Mitchell’s WWE NXT Report! (4/18/18)
All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service
- Ricochet VS Fabian Aichner; Ricochet wins.
- War Raiders VS The Metro Brothers; War Raiders win.
- No Disqualifications: Lars Sullivan VS Killian Dain; Sullivan wins.
- Candice LeRae VS Zelina Vega; Candice wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
WWE and NXT dedicate tonight to Bruno Sammartino.
The Living Legend, the Italian Superman, and the longest reigning champion in WWE history, truly one of the greats will be remembered for all time.
Johnny Gargano returns to NXT!
Yes, Johnny Wrestling won his job back by defeating Tommaso Ciampa at TakeOver: New Orleans! And of course, he brings Mrs. Wrestling, Candice LeRae, with him. The two head to the ring together while fans chant for “Johnny Wrestling!” and “Welcome Back! Welcome Back!” Gargano grabs a mic to say, “Going into TakeOver: New Orleans, I dreamt of this moment.” And now that he’s here covered in goosebumps, he doesn’t have the words. “It’s just really good to be home.”
Gargano was defined by two words for too long, and those words were “Tommaso Ciampa”. His best friend broke his heart while costing him both NXT title and career. For the longest time, Gargano couldn’t even say his name. “But after 37 of the most intense minutes I have ever spent inside a professional wrestling ring”, Gargano stands here proudly, and he has his life back! Fans agree with that as they again chant, “Johnny Wrestling!” Gargano confirms, Johnny Wrestling is back in NXT.
Gargano admits these have been some of the toughest months in his life, but he loves the fans for shoving the Gargano emojis in Ciampa’s face while chanting his name. The fans chant again, and Gargano thanks each and every person in the NXT Universe that had his back. He also directs thanks to his wife, Candice. Fans chant for Candice, and she gets a bit bashful, as he knows this was as tough on her as it was on him. But Gargano would not have made it through without her. They hug, but then move on from the “mushy crap”. Gargano is back, and both Johnny and Candice Wrestling have some unfinished business.
Candice takes the mic herself, because tonight, she’s handling her business with Zelina Vega! And if Almas tries anything, Gargano will drop Almas like he’s Ciampa. Then, once they get past Almas & Vega, there’s still one more thing. There’s a NEW NXT Champion, “and you’re looking at his first challenger!” Gargano is ready to go for gold again, will he and Candice put their grudges behind them to start fresh?
SAnitY’s Killian Dain speaks.
“New Orleans. Lars Sullivan took something from me. He took my chance to write history.” But tonight, Big Damo will use No Disqualification to take everything from Lars! It won’t be Eric Young, Alexander Wolfe or Nikki Cross bring the chaos, but just Big Damo alone! Will the Leviathan survive the wrath of the Beast of Belfast?
Ricochet VS Fabian Aichner!
The #OneAndOnly was also part of TakeOver’s historic ladder match, but was also unsuccessful in winning NXT’s newest title. However, he is here now for his Full Sail in-ring debut to carve his path to the top! How will he fair against the man who wants to go to the #NXTLVL in his own right?
The bell rings and the two circle while fans chant for Ricochet. They tie up, Ricochet gets the waistlock then headlock. Aichner hits back and powers out but Ricochet rolls off his back, under the clothesline, then backwards to headscissor Aichner down. Ricochet kip-up and dropkicks Aichner and fans are fired up. Aichner chops Ricochet back, then whips him to a corner. Ricochet goes up and over then handsprings and jumps, but Aichner catches him into a fireman’s carry! Aichner tosses Ricochet up to bring him down into a gutbuster! Ricochet flounders from the big knee to stomach, but Aichner keeps on him with a mudhole stomp in the corner.
Aichner backs off at the ref’s count, but comes back to stand Ricochet up. Ricochet turns things around and gives back a sharp chop of his own! Ricochet chops again, then whips Aichner at the ropes. Aichner reverses the whip and catches Ricochet into a tilt-o-whirl backbreaker! Cover, TWO, but Aichner keeps his cool. Aichner sits Ricochet up for a rear bearhug. Ricochet endures while fans rally. Ricochet stands up and fights out but Aichner rams a knee into Ricochet’s ribs. Aichner brings Ricochet up into bomb position, and shouts, “Next Level!” He lifts Ricochet but Ricochet slips out the back.
Ricochet rocks Aichner with a back elbow, then goes to boot, but Aichner blocks. Aichner retaliates with a hard European Uppercut, then whips Ricochet corner to corner. Ricochet manages to boot Aichner this time, then somersaults for a dropkick! Aichner goes down and fans fire up for Ricochet again. Ricochet drags himself up while Aichner stands. Ricochet blocks punches to give punches then rallies with forearms. He runs in at a corner for a big uppercut, then whips corner to corner. Aichner reverses but Ricochet dodges, corner 619 and springboard EuroUpper!
But Ricochet isn’t done there! He hits a standing shooting star, cover, TWO! Ricochet is surprised but keeps his cool. He goes to a corner and climbs up top. Aichner revives and trips Ricochet up, then climbs up to join him. Aichner tries but Ricochet resists the superplex. Ricochet fights Aichner off with body shots then a sharp uppercut. Ricochet adjusts, and hits the 630 senton!!
Cover, Ricochet wins!
Winner: Ricochet, by pinfall
The King of Speed wins his first 1v1 match in NXT! With speed, strength and style, can Ricochet reach the highest heights imaginable?
Ringside interview with Ricochet.
An incredible start to his NXT career, so how does it feel to get his first 1v1 win? It feels great, and fans agree. He likes hearing the chants, and he has watched a lot of today’s top stars in WWE make their start here at Full Sail. Stars like Bayley, Sami Zayn, Seth Rollins to name a few, “but now it’s my turn.” Ricochet came to NXT to turn things up and make a name for himself. He will prove to everyone why there is #OneAndOnly Ricochet. The King of Speed is ready to be a star, who will he encounter on his path to the top?
Lars Sullivan speaks.
“Tonight, I get Killian Dain in a No Disqualification match.” Which means Lars gets to do whatever he wants to Dain. Whatever comes to mind will happen. Everyone will see exactly why Lars Sullivan is “a real-life Freak of Nature!” Will the Beast of Belfast be able to even leave Full Sail to make a main roster debut after tonight?
War Raiders VS The Metro Brothers!
Ray Rowe & “War Beard” Hanson made a riotous debut last week when they wrecked the match between Heavy Machinery and the Blue Chip Boys. They look to continue on that warpath tonight, do JC & Chris stand a chance?
Rowe starts against JC and the bell rings, Rowe immediately hits JC with shotgun knees!
Chris can’t believe what happened to his brother right before his eyes. He tags in and tries but Rowe throws him right down. Rowe drags Chris up, Hanson tags in, and the Raiders mug Chris with knees. Hanson gives another big knee, then drags Chris up. Chris chops back but hurts his hand! He runs but Hanson cartwheels and lariats Chris down! Hanson roars and the fans fire up. Tag to Rowe, and Hanson feeds Rowe for Rowe to toss Chris up for the pop-up powerslam, Thor’s Hammer! JC returns but Roew gives him Ace Ten Mao! Rowe tags Hanson in before dragging Chris up. Hanson climbs as Rowe lifts Chris, and War Raiders hit FALLOUT!
Hanson covers, Raiders win!
Winners: War Raiders (Rowe & Hanson), Hanson pinning
These bearded behemoths will not be stopped now that they’re in NXT, are the Undisputed Era’s days as tag team champions numbered?
Shayna Baszler speaks.
The new NXT Women’s Champion knows a meeting is going on and she’s late to it. But she doesn’t care, she plays by her own rules. Shayna walks into the locker room to interrupt that meeting, as well as Serena Deeb’s pep talk to the other women of the NXT roster. The Queen of Spades lets them all know she runs the locker room now, and makes it even clearer by ripping down Ember Moon’s locker label. Shayna uses a playing card for her label, and tells everyone that there’s no one who can stop the change. She suggests they either get in line or get out of the division. But when Dakota Kai wants to go out and refill her thermos, Shayna gets in her face. Bully Baszler reigns over NXT with an iron fist, who will rise up to lead a revolution?
NXT, meet NXT’s Finest.
“The Finest Smile, the Finest Jewelry, the Finest Hair.” He’s on his way back, so get ready, for The Finest Kona Reeves. Reinvented and returning, can Kona Reeves reignite his NXT career?
NXT & WWE Media caught up with Pete Dunne.
The reporters ask the British Bruiserweight about the betrayal suffered at TakeOver: New Orleans. Dunne promises to return in a few weeks, and will show us what he thinks of Roderick Strong the moment he gets his hansd on him. “I’m gonna rip his head off.” The WWE UK Champion kept it short but not so sweet, will he get sweet revenge on the Undisputed Era’s newest recruit?
No Disqualifications: Lars Sullivan VS Killian Dain!
King Kong VS Godzilla? All the destruction in Rampage the movie? None of that will compare to what’s about to happen between the Leviathan and the Beast of Belfast when there are no rules but to win! With SAnitY headed to SmackDown, will Big Damo’s good-bye match be a violent victory? Or a decimating defeat?
The bell rings and the fans chant, “Hoss Fight! Hoss Fight!” Damo and Lars step to each other, Damo being very vocal, then he suddenly headbutts Lars! Lars staggers but Damo keeps on him with forearms. Lars powers Damo to a corner and rams in a shoulder, but Damo hits back with another forearm. Damo keeps Lars on the ropes, then clotheslines him out of the ring. Lars stays on his feet, he drags Damo out to join him. They brawl at ringside and around corners, all the way to the ramp-side of the ring, with the referee following at a safe distance. Lars knees low and whips but Damo reverses to send Lars into steel steps! The referee checks on Lars and determines he’s okay to continue. Damo goes back into the ring, takes aim, and DIVES!
But Lars catches him, to then ram Damo into a post! Lars continues by suplexing Damo to the ground! It takes a bit out of both monsters, but Lars is first to stand up. He drags Damo up and into the ring, then rolls him over for clubbing crossface forearms! Lars throws hammering hand after hand into Damo’s face, but Damo still stirs. Lars deadlifts Damo up for a German Suplex! Damo rolls out of the ring and slumps to the floor. Lars exits the ring to climb up to the top! The Leviathan LEAPS for a lethal lariat!
The monsters crash and burn, and fans chant “NXT! NXT!” while the referee checks on them both. Both men are somehow okay to continue, though Lars has given Damo a bloody nose. Lars stands up first again, and he puts Damo back in the ring. Lars hops up again, for the monster diving headbutt! Cover, TWO! Lars grows frustrated, so he goes outside the ring to fetch something from underneath: a chair! Then another chair, and another chair. Fans want tables, but Lars settles for these. He picks up one chair, aims at Damo, and jams it into Damo’s ribs. Damo staggers into a corner and Lars goes after him, trying to press the chair into Damo’s head like a vice. Damo fights him off, but Lars runs corner to corner, only to run into Damo’s dropkick!
Both behemoths are down, but the fans rally for “Killian! Killian!” With blood dripping from his nose, Damo stands, followed by Lars. Damo throws a forearm, but Lars gives one back. The behemoths brawl, Damo gets the edge but dares Lars to give it back. Lars swings but Damo ducks under to then lift Lars up in a fireman’s carry. Slam and back senton, the Belfast Blitz! But Damo keeps moving, and climbs up the ropes for a Belfast Vader Bomb!
Cover, TWO! Frustration grows for Damo, he goes out to search for something under the ring. Fans want a table, so Damo gives them a table! Damo picks the table up and puts it in the ring. Lars stirs while Damo picks up a chair. Damo drives that chair into Lars’ back! Damo then takes the table and props it up in a corner. Lars crawls over, but Damo SMACKS him with that third chair. Damo brings him up and prepares to throw Lars at the table, but Lars fights back. Lars picks Damo up and drops him with a side slam! Lars grabs a chair and presses it into Damo’s chest, then goes to a corner. The Leviathan climbs up again, but Damo moves, and Lars falls on only the chair!
Damo fires himself up while Lars writhes and flounders, then lines up the shot. He waits for Lars to stand, then runs out, but Lars catches the Divide crossbody to turn it into a powerslam! Cover, ONE!? Lars is shocked! But he keeps going, bringing Damo up for a scoop. Damo slips out and bicycle boots Lars. Lars staggers and Damo goes back to the corner. Damo runs out again, and the Divide brings them both crashing through the table!
Fans chant “NXT! NXT!” while Damo rolls out of the wreckage, leaving Lars amidst the debris. Damo isn’t done, he picks up a chair while the referee digs Lars out. Damo puts the chair on Lars’ chest before stomping a mudhole into him! He then wedges it in front of Lars’ face, and fans anticipate what’s coming. Damo goes to the adjacent corner and climbs up to the top. But Lars revives and goes after Damo with a chair, only for Damo to punch that chair into Lars’ face! Lars staggers around again and Damo adjusts. Damo leaps but Lars thrusts the chair into his ribs! Then Lars SMACKS Damo across the back! Lars stacks chairs and drags Damo up, for a FREAK ACCIDENT!
Cover, Lars wins!
Winner: Lars, by pinfall
Destructive and dominant, the Leviathan beats the Beast of Belfast! Lars made Damo bleed and he made him fall before Damo leaves for SmackDown. Now that Lars is THE Monster of NXT, is there any hope of stopping him?
NXT looks back on the grudge between Andrade Almas, Zelina Vega, and Mr. & Mrs. Wrestling.
Johnny Gargano thought 2018 was going to be his year after his wife joined him at Full Sail and the Performance Center. He was so proud to have his favorite wrestler finally make it “where she rightfully belongs” after years of hard work. However, we know things didn’t go Gargano’s way, as Zelina Vega would interfere during his matches with El Idolo. Candice LeRae would get her own shots in on Vega, but in the end, Almas would go 4-0 against Johnny Wrestling. Gargano’s grudge with Tommaso Ciampa aside, Mrs. Wrestling “is just getting started” with La Gerente. They settle things here tonight, will Candice finish it with a win or a loss?
The Undisputed Era arrives for their photo shoot.
While Bobby Fish is out with his ACL injury, Roderick Strong steps up to be one of the NXT Tag Team Champions. Adam Cole has his own belt now that he’s the inaugural NXT North American Champion, so one thing that is undisputed, is that the Undisputed Era is golden. Will Cole, Fish, O’Reilly and Strong continue to #ShockTheSystem and gather up championships?
Candice LeRae VS Zelina Vega!
Finally, after a handful of fights that accompanied other superstars’ matches, Mrs. Wrestling and La Gerente del Idolo will fight in their own match! Vega will join Andrade Almas in joining SmackDown, will her good-bye match go her way? Or will karma catch up to her for all she did to Johnny and Candice?
The fans are on the side of “Candice Wrestling” even before the bell. Zelina talks trash at the bell and shoves Candice, so Candice shoves back! Zelina runs but Candice blocks her kick. Candice reels Zelina in for a pendulum gutbuster! Candice then goes to the top rope already, but Almas appears out from the crowd!
Almas’ distraction repays Zelina for all of hers as Zelina throws Candice to the mat by her hair! Candice flounders while Almas grins and applauds Zelina. But as he promised at the start, Gargano appears! Zelina throws Candice out right as Gargano approaches, so Mr. Wrestling checks on Mrs. Wrestling first.
Zelina hops out of the ring to taunt Gargano while she bounces Candice off the apron. Almas applauds while Zelina puts Candice in the ring and covers, TWO. Zelina keeps on Candice with a dragon sleeper, but Gargano and the fans rally. Candice fights up and backs Zelina into a corner and buckles. Candice breaks free but runs into buckles as Zelina side-steps. Zelina jump kicks Candice down, then a la Almas, she runs in for Cien Knees!
Cover, TWO! Gargano applauds but Zelina and Almas are frustrated. Zelina brings Candice up for another page from Almas’ book, but Candice counters the hammerlock DDT into a small package! TWO, and Zelina swings on Candice, but Candice blocks and counters. Candice chops and haymakers Zelina into a corner then fast and furious! The referee backs Candice off but Candice runs in for the back elbow. She lets Zelina fall to then climb up, for the missile dropkick! Cover, TWO! Candice keeps her cool as Gargano and teh fans rally. Zelina throws a forearm then whips, but Candice ducks to tilt-o-whirl Zelina into a takedown! Candice borrows something from Johnny, it’s the GargaNO Escape! Almas runs into the ring, but Gargano intercepts, and now it’s double GargaNO Escapes!!
Zelina taps, Candice wins!
Winner: Candice, by submission
A triumphant return for Mr. Wrestling and a triumphant debut for Mrs. Wrestling, Johnny & Candice are here to stay! They send Almas & Vega packing with that loss, will El Idolo & La Gerente be able to move past it with their fresh start on SmackDown?
“First of all, that was awesome!” Fans agree, “That was Awesome!” Second of all, Gargano says that with Almas & Vega taken care of once and for all, “Aleister Black, I am challenging you!” Gargano wants Aleister and the NXT Championship! Speak of the devil, the Embodiment of the End appears.
Aleister stands on stage with the title in one hand and a microphone in the other. Gargano is excited but Candice is a bit worried. Aleister speaks, “You want it? Then next week, you shall have it.” An NXT Championship match, already!? The Dutch Destroyer and Johnny Wrestling are already going 1v1 over the title! Will Gargano achieve his dream so soon after being hired back? Or will he simply #FadeToBlack?
A solid episode here tonight. After knowing who is going and who is staying from this recent round of call-ups, this was a great way to shift things to fit the new landscape. Gargano even frames it as much as he promotes Candice VS Zelina for the first time ever as the last time, too. Ricochet and Aichner have a great opening match, and I personally feel a competitive match was better for Ricochet to showcase himself than squashing a jobber. On the other hand, War Raiders squashing the Metro Brothers was actually pretty fun. With SAnitY and Authors of Pain both out, Hanson & Rowe will move right in as the powerhouse team. The Undisputed Era is riding high, but with Pete Dunne preparing his revenge and the War Raiders easily a choice for contenders, they’ve got their hands full.
Shayna Baszler continues great character work, setting the new ground rules for her vision of the NXT Women’s Division. Something to note is that Nikki Cross is not yet included in SAnitY’s call-up, perhaps she will hang back long enough to challenge Shayna for the title. Meanwhile, it is interesting to see Kona Reeves gets a repackaging as a new superficial and narcissist character. I’m just not sure that’ll be enough to get him going, though. Damo VS Lars was great, and with Damo on his way out, it makes sense for Lars to win. Candice VS Zelina felt like it could have used more time, the spots that happened all felt rushed. But even so, great to see side-by-side submissions as Candice gets her first victory in NXT. And what a great closing moment! Aleister VS Gargano 1v1 will be another instant classic, no matter who wins.
My Score: 8/10
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Mitchell’s NJPW New Japan Cup Results & Report! (3/19/23)
The semifinals are here!
The New Japan Cup 2023’s Final Four!
Four is bad luck in Japan, but these four are grateful to be in the New Japan Cup semifinals! David Finlay VS Tama Tonga, Sanada VS Mark Davis, who will win to go for it all?
- Shota Umino & Oskar Leube VS Zack Sabre Jr. & Kosei Fujita; Shota & Oskar win.
- Six Man Tag: Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano & Ryohei Oiwa VS Bullet Club; Bullet Club wins.
- 8 Man Tag: Ryusuke Taguchi & Team Strong Style VS The House of Torture; The House of Torture wins.
- YOSHI-HASHI & Tomoaki Honma VS Jeff Cobb & Kyle Fletcher; Cobb & Fletcher win.
- Shingo Takagi & BUSHI VS Aaron Henare & Great-O-Khan; Henare & Khan win.
- YOH & Lio Rush VS Tetsuya Naito & Hiromu Takahashi; Naito & Hiromu win.
- New Japan Cup 2023, Semifinals: Tama Tonga VS David Finlay; Finlay wins and advances to the finals.
- New Japan Cup 2023, Semifinals: SANADA VS Mark Davis; Sanada wins and advances to the finals.
PLAY BY PLAY
New Japan Cup 2023, Semifinals: Tama Tonga w/ Jado VS David Finlay w/ Gedo!
The Good Bad Guy settled things with Bullet Club, but fate has intervened to have him face the NEW leader! Will Tama get past Finlay and into the finals? Or will the Rebel take over everything?
The bell rings and the fans rally up. Tama and Finlay circle, Tama claps to get the fans going more, and then he ties up with Finlay. They go around, Tama puts Finlay on ropes, but he lets off slowly as the ref calls break. Fans applaud and the two reset. They circle, fans rally up for Tama, and the two tie up again. Tama powers Finlay back but Finlay turns it around to have Tama on the ropes. The ref calls the ropebreak again, Finlay lets off slowly, but then swings on Tama! Tama dodges, then hits a headlock takeover! Tama grinds Finlay down, but Finlay keeps his shoulders up. Finlay fights to his feet, powers out, then slips around to headlock!
Tama powers out, hurdles, drops, then DROPKICKS Finlay down! Finlay bails out while fans fire up! Tama storms up to the ropes and slingshots but Finlay slides in! Tama lands on the apron, Finlay storms up but Tama ROCKS him with a forearm! Tama hurries in, and he arm-drags Finlay around! Finlay blocks the next, whips, but Tama reverses. Tama hurdles, but gets caught to a fireman’s carry! HOTSHOT, then BIG back suplex! Fans applaud, that was a good sequence, but Tama crawls to a corner. Finlay stalks Tama, drags him up, and UPPERCUTS him! Finlay whips corner to corner hard and Tama bounces off buckles! Finlay covers, TWO!
Fans rally but Finlay stomps Tama’s hand! Tama clutches that hand, but Finlay fishhooks his face! The ref reprimands, Finlay lets off, and Finlay says that was the nose, not the eyes. The ref doesn’t believe him. Finlay throws Tama out! Gedo tells the ref to leave Finlay alone, but the ref reprimands Gedo for getting on the apron. Finlay drags Tama up to RAM him into railing! No Man’s Land disappears as the railing go back! Finlay rains down fists, but fans rally up for Tama. The ref reprimands Finlay but he drags Tama up and puts him in the ring. Finlay covers, ONE!! Tama is hanging tough but Finlay is amused.
Finlay digs his knee into Tama’s face, he wants the ref to Too Sweet but the ref says no thanks. Finlay drags Tama up, whips him hard into the corner, and Tama bounces off buckles again! Fans rally while Finlay taunts them, “You think Tama’s getting to the finals?” Finlay stomps Tama, then springboard stomps! The ref reprimands, but Finlay clamps on with a cobra clutch. Finlay thrashes Tama around but Tama endures. Gedo tells Tama to give up but Jado coaches Tama to hang tough. Fans rally, Tama fights up and throws hands, but Finlay CLUBS him down! Finlay stomps and elbows Tama, but the ref counts.
Finlay lets off, he brings Tama up to whip corner to corner, but Tama comes back to CLOBBER Finlay! Fans fire up but Gedo is mad! Jado coaches Tama, Gedo coaches Finlay, but Tama is the first to stand. Tama roars, CLOBBERS Finlay, and ELBOWS him! Tama whips, Finlay reverses but Tama CLOBBERS Finlay again! OFF COMES THE VEST! Finlay goes to a corner, Tama runs in, STINGER SPLASH! And then clinch, for an EXPLODER! Finlay scrambles away and out of the ring, but Tama PLANCHAS! Direct hit this time and the fans fire up! Tama slides into the ring to let the ring count handle Finlay.
Finlay sits up at 5 of 20 so Tama goes out to fetch him. Tama puts Finlay in, stalks him to a corner, and Finlay wants mercy, but gets body shots instead! Tama whips Finlay out and then back into the corner, runs in, but Finlay elbows him away! Finlay storms up, but into a scoop! Finlay slips free to CHOP BLOCK! Tama writhes and clutches his knee but Gedo is loving this! The ref checks on Tama but Tama refuses to let this stop him. Finlay storms up on Tama to sit him up, “Look at this beautiful face!” CROSSFACE FOREARM! Gedo likes those, so Finlay sits Tama up again, to CROSSFACE FOREARM!
Finlay drags Tama up again, and he fires off MORE crossface forearms! Fans rally for Tama but Finlay looms over him. Finlay drags Tama up by his hair, sits him up, and BLINDSIDER LARIATS! Cover, TWO! Tama is still in this and Finlay is annoyed. Finlay paces around while Tama slowly rises. Finlay drags Tama up, gut wrenches and Canadian Racks, but Tama slips free! TONGAN TWIST!! Both men are down and fans fire back up! Fans rally as Tama and Finlay stir. Both men crawl over to each other, and Tama ROCKS Finlay with a forearm! Finlay ROCKS Tama right back! Finlay eggs Tama on and Tama sits up.
Tama ROCKS Finlay with another forearm, but Finlay ROCKS Tama again! Tama growls, he and Finlay sit up again. Tama ROCKS Finlay, Finlay ROCKS Tama, repeat! They throw forearms as they slowly stand, and they speed up as the fans rally! Finlay gets the edge, Tama fires off a strike fest! Finlay rebounds but into SRC!! Tama goes to a corner, fans fire up as he climbs, and Tama aims! SUPREME FLOW!! Cover, TWO!! Finlay survives but Jado and Tama rally the fans by pounding the mat. Finlay drags himself up with the ropes, Tama runs in, GUN- NO! Finlay rolls Tama, with tights! TWO!! GUN- NO!! Finlay blocks again!
Finlay drags Tama up with a dragon sleeper, inverted suplex, OSAKA STREET CUTTER!! Cover, TWO!! Fans fire up while Finlay grows frustrated. Finlay aims as Tama rises, Jado warns Tama of what’s coming, but Finlay runs in, into a KNEE! Tama SUPER- NO, Finlay dodges to DEEP SIX!! Tama staggers up, into a SPEAR!! Cover, TWO!!! Tama survives and Gedo is furious! Finlay argues the count but the ref says that was all fair. Fans rally back up, but Finlay brings down the kneepad. “X marks the spot!” Finlay drags Tama up but Tama is deadweight. Finlay still hauls Tama up, suplexes, but Tama slips free!
Tama rolls Finlay, ties up the legs, and he has a SHARPSHOOTER!! Finlay endures and fans fire up! Tama sits deep on the hold, Finlay flails and fights forward! Finlay claws at the mat, but Tama goes deeper! Finlay fights back up, crawls and reaches out, but Tama drags him away again!! Finlay shouts in pain but he hasn’t given up yet! Another fight forward, and Finlay gets the ROPEBREAK! Tama lets go and Finlay writhes in pain, but the fans rally up again. Tama drags Finlay up, hooks an arm, but Finlay fights and RAMS Tama into a corner! And again and again and again! The ref counts, Finlay lets off and staggers away.
Tama runs in, but Finlay fights off the DDT! IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER! Finlay gut wrenches to a CLIFFHANGER DDT! Cover, TWO!!! Finlay is beside himself but Tama survives again! Fans are thunderous for Tama but Finlay is right on him. Suplex and- NO, Tama fights, wrenches, but Finlay ROCKS him! But Tama cradles!! TWO!!!! Finlay escapes but the SUPERMAN PUNCH hits! BLOODY SUNDAY!!! Cover, TWO!?!? Finlay barely survives but Tama just pounds the mat. Finlay rises up, GUN- NO!! Finlay blocks, spins Tama, suplexes, GUN- NO!! Finlay blocks again and ROCKS Tama!
Tama roars, but Finlay fires off a flurry of forearms! Finlay spins, into a HEADBUTT! GUN- NO, Backslide! Deadlift TRASH PANDA!!! Cover, Finlay wins!!
Winner: David Finlay, by pinfall (advances to the finals)
Even El Phantasmo has to give old rival Finlay credit on that one. Gedo gets the mic to make the announcement official: The Rebel wins, and he just beat the NEVER Openweight Champion! Finlay will take the EFF over everything! Gedo needs the Rebel, Bullet Club needs the Rebel, and the world needs the Rebel! But will the Rebel get what he wants in the tournament finals?
New Japan Cup 2023, Semifinals: SANADA w/ Just5Guys VS Mark Davis w/ The United Empire!
New team, new look! The Cold Skull is looking sharp, but will he still bring about a Skull End? Or can Dunkzilla conquer the Cup on behalf of the United Empire?
The bell rings and the fans rally up as Davis and Sanada circle. Davis eggs Sanada on but Sanada feels things out. They keep circling, tie up, and Sanada headlocks. Davis powers out, Sanada RAMS shoulders, but neither man falls! Sanada ducks Davis’ chop, gets an arm and wrenches, but Davis whips Sanada away! Davis CHOPS this time, and Sanada is stinging. Davis whips, Sanada dropkicks the legs out! Sanada whips, Davis cartwheels, then scoops and SLAMS! And SENTONS! Fans fire up while Sanada bails out, but Davis goes out after Sanada. Davis brings Sanada up to whip him into railing!
Sanada drops to his knees, but Davis drags Sanada up to ROCK with a forearm! Great-O-Khan is on commentary and he waves the glowstick in praise. Davis puts Sanada on the apron to CLUB and KNEE and CLUB again! Davis gets space, fans rally up, and Davis runs in to KNEE LIFT Sanada into the ring! Crowns up and the Empire high-fives. Davis gets in the ring while Sanada sputters. Davis knees for the cover, TWO! Davis clamps onto Sanada’s arm but Sanada endures. Fans rally, Sanada fights up to his feet, and he throws forearms! Sanada wrenches but Davis DECKS him! Davis drags Sanada up but Sanada waistlocks!
Davis fights free of the hold, CHOPS Sanada to the corner, then whips him corner to corner. Davis runs in but Sanada dodges the splash! Sanada reels Davis in to back suplex, but Davis turns it into a CROSSBODY! Davis drags Sanada back up and back suplexes, but Sanada lands on his feet! Sanada hits the BIG back suplex! Both men are down but their teams coach them while the fans rally up. Sanada kips up, and then he fires up! Sanada DROPKICKS Davis, Davis stays up, so Sanada DROPKICKS! And dropkicks, but misses this time! Davis runs, but Sanada dropkicks the legs out! Then he DROPKICKS Davis out of the ring!
Sanada takes aim and PLANCHAS! Direct hit and down goes Davis! Sanada stares down the Empire, but then he encourages the fans to get louder. The fans oblige and Sanada likes that. Sanada may have a new haircut but he is still Sanada. Sanada puts Davis in the ring, drags him up to fireman’s carry, but Davis fights it! Davis fireman’s carries now, but Sanada fights it! Only for Davis to rise up again! Sanada fights more, gets to the apron, and he counter punches! Sanada slingshots, but Davis HOTSHOTS him! And then TRIANGLE JUMP FOREARMS! Sanada falls, and Davis DIVES?!? Direct hit into the railing!
Fans fire up as No Man’s Land disappears again! Red Shoes checks both men, they’re both okay to continue, but their teams argue about territory. The ring count starts, Davis drags Sanada up at 7 of 20. Davis puts Sanada in at 10 of 20, aims from the corner and climbs up! Sanada rises, Davis FLYING SHOULDERS him down! Cover, TWO! Sanada is still in this but Davis keeps his cool. Davis drags Sanada up, but Sanada blocks the lift! Sanada throws down elbows, but Davis CHOPS him! Davis whips, Sanada goes up and out and springboards in to MISSILE DRPOKICK! Davis stays up!?
Davis swings, misses, and Sanada CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS! But Davis KNEES low! Davis back suplexes but Sanada KNEES free! Sanada runs, into a LARIAT! Davis hits a BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO!! Fans fire up and rally as Sanada survives. Davis drags Sanada by a leg, says it’s time to end this! But Sanada kicks Davis away, so Sanada JABS him down! Davis gets the legs, YANKS Sanada up, but Sanada rolls through! Sanada fireman’s carries to T K O!! Cover, TWO!! Davis is still in this, but Sanada goes up top! ROUNDING BODY- NO, Sanada has to roll through as Davis moves! Davis scoops to POWERSLAM! Cover, TWO!!
Davis drags Sanada up, wrenches and torture racks, but Sanada slips free! Sanada ELBOWS Davis, QUEBRADAS and has the dragon sleeper! Davis snapmares free to clothesline in the corner! Sanada falls over and fans fire up! Davis climbs the corner, goes to the very top, and DIVING SPLASH, but he FLOPS as Sanada moves! Sanada goes up, ROUNDING BODY PRESS onto the knees!! Davis cradles Sanada, TWO!!! Both men are down and fans fire up again! Davis rises first, drags Sanada up, and fans rally up. Davis swings, but Sanada blocks the forearm to fire UPPERCUT after UPPERCUT!
Sanada spins, into JAB! But he still ROLLING ELBOWS! Davis ENZIGURIS!! Sanada is down and Davis fires up! Fans rally, Davis throws off the elbow pad! Davis waits, Sanada rises up, Davis keeps moving, LARIAT!! Cover, TWO!?! Sanada survives and fans fire up again! Davis stalks Sanada to the corner, then runs side to side, SLIDING FOREARM! Davis shouts “DEAD!” and he drags Sanada up into the torture rack! But Sanada slips free again! O’Conner BRIDGE!! TWO!?! Davis escapes by nanoseconds! Sanada storms up, but Davis trips him! Davis has the legs, Close Your Eyes and Count to F@#$!!! Cover, TWO!?!?!? HOW?!?!?
The fans, the Empire and Just5Guys are all going nuts! Davis roars, he wrenches, torture racks, but Sanada slips free again! SIDEWINDER DDT!!! Cover, SANADA WINS!!!!
Winner: Sanada, by pinfall (advances to the finals)
Davis drove the Cold Skull into the ground, but then Sanada did it back to him! Will Davis find his singles success another time?
Wait, David Finlay and Gedo make his way back out to the ring to see the other finalist in person. Gedo gets the mic to say they just want to give Sanada words of support. Gedo tells Sanada to do his best, because in Nagaoka, Finlay’s gonna beat his face in with the shillelagh, and throw him out of the ring like trash! “See You Next Time, Just Five Losers!” Gedo and Finlay leave, having copied and mocked Sanada’s catchphrase and his new team. Sanada gets the mic to say, “Oi, Finlay! And the people of Gunma. I promise I will beat Finlay on Tuesday, and come back here as the New Japan Cup winner.” Fans applaud that! Sanada then tells Gedo and Finlay to get outta here.
Finlay and Goto leave, flipping Sanada off over their shoulders. Sanada says this debut with J5G is a day he’ll never forget. Fans applaud that, and the mic is handed over to Taka Michinoku. Taka says, “Soon enough, it’ll be us who changes the scene here in NJPW! JUST! FIVE! GUYS!!” The Cold Skull is red hot, but will that heat bring him through to win it all?
A great semifinals for the New Japan Cup! Both matches were awesome stuff, and though Tama came close, I figured Finlay would win. He has been winning since his Heel turn and joining the Bullet Club, but he hasn’t quite won the Club over, yet they can’t really deny him, either, because he’s now in the finals of the tournament. The big things in Sanada VS Davis were Sanada’s new look, and that he buries that piledriver. But similarly to Finlay, Sanada’s getting a push because of the big change in allegiance, and now they’re both in this great match for the finals that honestly could go either way.
Gedo as booker does love to push the guys he backs as a manager, but Finlay’s story could be more about controlling Bullet Club than getting the title. And Sanada has openly stated he sees Okada as a rival and Okada reciprocated, so revisiting that now, with Sanada and Okada both having changed ever so slightly, we could get an awesome match for the world title.
My Score: 9/10
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Mitchell’s NJPW New Japan Cup Results & Report! (3/18/23)
It’s lights out, but for who?
Who rounds out the Final Four?
The New Japan Cup is getting closer to the end! Shota VS Finlay, Goto VS Tama, who will join Mark Davis and Sanada in the semifinals?
- Zack Sabre Jr. & Kosei Fujita VS Oskar Leube & Ryohei Oiwa; ZSJ & Fujita win.
- YOSHI-HASHI & Tomoaki Honma VS Aaron Henare & Kyle Fletcher; Henare & Fletcher win.
- Six Man Tag: Team Strong Style VS Bullet Club; Team Strong Style wins, by disqualification.
- Six Man Tag: The United Empire VS The House of Torture; The United Empire wins.
- 8 Man Tag: Chaos VS Los Ingobernables de Japon; Chaos wins.
- New Japan Cup 2023, Quarterfinals: Shota Umino VS David Finlay; Finlay wins and advances.
- New Japan Cup 2023, Quarterfinals: Hirooki Goto VS Tama Tonga; Tama wins and advances.
PLAY BY PLAY
New Japan Cup 2023, Quarterfinals: Shota Umino VS David Finlay w/ Gedo!
The Roughneck took The Mighty’s Front Man to the limit and then won, but now he funs into Bullet Club’s newest leader. Will #SHOOTER be the one shot down? Or will another one bite the dust as Shota brings about a paradigm shift?
The two get face to face and start shoving. Red Shoes backs them off, the bell rings and the forearms start flying! Fans fire up as they go faster and faster, and Shota gets the edge! Shota fires off in the corner, but Finlay turns things around, only to miss! Shota fires off more, and even shoves his dad aside! Shota fires off knees and he CLUBS Finlay, then ROCKS him with a forearm! Fans fire up with Shota, and he brings Finlay up. Finlay throws forearms in return, whips, but Shota reverses to ELBOW Finlay down! Shota keeps moving to BASEMENT DROPKICK! Fans fire up again while Finlay checks his chin.
Shota kicks at Finlay, stomps him, but Finlay eggs him on. Shota stomps, Finlay throws a body shot, but Shota just BOOTS Finlay into the corner! Finlay kicks back from below, and even SPITS at Shota! Shota doesn’t flinch, so Finlay steps to him. Shota DECKS Finlay, then digs his boots in! Red Shoes reprimands and counts, Shota lets off at 4 and talks trash. Shota stomps Finlay, stands him up and CLUBS him! Finlay goes to ropes, Shota ROCKS him with another forearm. Fans rally, Shota ROCKS Finlay again, and then whips Finlay to ropes. Finlay reverses to TACKLE Shota to the apron! And then all the way into railing!
Gedo likes that as Finlay RAMS Shota in again! Finlay taunts Red Shoes, then throws hands on Shota. Finlay smacks Shota off the apron, follows him around the way, and claws at Shota’s face! Finlay ELBOWS Shota down, Red Shoes reprimands, but Finlay claims it was just the nose. Finlay stomps Shota around on the ramp, going after the limbs. The ring count starts and Finlay drags Shota up at 6 of 20 to put in at 8. Fans applaud and Finlay paces. Finlay stomps Shota down, gives him toying kicks, but Shota sits up with a frown. Finlay UPPERCUTS Shota in the back, but Shota doesn’t budge!
Finlay gets in Shota’s face, then DECKS him! Finlay stands Shota up to UPPERCUT! Shota goes to a corner, Finlay HEADBUTTS then stomps away! Red Shoes reprimands as Finlay digs a knee in. Red Shoes counts, Finlay lets off at 4 and talks more trash. Fans rally up as Finlay brings Shota out. Finlay taunts the fans, “This is your boy?” Shota stands to ROCK Finlay! Shota hits back! Finlay CLUBS Shota down! Shota writhes but Finlay covers, ONE! Finlay clamps onto Shota with a cobra clutch to grind him down. Fans rally and Shota endures. Finlay shakes his head and pulls harder on the hold, but Shota still endures.
Shota fights up, Finlay knees him low and then again, and again. Finlay whips, Shota reverses to scoop, TOSS and UPPERCUT! Fans fire up while Finlay sits up in a daze. Shota storms up on Finlay, whips him to a corner, then runs in to UPPERCUT! Shota FISHERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO! Not quite perfect so Finlay escapes, but Shota keeps his cool. Shota kicks Finlay but Finlay gives a body shot. Shota kicks and kicks and CLUBS Finlay, then brings him up. Finlay fights the clinch with elbow after elbow after elbow! Finlay runs, into a DROPKICK! Fans fire up and Finlay bails out!
Shota hurries out to the apron, Finlay stands and Shota CANNONBALLS onto him! Fans fire up with Shota again as he shakes the railing! Shota drags Finlay back up, puts him in the ring, and fans rally behind Shota. Shota aims, to slingshot DDT! Finlay writhes but Shota wants him to stand. Fans rally, but Finlay blocks the kick, and he spins Shota around, only to swing into Shota’s clinch. Finlay fights free, then he clinches back, IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Shota is still in this and the fans rally but Gedo argues the count. Red Shoes says that was a fair count, so Finlay drags Shota up.
Finlay makes Red Shoes watch as Finlay CROSSFACE FOREARMS Shota! And again! Gedo likes that so Finlay gives more CROSSFACE FOREARMS! Finlay then sits Shota up to BLINDSIDE LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Shota is still in this and the fans fire back up! Finlay argues the count but Red Shoes defends it was fair. Finlay kicks Shota around, waits on him to rise, and the fans rally. Shota stands, ducks the lariat, and EXPLODERS! Fans fire up again while both men are down! Red Shoes checks both guys and they slowly stir. They go forehead to forehead, and Shota throws a forearm! Finlay throws it back!
Finlay eggs Shota on, Shota ROCKS Finlay! Shota eggs Finlay on, so Finlay ROCKS Shota! Shota ROCKS Finlay again, so Finlay ROCKS Shota again! They go forearm for forearm, fans rally and the two stand. The forearms keep going, back and forth, faster and faster! Finlay UPPPERCUTS! And UPPERCUTS! And UPPERCUTS again! Shota roars and UPPERCUTS in return! And again! Finlay rebounds into another UPPERCUT! Shota UPPERCUTS, and UPPERCUTS! Fans fire up but Finlay throat chops! And throat chops again! Finlay fires off HEADBUTT after HEADBUTT, then he rains down fists!
Red Shoes reprimands, those are closed fists! Finlay lets off and claims palms but Red Shoes can tell. Fans rally for Red Shoes as he argues with Finlay. Finlay goes back to Shota, but Red Shoes has him stay back to check. Shota is still in this, but Finlay thinks he’s won by knockout. Shota grabs at Finlay’s foot, so Finlay gut wrenches to a Canadian rack! But Shota slips free to CROSS RHODES! Shota holds on, he drags Finlay up, CROSS RHODES! Shota drags Finlay up again, SAVING GRACE! Cover, TWO!! Finlay survives but fans are thunderous behind Shota! Shota aims from a corner, runs in, but Finlay LARIATS!
Shota stands, but into a SPEAR! Cover, TWO!! Shota survives and Finlay is shocked! Finlay drags Shota up to gut wrench, CLIFFHANGER DDT! Cover, TWO!!! Shota survives again and the fans are thunderous! Finlay scowls at Red Shoes and argues the count, but the count is still fair. Fans rally behind Shota, but Finlay brings down the kneepad. Finlay slashes his throat and he drags Shota back up. Suplex to- NO, Shota cradles! TWO!! Finlay escapes, and ROLLING ELBOWS! Shota staggers to a corner and Finlay hoists him up top. Finlay climbs up after Shota, fires off forearms, then brings Shota up.
Shota throws body shots to stop the superplex! Finlay fires forearms and HEADBUTTS! Finlay brings Shota up again, but Shota SUPER GOURD BUSTERS first! Shota then hurries down and runs in, SWINGING NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Shota roars and the fans are thunderous again! Shota picks Finlay up but Finlay fights free. Shota kicks low, underhooks, but Finlay powers him back. Shota sends Finlay into buckles! And then TORNADO DDTS! Roll through to the pick-up, SNAP BUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Finlay survives but Shota roars! Fans rally behind Shota and he aims from the corner again.
Gedo shouts at Finlay but the fans rally up. Finlay rises, Shota underhooks, but Finlay fights the lift! Finlay stomps the leg! And then HEADBUTTS Shota down! Gedo says Finlay’s got it! Suplex, but Shota fights free! ENZIGURI! Finlay rebounds, but swings into hooks! Finlay fights the backslide to backslide, but Shota rolls through! Finlay suplexes, Shota slips free, backslide and underhooks! Finlay spins Shota around, suplexes, TRASH PANDA!!! Cover, Finlay wins!!
Winner: David Finlay, by pinfall (advances to the semifinals)
Another hard-fought battle, and The Rebel comes out on top! Finlay stands on Shota to add insult to injury, then he throws Shota out to just add more insult! Gedo makes the official announcement that Finlay won, and then he says what Finlay did to Shota will happen to everyone else! “Okada! Okada! Are you listening? The Rebel’s coming for you! The Rebel is taking the eff over everything! I need the Rebel, the Bullet Club needs the Rebel, and the world needs the Rebel!” Will Finlay be unstoppable until he has taken everything?
New Japan Cup 2023, Quarterfinals: Hirooki Goto w/ Yoshi-Hashi VS Tama Tonga w/ Jado!
The Fierce Warrior and the Good Bad Guy have both had their run-ins with the United Empire, and they both came out on top to make it this far. But there’s only one spot left in the semifinals, who is the final of the final four?
The bell rings and fans rally up as the two circle. Goto and Tama tie up, Goto powers Tama back, but Tama breaks free. They reset, tie up again, and Tama powers Goto back. Goto turns things around to put Tama on the ropes, and Red Shoes calls the break. Goto lets off with pats on the shoulder and fans applaud. Tama and Goto circle again, tie up, and Tama headlocks. Tama grinds the hold, but Goto powers out. They RAM shoulders, but Tama keeps moving. They RAM shoulders again, both men egg each other on, so Goto runs. Goto dodges the lariat to run Tama over! Fans fire up while Tama staggers up.
Goto whips Tama corner to corner, runs in but into an elbow! Tama runs in but into a hip toss! Tama avoids the elbow drop, headlocks, but Goto powers out, only for Tama to FLYING SHOULDER TACKLE! But now Goto avoids an elbow drop and fans fire up for the standoff! Goto and Tama circle again and fans rally back up. They tie up, Goto headlocks, and Goto grinds the hold. Tama powers up but Goto holds on tighter. Tama fights up, powers up again, but still can’t power out as Goto just holds tighter! Goto grinds the headlock more, but Tama fights up to throw body shots. Tama powers out this time, and things speed up.
Tama hurdles, but Goto counter a hip toss with a hip toss! Tama goes to ropes, Goto runs in, but Tama dumps Goto out to the apron! Tama swings but Goto counter punches! But then Tama GUN STUN STUN GUNS Goto down! Goto falls to the floor and Tama waits on the ring count. Goto stirs at 5 of 20, fans rally and Hashi coaches Goto up. Goto sits up at 12 of 20, but we past 15 before he stands! Goto slides in at 18! Fans applaud, but Tama drags Goto up to COHP! Tama whips, DROPKICKS and covers, TWO! Tama keeps cool as he looms over Goto. Tama brings Goto up, then CLUBS him in the chest again and again!
Fans rally while Tama paces around. Tama drags Goto back up, snap suplexes and covers, TWO! Tama clamps onto Goto with a chinlock and grinds him back down. Fans rally as Goto endures, but Tama brings Goto down to the mat. Goto kicks and flails, fights his way back up, and he throws body shots. Tama CLUBS Goto on the back, then ROCKS him with a forearm! And then another! Goto scowls but Tama eggs him on. Tama ROCKS Goto again, but Goto snarls. Tama fires off forearm after forearm! Tama then runs, but Goto blocks the boot! Goto throws the foot down but Tama ROCKS him with another forearm!
Goto blocks another boot, waistlocks, but Tama elbows free! Tama runs, Goto follows and LARIATS Tama down! Fans fire up while both men are down! Tama crawls to a corner but Goto is right on him. Goto whips corner to corner and runs in to MURAMASA! Then SAIDO! Cover, TWO! Fans rally as Tama survives, and Jado coaches him up. Goto brings Tama up but Tama fires body shots and low headbutts! Tama whips, Goto reverses and he runs Tama over! Fans fire up as Tama bails out, and Goto hurries to PLANCHA! Direct hit and both men go down at the railing! Fans fire up as both men stir.
The ring count starts but Goto is already up at 2 of 20. He drags Tama up at 5, but Tama is deadweight so Goto stomps him. The count passes 10, Goto drags Tama back up at 13. Goto puts Tama back in at 15 and fans applaud. Goto fires up and fans rally behind him. Goto climbs up a corner, but Tama ROCKS him first! Tama throws another forearm, but Goto hits back! Goto ELBOWS Tama in the head, but Tama throws body shots. Tama ROCKS Goto, climbs up and CLUBS Goto on the back. But Goto throws body shots and forearms! Tama and Goto fire off back and forth, and Tama gets the edge! Tama stands Goto up for the SUPERPLEX!
Fans fire up while both men are down again! Red Shoes checks, both men stir, and the fans rally up again. Goto crawls to a corner but Tama runs in, STINGER SPLASH! And then EXPLODER! Cover, TWO! Goto hangs tough and the fans rally up. Tama drags himself up with the ropes, and he storms over to Goto. Tama stands Goto up but Goto throws a forearm! Tama throws a forearm right back! Goto drops to a knee, but he grits his teeth. Goto stands up to ROCK Tama with a forearm! Tama shakes that off to ROCK Goto right back! Goto ROCKS Tama! Tama ROCKS Goto! The forearms go back and forth again!
Fans fire up as Tama fires off a strike fest! Tama whips, Goto reverses, fireman’s carries and USHIGOROSHI! Both men are down and Tama clutches his neck. Goto roars and fans fire up with him! Goto drags Tama up, dragon sleepers, but Tama throws hands from below! Goto blocks that, spins Tama around, but Tama fireman’s carries! SRC! Tama flounders but finds his way over to the corner! Tama goes up, for the SUPREME FLOW! Cover, TWO!! Goto is still in this, but fans fire up with Tama! OFF COMES THE VEST! Tama watches Goto stir, and Tama pounds the mat. Fans clap along and build back up.
Goto rises, Tama runs in, GUN- NO, Goto blocks! Goto shoves, runs, Tama redirects but Goto follows! Tama dodges and runs, GUN- NO! Goto blocks, then deflects the boot! But Tama jumps, VELENO! Both men are down after the satellite DDT and the fans are thunderous! Tama rises first, the fans rally back up, and Tama takes aim from the corner. Goto flounders, rises, and Tama rushes in, GUN- NO, Goto puts him in the corner! DRAPING SHOUTO!! But Goto’s too tired to make the cover! Fans rally up again and Goto rises. Goto roars and Tama rises, BUZZSAW! Goto then drags Tama back up to fireman’s carry!
USHI- NO, Tama flips through! But Goto still blocks Gun Stun! Goto drags Tama back up, spins him around, but Tama SUPER FOREARMS! BLOODY SUNDAY!! Cover, TWO!?! Goto survives Tama’s shoutout to The Prince, but Tama roars! Tama drags Goto up, underhooks, but Goto fights the lift! Goto wrenches and HEADBUTTS! And then LARIATS!! Fans fire up as Tama goes flipping through the air! Goto roars and gathers all his strength! BUZZSAW!! And then another dragon sleeper! G T- NO!! Tama blocks to a backslide but Goto holds that off! Tama HEADBUTTS, and GUN STUNS!!! Cover, TAMA WINS!!
Winner: Tama Tonga, by pinfall (advances to the semifinals)
The NEVER Openweight Champion bests one half of the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions! The Fierce Warrior misses out on the final four, will he and Hashi simply regroup to focus on the tag titles for the Spring?
As for Tama, he shakes Goto’s hand to show respect, and the two hug it out. Goto raises Tama’s hand in victory, then lets him have the ring. Tama gets the mic to say, “HAMAMATSU~!” Fans cheer and Tama continues in Japanese,
“Really, thank you so much! Goto-san. That was amazing, thank you.” Fans cheer the respect shown, and Tama asks that everyone please keep supporting him! A short and sweet message from the Good Bad Guy, will he go all the way until he has his hands on the Cup?
Another really good night for the New Japan Cup, though not as shocking and wild as yesterday’s. Shota VS Finlay went about as expected in that Finlay goes over, but I am still impressed that Finlay is a Heel that doesn’t cheat to win. He didn’t need Gedo to do things for him here, Finlay just outdid Shota. And then we got a great main event where I was rather surprised that Tama won out. I thought Goto was going to go strong to the finals to put over the other side of the bracket. Instead, Tama gets a great win here and he’ll get to face Finlay next week, in a great rework of Tama taking on the Bullet Club.
My Score: 8.7/10
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