We reviewed Part 1 of Wrestle Kingdom 10 earlier this week. Last night, AXSTV and New Japan Pro Wrestling brought us Part 2 of the January 4, 2016 matches from the Tokyo Dome in Japan. The first broadcast was amazing and so this one is expected to be just as good.
The first bout is the first ever Never Openweight 6-Man Tag Championship featuring Toru Yano, Jay Briscoe, and Mark Briscoe against Bad Luck Fale, Yujiro Takahashi, and Tama Tonga. Before the match starts Yano spits and throws water on his opponents and all six men start brawling with each other. It’s chaos in the early going as The Briscoes double team Takahashi outside the ring. Yano and Tonga finally slow things down as the legal men fighting in the ring with their respective teammates on the apron. Yano is isolated in the corner and Bad Luck Fale is tagged in. He sits on Yano’s chest to try and get the pin, but he kicks out at two. All three Bullet Club members get in the ring and triple-team Yano after taking out The Briscoes. Fale squashes him in the corner and Yano desperately needs to make a tag.
Mark Briscoe gets the tag against Takahashi and puts on a nice series of offense. Takahashi counters with a fisherman’s buster and then tags Tonga in. Jay Briscoe gets the tag and plants Tonga, cover but kick out. Huge neckbreaker by Jay but Tonga again kicks out. Jim Ross and Josh Barnett question the slow count by the ref. Tonga takes control for a moment but Jay battles back. Jay gets Tonga up on his shoulder trying to slam him down, but Tonga holds on to the top rope for dear life. Yano runs over with a steel chair and smashes it down on Tonga’s hands, forcing him to let go. Mark leaps off the top rope and hits Doomsday Device with his brother, planting Tonga. Jay covers for the three count and the team of Jay and Mark Briscoe and Yano are the first ever Never Openweight 6-Man Tag Champions!
The second match of the night is Los Ingobernables de Japon member and villainous heel Tetsuya Naito taking on Hirooki Goto. His fellow Los Ingobernables members, Bushi and EVIL, accompany Naito to the ring which is not good news for his opponent, Goto, who comes out all alone. Naito attacks a camera man before the match for getting too close to him. Before the match starts EVIL and Bushi attack Goto from behind. Naito rolls in and starts fighting Goto as the bell rings. But Goto isn’t staying down for long, he forces Naito to roll out of the ring with his attack. As Goto starts fighting Naito, EVIL attacks from behind and viciously throws Goto into the steel guard rail. Ouch.
EVIL puts a chair on Gotos neck and then whacks it with another chair. Naito sets up a table and gets Goto up on the apron. Naito hits a neckbreaker into the table on Goto. Back in the ring, Goto hits a sunset flip powerbomb off the top rope which is really amazing. He covers, but Naito miraculously kicks out at two and we head to commercial. When we return, Naito and Goto battle in the center of the ring. Naito hits a hurricanrana off the top rope and gets a near fall on Goto. The two trade forearms in the middle and work the crowd into a frenzy. Goto picks up Naito and hits a neckbreaker, driving Naito down onto his knee. Goto tries to kick Naito, but Naito grabs his foot and swings it into the ref, knocking him to the mat. Doesn’t take long for EVIL to come in and hold Goto as Bushi spits mist at him.
But Goto moves and the mist hits EVIL. Goto plants Bushi and turns to face Naito. Naito kicks Goto in the groan and covers. The ref has recovered, he counts but only a two count. Goto lifts Naito and hits his Shouten Kai suplex finisher. He covers and that’s the ball game. Goto wins an incredible match! Nice final couple of minutes at the end of that one with lovely back and forth with everyone setting up a strong finish. Really enjoyed that one. Goto stands alone and overcomes incredible odds. After the match, he is interviewed backstage and asked about his victory. He says it was sort of a hollow victory because he was fighting Naito and it wasn’t for a title. He also says he has never wrestled in the main event of Wrestle Kingdom. He says this year he will become the face of New Japan Pro Wrestling.
The final match of the night was for the IWGP Tag Team Championship with champs Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows being challenged by Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma. Anderson and Honma start things off. Anderson rakes the eyes of Honma and then moves out of the way of Honma’s falling headbutt. Gallows tagged in and he punches Honma in the corner. Anderson gets back in and misses with a running senton. Honma tags in Makabe. He makes easy work of Anderson, forcing him to roll out of the ring and regroup. Honma and Makabe double team Gallows, knocking him outside the ring as well. All four men fight out on the floor. Gallows throws Makabe into the guard rail and then clocks him with a chain, as Anderson distracts the ref.
Back in the ring, Anderson clobbers Makabe with strikes. Gallows tags in and continues attacking Makabe. Honma is outside the ring with blood on the back of his head. Hasn’t stirred much for a few moments. Gallows and Anderson double team Makabe. Anderson covers three times, but Makabe kicks out each time. Makabe with a hard clothesline on Anderson and finally Honma has recovered. Makabe tags him in and he slams Gallows then drops a headbutt on Anderson. Honma chops Anderson in the corner, whips him to the other but Anderson recovers and kicks him away. Gallows trips Honma up and then gets in the ring to help Anderson hit a couple of moves into a cover. Makabe interrupts the count and keeps his team alive.
Gallows and Anderson set up Honma for the Magic Killer but Makabe breaks it up and knocks Gallows out of the ring. Headbutt on Anderson by Honma. He slams Anderson and then hits the top rope. Unfortunately, Gallows runs in and punches him, stunning Honma. Anderson tries to get a Gun Stun off the top rope, but Honma jumps down onto the apron. Back in the ring, Anderson hits a brutal running powerbomb on Honma but the small man kicks out at two and three-quarters. Honma counters two Gun Stuns in the ring and then headbutts Anderson. Both men are down. Both Gallows and Makabe are tagged in. Nelson Powerslam on Makabe and Gallows covers, but only a near fall. Anderson and Gallows try to tag team Makabe, but he knocks them both down with a double clothesline.
Makebe and Gallows collide with each other and Makabe wins that exchange with a clothesline. Makabe and Honma set up Anderson for a Headbutt Doomsday Device off the top rope. Honma slams Gallows and then hits a falling headbutt. Makabe climbs the top rope and hits a King Kong Knee Drop and covers. One. Two. Three! Honma and Makabe win! This is the 39-year-old Honma’s first ever championship in the company! What a moment. Wow, fantastic match. After the match, Honma says it is a dream come true. He thanks Makabe and says this is all because of him. The DVR shows another new episode next Friday so you know we’ll be here with coverage. Maybe some Wrestle Kingdom 10 Part 3?? We can only hope. Just a wonderful program with three great matches.
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker
We reviewed an episode a few weeks ago that was the go-home presentation leading us into Wrestle Kingdom 10. Last Friday, we finally got our first glimpse into New Japan Pro Wrestling’s premiere annual event. Without further ado, here’s what you missed from the episode on AXSTV.
These matches occurred at the January 4th, 2016 pay-per-view from the Tokyo Dome in Japan. The first match is for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. Champ Shinsuke Nakamura defends against AJ Styles. Styles with a headlock to start. Nakamura blocks a Styles Clash and Styles scrambles away from some knees by Nakamura. The two lock up, Nakamura shoves him against the ropes and the two play mind games. Big dropkick by Styles. The two spill out of the ring and Nakamura slams Styles back first into the steel guard rail. Back in the ring, Nakamura goes to work with some swift kicks. Nakamura is dominating the questionably injured Styles. He sets him up on the top rope and runs to knee him in the gut, but Styles counters and hits a springboard forearm off the ropes. The pair trade some devastating blows in the center ring until Styles hits a face buster and covers. Nakamura kicks out at two. Penalty Kick by Styles and then a Shining Wizard by Nakamura. He gets his own nearfall on Styles. Commercial break.
When we return, Nakamura tries a fireman’s carry, but Styles blocks it, gets a near fall and then wallops Nakamura with knee. He climbs the top rope and hits a 450 splash beautifully. He covers and Nakamura barely gets a shoulder up. Crowd in a frenzy. Nakamura reverses a punch into a cross arm breaker submission in the dead center of the ring. He doesn’t quite get it fully locked in and instead switches to a triangle lock. Styles lifts him up into a modified Styles Clash! That was nice. He covers, but Nakamura kicks out! Crowd is even more hyped up now. Styles lifts Nakamura up and hits a Bloody Sunday DDT. Instead of covering, Styles stomps Nakamura on the back of the neck and then tosses him into the corner. Styles goes to the top turnbuckle. He lifts Nakamura up with him. Nakamura counters with a kick to the head. He lifts Styles up into a fireman’s carry and then hits an Avalanche Landslide. He covers, but Styles kicks out. These false finishes are flawless. So well done. Nakamura runs across the ring and hits a knee to the back of Styles’ head. Bomaye finisher and Nakamura covers for the win! Crowd goes wild. He puts his fist out to Styles. Styles bumps it and crowd cheers even louder.
Fantastic first half of the episode. Great match, good strong style but with reserved respect. You cannot lose watching Styles vs Nakamura. The second bout of the broadcast is Kenny Omega defending his IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship against Kushida. Kushida comes out in a Back to the Future theme which is really, really awesome. HaHa. He has a Doc Brown and everything. Kenny Omega appears to come out “trying” to imitate some sort of a Terminator-like entrance, but it doesn’t really work that well. When he gets to the ring, The Young Bucks come down and join him ringside with Bullet Club backup. Before the match can begin, Omega and the Bucks triple superkick Doc Brown and then triple team Kushida, beating him down to the mat. The Young Bucks leave the ring and the ref rings the bell. Unfair start, but typical Bullet Club antics.
Omega goes right after Kushida, unrelenting with his assault. Strikes, kicks, chops. Dropkick by Kushida, but before he can go on the attack, The Young Bucks distract him on the apron and he has to spend time fending them off. The ref holds Kushida back and while he is distracted, Omega sprays Kushida in the face with something. Kushida baseball slides out of the ring and then takes a trash can to the face by one of The Young Bucks. Omega holds a trash can as he moonsaults off the security railing and slams right onto Kushida. This isn’t supposed to be a no holds barred match, but the ref seems unwilling to take action. The Young Bucks start playing the Terminator theme song, drumming it on the bottom of trash cans. Omega flips over the top rope and takes out Kushida.
Back in the ring, Omega hits a face buster and tries the first pinfall. Kushida kicks out at two. He takes the tape off his wrist and starts choking Kushida. Still no interference by the ref. Omega slaps Kushida in the face. Omega tries a vertical suplex, but Kushida knees him and hits a penalty kick. Several more kicks by Kushida then a back elbow off the ropes. He puts in a double wrist lock, but Omega gets his foot on the rope. And now all of a sudden the ref breaks things up. Some back and forth action topped off with Kushida hitting a swan dive off the top rope, landing on Omega outside the ring. Dropkick by Kushida then a moonsault. He covers, but Omega kicks out. Cross arm breaker but Omega reverses it and suplexes him. The action is strong and steady in this one. We head to a commercial break.
Both men are down when we return. Omega on his feet first. He goes to Kushida and lifts him to the top rope. Double wrist lock by Kushida as he reverses and then he just leaps off the top rope dealing terrible damage to Omega’s left arm. Omega then gets kicked in the same arm. Huge windup punch by Kushida. Kushida scrambles up the turnbuckle and tries a corckscrew moonsault. He misses and Omega recovers in the corner. But Kushida is back immediately to kick Omega’s arm. Off the ropes, Omega suplexes Kushida into a bridge cover, but Kushida counters into a wristlock. Beautiful series of offense by both. The Young Bucks interfere, trying to drag Omega to the ropes. Doc Brown runs over and hits the Bucks with trash can shots. Omega lifts Kushida again but it’s reversed. Forearm by Kushida, big kick by Omega. Kushida is down and the crowd is on their feet. Sit up powerbomb by Omega and it looks like it might be over but somehow Kushida kicks out. Knee to the face by Omega. And another. Omega tries a one-winged angel, but Kushida reverses it down and into a cover. Ref counts three and Kushida is the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion. Wow, what a fun match that was to watch. Wonderful in-ring story told between the two. Great bout.
Two outstanding matches presented from Wrestle Kingdom 10. This broadcast said it was Part 1 so we should be seeing many pay-per-view quality matches in the coming weeks on AXSTV. Of course now you can see both Nakamura and Styles with WWE. AJ Styles will defend his WWE World Championship in a triple-threat against John Cena and Dean Ambrose this Sunday at No Mercy.
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker
— We kicked off the week shooting around some scenarios with John Cena’s future as a part-timer, retiring The Undertaker, and moving the WWE into a younger generation. We learned that Shelton Benjamin was injured and his WWE future is questionable at this particular point in time. He will most likely need surgery and may be on the injured list for several months.
— Monday Night Raw gave us the go home show leading up to tonight’s pay-per-view. We saw a women’s tag match, Rusev taking on Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns versus Kevin Owens in a steel cage! Plus, the introduction of the Cruiserweights. All this and more in our full review of RAW.
— Smackdown Live came at us on Tuesday and featured The Usos can full dark side, American Alpha’s return, The Miz forced to defend his Intercontinental Championship, and The Viper, Randy Orton, in action. The main event was John Cena against Dean Ambrose in singles competition. Read all about it HERE.
— Taped from Full Sail, NXT arrived on the WWE Network on Wednesday. Samoa Joe gave William Regal a very stern ultimatum about Shinsuke Nakamura and the rest of the locker room. Cruiserweight Classic Tournament competitor, Cedric Alexander, made his NXT in-ring debut. And Austin Aries called out Hideo Itami. Read all about the latest taping right HERE.
— Dixie Carter won the week with yet another fantastic episode of TNA’s Impact Wrestling. The stage is slowly being set for Bound For Glory. We saw the Grand Championship tournament finals lock in their last two, Maria Kanellis-Bennett public training, an X-Division Championship match, and a four-man tag team match for the main event featuring Lashley, EC3, Moose, and The Miracle. Read about the entire stellar broadcast HERE.
— The last NJPW before Wrestle Kingdom came to us from AXSTV on Friday, featuring a CMLL World Welterweight Championship title defense, and a tag match between four warring competitors. The main event was Hiroshi Tanahashi and Katsuyori Shibata taking on Kazuchika Okada and Tomohiro Ishii, and boy did they go to war. Read the full play-by-play HERE.
— And of course, tonight is WWE’s Clash of Champions PPV live from Indianapolis, IN. Face To Heel will be live from the arena! We will try to Tweet, get lots of photos, and soak in every wonderful moment. Read all about our full match predictions HERE and be sure to follow our site and our writers on twitter: @FaceToHeel, @OhhhTweener, @MrNotWell. Enjoy the show everybody and we’ll see you tomorrow for Monday Night Raw!
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker
Greetings, pro-wrestling fans! This has been a very interesting week in the world of sports entertainment! We shit the bed on Monday and Tuesday and missed our weekly Raw and Smackdown Live episodes. Our sincere apologies. Our laptop bit the bullet and left us stranded. We had to improvise most of the week but we are finally back and better than ever! So here’s what you may have missed this week in wrestling.
— The late, great Mr. Fuji got his own Collection added to the WWE Network featuring his work as a solo competitor, tag partner, and manager. Alberto Del Rio officially got released by the WWE. Fans around the world were left wondering if his girlfriend, WWE Superstar Paige, was transitioning out of the company as well. The beloved fan favorites American Alpha took their tag team antics to Sportscenter’s Off The Top Rope Wednesday night to discuss their start as partners, amateur careers, and future as a team. The Coach kept it light and it was just a likable interview for the pair of future Smackdown Tag Team Champions.
— Wednesday night gave us some serious wrestling action as NXT saw four matches during the hour long broadcast including: Shinsuke Nakamura, Austin Aries, Ember Moon, and TM61. It was a fun show and the Full Sail Crowd was lively. Read all about it HERE. Following NXT, the WWE Network gave us the final round of quarter-final matches for the Cruiserweight Classic. Zack Sabre Jr. took on Noam Dar and T.J. Perkins wrestled Rich Swann. It was two more classic matches for the CWC and set the stage for next week’s live two hour finale. See who made the Final Four in our full review.
— Thursday Night! I knew you’d come! Yes, TNA brought us a brand new episode of Impact Wrestling. And yes, Broken Matt Hardy treated the entire world to another fantastically epic moment in pro-wrestling history. Decay (Rosemary, Abyss, Crazzy Steve) invaded Cameron, North Carolina and tried to steal King Maxell. It was one for the history books as Decay or Delete gave us more fireworks, more green mist, and more insane Hardy moments than ever before. And if that wasn’t enough, Gail Kim tagged with Jade, the King of the Mountain Championship was retired, and The Miracle got an opponent for Bound For Glory. Don’t hesitate to read all about #ImpactOnPOP!
— AXSTV brought us some killer tag team action on Friday’s new episode of New Japan Pro Wrestling. It was worth watching and featured some of Japan’s biggest names. Read all about the phenomenal hour long broadcast HERE. We don’t typically cover UFC on here, but we did this past Saturday as UFC 203 saw the debut of former WWE World Champion CM Punk in the octagon. Unfortunately it was a brutal first fight. Mickey Gall tapped Punk out in the first round. We covered the event briefly HERE.
— And of course, last night Smackdown Live presented the 2016 Backlash pay-per-view. It was a premiere event and was arguably one of the best live WWE Network shows put on so far this year. We crowned a first time ever Smackdown Women’s Champion, first time ever Smackdown Tag Team Champions, and both the Intercontinental and World titles were defended. Who won? Who retained? Well, you don’t think we’re gonna give that information away here do ya?! You have to go read our article with full match results and feedback. That’s all for now. See you tonight for Monday Night Raw!
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker
Friday’s episode featured two tag team matches from November 21, 2015 in Korakuen Hall. Both matches are in the World Tag League 2015 Tournament. Big time players in this one, so without further delay let’s review.
The first match is a Block B Official Match featuring Tatsuya Naito and EVIL taking on Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows. EVIL comes to the ring wearing a purple and black cloak and hood, carrying a plastic scythe. Naito comes out wearing his silver skull mask. He gets to the ring and takes the mask off. Instead of Naito, it’s the masked wrestler Bushi. Crowd cheers despite Bushi having apparently now joined Los Ingobernables. Anderson and Gallows of The Bulletclub come out flying solo. Before the bell rings, all four men attack one another in an all out brawl. The bell rings and Anderson and Gallows isolate EVIL, getting him out of the ring. Then Naito gets attacked and dumped outside as well. In front of Bushi, Gallows throws EVIL into the guard rail.
In the crowd, Anderson puts a hurting on Naito. Crowd in a rare frenzy. Anderson throws Naito out of the steel exit door and then joins Gallows ringside, who is beating EVIL with a chair. They get EVIL in the ring and Anderson takes control. Gallows goes to his tag corner. Naito is shown making his way slowly through the crowd. They spill outside the ring. EVIL puts a chair around the neck of Anderson and throws him into the steel post. Back in the ring, EVIL starts biting Anderson. This one is less of a wrestling match and more of a free-for-all. Ref is really letting them get away with everything but murder here.
After a commercial break, EVIL and Anderson are actually wrestling in the ring. Spine buster by Anderson and he crawls towards Gallows for the tag. Gallows knocks Naito off the apron and kicks EVIL to the mat. Naito gets the tag and drops Gallows. EVIL comes in and they tag team Gallows into a cover after knocking Anderson off the apron. Two count. Naito attacks the ref in the corner. EVIL is down. Gallows and Anderson tag team Naito. Huge powerbomb by Gallows and a cover. EVIL breaks it up before the three count. Gallows and Anderson get EVIL out of the ring and continue double-teaming Naito. Gallows and Anderson try a Gun Stun. EVIL breaks it up. Kick by Naito on Gallows and then Bushi mists him on the apron. Gallows gets hit with a Tranquilo and Destino by Naito (try saying that five times fast) and Naito covers for the win. Interview afterwards shows EVIL and he says, “Everything is evil.” Bushi says he has decided to follow Naito.
The second match is from Block A of the tournament. The team of Hiroshi Tanahashi and Michael Elgin go up against Kazuchika Okada and Yoshi-Hashi. Elgin and Yoshi-Hashi kick off the bout. Elgin throws Yoshi-Hashi across the ring and flexes his bicep. Yoshi-Hashi against the ropes, tries a shoulder tackle but Elgin doesn’t move. He slams Yoshi-Hashi and then drops him with a gorilla press. Vertical suplex and Yoshi-Hashi is reeling. Cover by Elgin, but a kick out. Tanahashi tags in and calls out Okada. Yoshi-Hashi tags him in and they go at it, eventually spilling out of the ring an into the crowd. Ref starts a 20 count. Both get back to the ring at 18. Okada tags Yoshi-Hashi in and he plants Tanahashi, who seems to be singularly focused on Okada. Tanahashi fights back and gets Elgin tagged in. He punches Yoshi-Hashi multiple times and slams him into a cover. Kick out at two. Yoshi-Hashi blocks a powerbomb attempt and tags in Okada. Okada goes to work on Elgin but he manages to tag in Tanahashi who puts Okada down and locks in a cloverleaf submission. Okada fights out and the two keep battling as we head to a commercial break.
When we return, Yoshi-Hashi and Elgin are fighting. Yoshi-Hashi gets a quick cover on Elgin but he kicks out early. Okada and Yoshi-Hashi tag team Elgin. They plant Elgin and Yoshi-Hashi tries another cover, but Elgin kicks out. He turns the tables and picks up both men. He slams them both and the crowd applauds. That was a really great spot. The crowd starts a chant for Elgin. Elgin then powerbombs Yoshi-Hashi off the top rope. Cover, but Okada breaks it up before the ref can count to three. Yoshi-Hashi rolls up Elgin and almost gets a pinfall. Yoshi-Hashi hits a reverse DDT and then climbs the top rope. He tries a dive off, but Elgin rolls out of the way and Yoshi-Hashi hits the mat hard. Multiple kicks by Yoshi-Hashi and he puts Elgin down for another near fall. Elgin and Tanahashi team together to put Okada down. Elgin powerbombs Yoshi-Hashi into a cover and gets the three count. After the match, Okada and Tanahashi stare each other down. Tanahashi gets on the mic and says Elgin is an amazing partner.
Very fun episode of New Japan Pro Wrestling. When you see really good tag team action, it makes you remember how weak some other promotions tag divisions are. Tanahashi and Elgin, although fighting their first match as a team, really put on a great show. They are a good duo. Both matches were entertaining and told excellent stories. Thanks once again to Jim Ross and Josh Barnett for their wonderful commentary that only adds to the program. As of right now, my DVR shows another new episode will be on next Friday. We’ll see you then.
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker
–Monday Night Raw kicked off with the shocking news that Finn Balor had gotten injured at SummerSlam and would be vacating the title. Balor had to relinquish the title to Raw General Manager, Mick Foley. He had successful surgery on Wednesday and started Day 1 of his comeback on Thursday. We wish him a speedy recovery. Meanwhile, Mick and Stephanie McMahon had a tournament to come up with four competitors next week for a Fatal-4-Way to crown a new Universal Champion. The four participants will be Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Big Cass, and Kevin Owens. After some okay matches, and some pretty weak programming, Vince gave us yet another disappointing Raw to start the week. Read our full review and all match results HERE. We’ll find out who the second all time Universal Champion is next week. Face To Heel has all their money bet on Kevin Owens.
–Meanwhile on Smackdown Live, they kicked Raw’s teeth in. To start the show Smackdown General Manager, Daniel Bryan, and Shane McMahon had all the tag teams in the ring along with all the women. They unveiled Smackdown Tag Team Championships and a Smackdown Women’s Championship that people can’t stop bitching about. Heath Slater got a tag teammate and another opportunity to try and earn a contract. The Lunatic Fringe, Dean Ambrose, got a new opponent at the Backlash pay-per-view. The show was lit and got us pretty excited for the Smackdown exclusive show on the WWE Network in a few weeks. Read our full review HERE. After the show, The Miz was on Talking Smack and ripped Daniel Bryan a new one. D-Bry called him soft and said he wrestled weak, even going so far as to call Miz a coward. What happened next, set Miz up for a career booster.
–Wednesday night gave us a pretty hollow episode of NXT. It piggy-backed off the Takeover Brooklyn show so there was a lot of recaps and only two matches. The matches themselves were decent. Here’s our full review. After NXT, however, we got yet another fantastic episode of the Cruiserweight Classic. Rich Swann fought Lince Dorado, Zack Sabre Jr took on Drew Gulak, and T.J. Perkins took on Johnny Gargano. All three matches wrapped up the quarter-finals. It was a great broadcast. You can read all about it HERE.
–Dixie Carter did it again this past Thursday with another entertaining TNA Impact Wrestling episode. We had a battle royal to get an opponent for Lashley next week, Broken Jeff Hardy fought Abyss (and Broken Matt bit somebody, naturally), we crowned a new Knockouts Champion, and Ethan Carter III took on Drew Galloway in the main event to determine the #1 Contender for the world title at Bound For Glory. Aron Rex was the special guest referee. Read all bout this great show HERE.
–And AXSTV rounded out the week with a new broadcast of NJPW. Only two matches on the card but they were terrific to watch. Karl Anderson challenged Shinsuke Nakamura for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. Later, Tomohiro Ishii and Tomoaki Honma battled for the NEVER Openweight Championship. It was a fun show and Jim Ross and Josh Barnett did wonderful on commentary, as per usual. Read all about the epic title matches HERE.
That’s all for this week. See you all tomorrow night for RAW! If you have a moment, please check out a Go Fund Me page for a woman suffering from fibromyalgia. She could use your help, donations, and a share on social media to spread the word.
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker
Please take a moment to visit the Go Fund Me page of the folks who run Face To Heel. They are in a bad way and could use your donations. Thank You.
AXSTV hit us up with another broadcast from The Land of the Rising Sun on Friday, with a new episode of New Japan Pro Wrestling. The episode features two matches from November 7th, 2015 out of Namba, Osaka, Japan from the Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium.
Our first match of the night features Bullet Club member Karl Anderson challenging Shinsuke Nakamura for his IWGP Intercontinental Championship. Anderson comes to the ring with six other members of the Bullet Club. Crowd goes wild for the beloved Nakamura as he enters solo. Grappling against the ropes to start. Then a forearm by Nakamura and a knee by Anderson. The two work into a frenzy just coming straight for each other. They finally separate and crowd applauds. Nakamura drops Anderson to the mat with an ankle submission. Knees to Anderson from the ground. Anderson kicks Nakamura in the head and he rolls onto the apron. Anderson tries to pull him up but Nakamura kicks him. Interference as the ref is distracted and Doc Gallows tosses Nakamura off the apron onto the steel guardrail. Ref starts a twenty count. Nakamura gets on the apron and Anderson hits him with a Gun Stunner, then dropkicks him back out onto the floor. Ref starts another twenty count. Anderson leaves the ring and powerbombs Nakamura onto the apron. Commercial break. Great match so far.
When we return, Anderson is punching Nakamura in the center of the ring, then he hits a reverse neckbreaker. Running powerbomb into a cover. Nakamura kicks out. Nakamura fights back and puts a headlock sleeper on Anderson as they lay on the mat, wrapping his legs around him. They stand and before Anderson can separate Nakamura hits him with a reverse powerslam. Huge spinebuster out of no where by Anderson and Nakamura is down again. Forearm by Nakamura. Forearm by Anderson. Another by Nakamura. Chop by Anderson, kick by Nakamura. Then they trade blows until Nakamura drops Anderson with an elbow. Scissors kick and then a running knee. He covers, but Anderson narrowly kicks out. Nakamura leaps onto the top rope, but as he leaps off, Anderson catches him with a Gun Stunner. Nakamura rolls out onto the apron. Anderson pulls him up by his hair and lifts him to the top rope. Firemen carry into a slam. Cover, but Nakamura kicks out. Anderson goes for a Gun Stunner, Nakamura reverses it into a landslide. Good action as we head into another commercial break.
Clothesline by Anderson into a cover when we come back. Kick out. Bernard Driver by Anderson. Another false finish. Nakamura refuses to quit. Cross arm breaker counter by Nakamura. Anderson rolls him over into a cover and Nakamura has to let go. Bomaye by Nakamura, covers and that’s it. Nakamura retains. Great stuff. I enjoyed that match immensely. Just enough Bullet Club interference to make it interesting and not annoying. And both guys really put the moves on. After the match, AJ Styles comes in and he and Nakamura stand forehead to forehead. Styles points a finger gun at Nakamura. Crowd oh’s and ah’s. Styles takes the IWGP IC belt from Red Shoes and hands it to Nakamura. He points to it and says, “I’m taking it.” Crowd cheers. This is a match any wrestling fan wants to see. Nakamura gets on the mic and says he’s been waiting for Styles and he’ll see him at the Tokyo Dome. YEAOH!
The second match of the night is Tomohiro Ishii defending his NEVER Openweight Championship against Tomoaki Honma. Middle of the ring grapple to start as the two lock up. Headlock by Honma, but Ishii tosses him against the rope. He tries a shoulder tackle but Honma doesn’t go down. Then the two trade several forearms as the crowd cheers. Ishii off the ropes and Honma plants him with a shoulder tackle. Running headbutt but Honma misses and Ishii elbows him in the back of the head. Big chop and Honma is down. Another chop. And another sending Honma in the corner where he takes multiple chops and forearms. Running slam from Ishii. Headbutt by Ishii. Chop by Honma, headbutt by Ishii. Nobody is pulling punches here. This is strong style all the way. Half crab submission hold by Ishii. Honma makes it to the ropes to break. A bunch of strikes near the throat by Honma, drops Ishii and tries the headbutt again but misses. Honma picks up the much bigger Ishii and slams him with a vertical suplex. Crowd is mesmerized, as am I. That was an impressive feat of strength. Honma finally lands a diving headbutt. He then hits a blockbuster off the second rope and covers. Ishii kicks out at two. Bunch of shots and a headbutt by Ishii drops Honma. He whips Honma into the corner who then explodes out and punches Ishii in the back of the head over and over. Massive elbow by Ishii puts Honma down again. Ishii lifts Honma up to the top rope and vertical suplexs him all the way to the mat. Honma somehow manages to kick out at two. Honma plants the champ with a DDT. Both men down.
Honma kicks Ishii onto the apron. Jumping headbutt knocks Ishii onto the floor. Honma climbs to the top rope. Honma just falls off the top rope all the way to the floor and hits Ishii on the shoulder with a headbutt. Red Shoes starts a double countout. Honma throws Ishii back into the ring. Honam slaps Ishii and then clotheslines him into a pin. Ishii kicks out, dazed. Back suplex by Ishii, but Honma pops right up and hits two diving headbutts on Ishii. Cover, and again a kick out at two. Brain buster by Honma, but Ishii headbutts him and both men collapse to the mat. The pair trade headbutts. It’s brutal to watch. Powerbomb by Ishii and a cover, but Honma holds on. Sliding clothesline and another kick out at two. Headbutt by Honma. Headbutt off the second rope. The champ manages to kick out at two. Bunch more headbutts by Honma. They are getting a little old now, if I’m being honest. A diving headbutt off the top rope into the back of Ishii. Spinning heel kick by Ishii, running clothesline and a cover. Honma kicks out. Honma tries one too many headbutts and Ishii catches him mid-air with a punch. Clothesline and a cover, but Honma again kicks out. Crowd in a frenzy. Brain buster by Ishii and finally Honma stays down. Ishii retains in a brutal hoss match.
Two amazing title matches from NJPW. Could have used four to five more minutes of Nakamura and Anderson. Ishii and Honma was exciting to watch but the headbutts got old after awhile. Still, another action packed 60 minutes from NJPW. Thanks to AXSTV for putting this on the air. My DVR doesn’t have a new episode scheduled for next Friday, so as usual we’ll cover them whenever they come back. Have a good week everyone!
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker
This article is going to be a long one. So much happened in pro-wrestling this week! We’ll start with the rumors and news first. TNA Impact Wrestling original, The Cowboy, James Storm reportedly is unhappy with his place in the company. He’s been seemingly agitated because all his friends are leaving for greener pastures and he’s stuck dealing with Dixie Carter and company. We reported earlier this week that he might be leaving TNA in the very near future.
–WWE saw the suspension of three of its Superstars during this past week. All Red Everything, Eva Marie, was suspended after reportedly testing positive for Adderall, a controlled susbtance used for the treatment of ADHD. WWE also suspended Alberto Del Rio and Paige for both testing positive for different substances after a night of partying. Our article on that suspension can be read HERE.
–Monday Night Raw kicked off the week, with their go-home programming. It was uneventful to say the least and really didn’t help garner excitement for SummerSlam. Most notably, it completely burned Finn Balor’s Demon King entrance on a free show instead of waiting for Sunday. Brock Lesnar got an interesting opponent, but otherwise, rough night. Check out our full review HERE.
–Tuesday’s Smackdown Live didn’t go much better. Featuring 12-man tag match that would happen again at SummerSlam. Eva Marie failed to wrestle, again. And John Cena takes on Alberto Del Rio for about the 500th time. Check out the full review HERE.
–As usual, business really picked up on Wednesday as NXT set the stage for Takeover: Brooklyn 2. Hideo Itami was in action, as well as six women in tag action. Samoa Joe and Shinsuke Nakamura sat down backstage in an interview with William Regal. Our article about the episode can be read HERE.
–The second round of the Cruiserweight Classic continued afterwards with another set of amazing matches. Japan’s Akira Tozawa took on England’s Jack Gallagher in one of the best bouts of the tournament so far. Later, Brian Kendrick and Tony Nese (both from the United States) put on an absolute clinic wrestling match. It had it all; brutality, story-telling, cheating, heel work, high-fly moves, and everything in between. Read all about it HERE.
–Dixe Carter gave us yet another excellent TNA Impact Wrestling broadcast on Thursday. We saw an Ascension to Hell tag team ladder match. Moose and Eddie Edwards went one on one. Ethan Carter III and Drew Galloway got a surprise guest ref. And Billy Corgan suspended somebody! Check out all the action right over HERE.
–Friday night was jam packed with NJPW action. AXSTV gave us a new episode which you can read about right HERE. That same night, Ring of Honor presented Death Before Dishonor XIV, featuring their own roster taking on NJPW legends in what was an epic start to the weekend. Jay Lethal put his title on the line against Adam Cole, Dalton Castle went toe-to-toe with Kazuchika Okada, and The Briscoes each gave us an epic battle in singles competition. It was one for the record books and was a wonderful show. Read all about it HERE.
–The WWE Network gave us NXT Takeover: Brooklyn II on Saturday night, and the atmosphere was electrified. No Way Jose took on Austin Aries, the mysterious Ember Moon had her long-awaited debut, Bobby Roode took on Andrade “Cien” Almas, Bayley tried to become the first 2-time NXT Women’s Champion, and Samoa Joe put his gold on the line against Shinsuke Nakamura in an epic slugfest. This one had it all, and if you missed it, that’s a shame. Read the full results and our review HERE.
–SummerSlam rounded out the week of programming, it what was billed as a six hour event. The preshow started at five and that had three matches before the actual pay-per-view even got started. Brock Lesnar and Randy Orton went to war, as did John Cena and AJ Styles. Seth Rollins and Finn Balor battled to be the first WWE Universal Champion. And Dean Ambrose defended his belt against Dolph Ziggler. We also saw several tag matches, and Sasha Banks taking on Charlotte. Unfortunately, for my $9.99 it just wasn’t enough and the whole program felt flat. Read ever match results as well as feedback for the entire show HERE.
That’s it for last week. Tune in tonight as we live tweet Monday Night Raw and post our feedback for that as well. Let us know in the comments below what your favorite show, match, and moment of the past week was in the comments below. Have a good day, wrestling fans!
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Article by Jamie Curtis Baker
Apologies for posting this a few days late. There was just so much going on this weekend, I forgot to check the DVR. Plus with Death Before Dishonor on Friday night, I assumed there would not be a new episode of NJPW airing. But AXSTV decided we needed more, and more is always a good thing. Let’s get started with our review of the latest episode.
Friday’s episode featured November 7th, 2015 matches from Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium, in Namba, Osaka, Japan. Jim Ross and Josh Barnett on commentary, as always. The first match is Ricochet and Matt Sydal vs Rocky Romero and Beretta in the Super Junior Tag Tournament Finals. Richochet and Romero kick things off, action is fast paced to start. Sydal tags in and he and Richochet double team Romero. Near fall. Both teams utilizing their tags and partners really well in the opening moments. A lot of time is spent with all four guys in the ring just whooping ass. The ref lets it go and we all get to witness an exceptional tag team match. Ricochet hits an amazing flip off the top rope to the outside. In the ring, Sydal does the same and gets a near fall. Richochet and Matt Sydal hit a duo of Shooting Star Presses and do a double count pinfall for the win. Exciting match, but we could have easily given it another 7 or 8 minutes.
The second bout features Hiroshi Tanahashi and Katsuyori Shibata taking on Kazuchika Okada and Kazushi Sakuraba. Sakuraba and Shibata kick things off with some mat work, grappling. The pair are evenly matched and neither gets the upper-hand in the early going. Shibata gets locked in a vicious submission. His face goes red and he starts to fade. Shibata uses his strength to drag Sakuraba over to the ropes and gets the break. Okada gets tagged in and immediately dropkicks Shibata. Okada and Sakuraba take clear control outside of the ring. They work well in tandem. Stiff kicks by Sakuraba on Shibata, flooring him to the mat. All four of these guys are damn fine wrestlers and you won’t find much better out of Japan. World premiere athletes is the only way to describe them. High Fly Flow by Tanahashi leaves Shibata to hit Got TO Sleep on Sakuraba for the pinfall. Excellent stuff. After the match Tanahashi calls out Okada and they face off in the ring. Tanahashi says the day he becomes champion is approaching. He then attacks Okada as security comes in to separate them. Okada fights back and they can barely keep them apart. They battle down outside the ring. Okada clocks Tanahashi multiple times with his briefcase. He gets on the mic and screams, “Come get me, you fool!” Then he leaps on Tanahashi. Finally, they break it up. Okada is being interviewed backstage and Tanahashi attacks him again! Wow. That was intense.
The final match of the night is Hirooki Goto vs Evil. I am going to be brief on this as I just have too many plates spinning trying to write this at 5PM on a Sunday and also get ready for SummerSlam. Evil runs the table to start as the action is slow grinding. We got to see Evil on Friday at Death Before Dishonor. He is a very methodical heel, and he pulls no punches. Evil bites Goto on the neck at one point. Goto finally gets some offense in and a near fall. Crowd mostly flat throughout this one. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it is bad. Japan crowds are much different than over in the States. Goto gets a submission on, as Evil screams in pain. Naito walks down and dropkicks Goto off his partner. He shoves the ref aside and picks Goto up. Goto fights back but then takes a lowblow and Destino finisher. The ref calls for the bell. Goto wins via disqualification. Naito attacks Goto and the security that runs in to save him. Shibata runs down and gets Naito and evil out of the ring.
Some great tag team action for this broadcast. And the main event match set up some interesting feuds in the future. I look forward to seeing another episode next week on AXSTV. Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to eat some chili and watch SummerSlam!
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Article by Jamie Curtis Baker