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
If you missed last week’s episode, check out our full review featuring Shinsuke Nakamura being carried out on a stretcher and a GLORIOUS match from Bobby Roode. This article is being posted a day late because the WWE Network in the Face to Heel household was not working at all last night.
The show starts with a recap of Samoa Joe taking out Shinsuke Nakamura. After the video, Joe comes down to the ring. Joe somehow has a copy of Shinsuke’s medical report. He has contusions in his lower lumbar, a clavicle separation, and shoulder and elbow injuries. His injuries will not require surgery, but he will need rest for 6-12 weeks. Crowd boos. I have already lost interest in this segment. Even if I bought into kayfabe, pretty sure reading someone’s medical report on live television is something close to a felony. So it just wouldn’t happen. But whatever, the Full Sail crowd is buying it hook, line and sinker. Joe calls out William Regal and demands the title be stripped and given back to Joe.
He comes out and confirms Shinsuke is seriously hurt. He says he will take care of the problems Joe cause. Crowd chants his name. Joe leaves the ring and goes for Regal. He gets in his face and says Regal either makes the situation right or the entire NXT roster will be hurt like Shinsuke. At least the segment ended exciting. I look forward to Samoa Joe hurting a bunch of people. That’s always fun.
Cedric Alexander interviewed backstage. He is set to have his NXT in-ring debut tonight against Cien. He asked Regal for the best and got what he asked for, he says. Liv Morgan is interviewed, says she came to NXT to leap hurtles. She says she wants to do whatever she needs to in order to prepare to take the NXT Women’s Championship. Asuka interrupts. She says lets find out if she has what it takes.
Oney Lorcan comes to the ring, set to take on Austin Aries. Grappling to start, which Aries takes control of. Oney recovers with a couple of headlocks. Aries escapes, but Oney locks it back on. He rides Aries down to the mat, not removing the headlock. Crowd at Full Sail is pretty quiet tonight. Aries slaps Oney in the face in the corner. Oney shoves him to the mat, locks in a headlock, but Aries dumps him outside the ring. Back in the ring, Aries drops an elbow and tries a cover. Oney kicks out at two. Oney takes control with some strikes and throwing himself into Aries in the corner. Aries again spills him out of the ring, hits the top rope and jumps off with an elbow. Aries rolls Oney back into the ring, who turns and hits Aries with two uppercuts. He covers, but Aries barely kicks out. Rolling elbow and running dropkick by Aries. On the mat Oney meets the Last Chancery up close and personal and has no choice but to tap. Austin Aries wins via submission. Not my favorite match. Pretty standard, run-of-the-mill, and I personally feel like Oney Lorcan needs a lot of work on the NXT stage.
After the match, Austin Aries gets on the mic and calls Hideo Itmai a “big coward.” Hideo’s music hits and he comes out. He gets in the ring and Austin Aries turns and rolls out of the ring. He jogs up the ramp with his arms raised and leaves. Crowd boos. Hideo stands in the ring angry. Man, that surgery scar on his arm is ugly as hell. Dan Matha promo package after. He is set to debut in two weeks.
Aliyah and Billie Kay wrestling next for some NXT women’s action. Aliyah is really impressive the first couple of minutes, utilizing the ropes and puling out some nice moves. Crowd is still flat for this one, too. I hate a quiet audience. Billie turns the tables and stomps Aliyah in the corner. Neckbreaker by Aliyah leads to a cover, but Billie kicks out. Billie hits a big boot to the face and covers for the pinfall. Just not enough time given to these ladies. They are good, but just when you get into a match they wrap it up. I really like Aliyah. She is a great worker.
Mandy Rose backstage interviewed about Ember Moon. She says she looks like The Hunger Games. When she gets in the ring with her, she will make sure she is, “totally eclipsed.” Okay. That was terrible.
Cruiserweight Cedric Alexander is coming down to take on Andrade “Cien” Almas. On a sidenote, can we just pick one name for the guy? The roster refers to him as Andrade, Cien, or Almas. Just call him Andrade and lose the rest, or call him Cien and lose the rest. He is billed as a name with a nickname. Grappling to start. The crowd finally wakes up, cheering for Cedric. A flurry of offense from Cien gets the crowd fired up. Cien dumps Cedric out of the ring and then corkscrew flips off the top rope to knock him down. Back in the ring, Cedric and Cien trade chops. Cedric off the ropes connects with a vicious kick and Cien rolls out of the ring. Cedric off the ropes again and this time he goes flying over the top rope to take down Cien. This one is evenly matched in the final moments. Both men score great offense but neither can keep the other down for a full three count. Huge backbreaker out of the corner by Cedric and he wins his NXT debut! Wow. That was great of Cien to put him over. Fun match to watch. Cedric will have a great future with WWE.
After the match the pair shake hands and hug. An alright episode. The Samoa Joe ultimatum at the start of the show seems anti-climatic now that he didn’t come back out again the rest of the show. The addition of some of the Cruiserweights from the CWC tournament is going to help the dwindling lack of talent in NXT. The problem with main roster call-ups is that it sometimes leaves giant holes.
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker
I’m excited to be back among the living on Wednesday nights and able to watch NXT live. With Shinsuke Nakamura as our champion and Bayley off on Raw, the entire landscape has changed. Tonight, we’ll get an interview with Asuka, but first, we have a tag match with Shane Thorne and Nick Miller of TM61 and Tony Nese and Ariya Daivari of the Cruiserweight Classic. Thorne and Nese start things off, with Nese effortlessly flying around the ring to out-maneuver Thorne. Daivari and Miller are tagged in, Miller gets pinned in the wrong corner as our CWC competitors dominate TM61.
Nese makes an amazing dive out of the ring, but not to be shown up, Thorne takes a dive of his own and shows that TM61 can fly with the best of them. With the distraction by Daivari, Nese takes a cheap shot on Thorne. Nese lifts Thorne high, throws him on the ropes, then hits a high knee into a pin. Miller is desperate for a pin, but Nese and Daivari won’t allow it. Daivari taunts Miller, allowing Thorne to sneak in an uppercut. Nese and Miller are tagged in, and Miller starts delivering slaps to the face, then a forearm into an unsuccessful pin. TM61 is getting their footing back, nearly getting the win but Daivari breaks it up. Daivari hits a frogsplash into a pin, but can’t get it done. TM61 tag team Daivari with Thunder Valley, allowing Miller to get the pin and win the match. An absolutely phenomenal showing by all four athletes.
Tom Phillips shows us his interview with Asuka from earlier today. Asuka says she was excited by the Brooklyn crowd during her title match with Bayley. She calls Bayley the heart of NXT and says she fought hard, but Asuka fought harder. Our current champion is still undefeated, and Phillips goes through the list of competitors she has destroyed. Asuka says she cleared out the women’s division; the women who went to Raw and Smackdown got saved because they don’t have to fight her anymore. The championship is of the utmost importance to Asuka. She defends it for herself and for her country, then addresses her fans in Japan in her foreign . Finally, Asuka says that no one is ready for her. She will be hard to dethrone.
Ember Moon is set to compete next against Leah Von, who to her credit, isn’t looking intimidated in the least. Von is able to get Moon into a headlock, but Moon launches herself off the ropes and into a crossbody on Von. Moon is struggling a bit to get her footing, as Von launches her into a corner, then shows off with a cartwheel. Moon gets Von into the corner and flips into a clothesline. She goes to the top rope as the crowd cheers, and grabs Von’s head to deliver a stunner and pin her for the victory. Moon is a serious competitor and I’m glad she’s a part of the NXT roster.
Backstage, No Way Jose addresses the disrespect he received from Bobby Roode. He promises to make sure that Roode finds out that no one messes with No Way Jose. Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano are also backstage discussing injuries. They will get a chance to compete next week at the Cruiserweight Classic to prove that they are back at 100% and able to take on The Revival.
Our next match is Andrade “Cien” Almas versus Austin Aries. Cien gets Aries to his knees quickly with a wrist lock, but Aries is able to counter with an arm bar. Aries goes into a handstand and then hits a dropkick before taking a break and lounging on the ropes. After Cien gets a few good hits in and tries for a pin, Aries takes a break outside of the ring. He tries to throw Cien from the ring, but he catches himself on the ropes and then throws Aries towards the barricade. Cien goes to the top rope, then Aries shoves him off, sending him head first into the ramp.
After the short commercial break, both men are back in the ring with Aries in control. Half the crowd is chanting for Aries, the other half thinks he sucks. Hugn up on the ropes, Cien manages to get a kick in to get Aries down. He is trying to get the crowd behind him, but Aries sneaks in a dropkick into a pin. Both men are on the ropes, with Cien able to elbow Aries off of him. He flips off and gets Aries down for a near pinfall. The two begin trading punches, then Aries delivers a deafening chop. Cien tries for a hurricanrana, but Aries counters it into a powerbomb to a Last Chancery, and gets the win via tap out. The crowd wasn’t as into this match as they should have been; it was a killer match.
Our main event is Shinsuke Nakamura versus Steve Cutler, with Samoa Joe on commentary. Nakamura’s entrance gets me every single time; I’m never getting sick of this. I love the crowd participation in his song, I love his charisma; he has that special something that only comes around once in a blue. Samoa Joe doesn’t seem as impressed, but he does say that Nakamura was the better man in Brooklyn and he deserves that championship. The crowd starts chanting “Shinsuke’s gonna kill you” as the bell rings and the two men approach each other.
Cutler tries to get close, but Nakamura won’t allow it, with well times kicks. They eventually lock up, and Nakamura sneaks in a kick to his head. The crowd is chanting for Cutler to take the count out, as Nakamura hits him with a hard knee before pinning him in the corner. He charges Cutler, who is able to counter and throw Nakamura into the corner and deliver some hard hits. He pins the champ, but Nakamura is out quick. Cutler tries for a Suplex, but Nakamura hits him with a knee and then gives us a clinic on why he is King of Strong Style. He throws Cutler over his head, then hits the Kinshasa for the win! Man, that title looks good on Nakamura. We close out the show with our champion holding his title high.
Next week, No Way Jose will face off with Bobby Roode, which I’m anxious to see. This was an absolutely amazing episode of NXT; if you missed it tonight, get on the network now and watch! It was much better than last week’s episode. What did you think of tonight’s episode? Let us know what you thought in the comments below!
Article by Mrs. Jamie Baker
Last week gave us a pretty dull episode of NXT, post-Takeover. But the card was on fire in Brooklyn and we now have Shinsuke Nakamura as our champion. Let’s see what the WWE Network has in store for us tonight.
Segment from earlier in the day with Samoa Joe and physical trainer. The doctor tells William Regal that Joe is not cleared for tonight and won’t be anytime soon. Not good. The injuries within WWE have been staggering lately. The Perfect 10, Tye Dillinger, comes out first as the crowd cheers. He is set to take on Buddy Murphy. Slow going to start. Murphy tries to play some mind games and Dillinger takes him down to the mat. Crowd is dead silent just a few seconds in. Dillinger manages to get the audience to chant ten. Big elbow by Murphy ends that. Dillinger slams his head against the turnbuckle. Murphy leaps the ropes and slams Dillinger down. Forearm to the face and Murphy covers. Dillinger kicks out at one, garnering a one chant from the crowd. Couple of chops from Dillinger. He bounces off the ropes but Murphy tosses him over the top rope to the outside. Back in the ring, Murphy hits two knees to the face off the top rope. Dillinger barely kicks out at two. So far this one has been really standard, albeit boring. Couple of sloppy clotheslines by Dillinger. He then stomps Murphy in the corner multiple times. Dillinger removes his knee pad and hits the Tye Breaker for the pinfall and win. That one was just empty and flat. No substance, no life. Just two guys going through the motions. That shit right there won’t get you called up to the main roster, I can promise you that.
Tommaso Ciampa is interviewed backstage. He starts cutting a promo on The Revival, but they come up from behind and jump him. They beat him through the back, through the curtain, and then into the ring. Scott Dawson gets on the mic and says everybody’s a tough guy until they get their ass kicked. They hit Shatter Machine on Ciampa, as the crowd boo’s, then leave.
Steve Cutler comes to the ring; crowd could care less. His opponent, Kenneth Crawford, comes out; crowd may care even less for the second entrance. On a side note, Crawford has a really weird looking chest. He has little teabag nipples that hang off his deflated pecs. Super weird. The match starts with some minor grappling. Both these guys look like generic create-a-characters in WWE2K. Even their ring gear is basic. Steve Cutler wins this one by pinfall. Just not into this match at all. Another dud. Disappointing night so far from NXT. There’s another one of those Sanity vignettes after the match, which we are assuming might be for the soon returning Eric Young?
No Way Jose comes out and the crowd gets all fired up. I do a little dance on my couch. Fun stuff. Glad people are finally starting to come around to him. He was burned on his debut as some people didn’t like his demeanor. But he’s really awesome if you ask me. Angelo Dawkins comes down. Interesting. This should be a really great matchup. This broadcast definitely needs a pick-me-up. Fun, fast-paced start to this one. Crowd with dueling chants for both guys. When we saw Dawkins at a live show a few months ago he was really entertaining as a heel and put on a great show. Dawkins hits some strong attacks and Jose keeps the crowd invested. He is always entertaining. He ends this one with a full Nelson slam for the pinfall. Crowd sings and dances along as they play his song out. That match was just the right length. Get in, put in work, get gone. I dug it. No Way Jose jumps the barricade and heads out into the crowd, dancing with everybody.
Liv Morgan comes down to the ring next. I guess she’s cool. She just seems like a Carmella knock-off to me so I haven’t really given her a chance. Her opponent, Aliyah, skips down to the ring. Sloppy start with some soft or missed moves. Aliyah takes control and dominates with some decent offense. Both these girls are green, but the shell is there and they have potential to get better. Submission hold by Aliyah. She uses her leg to hammer the back of Morgan’s head. Cover, but kick out at two. Dropkick from Morgan followed by a pair of clotheslines. Then a running bulldog. She backs up to the corner and when Aliyah stands up, Morgan hits her with a really weird kick that doesn’t look like it even lands. Morgan covers for the pinfall victory. Wishy-washy match. But practice makes perfect, and the more matches they get, the better they’ll be come.
The new NXT Champion, Shinsuke Nakamura, makes a grand entrance to the excitement of the crowd. And damn don’t that title just look so good on his waist? Before he can speak, crowd starts chanting his name which then bleeds into “You Deserve It!” Nakamura says he’s accomplished everything he could. He wanted to face the best competition in the world and the only place he could do that was NXT. Crowd starts an NXT chant. “I wanted to challenge myself to see how good I was,” he says. He names off beating Sami Zayn, Finn Balor, and Samoa Joe. Nakamura says he has worn championship belts before but the NXT title means the most. He says he has respect for Samoa Joe, but that his era is over. “Now is the era of Strong Style! YEAHOH!”
The end really put a nice bow on a crappy present. Not the best NXT episode. But at least Nakamura saved it at the end. For such a language barrier he really did well on his own. You have to pay attention when he speaks, but I knew every word he was saying. Who do you think his first title defense should be against? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading!
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Article by Jamie Curtis Baker
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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
We recently brought you news on the rumored Wellness Violation that hung over Sasha Banks’ head. Fans will be happy to know that there was no truth to that rumor, but unfortunately our former women’s champion is dealing with a back injury. Banks is scheduled for an evaluation with doctors due to the pain she is dealing with in the lower lumbar area of her back. The official word is still out, but we hear that she will not require surgery and should be back in action within the next few weeks.
Not so lucky is our first Universal Champion, Finn Balor. His shoulder was injured during his Summerslam match against Seth Rollins when Balor absorbed a running power bomb to the barricade. His shoulder dislocated, and Balor popped it right back in and continued the match. The MRI that followed showed a possible labrum tear, which will require surgery and have Balor out of action for 4 to 6 months. This truly could not have come at a worse time for Balor, who was really taking off on the main roster.
Speaking of Summerslam, Brock Lesnar treated us to an ending worthy of the octagon, as he wailed on Randy Orton, hitting him with hard punches and elbows that resulted in Orton being left in a puddle of his own blood. Orton required ten staples to close the laceration on his forehead. There is a lot of speculation on whether or not Lesnar went too far with his attack, but we’ll leave that to you to decide.
NXT’s Samoa Joe suffered a dislocated jaw during his title match with our new NXT Champion Shinsuke Nakamura. Joe was hit with two Kinshasa knee strikes, causing the dislocation of his mandible. Joe tweeted out that his jaw was dislocated, relocated, and he looks forward to being cleared soon. The severity of the injury is still unknown, so we’re not sure when we’ll see him back in action.
Also still out of action is Luke Harper, who suffered a knee injury and underwent successful surgery, Sting, who suffered a neck injury, Emma, who underwent back surgery, and Tyson Kidd who suffered a neck injury and underwent successful surgery. There is no timetable for any of their returns. Paige is also suffering neck and back injuries that she is personally working to strengthen. She is currently suspended due to a Wellness Policy Violation, so we may or may not see her back in the ring when the suspension lifts. We wish everyone a speedy recovery and will bring you updates as they become available.
Article by Mrs Jamie Baker
Summerslam weekend officially begins with NXT Takeover in Brooklyn. We have a very highly anticipated title match, a chance at redemption, two in-ring debuts, and some good old fashioned revenge on tonight’s horizon. The preshow kicks off at the Barclays Center with Renee Young, Mauro Ranallo, and Lita. We get a look at Shinsuke Nakamura’s arrival, which he makes alone, and then go to Samoa Joe who is flanked by security due to his out of control temper. Afterwards, Bayley takes us back to look at her journey through NXT leading up to this rematch against Asuka.
Discussing the match between No Way Jose and Austin Aries, Ranallo believes that both men need to win tonight. We then move backstage to see Bobby Roode’s arrival; he calls Brooklyn the “armpit of New York” and says that tonight, he will take NXT to the next level and will make it glorious! Billie Kay gets interviewed afterwards, promising to make Ember Moon suffer a loss during her debut. After a look at the growing crowd, we get a look at The Revival and their opponents for the titles tonight; Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa. Finally, we get a fantastic look at Nakamura and Joe; I cannot WAIT for this match!
NXT Takeover officially begins with the competitors for tonight conducting separate interviews about where they were one year ago and what they hope to accomplish tonight. It’s an incredibly cool video package. Tom Phillips and Corey Graves are on commentary for a sold out crowd, of course. Over 15,000 fans are in attendance tonight for what is sure to be a fantastic evening.
First off, it’s party time! No Way Jose comes out and the crowd is screaming his name! Jose circles the ring with a conga line of lucky fans following behind. Austin Aries gets a fantastic pop himself as he enters the arena. This match has been two months in the making, and Aries looks confident and cocky as hell. Aries gets Jose down on the mat quick, angering Jose who better control his temper if he’s going to win. The crowd is chanting Aries’ name as Jose slaps him across the face. He slams him to the mat and hits Aries across the back, then delivers chops to the chest. Aries uses his ring awareness to avoid more attacks, exiting the ring and baiting Jose in to deliver a serious kick. Aries waves off the match and tries to retreat up the ramp, but Jose won’t allow it. He tries to go into the crowd, but Jose drags him back.
Aries regains control and smashes Jose’s throat into the ropes before hitting him with some hard knees. Aries tries for a cover, but Jose isn’t ready to give up. The rowdy crowd is cheering for Jose, who regains his footing and sends Aries over the top rope. Aries locks in the Last Chancery in the middle of the ring, and the crowd loses it, but Jose makes it to the bottom rope to break the submission hold. Aries dives from the ring to knock Jose into the barricade, then throws him back into the ring, using the ropes to hurt Jose even more. Jose is getting fired up, but Aries is determined to break him down. He locks in the Last Chancery one last time, and it’s enough to make Jose tap. This was a great match and one hell of a way to kick off our evening!
Aries has won the match but he isn’t done with Jose yet. He locks in the Last Chancery yet again, adding insult to injury. As he’s torturing Jose, Hideo Itami’s music hits! This is awesome! Itami goes to the ring, and Aries hits him with a cheap shot. Itami isn’t having it, he hits Aries with some fast flying hits and takes Aries down with ease. A great match just got even better with this ending it. Itami is fantastic!
Billie Kay heads to the ring now, followed by the debuting Ember Moon! She walks out shrouded in darkness, then rips off her hood and mask and becomes a ball of energy! I like her already, and I love the red contacts! Moon has got some amazing moves, but Kay is holding her own. Kay hits Moon hard in the chest and goes for a cover, but Moon kicks free. Moon hits a flying crossbody into a cover, but Kay kicks out at two. Kay gets moon on her shoulder to lock her in a submission hold that doesn’t look comfortable for either woman. Moon regains control, doing a flip to hit Kay in the corner. She goes to the top rope and hits a spinning stunner to pin Kay for the win! A couple speedbumps in this match, but overall a very solid debut for Moon. I’m eager to see what else she has in her arsenal.
Andrade “Cien” Almas is undefeated, and Roode is just now making his on-screen debut, so this is a must win for both men. Roode’s music hits and the crowd loses it! He is on top of a giant pillar of awesomeness, arms outstretched, slowly lowering him to the ground as he looks up at the lights. His entrance is GLORIOUS! Almas sadly does not get the warm welcome that Roode received. The match begins as the crowd starts a “This is GLORIOUS” chant for Roode. Brooklyn is all about Bobby Roode tonight. Roode tries to throw Cien from the ring, but he catches himself in the ropes and poses, then hits a serious chop followed by a dropkick. Still, very little fan support for our high flier. He finally fakes out Roode and gets a good reaction from the audience. Roode knocks Cien from the ropes, then the two men begin trading chops.
Roode lifts Cien straight up in the air, then hits a vertical suplex into a cover. He gets Cien in a chinlock in the center of the ring, but Cien breaks free, kicks Roode from the ring, and delivers a springboard corkscrew onto Roode. He then hits a crossbody for the win, but Roode kicks out. Cien tries to build momentum but Roode hits a rough clothesline and tries for a pin. Roode tries for a suplex, but Cien counters and rolls him into a pin. A lot of close calls during this match. Roode hits a spinebuster and looks ready to end this match. He hits the Glorious Bomb and pins Cien for the win. Questionable finisher, but great match for both men. It was, dare I say… GLORIOUS!
Time for some tag team action; Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa are challenging The Revival for the NXT Tag Team Championships. The Brooklyn crowd is very much behind Gargano and Ciampa, so we’ll see if luck will be on their side or if the fans are in for a letdown. Dawson and Ciampa start things off, with Dawson rolling out of the ring to break Ciampa’s momentum. Dawson is nearly counted out, getting back in the ring at the last second. Gargano is tagged in and the two team up against Dawson, with Gargano going for a pin. The “Johnny Wrestling” chants begin as Gargano tries to keep control and Wilder tries to drag his partner back to his corner. Wilder tags in and Gargano is able to get him into an arm bar, but Wilder lifts him and slams him into the mat, tagging Dawson back in. The Revival try to double team Gargano, but he sees it coming a mile away, slides to safety, but then all four get in the ring and start fighting. The Revival quickly move out of the ring, but Gargano dives out to take down Wilder, and his tag partner follows to destroy Dawson. The Revival soon begin using quick tags to keep their opponent down and isolated in the wrong corner of the ring.
The Revival try and steal a victory, but Ciampa isn’t done fighting. He tries tagging in Gargano, but Wilder won’t let him reach. To Ciampa’s credit, he is kicking out of everything they throw his way. Wilder fakes a fall into the ring, distracting the ref. Ciampa tags in Gargano, but the referee didn’t see it and throws Gargano back out to the apron. Dawson knocks Gargano off of the apron and tries to attack Ciampa, but he dodges. Gargano finally gets the legal tag in and hits a kick to the side of Dawson’s face, but he kicks out! He pins him AGAIN for another nearfall, and this is intense at this point. They have got to be trying to give us heart attacks with all these hear falls. Ciampa locks Dawson in a painful looking submission, but Wilder is able to break it up. Ciampa and Dawson look ANGRY at this point, and begin trading punches. Wilder and Gargano and legal; Ciampa and Gargano hit a double kick to Wilder’s face and he is pinned, but he gets his foot on the rope. HOLY SHIT, GUYS. Dawson is attacking Ciampa outside of the ring, then Wilder hits Gargano’s knee hard; he looks injured. Dawson locks in a submission, targeting Gargano’s injured knee, and he finally taps. I’ve gotta say, I’m let down at a tap out victory after such an epic tag team match. Even with a shaky finish, this was incredible. What a show. Gargano and Ciampa receive a standing ovation from the crowd after the champs leave the arena.
It’s time to see if Bayley can recapture the NXT Women’s title! She comes out first to a huge pop; everyone loves Bayley! I love the addition of the Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm-Flailing Tube Men at ringside. Asuka is out next, and she’s added a bit to the face paint; she looks intimidating as hell and ready for a fight. The “Asuka’s gonna kill you” chants start as Referee Eyebrows holds the title above his head. This is a different Bayley we’re seeing tonight; she knows what to expect now from Asuka and she is better prepared. Asuka hits Bayley hard in the nose with her knee, and Bayley looks legitimately hurt as Asuka laughs. Bayley isn’t giving up; she gets back in the ring and Asuka continues her assault. She slams Bayley in the corner, pounding her into the ringpost. Bayley tries to get a hit in, but Asuka dodges and gets Bayley caught up on the ropes. She lands a vicious kick to Bayley’s head, then tries for a cover. Bayley finally gets control, slamming Asuka’s face into the ringpost and hitting a suplex to take her down. She hits a knee to Asuka’s face as she lays on the mat and goes for a pin. Asuka gets herself caught in the ropes, and Bayley takes advantage to land some punches. She hits a crossbody into a pin, but Asuka kicks out.
The “Bayley’s gonna hug you” chant starts as she goes to the top rope, but Asuka dodges the effort and retaliates with a Shining Wizard. The two women are on the top rope, Asuka trying for a superplex, but Bayley slips away. She hits Asuka with an elbow drop, but can’t get her down for the three count. Asuka gets Bayley in an ankle lock, then starts hitting her with kicks to the chest. Bayley finally catches her leg, but Asuka starts punching her in the face. Bayley tries for a backslide into a pin, but it doesn’t work. Asuka tries for the Asuka Lock, finally getting it in; Bayley is in trouble. She yells, flipping herself over and managing to get to her feet to fight the champ off. She hits a Bayley to Belly into a pin, but Asuka kicks out. Bayley gets caught in the Asuka Lock yet again, but Bayley breaks loose and pins the champ, but she kicks free. She slaps Asuka across the face, angering the champ who kicks her in the face. As Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch look on, Asuka pins Bayley in the middle of the ring for the win. This was an excellent match, and I’m glad Bayley has Banks and Lynch there for support. Bayley is looking broken in the middle of the ring. Asuka learn down and pulls Bayley up, and the two embrace in the middle of the ring. It’s really nice to see the match end in this way; a show of mutual respect. As the crowd chants “Thank You Bayley,” she exits the ring and goes to hug Sasha Banks, Charlotte, and some of her adoring fans. Thank you, Bayley.
It’s time for our main event! Samoa Joe leaves the locker room flanked by security while Shinsuke Nakamura sits alone in his locker room to prepare quietly. I probably won’t cover this match in too much detail because I want to watch as much as possible. HOLY SHIT THEY HAVE SOMEONE PLAYING VIOLIN LIVE FOR SHINSUKE! This entrance!!!! Fifteen thousand people singing Nakamura’s theme as he walks to the ring. Magical, is the only word to describe it. Samoa Joe comes out without all the bells and whistles, but the crowd is still chanting his name. Joe shows Nakamura no respect, shoving him as soon as he gets into the ring. The bell rings as Brooklyn sings Nakamura’s entrance song. This is epic. The two go down to the mat, and neither is able to gain the advantage.
Joe locks Nakamura’s wrist and takes him to his knees, but Nakamura breaks out. Joe gets his arms around Nakamura’s head; the two go to the corner and Nakamura starts taunting his opponent before laying in some hard knees to Joe’s midsection. The two move outside of the ring and just barely beat the count back into the ring. Joe hits an insugiri but doesn’t even bother going for a cover. Nakamura gains control back and hits a knee on Joe’s face, but Joe quickly counters and sends Nakamura to the mat outside of the ring. Joe dives from the ring to take his challenger down, then rolls him back into the ring for a cover. Joe has the clear strength advantage here, but Nakamura refuses to lay down. He gets Nakamura’s arm locked behind his body, but he gets to the bottom rope to break Joe’s hold. Every time Nakamura gets the edge, Joe knocks him down. Nakamura lifts Joe to the top rope and delivers a knee to the midsection. Is this match going to go until 11pm? Because it should. It should go on forever.
The King of Strong Style is in control, but Joe is able to hit a counter; not full strength but enough to stop his momentum for the moment. Joe hits Nakamura HARD and send him spinning. Nakamura tries for a cross armbreaker, but Joe has his hands locked in and won’t allow it. Joe locks in a Cloverleaf to try and get Nakamura to tap, but he makes it to the bottom rope. I lied when I said I wouldn’t cover in detail; there is too much going on to skip over anything! Joe locks in the Coquina Clutch, but Nakamura gets his foot on the bottom rope. Nakamura hits a German Suplex to send Joe flying! The crowd is losing it! But Joe hits a powerslam and pins Nakamura, nearly getting the victory. The nearfalls are coming now; this is getting tense. I am now cussing in my living room. Nakamura hits two kinshasas and HE WINS THE TITLE! More f-bombs are dropped; I can’t believe it! What an amazing moment! This is quite honestly the best ending to a PPV. I love Nakamura and I am so happy right now, there are no words. Nakamura goes undefeated still, taking down the beast that is Samoa Joe. Top this, Summerslam. I dare you.
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Article by Mrs Jamie Baker