Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Live Results & Report! (9/24/19)
It’s the final SmackDown on USA Network!
The SmackDown “season finale” is going to be big!
Before moving to Fox, the Blue Brand wants Roman Reigns to clear the air with Daniel Bryan over the Erick Rowan issue. Will Big Dog and Planet’s Champion come to an understanding?
- Daniel Bryan VS Erick Rowan; Rowan wins.
- Chad Gable VS Mike Kanellis; Gable wins.
- Charlotte Flair & Carmella w/ R-Truth VS Sasha Banks & Bayley; Banks & Bayley win.
- Mustafa Ali VS Shinsuke Nakamura w/ Sami Zayn; Nakamura wins.
- The New Day VS The B-Team; The New Day wins.
- The Kabuki Warriors VS Fire & Desire; The Kabuki Warriors win.
PLAY BY PLAY
No one will overlook Erick Rowan ever again.
With his one real friend, Luke Harper, by his side, the Big Redwood wrecked Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan to end SmackDown! Will these two titans continue to dominate and destroy?
Erick Rowan is here!
The massive mastermind is in San Francisco but fans boo and jeer. He comments on the “work of art” that he and Harper created last week. Fans still boo and jeer but Rowan says he is more than an artist, he is a creator! He creates violence that demands respect. But San Fran shouts “You Suck! You Suck!” Rowan sees they like to belittle him, and the nickname “Redwood” comes from thinking he is less than human. But that has changed because as the saying goes, Might Makes Right. It doesn’t matter what side you’re on. It matters if you can dominate and destroy. Roman and “Dan” know he’s right, as does the entire SmackDown roster! That is why they’re afraid of Rowan! But wait, here comes Daniel Bryan! Fans are fired up for the Planet’s Champion as he stands on stage with a mic. “You feel disrespected? You think you’re right?” Bryan says if Rowan wants respect, fight him right now! Rowan tosses off his vest, a referee appears, this match is happening!
Daniel Bryan VS Erick Rowan!
The bell rings, and Bryan runs at Rowan, only to be powered back to a corner. Rowan tosses Bryan across the ring, then reels him in for a BIG clothesline! Rowan runs to drop a big elbow, then runs again to drop the splash! Rowan drags Bryan up to toss him out, and then he hurries out to come around the way, BIG BODY CHECK! The fans boo while Rowan roars and looms over Bryan. Rowan drags Bryan back up to throw him into the post! Rowan refreshes the count at 7 to go after Bryan more. He puts Bryan in the ring as fans rally up. Rowan stomps Bryan down, then drags him up to ram knees in Bryan’s back. Rowan wrenches Bryan’s neck but Bryan fights his way up. Bryan pulls Rowan’s beard but Rowan knees him low. Bryan fights back with punches and uppercuts and kicks! Fans rally as Bryan runs, but into a BIG spinning heel kick! Cover, TWO! Rowan has Bryan on the ropes while we go to break.
SmackDown returns and Rowan stalks over to Bryan outside the ring. Rowan rocks Bryan with a big forearm, then refreshes the count again. Rowan drags Bryan up for a powerbomb to the post! Bryan hits the floor and Rowan leaves him behind. The ref checks on Bryan but Rowan wants the count. The ring count begins yet again, but Bryan rises at 7. Bryan drags himself in at 9! Rowan is furious, and he stomps Bryan down! Rowan stomps away over and over but backs off at the ref’s count. Rowan hauls Bryan up to whip corner to corner, then runs in for a big splash! Bryan slumps down, but gets up as Rowan comes back, to dropkick the legs out! Fans fire up for Bryan and Bryan fires up in the ring. Bryan and Rowan stand, but Bryan chop blocks Rowan’s leg! And again! Bryan hurries out to drag Rowan over to a corner, and he throws the bad leg into the post! Rowan is writhing but Bryan just swings his leg into the post again! And then dropkicks it! And then swings it into the post!
Fans fire up as Bryan has Rowan reeling. Bryan drags Rowan up for big European Uppercuts and buckle bumps. Bryan runs corner to corner for a dropkick! And then another! Bryan goes a third time, but Rowan pops him up! To a JACKHAMMER! Cover, TWO!! Bryan survives and shocks Rowan! Rowan focuses and drags Bryan up for a bearhug, thrashing Bryan about! Bryan endures as Rowan squeezes tight. Fans rally and Bryan fights back with elbows. Bryan is free, and he throws EuroUppers. Rowan kicks low then lifts Bryan again, standing powerbomb! Cover, TWO!! SmackDown goes picture in picture as Rowan argues with the ref. Rowan shouts at the fans but then he laughs it off. He drags Bryan over, because he has an idea how to end this. Rowan whips Bryan at the steel steps! Bryan is down but Rowan refreshes the count to keep on him.
Rowan drags Bryan to the barriers, and throws him face first into them! The front row fans get even closer to the action and cheer Bryan on. But Rowan drags Bryan back up to throw into the ring. Rowan stalks Bryan with a smile on his face. He dares Bryan to stand, and Bryan slowly drags himself up on the ropes. Rowan grins as Bryan makes it to his feet, and he LARIATS Bryan down! Rowan soaks up the heat, and even gets up on the corner for all to see. San Fran boos the Big Red Behemoth as he goes back to Bryan. He steps on Bryan then goes back to boasting on a post. Rowan drags Bryan up and reels him in for another clothesline, then mocks Bryan for ever thinking of him as an equal and not a superior.
SmackDown returns to single picture as fans rally for Bryan. Bryan drags himself up but Rowan brings him in for another lift. Bryan fights out of the bomb to sunset flip! But Rowan hauls Bryan up to whip. Bryan baits Rowan in and dumps him out! Bryan then builds speed, to DIVE! But into Rowan’s arms! Bryan escapes and shoves Rowan into a post! Rowan clutches the bad arm again, but he gets back in the ring. Bryan hurries to climb up top, and he leaps to missile dropkick Rowan in the back! Fans are thunderous for Bryan as he kips up! Bryan gives Rowan Yes Kicks! From both sides, too! Then the buzzsaw hits! Cover, ONE!? Rowan still has so much strength left, but Bryan won’t stop here. Bryan climbs up, and leaps again, but into Rowan’s hands! Choke slam lift, but Bryan pops out for a GUILLOTINE! Bryan brings Rowan down, into the LeBelle Lock!! Rowan scrambles and reaches, and gets the ropebreak. Bryan holds on, until he sees Harper coming! Bryan gets up to dropkick Harper away from the ring! Bryan DIVES to take Harper out!!
But Harper gets right up!? Harper just stares at Bryan, and Rowan drags Bryan back in! IRON CLAW SLAM! And Bryan gets stuck in the ropes at the same time! Harper grins as Rowan smothers and stomps Bryan while the ref tries to free Bryan. Bryan is freed, but that only means Rowan can give him a second IRON CLAW! Cover, Rowan wins!
Winner: Erick Rowan, by pinfall
Luke Harper celebrates with Rowan, by going after Bryan more! Harper smothers Bryan while Rowan clears off the announce desk. But here comes Roman Reigns! The Big Dog heads right down the ramp, and he LEAPS to Superman Punch Harper! Superman Punch for Rowan! Drive-By Dropkick for Harper! But Rowan runs Roman over! Deja vu from last week as Harper and Rowan bring Roman to the desk. But Bryan is up and fighting back! Bryan looks to save Roman, but Harper throws him into the ring. Roman gives Rowan a BIG uppercut! Harper aims at Bryan, but Bryan dodges the discus to give the Planet’s Knee!! Rowan hurries after Bryan, but Roman saves Bryan with a SPEAR!
Fans echo “OOAH~!” as Roman checks on Bryan. It would seem that the enemy of an enemy is a friend, but Bryan refuses to be helped up. Bryan grabs a mic and says, “All I want is a one word answer. Do you want to see me and Roman kick their disrespected asses!?” Fans say “YES! YES!” The fans have spoken, and Bryan might have a new ally against former friends! Will Roman and Bryan be able to overcome the combined might of Harper and Rowan?
SmackDown looks back on the legend of The Beast, BROCK LESNAR!
From NCAA Heavyweight Champion to youngest WWE world champion and perhaps the most dominate force in all of WWE history, “you can’t survive Suplex City! You can’t survive the onslaught! You can’t survive the F5!” No one survives BRRROCK! LESNARRR!
Michael Cole interviews Kofi Kingston.
The WWE World Champion wants Cole to have some energy. The W, W, E, World, Heavy, Weight, CHAMPION~ is here, baby! Well Cole tried that once, it didn’t work that well. But on to the coming challenge of Brock Lesnar. Lesnar challenged Kofi to a match for the first Fox SmackDown, then gave him an F5. Why did Kofi accept the challenge? Because Kofi is proving he is a fighting champion. So then how is he preparing for The Beast? No one ever really prepares for someone like that, but Kofi feels he’s at the top of his game right now. Kofi beat Samoa Joe, Dolph Ziggler, Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton, some of the greatest around. Kofi feels really good.
But think about how historic that debut will be in Los Angeles. Kingston VS Lesnar for the world title. Does he feel pressure? Kofi always feels that. He wants to be the best champion he can be, but this amazing opportunity for WWE and Fox is great. Everyone thinks Lesnar will have his way again, walk out as champion again, but Kofi’s worked too long and too hard to let go just yet. Kofi feels at the top of his game, feels very confident, and is confident that he will still be our W, W, E, World, Heavy, Weight, Champion, baby. Will Kofi solidify his legacy by overcoming the one and only Brock Lesnar?
Chad Gable VS Mike Kanellis!
Another so close and yet so far match with Baron Corbin last night, but the Olympic medalist is still #ReadyWillingAndGable to fight. Will Gable climb his way back up?
Gable speaks, noting how Corbin said Gable will “always come up short.” Haha, good joke. But Gable’s run in the King of the Ring tournament, and how close he came last night on Raw, that was no joke. Corbin knew he was going to lose, so he got disqualified. But the next time Gable crosses paths with him- Mike Kanellis interrupts, telling “Chad, Chad, Chad,” that while he’s “sorry” to cut Gable’s time short, Mike is here to prove to his wife, Maria, that size does matter. Mike laughs at his own jokes, but Gable just laughs it off. The bell rings, Gable throws Mike overhead with a belly2belly! Mike scrambles up, Gable gets Mike with CHAOS THEORY! And the Ankle Lock! Mike taps, Gable wins!
Winner: Chad Gable, by submission
Size does matter, because Mike’s big ego got him in trouble! Gable wins, but will he move on to bigger and better after this?
Elias interrupts Gable’s celebration with a message from the titantron. “Hey, Shorty.” Elias has been following the Gable story and has written a song dedicated to him. “Chad Gable the underdog has everyone inspired. If it were up to me, little people like you would be fired.” Imagine if Gable had won the finals, how would everyone feel, knowing the King of the Ring can’t see over his steering wheel? Women laugh at Gable because he has nothing to give. Randy Newman said it best, short people ain’t got no reason to live. Gable scowls but will he make Elias pay for showing little respect?
Charlotte Flair finds R-Truth.
Has he seen Carmella? Carm who? He knows who she means. No he doesn’t. He certainly doesn’t know someone who is the new 48/7, 7/11, European Television Champion. Carmella says it is okay, and she shows herself. Charlotte congratulates Carmella for winning the title, but wants her to focus on Bayley and Banks. Carmella is. She has known Bayley for years, this is not the Bayley she knows. Charlotte says this is exactly the Bayley she’s known. But either way, they’ll be showing Bayley and Banks #WhatsUp. WOO~! Did Truth do that right? Well when Queen and Princess team up, will they beat the Boss & Hug Connection?
Charlotte Flair & Carmella w/ R-Truth VS Sasha Banks & Bayley!
While The Boss prepares for Becky Lynch in Hell in a Cell, the FABULOUS 24/7 Champion has to now watch her back. Will either of them be able to focus in this match? Or will it be all on The Queen and the SmackDown Women’s Champion to settle this grudge?
The teams sort out and Carmella starts with Sasha Banks. The two circle and Sasha knees Carmella to throw her down by her hair. Sasha whips Carmella to a corner, but Carmella dodges and moonwalks. Carmella catches Sasha for an atomic drop to a corner boot! Carmella hops up to headscissor and clothesline Sasha down! Cover, TWO! Carmella keeps on Sasha by bringing her up, but Sasha spins out and DECKS her with a right! Sasha throws Carmella out of the ring, and then tags Bayley. Truth keeps the 24/7 Championship safe while Bayley DECKS Carmella! And then throws more forearms! She bounces Carmella off the announce desk! Then she puts Carmella in the ring to cover, TWO! Bayley keeps on Carmella with a rain of rights, shouting, “I’ve changed?” She tags Sasha in, and the two best friends whip and crisscross Carmella to throw her into buckles.
Sasha snapmares, runs and wraps on a chinlock. She grins as she grinds Carmella down. Carmella endures and fans rally up. Carmella fights up but Sasha throws her down again. Tag to Bayley and the best friends mug Carmella. Bayley brings Carmella up but Carmella fights with forearms! Carmella reaches for Charlotte but Bayley pulls her away. Bayley scoops but Carmella slips out to pull Bayley down by her ponytail! Both women are down but Carmella crawls, hot tag to Charlotte! Charlotte rallies on both Bayley and Sasha, and CHOPS away on Bayley! Fans echo the “WOO~!” with each shot! Charlotte gives Bayley a big back suplex! Then an exploder! Charlotte kips up and fans fire up as she runs in at Bayley. Bayley dodges, but runs into the backbreaker! Then a BOOT! Charlotte drags Bayley around, and wants the Figure Four! She gets it! Bayley flails but Sasha attacks with a Meteora!
Sasha saves Bayley and tags in. Sasha goes at Charlotte, but Charlotte blocks the backstabber into a backpack stunner! Charlotte goes for the Figure Four again, but Sasha shoves her away! Charlotte hits buckles, but Carmella tags in. Carmella climbs, and LEAPS for a crossbody! But she bounces off, to FABULOUS Kick! Sasha elbows back, then hops up, but Carmella gets under. FABULOUS KICK again! Cover but Bayley breaks it! Bayley whips but Carmella reverses to send Bayley out. Carmella mule kicks then FABULOUS Kicks! She dodges Sasha to tilt-o-whirl to a roll-up, TWO! CROSSFACE! Sasha has the Bank Statement, Carmella taps, Banks & Bayley win!
Winners: Sasha Banks & Bayley, Sasha by submission
Truth knows what that means for the 24/7 Champion! He gets Carmella out of the ring as the rest of the Women’s Division comes running down the ramp! Will Carmella make it out of the Chase Center with the title?
As for Charlotte, she already couldn’t believe her team lost. Now she can’t believe she’s all alone against Sasha and Bayley. But she still fights with big elbows and forearms! She tackles Bayley to a corner to ram in shoulder.s Sasha gets Charlotte with the backstabber! But here comes Becky! Once again, the Raw Women’s Champion is ready to fight! And she gets Bayley as Sasha runs away! Sasha returns but she gets EuroUppers! Bayley gets a mule kick, Sasha gets a Becksploder! But so does Bayley! Sasha gets caught for the Disarm-Her! Bayley bails Banks out and they both get away. Becky grins, because it’s only a matter of time. Will the Man make The Boss pay for trying to cancel the #StraightFire? Or is Sasha one match away from making the Boss & Hug Connection golden?
Shane McMahon discusses Kevin Owens’ lawsuit with his legal team.
It seems they all understand the situation, but will they find something to favor Shane O’Mac? Or is he going to be out a pretty penny and a job when this goes to court?
Mustafa Ali VS Shinsuke Nakamura w/ Sami Zayn!
The Beacon of Light shines bright in the night, but will he make a big impact on the last night SmackDown’s on USA Network? But Sami makes sure everyone shows respect for THE Intercontinental Champion, the King of Strong Style, “SHINSUKEEEE~! NAKAMURAAAA~!” Will Nakamura make good on the beating he gave Ali last week?
The bell rings and Ali approaches Nakamura, only to get a kick in the leg. Nakamura puts Ali in a corner and whips him corner to corner. Nakamura runs in, but Ali goes right up and over him! Ali runs, dodges, and dropkicks Nakamura out! Then DIVES to wipe Nakamura out! He gets right up, too! Ali puts Nakamura in and shakes off the header, to crossbody Nakamura down! Cover, TWO! Ali keeps his eyes on Nakamura as he goes corner to corner, but he’s put on the apron. He punches Nakamura away, but has to swipe at Sami. Nakamura throws Ali into the post! Ali crashes and burns and Sami shouts, “That’s what you get!” as SmackDown goes picture in picture.
Ali is down and out but Nakamura fetches him into the ring. Nakamura puts Ali on the apron, for the guillotine knee drop! Ali writhes but Nakamura covers, TWO! Ali lives but he’s not doing so well with Nakamura driving knees into his head and shoulders. Nakamura paces before going to Ali at the ropes. He brings Ali up in a facelock and wrenches, but Ali endures. Nakamura grinds Ali down to the mat, but Ali fights his way back up. Ali throws body shots but Nakamura knees then snapmares to drop another knee! Cover, TWO! Ali angers Sami and Nakamura, but Nakamura keeps on Ali with swift kicks. Nakamura drives more knees in, but Ali blocks the buzzsaw kick! SmackDown returns to single picture as Ali stands to heel kick Nakamura down!
Fans rally as Ali gets to a corner. Ali dodges Nakamura then roundhouses him away! Ali slingshots and somersaults for the X-factor! But Ali won’t stop there, he aims from the corner. Ali runs corner to corner for double knees! He hoists Nakamura up fast to uppercut and climb. Nakamura fights back and shoves, but Ali flips to land on his feet! Nakamura leaps into Ali’s dropkick! Cover, TWO! Nakamura is wincing now and Sami grows concerned. Ali gets up and is on Nakamura, but Nakamura holds ropes to avoid the whip. So Ali throws uppercuts! Ali whips again, but Nakamura reverses. Nakamura swings one but hits the back hell kick! Ali is dazed, but he boots, only to get turned around and kicked back! Sliding German Suplex from Nakamura drops Ali! Sami is enjoying this as Nakamura aims from the corner. “YAO~!” SUPERKICK from Ali! Cover, TWO!!
Both men are down but fans rally. Ali hurries to a corner and climbs, but Nakamura hurries over to enziguri! Ali is stuck up top, Top Shelf Knee! Then Inverted Exploder, but Ali lands on his feet! Roll-up, TWO! Uppercut from Ali, he hops up to tornado DDT! Ali hurries up top again, but Sami saves Nakamura! Ali bails out of his flip, but builds speed to FLY over the ref! He takes out Nakamura! Ali puts Nakamura in but he sees Sami talking smack. Ali chases Sami around, then end up in the ring, KINSHASA outta nowhere! Cover, Nakamura wins!
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura, by pinfall
Big assist to Sami and it is the Rockstar who wins again! Will anyone will be able to dethrone the King of Strong Style if the #ZaynFactor is always present?
BREAKING NEWS: A new match has been made for the Hell in a Cell PPV!
Naturally, after Bryan and Roman worked together to run off Rowan & Harper, these four men will collide in a tag team match!
The New Day VS The B-Team!
AWWW~ Bay Area~! The New Day is here, so feel~ the power~! But in order to get back at The Revival and those SmackDown Tag Team Championships, can Xavier Woods and Big E win big against Bo Dallas and Curt Axel? Or will the once “undefeated” Raw Tag Team Champions begin their climb back to being the best?
The teams sort out and Axel starts with Woods. Axel kicks Woods low, then flosses. Woods dropkicks Axel back, and swivels his hips. Woods CHOPS Axel then whips him corner to corner. Axel reverses but Woods goes up and over to run, slide and mule kick. Bo steps in but Woods runs him over, only to get run over by Axel. Axel stomps Woods down then tags in Bo. Bo stomps Woods now, then tags in Axel. The B-Team snapmares then drives knees into Woods. Axel wraps on a chinlock but fans rally for Woods. Woods endures and fights his way up, but Axel back suplexes. Woods lands on his feet but is powered to the B-Team corner. Tag to Bo and Bo hits Big E for good measure, before hitting Woods with a corner clothesline. He feeds Woods to Axel’s DDT, cover, TWO! Bo kicks Woods out of the ring and shouts, “B Train!”
The B-Team takes a lap but Big E comes up behind to run Axel over! Then he chases Bo into the ring, for Woods to roll up! TWO, and tag to Big E! Woods boots Bo, Big E scoops, Midnight Hour hits! Cover, The New Day wins!
Winners: The New Day, Big E pinning
Big E hugs the 49ers as they celebrate the win! But will the New Day be striking gold of their own as big changes come to SmackDown?
Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville celebrate Mandy being on the cover of Maxim.
Everyone in Australia will go insane seeing Mandy live. Mandy passes out copies to everyone, but Sonya says they need to get to their match. Sonya ushers Mandy along, but Otis asks for a selfie. Mandy lets him take a pic, and a copy. Tucker comes by, and approves.
The Kabuki Warriors VS Fire & Desire!
Asuka and Kairi Sane return to action! Don’t include them chasing after the 24/7 Championship… But will the Empress of Tomorrow and Pirate Princess get back on track as SmackDown is on the move? Or will Mandy and Sonya have more to celebrate than just Mandy’s Maxim cover shoot?
SmackDown returns as Mandy and Sonya make their entrance. Sonya and Asuka start and Mandy personally signs and gives out copies to commentary. Sonya puts Asuka on the ropes, but Asuka turns around to throw hands. Sonya gets free to waistlock and slam Asuka down, then she kicks her in the back. Asuka catches the second kick to give kicks of her own! Asuka fires up and whips Sonya, but Sonya reverses to kick Asuka’s leg. Sonya headlocks but Asuka fights out to shove Sonya. Sonya bumps Asuka but Asuka runs her over! Fans fire up with Asuka and she tags in Kairi. The joshi royalty double whip and hip toss to then run and dropkick combo on Sonya! Cover, TWO! Kairi brings Sonya up, Sonya dodges the backhand to give a right hand! Sonya tosses Kairi out hard then tags Mandy.
Mandy takes her copy of Maxim back to show it off to everyone, and rub it in Kairi’s face. “You will never look like me.” Kairi takes a closer lock, and kicks the magazine away! Then CHOPS Mandy! Kairi fires off more chops then puts Mandy in the ring. Kairi gets in, runs, dodges, and rebound springboards to headscissor Mandy down! Fans fire up as Kairi marches, then runs corner to corner! Sliding D forearm! Kairi hits Sonya away then hits Mandy. But Mandy plays up the hit for Sonya to trip Kairi up! Mandy DECKS Kairi and covers, TWO! Mandy drags Kairi up to whip her in. Mandy fires off angry forearms, then taunts Asuka. But Kairi fights back! Kairi decks Sonya then headbutts Mandy. Kairi slides but Mandy grabs her leg. Kairi shoves Mandy away, hot tag to Asuka!
Asuka rallies with a dropkick and pop-up knee strike! Asuka goes corner to corner to hip attack Mandy! Then a mule kick to a running cutter! Asuka runs to sliding wizard! Cover but Sonya wizards Asuka off Mandy! Kairi dropkicks Sonya out but Mandy rolls Asuka! TWO, and Asuka tags Kairi. ROUNDHOUSE to Mandy, then CODE BREAKER! Mandy is in the drop zone, anchors aweigh with the InSANE Elbow! Cover, Kabuki Warriors win!
Winners: The Kabuki Warriors, Sane pinning
The Empress and Princess win big and could be heading for those WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships! Meanwhile, Sonya is a bit upset with Mandy for getting distracted, but they will keep fighting. Who will make it to Bliss-Cross first in this changing WWE landscape?
BREAKING NEWS: The SmackDown Fox debut has another major match!
The Four Horsewomen have another tag team match on the first SmackDown on Fox, and the last SmackDown before Hell in a Cell! Who gains last-minute momentum before The Boss and The Man battle inside the Cell?
Shane McMahon and his legal team head to the ring.
Kevin Owens’ wrongful termination lawsuit, with its $25 MILLION in damages, hangs over the head of the “BEST in the WOOOOOOOOORLD” but that’s what a team of high-paid attorneys is for. Shane knows Kevin is here, so he gives him an introduction complete with music and titantron. But Kevin doesn’t enter from the stage, but from the crowd! Shane has someone get Kevin a mic while San Fran cheers and chants. Shane introduces Kevin to the WWE legal team, and they’ve been reviewing the “frivolous” lawsuit. They have a proposition for Kevin. Option 1: Shane keeps Kevin in court until Kevin is the one burning through money while unemployed. Fans boo that option as Shane rubs it in that it’ll just ruin Kevin’s family. Or there’s option 2, and Kevin asks what that is. Option 2: Kevin drops this “ridiculous” suit, and Shane will personally reinstate Kevin here and now, and also drops his $100,000 fine from before. So obviously, there’s a smart choice in this, and that is to start with a clean slate.
Fans chant “NO! NO!” as Shane offers a handshake for option 2. Kevin stares long and hard at the hand, and says Shane is “a real idiot.” Shane doesn’t get it. This lawsuit, the courtroom, the lawyers, it all makes Kevin sick. The only thing worse would be Shane still in the locker room, where he doesn’t belong. Kevin can’t stand the thought of still sharing the locker room with Shane. That is what this is about! The money isn’t event he issue, it’s the leverage and what Kevin wants, and what everyone wants: to see Shane get FIRED! So what does Kevin want? One final match! If Shane wins, Kevin drops the lawsuit and stays fired. But if Kevin wins, Shane is GONE from the WWE!
What’s the catch? No catch. Well, the match does need to be something more than just a normal match. It needs to be a match where Kevin can hurt Shane as badly as Shane’s hurt Kevin. For years, the McMahons talk about climbing the corporate ladder. Put that briefcase literally in the balance, for a LADDER MATCH! Shane accepts, and this match is set to happen! Who brings down the briefcase to hold the other man’s fate in their hands?
Backstage interview with Becky Lynch.
The Man is preparing for Sasha Banks in less than two weeks. Sasha has been in the Cell before, but Becky says Sasha better hope she has an advantage in there. “Because what is Sasha without her head start on me?” What is Sasha without Bayley being her backup? Sasha ambushes Becky! Becky throws Sasha into trunks, but Sasha throws Becky into another! They brawl, and Sasha rams Becky again. “You’re a nobody, Becky!” Sasha throws Becky into boards, then into fencing! The same kind of fencing for the Cell! Sasha shouts she’s The Boss, but security pulls her off Becky. But Sasha kicks Becky while she’s down before leaving, a big smile on her face. Will Becky be able to recover before the Fox premiere’s major tag match?
This final USA Network SmackDown acts as a go-home to the first Fox SmackDown next week, and it was a rather good one. And it’s fitting, since SmackDown’s debut on Fox is starting to sound like a PPV level event in itself. We got a great start to tonight’s episode with Rowan’s promo and the sudden match with Bryan. The match was pretty good, but naturally Harper comes out to help Rowan, and then Roman comes out to even things up. Bryan and Roman stand tall, and naturally we get their tag team grudge match with Rowan and Harper at Hell in a Cell. This will be a pretty solid tag team match, but could probably go either way since Rowan and Harper are likely to get purposefully disqualified if push comes to shove. Kofi has a good interview promo about his match with Lesnar, but as confident as he sounded, this could still go Lesnar’s way because, well, it’s Lesnar.
It’s fine that Gable squashes Kanellis, Gable’s been red hot thanks to the King of the Ring tournament. The big news out of Mike Kanellis on SmackDown might be that the WWE Draft puts him here to line up with the rumors that 205 Live is going to Fridays now, too. The Cruiserweights that aren’t already moved up and out of 205 Live are probably going to start being SmackDown stars, and that old “Cruiserweights only on Raw” garbage Stephanie McMahon said years ago will be undone. At the same time, 205 Live is becoming more and more the third branch of Triple H’s creative, so Cruiserweights are probably going to be popping up on all brands. Ali VS Nakamura was a great match tonight, but naturally Sami is a factor. Usual Heel fare as far as a corner person distracting, but there’s probably a way for Ali to get around it. And we got a fun little tag match of New Day VS The B-Team, but it was obviously just an easy win for New Day to keep strong before determining SmackDown Tag title contenders.
Well damn, we are getting one last Shane VS Kevin match, but at least it’s not in a Hell in a Cell match. That way we won’t need to see Shane jump off the top of the Cell on Kevin, just off a ladder. But in either case, Kevin is winning to get rid of Shane and get his own job back, the money being all kayfabe. Though, I would love if Kevin followed this story up with kayfabe things he and the family get to do now with the money they won. Maybe there will be actual money involved and given to Connor’s Cure or other cancer fighting organizations, since October will of course be Breast Cancer Awareness Month again.
The Women’s Division was the strong part of tonight. I liked the bit with Charlotte, Carmella and R-Truth backstage, it shows Truth is returning the favor of watching out for the new “747 48/7 7/11 24/7 European Television Champion” the way Carmella did for him. And then we get a pretty good match out of Charlotte, Carmella, Bayley and Sasha, especially with the elements of Carmella questioning Bayley’s character. Bayley and Banks win to keep both Boss & Hug strong in both singles and tag divisions. Kabuki Warriors VS Fire & Desire technically got to main event, so that alone is great. It is also great that Asuka and Kairi Sane won. Kairi also had a funny little part in connection to the 24/7 Championship chase, but I really hope she and Asuka get another and far more serious run at the Women’s Tag titles. Both women deserve more than just being filler, regardless of Paige being around as a manager/spokesperson. The very ending, of Sasha attacking Becky out of nowhere, was good but certainly rushed. It still gives good heat for the Fox debut’s tag match, but that could go either way with Hell in a Cell right around the corner.
My Score: 8.4/10
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Mitchell’s WWE NXT Results & Report! (3/21/23)
Time for a grudge match!
Will NXT be UNBESIEGBAR?
While Stand & Deliver is on the horizon, Ilja Dragunov and JD McDonagh look to settle their NXT rivalry! Will the Czar trump the Irish Ace once and for all?
- NXT Women’s Championship Qualifier: Tiffany Stratton VS Indi Hartwell; Tiffany wins and advances to the title match at Stand & Deliver.
- Ilja Dragunov VS JD McDonagh; Double Disqualification Draw.
- NXT Women’s Championship Qualifier: Lyra Valkyria VS Ivy Nile; Lyra wins and advances to the title match at Stand & Deliver.
- The Great Debate: Chase U VS The Schism; Chase U wins.
- Bron Breakker & Carmelo Hayes w/ Trick Williams VS Pretty Deadly; Bron & Melo win.
PLAY BY PLAY
Pretty Deadly heads to the ring.
Kit Wilson & Elton Prince, the hosts of Stand & Deliver, are apparently just fine after getting thrown through a table last week. Elton has the mic to say, “Attention, attention. Quiet please. It is us, your hosts of Stand…” “And Deliver!” #YESBOY! And as their first official act as the hosts of Stand… and Deliver, they are officially wiping the footage of last week’s closing segment from the archives! You will no longer be able to view those “neckbearded mouth-breathing” Gallus boys cheat to win!
Nor will you see Bron Breakker & Carmelo Hayes jump them from behind to put them through a table! Elton already pretends to not know what happened. The gumption of those two! If not for the fact that these two are the hosts of Stand… and Deliver, those two wouldn’t even make it to Lala Land. Last week is history, today is a mystery. But let’s not get too far off the point. Let’s talk outfits for Stand… and Deliver! Now, hold on, talking about outfits, did you see those horrid ensembles both Melo and Bron were wearing last week? Main event talent, sure. But main event style? But wait, here come Trick Melo Gang!
Trick asks if his mic is working. It is. Good. Because he told the two bobbleheads to be quiet when grown-ups are talking. But Pretty Deadly interrupted so they had to get some “table service.” Melo says not to get it twisted. He was so dripped out, he left puddles! Talk about it. While Melo prepares for his biggest match ever, Pretty Deadly is standing here with his name in their mouths? In all fairness, Mr. Melo, Kit said it. Don’t try and be cute. HEY! They were born cute! They don’t have to try. HEY! Remember what Trick said about talking during grown folks business! We’re talking about the FUTURE NXT Champion! We don’t need that bad juju.
Trick figures Pretty Deadly shouldn’t talk the talk, but walk the walk. Um, hold on, there might be a break down in communication. They only speak the king’s English. But if they want to have a match, if Melo wants to jeopardize the main event of Stand…! And Deliver, then they ACCEPT! Good! Because tonight, the main event, Pretty Deadly VS the man, the myth and the legend, Carmelo Hayes, and his partner… BRON BREAKKER! Trick even tricks Melo there! But then Pretty Deadly attacks! They throw Trick out then mug Melo! But here comes BRON! Bron CLOBBERS Kit, DECKS Elton, and then TOSSES Kit! Elton runs in, he also gets TOSSED!
Bron trophy lifts Kit, and THRWOS him out onto Elton! Pretty Deadly has a pretty nasty landing, and the fans fire up! Bron offers Melo a hand, Melo takes it, and the two stand. Bron says nothing is gonna happen to Melo between now and Stand & Deliver. Melo scowls and takes his leave, but will the champion and challenger be able to stay civil on the Road to WrestleMania Weekend?
Trick and Melo regroup backstage.
Melo asks Trick what the heck, and Trick says he doesn’t know. That was all Trick Melo Gang, they didn’t need Bron. Bron wants Melo at his best, and he’ll get just that. And that means NEW NXT Champion, but he’s teaming with Bron now? Trick always has Melo’s back, right? Yeah, but Melo doesn’t wanna do that “Can they coexist?” crap! But Trick has Melo’s back. Melo needs to know Bron’s speed, flow and body control. Now he’ll have a front row seat. He’ll have the blueprint. Trick himself takes care of the conversation: “Thanks, Trick.” “You’re welcome, Melo.” And Pretty Deadly is easy money. Trick will make sure of that.
And at Stand & Deliver, the most important thing is still the most important thing. That’s all it is, and that’s all it’s gonna be.
NXT Women’s Championship Qualifier: Tiffany Stratton VS Indi Hartwell!
Daddy’s Little Rich Girl claimed she was going to Stand & Deliver even before Roxanne Perez retained the title against Meiko Satomura. But now with the title quite literally up in the air, will she take a spot in the ladder match? Or will #IndiWrestling finally have her moment in Hollywood?
The bell rings and fans rally behind Indi. Indi and Tiffany tie up, Indi headlocks, but Tiffany powers out. Indi runs Tiff over, covers, ONE! Indi wrenches an arm, RAMS shoulders, then wrenches again. Indi RAMS Tiff again, then YANKS the arm. Indi whips Tiff to a corner, runs in, but into a BOOT! Tiff runs in to CLOBBER Indi! Cover, TWO! Tiffany is annoyed but she drags Indi up. Indi wrenches out, and short arm LARIATS right back! And then short arm LARIATS again! Tiff dodges the next one, kicks low and snap suplexes! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, Tiff stomps Indi and talks trash, but Indi hits back!
Tiffany CLUBS Indi, drags her up and whips her to a corner hard! Indi bounces off buckles and Tiffany taunts her more. Indi blocks the whip, blocks it again, and ROCKS Tiffany with forearms! Tiffany kicks low, whips Indi hard into another corner, then runs to handspring and back elbow! Tiffany runs, but Indi avoids the stomps! Roll-up, TWO! Indi stomps Tiffany, puts her through ropes, and then uppercuts, but misses! Tiff trips Indi, but Indi kicks her away. Indi goes to the apron but Tiff TRIPS her! Indi hits the apron, Tiff says this is HER world and we’re all just living in it. Fans boo as NXT goes to break.
NXT returns and Tiffany has Indi in a chinlock. Indi endures, fights up, and throws body shots. Tiffany comes back, but into a JAWBREAKER! Indi runs in but Tiff sends her to ropes! Tiff runs to HIP ATTACK! Cover, TWO! Indi is still in this and Tiffany grows annoyed. Tiffany scoops but Indi slips off and waistlocks. Tiff runs to RAM Indi into buckles, then she DOUBLE STOMPS Indi down! Cover, TWO! Indi survives and fans rally up again. Tiffany drags Indi up, whips her to the corner, but Indi reverses. Tiffany goes up and over and handsprings, then comes back, but into Indi’s BIG back suplex!
Both women are down and fans rally back up. Indi and Tiffany crawl after each other, and Indi throws a forearm! Tiffany throws it back, but Indi throws another! They brawl as they stand up, Indi ROCKS and kicks and CLUBS and DECKS Tiffany! Fans fire up and Indi puts Tiffany through ropes to UPPERCUT and BOOT! Tiffany falls, Indi covers, TWO! Tiffany hangs tough but Indi runs in. Tiff dodges the boot to POWERSLAM! Cover, TWO! Indi is still in this and Tiffany pounds the mat in frustration. Fans boo as she goes to the apron, and Tiffany springboards. Indi avoids the swanton! SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO!!
Indi is surprised Tiffany survives, but she hurries to bring Tiffany up. Tiffany RAMS Indi into the corner, but Indi ELBOWS her back. Indi goes up but Tiffany YANKS her down! Fireman’s carry, and ROLLING SENTON! BEST MOONSAULT WHATEVER! Cover, Tiffany wins!
Winner: Tiffany Stratton, by pinfall (advances to Stand & Deliver)
Love her or hate her, the spoiled rich girl backed up her big talk. She is now the third woman to compete in the ladder match, but just how many more participants is HBK going to add?
Gallus is at the bar again.
They have more pints, they’re playing more pool, and they’re happy to be past Pretty Deadly. It is still Gallus Boys On Top! Mark Coffey breaks, but in walk the Creed Brothers. Gallus, funny seeing you guys here. Uh, everyone knows where to find them, Brutus. They’re not hard to find. They fancy a game? Sure, Gallus can break. Alright. Two more pints for Gallus, and uh, two glasses of milk for the Creeds. Milk? C’mon! Brutus will have what they’re having, but Julius is already too wild sober. They play a game, and once again, Gallus dominates the green felt. Eight ball, corner pocket for the win.
Great game, lads. Well, 8 Ball was never their game. Now darts? BULL’S EYE. Well alright, Gallus will throw. And just as Julius said, he and Brutus dominate. They want another round? Yeah, best two outta three. Except that round goes to the Creeds, too. Well, Gallus never took the Creeds for a pair of archers. Hey, they work hard in the dojo, and play hard outside. Well, between pool and darts, that just means they’re tied, 1-1. And they could go all day, but Julius has a better idea for the tiebreaker. Wolfgang and Mark know, too. Stand & Deliver, for the tag titles. No Pretty Deadly, no Indus Sher, the Creeds want the belts back.
Well, Gallus will gladly see them in LA, but the titles are staying with them. See you then. They all shake on it, then head out. Only for Tony D’Angelo & Channing Lorenzo to be waiting. Where’s everyone going? Next round’s on The Don. Because they have business to discuss. Stand & Deliver, that is. Really? Well, this is gonna be a long night. Everyone goes back inside the bar, will Tony and the Underboss get themselves a part in the Hollywood title picture?
Lyra Valkyria speaks.
As she runs up the stairs and through the halls of an abandoned building, she says, “Stand & Deliver, Los Angeles, get ready to soar.” But will she overcome her first obstacle here tonight?
Backstage interview with Gigi Dolin.
McKenzie Mitchell is with someone who has already qualified for the NXT Women’s Championship Ladder Match, and asks Gigi her feelings on the field so far. Gigi say sit is too early to judge. As sad as it is, if Roxie didn’t get hurt, this match wouldn’t be happening. Also, in regards to Jacy Jayne and her bad shoulder, sorry not sorry. Jacy tried to make Gigi’s life a living hell, so she can stay home and watch as Gigi climbs the ladder. The last time Gigi was in a ladder match, she won it. And she has been put through the wringer since. But mentally, no one has any idea. Gigi will do anything to-
Tiffany walks in to interrupt. She “loves” the confidence and all, but did you see her just win and get in that match? So Gigi and every other woman’s chances just went from “possible” to “absolutely screwed.” That title is Tiffany’s. Oh, another Tiffany Epiphany! Tiffany’s gonna win by climbing that ladder all the way to the tippy top! And she’ll love it. Tootles. Gigi makes a face, will Gigi slap that smug attitude right out of Tiffany come Stand & Deliver?
Wes Lee is in the ring.
“OOOH YO! Things have been absolutely crazy around here, right? And y’all have been enjoying these open challenges, correct?” Fans cheer and Wes says that’s good, because he has, too. But he constantly gets asked, “Why? Why are you doing it this way? Why continue to roll the dice? Eventually, your number’s gonna get called.” To Wes, he doesn’t wanna be a hypocrite. When he won this title at Halloween Havoc, it was his first shot at it. And he just knew he had to give it everything he had, because if he came up short, he doubted he’d ever get another shot. And now, as champion, he vows to give anyone the opportunity that was in that same position he was in.
Now, secondly, he knows he’s looking deep within himself, but he has a chip on his shoulder. He needs to prove not just to the world, but to himself, that he can and will compete against the best athletes in the world! That he deserves to carry the title! That he deserves to be our NXT North American Champion! Fans fire up for that, but Wes says many have seen a bit of this fire from that “creeper” vid of him and HBK. And HBK made it clear Wes had four spots for four superstars to compete against him at Stand & Deliver. But wait, here comes DRAGON LEE! Speaking of one of the best from around the world…!
Dragon Lee joins Wes Lee in the ring and has the mic. “Wow, wow, wow. Thank you, all. Nice to meet you, Wes.” Wes says it’s nice to meet him. Dragon says that he came to NXT for the same reason as Wes. But to Dragon, Wes IS the best. But y’know what? Dragon LOVES the chaos! And at Stand & Deliver in LA, Dragon wants to part of that challenge against Wes. Wes says this is what he loves. Wes has followed Dragon’s career from Mexico to Japan, and has wondered what’d it be like if the two of them tangled. And when Dragon signed with NXT, Wes thought it’d be like six to eight months before they got to.
But everyone knows Wes is impatient! So let’s make it official! Dragon gets the first spot! See you in LA! But wait, here comes the Irish Ace! JD McDonagh is going to face Dragunov later tonight, but he says, “Look what it is! Wes Lee, Dragon Lee, the Lees putting each other over. It’s funny you two are running your mouths about the best in the world, I’m backstage warming up. So Dragon, you’re new here, I’ll give you a pass this week. But I suggest you grab a chair, sit your ass front row, and watch a grandmaster at work when I dismantle Ilja Dragunov.” Fans boo but JD tells Wes, “What’s your excuse?”
Wes’ excuse? What’s gonna be JD’s excuse after Ilja rips him apart? Fans fire up for that! JD steps into the ring, and he says Wes should count himself lucky that JD hasn’t had his eyes on that title. Because if he had, not only would Wes not be standing here with it, he wouldn’t be standing at all. But wait! Here comes the Czar! JD is here, so Dragunov isn’t gonna wait! Time for the grudge match! Will either man be left standing after this one?
NXT Anonymous has another video.
Whoever they are, they watch as Indi storms backstage and takes her frustrations out on a trash can. Then she gets mad at Zoey for smirking. Indi asks, “What the hell are you looking at?” Zoey says, “Definitely not the next NXT Women’s Champion.” Zoey heads off, is this the end of the road for #IndiWrestling in NXT?
Kiana James watches in the locker room.
She says that was a pretty good line from Zoey. Fallon Henley then walks in and Kiana mocks Indi for not making it to Stand & Deliver. But they are, tag champ! Isla Dawn & Alba Fyre don’t stand a chance- Enough, Kiana. She knows what’s going on here. Fallon, don’t worry, Kiana isn’t worried about the singles title. No, not that! Sebastian! Kiana’s eyes go wide, but then she denies even recognizing that name. Save it, Kiana. Fallon was in your office. What?! How’d she even get past security!? Fallon says that doesn’t matter, she saw the flowers and the card. Card? What? PROOF! Kiana freaks out again!
How can Kiana even sleep at night, cheating on Jensen!? Fallon knew better than to trust Kiana! Now she’s gonna go tell Jensen. Oh, yes, go run to Brooks and tell him. That’ll screw up EVERYTHING before the biggest match in their careers! But Jensen is family! Kiana may not care about him, but Fallon does! Fallon storms off, what can Kiana do to stop the truth from getting out?
Ilja Dragunov VS JD McDonagh!
NXT returns and the bell rings. These two fire off forearms and fists right away! Dragon watches ringside just like JD wanted as Dragunov ROCKS him! JD rebounds to ROCK Dragunov, but Dragunov rebounds to ROCK JD! They keep going back and forth, then Dragunov BOOTS JD! JD roars as he stays up, but Dragunov ENZIGURIS him down! Now Dragunov roars and fans fire up! Dragunov KNEES JD in the side again and again, then drags him up to CLUB him on the back! Fans rally up for that, “ONE MORE TIME! ONE MORE TIME!” and Dragunov CLUBS JD again! Dragunov then whips JD to a corner, runs in, but JD slips out!
Dragunov knees the buckles, and JD trips him to slingshot TORNILLO SPLASH! Dragon is impressed, but fans boo as JD throws down forearms. Dragunov gets away to a corner, but JD storms up to COHP! JD digs his knee into Dragunov, the ref counts, and JD lets off at 4. Fans boo but JD brings Dragunov up to short arm LARIAT! Dragunov flounders, JD covers, TWO! JD drags Dragunov up to snap suplex! Cover, TWO! Dragunov gets away to ropes but JD stomps him. JD drags Dragunov up to wrench, but Dragunov breaks free and trips JD! JD avoids the falling forearm, and the backhand! Dragunov avoids the headbutts!
The forearm start flying again, and both men DECK each other! Fans are thunderous for “NXT! NXT!” and Dragon nods his respect. JD and Dragunov go forehead to forehead, and JD SLAPS! Dragunov SLAPS! It is a SLAP fight! Fans are thunderous again as the SLAPS keep going! JD swings, misses, GERMAN SUPLEX! Dragunov drags JD back up, but JD throws elbows. Dragunov still GERMAN SUPLEXES! Fans want that ‘ONE MORE TIME!” so Dragunov drags JD back up. JD fights the waistlock, pries it free to switch and shove, but Dragunov hits the CONSTANTINE SPECIAL! Both men are down and the fans are thunderous again!
Dragunov drags JD to a cover, TWO! “This is Awesome!” as Dragunov stands back up. Dragunov runs in to KNEE JD in the corner, then puts him down. Dragunov goes up, KNEE DROP! Dragunov roars and goes back up top! But JD stands to ROCK Dragunov! And CHOP! JD climbs up, but Dragunov fights back with body shots! Dragunov HEADBUTTS JD away, then adjusts. JD comes back to grab hair! JD THROWS Dragunov off the top! Fans boo and JD brings Dragunov up to throw him into ropes! Dragunov flops out of the ring and fans boo more while NXT goes picture in picture.
JD grins as he watches Dragunov down on the floor. Dragunov sputters and stirs but JD goes out after him. JD drags Dragunov up for an APRON BACK SUPLEX! Dragunov flounders away, JD hurries in, and he drops an AX HANDLE! Cover, TWO! JD kicks at Dragunov, but Dragunov eggs him on. JD stands Dragunov to ROCK him! Dragunov CHOPS! And CHOPS! And CHOPS! But then his arm gives up! JD hits a BIG DDT!! Dragunov tumbles over his own head and neck! The ref checks him, he’s somehow okay to continue but he’s shaking. JD stands Dragunov up to whip him hard into the corner!
Dragunov falls to the mat, JD drags him to a cover, TWO! JD grows frustrated with Dragunov, and he clamps on a facelock. JD grinds Dragunov down, Dragunov fights up, and Dragunov pries free to wrench the arm. JD KNEES Dragunov low! Dragunov falls and clutches his gut, but JD stalks him to ropes. JD wrenches an arm, to hit an atomic BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Dragunov is still in this but JD keeps his focus. JD stomps Dragunov around, digs his boot in, and then gets the arm. JD steps through for a standing leg hook nelson! Dragunov endures as JD puts on more pressure, and NXT returns to single picture.
Fans rally, Dragunov bridges up against the hold, but JD just pushes him back down. JD straightens out the arm like an armbar, but Dragunov still fights. Dragunov has turned this into a STRETCH MUFFLER! Now JD endures and flails for the ROPEBREAK! Dragunov lets go at 4 and fans rally up. JD PENALTY KICKS Dragunov in the back! JD drags Dragunov up for Kawada Kicks! And then a SLAP! But Dragunov kips up, only for JD to duck the Pele! JD fires off more Kawada Kicks, but Dragunov HEADBUTTS! JD HEADBUTTS, but Dragunov kips up to PELE!! Fans are thunderous as both men are down again!
JD and Dragunov slowly rise, and fans hope they “FIGHT FOREVER!” This has to end somehow, and Dragunov rains down HAMMER ‘N’ ANVIL ELBOWS! Dragunov puts JD in a corner to CHOP him! And then stalks him to another corner, to CHOP him! Dragunov shoves JD to a corner, JD ducks the chop to ELBOW back! But Dragunov stands up to CHOP! And CHOP! And CHOP! CHOP! CHOP! JD pie faces Dragunov, but that just pisses Dragunov off! MACHINE GUN CHOPS!! Dragunov stops but he brings JD in to waistlock and SIDE SLAM! Cover, TWO!! JD survives but Dragunov holds on!
“This is Awesome!” as Dragunov drags JD back up. JD fights to ropes, that HOTSHOTS Dragunov, and JD brings Dragunov in! POWERBOMB! High stack, TWO!! But JD holds on with a waistlock of his own. JD drags Dragunov up to GERMAN SUPLEX! JD still holds on, they stand again, for another GERMAN SUPLEX! JD lets go, and Dragunov just rises up! Dragunov swings, into another GERMAN SUPLEX! But Dragunov is up to ROUNDHOUSE JD down!! Fans give a standing ovation as both men fall! Dragunov staggers his way to a corner, and he shouts, “UN! BE! SIEG! BAR!!” TORPEDO- NO!! Takedown into body scissors!
Fans shout “NO! NO! NO!” but Dragunov fights the Irish Twister to rain down fists! JD kicks Dragunov away but Dragunov comes back, LEAPING FOREARM!!! Fans cheer “This is Wrestling!” as both men bail out. They SLAP and SLAP and SLAP! They both grab hair, and they tumble into Dragon Lee!! Dragon is pissed, but JD JABS him for the hell of it! Only for Dragunov to swing! JD dodges, the BACKHAND hits Dragon!! Dragon is FURIOUS, he fires hands on them both!!
Fans go nuts as we get a brawl between all three men! But then WES LEE FLIES IN!! The Cardiac Kid helps Dragon fight against Dragunov and JD! Refs rush in to stop this brawl, but fans want to “LET THEM FIGHT!” Will the only way to settle any of this be at Stand & Deliver?
Trick Melo Gang finds Bron Breakker backstage.
Melo tells Bron that he and Trick didn’t need Bron to handle Pretty Deadly, or to be in the tag match with Pretty Deadly. This isn’t that “Can they coexist?” crap! Bron doesn’t want that, either! The Melo that Bron wants to face at Stand & Deliver is the best Melo. They said it last week that they have an opportunity to make something special happen at Stand & Deliver. So Bron isn’t gonna let two clowns, i.e. Pretty Deadly… Though, Trick Melo Gang, too… Screw it up. What’s Bron mean by that? Well, Trick is always up to something. Trick says he’s up to nothing. He just wanted Bron to share the ring with the future NXT Champion.
Oh, is that so? Melo has Bron leave Trick alone. Bron wants the best possible Stand & Deliver, and so does Melo. Then let’s finish this. Good. Big tag match tonight. Nice doing business with you. Trick Melo Gang leaves, but will they be leaving the arena in one piece?
Backstage interview with Wes Lee.
McKenzie can tell Wes is riled up after that brawl. It seems chaos follows him everywhere. Wes admits, he threw himself to the fire on this one. But Ilja and JD will never be done with each other. But the last two weeks, JD has gotten in Wes’s face and Wes is sick and tired of it! So JD gets the second spot. And Ilja is Europe’s finest. The only way to put that to the test: he gets the third stop! So that leaves one spot left. Who will it be? Axiom walks in and says if there’s room for one more…
Wes knows Axiom wants this and he has been close so many times. But there are still so many others to consider. And Wes wants to give everyone a fair shot, sot he only way to do that, “the chaos continues. We’re about to have ourselves a battle royal, y’all! And the winner gets the fourth and final spot.” axiom says that’s fine. He just wanted a chance, and now he has it. Will the Undeniable Truth be undeniable in that chaotic Battle Royal next week?
Johnny Gargano is here!
Fans fire up for the Rebel Heart, as- Wait. That’s not Johnny Wrestling! That’s JAVIER BERNAL!! Big Body Javi just trolled everyone! “When that music hit, you all thought Johnny Gargano was coming out. But you were wrong! Hah! Just like I thought I was going to Stand & Deliver, the biggest event of the year. But I was wrong. And you know who’s to blame for that? JOHNNY GARGANO!” Johnny took Javi’s spot! Who the hell does Johnny think he is? He’s been gone for 6, 8, 10, 12 months! Has he not been watching NXT while he was away? Javi s the heart and soul of NXT! He has been busting his ass for seven YEARS! Well, no, months.
But what does Johnny have that Javi doesn’t? Johnny Wrestling? No, Big Body Javi is better! Javi would take himself over Gargano every day of the week! How many Christmas albums does Gargano have? NONE! And between the two of them, they’re Triple Crown Champion! *All Johnny. But HBK, Javi says you chose the wrong guy! Wait, here comes the REAL Johnny Wrestling! Fans fire up as Gargano goes right to the ring and he CLOBBERS Javi! Fans fire up more as Gargano TOSSES Javi out! Then RAMS him into barriers! And then RAMS him into steel steps! And then TOSSES him over the barriers!
Fans cheer on Johnny and he grabs himself a mic. “Grayson! Grayson! Grayson Waller! I know you’re somewhere around here, I know you’re listening. You wanna make things personal? You wanna raise the stakes? Let’s raise the stakes. In my hand is a contract for a type of match I know very, very, very well. April 1st, Stand & Deliver, Grayson Waller VS Johnny Gargano… in an UNSANCTIONED MATCH!! No rules! Anything goes! No one is liable for what I do to you. Grayson, all you have to do is come down here and sign it.” But Waller is here via tron. Fired up tonight, huh? Seems he feels better than when he was down and out on his own front lawn.
Waller gets it, Gargano is upset. But an Unsanctioned match? Does Gargano wanna embarrass himself on the biggest stage in NXT? That’s too far, even for Gargano. Not far enough! Come and sign this! Waller says if Gargano thinks he’s going down to that ring, he’s crazy. But Waller will let Gargano give that contract to Vic Joseph so Waller can sign it next week. And, it has to be on one condition: Gargano is BANNED from the building next week. If Waller whiffs even a bit of Gargano, he’s not signing and no one gets what they want. Gargano says if that gets Waller to do it, deal! Gargano gives Vic the contract to hold on to.
Gargano sees Javi get back up and in, and SUPERKICKS him down! Johnny Wrestling wants to unleash everything on Waller, but will he come to regret throwing away all the rules?
There is a moonlight ritual going on.
“There is more to us than you think. I appreciate the significance of my heritage, but I must carry the responsibility of progression. I will hold my people up, and lead the way forward.” Eddy Thorpe is ready to level up to NXT, next week!
Backstage interview with Ivy Nile.
McKenzie brings up how Tatum Paxley betrayed her last week, and can only imagine how devastated she must be. Ivy says she was surprised, just like everyone else. It took her a long time to trust someone like she did Tatum. She let her guard down, and got burned. Tatum is a little “out there,” so the rest of Diamond Mine let her do her. But they thought she was part of the team. So for Tatum to say they weren’t a team, that hurts. But tonight isn’t about Tatum. Tonight, Ivy has an opportunity. If she beats Lyra, Ivy goes to Stand & Deliver and possibly becomes NEW NXT Women’s Champion. Not even Tatum can ruin that.
Hank Walker speaks.
“Everyone’s journey is unique, and mine’s been one hell of a ride.” Security guard turned superstar, but he’s been an athlete his whole life, and was even a three-year starting offensive lineman at North Carolina State. But no sport could’ve prepared him for the WWE. There have been ups and downs, he’s made friends, found a mentor in Drew Gulak only to be abandoned by Drew Gulak. Gulak and Charlie Dempsey don’t see it. They say Hank’s not cut out for this, but he’s gonna work his ass off to prove them wrong. All he needs is himself, and all he needs to do is keep evolving. That is what NXT is all about.
Drew Gulak & Charlie Dempsey are watching.
Gulak mockingly calls that promo “cute.” Dempsey says that’s one way of putting it. Walker still lacks the killer instinct. Exactly! A teacher can only the door, but it is up to the student to see it through. That’s why Hank will be nothing more than “another nice guy.” The technicians have a laugh, but will Hank prove them all wrong?
NXT Women’s Championship Qualifier: Lyra Valkyria VS Ivy Nile!
The Morrigan and the Diamond Pitbull are going to fight tooth and nail to take that fourth spot in the ladder match! Will Lyra fly higher than the mountains to get that golden ticket? Or will Ivy move mountains to go to Hollywood?
NXT returns and Lyra makes her entrance. The bell rings and the two circle. They feel things out, tie up, and Lyra wrangles Ivy down then Oklahoma Rolls and turns it into an O’Conner Roll! TWO, and Lyra hurries up to go after a leg. Ivy blocks, facelocks, rolls and steps over to flip Lyra over! Cover, ONE! Ivy keeps on the arm but Lyra rolls free. Ivy TACKLES Lyra, drags her back, but Lyra rolls to her feet. Lyra trips Ivy, has a toehold, but Ivy pries her down to an ARMBAR! Lyra clasps hands, Ivy stomps her! They get up, Lyra headbutts low! And KICKS! Ivy grits her teeth but Lyra tells her she’s not gonna stand in her way. Ivy just KICKS Lyra back!
Ivy eggs Lyra on, so Lyra KICKS! Ivy KICKS back, but Lyra scowls. DOUBLE ROUNDHOUSES bring both women down! Fans fire up and we see Tatum watching backstage. Ivy gets a leg, Lyra blocks to hook the arms but Ivy fights the backslide! Ivy spins around, gut wrenches Lyra to SLAM! Cover, TWO! Ivy keeps cool, and she kicks, but Lyra ducks to kip up and ENZIGURI! Fans fire up and Lyra roars! SOBAT! Front kick! HEADBUTT! BOOT! Lyra then reels Ivy in, but Ivy blocks the lift! Ivy facelocks, to snap suplex! Fans rally up, Ivy runs in to CALF KICK her to a corner! Then DIAMOND DRAGON!!
Lyra flails, climbs the corner and goes up and over! GERMAN SUPLEX! Fans rally up again, Lyra HEEL KICKS Ivy down! Cover, Lyra wins!!
Winner: Lyra Valkyria, by pinfall (advances to Stand & Deliver)
The Morrigan breaks through Diamond Mine’s female titan, and now she is going to Stand & Deliver! But will she reach the highest point in the NXT Women’s Division by becoming champion?
Fallon Henley looks for Jensen.
But as she looks, Isla Dawn’s laugh echoes through the hall, and there’s a flash of lightning and crack of thunder! And Alba Fyre CLOBBERS her! Fyre & Dawn mug Fallon and mockingly ask where her friend went. But Kiana runs in to fire off on them! The champs fight back against their challengers, refs rush in but Fallon sends Fyre into the wall! Isla talks trash on Kiana, she and Fyre slip away. Kiana and Fallon regroup, and Kiana says that she can’t tell Jensen. Kiana has to be the one. Fallon agrees to that. Will Kiana let Jensen down gently? Will the team be able to stick together against the Wicked Witches of NXT?
NXT Media catches Wes Lee on his way out.
They ask him who he thinks will win next week’s battle royal. Wes says he doesn’t think you can predict something like that. Just sit back, relax, and watch as it unfolds. Just like he plans on doing, and just like he knows all the fans will do. But then Jinder Mahal walks over to say he will see Wes at Stand & Deliver. And then Dijak walks over to say, “Don’t think I’ve forgotten about you.” And then Dabba-Kato walks up with a big smile. There is no one that will stop him in this battle royal. Wes can’t even. But three of the biggest and baddest are throwing their names into the hat, will any of those giants be the winner?
It’s the NXT Great Debate!
Blake Howard welcomes us as this debate’s mediator, as the crowd is clearly divided between Chase U students and Schism loyalists. These two groups argue they have the better teaching method here in NXT. First up, Rip Fowler and Duke Hudson. “How has your group approached the topic of inclusion?” The first turn goes to Rip. Rip says “Togetherness has always been the founding principle of The Schism. Whilst others hide behind their masks, we have removed ours and prospered together. Duke Hudson, Ava presented you with a gift. An opportunity to remove your mask of phony school spirit, and the Schism will welcome you with open arms.”
Duke’s rebuttal: “Um… Yeah. I mean, Ava did give me a mask. I dunno. Our university has passion. It gave me a sense of belonging, right? It’s nice to feel included in things, I guess. That’s what I think about inclusion.” Andre Chase facepalms at the lack of enthusiasm and commitment from Duke. WTF, man? Thea and Ava are next. “How does your group make you feel safe?” Ava says “The world is a harsh and uninviting place. But I rest comfortably in loving arms, knowing that there is safety under The Schism’s tree. Andre Chase University offers a false sense of security made up of cement walls.
“But The Schism raises invisible walls that block out the world’s negativity, and allows our minds and bodies to wander freely beyond.” Thea’s rebuttal: With a motormouth pace, she says “Webster’s Dictionary defines ‘safety’ as the condition of being safe from hurt, injury, or loss. Protection from hurt, injury and loss come from healing! And I’ve learned a lot of methods of healing through the connections I’ve made at Chase University. The Schism, while claiming safety, brainwash you into believing in safety, and that is hazardous to the mind, body and soul. Thank you, good night.” Chase high-fives Thea on the rebound. Where’d that come from? She doesn’t know, she blacked out.
And thirdly, Professor Andre and Joe Gacy. “How would you rate the preparedness of the other members of your group to leave the nest?” Andre is given the first turn, but Gacy interrupts! “Mr. Chase, your students already answered that for you. They are not prepared! A marble-mouthed doubter, and a reprogrammed wind-up toy? They don’t know which way is up! Moderator, tally the scores.” But then TYLER BATE appears! He apologizes for his tardiness, but he steps forward to say his part. Chase allows it, as does the moderator. That means Bate and Jagger Reed have a showdown!
“How would you sum up the experience of your group?” Jagger says, “It’s simple. Four roots. One tree.” The audience even gets involved on that one. Bate’s rebuttal: “I can objectively say that to excel in NXT, it takes more than just physical prowess inside the squared circle. It takes a big strong mind, open to new ideas. To collaborate and learn, with a willingness to listen to what others have to say, just as they would for you. Now, the Chase University experience is one of growth and constant evolution. It’s ignited a career in Thea Hail, rejuvenated Duke Hudson, and fortified Andre Chase himself!
“Now, the growth of Chase University IS the growth of NXT! And that’s something that The Schism has never and will never achieve!” Chase U’s student section cheers that! Chase thanks Bate for that. And now that they’ve beaten The Schism down philosophically, it is time they beat The Schism down physically! A match! The Schism VS Chase U & Bate in a Mixed 8 Tag at Stand & Deliver! And in Hollywood, they will give The Schism an Andre Chase University sized ass kicking!! Gacy says NO! The Dyad beat Chase U as a team, and Gacy beat Chase 1v1. The Schism is far superior physically and philosophically. There’s nothing left to gain here.
Duke says they’ll put up the school. What? Yeah, Duke, what? You heard him. Winner gets control of Chase University. Then they’re on. Chase is unsure, but this could be Duke’s high stakes gambling past coming back to haunt him. Will Chase U come out of Hollywood with nothing?
NXT checks back in with the bar.
Everything’s a bit hazy, but Gallus, the Creeds, The Don and Underboss have made it through the night. Look at the time! This has been great, but Tony & Stacks have a thing to take care of. Nice place they found here. Might need a broom, though. Julius says, “Don’t you guys know a cleaning service?” Tony snatches his hat off Julius’ head, and says yeah, they do. But not the kind you’re thinking of. Brutus says that was fun. Wolfgang slurs and stammers as he says, “Why’s it gotta stop?” Cuz the Creeds got what they came for, and then some. Then let’s bring the fun to Stand & Deliver. Triple Threat Tag! See you boys in LA.
Oh, and don’t forget to tip the bartender. Gallus is in the best shape out of these boys, but will they still be standing tall after Stand & Deliver?
BREAKING NEWS for next week!
There will be still one more spot in the NXT Women’s Championship Ladder match! And in a Last Chance Triple Threat, it will be Sol Ruca VS Ivy Nile VS Indi Hartwell! Who will redeem themselves on the Road to WrestleMania to still have their shot at the title?
Bron Breakker & Carmelo Hayes w/ Trick Williams VS Pretty Deadly!
The NXT Champion and his challenger may not like Trick’s idea of a team-up, but if it means shutting up Kit & Elton, they’ll do it. Will Bron & Melo body slam the hosts of Stand & Deliver once again? Or will this be about “Can the coexist?” in the end after all?
The teams sort out and Elton rushes in! Melo dodges, but then Kit CLOBBERS Melo! Kit covers, ONE!! Kit drops a knee, talks trash, then runs, but Melo drops, hurdles and ducks! DROPKICK! Then arm-drags! Melo has the armlock, fans rally but Kit arm-drags, only for Melo to arm-drag right back! But that just puts them closer to the Pretty Deadly corner! Elton tags in, Kit holds Melo in place, and Elton runs to UPPERCUT Melo! Elton then brings Melo out to UPPERCUT Melo down. Melo bails out, Elton kicks him from the apron, and Pretty Deadly go after Melo together. But Bron storms over to keep them from throwing Melo into steel steps.
Bron says Pretty Deadly isn’t going to ruin Stand & Deliver. Pretty Deadly lets off of Melo, but then Kit CLUBS Melo on the back. Kit puts Melo in the ring, covers, TWO! Kit drags Melo up, wrenches, but Melo wrenches back and snapmares to PENALTY KICK! Melo runs, but Kit FLAPJACKS! Tag to Elton, he sucker punches Bron, then Pretty Deadly coordinate. “Yes, boy~!” Pretty Deadly both run, but Bron gets in so that he and Melo can stare Pretty Deadly down. Pretty Deadly look to each other, then they throw hands! The brawl is on and both Bron and Melo get the edge. Then they decide to work together!
Bron helps Melo with the SPRINGBOARD LARIAT! Melo flies over Kit to CLOBBER Elton! Bron then RANAS Kit out of the ring! Fans fire up with the champion and his challenger, but they bump into each other. Bron offers handshake, Melo shows fist bump, so paper covers rock. No, man! Melo & Bron wait on Pretty Deadly and fans bark it up as NXT goes picture in picture.
Kit & Elton regroup on the other side of the ring, so Melo tags Bron. Bron waits on someone, but Kit distracts and Elton runs in to CLOBBER Bron! Elton CLUBS Bron, wrenches an arm, but Bron wrenches back. Tag to Melo, he goes up and drops AX HANDLES on the arm! Melo CHOPS Elton to a corner, wrenches and brings him back, tag to Bron. Bron goes up and he drops AX HANDLES! Bron wrenches Elton, but Elton throws body shots. Elton headlocks, Bron powers out, things speed up and Bron hurdles, to then catch Elton for a SPINEBUSTER! Bron rolls through to fireman’s carry!
Bron pops Elton up to a suplex! Bron walks around with Elton and even Melo is impressed. Bron then SLAMS Elton, and he dares Kit to do something. Kit talks trash, steps inside, and Bron DECKS him! But Elton CLOBBERS Bron again! Elton CLUBS Bron, whips him to ropes, but Bron ducks ‘n’ dodges, only to run into a FLAPJACK onto ropes! Elton tags Kit, then Elton anchors Bron so Kit can drop the ELBOW! Cover, TWO! Kit runs to KNEE Bron in the side! And then he runs to KNEE Bron again! Bron goes to the apron but Kit drags him back in. Kit wrenches the arm as NXT returns to single picture.
Fans rally as Bron endures, and Bron fights up. Kit CLUBS Bron down, grinds the arm again, then grabs the other arm for a motorcycle stretch. Bron endures, fights up, but Kit knees low. Kit facelocks, Elton goes up the corner, but Melo GAMANGIRIS Elton down! Bron blocks the buckle bump to elbow Kit! Kit tags Elton, Bron dodges Kit, tag to Melo! Melo hurdles Elton to DECK Kit! Melo dodges Elton to springboard LARIAT! Fans fire up, Melo BOOTS Elton! Kit grabs Melo but Melo wrenches an arm to drag Kit over, slingshot suplex onto Elton! Cover, TWO! Fans rally behind Melo as he stalks Elton.
Melo brings Elton up to ROCK him and whip, but Elton reverses. Elton hurdles, Kit reels Melo in for a DDT! Elton hurries to cover, TWO! Elton drags Melo up to UPPERCUT him back down! Elton stalks Melo to ropes, he UPPERCUTS Melo again, then puts him in the corner. Elton stomps away but lets off as the ref counts. Elton poses, storms back up, but Melo kicks low! And kicks again! Kit tags in, he and Elton stomp Melo. Fans rally as Pretty Deadly double whip, and double shoulder! “Yes, boy!” SPLASH LEG DROP COMBO! Cover, TWO! Kit drops a leg of his own, then drags Melo from Bron.
Kit talks trash, stands Melo up, and ROCKS him! Kit runs in to UPPERCUT Melo! And DECK him with a right! Kit YANKS Melo into a BOMB! Cover, TWO! Melo kicks back from below but Kit CLOBBERS him! Trick coaches Melo but Kit clamps on a chinlock. Melo endures, fans rally up, and Melo fights up. Melo throws body shots, but Kit CLOBBERS him! Tag to Elton, and he stomps away on Melo! Fans boo as Elton drops an AX HANDLE! Cover, TWO! Elton drags Melo away from Bron and stays between them. Elton drags Melo up but Melo ROCKS him! Elton shoves Melo but Melo sunset flips on the rebound! TWO, and Elton CLOBBERS Melo! Cover, TWO!!
Trick and Bron coach Melo up and fans rally. Elton drags Melo up, but Melo ROCKS Elton! Elton ROCKS Melo, Melo ROCKS Elton, and then Melo ROCKS Elton again! Elton keeps Melo from Bron, but Melo breaks free, only to miss his enziguri! But Melo BOOTS Elton away! Hot tags to Kit and Bron! Bron rallies on Pretty Deadly! BIG shoulder tackle for Kit! Haymaker for Elton! GERMAN SUPLEX for Kit! GERMAN SUPLEX for Elton! Kit fires hands with Bron, Kit whips, but Bron ducks ‘n’ dodges to CLOBBER Kit! Fans fire up and Bron grins. Bron drags Kit up in a waistlock, to GERMAN SUPLEX!!
The straps come down, fans fire up with Bron, but Bron climbs up the corner. Fans bark it up, and Bron FLYING BULLDOGS! Cover, Elton breaks it! Melo hurries in to ROCK Elton and BOOT him! Elton flops into the ropes, Kit stands, and Bron runs in! Kit sends Bron at Melo!! Melo goes up the corner and Bron pulls up, avoiding the collision! But Elton struggling in the ropes distracts the ref, Melo hits a CODE BREAKER on Kit! Bron SPEARS Kit down!! Fans fire up as Bron tags Melo to give him the last shot. Melo with NOTHING BUT NET!! Cover, Melo & Bron win!
Winners: Bron Breakker & Carmelo Hayes, by pinfall
Melo don’t miss, and Trick finishes taking notes on Bron. Melo fetches the belt, but hands it over to Bron. Will the game plan be ready so that Melo becomes him? Or will nothing break the Big Booty Nephew?
A really good NXT here, and a lot of quick developments for Stand & Deliver. I do appreciate the consistency of tag teams challenging Gallus for the tag titles through bar games. Tony D & Stacks made their intentions known last week, so them confronting Gallus was expected, but The Creeds getting in on this was a surprise. The tag titles becoming a Triple Threat match is cool, but all three teams are essentially Faces. I’m sensing some kind of shenanigans brings one team around to be Heels, and it won’t be the Creeds. I would personally love it if was Gallus with Joe Coffey returning to help win. Gallus can’t truly be on top if they’re down a man.
Good stuff out of the NXT Women’s Championship story. Good match out of Tiffany VS Indi, and I figured Tiffany would win that. Gigi had a good promo to both address Jacy Jayne and the growing field, but also good promo from Tiffany to keep her character at that just insufferable level. Good promo from Ivy, decent one from Lyra, and good match, but not that strong of a match. I’m a bit torn, as this was a great opportunity for Ivy to even have this qualifier match, but honestly, it should’ve been Stevie Turner. Stevie was the one with that “randomizer” that chose to highlight Lyra, why not give us a match of those two? It’s not like Stevie’s actually busy streaming.
Good stuff out of the women’s tag title story, too. Kiana and Fallon were both great in talking about this Sebastian, and then I like the creativity of the ambush. Instead of lights out and teleporting in, or even just running in, Isla & Alba use fake lightning and thunder to disorient Fallon before the attack. Fighting Alba & Isla off was a decent way to bring Kiana and Fallon back onto the same page, and we’re going to get quite the moment next week in the go-home. And good promo from Hank Walker but also good promo from Gulak & Dempsey. Their story will have to wait until after Stand & Deliver, and could be something big for Spring Breakin’ 2023.
Javier swerving us was very clever, I did not think Javi would get in on this story. Good response from Gargano, and going right for Unsanctioned is nuts! No Disqualification, sure. No Holds Barred, sure. Last Man Standing even! But I guess this is all to represent how long Gargano’s stewed on his grudge for Waller, and how this escalated after Waller found the Gargano house. And given how Waller wants Gargano completely banned from the building next week, it’s so obvious Waller is going to threaten Vic physically, maybe even get physical with Vic, and Gargano can’t do anything about it, thereby adding more fuel to the fire.
Great stuff out of the North American Championship story, with a great promo from Wes and from Dragon Lee, and a good promo from JD ahead of his match with Dragunov. That match was awesome, as all the Dragunov VS JD matches have been, but I should’ve seen it coming that they’d end up colliding with Dragon Lee to bring this around into the North American title match. Wes VS Dragon VS JD VS Dragunov is awesome all on its own, but great move to have a battle royal to decide the fifth person in that match. Axiom has a good promo to let us know he’s gonna be in that match, but I also like that Jinder, Dijak and Dabba-Kato each had a couple lines to let Wes know they’re coming. Dijak’s had his shots, he surely won’t win. But Dabba is definitely a possibility.
Really good segment out of The Great Debate, and nice heroic appearance by Tyler Bate to help Chase U pull out the win. And just as I was hoping, we’re getting a Mixed 8 Tag, and this is going to be great stuff. Putting up the school, aka the faction in itself, is big stuff for Chase U, but I feel like the match could still go either way. And good stuff out of Pretty Deadly, Trick Melo Gang and Bron. The promo stuff was good for Pretty Deadly and Trick Melo Gang, and we got a really good match in the main event. But naturally Bron & Melo win because neither of them was going to suffer lost momentum this close to Stand & Deliver. I’m still voting for Melo winning the title and Bron being called up. After all, there’s a WWE Snickers commercial with Bron Breakker and AJ Styles, that feels like a sign.
My Score: 8.8/10
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Mitchell’s NJPW New Japan Cup Results & Report! (3/21/23)
It all comes down to this!
Does NJPW need the Rebel?
David Finlay took out Jay White, but will he truly take over Bullet Club and NJPW? Or will he meet a Skull End at the hands of Sanada?
- Hiroshi Tanahashi & Yuto Nakashima VS Taichi & DOUKI; Taichi & Douki win.
- Shota Umino & Ryohei Oiwa VS Zack Sabre Jr. & Kosei Fujita; Shota & Ryohei win.
- Six Man Tag: Tama Tonga, Tomohiro Ishii & Tomoaki Honma VS Bullet Club; Bullet Club wins.
- 8 Man Tag: Ryusuke Taguchi, Toru Yano, El Desperado & Ren Narita VS The House of Torture; The House of Torture wins.
- Tetsuya Naito & Shingo Takagi VS Aaron Henare & Great-O-Khan; Naito & Takagi win.
- Six Man Tag: Chaos VS The United Empire; The United Empire wins.
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Hiromu Takahashi VS Lio Rush; Hiromu wins and retains the title.
- New Japan Cup 2023 Finals: SANADA VS David Finlay; Sanada wins the cup and will challenge Kazuchika Okada for the world title at Sakura Genesis.
PLAY BY PLAY
Six Man Tag: Chaos VS The United Empire!
The IWGP World Champion teams with the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions, their battle over the belts as water under the bridge. But will Kazuchika Okada, Hirooki Goto & Yoshi-Hashi be able to turn the lights out on Jeff Cobb & Aussie Open? Or will the Imperial Unit, Aussie Arrow & Dunkzilla score some golden tickets to the top?
The trios sort out and Kyle Fletcher wants someone to step up. Fans cheer as the Head Hunter obliges. The bell rings, the two circle, and fans rally up. The two tie up, Hashi headlocks, grinds, but Fletcher powers up and out. Hashi RAMS shoulders, Fletcher comes right back to run Hashi over! Fans applaud that, and Fletcher flexes on Goto. Fletcher stands Hashi up to CHOP! Fletcher whips, Hsahi reverses and Goto runs in, Bishamon double shoulder Fletcher over! Hashi runs, ZANMAI! But Davis storms in to attack! Davis runs, but into a DOUBLE HIP TOSS onto Fletcher! Cobb runs in, but into a DOUBLE DROP TOEHOLD onto Fletcher!
Fans fire up as Okada joins in to WAR DRUM Cobb down! Chaos stands tall and Goto brings Fletcher up. Goto bumps Fletcher off buckles, stomps him, then CLUBS him! Goto ROCKS Fletcher, whips him corner to corner, then runs in, but Fletcher puts Goto up top! Goto BOOTS back, but Fletcher GAMANGIRIS! Goto falls to the floor! Davis and Cobb drag Okada and Hashi off the corner to throw into railing! Cobb CHOPS Hashi, Davis rains down fists, but the ref reprimands them both. The Empire lets off, but Fletcher brings Goto out to RAM into railing right in front of commentary! Aussie Open throw up the crowns, then Davis puts Goto in the ring. Fletcher covers, TWO!
Fletcher sits Goto up to ELBOW him in the head, then ELBOWS him again. Fletcher stomps Goto to the ropes, tags in Cobb, and Cobb drags Goto up. Cobb snapmares Goto, and mocks the Rainmaker Pose before the GACHIMUCHI MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO! Cobb and Okada stare down, but Cobb brings Goto up. Cobb suplexes Goto, but Goto slips free! Goto CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS! Goto runs, but into a DROPKICK! Fans fire up as Cobb says that was as good as Okada’s. Goto crawls to ropes, Cobb takes aim to mock Kenny Omega, BANG! Cobb runs to V-TRIGGER!! Fans fire up as Cobb tells the Cleaner to “Suck It!” Cobb covers, TWO!
Cobb keeps Goto down, then stands on his back! Cobb surfs while mocking Goto’s pose. Cobb then steps off, taunts Hashi and Okada, then tags in Davis. Fans rally as Davis drags Goto up, and Goto throws body shots! And CHOPS! Davis scoops to SLAM Goto and SENTON! Kneeling cover, TWO! Hashi kicks Davis, fires off hands, but Davis CHOPS Hashi down! And KICKS him out of the ring! Davis goes back to Goto, bumps him off buckles, and he tags Fletcher in. Fletcher taunts Hashi now, then brings Goto around. Goto CHOPS! And CHOPS! And CHOPS! Fletcher knees low, whips, but Goto reverses!
Goto runs in, but into BOOTS! Fletcher runs, Goto follows, but Fletcher gets around! Goto switches, Fletcher switches, repeat! Goto suplexes Fletcher high and hard! Fans rally up while both men are down! Hot tags to Cobb and Okada! Fans are thunderous as Okada fires forearms! Okada whips, Cobb reverses, Okada ducks ‘n’ dodges to ELBOW Cobb down! Okada BLASTS Davis for good measure! Okada whips Cobb corner to corner, runs in and back elbows! Kick and- Cobb suplexes! Okada slips free, kicks low and DDTs! And then kips up! Fans fire up for Okada as he waits on Cobb. Cobb rises, and he blocks the Alabama Lift!
Cobb CLUBS away on Okada’s back! Cobb runs, but into a FLAPJACK! Fans fire up, Okada covers, TWO! Fans rally for Okada as he clamps on the MONEY CLIP! Cobb fights up, powers Okada back but Okada sends him to a corner. Okada runs in, is put on the apron, but he ROCKS Cobb first! Okada climbs up, leaps, but into Cobb’s arms! For a BIG suplex! Fans fire up again while both men are down! Cobb tags in Davis and Davis storms up on Okada. Davis fires off forearm after forearm in the corner! Davis then whips corner to corner, runs in, and clotheslines! Okada staggers, Davis wrenches and scoops!
Okada slips free of the torture rack but Davis elbows him away. Davis runs, but Okada pops him up tot he Alabama Lift! REVERSE NECKBREAKER! Fans fire up and Okada tags in Hashi! Hashi powers up, runs, but Davis swats the lariat! Hashi CHOPS! Davis staggers, but he blocks the superkick to spin Hashi for a BIG back suplex! Davis powers up now, he runs, but Hashi dodges the lariat to DRAGON SUPLEX! Hashi runs to LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Fans are thunderous and Hashi fights up! Hashi full nelsons, pump handles, but Davis fights Karma! Goto runs in to ROCK Davis! Hashi SUPERKICKS! Bishamon coordinates, but Davis fights free!
Fletcher CLUBS Goto! Aussie Open double wrench, but Goto ducks the double forearms! Goto runs to DOUBLE LARIAT Aussie Open down! Cobb ROCKS Goto, runs, but Okada DROPKICKS! Fans fire up as Okada leaves it in Bishamon’s hands. Goto clotheslines Davis in a corner, then Hashi clotheslines, too! Feed to the clinch, and Hashi runs, but Fletcher intercepts with a DROPKICK! Davis fireman’s carries, AUSSIE DENTAL PLAN! Fans are thunderous as Aussie Open aims at Hashi! Off come the elbow pads! DOUBLE LARAIT SANDWICH!! And then, double pump handle, to COREALIS!!! Cover, the Empire wins!!
Winners: The United Empire, by pinfall
They may not be in the New Japan Cup finals, but Davis & Fletcher may just gotten themselves an IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship match! Will Aussie Open prove they ARE the best tag team in the world?
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Hiromu Takahashi VS Lio Rush w/ YOH!
The Ticking Timebomb has been going back and forth with the Bad Child in the background of the tournament, but now their battle gets the spotlight! Will Hiromu keep this title tranquilo? Or is this going to be his final hour as champion?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and time keeps on ticking into the future!
The bell rings and fans rally up already as the two stare down. Fans rally for “HI-RO-MU!” as he circles with Lio. They rush in, Lio dodges and the forearms fly! Lio runs, Hiromu runs, Lio redirects, both men dodge, but then they avoid crashing into each other to go the other way. DOUBLE LARIATS collide, but neither man falls! Hiromu fires a forearm, Lio gives it back, they go back and forth, but Hiromu gets the edge! Hiromu whips, Lio reverses and leaps, but into a fireman’s carry! Lio slips free, mule kicks the legs out, but Hiromu ducks the heel kick! Hiromu whips again but Lio reverses again, but Hiromu reverses back!
Hiromu follows Lio, Lio dodges Hiromu, then dodges again! Lio whips, Hiromu reverses to follow, but Lio drops down! Hiromu drops down, Lio springboards and RANAS! Hiromu comes back, Lio handsprings under the lariat, then mule kicks and ENZIGURIS Hiromu out of the ring! Fans fire up, Lio builds speed, and Lio DIVES! Direct hit and Hiromu hits railing! Fans fire up with that fast ‘n’ furious exchange! Lio drags Hiromu up, puts him back in the ring, and fans applaud as Lio waits on Hiromu to get up. Lio says he’s gonna win that title, and he suplexes high and hard! Cover, TWO! Hiromu is still in this but Lio keeps cool.
Lio brings Hiromu up but Hiromu rakes eyes! The ref reprimands, but Hiromu fireman’s carries. Lio sunset flips, Hiromu sits on it, TWO! Lio has the sunset, TWO! Hiromu fireman’s carries gain, to TOSS Lio out of the ring! Lio bumps off the apron but he stands back up. Fans rally up as Hiromu runs, to SUNSET FLIP, but Lio holds the ropes! Lio throws down fists, then backflips and goes up, to RANA- NO! Hiromu blocks to APRON POWERBOMB! Fans fire up, Hiromu drags Lio off the apron into a fireman’s carry! DEATH VALLEY DRIVER into railing! Fans fire up again while both men are down!
The ref checks Lio, and though he writhes in pain, Lio doesn’t give up. Hiromu stands up, paces, and he brings Lio up. Hiromu puts Lio back in and fans applaud. Lio flounders to a corner but Hiromu whips him corner to corner. Hiromu runs in to clothesline, snapmare and basement dropkick! Cover, TWO! Hiromu drags Lio into a headscissors squeeze! Fans rally as Lio endures, and Hiromu puts on more of a squeeze! Lio reaches out, Hiromu grabs that arm to keep it from the ropes! Hiromu puts on more pressure, but Lio rolls to get the ROPEBREAK! Fans applaud, and Hiromu lets off before the ref counts.
Hiromu drags Lio up from the ropes, fireman’s carries, but Lio slips off! Hiromu blocks a kick, flips Lio but Lio lands on his feet! Hiromu mule kicks, front kicks and whips, but Lio reverses! Lio runs in, but into a BOOT! Hiromu goes up for a HANGING HEADSCISSOR! the ref counts, Hiromu lets off and drags Lio out to RAM him into railing! And then snap suplexes to the floor! Hiromu catches his breath while Lio writhes again. Fans rally, Yoh and the ref check on Lio, but he’s okay to continue. The ring count starts, and Lio sits up slowly. Hiromu grins, he brings Lio up at 9 of 20 and puts him in at 10. Cover, TWO!
Fans rally while Lio hangs tough. Hiromu paces around Lio, sits him up and eggs him on. Lio throws a forearm, but Hiromu eggs him on. Lio stands to SLAP Hiromu! Fans fire up, but Lio drops to a knee from the pain in his back. Hiromu stands Lio up again, but Lio SLAPS him again! Hiromu swings, Lio bobs ‘n’ weaves and fires back! Lio kicks, whips, but Hiromu blocks to SLAP! And SLAP! Lio fires off fast hands! Lio whips but Hiromu reverses. Lio slides to a stop, BOOTS back, and he runs up to shove Hiromu to a corner. Lio runs in to clothesline, whip, and LEAPING LARIAT! Fans fire up while both men are down!
Lio crawls to a corner, goes up the corner, but Hiromu bails out to the apron. Lio joins Hiromu out there, but Hiromu fireman’s carries! Lio slips back in, and handsprings Hiromu down! Then Lio DIVES! Direct hit into railing again! Lio then goes up to SPRINGBOARD TORNILLO! Direct hit and both men are down! Fans fire up and the ref checks on both men. They’re okay to continue so the ring count begins. Both men stir at 5 of 20, but are still down at 10. Lio starts to drag himself up with the apron, stands at 14 and slides into the ring. Hiromu is still down at 15! And at 17! Hiromu springs up and in at 19!!
Fans fire up again as now Lio and Hiromu are down in the ring. Lio drags Hiromu around in a facelock, sits him up, but Hiromu throws a forearm! Lio wobbles but comes back, only for Hiromu to throw another forearm! Lio comes back again, but Hiromu throws yet another forearm! Lio fires off forearm after forearm in return! Hiromu drops to his knee, and Lio staggers away. Lio drags Hiromu up, fisherman’s, but Hiromu blocks! Hiromu CLUBS away on Lio’s back to bring him down! Lio goes to ropes, stands up, but Hiromu ELBOWS him! Lio blocks the superkick, kicks back, and STUNNERS!
Hiromu wobbles, Lio fires up, and Lio runs, into a POP-UP POWERBOMB! Hiromu then drags Lio back up, fireman’s carries, but Lio pops up to POISON-RANA!! Lio runs, to RUSH HOUR!! Cover, TWO!! Hiromu survives two stunners and fans are thunderous! Lio removes some wrist tape, grabs at Hiromu, but Hiromu grabs at Lio’s leg. Lio stomps Hiromu into letting go, and Lio goes to the corner. Lio pounds the buckle pad, the fans clap along, and Lio climbs. But Hiromu ROCKS Lio first! Hiromu climbs up, fireman’s carries Lio again, but Lio fights back. Lio HEADBUTTS Hiromu down!
Fans fire up as Lio adjusts, and Hiromu runs in! Lio BOOTS Hiromu down, to FINAL HOUR to Hiromu’s back! Lio isn’t done, he goes back up top! FINAL HOUR onto knees!! Hiromu rolls Lio into the fireman’s carry! TIMEBOMB!!! Cover, TWO!?!? Lio survives and fans are thunderous again! Hiromu rises up, drags Lio up, and Hiromu roars. But Lio spins Hiromu around! Hiromu dodges the lariat, ROCKS Lio with a forearm, then spins for the ROLLING ELBOW! Lio dodges the Superkick, rolls and cartwheels around, but Hiromu still SUPERKICKS him down! Fans fire up, Hiromu roars and runs, but Lio dodges! DOUBLE LARIATS collide!!
But both men roar as they sit back up!! Fans are electric as they run again, DOUBLE LARIATS collide! Neither man falls, but Hiromu drops to his knees! Lio roars, he runs, but Hiromu dodges! Into a SPANISH FLY!!! Cover, TWO!!! Hiromu survives but Lio hurries to fisherman! Hiromu slips free, spins Lio, wrenches and tuck shim, HIROMU ROLL!! TWO!!! Lio escapes, dodges the lariat, and CALF KICKS Hiromu down! Then Lio fisherman’s for a POLE SHIFTER!!! Cover, TWO!??! Fans are volcanic as Hiromu survives!! Lio goes to a corner as he slaps sense back into himself. Lio goes back up top! FINAL-
NO, Lio has to bail out as Hiromu moves! Lio runs at Hiromu again, but into an OVERHEAD suplex into the buckles! Fans rally as hard as they can while both men are down! Hiromu stands up and storms his way over to Lio. Hiromu drags Lio up by his hair, dragon sleepers and inverted suplexes, but Lio slips out to turn things around on Hiromu! But Hiromu standard suplexes, tucks Lio in, and then throws him back to a dragon sleeper! Lio still fights it off, so Hiromu suplexes for VICTORY ROYALE!! Cover, TWO!!! Lio survives and fans are electric again. Hiromu pounds the mat and roars, and the fans rally back up!
Hiromu drags Lio up, runs, but Lio SUPERKICKS first!! Yoh is fired up even, and Lio roars! Lio drags Hiromu up, tucks his arms, for DIRECT DRIVE!!! Lio uses his tag partner’s move to set up him going to the top rope! FINAL HOUR FLOPS!!! Hiromu moves out of the way and survives, and Lio is furious! Lio powers back to his feet, he roars again and he runs in at Hiromu, but Hiromu back drops! Lio sunset flips, TWO!! Lio swings, into a fireman’s carry! DYNAMITE PLUNGER!! Cover, TWO!! Now Hiromu is furious! Hiromu runs, to HIROMU-CHAN BOMBER!!! And then dragon sleeper to inverted suplex, TIMEBOMB MK II!!! Cover, Hiromu wins!!
Winner: Hiromu Takahashi, by pinfall (still IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion)
The Timebomb went off, and there is still time on his reign! Will he have to keep fighting this hard to continue proving he’s the Best of the Super Juniors?
Wait, Zack Sabre Jr. comes out to the ring? What business does the Front Man have out here? ZSJ gets the mic to say, “Alright, alright, calm down. Hiromu-chan, tranquilo please. I’m not a Junior Heavyweight.” But ZSJ does know who is. Hiromu, your next challenger is the newest member of TMDK! He’s got a little video message for you, so please watch. The video rolls, and someone is making a lot of people tap out. Joining The Mighty is… ROBBIE EAGLES! “Surprise!” Eagles is making his return at Ryogoku, for Sakura Genesis! “The IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion will surrender to the Sniper, because Robbie Eagles is Mighty, and The Mighty Don’t Kneel.”
Everyone is going nuts learning of Robbie’s defection from Chaos to TMDK, and ZSJ wishes Hiromu luck. “Matane, dickhead.” ZSJ leaves, and now Hiromu gets the mic to respond. He starts by saying Zack scared him, he really thought Zack was challenging for a second. And to think it was Robbie. Why’d Robbie join TMDK? And challenging Hiromu for Ryogoku? It’s March 21st, that only gives them a couple weeks. There have been an awful lot of video messages making challenges these days. Is it about who can upload a video to the editors faster? That doesn’t seem fair. But naturally, CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!!
And Hiromu is ready to go to Sakura Genesis to have fun with Robbie! Then they’ll have more, more, more, more, more, more, MORE fun. The Timebomb is ready for the Sniper of the Skies’ Mighty return, will Hiromu continue to be the Best of the Super Juniors?
New Japan Cup 2023 Finals: SANADA w/ Just5Guys VS David Finlay w/ Gedo!
Two men who are very different yet very similar meet in the final match of this tournament. The Cold Skull is no longer tranquilo, he’s “one of the guys.” And the Rebel sharpened his edge to take out the Switchblade, and now he’s just Too Sweet. These two have grown, but who will prove they’ve grown stronger when they take the Cup?
The introductions are made, the cup is presented, and only one man can take the golden ticket that comes with it!
The bell rings, fans are thunderous already, and they rally behind “SA-NA-DA!” Finlay shrugs that off as he feel things out with Sanada. They tie up, are in a deadlock, but Sanada powers Finlay back to the ropes. Red Shoes calls the break, Finlay mocks Sanada as a “strong boy,” but he and Sanada slowly let off. Fans applaud the sportsmanship, and the two reset. The two tie up again, and now Finlay powers Sanada back. But then Sanada powers Finlay back! They go back and forth, and Finlay puts Sanada on ropes. Red Shoes again calls the break, and Finlay lets off, but he swings on Sanada! Sanada avoids the sucker punch and fans applaud.
Finlay smirks while he and Sanada reset. Fans again rally up for “SA-NA-DA!” Gedo tells Finlay to show everyone who’s boss, and the two circle. Finlay and Sanada feel it out, tie up, and Sanada headlocks. Finlay powers up and out but Sanada runs him over. Sanada keeps moving, Finlay hip tosses but Sanada makes it an arm-drag! And then Sanada DROPKICKS Finlay out of the ring! Sanada aims, PLANCHAS, but Finlay moves! Finlay fireman’s carries to ROLLING SENTON on the floor! Gedo fires up while Finlay dares Taka and Douki to do something. Finlay then taunts Taichi on commentary before he stomps Sanada!
Finaly rains down fists on Sanada, then stomps him! Red Shoes reprimands but Finlay taunts Taichi more. Finlay drags Sanada up, puts him in, and fans rally up. Cover, ONE!! Sanada hangs tough but Finlay stands on Sanada’s hand! Red Shoes reprimands, Finlay lets off, and fans continue to rally. Finlay stomps Sanada more, brings him up, but Sanada throws a body shot! And another! Finlay UPPERCUTS Sanada right down! “That’s how it’s done!” Finlay rains down fists on Sanada again and again! Red Shoes reprimands and Finlay “apologizes,” before he drops a leg! Cover, but Red Shoes says that’s not enough of a press.
Finlay is annoyed, but he snap suplexes Sanada and lateral presses, TWO! Fans fire up for Sanada but Finlay is annoyed. Finlay SLAMS Sanada’s bad arm on the mat, then he clamps on a chinlock. Sanada endures the knee in his back, but Finlay then shifts to a cobra clutch! Gedo says to ask Sanada but Sanada endures. Sanada fights up but Finlay cranks on the hold more. Finlay grinds Sanada back on and then thrashes him around. Sanada fights back up again, throws body shots, but Finlay knees low! Finlay whips, Sanada reverses and dropkicks the legs out! Finlay swings, but into a BIG back suplex! Fans fire up while both men are down!
Sanada sits up first and fans rally behind him. Sanada drags Finlay up, but Finlay ROCKS him and whips him. Sanada reverses, then hurdles, hurdles and DROPKICKS! Fans are thunderous as Finlay bails out again. Sanada takes aim, to PLANCHA! Direct hit and down goes Finlay! Sanada encourages the fans to get louder and the fans oblige! Sanada goes back to Finlay, drags him up and into the ring, and then covers, ONE!! Finlay hangs tough but fans continue to rally behind Sanada. Sanada goes to fireman’s carry but Finlay CLUBS away! Sanada knees low, whips, but Finlay reverses to TACKLE Sanada out of the ring!
Finlay RAMS Sanada into railing! And then RAMS him in again! Taichi is only annoyed on commentary as Finlay lets off. Red Shoes tells Finlay to bring this back into the ring, so Finlay APRON BACK SUPLEXES Sanada! Finlay pushes Sanada in to cover, TWO! Sanada hangs tough but Finlay says fine. He sits Sanada up to CROSSFACE FOREARM! Gedo wants more so Finlay gives Sanada another CROSSFACE FOREARM! And then another! And another! And another! Sanada crawls but Finlay sits him up to BLINDSIDE LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up again as Sanada stays in there.
Finlay argues the count but Red Shoes says he was being fair. Finlay gives toying kicks to Sanada, then runs, but into a fireman’s carry! T K O!! Fans fire up while both men are down again! Sanada storms up on Finlay, but Finlay throws a forearm! Sanada CHOPS in return! Finlay ROCKS Sanada with a forearm, but Sanada CHOPS again! Finlay UPPERCUTS and eggs Sanada on. Sanada UPPERCUTS in return! Fans rally as Finlay staggers, and he UPPERCUTS again! Sanada UPPERCUTS! Finlay shakes it off, to UPPERCUT again! And again! And again! Finlay runs, but Sanada dodges to O’CONNER- NO, Finlay slips free to roll him up! TWO!!
Sanada and Finlay stand, Sanada spins Finlay to SLICED BREAD INTO DRAGON SLEEPER! Finlay flails but Sanada drops back, SKULL END!! Finlay fights as Gedo shouts, but Sanada has him caught in the body scissors! Finlay fades, Gedo freaks out, but Finlay grabs at Sanada’s new haircut. Red Shoes reprimands and Sanada pulls back harder! Sanada then lets go to go up top! ROUNDING BODY PRESS onto knees!! Finlay saves himself and both men are down! Finlay snarls as he stands up, and he storms over to Sanada. Gut wrench to Canadian Rack, but Sanada slips free, only to run into the IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!!
Fans fire up but Finlay just gut wrenches again! CLIFFHANGER!! Cover, TWO!! Fans fire up again while Finlay and Gedo are frustrated. Finlay says it’s time, and he brings down the kneepad. Finlay slashes his throat and he drags Sanada back up. But Sanada suplexes first! Finlay slips free, backslides, suplexes, but Sanada slips out! Sanada waistlocks, Finlay elbows free and runs, but into a POP-UP CUTTER!! Fans fire up again as Finlay sputters. Sanada hears the fans rallying so he brings Finlay up to chicken wing, and TIGER SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Finlay escapes but he’s in the drop zone!
Sanada goes up top, ROUNDING BODY PRESS!! Cover, TWO!!! Finlay survives and Gedo is only moderately relieved! Sanada slashes his throat now, to dragon sleeper! SKULL SWING! But Finlay spins things around, PRIMA NOCTA!! Cover, TWO!!! Sanada survives and both men are down, but the fans rally up again. Finlay waits on Sanada to rise, and Finlay runs in, into an ELBOW! Sanada QUEBRADA, to the SKULL- NO, Finlay fights up and snapmares free! But Sanada DROPKICKS! Finlay comes back, but Sanada gets around, only for Finlay to buck the O’Conner! Sanada runs in, but into DEEP SIX!!
Finlay aims from the corner and he wants Sanada to stand! Sanada rises, Finlay runs in, and SPEARS!! Cover, TWO!! Sanada survives again and fans are thunderous! Finlay fumes, he drags Sanada back up, and he suplexes, but Sanada knees free! Sanada blocks the lariat, dodges the next, CORRIENDO SHIKI DRAGON SLEEPER!! Sanada uses some Naito moves to get to his! And then, SIDE- NO, Finlay slips around to GERMAN SUPLEX! But Sanada stands right up!? Finlay CLOBBERS Sanada, but Sanada stands right up again! ROLLING ELBOW from Finlay, and a flurry of HEADBUTTS!
Finlay spins, into a FOREARM from Sanada! And then a ROLLING ELBOW! Sanada runs, into a HEADBUTT!! Finlay suplexes, for TRASH- NO, Sanada slips free! SHINING WIZARD!! Shoutout to Keiji Mutoh, before the SIDEWINDER!!! Cover, SANADA WINS!!!
Winner: Sanada, by pinfall (2023 New Japan Cup Winner)
Just 5 Guys get in the ring to celebrate with Sanada! His shoutouts to the Stardust Genius and the Wrestling Genius help him take the cup! But then, what happens to Finlay? Does the world NOT need the Rebel after all?
As for the Cold Skull, he is presented the cup by NJPW President Obari, and they pose for the photo ops. Then Sanada gets the mic to say, “I won the New Japan Cup for my first time, here in my hometown. However, I’m not satisfied. Next is the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship. Okada-san, are you still here or have you left? If you are still here, I want you out here.” Fans cheer for that, and chant for “O-KA-DA!” Just5Guys wait, and here comes the Rainmaker! Okada brings the world title to the ring, and he stares Sanada down. Sanada tells Okada that the world title belt will be Sanada’s as he changes the landscape here.
As such, Sanada tells Okada, “Thanks for all your work.” Okada takes the mic to say, “Sanada-san, congratulations on winning the New Japan Cup. And, thank you for all your work. My rival, I’ve been waiting for this. But what took you so long, huh!? What is this talk of a new landscape? Just because you changed your hair and your allegiance, you think that means you can beat me? On April 8th, I will show the difference between the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion and New Japan Cup winner! I will beat the living daylights outta you in Ryogoku!” Okada has said his piece, and he raises the belt as he exits the ring.
Sanada tells Okada, “Nobody understands what you just said more than I do. But seeing as I won the main event, please get out of here.” Okada says okay and fans applaud as Okada walks up the ramp. Sanada continues to say, “Just5Guys will take the top spot in NJPW, and I will be the NEW IWGP World Heavyweight Champion the next time you see me. So for now, are you ready for the gift?” The spotlight shines on Sanada, Taichi even gets his phone out to be one of the “stars” in the night sky. Sanada says that he must confess, out of everywhere in Japan, he loves Nagaoka the most. “OI, NAGAOKA! See you next time!”
The Cold Skull is red hot after joining Just5Guys, changing his look, and winning the New Japan Cup! The streamers fly, will Sanada truly change everything in NJPW?
A great finish to the New Japan Cup, as well as the additional matches included on the night. Great Six Man Tag of Chaos VS United Empire, big win for the Empire with Aussie Open pinning one of the tag team champions. Aussie Open VS Bishamon is going to be an awesome match, it could really go either way, but it feels like if they’re gonna do it, they might as well do it now so Aussie Open can use the Summer for their reign before the G1 Climax comes in.
And that IWGP Junior Heavyweight title match was quite the show-stealer. Lio and Hiromu went all out, the fans loved it all, and as great as Lio is, Hiromu winning makes sense. Hiromu has NJPW’s backing since they also helped him down that All-Star Junior Fest event, so Hiromu is of course leading the way for the division. And it seems the theme of 2023 in NJPW is change. Robbie Eagles is leaving Chaos to join TMDK, though I honestly thought it was gonna be United Empire because of Will Ospreay, but TMDK is filling out its division bingo card, so Robbie is the Junior Heavyweight singles guy now. Probably won’t beat Hiromu, though.
And that New Japan Cup finals match itself was awesome stuff. It is as I figured the other day: Finlay lost here because his real story is with the Bullet Club, and his story is about whether or not he can truly be leader after taking out Jay White. Sanada and Okada get to revive their rivalry, Sakura Genesis is going to be huge. And it would be even bigger if Sanada actually won. Okada’s only had the world title since WrestleKingdom, four months feels short for such a title reign, but maybe Gedo will want to shake things up outside of just shuffling faction members around.
My Score: 8.9/10
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