Date: January 9, 2019
Location: Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Jacksonville, Florida
Commentators: Nigel McGuinness, Vic Joseph, Percy Watson
It’s time to find out who gets the final spot in the four way at the Royal Rumble. This week we have Cedric Alexander vs. Hideo Itami with the winner moving on to the title match. That’s about all there is of note this week, which should be about all you need. It’s probably too early to have any of the new faces show up but you never know. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of last week’s qualifying matches and a preview of this week’s qualifying match.
Noam Dar vs. Tony Nese
Before the match, Nese says he’s tired of Dar’s complaining and will win because he’s the better man. You can’t get much more to the point than that. A headlock takeover puts Nese down until he reverses into a headscissors. Dar starts in on the arm but Nese drives him into the corner. A moonsault goes sailing over Dar, who trips Nese straight down. Back up and Dar loads up a backslide, which gets two after he spins Nese around several times. Nese gets serious with a running elbow to the face and it’s off to the bodyscissors.
Some forearms to the face keep Dar in trouble and we hit the neck crank. Dar finally goes with the speed by ducking a running shoulder A running forearm in the corner sets up a northern lights suplex for two but Dar can’t follow up. With the covers not working, Dar slaps on a guillotine until Nese drives him into the corner for the break.
The double springboard moonsault gives Nese two but Dar blocks a suplex and fires off kicks to the head. Nese misses some kicks of his own and it’s another guillotine choke. That’s reversed with another suplex for two more but Dar just starts slugging away, which isn’t his nature. It’s so unnatural for him that Nese catches him with a pumphandle powerslam. There’s no follow up though as Nese would rather try the running knee, allowing Dar to roll him up for the pin at 12:39.
Result: Noam Dar b. Tony Nese – Rollup (12:39)
Never go for the running knee:Akira Tozawa isn’t here tonight so Brian Kendrick is reading a letter from him. Tozawa is competing in Japan to get ready for the Rumble and won’t let this opportunity slip by. The HAH’s are included but Kendrick doesn’t read them all. Kendrick isn’t sure why they’re friends, but he’s going to help Tozawa win the title.
Drew Gulak and Jack Gallagher come in to see Drake Maverick and offer him a list of potential people to hire for the show. Maverick promises to read their suggestions and drops them on the floor after they leave. Mike and Maria Kanellis come in, wanting to know why Mike hasn’t wrestled in five weeks. Maria doesn’t like that much time being wasted and thinks they just haven’t been fighting the right way. Why is Maverick bringing in all these new people when he doesn’t have time for who he already has? They better be ready to fight like her.
Lio Rush thinks Kalisto only beat him because of the Lucha House Party. Therefore, the trio is going to feel the Rush.
Cedric Alexander vs. Hideo Itami
The winner is the fourth person in the Rumble four way and Itami has Ariya Daivari in his corner. They’re rather slow to start with no contact until nearly a minute in. Alexander’s takedown attempt doesn’t get him very far so he chops Itami down instead. It’s not the best idea to get into a strike off with Itami, who kicks away at the chest to take over. Alexander takes him down again but comes up holding his chest.
The way too early Lumbar Check attempt sends Itami bailing to the floor with Cedric going after him, only to have Daivari get in a quick clothesline. Alexander gets sent into the barricade and it’s time for more kicks back inside. Some kicks to the chest keep Alexander in trouble and another set of them cut off his comeback bid. The chinlock goes on for a bit with Alexander fighting up and hitting a few dropkicks. The springboard flatliner gets two but Itami blocks a Neuralizer with a kick of his own.
A top rope clothesline gives Itami two and he’s getting annoyed at Alexander kicking out again. Alexander scores with the Neuralizer for two of his own and now it’s Itami in trouble. He’s fine enough to grab the rope to block the Lumbar Check and head outside, so Cedric dives onto both villains.
Another Daivari distraction lets Itami punch Cedric in the face to break up a springboard and a Falcon Arrow off the apron drops him HARD on the floor. Cool spot with a sick landing. That’s only good for a nine and you can hear the fans being into the near count out. Back in and Cedric gets a very close two off a rollup but it’s that spinning knee to the face to finish Alexander at 17:05.
Result: Hideo Itami b. Cedric Alexander – Spinning knee to the face (17:05)
To the Rumble with you:Buddy Murphy is pleased with the result but wants competition before the Rumble. Therefore, next week is an open challenge for a non-title match.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his Amazon author page with 28 wrestling books. His latest book is the the Complete 1997 Monday Night Raw Reviews.
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