**New Japan Pro Wrestling is at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, California tonight. Tickets sales for the show have struggled for a variety of reasons. The finalized card came out this past Monday and is only airing on New Japan World tonight (it will air Friday on AXS TV) with Jim Ross and Kevin Kelly calling the show. We have a full preview up on the main page and below is a quick look at the card:
*Kenny Omega & Kota Ibushi vs. Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii
*Juice Robinson vs. Cody for the IWGP United States title
*Will Ospreay vs. Marty Scurll in the IWGP junior heavyweight title tournament
*The Young Bucks vs. Guerillas of Destiny for the IWGP tag titles
*Hiroshi Tanahashi & KUSHIDA vs. Jay White & Gedo
*Tetsuya Naito, EVIL & Sanada vs. Zack Sabre Jr., Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Lance Archer
*Hirooki Goto, Chuckie T. & Beretta vs. Jeff Cobb, Flip Gordon & Chris Sabin
*Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian vs. Hangman Page & Chase Owens
*Roppongi 3K & Rocky Romero vs. Ryusuke Taguchi, Jushin Thunder Liger & ACH
The focus will be next Monday’s King of Pro Wrestling card at Sumo Hall. Only one match has been announced for the show so tonight should feature several angles, including the main event for that show. On paper, I feel this will be a very good show it just lacks the buzz of past U.S. stops for New Japan since they began coming to California.
Mike Murray and I will have an NJPW Fighting Spirit Unleashed POST Show late tonight and will be up for free for everyone on the site, as well as on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher etc.
**Jeff Cobb won the ROH Television title at Saturday’s television tapings in Las Vegas from Punishment Martinez. It was reported by PWinsider.com earlier in the day that Martinez was leaving Ring of Honor with Dave Meltzer adding that he is headed for the WWE. Cobb appeared on Friday’s pay-per-view and received a big reaction when he confronted Martinez as he wasn’t announced on the show and lives in Las Vegas. Cobb stated earlier in the week, that he is working with ROH but hasn’t signed yet. He is of the belief that he will be contractually free from Lucha Underground after the current season, which will wrap up in November on the El Rey Network.
**Tenille Dashwood announced at Saturday’s ROH tapings that she has been dealing with a shoulder injury for the past six months along with psoriasis, which she mentioned was the reason she could not work the recent ROH shows in the U.K. Dashwood said she will be undergoing shoulder surgery and that explained the angle from Friday’s pay-per-view where she was mysteriously attacked in the back after her match with Sumie Sakai.
**Progress Wrestling announced an attendance of 4,750 for today’s “Hello Wembley” card.
**Last Thursday’s episode of Impact Wrestling averaged 229,000 viewers on POP TV, which was a drop from 229,000 the previous week. The Thursday night game on the NFL Network only did 3,168,000 viewers with the coverage of the Brett Kavanaugh hearing dominating all the cable news outlets, who had enormous audiences on Thursday night.
**Monday’s Raw will take place from the Key Arena in Seattle with the following announced:
*Ronda Rousey vs. Ruby Riott
*Kevin Owens vs. Bobby Lashley
*Shawn Michaels appearing
**SmackDown has a live event Monday night in Kennewick, Washington, and the television tapings are Tuesday night from the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon.
**Fight Club Pro out of the U.K. has announced a show for Korakuen Hall on Monday, January 7th, which is two-days after New Japan will hold New Year’s Dash in the same venue.
**UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor will be appearing separately on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show on Monday.
**A UFC 229 press conference is scheduled at the Park Theatre in Las Vegas for this Thursday at 6 pm Eastern with Nurmagomedov and McGregor.
**Bellator 206 presented their first exclusive DAZN card on Saturday night from the SAP Center in San Jose, California. The biggest issue they had was the pacing of the main card that surpassed three-hours and ended up going past their allotted time on Channel 5 in the U.K. In the U.K., there is a law in place that doesn’t allow MMA to air past 5:30 am because of the violent nature of the programming. Channel 5 ended up going with Bellator until 6 am and then cut it off to air “Peppa Pig” and the audience didn’t get to watch the main event between Gegard Mousasi and Rory MacDonald. Bellator president Scott Coker insisted it wouldn’t happen again and next time they would keep the main card to five fights.
The card itself was a good show with a dominant performance from Gegard Mousasi in his TKO win over Rory MacDonald in the second round. MacDonald’s nose was bloody in the fight and he did go to the hospital afterward. He is scheduled to defend the welterweight title against Jon Fitch in the opening round of the Welterweight Grand Prix, although there is no date for that fight. The surprise of the card was Quinton Jackson and Wanderlei Silva, which felt like the main event to the audience and the two had a much better fight that you would have expected at this stage of their careers. This wasn’t anything the caliber of their two fights in Pride, but no one thought it would be. Both withstood big strikes in the opening round before Jackson lit him up with a huge right in the second round that dropped Silva and he was finished with strikes. The biggest star coming out of the show was Aaron Pico, who looked impressive in his win over Leandro Higo, who was easily his most skilled opponent by a wide margin of his career. Pico did get hit in this fight and that is a concern when you’re assessing his defensive capabilities against advanced strikers. By defeating Higo, who was moving up in weight but did fight for the bantamweight title, it would see like Pico is going to be fighting the top end guys with such a big victory.
**Below are the main card results from Bellator 206:
*Gaston Bolanos def. Ysidro Gutierrez by TKO at 1:37 of Round 2 – this was added to the main card on Saturday, which in hindsight was a bad decision given the Channel 5 issues
*Keri Melendez def. Dakota Zimmerman by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
*Aaron Pico def. Leandro Higo by TKO at 3:19 of Round 1
*Douglas Lima def. Andrey Koreshkov by rear-naked choke at 3:04 of Round 5 to advance in the Welterweight Grand Prix – Lima will fight the winner of Paul Daley vs. Michael “Venom” Page in the second round
*Quinton Jackson def. Wanderlei Silva by TKO at 4:32 of Round 2
*Gegard Mousasi def. Rory MacDonald by TKO at 3:23 of Round 2 to retain the Bellator middleweight title
**Rory MacDonald posted the following statement after his loss to Mousasi:
Last night was a tough one for me, unfortunately I didnt mentally show up ready to take on a competitive fight and froze in the cage. In this sport you pay a high price if you’re not dialed in and ready to go. I have zero excuses, gegard was a fantastic champion last night.
**Bellator returns with cards on back-to-back nights on Friday, October 12th and Saturday, October 13th. The first night is Bellator 207 from Uncasville and will feature Matt Mitrione fighting Ryan Bader in the semi-finals of the Heavyweight Grand Prix and the second night is at the Nassau Coliseum with Chael Sonnen vs. Fedor Emelianenko in the other semi-final.
**Here are the results from Rizin’s event earlier today at the Saitama Super Arena with both mixed martial arts and kickboxing fights on the show:
*Manel Kape def. Yusaku Nakamura by rear-naked choke at 4:27 of Round 3
*Taiga Kawabe and Kento Haraguchi fought to a majority draw in a kickboxing bout
*Ayaka Hamasaki def. Mina Kurobe by kimura at 4:45 of Round 1
*Kai Asakura def. Topnoi Thanongsaklek by unanimous decision
*Haruo Ochi def. Mitsuhisa Sunabe by KO at 2:53 of Round 3
*Bob Sapp def. Osunaarashi by unanimous decision in a special rules fight
*Mirko Cro Cop def. Roque Martinez by TKO at 4:58 of Round 1 due to a cut
*Miyuu Yamamoto def. Andy Nguyen by unanimous decision – Yamamoto’s entrance was a tribute to her brother, Kid Yamamoto and was said to be very emotional
*Tenshin Nasukawa def. Kyoji Horiguchi by unanimous decision in a kickboxing bout
*Daron Cruickshank def. Diego Brandao by KO at 0:17 of Round 2
*Mikuru Asakura def. Karshyga Dautbek by unanimous decision
*Jiri Prochazka def. Jake Heun by TKO at 4:29 of Round 1
EGGSHELLS PODCAST COMPANION: 2003 with Jonathan Snowden
Chris Charlton is joined by Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Snowden to chat 2003 with four cards at the Tokyo Dome, the first Ultimate Crush event, the rise of Hustle, Bill Goldberg’s involvement, the influence of Pride & K-1 on the wrestling scene & lots more.
REWIND-A-WAI – WWF In Your House: International Incident (Patreon)
John Pollock & Wai Ting review the WWF’s IYH event from Vancouver in July 1996 featuring a six-man tag with Shawn Michaels, Ahmed Johnson & Sid vs. Vader, Owen Hart & British Bulldog as chosen by Espresso Executive Producer Zubin Sundar.
upNXT & Forever Young 9/27/18: Genius of the Sky
Braden Herrington & Davie Portman review this week’s NXT episode, the Mae Young Classic with Io Shirai vs. Xia Brookside and Davie’s 205 (approximate) second review of 205 Live.
DOUBLE SHOT 9/26/18: Total Divas, July ’96 Raw, Jeff Hardy & Slammiversary features
John Pollock & Wai Ting provide additional reviews of the season premiere of Total Divas, a review of the July 15th, 1996 episode of Raw leading into “International Incident”, reviews of the Jeff Hardy & Slammiversary features, Ten Pounds of Gold & more
REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN 9/25/18: AJ’s Mailbox, That Night in Milwaukee, Liv Morgan update
John Pollock & Wai Ting review SmackDown and chat the angles involving AJ Styles & Samoa Joe, Aiden English with Rusev, the debut of Truth TV, a review of Mixed Match Challenge, the top news stories of the day & more.
REWIND-A-RAW 9/24/18: Shield dissension, Liv Morgan hurt
John Pollock & Wai Ting review Raw from Denver, discuss the injury to Liv Morgan and provide an update, the show-long story with Dean Ambrose, a great tag titles match, Jim Cornette calling NWA show, UFC 229 press conference reaction, your feedback & more.
NJPW DESTRUCTION IN KOBE POST SHOW (Patreon show)
John Pollock & Wai Ting review Sunday’s card from Kobe that was headlined by Hiroshi Tanahashi taking on Kazuchika Okada and concluded with a major angle involving Gedo turning on Okada and aligning with Jay White.
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