! Then he dropkicks Sanada in the back! Okada whips, and dropkicks again! Okada fires up, stands Sanada up, waistlock and wristlock, but no Rainmaker! Sanada cravats again, but Okada blocks Shiranui this time, so Sanada uses the ropes! Sanada gets up and over to get the dragon sleeper again! Okada fights with all he can, but he starts fading again! And Sanada takes him for a spin, into Skull End! Okada is already fading, Red Shoes checks, but he might be out! Red Shoes wants Okada to say something, anything! Okada is quiet, and Red Shoes lifts the arm. That’s once, but Sanada shifts to a cover, TWO!! Okada is still alive! So Sanada goes up top, MOONSAULT to Okada’s back! And then, MOONSAULT to knees!!
Both men are down again and fans are thunderous as they duel! It starts to blend, “Sakada”, “Onada.” Okada and Sanada get to opposite corners before slowly rising. Sanada hurries over, but gets a boot! He shakes it off, only to get another! Okada runs but Sanada dodges, QUEBRADA DRAGON SLEEPER! But Okada climbs, gut wrench, JUMPING TOMBSTONE! Okada fires up, stands Sanada, waistlock, wristlock, BOOT! Both men stay on their feet, so Sanada boots again! And again! He dodges Rianamker to O’Conner roll and Japanese Clutch, TWO!?! Okada hurries, but Sanada dodges, tilt-o-whirl into dragon sleeper! Fans are at a fever pitch as Okada goes for another swing, but arm-drags out! Dropkick! Both men are down at the 35 minute mark. Okada wristlocks, misses, Sanada wristlocks and tries to steal but Okada ducks! Okada pops out of the pop-up to dropkick!
Okada and Sanada run at each other, Sanada blocks to rolling elbow back! And then pop-up but no cutter! Okada gut wrenches again, but Sanada wants to lean back into the sleeper. Okada fights it off, clubs away on Sanada’s back, and gets him back in for a Michinoku Driver! Wristlock, RAINMAKER!! Cover, Okada wins!!
Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall; still IWGP Heavyweight Champion
That makes Okada 7-1 all-time with Sanada! But it took a lot out of both men, and that is why they are rivals! Red Shoes puts the belt around Okada’s waist, and then Okada checks on Sanada. Okada gives a thumbs up, but what is Sanada’s response? Sanada sits up, for once showing emotion, but fans reassure Sanada as they cheer for him. Okada offers a hand, and Sanada shakes it. They are rivals with respect, and surely this is not the last time these two face off. We will hear from the champion after the break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Okada has the mic.
“RYOGOKU~! Sanada-san, you’re the best.” Okada has had plenty of heartbreak, too, and has cried many times. Just keep moving forward. Then one day, they’ll battle again, as the main event at the Tokyo Dome. But speaking of the Tokyo Dome, that main event is now confirmed. “Oi, Kota Ibushi! Get out here!” Fans cheer, and chant for Ibushi, and the Golden Star obliges! Ibushi has his custom briefcase for the Right to Challenge Wrestle Kingdom contract, and he joins Okada in the ring. Ibushi grabs himself a mic to say, “Please accept my congratulations.” But all Ibushi needs now is the IWGP Intercontinental Championship, and Okada’s Heavyweight Championship. It’s no fun if Okada has it forever. So would Okada mind accepting his challenge?
“What the hell are you talking about?” Both title belts? Hold on, hold on. Okada won’t let his belt go so easily. Start with one, then we’ll talk. But as far as Tokyo Dome goes, “Bring it on, PUNK!” Fans are fired up to see this, and Ibushi says, “Let’s do this! It’s on!” Ibushi takes his leave, and it would seem everyone is after the historic dual championship achievement!
NJPW Media Backstage Interview
Okada doesn’t really care if Ibushi wants to become a double champ. Okada has his belt, that’s what matters. “People are free to dream however they want.” But Ibushi wants Okada’s belt? It won’t be so easy. Ibushi thinks he can just win and move on. That pisses Okada off. Will Ibushi regret thinking Okada is just a stepping stone on the way to history?
Another one hour, one match episode for NJPW on AXS! Okada VS Sanada VIII was definitely on part with all the others, but perhaps not the best of them. This still had a lot of great story elements from those other seven times these two have faced off, and this definitely feels like one of if not THE new top rivalry in NJPW. There’s almost nothing to say, it was just so good. Sanada being emotional was actually a really great thing, it shows how much this one meant to him. After having won even just once in their rivalry during the G1, he surely felt this could’ve been the time, and it certainly would’ve made the wrestling world explode if he had won. But Okada is always the sure bet for NJPW, so they felt it was best to stick with him.
And it was great for Okada to call Ibushi out, and for Ibushi to declare he’s after the same bit of history as Naito and now Jay White are after. I suppose the schedule doesn’t allow for Ibushi to get the Intercontinental Championship first, as Jay White will have a lot of other contenders first. Okada claiming he’s angry now, his match with Ibushi at WK14 is going to be amazing. With Power Struggle also having Super Junior Tag League, and then World Tag League being next, it is obvious that Ibushi and Okada can slide without defending either of their prizes. If anything, NJPW is already planning for the new year, and it would still get a huge reaction out of the wrestling fandom if Ibushi takes that title in the Tokyo Dome and makes making history his true prize.
My Score: 8.9/10
Andrew’s Impact Wrestling Hard to Kill Results & Match Ratings: 1.16.21
Three title matches, the return of Decay, Barbed Wire Massacre and a main event with Kenny Omega. Impact Wrestling’s Hard to Kill definitely sounds like it’s got a little bit of everything. Check out how it went!
So the news that made many people cry a few days ago, was that Alex Shelley would be out of the main event. He went out of his way to film a response/promo/apology so fans knew it was something non-pandemic related, so that was an effort that wasn’t necessary, though appreciated.
Aside from losing it’s “Dream Match” luster, we get Moose as a replacement, which could really work for the cold calculated persona he’s taken on after his EC3 encounter. We also get to crown Knockouts Tag Team champions for the first time in seven and a half years. Let’s also not forget, this could end up being Taya’s swan song from Impact, so we should expect a good match but no Wera Loca victory.
Let’s see if we get any surprises!
- Decay (Rosemary & Crazzy Steve) vs Tenille Dashwood & Kaleb: Steve wins via King Kill 33 @8:55 – * ½
- Old School Rules Match: Violent by Design (Joe Doering, Eric Young & Deaner) vs Tommy Dreamer, Rhino & Cousin Jake: EY wins via Piledriver @9:55 – ** ½
- Knockouts Tag Team Title Finals: Fire & Flava (Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz) vs Nevaeh & Havok: Kiera wins via Face the Music @8:40 – *** – TITLE CHANGE!!
- Ace Austin w/Madman Fulton vs Matt Cardona: Cardona wins via DQ @2:30 – N/A
- X Division Championship: Manik (c) vs Rohit Raju vs Chris Bey: Manik retains via Ole Cradle @13:50 – *** ½
- Knockouts Championship: Deonna Purrazzo (c) w/Kimber Lee & Susan vs Taya Valkyrie w/ Decay: Deonna retains via Venus de Milo @11:40 – *** ¼
- Ethan Page vs The Karate Man: Karate Man WINS…Fatality – 200 Stars
- Barbed Wire Massacre: Sami Callihan vs Eddie Edwards: Eddie wins via Diehard Flowsion @18:50 – *** ¾
- Moose, Rich Swann &Chris Sabin vs Kenny Omega, Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows: Kenny Omega wins via One Winged Angel @20:30 – ****
During the last few moments of the Countdown, Madison Rayne officially retired from wrestling and from Impact Wrestling. Not sure how long she’ll stay a house wife, but good for her. She did great to actually prove to people she was a decent wrestler since her run during the WOH tournament, she was a fun commentator, so good for her.
Decay (Rosemary & Crazzy Steve) vs Tenille Dashwood & Kaleb
The weird thing about this match was the dynamic between who was involved and what went on. Crazzy Steve showed a very high work rate in this match, with his strikes and moves looking fantastic. But Rosemary got exposed a bit on still being less than 100% with the knee and generally sloppy on a lot of spots.
Kaleb and Tenille definitely tried to add comedy and their quirky personalities, but the fact that we saw a lot of sloppiness, Steve working his ass off and just comedy spots or gimmick spots too often; this was a giant mess of a match. It also didn’t help that D’lo and Striker are still getting used to each other, so the announcing was distractingly bad.
It can only get better from here!
Old School Rules Match: Violent by Design (Joe Doering, Eric Young & Deaner) vs Tommy Dreamer, Rhino & Cousin Jake
This starts the same way every Tommy Dreamer match starts, with a brawl and weapon use. This wasn’t a terrible match, but it’s really not anything worth going deeply in to. EY did the flair corner to top rope spot, which ended with Dreamer hitting him with a cookie sheet. We had a Tower spot in the corner, with Joe Powerbombing a Suplex, and it landed right into Dreamer’s face.
Doering got to look like a beast when the entire team took the chairs to him, and he still fought back, ending up in control. Dreamer introduced tacks, then we saw the Signature/Finisher spam which ends with EY breaking up the pinfall and hitting Cousin Jake with the Piledriver.
Again, decent enough, but nothing really special.
Knockouts Tag Team Title Finals: Fire & Flava (Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz) vs Nevaeh & Havok
Oh, Brian Hebner is back for this match. Slightly surprising.
Kiera and Tasha try to start fast, but the bigger women over power the smaller team and throw them around a little bit. Havok beats up on both of them, Neavaeh comes in to keep up the momentum, but eventually Tasha and Kiera start making a comeback. We see Fire and Flava go for a lot of quick spots, fast tags and trying to spin around the larger women, but they just get taken for a ride more often than not.
It’s not until Kiera hits a High Round Kick, followed by Tasha with the Springboard Neckbreaker actually takes Havok off her feet. Nevaeh tries to make a save and get things back on track, but Tasha picks her leg, Havok gets wiped out after a great Super Kick from Kiera, Tasha and Kiera use some tandem attacks on Nevaeh, then Tasha slows down Havok as Kiera hits Face the Music and we have new Knockouts Tag Team Champions!
Ace Austin comes out to declare himself into the X Division Triple Threat to make it a 4 way! D’Amore comes out, says he can have a match, just not the title match. Matt Cardona comes out.
Ace Austin w/Madman Fulton vs Matt Cardona
Ace tries to go at Cardona before the ring jacket is off, but Cardona absorbs some offense and then fires back a bit. Fulton gets in the way quite often during this match, so the finish is a little telegraphed. But right as Cardona starts building momentum; Fulton slides in to cause the DQ.
Decent enough way to protect Ace and give Cardona quick win.
X Division Championship: Manik (c) vs Rohit Raju vs Chris Bey
Rohit went after Manik to try and prove his point that it’s TJP. Bey seemed dead set on finding a way to win, and as we expected in an X Division match; there were a lot of spots, but they all made sense. Rohit does manage to take off the mask, but TJP painted his face under the mask, so it still throws off Rohit. TJP strings together a few moves, goes for the Mamba Splash, but gets caught by Bey with a Cutter. Bey then hits a Double Art of Finesse, but his brief moment of not knowing who to pin, caused the pinfall breakup.
Rohit almost won the title back after his call back to hitting his Tiger Knee after a Mamba Splash but Bey kicked out. Haymakers get thrown, Rohit hits the Dragon Stomp on Bey, and looks to finish things, but TJP slides in for the style of Cradle he’s used a bit lately, and retains his title after a fun, hard fought match.
Knockouts Championship: Deonna Purrazzo (c) w/Kimber Lee & Susan vs Taya Valkyrie w/ Decay
Early on all of the seconds get kicked out, with the beauty of the situation being that Susan pulls out her phone and says she’s filming the whole thing. So Susan, really may be a middle aged transformation of Su Yung. Susan might as well be named Karen.
EVERYBODY has been ejected from ringside.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) January 17, 2021
As we focus on the actual match, Deonna starts slowly picking apart Taya. Going after her left arm, then her left knee and just trying to apply submission and weaken different limbs. Taya was able to push back and have her own submission attempt moment. Taya went for an STF, but the submission game isn’t her wheelhouse.
Deonna was able to pick her apart, counter a pinfall attempt and keep Taya grounded long enough to work in some holds. The normal Fujiwara didn’t get her submit, so Venus de Milo followed up and Taya verbally submitted.
Ethan Page vs The Karate Man
Since this is cinematic or at least green screen, I won’t rate this as a real match. But it was amazingly entertaining. Dragon Ball Z references, Karate Kid, and Mortal Kombat references, it was just amazing.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) January 17, 2021
Barbed Wire Massacre: Sami Callihan vs Eddie Edwards
Interesting pacing to get across the familiarity, twisted respect and love for punishment between these two. We saw Barbed Wire Tables, Chairs, Baseball Bats, Kendo Sticks and even an…N64 Controller!
Sami took a ton of punishment, but the story was basically playing with Eddie’s emotions to bait him into bad dives, and openings for Sami to move out of the way, or sneak in a barbed wire shot. Eddie hit a Blue Thunder Bomb on a barbed wire chair, Sami hit an Avalanche Piledriver through a barbed wire table, but none of this was enough. If anything, the Piledriver just pissed Eddie off.
Going for the callback that started it all, Sami tries to hit a Barbed Wire Chair into Eddie’s face with a Barbed Wire Bat, but Eddie hits a low blow to get a moment. Sami tries to bring himself up with a chair, Eddie hits the Boston Knee Party, then the Diehard Flowsion for the win!
Eddie hasn’t hit that Flowsion in a long time. I did appreciate Sami paying homage to Cactus Jack and Striker acknowledging Jun Akiyama and Mitsuharu Misawa on commentary though.
Moose, Rich Swann &Chris Sabin vs Kenny Omega, Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows
The early onset is interesting. Karl Anderson and Chris Sabin start off and there’s some solid technical counter wrestling, and it’s fast paced action. Moose and Gallows come in to do a big boy showdown which worked fairly well, where Swann and Omega had a brief lockup before the Brothers come in to start heeling it up.
We get a lot of Japanese tag stylings, from the triple team that Team Impact pulls off, to the way the Club breaks up any type of momentum with their own train attacks into the corner. Moose looked amazing in this match. He went toe to toe with everyone, pulled off great moves like a Standing Moonsault, leaped to the top rope for a Spanish Fly and was a really good teammate, regardless of his issues with Rich Swann. Hell Swann and Moose even hit a Doomsday Device variant together. Small aside, I did like seeing Chris Sabin pull off Cradle Shock, which just doesn’t happen often enough anymore.
Omega almost has the match one on Rich, but the only one able to break it up was Moose, and he did so. Omega went into V-Trigger spamming mode to wipe out Moose, rock Rich and then a One Winged Angel won the match for the Bullet Club former members.
Overall Score: 6.75/10
Well this started off pretty bad, but at least it built upwards. The main even had a lot of fun wrinkles which increased the storytelling, psychology and overall enjoyment of the show. Hell even when Callis nearly jumped into the ring to break up a pin on Kenny was a good little nugget.
As I said in the weekly coverage, this is probably Taya’s final match, or at least one of the last, especially since they logically moved Rosemary back to Decay with Crazzy Steve. Eddie and Sami had a hell of blood feud and it was nearly cathartic. Let’s also not overlook the fact that Tasha and Kiera actually won the Knockouts Tag titles. I almost thought they wouldn’t win just because they are so charismatic and attractive without the titles, where Havok and Nevaeh don’t exactly have electric personalities. But I’m ecstatic that Kiera finally has a title in Impact!
With the pretty awful start for the wrestling and the commentary, which put the show behind the eight ball; but it did recover fairly well. Not nearly as good as Genesis, but it managed to keep the stories rolling and end on an interesting note. A pretty good show after all was said and done.
Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Results & Report! (1/15/21)
The Dusty Cup comes to 205 Live!
The Dusty Cup features the Cruiserweight Division… and Killian Dain?
For the first time ever, 205 Live gets to be part of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic! Who will leap out of the sweet sixteen into the second round?
- Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: El Legado del Fantasma VS The Bollywood Boyz; El Legado del Fantasma wins and advances.
- Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: Curt Stallion & August Grey VS Drake Maverick & Killian Dain; Maverick & Dain win and advance.
PLAY BY PLAY
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: El Legado del Fantasma VS The Bollywood Boyz!
Joaquin Wilde & Raul Mendoza want to follow in the footsteps of Santos Escobar, and that means getting titles! But Samir & Sunil Singh want the same, so that they can shine even brighter! Will the lights, camera and Bollywood action be left on the cutting room floor by Death From Above and the Technical Assassin?
The teams sort out and Mendoza starts against Sunil. Sunil and Mendoza circle, fans rally up as they tie up, and Mendoza wrenches to a wristlock. Sunil rolls, wrenches back, but Mendoza wrenches again to wristlock. Sunil gets up, trips Mendoza up and gets a headlock. Mendoza gets up, Sunil wrenches and yanks on the arm over and over! Sunil wristlocks, Mendoza knees low and hard, then whips. Sunil reverses, Mendoza goes up and over and things speed up, Mendoza runs Sunil over! Fans fire up with Mendoza and he runs, but Sunil drops to hurdle then monkey flip! Mendoza flounders up but Sunil clotheslines him out!
Sunil dares Mendoza to come back and Mendoza does, into an arm-drag! Sunil has the arm, Mendoza fights up, but Samir tags in. The Bollywood Boyz double whip, double shoulder and double elbow! Cover, ONE, but Samir keeps on Mendoza down with an armlock. Mendoza fights up, whips free but Samir gets around to crucifix takedown! TWO, and Samir wheelbarrows to arm-drag! Another arm-drag and Samir is back on the arm! Mendoza moves around, Samir keeps on the hold, and fans rally as Mendoza fights up. Mendoza pulls hair to put Samir in the corner, Wilde tags in but runs into a drop toehold!
Samir has the arm, Wilde pulls on an ear and whips, but Samir holds on tight to wrangle Wilde down! Tag to Sunil, they whip Wilde and leap frog, to then double hip toss! Cover, TWO! Sunil wrenches, tags Samir back in and Samir hops up to drop ax handles. Wilde knees low, goes to buckle bump but Samir blocks to give the bump first! Samir ducks Mendoza’s sucker punch to punch back, but Wilde gets him for a DDT! Wilde stomps Samir, brings him up and bumps him off buckles. Tag to Mendoza, he CHOPS Samir then taunts Sunil. Mendoza runs in and clotheslines, tag to Wilde! Wilde clotheslines and tags, then Mendoza repeats the process! Double suplex! Cover, TWO!
Wilde keeps on Samir and throws him out hard! Wilde goes out, Mendoza talks trash, and Wilde bumps Samir off the announce desk! Wilde drags Samir back into the ring as fans rally up. Wilde cravats and cranks on Samir’s neck, but Samir fights up and body shots free! Wilde whips Samir hard into buckles! Tag to Mendoza, El Legado drags Samir up and double whip him to ropes. Samir kicks back, Mendoza clubs him, then a whip, but Samir reverses to send Mendoza into Wilde! Mendoza shoves Samir to the Legado corner but Samir dodges and Mendoza gets POST! Fans rally up as Samir crawls, hot tag to Sunil!
Sunil rallies on Mendoza with forearms and elbows, then a whip! And a BACK DROP on the rebound! Sunil keeps going, atomic drop and a running WINDMILL KICK! Wilde returns but Sunil DECKS him! Sunil goes out to bump Wilde off the 205 Live logo over and over! Mendoza runs out but he gets the same! Sunil puts Mendoza in, climbs up top and leaps, BIG ax handles! Cover, TWO! Escobar is ice cold as Samir tags in. Sunil hoists Mendoza up, FLYING UPPERCUT SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Mendoza is still in this but Samir throws haymakers in the corner. Samir hoists Mendoza up top, climbs, but Mendoza fights back! They brawl, Samir clubs Mendoza but Wilde anchors him!
Sunil YANKS Wilde down, tags in and then Samir SUPERPLEXES Mendoza! Sunil add the MACHO ELBOW! Cover, but Wilde breaks it! Not even the Bollywood remake of Power ‘n’ Glory could do it! Samir goes after Wilde with fury, then whips, only for Wilde to send him into steel steps! The ref reprimands but Mendoza gets Sunil with a FLIPPING DRIVER! Tag to Wilde, Electric Chair FLYING CODE BREAKER! Then the ENZIGURI LEG SWEEP! Cover, and Mendoza intercepts Samir, El Legado wins!
Winners: El Legado del Fantasma, by pinfall (advance to the second round)
Wilde and Mendoza make Escobar very proud, but this was just the opening round. Will Legado del Fantasma grow even stronger as the Dusty Classic continues?
Drake Maverick and Killian Dain make final preparations.
Maverick pins up the doodle of him and Dain, only for Dain to pull it back down. Dain puts on his wrist and hand tape, so Maverick does the same. Dain asks why he keeps mirroring him? Maverick says it’s 2021, a new year, a new look as they’re now matching. Look, Maverick’s a denim jeans guy now! Dain wants Maverick to promise him he fixed the music. He did! The new theme has a lot of rock to open, Dain is satisfied. Will Dain do the dance if they win? No. Not even if they win? Maverick quickly pins up the doodle again, will it be a good luck charm for the odd couple?
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: Curt Stallion & August Grey VS Drake Maverick & Killian Dain!
The Lonestar and #RetroAG did great as a team in their first outing last week, but now it’s the real deal! Will Stallion and Grey ride into the second round with high spirits? Or will they be brought down by Rockstar Spud and the Belfast Beast?
The new music hits, and it’s to Dain’s liking, but then it morphs into a remix of that whistling theme Maverick had in the first place. Well, it’s fitting for their brand of dysfunction. The teams sort out and Stallion starts against Maverick. They circle and tie up, Stallion headlocks but Maverick powers out, only for Stallion to run him over. Stallion stares Maverick down as they reset and start again. They tie up, Stallion headlocks again but Maverick works on an escape. Fans rally, Maverick powers out but Stallion runs him over again. Things speed up, Maverick hurdles then throws Stallion out, to do some skipping.
Stallion runs back in but is sent back out! Maverick does more skip step, but Stallion comes back to tie up. Stallion whips Maverick to a corner, Maverick goes up and over and does his trot. Stallion rushes in, only for Maverick to hip toss and calf kick him down to an armlock! Maverick wrenches the arm, but Stallion pushes free to tag in Grey. Grey is fired up because it’s the Dusty Classic! He dares “big man” Maverick to bring it, and Maverick says one moment. He tags to Dain! Dain is a bit bigger than 205 but Grey still ties up with him. Dain pushes Grey away to a corner! Grey comes back, ties up with Dain again and gets a headlock, but Dain powers out to run Grey over!
Dain runs, Grey ducks and hurdles, but he decides to avoid the punch. Grey leaps but the crossbody bounces off of Dain! Dain tags in Grey, they double whip Grey and Dain uses Maverick to trip Grey up for the back senton! Human weapon, scoop slam senton! Maverick covers, ONE! Maverick clamps onto an arm, wrenches, and Dain tags in. Dain BOOTS Grey down, then fireman’s carries Maverick for the SWINGING BOOTS! Dain even RAMS Stallion with Maverick! Dain lets Maverick go back to the corner so he can CLUB Grey! Dain then fireman’s carries Grey but Grey slips out to tag in Stallion!
The Cruiserweights go after the heavyweight together! Mule kick, front kick, forearm and ROLLING ELBOW! They bring Dain in but Dain DOUBLE SUPLEXES them! Grey and Stallion bail out, Maverick tags in and he says Dain is the one to dive?! Fans want to see it and Dain gives it a try, only to pick up Maverick and TOSS him! Maverick topples Stallion and Grey over and fans fire up! Dain goes out to fetch Stallion into the ring and then puts Maverick in. Dain clubs Grey down and Maverick covers, TWO! Maverick hikes up his pants and brings Stallion up, but Stallion hits a REVERSE NECKBREAKER!
Tag to Grey and Grey whips Maverick. Leap frog into HEADBUTT, then the BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO! Grey clamps on tight with a chinlock and Maverick endures. Fans rally up, Maverick fights up, but Grey keeps him from Dain. Maverick keeps trying but Grey wrangles him away. Fans duel now as Maverick fights up. Maverick throws body shots, backs Grey down, but Grey CLUBS Maverick first! Grey back suplexes, Maverick lands on his feet, and boots Grey away! Maverick hits Stallion for good measure, slides under Grey and hot tags Dain! Dain rallies with big clotheslines, then he TOSSES Stallion in! They both get LARIATS!
Dain brings Grey around for an OVERHEAD suplex! Dain runs in to corner splash Stallion, then does the same to Grey! He whips Grey into Stallion and SHOTGUN DROPKICKS them both down! Stallion staggers, but into an URENAGE! SLINGSHOT SENTON! Dain has the fans fired up as he aims at Grey, but Grey dodges, only to get the DIVIDE! Cover, but Stallion breaks it! Dain grabs Stallion and whips him to a corner, but misses to get buckles! Stallion runs at Maverick but gets double boots! Maverick rolls Stallion to his feet for a JUMPING NECKBREAKER! Grey staggers, blocks a kick and KNEES Maverick! Dragon sleeper to a SPINNING POWERSLAM! But Dain drops a senton on Grey!
Fans fire up as Grey runs but Stallion gets around him to waistlock. Stallion tries to lift, Grey SUPERKICKS Dain into the GERMAN! Bridging cover, ONE! Stallion tries a lateral press, but Maverick breaks it! Grey and Maverick brawl, Maverick hits him and Stallion back and forth! Fast hands and feet, but he gets mugged 2v1! Stallion and Grey stomp Maverick in the corner, CHOP him, then whip him corner to corner. Dain puts Maverick on the outside to BOOT Grey and buckle bump Stallion! Tag to Maverick, BOOTS at the corner! Dain drags Stallion up, Maverick LEAPS to take out Grey!
Dain POWERBOMBS Stallion! Maverick wants a high-five, but he gets used as a human weapon again, POWERBOMB SENTON! Cover, Maverick and Dain win!
Winners: Drake Maverick & Killian Dain, by pinfall (advance to the second round)
One of the more unique combinations in this year’s Dusty Cup gets through to the next round! But they’re going up against a couple of rascals in MSK, will the dysfunction fall apart?
A pretty good 205 Live that at least got over half an hour this time. Legado VS Bollywood Boyz was a good opener, and it makes sense for Legado to advance. There is always a good story behind a faction wanting to have title belts for each member, but there’s a good chance they’re facing Imperium next round. Imperium wants to do the same thing between both NXT and NXT UK, and Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner will definitely want to get back to the titles. In the end, I don’t see Legado or Imperium being Dusty Cup winners, though.
Maverick & Dain VS Stallion & Grey was a good match, but with Stallion having the Cruiserweight title shot in his back pocket, and with Maverick & Dain being a fan favorite combo, it makes sense Maverick & Dain won. I just knew that Maverick’s new choice for a theme was really just a swerve. Dain & Maverick are probably losing to MSK, though, as MSK are new and it’d mean a lot more if they got into the semifinals. Though again, I wouldn’t see Dain & Maverick winning the cup, even if there is some story there between them and Lorcan-Burch. Though that would be a great shocker.
My Score: 8.3/10
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