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Coverage

Mitchell’s WWE NXT Report! (3/28/18)

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All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Semifinals match: The Street Profits VS The Authors of Pain w/ Paul Ellering; The AoP win and advance to the finals.
  • Lars Sullivan VS John Silver; Sullivan wins.
  • Dakota Kai VS ???; no contest.
  • Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Semifinals match: SAnitY VS Roderick Strong & Pete Dunne; Strong & Dunne win and advance to the finals.

PLAY BY PLAY

Before the show, Tommaso Ciampa arrived at Full Sail.

The Psycho Killer saw the fans, and the fans saw him. The fans boo and jeer like always, while NXT Media ask Ciampa about his recovering knee. Ciampa refuses to answer, but asks William Regal, “What type of place are you running here?” Johnny Gargano shows up at Ciampa’s place of work and attacks him! Gargano has been stalking Ciampa! Ciampa blames Regal.

Regal admits, Gargano is out of order. Ciampa wants to know what to do to get rid of Gargano for good. TakeOver: New Orleans, Ciampa VS Gargano, but it’ll be unsanctioned. Regal knows as well as Ciampa, what “unsanctioned” means. Yes, Regal does. But if Gargano wins, he’s got his job back! Though, if Ciampa wins, Gargano will be banished from Full Sail and NXT for good. NXT Media ask Ciampa his thoughts, but it’s clear from the look on his face what he’s ready to do to Gargano. Will Gargano win back his job? Or will Ciampa crush his former friend under the weight of his grudge once and for all?

 

NXT General Manager, William Regal, heads to the ring.

He welcomes the crowd to another night of NXT, and says that “week in and week out”, NXT brings us the “very best competitors from aruond the world.” Therefore, there need to be measuring sticks to assess the talent. That is to say, at TakeOver: New Orleans, there shall be a match for the NXT North American Championship. Just as the WWE United Kingdom Championship has brought us Wolfgang, Tyler Bate, Trent Seven, Mark Andrews and Pete Dunne, this NAC will be carried with pride. But wait, who is this coming out now?

It’s Ethan Carter III! Mr. Top 1%, EC3 himself, is here in NXT, and Full Sail is fired up as he enters the ring. EC3 takes a mic and decides to “bask in this moment because I deserve it.” This is too much. He knew Regal was a kind man when he recruited him to the hottest brand in sports entertainment, and knew Regal was reasonable man to roll out a red carpet and lucrative contract. Not to mention the great theme song. But who knew Regal was so logical to create a new title just for EC3! The fans chant “N X 3” because that’s what it is now with him around. There is only one man capable of representing the greatest region in the world, and that is the best guy here, there and anywhere, and that man IS EC3. Maybe Regal went too far but-

Regal speaks up, and is himself very happy to see EC3 finally join, but no one is handed anything in NXT. EC3 will have to earn the title, and he’s more than capable. Therefore, TakeOver: New Orleans will have EC3 competing for the NXT NAC, against five other men, in a Ladder Match! The fans like that, but EC3 doesn’t look so sure. Fans chant “Thank you, Regal!”, and EC3 joins in. “Because you can line up five men, 10 men, 15 men”, or even the entire NXT locker room, but EC3 still vows to show the world why he is the Top 1% of the industry. Regal and EC3 shake hands, and the fans cheer, but who will join EC3 in a Six Man Ladder Match for the brand new title?

 

Charly Caruso recaps the Dusty Tag Team Classic.

Mustache Mountain was unable to compete as Tyler Bate’s leg injury would not be healed in time. This gave rise to a new team to take on Lorcan & Burch as Roderick Strong would get the British Bruiserweight to join in him battle! Strong & Dunne would get past the one-two brawling combination of Lorcan & Burch, but can this team still keep going against the chaotic combination of SAnitY?

 

Performance center interview with TM61.

Nick Miller & Shane Thorne speak on their loss in this year’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. They were hoping their big comeback would be better than it turned out, but they can’t get one over. Maybe they need to change strategies, go to the drawing board, but more importantly, they need to change attitude. The Mighty Don’t Kneel, but-

Wait, something is going on in the background between Shayan Baszler and a trainee. And now Ember Moon comes over? Cameras move to see and hear what’s going on. Ember shoves Shayna, and now it’s a brawl! They bump into the camera man as they spill over! Other NXT trainees and superstars have to separate them. Tensions are running high just 11 days from TakeOver, will either woman keep from burning Full Sail down to the ground before then?

 

Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Semifinals match: The Street Profits VS The Authors of Pain w/ Paul Ellering!

Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford have the #CurseofGreatness and it’s brought them this far, but Akam & Rezar, who write and illustrate a story of dominance every match they have! These two teams met once before and AoP won back then. Will they go 2-0 towards another DRC finals? Or will Ford & Dawkins shock the world?

Ford starts with Rezar, and Ford says he wants this more! Rezar pie-faces Ford and says about the same in his native tongue, so Ford tags out to Dawkins. Dawkins ties up with Rezar but Rezar powers him to a corner and gives body shots. Rezar sits Dawkins down for knees to his head, then backs off at the referee’s order. Tag to Akam, Akam mugs Dawkins with body shots. Akam rams in knees of his own, then clubs away on Dawkins in the corner. Dawkins gets to an open corner and reverses the whip to dropkick Akam. Dawkins fires off firearms, and a big European Uppercut! Rezar comes in, Dawkins rocks him with another uppercut. He hits Akam with a SPINEBUSTER! The fans and Ford are all fired up now, but Ford ends up face-to-face with Ellering. And he offers him a drink!

The fans want Ellering to “Take a sip! Take a sip!” But he slaps the cup down?! Ford has had about enough, but Ellering warns him not to mess with him. Akam clobbers Dawkins, then Rezar returns and they hit Dawkins with the Last Chapter!

Cover, the AoP win!

Winners: The Authors of Pain (Akam & Rezar, Akam pins)

Ford realizes the mistake he made, and is furious with himself. The Authors of Pain are 2-0 on the Street Profits, and could repeat as Dusty Rhodes Classic winners. Who will meet them in the finals has yet to be determined, but will it really matter?

 

Backstage interview with William Regal.

Cathy Kelly asks the NXT GM about his ground-breaking announcement for the Six Man NXT North American Championship Ladder Match. Who else does he plan on adding to this historic match? He just finalized the details on the second man to enter that match, it will be Adam Cole. But then the Velveteen Dream walks over.

The Patrick Clark Experience compliments Regal on looking well, then brings up the NXT NAC. Ground-breaking, but it’s not an experience the NXT Universe can get behind. But, maybe if Velveteen Dream was in the match, it could be. Regal knows Velveteen has been very impressive since debuting, so he will be the third man in that ladder match. Velveteen knows the NAC broke ground, but putting Velveteen in the match just set the stage. With the field halfway set, how much more star power will be put in this stellar match?

 

Lars Sullivan VS John Silver!

The Leviathan returns! Brilliant yet brutal, intense yet intellectual, terrifying yet tactical. Forget winning, can John Silver even survive the sinister Sullivan?

The bell rings, and Silver ties up with Sullivan, only to be thrown down and clubbed into the mat. Sullivan drags Silver up, and throws him hard into buckles! He drags Silver up again for another toss into another corner, but he’s still not done. Sullivan waits for Silver to stand up, to squash him! Sullivan military presses Silver, and then brings him into the powerslam! Yet this is still not the end. Sullivan climbs up to the top rope! For a HUMONGOUS diving headbutt!

Sullivan drags Silver up once more, for the Freak Accident!

Cover, Sullivan wins!

Winner: Sullivan, by pinfall

As if there was going to be any other outcome. Now that Sullivan has returned, will anyone on the NXT roster have half a chance of stopping him?

 

Another backstage interview with William Regal.

Three men have been confirmed for the Six Man Ladder Match, but we’re all still curious as to the other three. That’s when Lars Sullivan arrives backstage, and Regal congratulates him on his return victory.

Clearly Sullivan still has his “appetite for destruction”, and it’s great timing. Regal asks if Sullivan would like part in the North American Championship match. Sullivan says, “That sounds fantastic, Mr. Regal.” Sullivan will “unequivocally and categorically” bring the brand of destruction only he can, but not just with his hands, but with a ladder! That’ll be at TakeOver: New Orleans. Next week, Sullivan wants KILLIAN DAIN! Regal confirms Killian Dain is also in the Ladder Match, so the Leviathan will get a match with the Beast of Belfast. “Good.” When monsters collide, will Full Sail survive?!

 

Dakota Kai VS !

The Captain of Team Kick has fully recovered from the arm injury the Queen of Spades gave her.

 

BREAKING: Andrade Almas attacks Aleister Black in the parking lot!

El Idolo goes after the Embodiment of the End in an ambush, with Zelina Vega cheering him on! He tells the “perro” that he is going to pay, and then kicks him while he’s down. Vega says, “That’s what you get!” and Almas tells Aleister he will respect the champion! They spot an ice chest, and both Vega and Almas get the same idea. Almas brings Aleister over, and plunges the #1 contender’s head into the chilling water!

Aleister gasps for air, but Almas keeps on him by throwing him into a door. Almas drags and stomps Aleister out to ringside, Vega still egging things on. The fans boo and jeer as Almas throws Aleister into the ring, ruining the Women’s Division match. Almas grabs a chair, and SMACKS Aleister in the back! Vega brings the NXT Championship into the ring while Almas stands the chair on Aleister’s back. Almas holds the belt while pushing the chair into Aleister’s back while declaring, “Yo soy campeon! I am the champion!”

Fans boo and jeer more as Almas moves the chair aside to choke Aleister directly. Almas stands over Aleister, title raised above. He and Vega then leave, while referees rush to check on Aleister. Almas raises the title again on the stage, his message sent. El Campeon demands respect, but will he even have a match after what he did to his challenger?

 

Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Semifinals match: SAnitY VS Roderick Strong & Pete Dunne!

Chaos reigned once before when Eric Young & Alexander Wolfe held the NXT Tag Team Championships before. The Messiah of the Backbreaker wants his first taste of gold, and the Bruiserweight wouldn’t mind having a second belt on top of his WWE United Kingdom Championship. Which duo will win to challenge the Authors of Pain in the finals?

Wolfe starts against Strong as the bell rings. The two circle, tie up, and Strong gets around for the waistlock to float into the facelock. Wolfe pushes Strong but Strong pushes back as he shifts into a headlock. Wolfe powers out but Strong kicks his back drop away. Strong runs out but Wolfe scoops to slam him. Dunne and Young come in and it’s a stand-off between all four men. The referee counts and the illegal partners exit. Wolfe and Strong back off and tag in Young and Dunne. Dunne and Young circle, tie up, and move around, going back and forth in the same corner. The referee counts again, Dunne wrenches Young’s arm and goes for fingers. Young reverses to whip Dunne, but then runs into a roll-up, TWO!

Dunne kicks Young’s arm out, but Wolfe and Strong come in now. The referee won’t stand for disorder, he tells them to exit. Strong and Wolfe exit, Dunne and Young circle. Dunne whips and runs Young over with a clothesline, then covers, ONE. Dunne whips but Young reverses and clobbers Dunne with his own clothesline, then whips but Dunne reverses. Young goes up and over while Wolfe tags in. Dunne hits buckles, Young puts him in an abdominal stretch while Wolfe runs, Wolfe boots Dunne in the chest!

Wolfe rains rights and lefts and the fans applaud while we go to break.

NXT returns once more, and we see Wolfe tag Young back in. Wolfe lifts Dunne in a gutwrench for a gutbuster, Young adds a flying ax handle. Cover, TWO, but Young keeps on Dunne at the ropes. The referee backs him off, Dunne rocks Young with a forearm! Tag to Strong, and Strong stomps away on Young. Strong puts Young in a corner and rams in shoulders before giving a sharp chop. Tag to Dunne, Strong and Dunne each give a chop to Young. Strong lifts Young for a pendulum backbreaker while Dunne hops up, Dunne jumps for a stomp! Cover, TWO, but Dunne keeps on Young with a grounded hammerlock. Dunne wrenches while fans rally, Dunne stretches Young’s free arm back and gives it a hard yank. He drags Young up and whips him to a corner, then gives him a running overhand chop.

Dunne keeps on Young with body shots, then whips corner to corner, but Young tumbles to the apron. Young shoulders in, slips under Dunne, but Dunne stomps him out before he can tag Wolfe. Dunne goes after that bad arm more with a bodyscissor and double wristlock!

Young endures the hoverboard, then powers out to a suplex! Both men are down while the fans applaud. The fans rally, Dunne and Young hot tag to Strong and Wolfe. Strong and Wolfe throw haymakers back and forth, neither one slowing down, but only speeding up! Strong gets the edge with elbows but Wolfe shoves him away. Wolfe boots but Strong holds the ropes. Strong boots back, but Wolfe EuroUppers! Wolfe fireman carry lifts Strong but Strong slips out, shoves and kitchen sink knees Wolfe against the ropes. Young comes in but Strong catches him with a back elbow. Strong fireman carry lifts Wolfe now, but Wolfe slips out to a waistlock and German Suplexes Strong! Wolfe keeps going, fireman carry to Death Valley Driver! Cover, TWO! It was close, so SAnitY keeps moving. Wolfe tags Young, wheelbarrow lift, EuroUpper, wheelbarrow neckbreaker! Young covers, Dunne breaks it!

Wolfe returns but Dunne throws him out, Wolfe manages to stay on the apron. Dunne goes to hit Wolfe but Wolfe hits Dunne first. Wolfe climbs up, but Dunne forearms him out of the air! Young runs at Dunne and hits neckbreaker! Dunne rolls out of the ring, Young gets to a corner and climbs up while Strong stirs. Strong stops Young up top with a right hand and chop. Strong climbs up, but Young fights back. Young throws Strong down with a gordbuster, then adjusts for a Macho Elbow!

Cover, TWO, and Young can’t believe it! He argues it out with the referee but it was a two. Young walks over to Strong, Strong kicks out a leg then kicks him in the chest. Strong stands up while Young staggers. Young swings, but gets caught into a backbreaker! Cover, but Wolfe breaks it just in time. Dunne runs in but misses the enziguri. Wolfe grabs him and German Suplexes, but Dunne lands on his feet. Dunne kicks Wolfe in the head, Strong hits him with End of Heartache! Strong gives Young a Shining Wizard in the corner, Dunne tags in, back suplex hand-off into the Bitter End!

Cover, Dunne & Strong win!

Winners: Strong & Dunne, Dunne pins

The unlikely duo of the Back Breaker & Bruiserweight have beaten former NXT Tag Team Champions! Can they do it again against the bigger and badder Akam & Rezar next week?

 

One last interview with William Regal.

With five men decided, there is still a question of who will be the sixth. Regal says the deal has been struck, and fetches the sixth superstar from inside his office. The door opens and out walks…

RICOCHET! The fans lose their minds at this other major recruit making a surprise appearance. And in regards to this historic match, ll the King of Speed has to say is, “See you at TakeOver.” The stars are aligning for the NXT’s newest title, who will be the inaugural North American Champion?!

 


 

My Thoughts:

To say this was an amazing episode probably doesn’t do it justice. This was another full hour, and the pacing was smooth transition to smooth transition of everything. We start with another genius Ciampa promo for fans to shower Heel heat on him, and then we get a no nonsense announcement of the “unsanctioned” grudge match. It’s going to be like their Cruiserweight Classic match but even better. The TM61 segment that becomes a Shayna-Ember segment was also good, it adds to the NXT Women’s Championship story without too much fuss or worry about words.

Then as rumored, we get our NXT men’s mid-card title announcement, but it was made even better by the surprise appearance of EC3! EC3 is great on the mic, great in the ring, and he’s a great choice for the inaugural NAC match. In fact, all the choices for that match are great, from Adam Cole to Velveteen to the monsters, Lars & Damo, and especially the final choice of Ricochet. Spreading the announcements throughout the episode was actually rather smart, too, it gives the appearance of Regal negotiating the deals out, and helps add more moments of suspense and surprise. Especially since they got to end the night on the great surprise of seeing Ricochet come out of the office without warning.

The matches tonight were great as always, with some good surprises sprinkled in, as well. Logically, Authors of Pain win, not that Street Profits aren’t a good team. There was also a nice story building as Ford lets his emotions get the better of him and that costs them. Lars Sullivan wins because duh, he’s Lars Sullivan. I thought it was brilliant Dakota Kai appears only for her not to wrestle at all, and Almas is even more Heel with his beat down of Aleister. Then another surprise, Dunne & Strong win again. They might win it all at this rate, which will work with Strong’s story of always opposing the Undisputed Era. It’s a shame Bobby Fish got hurt, but word is that Cole might do double duty under Freebird Rules, so it still works.

My Score: 8.8/10


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AEW Coverage

Mitchell’s AEW Dynamite Results & Report! (8/17/22)

American Dragon VS Dragonslayer!

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AEW House of the Dragon

Dynamite becomes the House of the Dragon!

AEW has an epic rematch between Bryan Danielson and Daniel Garcia, in a Best Two Out of Three Falls match! Will Red Death truly slay the American Dragon?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Best 2 out of 3 Falls: Bryan Danielson VS Daniel Garcia; Bryan wins.
  • Tony Nese w/ Mark Sterling VS ???; No Contest.
  • Gunn Club VS The Varsity Blonds; win(s).
  • Toni Storm VS KiLynn King; wins.
  • AEW World Trios Championship Tournament, Opening Round: La Faccion Ingobernable VS The Young Bucks & ???; win(s) and advances.

PLAY BY PLAY

CM Punk is here!

The Best of the World is back and the fans in Charleston, West Virginia are fired up to see him! Especially since he has THE AEW World Championship belt on his shoulder. No stage diving this time, though, he’s being a bit more careful this time. Punk goes to the ring and gets the mic as fans chant his name. “I’m trying to put my tough guy game face on before I came out here, and you guys just ruined it all by making me smile. I don’t got the prettiest smile. What I do have is the prettiest belt! Haven’t been here in some time, and I’ve got some business to attend to. Some things very, very important. Some things not so important.

“I want to get the not so important things outta the way. Where are we? Where are wee tonight? There’s somebody from around these parts that I would like to challenge to a rematch and I would like to do it right here, right now, for you beautiful people.” Fans cheer for that, they wanna see it, too! Punk sits down cross-legged and tells Hangman Adam Page, “You want that rematch, you got it right here, right now. Let’s go!” Fans are fired up for the “Cowboy Sh*t” that could go down, but where is he? Punk checks his mic, but no Hangman, and fans boo. Punk says that’s why this isn’t important. That isn’t Cowboy Sh*t, that’s Coward Sh*t!

“A little bit of advice that I suggest you take: The apology must as loud and as public as the disrespect!” And if anyone else has a problem with THE CHAMPION, Punk suggests they come on down! “Everyone wants to be the champ until it’s time to do champ sh*t!” Fans agree with that as they chant Punk’s name. “Ladies and gentlemen, I understand that Jon Moxley’s got a lot of fans. And he can be number one in your heart, but he’s not number one in this ring. I am THE AEW Champion!!” Punk knows what it takes to be the best, to talk a big game and say you’re the best, and to breathe that into existence.

He also knows what it is like to lose. Punk has lost big, but Moxley has always been number two, there has always been someone who has Mox’s number, and it’s Punk! Boo if you want, but let him know when he’s lying. “Jon Moxley is the third best guy in his own group, and that seems to be a reoccurring theme in his career.” Fans are stunned to hear that. Punk says, “That doesn’t make him a bad guy, but that doesn’t make him the best either.” Punk is the best, but yes, Mox has been carrying the torch when Punk broke his foot. Moxley talks about breaking bones and drinking blood, but between the two of them, the only one’s who has broken bones is Punk! It was his own, but still!

So again, tell Punk when he’s telling lies. Moxley has been INTERIM AEW Champion. Look that word up, it means “temporary.” And Punk is willing to test himself against Moxley, but is Moxley willing to test himself against his best friends? Let’s talk about those friends. Mox’s best friend is the third best Eddie that Punk’s ever faced. And the second best Kingston! These people aren’t number one at anything! Tell Punk when he’s telling a lie! Fans have to admit, he’s got a point. Punk says he’s missed the fans, and he’s missed competing in the ring. He’s been wanting to defend this title on a PPV, and that will be All Out, September 4th, Chicago, Illinois!

Punk is ready to test his belt against Moxley’s “number two with a bullet.” Punk is willing to test his foot! The funny thing is, heading into Chicago, Moxley isn’t even the first Jon/John that Punk beats in Chicago for a title! And he’s certainly not number one there, either. But say his name enough and here he comes! Jon Moxley is heading to the ring but Punk taunts Moxley over the time he takes to make it to the ring. Punk does “mat angels” as Moxley and his AEW World Championship belt go through the crowd. Moxley does make it to ringside, he does get a mic and he does get in the ring to stand there across from Punk.

Fans cheer for Moxley, and Moxley says, “Look out, ladies and gentlemen, CM Punk is dropping pipe bombs! Doing what he does best: writing checks with his mouth that his body can’t cash.” Moxley makes sure to point at Punk’s foot with that. And Moxley tells Punk he’s living in a fantasy land! In Punk’s mind, he’s the best wrestler in the world. But most times, Punk’s not even the best wrestler in catering. Punk thinks his mic in his hand is power. But this is the real world, and that’s just a microphone. And all the words Punk says into it don’t mean sh*t. That belt on Punk’s shoulder don’t mean sh*t. Punk says, “Who’s living in a fantasy world now?”

Moxley says, “To be fair, right now, this belt don’t mean sh*t. Not until I beat you!” Moxley says he IS the heart and soul of AEW, and every time they call him “Interim,” he thinks of Punk and that makes him sick! Punks says, “Good! You can be the ‘heart and soul’, I’ll bet he dollars and the cents!” Both men throw the belts down and inch a bit closer. Punk asks Mox if he’s done talking. Mox says we all know Punk only came to AEW because he ran out of money, so don’t give Mox that. “Being the best is about heart and soul and guts and fighting spirit, and we both know that you ran out of fighting spirit a long time ago.”

Now both men are face to face! Mox says if Punk wants to prove him wrong, then do something about it. But Mox doesn’t think Punk’s gonna do sh*t. Punk says they have a match at the PPV, which Punk will soundly defeat Moxley in. But if Punk touches Moxley now, Punk’s afraid Moxley will just start bleeding all over him. They get forehead to forehead, Moxley puts his hands back behind him to give Punk an open shot. Punk pushes Moxley away, but Moxley comes back with a peck on the cheek! AND A SLAP! The haymakers start flying and fans are fired up for it! Moxley and Punk scrap, security and officials rush in, and fans boo!

Moxley and Punk are separated but Moxley throws off his shirt! Punk eggs Moxley on, security is a wall between them, and fans boo more. Moxley tosses his belt out of the ring, then eggs Punk on! Punk tries to get after Moxley, and Moxley LEAPS onto the pile! The scrum continues but is quickly broken up. Fans want to “LET THEM FIGHT!” and Moxley gets a chair! Moxley tosses it into the ring, and Punk uses it to take a seat! Punk eggs Mox on again, and Mox slides in! They make contact, but the security pulls them apart again! Fans boo some more, but Moxley finds an opening on the other side of the ring! The brawl is back on!

Wait, security just pulls them apart again. Fans boo as the ebb and flow just keeps going, but it seems we’ll all have to wait until Sunday, September 4th. What happens when Punk and Moxley go all out to determine an UNDISPUTED AEW World Champion?

 

Backstage interview with “Powerhouse” Will Hobbs.

Tony Schiavone is with Hobbs and references what we saw last week concerning himself, Ricky Starks and The Factory. Schiavone thought Starks & Hobbs were friends, so why did Hobbs betray Starks? Hobbs says he doesn’t need friends! “Ricky Starks, you proved to the whole world, your true colors came out, you told the world that you were okay with losing. I’m not okay with losing, Ricky! For two years, you got to walk around here and parade around like you’re some God’s gift to this business. You got to hide behind Powerhouse Hobbs’ back, because you knew I would get the job done.”

Hobbs was hired for one thing: make sure Starks stayed champion. And Starks couldn’t do it! Now Ricky, Hobbs not only breaks backs, he also breaks necks. And as far as The Factory goes, Hobbs has something for them, too! Will the Powerhouse turn into a juggernaut and demolish everyone in his way?

 

Best 2 out of 3 Falls: Bryan Danielson VS Daniel Garcia!

The American Dragon fought hard against Red Death, but was screwed over by The Wizard! Sounds like Game of Thrones, but it’s pro-wrestling! Or as the Jericho Appreciation Society calls it, “Sports Entertainment.” However, Bryan dares Garcia to look inside himself and decide: Is he the Best Technical Sports Entertainer? Or is he the Best Technical Pro-Wrestler? With Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat as the special guest timekeeper, will the Dragonslayer slay the American Dragon? Or will he JOIN the American Dragon in the Blackpool Combat Club?

But first, Chris Jericho joins commentary! Fans sing Judas for him as he joins Excalibur, Taz, and Good ol’ JR, then Bryan makes his entrance. Bryan shakes hands with Steamboat, then Garcia makes his entrance, complete with a new Dragonslayer logo on his tron. The bell rings on the first fall and fans rally up. The two circle, feel out the grapple, and Bryan shoots in to get a leg. Bryan trips Garcia but Garcia fights back and trips Bryan. Garcia goes for a leg, but Bryan trips him back and rains down forearms! Garcia guards but Bryan moves around. Garcia slips out, back mounts, but Bryan stands up.

Garcia is a backpack but Bryan snapmares and rolls! It’s a rough landing but Garcia holds on, then he drags Bryan around. Bryan slips out, throws body shots from above, then has a KNEEBAR! Garcia moves around to stand up, and he has a HEEL HOOK! Bryan endures, stomps at Garcia’s face but Garcia gives those back! They stomp and kick each other back and forth, but Bryan puts on a HEEL HOOK of his own! Fans cheer this technical exchange and the two end up in the ropes! The ref counts, the two let each other go, but then Garcia BOOTS Bryan into a corner! Garcia eggs Bryan on while fans boo.

Bryan stands up, they reset, tie up, and Garcia puts Bryan in a corner. Fans rally for Bryan as Garcia smothers him, but the ref counts. Garcia lets off to SLAP Bryan! Bryan keeps cool as AEW goes picture in picture.

Garcia taunts Bryan but Bryan puts his dukes up. Bryan KICKS Garcia’s leg, then eggs Garcia on. Garcia returns but Bryan KICKS the leg again! They tie up, Bryan SLAPS Garcia now, and Garcia wobbles a bit. Garcia throws some testing jabs but Bryan shrugs those off. Bryan throws body shots, then SMACKS Garcia! Bryan suplexes high and hard, covers, TWO! Bryan drags Garcia around by a leg, turns him over and hooks up the legs. Bryan reaches for the arms, brings them back, and then up and up and ROMERO SPECIAL! Garcia endures being held overhead, then Bryan sets him down to fishhook the nose!

The ref reprimands but Bryan throws haymakers onto Garcia’s head, then ROCKS him with a forearm! Garcia falls forward, out of the leg hooks, and fans rally up. Bryan paces, watches Garcia get up, and then KICKS him in the chest! Garcia is right up to CHOP! Bryan smirks and Garcia eggs him on. Bryan CHOPS back, so Garcia CHOPS again. Bryan smirks, dusts that off, and fans rally up more. Bryan and Garcia talk some trash, Garcia SLAPS Bryan! Bryan squats and Garcia kicks at him. Garcia eggs Bryan on, Bryan snarls and stands back up. Bryan stares Garcia down as AEW returns to single picture, and the forearms fire off! Bryan KICKS away on Garcia in the corner!

Fans chant “YES! YES! YES!” with every shot! Bryan goes corner to corner to DROPKICK! Bryan puts Garcia up top, climbs up after him, then SUPER STEINERS, but Garcia rolls it to a sunset flip! TWO! Bryan EuroUppers, Garcia CHOPS, but Bryan EuroUppers again! Garcia CHOPS, Bryan EuroUppers, Garcia kicks low then EuroUppers back. Garcia whips Bryan to a corner, Bryan goes up and over, then keeps moving! Bryan ducks and dodges but Garcia spins him for a BUTTERFLY SUPLEX into the ARMBAR! Bryan sits up, fans rally up, and Bryan clasps hands. Bryan fights but Garcia pushes him down!

Bryan rolls through, leg capture and BACK SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Garcia escapes but Bryan goes for the legs! Bryan ties the legs up, rains down forearms, and then hooks an arm! REGAL STRETCH!! Bryan makes his mentor proud while Garcia endures to make his mentor proud! Garcia crawls, reaches out, ROPEBREAK! Bryan lets off, Garcia bails out, and Bryan builds speed! Bryan WRECKS Garcia with a dropkick! Then he goes to the apron to FLYING- NO, Garcia dodges the knee to SAIDO to the floor! Fans are torn as Garcia stands back up. Garcia drags Bryan up with a facelock and he puts Bryan in the ring.

Fans rally and Garcia looms over Bryan. Garcia sits Bryan up for HAMMER ‘N’ ANVIL ELBOWS! That’s a very BCC move! Fans boo but Jericho loves it! Garcia gets the legs, SHARP- NO, Bryan spins it through! Bryan kicks Garcia down into the TRIANGLE HOLD! Garcia is caught but he stands up. Bryan throws hands but Garcia hooks Bryan up! PILEDRIVER!! Omoplata and DRAGON SLEEPER!!! Bryan is fading, the fans rally, but he’s OUT! That’s the first fall to Garcia!

Bryan: 0; Garcia: 1

The ref checks if Bryan is okay to continue, but Garcia says this is just the first fall! This isn’t over until he has his second! The ref starts a standing count, if Bryan can’t answer it, he’s lost! Garcia backs off to watch Bryan, and we’re past 5 of 10! Bryan crawls and stands at 8, so Garcia CLOBBERS him! Garcia stomps a mudhole while fans boo! Garcia lets off at the ref’s count to soak up the heat, then he storms back up on Bryan. Garcia stands Bryan up, EuroUppers, and CHOPS! Bryan looks dazed but Garcia brings him up to CHOP again! Garcia soaks up more heat while fans boo and he goes corner to corner. Garcia runs in to SHOTGUN Bryan, and AEW goes to break!

AEW returns and Garcia is stomping away on Bryan at the ropes! Fans boo Garcia and the ref counts, but Garcia stands on Bryan’s head! Garcia lets off and the ref checks Bryan. Bryan’s busted open from a DDT to bare concrete that happened during the break, but it isn’t too bad yet. Garcia drags Bryan from the ropes, kicks him more, and fans rally up. Bryan huffs and puffs as Garcia keeps kicking, and fans fire up! Bryan KICKS and KICKS and KICKS Garcia’s leg, but Garcia WRINGS the arm! Then omoplata, and the DRAGON SLEEPER! Bryan fights up, so Garcia INVERTED SUPLEXES him, and still has the DRAGON SLEEPER!

Bryan endures so Garcia rains down HAMMER ‘N’ ANVIL ELBOWS! Fans boo as the DRAGON SLEEPER is back on! But Bryan rolls forward to make it a cover, and he gets the fall!!

Bryan: 1; Garcia: 1

And now we’re all tied up! Garcia can’t believe it but the fans are thunderous! Now it’s sudden death! And Garcia hammers away on Bryan’s bloody forehead! Jericho blames the ref for making a mistake but Garcia just soaks up the heat. Bryan is in a corner, Garcia runs corner to corner, but Bryan dodges! Garcia’s dropkick misses and Garcia ends up in a Tree of Woe! Bryan KICKS away on Garcia! Bryan sits Garcia up, climbs up after him, then rains down HAMMER ‘N’ ANVIL ELBOWS! Fans chant “YES! YES! YES!” and then Bryan brings Garcia up. Garcia resists, but Bryan SPIDER GERMAN SUPLEXES him away!

Bryan sits up and fans are thunderous! Bryan adjusts, leaps, and MISSILE DROPKICKS Garcia all the way to the other corner! Garcia bails out as fans fire up again. Bryan kips up and fans are loving it! Bryan snarls and builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit at the corner! Bryan drags Garcia up to KICK and KICK and KICK! Bryan POSTS Garcia! And then YANKS Garcia into the post! And again! But Garcia YANKS Bryan! Bryan YANKS Garcia! Garcia YANKS Bryan, and both men fall over! Fans fire up and rally behind Bryan. Bryan and Garcia stir as the ring count climbs. The count reaches 5 of 10 but Garcia gets in at 7! Bryan flops at 8, but he’s back up and in at 9!

Fans are thunderous as now Garcia is also busted open! AEW goes picture in picture as the ref checks both men. They’re both okay to continue, even though Garcia’s a bit dazed. Garcia crawls forward after Bryan, talks trash on him, but Bryan just shouts at Garcia back! Garcia SLAPS Bryan but Bryan eggs him on. Garcia CHOPS, but Bryan still eggs him on! Fans rally, Garcia CHOPS, but Bryan just sits back! Garcia CHOPS but Bryan just does an ab crunch! Garcia runs to PENALTY KICK! Bryan does another ab crunch! PENALTY KICK! Ab crunch! Garcia CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS but Bryan doesn’t fall over!

Garcia runs again, into a HUGE forearm from Bryan! Garcia goes down and fans fire up as Bryan stays send. Bryan flips Garcia off, that’s a JAS thing! Garcia sit sup, and Bryan KICKS him! And KICKS him! And KICKS, but Garcia eggs Bryan on now! So Bryan KICKS and KICKS and KICKS! Garcia SWATS one, then CLOBBERS Bryan from behind! Garcia gest the legs, steps through, SHARPSHOOTER! Bryan endures the “Dragon Tamer” as AEW returns to single picture! And Garcia sits back deep! Bryan endures, hooks an arm, and drags Garcia out of his hold into the omoplata! Garcia moves around, rolls through, but Bryan stays hooked on!

Bryan reaches and finishes the LEBELL LOCK! Garcia rolls it back to a cover, TWO!! Garcia choke grips, Bryan breaks free, but Garcia SLAPS him again! Bryan staggers, Garcia runs in at the corner, DROPKICK! Bryan stays up to SLAP Garcia! ROLLING- NO, Garcia ducks to BUSAIKU KNEE!! Garcia steals something of Bryan’s! Knuckle lock cover, TWO!! Garcia and Bryan are in a test of strength as Bryan sits up, and they go forehead to bloody forehead! Garcia ROCKS Bryan, and Bryan ROCKS Garcia, but the knuckle locks don’t break! Another round of forearms back and forth, Garcia gets the edge and Bryan drops to his knees!

Fans rally as the knuckle locks stay clamped on! Bryan fights to his feet and he ROCKS Garcia over and over. Garcia hits back, the forearms keep going, and now Garcia leans onto Bryan. Bryan stands him up to ROCK him again and again and again! Garcia is down and Bryan rains down the shots! Bryan gets the wrists, but Garcia monkey flips! To steal the DRAGON STOMPS! Jericho is loving this but fans boo! Garcia lets off but Bryan trips him up! Bryan HEADBUTTS Garcia again and again, then gives him DRAGON STOMPS! Bryan lets go of one arm to focus on the stomps! Then the TRIANGLE, with HAMMERING ELBOWS!!

Garcia endures, fights to his feet, and he deadlifts Bryan! But Bryan drags him back down and throws more elbows! Garcia fires hands and the fans are loving the scrap! Bryan uses Garcia’s haymakers to turn the move around into the LEBELL LOCK!! Garcia endures, reaches out, Jericho cheers him on but fans want him to tap! Bryan catches the arm to HAMMER ‘N’ ANVIL ELBOW!! LEBELL LOCK!!! Garcia is OUT, the ref calls it for Bryan!!

Winner: Bryan Danielson, by submission, 2-1

Sports Entertainer or Pro-Wrestler, those are just labels, because this was a battle of two fighters! But in the end, Garcia falls and Bryan is the winner! And yet, Garcia’s fighting spirit keeps him reaching for Bryan. Bryan and the fans applaud for the heart the Dragonslayer has, but did what Bryan say last week get through to Garcia? Is Garcia going to be BCC? Bryan offers Garcia a hand but Garcia stands up on his own. Jericho leaves commentary to CLOBBER Bryan! Jericho rains down fists because he’s the sore loser here! But Garcia pushes Jericho away?! Fans fire up for that, but Jericho is confused and furious!

Jericho asks Garcia why he just did that. Is he thinking of changing? Garcia slaps the accusing finger away! Jericho points his other finger, because he wants Garcia to think long and hard about what he does next. Fans chant “You’re a Wrestler!” at Garcia, but will he listen to them? Or will he still follow the Jericho Appreciation Society?

 

Backstage interview with Private Party and Swerve In Our Glory.

Schiavone notes that this Friday on Rampage, it will be these two teams fighting over the AEW World Tag Team Championships. Swerve says “You’re welcome, by the way.” Marq Quen asks, “For what? Last week, you guys disrespected us, talking about how we’re not ranked. In case you haven’t noticed, we’re number five!” Isiah Kassidy makes sure Swerve knows it by holding up five fingers. Keith Lee steps forward and Private Party steps back. Schiavone steps in to remind them all of the No Physicality Agreement.

Swerve says Private Party’s been here how long and this is the closest they’ve gotten to the tag titles? “Winning ain’t nothing new to Swerve In Our Glory, Keith Lee and myself. You need to respect your elders, because you could learn a thing or two from us.” Keith adds, “And after you Swerve In Our Glory, then you can walk your happy asses back down the ladder.” Kassidy says Keith embarrassed him once. It won’t happen again. And on top of that, Private Party takes these titles back to New York. FACTS. BLAOW! See you Friday, baby. Kassidy & Quen are confident now, but will they be popping bottles or sharing ice packs after Rampage?

 

Tony Nese w/ Mark Sterling VS ???

But wait! Moxley attacks the Premier Athlete on the stage! And then he CLOBBERS Smart Mark! Then Moxley storms to the ring and grabs the mic! “C M PUNK! I’ve been waiting too damn long for you to come back, I’m sick of waiting! You wanna unify these belts? I say let’s do it right now! Let’s get this sh*t over with!” Fans are ready for that, too! Moxley throws off his hoodie and waits, and here comes Punk! But officials and security try to stop him before he gets to ringside! Moxley rushes out to meet him at the ramp! Fans fire up as they brawl but again they are separated! Moxley returns to the ring, Punk pursues, and the security swarm in again!

Fans boo as Punk is dragged away from the ring. The BCC’s Claudio and Yuta even show up to hold Moxley back. As much as Moxley and Punk want this fight, everyone else in AEW is doing their best to delay this until All Out! Moxley storms off through the crowd and the BCC follow, will this grudge even wait for September?

 

Backstage interview with the Jericho Appreciation Society.

Schiavone has Matthew Menard, Angelo Parker, and Chris Jericho himself, and brings up what we saw at the end of Bryan VS Garcia. Is there possibly some dissention in the ranks? Jericho says he is giving “Danny” a pass for tonight, that was hell of a match. Maybe after getting dropped on his head, he’s a little fuzzy and didn’t realize what he was doing putting his hands on Jericho. Maybe Garcia is wavering back and forth between Bryan and Jericho, but we need to know for sure. Next week, live on Dynamite, Jericho wants to talk with Garcia, face to face, in the ring, man to man! Whose side is Garcia on? Garcia better make the right choice.

But then Ricky Steamboat walks in! He tells Jericho that he’s watched Garcia. And that young kid is coming into his own. Jericho agrees, but then Steamboat says Garcia doesn’t need Jericho or Menard & Parker. Jericho is the same guy Steamboat knew 14, 15 years ago. The same hair, same get up and go. If anyone should mentor Garcia, Steamboat says Bryan is the better choice. Oh, really? Is that what you think, Steamboat? Typical goody-two-shoes Steamboat! Jericho hasn’t liked Steamboat for those same 15 years, so he better keeps his hands off Jericho and stay out of his business! Jericho storms off, and Parker tells Steamboat to stay out of their business!

Parker tells Steamboat to look at him when he’s talking! Stay out of- BOP! Steamboat’s still got a hard right! Will that teach the JAS not to anger The Dragon?

 

Gunn Club VS The Varsity Blonds!

Austin & Colten lost in the Dumpster Match but they did beat #Beardhausen. And yet, Daddy Ass is still not happy with how his sons are competing. Will they finally get Papa Gunn’s approval? Or will Brian Pillman Jr. & Griff Garrison expose them as the Ass Boys they are?

 


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Mitchell’s NJPW G1 Climax 32 Results & Report! (8/17/22)

And then there were four!

Published

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NJPW G1 Climax 32

The G1 Climax’s Final Four face off!

A VS B and C VS D, the biggest G1 Climax in NJPW history reaches its semifinals! Will Tetsuya Naito make Will Ospreay trainquilo? Will Kazuchika Okada make it rain on the Good Bad Guy?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • 8 Man Tag: Chaos VS Suzuki-Gun; Chaos wins.
  • Royce Isaacs & Tom Lawlor VS Dangerous Tekkers; Dangerous Tekkers win.
  • Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe VS Bad Dude Tito & JONAH; Tito & Jonah win.
  • Six Man Tag: The United Empire VS Bullet Club; Bullet Club wins.
  • 8 Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Bullet Club; Bullet Club wins.
  • 8 Man Tag: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Toru Yano, David Finlay & KUSHIDA VS Bullet Club; Tanahashi, Yano, Finlay & Kushida win.
  • G1 Climax 32 Semifinal: Kazuchika Okada VS Tama Tonga; Okada wins and advances to the finals.
  • G1 Climax 32 Semifinal: Tetsuya Naito VS Will Ospreay; Ospreay wins and advances to the finals.

PLAY BY PLAY

G1 Climax 32 Semifinal: Kazuchika Okada VS Tama Tonga w/ Jado!

It’s A Block VS B Block, Rainmaker VS Good Bad Guy! And in G1 Climax 31, Okada lost to Tama! Will history repeat itself? Or will Tama have to fall back to the golden ticket he got from beating Jay White?

The bell rings and fans rally up already as the two circle. Tama and Okada shake hands to show there’s respect here and fans cheer more. Okada and Tama tie up, are in a deadlock, but Okada uses his height as leverage. Okada puts Tama on the ropes and the ref calls for the break. Okada lets off, pats Tama on the shoulders, but Tama rushes in. Okada kicks low, headlocks, but Tama powers up and out. Okada runs Tama over and fans fire up. Okada runs, Tama gets up to arm-drag Okada around! Then Tama dropkicks Okada down! Fans fire up more as Tama brings Okada up. Tama CLUBS Okada and follows him to a corner.

Tama throws body shots, but Okada throws forearms! Tama knees low, Okada throws body shots but Tama CLUBS Okada down. Fans rally as Tama whips corner to corner, but Okada reverses. Okada runs in but into a back elbow. Tama runs at Okada but into the FLAPJACK! Fans applaud while Okada catches his breath. Jado coaches Tama while fans rally up. Okada drags Tama up, ROCKS him with a forearm, and Tama goes to ropes. Okada brings Tama around to CLUB him on the neck. Okada puts Tama in a corner and throws a back elbow. And then another! And then another! The ref counts and Okada lets off.

Fans rally, Jado coaches Tama, but Okada brings Tama up. Tama throws body shots but Okada knees low. Okada turns Tama for a NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Fans rally and Okada sits Tama up for a chinlock. Tama endures while Okada squeezes tight. The fans rally up more as Okada turns and twists Tama. Tama fights up to his feet, throws elbows, but Okada knees low. Okada throws Tama out of the ring then follows after. Tama staggers up into a kick and DDT to the floor! Okada leaves Tama behind while fans rally up. Jado coaches Tama while the ring count climbs. We’re at 5 of 20 but Tama is still down.

Tama pushes up off the floor at 10 of 20 and crawls his way over, and he drags himself up at 16, only to fall! Tama springs up and in at 19! Okada walks over and kicks Tama around while the fans rally up. “O-KA-DA!” eggs Tama on, so Tama fires off forearm after forearm! Okada eggs Tama on, Tama keeps throwing hands, but Okada DECKS Tama with one! Okada whips Tama to a corner, but Tama comes back to CLOBBER Okada! Fans fire up and rally again as Tama drags himself up the ropes. Tama rushes Okada to LARIAT, and ELBOW, and scoop SLAM! OFF COMES THE VEST! Fans fire up with Tama as he claps, “TA-MA! TA-MA!”

Okada is in the corner, Tama runs in to STINGER SPLASH! And then a BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO! Fans continue to rally as Tama paces around. Tama brings Okada up to CLUB him down, then he throws body shots. Tama dragon sleepers but Okada fights free! Tama throws a body shot, an uppercut, and then whips. Okada ducks ‘n’ dodges to CLOBBER Tama with an elbow! Fans rally and Okada whips Tama into a corner. Okada runs in to back elbow, then kicks and DDTs! Cover, TWO! Fans clap for “O-KA-DA!” “GOOD BAD GUY!” as Okada watches Tama stand. Tama staggers into the Alabama Lift! But Tama fights it off with body shots!

Okada ROCKS Tama, but Tama ROCKS Okada. Okada EuroUppers but Tama EuroUppers back! Okada swings but into the TONGAN TWIST! Fans rally up again as Okada bails out of the ring. Tama goes out after Okada and brings him up, but Okada throws body shots! Okada whips Tama into railing, and Tama bounces off into a scoop! But Tama fights that to a TONGAN TWIST to the floor! A bit of payback from earlier! Fans rally up while the ref checks both men. Both men are able to continue and Tama stands first. The ring count starts and Tama drags Okada up at 5 of 20 to put him in at 6. Fans cheer as this match continues.

Tama stalks Okada while the fans clap. Okada stands, Tama rushes in, VENENO! Cover, TWO! Tama paces around then brings Okada back up. Tama fireman’s carries, but Okada fights free and spins Tama. ROLLING- NO, Tama ducks the lariat to fireman’s carry! S R C! Tama heads for the corner and fans fire up! SUPREME FLOW! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives and Tama grows frustrated, but Jado calls the shot! Tama and Jado pound the mat, and fans clap along. Tama watches Okada rise, then he rushes in, GUN- NO, Okada turns that into the BACK2BACKBREAKER! And then the MONEY CLIP!!

Tama endures and fans rally up! Tama reaches out and gets the ROPEBREAK! Okada lets go in frustration but fans fire up more. The fans continue to rally, “O-KA-DA!” “GOOD BAD GUY!” Okada drags Tama up, scoops him and SLAMS him, then goes to the corner. Okada climbs up and fans rally for the MACHO ELBOW! And of course, the Rainmaker Pose! Okada drags Tama up, wristlocks, but Tama throws back elbows. Okada CLUBS Tama, EuroUppers and runs, but into a DROPKICK! Fans fire up as Tama takes Okada down! Tama drags Okada up, but Okada fights off the suplex to shove and DROPKICK Tama in return!

Okada drags Tama back up, ripcords, but Tama ducks to slips around, BLOODY SUNDAY!! Shoutout to the Prince! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives but Tama just reloads and brings him back up! Double underhooks, but Okada fights free to LARIAT! Not quite the Rainmaker but Okada holds onto the wrist! Fans rally as Okada slowly rises back up. Okada drags Tama up, for a short arm LARIAT! Okada fires up and the fans follow suit! He drags Tama back up, ripcords, but Tama ducks and runs, into a DROPKICK! But he gets back up! Tama is roaring, fans are fire dup, but Okada scoops for the LANDSLIDE!!

Okada then ripcords Tama, GUN STUN!!! But Tama can’t make the cover! Jado shouts to Tama, he crawls over to Okada, pushes Okada over for the cover, TWO!!! Okada survives because of the delay! Fans are thunderous while both men are still down! Tama rises and he drags Okada back up. Tama reels Okada in, underhooks the arms, but Okada fights the lift! Tama CLUBS Okada, CLUBS him again, and fans rally as Tama CLUBS Okada one more time. Tama brings Okada up, reels him in again, but Okada back drops and sits on the cover! TWO!! Tama swings, but into a waistlock! Tama fights the suplex, throws elbows, and then whips.

Okada reverses but Tama dodges the dropkick! And he hurries to underhook, but Okada slips out! GUN- NO, Okada holds it off this time, to then get the wristlock! Ripcord, GUN- NO!! Okada turns it into a MONEY CLIP!!! Fans rally as hard as ever, and Tama turns clip into cradle! TWO!!! Okada escapes, BOOTS, but Tama PELES! Tama reloads fast and waits on Okada to stand! Okada is up, Tama runs in, GUN- NO!!! Okada fights it again, to ENZIGURI! And then pump handle scoop, POWERSLAM!! Ripcord, RAINMAKER!!! Cover, Okada wins!

Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall (advances to the finals)

Tama put up one hell of a fight, truly worthy of the biggest G1 Climax ever, but it just wasn’t enough to stop the Rainmaker! Will Okada not stop until he has that Right to Challenge briefcase once more?

 

G1 Climax 32 Semifinal: Tetsuya Naito VS Will Ospreay w/ Great-O-Khan!

It’s C Block VS D Block, Uncontrollable Charisma VS Commonwealth Kingpin! We know Okada awaits in the finals, will he be facing one of his great rivals in Naito? Or will it be one of his great enemies in Ospreay?

Naito takes off his elaborate entrance attire while Ospreay takes his time with his coat and two title belts. Fans rally, “NA-I-TO!” “O-SU-PREAY!” and the bell rings. Ospreay encourages the fans to get louder so they do, and Naito says that’s nice. The two then circle, Naito goes back and forth to toy with Ospreay, but then they tie up. They’re in a deadlock, but Ospreay finds a point of leverage. He puts Naito on the ropes and Red Shoes counts. Ospreay pats Naito but Naito turns things around. Naito has Ospreay on the ropes, but then pats Ospreay on the shoulders. To then kick low and CLUB him on the neck! And again!

Red Shoes reprimands but Naito whips Ospreay. Ospreay reverses, Naito holds ropes and BOOTS Back, to then RANA! But Ospreay handsprings through! Naito ducks the Penalty Kick, avoids the Standing Moonsault, then arm-drags Ospreay! Naito ducks a roundhouse and tranquilos! Ospreay smirks while Naito bails out. Fans rally up while Naito stares Khan down. Khan keeps his distance and Naito takes a walk around the ring. Khan tells Naito to get back in so Naito does. Naito and Ospreay circle, feel out a knuckle lock, then circle some more. Ospreay blocks Naito’s kick! Naito tries to reach Ospreay but he can’t!

Ospreay ROCKS Naito with a forearm, then another! Ospreay whips, atomic drops and CHOPS Naito down, for the STANDING SHOOTING STAR! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up and Khan cheers Ospreay on. Ospreay drags Naito up, ROCKS him again, then bumps him off buckles. Ospreay CHOPS Naito in the corner, then stalks him to another corner. Ospreay CHOPS again and Naito staggers. Ospreay whips him but Naito reverses, only for Ospreay to go up and over. Naito dodges, blocks a kick and puts Ospreay in the ropes for a DRAPING BACKBREAKER! Naito then whips Ospreay to ropes for a hip toss! And basement dropkick! Naito keeps going, NECKBREAKER!

Fans fire up while Ospreay clutches his neck. Fans rally up and Naito brings Ospreay into a chinlock. Naito grinds Ospreay down with an almost bulldog choke but Ospreay endures. Fans rally up more, Ospreay pulls hair but Red Shoes reprimands. Naito lets off to snapmare Ospreay into a headscissor hold! Naito pushes up to put pressure on the neck but Ospreay endures. Ospreay rolls around and gets the ROPEBREAK! Red Shoes counts and Khan protests, and Naito lets off. Fans rally up as Naito brings Ospreay around. Naito ROCKS Ospreay but Ospreay ROCKS Naito, repeat! Naito then CLUBS Ospreay on the neck!

Naito CLUBS away on Ospreay in the corner, then whips him corner to corner. Naito runs in to JUMP KICK! Leg sweep, SWINGING DROPKICK! Combinacion Cabron! Fans fire up as Naito poses, then covers, TWO! Fans rally up and Naito stomps Ospreay around. Naito brings Ospreay up to cravat and neck wrench! Ospreay endures, drops to a knee, and fans rally again. Ospreay fights back up, throws body shots, but Naito ROCKS him again. Naito whips, Ospreay reverses but Naito reverses again. Naito swings into a full nelson, but he arm-drags free! Naito dodges and whips but Ospreay handsprings to NEURALIZER!

Fans fire up while both men are down. Ospreay sits up and grits his teeth. Ospreay waits on Naito to get up, but Naito is slow. Ospreay fireman’s carries to then SNAKE EYES and BOOT! Ospreay goes to the apron and fans fire up with him. Ospreay aims at Naito, springboards and PIP PIP CHEERIO! Cover, TWO! Ospreay is annoyed but fans continue to rally. Ospreay drags Naito back up, reels him in, but Naito resists the lift. Ospreay keeps trying but Naito flails. Ospreay CLUBS Naito, throws a quick Kowada Kick, then CHOPS Naito off his feet! Naito gets up but Ospreay reels him in, only for Naito to fight the bomb!

Naito ducks the lariat to BACKBREAKER into the LEG HOOK NELSON! Naito slaps Ospreay around but Ospreay still endures. Ospreay moves around, but Naito drags him from ropes! Fans rally, Naito puts on more pressure, but Ospreay kicks his way around! ROPEBREAK! Fans fire up as Red Shoes counts, and Naito lets Ospreay go. Fans rally as Naito stands and Ospreay drags himself up the ropes. Naito hammerlocks and half nelsons but Ospreay fights off the lift! Naito ripcords but Ospreay ducks the elbow. Naito CLUBS Ospreay, dodges a haymaker, then ROCKS Ospreay! Naito runs, into the Tiger Wall Kick and ENZIGURI! But Naito rebounds, into a SPANISH FLY!!

Fans are thunderous as both men are down again! Ospreay and Naito sit up, talk some trash, and then get forehead to forehead. Naito throws a forearm but Ospreay gives it back. Naito grins and forearms Ospreay again! Ospreay ROCKS Naito back! Ospreay eggs Naito on so Naito ROCKS Ospreay! Ospreay roars and fans fire up, and Ospreay throws another forearm! Naito gives another, and they go back and forth! Fans rally up as the speed picks up! Ospreay fires off a flurry, then CHOPS!! Naito staggers and Ospreay waits on him. Naito comes back to SLAP Ospreay! Ospreay grins and fans fire up!

Ospreay blocks a kick, ducks the enziguri but Naito dodges Hidden Blade to TORNADO- NO! Ospreay blocks to suplex and BRAINBUSTER! But Ospreay holds on, brings Naito back up, suplexes but Naito RANAS! Cover, TWO!! Ospreay escapes in time but Naito gets him for the TORNADO DDT! Fans are thunderous again while both men are down. Naito and Ospreay stir and Naito sits up first. Naito crawls his way over, drags Ospreay up, and throws heavy back elbows! Ospreay drops to a knee, but Naito brings him up for more heavy elbows! Ospreay drops again but he grabs at Naito. Naito brings Ospreay up for even more heavy elbows!

Ospreay falls over backwards, and the tape on his shoulders is coming off! Naito hammerlocks, half nelsons, and hits GLORIA! Cover, TWO! Ospreay is still in this but Naito is still smiling. Naito brings Ospreay up again, wrenches the arm, but Ospreay RAMS him into the corner! Ospreay runs in but Naito alley-oops him into the corner! Naito then sits Ospreay up on the top rope backwards, and climbs up behind him! Naito goes up to SUPER POISON-RANA!!! Cover, TWO!!! Ospreay survives and fans are thunderous! Naito aims from the corner as Ospreay rises, then he runs in to CORRIENDO SHIKI- NO, Ospreay blocks Destino!

But Ospreay also holds Naito up! Ospreay ties up the legs, MAGIC CROSS DRIVER!! Cover, TWO!! Fans are thunderous again as Ospreay aims from the corner! Naito sits up, Ospreay rushes in, HIDDEN BLADE!!! But Ospreay isn’t satisfied with that, he drags Naito up! Underhook and lift, STORM- DESTINO!!! Naito turns things around but both men are down! The fans are electric as both men stir on the mat! Naito crawls over to Ospreay, drags him up, but Ospreay BOOTS! Naito ENZIGURIS! Naito scoops but Ospreay slips out to HOOK KICK! Ospreay calls his shot, springboards, but Naito ducks the OsCutter! SPINEBUSTER!!

Naito hauls Ospreay up to wrench and- NO, Ospreay turns it, CHELSEA GRIN!! Fans fire up as Ospreay aims again! Ospreay runs in, but Naito ducks the blade! CORRIENDO SHIKI DESTINO!!!! Cover, TWO?!?!? Ospreay survives and no one can believe it!! Naito roars, drags Ospreay up, and tilt-o-whirls, DESTI- NO!! Ospreay slips out to HIDDEN BLADE!!! Cover, TWO?!?!?!? Maybe 2.999!! The fans can’t believe it, Khan can’t believe, commentary can’t believe it! But Ospreay drags Naito back up, reels him in and underhooks, for STORMBREAKER!!!! Cover, OSPREAY WINS!!!

Winner: Will Ospreay, by pinfall (advances to the finals)

After fighting back from an 0-2 start, after fighting his heart out here, Naito falls before the Climax! If this is truly Naito’s last G1 Climax, if this is truly his last year with NJPW, has it all ended here and now? Or can Naito find another path to Wrestle Kingdom?

As for Ospreay, he holds up his IWGP US Heavyweight Championship and Rev-Pro British Heavyweight Championship high as he stands over Naito, and then again as he stands on the corner. Khan waves the banner of the United Empire, then brings the mic to Ospreay. The fans applaud, but Ospreay says, “Louder, Budokan! Louder!! Motto! Gentlemen, I said MORE! I want more!” Fans applaud louder, and Ospreay is happy. “Naito, good showing. One more, onegaishimasu. This doesn’t get spoken about enough. In May, I nearly died! I had a kidney infection that nearly killed me! And in three months, three months! After saying I could’ve died, I’m in the G1 Final!”

Fans applaud that heart, and Ospreay says his opponent “is a man who seemingly, I can’t beat on my own. In the seven matches Ospreay and Okada have had, Okada has one SIX of them. SIX. Everyone is now doubting me, because they think I can’t beat Okada. I’ve seen it done with my own eyes! I have seen AJ Styles beat Okada. I have seen Tanahashi beat Okada. I’ve seen NAITO beat Okada! Hell, I’ve even see Jay White dethrone Okada. Know what makes me different? I know in my heart, I know I’m better than all those guys! I know I’m the best wrestler in the world today!!” Fans applaud that, he has a case for it.

Ospreay lists off his accomplishments: Best of the Super Juniors; the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship; the New Japan Cup; the British Heavyweight Championship; the NEVER Openweight Championship; the IWGP US Heavyweight Championship; and the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship!! There’s just one more to go! “And believe me. Believe me when I say this. Believe me, I’m not gonna lose. I will beat Okada! I will lead NJPW out of the Dark Ages, and I will bring it back tot he light! Okada, matta ashita <I’ll be waiting tomorrow.> See you at the top!” The Kingpin vows to go from Grand Slam to ULTIMATE Champion in NJPW, will he succeed?


My Thoughts:

A great event as the penultimate night of the G1 this year. Yes, I skipped a lot of matches, and I wish I had time to see that 8 Man with Tanahashi, Yano, Finlay & Kushida, because it saw the return of the Good Brothers to Japan. But Tanahashi’s team won thanks to some sneaky moves from Yano. I wonder if anyone from Tanahashi’s team will go after Karl Anderson’s NEVER Openweight Championship. Any one of them would be a great opponent for Anderson, but especially Tanahashi.

But we got awesome G1 matches, as to be expected. Tama has been running strong, but it sure seems like everyone knows how to counter the Gun Stun… It makes sense that Okada wins, he could potentially go back-to-back as the G1 Climax winner. But given that, I don’t think he will. Ospreay VS Naito was a great choice to be the main event between the two semifinal matches, and honestly I didn’t think Naito was going to lose. This is supposed to be his last year, so I thought he’d get to the finals before losing and having to worry about what’s next.

Ospreay has a great promo and he does make a great argument for winning the finals. Ospreay’s checked off almost everything to do in NJPW as a singles wrestler, even more than what Okada has done. Ospreay getting the honor of being the first to check everything off the list would be huge.

My Score: 9/10


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