WCA AA Evolution Cup: Night 2

It’s Zeus on the opening call of night 2, doing the honors for Ground Zero. As the lights of the arena focus on Zeus’ shining head, he praises the efforts of the Ground Zero team, whose competitors are all leading the pack after night 1 and offers a challenge to the other brands to match their fighting spirit. Zeus leads the crowd in an opening chant of “wasshoi!” to encourage tonight’s competitors.

The opening match this time comes from Full Throttle, who have chosen to welcome their rookies to the fold with a unique challenge.

Dragon Mask W & Akira Sakazaki vs Kojima & Kojima

The two rookies make their way to the ring in the usual way, both pacing a little nervously in their corner as they watch the approach of the Full Throttle GM and Special Advisor. There’s an awkward moment when Akira looks to try to convince the older Dragon Mask W that he should start, but he’s quickly waved out of the ring as Dragon Mask W faces off against Full Throttle GM, Toi Kojima.

Dragon takes the sensible choice of shaking the extended hand of his new GM but Toi isn’t here to make friends. He whips the unsuspecting Dragon into the ropes, raising his leg to make contact. But Dragon is too fast and slides under Toi’s kick and is back on his feet to dropkick Toi into the ropes. An early win for the rookie that earns a nod from Kojima on the apron. Toi dodges Dragon rushing forward to add forearms to the impact of his feet, using Dragon’s surprise to trip him up into a schoolboy. A panicked Dragon kicks out after 1.5 and order is restored.

Their next exchange starts off slower but quickly picks up pace as Toi tests out Dragon’s speed. Toi gets the better of Dragon’s attempts to run the ropes, catching him with a heavy back elbow that has Dragon on his back and Toi down for an attempted pin. Dragon kicks out easily and they both get to their feet and circle. Sharp low kicks from Dragon keep Toi at a safe distance until he can hit him with a standing dropkick and sweep Toi’s legs from under him as he stumbles. Dragon lunges in for a submission but Toi scrambles out of his grasp, aiming kicks at the kneeling Dragon as he stands. Dragon seems to have succeeded in getting the attention of his GM and Toi grabs Dragon and pulls him up by the edge of his mask. Toi starts hitting him with a succession of light but seemingly endless forearms which seem to have Dragon dazed. Toi spins Dragon into the corner for a close range dropkick, repeating the move in the opposite corner until Dragon is reeling. As Dragon crawls to his knees, Toi climbs the ringpost for a crossbody that has Dragon flat on his back and down for another two count. Dragon takes the safe option of reaching for the outstretched hand of Akira at the first opportunity.

Akira gets the pleasure of facing off against legend Satoshi Kojima and seems fully up for the challenge, running straight in to land a flurry of strikes to Kojima’s chest. Pacing backwards a little but still smiling, Kojima shouts encouragement to the young Akira before responding with a strike that knocks Sakazaki to the floor, Kojima flexing his pecs to the delight of the audience. Kojima grasps at Akira’s neck, pulling him to his feet before flinging him into the corner. Sakazaki knows how this goes and dodges out of the corner just in time to avoid Kojima’s chop. Akira trips Kojima as he turns, leaving him sitting against the corner post and primed for Sakazaki’s running dropkick from the opposite corner. Sakazaki isn’t short on attitude, getting quickly to his feet and applying his boot to the still seated Kojima’s face. After a couple of slides, washing his boot against Kojima’s face, Kojima has had enough, grabbing Akira’s ankle and pushing him back, hopping on one leg. Kojima hoists himself out of the corner and knocks Akira to the mat, dropping a heavy elbow on him to teach him a lesson. As Akira gets back to his feet, Kojima drags him into the corner, a couple of well placed kicks making sure he stays there to receive his punishment. Akira’s chest turns rapidly red and he winces from an extended round of machine gun chops. Kojima drags him back to the centre of the ring for some forearms giving Akira the chance to dodge the strikes again and tag in some much needed support from Dragon Mask W.

Dragon is similarly fired up to face Kojima, immediately climbing the ringpost and hitting a missile dropkick. He looks for a moment like he might have an advantage but Kojima is ready as Dragon springs off the ropes, hitting him with a hefty lariat and a shout to the crowd. Kojima holds Dragon down for a short count, immediately going to the ring post to follow up with a quick elbow drop. A second kick out by Dragon has Kojima impressed but not enough to let him rest. He’s dragged to his feet for another short range lariat and the final pin.

Satoshi Kojima def. Dragon Mask W (8:12) 

Kojima drags up the unsteady on his feet Dragon Mask W by his wrist, holding him up to the applause of the crowd. Dragon Mask W drops to his knees quickly afterwards but seems pleased with his efforts as Sakazaki also comes to the centre of the ring to clap him on the back. Both Kojimas applaud their new rookie team members.

Mike Bailey v Shota

Bailey is coming off a win and looking to keep his momentum going while Shota didn’t exactly lose but he didn’t win either. A draw gave him one point so he’ll look to add two more. The bell rings and they lock up, exchanging holds with each other before finding to be an even match for each other. Shota tried to whip Bailey off the ropes but was met with a reversal before getting caught with a flying leg lariat. Pulling on Shota’s arm, Bailey lays some boots to the side of Shota’s head before transitioning into an armbar.

Shota wriggled his way free after a few seconds in the hold and started lighting Bailey up with chops. A beautiful Lucha armdrag drops Bailey and he looks a bit shocked at Shota’s abilities. They go back and forth with Bailey hitting some beautiful aerial maneuvers while Shota tries to keep him grounded with some classic Lucha holds like the Feline Cross. Shota fires off the Three Amigos Suplexes and looks to take full control. Taking a moment to taunt before climbing the top rope, Shota goes for the Frog Splash but Bailey is able to get his knees up and block it.

Bailey takes a moment to collect himself before climbing the ropes for the Ultima Weapon. Shota ducks and rushes in for a lariat but Bailey hits him with a spinning gut kick. Floating over Shota with a powerbomb, Bailey lands flush before putting the exclamation mark on it with a double foot stomp to the chest. Climbing the corner once again, Bailey lands the Ultima Weapon and gets the win. Shota is still searching for a win as Bailey continues his good tournament.

Bailey via Ultima Weapon (11:19)

Shuji Kondo vs Sho

Both sides here had a respectable showing at the first night of the cup, though Sho arguably has more to prove after drawing with Shota. It certainly seems that way early on as Sho starts off the match by immediately going in with aggressive striking. Shuji patiently waits out Sho’s assault, until Sho adds some weight to it with a run off the ropes and Shuji elbows Sho in the face. A couple of kicks to Sho’s gut and Kondo has Sho in position for a DDT. Kondo goes for a relaxed cover, using Sho’s kick out to grab an arm and start twisting. Sho scrambles easily to the ropes but Kondo has already made his point.

Undeterred, Sho seems keen to get into some grappling. Kondo gets first advantage, tipping Sho on his back and going for his ankle, but Sho manages to get hold of Kondo’s arm to twist it into a secure-looking armbar. Kondo has to ease his way to the ropes to get free. When they lock up again, they stick to their feet with an exchange of headlocks and suplex holds that Sho can’t quite get secured. Shuji throws Sho into the ropes, only to get hit with a dropkick from Sho that has Kondo rolling out of the ring to get his breath. Sho follows him out, the two exchanging strikes and then kicks until Sho manages to get a DDT on Kondo with just the thin mats protecting him from the concrete. By the time Sho rolls Kondo back into the ring, Kondo has been slammed into the floor and the ring multiple times and is looking worse for wear.

Kondo manages to struggle out of Sho’s attempt to get him into position for the Shock Arrow but he’s not able to avoid Sho’s strikes and a bridging suplex that gets Sho close to a 2-count. Kondo’s kick out is emphatic and the two go hard at each other with forearms in the centre of the ring. They switch to running forearms as their shouts get louder until Kondo hots Sho with a stiff lariat that knocks him flat on his back. Kondo tries to land another as Sho gets to his feet but is stopped by an uppercut. Kondo throws Sho to the opposite corner, slamming him with a lariat back against the pads. Sho follows suit, throwing Kondo across the ring and punching hard. The two exchange strikes, running from corner to corner until they are both gasping for breath. Another opportunistic lariat from Kondo has Sho down but it takes time for Kondo to roll over into the pin and Sho kicks out at 2. They are slow getting to their feet stumbling into strikes. Sho seems distracted at the 15 minute call, clearly remembering his time-limit draw on the last show, and Shuji takes his shot, wrapping Sho up and lifting him up and over into a brainbuster. Sho is dazed as he stands and barely sees the lariat that sends him flying and gives Shuji the win.

Shuji Kondo Def. Sho (15:32) 

Kushida vs Rey Fénix

Match starts off hot as Fenix takes down Kushida with a running head-scissors. Kushida goes stumbling to the outside, as he runs and fakes a suicide dive! Instead spinning to the apron, and catching Kushida in the skull with a superkick! Fenix would then toss Kushida into the ring, and climb to the top rope and splash down onto to him with a moonsault! Covering him for what was only a 2-count. Fenix would pick up Kushida, and plant him with a Spanish Fly! Fenix then climbed out onto the apron looking for a springboard 450 splash, but Kushida got the knees up! Kushida then reacted with a big time Buzzsaw Kick! Covering Fenix for only a 2-Count!

Now that he has Fenix dazed he went for Back to the Future, but Fenix wiggled out. Slipping behind him to his the Thunder Fire Driver! With the pin attempt added, but only managing a 2.9! Fenix the Black Fire Driver, however on the spin out Kushida landed on his feet. Catching him in the jaw with the Masahiro Tanaka punch! Before booking him, and finally hitting Back to the Future!!!! Kushida covers! 1….2….3! DDD!

 Kushida Def. Fenix (13:45) 

Mao vs Fuminori Abe

We have two competitors who aren’t starting the tournament off on the right foot. Abe wasn’t able to overcome the mountain that is Shuji Kondo, while MAO couldn’t topple a very game Daisuke Sasaki. Only one man can win and better his chances moving forward so expect both men to be on their A game. The bell rings as both men approach each other slowly, their hands searching for an opening but none to be found. MAO throws a shin kick to throw off Abe’s game and it works as he’s able to space out and hit the ropes before landing a solid dropkick.

MAO ties up Abe with a Bow & Arrow and wrenches back as Abe screams in agony. Trying to escape, he’s finally able to reverse and flip into a pin for a quick 2 count. Abe fires off some slaps to the face of MAO before opening him up for some knee strikes. As MAO falls to his knees, Abe hits a speedy roundhouse kick that gets him another 2 count. Abe begins to work the arms and other limbs of MAO with strenuous stretches to weaken him down.

After escaping a single leg crab, MAO seeks refuge on the apron. Abe tries to follow but is met with a few gut kicks before a damaging palm strike to the nose that backs him up for good. MAO launches into the ring with a Springboard Blockbuster before hitting the corner and landing a picture perfect split legged moonsault. He gets a close two on Abe before both men trade chops. Abe turns it up with headbutts but MAO doesn’t back down and throws some of his own.

MAO crumbles to his knees, ready for another roundhouse kick, two count, PK, two count, back kick, two count. Abe grows frustrated as he just stomps into the back of MAO’s head but stops before the ref calls it. A pinfall but still only a two count. MAO roars as he rises to his feet and fires away some slaps that rock Abe and drop him to his knees. A step up knee strike plants Abe and MAO is going arial with a 450. Abe gets his feet up at just the right moment and blocks it before locking in a Dragon Sleeper and making MAO tap out.

Abe via Dragon Sleeper (13:08)

Nobuhiro Shimatani vs Daisuke Sasaki

The match starts off with a stare down, as both men are on the board with two points. It’s now a matter of who moves up to four. Sasaki comes down to the ring in a neck brace. As he would grab the microphone to let everyone know he suffered a neck injury while training. So he sadly won’t be able to compete tonight. Nobu is in shock, as he goes to ask the ref if he wins via forfeit. Then Sasaki would turn him around and throw some powder in his eyes! Ref turns around and what does he see? Small package! 1….2….3! SASAKI WINS IN 10 SECONDS! 

Sasaki def. Nobu (00:10)

Scores Night 2: