Trent Seven and Eddie Dennis escalate things to a new level!
Not only will this be a first for NXT UK but perhaps all of the WWE! In a rematch from TakeOver: Blackpool II, it will be a STEEL CORNER STREET FIGHT!
- Piper Niven VS Dani Luna; Niven wins.
- A-Kid VS Tyler Bate; Bate wins.
- Pretty Deadly VS Ashton Smith & Oliver Carter; Smith & Carter win.
- Steel Corner Street Fight: Eddie Dennis VS Trent Seven; Seven wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Piper Niven VS Dani Luna!
The Scottish Viper may not be NXT UK Women’s Champion now, but there’s always another chance! Will Piper head back towards the title? Or will she be derailed by another hungry competitor?
The bell rings and fans cheer for “WALES~! WALES~!” to support Dani. Dani and Piper circle and tie up. The two go around, fairly even in strength. But Piper gets the edge and pushes Dani towards a corner. Dani powers up to push Piper back! Piper brings Dani into a cobra clutch but Dani endures. Dani pries at the hold but Piper spins her around for a headlock. Dani powers out and the two ram shoulders. Neither falls so Dani runs to ram Piper. Piper stays standing so Dani runs again. Dani slides under Piper and hops over, to then kick and boot! Piper catches the next kick to shove Dani away. Dani rebounds and leaps but into Piper’s arms!
Piper shifts but Dani slips out to waistlock. Dani tries but she can’t lift Piper. Piper swings a back elbow but Dani ducks it to scoop. That’s still not going to work, and Piper scoops Dani for a slam instead! Piper with the basement crossbody! Cover, TWO! Fans rally as Piper puts Dani back in the cobra clutch. Dani endures the crank and fights her way up. Dani pries the hold off again, but Piper turns it into a backbreaker and LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Piper grows frustrated but fans are rallying up again. Dani sits up but Piper grabs at her. Dani throws body shots but Piper HEADBUTTS! Down goes Dani and Piper staggers.
Piper looms over Dani as fans rally and duel. Piper stands Dani up and whips her to a corner hard! Dani hits buckles then hits the mat, but Piper goes corner to corner. Dani boots the splash away then throws hands! She dropkicks a leg out and tries a fireman’s carry! Dani gets Piper up but can’t keep her! Piper gets out, fireman’s carries but Dani susnet flips. Piper drags Dani up for a scoop and MICHINOKU DRIVER! Cover, Piper wins!
Winner: Piper Niven, by pinfall
A strong match between heavy hitters, but Piper the Viper is back on a winning track! Will she find herself back in the title scene soon enough?
The NXT UK Tag Team Champions are ready for a fight!
Gallus’ Mark Coffey and Wolfgang heard what Danny Burch & Oney Lorcan had to say. They’re coming for a fight, so look no further. Mark knows Danny’s filled Oney’s heard with stories of when he was “The Govenah,” but that’s not how it is anymore. Is it, Wolfie? It is not, Marcus. Gallus runs the streets now. And why is that, Wolfie? Well, Marcus, that’s because Gallus Boys always end up on top. Will that still be the case when Coffey and Wolfgang throw hands with the BritAm Brawlers?
NXT UK Media caught up with Jordan Devlin earlier this week.
The Irish Ace and NEW NXT Cruiserweight Champion feels good. Devlin reminds us that he didn’t just say he was the best wrestler in the UK, or in Europe. He is THE BEST in the WORLD! The title resting on his shoulder proves he is the best wrestler under 205 pounds, in the world! That is why you never bet against the Ace.
A-Kid VS Tyler Bate!
Though the Irish Ace beat Spain’s Ace, and though the Big Strong Boy beat Devlin in Blackpool, A-Kid wants to test himself against the inaugural United Kingdom Champion to really see where he stands. Will AK pass with flying colors? Or is there still a lot he has to learn?
The bell rings and fans sing for Bate. Bate circles with AK and they tie up. AK waistlocks but Bate pries at the hold. AK slams Bate down first, and then shifts up to a chinlock. Bate powers up but AK grinds on the headlock to get a takeover. Bate headscissors but AK pops out. The fans cheer as the two stand off. Bate and AK circle and feel out the new grapple. They tie up with knuckle locks, Bate drops, rolls and wrenches AK down. AK pops up but Bate rolls and bicycle pumps his legs to get the reversal. But AK rolls and rolls and gets free. Fans cheer this new exchange and Bate can’t help but grin. They tie up again and Bate headlocks.
Bate hits the takeover but AK works his way up. AK headscissors and holds on tight. Bate kips but can’t get free. He keeps trying and fans start singing for him. Bate rolls around, hops around, and then headstands to pop out. Bate gets AK with the headlock but AK headscissors again! AK cranks on Bate’s head but Bate works his way up again. Bate pops out again and wags his finger at AK. Fans cheer as AK stands and the two men reset. They tie up, AK grabs the arm and fans duel. AK wrenches and whips but Bate goes up and under and then trips AK. AK kicks Bate away but Bate cartwheels as AK kips up. They tie up again, AK waistlocks and full nelsons, but Bate pries free to standing switch. AK resists the lift and drops down while bridging! AK pops out of Bate’s hold to get the waistlock back.
Bate stands up and bucks AK off, but AK kips up to NORTHERN LIGHTS! Cover, TWO! Fans cheer for AK as he keeps up with Bate, and the two tie up again. AK has a facelock then brings Bate up to a chinbar. AK whips Bate to a corner then runs in, but Bate catches him! Bate uses an EXPLODER to throw AK! Then Bate kips up, to shooting star, into a triangle hold! AK has Bate locked in, but Bate makes it a cover. ONE and Bate dead lifts! But then Bate shifts AK to the fireman’s carry for an AIRPLANE SPIN! Bate stops at about 15 and wants to go the other way, but AK spins through to victory roll! Cover, TWO! Bate flounders up, AK dropkicks him hard! Bate flounders out of the ring and AK builds speed, for a GOLDEN TRIANGLE MOONSAULT! Direct hit at the ramp and York is loving “NXT! NXT!”
AK drags Bate up and into the ring, then climbs up top. Bate stands and AK leaps, but into a dropkick! Bate runs, rebounds, and LARIATS! He drags AK in, underhooks, TYLER DRIVER ’97! Cover, Bate wins!
Winner: Tyler Bate, by pinfall
The Big Strong Boy shows the young man where he stands in the brand! But Bate does give A-Kid credit where credit is due, and the two shake hands. Is this just the beginning of the Spanish Ace’s rise in the rankings? Will Bate find his way back towards the top?
But wait! As A-Kid makes his way up the ramp, Joseph Conners walks out. The Righteous Killer ignores him to talk to Tyler Bate, “the first-ever United Kingdom Champion.” Conners knows that because he was there. Though Bate may not remember him. Because it has been achievement and milestone, one after the other, for “Mr. TakeOver!” Meanwhile, “Joseph Conners has been left to rot. Big mistake!” Conners says he expected more out of the Big Strong Boy. He thought that was more than a nickname, but seems not. When Bate is ready to stop playing around with little boys, he can step up to fight a man! Then Conners will show the world just how worthy he is! The challenge has been made, will Bate accept?
NXT UK shares footage from after last week’s episode.
The Bomber, Dave Mastiff, took offense to Walter interfering with the Six Man Tag main event, and started hunting for the Ring General. The NXT UK Champion wasn’t in the locker room or at catering. “I’m here, Walter, c’mon!!” Will Mastiff get his chance at the Austrian Anomaly soon enough?
Pretty Deadly VS Ashton Smith & Oliver Carter!
Sam Stoker and Lewis Howley are back to bring some style to York, but are they about to get “WOOP’D” by the Manchester Prestige and the Predator Killer?
The teams sort out and we begin with Howley and Smith. They tie up, Smith headlocks and grinds. Howley powers out as fans still “WOOP,” and Smith runs Howley over. Smith runs but Howley trips him to walk all over him. Howley whips Smith and leaps, but Smith catches him! Smith pops Howley up for a stalling suplex, and drops Howley after 10! Cover, TWO! Smith brings Howley up to wrench then tag in Carter. Carter slingshots to sunset flip, TWO! Howley kicks low and clubs Carter down. Tag to Stoker but Carter sweeps the legs! Carter throws uppercuts and clubbing forearms on Stoker to then tag in Smith.
Smith stomps Stoker and clubs him down. Stoker kicks back low and throws a European Uppercut. Stoker throws forearms and has Smith in the Pretty Deadly corner for a clothesline against ropes. Tag to Howley and the duo double whip Smith to ropes. Smith breaks the line to then hit double clotheslines on Pretty Deadly! Stoker bails out and Howley gets a back drop! Smith is on Howley but Howley throws him out to the apron. Stoker distracts Smith and Howley kicks Smith off! Smith hits the barriers! Stoker puts Smith back in for Howley to cover, TWO! Howley rams his knees in over and over then stomps Smith down. Tag to Stoker and Howley rams Smith in the corner. Stoker runs in to add the uppercut! Cover, TWO!
Stoker drags Smith up to drive in more elbows, and then clamp on with a grounded cobra twist. Fans rally up as Smith endures. Smith fights his way up, throws body shots but Stoker knees low. Stoker throws Smith out to the apron but Smith hits back. Smith hits Howley, too, then shovels Stoker up and out! Smith heads for his corner as Pretty Deadly regroups, hot tag to Carter! Howley tags in but Carter rallies on him and Stoker! Carter hits an STO and fans fire up! Howley staggers over to Carter, ducks a roundhouse but not the hook kick! Carter pump handles for an URENAGE! Cover but Stoker breaks it in time! Stoker drags Carter up but Carter throws Stoker out hard.
Tag to Smith and they grab Howley. They double whip but Stoker helps Howley get out safely. Pretty Deadly rushes in and dodges Smith & Carter, crisscross with a flying elbow and SPEAR! Howley covers Smith, TWO!! Smith survives but Stoker goes to the corner. Howley tags Stoker in and Pretty Deadly have Smith up. Fireman’s carry but Smith slips out to send Howley into Stoker! Tag to Carter as Howley runs in, to a SUPERKICK! Smith SUPERKICKS Stoker and Carter adds a corner heel kick! Fans fire up with Carter as he Electric Chair lifts, folds and USHIGOROSHI to Stoker! Cover, Carter & Smith win!
Winners: Ashton Smith & Oliver Carter, by pinfall
Smith and Carter conquer another team and are getting hot! Will they blaze a trail in the NXT UK Tag Team Division in 2020?
But Pretty Deadly prove to be sore losers as they attack Smith & Carter from behind! Fans boo Stoker & Howley as they throw Carter out and mug Smith! Howley fireman’s carries Smith to toss to Stoker’s GUT BUSTER! Carter returns but he gets DECKED! Pretty Deadly retreat, will Carter and Smith make them pay for that down the line?
NXT UK Media catches Ilja Dragunov in the UK Performance Center.
The Moscow Madman works up a sweat hammering a tractor tire, but has a response to Joe Coffey calling him out. Dragunov’s days are numbered? He did his best to help Gallus! But if Coffey’s counting, he better count fast because Dragunov is getting ready. When will the countdown strike zero and give us the showdown between Ilja and the Iron King?
Kay Lee Ray is here!
The NXT UK Women’s Champion is back and grabs herself a mic as she hits the ring. “Just in case any of you have any doubts,” KLR proved why she is the “absolute best” in Blackpool, no matter who or how many they throw at her. She is never giving up this title! KLR does continue to say that she understands Toni Storm better. Fans sing for Toni and KLR gets annoyed. But KLR’s point is, she gets it now. “Having this championship, it’s intoxicating.” The attention, the respect, the money, the power, the control. It’s all KLR’s now. And poor ol’ Toni sulks at home-
Wait! Toni is here, too! KLR can stop right there. She stole the win in Blackpool and everyone knows it. And everyone knows that the title is truly Toni’s. KLR doesn’t want Toni to be upset. That’s not a good look on Toni. Well, nothing is, but hey. Just look at her! Toni really is obsessed! She’s addicted, isn’t she? Then consider KLR her intervention. They were good friends, so KLR will help Toni get over the title. KLR will give Toni another chance. But if Toni doesn’t give up, KLR will make her. KLR will make Toni admit to fans and friends that she is not good enough. KLR will make Toni say, “I Quit,” in an I QUIT MATCH!
Toni wants that! But wait, wait, wait. KLR wasn’t done explaining. When KLR wins again, the addiction is done. Toni never gets another shot while KLR still holds the gold. When KLR makes Toni say those two words, it’ll hurt. What will it take for Toni to get back the #ShinyShiny? What will it take for KLR to make her stop?
NXT UK, we are just one week away!
Prepare yourself for the coming of Aoife Valkyrie!
Steel Corner Street Fight: Eddie Dennis VS Trent Seven!
All twelve buckle pads are gone, making this No Disqualifications match even more dangerous! Will the Welsh Dragon and the Artful Dodger feel the steel in this grudge match?
The moment Seven hits the ring, he brawls with Dennis! The ref rings the bell quick and now it’s official. Dennis body shots and whips Seven corner to corner but Seven stops himself. Seven dodgs Dennis to hip toss then scoop slam! Leg drop, brother! Fans fire up as Dennis scrambles away. Seven takes off his jacket to DIVE onto Dennis! They crash into barriers and Seven puts Dennis back in. Dennis bails out but Seven pursues. Fans rally as Seven clubs away and CHOPS Dennis! Dennis staggers and stumbles but Seven CHOPS him again! Seven whips Dennis but Dennis reverses to send Seven into steel steps!
The ref checks on Seven but he’s okay to continue. Dennis catches his breath as he pulls the top part of the stairs off. He moves the base over but Seven CHOPS Dennis again. Dennis ROCKS Seven with a right! Dennis brings Seven to the base steps and powerbomb lifts! He walks up the steps, but Seven slips out of the Canadian rack to CHOP Dennis again! And again! Fans fire up with Seven as he fakes Dennis out and gives him a DDT on the steps! Dennis flops into the crowd but fans are singing for Seven. Seven pursues Dennis and clubs away on his back. Dennis takes a seat and Seven CHOPS him again! Seven brings him over across the aisle to CHOP again! Seven clubs and whips Dennis but Dennis reverses, sending Seven into barriers!
Dennis then brings Seven back up, SEVERN BRIDGE onto the steel steps!! Fans cheer for “NXT! NXT!” as Dennis puts Seven in the ring and covers, TWO!! Seven survives and fans continue to sing! Dennis is seething as he stomps away on Seven. Dennis drags Seven up and over to throw big forearms in the corner! Fans boo as Dennis whips corner to corner, but Seven reverses. Dennis manages to duck under the bottom rope, but then Seven goes out to give him a SNAP DRAGON! Fans cheer as Seven slowly stands. Seven goes at Dennis on the barriers with a CHOP! Dennis flops back into the crowd and over towards the announce desk. Seven pursues to CHOP away against the railing!
Fans stay hot for Seven, but Dennis dumps Seven over! Dennis shouts at commentary to move, and move they do. Dennis pulls the hood off and clears the desk before dragging Seven over. Fans cheer for the inclusion of a table as Dennis rams Seven into the side! Dennis takes a drink of water to SPIT it on Seven. Dennis brings Seven over to put on the desk, then they both stand on the top. Fans boo but Dennis soaks it all up. Dennis brings Seven in, lifts, but Seven escapes! To back hand! And torture rack, for the BIRMINGHAMMER to the spare table!! Fans are thunderous as the ref checks on both men! Seven and Dennis are somehow okay to continue and the fans keep singing. Dennis drags himself up despite the pain, and Seven crawls. Fans rally up as Seven stands up!
Seven clotheslines Dennis back to ringside! Seven climbs the barriers to CORKSCREW and FLOP! Dennis evades the senton and fans chant, “This is Awesome!” Seven and Dennis grit their teeth and get to their feet using the ring apron and ropes. Dennis and Seven are on opposite sides of the same corner. Dennis grabs Seven to pull him into the buckle’s crossbar! Seven endures and Dennis eventually lets go. Dennis forces his body to move and climb. Seven climbs to CHOP Dennis! Dennis clubs Seven back, but Seven hits him again. They brawl on the corner and Seven gets the edge. Seven wants to bump Dennis off buckles but Dennis fights back! Dennis grabs Seven to SMASH his head into the steel! Seven flops into the ring as fans rally up.
Dennis is up first and drags Seven into the dragon sleeper. Lift but no next stop as Seven slips out! Seven wristlocks and ripcords, but Dennis grabs the corner to block the rest. Dennis then yanks Seven in! Seven keeps himself from hitting the buckles, but turns around into a BOOT! Seven CHOPS back! And BACK HANDS! And wristlocks to the SEVEN STAR LARIAT! Dennis stays on his feet somehow but Seven whips him to the corner. Dennis crashes into the buckles! And then Seven sends him the other way! More buckles hit Dennis in the ribs, and then Seven torture racks again! Another BIRMINGHAMMER!! Cover, Seven wins!!
Winner: Trent Seven, by pinfall
The steel was unforgiving but Seven avenged his Blackpool defeat here tonight! But that means these two are tied one apiece. What new extreme will these two go to in the tiebreaker?
A great episode for NXT UK this week! Some filler that could itself develop into their own stories, and plenty of progress made towards stories already in play. Piper VS Dani was a solid opening match, and gives Piper good momentum as she waits for a title opportunity. KLR VS Toni in an I Quit Match, and it’s a title ban on Toni if she loses, THAT is going to be some TakeOver worthy stuff. But even given that ultimatum, I have no idea what happens. Toni has already dabbled in NXT prime and could hang out there more while a story of KLR VS Piper or some other Face challenger plays out. Aoife Valkyrie is also coming and could make for some fresh title stories in NXT UK, too.
Bate VS A-Kid was a great match, too, especially in building the Spanish Ace in the eyes of fans unfamiliar with him. AK hanging with Bate is major points. But Conners wanting after Bate, that sounds like a pretty great match for both guys. I don’t see Bate losing, but it would help the story if he did, especially Conners. He has to be “TakeOver worthy” at some point, and if you have Conners win dirty or with controversy, a rematch at the summer NXT UK TakeOver (either Cardiff II or another location) would be amazing. Smith & Carter VS Pretty Deadly was a good match, and a rivalry seems to be forming. Both young teams represent a great midcard for the Tag Team Division. Gallus VS Lorcan-Burch is coming, I hope that is a preview of a title match for the Summer, too.
We got a great promo from Devlin and a great one from Dragunov. Devlin will be on 205 Live this Friday and will surely be splitting his time between UK and the US, and i’m sure if anyone can do it, it’s Devlin. We know from this week’s NXT that Garza wants a rematch, but NXT UK should also think to set up a contender on their end just so this title really does feel part of both divisions. The Steel Corners Street Fight was pretty great, but it didn’t really rely on the buckles as much as I’d expected. That table spot was great, though, risky as it was. Seven wins to tie the series, and I legitimately can’t wait for what Seven VS Dennis does next.
My Score: 8.7/10
WWE 24/7 Championship Results & Report! (4/10/21)
BEHOLD! The Night Panther!!
It’s the epic conclusion to the Legend of the Night Planter!
Mild-mannered Old Spice salesman, Joseph Average, finds himself in the middle of an incredible WWE 24/7 Championship prophecy! But is he hero or villain?
- WWE 24/7 Championship Picnic Panic: R-Truth VS Akira Tozawa & Night Panther; Truth retains the title.
PLAY BY PLAY
R-Truth is having a picnic.
“This is just not your ordinary picnic. We eatin’ good.” And after spraying some Old Spice Night Panther, they’re smellin’ good, too! But Akira Tozawa is sneaking up to snatch Truth’s snacks! Truth goes to reach for some, sees Tozawa, and Tozawa says, “Say cheese~!” What’s Tozawa doing at Truth’s picnic?! And with Ninja Referee (Drew Gulak) and the Night Panther! Truth finds he’s outnumbered! Tozawa and Ninja Ref Gulak grab Truth, and Truth says, “Oh no! Say it ain’t so, Joe!” He went from Average Joe, to Average Ninja! But if you go full ninja, you go evil. But, Joe’s not evil…
Tozawa shouts, “ATTACK!” But stand back, there’s a Hurricane comin’ through! A hurricane? Truth’s insurance covers that. But what is he doing here? What’s he doing here? Everyone knows that hurricanes and night panthers are mortal enemies. Truth confirms. And yet, here Joe is, ruining Truth’s picnic with his baby. Wazzupwiththat?! Night Panther, attack!! Night Panther punches at Hurricane but is blocked and counter punched! Truth breaks free of the kung-fu grip, and hurries with Hurricane to the Truth Cave! AWAY~!
The ninjas pick themselves up and Tozawa blames Night Panther for this. But he tried…! Tozawa takes away Night Panther’s seemingly endless blackbelt. Was this Yokozuna sized? But Tozawa doesn’t care what the prophecy says, Joseph Average is NOT the Night Panther! The “HAH! HAH! HAH!” turns into laughter at Joe’s failure, and Joe runs away in shame. Ninja Ref Gulak tries to talk with Tozawa but he won’t hear it. Will Tozawa ever get the 24/7 Championship away from Truth? Will Joseph Average redeem himself? Or is there truly someone else who the Night Panther mantle is meant for?
Not quite as conclusive as I thought, but this was a pretty great next part to this story with Eric Bugenhagen, aka Ricky Buge, aka The Buge, now Joseph “The Night Panther” Average, who may not even be the Night Panther anymore. I like that we got The Hurricane in this, and if it weren’t for the divide of WWE and AEW, I would love if the cinematic wrestling universe got Matt Hardy involved with this title. Having a brand deal feels right up the “Big Money Matt” gimmick’s alley. I hope Buge returns and proves himself as the Night Panther, or even just as Joseph Average. This is the kind of fun this title needs to be having either way.
Andrew’s AJPW Champion Carnival Results & Match Ratings: 4.10.2021
Day 2 of my fill in stint covering the AJPW Champion Carnival! Can Suwama get in the winner’s column? Can the Ace Kento get on the board? Does anyone pull away so early?
Day 2 of my fill in stint covering the AJPW Champion Carnival! Can Suwama get in the winner’s column? Can the Ace Kento get on the board? Does anyone pull away so early?
Given the fact the incumbent champion lost his first round, the ace lost and there were a few main event players that picked up hard fought wins but don’t have an easy day today, this should be interesting. What kind of tournament are we looking at?
Since the tournament is 1 block, each person gets 9 matches, similar to the G1. So using G1 logic, 2 losses puts you on the bubble of being out, and 3 losses is basically death with the exception of weird breakers or fun rock/paper/scissors situations.
So for everyone’s sake, let’s hope we end up at mostly parity to continue to keep everyone alive for most of this single block tournament!
- Yuma Aoyagi vs Shotaro Ashino: Aoyagi wins via End Game @9:22 – ** ¾
- Kohei Sato vs Koji Doi: Doi wins via Murder Lariat @4:52 – * ½
- Shuj Ishikawa vs Zeus: Zeus wins via Arm Trap Facelock @10:41 – *** ½
- Shinjiro Otani vs Kento Miyahara: Kento wins via Blackout @13:23 – *** ¾
- Jake Lee vs Suwama: Suwama wins via Last Ride Powerbomb @18:23 – ****
Yuma Aoyagi vs Shotaro Ashino
So very similarly to the match against Otani, Aoyagi starts slow. The match begins with a handshake, then he gets driven to the ropes, Ashino slides under his legs during the break to trip him up and starts working over the leg. An early Stretch Muffler indicates that Ashino is most likely aiming to win with the Ankle Lock.
Aoyagi was on the move and constantly clawing for an opening. A few strikes and early knockdown give Aoyagi hope as he goes for End Game, but Ashino powers up and slams him into the corner. Ashino controls most of the tempo until we get a German Suplex trade off spot. Aoyagi ends up taking the worst of it, and Ashino goes for the Ankle Lock.
While in the Ankle Lock, Aoyagi tries to roll through 3 times, but Ashino moves with the roll and holds the move in place. Right before Aoyagi looks like he’s going to tap, he adjusts, grabs Ashino’s head for the Small Package; Ashino manages to kick out. But before Ashino can really re-orient himself, Aoyagi slaps on the full version of End Game. Ashino tries to fight through, but succumbs.
Ashino with two big losses almost writes him out already. Hopefully he makes a small run to suspend disbelief for a little bit and this isn’t his swan song from AJPW.
Kohei Sato vs Koji Doi
Doi comes out of a loss to a major player, Shuji Ishikawa, of current AJPW and Sato avenged his loss to the current Triple Crown Champion Suwama. So at face value, one should think this is a perfect time for Sato to gather some momentum to make sure he gets another shot at the title.
Contrary to logic, this match was interesting. Doi starts off with a quick flurry and picks Sato up into a Torture Rack. Sato eventually fights out and then we get a chop battle, which Sato is notoriously bad at and throws some of the lamest looking chops. Granted, even though he was losing the chops, apparently a well-placed Forearm rocked Doi enough to have Doi selling the forearm for nearly the rest of the match.
Referee Nikkan Lee gets up to seven before Doi starts responding enough to be on the receiving end of a Soccer Ball Kick from Sato. Sato senses the match is over, picks Doi up real cocky for a Brainbuster, but it gets countered into a Brainbuster of Doi’s own! A short range lariat rocks Sato afterward and then off the ropes for Murder Lariat! Sato is stacked up, Doi covers and Doi gets the win!
Well we look to be in an interesting starting spot so far. Who would’ve figured Koji Doi would have more points than Shotaro Ashino…ever. Also for clarity, the low rating is because the match was so abrupt. It wasn’t inherently bad, just not really anything to sink teeth into beyond an upset win.
Shuj Ishikawa vs Zeus
There is history with these two, most notable in my head is during Zeus’ only Triple Crown championship reign, Shuji was his first and only defense. So Zeus looks to continue momentum this year, possibly running back the undefeated record of last year; while Shuji is trying to protect his position and title as Gaora TV champion.
This goes the way most of their previous meetings have, where Shuji tries to overpower Zeus. Because even though Zeus is a bodybuilder, he’s a bit on the short side (5’10”). So with Shuji standing about 6 inches taller and not being of a slight build, Shuji loves to buckle Zeus and play the power struggle. Tests of Strength, Shoulder Tackles, Lariat battles, it’s all great power wrestler spots.
Shuji does however start to catch Zeus. So after a chagrining Lariat into the corner, the middle rope Mushroom Stomp and a few Tsunamis; it looks like Shuji is setting up to win with a Fire/Thunder Driver – but Zeus slips out the back! Zeus locks in the Arm Trap Facelock, and Shuji is dead to rights. Stuck in the middle, twisted about in the move, it only takes a few moments before Shuji is forced to tap and Zeus moves on with 4 points!
Shinjiro Otani vs Kento Miyahara
Dueling boots start the match, which Kento bails after being on the losing end of the exchange. Otani decides to remind him that recovering on the apron isn’t safe, so he charges and lands the Bootwash through the bottom rope sending Kento flying. As the match plays out on the outside, Kento regains his swagger, talks smack to referee Wada and does his “headbutts around the ring” spot.
After rocking Otani, Kento gets cocky, poses back in the ring and the smug Kento from his previous Triple Crown champion days starts making a return. He gives Otani too much space though, charges the corner, and takes a Drop Toe Hold into the bottom turnbuckle, and then Otani revs up the old kicking boot across Kento’s face for a few Bootwashes.
From this point, both men’s stubbornness comes out in spades. Kento gets a little cocky, Otani catches him on the corner, they fight back and Otani refuses to fall before hitting Kento with a Superplex. Then we go into a strike exchange where both are just wailing on one another. Otani manages to rock Kento and then catch him with a Dragon Suplex for a near fall.
Moving quickly, Otani hits Spiral Bomb, but again only two. So he tries a Dragon Suplex again, but Kento fights out. Kento hits a Blackout to the back of Otani’s head, and now they are throwing haymakers. Kento catches Otani with another Blackout, but Otani returns the favor with one of those Hashimoto Overhand Chops that put down Aoyagi yesterday! Otani goes for another, but Kento Blackouts the chop. The clash leaves Otani in more pain, another Blackout and Otani powers out of the pinfall at 1, but is scrambling and stumbling around, unable to find his feet. Kento hits one more point blank Blackout, and picks up his first points of the 2021 Carnival!
Jake Lee vs Suwama
So watching this second tournament match for Jake, I’ve come to realize what I’m referring to him as during this Total Eclipse gimmick. He is very much “Light Yagami” Jake Lee. He’s cackling when he accomplishes something, unbridled frustration and nearly schizophrenic reactions do really scream Death Note crazy Light.
This match was interesting since early on Suwama didn’t really know what to make of Jake, and Jake tried the same stuff he pulled on Ashino, where he was a little awkward, took advantage of situations and tried to bait Suwama into bad spots. The difference is, Suwama is a veteran and Triple Crown champion; so even though Jake got a few early shots, Suwama eventually forced him back into old habits.
Jake was forced to wrestle, hitting interesting flying kick and knee variations, pulled out the old Kitchen Sink and put in a lot more effort than the first match. Suwama managed to stay resilient and push our new Total Eclipse Death Note wielder. This match was built more around Jake coming into his new persona, and yet still not being able to get passed certain old hurdles.
Suwama absorbed a lot, hit some short range lariats, his Double Chop comeback, and the spinning chop. Jake hits the back of the head Giant Killing, attempts D4C, but Suwama blocks. Jake keeps the pressure up, attempts and old Giant Killing/Knee Lift, but Suwama catches the leg, lifts him into a Last Ride, and puts him away!
Suwama finally gets on the bored, and Jake is left stunned and seething. Which plays perfect for Jake to win the Carnival and earn his Suwama shot, and prove his evolution then.
Overall Score: 7.5/10
So this ended a little stronger over all than day 1, but both days so far have been a fun start. The mixture of upsets and oddly abrupt matches are perfect for a tournament even if they don’t rank high. In the larger picture of things it’s nice to see that a competitive match can end in less than 5 minutes without comedy tactics.
Seeing how Jake took the loss to Suwama gives me hope for this anime antagonist character. I’m honestly a little surprised that the whole tournament is knotted up except for Zeus at the 2-0 and Ashino at 0-2. I really did not think Ashino would be the slow kid in the pool right now. But I suppose since he was just betrayed he’s still finding his footing. Like I alluded to before, it would be nice if he’s just getting broken down to be built back up and not just putting people over on his way out.
Now since the only unique records are first and last, the rest of the tournament isn’t hard to figure out, but here are the standings! Solid first 2 days so far!
- Zeus: 2-0 – (4 Points)
- Shuji Ishikawa: 1-1 – (2 Points)
- Shinjiro Otani: 1-1 – (2 Points)
- Kohei Sato: 1-1 – (2 Points)
- Jake Lee: 1-1 – (2 Points)
- Kento Miyahara: 1-1 – (2 Points)
- Suwama: 1-1 – (2 Points)
- Koji Doi: 1-1 – (2 Points)
- Yuma Aoyagi: 1-1 – (2 Points)
- Shotaro Ashino: 0-2 – (0 Points)
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