It's Sunday night and you know what that means...
We are LIVE at the NOW Arena for what promises to be a potentially historic making event, with the first in-ring appearance of CM Punk in over 7 years.
Buy-In Match: Best Friends w/Jurassic Express defeated the HFO when Jungle Boy made Jack Evans submit with the Snaretrap.
Kingston and Miro start off with slaps but the TNT champion isn't feeling it. They go outside where Kingston tries to hit a crossbody off the apron, but the Bulgarian brute catches and slams him into the ground. As they go back inside Kingston takes advantage of Miro's neck with a Saito suplex and then a DDT. Miro throws him into the corner, where Kingston apparently knocks off the top of the turnbuckle. As the ref goes to fix it, Miro mule kicks Kingston in the nads. He goes for the kick to the face, followed by a powerbomb to win the match and retain the title. [***] A great way to kick off the event with two brawlers going at it. They could definitely benefit from having another match down the line.
Kojima offers his hand in sportsmanship but Moxley isn't feeling it and slaps him. Kojima comes back with a series of fists. They brawl to the outside where Moxley suplexes him into the barricade. As they go back in Kojima kicks him in the leg and slams Moxley off the top rope. Lariat by Kojima, but Moxley stands and locks in a sleeper. Kojima breaks it up and slams him. Moxley hits not one but two Paradigm Shifts and gets the win. [**1/2] Kojima showed out to an audience that appreciated his NJPW career with the dueling chants.
After the match we get an appearance from Minoru Suzuki, who comes in and hits the Gotch piledriver on Moxley. They will collide on Wednesday's Dynamite from Cincinnati.
Orange Cassidy stays out with Statlander. They lock up with Statlander getting the upper hand early with her power on the smaller Baker. She throws Statlander to the outside and hits a plancha, followed by a stomp. They go back in, and Statlander with a slam and a Big Bang Theory attempt, but Baker rolls out into an impressive crucifix for two. They go up to the top, and Baker pushes her down and hits the Pittsburgh Sunrise. Stomp into the Lockjaw for the victory. [***] Baker and Statlander work well together and this was Baker's most impressive title defense to date.
This was an incredible affair with a myriad of spots, including Matt using a shoe filled with tacks. He kicks Penta right in the face and the Jackson brothers go for the BTE but Rey breaks it up. He takes the show and slams it into Nick's face. Rey goes up top and hits the crossbody on everybody, including his brother. Penta and Rey hit the Miedo for the victory and win the titles. [****] One of the best tag matches for a company that really features tag team wrestling. It had the usual bit of Indy-riffic spots, but it was an adrenaline filled rush with the right result, as now the Lucha Brothers can take on fresh opponents for the title while the Bucks can focus on other things.
Chicago's own Skye Blue was one of the first entrants in the battle royal but was quickly eliminated. One of the surprising results was Nyla Rose eliminating Jade Cargill. The Joker was the debuting Ruby Soho to a thunderous pop, with the final four being Nyla Rose, Tay Conti, Thunder Rosa and Soho. Conti is kicked off the apron by Rose and eliminated. Rosa and Soho both eliminated Rose, and then the final two entrants. However, Rosa and Soho fought onto the apron and Soho eliminated Rosa with a thunderous kick to the floor.
MJF trolls the Chicago crowd with a countdown clock reminiscent of Y2J. Jericho has his guitar player perform Judas. The match starts when they fight to the outside, with Jericho hitting a nice German suplex on the apron. MJF begins to favor his back as Jericho starts to attack with the lion sault. Wardlow comes to interfere but Jake Hager stops him. As the ref is distracted, MJF hits Jericho with the bat and then his own version of the Judas Effect for the win, but Jericho had his foot on the ropes, yet the ref didn't see it. However, another ref did and said that they had to restart the match, so they did. Jericho tries for a roll up but MJF kicks out and locks on the Salt of the Earth. Jericho reverses out of it and slaps on the Walls of Jericho, and MJF taps. [**1/2] Dusty finish aside, it was as if the crowd was not as engaged as previous bouts. The match was solid at best. Hopefully it will be the end of this feud.
Punk comes out to a hero's welcome. The match starts with a series of reversals with Punk hitting the GTS, but Darby gets out of the ring in time. He comes back in and hits a mid rope coffin slash for two. Quick hiptoss by Allin but Punk takes him down. Punk throws Allin into the corner and the youngster slips out of to the outside and tosses Punk over the ropes and onto the floor. Tope suicida by Allin and then a crossbody. Headlock by Punk and he throws Allin back into the ring. Suplex by Allin gets two. Punk gets up and places Allin on the top, hits the slam for two. Darby locks on the Last Supper for two and then another magistral cradle for two. He goes up top and tries for the Coffin Drop Elbow, but Punk avoids it and locks on the GTS for the victory. [****] Excellent match given the tremendous pressure on these guys to deliver, and they did. One of the best elements of wrestling is when it can tell a story without having to use tired tropes. The comeback spots and they worked a well paced match without trying to add Indy-riffic moves. CM Punk looked like he hadn't lost a step in 7+ years.
Missed the majority of this match but Paul Wight won. That's good enough for me.
Cage starts off with a hiptoss and they go outside, with Omega slamming Cage onto the table. They go to the barricade where Cage take control with a crossbody. Back in the ring the Good Brothers try to interrupt, allowing Omega to hit the V-Trigger. However, Cage gets the Killswitch but Omega kicks out at two. As the match proceeds he takes Cage up to the top and hits the One Winged Angel off the top rope to win the match and keep the title. [***] You can tell the crowd was dead for this match and it wasn't fair to these amazing competitors, but following Punk-Allin was a hard act for anyone to come after.
After the match the rest of the Elite come out to beat down on Christian, and the Jurassic Express comes out to attack. However, the lights go out, and...IT'S ADAM COLE BAY-BAY! He comes out and the Elite backs out, and then, he superkicks Jungle Boy! Holy cow! He then embraces his Elite brethren, grabs the mic and boast how no one has a chance to beat them. Then....
YES! YES! YES! Bryan Danielson is here, and the American Dragon wastes no time getting in some knee strikes on Nick Jackson. The heels run and the faces celebrate to end the show.