The best of the Junior Heavyweight Division battled it out, and now the best two stand tall to face each other! Taiji Ishimori came to NJPW to prove he is THE best Junior Heavyweight in the world today, but he’ll have to go through Hiromu Takahashi to do it! Who will win and earn a shot at Will Ospreay’s title?
This review of Best of the Super Juniors 25 will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Therefore, all images are courtesy of AXS TV.
Gifs courtesy of http://frentique.tumblr.com
- Best of the Super Juniors Finals: Taiji Ishimori VS Hiromu Takahashi; Hiromu Takahashi wins and will challenge Will Ospreay for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship at Dominion.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS review what led to this final round.
“Bone Soldier” returned to Bullet Club, but it was revealed to be Pro-Wrestling NOAH’s Taiji Ishimori! Wrestling Dontaku would be where and when Ishimori attacked Will Ospreay, and making his claim to the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship. Both Ishimori and Ospreay participated in the premier Jr. Heavyweight round-robin tournament, and ended up tied 5-2, but one of Ospreay’s two losses was a loss to Ishimori! Not only would that help Ishimori advance, that proved he could defeat Ospreay clean.
But on the other side of things, Hiromu Takahashi, another of Ospreay’s rivals, also went 5-2 and advanced with his win over yet another of Ospreay’s rivals in Kushida! Now they meet, both determined to get one more match with the Aerial Assassin! Will the Ticking Time Bomb blow up the Bone Soldier? Or will Ishimori drive-by Takahashi on his way to the top?
Best of the Super Juniors Finals: Taiji Ishimori VS Hiromu Takahashi!
It’s a first-time-ever match-up of two of the best. Ishimori did everything there is to do as a Junior Heavyweight in Pro-Wrestling NOAH, from being a Three-Time GHC Jr. Heavyweight Champion to being a Six-Time GHC Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Champion. Meanwhile, Hiromu has only just begun his legacy. Whose legacy will grow with adding the Best of the Super Juniors trophy?
By the way, that sketch pad Hiromu has is given to commentary, and Jushin Thunder Liger takes a look inside. It seems Hiromu has written notes on his opinion of the other Super Jr. competitors. Clearly he prefers ACH more than he does Ishimori, going by that smiley face.
Hiromu’s opinions aside, Red Shoes does his check of both men and see they’re clear of anything prohibited. The bell rings, and the match begins, after the break.
NJPW on AXS returns and the fans are strongly behind Hiromu. Hiromu and Ishimori stare down, then slowly start to circle. They tie up but then back off. They approach again, but go back to circling. Finally they tie up, and are evenly matched in strength. Hiromu manages to back Ishimori up, but Ishimori turns it around to put Hiromu against the ropes. Red Shoes calls for the break, and Ishimori backs off, only to swing! Hiromu dodges and whips but Ishimori reverses. Hiromu stops himself to whip again, and reel Ishimori in for a forearm. He puts Ishimori on the second rope to then kick the rope, jacking Ishimori’s jaw. Hiromu runs and blasts Ishimori with a dropkick!
Ishimori ends up outside the ring, and Hiromu builds speed, but Ishimori comes back to headscissor Hiromu down! Ishimori goes after Hiromu in the corner for a whip, but Hiromu slides out. The chase is on as Ishimori pursues, but Hiromu leaps over! Ishimori holds ropes to prevent the sunset flip bomb. He backflips and now they start brawling with forearms! The brawl ends up going through the crowd! Hiromu knocks Ishimori down at the entrance, then drags him back up. Hiromu tosses Ishimiro over the railings, and now they go up the stairs! Ishimori breaks free of the headlock and they brawl again! Hiromu rakes the eyes, then stomps Ishimori down. Hiromu gets plenty of distance, and then runs back in for that John Woo Dropkick!
Ishimori gets blasted, and fans fire up for Hiromu. Hiromu wants everyone to clear the steps, and he brings Ishimori up by his hair. Hiromu brings Ishimori into bomb position, but Ishimori huricanranas Hiromu down those stairs!
Both men are down, but Ishimori is up first while Red Shoes checks on Hiromu. Ishimori walks down and fetches Hiromu, and the 20 count finally begins. It reaches 6 as Ishimori stomps on Hiromu. Ishimori leaves Hiromu at the mercy of the count, and he returns to the ring at 14. Hiromu scrambles to beat the count by 19! But Ishimori is upon him again, putting on a cravat hold to focus on that neck. Ishimori cranks on it, but Hiromu fights out. Ishimori snapmares, and grips Hiromu’s head with his feet. He spins around, and tweaks Hiromu’s neck! Hiromu rolls away but fans rally up for him. Ishimori just tunes it out while Hiromu gets away. Ishimori pursues and throws Hiromu into a post. Fans and Young Lions have to be careful as Ishimori bowls Hiromu into chairs!
Ishimori uses one chair to grind Hiromu into the ground, a wicked grin on his face. Ishimori backs off and returns to the ring, but Hiromu stands. Hiromu returns at the count of 9, but Ishimori is on him again. Ishimori chops Hiromu in a corner, then whips him corner to corner. Hiromu boots but is turned sideways for the swing kick! Ishimori runs, and hits Hiromu with a sliding German Suplex! Fans do applaud, giving credit where credit is due. Cover, TWO, and fans rally again for Hiromu. Ishimori drags Hiromu up, snapmare into chinlock. Hiromu endures while fans rally more. He stands up and fights out of the hold. Hiromu runs, but into the sleeper!
Ishimori gets a takedown, and turns his sleeper into a bully choke. Hiromu endures the wrenching and stretching, while also reaching and crawling for ropes. Hiromu uses his legs for the ropebreak. Ishimori lets go, but keeps his cool. He stalks Hiromu to a corner, and chops him again. He whips Hiromu corner to corner but Hiromu reverses with speed. Hiromu runs in but Ishimori slips out then back in, and then out again to shoulder Hiromu back. Ishimori springboards, but Hiromu trips him up. Hiromu runs, and gets the sunset flip powerbomb this time! The Bone Soldier just got blown up, and we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns, and the 20 count begins again. Hiromu is up at 6, and in the ring at 10. Ishimori stirs at 13, and manages to beat the count at 19, though gingerly. Ishimori stands in a corner, but Hiromu runs in for a big clothesline. Hiromu rolls Ishimori out to then run and basement dropkick him. Cover, TWO. Hiromu keeps his cool while fans cheer for him. He stands, and toys with Ishimori. He brings Ishimori up to chop him into the corner. Then he whips Ishimori, but Ishimori reverses. Ishimori runs in, but into a boot! Hiromu grabs Ishimori for a hanging triangle headscissors! Red Shoes counts, and Hiromu lets go at 4. Then Hiromu drags Ishimori out, wheelbarrow facebuster on the floor!
But Hiromu has more in store as he gets on the apron. Ishimori stands up, and Hiromu blasts him with another John Woo Dropkick! Ishimori ends up bowling into chairs! Hiromu catches his breath before firing up. He fetches Ishimori from the front row and brings him into the ring. Hiromu climbs up, Ishimori stands, and Hiromu hits a flying cannonball! Cover, TWO, but very close. Hiromu stands while Ishimori stirs. He drags Ishimori up, fireman’s carry, but Ishimori slips out. Hiromu elbows Ishimori off the waistlock, then runs, but Ishimori follows. Ishimori handsprings, but Hiromu clobbers him out of the air! Hiromu’s seen Ospreay do that enough times to know how to counter.
Hiromu and fans fire up again, and he brings Ishimori up again. He brings Ishimori up in the fireman’s carry again, but Ishimori pops out to victory roll! TWO, into a crossface! Hiromu endures, but then Ishimori turns it into the Lebell Lock! Ishimori has that arm threaded, but Hiromu won’t quit. Hiromu drags himself with one arm and both legs, even as Ishimori wrenches back. Hiromu keeps going, and uses those legs to get the ropebreak again! Ishimori lets go, but he stomps Hiromu before bringing him up. Hiromu hits Ishimori, but Ishimori hits back. Ishimori dares Hiromu to hit him again, so Hiromu does. They brawl with forearms again, going back and forth. Hiromu hits, Ishimori hits harder, but Hiromu comes back to hit again and again and again. Hiromu runs, misses, Ishimori runs and tilt-o-whirls Hiromu into the Lebell!
Ishimori wrenches back but Hiromu drags himself around again. Hiromu inches closer and closer, but Ishimori rolls him away from the ropes! Ishimori keeps that Lebell on, but Hiromu refuses to quit! Fans are thunderous for Hiromu, and he claws at the grip. Hiromu drags himself around again, and grabs onto Red Shoes to keep himself from tapping. He then scrambles, only for Ishimori to make it Rings of Saturn! Ishimori even grabs at the legs, but somehow, Hiromu still gets the ropebreak! Ishimori lets him go, but both men are down from exhaustion. They catch their breath while rolling away from each other. Fans rally as both men drag themselves up to their feet.
Ishimori takes aim, runs in, but misses! Hiromu runs in but misses, but then he ducks Ishimori! Hiromu goes after Ishimori on the second rope, German Suplex! But Ishimori lands on his feet! He gets running, but runs into Hiromu’s overhead throw! Hiromu catches his breath while Ishimori is down in the corner. Ishimori slowly stands as Hiromu runs, and Hiromu runs Ishimori over with a powerful lariat! Hiromu drags Ishimori up, fireman’s carry, Time Bomb! Cover, TWO!? Ishimori survives?! Fans are thunderous while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns, and both men slowly stir. Hiromu sits up first, but Ishimori gets himself to a corner. Hiromu runs in, hits the clothesline, then hoists Ishimori up. He climbs up to join Ishimori, and hits a super wheelbarrow! Cover, TWO!! Hiromu grits his teeth as he stands up again. He brings Ishimoriu up, fireman’s carry, and then he Death Valley Drivers Ishimori right into buckles! Hiromu drags Ishimori up again, another fireman’s carry, and spins, but Ishimori slips off! Ishimori deflects the superkick but Hiromu deflects the knee strike. Hiromu SUPERKICKS this time, but then runs into a boot. Ishimori Poison-Steiners Hiromu! But Hiromu springs right up to do it back to Ishimori!
Both men are down from such damage to their heads. Fans are at a fever pitch, and still cheering Hiromu on. Both men stir and Red Shoes checks on them. They’re okay to continue, so a count begins. Hiromu and Ishimori stir, they’re up at 7. They crawl towards each other, and brawl with forearms from the mat. Hiromu hits, Ishimori hits, then back again. Hiromu grins with wild eyes as he hits Ishimori again, but Ishimori shakes his head and hits back. They brawl while standing up, and now it speeds up. Hiromu runs out of gas, and Ishimori brings him up for another shot.
Hiromu manages to stand and gets his second wind as he hits back with forearms from both sides. He spins around, but into Ishimori’s jumping knee! Hiromu staggers back, fires up, but runs into a clobbering clothesline! Cover, ONE?! Hiromu shocks Ishimori, but he’s still pretty tired. He slowly stands, but Ishimori is ready. Ishimori runs and blasts Hiromu with a dropkick, then runs corner to corner for double knees! Ishimori drags Hiromu up and into Tombstone position, but turns it into a modified code breaker! Hiromu is dazed, Ishimori covers, TWO!! The superhuman effort is keeping the fans at that fever pitch.
Ishimori gets up, and says BANG as he staggers over. He drags Hiromu up, and lifts Hiromu for a brainbuster, but Hiromu arm-drags out of it! Hiromu goes to headscissor but Ishimori counters with a powerbomb! High stack cover, TWO, and Hiromu gets Ishimori with a triangle hold! Ishimori cartwheels but Hiromu holds on. Ishimori endures, deadlifts, but is brought down again! Hiromu squeezes as tight as he can, but Ishimori tries for a cover. It doesn’t stay, so he deadlifts again, buckle bomb! Ishimori is free, but both men are out of breath. Ishimori rolls away, then runs back in, for a big clothesline. He yurinagi slams Hiromu, then fires himself up. Ishimori climbs up, takes aim, but his 450 hits knees!
Ishimori writhes in pain, but Hiromu’s legs took some damage, too. Both men slowly get up, run in, Hiromu gets around to headscissor Ishimori into the triangle hold! Ishimori deadlifts again, but Hiromu lets go to double underhook! D DRIVER!!
Hiromu can’t make the cover, he’s just too tired. So he goes for the triangle again! Ishimori fades, already dazed from that driver. Ishimori tries a second effort as he grabs at Red Shoes. He keeps moving, reaching, and gets a ropebreak! Hiromu lets him go, but he’s still focused. He brings Ishimori up, fireman’s carry, but Ishimori slips out. Ishimori wants his brainbuster but Hiromu resists. Hiromu lifts again, for another Death Valley into buckles! Hiromu drags Ishimoro up one more time, and swings him for THE Ticking Time Bomb! Cover, Hiromu wins!!
Winner: Hiromu Takahashi, by pinfall; wins the Best of the Super Juniors 25, and will challenge Will Ospreay for the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship
For the first time in his career, Hiromu Takahashi is THE Best of the Super Juniors! The award ceremony will begin after the break.
NJPW on AXS TV returns…
Ishimori is helped out of the ring and to the back. Fans applaud, showing respect to him for his valiant effort. Meanwhile, Hiromu is presented with the Best of the Super Juniors trophy, poses for pictures, and sits down before taking the mic.
“I don’t like it. I don’t like it much at all.” That is to say, he doesn’t like saying this after the tournament. So he must apologize first. But Ospreay! Accept his challenge for that IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship! Will Ospreay comes out! He joins Hiromu in the ring, his title in hand. Aerial Assassin and Ticking Time Bomb stand, and Ospreay congratulates his rival. Everyone is so proud, even Ospreay. Hiromu won Best of the Super Juniors, well done. But that doesn’t mean a thing compared to the belt, because that means Ospreay is the real best Jr. Heavyweight.
Ospreay reminds everyone that he is already up two wins on Hiromu in the past, so Ospreay knows that Dominion will be easy. Ospreay vows to leave with his title, and proves he really is the best in the world. Champion raises his belt, challenger raises his trophy, who will be raising their hands after Osaka?
Ospreay takes his leave, and Hiromu says, “Ospreay. Thank you meow.” The Ticking Time Bomb is not intimidated, and continues to say “Did you all just see that?” Even those watching at home on TV, did they see it? For that matter, did all the Heavyweights see that? Even Liger saw that, right? This is how SUPER JUNIORS do it! Liger has to applaud for that one. “Five years ago today, in this same spot, I still remember what I said.” Hiromu still feels that way. His dream is to hold that IWGP J. Heavyweight belt, and to be a Jr. Heavyweight main event, prime timer!! “Nothing has changed! I’m exactly the same as I was then.” But even more, more, more, more, more, “Let’s have fun!” With everything he has to say already said, Hiromu finally celebrates.
But not just him, the rest of LIJ joins him! Naito, Bushi, EVIL and Sanada appear, and Hiromu shows off his trophy to them. And together, LIJ celebrate.
Hiromu kneels while Naito, Bushi, EVIL and Sanada move aside. Oops, the wing…
Well, that tarnishes the win a little bit. Hiromu kneels in apology to the hurt trophy. Is this a bad omen of things to come?
Taiji Ishimori admits defeat. Today, Hiromu was the better man. But, Ishimori knows there’s more for him to show. There’s unfinished business. Ishimori agrees, though, it’s tough, but fun. Ishimori wants more, more, more! “New battles, exceeding our limits.” He wants to have more fun with Hiromu. “It’s reborn!”
Hiromu said this in the ring, but this tournament is more than just to name a #1 contender. He’s said it all along. Hiromu does apologize, he’s already challenged and lost to Ospreay many times this year. But just one more chance, that all he needs. Ospreay is the best, but so is Hiromu. They’ll settle this once and for all! Dominion is coming, who will truly be THE Best of the Super Juniors?
I was surprised to see AXS TV bring up the finals of the Super Juniors, but I suppose it really is the most important part of the tournament. At the same time, this does help AXS speed up their coverage of NJPW so that they can get to Dominion sooner. This is also the match that THE Dave Meltzer award 5.5 stars, thereby breaking his 5 star system, again. While Meltzer is right in giving this the best rating out of all the BOSJ matches, going over 5 stars seems a bit much. Just reaching 5 stars is more realistic, because it really did have great action and even great character and story work. They went all around the arena, and Ishimori was dead set on a submission victory, but Hiromu showed two can play that game.
It’s really great for Hiromu to go over here because his rivalry with Ospreay has been longer standing, Ishimori only just got to NJPW, and Hiromu is vastly more popular, as the fans showed tonight as they did not sway in their support of him. Hiromu’s interaction with Ospreay was great, but I’m a little sad AXS cut out the interactions with the rest of LIJ. There’s a great little bit where Naito and Hiromu were childishly fighting over the trophy until Naito hands the trophy back with a bow. It means a lot in story for Naito to give that sign of respect to his protege.
My Score: 9/10
Mitchell’s NJPW G1 Climax 32 Results & Report! (8/9/22)
Will Naito Go To Sleep?
Tetsuya Naito fights to stay alive in the G1!
In what could be his last year in NJPW, Tetsuya Naito fights to stay alive in the biggest G1 Climax ever! But will Kenta make him Go To Sleep?
- Tomohiro Ishii & Kosei Fujita VS BUSHI & Shingo Takagi; Bushi & Takagi win.
- Royce Isaacs & Tom Lawlor VS TAKA Michinoku & Zack Sabre Jr; Isaacs & Lawlor win.
- 8 Man Tag: The United Empire VS Bullet Club; The United Empire wins.
- 8 Man Tag: Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Hirooki Goto & Toru Yano VS Bullet Club; Okada, Tanahashi, Goto & Yano win.
- G1 Climax, D Block: YOSHI-HASHI VS Yujiro Takahashi; Yujiro wins.
- G1 Climax, B Block: SANADA VS Chase Owens; Sanada wins.
- G1 Climax, B Block: Tama Tonga VS Taichi; Tama wins.
- G1 Climax, A Block: JONAH VS Lance Archer; Archer wins.
- G1 Climax, C Block: Tetsuya Naito VS KENTA; Naito wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Here are the current standings!
- JONAH: 3-1, 6 points
- Kazuchika Okada: 3-1, 6 points
- Jeff Cobb: 2-2, 4 points
- Lance Archer: 2-2, 4 points
- Tom Lawlor: 2-2, 4 points
- Bad Luck Fale: 2-3, 4 points
- Toru Yano: 1-4, 2 points [ELIMINATED]
- Jay White: 4-0, 8 points
- Tama Tonga: 2-1, 4 points
- Taichi: 2-1, 4 points
- SANADA: 2-2, 4 points
- Chase Owens: 2-3, 4 points [ELIMINATED]
- Great-O-Khan: 1-3, 2 points [ELIMINATED]
- Tomohiro Ishii: 1-4, 2 points [ELIMINATED]
- Hiroshi Tanahashi: 3-1, 6 points
- Zack Sabre Jr: 3-1, 6 points
- Hirooki Goto: 2-2, 4 points
- Tetsuya Naito: 2-2, 4 points
- EVIL: 2-2, 4 points
- KENTA: 1-2, 2 points
- Aaron Henare: 1-4, 2 points [ELIMINATED]
- David Finlay: 3-1, 6 points
- Shingo Takagi: 2-2, 4 points
- Will Ospreay: 2-2, 4 points
- YOSHI-HASHI: 2-1, 4 points
- Yujiro Takahashi: 2-2, 4 points
- Juice Robinson: 2-3, 4 points [ELIMINATED]
- El Phantasmo: 1-3, 2 points [ELIMINATED]
G1 Climax, D Block: YOSHI-HASHI VS Yujiro Takahashi w/ Pieter!
The Headhunter is still alive in the G1, but so is the Tokyo Pimp! Someone’s bubble could burst right here, will Hashi be able to #TurnItAllAround? Or will he be washed away by Pimp Juice?
While Hashi makes his entrance, Yujiro attacks him on the corner! Yujiro throws Hashi down, stomps him, and pulls Hashi’s jacket and NEVER Openweight Six Man title belt off him while the ref reprimands. The ref snatches the belt from Yujiro and Yujiro says he wasn’t gonna use it. Yujiro stomps Hashi, the bell rings and Yujiro rains down fists. The ref reprimands about the closed fists so Yujiro lets off. Yujiro drags Hashi up while fans rally for “HEAD-HUNT-ER! HEAD-HUNT-ER!” Yujiro CLUBS Hashi, drags him up, then ROCKS him with a forearm. And another! Yujiro whips Hashi to ropes, but Hashi elbows back!
Hashi runs Yujiro over, then kicks him low to hit the NECKBREAKER! Fans fire up with Hashi while Pieter panics for Yujiro. Hashi goes out after Yujiro but Yujiro kicks low. Yujiro whips but Hashi reverses and Yujiro hits railing! Yujiro falls over, but then hurries to grab things from under the ring. Yujiro has a chair, and as Hashi walks around the way, Yujiro JAMS Hashi! And CLOBBERS him! The ref reprimands, this is the same ref who called Juice VS ELP and disqualified ELP! Yujiro defends his innocence, but fans rally for Hashi. But then Yujiro goes and unties the red corner buckle pad! The remix of the Bullet Club Special!
The ref starts a ring count and Hashi sits up at 4 of 20. Hashi stands at 7, gets in at 9, but Yujiro drags him up. Yujiro whips Hashi into the bare buckles! Hashi writhes and flounders but fans rally up. Yujiro drags Hashi up to RAM Hashi into the buckles! The ref reprimands while Hashi writhes, but there’s nothing that can be done about the pad. Fans still rally but Yujiro drags Hashi back up. Yujiro scoops Hashi to SLAM him down, covers, TWO! Hashi survives and Yujiro is almost confused as to how. Yujiro fires forearms on Hashi over and over, all the way to the mat! Yujiro then drags Hashi up to snapmare and basement BOOT! Cover, TWO!
Fans rally but Yujiro argues the count. The ref says his count is fair, and fans rally up. Yujiro drags Hashi up but Hashi throws body shots! And a CHOP! That’s a stinger! Yujiro knees low, knees low again, then runs to BOOT Hashi against ropes! Yujiro drags Hashi up and reels him in, FISHER- NO, Hashi fights that off to suplex high and hard! Fans fire up and Hashi shakes out his bad arm. Hashi and Yujiro rise, and Hashi fires off strikes and a CHOP! Yujiro staggers away, Hashi runs in at the corner to clothesline! Hashi whips to CHOP, then mule kick! Hashi runs, HEADHUNTER! Fans fire up again while Yujiro flounders away.
Hashi drags Yujiro up, suplexes him to hang him out to dry, and then runs side to side for the dropkick! Yujiro flips down, Hashi keeps moving, basement dropkick! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up and Hashi shakes out the bad arm. Hashi drags Yujiro up, reels him in, but Yujiro fights the lift and BITES the hand! The erf reprimands, but Yujiro CLUBS Hashi and whips him to ropes Hashi reverses but Yujiro holds ropes. Hashi runs in but Yujiro BOOTS! But Hashi comes back, into a FLAPJACK HOTSHOT! Yujiro drags Hashi up, FISHERMAN BUSTER! Cover, TWO! Hashi survives and fans fire up again!
Yujiro crawls over while Pieter looks worried. Yujiro drags Hashi up, reels him in, but Hashi blocks the Intercollegiate Slam! Hashi CLUBS Yujiro but Yujiro ROCKS Hashi! Yujiro whips, Hashi reverses and wrangles Yujiro, into the BUTTERFLY LOCK! Yujiro endures, the fans fire up, and Hashi cranks way back. But SHO is here! Of course the Murder Machine backs up his House of Torture housemate! The ref tells Sho to go but Hashi lets Yujiro go to tell Sho himself! Yujiro crawls up behind Hashi to LW- NO, Hashi blocks it! Hashi drags Yujiro up but Yujiro rakes eyes! Yujiro whips, Hashi ducks and trips Sho up to then RAM him into railing!
Fans fire up as Hashi gets on the apron, and he shoulders into Yujiro to HOTSHOT him down! Hashi climbs and fans fire up again. Yujiro stands for the BLOCKBUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Yujiro survives but the fans still rally behind Hashi. Hashi drags Yujiro up, full nelsons, but Yujiro grabs the ref! Yujiro elbows Hashi away, then shoves the ref at him! Hashi shoves the ref back, Yujiro shoves him aside, SUPERKICK! SNAP DRAGON! And Hashi fires up to run, but Yujiro grabs at the ref! Hashi still DECKS Yujiro, then drags him up. Yujiro RAKES eyes! Yujiro whips Hashi then “falls” against the ref, so Sho can SMACK Hashi with a chair!!
Yujiro sits Hashi up, PIMP JUICE!! Cover, TWO!?! Hashi survives and Yujiro can’t believe it! Fans are thunderous as Yujiro pleads with the ref. Yujiro pounds the mat in frustration, then he drags Hashi up. Yujiro reels Hashi in for BIG- NO, Hashi fights off the juice to get a SLEEPER! Then a BACKSTABBER! Yujiro writhes now and fans rally back up. Hashi goes to a corner and aims at Yujiro. Yujiro sits up, BLINDSIDE KNEE! Hashi drags Yujiro up, full nelson to pump handle, but Sho distracts again! So Hashi RAMS Yujiro into Sho, schoolboy with bridge! TWO!! Yujiro escapes , blocks a lariat, but not the SOUTHPAW!
Fans fire up again as Hashi drags Yujiro back up! Full nelson, pump handle, but Yujiro fireman’s carries! But Hashi slips off to SUPERKICK! And then the spin, pump handle, but Yujiro fights free! Yujiro shoves Hashi into the buckles!! Hashi checks his face while Yujiro gets his pimp cane! But the ref sees that and tells Yujiro no! They argue over the cane, Sho has his wrench! But Hashi blocks it! So Sho LOW BLOWS, then WRENCH SHOT! Yujiro lets the cane go, hobbles over and drags Hashi up, to a BIG JUICE!! Cover, Yujiro wins!
Winner: Yujiro Takahashi, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Hashi earns 0)
The Tokyo Pimp uses the stacked deck in his favor again, and he’s right behind David Finlay! Will Yujiro take over the block? Or will The Rebel refuse to fall?
G1 Climax, B Block: SANADA VS Chase Owens!
The Cold Skull is right on the edge, he needs this win to stay alive. Will Sanada keep the promise of a tranquilo semifinals alive? Or will the Crown Jewel get to play spoiler?
The bell rings and fans rally up. Chase wants to Too Sweet but Sanada says no, they LIJ fist bump. No, Too Sweet, open the fist. No, fist bump, put the Too Sweet away. Chase wants a handshake but Sanada still wants a fist bump. The two circle and fans rally up, “SA-NA-DA!” They feel out the grapple, Sanada avoids the leg pick, but Chase gets a waistlock. Sanada pries free to switch and waistlock, but Chase pries free to wrench and wristlock. Sanada pushes through to get the waistlock but Chase drops to arm-drag to an armlock. Sanada reaches over to clasp hands and get a chinlock but Chase clamps it’s a choke.
Chase powers through to get the arm again, but Sanada fights up to push Chase and arm-drag. But Chase holds on to arm-drag again! Fans rally as Sanada endures but Chase grabs fingers to bend them! Sanada endures the top wristlock so Chase covers, TWO! Fans applaud the technical exchange as the two reset. Sanada and Chase tie up, Sanada clinches to a waistlock then headlock and takeover. Sanada then floats to get the legs, BOW ‘N’ ARROW but Chase pops right out to a cover, ONE!! Fans applaud this new exchange, and Chase wants a handshake to say good job. Fist bump? No, handshake.
Fans rally up and Chase says he’s a good guy. Sanada accepts the handshake, but he blocks Chase’s cheap shot kick! Sanada knew better, and he trips Chase up! Sanada ties Chase up but Chase kicks him away. Chase trips Sanada and tries to steal Paradise! Chase can’t quite get it and Sanada kicks Chase away! Chase rebounds to run Sanada over! Things speed up, Chase sunset flips but Sanada rolls through to get the legs! Sanada tells Chase this is what he gets, but Chase apologizes! No good, Sanada puts Chase in the Paradise Lock! Fans fire up and Sanada encourages them to get louder. The fans get louder, and Sanada runs in to dropkick Chase out of Paradise!
Chase bails out and fans fire up more. Sanada slingshots but Chase slides in. Sanada lands on the apron and shoulders in, but into a KICK! Chase then turns Sanada for a HOTSHOT NECKBREAKER! Sanada flops to the floor and fans rally up. Chase goes out after Sanada to drag him up. Chase wants Bushi to watch this on commentary. Headlock PUNCH! Chase then snatches Bushi’s magazine away, and throws it away. Chase puts Sanada in the ring, drops a knee, then another knee! Chase then rains down fists on Sanada but the ref reprimands. Chaes lets off, fans rally for Sanada, but Chase stands on Sanada’s bad eyebrow! Cover, TWO!
Chase clamps on a chinlock and he squeezes tight. Sanada endures and fans rally up, but Chase cranks the hold. Sanada fights up, throws body shots, but Chase scoops and SLAMS him! Chase goes to the corner, hops up and blesses his fist, but he blocks the boot! Chase wags his finger, but then misses the elbow drop! Sanada gets space, runs back in and dropkicks the leg out! Chase clutches his knee and fans fire up. Sanada fires up and runs in again, but Chase gets around! Sanada switches but Chase elbows him away. Chase runs, but Sanada hurdles, and hurdles, and dropkicks! Chase bails out and Sanada takes aim to PLANCHA!
Fans fire up as Chase goes down! Fans rally and Sanada puts Chase in the ring. Sanada covers, TWO! Chase gets up but Sanada is on him for a fireman’s carry. Chase slips off, Sanada fights the half nelson but Chase fires off a strike fest! Chase runs, but Sanada elbows him! Sanada goes to run but Chase reels him in, to schoolboy him into ropes! The ropes send Sanada down and Chase steps over, STF! Sanada endures and fans fire up, but Chase shifts to a full CROSSFACE! Sanada endures so Chase shifts right to a RINGS OF SATURN! Sanada moves around, reaches out, ROPEBREAK! The fans applaud but Chase lets off in frustration.
Chase watches Sanada go to a corner. Chase runs in but Sanada BOOTS him! Sanada hops up but Chase GAMANGIRIS! Then SUPER FLYING MARE, into a SHINING WIZARD! Cover, TWO!! Sanada survives and fans fire up! Chase drags Sanada up, tucks him in, but Sanada fights the driver! Sanada fireman’s carries, throws him into the dragon sleeper, but Chase arm-drags free! Chase runs in at the corner, but into an elbow! Sanada QUEBRADA, but Chase catches him! Chase gives Sanada SNAKE EYES, then clamps on a SLEEPER! Sanada endures and fans rally but Chase sits Sanada down!
Chase leans on the hold, Sanada is turning red, but the fans rally up. Sanada reaches out and fans rally as he fights. Sanada powers back up, reaches out, and uses the corner to push back to a cover! TWO!! C-TRIG- NO, Sanada dodges and O’Conner- NO, Chase blocks to steal SKULL END!! Sanada fades, and Chase lets him go to further copy Sanada’s style! Chase goes up the corner, ROUNDING- NO, Sanada moves! Chase crashes and fans rally up again! Sanda goes up, ROUNDING BODY PRESS onto knees! Cradle cover, TWO!! Sanada escapes at the last second, and fans fire up as he fires off forearms! Chase roars, but Sanada ROLLING ELBOWS!
Sanada runs, into a C-TRIGGER! Sanda roars, C-TRIGGER again!! Chase drags Sanada up, tucks him in, but Sanada RANAS free! And then pop-up TKO!! Chase is down, Sanada goes up again, ROUNDING BODY PRESS hits!! Cover, TWO!! Into SKULL END!!! Chase flails, fans rally up, and Chase is fading out! Chase gets a second wind, pops free of the sleeper, but Sanada fights to get the SKULL END again!! Chase flails, reaches out, but he PASSES OUT!! Sanada wins!!
Winner: Sanada, by submission (gains 2 points; Chase earns 0)
The Crown Jewel didn’t tap out, but he still met his Skull End in this one! Sanada is moving on up, but will he be able to take the block from Jay White?
G1 Climax, B Block: Tama Tonga w/ Jado VS Taichi w/ Miho Abe!
The Good Bad Guy and the Holy Emperor are tied for second in the block, but Jay White is pulling away with his 4-0 streak. Who wins here to then take aim at the Switchblade?
Taichi shows off the dancing pecs and fans applaud. The bell rings and fans rally up as the two stare down. Tama and Taichi slowly circle, tie up, and Tama powers Taichi to ropes. The ref calls the break and Tama lets off with a pat on the shoulder. Tama and Taichi egg each other on, and they circle again. They tie up, Tama powers Taichi back again, but the ref calls for the ropebreak. Tama lets off slowly but Taichi dares him to take a shot. Tama just pats Taichi on the shoulder again. Fans applaud the sportsmanship and Taichi asks what’s wrong. Did Tama and Jado go soft after leaving Bullet Club? Taichi then grabs his bag of tricks, and tosses Tama his bag of tricks.
Tama opens it up, and sees the Iron Claw!! It’s like Tama’s seen a ghost! Taichi says go ahead, hold it! No, that’s bad juju! Fans fire up for the claw and Taichi holds it out to Tama! Tama says no, put that away. Taichi tosses it at Tama and Tama swats it away! Taichi picks it up and stomps Tama! The ref reprimands as Taichi digs his boot in. Taichi lets off at 4 but still wants Tama to wear the iron claw! Tama swats him away and the ref has Taichi back off. Taichi lets the claw go to stomp Tama down! Taichi talks trash on Jado but the ref counts as Taichi stands on Tama’s neck. Taichi kicks Tama out of the ring, then whips him into the railing!
Fans rally up but Taichi uses camera cable to CHOKE Tama! The ref reprimands, counts, and Taichi lets go at 4. Taichi dares Jado to do something but Jado stays back. Taichi gives Jado a free shot but Jado refuses. Taichi goes back to Jado and CLUBS him down! Taichi drags Tama up and into the ring and fans rally up. Taichi stomps Tama, kicks him around, then taunts him. Taichi says if Tama’s the Good Bad Guy, then hit him below the belt! Taichi drags Tama up to CHOKE him! The ref reprimands and Taichi shoves Tama down. Taichi keeps egging Tama on, then drags him up to snapmare and KICK!
Taichi covers, but he’s also choking! ONE, but Taichi tries again. The ref sees the choke this time and reprimands. Taichi says that’s not a choke, THIS is a choke! The ref reprimands and counts, and Taichi lets off. Taichi argues with the ref, drags Tama up, but Tama throws forearms! Taichi eggs him on and then wrenches to HOOK KICK! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up and Tama snarls. Taichi paces, dares Tama to go get the claw. Tama refuses so Taichi KICKS him! Taichi says use the claw, but Tama says no! So Taichi KICKS him again! Tama roars and eggs Taichi on so Taichi KICKS! Fans rally as the KICKS keep coming!
Tama eggs Taichi, then fires off haymakers! Taichi CHOKES him to a corner! The ref counts, Taichi lets off and whips corner to corner. Tama comes back, but into a BOOT! Tama comes back again to LARIAT Taichi! Both men are down and fans fire up! Tama rises and he waits on Taichi to stand. Tama runs in to LARIAT again! And elbow! And scoop SLAM! Fans fire up more and Tama drags Taichi up. Tama reels Taichi in for a BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO! Tama keeps his cool and paces around. Fans rally up, Tama drags Taichi up into the dragon sleeper, but Taichi CHOKES from underneath!
The ref reprimands, but Taichi CHOKES with the other hand! Tama breaks free with a EuroUpper, then throws more EuroUppers to put Taichi in a corner. Tama whips Taichi corner to corner then runs in, but Taichi dodges the splash to GAMANGIRI! Fans fire up as both men are down, and Jado and Miho coach their guys up. Taichi sits up first, then stands, and he waits on Tama. Tama sits up, but he ducks the buzzsaw! Taichi dodges the Superman Punch, BOOTS Tama, but Tama comes back, into another GAMANGIRI! Fans fire up again and Taichi rises back up. Taichi roars, and OFF COME THE PANTS!
Taichi aims from a corner and powers up, but then the fans rallying makes him think. Will Taichi use the claw?! Taichi goes to it, grabs it from his bag, and he puts it on! Taichi laughs maniacally but Jado points it out to the ref! The ref tries to stop Taichi but Taichi shoves him away! Taichi tries to resist its call, but the iron claw is so powerful! Tama fireman’s carries Taichi! SRC!! The ref takes the claw away, Tama hurries to the corner and climbs up! SUPREME FLOW!! Cover, TWO!! Taichi survives but the fans fire up! OFF COMES THE VEST! Tama and Jado get the fans to clap along with the mat drums.
But wait, is it…? Now Tama is hearing the call of the claws! Tama goes over to take it from Taichi’s corner! Jado tells Tama to let those guy! The ref tells Tama, too! But the fans rallying seems to make the call stronger! Tama looks at Jado and Jado tells him no! But Taichi says DO IT! DO IT NOW! Tama is conflicted, too! Tama presses the claws into his own head, but then throws it to the ref! GUN- NO, Taichi throws Tama down to GEDO CLUTCH! TWO!!! GUN ST- NO!! Taichi drags Tama up, DANGEROUS SAIDO!! Cover, TWO!?!? Tama survives and shocks everyone! Miho shouts to Taichi and Jado coaches Tama as the fans are thunderous!
Taichi roars, rises up, and he drags Tama up for Alabama Lift. Tama fights that to underhook, but Taichi slips out. AX- NO, Tama catches Taichi to a dragon sleeper. But Taichi slips out before the twist, and then fights the German Suplex! Taichi PELES Tama, but Tama ENZIGURIS back! Taichi wobbles, Tama stalks him, and runs in, into a ROUNDHOUSE! But Tama stays up!? Tama and Taichi run in, Tama dodges Ax Bomber to TONGAN TWIST!! Both men are down and fans are thunderous again! Tama and Taichi go to opposite corners and drag themselves up to their feet. Taichi and Tama run in, DOUBLE LARIATS!
Neither man falls, they try again! DOUBLE LARIATS! Tama and Taichi lean on each other but they’re still up. Tama throws a forearm first but Taichi throws a kick! Tama throws a forearm, Taichi throws a kick! Tama fires off fast hands but Taichi SOBATS! Taichi runs, into a DROPKICK! But he’s right up to AX BOMBER!! Fans fire up and Taichi drags Tama into the Alabama Lift, BLACK M- NO, Tama slips free to SUPERMAN PUNCH! Then he blocks the superkick to GUN- NO, Taichi shoves Tama away! YOKO- NO, no elbow! Tama and Taichi clinch and fight, Taichi hits the SUMO THROW!
Fans fire up and Taichi hits the three point stance! Taichi runs in, GUN STUN!!! Cover, Tama wins!!
Winner: Tama Tonga, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Taichi earns 0)
And the Good Bad Guy is just behind the Switchblade! Tama then grabs the Iron Claw. He tells Taichi this is over! He then hands the claw back to Taichi, and Taichi is shocked. Will Tama shoot down his last two opponents to take the block?
G1 Climax, A Block: JONAH w/ Bad Dude Tito VS Lance Archer!
The Top Dog is on top of the block after taking down the Rainmaker! But the battle of monsters only gets bigger, will Jonah be able to Torpedo the Murderhawk Monster’s run? Or will Archer show that no matter how big you are, #EverybodyDies?
Archer waits for Jonah at the apron, but Jonah steps right up to him. Archer moves back and Jonah gets in the ring. The bell rings and fans rally up, “JO-NAH!” “ARCH-ER!” Archer and Jonah get face to face, but Archer is taller. Archer says if Jonah wants to do something different than “all this flippin’ and floppin’ crazy sh*t,” then let’s go. Archer dares Jonah to swing on him. Jonah winds up to fire a forearm, and Archer gives it back! Jonah forearms again, Archer gives it back and eggs Jonah on. Fans rally as the forearms go back and forth, faster and faster! Jonah CHOPS and Archer smirks. Archer CHOPS and Jonah growls.
Jonah CHOPS, Archer CHOPS, repeat! The CHOPS gain speed and fans rally up! The CHOPS become SLAPS and they go faster and faster, and both men slowly drop to their knees! They still SLAP each other and lean on each other! Fans fire up and the monsters catch their breath. Then they start throwing forearms from their knees! They stand back up, Archer ROCKS Jonah! Archer runs but Jonah breaks the clothesline! But Archer breaks through Jonah’s clothesline! Jonah HEADBUTTS Archer low, then hits a DDT! Fans fire up as both men are down! Fans rally up, Jonah stands and he looms over Archer.
Jonah ELBOWS Archer, but Archer shoves him. Jonah CLUBS Archer, Archer eggs him on so Jonah ROCKS him! And HEADBUTTS him! Archer falls back down and fans fire up again. Jonah runs to ROLLING SENTON! Fans rally as Archer flounders to a corner. Jonah stalks up behind Archer and throws a heavy body shot! Jonah stands Archer up to throw haymakers! Archer chuckles but Jonah RAMS into him again and again! Jonah digs his shoulder in, Archer clubs Jonah but Jonah doesn’t feel it. Jonah lets off as the ref counts, then comes back to claw at Archer’s face! The ref counts, Jonah lets off at 4, and fans rally up.
Jonah drags Archer up, CHOPS him, but Archer CHOPS! Jonah ROCKS Archer in return! Archer sputters and Jonah catches his own breath. Fans rally up and Jonah stomps Archer in the gut! Jonah bumps Archer off buckles but Archer pushes him back. Jonah throws back elbows and Archer sits down. Jonah runs to clothesline Archer, then whips him corner to corner. Jonah SPLASHES, runs, but Archer follows to CLOBBER Jonah from behind! Fans fire up as both monsters slowly rise. Archer runs in at Jonah to back elbow! Then he runs again, to back elbow again! Archer goes again, a THIRD back elbow! Fans fire up as Jonah falls over!
Archer drags Jonah into the drop zone and fans fire up, TWISTING VADER! Cover, TWO! Archer snarls and fans rally up. Archer drags Jonah up and reels him in, but he can’t scoop! Jonah scoops Archer to SLAM him! And SENTON but Archer moves! To SENTON, but he misses, too! Fans fire up as both monsters are down again! Archer grits his teeth but he grins as he brings Jonah up. Archer throws forearms but Jonah gives them back. Fans rally as the forearms keep going, and Archer gets the edge! But Jonah bobs ‘n’ weaves to LARIAT! Archer stays up to BOOT back, then he ripcords for the HELLICOASTER!! Cover, TWO!!
Fans fire up more as Jonah survives that supersized ride! Archer grins and prepares the claw! Jonah rises, Archer reaches for his face! Jonah fights against the claw but Archer powers through! Jonah CLUBS the arm away, fires off haymakers, then HEADBUTTS! Jonah runs, but Archer goes the other way, DERAILER! But Jonah stays on track!! And comes back with the BODY CHECK!! Fans are thunderous after that human demolition derby! Jonah gets up in the corner, sees Archer is down, and he decides to climb! But Archer hits ropes to trip Jonah up! Fans rally as Archer climbs up behind Jonah and rains down fists!
Archer says, “Let’s do a big ass effin’ German!” Jonah doesn’t want to and he fires off back elbows! Archer staggers away and Jonah turns around. Archer ROCKS Jonah with a forearm! Archer then uses the elevation to inverted crucifix lift! But Jonah slips off! Jonah blocks the boot, ducks the haymaker, and LARIATS!! Fans fire up and Jonah drags Archer back up. Jonah reels Archer in, clamps on and lifts, BLACK FOREST BOMB!!! Fans are thunderous but Jonah goes up! But Archer rises!? STEP-UP KNEE!! Jonah flops down to the apron and fans rally again! Archer joins Jonah on the apron, but Jonah SUPERKICKS!
Jonah aims as Archer tumbles away, FLYING SHOULDER TACKLE! Both monsters are down on the outside and fans rally again. Jonah roars and drags Archer up. Jonah whips Archer but Archer reverses! Jonah hits railing hard, and it causes the timekeeper’s table to move back! And Abe-san thought only Evil was going to give him trouble! Bad Dude Tito coaches Jonah to get up, but Archer runs in! CANNONBALL!! Tito gets in to take some of the hit!! Archer may have just crushed both TMDK members! Fans fire up as Archer drags himself up and the ring count begins. Archer drags Jonah up at 4 of 20 to smack Jonah off the apron!
The count is 8 of 20 as Archer clamps on the choke grip! Jonah breaks free and HEADBUTTS, then SPEARS Archer down! We’re at 12 of 20, Jonah gets on the apron! Archer stands up there with him to ROCK him! Jonah LARIATS Archer back into the ring at 15! But Archer BLASTS Jonah at 18!! Jonah staggers, and the count hits 20!! Archer wins!!
Winner: Lance Archer, by count-out (gains 2 points; Jonah earns 0)
Jonah has lost to count-out again! First to Toru Yano the trickster, and now to the Murderhawk Monster! But a win is a win, and now Archer leads the block! Will Jonah be able to salvage this in the final round? Or will Archer go to the semifinals and makes sure #EverybodyDies?
G1 Climax, C Block: Tetsuya Naito VS KENTA!
The Uncontrollable Charisma has scratched and clawed to stay alive, but those two strikes mean he could be struck out any moment! Will tonight be the night Naito’s run ends? Or will he refuse to #GoToSleep?
Fans clap for “NA-I-TO! NA-I-TO!” as he takes his time with his entrance attire. That annoys Kenta and he tells the fans to shut up. Kenta then tells Naito to hurry up, but that only makes Naito take longer. Kenta gets antsy and Naito seems to struggle with the shirt sleeves. Naito finally finishes by putting the pants away, and now the bell rings. Fans rally and the two stare down. Naito makes Kenta aware the claps are for “NA-I-TO!” and they circle. They approach, but Kenta pulls a Naito by backing off. Kenta uses the ropes as a defense, so Naito backs off. Kenta says Naito better follow the rules. Naito lets Kenta come back and they circle again.
Fans rally up but again Kenta goes to the ropes. Red Shoes has Naito back off, and fans rally up again. Kenta comes back, he and Naito circle and then Naito backs away to ropes. Naito trolls Kenta and Kenta says that’s stupid. Kenta and Naito circle again, fans rally back up, and then they tie up! Kenta pulls Naito’s hair, knees him against ropes, then whips. Naito reverses to arm-drag, kick low and toss Kenta out! Naito builds speed, but he fakes Kenta out to tranquilo! Kenta slides in and blocks Naito’s kick to claw Naito’s eyes! Kenta throws Naito out then he builds speed, to roll and mock Naito with a cutesy pose of his own.
Kenta dares Naito to come back, but Naito takes his time returning. Naito gets on the apron, but he avoids Kenta’s boot to drag him out and whip him hard into railing! Fans fire up and Naito brings Kenta around to whip into more railing! Red Shoes reprimands and Naito gets in, just to refresh the count. Kenta makes his way to the timekeeper’s area, and he grabs the bell hammer! Kenta CLOBBERS Naito with it!! Kenta drags Naito up to whip hard into railing! Naito tumbles up and over into No Man’s Land! Kenta grabs a mic to scold Abe-san then he goes to fetch Naito. Kenta drags Naito up and POSTS him!
Naito writhes and Kenta stomps him. The ring count climbs, Kenta drags him up and puts him in at 6 of 20. Cover, TWO! Kenta argues about the count but Red Shoes says it is a fair count. Kenta KICKS Naito in the back, then stands on Naito with a cocky cover. Red Shoes refuses to count it so Kenta drags Naito up. Naito throws a haymaker! Kenta staggers to a corner, Naito runs in but Kenta puts him on the apron. Naito blocks the haymaker to ROCK Kenta back, then Naito shoulders in, into a KICK! Kenta goes up the corner for the GUILLOTINE KNEE DROP! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up but Kenta keeps his focus.
Kenta unties a buckle pad and we have another Bullet Club Special remix. Kenta whips Naito into the bare buckles hard! Naito writhes and Kenta gets fans to clap along. Then he has them stop, and he stomps Naito down. Kenta drags Naito up and turns him for a NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Kenta clamps on a headscissor hold! Naito endures the squeeze and fans rally up again. Naito moves around, reaches out, and gets the ROPEBREAK! Red Shoes counts and Kenta lets off at 4. Kenta drags Naito up to KICK him in the chest! And then KICKS him again! Kenta drags Naito up and whips him to ropes, to CLOBBER him! Cover, TWO!
Kenta clamps on with a chinlock and Naito endures as the fans rally up. Naito fights up to his feet, throws body shots, but Kenta throws Naito down by his hair! Fans rally again but Kenta paces around Naito. Kenta gives toying kicks then drags Naito up. Naito fires a forearm, then another, and then another! Kenta knees low, whips Naito to ropes, but Naito reverses and slips around, to NECKBREAKER in return! Fans fire up while Kenta slowly sits up. Naito also sits up, and the two slowly stand. Naito throws haymakers and kicks and whips Kenta to ropes. Naito elbows Kenta down then basement dropkicks him!
Naito gets Kenta back up, whips him at the corner, then runs in to JUMP KICK! Leg sweep, COMBINACION CABRON! Fans fire up as Naito poses! Fans rally as “NA-I-TO!” drags Kenta up to the BACKBREAKER! Then the LEG FULL NELSON! Kenta endures and eggs Naito on so Naito puts on more pressure! Kenta fights and reaches, fans rally, and Kenta crawls forward to the ROPEBREAK! Red Shoes counts, Naito holds on, claiming he needs help. Red Shoes pries at the hold, Naito lets it off and fans applaud. Naito drags Kenta up, catches his haymaker, but Kenta standing switches. Naito elbows Kenta away and runs, but into a POWERSLAM!
Fans fire up while both men are down again. Kenta crawls to the red corner, drags himself up the ropes, and fans rally up. Naito runs in but Kenta BOOTS him! Kenta goes up, reels Naito in, TORNADO HOTSHOT! Kenta then climbs up while Naito staggers away, FLYING LARIAT! Direct hit and fans fire up! Cover, TWO! Kenta keeps on Naito by going after a leg. STF! Kenta pulls back but Naito endures and fans rally. Naito reaches out while Kenta mocks the claps for “NA-I-TO!” Naito moves around, but he is fading! Naito uses a second wind to get over to the ROPEBREAK! Red Shoes counts and Kenta pulls back before letting off.
Kenta drags Naito up into a waistlock, but Naito fights the lift! Naito elbows free, but swings into a spin a DDT! Kenta covers, TWO!! Naito survives being spiked and fans are fired up again. Kenta drags Naito up, chicken wings him, but Naito fights off the lift! Naito elbows free but Kenta CLUBS him! Kenta eggs Naito on, but Naito blocks the kick and shoves Kenta away. Naito BOOTS Kenta, then TORNADO DDTs! Both men are down and fans fire up again! Naito crawls over to Kenta, drags him up with a cravat, but Kenta fights back with body shots. Naito fires off back elbow after back elbow! Fans applaud as Kenta drops to his knees.
Naito drags Kenta up, throws more of those heavy back elbows, and Kenta drops again. Naito stands on Kenta’s head to keep him down and the fans are thunderous. Naito drags Kenta up to throw even more back elbows! Naito drags Kenta back up to bump him off buckles. Fans continue to rally as Naito throws even more back elbows! Naito then hammerlock and half nelsons, for GLORIA! Cover, TWO! Kenta survives but Naito drags him right back up, to wrench, but Kenta shoves free! Kenta runs, into a SPINEBUSTER! And then wrench and tilt-o- NO, Kenta slips through and hangs Naito out to dry, for SUPER BRAINKILLER!!
Fans are thunderous and Kenta crawls after Naito. Naito sits up so Kenta goes to a corner. Kenta takes aim as Naito is in the opposite corner. Kenta runs in to FLYING BOOT! Naito sits down, Kenta gets moving, HESITATION DROPKICK! Fans fire up and Kenta goes to the corner. Kenta climbs and takes aim again, COUP DE GRACE! Cover, TWO!! Naito survives and fans are thunderous again! Kenta stands back up, drags Naito up to a fireman’s carry, but Naito fights off to back elbow again! Then atomic drop and shove, Kenta ends up in the corner. Naito runs in, he blocks Kenta’s boots, and he puts Kenta in the ropes for a DRAPING NECKBREAKER!
Fans fire up as Naito stands back up. Naito drags Kenta over to a corner and hops up, ESPERANZA! Fans are thunderous again as Naito takes aim, but Kenta BOOTS him! Naito comes back, into a BUSAIKU KNEE!! Kenta drags Naito up to the fireman’s carry, GO TO- DESTINO!! Naito turns things around and we’re past 20 minutes! Fans are electric as Naito and Kenta stir! Naito and Kenta sit up slowly, then Naito lunges to forearm Kenta down. Fans rally up, “NA-I-TO!” but Kenta lunges and forearms back. Naito throws another forearm, but Kenta throws it back. Naito throws a forearm, both men grin and Kenta throws another.
Naito forearms, Kenta forearms, and fans rally as they keep going back and forth, harder and harder! Naito, Kenta, repeat, faster and faster! Naito eggs Kenta on but Kenta keeps giving shots! Naito ROCKS Kenta, fires off a flurry, but Kenta CROSS COUNTERS! And SLAPS, SLAPS, and SLAPS away! Kenta fires up but Naito ENZIGURIS! Naito whips, Kenta reverses but Naito FLYING FOREARMS! Naito gets Kenta up, tilt-o-whirl, but CRADLE! TWO!!! Naito survives, but Kenta hurries to bump Naito off the bare buckles! Roll-up, TWO!!! BUSAIKU KNEE!! Cover, TWO!!! Naito survives again and no one can believe it!
Kenta roars and he drags a bloodied Naito up! Fireman’s carry, GO TO- NO, Naito blocks to scoop, VALENTIA!! Naito roars and fans fire up with him! Naito drags Kenta up, wrenches and tilt-o-whirls, DESTINO!!! Cover, Naito wins!!!
Winner: Tetsuya Naito, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Kenta earns 0)
With five minutes to spare, Naito strikes Kenta down and out! The Fang Revived is eliminated from the running, having lost to Naito, Evil and Zack Sabre Jr. Will Kenta have to settle for being a spoiler from now on?
As for Naito, he catches his breath, puts on his baseball cap, and says, “Buenas noches, Hiroshima~! Is everyone enjoying the heat of NJPW’s first summer G1 in 3 years?” Fans applaud, because they are! Naito says he’s delighted to be here in his home of Hiroshima, “and to show you what it looks like when I win in the main event. I want to thank you fans for supporting LIJ and myself from the bottom of my heart. Gracias, amigos!” Naito notes he was two down but has won three straight, and this win has him tied in the “pennant hunt.” But he knows it won’t be easy, “it’s a real bottom-of-the-ninth scenario. But I’m swinging for the fences.”
Naito hopes everyone looks forward to how this G1 Climax plays out. “Let’s end this as usual. Unfortunately, due to COVID, you’re unable to cheer out loud with me today, but please, yell out in your hearts. Everyone, are you ready? Let’s close out night one of two G1 shows here in Hiroshima the only right way. Bushi! Sanada! Hiromu! Takagi! Y Naito! Nosotros, LOS INGOBERRRRRNABLEEEES~! DE! JA! PON!” Another great roll call, and Naito rolls on in the G1! But just as he said, he has to win it in the end! Will he have a walk-off or a strikeout to close out the tournament?
Here are the NEW standings!
- Lance Archer: 3-2, 6 points
- JONAH: 3-2, 6 points
- Kazuchika Okada: 3-1, 6 points
- Jeff Cobb: 2-2, 4 points
- Tom Lawlor: 2-2, 4 points
- Bad Luck Fale: 2-3, 4 points
- Toru Yano: 1-4, 2 points [ELIMINATED]
- Jay White: 4-0, 8 points
- Tama Tonga: 3-1, 6 points
- SANADA: 3-2, 6 points
- Taichi: 2-2, 4 points
- Chase Owens: 2-4, 4 points [ELIMINATED]
- Great-O-Khan: 1-3, 2 points [ELIMINATED]
- Tomohiro Ishii: 1-4, 2 points [ELIMINATED]
- Hiroshi Tanahashi: 3-1, 6 points
- Zack Sabre Jr: 3-1, 6 points
- Tetsuya Naito: 3-2, 6 points
- Hirooki Goto: 2-2, 4 points
- EVIL: 2-2, 4 points
- KENTA: 1-3, 2 points [ELIMINATED]
- Aaron Henare: 1-4, 2 points [ELIMINATED]
- David Finlay: 3-1, 6 points
- Yujiro Takahashi: 3-2, 6 points
- Shingo Takagi: 2-2, 4 points
- Will Ospreay: 2-2, 4 points
- YOSHI-HASHI: 2-2, 4 points
- Juice Robinson: 2-3, 4 points [ELIMINATED]
- El Phantasmo: 1-3, 2 points [ELIMINATED]
Another great event for the G1, with matches that all mattered this time around. Hashi VS Yujiro was the most fired up fans got for a Yujiro match because they were fired up for Hashi. I suppose it’s okay that Yujiro won here, he is the one guy who beat Finlay so far, so if Finlay falls even once in the last two rounds, Tokyo Pimp could take the D Block. Sanada VS Chase was a very good match, and it was the right move for Sanada to win, but they also did it in a great way to benefit Chase. Chase passes out to the Skull End rather than tapping out, a la Stone Cold to the Sharpshooter, and that is a great honor for him. I bet there are big things for Chase on the other side of this G1.
Tama VS Taichi was also great, with a very clever story of Taichi trying to push Tama into being a Heel again. Both men have yet to face Jay White, those matches will have a big impact on who takes B Block, but they both have to take on Great-O-Khan at some point. Tama VS White is on 8/16, I would think both men go into that with momentum, but that means Tama has to beat Khan during tomorrow’s event. Jonah VS Archer was huge, just like Jonah VS Okada, mostly for how it shapes the A Block. Jonah may have lost, but he’s only lost by count-out in the G1, and that is a huge implication. It means no one can put him down in the ring. If Archer can’t beat Okada on 8/16 and Jonah beats Fale, Jonah can still take this block and make a huge impact on the semifinals.
And of course, Naito VS Kenta was great stuff, especially with every match now having Naito on the bubble. Naito wins, Kenta is out, and now Naito has the entire week to rest up and prepare for Zack Sabre Jr. ZSJ beat Naito last year to open the G1, and Naito got hurt, so that you can basically say ZSJ cost Naito all those opportunities last year. Naito will want revenge, ZSJ could still be leading the block after beating Evil tomorrow, and then it all comes down to it on 8/16. The winner of Naito VS ZSJ will be your C Block semifinalist, unless Tanahashi wins against Goto AND Kenta before then. But given the drama, I feel like Tanahashi loses to one of those guys, putting all eyes on Naito VS ZSJ.
My Score: 8.9/10
Mitchell’s WWE NXT Results & Report! (8/9/22)
Cora Jade makes it all about herself!
Will Cora Jade do Mandy Rose’s dirty work?
Before NXT Heatwave and the NXT Women’s Championship match, Zoey Stark has to deal with the new, selfish Cora Jade standing in her way!
- Nikkita Lyons VS Kiana James; Lyons wins.
- British Rounds Match: Wes Lee VS Trick Williams w/ Carmelo Hayes; Lee wins.
- Thea Hail w/ Chase U VS Arianna Grace; Grace wins.
- Apollo Crews VS Roderick Strong
w/ The Creed Brothers; Crews wins.
- Malik Blade & Edris Enofe VS Pretty Deadly; Pretty Deadly wins.
- Zoey Stark VS Cora Jade; Stark wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Trick Williams & Carmelo Hayes speak.
Good for Kayden Carter & Katana Chance on winning the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships, but that was last week. This week, is the British Rounds Match! Trick can show the world he has the gift of gab and the gift of jab. Float like a butterfly, cry like Wes Lee. Well, close. Sting like a bee when Trick knocks out Lee! That’s all it is, and that’s all it’s goin’ be!
But Wes Lee responds!
Tonight’s Rounds Match is about Lee coming out swinging. Lee will show that for all the jawing Trick does, Trick’s jaw is made of glass!
Cora Jade speaks.
“Tonight, I put Zoey Stark back on the shelf where she belongs when I eliminate her from this division, just like I did Roxanne Perez from my life.
Zoey Stark responds.
“Cora Jade seems to thinks she’s gonna take me out and take my spot in the Women’s Championship match. Hah, Mandy Rose, put up all the roadblocks you like, but nothing is going to stop me from taking that title at Heatwave.”
Tony D’Angelo speaks.
“Speaking of championships, Santos Escobar cast me two titles. Let’s see what he’s got to say when we meet face to face, right here!” The Don waits in the park, but will he see the Emperor of Lucha coming?
Nikkita Lyons VS Kiana James!
The Lioness is ready to crunch the number cruncher for all the criticisms and insults thrown her way. Will Lyons roar with a win on her way to that WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship tournament match?
The bell rings and Lyons circles with Kiana. They tie up, Lyons powers Kiana but Kiana turns it around to put Lyons in the corner,. Kiana shoves but Lyons shoves back! Kiana headlocks, Lyons powers out and runs her over! Fans fire up and duel as Lyons dares Kiana to bring it. They circle, Lyons blocks a kick but not the elbow! Kiana knees low, fisherman’s, but Lyons fights the suplex. Kiana throws a body shot, wrenches an arm and YANSK on it, then YANKS it again. Kiana wrenches, but Lyons runs Kiana over! Fans fire up and Lyons runs in but misses in the corner! Kiana wraps the leg in the ropes to pull!
Lyons CLUBS Kiana but Kiana ROCKS Lyons, to drop a knee on the knee! Kiana smirks as she stalks Lyons and grabs the leg. Kiana kicks the leg, drives a knee into it, then YANKS it! Fans boo as Kiana stalks Lyons to a corner. Kiana goes out and drags Lyons around by the bad leg, to SLAM the leg on the apron! Kiana tries again but Lyons BOOTS her with the good leg. Lyons SMACKS Kiana off the apron, then kicks, but Kiana dodges and that boot goes into the steel steps! Lyons hobbles and Kiana puts her in the ring. Kiana covers, ONE!! Lyons shoves Kiana but Kiana gets the leg to JAM it! Fans rally as Kiana gets the leg again for a standing toehold.
Lyons endures, Kiana pushes that leg way back, but Lyons claws at Kiana. Lyons uses her free leg to push Kiana, but Kiana stomps the bad leg! Kiana steps through but Lyons kicks her away, only for Kiana to stomp her again! Lyons throws hands and elbows, then a BOOT with the good leg! Lyons KICKS and KICKS and roars to GERMAN SUPLEX! Fans fire up and Lyons manages to kip up! Lyons roars and runs through the pain to CANNONBALL! Lyons then spiders around to get the cover, ROPEBREAK! Kiana survives by inches because Lyons didn’t calculate the cover. Kiana avoids a kick, rolls Lyons up and holds ropes! TWO!!
Lyons gets up, grits her teeth, and SPIN KICKS Kiana down! Then LYONS’ DEN! Cover, Lyons wins!
Winner: Nikkita Lyons, by pinfall
If anyone from Raw or SmackDown was watching, they now know Lyons knows how to fight through the pain. Will they have to worry about Lyons’ roar- KIANA CLOBBERS LYONS! Kiana used her purse to blast Lyons, and she says no one makes her look stupid! Will Kiana mean business when Lyons returns from SmackDown?
Apollo Crews watches film with the Creed Brothers.
Here it comes! Brutus SMASH! That’s great stuff, love to see it. Julius thanks Apollo for sitting with them to watch this back. Apollo is a veteran who sees things they don’t pick up on, so they’re grateful to him. Apollo says they’ve got it. He is a huge fan, after all. But then Roderick Strong walks in and asks what the hell is going on. They’re watching film. No, he knows that. But why is Apollo in here? The better question is, where was Strong last week? He said he’d be there for them and then no-showed! Strong says it was a test! And they passed! They game planned for Strong being there, but he wasn’t there, and they still found a way to win on their own. Strong is proud!
Brutus says screw “tests,” Strong out and lied to them! The Creeds can argue and fight as brothers, but they don’t lie to each other. That’s not what Diamond Mine is about! Apollo does agree here, that was shady on Strong’s part. What? What is Apollo even here for? He’s not Diamond Mine. Oh, he can’t just sit and watch film? NO! Well, then Apollo has a better idea. Let’s put that film up from two weeks ago, the Six Man Tag. How does Roddy feel about that? HoW dOeS rOdDy FeEl? How about Roddy beats the piss outta Apollo and then we watch THAT film back?!
The Creeds keep the peace, but Strong says Apollo won’t have his new buddies in his corner, they’ll be in STRONG’s! Diamond Mine forever! Well, Apollo’s gonna get that match made. Yes, you do that, thank you. Apollo leaves, but will Strong be the one getting beat?
Lash Legend is on the phone.
She asks where her friends are at, they have reservations. But hold on, hold on, she’s gotta go. She walks over and asks Malik Blade where he’s off to. And where’s his boy, Edris Enofe? Oh, it doesn’t matter, because she doesn’t really like him versus Malik. But did Malik see her match VS Alba Fyre? Yeah, of course he did, right? So, ya girl was looking super fly, then her music hits and she comes out, looking good as always, and then that one fan with the poster, ugh, bye. Lash keeps on ranting while we cut away, is Malik going to be okay?
British Rounds Match: Wes Lee VS Trick Williams w/ Carmelo Hayes!
Just as seen on NXT UK, we take wrestling and combine it with boxing, there will be six three-minute rounds, first to two falls (submissions, pinfalls or count-outs) wins, unless there’s a disqualification, or even better, a knockout! The Must-See Kid’s got his boxing gloves ready, but will the gloves come off in this unique grudge match?
NXT returns and Trick makes his entrance, the North American Champion as his cornerman. The introductions are made, there’s a tale of the tape, and the bell rings on the first round! Lee and Trick circle, have their dukes up, but Trick JABS and JABS real fast! Trick does some rope a dope, JABS and throws a right, but Lee shrugs those off. They circle, Lee ducks a shot, and another, then fires off fast body shots! Trick pushes Lee away and falls back to his corner. Melo makes sure those gloves are secure, and fans chant “This is Boxing!” The two circle again, Lee takes another JAB, then guards the rest.
Trick tries to rope a dope but Lee stays clear of those punches! Lee bobs ‘n’ weaves, fires off body shots, Trick clinches for an STO! And some ground ‘n’ pound! But Lee turns it back around! They fire off fast hands and fans fire up! There’s still 90 seconds in this opening round, the two reset and square up again. Lee keeps his distance, Trick swings wild, and Lee fires off more body shots! Trick clinches again but Lee keeps throwing hands! Trick hits back as we reach a minute, then he throws a KNEE! Fans boo, so much for regular boxing! Trick fires off hands as he has Lee in the corner! The ref counts, Trick keeps firing off, but he backs off at 4.
Trick brings Lee out but Lee ROCKS him! And ROCKS him! And then fires off body shots! Trick shoves Lee away but Lee comes back. The hands fly, Lee JABS and ROCKS Trick, then gives more body shots! We’re at 15 seconds, then 10, and it’s all Lee! Lee has Trick in a corner, the countdown is zero! Lee is barking but he lets off.
Lee: 0; Trick: 0
Melo coaches Trick up to whoop Lee! The gloves are literally off now, and we start round two! Lee runs in to MONKEY FLIP! And then arm-drag! Trick wobbles into another arm-drag! Lee ducks the haymakers to then FLYING ARM-DRAG! And DROPKICK! Trick wobbles, Lee clotheslines him up and out! Fans fire up for Lee as he PLANCHAS and takes Trick down! Lee stares Melo down, puts Trick in the ring, and then hurries in. But Melo grabs at Lee! Lee BOOTS Melo, but Trick BOOTS Lee! Cover, Trick gets a fall!
Lee: 0; Trick: 1
Not even a minute and Trick scores, thanks to Melo! Will Lee be able to recover in these 20 seconds? Melo sprays Trick down with water while NXT goes picture in picture.
Melo peps talks Trick while Lee flounders away to his corner. Lee grits his teeth, the third round starts, and Trick SPLASHES Lee down in the corner! Trick drags Lee up, bumps him off buckles, then bumps him off buckles again. Lee wobbles, Trick bumps him off the middle buckle now. Trick drags Lee up, whips him to ropes, and DROPKICKS him down! Cover, TWO! Lee is still in this but Trick talks trash. We’re at two minutes in this round as Trick clamps on a chinlock. Trick leans on the hold and grinds Lee down, but Lee fights back up. Trick puts Lee through ropes and has him for a cobra twist!
The ref counts, Trick lets off, and YANKS the ropes to send Lee down. Trick drags Lee up to scoop and SLAM, then covers, TWO! Trick is annoyed but he CLUBS Lee down. Lee crawls back to ropes but Trick CHOKES him! The ref counts, Trick lets off at 4 and Lee sputters. Trick CHOKES Lee more, then lets off again. Lee sputters and crawls but Trick stalks him. Trick CLUBS Lee again, and again! Lee gets to ropes again but Trick brings him around to whip. Lee ducks ‘n’ dodges to then sunset flip! TWO, and Trick hurries to CLUB Lee again! We’re at 10 seconds in this round, Trick whips Lee but Lee reverses to kick and trip! The round is over before the Half Crab!
Lee: 0; Trick: 1
Trick is saved by the bell again, and Melo says he’s got the gloves “fixed.” Trick says no, no more boxing, but Melo says trust him! NXT returns to single picture just as the fourth round starts. Wait, Trick seems to understand what Melo means, and is A-OK with the glove. But Lee rolls him up! ONE, Lee ducks the glove, ducks it again, but Trick kicks low! Lee dodges the haymaker, sunset flips again, TWO! Trick staggers up but Lee KICKS away on his leg! Trick ends up in a corner, Lee whips him but Trick reverses. Lee hits buckles hard, and Trick storms up on Lee. Lee avoids that left hand again, and again, and again!
Lee rolls, gets around, crucifix takedown! Lee gets the fall!!
Lee: 1; Trick: 1
CHEAP SHOT from Trick!! The ref reprimands but the shot still landed! Is Lee even able to continue now? Trick waits in his corner, the fifth round starts, and Lee stands. Trick FLYING LARIATS Lee down! Cover, TWO!! Trick drags Lee up, reels him in and suplexes to SLAM him! Trick stomps away in frustration, then drags Lee back up. Trick whips, POP-UP UPPERCUT! Cover, TWO!?! Lee survives that shot and Trick is furious! Trick drags Lee up, suplexes again, then drags Lee back up for another! Trick drags Lee up again, another suplex! Not quite Three Amigos, but Trick covers, TWO!!
Trick is annoyed but the fans rally up. Lee stands as we reach 90 seconds, and Trick circles him like a vulture. SWINGING NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Lee is still in this, Trick covers again, TWO!! Trick and Melo don’t understand how Lee is still in this! We’re at one minute left, Trick spins but the kick misses! Lee ENZIGURIS Trick against ropes, then runs to ENZIGURI again! Fans fire up as Lee ROCKS Trick again, again, and again! Lee backs Trick down with those bare knuckle shots! Lee whips, UPPERCUTS, then whips Trick again. BULLDOG! We’re at 25 seconds as Lee gets HIS gloves back!
Lee aims at Trick with 15, HAYMAKER SHOT!! Cover, Lee wins!!
Winner: Wes Lee, by pinfall, 2-1
With 10 seconds left in the fifth, Lee made this one must-see! Will Trick be the one crying when he wakes up?
Andre Chase meets with someone.
He apologizes for what happened, and promises to get to the bottom of this. Someone visits, and it’s Thea Hail. Wait, Arianna Grace claims Thea gave her a black eye?! Is that true? No, not technically! Thea and Bodhi were just playing catch in the quad, the ball got away from Thea and it hit Grace in the face! Grace says Thea ruined her perfect face! She’s a former beauty pageant queen! How can she wear a crown when she looks like this? Chase says they’ll settle this 1v1 in the ring. OMG Thea’s first match on NXT? That’s amazing! But Grace says no, she was thinking more of a lawsuit.
A lawsuit?! Are you effing kidding?! This is Chase U! They settle their differences in the ring! They can’t do that! Uh, they can! It happened on university grounds so it is under Chase’s jurisdiction. Thea is so excited but is she ready? Yes, she’s got this. Thanks so much, Mr. Chase! She’s got this! She’s got this! She’s GOT THIS! She runs off, leaving Chase falling over in her wake! Will Thea Hail score one for Chase U?
Carmelo Hayes is still in the ring.
“Hey! Hey, everybody, calm down, okay? Look, I’m upset, too. We were supposed to have an hour long Trick & Melobration in this ring, but Wes Lee decided he wanted to cheat!” Fans boo, they don’t believe that. But Melo says there’s time to kill and we need to talk about last week. Melo issued an open challenge for THE North American Championship, and that little peon, Nathan Frazer, thought he was gonna pull a fast one! But just like everyone else, Frazer stepped up to get stepped on, and Melo is STILL the A Champion! That is all it is, and that is all it’s ever gonna be! But then here comes Frazer!
But wait, the British Prodigy doesn’t come out here, and surprise! From the other side of the arena, it’s Giovanni Vinci! Vinci tells Melo that he’s a top tier athlete, making the North American Championship the most important title here. But Melo’s life flashed before his eyes when he saw Vinci, didn’t he? But luckily, that goof, Frazer, saved Melo from Vinci. Vinci will deal with Frazer when the time is right. Bu tin the meantime… Vinci takes off his jacket, sets it aside, and tells Melo, “Why don’t you open that challenge back up for Heatwave? Because there is nobody standing in my way right now.”
Fans fire up for the idea, and Vinci says in Italian and then English, that while Melo says he’s THE A Champion, all Vinci sees here is a guy. Melo says hold on. If he heard correctly, Frazer saved Melo from Vinci? Nah, bro, you got it twisted. Frazer saved Vinci from Melo. Because Gio, Melo looks at your potential, but he is NOT “him.” Because Melo IS. So at Heatwave, we can put it in the pot and let it cook. But Melo will put Vinci on a shirt, and it wont’ be designer. Melo throws the mic to Vinci, Vinci throws it back, but Melo dodges the cheap shot! Vinci blocks the superkick, but Melo dodges again to SPRINGBOARD, but Vinci gets under!
Vinci kick slow, gets Melo up, but Melo slips free! The refs rush in to stop this before it gets any more heated! But will these two burn the ring down when NXT Heatwave arrives?
NXT looks at the NXT Championship showdown.
JD McDonagh asks if we hear the winds of change. They’re blowing here through NXT 2.0. And you know it’s for a damn good reason. And you’ll find out why soon, because you never bet against the ace. That is to say, JD pulled an ace out of the hole and clobbered Bron Breakker at The Great American Bash. The Necessary Evil has come for the Big Booty Nephew. Bron knows JD is a surgeon in the ring. JD wanted his attention so he got it! Both men pump iron and sweat it out in the gym. Bron knows the NXT Championship attracts all kinds. Those driven by fame, by legacy, by money, by power. But JD is different. He is driven by pain.
JD says Bron trains like a caveman wanting to be an alpha male. JD trains in isolation, away from witnesses. JD tests himself with the extremes. Those moments make him his most lethal, and his desire to win has never been higher. Bron will test JD’s love of pain because he’s in store for a lot of it. JD say she’ll drag Bron screaming past his limits. That is the difference between them. Joint manipulation, torture, Bron doesn’t care. His game plan is simple: speed, power and aggression. But JD promises that Bron learns once and for all to never bet against the Irish Ace.
Lash is still venting to Malik.
She claps at him to get him to pay attention. She had Fyre where she wanted her, one, two, and then- OH! Edris, we were just talking about you! Here, let Lash get you caught up. She was facing Fyre, like you all saw, and Edris is probably her number one fan, right? Anyway, she had Fyre where she wanted her, right? NXT cuts away from this again, will Malik and Edris make it through?
Thea Hail w/ Chase U VS Arianna Grace!
Though she’s been on NXT Level Up a couple times, this is the first NXT 2.0 match for Chase U’s number one recruit! Will she show the former pageant queen that looks aren’t everything?
The bell rings and Grace shouts about her black eye! Thea dodges Grace, arm-drags her, then arm-drags again! Fans rally for Thea but Grace avoids the third arm-drag to kick, But Thea blocks that for a takedown! Wheelbarrow, but Grace SLAMS Thea off the buckles! And again! Grace makes Thea look at her then smacks her off more buckles! Grace snapmares, hip tosses, then grinds Thea’s face into the mat! Fans boo and the ref reprimands. Grace lets off, to then slap away on Thea! Thea guards her face but Grace CLUBS away on her! Fans rally, Grace throws body shots, and then she traps an arm!
Grace wants the other arm, Thea fights, but Grace gets it for a cover! ONE, and Thea kicks Grace. Grace clamps onto Thea again to trap the arms and dig her elbow into Thea’s face! The fans still rally, Thea endures and fights up, but Grace talks trash as she grinds Thea down. Grace keeps on Thea with that forearm in her face, but Thea reaches out. Fans rally up, “Let’s Go, Thea, Let’s Go!” Thea fights to get an arm free, and she backpacks Grace for a SENTON! Fans fire up and Thea and Grace slowly rise. Thea blocks a punch to spin Grace and elbow her! Then CLOBBER her! And then again! Thea runs in at the corner to SPLASH!
Thea rolls back to SPLASH again! Grace staggers, Thea dropkicks a leg out! Thea runs to ROLLING NECKBREAKER! Fans fire up with Thea as she goes Ultimate Warrior! She BOOTS then STANDING MOONSAULTS! Cover, TWO! Thea drags Grace up, cravats, but Grace swings on her! Thea dodges to ROCK Grace! The black eye! Grace says it hurts, but this is a fake-out so she can BOOT Thea down! Grace fireman’s carries, for a WASTELAND SLAM! Cover, Grace wins!
Winner: Arianna Grace, by pinfall
Grace smiles big after that cheeky way to win, will Thea just have to use this #TeachableMoment for her second match in NXT?
Apollo Crews gets a vision of the future.
He sees Roderick Strong down in pain, but also the rest of Diamond Mine, from Damon Kemp to both Creed Brothers. Who did the damage? What does it mean? Apollo shrugs it off, his match with Strong is up next.
Solo Sikoa gets checked by the trainer.
The Street Champion’s got a sprained PCL, meaning it isn’t torn or broken, but he’ll be out four to six weeks. No, that’s too much time! Cameron Grimes walks over to say tough luck on the bad leg, but congrats on the big win. Solo has the doc leave them for this conversation. Solo is still feeling this, but Grimes has the whole respect of the locker room, so him saying all that means a lot. Solo mentions Vinci getting the shot at Melo, and Solo will be watching. When he comes back, he wants to get that gold for guys like them. Grimes says sure thing. Grimes then leaves, perhaps a bit bitter. Will Solo still have next? Or will someone else step up between now and then?
Apollo Crews VS Roderick Strong!
NXT returns as Strong makes his entrance. But despite what he said, Strong does NOT have the Creeds in his corner. Are they “testing” Strong like he did them? Can Strong still win this on his own?
The bell rings and Strong rushes in. They tie up, Strong puts Crews on ropes but Crews puts Strong on ropes in return. Strong hits a headlock takeover but Crews fights up. Crews gets the arm for a wristlock but Strong slips through. Fans rally, Strong shoots to a waistlock, but Crews switches and SLAMS Strong down. Strong moves around as Crew holds on. Fans duel, Crews facelocks, and fans rally again. Strong fights up to wrench and YANK the arm, then wristlocks back. Crews endures, Strong hits a headlock takeover, and Strong grinds Crews down. Crews keeps his shoulders up and gets a headscissors.
Strong kicks but can’t kip free. Strong moves around, headstands then turns Crews over to tie his leg sup. Strong SLAPS Crews, then scrambles to ropes as Crews storms up. Strong grins as he comes back and circles with Crews. Fans taunt Strong but Strong taunts them. Strong and Crews tie up, Crews wrenches an arm to wristlock CLUB it, and then return the slap with interest! Strong gets away and shoves Crews. Crews shoves back, Strong rushes in and gets the arm to a wristlock. Strong wrenches, wrenches and WRINGS Crews, but Crews kicks Strong away. The two reset, tie up again, and Strong trips Crews up.
Strong wants a top wristlock but Crews resists. Crews stands up, arm-drags free, then hurdles over Strong. Strong keeps moving but Crews DROPKICKS him! Fans fire up and Strong gets to a corner. Crews throws body shots, then a CHOP! Strong fires a forearm, Crews ROCKS and CHOPS Strong back! Crews reels Strong in to suplex, but Strong slips out to CLUB Crews on the back! Then Strong scoops for a BACKBREAKER! Fans fire up while Strong catches his breath. Strong drags Crews up to fishhook his face and CLUB him down! Strong CHOPS Crews against ropes, but Crews ROCKS Strong back! Strong ROCKS then CHOPS again!
Crews CHOPS, Strong forearms and CHOPS, then knees low! Strong brings Crews around and scoops to another BACKBREAKER! Fans rally and Crews gets to a corner. Strong ROCKS Crews, and again, but Crews shoves him away. Crews BOOTS Strong, goes up, but leaps into a DROPKICK! Fans fire up and Crews flounders out of the ring. Strong storms over to the apron and drags Crews up, fans rally and duel, but Crews blocks Strong’s suplex to suplex Strong. Strong slips free to land on the apron and the two start throwing hands! Strong ducks a shot to lift Crews but Crews elbows him down. Crews fireman’s carries but Strong fights free!
Strong waistlocks but Crews holds the ropes for dear life! So Strong just trips Crews instead! Crews hits apron, but he and Strong DOUBLE LARIAT! Both men are down at ringside while NXT goes to break.
NXT returns and Strong has Crews in a chinlock stretch! Fans rally while Crews endures being bent bac k! Crews pries at the hold but Strong shifts to have the leg. Strong stomps Crews down and drags Crews up. Strong reels Crews in but Crews suplexes first! Fans fire up as both men are down again! Crews drags himself up the ropes, hobbles to a corner, and climbs up top. Strong trips Crews up! Crews gets stuck up top and Strong KICKS him in the stomach! Crews falls, Strong covers, TWO! Strong clamps onto Crews with a grounded abdominal stretch but fans rally again. Crews fights up, throws body shots, but Strong knees low!
Strong runs in at the corner but misses! ENZIGURI from Crews, then a LARIAT! And another LARIAT! Crews whips, and LEAPING LARITS! Crews kips up and fans fire up! Crews runs corner to corner to STINGER SPLASH! Direct hit and Strong flounders. Crews goes up, FLYING BLOCKBUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Strong survives and Crews grits his teeth in frustration. “This is Awesome!” as both men slowly rise. Crews stands first, waistlocks and GERMAN SUPLEXES! Crews holds on and he GERMAN SUPLEXES again! Crews still holds on, but Strong throws back elbows! Strong is free and he ROCKS Apollo!
Strong runs but into a pop-up wheelbarrow GERMAN! Cover, TWO!! Strong survives and Crews shakes out the cobwebs. Fans rally and duel as both men go to opposite ends. Crews drags himself up the ropes and he storms over to Strong. Crews reels Strong in, but Strong flying-mares free! Strong BOOTS Crews, then dumps Crews out to the apron! Crews slingshots into a KNEE! Strong goes back out after Crews, reels him in, APRON BACK SUPLEX! Crews flops down to the floor and Strong hobbles over. Strong puts Crews in the ring, covers, TWO! Fans fire up as Strong gets the legs, STRONGHOLD!! Crews endures as Strong sits deep!
Fans rally and duel as Crews fights his way around. Crews rolls and BOOTS Strong all the way out of the ring! Strong runs back in, into a POWERSLAM! Fans fire up and Crews says he’ll raise the roof! He lifts Strong but Strong slips off to hit a BACKBREAKER! But Crews PELES! Strong jumps, but into Crews’ arms! Crews pops Strong up, GUTBUSTER DROP! But Strong BOOTS and ENZIGURIS right back! Only to run into the SPINEBUSTER! Cover, Crews wins!!
Winner: Apollo Crews, by pinfall
Crews survives the Savior of the Backbreaker and gets a big win off a former NXT Tag Team, Cruiserweight and North American Champion! Will this lead Crews to finally get an NXT title of his own?
Lash is STILL venting.
Malik looks bored and Edris looks upset as she goes on and on. Edris tells Lash that she lost! Now she knows he didn’t just interrupt. And Pretty Deadly walk in to defend Lash> N ever interrupt a woman when she’s talking. #YesBoy! #YesGirl! But don’t worry, they’re facing Malik & Edris next, and will wipe the floor with them! Well, Malik just listened to Lash for an hour, so he has plenty of pent-up aggression here! See y’all in the ring! OKAY~? Edris & Malik mock Lash doing her make-up, but will they be the ones venting against Kit Wilson & Elton Prince?
Santos Escobar is on the road.
He’s talking to someone on the phone. He’s almost to the meeting place. He promises he’s alone, just as they agreed. Santos promises to Elektra Lopez that if anything does go wrong, he’ll send the signal. The Emperor of Lucha is moments away from meeting with The Don, but will this truly be 1v1?
Yulisa Leon & Valentina Feroz vent to Sanga.
This is so annoying! They were so good in that Fatal 4 Way but they lost. Sanga, how can they improve? But then the NEW NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions, Katana Chance & Kayden Carter, walk in. They’ve known Leon & Feroz a long time and they respect them. KC Squared will be fighting champions, and they will meet Feroz & Leon again. And when that time comes, they’ll be ready. Feroz isn’t so sure, and Leon isn’t sure, either. Sanga says they’re a lot like those two, though. Kayden & Katana came so close time and again, but never gave up. Now they’re the champions! So you two can’t give up. One day, you will be in that spot. You need to clear your minds.
Sanga says Leon & Feroz can learn from him how to find balance and perspective. They thank him for helping them. Will Sanga hep Leon & Feroz be Zen enough to get another golden opportunity?
Diamond Mine watches film again.
Damon Kemp is with the Creed Brothers, but they’re not sure what they aren’t seeing. This is the same match Crews had them watch, right? Yeah, but Julius isn’t sure what Apollo was seeing. Brutus isn’t, either. Things were good, but what about Kemp? No, he thinks they did great, though they lost. OH, wait, what was that? Run that back! But just as they want to, Strong storms in and asks where they were! That was a test, Roddy, and you passed! How’s it feel!? Strong asks what they just said. He didn’t pass, he lost! They weren’t out there with him and he lost!
Well, Roddy, they just got done through watching back the 8 Man, and there’s bigger issues here. If Julius is right, he deals with the problem next week. The problem is Crews! No talking to outsiders! Strong knows what’s best for them! Crews isn’t Diamond Mine, he’s just an idiot! And then he smashes the laptop! Will Julius have grounds to expel someone from Diamond Mine?
It’s time for the Final Accord.
Tony D’Angelo waits, but of course Escobar is late. “Speak of the devil, there he is.” Escobar parks and exits his car, and Tony asks if he’s alone. Of course he is. Did Tony come alone? Yeah, just the two of them. Escobar offers a handshake but Tony tells him to sit down at the table. Escobar wants to shake hands now? Last time they saw each other, Escobar got Tony with brass knuckles. Escobar’s lucky to still be breathing. Escobar says Tony thought he’d never see him again, huh? Tony and his goon put him in the hospital and almost ended his career. But Escobar is full of surprises. Last week was just some payback, nothing personal.
Tony told Escobar to stay in his lane but Escobar didn’t listen. So here we are, four months later. Escobar still works for Tony. Oh, right. But is Tony North American Champion? No. Is Tony NXT Tag Team Champion? Why is he asking questions he already knows the answers to? Escobar laughs as he says those are his favorite questions. Tony tells Escobar not to get smart with him. Tony is The Don! Yeah, yeah, he dictates the rules, the others enforce them. But Tony must know by now that this isn’t going to work. Escobar has pride and legacy. Legado was- Yeah, yeah, built on hard work. Tony’s heard that all before, too.
Escobar talks about hard work from his ivory tower with his stupid pride. But that got him walking behind Tony. Then what do they do? They don’t like each other anymore. Tony wants Escobar to do his job! Escobar has no power. Tony called the meeting to get Escobar’s head on straight. But it’s still shoved up his own ass! Oh, Escobar’s got his head up his own ass? Well, these last four months, Escobar got to learn what makes Tony tick. And Tony loves having a big feather in his cap. The only reason Tony is The don is because he sent Ciampa packing. So here it is: one final match, and they raise the stakes.
NXT Heatwave: If Tony beats Escobar, Escobar leaves, never to be seen in NXT. Never? Never! Okay, but then Tony keeps his three sheep. Lopez, Cruz and Wilde aren’t sheep, they’re familia! NO, they’re sheep, Fine, Tony gets them. But if Escobar wins, Legado is free from the D’Angelo Family. Okay, Escobar gets his match. But under one condition. It isn’t going to be a regular match. it will be under rules they are both familiar with. This will be man to man, in a STREET FIGHT! Fine by Escobar. If Escobar wins, Legado is free. If Tony wins, Escobar is gone. Now they shake hands. And next week, we find out who is the true leader of leaders.
Tony tells Escobar to say good-bye to his people. Because he vows to rid NXT of Santos Escobar for good. Will this be adios to the Emperor of Lucha?
Tiffany Stratton arrives at her dressing room.
She walks inside and thinks she can relax, but WENDY CHOO is there! Wendy has night vision goggles!! She turns off the lights, then whoops Tiffany in the dark! “How do you like that, Tiffy?!” And when the lights come back on, Tiffany is a mess! Wendy tells her this isn’t over, and she leaves for now. Will Wendy turn Tiffany’s life into a waking nightmare?
Malik Blade & Edris Enofe VS Pretty Deadly!
For whatever reason, Lash felt the need to vent to Malik & Edris, and they just about snapped! Will they take all of that out on the former NXT UK Tag Team Champions? Or will Edris & Malik be crying over some Spilt Milk?
The teams sort out and Prince starts against Malik. They circle, tie up, and Prince headlocks. Malik powers out but Prince runs him over to then say “WHOA~!” Malik scowls and gets back up. They tie up, Prince headlocks but Malik powers out. Things speed up and Malik hurdles to arm-drag! Prince flounders, Malik arm-drags him again! Malik keeps on the arm and wrenches to a wristlock. Tag to Edris, Edris climbs up and leaps to AX HANDLE Prince’s arm! Fans fire up and Edris scoops to SLAM Prince, then drops an elbow! Cover, ONE!! Edris drags Prince over, tags Malik in, then drop toeholds Prince so they can BOOT and LARIAT!
Fans fire up and Malik runs to BOOT Wilson! But Prince FLAPJACKS Malik then tags Wilson in. Pretty Deadly double whip to POP-UP UPPERCUT! Cover, TWO! Wilson CLUBS Malik, stomps him, then drags him up, Malik throws body shots but Wilson scoops and SLAMS! Wilson drops a knee on Malik’s face, then he stalks Malik to the corner. Malik hits Prince but Wilson fires off on Malik! Tag to Prince, Wilson cheap shots Edris before the ASSISTED GUTBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Fans rally but Prince puts him on the ropes. Tag to Wilson, Pretty Deadly mock Briggs & Jensen with the “YEEHAW~!” They both slide and HAYMAKER Malik down!
Pretty Deadly strike their pose, but then Briggs & Jensen come storming down the ramp! Pretty deadly run away into the ring, then mock the UK Tag Team Champions. But they forget about Malik! Malik dodges Wilson, slides under Prince and hot tags Edris! Edris rallies on Pretty Deadly with lariats and elbows! And then a DROPKICK! Wilson wobbles, Edris whips and trips him, to then SLING-DOG! Fans fire up with Edris as he goes up top! MACHO ELBOW! Cover, Prince breaks it! Prince hurries to grab a chair from under the ring and slide it in. But Malik FLIES and takes Prince out! Wilson has the chair, but Briggs snatches it from him!
Edris runs in, but Wilson sends him into the chair and Briggs! Briggs and Edris both fall, Prince POSTS Malik then tags in! Pretty Deadly get Edris up for some SPILT MILK! Cover, Pretty Deadly wins!
Winners: Pretty Deadly, by pinfall
Wilson & Prince use Briggs & Jensen against Malik & Edris! And then Lash BOOTS Fallon Henley outta nowhere!! Lash talks trash, but will she and Pretty Deadly take over from the country trio?
Javier Bernal calls out to Cameron Grimes.
He tells Grimes to be more careful going through the door this time. Grimes wants after Bernal but the security guard is there to tell him it’s not worth it. Grimes says he’s right, Bernal isn’t worth it. But then Joe Gacy & The Schism walk over. They ask Grimes where he is going. He’s going home. But to who? Grimes doesn’t respond, he just walks out the door. Will Gacy break Grimes down until he’s part of their movement?
Toxic Attraction speaks.
Gigi & Jacy held the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships for so long, those belts felt like a part of them. They can’t believe they let this happen. Gigi never knew a real home or had a constant in her life until Toxic Attraction, and until they became champions. When you lose something so dear, you either reflect, or you can rebel. Gigi & Jacy each revitalize themselves with their comfort zones. Jacy loves rock music, it is her release, because rock music doesn’t give a damn about who you are or what you do. Gigi doesn’t play by anyone else’s rules. She does her things her way and thrives. That will never change, ever!
Toxic Attraction lives the rockstar life: seductive, sadistic, and successful! They are wounded, but wounded animals are more dangerous. They ARE Toxic Attraction, and they will shatter your false reality. Is this all a sign that Gigi & Jacy are ready to revamp what it means to be toxic?
Backstage interview with Apollo Crews.
McKenzie congratulates him on the big win tonight. Crews says hell yeah that was big! The whole world saw it! And Crews says he doesn’t like or trust Strong. But Cres is getting win after win, gaining momentum- But Waller walks in to congratulate him, too. Yeah, thanks, that was a hard fought win. Waller says he’s gonna do McKenzie’s job for her again, and ask the hard hitting questions. WHY is Crews here? To take from Waller and the locker room? The rest of the guys are afraid to say it, but not Waller! On behalf of NXT 2.0, Crews is no longer welcome. Oh, is that true? Yeah, check his history, lad. Waller already ran one guy out of here. He has no problem making Crews next.
Then lets’ go now! Crews dares Waller to try, but Waller backs off. Crews says he’s going nowhere, but will his return to NXT bring him up to the top?
Zoey Stark VS Cora Jade!
The Iron Woman has her shot at the NXT Women’s Championship next week, but she talks with Lyons backstage about their coming tag title opportunity. Lyons owes Kiana another beat down, but for now, it’s Stark’s turn. Cora is not going to stop Stark from getting at the women’s title next week, just like no one will stop them from becoming WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions. They have a secret handshake already, will this team sweep the night? Or will Cora do the Toxic Goddess’ dirty work before Heatwave?
NXT returns and speaking of the champion, Mandy Rose joins commentary, with Wade Barrett kissing up to her immediately. Stark then makes her entrance, and she stares Mandy right down. The bell rings and Zoey circles with Cora. Fans rally, Cora shoves Zoey but she smirks. Cora shoves again but Zoey grabs her arm and reels her in to run her over! Cora scrambles away but Zoey drags her back in! Cora ducks the kick, rolls Zoey up to a cover, TWO! Fans duel, Zoey spins Cora around to a cradle, TWO! Zoey Oklahoma Rolls, TWO! Cora gets up but into arm-drag after arm-drag! Cora gets to ropes for defense and fans boo.
Zoey wants Cora to come back but the ref has her back off. Zoey RAMS into Cora, throws knees, but Cora CLUBS and throws Zoey down. Cora stomps Zoey, stands on her, but Zoey shoves her away. Cora stomps and CLUBS Zoey, covers, TWO! Zoey ROCKS Cora again and again, then CHOPS and CHOPS! Zoey whips Cora, CLOBBERS Cora, then covers, TWO! Zoey keeps on Cora with a suplex, but Cora slips out and waistlocks. Zoey bucks the O’Conner Roll so Cora ROCKS her with a right! Fans boo, Cora drags Zoey up but Zoey waistlocks and SLAMS her down! Zoey holds on, drags Cora up again, and SLAMS her back down!
Cora fights up, throws’ an elbow but Zoey ducks to FISHERMAN SUPELX! Bridging cover, TWO! Not quite perfect, so Zoey CLOBBERS Cora in a corner. Zoey goes corner to corner but Cora puts her on the apron! Zoey ROCKS Cora, sweeps the leg, then slingshot ARABIAN PRESSES! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up and Zoey drags Cora up to waistlock. Cora bucks Zoey now, then sidesteps to SHINING WIZARD! Fans boo while Cora swaggers and NXT goes picture in picture.
Cora stomps Zoey, drags her up, but Zoey ROCKS her! And again! Cora bumps Zoey off buckles, then stomps Zoey down. Cora digs her boots in, the ref counts but Zoey shoves Cora’s foot away. Cora drags Zoey to a cover, ONE!! Cora is annoyed but Zoey throws body shots and a CHOP! Cora CHOPS back but Zoey CHOPS again! Cora CHOPS, Zoey kicks low and ROCKS Cora with forearms! Zoey snapmares then runs to SLIDING LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Cora stomps Zoey back down and has her in the corner. Cora drags Zoey to a cover, TWO! Cora is annoyed but she drags Zoey up to whip to a corner hard!
Cora grins as Zoey bumps off buckles. Cora storms over, stomps Zoey down, then kicks her around. Cora drags Zoey up but Zoey ROCKS Cora again and again and again! Zoey kicks low, ROCKS Cora then whips, but Cora reverses. Zoey hits ropes hard and Cora ELBOWS her down! Cover, TWO! Cora snarls, talks some trash, then stomps Zoey down. Cora keeps stomping Zoey at the ropes, but the ref has her back off. Zoey sits up, Cora springboards to DOUBLE STOMP! NXT returns to single picture as Cora covers, TWO! Cora drags Zoey up to whip her to ropes, put her on the ropes again and KICK her down! Cora runs but Zoey dodges the elbow!
Fans fir up as Zoey jackknifes, TWO, and Cora CLOBBERS Zoey! Cora snarls and she drags Zoey up to a chinlock. Zoey endures as fans duel and Cora shifts to a neck wrench. Cora leans on the hold and traps Zoey’s arms so she can CLUB her again and again! Zoey victory rolls through, TWO! Cora CHOPS Zoey to ropes! Cora runs in to SHINING- NO, Zoey blocks that to YANK Cora down! Fans rally and duel again as Cora crawls to a corner. Cora brings out her kendo stick! Cora aims at Zoey, but Zoey dodges and GERMAN SUPLEXES! Fans fire up while both women are down! Cora and Zoey sit up slowly as the fans rally up.
Zoey blocks a punch to give a punch! And then again! And again! Zoey DECKS Cora, but Cora gets up so Zoey CLOBBERS her! And CLOBBERS her! And mule kicks to fire off forearms and elbows! Cora wobbles into a mule kick, then Zoey fires up! Zoey runs to SLIDING KICK! Cover, TWO!! Zoey is annoyed but Mandy isn’t worried. Zoey runs in at Cora but blocks a boot to reel her in! HALF ‘N’ HALF! Cover, TWO!! Cora survives and Zoey is frustrated. Cora sits up but Zoey takes aim. Cora stands, deflects the superkick and ROCKS Zoey! Cora cravats, goes up the corner, but no Sliced Bread! SUPERKICK!! Cover, TWO!!
Mandy is disappointed in Cora, she expected better out of her. Cora crawls, Zoey watches her go to ropes, and then Zoey goes to the apron. Zoey slingshots but Cora moves! Zoey handsprings through her own senton, runs back in, but into a drop toehold! Zoey’s on the ropes again and Cora SHINING WIZARDS! Cora reels Zoey into a HAMMERLOCK DDT!! Cover, TWO!! Zoey survives and shocks Cora! Fans rally and duel, Cora cravats again, SLICED BREAD! Cover, TWO!! Fans are fired up and Cora goes back for her custom kendo stick. “This is Awesome!” and guess what! Roxie just took Cora’s kendo stick!
Cora is furious, but she turns around into Zoey’s SUPERKICK! And then GO TO STARK!! Cover, Stark wins!!
Winner: Zoey Stark, by pinfall
And she stares Mandy right down! Is Mandy worried about Stark now? And as for Roxie, she warns Cora that there is nowhere to hide! Roxie swings the stick, Cora runs for it, but then Mandy gets in the ring! Stark SUPERKICKS her first! And hits GO TO STARK!! Zoey holds up the title belt, is the Toxic Reign about to end?
A great go-home episode for NXT with their newest special next week. Good opening match with Lyons VS Kiana, and I figured Lyons would win here, even without the news of Lyons & Stark being in the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship tournament. Kiana attacking Lyons after is a good way to keep the feud going, as Lyons & Stark aren’t the ones to win the RawDown titles. Great stuff out of Diamond Mine and Apollo, and even Apollo’s future vision ability going to a new level was clever. Crews sees the faction’s downfall, and the green light implies it’s because of him, but we all knew Strong is going to be kicked out of the group at some point. Awesome match out of Crews and Strong, too, and I’m sure Crews VS Waller will be a great one, too.
The British Rounds match here was a lot of fun, especially with how Trick and Lee started it as a boxing match and then shifted into wrestling. I almost thought we were going to get a knockout win here, but it was fair of them to let Lee win with a pinfall. Melo and Vinci have a great exchange, from both their promos to the acrobatic brawl. That title match is going to be awesome, and Heatwave is getting even bigger. Bron and JD have a good vignette, though it wasn’t quite a Prime Target. Both the North American and main NXT Championship matches feel like they can go either way, but I would be very surprised if both champions lost. Maybe HHH & HBK worked something out where Melo & Trick are moving up to one show (SmackDown) while Bron goes to the other (Raw).
Another great Chase U promo, and a pretty solid match from Thea VS Arianna. Thea’s got great Chase U ring gear, and quite the surprise that Grace won. I suppose Thea is going to go through some growing pains before she gets her first televised win. Lash venting to Edris & Malik was a hilarious way to lead us to a match. Edris & Malik VS Pretty Deadly was great, even with the mishap involving Briggs & Jensen. A Mixed Six Tag of Briggs, Jensen & Fallon VS Lash & Pretty Deadly would be a lot of fun, and so would Fyre joining Malik & Edris against Lash & Pretty Deadly. It could even lead to Edris & Malik getting a shot at the UK Tag titles while Briggs & Jensen are stateside.
Solo Sikoa being out for a month or so is a shame for him, real or kayfabe, but using him as part of Grimes’ bitterness was great continuity since Grimes was the one who first encouraged Solo in the North American Championship chase. Javier Bernal seems to be getting great little cameos as part of Grimes’ story, I wonder if a match with Bernal will be the last straw and Grimes goes Heel, finally joining The Schism. And though short, we got a really good segment out of Wendy and Tiffany with the dressing room ambush. I really hope their blow-off grudge match is No Disqualification. They did a great job with that backstage brawl, they really should up the ante, and then Wendy wins to move on and force Tiffany to have a confidence crisis angle.
We got a decent segment out of “The Final Accord,” but obviously the major development from that is their Street Fight blow-off. Escobar leaving NXT if he loses is clearly code that this is his window of opportunity to be called up. We got a good vignette from Gigi & Jacy, and we finally got to learn a bit about their characters, and it was framed like we are supposed to sympathize with them like they’re Faces after how they’ve behaved for almost a full year. But the main event was great stuff out of Stark and Cora, and of course Roxie shows up to keep Cora from cheating. However, with Stark winning the match and standing tall against Mandy at the end, I have a feeling Mandy finds a way to retain, which is a bit of a shame.
My Score: 8.7/10
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