Warfare opened with all the usual pomp and circumstance, from its intro video package to match graphics. We then joined the show live with the camera panning over the Amica Mutual Pavilion crowd as they popped loudly for the beginning of another EBWF show. Every now and then the camera would zoom in and we would see signs highlighted. One held by a fan in a Liv N Bliss shirt read 'UTAMI FEARS LEXI'. Others read 'THE REVOLUTION HAS COME!', 'I LOVE AALYAH', and 'HARDY RULES!'. Additionally we see a number of signs dotting the sea of fans which read some variation of 'WHY ARISA WHY?'. It was at this point that the commentary team began to speak.
Mauro Ranallo: Get ready folks... it’s time for Warfare! Welcome all once again to the premier showcase of professional wrestling! Tonight, we are live from Providence, Rhode Island!
Nigel McGuiness: That's right, and tonight is full of action as Dr. Britt Baker, DMD is scheduled to be in action, as well as the ice cold Hook facing Alex Kane. We'll also see Matt Riddle face the red hot Seth Rollins! Then in the main event, the EBWF World Champion Xavier Woods takes on the Viper himself, Randy Orton in what promises to be a hellacious contest.
Mauro grew somber as he made a difficult announcement.
Mauro Ranallo: Before we start though, we have an update on Mina Shirakawa's condition after the shocking events last week in Hartford, Connecticut. After that vicious kick to the head from Arisa Hoshiki, Mina was taken to The Hospital of Central Connecticut for treatment. She was treated there for a possible concussion as well as potentially severe head and neck injuries. At this time we do not have a diagnosis. However we have confirmed with EBWF medical and training personnel that for her own safety, Mina Shirakawa will be out of action for the foreseeable future. It's unclear right now if she will ever step in a ring again.
Nigel McGuiness: Of course we wish her the very best in her recovery. As you said Mauro, she was injured through the shocking events of the six woman tag team match last week. The woman hand-picked by Alexa Bliss to help take down Utami Hayashishita and Queen's Court took down Mina Shirakawa while Mina was attempting to protect Alexa. She then left the match, abandoning her team in the process. We haven't heard from her since that incident but tonight we're scheduled to hear from the Shining Star herself.
Mauro Ranallo: The injuries she caused Mina Shirakawa to sustain are eerily similar to those that caused Arisa Hoshiki to retire two years ago. Everyone is wondering why-
Mauro was cut off as eerily soft toned music began playing from the arena sound system. Soon the screen was black with a single golden star twinkling in the center. As the audio became clearer it was identifiable as a slow, mournful version of 'Shining Star' by Unlimited Dream Navigator - Arisa Hoshiki's entrance theme. A clip from the online exclusive video played in black and white, showing a smiling Arisa cheerfully saying "Hi guys, it's Arisa Hoshiki here!". It alternated to the black screen with the star and the phrase 'SHINING STAR?'. Black and white images of Arisa progressing from smiling to increasingly dour and upset expressions played in rapid succession. An audio clip of Arisa's voice said "I've always been a fighter" as clips of her viciously striking past opponents played. Again the text appeared, the words starting to break up with interference as the star dimmed somewhat.
Next we saw a black and white clip in slow motion of Arisa and Tam Nakano laughing together from their Gateway to Glory preview. Back to the placard and the star had dimmed further. Next black and white clips of Arisa meeting with Liv N Bliss, followed by Alexa in the ring played as we heard Alexa state "she's the person I want on our side for this match. The third member of Liv N Bliss is Arisa Hoshiki!". Text at the bottom of the screen read 'two weeks ago' as we saw Arisa enter the ring, then heard Utami's voice say "Arisa Hoshiki is just a backstage administrative personality!'. Back to the increasingly jumbled text and dimmed star as Arisa's voice again stated "I've always been a fighter." It jumped to a clip of Arisa announcing "After two years I've been cleared!".
Next came a closeup of a smiling Arisa standing on the entrance stage with text stating 'last week'. The sorrowful rendition of 'Shining Star' faded as color clips of Arisa hitting the Shining Star Cutter and a running knee on Mina Shirakawa played. Then a guitar riff started to play quietly and increased in volume as we saw Arisa booted in the head by Mina, then as she crashed into the barricade and held her head as we heard a clip of Mauro Ranallo: "Arisa Hoshiki was forced into retirement two years ago due to head and neck injuries." A close up of Arisa's agonized face as she held her head on the floor was accompanied by the guitars swelling dramatically. Arisa's voice again stated "I've always been a fighter." We then saw Mina put herself in between Utami and the injured Alexa only for Arisa to take her out with a roundhouse to the head. Mauro's voice asked "Why is Arisa doing this?!" while one final close up of Arisa's deadpan expression while she stood over the motionless Mina played. Then we saw the star had brightened and glowed in a cool silver as the guitars picked up in a frenzy. The text next to the star had changed and now read 'DARK STAR'.
That song, 'Shadowmaker' by LoveBites, continued to play as we returned to the live crowd. The camera lingered on a pair of fans with their own 'WHY ARISA WHY?' signs for a few anxious moments. A mix of boos and cheers began to ring out and the camera operator pivoted to a shot of the entrance ramp. With a new entrance video bearing the 'Dark Star' name playing, Arisa Hoshiki slowly emerged. Gone was her brightly colored gear from the week before. Instead she wore black ring gear with gold and silver trim under a leather jacket. Her brown hair with blonde highlights had been dyed pitch black once more. As the camera zoomed in on her, Arisa's photogenic face twisted from feigned shock to pure dismissiveness of the fans' mixed reaction to her arrival.
Mauro Ranallo: Arisa Hoshiki laid out Mina Shirakawa and sent a shockwave through EBWF last week. If she feels any guilt or remorse for what she did, she sure isn't showing it.
Nigel McGuiness: New music and a new look for her this evening, Mauro. This is a completely different Arisa Hoshiki than anyone has ever seen. You have to wonder how she's going to explain herself here before these fans who are making no secret how they feel about her actions.
The camera followed Arisa down the ramp as she seemed to shut out her surroundings. Just at ringside she spotted someone with a 'WHY ARISA WHY' sign and locked eyes with them for an intense moment. Then she chuckled, waved off the fan and climbed into the ring. A mic was handed to her through the ropes and Arisa took a moment to collect her thoughts. She raised the mic and then paused as a few more boos rose up from the crowd. Arisa waited for a few moments as the crowd quieted down, then raised the mic again.
Arisa Hoshiki: Oh, was that not how it was supposed to go?
Her tone was sarcastic as she asked the question. Before the crowd could heat up too much, Arisa continued.
Arisa Hoshiki: Was I supposed to just smile and try my best to be the sparkly idol you all wanted me to be? You have no idea who I really am, do you? I see all these signs tonight asking the same question: why Arisa why? It's actually kind of cute that you care about me now. So you want an explanation?
The fans began to chant 'YES!', but Arisa shut them down quickly.
Arisa Hoshiki: Then you're gonna have to quiet down and actually listen very carefully. I don't feel like repeating myself, and there's a lot I need to get off of my chest.
Some boos emerged in response, to which Arisa just laughed mockingly.
Arisa Hoshiki: Let me tell you a little story. Two years ago, I had everything a woman in this sport could ever hope for. A whole unit of other wrestlers who had my back just like I had theirs, the kind of friends you always hope you’ll have who do everything together and go out of their way to support each other. One of them didn’t like me much at first, but we teamed up and got really close on our way to winning the biggest tag team tournament in women’s wrestling. She became my best friend and we both knew someday we’d be fighting over a big prize - we promised to give it our all when that day came. Then there were the fans, who from the moment I stepped back into that company were in my corner. They cheered for me, I smiled and fought hard for them. I even had a nice bit of gold around my waist to prove that I really was headed to the top!
She sighed as she recounted the next part.
Arisa Hohsiki: And then one day it was ripped away. I fought so hard for so many other people that I lost it all in a heartbeat. My title vacated, my career over and wouldn’t you know it, my friends and fans all gone too. And you know what? When I was grinding away and putting my body on the line every time I set foot in the ring, I thought it was all for the fans and my friends. All the pain I put myself through was to make things better for them. When I was in the ring in front of them, it had the illusion of being worth it. But what happened when I couldn’t be in the ring anymore?
The crowd was ghostly quiet as Arisa continued.
Arisa Hoshiki: Let’s start with the so-called fans. People just like you who bought their tickets, came to the show, cheered and supported me. Then when we weren’t face to face they’d use the anonymity of the internet to endlessly insult me and send me death threats because I wasn’t their impossibly perfect idol. Do you have any idea what it’s like to work yourself to the bone and risk injury on a nightly basis, then have the people you were working so hard for turn out to be horrible? Then some of them message you to tell you that you’re better off dead? What kind of a sad pathetic little insect even does that kind of thing, huh? But I still plastered a smile on my face and kept trying my best for them, then went backstage to curl up in a ball and cry because I felt so worthless. Now I know what kind of person does that, because there are thousands of them in this arena right now.
A chorus of boos rang out, making Arisa laugh derisively.
Arisa Hoshiki: Sorry, the time when I cared what people like you thought is gone. Because you’re not just two faced fakes who cheer a girl on to her face while holding a knife behind your back to stab her in the heart. No, somehow you’re even worse than that. You only care about someone if they’re directly in front of you, doing what you want them to do. As soon as I had to retire, as soon as I wasn’t in this ring or on your screens anymore it was like I didn’t even exist. Did anyone ask how Arisa Hoshiki was doing after April 2020? Where were the fans reaching out to show their appreciation for the countless hours and blood, sweat and tears that I put in to entertain them? Did you even remember I was still alive? No, no, no.
She shook her head in frustration before continuing.
Arisa Hoshiki: My injuries weren’t just career ending, they threatened to be life altering. Forget wrestling, there were some days that even standing up straight or leaving my apartment felt impossible. I spent a very, very long time hating myself, and that just gets worse and worse when a girl is all alone. But where were the fans who said they loved me so much? Where were the people like you? Already distracted by the next shiny newcomer who plastered a smile on her face and tried her best to be the perfect idol your impossibly high standards forced her to strive to be.
The boos intensified and Arisa rolled her eyes as if she were dealing with a toddler throwing a tantrum.
Arisa Hoshiki: Boo all you want, you know that it’s true.
This got more boos and Arisa folded her arms to wait them out. Her face had begun to show some of the same furious disgust Utami had shown when Mina defied her.
Arisa Hoshiki: Those so-called friends weren’t any better. As soon as I was out of the picture they fought over the scraps I left instead of taking even a second to see how life was treating me. Not one of them bothered to even acknowledge I existed. That best friend ran off to EBWF so she could get a spotlight that was brighter than anything I ever got. She’s so desperate for attention and adoration that she even came running back here! But this isn’t about her. The fact is that I spent two long years fighting to regain my health, evict my inner demons and feel like I was worth something. The hardest battle of my life, and I had to face it alone because everyone who said they cared about me acted like I never existed.
Arisa Hoshiki: But even with that emptiness, I kept fighting to get back here. I thought that if I could just get my health back, I could start training again. If I could start training I could get into ring shape again. And if I could get into ring shape I could make people care about me again. Two years of the hardest work a weakened body could ever be put through, all on my own. Sure the whole world was telling me I would never fight again. Every doctor I went to told me that I would never do the one thing I loved more than anything else again. So while I fought behind closed doors towards the hopeless goal of coming back, I took a job that let me be close to this thing I love so much.
She put a bright but dishonest smile on her face.
Arisa Hoshiki: Did you really think I was happy sitting at a desk? I slapped that smile on my face again as soon as I stepped through the door, just like everyone wanted. But every day that I had to come to work was like someone twisting the knife again and again in a two year old wound. Being within arm’s reach of the thing I loved the most but being told I’d never get to do that thing again? Being forced to watch all of these other people get to do it while nothing I did was worth even noticing? That was torture. Under that smile I felt weak and pathetic, and it reminded me of everything I lost. No one has ever cared about the real Arisa Hoshiki. That’s why I got tossed out like trash as soon as I couldn’t risk my wellbeing for anyone else.
Then she paused while the crowd booed her words, seemingly considering something carefully. Arisa’s free hand lingered at her hip, then moved up to the neckline of her leather jacket. After a moment she tugged the zipper down to reveal a charcoal colored shirt with her new Dark Star logo on it. She smiled as she suddenly corrected herself.
Arisa Hoshiki: I take that back. There was one person who did reach out to me and asked if I needed anything. The one person who shattered the silence and encouraged me to keep fighting. One person who offered me a hand up and any help I needed no matter how big the request was. Maybe the rest of the world didn’t care if I existed, but this one single person went out of her way to make my life better. When the world told me ‘no you can’t’, she told me to fight anyway. After Gateway to Glory I was at a real low point, because even after getting into the best shape of my life I was never going to be allowed back in a ring. But she encouraged me to go to a doctor to be re-evaluated anyway. The world had always said no, but she said yes. And guess what? She was right. I was cleared that same day, and I started to realize she was the one person who I could trust.
With the crowd buzzing as Arisa reached into her jacket. Her hand fished around for a tense few moments before she pulled out a most unexpected object. A single red rose.
Mauro Ranallo: Oh my goodness! Nigel, we've seen red roses given to women in EBWF before. It's become the symbol of one woman in particular - the Crimson Queen, Utami Hayashishita.
Nigel McGuiness: Utami's given roses to Mina Shirakawa and Himeka Arita so far. But don't tell me that this means Arisa Hoshiki has also fallen under the Crimson Queen's spell?
She held the rose up, sniffed it, and then lowered the flower. A sly smile spread over her lips.
Arisa Hoshiki: When all of my so-called friends and fans treated me like I'd disappeared, Utami Hayashishita was the one person who reached out to me. It's weird to think that someone who used to be my rival was the woman to do that. I didn't ask her for help, she reached out to me and asked if I needed anything. Utami is the woman who reminded me that I'm a fighter and made me want to fight for the thing I love. When everyone and everything told me no, she told me yes.
Boos rang out as Arisa all but confirmed Nigel's suspicions. Arisa laughed at this as the camera zoomed in on her.
Arisa Hoshiki: So when her hand-picked ally kicked me in the head and sent me into the barricade, I remembered what forced me to retire. And when Mina defied the one person who cared about me, I knew what I had to do. Whether Mina comes back to this ring or not isn't my problem. Neither is what Liv and Alexa think. Ladies, it's nothing personal. But you were just as wrong as all of these fickle people if you thought I was happy plastering a smile on my face when I was going through all of that pain. I used that smile to hide how weak I became.
Her smile fades and her face morphs into that of a stone cold killer.
Arisa Hoshiki: Thanks to Utami, I changed that. I'm not weak anymore.
Boos thundered from the crowd, threatening to drown out the audio. The camera zoomed in just as Arisa flashed a sly smile and winked. As 'Shadowmaker' played Arisa sniffed the rose again just to get a reaction from the crowd. Only after that did she hop out of the ring and head up the ramp. Those boos got loud enough to drown out Arisa's new song as Utami appeared on the stage as well. Arisa offered her hand and Utami made a show of reaching down to shake it. While Arisa smiled snarkily, Utami's face showed nothing but pure malevolent satisfaction at the turn of events.
Mauro Ranallo: The Shining Star has faded, and now as the Dark Star Arisa Hoshiki has joined forces with Queen's Court!
Nigel McGuiness: I'm sure Utami must see this as an upgrade from Mina Shirakawa, but that's bad news for everyone else in EBWF.
Mauro Ranallo: Folks, we need to go to a break right now, but when we get back we’ll have Hook in action as he goes one on one with Alex Kane!
When Warfare returned from the commercial break, Alex Kane was standing in the ring for the next match. “The Chairman’s Intent” by Action Bronson hit, and the crowd cheered as Hook made his way to the ring, accompanied by Taz.
Mauro Ranallo: Welcome back! Last week, we saw Hook take on Ace Austin in the first of a series of “challenges” set by MJF. In order to get a rematch with MJF, Hook must first beat every other member of Dynasty in a singles match… but if any member of Dynasty loses their match with Hook, they’re out of the group!
Nigel McGuinness: Ace Austin lost to Hook last week, and as a result he is no longer part of Dynasty. What I find interesting though, Mauro, is that last week, MJF accompanied Ace Austin to the ring. Tonight, it seems he’s nowhere to be seen!
Mauro Ranallo: Well I know MJF is in the arena, Nigel. I had the misfortune of spotting him backstage earlier. So I guess the fact he’s not out here with Alex Kane means one of two things… either he has total faith in Alex Kane, and therefore doesn’t feel that Kane needs him at ringside. Or, maybe he’s just afraid of being in close proximity to Hook… I suspect it’s the latter!
Nigel McGuinness: There’s a third option, Mauro. Maybe MJF is so frustrated with the other members of Dynasty letting him down, that he doesn’t feel Alex Kane deserves to have him in his corner!
Mauro Ranallo: Well whatever the reason is, I certainly don’t miss MJF’s presence at ringside!
As Hook entered the ring, he walked into the corner and turned his back on Alex Kane. When Hook’s back was turned, Kane ran across the ring and clobbered Hook in the back of the head! The crowd booed as the referee abruptly called for the bell. Kane hit Hook with a series of punches and kicks in the corner, then dragged him out of the corner and hit three German suplexes in quick succession. He bridged the third German suplex, and the referee counted - 1… 2… Hook kicked out! Both men got to their feet, and Kane set Hook up for a gutwrench suplex… but Hook countered it into a bridging northern lights suplex! Kane’s shoulders were down, and the referee counted - 1… 2… Kane kicked out!
Mauro Ranallo: This has been a battle of suplexes so far!
Nigel McGuinness: Well what did you expect, Mauro? Alex Kane is the Suplex Assassin, and Hook is the son of the Human Suplex Machine!
Both Hook and Alex Kane got to their feet once more, and Hook hit Kane with a series of punches, then whipped him against the ropes. As Kane ran back towards him, Hook went for a hip toss, but Kane blocked it and took Hook down with a clothesline, then began stomping on him several times. Kane pulled Hook to his feet and set him up for a belly-to-belly suplex, but Hook blocked it and hit Kane with a headbutt! Kane stumbled backwards, and Hook grabbed him, hitting an exploder suplex. As Hook applied an armbar, the camera cut to the backstage area, where MJF was seen watching the match on a monitor with Richard Holliday.
Nigel McGuinness: There you go, Mauro! MJF is watching the match from the back!
Mauro Ranallo: That just adds weight to my argument that MJF is afraid of Hook, Nigel…
The camera cut back to the ring, where Alex Kane had managed to get his foot on the ropes. Hook released Kane and got to his feet, then took a step back as Kane used the ropes to pull himself up. When Kane was up, Hook went to grab him, but Kane caught him with a big boot! Kane whipped Hook into the corner and hit him with a series of punches, then sat him on the top turnbuckle. Kane climbed up to the second rope, before hitting Hook with a superplex!
Mauro Ranallo: Mamma Mia! That shook the ring!
Kane hooked the leg and the referee counted - 1… 2… Hook kicked out! Kane shook his head in frustration and dragged Hook to his feet, then set him up for the Southern Lights Suplex… but Hook blocked it, and hit Kane with a judo throw! As Kane got back to his feet, he went for a clothesline, but Hook ducked underneath it and grabbed Kane from behind, locking in Redrum! Alex Kane tapped out and the referee called for the bell.
Nigel McGuinness: It’s over! Hook beats Alex Kane, and he will face KC Navarro next week.
Mauro Ranallo: Two more wins, and Hook gets his hands on MJF!
As the referee raised Hook’s arm in victory, the camera cut backstage to MJF and Richard Holliday. MJF looked concerned as he turned to Holliday.
MJF: Damn it, this isn’t good enough! We need someone with more experience.
Richard Holliday: Leave it with me.
Holliday and MJF walked away as a promotional video for Fanniversary began to play.
“The Epic” by Downstait hit and the crowd cheered as Britt Baker made her way to the ring.
Mauro Ranallo: And here comes the EBWF Women’s Champion, Britt Baker, who we understand has issued an open challenge for tonight!
When Baker was in the ring, she grabbed a microphone and signaled for her music to be cut. Once her music had been cut, Baker began to speak.
Britt Baker: Good evening, Rhode Island! Now you might have seen my match tonight listed as an “open challenge”, but allow me to set the record straight. I issued a challenge alright, but not just to anyone… I wanted to face a Cosmic Angel.
Nigel McGuinness: Cosmic Angel? That was Tam Nakano’s stable in Stardom! Does that mean…?
Britt Baker: For those of you who follow Stardom, you’ll know that my opponent at Fanniversary, Tam Nakano, formed the Cosmic Angels, initially with Mina Shirakawa and Unagi Sayaka. Now obviously, after what happened last week, Mina Shirakawa is in no condition to complete. But that’s not who I challenged… I issued a challenge to Unagi Sayaka. Unfortunately, Unagi hasn’t answered my challenge, so I guess my match tonight isn’t happening.
The crowd booed, disappointed to not get to see Britt Baker compete. Baker shrugged, dropped the microphone, then was about to exit the ring when an unfamiliar theme began to play…
Baker sighed, and the crowd cheered with excitement as Unagi Sayaka stepped out onto the stage!
Mauro Ranallo: The challenge has been answered, Nigel! Unagi Sayaka is here!
When Sayaka was in the ring, the referee called for the bell and Sayaka and Baker locked up. Baker put Sayaka in a headlock, but Sayaka fought out of it and hit Baker with a series of punches. Baker fought back with some right hands of her own, and the two women exchanged punches back and forth. Sayaka gained the upper hand with a stiff forearm smash, knocking Baker down to the mat, then as Baker sat up, Sayaka hit her with a low dropkick to the face. Sayaka followed up with a standing leg drop, then hooked the leg. The referee counted - 1… 2… Baker kicked out! Sayaka pulled Baker to her feet and set her up for a reverse STO, but Baker blocked it and whipped Sayaka against the ropes, before hitting her with a big boot. Baker stomped on Sayaka several times, then pulled her to her feet and hit a fisherman’s neckbreaker. She hooked the leg and the referee counted - 1… 2… Sayaka kicked out!
Nigel McGuinness: Great back and forth action thus far! It was announced last week that Unagi Sayaka is leaving Stardom, and if she impresses tonight against Britt Baker, you have to wonder if she will be the latest Japanese wrestler to be signed to EBWF.
Baker pulled Sayaka to her feet and whipped her against the ropes, then hit a dropkick. As both women got to their feet, Baker went for a superkick, but Sayaka ducked out of the way before lifting Baker up, hitting her with the Gory Bomb! She hooked both legs and the referee counted - 1… 2… Baker kicked out! Sayaka pulled Baker to her feet and hit a DDT, then climbed to the top rope. Sayaka went for a frog splash… but Baker got her knees up and blocked it! As Sayaka clutched her ribs, Baker went to the corner and climbed onto the top rope, then hit Sayaka with the Panama Sunrise! She hooked the leg and the referee counted - 1… 2… Sayaka kicked out!
Mauro Ranallo: Another near fall! What is it going to take to end this match?
Baker got to her feet and pulled out a black glove, which she placed on her hand before going for the Lockjaw… but before Baker could lock it in, Sayaka fought out of it and as both women got to their feet, Sayaka hit Baker with a belly-to-belly suplex. Baker got back to her feet, and Suyaka hit a reverse STO, then hooked the leg. The referee counted - 1… 2… Baker kicked out! Sayaka pulled Baker to her feet and set her up for Taigi De Atta… but Baker countered with a back body drop, then as Sayaka got to her feet, Baker caught her with a superkick! As Sayaka tried to get to her feet, Baker ran against the ropes, before hitting The Stomp! She hooked the leg and the referee counted - 1… 2… 3!
Nigel McGuinness: It’s over! Britt Baker wins with The Stomp, but what a performance by Unagi Sayaka!
The referee called for the bell and raised Baker’s arm in victory. As Baker celebrated, Tam Nakano stepped out onto the stage. She locked eyes with Britt Baker, and as Baker stared back at her, Nakano pointed at Baker before motioning to her waist.
Mauro Ranallo: Tam Nakano making her intentions clear here… she believes she will be the next Women’s Champion!
Baker held up the title, taunting Nakano with it, before the camera cut to the backstage area.
After the match, Warfare cut to the backstage area where Himeka Arita was walking down the hallway. As Himeka was walking she stopped and looked behind her as if she felt someone's presence, then shrugged and continued walking. As Himeka went around a corner of the hallway, she was struck from behind and fell to one knee. Alexa Bliss and Liv Morgan stood behind Himeka, both holding a baseball bat, and from their positioning it was clear that Alexa hit Himeka.
Mauro Ranallo: Mamma Mia! It looks like Liv N Bliss are looking for revenge against Himeka.
Himeka stood up and turned around to try to attack the two blondes, but Liv jabbed her in the stomach with her bat, causing Himeka to double over and allowing Alexa to hit her across the back with her baseball bat. Himeka fell to the floor and Liv N Bliss began hitting her right knee with their bats, causing Himeka to scream in pain.
Nigel McGuinness: Good lord.
Alexa hit Himeka with one final baseball bat shot to the knee. Himeka was holding her knee in pain as Alexa squatted down next to her.
Alexa Bliss: Awww is your little knee hurting? Next time you see your boss tell her Liv N Bliss said hi.
Both Alexa and Liv smiled as they walked away leaving Himeka on the floor in pain.
"Broooooo!" ushered in the arrival of Matt Riddle who came down the ramp accompanied by Alex Riley. Riddle got into the ring while Riley stayed ringside. Riddle kicked off his sandals as pyro came out of the turnbuckles. He then turned to the entrance and waited for the arrival of Seth Rollins who came out onto the stage. He conducted the crowd with arms as they sang along to his theme song.
Mauro Ranallo: Seth Rollins is making a huge impact here in EBWF and tonight he will take on Matt Riddle.
Nigel McGuinness: We have to see which of these men will be able to come out on top here tonight.
Mauro Ranallo: Just three weeks away from Fanniversary and both of these men should be interested in the recently vacated Gateway Championship.
Once Rollins was in the ring, the bell rang, and they locked up. Rollins applied a side headlock before shoulder blocking him down. Rollins hooked another side headlock, but Riddle whipped him off. Riddle dropped down and kicked him in the chest. Riddle hit a knee to the ribs before kicking him in the chest. Riddle sent Rollins into the ropes and hit a stiff forearm for a two-count. Riddle applied a chin lock, but Rollins soon fought out. Riddle hit the ropes, but Rollins clotheslined him down for a two-count. Rollins punched away at Riddle against the ropes. Rollins choked Riddle on the middle rope before the referee backed him up. Rollins charged, but Riddle sent him out of the ring. Riddle followed him out, but Rollins attacked. Rollins then hit a slingshot moonsault block to the floor!
Nigel McGuinness: Seth Rollins with an incredible display of athleticism!
The two men got back into the ring, and Riddle fought back at Rollins, but Rollins soon hit a Michinoku Driver for a near fall. Rollins went to the top rope, but Riddle scaled the ropes and grabbed him. Rollins fought him off and hit a head-butt. Rollins dove, but Riddle kneed him out of midair for a near fall. The crowd chanted for Riddle. He went to the top rope, but Rollins knocked him down. Riddle rolled Rollins up for a near fall. Riddle knocked Rollins out of the ring and hit a springboard Floating Bro to the floor! They traded punches and then Riddle got Rollins to his feet and rolled him under the second rope.
Mauro Ranallo: Neither of these men will let up!
Riddle and Rollins both hit the ropes and they ran into a double clothesline. They both went down. They slowly got to their feet and traded punches. Riddle hit him with a Ripcord Knee, knocking Rollins to the corner. Riddle charged, but Rollins countered with an exploder into the corner. Rollins signaled for the Pedigree, but Riddle countered with a powerslam. Riddle went for a DDT, but Rollins countered into a back body drop to the floor. Riddle went to ringside and kicked away at Rollins’s chest. Alex Riley was laughing at Rollins as he struggled on the floor. Suddenly the crowd reacted to movement behind the barricade.
Mauro Ranallo: Oh no! What's this?!
Nigel McGuinness: You're kidding me.
Mauro Ranallo: It's that damned masked man again!
The masked man was in all black and Riley turned around to meet him, only to be clothesleslined at ringside. The masked man kicked Rollins in the shoulder before pushing Riddle, and then whipping him into the ring steps. The referee rang the bell.
Mauro Ranallo: This man has come after Matt Riddle for the second week in a row!
Christy Hemme: The referee has stopped this match. Your winner due to outside interference... Seth Rollins.
Nigel McGuinness: The masked man has cost Riddle the match!
The camera focused on Riddle, holding his shoulder while sitting on the floor. The masked man disappeared back through the crowd as Rollins headed to the back.
After the match we moved backstage to see the door of the trainer's room ajar. Within the makeshift medical room, we saw the staff medic tending to the knee of Himeka Arita. After the ambush earlier in the evening, Himeka's knee was wrapped up and iced, with even a slight movement causing her to make pained sounds. At her side, Utami Hayashishita stood looking absolutely furious that her teammate had been attacked. After exchanging some words with Himeka in Japanese, Utami glared over at the camera and looked as though she might stroke down its operator for the intrusion. Instead she shoved the training room door open and marched out into the corridor.
We followed the Crimson Queen as she journeyed from the training room past the interview area. She paid no attention to the other wrestlers as she made a beeline for the management offices. After passing a few doors she stopped at one with a sign reading 'Ikeda'. Having arrived at the boss's office, Utami pounded on the door almost hard enough to knock it down.
Utami Hayashishita: MR. IKEDA! Open this door! My dear friend has been assaulted, and I demand satisfaction!
As she waited for an answer, arms folded over her chest, Utami sneered at the cameraman. She seemed to grow tired of his presence as her body began to square up into a fighting posture. Utami thrust her left arm in the direction she'd come from.
Utami Hayashishita: GO. AWAY.
We heard the cameraman's footsteps shuffle awkwardly, then pick up speed as he fled the scene. Utami's voice could be heard shouting again as he walked back past the other management offices. Seemingly at a loss for what to do, the camera swung back toward the interview area. Renee Young could be seen waving down the cameraman, who responded by hurrying up to join more pleasant company. She in turn smiled and motioned to her right. A beat later, wearing her full ring gear, Tam Nakano stepped into view to a huge pop from the fans.
Renee Young: Good evening, EBWF fans! I'm joined at this time by the number one contender for the EBWF Women's Championship, the "Twilight Dream" Tam Nakano. Tam, last week Dr. Britt Baker, DMD accepted your challenge for an EBWF Women's Championship match on the condition that it take place at this year's Fanniversary pay per view. How does it feel to have earned another shot at this championship?
Tam nodded along as the question was asked, then smiled brightly.
Tam Nakano: I'm thrilled that Britt accepted my challenge, Renee. And I agree, a match this big deserves to be on the biggest stage. A few more weeks of waiting is fine with me. I've been waiting for this opportunity for 18 months! Just a little longer waiting is fine with me.
Her expression turned wistful as she paused in thought. A moment later she continued.
Tam Nakano: Britt's one of the greatest wrestlers on the planet, and it's going to be the toughest match I've ever had. But I remember what it felt like to hold that beautiful championship belt up high. And how much it hurt the last time I had it on a big stage. That match and the vision of Raquel standing over me with the championship around her waist have haunted me for 18 months. I've rewatched that match countless times to find all the mistakes I made so that I could get stronger.
She smiled confidently as she proceeded to count the opponents she'd faced so far.
Tam Nakano: So in a few weeks Britt will find out what Natalya, Allysin Kay, Aliyah Gutierrez and Liv Morgan already learned. Tam Nakano isn't just back, she's on a whole new level. And at Fanniversary, I'm fighting to make my Twilight Dream a reality. I look forward to meeting Britt in the ring so she can see the power of that dream first hand.
Tam traced out a star with her right hand, then waved to the cheering fans in the arena as well as those at home.
Renee Young: There you have it, fans! You can see 'Twilight Dream' Tam Nakano challenging Dr. Britt Baker, DMD for the EBWF Women's Championship at EBWF Fanniversary, only on pay per view!
A graphic for the confirmed title match filled the screen, eliciting another monster pop from the fans in attendance. After a few moments it faded and we went to a commercial break.
As EBWF returned from commercial, “New Day, New Way ' hit and the crowd cheered as King Xavier came to the ring with the EBWF World Championship around his waist.
Christy Hemme: This match is scheduled for one fall. Introducing first, he is the EBWF World Champion, Xavier Woods!
Mauro Ranallo: Xavier Woods is scheduled to take on Randy Orton here tonight. We’ve not seen Orton on EBWF TV in several… what the…
The crowd was cheering as Edge came quickly from behind the curtain, but those cheers quickly turned to dismay as Edge landed a few forearms to the back of Xavier’s head, causing the Champion to stumble forward. Edge took the title belt off of Xavier and then he grabbed him and whipped him into the apron and the crowd began to boo.
Nigel McGuinness: I don’t understand what’s happening here.
Mauro Ranallo: Edge is enraged.
Edge removed his leather jacket as he chopped Xavier in the chest.
Edge: You want to see me carry something?!
Nigel McGuinness: What is he…
Mauro Ranallo: Xavier said that Edge had carried Randy Orton and… he’s incensed.
Edge: Do you?!
Xavier was rocked and Edge picked him up off the ground as the crowd continued to boo. He sent Xavier between the ropes and Xavier rolled toward the middle of the ring in discomfort.
Edge: I’ll carry this damn Fanniversary match! How about that?!
The crowd had really started to turn on Edge now as he stalked Xavier. He got into the corner and stepped back, waiting for Xavier to get to his feet. He called for the spear and ran toward Xavier, but Woods sidestepped.
Mauro Ranallo: LOST IN THE WOODS!
Nigel McGuinness: Xavier just laid out Edge!
Edge didn’t know where he was as Xavier stood over him, hyped up as he made the championship gesture across his waist.
Mauro Ranallo: Xavier Woods is proving he is ready to go toe to toe with the Rated R Superstar.
Nigel McGuinness: This seems to have hit its apex! I can’t imagine three more weeks of this!
Woods climbed up on the turnbuckle and played to the crowd. “New Day, New Way” began to play as Warfare went off the air.