7/4 Powell's WWE Beast in the East results and review: Brock Lesnar vs. Kofi Kingston, Kevin Owens vs. Finn Bálor for the NXT Championship
By Jason Powell
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WWE Beast in the East
Aired live on WWE Network
Tokyo, Japan at Ryogoku Kokugikan
A Brock Lesnar themed video opened the show... Michael Cole introduced the show and was joined on commentary by Byron Saxton. Eden Stiles was the ring announcer...
1. Chris Jericho vs. Neville. Jericho sent Neville over the top rope and to the floor at 3:20. Neville came back with a dropkick, but Jericho followed up seconds later with a springboard dropkick that knocked him back to ringside. The live crowd chanted Y2J.
Jericho remained on the offensive and performed a bulldog and then went for the Walls of Jericho at 8:00. Neville rolled out of Jericho's attempted submission hold and then threw kicks at him in the corner. Neville went to the top rope, but Jericho cut him off and then went for a superplex, but Neville fought him off, knocked him down, and then went for his finisher.
Jericho rolled out of the way of the Red Arrow. Neville landed on his feet. Jericho caught him in the Walls of Jericho at 10:20. Neville struggled and eventually reached the ropes to break the hold. Jericho charged Neville, who moved aside and shoved him through the ropes to ringside. Neville performed a running corkscrew dive over the top rope and onto Jericho on the floor. The Japanese crowd chanted "this is awesome" which was, well, pretty awesome.
Neville shot Jericho into the ropes and went for a dropkick, but Jericho held the ropes. Jericho followed with a Lionsault for a two count. Jericho taunted Neville by kicking at his head and the crowd booed. Neville fired up and went for a springboard move, but Jericho dropped him with a Codebreaker and got a two count.
At 15:25, Neville threw a nice superkick and then followed up with a second while Jericho was kneeling on the mat. Neville followed up with another Red Arrow attempt, but Jericho lifted the knees and immediately applied the Liontamer for the win...
Chris Jericho defeated Neville in 16:25.
Powell's POV: A very good match to start the broadcast. That was a lot of fun. I was surprised to see Jericho go over since he's never afraid to lose and Neville is the full-timer. It was nice to see the Liontamer submission hold. The broadcast team was quick to say that Jericho gained respect for Neville during the match.
A shot aired of Brock Lesnar walking outside the venue. He did not crush cars nor send the Japanese people scurrying like Godzilla... A preview of Monday's Dusty Rhodes special for after Raw on the network was shown...
2. Nikki Bella vs. Paige vs. Tamina for the Divas Championship. Cole noted that a WWE championship has only changed hand twice in history. He noted that Bull "Nakona" beat Alundra Blayze to win the title. He was quickly corrected on Bull Nakano's name by Byron. Cole chalked up his mistake to being too excited and not being able to read his own writing.
Tamina was sent to ringside early, leaving Nikki and Paige to work together in the ring. Nikki was setting up for a superplex when Tamina reentered the match and turned it into a tower of doom spot. Tamina worked over both women and tried to splash them in the corner, but they both moved. Tamina was sent back to ringside again.
Nikki performed an Alabama Slam on Paige for a two count, then Paige came back with a couple of near falls of her own. Paige applied the PTO. Tamina ran in and broke it up with a kick to the face. Tamina performed a Samoan drop on Nikki and followed up with a Superfly that Nikki avoided by rolling out of the way. Nikki hit Tamina with a forearm and pinned her...
Nikki Bella defeated Paige and Tamina in 7:05 to retain the Divas Championship.
Powell's POV: This was more cohesive than the Triple Threat match we saw from Nikki, Paige, and Naomi in a Triple Threat. The finish with the forearm was a little flat, but it was still a solid Divas triple threat.
A Brock Lesnar vs. Kofi Kingston graphic was shown, then a Lesnar video package aired...
3. Brock Lesnar vs. Kofi Kingston. Lesnar received a big pop when his music played. He did his lap around the ring while footage from Raw was shown on Seth Rollins, Kane, and J&J Security roughing him up. Cole noted that Lesnar is a previous IWGP Champion.
Kingston stalled at ringside before the bell. Once he was in the ring, the referee called for the match to start and Lesnar went right after him. Kofi fled to ringside. Lesnar followed. Kofi kicked Lesnar as he chased him back in the ring. Lesnar no-sold it. Kingston caught him with a dropkick.
Lesnar kept his composure. Kingston threw more dropkicks, but he never knocked Lesnar off his feet. Lesnar threw a German suplex that popped the crowd. He followed up with another. And another. Lesnar picked up Kingston and performed an F5 for the win.
After the match, Cole told Rollins to be afraid and said he would be looking for him on Raw. Lesnar started to leave, then stopped and decided to dish out another German suplex. Lesnar flashed a smile to the live crowd and a "one more time" chant started. Lesnar picked up Kingston and put him down with an F5.
Big E and Xavier Woods ran out and were greeted with clotheslines. Lesnar followed with F5s on both men. "Absolute destruction by the beast in the east," Cole said. Lesnar headed toward the back, then turned and looked back at the ring...
Brock Lesnar defeated Kofi Kingston in 2:40.
Powell's POV: Brock smash. It was a nice run for Kofi Kingston. This was really fun while it lasted. It was the absolute destruction that one would expect. I wish WWE could get Lesnar to do this on Raw without burning through one of his dates.
A shot aired of Kevin Owens backstage while Cole asked if Owens will be in enemy territory when he faces Finn Balor... A video package set up the Owens vs. Balor match...
Balor made his spectacular Demon entrance. It was scaled down a bit due to the smaller set, yet was still cool. Cole hyped the August 22 live special from Brooklyn as Owens made his entrance. A woman presented both men with flowers. Owens tossed his flowers to ringside. Balor received the streamer treatment as Eden handled the in-ring introductions for the title match. Owens received a few streams as well...
4. Kevin Owens vs. Finn Balor for the NXT Championship. Hideo Itami was shown watching the match from the crowd. Cole spoke about Balor's history in Japan and how he carried jackets and cooked dinners before becoming a star. The bell rang to star the match and Balor immediately connected with a dropkick. Balor went for another dropkick, but Owens held the ropes and then ducked to ringside. Balor got a running start and dropkicked Owens through the ropes.
Owens caught Balor with a Samoan drop for a two count. Owens kicked Balor and then bowed to all four sides of the crowd. Owens remained the aggressor and threw Balor into the ring steps at ringside. Cole said Owens has respect for no one other than himself. Balor struggled and got back inside the ring at nine. Owens greeted him with a running senton at 5:50.
Owens applied a headlock and then said he hates "this stupid country and everyone in it." Cole said for the second time that Owens was forced to defend the title and go on this trip. Owens performed a the Five Knuckle Shuffle and the signature setup as Cole said he was mocking John Cena. Owens went for an Attitude Adjustment, but Balor dodged it.
Balor fought out of another Attitude Adjustment attempt, then caught Owens with a kick at 10:20. Owens charged at Balor, who held the ropes down, causing Owens to tumble to ringside. Balor performed a running flip onto Owens, then rolled him back inside the ring. Balor performed a double stomp and then performed a reverse DDT. Cole yelled about how Balor "hit it" without explaining why it was a big deal.
Owens dodged Balor's finisher. Balor cut Owens down with strikes and then went up top and performed the Coup de Grace. Balor went for a cover, but Owens kicked out at the last moment. Balor seated Owens on the ropes and punched him. Balor went for a superplex, but Owens fought him off. Balor caught him with a kick, then Owens performed a rolling senton from the second rope for a good near fall at 16:35.
Owens went to the top rope and went for a cannonball, but Balor held up his knees. Balor got another near fall. Owens caught a charging Balor with a kick and got a near fall of his own. Cole talked about how incredible the match was.
Owens stood over Balor and said, "You can't beat me" a few times while slapping him. Balor slapped him and then turned him inside out with a clothesline. Balor performed a running dropkick on a seated Owens in the corner, then followed up with Coup de Grace and pinned Owens.
Cole said it must be an embarrassment and a humiliating moment for Owens. Itami was shown applauding Balor from ringside. WWE Hall of Famer Tatsumi Fujinami headed to the ring and applauded Balor, who bowed to him three times before having his hand raised. Once Fujinami left the ring, Owens approached Balor, who extended his hand as the fans chanted NXT. Owens blew him off and left the ring...
Finn Balor defeated Kevin Owens in 19:25 to win the NXT Championship.
Powell's POV: A very good match with the expected finish. Owens is main roster now and the heavy hype they gave Balor on NXT certainly pointed to the title change. More than anything, I'm happy they did the title change the right way by having Balor pin Owens clean rather than working John Cena into the match or do something else to protect Owens. After all, Owens is going to be just fine despite losing the match, and it would have been lousy for Balor to win a championship in a scenario like that. Balor is certainly main roster ready, but it looks like they intend to make him the face of NXT for now.
A video clip showed off Japan while Cole discussed it from the WWE studio back home. Footage aired of Fujinami's appearance with Hideo Itami at the July 3 event that was held in the same venue (see our correspondent's report on this event in our WWE Live Events section). Saxton, who is fluent in in over six million forms of communication, said that Fujinami said he was proud to be in WWE's Hall of Fame...
King Barrett made his entrance to the sound of Japanese crickets. Byron said he didn't think the fans were very impressed by Barrett, which is actually hilarious. Kane made his entrance. Dolph Ziggler made his entrance minus Lana, who is hopefully home with Rusev both in real life and in the storylines. Finally, John Cena made his entrance and received a strong ovation...
5. John Cena and Dolph Ziggler vs. Kane and King Barrett. Cole noted that it was 7 a.m. ET, and 8 p.m. in Japan. He also praised WWE's relationship with J Sports. Ziggler rolled up Barrett for an early two count, then threw a nice dropkick and got another two count.
Barrett fought back and tagged in Kane, who received some cheers as he checked in for the first time. Ziggler made a quick tag to Cena, who received more cheers as he entered the match. There were "let's go Cena" and "Cena sucks" chants even in Japan. Nice.
The heels took turns working over Cena for several minutes until he finally tagged in Ziggler. Dolph had an offensive run until Barrett cut him off with a boot to the face. Kane tagged in and put the boots to Ziggler. At 18:10, Ziggler went for the Fameasser, but Kane caught him and powerbombed him for a near fall. Cole boasted that they were trending number one in the world for over an hour.
At 23:00, Cena took the hot tag from Ziggler. Cena worked over Barrett with the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Cena went for the the AA, but Barrett dodged it and Kane checked into the match. Cena fought him off. Ziggler superkicked Barrett into Cena's Attitude Adjustment for the finish.
John Cena and Dolph Ziggler defeated Kane and King Barrett at 23:50.
Cena and Ziggler celebrated and slapped hands at ringside a the broadcast team recapped the show...
Powell's POV: A much longer than necessary match for those watching at home considering the throwaway nature of the tag match, but I'm sure the live crowd appreciated it. The heels offense just went on forever and I don't think anyone really bought into their near falls, though Ziggler did his best by kicking out at the very last moment off the Kane powerbomb.
Overall, this was a fun event. We didn't get the full show (as expected due to the two-hour window on WWE Network), but they didn't leave any matches off the show that I really wanted to see. It opened strong with Jericho vs. Neville and it was a consistently entertaining show. Here's hoping we get occasional live specials like this from WWE. Thanks to those who watched along with me. American readers, have a great Independence Day.
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