More classic matches chosen by the NXT UK superstars!
The Superstar Picks bring some incredible instant classics! Relive Cesaro VS Sami Zayn at ArRIVAL, and Toni Storm VS Io Shirai at WWE Evolution in the Mae Young Classics Finals!
- Madison Square Garden, 12/28/84 – WWF World Junior Heavyweight Championship: “Black Tiger” Mark Rocco VS The Cobra; The Cobra wins and becomes the new WWF World Junior Heavyweight Champion.
- WWE Evolution, 2018 Mae Young Classic Finals – Toni Storm VS Io Shirai; Storm wins the 2018 MYC.
- NXT ArRIVAL: Cesaro VS Sami Zayn; wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Andy Shepherd welcomes us back!
BIG news as of Saturday for NXT UK! It’s coming back September 17, in the BT Sports Center in London! But still, we dig into the archives, and William Regal has found a gem featuring a true British wrestling legend!
“Hello, I’m NXT General Manager, William Regal.” Regal is here happily to honor a great friend, foe and colleague who passed away. Mark “Rollerball” Rocco was an innovator, and created much of the Cruiserweight style we see today. He was also a great man and an all around ambassador for the industry. But Rocco only ever had one WWE match, and was very active in Japan as Tiger Mask’s #1 rival. He had one match for the Junior Heavyweight Championship in America, and WWE dug deep to find this one. Here’s to the late, great Mark Rocco.
WWF World Junior Heavyweight Championship: “Black Tiger” Mark Rocco VS The Cobra!
The belt is raised and the final checks are made. The bell rings and Cobra gets some spring in his step as he circles with Tiger Rocco. They tie up, Cobra puts Rocco on the ropes, but Rocco pushes back to get a hammerlock, only for Cobra to switch it right onto Rocco. Cobra wrenches to a double wristlock, then wrings Rocco out, only for Rocco to roll through. The two go again, Rocco kicks low, snapmares fast and drops a knee! Rocco repeats the snapmare, drops an elbow then wraps on a chinlock. Cobra slips right out to get that wristlock, wrench again, then arm-drag Rocco down to an armlock! Cobra cranks on the shoulder, Rocco fights up but Cobra clubs him down. Rocco trips Cobra up, has a leg but Cobra immediately gets the arm for an armbar!
Rocco endures, gets his shoulders up and rolls to push Cobra. Rocco gets around to a chinlock, wraps an arm for a cobra clutch but Cobra gets up. Rocco whips him and LARIATS him! Then somersault senton! Cover, ONE, and Cobra throws forearms. Cobra puts Rocco on the ropes again, Rocco headlocks but Cobra powers out to back drop high and hard! Cobra sits Rocco up to wrap on a chinlock and grind him down. Rocco endures, fights up but Cobra knees and elbows him down. Cobra goes up top fast but Rocco intercepts the flying ax handles to throw Cobra. Cobra comes back with the LEG LARIAT! Cobra’s up top for a BIG knee drop! Cobra scoops for a gut wrench SLAM! Cover, TWO! Cobra keeps on Rocco with the ghost pin, TWO! Rocco tries a cravat but Cobra headscissors fast.
Cobra squeezes Rocco tight, Rocco pries free, and kips up! The two stand off and reset. Cobra kicks low, clubs Rocco then fireman’s carries. GUT BUSTER! Cobra turns Rocco over for a BOSTON CRAB! Rocco endures, refuses to quit and the fans rally. Cobra lets go to adjust his grip on the legs, to hook them up. Cobra gets the arms and pulls for the SURFBOARD! Rocco literally uses his head for a ropebreak! Cobra lets Rocco go to stomp him out! Cobra runs and kicks Rocco down again. Cobra wraps Rocco up in a facelock but Rocco fights up. Rocco manages a back drop suplex, gets a headlock cover, TWO! Rocco clubs and kicks Cobra then drops a leg! Cover, TWO! Cobra throws a body shot but Rocco knees Cobra back. And again! And elbows Cobra down! Rocco springboard knee drops!
Rocco wraps Cobra up in the chinlock. Cobra endures even as Rocco wraps tighter. Rocco lets up to elbow Cobra in the head, then drop a knee. Rocco brings Cobra up to CHOP, Cobra CHOPS back! Cobra fires off and knocks Rocco down, springboards but his splash misses! Rocco gets the legs in the double knee lock. Rocco pulls on the legs with that modified figure four hold but Cobra endures. Rocco shifts around to try for a chinbar but Cobra fights up, so Rocco elbows him down! Rocco stomps Cobra, brings him up and whips him to ropes for a big back drop! He follows with an elbow, cover, but Cobra knees back at TWO! Rocco keeps on Cobra with the headlock, tries the cover again, TWO!
Rocco wraps Cobra back up in another facelock but Cobra fights his way up. Cobra pushes and whips but Rocco kicks him down! Another somersault senton! Cover, TWO! Rocco scoop slams Cobra, and springboards, but now Cobra moves and the splash flops! Cobra drops a leg on the back of Rocco’s head! Cover, TWO! Rocco survives but Cobra keeps on him. Cobra drags Rocco up but Rocco body shots. Cobra headbutts, Rocco gets around to full nelson. Cobra fights and breaks free, then runs to kick Rocco down! Rocco gets up and Cobra dropkicks him out! The cameras move as Rocco gets up on the apron. Rocco punches Cobra away then climbs up, but Cobra is back to TOSS Rocco off the top!
Cobra drags Rocco up to a headscissor hold! Cobra squeezes tight, Rocco endures, fights and turns over, but Cobra lets go to headlock. Rocco powers out, Cobra runs him over! Rocco kips up and clotheslines Cobra down! Rocco drops another knee, covers, TWO! Rocco drags Cobra up again, for a twisting neckbreaker! Rocco drags Cobra up for another twisting neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Rocco won’t stop, he scoops for a DRIVER! Then he goes to the top rope, for a TRUST FALL ELBOW! But Cobra moves and Rocco crashes down!! The fans fire up as Cobra drags Rocco up. Cobra whips Rocco for a BIG windmill kick! Cover, TWO!! Cobra brings Rocco back up, bumps him off buckles and whips him corner to corner. Rocco bumps off buckles into another back drop!
Cobra keeps moving to shotgun dropkick Rocco all the way out! Cobra builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit sends Rocco to the aisle! That’s all concrete out there! Cobra gets up and goes back to the ring but Rocco comes back from the corner. Rocco DECKS Cobra, climbs again and drops for a SPLASH! But he bounces off the cover, he has to get back up! Rocco drags Cobra to his feet, suplexes and floats, TWO!! Cobra lives and MSG is fired up more as Rocco scoops. ANOTHER DRIVER! Cover, TWO!! Cobra survives but Rocco isn’t going to stop. Rocco scoops for another try but Cobra turns it around for the TOMBSTONE! Cobra goes up top, SUPER SENTON!! Cover, Cobra wins!!
Winner: The Cobra, by pinfall (NEW WWF World Junior Heavyweight Champion)
No wonder this was a classic! “Black Tiger” may not have won, but he and The Cobra were truly innovators of an entire wrestling style that still lives to this day! Thank you, Mark Rocco, you will be missed.
Toni Storm presents her pick.
“This week, I have chosen a match that completely changed my career.” It was the first-ever All Women’s PPV, WWE Evolution, and it was the 2018 Mae Young Classic finals between her and Io Shirai. Toni has to say she had a great time in this match, and she dated the date on her wrist to always remember it. Two of the best and the future of WWE as well as Women’s Wrestling, as Michael Cole put it. Toni would eventually go from here to become an NXT UK Women’s Champion, so it’s all a great time, so enjoy it as much as she did being in it.
2018 Mae Young Classic Finals – Toni Storm VS Io Shirai!
This is conclusion to the second-annual, 32-woman tournament that honors the memory of THE legend of Women’s Wrestling. It has boiled down to the Genius of the Sky and the Lightning from Down Under, before either were in NXT! Both women seek this career-defining moment, but who will achieve a dream?
The bell rings and another momentous match begins. Toni and Shirai shake hands to show they respect each other. Fans duel as these two tie up. Toni gets a headlock, but Shirai works her way out. Shirai gets her own headlock, but Toni pries her way out. Toni wrenches the wrist but Shirai reverses back. Toni spins and reverses that to a headlock takeover. Shirai headscissors but Toni fights it. Shirai does it again and gets Toni’s head. Toni works her way up and around and slips out. Shirai and Toni shake hands again as they start over. They tie up, Toni gets the arm again. Shirai flips, handsprings and wrenches the wrist. Toni spins, reverses to a hammerlock, but Shirai gets the wrist back. Toni spins, bends, rolls and breaks to fire off strikes! She runs, but Shirai drops down. Toni changes direction to dropkick Shirai! Cover, TWO!
Toni toys with Shirai a little, then brings her back up. She gives Shirai a stiff European Uppercut, then a forearm. Toni whips but Shirai ducks and handsprings. Toni gets out of the way but still gets a dropkick! Shirai kips up and fires up, as do the fans. Shirai stomps Toni, then steps on her before dropping knees. Cover, TWO, but Shirai gets a Rings of Saturn! Toni endures while fans rally up. Toni feeds off the energy to get moving, but Shirai hooks her with a leg. Shirai pulls Toni back but Toni gets the leg off. Toni powers her way up but Shirai rolls her through to keep the hold! Toni reaches with her legs, for the ropebreak! Shirai lets Toni go at 4, and Toni gets to a corner.
Shirai runs in but into a boot. Toni stands up, and goes up over Shirai. They run again, Toni gets Shirai in a German Suplex! Toni runs in for the hip attack! Then she puts Shirai in a drop zone, and climbs up! Toni can fly, but Shirai gets to the ropes. Shirai scares Toni, then springs up for a dropkick! Toni tumbles down to the ground! Shirai gets moving, and triangle ASAI MOONSAULT! Direct hit but both women are down. Shirai drags herself to the ring but doesn’t get in quite yet. She enters at 6 but Toni is back at 7. They end up on the apron together, and start brawling. Fans duel as Toni double underhooks. Shirai resists but Toni holds on, too. Toni tries again, but so does Shirai. They separate, Toni headbutts Shiari! And hits a German Suplex on the apron!!
Shirai tumbles down while Toni tumbles in. The ring count begins again as both women slowly stir. Shirai gets up at 7, flounders at 8, but gets in at 9! Toni is shocked, but she covers now, TWO! Toni is growing frustrated, but she goes after Shirai again. She throws forearms, but Shirai counters and fires her own! Fans duel as Shirai gets an edge. Shirai fires off furious and endless forearms, then an uppercut! Shirai runs, but into a clobbering clothesline! Toni drags Shirai up, STORM ZERO! Cover, TWO!? Shirai survives Toni’s best move!! Toni cannot believe it but many of the fans can’t, either. Shirai gets back to the bottom rope for safety, but Toni goes after her.
Toni drags Shirai up, but Shirai hotshots Toni back! Shirai slips into the ring, runs, and hits a 619! Shout out to her hero, Rey Mysterio, before she springboards for the sunset flip! Cover, TWO!! That was close! Toni flounders to a corner and fans continue to duel. Shirai gets to an opposite corner, and runs in for the meteora! She puts Toni in a drop zone and gets on the top rope. Shirai leaps, moonsault meets knees! Toni double underhooks, Storm Zero AGAIN! TONI STORM WINS!!
Winner: Toni Storm, by pinfall (2018 MYC Winner)
The Storm blots out the sun and triumphs over the Genius of the Sky! She makes good on her second chance in the Mae Young Classic, and only increases her stock in the WWE. These two being friends, they hug it out as part of the celebration with HHH, Stephanie McMahon and Sarah Amato. Toni Storm was NXT UK Women’s Champion and has countless paths open to her, what path will we see her walk now that NXT UK is on its way back into action?
Next week, NXT UK has a very special retrospective in store!
With the news that this brand is getting back in the ring, that means the NXT UK Champion, Walter, and his #1 contender, Ilja Dragunov, will be preparing to have their long-awaited battle! Therefore, next week’s special will be “The Champion and His Challenger!” What will each man have to say about this highly anticipated match? Speaking of…
Ilja Dragunov presents his pick!
“What makes a man want to fight? I think it’s the same characteristics I expect of myself when I step into the ring. It’s raw physicality. Brutal intensity. And a performance that shows a true essence of what fighting spirit is all about!” It’s what Dragunov saw with Cesaro and Sami Zayn at NXT ArRIVAL.
Cesaro VS Sami Zayn!
What a throwback! Witness not just the early days of the Swiss Cyborg and the “Great Liberator,” but the early days of NXT as a brand! Who wins the match that made an impression on UNBESIEGBAR all those years ago?
The fans are already fired up as the bell rings. Sami and Cesaro stare down as the rally builds, and the two tie up. They go around, Cesaro shoves Sami right down! The ref has Cesaro stay back, and Cesaro grins as Sami gets up. The fans duel between “WE THE PEOPLE!” “SAMI ZAYN!” because back then, Cesaro was part of the Real Americans. Cesaro and Sami tie up, go around, Sami waistlocks but Cesaro standing switches to slam and SLAP Sami down! Sami gets up but keeps his cool as he and Cesaro go again. Fans build to a new rally, Cesaro headlocks and gets a takeover but Sami headscissors.
Cesaro pops out, roles reverse as Sami hits the headlock takeover, Cesaro headscissors and Sami pops out. Cesaro dropkicks Sami down! Cesaro stalks Sami to a corner, Cesaro grabs at the legs but Sami kicks him away. Cesaro shoots back in but Sami blocks with a facelock. Cesaro back drops, Sami lands on his feet and gets moving to huricanrana, only for Cesaro to block! Sami resists the swing, Cesaro pulls him up and Sami lands on his feet to arm-drag Cesaro out! Sami baseball slides Cesaro down then builds speed! Sami FLIES and takes Cesaro down at the ramp! The fans are thunderous for “NXT! NXT!” Sami gets up, brings Cesaro up and in, and fans cheer, “This is Awesome!”
Sami climbs up top, leaps at Cesaro, but his crossbody is caught for a BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Sami bails out and Cesaro scowls. Cesaro smirks as the ring count climbs. Cesaro slips out the side as fans duel, and he whips Sami into barriers! Cesaro puts Sami back in, drags Sami up and throws him right back out of the ring! Cesaro follows, drags Sami back up, and bumps Sami off the steel steps. Cesaro kicks and punches Sami and bumps him off the apron. The ring count reaches 5 but Cesaro grinds Sami’s face into the railing! Cesaro puts Sami in at 7, drags him up again and throws him back out. Fans sing, “Ole~ ole ole ole~!” for Sami as he fires off forearms on Cesaro!
Cesaro eggs Sami on then whips him into railing face first! Cesaro drags Sami up, scoops him and dumps him hard on the apron! Cover, TWO! Cesaro drags Sami up to throw him out once again, then jumps down from the apron to stomp Sami! Cesaro gives Sami a snake eyes on the railing! And RAMS him into the apron! Cesaro pushes Sami back in at the count of 6, drags Sami to a corner, but Sami kicks back! Sami yanks Cesaro into the post! Then boots him away! Sami goes back out, runs and leaps through the corner for the DAREDEVIL- EUROPEAN UPPERCUT! Cesaro intercepts Sami’s move and the fans lose their minds! Cesaro grimaces as he drags Sami off the ropes and back to the corner. Cesaro SLAMS the leg into the post!
The ref reprimands, Cesaro gets back in and stomps away on Sami in a corner. The ref backs Cesaro off but Cesaro comes right back to drag Sami around. Cesaro digs his knee into Sami’s knee and pulls on the toehold. Sami endures, kicks with his free leg, and Cesaro lets go to run and DOUBLE STOMP! Cover, TWO! Sami crawls to the corner but Cesaro looms over him. Cesaro lets Sami come out just to stomp him down! Cesaro stalks Sami more, drags him up and throws big knees! Cesaro gets the leg for a DRAGON SCREW! Cesaro drops a knee down on the knee and cranks it again! Cesaro twists the ankle, too but Sami kicks with his free foot again. Cesaro brings Sami up to knee low, but runs into Sami’s calf kick!
Fans rally up again as Sami gets to another corner. Cesaro stomps the bad leg out again! Cesaro digs both feet into the knee! Cesaro and the fans join together in shouting, “WE! THE PEOPLE!” Cesaro has the leg again for another DRAGON SCREW! And then ANOTHER! Cesaro drags Sami up, Sami throws forearms back, and enziguris, only to miss! HALF CRAB! Cesaro sits deep on the leg and Sami is a long way from the ropes. Sami still fights, Cesaro tries to stand in the way, but Sami gets the ropebreak! Cesaro lets go, fans rally up, but Cesaro runs into Sami’s elbow! And boot! Sami dumps Cesaro out high and hard! Sami gets to the apron as Cesaro stands. Sami mule kicks then springboards for the ARABIAN PRESS! But Cesaro catches him! And SLAMS Sami on the ramp!!
Cesaro roars and the fans are thunderous again! Cesaro leaves Sami behind for the ring count to take care of him. The count reaches 5 as Sami rolls down the ramp. Sami hobbles at 8, falls but rises at 9, and is in at 9.9!! The fans continue to duel as Cesaro aims at Sami. Cesaro runs corner to corner, but into an EXPLODER!! Sami sends Cesaro into buckles, drags Cesaro to a cover, TWO!! Cesaro shakes his head, both to say he’s not done yet, and to shake the cobwebs out. Sami follows, drags Cesaro up but Cesaro fights off the lift. Cesaro runs, Sami reels him in, BLUE THUNDER BOMB!! Cover, TWO!! Cesaro gets to the corner and Sami refocuses. Sami grits his teeth as Cesaro stands, but Cesaro kicks the bad leg! But Sami COMPLETE SHOTS, to the KOJI KLUTCH!!
Cesaro endures, Sami squeezes tight, but Cesaro pries at the fingers! Cesaro is free, to a STRETCH MUFFLER! Sami endures, Cesaro twists and wrenches, but Sami crawls! Sami claws his way over, Cesaro cranks harder, but Sami gets the ROPEBREAK! Cesaro lets go, not sure what he has to do to end it. Fans hope for a “SWING! SWING!” as Sami stands up. Cesaro runs, blocks the boot, and trips Sami up! Sami twists to a body scissor victory roll, TWO!! Cesaro trips Sami up again, and the SWING starts up! Sami goes around at least 10 times before Cesaro throws him away! Sami stumbles up into a corner, Cesaro hits a HUGE EuroUpper! Cover, TWO as Sami ghost pins! TWO and Cesaro DOUBLE STOMPS Sami down! Cover, TWO!!
Sami survives and Cesaro can’t believe it, but again the fans say, “This is Awesome!” Cesaro talks Sami to a corner, but Sami gets to the apron. Cesaro climbs up, drags Sami up by an ear, and brings Sami to the corner. Sami hits back with haymakers! Sami BOOTS Cesaro and now Cesaro sits on the top rope. Sami climbs up, fans fire up as he elbows Cesaro down. Sami gets up for a SUPER STEIN- NO! Cesaro blocks, drags Sami back up with cross arm lift, for a- SUPER STEINER!! Sami still hits his move, then hits a HELLUVA KICK!! Cover, TWO!?! Cesaro survives and Sami is beside himself! Cesaro sits up in a daze but Sami stands first. Sami hobbles over, Cesaro HEADBUTTS him down! Cesaro wobbles but shakes his head again.
Cesaro looms over Sami as Sami sits up in a daze. Cesaro stands Sami up for a HARD EuroUpper! “Stay down!” The ref starts a standing count, Sami sits up at 3 and rises at 4, but Cesaro drags him up for another HARD EuroUpper! “Stay down!” Cesaro wants the standing count to end this, but Sami rises at 6! So Cesaro hits a THIRD EuroUpper! Fans rally for Sami as the standing count starts again. Sami refuses to stay down, so Cesaro brings him up for a FOURTH EuroUpper! But Sami stays up to haymaker! Cesaro throws them back and we have a fast and furious brawl out of nowhere!! Cesaro swings into a SNAP GERMAN SUPLEX! No one can believe Sami is still going as he runs, into CESARO’S boot!
Cesaro reels Sami in for the Neutralizer but Sami back drops out to a sitting cover!! TWO!! Sami runs into a lift, but makes the bomb a SUNSET BOMB! Cover, TWO!?! Cesaro survives that split second counter and the fans are on their feet! They’re giving a standing ovation for “NXT! NXT!” Sami rises first, Cesaro flounders, and fans rally up again. Sami drags Cesaro up, Cesaro pops him up for a EuroUpper! Cover, ONE?!!? Sami shifts into some other gear and it shocks Cesaro! Sami gets up on one good leg and Cesaro fires up, DISCUS EUROUPPER!! Then, GOTCH NEUTRALIZER!! Cover, Cesaro wins!!
Winner: Cesaro, by pinfall
The Swiss Superman and Sami just went to another level! Fans call this “Match of the Year!” and they might be right! This match might even be a defining moment in NXT history! And to everyone’s surprise, Cesaro comes back to show his respect to Sami with a hug! Will there ever be another match that matches this level of “raw physicality” as Dragunov says?
An incredible three matches for Superstar Picks! For one, what a great classic match by William Regal, I feel bad for not better knowing about Mark Rocco because he and “The Cobra” put on a match that is amazing even by today’s standards of Junior Heavyweight/Cruiserweight matches. It was hard to keep up, they were going with a speed you hardly see these days. Reliving the 2018 MYC finals was great, it showed both the skill levels of Toni and Shirai but also the promise WWE/NXT saw in them. It’s a shame WWE couldn’t find a way to make a 2019 MYC or Evolution happen, and for circumstances to at least complicate making one for this year. We can only hope they try again for 2021 on at least one of those.
And reliving ArRIVAL, Sami and Cesaro, what an incredible way to top it off. At the same time, it puts it in perspective as to what WWE main roster has, or rather hasn’t, done with Sami. I know there are all sorts of circumstances, but I hope Sami gets to come back to do something. And I mean it when that match felt unparalleled, and hard to match. I’m sure there have but they’re far and few between.
My Score: 8.6/10
Andrew’s IMPACT Results & Match Ratings: 12.8.2022
Josh Alexander finally addresses what happened at Over Drive! MCMG gets a title match! Eric Young was written out, how does Deaner change Violent by Design?
We get a new era of VBD, Motor City Machine Guns with a tag title shot and Josh Alexander will finally address what happened at Over Drive. I doubt we’re going to get a clean resolution to the tag match since Brian Myers and Matt Cardona are just assholes, but hopefully we get something fun.
Apparently since Deaner is the Violence, the group is just called The Design.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) December 9, 2022
- Tag Team Titles: Motor City Machine Guns vs Heath & Rhino (c): No Contest – ** 1/4
- Savannah Evans w/Tasha Steelz vs Taya Valkyrie w/Death Dollz: Savannah wins via Full Nelson Bomb – **
- Kon w/The Design vs Sami Callihan: Kon wins via Death Valley Driver – **
- IMPACT World Championship Open Challenge: Mike Bailey vs Josh Alexander (c): Josh retains via C4 Spike – *****
Tag Team Titles: Motor City Machine Guns vs Heath & Rhino (c)
Rhino and Sabin start off and they work to Shelley and Heath with a little bit of MCMG tandem work. Guns are tying up Heath, some corner work where the ref is allowing a little more contact than usual; main point is that Heath is getting twisted and torqued.
Heath tries to paint brush his way out of a Figure Four, but Shelley dips into his heel tendencies. Heath gets to the ropes and Shelley lays back and tells the ref he’s willing to break. He doesn’t and forces the referee to untie their legs, so he gets some extra damage in. Dragon Screw attempt gets turned around, Heath drops Shelley and finally gets Rhino back in.
Guns try to utilize some tandem attacks, but as we see Sabin and Heath swinging back and forth; the Major Players hit the ring and hit simultaneous Wake Up Calls on Heath and Sabin, causing the no contest.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) December 9, 2022
Savannah Evans w/Tasha Steelz vs Taya Valkyrie w/Death Dollz
Savannah starts off honestly just overpowering Taya. A few quick shoves, Bear Hugs, rag dolls…and Taya is on the back foot. A little bit of ducking and dodging gives Taya the chances to hit the Spear and send Savannah out.
Savannah puts the brakes on anything Taya can start, we go to commercial and Savannah throws Taya with a Butterfly Suplex…so there’s just a lot of Taya working from underneath. Flying Headscissors finally gives Taya a breather, Blue Thunder Bomb for 2 into an Indian Deathlock transitioning into an STF before Savannah fights out.
Road to Valhalla attempt, Savannah blocks it, a little back and forth before Savannah connects with the Full Nelson Bomb for the win.
Kon w/The Design vs Sami Callihan
Early on Sami is struggling with Kon’s power and size. This is hard to really swallow, even as an early “debut” of a new stable. Sami keeps fighting the good fight, grasps for a Jaw Breaker and turns a Kon charge into a Scoop Slam…but Kon tries to keep being the immovable object.
Sami buckles Kon’s knee and hits the Tanaka style forearm and tries to stay on the bigger guy. The numbers eventually start to distract Sami, Angels distracts the referee, Deaner stops Sami and Kon hits a Death Valley Driver for the win.
I’m not really impressed with this, but I guess you really can’t have the new stable get punked out. Even though they are all punks.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) December 9, 2022
Josh Alexander comes out to address the Over Drive fallout and states an open challenge with the intent to drag out Bully Ray – but Bully has a whole video set up goading Josh and saying he’s not there.
So Speedball Mike Bailey comes down to see if the open challenge is still on the table.
IMPACT World Championship Open Challenge: Mike Bailey vs Josh Alexander (c)
Bailey tries to come at Josh hard, and Josh shows that his left arm is still bothering him some; but he generally shrugs off Bailey for the early goings. A big Forearm and Kitchen Sink have Josh slowly stalking his opponent. His attention isn’t on Bailey, so his style reflects as much.
Josh sends Bailey to the ropes, back handspring, machine gun kicks send Josh reeling and a Tope con Hilo finally gives Bailey some momentum. Commercial break comes back with Bailey hitting a big Double Knees, but a Running Boot from Josh puts things back in his favor. Josh lands kick after kick, big forearms, and just hits Bailey with disdain because he’s not Bully Ray.
A Shotgun Dropkick opens things up for Speedball, Sole Butt doubles over Josh, Axe Kick, Roundhouse into a Corkscrew Shooting Star Press for 2. Buzzsaw Kick missed, German Suplex train begins! Two in a row, Bailey tries to block, so Josh pins the arms and hits a Shutdown Suplex for 2. C4 Spike, spun out, Ankle Lock attempt, blocked and turned into a Kimura from Bailey, but now they’re just jockeying for submission positions. Josh counters the Octopus into running him into the corner twice, but Speedball doesn’t let go. One more attempted jam, but a Poison Rana gives Bailey a 2 count.
Another commercial comes back to Josh driving his knee into Speedball’s shoulder blades. Flipping Stomp miss from Bailey, Tornado Kicks land, Ultima Weapon misses and Josh goes for a C4 Spike but the arm gives out! They spill to the outside and Bailey strings together some offense. A big Missile Dropkick leads into Round Kicks, and then open hand chop exchange. Both men after just firing back and forth, neither is relenting. Forearms and kicks, finally into a proper Fighting Spirit spot that Bailey counters a Rolling Forearm with a Straight Side Kick. Bailey charges into the ropes, Josh catches him in Capture Suplex position but drags him over the ropes and slams him onto the apron.
This is a third commercial break and we’re perched with Bailey going for a Super Frankensteiner, Josh blocks, feigns the Avalanche Styles Clash, but Bailey counters! Flamingo Driver attempt, Josh gets pissed, counters and then throws Bailey with a Torture Rack Bomb. 2 count immediately into the Ankle Lock, but Bailey blocks, manages to get away, counters Josh in the corner, Ultima Weapon connects! But Bailey can’t get the pinfall as he sells his legs. Speedball gets up, PK as he keeps selling the legs but still uses his offense. PK again! Backflip Double Knees, a few missed kicks before finally connecting and then charging through with the snap kick. Open Hand Chops from Josh, Kicks from Bailey, Josh just grabs him and starts the locomotion German Suplexes.
Six suplexes and another commercial! Back perched, Kimura Lock from Bailey, Josh fights, Bailey tries a kick, but Josh grabs him and dumps him back into the ring with an Olympic Slam for a near fall. Josh climbs to the top, Moonsault misses! Bailey slowly climbs to the top rope, Josh pops up, Avalanche Olympic Slam for 2! Josh struggles to try and pick up Bailey, so they have a slow rise as both men are banged up. Bailey pops up with the Straight Kick to the face for a near fall, and we actually hear the 10 minutes remaining call from Penzer.
Ankle Lock again from Josh, but Bailey keeps squirming. Josh Death Rolls with the Ankle and doesn’t want to let go, he’s trying to end this. Bailey tries to stretch up to get out of it, but gets scooped into a Tombstone Piledriver but only another 2 and back into the Ankle Lock! Up Kicks break the submission, Bailey tries to stop Josh from charging back into the corner with a kick, but Josh drivers his knee into Bailey’s leg, drags him back to the center and Grapevine’s the Ankle. Speedball barely manages to claw to the ropes.
Josh tries to climb the corner with Bailey, but Bailey slips down and now he’s trying to get up to Josh but can’t quite muster the energy to get past Josh. Josh keeps clocking and dropping Bailey. Bailey finally powers through the offense, stares down Josh and Avalanche Frankensteiner! Ultima Weapon… connects again but foot on the bottom rope! Flamingo…nope, Styles Clash from Josh into the Ankle Lock again! Bailey grabs the bottom rope and tries to kick Josh away, but Josh finds adrenaline rips Bailey into his arms for an Inverted Piledriver. Josh and Bailey keep struggling as Josh is going for a C4 Spike, 2 C4 Spikes with about 15 seconds left!
Overall Score: 9/10
A Western company actually mentioning time remaining, having to bump a “scheduled main event” and dedicate the last hour of the show to literally one match is a little surprising. The show also did try to add credibility to The Design, Savannah Evans got to look impressive and the fact the tag match was interrupted…to no one’s surprise, helped sell the epic main event even harder.
I don’t really have a lot to say aside from that was a hell of a match, and the fact that it was about 15 seconds short of a Broadway is both crazy and almost feels dirty that it didn’t quite get there. But it was great, built off their previous match and was a great endcap to the year both men had as being fighting champions and two bastions of hope of the company in 2022. IMPACT loves to just to clip shows for the last two weeks of the year, so we only have 1 maybe 2 more real episodes before Hard to Kill is around the corner. But hot damn was this match amazing!
Mitchell’s NJPW WTL X Super Jr. Tag Results & Report! (12/7/22)
The Super Jr. Tag League penultimate round!
The Super Juniors are so close, they can almost taste it!
NJPW continues on and the Super Jr. Tag League is almost done! Is it inevitable that Ace Austin & Chris Bey are finalists in the tournament? Or will they get burned by the #GLEATSAUCE?
- Yuto Nakashima & Ryohei Oiwa VS Oskar Leube & Kosei Fujita; Leube & Fujita win.
- Six Man Tag: Suzuki-Gun VS Bullet Club; Suzuki-Gun wins.
- 8 Man Tag: Toru Yano, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tomoaki Honma & Master Wato VS Los Ingobernables de Japon; LIJ wins.
- Super Jr. Tag League 2022: KUSHIDA & Kevin Knight VS TJP & Francesco Akira; TJP & Akira win.
- Super Jr. Tag League 2022: Ryusuke Taguchi & Clark Connors VS YOH & Lio Rush; Yoh & Lio win.
- Super Jr. Tag League 2022: DOUKI & Yoshinobu Kanemaru VS SHO & Dick Togo; Douki & Kanemaru win.
- Super Jr. Tag League 2022: Robbie Eagles & Tiger Mask VS BUSHI & Titán; Bushi & Titán win.
- Super Jr. Tag League 2022: Alex Zayne & El Lindaman VS Ace Austin & Chris Bey; Zayne & Lindaman win.
PLAY BY PLAY
Here are the current Super Jr. Tag League standings!
Austin & Bey: 6-1, 12 points
Bushi & Titan: 5-2, 10 points
TJP & Akira: 5-2, 10 points
Yoh & Lio: 5-2, 10 points
Zayne & Lindaman: 5-2, 10 points
Taguchi & Connors: 3-4, 6 points [ELIMINATED]
Eagles & Tiger Mask: 2-5, 4 points [ELIMINATED]
Douki & Kanemaru: 2-5, 4 points [ELIMINATED]
KUSHIDA & Knight: 1-6, 2 points [ELIMINATED]
Sho & Dick: 1-6, 2 points [ELIMINATED]
Super Jr. Tag League 2022: KUSHIDA & Kevin Knight VS TJP & Francesco Akira!
The Time Jet may be out of the running, but they could use this moment to turn it all around! Will Kushida & Knight find #Time2Fly? Or will Catch 2/2 not be denied their spot in the finals?
The Orchestrator, Gideon Grey, is here to make the introductions for the Public Enemy & Nova Fireball. The teams sort out and fans applaud as Knight starts against TJP. Fans rally as the two circle. TJP avoids Knight’s rush at the legs, gets around to a waistlock, but Knight switches. TJP sits, pries at the hold, but Knight brings him up to SLAM him down! Knight floats to a facelock, TJP rolls but Knight stays with him, but TJP slips away. Fans applaud this opening exchange and the two reset. Knight and TJP circle, knuckle lock, and TJP spins to wrench and wrangle Knight with a top wristlock.
Knight rolls, stands, TJP wrenches his arm again. Knight rolls, handsprings and wrenches back! Fans applaud while TJP works on a return. TJP rolls, spins, cartwheels, but Knight stops the headscissors to CHOP! Fans applaud as TJP staggers to ropes. Knight CHOPS TJP again, then whips TJP to ropes. They RAM shoulders but neither man falls. Knight flexes and fans applaud. TJP runs, they RAM shoulders again and Knight stays up. Knight says TJP doesn’t have it, but TJP kicks low! TJP runs, but Knight hurdles over! TJP rebounds, and he blocks the hip toss into a cobra twist! Fans applaud while Knight endures.
TJP drops for a ground cobra cradle, TWO! Knight whips, TJP stops himself and comes back to tie Knight’s one arm up, and he YANKS Knight’s other arm back! Fans applaud while TJP drags Knight away. Tag to Akira and Catch 2/2 mug Knight. They double whip but Knight DOUBLE FLYING SHOULDER TACKLES them down! Fans fire up as Knight brings Akira up. Knight wrenches Akira, tags Kushida, and he hands off the wrench. Kushida wrenches to a wristlock, then tags Knight back in. They hand off the wrench again, tag, and then hand it off again! Kushida CLUBS Akira’s arm, wrangles him down, and traps the arm to TWIST!
Fans applaud as Kushida drags Akira up to wrench again. Tag to Knight, they hand off the wrench again and again and again! Then they double snapmare to double knee drop both arms! Fans applaud but TJP runs in! Into a drop toehold and PENALTY KICK to the arm! Kushida & Knight secret handshake, then they double whip TJP to a corner. Then they double whip Akira into TJP! Kushida runs in to back elbow sandwich the champs! Knight runs in to STINGER SPLASH SANDWICH the champs! Knight pushes Akira aside to whip TJP corner to corner. TJP goes up and over, Akira returns for a RAILGUN DROPKICK!
Fans rally as Akira drags Knight up to CLUB him on the neck. Akira stomps Knight in the corner and digs his boots in! The ref counts, Akira stops at 4, then tags TJP. Catch 2/2 drag Knight up, they double whip him to ropes, and SOBAT, KICK, KICK and BASEMENT SHOTGUN! Cover, TWO! TJP sits Knight up to KNEE him in the back! TJP drops knees on the arm, then on a leg. Then TJP has the leg for a standing toehold. Knight endures, even as TJP twists the ankle! Fans rally, Knight fights up and stands. TJP stays clear of the haymakers but Knight breaks free. Knight kicks with the other way but TJP blocks it!
TJP slips around, but Knight ENZIGURIS TJP down! Fans rally, Akira grabs Knight’s legs but Knight kicks him away. But TJP runs past Knight to BLAST Kushida! Knight run sin but TJP goes up and over to get a TARANTULA! Akira intercepts Kushida at the apron for a TARANTULA! Fans fire up for the double shoutout to Tajiri, and Catch 2/2 lets off as the ref counts. Akira returns to his corner, TJP stalks Knight and fans rally up. TJP drags Knight up, scoops and SLAMS him, then goes to the apron. Slingshot SENTON! Tag to Akira, and he runs to go up the Electric Chair! “Take Picture!” But Knight JET FLIGHT DROPKICKS Akira down!
Fans fire up while all three men are down! Knight crawls, hot tag to Kushida! Kushida climbs up and AX HANDLES TJP down! Kushida KICKS and KICKS and KICKS Akira, then whips him to ropes. Akira reverses but Kushida FLYING FOREARMS! Kushida dodges to PELE! TJP kicks Kushida, runs, but into a hip toss! Cartwheel, basement dropkick! Fans fire up with Kushida and he winds up, but Akira blocks the Buzzsaw! Akira whips Kushida to ropes, but Kushida reverses. Akira sunset flips but Kushida stays up! Kushida has the arm, for an ARMBAR! The fans fire up as Kushida pulls back, but Akira rolls to the ROPEBREAK!
Kushida lets go quickly and fans rally up. They clap for “KU-SHI-DA!” as he wrenches Akira’s arm to an ELBOW BREAKER! Kushida aims, but Akira dodges the Penalty Kick! Akira CHOPS, but Kushida ROCKS! Akira SUPERKICKS, but Kushida SHOTEIS! Fans fire up while both men are down! Kushida crawls, hot tag to Knight! Knight hurries after Akira, brings him up and whips him to a corner. Knight runs in and Kushida runs in from the apron, SPLASH ENZIGURI COMBO! Knight hoists Akira up top, climbs up after him, but TJP gets in! TJP Electric Chair Lifts Knight, but Kushida HANDSPRING KICKS Akira!
Knight fights free of TJP while Kushida has a KIMURA on Akira! TJP lets Knight go to go after Kushida! TJP has the Electric Chair Lift, but Kushida fights free to get the HOVERBOARD KIMURA! Knight jumps to SUPER STEINER Akira! Fans fire up and Knight leaps, SATELLITE DDT!! Cover, TJP SLAMS Kushida onto it! Fans fire up while Kushida throws TJP out. Knight drags Akira up, fans clap “TIME TO FLY!” They double suplex but Akira fights it. Akira ROCKS and CHOPS on repeat! But Knight knees low! Time2Fly double whip but Akira shotguns the clothesline apart! And TJP runs in to DOUBLE BULLDOG!
Fans fire up and TJP blocks a kick to spin around, LEG CAPTURE BACK SUPLEX for Knight! Kushida DECKS TJP! Akira GERMAN SUPLEXES Kushida! Knight SLIDING SHOULDERS Akira down! Fans are thunderous as all four men are down! Knight sits up, he brings TJP up but TJP throws a forearm. Knight forearms back, so TJP forearms again. The forearms keep going, then TJP UPPERCUTS! Knight UPPERCUTS in return! The forearms return, Knight gets the edge! Knight runs, into a ROLLING SOBAT! TJP runs, ducks a lariat and SUPERKICKS! TJP runs, into a DROPKICK! Knight kips up and fans fire up again!
Knight runs corner to corner at TJP, but TJP goes up and over! TORNADO DDT!! Cover, TWO!! Knight is still in this and fans are thunderous! TJP drags Knight to a drop zone, goes up the corner, but Knight is up! Knight springs up to join TJP, he throws body shots, but TJP hits back. Fans rally as TJP slips under and trips Knight! Knight is in a Tree of Woe, TJP helps Akira walk the tightrope, for a MISSILE WOE DROPKICK! Knight is down in another drop zone and TJP goes back up! MAMBA SPLASH!! Cover, but Kushida breaks it! Kushida CLUBS Akira, CLUBS TJP, then BUZZSAWS Akira! Kushida runs, but into an ALLEY-OOP!
Fans fire up as Catch 2/2 sit Knight up! 2 BY 2!! Cover, Catch 2/2 win!
Winners: TJP & Francesco Akira, by pinfall (gain 2 points; Kushida & Knight earn 0)
That’s two more points for a dozen total! Will the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions prove they are THE best tag team in the division?
Super Jr. Tag League 2022: Ryusuke Taguchi & Clark Connors VS YOH & Lio Rush!
The Wild Hips haven’t had much luck in the league, but they’re not giving up! Will Taguchi & Connors stampede through Direct Drive & The Bad Child? Or will the Men of the Hour still have time on the clock?
Taguchi and Connors reach into their bags, and they have beer again! Fans applaud, and the Wild Hips offer some to Yoh & Lio. Really? Right now? Sure! Think of it like a party. Fans applaud but Yoh & Lio aren’t sure, they’re technically working. Yoh and Lio take a can each, Connors & Taguchi crack theirs open and drink. Fans applaud, it’s now or never for Lio & Yoh. They argue it out, but Lio says his stomach doesn’t feel good. Connors understands and fans applaud. The beers are put aside for now, and the teams sort out. Lio starts with Connors and fans rally up at the bell. Lio and Connors circle, feel things out, and knuckle lock.
Connors shoots in but Lio sprawls and facelocks. Connors slips out to facelock and then waistlock then back to a facelock. Lio slips out to waistlock, they stand up, and Connors pries free to switch. Connors drags Lio down, goes back for a facelock, but Lio switches that onto Connors. Connors fights back up, throws a knee, and fans applaud as Connors headlocks. Lio powers up and out but Connors runs him over! Fans applaud again and Connors runs the ropes. Lio drops, then redirects to whip Connors. Connors redirects, too, and then again! Lio handsprings to dodge, then he mule kicks and ENZIGURIS! Fans fire up and Lio covers, TWO!
Lio has the fans rally up, and Lio wrenches Connors’ arm. Tag to Yoh, they double whip Connors and double kick. Yoh whips Lio but Connors avoids the scissor kick! Lio whips Yoh now but Connors avoids Yoh to rebound and run them both over! Fans fire up with Connors and he calls to Taguchi. Taguchi hops in, Connors EuroUppers Yoh. Yoh is in one corner, Lio is in the other and the Wild Hips combine. WHIP HIP into Lio! WHIP HIP into Yoh! And then another for Lio! And another for Yoh! Then Taguchi WHIP HIPS Connors into Lio, and then WHIP HIPS him into Yoh! Fans fire up as the Wild Hips butt bump.
Taguchi sets up on the corner and Connors brings Yoh around. But Yoh reverses and sends Connors into the Funky Weapon! Lio returns to LARIAT Connors down! Taguchi hops down and runs at Yoh, but Yoh atomic drops the hip attack! Yoh scoops and SLAMS Taguchi, then he and Lio hook Taguchi’s legs into the ropes! Not quite a Tree of Woe, more a Bush of Woe. Fans rally as Lio and Yoh fire up. They hook up, ROLLING DIVING HEADBUTT into the Bush! Fans fire up while Taguchi flops over. Yoh drags Taguchi to the apron, and he uses the ropes in a Paradise Lock!? Yoh learned a form of Paradise!
Connors returns but Yoh kicks him down. Yoh drags Connors up to ROCK him with a forearm, and then stomp him in the corner. Tag to Lio, he and Yoh double whip Connors to DOUBLE ELBOW! Then Lio runs to get a wheelbarrow boost from Yoh, WHEELBARROW SPLASH! Cover, TWO! Lio taunts Taguchi then clamps onto Connors with a sleeper and body scissors! Yoh plays defense, but Taguchi can’t get free anyway. Connors fights up with Lio as a backpack, and he RAMS Lio into the corner! Yoh tags in, Connors hurries to his corner, but he can’t tag Taguchi like that! Lio whips Connors to the corner, Yoh & Lio mug him!
Yoh & Lio drag Connors up again, throw forearms and haymakers, then Yoh has Connors on ropes. Yoh throws more forearms, puts him back in the corner, but Connors fights back with forearms and elbows! Fans rally, Connors crawls, but Lio drags him up for a BIG back suplex! Fans rally, Yoh & Lio drag Connors up and double whip. Connors ELBOWS Yoh away but Lio kicks him low. Lio runs, Connors drops and POUNCES Lio into Yoh, and Yoh falls on Taguchi! Taguchi’s free from Paradise! Fans fire up as Connors hurries over, hot tag to Taguchi! Taguchi fires up, and he HIP ATTACKS Yoh at the ropes! Then HIP ATTACKS Lio at the ropes!
Taguchi keeps going, another HIP ATTACK for Yoh! Another HIP ATTACK for Lio! Baseball slide and APRON HIP for Yoh! Fans fire up and Taguchi takes aim from the apron. Springboard and MISSILE HIP! Taguchi covers, TWO! Taguchi drags Yoh up but Yoh swings, into a waistlock. Yoh elbows free, runs, but Taguchi follows! Yoh catches the hip attack into a waistlock, but Taguchi elbows free. Taguchi fakes Yoh out into running into a HIP ATTACK! Fans fire up and Taguchi runs side to side! PEOPLE’S T-BAG!! Cover, TWO!! Yoh survives and fans fire up. Taguchi calls upon the powers of Strong Style! “ORYA~!”
But Lio gets in the way, and offers the beer! He wants to have the drink now? Lio gets the fans to applaud for it, and they crack open the beers. They drink, and Lio hits a STUNNER on Taguchi! Lio laughs at Taguchi falling for it, then he HAANDSPRING KICKS Connors off the apron! Lio hurries to get another drink of beer, then he builds speed! But then Lio feels queasy! Connors runs in to SPEAR Lio down! Fans fire up, Connors drags Yoh up but Yoh throws forearms! Yoh ROCKS Taguchi, UPPERCUTS Connors, but runs into DOUBLE HIP ATTACKS! The Wild Hips combine their powers, take a drink, and show the RED UNDIES! CROSS HIPS!!! Cover, Lio breaks it!!
Fans fire up and Connors throws Lio out. Taguchi stands back up and fans rally. Taguchi stands Yoh up, to ENZIGURI! Fans fire up and Taguchi drags Yoh up into chicken wings! But Yoh wheelbarrows and victory rolls, only for Taguchi to sit on it! TWO!!! But Taguchi has OH MY GAH ANKLE!! Yoh flails, reaches out, moves around, and Connors keeps Lio on the outside! Yoh scrambles to get a BEER! Yoh stands up to make Taguchi drink!! Taguchi chugs, Yoh shakes him up!! Taguchi is dizzy now, but he SPITS the beer! He’s gone from The Rock to The Game! Taguchi kicks low, runs, but into 3K!!!! Cover, the Men of the Hour win!!
Winners: Yoh & Lio Rush, by pinfall (gain 2 points; Taguchi & Connors earn 0)
It’s all about the game and how you play it, but the Wild Hips got beat at their own game! Will Yoh & Lio close in on that outside shot to the finals?
Super Jr. Tag League 2022: DOUKI & Yoshinobu Kanemaru VS SHO & Dick Togo!
Japones Del Mal & The Heel Master got the biggest win they could by beating the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions! Will that momentum help them finish strong? Or will the House of Torture ruin things for them right before the end?
Both sides argue about the other needing to be thoroughly checked. After all, Douki has the pipe and Kanemaru has the whiskey, but the Murder Machine has a wrench and the Spoiler has his choker. But for now, the teams sort out and Dick starts against Kanemaru. Fans rally as the two circle. They tie up, Dick powers Kanemaru to ropes, but lets off as the ref counts. Kanemaru dodges the sucker punch and tells the ref that’s what he was talking about! Dick apologizes, and offers a handshake. Kanemaru says don’t even bother with that. Dick shakes Sho’s hand and Sho hops in to shake the ref’s hand. Dick also shakes the ref’s hand.
Douki steps in and the House of Torture offers him a handshake, too. Douki & Kanemaru reach out to accept, but then they block the cheap kicks! Douki throws Sho’s foot into Dick, then he throws Sho out while Kanemaru rolls Dick up! TWO!! Dick escapes, Douki goes out after Sho while Kanemaru stalks Dick to the corner. Dick pokes Kanemaru in the eye! Dick then whips corner to corner but Kanemaru reverses. Dick BOOTS Kanemaru, runs, but into a dropkick to the legs! Tag to Douki, Suzuki-Gun SMASH both knees! Cover, TWO! Douki stomps Dick around, then puts the leg on the ropes for a HIP DROP!
Fans rally while Douki drags Dick up. Douki kicks low, whips Dick to ropes, then runs in, only to be put on the apron. Dick swings but Douki shoulders into him. But Sho trips Douki up! Dick BLASTS Kanemaru, Sho stomps Douki around by commentary. Sho drags Douki up, brings him all the way to the back wall, rakes the eyes, and then goes into the rear stage area! Sho sends Douki into the wall! Dick keeps after Kanemaru while Sho whips Douki at the edge! Douki keeps from falling, he turns around and Sho BOOTS him off the stage! Fans applaud as Sho stands tall. Sho stomps Douki in front of the back row, then says to turn our attention back to ringside.
The ring count starts while Dick waits on Douki. Sho wants the count to go faster, and then he touches the Super Jr. Tag League trophy. Fans rally as Douki stands, and he hurries up the aisle! We’re at 12 of 20, Sho gets on the mic to shout that this is over! Sho rings the bell himself! The ref tells Sho no, but Sho makes the ref raise his hand in victory. Doukik returns! But Sho and Dick mug him! The ref reprimands them, counts, but both Sho and Dick let off at 4. Douki fights up but Dick fights off the scoop. Dick throws body shots and he CLUBS Douki down! Dick scoops and SLAMS Douki down! Dick then clamps onto Douki’s arms for a motorcycle stretch!
Fans rally as Douki endures and reaches out. Douki gets the ROPEBREAK, and Dick lets off. Dick scrapes his sole on Douki’s face, then he tags Sho. Sho runs to BLAST Kanemaru, then he and Dick mug Douki. Douki hits back but Sho rakes the eyes! Sho shoves Douki down, brings him back up, and throws him out of the ring. Sho distracts the ref so Dick can ROCK Douki! Dick puts Douki back in for Sho to ROPE GUILLOTINE! Cover, the ref refuses because of shenanigans. Sho stomps Douki then covers, TWO! Fans fire up while Sho is upset with the ref. Sho drags Douki back up but Douki throws forearms! Sho rakes the eyes!
The ref reprimands but Sho grins as he brings Douki up again. Douki blocks the suplex and fans rally. Sho powers Douki up but Douki fights it. Douki powers Sho up, but Sho bends Douki’s fingers! Sho suplexes but Douki slips out! Douki waistlocks but Sho elbows free. Sho runs, but into a FLYING HEADBUTT! Fans fire up while both men are down again! Sho and Douki crawl, hot tag to Kanemaru! Kanemaru stomps on Sho then BLASTS Dick! Kanemaru whips, Sho reverses but Kanemaru dropkicks the legs out! Kanemaru drags Sho up, SHIN BREAKER and then a dropkick to the legs! Kanemaru steps through for a FIGURE FOUR!
Sho endures the leglock and Kanemaru trashes about! Dick gets in to stomp away on Kanemaru! The hold is undone but the ref reprimands Dick. Kanemaru drags Sho around, stomps the legs, but Sho bends the fingers! So Kanemaru rakes Sho’s eyes! The ref reprimands them both, Kanemaru kicks Sho and runs. But Sho uses the ref as a shield! Sho then runs but now Kanemaru uses the ref as a shield! Kanemaru kicks low, ELBOWS Sho in the head, then runs, but Dick gets a cheap shot in! Sho SPEARS Kanemaru down! Tag to Dick and the House of Torture stomps away on Kanemaru. They whip him corner to corner, then Sho runs in.
Kanemaru dodges Sho, kicks Dick and sends him into Sho! ENZIGURI for Dick! Fans fire up while all three are down! Douki calls out and Kanemaru heads that way! Hot tag to Douki! Douki goes up to CROSSBODY! Dick staggers up, Douki dodges him to springboard BACK ELBOW! Douki drags Dick into the drop zone, for a RUNNING DOUBLE STOMP! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, Douki drags Dick up and hooks him up! But Dick fights the Gory Especial to snapmare and ghost pin! TWO! CROSSFACE!! Fans rally while Douki endures! Douki reaches out, claws his way over, but Dick rolls him way!
But Douki slips out to waistlock! He baits Dick into a double pump handle and he flips Dick over! Douki then rolls Dick into ITALIAN STRETCH #32! Fans fire up while Dick endures! But then Sho drags the ref out! Sho gets in to stomp away on Douki! The Young Lions check on the ref while Sho gets his wrench! But Douki gets his PIPE! Fans fire up as Douki’s is bigger! Sho still swings but Douki dodges! Douki swings but Sho dodges! Douki blocks the wrench attack and Sho drops it! Douki JAMS Sho with the pipe, then CHOKES him with it! But Dick slides in to use the SPOILER CHOKER! But Kanemaru takes a swig!
Yujiro & Evil rush out from the back! But Kanemaru WHISKEY MISTS Yujiro! Then he KICKS the ropes to hit Evil down low! Then Kanemaru WHISKEY MISTS Dick! But Sho LOW BLOWS Kanemaru! Everyone falls at the same time! Fans fire up and rally as the ref returns! The ref can’t make heads or tails of what happened, but Dick and Douki stay in the ring. Dick drags Douki up, underhooks, but Douki blocks the Pedigree! Dick CLUBS Douki down, drags him back up and tries again. But Douki wrenches out! Dick rakes the eyes! Dick gets the whiskey and tags a swig!? But Douki HELL STABS! The whiskey spews into the air!
Douki drags Dick back down, ITALIAN STRETCH #32!!! Dick verbally quits, Suzuki-Gun wins!!
Winners: Douki & Yoshinobu Kanemaru, by submission (gain 2 points; Sho & Dick earn 0)
Incredible! Douki the underdog has gotten his team to three wins in this latter half of the tournament! Is this a sign that things are finally clicking for Japones Del Mal?
Super Jr. Tag League 2022: Robbie Eagles & Tiger Mask VS BUSHI & Titán!
The Flying Tigers may not have a shot at the finals, but they can shoot down another team’s chances! Will the Sniper of the Sky and the Junior Heavyweight legend eliminate LIJ? Or will the Black Mask y El Inmortal stay alive for one more round?
The teams sort out, Eagles calls out Titan, so LIJ fist bumps. Fans applaud as Titan and Eagles circle. They tie up, Eagles wrenches an arm to a wristlock, but Titan rolls, handsprings and wrenches back. Eagles endures the wristlock now, but he uses the ropes to flip through and wrench back. Titan endures now, rolls, kips up and bridges to then handspring and wrench back! Fans rally as Titan wrenches again. Titan whips corner to corner, Eagles reverses but Titan goes up and over to handspring away. Fans cheer and things keep moving. Titan jumps over, whips Eagles but Eagles reverses to go up and around and arm-drag! But Titan handstands walks!
Titan rolls, handsprings, and fans fire up as things keep moving. Titan hurdles, Eagles counters the arm-drag to a takedown, and then he handsprings to basement dropkick! Fans cheer the opening exchange as Eagles covers, TWO! Eagles keeps on Titan, brings him over, and bumps him off buckles. Tag to Tiger and he KICKS and KICKS and KICKS Titan down! Tiger stomps Titan, brings him up and ROCKS him with a forearm. Tiger runs but Titan DROPKICKS him in return! Fans rally and Titan rolls to tag in Bushi! Bushi stomps Tiger, bumps him off buckles, then CHOPS! And CHOPS again!
Bushi pushes Tiger out, turns him, and hits a NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Bushi goes after Tiger’s mask! The ref reprimands, Bushi stops going after the laces to pull at the chin! The ref reprimands and counts, Bushi stops at 4. Bushi stomps Tiger down, then he tags in Titan. Titan climbs while Bushi drags Tiger up. Bushi wrenches an arm and Titan DOUBLE STOMPS it! Titan kicks Tiger around, then mule kicks him. Titan snapmares Tiger to PENALTY KICK! Fans rally and Eagles coaches Tiger, but Titan stands Tiger up. Tiger throws body shots, then throws KICK after KICK! Titan blocks a kick but Tiger SPIN KICKS him away!
Fans rally, Tiger rolls and hot tags Eagles! Eagles springboards up and over Titan, BLASTS Bushi, then RANAS Titan! Fans fire up as Eagles WHEEL KICKS Titan and kips up! Titan bails out, Eagles builds speed, but Bushi trips Eagles up! Titan mule kicks Tiger, CLUBS him down and gets back in the ring. Titan KICKS Eagles while he’s down, then he tags Bushi. Fans rally as LIJ mug Eagles, then double whip him corner to corner. Bushi runs in to back elbow Titan, and then sets up for INMORTAL IN MOTION! Feed to a lift, DROPKICK SPINEBUSTER COMBO! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up but Titan BLASTS Tiger!
Fans rally up as LIJ loom over Eagles. They kick Eagles around, drag him up and double whip again. Eagles reverses to send Bushi away and then he knees Titan low. Bushi returns and Eagles sends him into Titan! Titan falls, Eagles mule kicks Bushi then runs, BASEMENT DROPKICK BLINDSIDE LARIAT COMBO! Fans fire up while all three men are down! Eagles crawls for his corner, hot tag to Tiger! Tiger goes up top and CROSSBODIES Bushi down! Titan CLUBS Tiger, holds him up, but Tiger BOOTS Bushi and KANGAROO KICKS Titan! Bushi returns, into a tilt-o-whirl BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!
Fans rally as Tiger brings Bushi back up. Tiger underhooks Bushi but Titan runs in! Tiger mule kicks Titan, Eagles runs in to KICK, and then DOUBLE ROUNDHOUSES take Titan down! Fans fire up and Bushi fires forearms on both Flying Tigers! Bushi fires off on Tiger, but Eagles SOBATS Bushi! Eagles cravats Bushi and Tiger gives him a boost into the ASAI DDT! Roll and feed to the underhooks, TIGER DRIVER! Cover, Titan breaks it! Eagles throws Titan out and Tiger goes to a corner. But Titan POSTS Eagles! Tiger reaches the top but Titan attacks him first! Titan ROCKET LAUNCHES Tiger off the corner!
Bushi crawls to the LIJ corner, hot tag to Titan! Titan roars, fans fire up, and Titan springboard MISSILE DROPKICKS! Titan drags Tiger up, reels him in and suplexes for the GOURD BUSTER, to a SUPERKICK! Cover, TWO! Tiger is still in this and fans rally up. Tiger goes to a corner, Titan powers up and runs in, LOCO- NO, Tiger BOOTS Titan away! Then crucifix takedown! TWO!! Into the REVERSE DOUBLE ARMBAR!! Titan endures, flails, Eagles intercepts Bushi into the RON MILLER SPECIAL!! But Titan gets the ROPEBREAK! The Flying Tigers let LIJ go and Eagles kicks Bushi out.
Eagles rallies the fans and he joins Tiger in bringing Titan up. The Flying Tigers double whip Titan to a corner, Eagles goes to the apron. They both run in, ENZIGURI ROUNDHOUSE COMBO! Fans fire up as Tiger brings Titan up to the top rope. Bushi rushes in but Eagles springboards and missile dropkicks the legs out! Tiger climbs up after Titan, underhooks the arms, and fans rally up! SUPER BUTTERFLY SUPLEX! Cover, TWO!! Titan survives, but Tiger has a KIMURA! Titan endures as Tiger also traps his head! Bushi barrels through Eagles to break it up! Fans rally as Bushi fires forearms on Eagles.
Eagles knees low, Bushi ducks a roundhouse to spin Eagles into a DDT! Tiger fires off on Bushi, knees low and SOBATS! Tiger runs, but into a DROPKICK! Bushi runs to BLAST Eagles! Then Bushi builds speed to DIVE onto Eagles! Fans fire up and Titan roars! Titan drags Tiger up, reels him in to a fireman’s carry, and spins for the LANDSLIDE! Cover, TWO!! Tiger survives again and fans fire up! Bushi returns as Tiger goes to a corner. Titan runs in, LOCO LARIAT! Bushi hits the CODE BREAKER! Titan springboards, but slips! Angel Inmortal is more a diving headbutt botch! Bushi hurries to get Titan back up and Titan resets.
Bushi watches Eagles while Titan COAST2COAST dropkicks Tiger!! Cover, LIJ wins!
Winners: Bushi & Titán, by pinfall (gain 2 points; Eagles & Tiger earn 0)
It wasn’t pretty, but it was effective! LIJ stay alive for another round, will they make the Super Jr. Tag League finals tranquilo?
Super Jr. Tag League 2022: Alex Zayne & El Lindaman VS Ace Austin & Chris Bey!
The #SAUCEHEARTS holds their fate in their own hands! If they win, they take over the top spot! If they lose, their bubble bursts right before the end! Can Zayne & Lindaman stop the Inevitable? Or will Ace & Bey keep things Too Sweet?
The teams sort out, Zayne steps up and calls out his former friend, Ace. Ace & Bey Too Sweet and then point finger guns at Zayne. Lindaman says, “Boo~!” but Ace starts against Zayne. The fans rally as the two stare down, but then Ace tags out to Bey. Bey & Ace laugh at Zayne thinking he was going to get his way. Zayne and Bey circle, fans rally up again, and the two tie up. They go around, Zayne puts Bey on ropes but he stares Ace down. Red shoes counts the break, Zayne lets off with a pat on Bey’s shoulder. Bey acts like he’s gonna punch, but he just hands Red Shoes some of his gold chains that’re coming loose.
Zayne and Bey reset as fans rally up, and Bey gets around to waistlock. Zayne works on the hold but Bey shifts to a headlock. Zayne throws body shots, then elbows, then he powers out, only for Bey to pull on Zayne’s beard! Bey laughs and flexes while Red Shoes reprimands. Bey headlocks, but Zayne powers up to put Bey on ropes! Zayne then powers out to wrench Bey’s arm. Bey endures the wristlock, but Zayne pulls on Bey’s beard! Tag to Lindaman and Lindaman kicks Bey low. Fans applaud as Lindaman wrenches and wristlocks Bey to then YANK the arm! Lindaman YANKS the arm again, and he keeps Bey from Ace.
But Bey pulls Lindaman’s hair! Red Shoes reprimands but Bey knees Lindaman low, tags Ace, and Bullet Club mugs Lindaman. They double whip Lindaman corner to corner, Bey runs in but Lindaman picks Bey up! AIR RAID CRASH! Ace runs in and knees low. Ace whips, Lindaman reverses and SAYANAGIS! Then BASEMENT DDT! Fans fire up with Lindaman and he looms over Ace. Lindaman drags Ace, scoops him and SLAMS him, then rallies the fans as he goes to the corner. Lindaman runs, stomps and goes to the other corner! Fans fire up as Lindaman climbs, but Ace wants Red Shoes to check him. This is a distraction so Bey can trip Lindaman up!
Ace hobbles over and tags in Bey. Bey BLASTS Zayne, then he and Ace double whip Lindaman! POMMEL KICK, and then FINESSE IN MOTION! Bey feeds Lindaman to Ace’s drop toehold and Eddy Gordo Kick! Bey DOUBLE STOMPS Lindaman down! Bey stands on Lindaman in a cocky cover, TWO! Fans applaud while Bey drags Lindaman up. Bey ROCKS Lindaman, drags him up again, and then CLAWS Lindaman’s eyes! Red Shoes counts, Bey lets off and pretends he can’t hear the fans rallying up. Bey KICKS Lindaman in the side, then coordinates with Ace. Bey bumps Lindaman’s face off Ace’s boot!
Red Shoes reprimands while Bey tags Ace. Bullet Club double wrench Lindaman, double CLAW his back, then double drop toehold to Too Sweet CLAW his back! Fans applaud while Ace stomps Lindaman. Cover, TWO! Fans applaud more, Ace stomps Lindaman more. Ace CHOKES Lindaman with his shirt, then drags Lindaman up to gut wrench suplex! Ace stands on Lindaman before a LEG DROP! Cover, TWO! Ace KNEES Lindaman in the back, and again, but Lindaman gets up to ROCK Ace! And again! But Ace NORTHERN LIGHTS! Bridging cover, TWO! Ace drags Lindaman up and tags in Bey.
Bullet Club mugs Lindaman, double whip him to ropes but Lindaman holds ropes. Ace runs in but Lindaman steps aside to send him tumbling out! Bey runs in but Lindaman puts him on the apron. Bey holds onto Lindaman to keep him from Zayne, and Bey shoulders in. Bey slingshots up and over, but Lindaman CLOBBERS him! Fans fire up, hot tag- NO, Ace trips Zayne off the apron! Bey CLOBBERS Lindaman while Ace stomps Zayne. Bey snapmares and UPPERCUTS Lindaman in the back. Cover, TWO! Bey argues the count while fans rally up. Bey sits Lindaman up for a chinlock and grinds him down.
Fans rally as Lindaman endures. Lindaman fights his way up, throws elbows, but Bey CLUBS Lindaman down! Tag to Ace, and Ace brings Lindaman around, DOUBLE SWEEP COMBO! And then the STANDING MOONSAULT LEG DROP COMBO! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up while Ace grows frustrated. Ace drags Lindaman up, whips him hard into the corner, and Bey CHOKES Lindaman while Ace distracts Red Shoes with talk about Zayne. Red Shoes keeps them apart, and then Ace goes over to Lindaman. Ace tags Bey, drags Lindaman up, and Bey takes a crane stance. Bey crane steps to then poke Lindaman in his eyes!
Fans applaud while Bey crane steps around. Bey drags Lindaman up, reels him in, and says he’s gonna give us three amigos. But Lindaman blocks the first amigo! Bey throws body shots, then a knee! Uno Amigo! Then Dos Amigos! Then THREE AMIGOS! Bey kips up and fans applaud. Bey goes up the corner, fans fire up, and Bey mocks Zayne with “ITADAKIMAAASU~!” MOONSAULT, but Bey has to roll through when Lindaman moves! Lindaman runs in, gets around, kicks Bey’s legs out then dropkicks him in the back! Fans fire up while both men are down, hot tags to Ace and Zayne! Zayne fires off hands on Ace, then spins him for the DISCUS LARIAT!
Fans fire up as Zayne storms up on Ace, fires off boxing elbows, then mule kicks! Zayne runs but Bey runs in to SOBAT! Bey whips, Zayne ducks ‘n’ dodges, then he DOUBLE RANAS Bey & Ace! Fans fire up and Zayne swings, but Bey catches him! Ace runs up but Zayne BOOTS him! Zayne elbows free of Bey to knee him low, then he runs again, DOUBLE ROLLING SCISSOR KICK! Fans fire up again as Zayne focuses on Ace. Zayne stalks Ace, drags him from the corner, and he pulls the kick pad away from the boot! Ace kicks Zayne away, but Zayne blocks the roundhouse! Zayne drags Ace down and Ace desperately claws for the ropes! ROPEBREAK!
Zayne holds on but Bey drags Ace out to safety. But then Lindaman runs in and he uses Zayne as a boost to SOMERSAULT SENTON out onto Bullet Club! Fans fire up with that direct hit, and Zayne waits on them to stand back up. Fans rally, Lindaman drags Ace up for Zayne and puts him in. Zayne drags Ace up, reels him in, but Bey SUPERMAN PUNCHES Lindaman! Zayne suplexes, Ace slips out and goes to ropes. Zayne runs in, he blocks Ace’s boot and flips him to the apron. Bey gets up to join Ace, Zayne runs in but he gets DOUBLE KNEES! Ace & Bey dump Zayne out, and then Bey gets in to build speed. Bey FLIES and takes out Zayne!
Lindaman swipes at Ace but Ace handsprings up and over! Ace PENALTY KICKS Lindaman down! Ace and Bey get Zayne up, Ace slingshots in and kips up to build speed! THE FALL TO GLORY! Fans fire up for the Fosbury Flop and Bey says that was great! Ace puts Zayne in the ring, fans rally up and Bullet Club sees Zayne go to the corner. Bey sets up, but Zayne ducks the pommel kick! Zayne BOOTS Bey, puts Ace in the corner to ELBOW, then he hoists Ace up top. Bey runs in but is sent into Ace’s knees! Zayne uses Bey to get up and SUPER STEINER Ace! And GERMAN SUPLEX Bey onto Ace! Fans fire up as Zayne drags Ace up.
Zayne scoops for the BAJA BLAST! Cover, TWO! Ace survives but Zayne keeps his focus. Lindaman returns, he and Zayne coordinate. Lindaman drags Ace up and Zayne goes to the corner. Lindaman hits KUMAGOROSHI, and Zayne shouts “ITADAKIMAAASU~!” Zayne climbs up, but Bey GAMANGIRIS him down! Lindaman storms over but Bey GAMANGIRIS him, too! Ace hits a BIG back suplex on Lindaman, and Bey climbs up after Zayne. Zayne is reclined along a top rope, Bey DOUBLE STOMPS him down! Bey drags Zayne up and torture racks! Ace steps in to FLYING CHUCK and Bey spins to RACK NECKBREAKER!! Ace covers, TWO!?!?
Fans are thunderous as Zayne survives! Bullet Club grows frustrated, but they decide to bring out the trump card. But Lindaman BOOTS Ace! And ROCKS Bey! And ROCKS Ace! Lindaman fires off on Bey, then BOOTS Ace! Lindaman whips but Ace reverses. Bey SPLASHES Lindaman, hoists him up top, and then Ace goes up top with Bey. They bring Lindaman up, but Zayne CLUBS them first! Zayne adds on now, for a TOWER OF DOOM, DOUBLE POWERBOMB SUPERPLEX!! Fans fire up as all four men are down! They all stir, and Bey slowly rolls out of the ring, as does Lindaman. That leaves Zayne and Ace alone.
Zayne crawls over to Ace, and Ace SLAPS Zayne! Zayne SLAPS Ace, and they SLAP back and forth! Then they throw forearms back and forth! Fans rally as the two fight up to their feet to throw more forearm shots! Ace gets the edge, knees low then swings, but Zayne spins him! Ace blocks the lariat, Zayne blocks the kick! Zayne ducks a kick to wrap Zayne up! TACO- NO, Ace slips out! Ace KNEES, KNEE LIFTS and HEEL KICKS! Zayne wobbles, Ace runs, THE FOLD!!! Cover, LINDAMAN BREAKS IT!! Fans are thunderous as Lindaman waistlocks Ace and deadlifts! Bey saves Ace to PELE Lindaman!
Fans fire up, Bullet Club coordinates, ONE TOO- NO, Lindaman catches the cutter to GERMAN SUPLEX! Bey lands on his feet, but Lindaman GERMAN SUPLEXES! Zayne kips up, Ace BOOTS him, but Zayne ducks the roundhouse! Lindaman GERMAN SUPLEXES! DOUBLE BRIDGE!! SAUCEHEARTS WIN!!!!
Winners: Alex Zayne & El Lindaman, by pinfall (gain 2 points; Ace & Bey earn 0)
INCREDIBLE! The top team falls, and now we have a NEW top team! Can the Bullet Club still have an impact on the Super Jr. Tag League finals?
As for SAUCEHEARTS, Lindaman gets the mic to say he and Zayne just won! “This league started back on November 21st in Korakuen, and now we’re here. I’m delighted we won the main event here, in Sasebo.” Fans applaud as they’re happy to see it, too. Lindaman says he’s “got a lot of personal feelings for this place. My father was born and raised in Sasebo. My mother was also born and raised in Sasebo. Make no mistake, Sasebo runs in El Lindaman’s veins.” Fans applaud to know he’s one of theirs. But then Lindaman says, “Sorry, I lied! I’m from Tokyo! Sorry! I might have told a little white lie about Sasebo, but I’m not lying when I say we’re taking this Super Jr. Tag League!”
Fans applaud that, and Lindaman continues to say, “After this win here, we’ll continue to do the same when we face Douki & Kanemaru. Then we’re off to the finals in Sendai.” Fans also applaud that. Lindaman says he’s proud to be holding the mic after a NJPW main event, but some fans may not know him. “El Lindaman doesn’t belong to NJPW, but I represent the promotion known as GLEAT. But since I have the mic, mind if I close this the GLEAT way?” Fans applaud, they’d love to see it! Lindaman says, “For those of you unfamiliar in Sasebo, let me give you a crash course! Don’t worry, it’s very simple. Learn it and try it at home.
“When I say, ‘Let’s,’ you pump your fist and shout, ‘GLEAT!’ Did you get that?” Fans applaud, as that is pretty simple. So are they all ready? Lindaman then admits, he didn’t get the pin so Zayne should have a part to say. They can “remix” this for the occasion and get some “Itadakimasu” in. Lindaman asks, “Everyone, did you enjoy NJPW today?” Fans applaud because they did! “Did you enjoy Super Jr. Tag League?” Fans applaud because they did! Then watch them as they head for the finals in Sendai! “Everyone in Sasebo, let’s… GLEAT! And…” “ITADAKIMAAASU!” The SAUCEHEARTS are fired up, but will they bring the heat all the way to the tournament finals?
Here are the NEW Super Jr. Tag League standings!
Zayne & Lindaman: 6-2, 12 points
Austin & Bey: 6-2, 12 points
Bushi & Titan: 6-2, 12 points
TJP & Akira: 6-2, 12 points
Yoh & Lio: 6-2, 12 points
Taguchi & Connors: 3-5, 6 points [ELIMINATED]
Eagles & Tiger Mask: 2-5, 4 points [ELIMINATED]
Douki & Kanemaru: 3-5, 6 points [ELIMINATED]
KUSHIDA & Knight: 1-7, 2 points [ELIMINATED]
Sho & Dick: 1-7, 2 points [ELIMINATED]
A great event for the Super Jr. Tag League, and I am surprised that we still have FIVE teams, aka half the block, still alive going into the final round! Hilarious stuff from Wild Hips VS Yoh & Lio with the beer and the references to The Rock, Stone Cold and I suppose Triple H. Douki & Kanemaru getting a win over Sho & Dick was great, even if it didn’t affect the finals. Eagles & Tiger gave LIJ a great match but LIJ was the team I expected to win out. I did not, however, think #GLEATSAUCE #SAUCEHEARTS Zayne & Lindaman were gonna get this one, and that is great stuff. It is revenge on Ace for him betraying Zayne and joining Bullet Club, and keeps him and Lindaman alive.
Now, three of the five matches on Friday the 10th matter, with LIJ VS Yoh & Lio, Zayne & Lindaman VS Douki & Kanemaru and Catch 2/2 VS Ace & Bey. Yoh & Lio have a “win and they’re in” scenario for having beaten SAUCEHEARTS and Bullet Club, and they’d eliminate LIJ from the running. And for LIJ, they beat Catch 2/2, who beat everyone else, but they lost to Bullet Club. Ace & Bey would have to lose for LIJ to get in, but then I think that gives us LIJ VS Catch 2/2 for the finals. That match-up seems to fit the story, but I wouldn’t mind another scenario just so we don’t get LIJ VS Catch 2/2 before a potential WrestleKingdom title match.
My Score: 8.8/10
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