posted by Billy Carpenter
From Tokyo, Japan…
Michael Cole & Byron Saxton welcome us to Sumo Hall. The ambiance and the setting looks fantastic, already has a different feel from the normal WWE broadcast.
BREAK THE WALLS DOWNNNNN! Chris Jericho returns to kick off this special show. Still looks to be in pretty good shape and the crowd pops big time for him. His opponent is Neville and this could be a MOTN…
Chris Jericho vs Neville
Jericho takes control of the arm early on. We get a FMW reference! Dueling “Y2J/Let’s Go Neville” chants from the crowd. Neville uses his speed advantage to send Jericho heading to the floor. Back inside, Jericho locks in a bow & arrow. We get a Dragon Gate reference, what is happening?! Jericho is able to send Neville out to the floor with a clothesline over the top. Y2J looks to fly but Neville slides back in and cuts him off. Jericho is able to backdrop Neville back to the apron and hit the springboard dropkick! Back in and Jericho hits a cross body off the top for 2. Chris works a chinlock but Neville gets a rollup for 2. Enziguri by Jericho gets a near fall! Big back elbow and we get the C’MON BABY FLEX PIN. Neville is able to strt firing back with kicks but Jericho gets a double axe handle and a bulldog to swing the pendulum of momentum back his way. Y2J looking for the Walls of Jericho but Neville powers out. Neville works over Jericho in the corner but gets caught going up to the top rope. Both men up top, Jericho going for a superplex but it’s blocked. Shooting star press misses and Jericho locks in the Walls! Neville is able to make it to the ropes though. Jericho charges but Neville sidesteps and Jericho falls to the floor. Twisting senton to the outside by Neville! Jericho is rolled back in and Neville hits a springboard dropkick followed by a running shooting star press for 2! Neville gets ROCKED with a forearm and Jericho hits the Lionsault for a near fall! Neville fights back and goes for another springboard move but gets nailed with a Codebreaker for yet another near fall. Jericho goes for a German suplex but Neville reverses and gets one of his. Superkick! Seated superkick! Neville up top for the Red Arrow but Jericho gets the knees up! LIONTAMER and COLE CALLS IT CORRECTLY! Neville taps!
WINNER: Chris Jericho via submission
Fantastic opening match. Jericho didn’t try to keep pace with Neville so he adjusted his style accordingly and looked great here. Neville looked good even with the loss and went move for move with one of the best. Great start to the show!
WWE Divas Title Triple Threat Match
Paige vs Tamina vs Nikki Bella (c)
How did Tamina score a title shot? She looked a little confused to start things off. Paige catches her in the ropes with the repeated knee strikes but Tamina sweeps the leg and covers for 2. Nikki and Tamina square off now and Bella gets the disaster kick for a 2 count. Tamina suplexes Nikki but Paige catches her with a pair of headbutts. Double suplex on Tamina and they send her out, thank goodness. Nikki takes over and gets a couple of near falls. Alabama Slam attempt countered and Paige hits a knee for 2. Knee strikes in the corner on Nikki and she takes the time to keep Tamina at bay. This gives Nikki time to comeback and send Paige into the corner. Up top now, and we get the ol’ Tower of Doom spot. Tamina sends both Nikki and Paige to the corner but misses a splash. They team up to get rid of Tamina yet again and Nikki hits the Alabama Slam for 2. Paige is able to hit the Ram-paige for a near fall. PTO is locked in but Tamina is here to ruin things. Samoan drop on Nikki and she goes up top for the Superfly Splash but misses. FOREARM OF DEATH by Nikki and she pins Tamina to retain the gold.
WINNER: Nikki Bella via pinfall
Match was pretty solid when it was just Paige and Nikki. Tamina looked lost for the first few moments of the match and killed the flow whenever she was present. I assume she was there to take the fall and nothing more. It’s kind of en vogue to hate on the Bellas from an in-ring standpoint but Nikki, to her credit, has made some strides in elevating her game. One-on-one minus Tamina would’ve been better but I assume that’s coming up soon.
Poor Kofi Kingston is out now and an execution is imminent…HERE COMES THE PAIN!
Brock Lesnar vs Kofi Kingston
Crowd is hot for Lesnar. Michael Cole droppin’ knowledge yet again, bringing up Lesnar’s IWGP title reign. The bell rings and Kofi makes a run for it. He actually gets in a little offense before getting DROPPED on his head by a German suplex. Brock makes it a hat trick before hitting the F5 and finishing off Kingston in about 3 minutes.
WINNER: Brock Lesnar via pinfall
After the match, he heads back in and LAUNCHES Kofi with a German suplex. He F5’s Kofi again; Big E and Xavier Woods try and make the save but they get a pair of F5’s for their troubles.
Backstage, Kevin Owens prepares for his NXT title defense. We get an excellent video package for this match,and this really should’ve closed the show. Regardless, I’m hyped for this one!
Finn Balor vs Kevin Owens (c)
The demon has risen in Tokyo! Sick paint job tonight for Balor. Hideo Itami is in the crowd for this one. We get flower girls and a BARRAGE of streamers for Finn:
Owens throws the flowers away like a proper villain. Bell rings and Finn hits a shotgun dropkick and is looking for the coup de grace already! Owens rolls out and Finn hits a cross body to the floor instead. Some back and forth and Owens is back outside–baseball slide by Balor. He tosses Owens into some chairs and hit a running dropkick to a seated Owens.Back inside, Owens is able to get the advantage with swinging crucifix slam for 2. Owens in control as Byron & Cole rattle off the former Prince Devitt’s accomplishments in NJPW. Balor looks to fight back but Owens takes him outside and shoves him into the ring steps. Balor rolls in and gets met with a senton for 2. Balor is able to fight back, eventually dropkicking Owens after rolling through a sunset flip. Flying forearm from the second rope gets 2. Owens goes into the Cena “five moves of doom” and hits the Five Knuckle Shuffle! Finn counters out of an AA attempt and and a nice sequence sees him hit a Pele kick. Owens heads to the floor but Balor gets a big somersault plancha! Dropkick and reverse DDT get a near fall for Balor! Finn going up but misses the coup de grace. Owens with a German suplex folowed by the corner cannonball for 2. Package powerslam gets another 2 count. Owens looks to go for the pop-up powerbomb but Finn gets the Sling Blade! Finn goes up again but Owens cuts him off. He’s able to fight him off and he hits the coup de grace but only gets 2! Balor firing off shots in the corner and he sits Owens on the top rope. FINLAY ROLL OFF THE TOP ROPE BY OWENS. Kevin back up top and goes for the swanton bomb but Balor gets the knees up. BLOODY SUNDAY BY FINN! Only a 2 count! Sleeper suplex by Kevin Owens! Holy shit, this match. Owens goes for the pop-up powerbomb again but Finn sips out. LARIATOOOOO~! SHOTGUN DROPKICK! CORNER DROPKICK! COUP DE GRACE AND FINN BALOR IS YOUR NEW NXT CHAMP!
WINNER and new NXT champion: Finn Balor via pinfall
Great match! The crowning of Balor as the new NXT champion took place in a most fitting setting. Great atmosphere, great match and surprisingly great commentary here. Cole was excellent and this may have been Byron’s best work since coming up to the main roster full-time. They put great emphasis on what was happening in the ring and put the NXT brand, the title and the competitors over. Tatsumi Fujinami makes his way out to congratulate Finn and they cut to Itami in the crowd who has a little bit of an interesting look on his face. Balor extends the hand in respect to Owens, but Kevin is having none of that. This match was a big deal and for all intents & purposes, was the main event. Still wish this would’ve closed the show but as soon as he was announced, I knew Cena was closing was the show. Still, this was great stuff.
King Barrett & Kane vs Dolph Ziggler & John Cena
I just didn’t have the patience or the energy to recap this. It was standard fare; felt very much like a typical SmackDown main event. This went on WAY too long, coming in at around 25 minutes. Cena & Ziggler win after an AA to King Barrett. How big of a curse has winning the King of the Ring, by the way? Barrett has gotten some of the shittiest booking since being crowned king, which is unfortunate. They couldn’t follow the NXT title match and, like I said earlier, this shouldn’t have been the show closer.
WINNERS: John Cena & Dolph ZIggler via pinfall
Very fun show from WWE. Had a different look aesthetically and was pretty easy to watch at 2 hours long. A pair of great matches, Brock destroying people and the crowning of a new NXT champ make this an easy thumbs up. Hope this show was a success as far as viewership goes; I’d love to see them do another one here. A UK show on the Network would also be fun too. If you haven’t yet, take 2 hours out of your day and check out ‘Beast in the East’!