Will Sapporo belong to the ungovernable?
Finally, after going back and forth for weeks, Tetsuya Naito & Sanada will challenge the Dangerous Tekkers for their IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships!
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.
- Shingo Takagi VS Master Wato; Takagi win.
- IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: Dangerous Tekkers VS Tetsuya Naito & SANADA; Naito & Sanada win and become the new IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions.
PLAY BY PLAY
Shingo Takagi VS Master Wato!
Kota Ibushi is recovering from a vaccination shot, but the Way of the Grandmaster is still ready to fight the Dragon! Will the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion use Wato as a tune-up for the Golden Star?
The bell rings and fans rally as Wato and Takagi circle. They approach, Wato tests the waters with a kick but Takagi stays back. Fans rally, they tie up, and Takagi brings Wato around to ropes. Wato slips away and the two reset. They approach, feel out the grapple, and knuckle lock. Wato breaks free to KICK Takagi in the chest! And KICK! Wato throws forearms, wraps on a headlock, but Takagi powers out. Wato bumps Takagi but Takagi comes back to run him over! Fans fire up as things speed up, Wato hurdles to back elbow, back hand and sobat! Takagi rebounds into a dropkick! Fans cheer and Wato fires up as he brings Takagi up.
Wato whips, Takagi reverses but Wato holds ropes. Wato boots Takagi, sends him out, then builds speed to TORNILLO! Direct hit and Takagi goes down, and fans fire up with Wato again. Wato gets Takagi up as fans rally, and Wato puts Takagi in the ring. Wato stomps Takagi, covers, TWO! Wato keeps his cool as he throws elbows and kicks. Takagi eggs him on, gets up, but the kicks keep coming! Wato KICKS Takagi off his feet, covers, ONE!! Wato fires off more kicks but Takagi just eggs him on. Wato tries forearms but Takagi leans into them! Wato tries to scoop but Takagi is a big guy. Takagi scoops and SLAMS Wato down! Then drops a BACK SENTON!
Fans cheer as Takagi watches Wato get up. Takagi runs in to clotheslines Wato out of the ring! Takagi goes out to fetch Wato, gives him some toying kicks, then brings him around to throw knees. They’re by commentary and Takagi checks in with Hiromu. Wato throws forearms and chops but Takagi ROCKS Wato with one! Takagi RAMS Wato into the apron, then brings him around to put in the ring. Takagi slingshots to STOMP Wato down! Takagi stands on Wato, Red Shoes counts, and Takagi lets go of the ropes to flex. Fans cheer, Takagi stomps Wato and brings him up. Takagi puts Wato in a corner for JABS and CHOPS! Wato grits his teeth but Takagi whips corner to corner.
Takagi runs in to clothesline, then he suplexes Wato high and hard! Cover, TWO! Wato stays in this but Takagi wraps on a chinlock. Takagi grinds Wato down, fans rally up, and Wato fights to move around. Takagi leans on Wato but Wato still gets a ropebreak. Takagi lets off clean but gives Wato more toying kicks. Wato gets up and CHOPS! And CHOPS! And CHOPS! Takagi eggs him on, Wato throws forearms, but Takagi puts some stank on his DOUBLE CHOPS! Fans cheer while Wato writhes, and Takagi brings Wato up into a corner. Takagi has the fans rally more as he whips corner to corner. Takagi runs in, Wato dodges and comes back but is put on the apron.
Takagi ROCKS Wato, runs, but into the SPRINGBOARD FLYING UPPERCUT! Wato fires up and fans rally as he fires off KICK after KICK! Takagi blocks the final one but Wato SLAPS then SCREW HIGH KICKS! Cover, TWO! Takagi gets up but Wato wrenches and reels him in! Takagi resists the Mouse Trap, to fireman’s carry! Wato fights off, sobats and runs, but into the elbow! JAB! YUKON LARIAT! Fans fire up while Wato is in a daze. Takagi drags Wato up and fans rally. Takagi gets Wato up, reels him in, and hits a BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO! Wato is tough but Takagi keeps his cool. Takagi gets Wato up, drives in elbow after elbow, and fans fire up!
Takagi runs, but Wato ducks the sliding lariat to BUZZSAW! Both men are down and fans fire up! Wato slowly sits up, gets Takagi up, and reels him in. Takagi blocks the lift, then again. Wato almost gets Takagi but Takagi back drops Wato away! Fans rally again and Takagi smirks as he brings Wato back up. Wato breaks free to KICK and KICK, but Takagi blocks to CLUB the leg! Takagi gives toying kicks and slaps, but Wato throws forearms! Takagi eggs him on again and Wato hits harder. Takagi pie faces Wato so Wato fires off SLAPPING palm strikes! Takagi likes the fire but Wato throws more forearms. Takagi throws boxing elbows!
Fans rally as Takagi ROCKS Wato, but Wato back elbows! Takagi says that one actually hurt! But Wato catches his Yukon Lariat into a MOUSE TRAP DRIVER! Cover, TWO! Takagi survives, Wato gets him up and scoops for a TTD! Hiroyoshi Tenzan is surely proud of that one! Wato gets to a corner, climbs up, and RP- NO! Takagi moves and Wato flops on the mat! Takagi powers up as Wato stands, and Takagi runs in to PUMPING BOMBER! But Takagi says that’s not enough yet. Takagi gets Wato back up, runs again, but Wato dodges! Wato runs, but into a POP-UP POWERBOMB! Cover, TWO, but Takagi gets an STF right away! And he’s bending Wato way back!!
Wato endures, fans rally, but Takagi’s brand of STF is a deep twist! Wato is fading so Takagi makes it a cover, TWO!! Wato still lives but Takagi runs, SLIDING LARIAT! Takagi keeps the fire going with “OI! OI! OI!” Takagi gets Wato back up, pump handles and torture rack, but Wato makes it a CRUCIFIX DRIVER! Cover, TWO!! Wato runs but Takagi pops him up again, only for Wato to SPIKE-RANA! Cover, TWO!! ROUNDHOUSE and then a tilt-o-whirl, Wato rolls Takagi up! Takagi slips right out, runs and SLIDING FOREARMS Wato down! Takagi roars and fans fire up again as he gets Wato back up. Takagi runs, for PUMPING BOMBER!! Cover, TWO!?!
Fans cheer and Takagi roars again as Wato somehow survives! But Takagi wants us to see this, especially Ibushi! Takagi gets Wato up, pump handle and rack, LAST OF THE DRAGON!! Cover, Takagi wins!
Winner: Shingo Takagi, by pinfall
Water may put out fire, but not when it’s this much fire! Takagi shows Wato he still has a long way to go before reaching the world title scene, but will he be ready for a world title level fight from the Golden Star?
El Desperado makes his way ringside?
The Rogue Luchador is still THE IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, and perhaps he wants to support his Suzuki-Gun teammates? Oh, wait, he gets his phone out, and he is recording Hiromu on commentary. Hiromu records him back, it is a battle of vlogging smart phones! Then he goes around the way, to join commentary! Suzuki-Gun and Los Ingobernables de Japon are closing out the show in more ways than one!
IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: Dangerous Tekkers VS Tetsuya Naito & SANADA!
Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr. have doubted the chances of Los Ingobernables de Japon’s Uncontrollable Charisma and Cold Skull working well as a duo, but here they are! Will the Sliest Wrestler in the World and the Submission Master make Naito & Sanada #JustTapOut? Or will the Heavyweight Tag Division be Tranquilo?
Wow, not only is Desperado on commentary for this, but Douki and Miho Abe are in the Tekkers’ corner. Introductions are made, Suzuki-Gun poses with the Tekkers’ towel, and LIJ takes off their elaborate entrance gear. The belts are raised, Taichi taunts Naito with the dancing pecs, but LIJ fist bumps. Naito starts and wants Taichi but ZSJ insists. The decision is made, and we see if Suzuki-Gun stays strong in Sapporo!
Fans cheer and rally as Naito makes sure ZSJ knows it’s “L I J!” that the fans like. ZSJ doesn’t care and he tags out to Taichi. Naito gets who he wants after all, but Taichi says he wants Sanada. Fans cheer, and Sanada reaches out. Naito tags, but then ZSJ tags back in! The Tekkers are playing games but Sanada circles with ZSJ all the same. They tie up, ZSJ gets a hammerlock, Sanada spins but ZSJ spins with him. Sanada reaches back to headlock but ZSJ drop toeholds to a leg lock. ZSJ laces the legs, floats to a headlock but Sanada slips out to hammerlock. ZSJ fights up, headlocks back, then cravats. Sanada powers through to wrench and trip to toehold! ZSJ gets away and fans cheer!
Sanada and ZSJ reset and circle. They approach, knuckle lock but ZSJ uses that to get a straitjacket! Sanada turns the straitjacket onto ZSJ and ZSJ drops down. ZSJ rolls back to put the jacket back on Sanada, but Sanada again turns it around. ZSJ gets up, Sanada trips him and twists the foot! ZSJ flips over, reels Sanada in and has the cravat back. Sanada endures, rolls and throws ZSJ off, and fans cheer the exchange. Sanada and ZSJ circle again, tie up, but ZSJ wrenches and trips Sanada for a toehold of his own. ZSJ uses his head for leverage as he wrenches the foot. Sanada fights, flips, reels ZSJ in but ZSJ uses that to Bow ‘n’ Arrow!
Sanada pops right out, covers, ONE, and Sanada arm-drags ZSJ down, but ZSJ headscissors to bring Sanada into an armbar! Sanada kips free and the fans cheer as the two stand off! Taichi tells ZSJ to stay cool, and Naito says ZSJ is bad news. Sanada and ZSJ tie up with knuckle locks again but ZSJ puts Sanada’s hands on the mat to stand on! ZSJ wrenches one arm around to a wristlock then again to wrangle Sanada. Sanada kips up, WRINGS ZSJ, then holds the wristlock. Sanada wrenches again, tags in Naito, but ZSJ gets away to tag Taichi. Fans rally up and Naito settles for the guy he wanted anyway. Taichi and Naito slowly circle, then tie up.
Naito powers Taichi to ropes but Taichi calls for the break. Taichi then turns it around and Naito calls for the break. Red Shoes counts, Taichi pats Naito on the shoulder and backs off. Naito sucker punches ZSJ! Taichi throws hands on Naito and whips him to ropes. Naito holds ropes, boots Taichi, then dropkicks ZSJ off the apron! Naito kicks Taichi in the leg, throws him out to join ZSJ, then builds speed! The Tekkers scramble away but Naito rolls, Tranquilo~! Naito grins as he waits for a Tekker to return but ZSJ throws a tantrum. Taichi calms ZSJ down and takes his own time returning.
Taichi stares Naito down but ZSJ wants in after all of Naito’s taunting. Taichi tags ZSJ in, and fans cheer, but Naito tags right out to Sanada! Now ZSJ is annoyed and he kicks at Naito. Naito gets away and Sanada turns ZSJ around! ZSJ headbutts low and headlocks but Sanada powers out. ZSJ dodges Sanada, Naito trips him up! Sanada adds a basement dropkick! Sanada dares Taichi to do something, Taichi gets in to get a drop toehold! Naito adds a basement dropkick there! Sanada stands on ZSJ while Naito throws Taichi into railing! Naito intimidates Miho-chan, Sanada CLUBS ZSJ. Naito returns to the LIJ corner to bring ZSJ through ropes so Sanada can CLUB him!
Tag to Naito, he stomps a mudhole into ZSJ then drags ZSJ up. Naito snapmares and ties ZSJ up in the leg hook full nelson! ZSJ endures as Naito puts on the pressure. ZSJ pushes back but can’t get free. ZSJ tries to use his leg but Naito just grabs that to make ZSJ a pretzel. Sanada tags in, he stomps ZSJ and Naito lets the hold go. Sanada cravats to wrench ZSJ’s neck and ZSJ endures. ZSJ gets a leg, Sanada wrenches the neck more, and fans rally up. Sanada snapmares ZSJ, drops an elbow, covers, ONE! ZSJ gets away but Sanada chases after. Sanada facelocks ZSJ, brings him over, and Naito tags in. LIJ mugs ZSJ, and Naito mockingly asks if ZSJ wants more.
Naito CLUBS ZSJ, cravats, and cranks the neck wrench. ZSJ endures, Red Shoes has to keep Taichi in the corner, and ZSJ fights up with body shots. ZSJ snapmares but Naito holds on to the cravat! ZSJ grabs at Naito’s face but Red Shoes reprimands. ZSJ and Naito get up, ZSJ spins through the cravat to PELE the arm! Fans cheer, Taichi gets in and KICKS the bad arm! Red Shoes reprimands but Taichi tags in and goes after Naito. Taichi whips, Naito reverses but Taichi reverses back to HOOK KICK! Taichi DECKS Sanada, and fans fire up as Taichi kicks Naito out of the ring. Taichi whips Naito hard into railing! Naito falls in a heap but Taichi brings him up to whip into the other railing!
Naito is stuck on the railing, Taichi brings him back to ringside, and ZSJ is after Sanada on the other side. Taichi RAMS Naito into railing right at commentary and Hiromu almost falls out of his seat! Red Shoes and Hiromu reprimand but Taichi stomps Naito down. Taichi stands on Naito’s head but lets off as the ring count starts. Taichi gets Naito up and into the ring at 8 of 20. Miho-chan apologizes on Taichi’s behalf while Taichi stomps Naito’s arm. Taichi brings Naito up with a hammerlock and RAMS him into a corner. ZSJ pulls the arm through ropes while Taichi keeps Red Shoes distracted. ZSJ lets go and Taichi comes back to choke Naito!
Red Shoes reprimands, counts, and Taichi lets off to tag ZSJ. ZSJ stands on Naito now as fans rally up. ZSJ wrenches the bad arm and twists the wrist. ZSJ bends the fingers, wrangles Naito, and shouts, “TRANQUILO!” as he STOMPS the arm! Tag to Taichi and Taichi stands on the bad arm. Cover, but Red Shoes sees it’s a choke! Taichi lets off, tries the choke cover again, but Red Shoes reprimands. Taichi chokes with both hands, then gets Sanada as he runs in for a two hand choke, too! Taichi lets off, drags Naito up and hammerlocks the arm. Taichi chokes Naito while trapping the bad arm in the corner. ZSJ digs a boot in, Red Shoes reprimands and counts, but ZSJ lets off.
ZSJ tags in, Taichi still chokes Naito, but Taichi lets off. ZSJ slaps Naito around, fans rally up, and ZSJ wrenches the bad arm over and over. Naito throws body shots, ZSJ wrenches again but Naito ROCKS ZSJ with forearms! Naito whips, ZSJ reverses, but Naito BOOTS from the corner! ZSJ stays up but gets BOOTS again! Naito runs but into a half nelson! Naito arm-drags then atomic drops to a NECKBREAKER! Fans fire up as both men are down! Naito and ZSJ stir, crawl for corners, hot tag to Sanada! Taichi runs in anyway to intercept, but Sanada hurdles, hurdles and dropkicks Taichi back out! ZSJ snapmares but Sanada handsprings through to dropkick the leg out!
Fans fire up with Sanada as ZSJ bails out. Sanada aims, slingshots but ZSJ dodges! Sanada lands on the apron, forearms ZSJ away but ZSJ boots! Sanada blocks the boot to put the leg through ropes, DRAPING DRAGON SCREW! ZSJ writhes but Sanada climbs a corner. ZSJ gets up and hobbles as Sanada CROSSBODIES! Cover, TWO! ZSJ survives but Sanada keeps his cool. Fans rally up for “L I J!” as Sanada gets ZSJ up. Sanada trips ZSJ, ZSJ kicks out of the leg lock, but Sanada cartwheels around the monkey flip. Sanada lets the headscissors slip off but ZSJ backslides! Sanada pops that right to a sunset, TWO! ZSJ sits on a prawn hold, TWO!
Sanada sunset, ONE! ZSJ prawn, TWO! Sanada sunset, TWO! ZSJ prawn, TWO!! Sanada narrowly escapes, fans cheer, and Sanada blocks ZSJ’s kick. ZSJ breaks free but misses the Pele to the arm! Sanada STANDING MOONSAULTS, but into a TRIANGLE HOLD! Sanada is caught as ZSJ squeezes tight! Fans rally up as Sanada endures, and Sanada fights up to dead lift! ZSJ shifts around to facelock, then he WRINGS Sanada’s arm into the mat! Sanada clutches his shoulder and fans rally up again! ZSJ crawls, tag to Taichi! Taichi drags Sanada up for Kowata Kicks, but Sanada just glares at him.
Taichi kicks low, gives more Kowata Kicks, then shoves Sanada into a corner. Taichi corner clotheslines, snapmares and KICKS Sanada in the back! But Sanada gets up and stares Taichi down! Sanada throws a forearm, Taichi throws a kick. Sanada throws another forearm, Taichi throws another kick. Forearm, kick, forearm, kick, back and forth! Fans rally, Sanada gets the edge with his forearms, but Taichi comes back to BOOT! Sanada stays up, Taichi eggs him on so Sanada BOOTS! Taichi stays up and fans cheer. Taichi rebounds, Sanada blocks the boot to EuroUpper! Taichi KICKS, Sanada ROLLING ELBOWS, Taichi ENZIGURIS! Both men are down and fans fire up!
Taichi slowly rises as fans rally. ZSJ goes after Naito on the outside and drags him down to a double wristlock on the floor! Taichi fires up, Sanada rises, but Sanada ducks the buzzsaw! Fireman’s carry and toss to the dragon sleeper! But Taichi slips out and Alabama lifts! Sanada fights off but runs into a ROUNDHOUSE! Taichi gets Sanada up and reels him in, but Sanada turns powerbomb into RANA! Sanada fireman’s carries for a TKO! Both men are down again and fans fire back up! Fans rally, Naito has taken care of ZSJ and is back on the corner. Sanada crawls over, and makes the tag! Naito gets Taichi up to fire off strikes, then whip him to a corner.
Naito runs in, rocket kicks and leg sweeps, COMBINACION CABRON! Fans fire up as Naito poses, and Naito gets Taichi up again. Naito hoists Taichi up top and climbs up, but Taichi fights the super steiner! Taichi makes it an Alabama position! Naito fights for his life, clubs away on Taichi’s back, and adjusts to get the SUPER STEINER! Cover, TWO!! Taichi survives but Naito gets him back up. Fans rally, “L I J!” “NA-I-TO!” Taichi fights off Gloria but Naito throws back elbows. Taichi again fights, ZSJ gets in and EuroUppers Naito in the corner! But ZSJ turns around into Sanada’s dropkick to the legs! Taichi kicks Sanada low, but Naito knocks Taichi down!
Naito basement dropkicks Taichi, turns ZSJ around, but ZSJ snapmares him down first and NECK TWISTS! Sanada runs in, ZSJ trips him, but Sanada blocks the Penalty Kick! Sanada DRAGON SCREWS ZSJ down, but Taichi kicks and whips Sanada to a corner. Sanada elbows Taichi away, Quebradas but Taichi gets under. Taichi DECKS Sanada with a forearm! Taichi dodges Naito and GAMANGIRIS him in the corner! All four men are down and the fans are thunderous! Taichi slowly rises and Naito follows. Both men are in opposite corners, Taichi fires himself up, and he dares Naito to bring it! They rush each other, Taichi boots but Naito fires forearms!
Taichi runs but into Naito’s kick and TORNADO DDT! But Taichi’s right back up!? He gets around Naito for a DANGEROUS SAIDO! But he can’t make the cover!! Desperado and Hiromu get fired up on commentary as both Taichi and Naito are down. The fans rally as hard as ever and Naito starts to stir. Taichi gets himself to ropes and then tags in ZSJ! Miho-chan checks on Taichi while ZSJ stomps Naito. ZSJ gets Naito up to ROCK him with a EuroUpper! Naito leans on ropes but ZSJ brings him around for another EuroUpper! Naito staggers about again, ZSJ gives him a third EuroUpper! Naito kicks the bad leg, but ZSJ drop toeholds, floats and NECK TWISTS!
Naito gets back to a corner, ZSJ hobbles to the opposite end. ZSJ runs in but Naito dodges, Sanada back elbows! Naito back elbows, Sanada dropkicks, Naito enziguris! Sanada back suplexes, Naito runs in to jackknife bridge, Taichi breaks it in time! Sanada throws Taichi out and PLANCHAS! Direct hit and now Naito gets ZSJ up. Naito hops up top, reels ZSJ in, ROLLING STUNNER! Cover, TWO! ZSJ survives but fans fire up for Naito as he takes aim from the corner! Naito runs in, tilt-o-whirls but ZSJ dumps him down to put on the IRON OCTOPUS! ZSJ uses his arms for extra leverage, and Taichi gets Sanada for SEITEIJYUJIRYOU!
The Dangerous Tekkers have LIJ in double submissions but LIJ endures! ZSJ cranks back harder on Naito’s arm and Taichi drags Sanada down to the mat! The fans are thunderous as Naito fights to waddle for ropes! ZSJ pulls WAY back and drags Naito down to the mat! Red Shoes checks but Naito hasn’t given up! And what about Sanada and Taichi? Are they just going to stay in? Naito scrambles and kicks, and gets a ROPEBREAK with his foot! ZSJ lets Naito go in frustration, as does Taichi as he lets go of Sanada. All four men are down again and fans stay thunderous! Sanada flops out, Miho almost cries for Taichi, but ZSJ sits Naito up just to kick him down.
ZSJ sits Naito up, knocks him back over, again and again. ZSJ is toying with Naito and starts taunting him, “C’mon then!” ZSJ gets up and KICKS Naito! Naito sits back up and eggs ZSJ on. ZSJ eggs Naito on and gives him more toying kicks. The kicks get a little harder, but Naito blocks the Penalty Kick! Naito waistlocks, ZSJ elbows him so Naito shoves ZSJ to give him an elbow back! ZSJ swings on Naito but into a backslide hook, that Naito just uses to spin ZSJ for another back elbow! ZSJ falls over but Naito drags him up. Naito throws more of those solid back elbows, then whips. ZSJ reverses but Naito hits FLYING FOREARMS!
Fans fire up as Naito gets ZSJ up for the scoop. ZSJ fights out, scoops, but Naito fights! Naito scoops, ZSJ slips out, DRAGON SUPLEX! Bridging cover, Sanada breaks it! Taichi chokes Sanada to a corner! Sanada breaks free to fire off forearms. Rolling- CHOKE SLAM!! Naito gets up, Taichi gives him an AX BOMBER!! Taichi fires up and the fans are thunderous as Taichi calls on ZSJ. Taichi drags Naito up, Alabama lifts, but Naito fights! Naito BOOTS ZSJ, CLUBS away on Taichi, then swings on ZSJ. ZSJ gets Naito in a cobra twist! ZSJ then feeds Naito to Taichi for the LAST RIDE! Taichi sits Naito up for a PENALTY KICK! Cover, TWO!?! Naito survives and no one can believe it!
Fans rally up as the Tekkers regroup. Taichi takes off the pants! ZSJ gets Naito up as Taichi takes aim. But Sanada gets Taichi for a dragon sleeper! DESTINO!! Cover, TWO!! ZSJ survives but Sanada lets Taichi go to give ZSJ a ROUNDING BODY PRESS!! Sanada blocks the Tensho Jujihou and spins Taichi for a SLICED BREAD to SKULL END!! Naito fires up and he gets ZSJ up, to wrench and tilt-o-whirl, DESTINO!!! Cover, LIJ WINS!!!
Winners: Tetsuya Naito & SANADA, by pinfall (NEW IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions)
Desperado is shocked and Hiromu is pumped! Somehow, some way, Naito and Sanada were able to pull off a walk-off homer and take these titles from the Tekkers! Naito is a two-time and Sanada is a THREE-time heavyweight tag team champion, and did it their first try together! Miho-chan really does cry now as the “team of destiny” falls. Naito & Sanada are given the belts and Naito sets his down in the center of the ring for a moment as the rest of LIJ arrives. Naito does applaud as Taichi and Miho sulk away from ringside while ZSJ is helped to the back.
Naito gets the mic to say, “Buenos noches, Sapporooo~!” It’s the first time for NJPW in Hokkaido since last September, but they and LIJ are back, cabron! LIJ won out the night, and Naito thanks everyone for coming to the Makomanai Sekisui Heim Ice Arena tonight and last night, even in these uncertain times. Naito wants everyone to know that this is his first tag title since 2010. As such, it is his time to thank the man that even suggested he get back in the hunt, and taught him how fun being in this division can really be, and that man is Sanada.
“There is no doubt whatsoever that in this unit and in this world of professional wrestling, Shingo Takagi is shining brighter than anyone. So it is incumbent upon us and Bushi and Hiromu Takahashi to take that personally, and to fight for competition. The fight to be the face of our faction.” So for everyone here in Sapporo wondering if LIJ will be spearheading NJPW next time they’re here, the answer is tranquilo, assenayo! But that said, Naito hopes everyone here is ready to close this out with the LIJ role call. Shout out loud at home and in your hearts! “Bushi! Sanada! Hiromu! Takagi! Y Naito! NOSOTROS, Los! Ingoberrrrrrnables~! DE! JA! PON!!”
Hiromu finally hops off commentary to celebrate with the rest of LIJ, and they pose together, the tag titles front and center. Will it only be a matter of time before LIJ is back at 100% power and dripping in gold?
Another good night, on par with last night’s Sapporo event. Good for Kota Ibushi taking the vaccine for the sake of his health and other’s, but a shame he was feeling those side effects. Takagi VS Wato was still a solid singles match with Wato looking really good even in losing. I said it last night that I didn’t see Naito & Sanada winning, but that makes it a great surprise that they did. I can’t be sure what the plan is from here then, unless NJPW is hoping Japan will easy up soon and more teams signed under NJPW can return. English commentary even said that there aren’t many teams running around in Japan right now, the Tekkers might get a rematch before anyone else steps up.
My Score: 8.5/10
Mitchell’s NJPW Royal Quest II Results & Report! (10/1/22)
NJPW returns to the UK!
NJPW + FTR + UK = A classic in the making!
NJPW returns to the UK, and FTR is coming with them! Cash & Dax defend the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships against the NJPW Strong Tag Team Champions, Aussie Open!
- Gabriel Kidd VS Dan Moloney; wins.
- Great-O-Khan & Gideon Gray VS Michael Oku & Ricky Knight Jr; win.
- Kanji & Jazzy Gabbert VS Alex Windsor & Ava White; win.
- Six Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Suzuki-Gun; wins.
- Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii VS JONAH & Bad Dude Tito; win.
- 8 Man Tag: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tama Tonga, Hikuleo & Jado VS Bullet Club; win(s).
- IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: FTR VS Aussie Open; wins and
- Will Ospreay VS Shota Umino; wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
[NJPW has scheduled Royal Quest II for “On Demand,” coverage will begin when video is available]
IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: FTR VS Aussie Open; wins and
This one has been a long time coming! Music City Mayhem saw the United Empire win a Six Man Tag, but they pinned Alex Zayne. Can Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis beat Cash Wheeler & Dax Harwood 2v2? Or will the #ForeverTripleReign continue for the joint ROH, AAA & IWGP Tag Team Champions?
Will Ospreay VS Shota Umino
Speaking of title fights, The Commonwealth Kingpin just retained his IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship against David Finlay, only to find Tetsuya Naito AND Zack Sabre Jr. are after him! Will Ospreay be able to keep his focus tonight? Or will #SHOOTER hit a bull’s eye and add himself to that title picture?
Mitchell’s AEW Rampage Results & Report! (9/30/22)
The Acclaimed are on a Rampage!
Everyone LOVES the NEW AEW World Tag Team Champions, The Acclaimed! Except for the Andrade Family Office! Will Max Caster & Anthony Bowens lose their titles after just getting them?
- AEW World Tag Team Championships Triple Threat: The Acclaimed VS Private Party VS The Butcher & The Blade; The Acclaimed win and retain the titles.
- Lee Moriarty w/ The Firm VS Fuego Del Sol; Moriarty wins.
- Jamie Hayter w/ Britt Baker & Rebel VS Willow Nightingale; Hayter wins.
- Rush w/ Jose the Assistant VS John Silver w/ Alex Reynolds; Rush wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
AEW World Tag Team Championships Triple Threat: The Acclaimed VS Private Party VS The Butcher & The Blade!
The Open Challenge was answered in a big, BIG way! Max Caster & Anthony Bowens aren’t just facing one team, but TWO teams, both under the Andrade Family Office. Will Marq Quen, Isiah Kassidy and the menacing mercenaries make El Idolo proud? Or will it be a Mic Drop from the #ForeverChampions?
Justin Roberts makes the introductions before The Acclaimed make their entrance. “Yo! Listen! Listen! Yo! Yo! Everybody loves the new champions. Even Adam Lavine was in our DMs! Philly knows Private Party sucks! Y’all need to hop off Matt Hardy’s nuts. Tonight, yo, our hands go up. Y’all’re losers, and that’s why your band broke up. Y’know Acclaimed been winning. We run your who team into the ground like Ben Simmons!” Bowens takes over to say, “PHILADELPHIAAAA~! The Acclaimed have arrived! SCISSOR ME, DADDY ASS!” And they do! But will Platinum Max & the Five Tool Player stay golden with the odds stacked against them?
In this kind of Triple Threat Tag, only two teams are active at any time, so Bowens steps up against Kassidy. The fans sing “OH~ Scissor Me, Daddy~!” for The Acclaimed. Matt Hardy is watching backstage, quietly cheering on Private Party. Bowens and Kassidy circle, tie up, and Bowens wrenches an arm. Kassidy rolls, kips up, wrenches back, and has a wristlock. Bowens slips through, wrenches back to a hammerlock, spin and snapmare to a ghost pin, TWO! Kassidy gets a backslide, TWO! Bowens runs in but Kassidy sweeps the legs to a cover, ONE! Bowens returns the favor, ONE as Kassidy goes Matrix! But Bowens schoolboys, TWO!
Things speed up, Kassidy RANAS Bowens, and fans are torn while Kassidy talks trash. But Butcher & Blade tell Kassidy to focus and he rushes Bowens, only for Bowens to ELBOW, JAB, CHOP and SUPERK- NO, Kassidy goes Matrix again! Bowens says it was that close. Kassidy offers a handshake, Bowens shakes hands to show respect, but then Butcher & Blade reach out for a tag. Kassidy says no way, homies. He swings on Bowens but Bowens gets around and puts him in the Acclaimed corner! Caster tags in, Bowens feeds Kassidy to a takedown. Caster then shifts to get a leg, he stomps it, and he makes scissor fingers.
Caster drags Kassidy up, ducks his haymaker to CHOP and DROPKICK! Fans fire up and Caster SCISSORS Billy! Caster brings Kassidy up to a headlock but Kassidy powers out. Bowens sneaks a tag, Caster sunsets and Bowens runs in, NECKBREAKER BACKBREAKER COMBO! Fans fire up, Quen runs in but Caster tackles him. Bowens goes up top and Caster drags Quen over. Bowens says it’s scissor time! SCISSOR LEG DROP! Fans fire up while Private Party regroups. But then Butcher & Blade attack! The ref reprimands but they don’t care, they’ve had it with the champs! Blade stomps Bowens, Butcher stomps Cater, then they drag Kassidy over to their corner.
Blade tags in, he drags Kassidy up but Kassidy fires off hands! Blade knees low, he whips Kassidy to the ropes but Quen is there for some SILLY STRING- NO, Blade SHOVES Kassidy down to the floor! And Butcher BLASTS Quen for good measure! But Bowens fires off on them both! Haymakers and CHOPS back and forth, but he runs into a DOUBLE HEADBUTT! Butcher DECKS Caster while fans boo and Billy protests. The mercs mug Bowens while AEW goes picture in picture.
Blade digs his boot in, tags Butcher, and Butcher digs a knee in. The ref counts, Butcher lets off, but he drags Bowens up to CHOP! Bowens staggers away but Butcher stays on him. Cover, TWO! Butcher knees Bowens in the back, tags Blade, but Bowens fights back again. Blade CLAWS Bowens’ eyes! The ref reprimands but Blade whips Bowens to ropes to LARIAT! Blade mocks the scissor fingers, and he SLAMS Bowens’ arm down. Blade taunts Caster then goes back to Bowens. Bowens kicks from below! And fires off haymakers! Blade rakes Bowens’ eyes again! Blade drags Bowens up, reels him in, and snap suplexes! Cover, TWO!
Blade is annoyed but he drags Bowens up again. Rampage returns to single picture as fans rally. Bowens endures a chinlock but he fights his way up. Bowens throws body shots, runs, but Blade hits a POWERSLAM! Cover, TWO! Blade drags Bowens up, scoops him, and he carries him over to tag Butcher. The mercs combine for a LEG DROP SIDEWALK SLAM! Cover, TWO! Bowens is still in this and Hardy tries to will Private Party back into this match. Butcher bumps Bowens off buckles, tags Blade, and Blade brings Bowens around. Bowens throws more body shots and forearms, but Blade ROCKS Bowens!
Blade runs, but Bowens ELBOWS, JABS, CHOPS, and SUPERKICKS! The Five Tool Combo finishes and Bowens crawls for his corner! But Butcher CLOBBERS Caster first! Bowens dodges Butcher, BOOTS him away, but Caster is down! Bowens ELBOWS Butcher, runs in, but into a back drop! So Quen tags in! Quen GAMANGIRIS Butcher, springboards and CROSSBODIES Blade! Butcher runs in, Quen ducks to go up and up and QUEBRADA! Direct hit on Butcher! Blade pops Quen up but Quen DROPKICKS! Quen kips up and tags Kassidy! Private Party double whips Blade to a corner, Kassidy hurries to triangle jump STUNNER Butcher!
Quen sets up, Kassidy runs in, PARTY IN MOTION! Quen FLIES onto Butcher! Kassidy then feeds Blade to Quen and Kassidy goes up top! HUMAN HIGHLIGHT REEL!! Cover, Caster breaks it! Fans cheer as The Acclaimed are still in this but Hardy is stressed. Quen rushes Caster but Caster back drops him up and out! But Butcher CLOBBERS Caster! Kassidy runs in, but into a fireman’s carry, TOSS to a GUTBUSTER! And then a gut wrench POWERBOMB! Cover, Bowens breaks it! Butcher tosses Bowens out now and the mercs drag Kassidy up. They double whip, Kassidy slips around and shoves them into each other!
Butcher falls out, Kassidy sends Blades out then takes aim. Bowens sneaks a tag as Kassidy springboards to PLANCHA! Down go the mercs! Caster climbs up now, to SUPER CROSSBODY everyone!! Fans are thunderous as Caster puts Blade in! Bowens fires up, THE ARRIVAL! The MIC DROP!! Cover, The Acclaimed win!!
Winners: The Acclaimed, by pinfall (still AEW World Tag Team Champions)
A massive first defense for Caster & Bowens, and they come away the champions! And they SCISSOR~! Will this victory only make the celebration on National Scissors Day that much bigger?
Backstage interview with The Firm.
Lexi Nair is trying to get a word with Stokely Hathaway and the Gunn Sons, Austin & Colten. They are talking among themselves but she speaks up. Austin & Colten had some “harsh words” for FTR last week. Oh, you mean Mr. Mustache and Mullet Man? Well, since the Gunn Sons get TV time and they don’t, Colten & Austin will gladly things. Austin wants to know how FTR holds the “Ring of Horror” tag titles- No, the Ring of Honor tag titles. Oh, right. Well, they also have the “Triple A Batteries” titles. No, no, Triple A. And the IWGP R2D2 titles. It’s just IWGP. But speaking of those, FTR is currently in London to defend those.
“Well, regardless,” Colten says, “they don’t have what we want, and that’s the AEW titles.” Austin says that’s right. Also, FTR has been holding on to their #1 contenders status for like eight years now and have yet to make moves! So the Gunns will make the move everyone else in AEW does, and that’s leap frog FTR to go right for the champs! Top Gunns, out! Will Austin & Colten’s need for speed get them to the top? Or will they crash ‘n’ burn against The Acclaimed?
Backstage interview with Jade Cargill & The Baddies.
Lexi Nair says that was an incredible win last week at Rampage: Grand Slam, where even hip hop legend, Trina, anointed Jade as the NEW “Baddest B*tch.” Jade knows that, “Lindsey.” But that’s besides the point. “All you whack ass, fat ass-” Leila Grey says Jade should chill out, but Jade says she’s gonna say what she wants! She’s so bored because AEW hasn’t brought her any kind of competition. But then Nyla Rose, Marina Shafir & Vickie Guerrero walk in. Vickie reminds Jade that the last time she faced Nyla, Jade won but didn’t pin her. That doesn’t matter! Jade beat Nyla! And Marina, too! Vickie has the Problem Solver stand down and Nyla speaks up.
“What’s the matter, Jade? I’m not one of your precious little numbers? Scared of a little one-on-one?” Oh, one on one? Okay, Jade will give Nyla what she wants, but on Jade’s time. Now get outta her face! Vickie takes off her scarf and throws it at Leila, telling her to cover herself up. The Vicious Vixens head out, and the Baddies wonder what’s wrong with how Leila’s dressed. Will the Native Beast be the one that finally ends the undefeated streak?
Lee Moriarty w/ The Firm VS Fuego Del Sol!
Someone else with title aspirations is #TAIGASTYLE, who ditched Matt Sydal to join Maxwell Jacob Friedman’s faction on retainer. Moriarty wants the ROH Pure Championship around Daniel Garcia’s waist, but will he stomp out the Fire of the Sun first?
The bell rings and fans rally up. The two tie up, Moriarty headlocks and grinds then shifts to a cravat. Fuego endures but Moriarty pushes him down. Fuego keeps himself up, but Moriarty sweeps the arms to then roll Fuego into a snapmare cradle, TWO! Fuego gets up into a CHOP, headbutt and EuroUpper! Moriarty grins, he wrenches Fuego and whips, but Fuego reverses to mule kick! Fuego runs, handsprings over Moriarty’s dropdown, but Moriarty DROPKICKS Fuego down! Moriarty grins again while fans boo. Moriarty stomps Fuego at the ropes again and again until the ref counts. Moriarty lets off, to then stomp away again!
The ref counts, Moriarty lets off and Fuego goes to a corner. Moriarty runs in in to SHINING WIZARD! Moriarty reels Fuego into an arm-trap SAIDO SUPLEX! Moriarty mockingly applauds at the fans, then he looms over Fuego. Fans rally, Moriarty wrenches and hooks Fuego up, for a FACEBUSTER! Stokely likes what he sees as Moriarty clamps on the BORDER CITY STRETCH! Fuego taps, Moriarty wins!
Winner: Lee Moriarty, by submission
The fans boo as Moriarty holds on past the bell, and Moriarty lets go when Fuego stops tapping! Moriarty says this is HIS time, but Fuego’s not done suffering! Morrissey clamps on a claw and deadlifts Fuego by his head! And then holds him up with one arm! For a SKYSCRAPER CHOKE SLAM!!! Fuego just fell from the sky, will The Firm dominate AEW sooner rather than later?
Backstage interview with Hangman Page & The Dark Order.
Lexi Nair stands with The Cowboy, as well as Evil Uno & Preston Vance. She notes that last week on Rampage, Hangman won the Grand Slam Golden Ticket Battle Royal and is now headed to Cincinnati and an AEW World Championship match with Jon Moxley. Hangman says his match with Mox is just a few weeks away, and this is one Hangman has been looking forward to for a very long time. Uno says that everyone will be in Hangman’s corner for this. But wait, here come Andrade and Jose. Jose points out that if you look back, look what happened when Vance got eliminated. Jose uses his tablet to play the footage on the TV.
Jay Lethal triangle jumps, aiming for Hangman, but Hangman ducks and Vance takes the hit. Jose says it’s Hangman who eliminated Vance! Uno says that’s ridiculous logic. Andrade says he just wants to help Vance. This week is a big opportunity for Vance. What does Vance say to a 1v1? If Andrade wins, Vance gives up his mask. Deal? Vance shakes hands, but then he then pulls Andrade in. Vance has his own condition: If Vance beats Andrade, Andrade leaves AEW for good! High stakes between Number Ten and El Idolo, who wins for the Dynamite Anniversary?
But wait, the Firm walks in now? Stokely says they haven’t been snitching cuz they don’t like snitches, but… Jose says if Stokely wants to speak with El Idolo, he has to go through Jose. Oh, so Jose’s the boss? Ethan Page thought the boss was Andrade. And if he is, then maybe pay a little more attention to them. Be more firm with Private Party. Because Ethan knows there’s some “contract tampering” with their new-old friend, Matt Hardy. Stokely says that’s a bit messy. Andrade asks Jose what that’s about, and Jose does admit Hardy’s sniffing around. Will El Idolo crash the #HardyParty before it begins?
Jamie Hayter w/ Britt Baker & Rebel VS Willow Nightingale!
These two got into it during the Lumberjack match on Dynamite, and now they’ll settle things here on Rampage! Is Hayter gonna hate on the ever energetic Willow? Or will Willow show everyone how to deal with a Hayter?
The bell rings and Hayter rushes Willow, but Willow dodges and hits a THESZ PRESS! Fast hands, but Hayter returns those! Willow gets back on top to rain down HEADBUTT after HEADBUTT! Fans fire up with Willow, and she waistlocks Hayter. Hayter switches, Willow switches, but Hayter stomps a foot. Hayter elbows Willow, runs and RAMS shoulders, but Willow stays up! Willow shakes her head and Hayter is annoyed. Hayter runs, she RAMS Willow again, but Willow stays up to flex! Fans rally for both Hayter and Willow, Hayter runs again but Willow follows to run her over!
Fans fire up, Willow scoops and SLAMS Hayter, for a SENTON! Willow sits Hayter up to run and BASEMENT CROSSBODY! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up and Willow drags Hayter up. FISHERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO! Not quite perfect and Hayter survives. But Willow powers up, runs and CHOPS! Fans “WOO~!” while Hayter goes to another corner. Willow runs in to CHOP again! Britt protests, the ref does count, and Willow whips. Hayter reverses, only for Willow to handspring through! But Hayter BOOTS Willow down! Rebel & Britt are happy now and Hayter HIP TOSSES Willow to a corner. Willow sits up, for the METEORA!
Hayter lets the ref check Willow while fans rally and duel. Rampage goes picture in picture as Britt talks trash on Willow. Willow swipes at her but Hayter drags Willow away. Hayter snap suplexes, covers, ONE! Hayter clamps on a chinlock and she leans on Willow. Willow endures, but Hayter thrashes her around! Hayter wrangles Willow but Willow fights up. Willow throws body shots, but Hayter throws her down by her hair! The ref reprimands but Hayter soaks up the heat. Hayter stomps Willow around, then drags her up to CLUB back down. Willow goes to ropes and Hayter storms over, but into a back elbow.
Hayter CLUBS Willow again and Willow goes to the corner. Hayter mocks the fans rallying up, then she brings Willow around to bump off buckles. And again! Britt likes what she sees but the ref reprimands. Hayter “apologizes” but it’s just a distraction so Britt can pull Willow’s foot against the crossbar! Willow gets free but Hayter storms up again. Hayter pulls Willow’s hair to grind her head into the ropes! The ref reprimands, Hayter lets off and she whips Willow corner to corner hard! Willow bounces off buckles and hits the mat, but Hayter digs her knee into Willow’s face. The ref reprimands, Willow pushes Hayter but Hayter CLUBS her down.
Hayter stands on Willow’s back to use her like a skateboard! Willow shakes Hayter off but then Hayter straddles Willow to CLUB away on her! Hayter drags Willow up to UPPERCUT against ropes. And CHOP! Hayter has control as Rampage goes to break.
Rampage returns, and Willow fireman’s carries Hayter! Hayter flails to get free, and she ripcords. Willow ducks the Hate Maker but Hayter elbows Willow away. Hayter then hits an IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Willow survives and fans fire up! Rebel and Britt are worried, but Hayter drags Willow up. Hayter CLUBS and ROCKS Willow, then gut wrenches. Willow slips off, shoves and POUNCES!! Hayter ends up flopping out of the ring! Britt is there to check Hayter and then claims that is cheating! But fans fire up with Willow and she brings down the straps! Willow goes out after Hayter and puts her in the ring.
Britt & Rebel are creeping, but Willow’s glare scares them away! Willow gets in the ring but Hayter stomps away on her! Hayter tells the booing fans to shut it, and then she drags Willow up. Hayter EuroUppers, then whips Willow. Willow reverses, fireman’s carries, and hits a DEATH VALLEY DRIVER! Cover, TWO!! Hayter survives and Britt breathes easy. Willow stays positive and she goes up a corner. Fans fire up, but Hayter has the ref check her so that Britt can anchor Willow! Willow CLUBS Britt away but Hayter waistlocks! HIGH ANGLE GERMAN! Hayter holds on, ripcords, HATE MAKER!! Cover, Hayter wins!
Winner: Jamie Hayter, by pinfall
Hayter flexes but give a big assist to Britt Baker, DMD. With their friendship stronger than ever, will Hayter & Baker take over AEW?
Wardlow and Samoa Joe speak.
The AEW TNT Champion says, “Together, the power, and the mayhem, and the chaos is limitless.” The ROH World Television Champion says, “What stands before you is WARDJOE! It is a creed and it is a call, to all that battle, to all who seek to stand before all, that all will fall, and all who think they’re ready for what we will do… will be left wanting.” Will there be no stopping this Two TITAN Power Trip?
Ryan Nemeth is in the ring.
The Hollywood Hunk introduces himself, and he wants to set things straight. First off, Rocky Balboa is not real! Secondly, Ben Franklin was nothing but a two-pump chump who moved here to DIE. He will give Philly credit, they do have a long-standing wrestling tradition. What was it again? Extremely Crappy Wrestling? Is that what it was? Wait! Here comes HOOK! We were expecting to see the FTW Champion, and now he has even more of a reason to show up with someone talking crap on ECW. Hook gets in the ring to CLOBBER Nemeth! And then he drags Nemeth up to bump him off buckles, and then SAYANAGI with authority!
Hook then sits Nemeth up to give him CLUBBING crossface forearms! Nemeth is a ragdoll as it is but Hook puts on REDRUM!! Nemeth taps fast but passes out just as quickly! The Cold-Hearted Handsome Devil just showed everyone you do NOT insult Extreme Championship Wrestling with him around. But wait, as Hook heads up the ramp, The Trustbusters walk out. Ari Daivari has Sonny Kiss and “Jeeves Kay” (AKA VSK) with him. And Jeeves, being the butler, has an invitation for Hook on a silver platter. Jeeves leaves it on the ground for Hook and the Trust Busters leave. Hook snatches up the letter and takes his leave, what is Daivari Dinero planning now?
AEW shares footage of Swerve’s visit to Rolling Loud NYC.
As Keith Lee let us know last Wednesday, Swerve had this prior engagement to attend, hence the champs defending against other teams. But despite the good time Swerve had with the hip hop and rap stars of today, he is still furious about that loss at Grand Slam. Will Swerve look to be the rock that smashes National Scissors Day this Wednesday?
AEW looks at Jon Moxley VS Hangman Page.
The Blue Eyed Battler says, “I remember this building. I remember Hangman Page.” That is to say, it was last year’s Dynamite Anniversary that these two did battle in the Casino Ladder Match. “They say he’s the future of AEW. Okay. I’m the present. I am the here and now.” The Cowboy says, “So I’ve won the Golden Ticket Battle Royal on Rampage and I am the #1 contender to the AEW World Championship.” Moxley says, “Cowboy Sh*t, right? Yeah, we’ll see.”
Hangman says, “The one thing that I need almost as much as the AEW World Championship, is the people. The people have always been behind me, they light a fire under me. They keep me going.” The cameraman hates to break this to Hangman, but their title match is in Cincy. “Aw, sh*t.” The Cowboy knows he’ll be walking in as the enemy, but will he find away around homefield advantage? Or will this title stay with the Blackpool Combat Club?
Mark Henry talks with tonight’s main eventers.
The World’s Strongest Man says to the Dark Order that LFI, La Faccion Ingobernables has been trying to poach Vance from them. How do they feel about that? And what is their course of action tonight? Silver says that honestly, LFI’s little man crush on Ten is starting to come off a little bit creepy. Alex Reynolds says that all this stuff, this poaching attempt, will not affect The Dark Order. They’re a real family, and they are one. And because of that, “Mr. Rush,” tonight the Meat Man beats you! Andrade says okay, “piqueno,” calm down. Tonight, LFI shows everyone who they are. They are winners! The Dark Order doesn’t deserve Ten!
Jose points out that Silver can’t ignore that Rush eliminated him from the Battle Royal. Rush tells the “little boy” that all this talk is too much. He’s not here to talk. Rush is here to fight! He’ll see you in the ring, perro! Andrade has Rush tranquilo and Mark Henry says it looks like there’s been enough talk. It’s time for the main event! Will Johnny Hungy prove LFI doesn’t win everything? Or will El Toro Blanco bulldoze through Silver to further damage the Dark Order?
BREAKING NEWS for Battle of the Belts 4!
After the controversial way The Bastard retained the title against Orange Cassidy, he must now defend the All-Atlantic Championship against Trent Beretta! And speaking of which, we hear from #JustTrent!
“Something my mom always told me growing up, ‘You never hit a man in the head with a hammer.’ Pac, you broke one of Sue’s rules. Orange, he’s not here. He’s hurt right now. And when you hurt one of our friends, we hurt you.” But legally, cuz they’re good boys. So in DC, Bastard, Trent’s gonna hurt you. “Hands in, boys.” Chuck Taylor, Danhausen and Rocky Romero put their hands in with Trent, this one’s for Orange!
Rush w/ Jose the Assistant VS John Silver w/ Alex Reynolds!
LFI wants to grow stronger by making the Dark Order weaker, and while Andrade takes on Vance in a Mask VS AEW Career match, this one is straight up about pride and machismo! Will Rush fire the first salvo in this faction warfare? Or will the Meat Man make ground beef outta El Toro Blanco?
The bell rings and fans rally up. Silver and Rush approach, and Philly cheers for “JOHNNY HUNGY!” Rush shoves Silver but Silver headlocks back. Rush throws hands, powers out, and runs Silver over. Rush stomps away, flexes to mock Silver, then runs. Silver stays low then hurdles to drop again. Rush leaps over, they both run, and Silver UPPERCUTS Rush out of the ring! Fans fire up as Silver flexes now. LFI regroups but Silver builds speed, only to roll and copy Tranquilo! LFI is furious now, and Andrade wants Rush to end Silver! Rush gets in, and he DECKS Silver with that right! Silver sits up in a daze, Rush stomps him back down.
Rush pretends to take something from Silver’s head, either a mask or his actual head, and he “punts” it into the crowd! The kick is good, and Rush goes back to Silver. Rush CHOPS Silver in a corner, CHOPS again, then whips corner to corner. Rush clotheslines then whips again to clothesline the other corner. Rush snapmares and basement dropkicks! Fans boo as Rush kips up to mock the #JoinDarkOrder hand. Silver goes to the apron and Reynolds checks on him, but Rush goes out to drag Silver of and whip him into railing! Rush then brings Silver around to throw hands, and he whips Silver into more railing!
Fans boo but Silver CHOPS and ROCKS Rush! Rush CHOPS back! Rush grabs camera cables but the ref reprimands. Rush snarls but he kicks Silver around. Rush puts Silver in the ring, tells everyone to tranquilo, but fans boo. Rush grits his teeth and gets in, he blocks a kick and he DECKS Silver again. Rush then stomps away on Silver in the corner! Rush runs corner to corner, only to stop short and BOOT Silver instead! Fans boo while Rush Tranquilos, and Rampage goes picture in picture.
Rush soaks up the heat, drags Silver up, but Silver throws hands. Rush HEADBUTTS Silver, then throws him out! It kinda catches Andrade by surprise, he was watching the crowd. Rush distracts the ref, and Andrade stomps Silver down! Andrade gets away and Rush soaks up more heat. Andrade mocks Silver, dares him to get up, and the ring count climbs. Silver drags himself up but Rush goes out after him, to SMACK him off the timekeeper’s table! And again! Then he CHOPS Silver onto the table! Silver gets up but Rush is after him again, to RAM him into the railing. Rush takes a water bottle to pour it out on his head, he’s getting hot in Philly.
Silver CHOPS back! And ROCKS Rush! Rush pulls Silver’s beard but Silver ROCKS him again. Rush grabs a trash bin and SMASHES Silver with it! Trash goes flying and Silver sputters. Rush stalks Silver back to the ring. The ref reprimands but Rush just shrugs it off. Silver CHOPS! Rush eggs Silver on so Silver CHOPS! Rush SLAPS Silver, then CHOPS him down! Silver sputters again but Rush kicks him around. Rush drags Silver onto the ropes to CHOKE him! The ref reprimands, Rush lets off at 4, and he argues with the ref. Rush drags Silver from ropes to say this is over. Rush goes up the corner, fans rally up, and Rush SUPER SENTONS but FLOPS!
Silver avoids disaster while Rush writhes! A standing count starts, Reynolds rallies the fans up for Silver, and Rampage returns to single picture as the Meat Man rises! Silver runs in to SPLASH Rush! Silver runs but Rush follows to SPLASH! Rush runs corner to corner but Silver follows to SPLASH again! Silver runs, but he suckers Rush in for a GERMAN SUPLEX! Rush gets up, swings, but into another GERMAN SUPLEX! Fans fire up with Silver as he has a wild look in his eye! Silver drags Rush up, whips him to ropes but Rush reverses, only to jump into a POWERBOMB! Cover, TWO!! Rush survives and Silver is seething!
The standing count is back while Rush is down but fans rally. Silver stands, snarls, and drags Rush up to suplex. Rush blocks, throws body shots and then pushes Silver. Silver KICKS! And KICKS! And runs, but Rush follows! CHOP! CHOP! SUPERKICK! Silver wobbles into a NORTHERN LIGHTS! Bridging cover, TWO!! Rush can’t believe Silver survives and Andrade looks worried. Andrade tells Rush to finish this but Rush gives toying kicks to Silver. Silver stands and Rush eggs him on. Silver throws a forearm but Rush gives it back! Silver throws another but Rush does, too. Fans rally for Silver as the CHOPS start going back and forth!
Silver CHOPS, Rush DECKS Silver!! Rush snarls as he looms over Silver, then he runs, into a swing! But Rush gets around to backslide. Sliver slips off to KICK, KICK, SUPERKICK and BRAINBUSTER!! Cover, TWO!! Rush survives and Jose gets on the apron! But Reynolds YANKS Jose down! Jose clutches his knee after it bangs off the edge, but now Andrade distracts Silver. The ref reprimands Andrade, Silver tells Andrade to get in the ring then. But Andrade backs down and Rush SUPERMAN FOREARMS Silver down! Silver is sitting in the corner, Rush goes corner to corner, BULL’S HORNS!! Cover, Rush wins!
Winner: Rush, by pinfall
LFI gets the better of the Dark Order here tonight, Jose should get some kind of hazard pay for his assist. But then Andrade and Rush start stomping away on Silver! Reynolds gets in but he gets mugged, too! LFI has 3v2 advantage but here come Uno & Vance! They DECK Jose, fire off on Andrade, but Rush goes after Vance! Uno goes after Rush, but now Butcher & Blade rush out! The AFO are here to help their boss! Now the numbers are back in LFI’s favor! But wait! Here comes Hangman! The Cowboy dodges Andrade, BOOTS Blade, dumps Butcher out, then stares Rush down. They fire off hands, a revisit from how the Golden Ticket Battle Royal finished!
Hangman gets the edge with all his haymakers, then he whips. Rush reverses, Hangman goes up and out and loads up, but Rush bails out! Jose hobbles, Hangman figures what the hell. BUCKSHOT for the assistant! Rush is furious, and it is clear he and Hangman have unfinished business. So THIS JUST IN! Tony Khan makes it official for the Dynamite Anniversary episode! Hangman Page VS Rush 1v1! Will the Cowboy wrangle El Toro Blanco before taking on the AEW World Champion?
A great episode for Rampage to follow up Dynamite and the Grand Slam, as well as to help set up things for the anniversary week. The tag title match was a great opening match, and it did a great job propelling multiple stories. For one, Acclaimed retain, which I figured anyway. They’re surely going to defend against Austin & Colten next, since the Gunns called them out while also calling FTR out. Acclaimed will win there, too, and who knows how it goes with FTR. I don’t wanna say Tony Khan booked himself into a corner, but he’s come close. FTR can’t really lose since they have THREE different tag titles, but The Acclaimed are so popular that it’d be a shame if they lost.
Good segment from The Baddies and the Vixens. Nice character work with Jade; she wants stronger competition yet is hesitant when such a competitor steps up. Nyla VS Jade will be a great match, and with both Marina and Vickie, they’ll be able to cancel out with Kiera and Leila, meaning Nyla will have a fair(er) shot than most. Moriarty gets a quick win off Fuego, but the big thing is Moriarty’s new Heel aggression and Morrissey also getting his in. Assuming Garcia leaves the Jericho Appreciation Society to go full Face, he and Moriarty are gonna have one hell of a feud and match. Also I like that The Firm has to be the one to tell Andrade about Hardy wanting Private Party back, it adds another dimension to that faction’s identity.
Really good promo from #WARDJOE, and I like the idea that they’re going to be some new kind of Two Man Power Trip. They might not go for the ROH tag titles since FTR are technically Wardlow’s pals, but that also adds to the complexities of the AEW tag title picture. Unless Wardlow & Joe each go for other singles titles instead. That could be a way around it, especially with Jericho wanting to bury former ROH World Champions. Jericho VS Joe would be some awesome stuff. Hook whooping Nemeth was also pretty awesome. But I bet with the Trustbusters’ invitation to Hook, the options are A) join the Trustbusters or B) put up the FTW title. And I think we know which one Hook will choose.
Great stuff from Hayter VS Willow, fans love them both and those two can go. Again, there was wasted potential in just doing away with Hayter VS Britt as a feud. But whatever, Britt helps Hayter win, Hayter can have momentum while Britt’s nose heals up, and then we wait and see if they ever/never circle back to a feud. I mean, it could work, with Britt getting jealous of Hayter being just as beloved by the fans and getting opportunities for titles. Glad to see the feud of Death Triangle VS Best Friends continues, as now Trent gets a shot at Pac for Battle of the Belts IV. Not sure Trent wins that one, but it’ll be an awesome match.
And I like what we’re getting out of the LFI VS Dark Order feud. Good promo segment to set up Andrade VS Vance, but I don’t see Andrade leaving AEW so he’ll be taking Vance’s mask. Rush VS Silver was a great main event, but of course Heels win with Heel tactics. Reynolds and Jose should’ve been more careful with that apron trip-up spot, though, that was not a clean drop. Of course we get a brawl, and of course Hangman helps the Dark Order. Hangman VS Rush 1v1 is going to be an awesome match for the anniversary show, and it’ll help Hangman get some momentum going into the title match in Cincy. Great promo from him and Moxley, too, and Hangman was perfectly in character realizing he’s going to be at a disadvantage.
My Score: 8.7/10
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