NJPW can’t wait to get on the road again!
The Summer Struggle is over, but NJPW is picking up speed into Autumn! Who takes pole position for the Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship Round Robin Tournament?
NOTE: NJPW no longer wants to feed AXS TV now that it is with Anthem and Impact Wrestling. But never fear, I will cover NJPW in the spirit of AXS in providing the most important matches of the show.
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship Tournament: Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato VS Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado; Taguchi & Wato win.
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship Tournament: Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI VS Taiji Ishimori & Gedo; Takahashi & BUSHI win.
PLAY BY PLAY
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship Tournament: Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato VS Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado!
Minoru Suzuki has the NEVER Openweight Championship and the Dangerous Tekkers still have the IWGP Heavyweight Championships. With Roppongi 3K vacating the Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships, Kanemaru and Desperado want to jump back on them! Will Suzuki-Gun get even more gold at the end of the New Japan Road?
The teams sort out and we start with Wato calling out Kanemaru. Fans cheer as we get Jingu revisited, and Wato fires off at the bell! He kicks and elbows Kanemaru but Kanemaru hits back and rakes eyes! Red Shoes reprimands but Kanemaru clubs and runs. Wato hurdles, back elbows, kicks and sobats! Fans cheer as Wato elbows and whips Kanemaru corner to corner. Wato runs in but is put on the apron. Wato shoulders Kanemaru away, BOOTS Desperado, then throws forearms. Wato springboards but Desperado trips him up! Kanemaru sucker punches Taguchi and Desperado whips Wato into railing! Kanemaru does the same to Taguchi on the far side.
Tenzan protests but Desperado gets in his face. A ring count begins, Wato gets up at 4 and crawls over at 8, to get in at 10 of 20. Kanemaru is on Wato to suplex him high and hard! Cover, TWO! Kanemaru stomps Wato, drags him back up and dig an elbow into his neck! Tag to Desperado and Desperado stands on Wato’s head. Red Shoes reprimands but Desperado talks trash to Wato. Desperado stays on Wato’s head without holding ropes, then lets up to bring Wato up. Wato CHOPS back, but Desperado shrugs it off. Desperado slaps Wato around, Wato CHOPS and CHOPS, but Desperado rakes eyes! Red Shoes reprimands but Desperado tags Kanemaru.
Kanemaru drags Wato to the apron, Taguchi runs at Desperado but his kick is blocked! Desperado kicks Taguchi while Kanemaru DYNAMIC DROPKICKS Wato in the head! Red Shoes reprimands them both but Kanemaru puts Wato back on the apron for a stiff elbow! Desperado holds Wato in place for Kanemaru’s guillotine knee drop! Kanemaru drags Wato to center, covers, TWO! Fans cheer Wato on but Kanemaru puts him in a camel clutch! Desperado intercepts Taguchi at the ropes, Taguchi fights but is put in a chinbar and armlock. Wato endures, fights out of the clutch and gets the ropebreak! Suzuki-Gun stands down but Kanemaru digs his heel into Wato’s head. Red Shoes counts as Kanemaru is on the ropes so Kanemaru stops at 3.
Kanemaru stomps Wato, fans rally up for the young GrandMaster, and Wato CHOPS back! Kanemaru eggs Wato on so Wato CHOPS again! Kanemaru enziguris Wato down! Tag to Desperado, Desperado taunts Taguchi before he drags Wato up. Desperado scoops and slams Wato hard and fast! Desperado drags Wato up for another fast scoop slam! Then he DECKS Taguchi! But he runs into Wato’s back drop! Fans cheer but Wato has no one to tag now! Tenzan checks on Taguchi but Desperado stomps Wato. Desperado drags Wato away, whips him to ropes but Wato reverses to jumping sobat! Fans fire up as Wato and Desperado crawl! Hot tag to Taguchi!
Kanemaru gets in but gets a hip attack! Taguchi powers up the Funky Weapon to hit hip attack after hip attack on Desperado and Kanemaru. Taguchi fakes Desperado out for a TRIANGLE PLANCHA! The fans are fired up with Taguchi as he drags Desperado up and into the ring. Desperado flounders up as Taguchi springboards but Desperado gets under. Taguchi comes back but misses in the corner! Desperado runs into a boot, but counters the Funky Weapon with an atomic drop! Desperado runs in but Taguchi boots! Taguchi fakes Desperado out this time! And then when Desperado runs in, HIP ATTACK! Cover, TWO! Taguchi keeps his cool as he drags Desperado by his leg.
Taguchi drops a leg on the knee, then clamps on an ANKLE LOCK! Desperado flails, reaches, but Taguchi keeps him from the ropes! Taguchi reels Desperado into chicken wings but Desperado desperately resists! Taguchi gets both arms, for DODON- NO! Desperado victory rolls, but Taguchi sits on it! TWO!! Taguchi mule kicks and runs but Desperado goes the other way to SPEAR!! Both men are down, fans fire up and Desperado rolls, tag to Kanemaru! Kanemaru hurries after Taguchi, whips him corner to corner, and then runs in, but Taguchi elbows back. Taguchi runs but whiffs with the hip attack! Basement dropkick! Cover, TWO!!
Taguchi survives but Kanemaru keeps on him. Kanemaru back suplexes for a BIG atomic drop! But Taguchi tanks it?! Kanemaru attacks his butt but Taguchi just powers up! Taguchi fires up and eggs Kanemaru on! Kanemaru runs, but he fakes Taguchi’s Discus Hip out! But then Taguchi jumps again to hip attack Kanemaru down! Both men are down and fans are fired up! Hot tag to Wato! Wato drags Kanemaru up, whips him corner to corner but Kanemaru reverses. Wato goes up and out and shoulders back in. Wato forearms Kanemaru away, springboard flying uppercut! Cover, TWO! Wato keeps going and fans rally behind him. Wato wrenches, hooks Kanemaru up, but Kanmearu resists the Mouse Trap!
Wato kicks and whips, Kanemaru reverses and Desperado cheap shots! Kanemaru dropkicks Wato down, Desperado brings him up fast, dropkick back suplex combo! Kanmearu keeps going, scoop to dragon sleeper, INVERTED DDT! Cover, TWO!! Wato lives and fans cheer but Kanemaru keeps his focus. Kanemaru goes up while Desperado whips Taguchi into railing. FLYING DDT!! Cover off Deep Impact, but Taguchi returns to break it! Desperado goes after Taguchi and throws him out. Kanemaru scoops Wato, but Wato blocks the suplex. Wato ducks to SPINNING CRANE KICK! Fans fire up as both men flounder to opposite corners. Desperado gets in, drags Wato up and SLAPS him! And SLAPS!
Desperado shouts to Kanemaru but Taguchi springboards in, MISSILE HIP ATTACK! Taguchi calls upon the powers of Strong Style, BUM-A-YE!! Wato hurries after Kanemaru, wrench and hook, MOUSE TRAP DRIVER!! Cover, but Desperado breaks it! Taguchi and Wato grab a man each, but Kanemaru victory roll counters! Taguchi breaks it in time but that means letting Desperado go! Desperado DECKS Taguchi, goes after Wato, but Wato dumps him out and sweeps the legs! Taguchi adds a HIP ATTACK! Taguchi and Wato coordinate on Kanemaru, but Kanemaru fights out. Wato ROUNDHOUSES Kanemaru! And FLIES out onto Desperado! Wato is on fire as he and Taguchi coordinate again. DODON BUSTER to CORKSCREW SENTON!! Cover, Taguchi and Wato win!!
Winners: Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato, by pinfall; 1-0 in the tournament, Suzuki-Gun is 0-1
An incredible start to this round robin! Wato and Taguchi rise up as the former champions drop down! Who joins Taguchi and Wato at the top of this block?
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship Tournament: Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI VS Taiji Ishimori & Gedo!
Speaking of Junior Heavyweight gold, the Ticking Timebomb lost his singles championship to the Bone Soldier, but he won’t let him have any more! Will Hiromu and Bushi bring these belts back to LIJ? Or will Gedo help Taiji become Mr. Junior Heavyweight?
The teams sort out and, after the Low Sweet and LIJ fist bump, it’s Bushi and Gedo to start. They slowly circle as fans rally up. Gedo and Bushi end up in the opposite corners, Gedo spots Hiromu sneaking in while Bushi is ready for Taiji! Bushi DECKS Taiji while Hiromu stays back. Bushi then kicks Gedo low, Hiromu comes in and they double whip. Hiromu mule kicks, Bushi dropkicks a leg out and Hiromu basement dropkicks Gedo in the head! Taiji gets in, kicks Bushi and runs, but LIJ hurdles him to kick low and shotgun dropkick! Taiji bails out, Gedo returns, and Bushi pulls on Gedo’s beard! Red Shoes counts, Bushi lets go with one hand. Red Shoes counts again, Bushi YANKS on the beard!
Gedo drops to his knees but he still has beard hair, but then Bushi grabs on the beard again. Tag to Hiromu, he climbs up, and fans cheer as Hiromu drops ax handles on the beard! Hiromu “apologizes” to Gedo but then grabs the beard himself! And swings Gedo around and around by it! Hiromu lets go and Gedo tumbles to a corner! Hiromu drags Gedo back up by the beard! Bushi comes in, they double whip Gedo and then double hip toss to TU LO SABE! Hiromu swings on Taiji but Taiji stays back. Hiromu corner clotheslines and snapmares Gedo for a basement dropkick! Cover, TWO! Hiromu paces, drags Gedo up by his beard again, and Red Shoes counts. Hiromu YANKS then fireman’s carries! Gedo bails out, Taiji SEATED SENTONS!
Taiji knocks Bushi off the apron before going back to his corner. Tag and Taiji goes after Hiromu with a rain of rights. Taiji puts Hiromu on the ropes to choke! Red Shoes counts, Taiji lets go at 4, but then snapmares Hiromu down for a neck crank! Taiji claws at Hiromu’s neck and shoulders and even smothers him into the mat! Hiromu endures as Taiji clamps on harder, but Gedo is untying the buckles! Taiji lets go of Hiromu to clobber Bushi again. Taiji dumps Hiromu out, scares Red Shoes, and Gedo uses his leather belt to LASH Hiromu on the back! And then on the front! And again on the back! Gedo keeps whipping Hiromu with his belt, but lets up when Red Shoes finally gets away from Taiji.
Taiji fetches Hiromu into the ring, covers, but Red Shoes knows about the foul play so he won’t count. Taiji paces in frustration before he drags Hiromu up. Taiji wrenches, Hiromu CHOPS and CHOPS back! Taiji kicks low, then whips Hiromu into the exposed buckles! Gedo and Taiji mock Hiromu as Taiji stands on Hiromu’s arm. Taiji slams the other arm off the mat, then tags in Gedo. Gedo drags Hiromu up, wrenches and double wristlocks Hiromu to the mat. Hiromu endures, reaches for ropes and gets a ropebreak with his foot! Gedo complains as he lets go, then drags Hiromu up to wrench back to a hammerlock. He throws Hiromu shoulder first into the bare buckles! Hiromu scrambles away, Gedo hurries after him and mocking asks, “Where’re you going?”
Tag to Taiji and they go after the bad arm. Taiji wrenches the bad arm back to a hammerlock, wrangles Hiromu to the mat, and knees away on the bad shoulder! Taiji grinds on the hammerlock but fans rally up. Hiromu endures as Taiji drags Hiromu up and throws him back into the bare buckles! Taiji keeps Hiromu up and tags in Gedo. Gedo elbows the shoulder then wrenches on the hammerlock again. Hiromu fights up, fights back with body shots, but Gedo pulls hair! Gedo whips Hiromu into the bare buckles! Hiromu writhes as Gedo mockingly tells him, “Get up.” Fans rally as Gedo toys with Hiromu. Hiromu slowly gets up as Gedo keeps kicking at him. Hiromu fires back but Gedo rakes the eyes! Gedo kicks low but Hiromu catches it, for a DRAGON SCREW!
Both men are down and fans rally up! Hiromu crawls, hot tag to Bushi! Bushi climbs up and aims at Gedo, missile dropkick! Bushirooni, but Taiji attacks! Taiji and Gedo double whip, Bushi ducks the clothesline and shoves Gedo into Taiji, for a DOUBLE-RANA! Taiji bails out, Bushi spins Gedo for a DDT! Cover, TWO! Bushi keeps his cool and drags Gedo back up. Fisherman’s neckbreaker denied, Gedo pokes Bushi in the eye! Gedo whips but Bushi comes back with a huricanrana! Gedo bails out but Taiji gets in to KNEE Bushi down! Taiji tags in then aims and runs corner to corner, double knees! Taiji snapmares and SHINING WIZARDS Bushi! Cover, TWO! YES LOCK! Bushi scrambles around and gets the ropebreak with his foot! Taiji lets go in frustration but drags Bushi back up.
Taiji gut wrenches but Bushi fights out and waistlocks. Taiji elbows free and runs, but into Bushi’s dropkick! Fans cheer while both men are down. Hiromu is back and gets the tag! Hiromu whips, forearms and puts Taiji on the ropes to kick the ropes! Hiromu runs and shotgun dropkicks Taiji down! Fans cheer as Hiromu has Taiji in the fireman’s carry. Taiji fights out, shoves Hiromu to an open corner and runs in. Hiromu dodges, comes back and corner clotheslines! Hiromu runs but Taiji shotgun dropkicks him down! Taiji runs corner to corner, Hiromu OVERHEAD throws him, but Taiji lands on the ropes! But Hiromu grabs him for a bomb, only for Taiji to rana counter!
Taiji runs, blocks Hiromu’s boots and puts him on the ropes to enziguri! Taiji runs side to side, SLIDING GERMAN! Taiji is fired up and fans can’t help but cheer as he takes aim at Hiromu. Taiji says bang, but Hiromu denies Bloody Cross to fireman’s carry. Taiji lands on out of the swing, blocks the superkick and KNEES back! Taiji runs, into Hiromu’s clothesline! Hiromu runs, Taiji reel shim in, SNAP GERMAN! But Hiormu is right up to GERMAN Taiji back! Fans cheer as both men flounder up and double clothesline! Neither falls, Hiromu runs but Taiji LARIATS! Now both men are down, and Gedo sucker punches Bushi! Gedo facelocks Bushi to grind him down!
Fans rally up as Taiji and Hiromu both stand. Taiji runs at Hiromu, tilt-o-whirl but Hiromu blocks and throws him off. Hiromu standing switches, ducks the elbow but misses the clothesline, tilt-o-whirl takedown! YES LOCK!! Hiromu endures, Gedo keeps Bushi out but Bushi gets away. Bushi attacks Taiji but Gedo attacks the mask! Gedo throws Bushi out, Hiromu scrambles and crawls, but Taiji shifts to roll him away from ropes! Taiji wants to relock but Bushi gets in to stomp him down! Bushi cheers Hiromu on before going back to his corner. Hiromu rolls but ends up in the open corner. Taiji runs but Hiromu OVERHEAD throws him into buckles this time! Both men are down and the fans rally up! Hiromu reaches, hot tags to Bushi and Gedo!
Bushi dodges Gedo but swings into a CROSSFACE! Gedo cranks back on Bushi’s head and neck, but Bushi crawls and reaches, and gets the ropebreak with a foot! Gedo holds on until Red Shoes counts 3! Gedo drags Bushi back up, jawbreaker and SUPER- NO! Bushi blocks the kick, gives a kick but Gedo blocks that. Bushi enziguris but Gedo ducks it, only for Bushi to come back with the heel kick! Gedo bails out, Bushi builds speed and DIVES! Direct hit into the railing! The fans fire up as Bushi drags the wrecked Gedo back into the ring. Bushi drags Gedo up and fisherman NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Gedo survives but Bushi calls for the end!
Bushi goes up the corner, fans rally up as he calls for it, but Taiji intercepts the MX with a CODE BREAKER! Hiromu gets in, Taiji dodges him to come back, only to get a POP-UP BOMB! Hiromu swings into Gedo’s COMPLETE SHOT! All four men are down and the fans rally up! Red Shoes checks on all four men but they’re okay to continue. Hiromu and Taiji bail out, Gedo is in the blue corner. Bushi runs in but Gedo dodges, Bushi stops short to avoid buckles and Gedo rolls him up! WITH TIGHTS! TWO, and Gedo is frustrated! Gedo waits for Bushi, to mule kick! And SUPERKICK! Cover, TWO!
Taiji blasts Hiromu off the apron and intimidates Red Shoes again. Gedo gets his brass knuckles! Gedo aims at Bushi, but Bushi ducks and enziguris! Bushi gets Taiji for a BACKSTABBER! Then a CODE BREAKER for Gedo! Cover, TWO!! Gedo survives but Bushi says he’ll finish this! Bushi goes back to a corner, climbs back up, and leaps! Gedo ducks MX, pokes eyes and swings Bushi into Red Shoes! Gedo whips and pops Bushi up for a LOW BLOW! Then GEDO CLUTCH!! Cover, but Hiromu breaks it in time! Taiji runs in to shotgun dropkick Hiromu out! Taiji then TRIANGLE MOONSAULTS, but Hiromu catches him for a SLAM!
Hiromu goes after Gedo, SUPERKICK! Gedo wobbles, Hiromu holds him, Bushi sunset flips over them both, SUNSET GERMAN!! LIJ fires up and the fans join in! Hiromu and Bushi drag Gedo up in a double wheelbarrow, for a DOUBLE FACEBUSTER! Bushi covers, LIJ wins!!
Winners: Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI, by pinfall; 1-0, Bullet Club drops to 0-1
An incredible main event to close the first round! Taiji is far away from being Mr. Junior Heavyweight at this point, will he and Gedo recover in the next round? As for LIJ, will they continue on and give Hiromu his first time with the tag titles?
Bushi gets the mic for LIJ and shouts at Gedo and Taiji to say, “Too bad!” But Hiromu and Bushi won. “This league has just gotten started, but we’re going to win again tomorrow, and it’ll be our voices ending the evening!” EN SERIO, MAJIDE! LIJ really, really means it, but will they make it happen?
This Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship is going to go fast but it’s going to be great with how these two opening round matches went. I was surprised Wato and Taguchi won, but with three rounds before the finals, they could easily lose the last two to give LIJ and Bullet Club wins. Wato’s story should also really stay to going through the Suzuki-Gun ranks. He beat Douki, needs a proper 1v1 rematch with Kanemaru, and then could face Desperado as the heavyweights focus on the G1 Climax. I feel like the favorites are LIJ. Hiromu lost the singles title but he could get his first tag title reign alongside Bushi, as was probably the plan before Hiromu got injured. I also liked that Bushi was the one to give the promo, I don’t think I’ve seen him get that opportunity very often.
My Score: 8.5/10
Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Results & Report! (4/9/21)
205 Live nostalgia, anyone?
The Cruiserweight Division looks back before moving forward!
Now that there is ONE TRUE Cruiserweight Champion, the division moves forward. But with that, we also take a look back at some classic title matches!
- WrestleMania 34, WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Finals: Cedric Alexander VS Mustafa Ali; Alexander wins and becomes the new WWE Cruiserweight Champion.
- WrestleMania 35, WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Buddy Murphy VS Tony Nese; Nese wins and becomes the new WWE Cruiserweight Champion.
- TakeOver 31, NXT Cruiserweight Championship: Santos Escobar VS Isaiah “Swerve” Scott; Escobar wins and retains the title.
PLAY BY PLAY
Nigel McGuiness opens the show!
“On the heels of the instant classic ladder match between Santos Escobar and Jordan Devlin, welcome to 205 Live!” Tonight, we revisit some of the very best Cruiserweight title matches of all time! And not many come better than the WrestleMania 34 showdown!
WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Finals: Cedric Alexander VS Mustafa Ali!
Months before April 8th, 2018, this title had been vacated and a tournament had been put in place! Before they were #PRIMED and the (former) leader of Retribution, they were the Heart and Soul of 205 Live! The then 205 Live General Manager, Drake Maverick, stands with the title belt to watch as theses two finalists battle it out for that very prize!
The bell rings and we begin. The fans are thunderous for them as they high-five and circle. Ali gets the waistlock but Alexander the standing switch and slam. The fans cheer for “Both These Guys!” while Ali gets up and puts on a headlock. Alexander lifts but Ali holds on. Alexander powers out, they collide, Alexander shoulders Ali down on the rebound. He wants Ali to show that heart, and they speed up. Ali headscissors Alexander and then dares Alexander to show the soul. They tie up and go against the ropes and into a corner. Neither man backs down until the referee separates them, then Ali shoves Alexander.
Alexander shoves back and dares Ali to hit him. Ali does with a chop, so Alexander responds with a kick. Alexander whips but Ali kicks him back, so Alexander rolls under and headscissors and dropkicks Ali down. Cover, TWO! Alexander puts Ali right in an armlock, but Ali works his way up and out. Ali whips but Alexander reverses, flapjack dropkick! Alexander staggers, Ali runs in but Alexander puts him on the apron to block a kick and hit a kick. Ali goes down, Alexander builds speed and FLIES! Down they both go, but Alexander is up first. He puts Ali in the ring, covers, TWO! Alexander keeps on Ali with a rear bearhug. Fans rally while Ali endures the squeeze.
Ali gets up and fights out of the hold, rocking Alexander with a forearm. Alexander responds with a running European Uppercut! He whips Ali corner to corner then throws him with a big back body drop. Cover, TWO, but Alexander keeps his cool as he puts Ali back in the bearhug. Ali endures the squeeze while fans rally again. Ali gets up and fights back but Alexander knees low. Alexander chops Ali, then brings him up for a suplex, but Ali slips out. Alexander knees low again, then runs, but into Ali’s lariat. Ali starts to rally and chop, but Alexander reverses the whip. Ali slides to a stop, and intercepts Alexander with a ROUNDHOUSE!
Alexander staggers, Ali rolls in for the facebuster! Cover, TWO! Ali brings Alexander up, but Alexander blocks and counters with a EuroUpper. Ali yanks his waistband and counters a kick with a kick! He runs, but into Alexander’s Spanish Fly! Both men are down and fans build to a rally. Alexander gets up while Ali gets to a corner. Alexander runs in, but into Ali’s boot. Ali hops up, tornado DDT blocked! Alexander hangs Ali up on the ropes, then catches his breath before climbing up to join him. Fans anticipate something, and Ali resists. They brawl on the top rope, but Alexander gets the better of Ali, only for Ali to almost send Alexander tumbling down with his counter.
Ali and Alexander brawl more while trying to stand up, Ali hits Alexander with a SUPER SPANISH FLY! Even John Cena watching from the audience is stunned seeing that! Cover, TWO, and Ali can’t believe it! He shakes his head as he watches Alexander flounder about. Ali brings Alexander over to a corner but Alexander knows what that means and resists. Ali kicks Alexander, then climbs, but Alexander gets up to throw him off! Maverick and the referee check on Ali after his crash landing, but Ali is still good to go. Alexander waits as the count begins, but Ali dares Alexander to finish him. Alexander takes the bait, he puts Ali in the ring and covers, TWO!
Alexander gets frustrated, but tells Ali it’s already over. Ali shakes his head, it’s not over. Alexander kicks Ali and then stomps away in a rage! He yanks Ali up, back suplex lift but Ali slips out! Ali hits the Reverse-Rana! Alexander is dazed, and Ali gets going. Ali hops up, flying tornado DDT! Alexander lands in a drop zone! Ali goes up, and hits the 0-5-4! Cover, ROPEBREAK! Alexander survives with a foot on the ropes! Ali shouts for Alexander to stay down before he stomps him back. Ali climbs up again, 0-5-4 FLOPS as Alexander moves! Alexander scrambles to his feet while Ali drags himself back up. They run at each other, Alexander’s big back elbow rocks Ali, but he still gives another.
Alexander tells Ali “This is enough!” But clearly, it isn’t, and the third back elbow flips Ali over! Alexander lifts Ali up, for the LUMBAR CHECK! Cover, Alexander wins!!
Winner: Cedric Alexander, by pinfall (NEW WWE Cruiserweight Champion)
The Carolina Kid didn’t want to go that far, but he had no choice but to break the Heart of 205 Live. More importantly, Alexander finally proves he can win the big one! Drake Maverick personally presents the belt to Alexander, and the true celebration begins! The Age of Alexander would go on for quite a run, before running into an Aussie Juggernaut, who is featured in our next match!
Nigel McGuiness introduces the next match.
We fast forward an entire year to WM35, and Nigel was again there to see Tony Nese in his home state taking on the Australian Sensation, Buddy Murphy, in another incredible Cruiserweight kickoff to the Showcase of the Immortals!
WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Buddy Murphy VS Tony Nese!
The Aussie Juggernaut proved himself against some of the best in the Cruiserweight Division, from Cedric Alexander to Mustafa Ali to three opponents at the same time. And on the Grandest Stage of Them All, he went toe-to-toe with the Premier Athlete, a man who is a parallel to him in physique, a man who used to be his friend, and a man he betrayed over the greed for this title! But Nese had homefield advantage, and it came in handy!
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we begin this battle of Body Guys!
Murphy runs right at Nese but Nese dodges the knee trigger! Nese fires off furious hands then counter punches. Murphy boots then goes up and over, but Nese keeps up to trip him up! New York fires up with their hometown kid, but Murphy dodges the triangle moonsault. Nese lands on his feet to slingshot and somersault to rock Murphy with a left! Nese puts Murphy in but has to push Murphy away on the top rope. Murphy comes right back but Nese resists the fireman’s carry. Nese fights back but still gets a gut buster drop on the buckles! Murphy checks his teeth while we go picture in picture.
Murphy stomps a mudhole into Nese but backs off at 4. Nese staggers up but Murphy is on him with a snapmare. Murphy swiftly kicks then covers, TWO! Murphy wraps Nese up in a chinlock but Nese endures. New York rallies behind Nese as Murphy shifts to a stretch. Murphy drives his elbow in again and again then wraps the chinlock back on. Nese fights his way up, we return to single picture as Murphy wrangles him back down. Murphy cranks Nese’s neck and leans his weight on him. Murphy’s eye is bloody but he ignores it while holding Nese down. Nese powers up and bumps Murphy off buckles. Murphy holds on but Nese bumps him again.
Murphy is still caught so Nese tries again, but Murphy uses that to throw Nese into buckles. Nese staggers into Murphy’s grip, tornado DDT denied with a snap suplex into the buckles! Murphy is down and Nese crawls to the opposite corner. Both men stand slowly, but Murphy walks into Nese’s elbow. Murphy comes back again but gets a haymaker! Nese rocks Murphy again, then again! Nese counter punches and snapmares to a facebuster. He runs, hits a knee lift and a heel kick! Murphy flounders to a corner while Nese nips up and fires up! New York fires up with him as he runs in for a big back elbow. Nese keeps moving but Murphy throws him to the apron.
Murphy turns around to counter and rock Nese, then climbs up for a suplex chance. Nese sweeps the legs and rocks him with a roundhouse, DRAPING triangle moonsault! Cover, TWO! Murphy survives, but Nese keeps his cool. Nese drags Murphy up for a whip but Murphy holds the ropes. Nese tries again but Murphy holds on. So Nese mule kicks Murphy into a whip. Murphy reverses but Nese slips under, pump handle but Murphy slips out. Murphy boots Nese away! He hops up but Nese SHORYUKEN! Nese climbs up to join a dazed Murphy, but Murphy resists a superplex. Murphy bumps Nese on a buckle, then sunset flips over. Nese denies the powerbomb but gets the SUPERKICK!
Murphy brings Nese out, AK-DDT! Cover, TWO! Nese survives but Murphy keeps his focus. Murphy drags Nese up by his hair and prepares the pumphandle. Nese victory rolls through, TWO! Murphy fireman’s carry to the TKO knee to knee trigger! Murphy suplexes but Nese slips out and shoves. Nese hits a REVERSE-RANA! Both men are down and New York cheers for this kickoff to the kickoff! Nese and Murphy get to opposite corners. Both men slowly stand as fans rally up. Nese and Murphy bob ‘n’ weave but Murphy gets his strike fest. Nese dodges the knee and goes Matrix to mule kick! Knee lift and roundhouse but Murphy jumps the sweep for buzzsaw, mule kick, but runs into Nese’s left forearm!
Nese runs but fakes Murphy out for an elbow. Murphy rebounds to LARIAT Nese off his feet! Murphy keeps going, but Nese back drops, to a VERTABREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Nese cannot believe Murphy survives! Murphy crawls to a corner but Nese pursues. Nese runs side to side but Murphy bails out, so Nese FLIES! The flop takes Murphy out and New York fires up as Nese puts Murphy in. Nese climbs up high, 450 splash! Cover, TWO!! Murphy survives again and Nese is beside himself. Murphy gets back to a corner and Nese brings down the knee pad. But Murphy grabs Nese’s leg, so Nese stomps a mudhole into him. Nese runs but into a KNEE TRIGGER!
Murphy pump handles, Murphy’s Law!! Cover, ROPEBREAK!! Nese still lives! Murphy is shocked but then he gets an idea. Nese is in the corner, and Murphy brings down his knee pad. Murphy runs side to side, but Nese SUPERKICKS him! German Suplex into buckles! PREMIER KNEE!! Cover, NESE WINS!!
Winner: Tony Nese, by pinfall (NEW WWE Cruiserweight Champion)
The unstoppable HAS been stopped! The Premier Athlete was the Juggernaut’s kryptonite, and now he is the new champion! We know the Premier Era ended with a Triple Threat involving Akira Tozawa and Drew Gulak, and the title itself would be integrated into the NXT system, eventually leading it to where it is today! As such, we relive a highlight of the NXT Cruiserweight Championship era!
Nigel McGuiness returns again for another match introduction.
The Cruiserweight title didn’t just make it to WrestleManias, it finally made it to NXT TakeOver thanks to Santos Escobar and Isaiah “Swerve” Scott!
NXT Cruiserweight Championship: Santos Escobar VS Isaiah “Swerve” Scott!
The year 2020 was certainly a mess, and the Irish Ace being isolated in the UK further complicated how this division worked. El Hijo del Fantasma won the “interim” title at the end of the Cruiserweight Championship Round Robin finals, with some controversy to it, but there was one man who did defeat him along the way! Swerve got his shot but was screwed over by El Legado and a loaded lucha mask! Swerve wanted revenge, but that is always hard to come by!
The introductions are made, the title is raised, and the Cruiserweight Division finally gets to TakeOver!
Escobar and Swerve circle as the crowd rallies up already. They approach, tie up, and Escobar gets the arm. Swerve hooks a leg to trip Escobar, cartwheels over but Escobar arm-drags Swerve away. Escobar runs but Swerve dodges, Escobar huricanranas but Swerve handsprings through! Swerve says HE is Cruiserweight wrestling, and that upsets Escobar. Escobar rushes Swerve, Swerve dodges and Eddy Gordo headscissors Escobar away! Escobar gets up and Swerve smirks. Swerve then trips Escobar, turns him over with leg hooks and goes to dead lift, but Escobar victory rolls through, TWO! Escobar sweeps the legs to cover, ONE! Swerve sweeps the legs to cover, ONE! The two stand off in fighting stances and the crowd loves it!
Swerve blocks Escobar’s punch, fakes him out to mule kick, and then runs, into a forearm! Escobar runs into a monkey flip! Escobar just barely gets his feet under him but Swerve handsprings and MOONSAULTS him down! The crowd is fired up as Swerve watches Escobar flounder. Escobar leans against the post, and pulls down the crossbar cover. Swerve gets in the ring to refresh the ring count, and he goes to the corner to CORKSCREW SENTON! Down goes Escobar and the crowd fires up again! Swerve puts Escobar in the ring but Escobar bails out the side. Swerve runs and FOSBURY FLOPS Escobar down! The fans are thunderous as Swerve is showing he can do it all!
Swerve puts Escobar in, covers, TWO! Escobar bails out again but Swerve pursues. Swerve drags Escobar up to go after the arm. Swerve wraps the arm around the very crossbar Escobar exposed! He’s showing Escobar what bending the rules gets you as he bends the arm! The ring count is at 7 but Swerve puts Escobar in at 8. Cover, TWO! Swerve grows annoyed with Escobar and he pulls Escobar around to go after the bad arm! Escobar endures as Swerve pulls it way back to drop down on it! Escobar puts a leg on the rope, Swerve stomps him anyway! Swerve brings Escobar up to Northern Light takedown into an ARMBAR! Short Arm Scissor, even, as Escobar resists.
Escobar gets legs under the ropes, Swerve lets off but goes to the apron. Swerve drags Escobar up to hotshot the arm! Fans rally as Swerve brings Escobar up again, but now Escobar hotshots Swerve! And KICKS him off the apron! Escobar runs and builds speed to DIVE! ARROW FROM HELL!! Swerve gets sent into the fencing, Escobar puts Swerve back in, covers, ONE?! Escobar is furious that Swerve kicks out so he KICKS Swerve in the face! Escobar waits for Swerve to stand and he LARIATS Swerve back down! Swerve gets to a corner, Escobar runs and DOUBLE KNEES! Escobar puts Swerve up top and SLAPS him!
Escobar climbs up and SUPER STEINERS! Then somersault and elbow drop! Cover, TWO! Swerve still lives and the fans stay fired up! Escobar stomps away on Swerve at the ropes but the ref counts. Escobar stops at 4 because he still doesn’t want to be disqualified. Escobar stands Swerve up and tells him, “Yo soy Lucha Libre!” Escobar SLAPS Swerve, kicks him, and says maybe if he spits in Swerve’s face will make him understand. Escobar reels back but Swerve puts a hand on Escobar’s mouth! No spit flies, but the fists do! Escobar clubs Swerve, reels him in, but Swerve frees himself to ROCK Escobar! And again! Swerve fires off heavy haymakers in the corner!
The ref counts, Swerve stops at 4 to throw Escobar down, for a DISCUS! The crowd is thunderous as Escobar flounders up. Swerve runs in to uppercut! Swerve snapmares Escobar for the falling EuroUpper! Escobar bails out but Swerve BOOTS him from the apron! And then again! Escobar goes down in a heap, Swerve puts him in, slingshot to somersault, ROLLING THUNDER SHOT! Cover, TWO!! Escobar survives but Swerve doesn’t lose focus. Swerve aims from the corner, hops up again and waits for Escobar to stand. Escobar is up but he climbs up to join Swerve! So Swerve slips under, only for Escobar to kick him away. Escobar turns around, Swerve dropkicks the legs out! DRAPING DDT! Cover, TWO!!
Escobar survives again but Swerve grits his teeth. Swerve drags Escobar up with a half nelson but Escobar gets the ropes! The ref counts, El Legado returns! The ref stops Wilde from getting in, Escobar shoves Swerve and Mendoza trips him up! Gut wrench, SHOULDER BREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Swerve survives the screw job attempt! Escobar goes to the apron to follow Swerve, runs side to side, but into a pop-up that puts Escobar on the ropes! Escobar is stuck on his fantasma, Swerve throws haymakers! Swerve then hops up, and STEINERS Escobar onto Legado!! They catch him, help him up, but here comes ASHANTE “THEE” ADONIS!!
From what’s been happening on 205 Live, Adonis isn’t a fan of Legado del Fantasma, either, and he goes up to TORNILLO! Adonis wipes out Mendoza and Wilde! The crowd is thunderous as Escobar is in shock! Adonis and Swerve run off the henchmen before Swerve hurries into the ring. Escobar runs over, gets a back elbow, and Swerve goes up and in to somersault, into a CALF KICK! Fireman’s carry, PHANTOM DRIVER!! Cover, TWO!??! How?!!? Escobar doesn’t know how, but the crowd is electric! Escobar is fuming as he stomps away on Swerve over and over! Escobar drags Swerve back up, suplexes, uno amigo! Then a roll over, dos amigos!
Fans boo, they don’t think Escobar is worthy of Eddie Guerrero but he still hits all three amigos! Escobar goes up top, FROG SPLASH FLOPS!! Swerve evades and denies Escobar his Latino Heat! Swerve gets the arm, POP CULTURE!! Escobar clutches his arm but Swerve gives him a HOUSE CALL!! But that’s not it, Swerve goes up for the 450 SPLASH!! Cover, TWO!?!?! Escobar survives all of that and Swerve is losing his mind! The crowd hopes they “Fight Forever!” because “This is Awesome!” But this will end somehow, and Swerve drags Escobar up. Escobar flounders, throws Swerve out and hurries back up.
Swerve hurries after him, half nelsons him, but Escobar holds ropes for dear life! Escobar pushes Swerve back, Swerve falls and hits the bare crossbar!! It comes into play after all!! Escobar drags Swerve in, brings him up, underhooks and lifts, BUTTERFLY FACEBUSTER ACROSS THE KNEE! Cover, Escobar wins!!
Winner: Santos Escobar, by pinfall (still NXT Cruiserweight Champion)
So much fight from Swerve, and he even had a new ally fight against the minions, but Escobar always has a back-up plan! And he would continue to rule over the division in this way, even to the point of having Wilde & Mendoza help at TakeOver: Stand & Deliver! Will the tyrannical Emperor of Lucha always have this crown?
Nigel McGuiness returns once more to wrap up the show.
It has been a great experience on 205 Live to see some of the greatest title matches of all time. But speaking of great title matches, that makes you think of great champions. Just last night at TakeOver: Stand & Deliver, Escobar proved he is a great champion by winning the Cruiserweight Championship Unification Ladder match! Relive that and both nights of TakeOver on Peacock in the US and the WWE Network everywhere else! But what will see now in the future was we continue in the Era del Fantasma?
Recap episodes are always fun for looking back, but also because it’s super easy for me to cover them since it’s just copying, pasting and editing. I like the three they selected, basically giving us a look back at the last three years of the Cruiserweight Division, but it also makes us see how far 205 Live has dropped off in the WWE because Alexander, Ali and Murphy were so awesome in 205 Live. Nese is still here but more for lack of WWE/NXT not giving him more to do. Admittedly, Murphy has dropped off on RawDown, too, but at least WWE has tried with him. I almost feel like worst case scenario for Murphy is to come back and be the Aussie Juggernaut again. Escobar’s a beefy Cruiserweight, so is Murphy, let’s get something like that going again.
I am also disappointed, because it was advertised that we’d get a special look at Escobar VS Devlin, but that wasn’t there. I couldn’t have gone through the content too fast, a segment like that wouldn’t be just a few seconds long. Maybe there was another “right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing” moment and that information was put out without knowing what the final episode would look like. I wouldn’t mind if they gave us that segment for the aftermath NXT on Tuesday, and encored it on next week’s 205 Live, but WWE/NXT needs to get 205 Live going like how it was when Ali, Murphy and Alexander were here.
My Score: 8.1/10
Andrew’s AJPW Champion Carnival Results & Match Ratings: 4.9.2021
All Japan’s Champion Carnival kicks off today! The Triple Crown Champion Suwama is in action as well as the Ace of the company Kento Miyahara! Check it out!
All Japan’s Champion Carnival kicks off today! The Triple Crown Champion Suwama is in action as well as the Ace of the company Kento Miyahara! Check it out!
Now I haven’t kept close eyes on the product last few months, because personally, they weren’t grabbing my interest post Quarantine Comeback. But since my Puro Patronus Mathew Sarpraicone is having some computer issues, I guess I’m covering the first couple of these!
Let’s see how the tournament starts!
- Shuji Ishikawa vs Koji Doi: Ishikawa wins via Thesz Press @9:09 – ** ½
- Suwama vs Kohei Sato: Sato wins via German Suplex Hold @10:49 – ***
- Yuma Aoyagi vs Shinjiro Otani: Otani wins via Overhand Chop @9:51 – *** ¼
- Jake Lee vs Shotaro Ashino: Jake wins via D4C @3:44 – **
- Zeus vs Kento Miyahara: Zeus wins via Jackhammer @18:16 – **** ¼
Shuji Ishikawa vs Koji Doi
Doi is the least recognized name in the tournament this year, and last I was aware of his was during the closure of Wrestle-1. Most of his success has come in the tag team division, but he’s no real slouch. Interestingly, Ishikawa is the newest Gaora TV Champion, but also was tied heavily to Suwama and their Violence Giant tag team.
We see Doi come out fast trying to throw Ishikawa into the corners and take him off his base. Ishikawa towers over Doi, so Doi was underneath, literally and figuratively the entire match. As Ishikawa hit most of his signature spots, including the Mushroom Stomp from the middle rope, Doi had a moment where he locked in the Rings of Saturn; but Ishikawa is just too big.
As Doi tried to keep the pressure up, rope runs, big strikes, Murder Lariat attempts from Doi but Ishikawa stifles the surge with a Fire/Thunder Driver. They both stumble up, run the ropes a bit trading lariats and charges, Ishikawa jumps, hits a Thesz Press and manages to keep Doi down for the 3 count!
Suwama vs Kohei Sato
An early card match gives us the Triple Crown champion against one of his more recent challengers! Falling short for the Triple Crown a few months ago, Sato has a little bit to prove.
The match opens as a slugfest, Suwama gets the best of things and rides the power advantage over Sato for a long time. Sato is taller than Suwama but Suwama is more powerful and controlled the pacing. Things went to the outside and the former Violence Giant kept up to the name.
When the match came back in to the ring Suwama looks to try and finish things, goes for the Rolling Lariat, but it gets blocked. Sato starts fighting back, hits a Falcon Arrow for a near fall, and then Suwama starts looking like he’s in trouble. Suwama hits the Double Chop comeback, and tries a Powerbomb, but Sato blocks it, Sato goes for a Powerbomb, but Suwama blocks it. The power struggle is tangible, but Suwama seems to be losing some of the back and forth. Sato rocks Suwama, locks in the German Suplex, and hits the German Suplex Hold.
Kohei gets on the board and avenges his loss! Depending on how the tournament shakes out, Kohei might get another shot at the title in the future.
Yuma Aoyagi vs Shinjiro Otani
The veteran Otani is putting Yuma through the paces early. He’s side stepping Dropkicks and just kicking Yuma to prove a point. Yuma tries to fire back, and then Otani continues to push off certain moves and be funny.
Yuma does manage to take advantage of his youth, but when he goes for the disrespect by attempting the Bootwash, Otani fires, lays out the younger wrestler and hits the Wash. Yuma goes to the outside, and when he turns back to the ring, Otani charges and hits a running Bootwash straight to Yuma’s face.
As Otani takes the role of the cagey veteran punishing the Young Boy, Yuma tries to find ways to come back, but things Otani stays a little ahead of the younger wrestler. Yuma gets a close moment where he locks in End Game, but Otani fights to the ropes. Otani then backs the younger wrestler down, hits Dragon Suplex, then goes for another, but Yuma blocks. Otani counters the block with a lariat, then another Dragon Suplex but Yuma kicks out at 1! Refusing to stay down, Otani goes into his bag of tricks and hits Yuma twice with Hashimoto style Overhand Chops, to finally keep the younger man down.
Jake Lee vs Shotaro Ashino
So there is some fun history between these two when Ashino brought Enfantes Terrible over to AJPW and took JIN down a peg. But then recently, Jake stole the Enfantes members from Ashino and betrayed JIN. Ashino is looking to avenge the turnabout, but Jake is trying to craft his Carnival masterpiece.
Jake definitely has the swagger of an anime villain. He widens his arms like he’s conducting a symphony and moves slowly yet deliberately. Ashino starts quick, hitting a Drop Toe Hold and going to the ground game, but Jake stabilizes. Ashino again brings Jake down after successive German Suplexes and goes for the Ankle Lock! Jake has trouble navigating it for a while, but eventually finds the ropes.
Retreating to the corner, Jake sees the referee, Ashino charges, Jake uses the referee shield and starts taking advantage. A few direct blows to the head, Giant Killing to the back of the head, followed by D4C. Jake drags the referee back, picks up the win and leaves cackling. He’s limping heavily, selling the viciousness of the Ankle Lock even in a short match, but yeah, not what I expected.
The match was used to help build Jake’s new persona and possibly give Ashino a steeper mountain to climb. But the length and abrupt end was definitely not expected. Interesting, but also a little off putting.
Zeus vs Kento Miyahara
Zeus and Kento have had great wars. There was a point a few years ago where Kento was Zeus’ hurdle, but after beating him for the Tag titles, he then gathered momentum. Zeus has beaten Kento for the Triple Crown before, has beaten him in the Carnival, and this has been one of the best rivalries of the last few years in current AJPW. Kento is of course the current generation Ace, and everyone knows that; but given Zeus’ track record and Kento’s stagnation the last year since losing the Triple Crown to Suwama, we could get something interesting.
The match starts with their usual sarcastic respect to one another during breaks and outside the ring moments. Given that they’ve had 2 5 Snowflake classics in the last 3 years, this had a lot to live up to. But at no point did it feel like retreading, since they are both in different positions comparatively, this felt like a whole new book, not an additional chapter. Zeus landed a lot of power spots while Kento combated everything with his Knees.
Kento’s usual attack of Blackouts from different angles rocked Zeus pretty hard. Zeus ate a few, grabbed a Chokeslam and they both landed for a rest spot. Zeus drives Kento into a corner, goes for an Outside-In Brainbuster and starts trying to end things. Kento goes for the Shutdown Suplex, Zeus fires out, a few big Lariats and a Jackhammer from Zeus…AND ZEUS WINS!
Overall Score: 7.25/10
Now this wasn’t a bad start to things! Sure the Ashino/Jake Lee match did not go the way I expected, it definitely told enough of a story to prove it’s going somewhere. Shinjiro Otani gets a solid start to things, Shuji Ishikawa won a match he was supposed to and Zeus/Kento ended up being a solid day 1 main event.
Kento has started on the back foot before. I guess we get to see if he wins out until the Final Day, or if he has a larger struggle. Let’s check out the Day 1 Standings!
- Zeus: 1-0 – (2 Points)
- Shuji Ishikawa: 1-0 – (2 Points)
- Shinjiro Otani: 1-0 – (2 Points)
- Kohei Sato: 1-0 – (2 Points)
- Jake Lee: 1-0 – (2 Points)
- Kento Miyahara: 0-1 – (0 Points)
- Suwama: 0-1 – (0 Points)
- Yuma Aoyagi: 0-1 – (0 Points)
- Shotaro Ashino: 0-1 – (0 Points)
- Koji Doi: 0-1 – (0 Points)
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