January 22nd, 2012
Los Angeles, California - Staples Center
~ The STAPLES Center, live in the so-called "City of Angels." We can't help but notice that this esteemed structure has been filled perfectly to the brim at just over 19,000+ in attendance. Why are they here, you ask? Well, that answer is quite simple; to bare witness to the most exciting and unpredictable combat sport in the known world - Wrestling Grand Prix.
~ After a chilling plays to introduce us to our much anticipated event, the haunting yet beautiful sounds of "Requiem for a Dream," by Clint Mansel now softly burgeons deep into the canals of our ears, as strobe lights softly pan around the stadium to this passionate and roaring Californian crowd.
~ As usual, both Dave Meltzer and Joe Rogan are on commentary duty for the big show tonight. We are welcomed with the information that tonight's event is indeed a record sellout here at the STAPLES Center. Dave and Joe recap our big feuds leading into this marquee event of the Grand Prix calendar year, making special note of Brock Lesnar vs. Ken Shamrock, as well as Bryan Danielson vs. CM Punk.
- Kenny Omega © vs. Low Ki
- World Juniors Championship
Our first match of the young evening pits current World Juniors Champion Kenny Omega against the challenger, Low Ki. Omega accomplished his dream of becoming WGPX World Juniors Champion one month ago in December at the Grand Prix Climax. The very man he defeated in the scramble match for the championship was Low Ki, who's dominant reign with the title was finished with an unlucky ACL injury that has kept him out of action for the last few weeks. Three weeks prior, Low Ki assaulted Omega from outside the crowd on an edition of Grand Prix TV, before lifting Omega's belt high into the air and declaring that here at Millenium Battle, he would guarantee his revenge. This match saw the champion furiously working away at Low Ki's still recovering ACL.
The finish to this match was particularly exciting, as Omega attempted the Ex Hadouken, but Low Ki ducked his head, sending Omega to the mat with a drop toe-hold. Low Ki pushed himself back up to stand on one leg, rolled a long his back - Dragon Sleeper! Omega aimed his hand out to the ropes in desperation, but he's too far away. Once noticing this, Omega began striking Low Ki repeatedly in the gut and then to the head as well once his abdomen began to constrict from this pain. Omega then took advantage by grabbing Low Ki around the waist and lifting him into the air for an Electric Chair, dropping Low Ki into a German Suplex! Omega keeps the suplex held in position for a bridged pin, before stealthily bending the weight of his right leg onto the weakened left one of his opponent, pinning it to the mat in order to secure the successful three count. After the match, Kenny Omega rolls out of the ring with his World Juniors Title, before gloating his victory along the grounded aisle entrance. Meanwhile, a shot of our referee bending down to check on Low Ki is shown, as the loser of our first match can be seen feverishly tending to his left ACL.
~ Kenny Omega wins via pin w/ a Bridging German Suplex
~ New Foundation, the team of both Bulldog Hart and Stampede Kid, are now seen warming up backstage. The shot then panels off into another split frame, where we see Mi Rai, the pairing of CIMA andKENTA, meditating in their locker room. Finally, we cut into a separate third frame, where the current WGPX World Grand Prix Tag Team Champions, Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin (better known as World's Greatest Tag Team) are both silently making their way down the backstage area, eyes intently staring off into the distance as the other two separate panels of this split-frame shot now fade into the scene of Dave Meltzer and Joe Rogan sitting high atop the crowd in their commentary booth.
~ Both Mi Rai and New Foundation have been on a separate hot winning streak as of late. What Meltzer did not make note of is that two weeks prior, both of these teams attempted to settle this score with a #1 Contenders match. A double schoolboy pinfall between the likes of CIMA and Stampede Kid would confuse our referee, yet, the answer seemed all too clear in the mind of our company CEO Bob Backlund - a Triangle Tag Team Match. Both Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin, aka The World's Greatest Tag Team, have held their titles since August of last year. This is their fifth career reign as WGPX World Tag Team Champions.
- World's Greatest Tag Team © vs. Mi Rai vs. New Foundation
- World Tag Team Championships
Nearing the contest' finish, Stampede Kid leaps onto the top turnbuckle, signalling for the Double Jump Moonsault on a grounded Charlie Haas. Yet, before Kid can leap off the top turnbuckle, KENTA comes running a long the apron, tagging Kid on his shoulder to everyone's surprise. He then jumps onto the top rope, leaps towards Kid - Busaiku Knee Kick! Stampede Kid sells it like gold as he now slumps down a long the turnbuckle with his legs trapped like a monkey hanging upside down from a tree. KENTA then turns around as Charlie Haas comes charging forward. KENTA lifts Haas onto his shoulder, signalling for the Go 2 Sleep. Haas wiggles out of the move and lands on his feet, but KENTA isn't relenting, as he grabs Haas by the arm and neck, pulling him down to the canvas for the GAME OVER.
Haas extends his open hand out to tap the mat, but then slowly clenches back his fist. He begins shooting sideways punches to the head of KENTA. CIMA's now climbing the ropes, but Bulldog Hart comes charging down the apron, sending CIMA falling to the turnbuckle with a Big Boot from the side. He then grabs CIMA and tosses him back-first onto KENTA, breaking up the submission on Haas. Both men now sit wearily a long the mat, as both Hart and Benjamin now seem desperate for a tag back into this match. Both competitors now crawl their way over to the corner, Haas to tag in Benjamin, and KENTA to merely pull himself back up to stand. Haas is getting inches closer to Benjamin, he's within smelling distance - but no, Bulldog Hart comes running over before checking Benjamin off one of the eight sides of our octagonal-shaped ring! Hart bends his arm over the ropes, tagging himself in a long Haas' shoulders. He comes bolstering in as both KENTA and CIMA can be seen kneeled down. Hart goes for the clothesline, but KENTA lifts him onto his shoulders. He turns around to face his partner, Superkick from CIMA, followed by the Go 2 Sleep! Mi Rai gets the three!
A positive and huge reaction from the crowd now penetrates the STAPLES Center as both KENTA and CIMA are handed the WGPX World Tag Team Titles. The two partners then embrace in a brief hug before lifting the belts high above their heads. Outside of the ring, it's a different story, as both Shelton Benjamin and Stampede Kid remain kneeled down a long the concrete. As Charlie Haas frustratingly tends to his fallen partner, the scene concludes with the sight of Bulldog Hart laid out unconscious a long the center of the canvas.
~ Mi Rai (CIMA & KENTA) wins via pin with a Superkick / Go 2 Sleep Combination
~ We're now taken backstage, where current WGPX World Middleweight Champion, Cody Rhodes, is standing nearby with interviewer, David Penzer. A look of disgust can be easily spotted upon the face of the champion, as he snarls at the mere presence of Penzer drawing up a microphone to his face. Penzer asks Cody how he intends to combat such an experienced competitor like Akira Tozawa in their upcoming match, to which Rhodes responds: "You may notice that I no longer don a mask, Mr. Interviewer. You may notice that I am now no longer exposing my knees. You may also notice that I am not frightened by the mere mentioning of my opponent, and you'd be correct each and every time. After all, three times a charm. You ask me what it takes to defeat Akira Tozawa, but you and I both know the answer to that question - One... Two... THREE."
MATCH #3 - Cody Rhodes © vs. Akira Tozawa
- World Middleweight Championship
Result ~ Cody Rhodes wins via pin w/ a modified Cross Rhodes
Cody Rhodes dominant reign as World Middleweight Champion has been anything but understated. Rhodes has held the belt since July of last year, and has had his eyes set on breaking Curt Hennig's year-long record with the title ever since. Akira Tozawa was still a kyoukan by the end of 2011, offering Rhodes assistance in a tag team match with Cody's then rival, Chris Hero. Rhodes and Tozawa made quite the formidable team in their first contest, looking as if they were about to defeat the Kings of Wrestling. Yet, both men would find themselves on the losing end of the match, with Hero hitting Tozawa with the KO before earning a three count for his team. Unable to accept anything short of success, Rhodes savagely lashed out at Akira after the match, successfully sending him to the mat with the Cross Rhodes. Since the grudge's beginning, this has been one of the most heated feuds in the company.
We are now bore witness to several minutes of Cody Rhodes dominating this match. As Tozawa is pulling himself up, Rhodes stands upon the second rung of the turnbuckle, before landing a Diving Bulldog on his opponent. He then pulls Tozawa back up, setting him up for the Cross Rhodes. Cody spins around to secure the rolling cutter finisher, but before Tozawa lands face-first to the mat, he links his arms around Cody's waist - Bridging Delayed German Suplex!!! Huge pop from the stadium as Tozawa keeps Cody a long the mat for the pin, but Rhodes somehow gets his shoulder up just before the three. Tozawa pulls Cody up and whips him into the corner. After he harshly hits the ropes, Tozawa comes charging up, landing a Running Knee Smash. He stands on the second rope, yelling "Hurray! Hurray! TOZAWA!!!" pounding his chest as Rhodes flattens a long the canvas. Tozawa's on the top rope - Diving Headbutt, but Rhodes springs up, catches Tozawa and lands a modified cutter a long the center of the ring! Rhodes hooks the leg and gets the three count, much to the dismay of our crowd!
Following this intense contest, Cody Rhodes is handed back his WGPX World Middleweight Title as Akira Tozawa lay broken a long the canvas. Rhodes then pushes our referee to the side as he attempts to raise Cody's hand back into the air. Cody now maniacally begins laughing as he falls to his knees, title still extended in the grasp of his right hand. As our cameras peer in even closer, we can hear Rhodes yelling "You will never be as great as this. You see this? Never. You are but a footnote to the masterpiece that is my career!" Rhodes then pulls Tozawa back up, dropping the belt to the center of the mat. He then grabs Tozawa by the back of the neck, bends him down - Cross Rhodes into the title. Our scene then concludes with Cody pulling the belt out from under Tozawa's midsection, before leaving the ring with a look of arrogant satisfaction.
Time ~ 13:04
~ Backstage, several members of the South Korean press are on hand outside of an unmarked locker room door. When this door opens, we see that none other than legendary kickboxer Hong Man Choi is making his way out into the corridor. Choi is being barricaded by the relentless reporters by his own personally hired bodyguards, as we notice that he is a dawning the same black robes he had once worn to the ring in K-1. As Choi can be seen making his way down the corridor with his personal entourage beside him, we quickly shoot over to a shot of Akebono doing the same. The crowd can now be heard roaring fiercely in the background as each competitor draws closer to the entrance of the ring.
MATCH #4 - Akebono vs. Hong Man Choi
- Battle of the Goliaths
Result ~ ???
As could be seen before this match began, there has been much hype and international publicity surrounding this contest between Akebono and Hong Man Choi, dubbed 'The Battle of the Goliaths,' by Bob Backlund. Neither Akebono or Hong Man Choi were to ever meet in K-1, making this a very special contest. Leading up to this date, both competitors have been weighed and analyzed to the finest degree of detail, including weigh-in's and press conferences that, at times, have become quite heated between the two. Yet, tonight, we will truly bare witness to which man, or Goliath for that matter, has the willpower and tenacity to prove themselves the better man.
Due to language barriers, there will be two referees for tonight's match. Earl Hebner, American, will be refereeing Akebono, with the other being a South Korean from K-1. We're told that this very referee has spent time with Grand Prix analyzing the rules and regulations of a wrestling match. Each referee demands that both Akebono and Hong Man Choi shake the others' hand, yet, neither man proceeds to move a muscle. Soon after, the bell sounds, as Choi now circles around the former Yokozuna. Choi strikes Akebono with a Muay Thai kick, but Taro blocks it with his forearm, then counters by thrusting Choi to the mat with a running shoulderblock. Taro runs to the ropes, bounces off. He goes for a body splash, but Choi rolls to the side. Cheer from the crowd. Choi now runs up to Akebono - he PUNTS him in the face! The crowd's cheers now turn into boos, as the Korean referee quickly grabs Choi like an ant on a hill, letting him know that another dirty maneuver like that could get the big man disqualified.
Choi pushes the ref to the side, motioning up to the ascending Akebono as if he's still in a kickboxing bout. Earl Hebner stands in the way of Choi, signalling that he cannot strike until Taro stands back up. Choi pushes Hebner as well - eye rake from Akebono! Meltzer and Rogan now comment that it seems like neither competitor plans on fighting this match clean. Akebono grabs Choi, pivoting from his hip. He's going for an M64 (falling hip toss) but Choi counters with an elbow to the side of Taro's head. He strikes with another elbow! The Korean official tries yet again to break it up, but Choi pushes him to the side. Lifting knee shots to the jaw of Akebono! He grabs the former sumo by his wrist and whips him to the other side of the ring. Choi's lifting back his arm, but Akebono sends him to the canvas with a Running Body Press instead! Akebono hooks the leg, but Choi comes back with those elbows to the head before either ref reaches the three. Each ref then warns both men that one more dirty move will cost one of them this match.
Each competitor is now slow to pull themselves up. Hong Man Choi ascends to the corner of one of the turnbuckles, with Akebono now standing to his feet from a parralel angle. Akebono's charging full speed for the Body Avalanche... KNOCKOUT PUNCH!!! Akebono folds to the canvas as the crowd pops in pure excitement. Hong Man Choi falls to his knees and hooks the leg. The South Korean referee reaches three - but Earl Hebner was at two!? The Korean ref now signals that Hong Man Choi has won this match, but Hebner is protesting it. Both of our commentators seem quite confused.
Time ~ 10:22
~ Both referees can now be seen holding the wrists of each respective competitor, standing horizontal from one another in similarity to a judge's decision announcement in boxing. CEO Bob Backlund now appears from the curtain with a microphone. He goes on to explain that he was playing close attention to this match from start to finish. Backlund then says that, obviously, he should have checked who he was hiring to conduct this match on Hong Man Choi's behalf.
~ Then, Backlund says, maybe he should be keeping eyes on Choi himself as well. Backlund announces that, unfortunately, he has decided to call this match as a No Contest thanks in part to the Korean officials' incompetence. When this becomes translated to Hong Man Choi, he becomes enraged, throwing the official to the ground and yelling! Backlund ducks for life and descends to the outside of the ring. Choi grabs Earl Hebner by his collar, until Akebono shoves Hebner away, pushing Choi. The two then descend to the mat in an epic brawl! Backlund yells for several referees to arrive and break up this madness, but even that isn't to any avail, as both Akebono and Hong Man Choi proceed to escape their clutches multiple times. Eventually, order is regathered, as both men are now seen being held apart and escorted from out of the squared circle and to the backstage of the curtains.
~ "The Kentucky Gentleman" Chuck Taylor now arrives, walking around the crowd with a bible extended above his head, and a donation box tucked under his armpit. Taylor's got a microphone, too, and he's not too shy to use it for his own benefit. He informs the crowd that he's been praying for everyone's souls since he arrived in the bowels of Sodom. Chuck Taylor then also says he had heard the voice of God last night, telling him he was born to win the Grand Prix League Series. He then hops the guardrail, climbing into the ring as one dollar bills begin to flood out from the crease in the box.
MATCH #5 - 20 Unnamed Participants
- Glory League Battle Royal
As we stated earlier, Chuck Taylor was the first one out to the ring. As has always been done traditionally, the Juniors division will start out first, progressing to the Middleweights, and then finally to the big brutes at Heavyweight. Masa Takanashi comes out to combat Taylor first, flashing him two fingers between his mouth and tongue, and yeah, you know the gesture. Chucky T has a near heart attack, praying and moving his the edge of his right hand from side-to-side, then down and up a long his chest to signify a cross. Too bad this distracts him, as Takanashi nails Taylor with a Thrust Kick! Knife edge chops to the chest of Chuck as both men stand a long side the ropes.
The bell sounds three times and out comes Samuray Del Sol, speeding down the ramp and flipping onto the apron. He jumps onto the ropes with both feet- Headscissors Takedown into DDT onto Takanashi! Chuck Taylor comes rushing over, but is met with a palm thrust to the neck from Del Sol, who now quickly charges for the ropes. Big Boot from Taylor to Del Sol. He turns to face Takanashi, now standing and backing up into the corner.
Three rings again from the bell. AKUMA slowly stalks the ramp as he makes his way to the ring. Taylor's returning those knife edge chops to Masa Takanashi that he'd been receiving earlier in the match. AKUMA reaches his destination as Samuray Del Sol gets back up to his feet. Del Sol's climbing on the turnbuckle next to AKUMA. AKUMA runs up and gives him a sole kick to the stomach! Del Sol's lurching forward now - Shoot kick to the face, sending the luchadore tumbling down to the floor below!
Elimination #1 - Samuray Del Sol
Bell sounds, and here comes Mistico from out of the crowd! He grabs the fallen Samuray Del Sol by his head, pulling him up and tossing him over the guardrail. Meanwhile, Chuck Taylor attempts the irish whip on Tanahashi. Reversal. Taylor smacks his back harshly on the turnbuckle. Masa's running full speed ahead. Chucky T goes for the comeback clothesline, but Takanashi manages to duck just in time and reverse this one with a Cross Armed DDT! Nice spot to keep the crowd healthy.
AKUMA now attempts to enter the ring, but Mistico is tugging at his boot. AKUMA tries to shake him off like a bad case of the bed bugs, but Mistico manages to use his foot for leverage to pull himself up onto the apron. Forearm strikes to the shoulders of Mistico from AKUMA, giving him his own form of leverage. AKUMA wraps the arm of Mistico behind his neck. He lifts him up for an exploder suplex, but Mistico falls back to his feet on the apron. Mistico grabs AKUMA by the tights, he's attempting to pull him out of the ring, but no, AKUMA's squirming around like a worm! He lands on one knee behind the ropes, then slowly lifts himself up with one foot. He's got Mistico clutched in what looks to be the set up for a Muscle Buster... he hooks his arm around the crease of the back of his knee, wait a minute - Mistico projects himself off with just the firm push of his boot off the top rope, sending AKUMA crashing to the canvas with a modified Springboard Spinning DDT! Huge pop from the audience.
Takanashi's got Chuck Taylor lifted up to his feet. Repeated knife edge chops to the throat. Takanashi grabs him by the back of his hair, goes to throw Taylor over the ropes - no! Taylor grabs him by the arms and pulls him down for a Cross armed Double Knee Backbreaker! Takanashi pops up from the canvas like a spring, bouncing into the ropes and falling over to the concrete, just as Chuck Taylor clasps his hands and begins thanking the lord for his bounty.
Elimination #2 - Masa Takanashi
Here comes TAKA Michinoku! He's pounding his fists and eager for a fight, and this crow'ds eating it up. Taka slides under the ropes, just as Mistico turns around to face his backside. Mistico runs towards Michinoku and slides beneath his legs. Taka turns around, ducks the Enziguiri - he's still got Mistico by the leg. Taka swings it to the side and grabs the lucha by his neck instead. Inverted backbreaker! Inverted backbreaker! Arm trap bridge, Taka rolls around the ring... he then positions himself a long the mat, locking in the Cobra Clutch for the rarely used Dick Killer!
AKUMA waltzes towards Chuck Taylor, punting him relentlessly in the midsection. He now runs to the ropes, bounces off.. Running low-angle Dropkick to the top of Chucky T's head! Taylor nearly falls to the floor, but with prime instincts, grabs the bottom rope, hoisting himself upwards like a monkey on a branch! AKUMA motions to the ropes. He leans over to grab Taylor, but Taylor bends himself up and over AKUMA back inside of the ring! Arched Big Boot to the back of AKUMA's head sends him tumbling to the ground!!!
Elimination #3 - AKUMA
Time for the Middleweights. Three rings on a bell is a charm, as Tito Ortiz now menacingly appears from the tunnel leading down the entrance ramp. A collective sounds of cheers and jeers now occupy the STAPLES Center, as the other competitors battling it out within the ring remain unaware of his presence. Taka Michinoku has his Dick Killer still locked in on Mistico. Ortiz flattens his knees to the canvas and begins repeatedly striking Taka with elbows to the back of the head! Lifting knee shots to the chin! Ortiz throws Taka Michinoku over the rope!
Elimination #4 - Taka Michinoku
Here comes Mistico, wearily approaching the rope-leaning Tito Ortiz. Mistico bounces off the ropes from the side, comes charging perpendicular to Ortiz. Ortiz goes to grab him, but Mistico reverses with a Tilt-a-whirl headscissors. Transition for the single arm takedown, but Ortiz grabs him by the tights and slams him to the canvas with a spinebuster. He lifts Mistico back up to his feet. Chuck Taylor's jumping over the ropes onto the apron. He leaps onto the top rope - Springboard Back Elbow, but Tito Ortiz ducks! Taylor nails Mistico right across the neck, sending both of them tumbling over the top!
Eliminations #5 & #6 - Mistico & Chuck Taylor
Michael Modest and Kofi Nahaje Kingston then come out to the ring, working together as a team to face off against Tito Ortiz. Nonetheless, their combined efforts are in vain, as Ortiz does nothing but dominant the entire exchange.
The bell rings three once again, as we now see that Austin Aries has arrived. Aries grabs Michael Modest by the back of his head and slams it into the turnbuckle, albeit, keeping his periropheal firm on the direciton of Ortiz. Speaking of which, Ortiz is striking Kingston with a Ground and Pound a long the side of the apron. The referee gets between Aries as Kingston struggles to keep his head up, near inches from falling to the floor. Aries lands a Death Valley Driver on Modest, now beginning to shove him from out beneath the ropes and out of this match.
Ortiz grabs Kingston by the head and pulls him up to stand. He hooks Kofi's arm behind his neck, lifting him up for a suplex. Aries pulls up Modest. He's going for a Brainbuster. Roundhouse kick to the side of Ortiz's head from Kingston! Ortiz stumbles, Kofi's still standing a long the ropes! Trouble in Paradise on Ortiz, reverse chokeslam facebuster on Aries! Both Modest and Kingston stand up, look at one another, smile real big; 1.. 2.. 3! Double BOOM Drop!
Bell sounds; it's Christian Cage. He slides into the ring and nails Michael Modest from behind with an ax-handle. Kingston's charging forward to Cage, flying forearm smash - Cage grabs Kofi in midair! Gutbuster! As Michael Modest turns and begins to run from Cage's side, he turns around and lands a Pendulum Overhead Kick to the side of his head, sending Modest flying over the ropes!
Elimination #7 - Michael Modest
Ortiz is up to his feet and approaching Cage. Muay Thai kick to the side of the abdomen, hard chops to the shoulders from Ortiz. Cage is up against the ropes. Feint kick attempt, but Cage grabs Ortiz by the leg. Implant DDT, but Ortiz slams Christian to the mat. Multiple jabs to side of the ribs from Tito, but Cage still has his arm hooked around his head. Headbutt from Cage! And another! Elbow shots to the ribs, now Ortiz is bringing Christian back up to stand. Here comes Kofi, back up to his feet - Scissored Armbar from a running Austin Aries! Ortiz goes to slam Cage into the mat with a package piledriver, but Christian is relentless, pummeling away on the former MMA fighter's back. Ortiz slams Cage into the turnbuckle!
Aries pulls Kofi Nahaje Kingston up for a Russian Leg sweep. The bell now sounds three times and here's Tyler Black! Big cheer from the crowd. Black now slowly approaches the ring, stretching out and cracking his knuckles as reaches the ramp's end. Aries has the armbar locked on Kofi, he's going for the Fireman's carry gutbuster, but Kingston reverses it with a headscissors! Ortiz is rifling away punches to the midsection of Christian. Kofi back up to his feet, Dropkick to Aries. Tyler Black now stands on the apron, ducking his leg underneath the second rope to enter.
Ortiz backs up to charge at the cornered Christian Cage. He goes for the shoulderblock, but Cage ducks to the side. Cage turns to the side - Superkick from incoming Tyler Black! Ortiz is running towards him - Belly to back Suplex! Double foot stomp from Kofi on Aries. He's running to Tito Ortiz, grabs him, flips - SOS, but Ortiz counters slams him to the mat with a package piledriver! Both men are now laid out a long the ring. Tyler Black now grabs Austin Aries up by his head. Eye rake from Aries! He jumps to the turnbuckle, leaps off for a body splash - Black catches him in midair. He walks to the ropes, then scoop slams Aries to the outside!
Elimination #8 - Austin Aries
The bell rings instantly, as now, we move on to the last eight Heavyweight entrants. But a wait minute, this isn't right. The lights are dimming in and out all a long the stadium. Static now can be heard penetrating both our eyes and ears, as we soon see the large HD video trons around the building splicing the static image for all to see. Suddenly, numbers now begin a countdown a long the InokiTron screen -
1... 2... 3... 4... 5... 6... 7... 8... 9... 10... 11... 12... 13
Lights darken, the bell sounds three times - AND LIONHART RETURNS! THE CROWD IS GOING WILD! After a year of absence, Chris Jericho slowly appears from the curtains, back turned to the crowd with arms raised high. Meltzer and Rogan comment upon their disbelief, until Meltzer questions why Chris has arrived here, being a Middleweight competitor, when clearly, the round for Middleweight entrants had ended. We soon receive our answer.
Chris Hero comes running down the aisle, pushing Jericho down to the ramp. The crowd reaction for Hero becomes dreadfully mixed in response to this as Jericho's music is now stopped. Chris Hero grabs him by the head and pulls him up - KO, square in the nose of the Canadian rock star! Jericho slumps to his knees, head tucked to the side of Chris Hero, whom now faintly takes his right palm to disgrace himself with the service of pushing Jericho back to the ground. Several security guards now approach Hero, who simply raises his arms up to show the peace. These same guards now escort Hero to the backstage area amidst an overwhelming amount of confusion from the audience.
Back inside the ring, we see that Tyler Black and Kofi Nahaje Kingston are now working together against the likes of Tito Ortiz and Christian Cage. Kofi's whips Cage to the other side of the ring. He goes for a spinning heel kick, but Christian ducks. Cage bounces off the other end of the ropes, Kingston turns around - SPEAR! Meanwhile, Tyler Black has Tito Ortiz pinned up against the turnbuckle. Black's going for the Big Boot, but Ortiz ducks, forcing Tyler to land his groin directly on the top rope. The referee seems distracted... it's Austin Aries on the apron! He's grabbing the ropes and pulling them up and down, raking Tyler Black's family jewels on the ropes, the cruel bastard! Once Aries stops, Black falls in-between the ropes and lands a long the apron as Aries continues to viciously kick him...
Our fourteenth competitor now appears from the ramp - Claudio Castagnoli is here and the fans light up! Claudio walks up as medical personnel begin to flood around the fallen form of Chris Jericho. Tito Ortiz and Christian Cage now begin working together to take down Kofi. Ortiz and Cage with the double clothesline, but Kofi ducks. He jumps over the ropes, lands on the apron, jumps back on the ropes - Springboard double clothesline to Cage and Ortiz! Kofi rolls a long his back and snaps back up as the crowd continues to cheer. Kingston then runs up as we see Austin Aries still kicking the side of Tyler Black - DROPKICK! Aries is sent flying from the apron, landing his full mass painfully a long the guardrails! Kingston claps his hands together twice, but on the third time, he stops to notice that Castagnoli is now inside the ring, who begins staring down Kingston.
Tito Ortiz slowly rises to his feet, as does Tyler Black who now ascends the top turnbuckle as the crowd slightly begins to resonate high volumes of adulation for what they are about to see. Ortiz is running! Wait, Tyler's turning his back to him - PHOENIX SPLASH! A huge Los Angeles cheer for the awesome spot. Castagnoli and Kingston are now circling around one another. They lock shoulders. Claudio overpowers Kofi and has him up against the corner. But Christian Cage comes up from behind and nails Castagnoli in the back of the head! Kofi's climbing the ropes. Wait, here comes Tyler Black - Big Boot to the back of Christian Cage's head! Both he and Claudio now tumble over the ropes, but Cage is on top of Castagnoli - he falls to the floor as Castagnoli bends himself upright on the apron!
Elimination #9 - Christian Cage
Kofi leaps off the top rope and goes for the Spinning DDT on Tyler Black. Turnbuckle Powerbomb! Black backs up - Superkick! Kingston's chin now falls to the top rope. We now see that a stretcher is being pulled down the entrance ramp by more EMT's, who are now proceeding to escort Jericho away from the action. The bell rings three times and now we are welcomed by Drew Galloway. "The Chosen One" now makes his way to the ring to the sound of cheers as Tyler Black pulls Tito Ortiz up to his feet. Military press by Tyler Black - but Tito's got life again and begins hammering jabs to the side of Black's head! Tyler regains his composure as he closes near the ropes - he tosses Ortiz to the floor!
Elimination #10 - Tito Ortiz
Galloway is on the apron now. He crosses through the ropes as Tyler Black turns around. Claudio Castagnoli and Kofi Kingston surmise the other corners of the ring, as all four men now stand together, staring one another down in the hopes that someone else will be initiating the first move. Suddenly, commotion seems to overcome the area of EMT's outside of the ring, as we see hear someone yelling to their heart's content. It's Chris Jericho! He's ripping off the straps of the stretcher and pushing away anyone whom dares get in his way. The stretcher now falls to the ground with Jericho still seemingly latched inside.
All four competitors now turn their attention back to one another. Castagnoli and Kingston lock up once again, as does Tyler Black and Drew Galloway. Turning back to Jericho, we see that he's pushing and kicking EMT's away from him. Finally, he's able to unstrap himself and stand back up, blood now pouring down the crease of his nose with a slightly fresh gauze half-sticking a long the length of his forehead. A look of pure rage fills Jericho's face as he now slowly approaches the ring.
Castagnoli reverses Kingston's irish whip as Jericho ascends the apron. Jericho's in - CODEBREAKER to Kofi! He pulls Kingston up by the scrap of his hair and violently tosses him to the floor!
Elimination #11 - Kofi Nahaje Kingston
Castagnoli pops up on Jericho now. Very European Uppercut, but Jericho ducks and sends Claudio's neck to the ropes with a drop toe-hold! Tyler Black has Drew Galloway up against the turnbuckle. Harsh knife edge chops to the chest now follow from Black. Jericho ascends to the ropes, motioning for Castagnoli to stand back. Diving European uppercut from Jericho, but Claudio ducks and grabs him by the waist! Castagnoli slams Jericho's back to the canvas with a spinebuster variation, but keeps his arms locked around the back of Jericho's knees.
Claudio now centers himself a long the canvas. Giant swing, but Jericho lands his feet on the turnbuckle! Jericho flips around - Spinning Heel kick! Tyler Black whips Galloway to the corner, but Galloway reverses. Jericho has landed into both Castagnoli and, inadvertently, Tyler Black as well, knocking both men down to the canvas!
Galloway's running towards Chris Jericho, who sends the "Chosen One" to the mat with Dropkick. The bell sounds a total of three times, and here comes Shinsuke Nakamura rushing down the ramp before sliding into the ring with gusto! He's rifling away punches a long the temple of Chris Jericho, and he's even got 'Lionhart' backed up against the ropes. Nakamura side steps for a Boma Ye, but Claudio Castagnoli comes charging for the side for a Bicycle Kick! Nakamura ducks underneath of it and runs for the ropes. Tyler Black springs to his feet. Jumping corkscrew roundhouse to the side of Nakamura's face!
Castagnoli runs for Tyler Black, but here comes Chris Jericho from the side to land a running one-handed bulldog. Black pulls Nakamura up and leans him against the turnbuckle. Black jumps onto the second turnbuckle and begins squaring punches to the head of his opponent! Drew Galloway slowly approaches before tapping Tyler Black upon the shoulders, Black turns around - EGO TRIP, but Galloway sends Black over the ropes and landing on the apron! Black's chin bounces off the top rope in the facebuster transition... Big Boot from Galloway sends Tyler Black falling to the ground!
Elimination #12 - Tyler Black
Chris Jericho is down on one knee as Drew Galloway turns around. Jericho leaps up for another Codebreaker, but Galloway grapevines Jericho's legs with his arm! Galloway's lifting him up for Thee Move.. but a chop block from Shinsuke Nakamura to Galloway sends him falling on his back! Jericho's up on his feet and running for the ropes to land a Lionsault - BOMA YE! Chris Jericho gets scooted a long the ring like hitting a strike on a bowling pin. Claudio Castagnoli is standing back up and flips Nakamura around, as the two now trade chops with one another.
The bell rings, and here's Dos Caras Jr.! now steadfastly entering the ring, before pulling Shinsuke Nakamura to the side in order to take on Castagnoli. Nakamura now turns his attention to the weakened Chris Jericho, pulling him up by the scuff of his hair. Nakamura tosses Jericho to the ropes, but the dormant Drew Galloway meekly grabs Shinsuke Nakamura by the ankle, allowing Chris Jericho time to recover his strength and nail Shinsuke repeatedly with sharp kicks to the sternum! Knee to the face, Jericho hooks the arm - Powerbomb! And another! And ANOTHER! Jericho lifts Nakamura up a fourth time.. and VIOLENTLY tosses him over the ropes!
Elimination #13 - Shinsuke Nakamura
Dos Caras Jr. now has Castagnoli up against the ropes, open chops to the chest. Claudio grabs Caras by the shoulders, throws him to the ropes in place before returning him the favor. Chris Jericho now grabs Galloway by the head and pulls him up to stand. Jericho then shoves Galloway viciously back to the mat before sitting upon the top turnbuckle behind him. He motions for Galloway to stand back up - Missile Dropkick, no, Galloway reverses, grabbing Jericho by the legs for a Tilt-a-whirl Gutbuster! He lifts Chris back up, short-arm clothesline!
Castagnoli leans back from Dos Caras Jr. - Roaring Swiss Uppercut, but Dos Caras ducks, grabs Castagnoli by the extended arm.. Double Knee Armbreaker to Castagnoli, who now wiggles around the ring, tending to his right arm! Drew Galloway's now trying to force Chris Jericho's way out of the ring with sharp kicks to the back, but here comes Dos Caras.. Step-up Enziguiri to the back of the head! Galloway tumbles over the top rope, lands on the left side of his waist - BIG side kick from Chris Jericho's boot to the face of Drew Galloway, sending him onto the floor and out of this match!
Elimination #14 - Drew Galloway
Here's Wade Barrett chalking his way down the ramp as the bell rings three for the millionth time now. Both Meltzer and Rogan inform us that we now have two entrants left to go for this match. Barrett slides into the ring just as Dos Caras Jr. is pulling Chris Jericho up to his feet as he remains knelt down long the apron. Claudio Castagnoli is charging from the other side to bring Dos Caras down - Leaping elbow smash!
Barrett grabs Dos Caras from behind and shoves him back down to the mat. Dos Caras pops up. Barrett pulls him into a fireman's carry, he's signalling for the Wasteland - no! Chris Jericho leaps onto the ropes, leaps off and lands a Springboard Plancha to bring both men down to the mat to the ecstatic pleasure of this audience!
Castagnoli's running for Jericho. Jericho goes for a clothesline, Claudio ducks - Alpamara Waterslide, but Jericho manages to wiggle out and land back onto the canvas. Knee shot to the head of Claudio! A right knee now to the head of Jericho! He now pulls both knees up for a Codebreaker... but Claudio's clutching his tights and lifting him up for the powerbomb reversal. Jericho traps his legs around Claudio's neck - Jericho Spike!
The bell sounds once more and out comes Matt Morgan to several harsh boos. Morgan stands fiercely a long the edge of the ramp as he stretches out his arms, then jolts to the ring full-speed and slides in. Clothesline to Chris Jericho! Carbon Footprint to the side of Wade Barrett's face! He pulls Dos Caras Jr. up and whips him to the turnbuckle.. Body Avalanche! Here comes Claudio Castagnoli.. military press! Castagnoli's wiggling all about before Morgan throws him right over the ropes!
Elimination #15 - Claudio Castagnoli
Matt Morgan turns around, and Jericho's back up to his feet! He's rifling away punches to the head and shoulders of the big man! He's got Morgan up against the ropes - but Dos Caras Jr. pushes Jericho aside so he can get a piece for himself! Morgan grabs Dos Caras by the throat - Sitout Chokeslam! Jericho with a front dropkick to the grounded Morgan! Jericho and Wade Barrett now pull Morgan up by his head.
The two competitors whip Morgan to the other side of the ring. Double Clothesline and the fans are actually cheering for these two kyoukans! Elbow drop from Jericho, knee drop from Barrett. They pull Matt back up to his feet and whip him into the turnbuckle. Jericho's going to charge, but Barrett ducks to his knees and low blows him on his way over, citing the crowd into jeers! Jericho falls desperately to his knees as he tends to the family jewels.
Dos Caras now slowly pulls himself up to his feet with the leverage of the ropes. The bell now rings three, and the crowd's already excited as Meltzer and Rogan re-acknowledge that this will be the last entrant of the match. It's Samoa Joe! The fans are in a frenzy as he jettisons down the ramp and into the ring. Wade Barrett rushes over, but Joe's rifling away with knife-edge chops to his chest! Elbow to the head and Barrett sinks to the mat like a fish out of water!
Dos Caras charges from the side - Lariat! Caras' chin lands harshly against the bottom rope, forcing him into limbo between the ropes and the apron. Matt Morgan comes running with the Big Boot, and Joe dodges it, hitting a reinvigorated Chris Jericho instead! Morgan turns around - he's going for a clothesline, but Samoa Joe ducks and sends him to the rope with a drop toe-hold! Running knee to the back of Morgan's head, followed by a CCS Enziguiri! He rolls over the bottom rope and tumbles to the ground!
Elimination #16 - Matt Morgan
Huge cheer for the elimination of Matt Morgan as Samoa Joe turns around, inciting all other competitors to challenge him. Here comes Wade Barrett - leaping elbow smash, but Joe ducks out of the way, forcing Barrett to slam his armpit against the top rope! Clothesline from Samoa Joe, Barrett's out!
Elimination #17 - Wade Barrett
We're now down to three men left in this contest, with Samoa Joe looking like he has the current advantage in this one. Joe now slowly stalks the form of Chris Jericho as he remains grounded from that Matt Morgan big boot that Joe had so narrowly avoided just a mere minute prior. He grabs Chris Jericho by the hair of his head and pulls him up to stand. Sidewalk slam followed by a Samoan Elbow. He now waltzes over to Dos Caras Jr. who remains grounded a long the apron.
Samoa Joe leans over the top rope to grab Dos Caras by the head. Back fist from a revived Dos Caras! Chris Jericho's up to his feet as well! Spinning Wheel Kick to the back of Joe's head as he's now against the top rope! Dos Caras springs up to his feet - Uppercut! Joe stumbles backwards - Dropkick from Jericho! Joe's tumbling over, and Dos Caras gives him a Step-up Enziguiri for good measure! Joe's tumbling out of the ring!
Elimination #18 - Samoa Joe
We're now down to two men left in this match. Dos Caras Jr. stares down Chris Jericho, but Jericho is actually stepping back and eventually, assumes a seated position against the turnbuckle. A perplexed Dos Caras now slowly enters the ring. He motions for Chris Jericho to move towards him, but 'Lionhart' isn't even budging. Wait a minute... it's Chris Hero! He slides into the ring, but.. WHAT!? NO! KO to the back of Dos Caras Jr.'s head! The crowd is stunned. Hero grabs Dos Caras by his arm before he fully slumps to the mat and throws him over the top rope! It was all a ruse!
Elimination #19 - Dos Caras Jr.
~ Chris Jericho wins via interference from Chris Hero, eliminating Dos Caras Jr.
~ The fans and our commentary team are shocked as Chris Hero now lifts the arm of Chris Jericho high into the air! Harsh boos now center down to the ring as both men bask in the glory of cheating their way into victory.
~ We now take a break away from this trickery as we zoom to the backstage area where Kurt Angle is ready for an interview. Angle says it's important to retain American values as his number one priority here in Grand Prix. He says that it anguishes him to see the American public cheering so passionately for a man that, seventy years ago, they would have booed out of the arena. Angle says his ancestors didn't wage war so that a Japanese competitor could grace the rings of the red, white and blue.
~ Quick shot of Hiroshi Tanahashi warming up for this match in the locker room as the fans go balistic. Tanahashi then stands to his feet, cracks his neck, flexes his wrists and then ascends towards the door and then to the corridor as the cameras follow him on his way to the ring...
MATCH #6 - Kurt Angle vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
- The Ultimate Rematch
Result ~ Kurt Angle wins via pin w/ an Angle Slam
As has been documented before, these two waged a brutal rivalry with one another years ago during Kurt Angle's first and only career expansion into New Japan Pro Wrestling. Tanahashi was victorious in their last meeting, a match that lasted nearly half an hour and took each man nearly just as long to regain their footing after everything was said and done. Weeks prior before the dawning of the new year, Tanahashi made his WGPX debut to challenge Angle to a rematch. Angle gladly accepted, but said he would do so on the terms that this would be a friendly contest. A week later on Grand Prix TV, both Tanahashi and Angle teamed together against the likes of New Foundation, a match which both men lost due to the former Olympic Gold Medalist walking out on the match, thus turning Angle back into a kyoukan.
There's a heated staredown before the bell rings, and rightfully so. Hiroshi Tanahashi pounds away at his chest like a bull seeing red as it scrapes it's heels against the dirt. The bell sounds and we're off! Each man ties one another up in a test of strength that sees both of them careening all around the ring. Tanahashi plays on sound psychology, flipping himself around and sending Angle to the mat with a Rolling German Suplex! He keeps his hands locked around the waist and follows with another. A third German Suplex then follows, this time with a Kinkasan Suplex it for the pinfall that Angle kicks out on at two.
Angle's back up to his knees and staring Hiroshi down as the fans applaud. Angle rushes over towards Tanahashi - Shining Wizard! Tanahashi with the pin attempt yet again, but Angle kicks out! This continues for a few more minutes as Kurt Angle is struggling to find a way to get Tanahashi to the mat. Finally, this clarity comes when Hiroshi attempts a Dragon screw, with Angle rolling a long the mat before taking hold of Hiroshi's right leg and bringing him down with him! ANKLE LOCK!
Tanahashi squirms in pain as Angle begins ruthlessly punting away at the outer thigh of his opponent, attempting to weaken the submissive leg of Hiroshi Tanahashi! Somehow, Hiroshi pulls himself up with both hands, flips around and pushes Angle up against the ropes! Cheer from the crowd as Tanahashi slowly finds his way up to stand. Another Shining Wizard! An Enziguiri! Angle is slumped over the middle rope as Tanahashi tends to his ankle. He now finds his way up to stand, but Angle kicks him in the ankle, clutches him by the tights - ANGLE SLAM!!! The Olympic Gold Medalist gets himself a three count for a surprisingly clean victory!
Time ~ 9:53
~ But Kurt Angle isn't finished just yet. He begins violently kicking away at that very ankle well after the bell has rung, even resorting to grabbing a steel chair from the outside and striking that tendon repeatedly, something we rarely see here in Grand Prix! The fans continue to boo as Tanahashi rolls around in agony, before countless referees hit the ring to escort Angle to the outside, as we can hear him yelling "I beat you clean, sushi boy! I BEAT YOU CLEAN!!!" as he slams the steel chair down to the concrete floor outside of the ring...
~ We are now presented with an advertisement from our sponsors before we see that Bob Backlund is backstage talking on his cell phone. There seems to be no rhyme or reason for the camera shot, but soon, we see that the Grand Prix Owner is being accompanied by defending 2010 Inoki Cup winner, Bryan Danielson. As the crowd proceeds to boo, we see that Danielson is carrying that very trophy with him as they both begin to make their way through the entrance ramp and into the center of the building.
~ Both Dave Meltzer and Joe Rogan now give us the backstory on this tournament final, displaying a bracket for us that details how both Bryan Danielson and CM Punk got here. They also remind us that since the cup was introduced in 2000, no competitor has won it twice, let alone in two consecutive tournaments.
- Bryan Danielson vs. CM Punk
- 2012 Inoki Cup Grand Finale
Result ~ CM Punk wins via pin w/ Go To Sleep
Last year, CM Punk was a ruthless kyoukan who was under the tutelage of defending Inoki Cup Champion, Bryan Danielson. When Punk announced to Danielson of his interest to qualify for the tournament, Danielson took it as a betrayal before eventually turning on his former protege and costing him the qualifying match. Unfortunately for Danielson, a competitor was out with an injury and due to circumstances, Punk was given an opportunity against Danielson to earn his way back into the tournament, a match that CM Punk obviously went on to win.
Before the bell sounds, Bob Backlund pulls up a chair and remains seated a long the ring as Danielson offers a handshake to Punk, who simply responds with laughter accompanied by a sarcastic grin. Both competitors then grapple a long one another's shoulders, with Punk gaining the early strength advantage. Arm wringer into a hammerlock, Punk goes for the back suplex but Danielson breaks the hold with a series of elbow shots. Danielson then switches around to the back of Punk - German Suplex lands. We see this continue for the next several minutes - Punk reverses, Danielson executes. Eventually, the mentor gets the LeBell Lock in on his former pupil, contorting Punk within the center of the canvas as he tries desperately to extend his arm out in order to reach the ropes. A mere half a minute later and he succeeds.
Danielson is forced to break the hold, and responds with frustration by stomping Punk continuously a long the edge of the ring. Eventually, he kicks Punk out from the bottom rope and onto the hard floor below, setting his challenger up for a contout by the referee. Danielson now proceeds to gloat to the crowd amidst a harsh, negative reaction from the crowd as the countout continues. Once the ref reaches seven, Punk finally stands tall to his feet, forcing himself up a long the apron. Bryan turns around, throws a punch, but Punk ducks, headbutting his opponent in the mid-section! He then leaps onto the top rope.. Springboard Clothesline! Punk's got the pin, but Bryan kicks out just before the three. Punk whips Danielson into the corner, runs full speed ahead. Knee lift, but Danielson moves out of the way just in time as Punk violently bashes his right knee against the top of the turnbuckle.
Danielson scoops him down for a schoolboy pin, but Punk rolls his way out right at two. Unfortunately for him, Danielson is savvy, and clutches his former protege just in time to once again lock in the LeBell Lock. Punk's extending out that arm, he's trying his hardest not to tap. Wait a minute! Punk begins lifting himself up, striking Danielson with pin-pointed elbows to the chest! He breaks the hold! Punk grabs Danielson by the arm, flips over his back, rolls him into an armbar.. then locks in the Anaconda Vise! The crowd's going crazy... Danielson is reaching for the ropes. He's almost there... no! Punk pulls him back to the center. Danielson keeps fighting, keeps inching his way even closer.. and he gets it! He grabs the bottom rope and officially breaks the hold.
A frustrated CM Punk now wearily stands tall before motioning to Bryan Danielson to do the same. Seconds following, Danielson does just that before charging at Punk. He goes for the clothesline, Punk ducks underneath. He lifts him onto his shoulders for the Go To Sleep, but Danielson wiggles out. Punk turns around - Roundhouse kick to the chest that could possibly be heard from miles away! Another roundhouse, and yet another! Kick to the gut.. Dragon Suplex.. no! Punk reverses with a Hurricanranna as he soon begins dishing out punches to the top of Danielson's head. Punk lifts him up for the Go To Sleep once again... but Danielson wiggles out for a second time! Discus Elbow Smash!!! NO! Punk ducks under it, Danielson turns around.... STEP-UP ENZIGUIRI! Danielson drops to the mat, Punk grabs him by the arm and lifts him onto his shoulders... GO TO SLEEP! This one's over and these fans are standing tall on their feet, applauding what they've just had the privilege of witnessing!
Time ~ 17:35
~ After the match, the arm of CM Punk is lifted high into the air as Bob Backlund approaches the ring applauding. Streamers now fall down from the rafters as the lights begin to dim. A handful of men in suits now make their way down the entrance with the prestigious Inoki Cup being delivered upon a pillow made of felt. Punk is then handed the trophy, as he proceeds holding it high above his head while standing tall upon the nearest turnbuckle to the mass and frenzied response of these loving fans! We then pan to a shot of a disgruntled Bryan Danielson making his exit out of the ring and returning to the backstage.
~ Meltzer and Rogan give us a quick video package highlighting the heated feud between current WGPX World Heavyweight Champion, Brock Lesnar, and the challenger, Ken Shamrock. Rogan comments that in all the years he's been doing this, never has he anticipated a match of this magnitude.
~ Backstage shot of Brock Lesnar warming up, the World Heavyweight Title firmly strapped around his waist as he makes his way down a lengthy corridor. Several crowd members can be heard cheering him in the background.
MAIN EVENT - Brock Lesnar © vs. Ken Shamrock
- World Heavyweight Championship
Both Ken Shamrock and our current World Heavyweight Champion, Brock Lesnar, make their way down to the ring in typical Grand Prix fashion as Michael Buffer himself welcomes us to tonight's main event match. Each competitor stands nose-to-nose from each other as this rabid crowd are in a frenzied pace, lacking patience for the biggest match of this late evening. Soon after, the referee retrieves Lesnar's World Heavyweight Title, hoisting it up into the air for all to see. Moments following, the bell rings, and each man takes their respective corner as a sign of mutual respect.
They tap gloves, and the match is underway! Shamrock shoots a right hook instantly after the good sportsmanship, but Lesnar has the piece of mind to dodge it and grapple Ken by the shoulders, inevitably pushing his mass all the way up against the turnbuckle. Lesnar lets off, and Shamrock lands a jab from the right hand, then a jab from the left! Unfortunately for him, a knee lift to the midsection puts a stop to this sudden offensive. Turnbuckle thrust, another, and then another. Shamrock's crumpled down to one knee now as Lesnar hooks the wrist. Irish whip reversed from Shamrock, sending Lesnar crashing into the turnbuckle. Shamrock comes running from behind, body splash.. but Lesnar moves out of the way just in time! Overhead Belly-to-Belly Suplex from Lesnar! He quickly scoots over to Shamrock, hooking the leg... but Ken kicks out right at two.
Lesnar pulls Shamrock up, placing him in position for a Powerbomb.. no! Shamrock reverses with a flip, but Lesnar grabs him by the tights as he lands onto the canvas! He pulls Shamrock down by the tights, lifts himself up.. ground and pound from Lesnar, and this audience is already standing tall to their feet! Lesnar pulls Shamrock up.. Powerbomb! He lifts him back up again.. a second Powerbomb! Lesnar keeps this one bridged as the ref drops down to the make the count, but Shamrock still manages to find the strength to kick out. Shamrock rests himself a long the turnbuckle as he wobbles on one leg. The 'War Machine' looks disgruntled and agitated at this point in the match, he's running full speed! Turnbuckle thrust, but Shamrock meets him with a knee to the face! Huge cheers from the crowd as Shamrock lands another, then a right hook to send his opponent to one knee! REAR NAKED CHOKE!
The crowd rises to their feet as Shamrock drops down to tighten in this fantastic submission. Lesnar breaks a hand loose, he's reaching for the ropes.. and he gets it! Shamrock keeps the submission locked in despite this, as the referee approaches to warn him of it's illegality. Soon enough, the ref could care less, as Lesnar displays his awesome strength by pulling Shamrock up and slamming him to the mat with a takedown! Shamrock still has that choke locked in! Takedown again from Lesnar! And another! Finally, Lesnar breaks the hold, jettisoning himself from Shamrock's clutches as he falls straight to his back. Lesnar pulls himself back up, his opponent still grounded as the fans continue to pour on more cheers and applause for what's been nothing short of an exciting contest up until now!
Brock now motions for his opponent to stand back to his feet, at which he eventually complies. Both competitors now slowly rotate around one another, and this match continues in the very way in which it began as both men grapple one another's shoulders. Lesnar has the strength advantage again, pushing his opponent back into the turnbuckle. Thrust from Lesnar.. NO! Roundhouse Kick catches him right at the last minute! Lesnar drops to the mat, and Shamrock hooks the leg!.... but Lesnar manages to kick out right before the three! A frustrated Ken Shamrock now switches over to the ankle of Lesnar, he's going for the Ankle Lock! But Brock reverses and kicks him away. Shamrock charges forward, Lesnar's on one leg - Spear! Lesnar with the cover, but Shamrock manages to get the shoulder up just in time.
The big guy now switches to that arm of Shamrock once again.. he's looking to lock in the Kimura.. no! Shamrock rolls over the side of Lesnar's back, squeezing his legs between his elbow and locking in an armbar in reverse! Lesnar's pulling Shamrock up... leg scissors takedown, and Shamrock STILL has that armbar locked in! He's got it deep, Lesnar's motioning as if he's ready to tap.. no! Brock pulls himself up to stand, a jab to the left of Shamrock's face, he blocks it, a jab to the right, Ken blocks it again! WOAH! Big fist to the center of the face, and there comes another and another! Lesnar breaks the hold, he flips over the front of Shamrock... KIMURA LOCK! Lesnar pulls himself down, pushing even more weight on top of that arm of Ken Shamrock! He's got it deep, very deep... and Shamrock taps! That's it folks, Shamrock tapped to Lesnar!
~ Brock Lesnar wins via submission w/ Kimura Lock
~ The bell defiantly sounds, but Lesnar still has that Kimura locked in! The bell repeats over and over as both Dave Meltzer and Joe Rogan commentate in confusion. Finally, the ref is able to pull Lesnar out of the submission, but not before Brock ceremoniously pushes the bystander back-first onto the canvas.
~ Lesnar now grabs his title, stripping it from the clutches of ring announcer Michael Buffer as he climbs over the guardrail and bravely treads through this sea of humanity! Finally, Lesnar reaches the midway point of the crowd before turning back around with his title to face the cameras. Brock then hoists the title high into the air, as our show finally reaches it's conclusion with the sight of a tired, broken down Ken Shamrock as CEO Bob Backlund and several medical personnel surround the ring to tend to the fallen challenger!