If anyone knows me then one things for sure, I know BTB's, and this is by far the best one.
If anyone knows me then one things for sure, I know BTB's, and this is by far the best one.
Officials are announcing a few matches ahead of time for Night Two of the Worldwide 96 quarter-finals. The following are only some of the scheduled contests. Of course, there will be some surprises...
N I G H T
T W O
WILLIE MACK vs KAMAITACHI vs FENIX vs ADAM PAGE
WORLDWIDE 96 QUARTERFINALS
AKIRA TOZAWA vs PENTAGON JR
WORLDWIDE 96 QUARTERFINALS
WILL OSPREAY vs BRIAN CAGE
WORLDWIDE 96 QUARTERFINALS
ADAM COLE vs BIG DADDY WALTER
6-MAN TAG TEAM ACTION!
MONSTER MAFIA & TYSON DUX
KENNY OMEGA & THE YOUNG BUCKS
The event will be taking place soon. As always, card is subject to change.
The second night of our Toronto event begins with a cold open: we are in the venue lobby as a meet and greet is finishing up with some of the stars of tonight’s show. Will Ospreay is acting very humble (keyword: acting) and appreciative of all his support, when he is tapped on the shoulder by a female producer who tells him that his presence was requested elsewhere. Ospreay wraps up the conversation he was having and apologizes to the other people in his line before excusing himself.
When Ospreay passes the curtain that separates the areas, he is confronted by Jimmy Havoc. Havoc is flanked by Greater Europe compatriots Rampage Brown and Iestyn Rees.
Jimmy Havoc: Piss off.
Will Ospreay: Excuse me?
Jimmy Havoc: That’s what you’re going to say to me after I make you an offer you shouldn’t but probably will refuse.
Will Ospreay: And that is?
Jimmy Havoc: The world is watching, William. One of the biggest tournaments this sport has ever seen is reaching its apex and this company just won BTBOTM in the Wrestling Order newsletter. All eyes are on THRIVE. And by all eyes, I mean Ed's, and sometime Jon Snow's.
Both men look at the camera for a moment and then back at eachother.
Jimmy Havoc: Now, here’s where you come in. There are still three Euros in the Worldwide 96 and you are one of them. Now, we’ve already done our part in making sure Sabre advances. Just say the word, and we will do the same for you.
Will Ospreay: You were right. Piss off.
Jimmy Havoc: Something I want you to consider, before we have your ‘final answer.’
Ospreay looks at Rampage and Rees for a moment before turning his attention back to Havoc.
Jimmy Havoc: If we can make the triple threat finals match at Trifecta ‘you against Zack against Walter,’ we guarantee that the THRIVE World Championship goes to a European who deserves it. At present time, Zack is our horse in the race, and I guess that makes Walter our ‘war elephant.’ But you…
Will Ospreay: I don’t want any part of your nonsense, Jimmy.
Jimmy Havoc: So when Bullet Club is taking over the wrestling world, and Los Ingobernables are selling t-shirts by the thousands, that’s nonsense, is it?
Will Ospreay: You know what I mean.
Jimmy Havoc: No I do not. But I know you. And that’s this is really about, innit? You want all of the glory for yourself. There’s never enough to share with the lot of us.
Will Ospreay: That’s bullshit-
Jimmy Havoc: Is it?
Will Ospreay: …
Ospreay doesn’t even want to justify the notion with a response.
Will Ospreay: Why are you even asking me? If you wanted to take Cage out prior to our match, you certainly didn’t need my permission.
Havoc looks away from Ospreay, sighs, and then looks at him again.
Jimmy Havoc: For transparency’s sake, here it is: we don’t want to upset you...
Ospreay’s eyebrows raise as he looks around in disbelief.
Jimmy Havoc: ...more than we already have, that is. You see, you’ve got your ROH bookings, your fancy New Japan connections, and we don’t… so-
Will Ospreay: Not interested.
Jimmy Havoc: Be that as it may, A Greater Europe is interested in you. We have all the confidence in the world that you’ll do just fine, but with that said, Brian Cage is twice your size and thrice as strong… so if you want our help, you’ve got it. And if you don’t, we’ll stay out of your way.
Ospreay scoffs, then looks like he might be considering it for a moment, before ultimately shaking his head.
Will Ospreay: I know I’m the underdog in this one. Now, more than ever before. But that’s why it’s so important for me to do this on my own. If I lose, it’s unfortunate. I’ll let the fans down, my family… I’ll let myself down. But if I win? If I can actually beat him-
Jimmy Havoc: I don’t care about your reasons, William. I’ve got your answer.
Havoc puts his hand on Ospreay’s shoulder. Ospreay looks at Havoc’s hand, then back at Havoc.
Jimmy Havoc: Good luck out there.
Havoc starts walking away, trailed by Iestyn Rees. Rampage Brown turns to Ospreay for a moment. He looks like he’s searching for the right words...
Rampage Brown: … … ...Don’t fuck this up.
Ospreay frowns as Rampage turns to follow his mates. Scene fades to black and the show’s intro begins.
Joey Styles is standing next to Steve Corino and Kevin Kelly, surrounded by a raucous crowd here to see some of wrestling's finest competing LIVE and for a good cause. Styles runs through a shortlist of charities benefitting from tonight's events before welcoming the audience at home.
Joey Styles: Welcome to Night 2 of ROUND 4, live from Toronto, featuring the Worldwide 96 quarter-finals and a number of surprise match-ups. I’m your host Joey Styles. Your commentators for the evening are Canada native Steve Corino and his partner Kevin Kelly. We’re not wasting any time tonight as we head ringside for our first match of the evening.
Our ring announcer is the lovely Melissa Santos, who gets her own pop as she enters the ring to introduce our opening bout’s competitors.
A quick-paced first contest of the evening which sees all four men looking like equals. The majority of the time it’s Adam Page fighting Willie Mack and Fenix going toe-to-toe with Kamaitachi, but they switch dance partners at multiple points throughout. The subtext to this match is Adam Page desperate to pick up a win and prove he’s not a weak link in the Bullet Club. This is evidenced by Page having more pinfall attempts than the other competitors combined.
Finish comes when Kamaitachi devastates Willie Mack with a dropkick from the apron to the outside. Willie crashes into the guardrail and Kamaitachi just crashes. Inside the ring, Adam Page hits Fenix with a reverse STO. Page sees Kamaitachi starting to get up on the outside. He looks down at Fenix and then back to Kamaitachi.
Page hurries to catch Kamaitachi with a double axe-handle off the apron before the Japanese star can get his bearings. Adam Page knocks him loopy and then hops back onto the apron just as Fenix gets to his feet. Before Fenix can completely turn to face “The Hangman,” Adam Page springboards over the top rope and does a flip, landing on his feet. Adam’s got a beautiful front-flip lariat that he is known for, but we won’t be seeing it tonight. Fenix counters the attempt using Adam Page’s own momentum against him to deliver the Spanish Fly (moonsault slam) for the win at 11:15. Page kicks out just after the 3 count and you can see the disappointment in his face.
Backstage, “The Hangman” Adam Page anticipates some heat from Cole for losing the opening contest of the night, but when Page gets backstage, Adam Cole is too busy concentrating on his Round 4 match later this evening, against the behemoth of a man they call Big Daddy Walter. It’s only when Adam Page tries to offer some encouragement that Cole snaps out of it and remembers to chastise Page for losing. Page is disappointed, but not surprised. He takes the verbal lashing and still wishes Cole luck later tonight. We head ringside for the first quarter-finals match of the evening.
This one starts as a game of cat and mouse that deviates into an acrobatic showcase at certain points. Cage impresses the crowd with his strength, lots of deadlifts and delays here. Ospreay gets his shit in as well, using the outside area, apron and ropes to his advantage to turn the tables several times. The crowd was behind Ospreay in the beginning but the more of Cage’s aerial repertoire is on display, the more mixed the reactions get.
The finish comes when Cage tries to keep up with Ospreay too much and tweaks his knee landing from a handspring. Cage falls for a moment but gets right back up, trying not to show weakness. The vulnerability already exposed, Ospreay wastes zero time - he charges Brian Cage and targets the knee with a low dropkick. Cage falls to the floor and grimaces in pain. Ospreay runs and stands across the ring. Ospreay runs the length of the ring and leaps into the air for his jumping corkscrew roundhouse but Brian Cage intercepts him with a nasty lariat that turns the “Aerial Assassin” inside out. Cage was playing possum and taps his temple to let the fans know how smart he is.
Ospreay’s been turned into a ragdoll by the lariat but Cage has no trouble hoisting his body up to a standing position. Brian Cage puts his arm over Ospreay’s head, and Ospreay’s arm over his. He lifts Ospreay up into the air, twists, and spikes him down with a vertical suplex piledriver. There’s an audible gasp at the sight of it. Cage makes the cover and the referee counts 3! Brian Cage advances to the semifinals at 13:21.
We go backstage where Paul London is in his ring gear standing next to Joey Styles.
Joey Styles: Paul-
Paul London: Save it, Joey. I know what you’re going to say. "Last night, you expected to face Brian Kendrick, but he no-showed the event like the piece of shit he is and instead you faced a local competitor they call The Space Monkey, how do you feel about that?" Is that about right?
Joey Styles: Well, I-
Paul London: Well nothing, Joey. I am not a fucking joke. I am not some punchline. And as much as I wanna badmouth Brian Kendrick right now, there’s nothing funny about fighting him, either. So as much as I appreciate getting paid to wrestle last night, getting thrown into a match with…
London seems like he’s trying to calm himself down before he chooses his next words, out of respect for the performer.
Joey Styles: A guy in a monkey suit?
Paul London: It’s not even a fucking monkey suit! That would actually have been entertaining-
Joey Styles interrupts Paul to prevent him from disparaging The Space Monkey any further.
Joey Styles: And it appears Brian Kendrick is not present tonight, either-
Paul London: …oh, big surprise...
Joey Styles: -but you are still scheduled for competition this evening.
London shakes his head and takes a deep breath. Styles gives him room to respond, and Paul London takes his time. Another deep breath.
Paul London: As long as it’s actually competition this time.
London walks off toward the entrance area, ready for his match. He does his entrance and comes through the curtains to a nice pop. Melissa Santos announces his name in a fun, bubbly way, but Paul is feeling anything but fun and bubbly as he makes his way to the ring. His discontent is evident, and it’s only going to get worse from here.
Next out to the ring, it’s The Space Monkey!!! Santos says his name in a bouncy way. She’s smiling afterward, but that smile vanishes the second she meets eyes with Paul London, who couldn’t look more disappointed with the situation. Then, Melissa Santos says, ”and their opponents…”, indicating Space Monkey is actually his partner, and we discover London actually can look more disappointed.
The entrance area starts filling with fog that is lit up blue and purple. An orange light shines down as the song “Otherworld” from Final Fantasy X begins playing. The screen displays the words: ‘BOSS LEVEL.’ When the song ramps up and gets heavier, two men emerge from the fog: Evil Uno and Low Ki. They look cool AF with the lighting behind them.
London’s rage deafens him to the strategy The Space Monkey is trying to discuss. Eventually, The Space Monkey realizes London isn’t listening and stops trying to get through to him. Then, Paul London remembers what he said earlier about wanting actual competition, and smiles at his predicament.
It’s a pretty one-sided affair. Evil Uno and Low Ki are showing tremendous teamwork and a sense of timing that takes most partnerships a while to achieve. On the other end of the ring, London and Monkey are showing none of that. London is doing well enough on his own, but The Space Monkey’s inexperience coupled with their lack of chemistry leads to a few mix-ups. It’s mercifully short at 7:12, with The Space Monkey taking a double brainbuster from Low Ki and Uno as London watches from the apron. After the match, London helps The Space Monkey to his feet. A post-match beatdown seems imminent, but London leaves the ring before doing anything rash.
It’s a back-and-forth war from start-to-finish that sees both men pulling out all the stops. Tozawa and Pentagon Jr. nearly go the distance in this one. ”Both these guys! Both these guys!” and "Fight forever!" chants. With Suzuki and Sanada out of the Worldwide 96, Akira Tozawa represents Japan’s only chance of getting a Japanese finalist fighting for the THRIVE World Championship at our next event. But it would be Mexico’s Pentagon Jr. advancing, when he manages to put Akira Tozawa away with the Package Piledriver at 17:03.
Pentagon Jr. and Tozawa receive a standing ovation after the match. Pentagon Jr. helps Tozawa up and raises his arm long enough to suggest that this is Tozawa’s goodbye from actively competing on the independent scene, including THRIVE. Pentagon Jr. leaves the ring as the fans are chanting “TO-ZA-WA!” Pentagon looks pleased with himself.
After the match, we head backstage where Jimmy Havoc and his goons are knocking on a door. The door opens and Brad Maddox appears.
Brad Maddox: Gentlemen.
Jimmy Havoc: Where’s Walter?
Brad Maddox: He’s getting ready. So what can I help you with?
Jimmy Havoc: Nothing. We want Walter.
Brad Maddox: I’ll take this moment to remind you that as Big Daddy Walter’s representative-
Jimmy Havoc: Do we look like we give a fuck who you are?
It was rhetorical, but Maddox scans their faces before reaching Havoc’s again.
Brad Maddox: Not exactly, no, but here’s the deal: you’re not getting an audience with him unless I want you to...
Rampage Brown: Excuse me-
Havoc raises his hand in a “COOL IT!” gesture, allowing Maddox to continue.
Brad Maddox: And that isn’t necessary, because I am pretty sure I know what you would tell him.
Jimmy Havoc: Is that right?
Brad Maddox: ’We’re the good guys, unified Europe and all that, join us and we’ll rule the wrestling world, have a pint and watch some soccer after.’ I'm sorry, 'football.'
Havoc looks at his mates.
Jimmy Havoc: That’s pretty good.
Havoc snaps and grabs Maddox by the collar of his shirt.
Jimmy Havoc: We don’t have a lot of time so I’ll make this brief: we helped Sabre Jr. and he’s in the semifinals. We didn’t help Ospreay and now he isn’t...
Brad Maddox: Are you comparing Big Daddy Walter to Will Ospreay?
Maddox makes a face like he's trying not to laugh. Havoc releases his collar and steps backward once he realizes Maddox can't be spooked. Corino says he'd be fearless if his client were King Kong too.
Jimmy Havoc: You're right. Your man is a veritable monster. There’s no doubting that. But even Godzilla falls when he’s faced with a whole army. Maybe you haven’t been watching New Japan for the past two years but the Bullet Club isn’t something you take lightly.
Brad Maddox: Just because I don’t want you to get involved doesn’t mean I’m taking anything lightly, Mr. Havoc.
Jimmy Havoc: Brad-
Brad Maddox: You want Walter to be a European version of The Giant. A sort of good luck Fale, if you will. I can appreciate that… but I don't agree with it, because I don’t see any longevity in what you are doing. You want to rival the Bullet Club and fight Los Ingobernables but honestly, I think The Corre showed more promise.
Havoc’s lackeys get really offended, as they should.
Brad Maddox: My answer is no. Or at least, it would be, if you had asked me a question. Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to gameplan with the big man. Maddox out.
Maddox closes the door on them. The rest show frustration but Havoc is expressionless.
Rampage Brown: You want me to break the door down? Fuck him up?
Havoc doesn’t even respond. He turns, walks away, and the others follow. We return to ringside where Melissa Santos gets us hyped up for a big eight-man tag team match between two American tag teams and Japan's CHAOS faction.
This one is hard-hitting and action-packed. Everyone gets a chance to look good but just a little bit more is given to showcasing YOSHI-HASHI, who is often the overlooked member of the group. Okada hits a picture perfect dropkick on Chris Hero and does that ’camera zooming out’ pose. But Hero kips up and is back on his feet instantly! Okada turns around and Hero hits Okada with a dropkick of his own! Both men crawl over to their respective corners to tag out. This brings in JT Dunn and Hirooki Goto.
Dunn tries to catch Goto off guard with a Rolling Elbow but Goto catches him in a suplex position and destroys Dunn with the Shouten Kai (vertical lift sitout side slam). Goto goes for a pinfall attempt. Hanson dives to the center in a desperate attempt to break the pin, but Goto moves and Hanson ends up crashing into JT Dunn. Goto takes advantage of the confusion and tags out to YOSHI-HASHI. Tomohiro Ishii enters and crosses the ring with Goto to knock Chris Hero and Raymond Rowe off of the apron.
Okada jumps in immediately and drops Hanson with the Rainmaker (wrist lock into a lariat). Hanson rolls out of the ring, leaving JT Dunn to the mercy of YOSHI-HASHI. Spoiler: he has no mercy. YOSHI-HASHI hits JT Dunn with Karma (pumphandle half nelson driver) to give CHAOS the win at 14:22.
After the match, an angry Chris Hero drops Hanson with a nasty Discus Roundhouse Kick. Before Raymond Rowe can respond in kind, JT Dunn gets in Hero’s face over the incident and it looks like the two are exchanging heated words. Dunn suddenly spins around and surprises Rowe with a Rolling Elbow. Both members of War Machine are down as Death By Elbow leaves the ring to a mixed reaction.
Joey Styles interrupts the show to give us an urgent update to the rules for our next Worldwide 96 match. "To preserve the integrity of the tournament," he begins, "each wrestler shall only be accompanied by one person." We see a shot of Maddox watching from Walter's dressing room, smiling. Then we see a shot of The Bullet Club watching from their own dressing room, and completely over-reacting to the news. The Young Bucks in particular look like they've just learned the world is ending, and are throwing garbage cans and sofa-cushions around the room. In the midst of their groaning and moaning, it is Adam Page who speaks up and declares "I'll go." Everyone shuts up and looks at him when he says this - except Adam Cole, who has been expressionless and staring off into space the whole time. He snaps back to reality for a moment and says, "ok."
Normally, Maddox has a microphone and plenty to say, but tonight he opts not to address their opponent or the crowd. It's business time. Adam Cole comes to the ring with fellow Bullet Club member Adam Page. Commentary reminds viewers that Page was disqualified and eliminated in Round 3 due to Adam Cole's interference. They wonder if Page harbors any resentment or desire for revenge here.
From the moment the bell rings, this is a game of cat and mouse, plus a whole bunch of cat and mouse DLC. Over the course of the next fifteen or so minutes, Cole goes mostly untouched. Walter batters him at every opportunity but they are few and far between, with Adam Cole making extensive use of rope breaks and corner pull-aparts. The crowd seemed to find his antics amusing at first, but as it became clear that Cole was merely "running out the clock," they turned on him quickly.
Maddox is visibly frustrated, having hoped that the 'no Bullet Club at ringside' rule would have made this a quick and easy victory for his monster. Walter is falling into Cole's trap, tiring himself and slowing as the match goes on. Sometime after the eighteen minute mark, Cole catches Walter with a baseball slide as Walter is following him back into the ring. Walter falls to his knee and appears to take a moment to collect himself. Cole pats himself on the back for this, turning to the crowd, throwing up two fingers on each hand and yelling "ADAM COLE BAYBAY!" Most of the crowd says "BAYBAY!" in unison with Cole, despite shitting on the match prior to that.
But Big Daddy Walter is no slouch. He's in the ring and back to his feet before Cole has a chance to turn back around. When Cole does, he eats a nasty headbutt that sends him crashing to the mat. Walter is stomping him into oblivion. Stomping a mudhole? Hell no. Big Daddy Walter is stomping to the center of the earth! Whatever Page is shouting, Cole is clearly in no position to heed his advice, as he struggles to get out from underneath Walter's massive boots and grab the bottom rope for safety.
The referee separates them again and the crowd voices their displeasure. Maddox is telling Walter to hurry it up. Cole escapes to the outside, still wincing from Walter's painful stomps. Walter follows him out as we enter minute nineteen. Maddox commands Walter to bring the action back into the ring, while Page shouts at Cole to stay outside. Walter goes after a retreating Cole, hoping to spear him into a barricade, but Cole moves at the last second and Walter goes crashing into steel. It makes a frightening sound, but even scarier is how quickly Walter is back to his feet and after Cole again. No offense to Kenny Omega but if ever there were an appropriate time for the crowd to get a Terminator theme going, it would be now.
Cole starts to slide back into the ring, so Walter does the same. But Cole changes course and stays outside at the last second. Walter gets to his feet in the ring, winded and frustrated with how things are playing out. Just then, the bell rings. There's a moment where Walter looks oblivious, until he realizes what has been allowed to happen. We've reached minute twenty, and this is now a Sudden Deathmatch. As Melissa Santos makes the announcement, a wide smile stretches across Adam Cole's face. The Bullet Club emerges from the backstage area.
Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks, Yujiro Takahashi, and the Guerillas of Destiny all come running down to the ring. Maddox is grabbing a chair from one of the fans at ringside when a different chair slams across his back, courtesy of Adam Page. Maddox hits the ground, writhing in pain. Walter sees this and expresses concern for his manager, before turning back to the bigger problem as Bullet Club is entering the ring. Walter dispatches a few of them immediately, sending both Young Bucks over the top rope with a double clothesline and big-booting Yujiro's face off, but the Guerrillas of Destiny give him more trouble than he's prepared for.
Steve Corino reminds fans that the 'Samoan headbutt rule' doesn't apply to Tongans after Walter manages to headbutt Tama Tonga and send him reeling. Big Daddy Walter and Tonga Loa/Roa/whatever exchange blows before Walter throws him out of the ring with force, sending him crashing down onto his Bullet Club brethren. Adam Cole takes a cheap shot and superkicks Walter toward the back of his neck. Walter reacts like he's just noticed a fly landing on him. Big Daddy Walter turns to face Cole. Adam Page sneaks in and hits Walter with a chairshot to the back but Walter is similarly unphased. Page repeats the chairshot again and again, hoping to chip away at Walter's armor.
After the sixth or seventh shot, Walter drops to a knee and snarls. Page readies the chair for another. He doesn't swing. Adam Cole is asking why he isn't swinging, when he sees what has caught Page's attention: multiple wrestlers are climbing over the barricades with weapons in hand. It's 'A Greater Europe,' here to even the score. The Guerrillas of Destiny's black vests become fodder for chains and pipes as the Bullet Club is dismantled on the outside. It looks like a hooligans' riot in here.
Walter uses the distraction to stand up and drape his palm firmly across Page's chest. The 'crack' sound echoes throughout the arena, and the fans go "oooooh." Page drops to his knees and clutches his battered pecs. The Young Bucks slide into the ring to avoid Jimmy Havoc's boys on the outside but are greeted with a massive double-lariat from Walter that turns them inside out. It looks like the Bullet Club is going to be outnumbered and this mayhem is going in Europe's favor until even more folks arrive: it's Rush, EVIL, and BUSHI accompanied by Dragon Lee, Hechicero, and Volador Jr.. All were attacked by A Greater Europe the night before and are looking for revenge.
It becomes an all-out war with the referee doing his best to jump, dodge, and roll to avoid damage. Page has joined the brawl on the outside and is swinging his chair around like a madman. Omega and Rush are doing a number on Havoc's lackeys. Ultimately, due to the added distraction of Los Ingobernables and the luchadors, nobody notices the man wearing a black leather jacket and a black skull mask entering the ring. This man reveals a black baseball bat hiding in his jacket sleeve and procedes to crack Walter in the back of the knees with it.
Kevin Kelly speculates that Sanada is getting his revenge for what happened the night before. After Greater Europe cost him his spot in the Worldwide 96, Sanada must be doing the same to Big Daddy Walter. But the man takes off his skull mask and it's none other than "The American Nightmare" Cody Rhodes. The Young Bucks slide into the ring and get into position. Cole and the Young Bucks execute a triple superkick to a kneeling Big Daddy Walter, then another, and another. On the final triple superkick, Cody Rhodes simultaneously smashes Walter in the back of the neck with the baseball bat. Walter finally goes down and Cole wastes no time making a cover. There's a war going on outside the ring and the few who notice what's going on are prevented from doing anything about it as Rhodes plays lookout with his baseball bat. Both Young Bucks jump onto Cole to ensure a pinfall victory at 23:09.
The war outside the ring continues after the bell, with 'A Greater Europe' forced to retreat as the numbers favor their enemies. Walter rolls out of the ring to a beaten Brad Maddox as the Bullet Club just watches. No beatdown, no heckling - they just watch. An angry Walter picks up Maddox, throws him over a shoulder, and carries him backstage. It's kind of sad, actually. This "moment" is ruined by the Young Bucks shouting 'NEXT WORLD CHAMPION' and similar things as we go backstage with Joey Styles.
Joey is standing by with Tyson Dux and Monster Mafia (Ethan Page and Josh Alexander). All three are Canada natives who are hoping to follow Speedball Mike Bailey's example and bring a main event win home to Canada. Tyson Dux laments that he feels Sanada's pain, having also lost to Zack Sabre Jr. and being removed from a separate tournament not too long ago... he says that he needs the win here tonight to prove he deserves a spot in THRIVE Pro Wrestling. Ethan Page discusses his and Josh's loss in Japan to a reunited Yoshino/Doi, and claims that winning tonight is paramount if Monster Mafia intends to be in the discussion for a potential Tag Team Championship tournament down the line (their words, not mine). Styles thanks the gentlemen for their time before we return ringside for our sub-main event women's contest.
Melissa Santos announces Gail Kim as a Toronto native and the veteran comes to the ring with a lot of support from her fellow Canadians. The Alpha Female comes to the ring with a German flag draped over shoulders and a chorus of boos follows. The crowd is firmly behind Gail to win this one, but The Alpha Female is an absolute monster, billed at 6'11” to Gail Kim's 5'4”, and nothing seems to be effective at keeping her down. Gail gets a couple near-falls from cradles and crucifixes but never the 3. Gail tries to use her speed advantage to counter The Alpha Female's strength and avoid big moves, but Alpha is surprisingly nimble for her size. She's also able to take a lot of damage without showing much fatigue.
Every move or strike The Alpha Female receives is met with cheers. And whenever Alpha finds an opening to assert her dominance, those cheers become frequent boos. Like when Gail flies across the ring and hits a horizontal body avalanche in the corner, but Alpha counters, carries a helpless Gail Kim into the center of the ring, and executes a picture-perfect backbreaker. Alpha also reverses a hurricanrana with a powerbomb for a nearfall.
The finish comes when Gail mounts a comeback and then goes for Eat Defeat (inverted stomp facebreaker) but as Gail puts her leg up, Alpha DENIES her and grabs Gail by the throat. The Alpha Female hoists Gail Kim up and obliterates her with a wicked Chokeslam to secure the victory at 10:12. After the match, Alpha requests a microphone and one of the ringside officials obliges her. The crowd is booing Alpha Female relentlessly for beating the 'hometown' girl, but once she raises the microphone to her lips, the crowd quiets down a bit to hear what she has to say. The Alpha Female looks down at Gail Kim, then looks straight into the hard camera.
The Alpha Female: EVIE... ICH WILL DICH WIEDER KÄMPFEN!
Alpha drops the microphone with one hand and raises the German flag high above her head with the other as the crowd boos. Kevin Kelly says, “I think that means she wants Evie.” Corino imagines that for a giant like Alpha Female, it's got to be really demoralizing to lose to someone so much smaller. He also states that he can't wait to see that match. Kevin Kelly wants to speculate as to whether or not he will have that chance for more than one reason, but there's no time to discuss the matter – our main event of the evening is next.
The team of Tyson Dux and Monster Mafia makes their way to the ring first and gets a great reaction as Canada natives. Monster Mafia goes out of their way to greet the ringside fans. Tyson is inside the ring and stretching on the ropes. He appears to be taking this very seriously.
But before we can begin, we hear the theme music of “The Cleaner” Kenny Omega, and the 2016 G1 Climax winner makes his way to the ring with a microphone in hand. He's wearing jeans and a “The Elite” t-shirt. He enters the ring to address his home country.
Kenny Omega: Wow, it's great to be back in Canada.
Kenny gets a nice cheap pop for his home country.
Kenny Omega: Psyche! I wish I was still in Japan. Real talk: in Japan, the fans are respectful and they actually appreciate talent when they see it. That's why it took going over there for yours truly to become a megastar. And unfortunately, for that reason, I am afraid I cannot wrestle for you tonight. Because that would be rewarding bad behavior and setting a terrible precedent for future breakout wrestlers. No – tonight, you will not be witnessing the greatness that is “The Cleaner” Kenny Omega – instead, you will drown in the glory of....... Yujiro Takahashi.
The crowd boos this announcement.
Kenny Omega: Relax morons, I'm only joking. Please welcome our newest member, “The American Nightmare” Cody fucking Rhodes.
Cody's Bullet Club music plays and out comes the man himself. He is flanked by The Young Bucks who are teaching him how to do crotch chops on the way down to the ring, and he's behaving as if he's never seen one before. He gets into the ring, looks over Dux and Monster Mafia, and laughs. They don't appreciate it.
It's Dux and Rhodes starting things off in this one. All of them are working snug and doing their damnedest to entertain an audience the world over. Everyone gets a little time in the ring and there are many brawls on the outside. Many a superkick as well. Eventually, it comes back to Tyson Dux and Cody Rhodes. Rhodes is firmly in control until Tyson Dux counters an Alabama Slam from Rhodes with a powerbomb onto his knee! Rhodes retreats to his corner to tag out, holding his lower back the whole time. The invincible Matt Jackson is in next, and he's going to need that invulnerability against “Walking Weapon” Josh Alexander.
The next stretch is Monster Mafia doing a number on Matt and hitting him with a number of different tag team maneuvers. Each is more devastating than the last, but Matt Jackson continues to kick out. Monster Mafia trades tags multiple times before bringing in Tyson Dux. Dux plants Matt with a number of high-impact moves but Matt gets a shoulder up at 2.99 each time. This builds up to an epic hot tag when he's finally able to reach his brother Nick. Nick Jackson enters the ring and 'trips' on the middle rope, falling flat on his face. The Canadian crowd laughs at the ridiculous spot, but it serves its purpose in distracting their opponents, allowing Cody Rhodes to blast Dux with a springboard dropkick before Dux knew what hit him.
Cody is getting back to his feet when Ethan Page charges at him with a clothesline. Cody ducks the clothesline, runs to the ropes, and then fires back with the Beautiful Disaster (springboard roundhouse kick). Ethan Page sees it coming and pulls the referee into the way. Rhodes annihilates the referee and the crowd cheers. Nick Jackson instinctively hurries into the ring following the ref bump and manages to stop Josh Alexander from entering the ring with a superkick to the face. Josh Alexander is knocked loopy but still holding onto the ropes. Nick hits another superkick and the “Walking Weapon” crashes to the floor. Ethan Page grabs hold of Nick, but Cody appears behind Page and hits a Cross Rhodes out of nowhere. Then, Cody and Nick put the boots to Tyson Dux before dragging him into their corner.
Cody drapes each of his legs over the second rope to set him up for Shattered Dreams. However, instead of merely punting Tyson in his dukes, Cody does the 'feeling himself up while breathing' taunt that Goldust always used to do but ends it with a crotch chop before superkicking Tyson Dux in the dick! Steve Corino calls it a Shattered Nightmare. The crowd is booing and Cody is loving it. On the outside, Josh Alexander is using the apron to get back to his feet when Kenny Omega cuts him down with yet another superkick. Corino's voice will be hoarse tomorrow.
Dux slumps out of the corner and onto the mat. Cody laughs, then tags Matt Jackson in. Cody helps Matt get Tyson Dux up. Then Matt puts Tyson Dux in tombstone-position. A second later, Nick Jackson comes flipping through the air and the Young Bucks execute the Meltzer Driver (springboard front-flip spike tombstone) as the referee is regaining his bearings. 1....2...3!
After the match concludes, the Bullet Club is noticeably "on guard" rather than celebrating obnoxiously. Kelly and Corino are thanking fans for tuning in as Rhodes, Omega, and the Bucks stand in the ring, waiting. But nothing happens. The broadcast ends there.
We get a video package afterwards, hyping the next THRIVE event. This time it's only one night and it will be taking place live from Madison Square Garden in New York City. See you at TRIFECTA.
Last edited by The Natural; 02-28-2017 at 10:11 PM.
So, you want some feedback, eh? All right, fine.
This is a very good BTB.
...Oh, you want more? So needy.
Doing a massive tournament is a bit ambitious, but you've done a great job of balancing out who goes and who continues on, so I commend you for that. Having read through the entirety of your work so far, any of the questions I had about your most recent show have been answered (although teaming Uno and Low Ki is still a bit of a headscratcher). All in all, things are progressing nicely for what amounts to the super-indy to kill all super-indies, but my only concern is the abundance of stables. It can be exciting to watch gang warfare, but balance is needed.
Still, this has been an enjoyable read thus far and I'm looking forward to the next update.
This is overdue.
THRIVE 4, NIGHT ONE:
1. Of course you used Joey Styles I can't help but giggle.
2. Enjoying the banter between Corino & Kelly. Corino's fun to 'listen' to.
3. For readers unfamiliar to Lucha rules maybe give them a look at what changes. What with THRIVE being a worldwide thing, I'm still not sure what sort of rules they'll adapt post tournament. Will it still be a showcase for all the world's styles of wrestling with various rules. In which case it'd be cool if you had a list of differentiations in match types on the first posts, IC, I'd picture that as a quick vignette of match rules before every match to debrief readers.
4. Well what the fuck, I was not expecting that. Jimmy Havoc has a whole fucking army of mooks and I'm super interested in seeing all the awesome gimmick matches that will come out of people trying to take Greater Europe down. Do Los Ingobernables & Bullet Club fade? Do they unite to take them down. Does a THRIVE army in general unite to fight them. Where the fuck is America and Japan's huge ass armies while we're at it. Really loved it though. Don't think ZSJ is in on it but it would be cool if it was. Think Eurotrash will suffer like the rest. The Villain being part of it would be magnificent.
5. Suzuki disappointing me with his showing but I guess Mr. Athletic was always going through as the younger brighter talent. Think Suzuki-gun wont last long with them weary of Greater Europe. I see them fading after the tourney tbh.
6. Uhm. Go Rosemary? Yeah I'm unfamiliar with Women indy scene.
7. Sanada saves face competing but loses with his other arm so he's still a pansy. LIJ is a bunch of pansies like Suzuki-gun, being afraid of Greater Europe coming down. I would've like them to attack ZSJ under the impression he's apart of them.
8. Unexpected Paul London heel turn or just general frustration that will cool down? Poor Space Monkey. Never heard of him.
9. I fucking died at Corino's explanation of the match Why are MCMG/Timesplitters even arguing? They lost because the referee fucked up, neither of them are to blame. Stupid ass bitches better go rewatch the tape and realize they're being melodramatic.
10. Love that Silas Young ended up burying Joey Styles. He's probably my favorite character to read in this thread so far.
11. It's alright, me and Elgin grew up in the same town, he's allowed to kick my drink. Happy to see Silas Young move on as well because as above, he's the most fun guy to read here.
12. I WAS WONDERING WHERE SPEEDBALL WAS! Man Jack Evans is a dickhole. You know the first thing he's doing post show is getting a poutine. Fun little main event here in a very entertaining show all around. No MOTYC but some very fun segments and the epic invasion to start the show.
THRIVE 4, NIGHT TWO:
1. Goddamn you Ospreay. You should've signed the contract! Fuck Brian Cage -_- Only Cage that matters is Luke Cage, 1/2 your audience, and you're disappointing him.
2. Hoping Page costs Cole his match against Walter. Happy to see either Fenix or Kamaitachi take the win. Odd assortment of wrestlers for this one but I could still see it being a fun fatal four way full of a mish mash of spots.
3. Goddamn it Ospreay. That's what you get. You fucked up. Brian Cage fucking sucks. You fucked up. Damn it.
4. Very interesting set of reactions for Paul London. He's got some heel tendencies in his frustrations but it's understandable considering the suffering you're putting him through and he's trying to be respectful about it even being excited about the prospect of a challenge. Probably one of the more layered characters here. Glad London didn't do any post-match beatdown, I'd like to have him keep tethering the line he's on right now. Someone genuinely done hard by but still thinking to some face ethics.
5. Tozawa <3 Bring in Ricochet, Moose, Crews and even Strickland so they can fight Greater Europe. Moose & Crews should be fine to take on about 10 of them and Tozawa/Strickland/Ricochet can take on the rest. Ah, what's the use. We'll never see him again. Guess that's it for the Japanese in this tournament?
6. Man, Greater Europe had a huge debut now they're getting punked out by Ospreay AND Brad fucking Maddox. Looking pretty weak right now. What was pansy ass Suzuki-gun afraid of.
7. Impending Death by Elbow vs. War Machine match incoming.
8. Man, Brad Maddox got some A+ managing with that one manager rule. Interesting that Cole approves of Page at his back. Cole is an ROH World Champion (or has he lost at this time) so there's no reason why he should be afraid of Walter but I imagine something shifty is gonna happen. Page screws Cole, maybe.
9. Loving the main event. Forgot Sudden Death meant No DQ. Brilliant stuff with a whole Bullet Club army coming down. GODDAMN IT CODY! I completely forgot about you! Walter was a monster here and I would love the spectacle of what 30 man beating the shit out of each other at ringside. Show should've ended here. Almost forgot there was a main event.
10. Do Monster Mafia still team IRL? I was under the impression Ethan Page had gone full solo but I don't pay much attention to the rest of the indy realm.
11. Oh there's even a sub main event left. Can't think the crowd are into it tbh. If we ever get a womens title, I'm pretty sure Alpha Female's got it on lock.
12. Poor Yujiro getting inadvertendly burried by his BC member, Kenny Omega. Fun, and entertaining debut for The American Nightmare but still of the mind that the match should've ended after the clusterfuck warfare.
13. Gahdamn, THRIVE out of the MSG? Was this out of the ACC?
I think I prefered the second show overall just for the huge clusterfuck segment.
I hope you enjoyed visiting Canada.
LUCHA! LUCHA! LUCHA!
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