Long time no see, amirite? If you weren’t aware, the 5Star Grand Prix was put on hiatus because a few girls were ill and some of them tested positive for covid. As far as I’ve read, they didn’t release names of who, so let’s just be happy they’re all fine and we’re back on track.
Mathew and I decided to combine the last two days, since it takes a little time for Stardom-World to load up full shows; and one big catch up article will get everyone ready for the 9.12 Day and Night double header!
We left off with Himeka taking early control, with most of the other names in the Red Block picking up an early loss. Can the Jumbo Princess continue running the table?
- Death-Yama vs Tam Nakano: Tam wins via Tiger Suplex Hold @4:12 – **
- Starlight Kid vs Himeka: Himeka wins via Human Torture Rack @8:32 – ** ½
- Saya Kamitani vs Giulia: Giulia wins via Glorious Driver @11:25 – ** ¼
- Mayu Iwatani vs Konami: Konami wins via Triangle Kimura @13:39 – ****
- Saya Kamitani vs Himeka: Time Limit Draw @20:00 – ****
- Starlight Kid vs Tam Nakano: Tam wins via Tiger Suplex Hold @6:58 – **
- Konami vs Giulia: Konami wins via Triangle Kimura @11:26 – *** ¼
Death-Yama vs Tam Nakano
This match involves Death-Yama…so it’s not intended to be overly serious. The Death incarnation of Kaori Yoneyama is mostly like a zombie and Pokemon mixture. Some of the moves are purposefully telegraphed because she has to do the Death-Death-Death wind up, so it’s more of a comedic styling. Tam however, does have a track record of losing dumb matches. So this is mostly a test to see if Tam has grown as much as I’d like to think she has.
Tam gets sucked into the Death stuff pretty often, and it seems to bite her a little. She does her own poses and devil horns moments in response to Death, which is cute and all; but then leads to Death having an advantage for a while. There are quite a few moments where Death hits a few Cradle attempts, which come scarily close to beating Tam.
Thankfully, the cutest in the cosmos prevails, hits a Spinning Crane Kick followed by the Tiger Suplex Hold for the victory. Maybe Tam really is turning a corner.
— We Are Stardom (@we_are_stardom) September 7, 2020
Starlight Kid vs Himeka
Starlight, as we’ve been over, is young but positioned in the Stardom tier lists fairly well. She tends to pick up good momentum and show a lot of promise, even when outclassed. Himeka is one of the newest additions to Stardom, and she’s been a force. The Jumbo Princess is power, beauty all mixed with wild Minoru Suzuki eyes and a penchant for inflicting pain.
This match went based off of how we perceive the two wrestlers. Starlight used her speed and ingenuity to hit a few moves and a series of Cradle attempts which had Himeka concerned at a few moments. My issues with this match come from the youth of both competitors. Himeka has a great gimmick on the offense. She tortures Starlight in Boston Crabs and Camel Clutches while her whole face beams with sadistic joy…but damn does she telegraph when Starlight gets a move in.
Himeka stands too obviously when about to receive Satellite DDTs, guards too quickly against a Tiger Feint and I’m still trying to figure out why she kept climbing the corner when Starlight was doing a series of charges; just to get Avalanche Arm Dragged.
Don’t take this wrong, as I’m a big fan of Starlight, and I’d be lying if Himeka’s insanity hasn’t won me over a lot in the 5 Star so far. But when things are obvious, I need to point them out.
Saya Kamitani vs Giulia
So the way the two women framed this match, was the future versus the present. Giulia was essentially telling Saya that she’s not on her level, and Saya is trying to prove herself.
Welp….where to begin here? Giulia is cocky and Saya is openly frustrated early on, taking a few cheap shots in the ropes. But when the pace starts to pick up a little, there’s a combination of Giulia not really selling and Saya’s offense being slow; that this was a rough watch. Most egregious being that Giulia was in charge until a Double Hand Spring Dropkick, and stayed in the corner waay too long while Saya played to the crowd and took a second before charging.
Giulia only really showed some pain after Saya hit a Draping Dropkick, but that was quickly forgotten when we got toward the end and Giulia was just goading Saya to hit her. The match was supposed to show a struggle for Saya to prove herself, yet Giulia still being a little out of reach. And instead it made Saya look a little inept and not even on the same continent as Giulia.
I generally expected better from two women who are half of the Godesses (Saya) and the Wonder and one third of the Artists (Giulia). Maybe I’ll chalk this up to the month off.
Mayu Iwatani vs Konami
No real story here beyond Konami is the most technically proficient wrestler on the roster and Mayu is the Icon of Stardom. Mayu having one loss already is bad for the current World champion. So she’s trying to get some momentum and Konami could get a quality win, possible future title shot and 2 points.
Now talk about living up to the dynamic of the women! Konami came out hot, nearly locking in the Triangle Lancer in the first few minutes, causing Mayu to retreat to the ropes. That was really the entire story of this match. Konami was aggressive and Mayu was forever on the back foot. When Mayu did finally find some offense, it was short lived.
Mayu got a near fall with a Dragon Suplex Hold, went to the top rope for her Moonsault, but as soon as she missed, Konami was back in attack mode. Konami sunk in a Sleeper Hold for so long that by the time she broke the hold, since Mayu managed to get her foot to the ropes, Mayu looked like she was just coming back to. More submission offense, Front Neck Lock, a few Triangle Lancer attempts, and then the Triangle Kimura that finished off the match.
Watching Mayu barely limp over to the ropes, and reach with the last bit of her energy as Konami just kept finding ways to choke the life out her was pretty awesome. Konami is usually a little too stoic to get a good read on things, but after this match, attack mode Konami is pretty great.
— We Are Stardom (@we_are_stardom) September 5, 2020
Saya Kamitani vs Himeka
Now let’s hope my hang ups with these two are remedied a little. Both have a lot of potential, but I’d really like to see Himeka telegraph less and Saya to speed up her transitions into moves. Only story we really have here is that Himeka has had Saya’s number a bit in preliminary matches since joining Stardom. So again, this is a chance for Saya to prove herself to a degree.
WOW! So Himeka comes out with medical tape on her right shoulder, so that gives Saya an eventual target. This started out slowly with both women taking a little bit to lock up, and then try to search for some grappling/mat based advantages before Himeka finds the opening and boots Saya out of the ring. This gives us the first glimpse of their dynamic, with Himeka talking smack the entire time as she bounced Saya’s head off the chairs and apron.
Once Saya turned things around, I think we’ve learned how to make Saya look good. She was vicious! Saya started talking crap, repeating jabs back at Himeka, and she threw the referee off multiple times during the match. Saya focused Dropkicks on the injured shoulder, chided and goaded Himeka to engage in strikes, and proved she has quite a sadistic side herself.
Both women sold well, fought well and it was just fantastic. Saya still has to work on finding a good time to do her Water Wheel Kick, cause that still looks bad, but so much of this was tremendous. The Draw worked wonderfully because it showed a vulnerable side of Himeka, since she’s been a bit sadistic and dominant; but damn did this do wonders for Saya.
Now on Stardom World! Red Stars action continues in the 5★ STAR GP 2020! From 9.6 in Sendai, it's Saya Kamitani vs Himeka! pic.twitter.com/Y2a8QLddnv
— We Are Stardom (@we_are_stardom) September 9, 2020
Starlight Kid vs Tam Nakano
We don’t have any real match prep here. Tam and Starlight are both members of the STARS faction, so this is more just “may the best woman win”.
Tam gets to play a weird role in this match. She’s the bigger wrestler, and the more powerful; so she assumes more of a “big sister playing with little sister” role. The problem there is that Tam is not accustomed to it, and the opening salvo comes off a little clunky and weird…and frankly the match never finds its groove. Tam sells for Starlight fairly well and the Avalanche Arm Drag spot makes more sense here, but it’s still odd. Then when Tam makes her comeback is looked like Starlight didn’t really know how to bump for things. Starlight ate a High Kick oddly, so it came off looking short, then she bumped bad from the Spinning Crane Kick and…well at least it was almost over.
Tam wins with the Tiger Suplex after softening up Starlight with a German Suplex and a few other strikes.
Konami vs Giulia
— We Are Stardom (@we_are_stardom) September 10, 2020
Giulia beat Konami during the mini white belt tournament a few months ago, so that’s the easy thread. Giulia is looking to run the result back, and Konami is looking to change up her attack and even up the score.
A fairly even fight is what we got here. Konami tried to take it to Giulia, but Giulia found ways out early, and had a more effective striking offense. Konami and Giulia have similar character approaches where they are relatively stoic and confident, but Konami is the technical wizard.
Konami went after the arms, which was beautiful since Giulia’s Glorious Driver needs arm strength and most of Konami’s submissions are arm based. Konami didn’t bust out the really cool Hanging Dragon Sleeper that she did again Mayu, but it was still nice Armbar variants.
My only gripe will be Giulia’s selling, as is usually my issue. She did sell more in this match, but when she had to “stagger” to the next spot, the way she did it made no sense or just looked dumb. Tam is one I give a lot of credit for understanding what selling is, cause it’s more than taking a bump and screaming. OH SPEAKING OF SELLING – Himeka earned massive points in my book. She was on the outside during this match, and was still treating her right arm as useless. That girl gets it.
Overall Score: 6 + 7.5 = 6.75/10 (both days combined score)
So the 9.5 show wasn’t really great except for the last Red Stars match. So I’d give it a solid 6. There were a lot of obvious issues that I couldn’t turn a blind eye to. Nothing was out right awful, just a bunch of matches piled up the disappointment. Except that Konami match; boy was that tremendous.
As for the 9.6 match, there was one less match, but the overall quality was higher. Himeka and Saya impressed me together. So I think part of Himeka’s issue from the previous day is working with smaller girls. Himeka is only 23, with 3 years of wrestling experience. Between her facial expressions during matches, her really solid wrestling ability and when I saw her selling the arm during Giulia’s match; she just needs more time. I might get nitpicky, but now I want to see her succeed.
Oh yeah, this isn’t only the Himeka show, so let me focus for a second. The fact that Konami has momentum, instead of following up a big win over the World champion with a string of failure, could definitely prove interesting. Also I expect Tam’s matches to be highlights for me moving forward. When she’s not in comedy matches or playing a role she’s unfamiliar with, she’s a lovable underdog that tends to sell great and tell a story.
So I love, love, loved the 9.6 show just because of what it could mean for the rest of the tournament. So Day 3 was a little lackluster to me, but ending high and then Day 4 starting off great…the block finished this article storng!
Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (12/4/23)
Main Event Jey goes for gold!
While Drew McIntyre wants the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, it’s Jey Uso who gets his shot at Seth Rollins tonight on Monday Night Raw!
- Drew McIntyre VS Sami Zayn; wins.
- The Creed Brothers w/ Ivy Nile VS JD McDonagh & Dominik Mysterio w/ Rhea Ripley; win.
- Shayna Baszler VS Nia Jax; wins.
- Best 2 Out of 3 Falls: #DIY VS Imperium; wins.
- Natalya & Tegan Nox VS Kayden Carter & Katana Chance; win.
- Cody Rhodes VS Shinsuke Nakamura; wins.
- WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Seth Rollins VS Jey Uso; wins and
PLAY BY PLAY
Drew McIntyre is here!
The Scottish Warrior is ready to tear it all down, all because he didn’t get another title match with Seth Rollins when he wanted. But before he tears into Sami Zayn, McIntyres the mic to say, “It’s been awhile since I’ve done this, but welcome everybody to Monday Night Raw!” Fans cheer that! And McIntyre says Raw is the land where it feels like everyone’s lost their minds lately! “Liars, hypocrites, cowards, just plain idiots. Apparently, you can get fired, released, leave, do what you want for a bunch of time, come back, and you’re instantly forgiven these days!” Fans chant “CM PUNK!” but McIntyre says he could be talking about anyone.
Now, Rollins tried to pull a fast one on McIntyre. Rollins could’ve given the match to anyone, but McIntyre beat Jey Uso weeks ago. So Rollins sticks it to McIntyre, slaps him metaphorically, so he headbutts Rollins in his stupid face. And speaking of Jey, O M G, Jey can apologize! He ran to Randy Orton, tail between his legs, “Oh, I’m so sorry, Randy!” Well Jey, your time’s coming. And there’s someone McIntyre is forgetting. Oh, right! Sami Zayn! And wouldn’t you know? Here comes Sami! Fans cheer and sing Sami’s song as he makes his way to the ring, a mic of his in hand. The fans then chant for ‘SAMI! SAMI!” as he sits up top.
Sami tells McIntyre, he clearly has a lot to say about everybody, including Sami, so he may as well say it to Sami’s face. Oh, yes, McIntyre sure does. Last week, Sami wanted to say how alike they are, but they are not. McIntyre has something to say to Sami and it is the truth: Sami is the one person in the world who deserved to get screwed over by The Bloodline. The fans boo but McIntyre says he will explain. Sami was the Bloodline’s lapdog errand boy, he joined them because he was running away from McIntyre, and then what? Sami screwed Bloodline over! What did Sami think was gonna happen to him? Isn’t Sami supposed to be smart?
McIntyre says Sami deserved what he got, it’s the truth. Sami says McIntyre is right about one thing: Sami was wrong. Sami thought they were alike but the more Sami is seeing, the more “truth” he’s hearing, Sami realizes they are NOT anything alike! Sami is not a delusional person. He isn’t someone who points a finger at everyone else for his own shortcomings. And big difference here: When Sami lost in front of his family and let everyone down, he stayed hungry, driven and motivated and that carried him to victory in the main event of WrestleMania! Fans fire up for that! So Sami got his redemption. Sami got to make his family proud. Does McIntyre think he’s making his family proud?
McIntyre glares at Sami, and then says one of them is NOT walking out of here. Get a ref and ring the bell! Fans fire up as we get their match now! Will McIntyre absolutely explode after Sami set him off?
Drew McIntyre VS Sami Zayn!
The bell rings and fans are behind Sami in this one. Sami and McIntyre circle, then McIntyre RAMS Sami into a corner! And OVERHEAD Belly2Belly suplexes! McIntyre asks if it was a good idea to talk bad now. McIntyre ROCKS and DECKS Sami, then stalks him. Fans rally with “Let’s Go, Sami!” as he bails out. McIntyre pursues, and SMACKS him off the apron! McIntyre scoops Sami, but Sami slips free to POST McIntyre! Sami aims at the apron, McIntyre body shots and SMACKS Sami off the apron! McIntyre puts Sami in but Sami builds speed to FLY! Direct hit and down goes McIntyre! Fans fire up with Sami as Raw goes to break!
Raw returns and fans rally as McIntyre has Sami in a motorcycle stretch. But Sami flips then BOOTS McIntyre away! But McIntyre CHOPS Sami back! Sami bails out, McIntyre pursues, but Sami kicks and CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS! Sami throws hands, whips, but McIntyre reverses. Sami goes up the barriers to QUEBRADA! Down goes McIntyre again and fans fire back up! The ring count climbs, the fans fire up with Sami, and Sami brings McIntyre around to put him in at 7 of 10. Sami slides in, but McIntyre LARIATS Sami back down! McIntyre seethes while fans boo, and McIntyre throws fists down on Sami!
Fans rally even harder for Sami and Sami sits up. McIntyre drags Sami up, to CHOP! Sami flops right back down, McIntyre grins, and he drags Sami up. McIntyre CHOPS and Sami wobbles around! Sami shakes his head, grits his teeth, and CHOPS in return! And CHOPS! McIntyre CHOPS and Sami falls over! McIntyre stomps Sami, smother shim, then stomps his head again! McIntyre stomps Sami’s leg, then stomps the other leg! McIntyre paces around Sami, waits on Sami to get up, and Sami goes to a corner. McIntyre runs in but Sami ELBOWS him away! Sami goes up, McIntyre runs in but into a BOOT!
Sami leaps, AX HANDLE! Sami fires up with the fans, he kicks McIntyre and reels him in, but McIntyre is a little too big to suplex! McIntyre suplexes, Sami slips free, then he lures McIntyre into the corner to POST him! Sami kicks and reels McIntyre in, to SUPLEX! Fans fire up while both men are down! Sami clutches the ankle, but he stands up to fire off haymakers! Sami whips, McIntyre reverses but Sami ducks ‘n ‘ dodges to tilt-o-whirl DDT! Cover, TWO!! McIntyre survives and Sami is stunned! Sami hurries to the apron while fans fire up! Sami climbs, leaps, but into an OVERHEAD BELLY2BELLY! And then another OVERHEAD BELLY2BELLY!
McIntyre hits a NECKBREAKER, then kips up! Fans are torn as McIntyre shakes the ropes. But then Sami clotheslines him up and out! Sami aims, and PLANCHAS! McIntyre catches him! And SLINGS him over the desk! Fans lose their minds and McIntyre seethes as Raw goes to break.
Mitchell’s NJPW World Tag League Results & Report! (12/4/23)
B Block, round 6!
Sure #EverybodyDies, but who will tranquilo?
The World Tag League round robin is almost over, and B Block is looking saucy! Will Lance Archer & Alex Zayne burn Yota Tsuji & Zandokan Jr?
- BUSHI & Shingo Takagi VS SHO & Yoshinobu Kanemaru; win.
- Six Man Tag: Kaito Kiyomiya, Ryohei Oiwa & Oskar Leube VS The Gates of Agony & Boltin Oleg; win.
- Six Man Tag: Toru Yano, Tomohiro Ishii & Tomoaki Honma VS The United Empire; win(s).
- Six Man Tag: Shota Umino, Ren Narita & Ryusuke Taguchi VS The House of Torture; win(s).
- Six Man Tag: TMDK VS Bullet Club; wins.
- 2023 World Tag League, B Block: Taichi & Yuya Uemura VS Bad Luck Fale & Jack Bonza; Fale & Bonza win.
- 2023 World Tag League, B Block: El Phantasmo & Hikuleo VS Atlantis Jr. & Soberano Jr; ELP & Leo win.
- 2023 World Tag League, B Block: Bishamon VS Yuji Nagata & Minoru Suzuki; Bishamon wins.
- 2023 World Tag League, B Block: Lance Archer & Alex Zayne VS Yota Tsuji & Zandokan Jr; Tsuji & Zando win.
PLAY BY PLAY
Here are the current B Block standings.
Alex Zayne & Lance Archer: 4-1, 8 points
Taichi & Yuya Uemura: 4-1, 8 points
ELP & Hikuleo: 3-2, 6 points
Bishamon: 2-2-1, 5 points
Atlantis Jr. y Soberano Jr: 2-2-1, 5 points
Yota Tsuji & Zandokan Jr: 2-3, 4 points
Yuji Nagata & Minoru Suzuki: 1-4, 2 points
Bad Luck Fale & Jack Bonza: 1-4, 2 points
2023 World Tag League, B Block: Taichi & Yuya Uemura VS Bad Luck Fale & Jack Bonza!
The Holy Emperor & Heat Storm are just outside the top after their loss to Monster Sauce, but that’s way better than being at the bottom like the Rogue Army. But can Fale & Bonza ruin things for Taichi & Yuya? Or will B Block belong to Just5Guys?
The teams sort out and Yuya starts against Bonza. The fans rally up as the bell rings and the two stare down. They circle, tie up, and Bonza wrenches to hammerlock then waistlock. Yuya switches to then hammerlock, but Bonza switches the hammerlock back. Yuya reaches back, sits down, rolls and wrenches to a wristlock. Bonza spins, breaks free and pie faces Yuya! Yuya keeps cool, and he resets with Bonza. They tie up, but Bonza kicks low! Bonza runs, runs Yuya over, and says he’s pathetic! Bonza runs, Yuya stays low to then hurdle, and then he hip tosses Bonza down! Yuya scoops and SLAMS Bonza, then arm-drags him!
Fans fire up as Yuya has the armlock, but Fale runs in to throw body shots and scoop! Yuya slips free, but Fale’s too big for an arm-drag! Fale scoops again, and SLAMS Yuya! Then Fale DECKS Taichi for the hell of it! Bonza stomps Yuya around, brings him up, and bumps him off buckles. Tag to Fale and the Rogue Army mugs Yuya. Fale brings Yuya around to CLUB him down, then looms over him. Fans rally but Fale stands on Yuya! Fale goes surfing on the Heat Storm! Fale steps off, covers, TWO! Fans cheer but Fale tags Bonza. Bonza storms up on Yuya, drags him around, and then he goes surfing!
Bonza lets off to then drop an elbow! And then springboard stomp! Yuya sputters, Bonza drags him back up but Taichi rallies the fans. Yuya CHOPS Bonza, ROCKS Fale, repeat! Bonza ROCKS Yuya! Bonza bumps Yuya off buckles, whips him corner to corner, then runs in to elbow! Bonza keeps moving, but Yuya DROPKICKS! Both men are down and the fans fire up! Yuya crawls, hot tag to Taichi! Taichi storms up to Kawada Kick! Bonza says F U and ROCKS Taichi, but Taichi SOBATS back! Taichi tells Bonza off and BOOTS him in the corner! Fale runs in, but into a BOOT! Fale comes back, Taichi steps aside to GAMANGIRI!
Bonza kicks Taichi, whips him to a corner, but Taichi comes back to AX BOMBER! Fans fire up with Taichi, and OFF COME THE PANTS! Taichi then aims, but Bonza blocks the kick to ELBOW! Bonza whips, DISCUS LARIAT! Bonza fires up, he drags Taichi up, and he reels Taichi in to suplex! Taichi fights that off to suplex back! Bonza fights that off, they fight for suplex control, and fans rally up! In the end, Bonza gets Taichi up, but Taichi slips free! SAI- NO, Bonza fights with elbows! Bonza runs, into a RIDGE HAND! Taichi runs, but Bonza deflects the boot to hit a BIG back suplex! Tag to Fale and he storms up on Taichi.
Fale stomps Taichi, drags him up and CLUBS away on the back! Taichi falls over but Fale stalks him to the ropes. Fale drags Taichi up, but Taichi fights and wrenches to HOOK KICK! Fale runs up, into a clinch! Taichi is using sumo! Fale and Taichi hobble around, Fale tries to counter sumo with sumo! But Taichi still THROWS Fale!! Fans are thunderous and Taichi takes aim! BUZZSAW! Both men are down, fans rally up, hot tag to Yuya! Yuya roars, runs in and CHOPS Fale! Bonza runs in, but gets an arm-drag! And then a DROPKICK! Bonza bails out, Fale staggers up into a DROPKICK! He stays up, so Yuya DROPKICKS again!
Fale rebounds, into an ARM-DRAG!! The fans are thunderous and Yuya runs in at the corner. DOUBLE CHOP! Taichi adds a BOOT! Yuya runs in again, DROPKICK! Fale hobbles, Yuya pushes him out and goes up the corner! CROSSBODY! Down goes Fale! But Yuya isn’t done there! Yuya drags Fale up, wrenches and traps the arm, but Fale swings the other! Yuya catches it! But Fale’s too big for Kamuki! Fale TOSSES Yuya to a corner then SPLASHES! Fireman’s carry, but Yuya flails around! Sunset flip, but Fale stays up! So Taichi GAMANGIRIS him into it! High stack, TWO!! Fale escapes, but Yuya has an ARMBAR!!
Fans fire up as Fale endures! Fale fights around, but Yuya powers him down!! ARMBAR!! Fale flails and kicks around, reaches out, but Yuya shifts grip! Bonza sends Taichi into railing before he gets in, Fale has the ROPEBREAK! Bonza CLOBBERS Yuya for good measure! Fans fire up as Bonza BLASTS Taichi off the apron! Yuya CHOPS Bonza, CHOPS him again, and powers up, but Bonza dodges! Only for Yuya to catch the arms! But Bonza knees low! Yuya roars, but Bonza scoops him! BACKBREAKER to ELBOW DROP!! Cover, TAICHI BREAKS IT! Fans fire up but Bonza scoops Taichi! FIRE THUNDER DRIVER!!
Fale hoists Yuya up! Crucifix lift, for BAD LUCK FALL!!! Cover, Rogue Army wins!!
Winners: Bad Luke Fale & Jack Bonza, by pinfall (gain 2 points; Taichi & Yuya earn 0)
The Rogue General & Red Commander just brought down two of the five guys! Did they just blow up the chances of Taichi & Yuya going on to the semifinals? Or will luck be with J5G in the seventh?
2023 World Tag League, B Block: El Phantasmo & Hikuleo w/ Jado VS Atlantis Jr. & Soberano Jr!
The NJPW Strong Openweight Tag Team Champions take on the NWA World Historic Light Heavyweight Champion and a former World Middleweight Champion, but both teams are on the bubble in this block. Who pops off and who drops off right before the end?
ELP tries to get the fans cheering Soberano but it takes a second to warm them up. The fans fire up and the sons of lucha appreciate it. “AT-LAN-TIS!” and “SOBER-RA-NO!” then return the favor helping in a “HI-KU-LEO~!” chant. They all shake hands and high-five, and then the teams sort out. ELP starts against Soberano and fans rally up. The two wind up, and shake hands! Fans cheer and the two circle. They tie up, ELP headlocks, but Soberano powers up and out to then reel ELP back and run. ELP sidesteps, he avoids Soberano’s handspring, and fans cheer. Soberano flexes and fans cheer a little more.
ELP gives a mocking golf clap and then circles with Soberano again. Soberano headlocks, ELP throws body shots and powers out. Soberano runs ELP over, then things speed up. ELP hurdles but Soberano front flips! Fans fire up and Soberano looks off into the distance. Soberano then runs in, ELP dodges, Soberano RANAS but ELP handsprings through, then does his drop steps! Fans cheer as ELP flexes and kisses the biceps. ELP gives Soberano a push, Soberano pushes back. They start pushing a little harder, then things speed up again! Soberano ducks ‘n’ dodges and rolls off ELP’s back to then run and RANA!
ELP flounders out of the ring and Soberano builds speed! FOSBURY FLOP! Direct hit and fans fire up again! Soberano gets the fans rallying behind him then has the ref tranquilo. Soberano puts ELP in, then gets fans to actually chant for “PHAN-TAS-MO!” Soberano slides in, brings ELP around, and tags Atlantis. The luchadores mug ELP, and the fans still chant for “PHAN-TAS-MO!” but the luchadores double whip to DOUBLE ELBOW! Then wheelbarrow and ENZUGIRI FACEBUSTER COMBO! Cover, TWO! Atlantis keeps cool as he stomps ELP around. Atlantis drags ELP up, keeps him from Leo, and CLUBS away!
Atlantis suplexes but ELP blocks! ELP tries to suplex but Atlantis blocks! ELP RAMS Atlantis into the corner, CHOPS him, then tags Leo. ELP CHOPS again, then hushes the fans. Leo swings, Atlantis dodges to CHOP them in return! CHOP after CHOP then Atlantis runs, ducks ELP’s hurdle but ends up right in Leo’s DDT! Cover, TWO! Leo drags Atlantis up but Atlantis throws forearms and CHOPS! Leo CHOPS right back! Leo then fireman’s carries, but Atlantis fights free! Atlantis dodges the chop, tries to whip but Leo blocks and reverses! Leo runs in, Atlantis dodges and Leo’s boot gets stuck on the ropes! Atlantis dropkicks that leg!
Leo hobbles and Atlantis keeps moving, Atlantis dropkicks the legs out! Fans fire up as Atlantis stomps Leo’s leg, then SPLASHES down on a knee! Atlantis stomps the leg some more, but Jado & ELP coach Leo. Leo CHOPS Atlantis, but Atlantis stomps him down. Atlantis has the leg and works to turn Leo over! HALF CRAB! Leo endures and fans rally up! Leo fights his way over, ROPEBREAK! The ref counts, Atlantis lets go at 4, and Leo clutches his knee. Atlantis eggs Leo on, Soberano tags in, and they both taunt Leo to go taunt ELP. Leo crawls over, but then the luchadores bring Leo away. “Chotto matte ne!”
Fans applaud as the Mexican luchadores know some Japanese. Then they get LEo’s hands, bend the fingers, and then Soberano BOOTS Leo down! ELP protests, the ref reprimands, but Soberano BITES Leo’s foot! Soberano keeps Leo from ropes with a chinlock, then he and Atlantis get Leo up again. They double whip Leo to a corner, Atlantis runs in but is put on the apron. Leo DECKS Atlantis, and he catches Soberano’s splash! Soberano BELL CLAPS then BOOTS Leo! Soberano taunts ELP by blowing a kiss, then he goes back for Leo. Atlantis returns, they double whip but Leo breaks the line to DOUBLE LARIAT!
Fans fire up and Leo crawls, hot tag to ELP! ELP grins as he runs up to BOOT Soberano! Mule kick for Atlantis! Atomic drop for Soberano! ELP mocks Soberano’s pain, then he atomic drops Atlantis, into a RUSSIAN LEG SWEEP! ELP clotheslines Soberano up and out, but Atlantis kicks him low! Atlantis whips ELP to the corner but ELP goes up and over then springboards to CROSSBODY! Somersault, LIONSAULT! Another somersault, to PLANCHA Soberano! Fans fire up with ELP and he goes back to the corner. ELP waits on Atlantis to rise up, then he springboards in, FLYING TORNADO DDT!
Fans fire up and ELP drags Atlantis to a cover, TWO! Atlantis survives and the fans rally up again. ELP fires up and Soberano coaches Atlantis. ELP drags Atlantis up, reels him in, tucks the arms, but Atlantis fights! Atlantis ROCKS ELP, ELP ROCKS Atlantis, they go forearm for forearm! ELP whips, Atlantis reverses and Soberano jumps in! Double hip toss into TU LO SABE! Cover, TWO! ELP survives and that surprises Atlantis. The fans rally, Soberano stalks ELP to a corner and eggs him on. ELP slaps Soberano, Soberano SLAPS ELP! Atlantis BOOTS Leo, ELP throws hands on Soberano, but Atlantis kicks ELP low.
Atlantis puts ELP up top, Soberano GAMANGIRIS! Then the sons of lucha vow to end this! They both climb up after ELP, CLUB away on him, and bring him up. But Leo gets in, TOWER OF DOOM!! Fans fire up for the double powerbomb double superplex combo! Leo drags Soberano up to POWERBOMB onto Atlantis! Fans fire up again as Leo helps ELP up! Leo scoops, but Atlantis slips free to shove Leo into ELP! Then Atlantis dodges Leo to SUPERKICK ELP! And DROPKICK Leo! Leo runs back in but Atlantis dumps him out! ELP runs in but Atlantis goes up and over, rolls and SPIN POWERSLAMS!
Fans fire up as Atlantis goes up a corner! But ELP hurries to GAMANGIRI! Soberano sneaks a tag! ELP goes up to the very top, brings Atlantis up with him, SUPER STEINER! ELP goes up but Soberano is there! He springboards up to SUPER SPANISH FLY!! Fans are thunderous with everyone down, and Soberano crawls to a cover! Leo breaks it! Fans fire up again and Atlantis regroups with Soberano. Leo UPPERCUTS Atlantis, choke grips each of them, meeting of the minds! But then the luchadores double basement dropkick the legs out! Fans rally for Leo but Soberano & Atlantis have him! DOUBLE-
NO, Leo fights the suplexes to UPPERCUT Soberano! Atlantis dodges the haymaker but not the BOOT! Leo aims at Soberano now, choke grip! GOD- FLIP! Soberano ENZIGURIS! Leo roars! Soberano SUPERKICKS! ELP SUDDEN DEATH!! Fans fire up with ELP and he DIVES to take out Atlantis! Leo hits GODSEND!! ELP returns, he goes up, SUPER THUNDERKISS 86!!! Cover, ELP & Leo win!
Winners: El Phantasmo & Hikuleo, by pinfall (gain 2 points; Atlantis & Soberano earn 0)
The sons of lucha are eclipsed by the Guerrillas of Destiny! Will the “Big Blue Sexy Boys” still have a fighting chance of entering the semifinals?
2023 World Tag League, B Block: Bishamon VS Yuji Nagata & Minoru Suzuki!
Hirooki Goto & Yoshi-Hashi vow to break the curse that keeps IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions from winning the league! Will they pull it off? Or will Blue Justice & The Meanest Man in the World not only stop Bishamon, but get golden tickets at the same time?
The teams sort out and Suzuki stares Hashi down. Fans rally up and the two start. They circle, feel things out, and knuckle lock. But then Suzuki kicks one, wrenches the other to a hammerlock, but Hashi switches the hold onto Suzuki. Suzuki reaches back to cording hold and chinbar Hashi to ropes. The ref counts and Suzuki lets off slowly, then with strong pats on the shoulder. Fans cheer and Hashi keeps cool as the two reset. They step up, and Hashi fires a forearm! Suzuki fires back! They go back and forth and the fans rally as they pick up speed! Suzuki ROCKS Hashi, ROCKS him again, but Hashi comes back to CHOP!
Suzuki eggs Hashi on so Hashi CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS! Hashi CHOPS more and more but Suzuki stays standing on sheer anger! Hashi drags Suzuki over, tags Goto, and Bishamon double whip to then double shoulder tackle! Hashi BLASTS Nagata for good measure, then Goto stomps Suzuki. Goto drags Suzuki up, CLUBS him, then whips. Suzuki reverses to then headlock, but Goto powers out. Suzuki pulls hair to HEADBUTT! Suzuki CLUBS Goto down and Goto bails out! Nagata runs in to BLAST Hashi as payback, and then the murder grandpas go out after them! Suzuki whips Goto into railing, then brings him around while Nagata sends Hashi hard into railing!
Suzuki RAMS Goto into railing in front of commentary, then has a railing crossface! The ref reprimands, Suzuki lets off of Goto, but Nagata POSTS Hashi! Suzuki stomps Goto around, the ring count starts, and Suzuki stomps Goto again before sliding in. The count reaches 7 of 20, then 10 as Goto crawls. Goto clutches his neck, the count is 15! Goto stands at 17, and slides in at 19! Fans cheer but Suzuki clamps onto Goto with a camel clutch! Goto endures, Suzuki shifts to bring him up for a facelock. Nagata tags in and he CLUBS Goto on the neck! And CLUBS him again! Nagata wraps on a chinlock to grind Goto down!
Hashi coaches Goto as he fights around, and Goto gets the ROPEBREAK! Nagata lets go, to KICK Goto in the back! Nata then drags Goto up with a facelock and tags Suzuki. Suzuki snapmares Goto to KICK him! And then Suzuki pulls at the tape around the neck and shoulders! The ref reprimands but there’s nothing he can really do! Suzuki reels Goto in but Goto resists the Gotch lift! Suzuki powers up but Goto still fights. Suzuki CLUBS Goto, tags Nagata, and Nagata BOOTS Hashi down! Nagata KICKS Goto in the chest, then KICKS him again! Goto grits his teeth, Nagata eggs him on, but Goto blocks the next kick!
Goto CLUBS the leg, but Nagata ROCKS Goto with a forearm! Nagata whips, Goto reverses, but Nagata BOOTS back! Nagata runs, Goto follows to LARIAT! Both men are down and the fans fire up! Goto and Nagata crawl, hot tag to Hashi! Hashi runs to run Nagata over! Hashi BLASTS Suzuki off the apron and fans fire up as Hashi ROCKS, body shots and CHOPS! Then he fires off forearms over and over in the corner! Nagata sits down and Hashi keeps going! The ref reprimands, the fans fire up, and Hashi lets off to bring Nagata back up. Nagata shoves Hashi so Hashi eggs him on. The forearms go back and forth now!
Hashi gets the edge with forearms, then CHOPS Nagata back to the corner. Hashi whips corner to corner, Nagata reverses, but Hashi comes back to LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Fans rally again and Hashi fires up. Hashi reels Nagata in, suplexes, but Nagata fights it to suplex, and MAGIC SCREW! Hashi flounders, Nagata stands, and Nagata stomps Hashi. Nagata ROCKS Hashi, whips him to ropes, but Hashi holds ropes. Goto tags in, Hashi sidesteps Nagata and Goto ROCKS him! Hashi CHOPS Nagata down, then he BLASTS Suzuki. Hashi hauls Nagata up, turns him, and Goto adds on, HEAD BUSTER! Cover, TWO! Fans rally as Nagata hangs in there.
Bishamon set up in opposite corners, and they aim at Nagata. But Suzuki pushes Nagata to save him from the DOUBLE LARIAT SANDWICH! Hashi CHOPS, Goto CLUBS and then GOTO GO TO HUNTER! Bishamon have Nagata in a corner, Goto clotheslines! Hashi clotheslines! Feed to the fireman’s carry, FIERCE FLASH! Cover, TWO! Nagata survives and fans rally up again! Goto hauls Nagata up, Hashi calls the shot! Dragon sleeper and leg lift, but Suzuki catches Hashi to a SLEEPER! Nagata drags Goto down into a CROSSFACE! Goto endures, Hashi is turning red! Fans rally up as Goto fights his way around!
Goto reaches out, ROPEBREAK! Fans cheer, and Suzuki sends Goto to a corner! Suzuki BOOTS! Nagata BOOTS! Snapmare, DOUBLE PENALTY KICK SANDWICH! Then EXPLODER!! Cover, TWO!! Goto survives and fans fire up again! Nagata drags Goto up, but Goto fights the saido with elbows! Nagata knees low, and again, then CLUBS Goto’s neck! Goto falls and writhes, but Nagata drags him back up! Suzuki keeps Hashi out with an ANKLE LOCK, as Nagata SAI- NO, Goto fights free! Hashi also gets free, to SUPERKICK Nagata! Goto has a SLEEPER, then rolls it to GOTO NISHIKI!! Cover, Bishamon wins!!
Winners: Bishamon, by pinfall (gain 2 points; Nagata & Suzuki earn 0)
The murder grandpas almost had it, but Goto finds a way to survive! Does this mean the Fierce Warrior & Headhunter have a chance to #GetBackUp to the WTL finals after all?
2023 World Tag League, B Block: Lance Archer & Alex Zayne VS Yota Tsuji & Zandokan Jr!
The Monster Sauce is leading the way but they have to finish strong! Will they stay hot going into the seventh and final round? Or will they be sunk by The Gene Blast & King of the World?
Wait, Tetsuya Naito is coming out here? What a great surprise! It sure takes Shingo Takagi by surprise as he’s been on commentary this entire time. Naito joins commentary, even! And he puts his feet up on top of Milano Collection AT’s notes. He makes Milano hold the Right to Challenge bag while he puts his headset on. Monster Sauce then makes their entrance, and Archer suckers a Young Lion in by offering a high-five to then DECK him! He pats another on the shoulder, assuring him it’s fine. Then he RAMS him into railing! Zayne apologizes to each Young Lion in turn, it’s nothing personal. Archer and Zayne then have Red Shoes and Abe-san put on the jackets to see how they look.
Zando and Tsuji make their entrances, the teams sort out, and Archer says that smile of Tsuji’s is gonna be missing some teeth soon. However, Zayne and Zando step up to start and the fans rally up with the bell. They circle, tie up, and Zando powers Zayne to ropes. Zando lets off, fakes the chop, and tells Zayne to take it easy. Zayne and Zando reset and fans rally again. They tie up, Zayne puts Zando on ropes now, and Zayne fakes the chop to twirl his hair. Fans cheer and Zando smirks. The two reset again, tie up again, and Zando headlocks. Zayne wrenches out, but Zando wrenches back to wristlock.
Zayne rolls, handsprings, wrenches and wristlocks, but Zando spins, CHOPS, and whips Zayne to a corner. Zayne reverses, runs in and back elbows! Zayne slips out to the apron and slingshot RANAS! Things keep moving, Zayne ducks ‘n’ dodges and IMPLODER KNEE DROPS down on Zando’s dropdown! Zayne then rolls to STANDING MARIPOSA! Fans fire up and Zayne smirks as he twirls his hair again. Zayne stands Zando up, Zando throws hands but Zayne bobs ‘n’ weaves to body blow! Zayne runs, but Tsuji kicks him! Zayne swings on Tsuji, but Zando reels him in, chicken wings and DODON DROP!
Archer runs in to kick Zando low! Archer reels Zando in to CLUB him, then he runs. Tsuji trips Archer, Zando basement dropkicks! Tsuji then drags Archer out to RAM him into railing! Fans fire up with Zando, and Tsuji sends Archer into more railing! Zando TOSSES Zayne out of the ring, Tsuji fires off on Archer, then CHOPS him! Tsuji holds Archer out along railing, Zando runs in, LEAP FROG ATTACK! Fans fire up while Archer falls over! Tsuji finds Zayne and stomps him, to then put him in the ring for Zando. Zando storms up, drags Zayne up and has him on ropes. Zando lifts Zayne up and Tsuji runs, to LEAP FROG ATTACK!
Zayne flops over, fans rally up, and Zando tags Tsuji. Zando & Tsuij drag Zayne up to double whip. Archer returns, Red Shoes keeps him back, Zayne ends up in the POP-UP KICK! Zando & Tsuji run, basement dropkick sandwich! Fans cheer but Red Shoes reprimands. Zando exits, Tsuji digs his knees into Zayne at the ropes before a knee drop! Tsuji drags Zayne up while Archer and Zando shout at each other. Tsuji whips Zayne but reverses direction to send him into the red corner! Tsuji stomps Zayne, Zando CLUBS him, and then Zando tags in. Zando snapmares Zayne to a seated abdominal stretch! Zayne endures and the fans rally up.
Zayne reaches out, but then reaches up to drag Zando into a cradle! TWO, and Zando stomps away! Zando hits Archer, then laughs as he gets away. Zando drags Zayne back, CLUBS him, then grabs a leg. Zando steps over, then clinches, modified cobra twist! Zayne endures, hops on his one free leg, and fans rally up! Zayne reaches out, hot tag- NO, Tsuji drags Archer down and RAMS him into railing right in front of commentary! Zando wrangles Zayne to a cover, TWO! Fans cheer and Zando drags Zayne up. Zando wrenches, wristlocks, then he tags Tsuji. Tsuji BOOTS Zayne’s arm, then brings him around to ROCK with a forearm!
Fans rally up, Zayne ROCKS Tsuji back! And CHOPS! And ROCKS him again! Tsuji knees low, then wags his finger. Tsuji swings, Zayne counter punches! And again! Tsuji runs in, Zayne gets around, roll up and EDDY GORDO KICK! Both men are down and the fans fire up! Tsuji and Zayne crawl, hot tag to Archer! Archer storms around, fires up, and BLASTS Zando! It was a fake out at first, but now he runs to ELBOW Tsuji! “Ichi!” Archer keeps moving, and ELBOWS! “Ni!” Zayne runs in, tilt-o-whirl RANA CANNONBALL! But Zando SUPERKICKS Zayne! Archer CHOPS Zando but Zando just fires up!
Zando CHOPS Archer, and Archer just smiles! Archer CHOPS back! Archer eggs Zando on so Zando CHOPS! Archer CHOPS, eggs Zando on, and fans fire up as Zando CHOPS again! They CHOP back and forth, faster and faster! Archer CHOPS Zando down! Fans fire up with the Murderhawk and he storms up. Zando swings, but into a full nelson that Archer makes into a dragon sleeper. Tsuji runs in, but gets caught! URENAGE REVERSE DDT COMBO! Archer then drags Tsuji up, shoves him to a corner, and DOUBLE CHOPS! Zayne then LEAP FROG MISSILE DROPKICKS! Archer suplexes Tsuji! Then CHOKE SLAM SAULT! Cover, TWO!!
Tsuji survives and fans fire up but Archer fires himself back up. Tag to Zayne, he goes up, but Zando GAMANGIRIS! Archer grabs Zando, but Tsuji DUMPS Archer! Tsuji then rushes the corner, but Zayne jumps and over! Zayne comes back but Tsuji BOOTS him! Tsuji goes up, but Zayne returns, NO HANDS STEINER! Fans fire up as Zando hurries in. Zayne dodges the chop but Zando blocks the chip to CHOP after all! Zando suplexes, Zayne slips free to shove, but Zando blocks the kick! Zando ducks the enziguri, wheelbarrow GERMAN SUPLEX! Archer BOOTS Zando, ripcords, and HELLICOASTERS! Fans fire up with Archer again!
Archer hauls Zando back up, reels him in, but Tsuji saves Zando from the suplex! Tsuji & Zando mug Archer, then go to double suplex! Archer fights it, he wants to double suplex, but they fight it! Zando & Tsuji try again, DOUBLE SUPLEX! All four men are down and the fans fire up again! Zando stirs, flounders out of the ring, and Tsuji rises. Tsuji tags Zando in, they get Zayne up. They double whip, hip toss and SLAM! Then SPLASH, to LIONSAULT! Cover, TWO! Zayne hangs in there and Zando pounds the mat in frustration. The fans clap along, Tsuji & Zando get Zayne up, ANCHOR!! Cover, TWO!! Zayne survives and fans fire up again!
Zando pounds the mat some more and the fans clap along again. Tag to Tsuji, and he climbs up onto Zando’s shoulders! But Archer caches Tsuji, to CHOKE SLAM him into Zando! Then Archer fireman’s carries, Zayne runs in, ROLLING NECKBREAKER SAMOAN DROP COMBO!! Cover, Zando breaks it! Fans fire up, Archer runs in, but he doesn’t fall for the dump trick. Archer CLOBBERS Zando against ropes, then clotheslines him up and out of the ring! Fans fire up with Archer again and Zayne pounds the mat. Archer hauls Tsuji up, sets him up for Zayne, ROLLING- NO, Tsuji avoids the ax kick! Then he dodges Archer, and now Zando dumps him out!
Zayne mule kicks Tsuji, runs, but into the GENE BLAST SPEAR!!! Cover, LIJ WINS!!
Winners: Yota Tsuji & Zandokan Jr, by pinfall (gain 2 points; Archer & Zayne earn 0)
Monster Sauce drops, making the top of this block really interesting! If #EverybodyDies, are their chances at the finals in danger of dying off?
As for Tsuji & Zando, Tsuji gets the mic to say, “It looks like it’s someone’s birthday today.” It’s also someone in Los Ingobernables de Japon. “HIROMU-CHAN!” Oh wait, is he even here? Well, maybe Hiromu was too busy to be here, but Tsuji hopes tonight’s win is a good birthday gift. Fans applaud that, but then Tsuji says he also has some bad news. It would seem after tonight’s penultimate-penultimate results, there mathematically isn’t a chance for Tsuji & Zando to make it to the semifinals. He asks if that’s true or not. Even commentary has to check the math on that. So then, is there a chance?
Milano is sure it’s not zero percent. Really? Pretty sure. Then there IS a chance! The fans cheer and Tsuji says that even if it seems unlikely, should they win next round, Zandokan will be LIJ! Fans cheer for that, too! Tsuji then brings up that the other day, he talked with the others and hoped Takagi & Naito wouldn’t lose today. Takagi stands up from commentary to say that he does need to get better. Well, hey, tranquilo, right? Tsuji then lets Zando say a few words. “WATASHI WA…! ZANDOKAN JUNIOR!” AKA, he is Zandokan. Fans cheer the introduction, and then he says he’s a BIG DEAL! Fans also cheer that.
Zando then shouts in Spanish, Milano asks for a translation, but Tsuji asks if they’re ready for the tournament’s home stretch. Are you ready for him and Zando to do this? VAMOS, AMIGOS!! Fans cheer, but will Gene Blast & The King of The World really make it to the end?
Here are the NEW B Block standings!
Alex Zayne & Lance Archer: 4-2, 8 points
ELP & Hikuleo: 4-2, 8 points
Taichi & Yuya Uemura: 4-2, 8 points
Bishamon: 3-2-1, 7 points
Yota Tsuji & Zandokan Jr: 3-3, 6 points
Atlantis Jr. y Soberano Jr: 2-3-1, 5 points [ELIMINATED]
Bad Luck Fale & Jack Bonza: 2-4, 4 points [ELIMINATED]
Yuji Nagata & Minoru Suzuki: 1-5, 2 points [ELIMINATED]
A great round, and now with some really complex stuff at the top of the block. Monster Sauce lost to go down to 4-2 so that they’d be tied with ELP & Leo and with Taichi & Yuya. Monster Sauce VS ELP & Leo is next, and so one team will go to 5-2 with 10 points, the other will be 4-3 with 8. This scenario alone seems to be creating confusion because while commentary was not prepared to speak on who is still in this, NJPW’s official website has determined Tsuji & Zando are out despite that great main event win. Even if Tsuji & Zando beat Atlantis & Soberano next round, they’ll get to 8 points, BUT they lost to Taichi & Yuya.
And even if Taichi & Yuya lose, they’d be losing to Bishamon, who would then stand at 9 points, making THEM second place flat out. And if Taichi & Yuya win, they are in as second place, not Bishamon. So despite the moment of cheers and hope at the end of that main event, Tsuji & Zando are really just fighting for pride and apparently for Zando to become Sanada’s replacement so that LIJ maintains six members. That’d be cool stuff, but I wonder if Atlantis & Soberano being CMLL like Zando is CMLL comes into play…
My Score: 8.8/10
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