WWE Live in Tokyo: “The Beast In The East”
Chris Jericho versus Neville
Winner: Chris Jericho by Lion Tamer submission
What a great opening match! The legendary Y2J made his WWE return, albeit in a “house show” setting. He last wrestled in an MSG house show, he is now content with the occasional house show matches, no more hasty storylines for the multiple time World Champion. The styles of both the high-flying Cruiserweights meshed perfectly with lots of aerial moves, technical holds and counter-holds. One of the highlights of the match is the reversal of a Neville aerial move into the code-breaker for Echo. The match ended with another counter move that ended up in a Lion Tamer, giving the veteran the win over the WWE Main Roster Rookie. Yes, Lion Tamer, for me, it looked more like a Lion tamer than the Walls of Jericho. Y2J got the “Lion heart” nickname in Japan after all. I was expecting that Neville would get the win. Y2J doesn’t need the win, but I guess since it’s just a “special international house show”, all is well. Perhaps, Y2J wants the win, since he wrestled in Japan before. I expect Neville to be a mid-card champion, most probably with the Intercontinental Championship, by this year.
Divas Championship Match
Triple Threat Match: Champion Nikki Bella versus Paige versus Tamina
Winner: Nikki Bella
As expected, Nikki retained the belt. What surprised me was she won cleanly, by pinning Tamina with an elbow smash type of move. Again, it’s a house show so expect this kind of booking. Expect Nikki to beat the record and be the longest reigning Divas Champion of all time.
Brock Lesnar versus Kofi Kingston
Winner: Brock Lesnar
As expected, this was a squash match, albeit an entertaining one. Kofi, welcome to Suplex City, Tokyo Edition, Bitch! Brock continued to beat up Kofi after the bell; then the rest of the New Day showed up. Brock then proceeded to destroy the entire New Day. Sure, The New Day was the tag champs just a few weeks ago, but it doesn’t matter, Brock just destroyed them. No story needed on why this was Brock versus Kofi, this is a house show after all. At least Tokyo saw the former IWGP champion perform for them once again.
NXT Championship Match
Champion Kevin Owens versus Finn Balor
Winner: Finn Balor, new NXT champion
The reason why I went all the way to Skinny Mike’s BGC to watch this event is because I was hoping for a new NXT champion. And we crowned a new Champ! This was a great match. The NXT title is fast becoming a “workhorse” title. NXT is not a minor league or a D-league, it is it’s own brand already. Yes it is for the WWE newcomers, but the prestige of NXT title is undeniably already. This was a great match between two great workers. Balor, the former New Japan superstar, was the darling of his “hometown”. There were rumors of a title change, and of Cena interfering in this match because a champion versus champions with only one title on the line is not that logical, unless the other title is the WWE World Title. I’m glad they let Balor get the clean win; against the man who pinned Cena cleanly a couple of PPV’s ago. This got to be one of the greatest WWE moments in Japanese history.
United States Champion John Cena and Dolph Ziggler versus King Barret and Kane
Winner: John Cena and Dolph Ziggler
A classic house show tag team main event match, get the biggest star, team him up with a random fellow face, and battle two random heels. I was hoping they would have a US title match instead, for the sake of having a title match. This was a good match, but the crowd went there for the NXT title match, and for Brock. But at least, Super Cena, with Dolph, got to celebrate with the crowd after the win.
Overall, a very good event, and a good job for the WWE to show this on the WWE Network. It’s just a bit surprising that the Asian tour did not include a lot of the top stars, most notably, the WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins. The Manila shows several years ago were loaded. It would have been great for the World title to be defended in Japan, Ric Flair once told Chris Jericho that being the World Champion means the most in Japan. Japan is a beautiful country, Tokyo is a beautiful city, and I am happy for the wrestling fans of the Far East to witness this event. At least, the biggest star, John Cena, was in the Singapore and Japan shows. And part timers former World Champions like Brock Lesnar and Chris Jericho put up a show in Tokyo. Hopefully, there would be a Manila tour soon. Thank you to Smark Gilas and Skinny Mike’s BGC for hosting this WWE event, I hope there would be more shows to come from them.