It’s early in the morning here in North America, but late afternoon in Japan as the WWE Network brings us Beast in the East, live from Tokyo in the historic Sumo Hall. Here’s all the live recaps done in real time to honor America’s birthday.
Happy July 4th to all the American’s watching. And what’s more American than having Chris Jericho, complete with his Rock n’ Rolla jacket, to start off today’s activities? Probably a lot of things, but it’s Y2J in Japan, and I’ll never complain about that.
Match 1: Chris Jericho vs. Neville 5:30 am
Crowd is definitely in Y2J’s corner. Of course this is because of his years as “Lion Heart” Chris Jericho. We start off with Jericho using his submission prowess. #BeastInTheEast is already trending online and it’s been only eight minutes since the show started. Not bad.
Jericho does a good job of grounding Neville as he tries to wear down the former NXT champion. Y2J and Neville get up to the top rope and Jericho goes for a superplex, but Neville counters it and knocks Chris off the top rope. Neville goes for a flying move (not the Red Arrow) but Y2J avoids it and locks in the Walls of Jericho.
Neville reaches the ropes, forcing the break. Jericho goes outside and Neville hits a suicide dive. He tosses Chris back into the ring but before Neville can hit the Red Arrow, Jericho gets to his feet, forcing Neville to abandon his plans. Jericho hits the Lionsault and Codebreaker on Neville, but Adrian kicks out of the pinning attempts. We’re told that just 15 minutes into the show, #BeastInTheEast in the top trend on Twitter.
Neville now drops Jericho and for the third time goes for the Red Arrow. Y2J raises the knees to counter and locks in the Lion Tamer, not Walls of Jericho, forcing Adrian to tap out for the win.
Winner by submission…Chris Jericho
Chris celebrates with the crowd. Lots of Jericho signs. We go back to earlier today to see Brock Lesnar, without Paul Heyman, coming to the arena.
Match 2: Triple Threat Divas Championship: Paige vs. Tamina vs. Nikki Bella (c) 5:55 am
Michael Cole informs us that the last time a WWE title changed hands in Japan, that was more than 20 years ago when Bull Nakano defeated Alundra Blayze back in 1994. Interesting tidbit for sure. Paige and Nikki decide to take out Tamina at first and then go at each other for the title.
Tamina gets back into the ring after both Nikki and Paige hit each other with a few haymakers, but can’t pin either. Tamina goes for a splash but both Paige and Nikki avoid it and once again toss Tamina out of the ring. Paige can’t pin Nikki, but goes for the PTO, declaring this is her house. Tamina superkicks Paige and then hits Nikki with a Samoan drop. Rather than going for the pin, she decides to honor her father and goes for a Superfly Splash but eats the canvas for her efforts. Nikki simply picks up the scraps and goes for an easy pin with Paige already out of the ring to retain her title.
Winner by pinfall…and STILL Divas champion Nikki Bella
Match 3: Kofi Kingston vs. Brock Lesnar 6:12 am
Here comes the pain! Still not sure why Kofi is facing Brock as to my knowledge these guys have no history between them. Still, it’s time for the Beast Incarnate to take control of things here in Japan.
We get a quick history of Brock and I’m glad that Cole brings up Lesnar’s IWGP title reign back when he was with New Japan Pro Wrestling. Neither Kofi’s buddies nor Paul Heyman are at ringside. Michael Cole informs us that Woods and Langston were in a match earlier today in Japan. Kofi decides to wisely get out of the ring but every time Kofi goes for a quick move, Brock simply overpowers him. We get some great spots where Kofi avoids one suplex into a 360 degree spin to land on his feet.
Now it’s time for the Mayor of Suplex City to unload on Kofi. Michael Cole informs us that Paul Heyman sent out a tweet basically saying just see what Lesnar has in store for Kofi today. Three suplexes and one F5 later, Brock destroys Kofi.
Winner by pinfall…Brock Lesnar
Brock isn’t done as he gets back into the ring to suplex Kofi again. The crowd chants “one more time” but rather than a suplex, Brock hits Kofi with another F5. Woods and Big E come to the ring to help out Kofi but Lesnar simply hits both men with F5’s and gloats in the carnage he has caused. We’re told Brock will be at Raw in Chicago this Monday. Also #BeastInTheEast is still the top trend on Twitter.
We get a video package about what I assume will be the Main Event of Kevin Owens vs. Finn Balor including this week’s NXT episode. Good job on WWE of reminding us while Finn was the victor, it wasn’t on his own, so this match should be a great one.
Match 4: NXT Championship: The Demon Balor vs. Kevin Owens (c) 6:23 am
If this ends up being the main event, these two guys have about an hour of programming. So hopefully they will tear the house down because I’ve been looking forward to this match since it was announced a few weeks ago.
Hideo Itami is in the crowd, not looking too happy. For those who have never seen a live Japan show, we get the traditional flowers given to the participants (which Owens naturally throws once he gets them) and a lot of streamers tossed into the ring during the announcements. Of course Balor gets huge pops. His paint job is a little different this time as he finally has eyes painted on his face and Japanese characters written on his back. It takes the ring crew a few minutes to remove all the streamers before we get under way.
Finn starts out on fire. Owens goes out of the ring, but Finn dropkicks Owens into the barricade before the two finally get back into the ring. Owens his a couple of punches and kicks and starts lighting Balor up with some stiff looking chops. Of course the crowd hates Kevin and loves the Prince (Cole mentions the Prince Devitt moniker during the match). Owens mockingly bows to the crowd for some cheap heat.
Owens now is in control. A hilarious spot occurs when Owens looks like he’s going to unload a ring momentum move, but simply drops down and hits Balor with Chinlock City. You can clearly hear Owens saying something along the lines of he hates this stupid country and wants out of here right now.
Finn finally breaks the hold but this gives Owens a chance to hit Cena’s Five Moves of Doom while mocking Cena the entire time. Fortunately Balor escapes the AA and hits a double stomp to Kevin. We’re told that Cena is here and is involved in the main event, so I guess these two won’t go for another 40 minutes. Such a shame. Owens goes for the AA again, Balor counters into a Pele Kick and now both men are down. The ref gets to a seven-count before both men get vertical.
Balor goes for a dead level move, but can’t pin Owens. Now Owens goes to the top rope but Owens avoids the Coup de Grâce. Allowing him to unload on Balor. Crowd chants “This is awesome”. Owens runs into a boot and Balor hits the Slingblade. He goes upstairs again but Owens beats him to the punch.
Finn kicks Owens in the head a few times and finally lands the Coup de Grâce. However Owens kicks out at two. Finn is furious and both men go to the top rope, fighting for position. Owens finally get the better of Finn and he hits him with a rolling Senton for another two-count. Owens goes for Jeff Hardy’s Senton but Balor lifts the legs and hits a suplex for another close two-count.
Owens hits Balor with a Superkick and another suplex of his own, but Finn kicks out. Kevin yells at Finn that he can’t beat him. Owens slaps Finn and Balor returns the favor. Finn hits two dropkicks while Owens in down in the corner, hits the Coup de Grâce and FINALLY gets the pinfall.
Winner by pinfall…and NEW NXT Champion Prince Fergal Devitt, err, Finn Balor
We get a recap of the match and another shot of KENTA. A nice surprise was “The Dragon” Tatsumi Fujinami coming to the ring to offer his congrats to the new champ. Balor deeply bows to the WWE Hall of Famer before embracing him. Balor offers a handshake to Owens, but of course Owens declines it.
We go to last night to see Tatsumi Fujinami in the ring with KENTA as they address the crowd. Unfortunately my Japanese isn’t that great but Byron tells us basically The Dragon said he’s been around the world but he’s glad to be involved in the WWE.
Main Event: Tag Team: King Barrett and Kane vs. Dolph Ziggler and John Cena 7:02 am
Before the match starts, we find out the “Saxton and Cole” are trending on Twitter. Not the top spot, but still very impressive. I guess Saxton’s Japanese impressed enough people. Dolph and Barrett start out this match. However, Barrett tags in Kane and Ziggler responds by tagging in the US Champion.
If I’m going to be honest, this match isn’t anything special as the NXT match took everything out of me. I will give Cole/Saxton props for bringing up all of the history/tradition of pro wrestling Japan which includes the WWE but also includes mentions of the Great Muta, Bull Nakano, Tatsumi Fujinami and other Japanese legends.
Both Cena and Barrett wear each other down. Finally Barrett tags in Kane and it’s time for the Big Red Monster to fly as he hits his top rope clothesline but can’t put Cena away. After Kane continues to beat down John, he tags in Ziggler. Unfortunately, this doesn’t help out that much as both Kane and Barrett do their extended beatdown of this year’s Survivor Series winner. (When will that brass ring finally work out for Ziggler? Seriously.)
Ziggler goes for his Winds of Change but Ziggler counters it. Unfortunately, Kane tags in and goes back to punishing Dolph. Of course, nobody can take a beating and still fight back like Ziggler. We’re reminded that #BeastInTheEast is still the top trend online, which has been about 90 minutes to this point. Barrett gets back in the match and starts running Dolph into the ring but still can’t put him away.
After an extremely long beat down on Ziggler, Dolph hits Kane with a DDT and gets Cena the hot tag. Barrett comes in and eats the Five Moves of Doom. Kane prevents the AA, but Dolph hits him with a Superkick and Cena with an AA for his efforts. Now Cena and Dolph focus on Barrett and hit their finishers on him and that’s all she wrote from the Land of the Rising Sun.
Winners by pinfall…John Cena and Dolph Ziggler
The winners celebrate with the crowd and try to shake the hands of probably every person in the front few rows as we sign off. On behalf of myself and SLAM! I’d like to simply say ありがとう (Arigatō if the program can’t read the Japanese letters).