WCA AA Evolution Cup: Night 5
Akira Sakazaki vs Meiko Satomura
The rookies of Anarchy and Ground Zero on excursion at Full Throttle have come under the watchful eye of dojo trainer, Meiko Satomura. Whilst it’s a positive sign that they have earned her attention enough to warrant a match, they might find the honor a little painful by the time Satomura is satisfied. It’s the turn of Anarchy’s Akira Sakazaki first in this opener to night 5 of the Atsushi Aoki Evolution Cup.
Akira is clearly keen to impress as he rushes in full force at the bell with a flurry of forearms. With Meiko staggering backwards, he runs for the ropes for a little more momentum but it proves a costly mistake when he runs straight into Satomura’s mid-kick. Sakazaki crumples to the mat. Satomura doesn’t even bother with a cover, pulling him by his hair back up to his knees and putting him in position for yet more kicks to the chest. Only when he folds backwards does she follow him down to the mat for a 2-count.
Clutching his ribs, he stumbles to his feet but his instincts kick in and he dodges a lariat from Satomura, springing off the ropes with a low dropkick to the back of Satomura’s right leg! As Satomura wobbles slightly, Sakazaki runs in, sliding his arms around Satomura in preparation for a dragon suplex. A quick kick backwards from Satomura puts an end to his attempt as she struggles free and an overhead kick has Akira sat back down on the mat. This time though, he falls to his back to dodge her kicks to the chest and manages to trip her into a roll-up as she follows through. The pin barely earns Sakazaki a 1-count but it gives him the momentum. Once Satomura is back on her feet, Sakazaki is ready with a kick of his own, with an enzuigiri swiftly followed by a jumping lariat! Meiko is knocked down flat and Akira clearly sees his chance, running for the ring post and climbing to execute the spiral tap!
Unfortunately for Sakazaki, it would take more than a couple of kicks from a rookie to keep Satomura down and she’s at his back by the time he’s barely got his feet on the second rope. She drags him down easily, wrapping her arms around his waist to throw him backwards into a bridging suplex. He kicks out at 2 but Satomura is on him before he can get up from the mat. She grabs his ankle to roll him over and locks in an STF. Akira struggles for a respectably long time but the tap is inevitable.
Meiko def Sakazaki (8:12)
MAO v Fenix
Mao and Fenix are both jovial towards the crowd despite their rough starts so far. They know they have to lock in and get a win here, as the bell rings they rush at each other with dual dropkicks. Fenix goes for an armdrag but MAO rolls through and hits a gut kick before hitting the ropes and looking for a Sunset Flip into the pin but Fenix stops him in his tracks. Going for the stomp the chest, MAO is able to evade again before tripping Fenix and attempting a Standing Moonsault but his move is escaped. The two stand and stare before shaking each other’s hands as the crowd rises and claps intensely.
They trade overhand chops but Fenix seems to find the upper hand as he lands one more chop and heads to his second home, the top rope. At first it looks like he’s going to tightrope walk but he does some fancy footwork only he can and ends it with a fancy flipping armdrag to MAO. Fenix goes for the pin but gets a kick out from MAO, He keeps the pressure on as he grabs him from behind and looks for a German Suplex but MAO flips out before hitting a John Woo dropkick and sending Fenix flying to the ropes. Rushing back, he hits a thunderous Somato and goes for a pin of his own but a kick out from Fenix.
They go back and forth for a while, all taking a chance to hit their big moves but still fighting for a win. Both men are laid out from exhaustion but MAO begins to stir first as he uses the ropes to aid him to his feet. Looking at a down and out Fenix, MAO picks him up and lands a Michinoku Driver and thinks he’s put Fenix away but gets a 2.9!!! The crowd reaches a fever pitch as MAO looks for something else. Bringing Fenix to his feet, MAO rushes back and leaps up, The Momo Latch is in once again but this time Fenix kicks out! MAO is beside himself, not sure what more he has left.
As MAO is contemplating his next move he gets clocked with a Superkick from Fenix and whipped into the corner. Up top he goes, as Fenix preps for the Black Fire Driver and plants MAO to the mat and gets the win. The crowd is electric and raining yen in the ring for the amazing performance for both performers. Fenix bows as he leaves the ring and high fives a few fans down the ramp.
Fenix via Black Fire Driver (16:11)
Shimatani vs Shota
They both make it down to the ramp and seem ready to get down to business. The bell rings and Shimatani is already trying to beat Shota with his speed, racing off the ropes at a breakneck pace before hitting a violent dropkick. Shota rolls to the outside but Shimatani doesn’t let up and fires himself to the outside with a suicide dive and places himself firmly in the driver’s seat. Shota seems to still be reeling from his last match where he won but at a cost to himself in this tournament. Shimatani throws him back in the ring and goes up top, set up for a Frog Splash as a way to mock Shota and he hits it! Could Shota be on the losing end tonight this quickly? NO! He kicks out and is still in it.
Shota up to his feet with a new fire as he throws some strikes as he tries to weaken down Shimatani and it works, he’s out on his feet. Shota runs the ropes, everyone thinks he’s going for some big strike or move but he drops down for a Small Package! Shota senses the longer he stays in this match the less likely he’s going to win so he’s trying to take it home fast. Shimatani rolls up Shota into a pin of his own and almost gets him but Shota kicks out as the two men rise to their feet as they are at a stand still. Shota lands some armdrags as he tries to get some momentum in his favor. After dominating the pace for a while, Shota is looking to put Shimatani away, he goes to lock in the Lasso from El Paso and Shimatani is close to tapping. He’s trying to crawl to the bottom rope and right as he’s about to grab it, Shota drags him back to the center. Nobuhiro is stuck with nothing left in the gas tank. As a last ditch effort, Shimatani is able to use his arms to grab the plant leg of Shota and throw him off his balance long enough for Shimatani to escape. Leg kicks from Shimatani land in quick succession before a patented 3 Amigos trio of suplexes. With Shota down, Shimatani looks for his Cross face and gets it locked in. Shota can’t find anywhere to go and quickly taps out, Shimatani is your winner!
Shimatani via Kneeling Arm Trap Crossface (12:09)
SHO vs Mike Bailey
The two men started off hot trading some leg kicks to see which one would possibly collapse. However, this didn’t work out too well for Bailey. After another leg kick, SHO would deliver a thunderous kick to his chest knocking him down. SHO would then drop down into a cover only managing a 2-Count! SHO would pick up Mike, and look for the Powerbomb Lungblower! However, Bailey slid off catching SHO with a roundhouse kick followed by a Fisherman’s Buster! Bailey then got up and hit the standing moonsault knee drop! Covering SHO for only a 2-Count. Bailey would then pick SHO up for a second Fisherman’s, but SHO broke free and pulled out a desperation jumping knee followed by a lariat! The two men slowly made it back to their feet. As SHO would goad Mike Bailey tossing his mouthpiece at him. Bailey would respond going in for a flurry of kicks, however as he swung high SHO ducked! SHO grabbed him in a German Suplex hold, and tossed him into the air. When he came down SHO grabbed the arm and yanked back into the Cross Armbreaker! Mike Bailey had no choice but to tap out! SHO wins!
SHO def. Bailey (12:32)
Daisuke Sasaki vs Shuji Kondo
Shuji Kondo stood in the ring, as he waited on the entrance of Charisma. As he appeared to the crowd and made his way down to the ring, from behind came Daisuke Harada with a steel pipe. Bashing Sasaki in the back of the head, as he stood over him. Harada then picked up Sasaki and dragged him down to the ring. Shoving him in, as the ref checked on him. The ref decided it was best to throw the match, and award it to Shuji Kondo. As Kondo got his hand raised, Harada got into the ring with his pipe laughing. He then proceeded to put the boots to Sasaki, before turning to face Kondo. Offering a handshake, to which Kondo does accept. As Kondo began to walk away, he turned around and blasted Harada with a King Kong Lariat to stand tall.
Kondo def. Sasaki via Forfeit
Fuminori Abe vs Kushida
It’s Kushida out first. Despite the spring in his step, it’s obvious he’s feeling the pressure of having had 3 nights of the tournament without a win. Abe, by contrast, looks fresh and confident, clapping and encouraging the crowd as he makes his way to the ring. He cocks an eyebrow at Kushida, offering a brief nod of the head by way of respect but no handshake.
The bell rings and the two circle slowly until, at an invisible signal, they lock up. Then it’s a fast and furious exchange of wrestling holds – Abe grabbing Kushida’s waist, Kushida with wrist control, then Abe twisting out and knocking Kushida down into a headlock, Kushida with the head scissors and a spring up from both and they are on their feet again! A couple more testing exchanges follow, first Kushida getting the upper hand, then Abe. By mutual agreement, they keep to their feet, exchanging headlocks until Abe pushes Kushida into the ropes, then Abe is forced to dodge a running Kushida. He’s successful until an armdrag from Kushida brings him down to the mat, Kushida hitting him with a handspring dropkick the moment he sits up! Kushida gets the first cover for 2.
Kushida makes the mistake of kicking Abe in the back as he sits up, which gets him into an exchange of kicks as Abe is determined to prove he can take it and give back more in return. He absolutely can and a weakened Kushida finds himself open to a sleeper hold. He scoots over to the ropes easily but Abe is still noticeably smug. Kushida is up on his feet quickly, ready to start throwing punches. They go back and forth with increasingly heavier strikes, turning into slaps at Abe’s prompting, matching each other blow for blow until Kushida adds a run-up to his forearm and knocks Abe on his back. Kushida dives in, going for an armbar, but Abe shuffles rapidly out of Kushida’s reach, wagging his finger from the safety of the corner.
They are back in the centre of the ring exchanging strikes, an enzuigiri from Abe sends Kushida back a step but he uses the momentum to drop Abe to the mat and go after his ankle. This time it’s Abe’s turn to scramble away but Kushida drags him back, twisting at his ankle. Abe rolls over, firing kicks at Kushida until he releases the ankle hold but it’s the perfect position for Kushida to drop down to the mat and get a choke hold whilst Abe is on his back. By the time Abe makes it to the ropes, both are noticeably worn down, looking a lot less fresh as they get to their feet.
It doesn’t take long until they are back to striking. A spinning back kick, followed by an overhead kick from Abe interrupts the flow and has Kushida staggering back into and off the ropes. It’s just disorienting enough for Abe to duck down, get Kushida on his shoulders and drop him into a death valley bomb! Kushida kicks out at 2.5! Abe goes for Kushida’s arm but he gets away, both back on their feet. A frankensteiner from Abe takes Kushida down for a roll up but he manages to roll Abe over to return the sneak pin. Abe springs out at 2, both up on their feet and running in. Some sneaky footwork from Abe and he has the worn down Kushida’s arms tied up and trips him into an Onryo clutch! The desperation from the slightly fresher Abe does the job and Kushida’s shoulders are down for 3.
Kushida desperately pleads with the referee before pounding the mat in frustration, finding himself tied for last position in the tournament.
Abe def. Kushida (19:11)
Scores Night 5: