Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Live Results & Report! (9/3/19)
Will this be a truly unapologetic edition of SmackDown?
Just what is going on around here?!
Bayley attacks Becky on Raw, Randy Orton keeps getting the better of King Kingston, and we still don’t who’s really behind the attacks on Roman Reigns! What more could happen as SmackDown simply tries to make it to Clash of Champions?
- King of the Ring Quarterfinals: Mustafa Ali VS Elias; Elias wins and advances to the semifinals.
- Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross VS Fire & Desire; Fire & Desire win.
- King of the Ring Quarterfinals: Chad Gable VS Andrade Almas w/ Zelina Vega; Gable wins and advances to the semifinals.
- Aleister Black VS Shelton Benjamin; Black wins.
- WWE 24/7 Championship Boiler Room Blitz: Drake Maverick w/ Renee Michelle VS The Singh Brothers VS The B-Team; Bo Dallas wins and becomes the new WWE 24/7 Champion.
- Shinsuke Nakamura w/ Sami Zayn VS “Andrew Howard”; Nakamura wins.
- WWE 24/7 Championship Ring Ruckus: Bo Dallas w/ Curt Axel VS The Singh Brothers VS Gran Metalik VS Drake Maverick; Maverick wins and is the new WWE 24/7 Champion.
- WWE 24/7 Championship Stage Surprise: Drake Maverick VS R-Truth; Truth wins and becomes the new WWE 24/7 Champion.
PLAY BY PLAY
Bayley’s gone BAD!
The Boss was back in blue and badder than ever, and acted like the tag team titles meant nothing. Bayley would not directly comment on Sasha Banks’ actions, but vowed not to be overshadowed by Becky Lynch. And by the end of the night, we would see who was in whose shadow. The Champion’s Showcase went down, Sasha made her move on Becky, and Bayley would help! The best friends are even badder together, but will Becky stay down for the count?
Bayley is HERE!
And she seems to feel great after what she did to Becky last night. Norfolk is divided between loving and hating her, and Bayley doesn’t get it. “Everybody has something to say about what went down last night.” Everyone is “Oh my God, I can’t believe you did that!” But how didn’t they see that? Her responsibility who was with her along the way through good and bad, her best friend. Nothing has changed. Bayley is still trying to show everyone what kind of champion she’s trying to be. She’s trying to lift everyone up with her whole heart. Hugs for the kids! Ever since she started wrestling, she’s trying to make fans feel the way she felt as a kid. And now she has that opportunity. She is the hero and the role model showing kids what it means to be loyal. Bayley would never have turned her back on Sasha when things got rough. The fans deserve the kind of champion on par with Becky Lynch. And Bayley promises to be that champion for a long, long time, starting with beating the most selfish person on the roster, Charlotte Flair.
Charlotte has no idea what it’s like to be the role model that Bayley is being. But speaking of, here comes the Queen! Charlotte struts her way down the ramp and has Bayley scoot over so she can pose. And she asks Bayley, “I’m selfish?” How perceptive, Bayley. Charlotte takes pride in being the Queen of Selfishness. Fans say a lot about Charlotte, but what you see is what you get. There is no confusion, no blindsiding, and definitely no hugging. So Bayley better hug the title real tight because at Clash of Champions… Sasha Banks is here?! Charlotte just smiles, because it should’ve been obvious where one goes, the other follows. So Charlotte DECKS and BOOTS Bayley! Then she brawls with Sasha! Charlotte gets Sasha down to throw hands! But Bayley returns to SMACK Charlotte with a chair! And again! And again!
Fans chant “One More Time!” and Bayley hands the chair to Sasha. Sasha smiles and gives Charlotte a chair shot! And another! And another! Then Sasha hands the chair back to Bayley, and Bayley fires off again! Fans duel, and some want Becky to appear. But The Man doesn’t come around, and Bayley and Sasha stand tall. Will the baddest best friends both hold gold by the end of Clash of Champions?
King of the Ring Quarterfinals: Mustafa Ali VS Elias!
The Beacon of Light still shines after an incredible match with Buddy Murphy in the opening round! As for The Drifter, he benefited from the Best Screwjob in the World when Shane McMahon made himself an official and fast-counted Kevin Owens out of the tournament. But Ali isn’t Kevin, so will he get a fair shake against Elias?
SmackDown returns as Elias makes his entrance. Elias might be jinxing it by crowning his guitar before going to the ring. The bell rings and Ali ties up with Elias. Elias wrenches and wristlocks Ali to the mat. Fans rally for Ali already as Ali uses the ropes to flip through and wring Elias out. Elias gets up but Ali dodges, only to run into Elias’ arms. Elias pops Ali up but Ali slips out. Ali CHOPS but hurts his hand more than Elias’s chest. Elias throws Ali but Ali goes up and over and speeds things up. Ali shows off his agility and then rolls Elias up, ONE! Ali tries a jackknife, ONE! Elias kicks but is spun around into Ali’s heel kick! Elias bails out but Ali just builds speed to DIVE! But Elias catches him to ram him into the LED! Then suplex TOSSES Ali onto the ramp! Norfolk is fired up as Elias refreshes the count.
Elias goes after Ali but Ali hits back. Elias still throws him into the corner of the barrier! Then hip tosses him across the way! Elias trophy lifts to toss Ali into the timekeeper’s area! SmackDown goes picture in picture as Elias leaves Ali behind. Elias is fine with a count out now, but Ali stirs. Ali crawls over and gets to his feet. Ali flounders over at 8 and is in at 9! Elias drags Ali up to CHOP away in a corner! And throw body shots and stomps while he’s at it. The ref backs Elias off and Elias watches Ali crawl. Elias brings Ali up but Ali hits back. Elias rocks Ali with a big right forearm, then whips. Elias TOSSES Ali with a back drop! Cover, TWO! Elias keeps his cool and chokes Ali on the ropes. The ref backs Elias off again, but Elias comes back to put Ali in a corner. Elias whips corner to corner and then flapjack tosses Ali! Cover, TWO!
Ali grits his teeth while Elias looms over him. Elias drags Ali around by his hair but Ali hits back with body shots. Ali runs but into a BIG lariat! Elias covers, TWO! Elias drags Ali around to wrap on a ferocious chinlock. Ali endures and throws Elias, but Elias holds on. Ali tries again, but still Elias holds onto the headlock. Ali endures and gets up again. Elias leans on him to keep him down, but Ali powers up. SmackDown returns to single picture as Ali fights back with body shots. Elias knees low and whips, but Ali flapjack dropkicks Elias down! Fans fire up and Ali gets to his feet. Elias runs in but into a forearm! And then another! Ali CHOPS and forearms, then whips. Elias blocks and reverses, but Ali dodges and roundhouses! Ali slingshots, somersaults, facebuster! Cover, TWO! Elias rolls out of the ring but Ali just runs again, to DIVE! He rams Elias right into barriers! Both men are down, clutching limbs damaged by that collision.
Ali puts Elias in at 6 and climbs up at 7. Elias intercepts Ali on the top rope with forearms. Elias climbs up but Ali fights back! Ali headbutts Elias away, then adjusts to 450 the bad arm! Elias writhes in pain, but Ali is on him again. Elias shoves Ali away but gets a tornado takedown into a CROSSFACE!! Elias endures, Ali pulls back hard, but Elias still gets the ropebreak! Ali lets Elias go, but Ali goes at Elias in a corner. Elias sends Ali into buckles, then scoops into the Electric Chair. Spinning powerbomb! Cover, TWO!! But into a Stretch Muffler! Elias goes after that bad leg and Ali hangs upside-down. Elias stomps Ali’s head but Ali endures. Ali gets his own ropebreak! Elias lets Ali go but keeps stomping. Elias drags Ali over to a corner and swings the bad leg into the post! The ref reprimands Elias but the damage is done.
Elias drags Ali up but Ali fights back. Ali climbs and brings Elias up with him. But Elias SHOVES Ali away! Ali lands on his feet! The bad leg jams and Ali hobbles. Elias LEAPS, into a SUPERKICK!! Fans are losing their minds and cheering hard for Ali! The ring count climbs as Ali drags Elias up and in. Ali climbs with one good leg, leaps for another 450! But he FLOPS! Elias grabs the leg but Ali kicks with the good one! Elias still drags Ali around, and ducks the enziguri, to SMASH the knee! Ali writhes, Elias drags him up, fisherman to DRIFT AWAY! Elias wins!
Winner: Elias, by pinfall; advances to the semifinals
Elias wins without anyone’s help! Who will Walk With Elias in the next round?
Backstage interview with Samoa Joe.
The Samoan Submission Specialist survives the quarterfinals, only to be in a rare Triple Threat semifinal match. But he’s here tonight to explain the Triple Threat is an inconvenience. But his path of destruction will lead him to the crown. Joe is here to warn his future competition. Whatever SmackDown finalist he faces, they will be put to sleep, the WWE Universe will #BendTheKnee, and they will all call Samoa Joe the King of the Ring.
Aleister Black speaks.
“Well, if the mountain is not going to come ot me, then I am going to come to the mountain. I am heading down to that ring, and see if there is anyone MAN enough to pick. A fight. With me.” The Embodiment of the End is all out of patience! Who will #FadetoBlack tonight?
Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross VS Fire & Desire!
The WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions were technically on the losing side of the Championship Showcase last night, but only because Sasha Banks disqualified the match. Will they get back on track as a Clash of Championship challenge is right around the corner?
The teams sort out and Nikki starts with Mandy Rose. Mandy taunts by flaunting her figure against Nikki’s, then she whips her hair in Nikki’s face. Nikki throws forearms into Mandy’s face! Nikki whips but Mandy reverses, but Nikki tilt-o-whirl headscissors Mandy to a corner. Then hits a corner splash to bulldog! Cover, TWO! Nikki and Sonya talk trash but Mandy ROCKS Nikki with a right! Tag to Sonya and Sony throws hands. Sonya grinds her knee into Nikki then tags Mandy back in. Mandy and Sonya mug Nikki, then Mandy whips Nikki into the corner. Nikku hits Sonya down then dropkicks Mandy out! Fire & Desire regroup but Nikki climbs high! Nikki LEAPS for a crazy crossbody! SmackDown goes to break while Norfolk fires up with Nikki!
SmackDown returns as Sonya drags Nikki to the corner. Mandy tags in and she drags Nikki up just to push her down. She mocks Nikki to reach for Alexa but shoves her down again. “You will NEVER look like me!” Alexa says no one wants to look like Mandy. Nikki gives Mandy a jawbreaker! But she runs int Mandy’s arms. Mandy goes for the knee but misses! Hot tags to Sonya and Alexa! The Goddess rallies on the Gladiator Gal, standing STO! Double knee drop and a SLAP rocks Sonya, then a divine RIGHT! Cover, Mandy breaks it! Nikki runs in but gets a kick. Mandy goes for the underhooks, but Nikki fights free to crossbody Mandy down and out! Alexa gets up and goes back to Sonya, but Sonya kicks low to kick away.
Sonya knees then fireman’s carries, but Alexa fights free for a BLISS-DT! And then Alexa heads up top, only for Mandy to ram Nikki into apron! That distracts Alexa before she leaps, twisted Bliss gets KNEES! And then tag, Fire & Desire go high and low! Cover, Mandy & Sonya win!!
Winners: Fire & Desire, Mandy Rose pinning
Mandy and Sonya beat the tag team champions! This has to be the shortcut to being the Clash of Champions challengers. Will Mandy and Sonya take the titles from Alexa and Nikki so soon after getting them off the IIconics?
Samoa Joe bumps into Chad Gable.
Joe apologizes for not seeing the “little” guy. Gable says he’s trying to prepare for his King of the Ring match later tonight. Wait, Gable’s in King of the Ring? That can’t be, he’d look ridiculous out there. Like a kid playing dress-up with the crown and cape. The saddest part is that the jokes are tired, but they still hurt. Because Gable is mentally weak. There is no room for weakness in the kingdom. “Good luck, Bilbo.” Joe leaves and Gable does his best to shake it off.
Randy Orton is here!
The Viper has been doing and saying whatever he wants to Kofi Kingston, and has so far been getting away with much of it. Their WWE World Championship match is coming, and Orton is here tonight to speak again. “Clash of Champions is two weeks away. Which means in two weeks, you people are going to have a new WWE Champion.” And it means that in two weeks, Orton proves Kofi is a fraud not on Orton’s level and never has been. Just look at last week: Kofi fell for Orton’s trap hook, line and sinker. But the fans chant Kofi’s name! Orton says the best part about last week was that “sweet, sweet” sound of Kofi’s head bouncing off the floor. Orton has decimated the New Day and the Power of Positivity. And if you think he’s lying, just take a look at the replays!
Three weeks ago, Orton gave all three men of the New Day an RKO! Then the week after that, Orton made Kofi watch The Revival SMASH Xavier Woods’ knee. And then just last week was the trap Orton mentioned, giving Kofi a draping DDT to drive Kofi into the floor. The Viper smirks as he watches his handiwork. Orton will tell Kofi what he’s thinking this week: no more games, no more traps, no waiting for Clash of Champions even! Face Orton like a man here tonight! Orton waits, and the music hits! But no one comes out? Actually, the Revival are beating Kofi up as they move to the stage! It was another trap after all! The #TopGuys club and punch Kofi down the ramp, and there is no New Day to back Kofi up with the injuries Orton’s been giving them. But Kofi manages to fight Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder off! So Orton attacks to take Kofi down himself!
Orton puts Kofi in the ring and drags him around. “STUPID!” Stomp to the leg. “STUPID!” Stomp to the other leg. “STUPID!” Stomp to the hand, then chest! Dash & Dawson get Kofi up for Orton so that Orton can tell him to his face. At Clash of Champions, Orton beats Kofi once and for all in front of everyone, with the there most devastating letters in sports entertainment. But Kofi fights out and fights back! But he’s in a 3v1 and The Revival just mug Kofi on the mat. Orton grimaces as the Revival bring Kofi up. They shove, RKO MACHINE! Orton and the #TopGuys pose together on the corner. Will these three all have titles come the end of Clash of Champions?
WWE has set a match for Clash of Champions!
After finding damning evidence that it was Erick Rowan behind the attempts on Roman Reigns’ life, the Big Red and the Big Dog will have a grudge match to get to the bottom of this! Will Roman get answers out of Rowan while also getting a win? Or will this mystery only take more twists and turns the deeper Roman goes down the rabbit hole?
WWE and Connor’s Cure fight Pediatric Cancer!
Join in and help crush cancer once and for all!
King of the Ring Quarterfinals: Chad Gable VS Andrade Almas w/ Zelina Vega!
Everyone seems to think the former Olympian has little chance of winning a tournament this big. But El Idolo is 100% confident he will be El Rey de WWE soon enough. Will Gable catch Almas off guard like he did Shelton Benjamin? Or is this too tall a task for the tournament’s #1 underdog?
Vega speaks to Gable as one “vertically challenged” superstar to another, she respects and admires how Gable overcomes the odds. And though there are lost dog ads for competition for Almas, Gable could be the next King of the Ring. If Almas wasn’t in the tournament, of course. So unfortunately, Almas will beat Gable tonight. But there is no shame in losing to the future King Andrade! So just keep going, little engine that could. The bell rings, and the final quarterfinal match begins.
Almas ties up with Gable and gets Gable on the ropes. But Gable comes back to waistlock and throw Almas down! They get back up but Almas elbows out hard. Almas wrenches Gable’s arm and whips, but Gable goes up and over to sunset flip! Cover, TWO! Almas kicks low and brings Gable in for a powerbomb lift. Gable resists and slips out to an arm-drag! Then a monkey flip! Fans fire up behind Gable as Gable goes corner to corner. But Almas catches Gable to toss Gable out! SmackDown goes picture in picture as Almas dusts off his hands from dumping out Gable.
Gable slowly gets up while Vega applauds Almas. Almas goes out to CHOP Gable then knee him against barriers. Almas whips Gable hard into other barriers, then soaks up the heat. Almas drags Gable up and into the ring, to then run and basement dropkick Gable in the back! Cover, TWO! Almas wraps on a chinlock right away and grinds Gable down. Gable endures and fights his way up. Gable fights back with body shots but Almas throws him down by his head! Almas CHOPS Gable and Gable winces. Almas goes after the arm, then back suplexes. Gable slips out and sees Almas run in! Gable tries to throw Almas in but it’s more like a full on collision from the two! Almas still crashes into buckles but Gable took just as much damage in that. The referee checks and they’re both okay to continue.
SmackDown returns to single picture as forearms start flying between both men. Almas CHOPS Gable then whips. Gable reverses, breaks free and throws big hands! Gable has Almas in the corner, he ducks the clothesline to mule kick and rolling kick! Vega is worried as Gable hits a running rolling neckbreaker! Fans fire up with Gable as he stalks Almas. Gable wristlocks and chicken wings for an overhead suplex! Bridging cover, TWO! Almas escapes and Vega grows frustrated. Gable watches Almas, waistlocks but Almas bucks him off to BOOT him back! Almas hops up but Gable SHORYUKENS! Gable climbs up while Elias watches backstage. Almas fights the superplex off and puts Gable in the Tree of Woe! Almas WOE STOMPS Gable down! Cover, TWO!! Gable still lives and that frustrates both Almas and Vega!
Almas drags Gable up and hammerlocks, but Gable slips out to a waistlock. Almas standing switches but Gable victory rolls. TWO and Almas knees low. Almas suplexes for uno amigo, then dos amigos. Fans chant “Eddie! Eddie!” as Almas shimmies the shoulders, but Gable waistlocks for a German Suplex! Then another! Gable shouts out the Gold Medalist but Almas elbows free. Almas gets the third suplex! He puts Gable in a drop zone and heads for the corner but his back slows him down. Almas moonsaults, lands on his feet, but gets knees on the second! Fans are fired up as Gable goes up top! Vega freaks out as Gable MOONSAULTS! Cover, TWO!! Almas survives Gable’s other shout out to Kurt Angle! But Gable keeps his focus as he watches Almas stand. Waistlock but another elbow sends him away. Almas hip tosses Gable into buckles!
Almas has the knees ready, runs corner to corner but gets buckles! CHAOS THEORY!! But Vega is distracting the ref during the bridge!! Gable lets go in frustration, and Almas is ready, boot to ELBOW! Hammerlock, but Gable powers otu! Rolling clutch! GABLE WINS!!
Winner: Chad Gable, by pinfall; advances to the semifinals
Who came up short?! Because it wasn’t Gable! Vega is in shock, and Norfolk is thunderous for Gable as he continues on! Will the smallest superstar with the biggest heart be the one to wear the crown? Or will Elias make him #DriftAway next round?
Aleister Black VS ???
The Dark Knight of WWE said he would come looking a the fight, and he has come. Who answered the call of the Embodiment of the End? We find out after the break.
SmackDown returns, and it is the Gold Standard that stands before Aleister! Shelton Benjamin circles with Black at the bell!
Benjamin knees low and whips but Aleister dodges and springboards. Benjamin dodges but Aleister sits down cross-legged. Aleister dodges Benjamin’s kick, but Benjamin narrowly avoids Black Mass! Aleister stares daggers at Benjamin, then gets him with the knee trigger! Benjamin bails out but Aleister follows to throw forearms. Aleister puts Benjamin in the ring and punches him away. Benjamin returns the knee with one of his own! Aleister goes down and Benjamin grins. Benjamin goes after Aleister on the outside now with haymakers. Benjamin puts Aleister in and runs at the corner. Aleister elbows and kicks back! Benjamin knees in return, then watches Aleister wobble. Aleister still blocks one punch and throws strike after strike. Benjamin avoids the knee, goes for Dragon Whip, but gets the BLACK MASS! Cover, Aleister wins!
Winner: Aleister Black, by pinfall
Black beats Gold as Aleister wins the fight he called for. But this will not satisfy Aleister’s appetite for confrontation. Will Aleister only be vindicated once he possesses championship gold?
Drake Maverick sneaks around the bowels of the arena, Renee Michelle in tow.
They need to get out of here fast, or superstars will come for his WWE 24/7 Championship. Well they’re not going to do that in the boiler room! But speaking off, here come the Singh Brothers! Sunil misses his ambush attack, but Sunil rolls Maverick up! TWO, and Maverick runs! But look out! Gran Metalik rides in on a trunk! Well, that was easy to avoid, actually… But Curt Axel is here! Roll up, TWO! Maverick hops a trunk and rams it into Axel, but Bo Dallas rolls Maverick! Bo Dallas wins!!
Winner: Bo Dallas, by pinfall; NEW WWE 24/7 Champion
The B Team celebrates Bo’s win! It’s time to #BOLIEVE again! But the chase is on, too. And Maverick lost the title, and a shot at consummating, again. Will Maverick ever get this right?
Shinsuke Nakamura and Sami Zayn are here!
The Artist and his like-minded spokesperson are in Norfolk, but the “parasites” won’t get their kicks signing along to the music. Tonight isn’t about the fans, it’s about Shinsuke, THE WWE Intercontinental Champion! Shinsuke is up against one “Andrew Howard”? No that’s not right? Well it doesn’t matter what his name is! As far as tonight goes, Howard might as well be The Miz. And everyone is in store for just a taste of what happens to THE Miz at Clash of Champions! Referee, do your damn job and ring that bell.
Shinsuke Nakamura w/ Sami Zayn VS “Andrew Howard”!
The bell rings, Nakamura and “Howard” circle. Sami talks trash on the mic as Nakamura fires off on “Howard.” The kicks make Sami laugh in glee. Nakamura throws vicious forearms, but “Howard’ SLAPS Nakamura. “Big mistake, son!” Nakamura fires off knees on the man as Sami taunts “The Miz.” Nakamura stomps away, then puts the substitute on the top rope. Sami’s favorite: Top Shelf Knee! And we all know what’s next: KINSHASA! Cover, Nakamura wins!
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura, by pinfall
“That’s how it’s done!” Sami shouts. But does Sami think it’ll really be that easy when the real Miz gets to fight Nakamura?
But wait, the 24/7 Championship chase spills out into the ring from the crowd! Axel tries to defend Bo but the Singh Brothers and Gran Metalik appear. They swarm the ring, and Metalik throws the Bollywood Boys out! But Axel tackles Metalik to the mat! Wait, Maverick comes up and gets Bo! Maverick wins!!
Winner: Drake Maverick, by pinfall; NEW WWE 24/7 Champion
Rockstar Spud has his title back! And he throws The B-Team out! Maverick makes a run for it as he celebrates. But wait! The coat rack for the King of the Ring cape, is JUST R-TRUTH!! Truth sneaks up, rolls Maverick up, Truth wins!!
Winner: R-Truth, by pinfall; NEW WWE 24/7 Champion
The 14-time champion! The greatest of all time! The chase is on again, but will Maverick get the belt back before the end of the night?
Daniel Bryan is here!
And as he stated in text statement, he demands an apology for both the Spear and the assumption that he had anything to do with Erick Rowan’s actions. Bryan takes up a mic as fans chant and duel. “It finally looks like we have a group of people who believe me.” Because Bryan knows how it looks to everyone else when there is video footage of Rowan attacking Roman! People think Bryan is guilty by association! But Bryan has said this entire time that he has had nothing to do with it. There are a lot of people who may not like Bryan, may not like Bryan’s opinions and message and mission, but what NOBODY can say is that Bryan is a liar! Bryan has never lied to any of the fans. And the truth is, fans are right that Bryan HATES liars.
So here is what Bryan wants. Bryan wants an apology for Roman Reigns. Not just for the accusations, not just for the Spear, but for calling Bryan a liar! And here comes Roman! Roman stares Bryan down, but Rowan attacks from behind! The Big Red rams the Big Dog into barriers! And then steel steps! Then he drags Roman up to TOSS at the apron edge! Roman collapses and Bryan pulls Rowan off. But Rowan shoves Bryan away! Rowan is enraged as he lifts and BOMBS Roman at the post! But Rowan isn’t done there. He puts Roman in the ring and looms over him. Norfolk rallies behind Roman, but Rowan clamps on the IRON CLAW! And then, the SLAM! Rowan takes up the mic to tell “Big Dog, get up.”
Did Roman think Bryan did this? The joke’s on him and all of us. Rowan waves at Bryan. Bryan is just as bad as the fans! He thought he could control Rowan?! Rowan is no one’s puppet. Bryan slapped Rowan over and over again. So maybe Bryan should step into the ring and show how much of a man he is now! Rowan dares Bryan to do it! And then he tells Roman, “I’m proud of what I’ve done to you.” Rowan was proud of the accidents and the hit-and-run. But Rowan is most proud of the pain Roman will feel at Clash of Champions. And then, he throws Roman out of the ring, to go out and take up the other steel steps! Rowan aims at Roman, to SMASH him in the face with the steps! Then Rowan tears the cover off the announce desk.
Bryan tries to stop Rowan again, saying they’re friends! Rowan won’t be controlled, so Bryan SLAPS him! Rowan claws and SLAMS Bryan through the desk!! “Nobody tells me what to do!! Never again!!” Rowan is his own monster now! Will he soon make this his Yard? Or will the Big Dog recover to take a bite out of the Big Redwood?
A pretty great SmackDown tonight! And with a natural opener of Bayley explaining herself. There is some coherence to what Bayley is saying. She is putting her friendship with Sasha and her desire to be the best before being nice, and in a very Heel way, she twists her actions around. The NXT Four Horsewomen are all still on Clash of Champions, and they are both going towards the PPV with a lot of momentum after the Heel turn and them beating down Charlotte together. I feel like this is an all or nothing for Bayley & Banks, especially if they try to help each other. Now this gets rid of my idea of a Survivor Series showdown of friends turned enemies, at least right now. But this could turn into a situation where Bayley & Banks have both singles titles, and go after the tag titles together. They could even do it at Hell in a Cell in Hell in a Cell. Bliss-Cross lost tonight, but I can’t see them losing the titles so soon, despite how good Mandy and Sonya looked in the win.
Tonight’s King of the Ring matches were amazing! I was a bit surprised Elias won so cleanly against Ali, but it was still an incredible showing from both. And then, with Samoa Joe rubbing in Gable’s insecurities, it was great for Gable to win tonight. He and Almas had an amazing match, and this was one of those star-making moments. Gable VS Elias can be and hopefully will be a great match to keep up with Raw’s Triple Threat next week. And at this point, Samoa Joe VS Gable might be our King of the Ring finals at Clash of Champions. And should that happen, I definitely feel like Joe wins, but after Gable puts on one hell of a match with him. Black VS Benjamin tonight was good for mostly filler, so hopefully Aleister gets to fight for a title after Clash. Nakamura and Sami were alright in squashing and trash talking the jobber, but this build of them and Miz hasn’t been that great. I’m sure the match makes up for it, but still. At least Sami’s going all in on being an obnoxious manager.
Orton’s segment with Kofi went about as expected. He talks trash, tricks Kofi, and stands tall. Why haven’t they made their world title match a No Disqualifications match? Sure, that opens things up for The Revival to attack Kofi with Orton, but the story feels like it should escalate their matches. Unless we’re saving such a thing for Kofi VS Orton 2019 round 3 for a Hell in a Cell match. The 24/7 Championship stuff tonight was great! And I love that it technically main-evented with Truth’s greatest reveal yet! This title will never not be hilarious. And then an honestly great moment to make up for last week’s awkwardness, Rowan did it for Rowan! He is the mastermind! But I feel like WWE advertised Roman VS Rowan too soon. I get that Roman would want a fight with Rowan just on video evidence, but tonight should be the motivation behind making it for Clash.
My Score: 8.5/10
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Mitchell’s NJPW New Japan Cup Results & Report! (3/19/23)
The semifinals are here!
The New Japan Cup 2023’s Final Four!
Four is bad luck in Japan, but these four are grateful to be in the New Japan Cup semifinals! David Finlay VS Tama Tonga, Sanada VS Mark Davis, who will win to go for it all?
- Shota Umino & Oskar Leube VS Zack Sabre Jr. & Kosei Fujita; Shota & Oskar win.
- Six Man Tag: Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano & Ryohei Oiwa VS Bullet Club; Bullet Club wins.
- 8 Man Tag: Ryusuke Taguchi & Team Strong Style VS The House of Torture; The House of Torture wins.
- YOSHI-HASHI & Tomoaki Honma VS Jeff Cobb & Kyle Fletcher; Cobb & Fletcher win.
- Shingo Takagi & BUSHI VS Aaron Henare & Great-O-Khan; Henare & Khan win.
- YOH & Lio Rush VS Tetsuya Naito & Hiromu Takahashi; Naito & Hiromu win.
- New Japan Cup 2023, Semifinals: Tama Tonga VS David Finlay; Finlay wins and advances to the finals.
- New Japan Cup 2023, Semifinals: SANADA VS Mark Davis; Sanada wins and advances to the finals.
PLAY BY PLAY
New Japan Cup 2023, Semifinals: Tama Tonga w/ Jado VS David Finlay w/ Gedo!
The Good Bad Guy settled things with Bullet Club, but fate has intervened to have him face the NEW leader! Will Tama get past Finlay and into the finals? Or will the Rebel take over everything?
The bell rings and the fans rally up. Tama and Finlay circle, Tama claps to get the fans going more, and then he ties up with Finlay. They go around, Tama puts Finlay on ropes, but he lets off slowly as the ref calls break. Fans applaud and the two reset. They circle, fans rally up for Tama, and the two tie up again. Tama powers Finlay back but Finlay turns it around to have Tama on the ropes. The ref calls the ropebreak again, Finlay lets off slowly, but then swings on Tama! Tama dodges, then hits a headlock takeover! Tama grinds Finlay down, but Finlay keeps his shoulders up. Finlay fights to his feet, powers out, then slips around to headlock!
Tama powers out, hurdles, drops, then DROPKICKS Finlay down! Finlay bails out while fans fire up! Tama storms up to the ropes and slingshots but Finlay slides in! Tama lands on the apron, Finlay storms up but Tama ROCKS him with a forearm! Tama hurries in, and he arm-drags Finlay around! Finlay blocks the next, whips, but Tama reverses. Tama hurdles, but gets caught to a fireman’s carry! HOTSHOT, then BIG back suplex! Fans applaud, that was a good sequence, but Tama crawls to a corner. Finlay stalks Tama, drags him up, and UPPERCUTS him! Finlay whips corner to corner hard and Tama bounces off buckles! Finlay covers, TWO!
Fans rally but Finlay stomps Tama’s hand! Tama clutches that hand, but Finlay fishhooks his face! The ref reprimands, Finlay lets off, and Finlay says that was the nose, not the eyes. The ref doesn’t believe him. Finlay throws Tama out! Gedo tells the ref to leave Finlay alone, but the ref reprimands Gedo for getting on the apron. Finlay drags Tama up to RAM him into railing! No Man’s Land disappears as the railing go back! Finlay rains down fists, but fans rally up for Tama. The ref reprimands Finlay but he drags Tama up and puts him in the ring. Finlay covers, ONE!! Tama is hanging tough but Finlay is amused.
Finlay digs his knee into Tama’s face, he wants the ref to Too Sweet but the ref says no thanks. Finlay drags Tama up, whips him hard into the corner, and Tama bounces off buckles again! Fans rally while Finlay taunts them, “You think Tama’s getting to the finals?” Finlay stomps Tama, then springboard stomps! The ref reprimands, but Finlay clamps on with a cobra clutch. Finlay thrashes Tama around but Tama endures. Gedo tells Tama to give up but Jado coaches Tama to hang tough. Fans rally, Tama fights up and throws hands, but Finlay CLUBS him down! Finlay stomps and elbows Tama, but the ref counts.
Finlay lets off, he brings Tama up to whip corner to corner, but Tama comes back to CLOBBER Finlay! Fans fire up but Gedo is mad! Jado coaches Tama, Gedo coaches Finlay, but Tama is the first to stand. Tama roars, CLOBBERS Finlay, and ELBOWS him! Tama whips, Finlay reverses but Tama CLOBBERS Finlay again! OFF COMES THE VEST! Finlay goes to a corner, Tama runs in, STINGER SPLASH! And then clinch, for an EXPLODER! Finlay scrambles away and out of the ring, but Tama PLANCHAS! Direct hit this time and the fans fire up! Tama slides into the ring to let the ring count handle Finlay.
Finlay sits up at 5 of 20 so Tama goes out to fetch him. Tama puts Finlay in, stalks him to a corner, and Finlay wants mercy, but gets body shots instead! Tama whips Finlay out and then back into the corner, runs in, but Finlay elbows him away! Finlay storms up, but into a scoop! Finlay slips free to CHOP BLOCK! Tama writhes and clutches his knee but Gedo is loving this! The ref checks on Tama but Tama refuses to let this stop him. Finlay storms up on Tama to sit him up, “Look at this beautiful face!” CROSSFACE FOREARM! Gedo likes those, so Finlay sits Tama up again, to CROSSFACE FOREARM!
Finlay drags Tama up again, and he fires off MORE crossface forearms! Fans rally for Tama but Finlay looms over him. Finlay drags Tama up by his hair, sits him up, and BLINDSIDER LARIATS! Cover, TWO! Tama is still in this and Finlay is annoyed. Finlay paces around while Tama slowly rises. Finlay drags Tama up, gut wrenches and Canadian Racks, but Tama slips free! TONGAN TWIST!! Both men are down and fans fire back up! Fans rally as Tama and Finlay stir. Both men crawl over to each other, and Tama ROCKS Finlay with a forearm! Finlay ROCKS Tama right back! Finlay eggs Tama on and Tama sits up.
Tama ROCKS Finlay with another forearm, but Finlay ROCKS Tama again! Tama growls, he and Finlay sit up again. Tama ROCKS Finlay, Finlay ROCKS Tama, repeat! They throw forearms as they slowly stand, and they speed up as the fans rally! Finlay gets the edge, Tama fires off a strike fest! Finlay rebounds but into SRC!! Tama goes to a corner, fans fire up as he climbs, and Tama aims! SUPREME FLOW!! Cover, TWO!! Finlay survives but Jado and Tama rally the fans by pounding the mat. Finlay drags himself up with the ropes, Tama runs in, GUN- NO! Finlay rolls Tama, with tights! TWO!! GUN- NO!! Finlay blocks again!
Finlay drags Tama up with a dragon sleeper, inverted suplex, OSAKA STREET CUTTER!! Cover, TWO!! Fans fire up while Finlay grows frustrated. Finlay aims as Tama rises, Jado warns Tama of what’s coming, but Finlay runs in, into a KNEE! Tama SUPER- NO, Finlay dodges to DEEP SIX!! Tama staggers up, into a SPEAR!! Cover, TWO!!! Tama survives and Gedo is furious! Finlay argues the count but the ref says that was all fair. Fans rally back up, but Finlay brings down the kneepad. “X marks the spot!” Finlay drags Tama up but Tama is deadweight. Finlay still hauls Tama up, suplexes, but Tama slips free!
Tama rolls Finlay, ties up the legs, and he has a SHARPSHOOTER!! Finlay endures and fans fire up! Tama sits deep on the hold, Finlay flails and fights forward! Finlay claws at the mat, but Tama goes deeper! Finlay fights back up, crawls and reaches out, but Tama drags him away again!! Finlay shouts in pain but he hasn’t given up yet! Another fight forward, and Finlay gets the ROPEBREAK! Tama lets go and Finlay writhes in pain, but the fans rally up again. Tama drags Finlay up, hooks an arm, but Finlay fights and RAMS Tama into a corner! And again and again and again! The ref counts, Finlay lets off and staggers away.
Tama runs in, but Finlay fights off the DDT! IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER! Finlay gut wrenches to a CLIFFHANGER DDT! Cover, TWO!!! Finlay is beside himself but Tama survives again! Fans are thunderous for Tama but Finlay is right on him. Suplex and- NO, Tama fights, wrenches, but Finlay ROCKS him! But Tama cradles!! TWO!!!! Finlay escapes but the SUPERMAN PUNCH hits! BLOODY SUNDAY!!! Cover, TWO!?!? Finlay barely survives but Tama just pounds the mat. Finlay rises up, GUN- NO!! Finlay blocks, spins Tama, suplexes, GUN- NO!! Finlay blocks again and ROCKS Tama!
Tama roars, but Finlay fires off a flurry of forearms! Finlay spins, into a HEADBUTT! GUN- NO, Backslide! Deadlift TRASH PANDA!!! Cover, Finlay wins!!
Winner: David Finlay, by pinfall (advances to the finals)
Even El Phantasmo has to give old rival Finlay credit on that one. Gedo gets the mic to make the announcement official: The Rebel wins, and he just beat the NEVER Openweight Champion! Finlay will take the EFF over everything! Gedo needs the Rebel, Bullet Club needs the Rebel, and the world needs the Rebel! But will the Rebel get what he wants in the tournament finals?
New Japan Cup 2023, Semifinals: SANADA w/ Just5Guys VS Mark Davis w/ The United Empire!
New team, new look! The Cold Skull is looking sharp, but will he still bring about a Skull End? Or can Dunkzilla conquer the Cup on behalf of the United Empire?
The bell rings and the fans rally up as Davis and Sanada circle. Davis eggs Sanada on but Sanada feels things out. They keep circling, tie up, and Sanada headlocks. Davis powers out, Sanada RAMS shoulders, but neither man falls! Sanada ducks Davis’ chop, gets an arm and wrenches, but Davis whips Sanada away! Davis CHOPS this time, and Sanada is stinging. Davis whips, Sanada dropkicks the legs out! Sanada whips, Davis cartwheels, then scoops and SLAMS! And SENTONS! Fans fire up while Sanada bails out, but Davis goes out after Sanada. Davis brings Sanada up to whip him into railing!
Sanada drops to his knees, but Davis drags Sanada up to ROCK with a forearm! Great-O-Khan is on commentary and he waves the glowstick in praise. Davis puts Sanada on the apron to CLUB and KNEE and CLUB again! Davis gets space, fans rally up, and Davis runs in to KNEE LIFT Sanada into the ring! Crowns up and the Empire high-fives. Davis gets in the ring while Sanada sputters. Davis knees for the cover, TWO! Davis clamps onto Sanada’s arm but Sanada endures. Fans rally, Sanada fights up to his feet, and he throws forearms! Sanada wrenches but Davis DECKS him! Davis drags Sanada up but Sanada waistlocks!
Davis fights free of the hold, CHOPS Sanada to the corner, then whips him corner to corner. Davis runs in but Sanada dodges the splash! Sanada reels Davis in to back suplex, but Davis turns it into a CROSSBODY! Davis drags Sanada back up and back suplexes, but Sanada lands on his feet! Sanada hits the BIG back suplex! Both men are down but their teams coach them while the fans rally up. Sanada kips up, and then he fires up! Sanada DROPKICKS Davis, Davis stays up, so Sanada DROPKICKS! And dropkicks, but misses this time! Davis runs, but Sanada dropkicks the legs out! Then he DROPKICKS Davis out of the ring!
Sanada takes aim and PLANCHAS! Direct hit and down goes Davis! Sanada stares down the Empire, but then he encourages the fans to get louder. The fans oblige and Sanada likes that. Sanada may have a new haircut but he is still Sanada. Sanada puts Davis in the ring, drags him up to fireman’s carry, but Davis fights it! Davis fireman’s carries now, but Sanada fights it! Only for Davis to rise up again! Sanada fights more, gets to the apron, and he counter punches! Sanada slingshots, but Davis HOTSHOTS him! And then TRIANGLE JUMP FOREARMS! Sanada falls, and Davis DIVES?!? Direct hit into the railing!
Fans fire up as No Man’s Land disappears again! Red Shoes checks both men, they’re both okay to continue, but their teams argue about territory. The ring count starts, Davis drags Sanada up at 7 of 20. Davis puts Sanada in at 10 of 20, aims from the corner and climbs up! Sanada rises, Davis FLYING SHOULDERS him down! Cover, TWO! Sanada is still in this but Davis keeps his cool. Davis drags Sanada up, but Sanada blocks the lift! Sanada throws down elbows, but Davis CHOPS him! Davis whips, Sanada goes up and out and springboards in to MISSILE DRPOKICK! Davis stays up!?
Davis swings, misses, and Sanada CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS! But Davis KNEES low! Davis back suplexes but Sanada KNEES free! Sanada runs, into a LARIAT! Davis hits a BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO!! Fans fire up and rally as Sanada survives. Davis drags Sanada by a leg, says it’s time to end this! But Sanada kicks Davis away, so Sanada JABS him down! Davis gets the legs, YANKS Sanada up, but Sanada rolls through! Sanada fireman’s carries to T K O!! Cover, TWO!! Davis is still in this, but Sanada goes up top! ROUNDING BODY- NO, Sanada has to roll through as Davis moves! Davis scoops to POWERSLAM! Cover, TWO!!
Davis drags Sanada up, wrenches and torture racks, but Sanada slips free! Sanada ELBOWS Davis, QUEBRADAS and has the dragon sleeper! Davis snapmares free to clothesline in the corner! Sanada falls over and fans fire up! Davis climbs the corner, goes to the very top, and DIVING SPLASH, but he FLOPS as Sanada moves! Sanada goes up, ROUNDING BODY PRESS onto the knees!! Davis cradles Sanada, TWO!!! Both men are down and fans fire up again! Davis rises first, drags Sanada up, and fans rally up. Davis swings, but Sanada blocks the forearm to fire UPPERCUT after UPPERCUT!
Sanada spins, into JAB! But he still ROLLING ELBOWS! Davis ENZIGURIS!! Sanada is down and Davis fires up! Fans rally, Davis throws off the elbow pad! Davis waits, Sanada rises up, Davis keeps moving, LARIAT!! Cover, TWO!?! Sanada survives and fans fire up again! Davis stalks Sanada to the corner, then runs side to side, SLIDING FOREARM! Davis shouts “DEAD!” and he drags Sanada up into the torture rack! But Sanada slips free again! O’Conner BRIDGE!! TWO!?! Davis escapes by nanoseconds! Sanada storms up, but Davis trips him! Davis has the legs, Close Your Eyes and Count to F@#$!!! Cover, TWO!?!?!? HOW?!?!?
The fans, the Empire and Just5Guys are all going nuts! Davis roars, he wrenches, torture racks, but Sanada slips free again! SIDEWINDER DDT!!! Cover, SANADA WINS!!!!
Winner: Sanada, by pinfall (advances to the finals)
Davis drove the Cold Skull into the ground, but then Sanada did it back to him! Will Davis find his singles success another time?
Wait, David Finlay and Gedo make his way back out to the ring to see the other finalist in person. Gedo gets the mic to say they just want to give Sanada words of support. Gedo tells Sanada to do his best, because in Nagaoka, Finlay’s gonna beat his face in with the shillelagh, and throw him out of the ring like trash! “See You Next Time, Just Five Losers!” Gedo and Finlay leave, having copied and mocked Sanada’s catchphrase and his new team. Sanada gets the mic to say, “Oi, Finlay! And the people of Gunma. I promise I will beat Finlay on Tuesday, and come back here as the New Japan Cup winner.” Fans applaud that! Sanada then tells Gedo and Finlay to get outta here.
Finlay and Goto leave, flipping Sanada off over their shoulders. Sanada says this debut with J5G is a day he’ll never forget. Fans applaud that, and the mic is handed over to Taka Michinoku. Taka says, “Soon enough, it’ll be us who changes the scene here in NJPW! JUST! FIVE! GUYS!!” The Cold Skull is red hot, but will that heat bring him through to win it all?
A great semifinals for the New Japan Cup! Both matches were awesome stuff, and though Tama came close, I figured Finlay would win. He has been winning since his Heel turn and joining the Bullet Club, but he hasn’t quite won the Club over, yet they can’t really deny him, either, because he’s now in the finals of the tournament. The big things in Sanada VS Davis were Sanada’s new look, and that he buries that piledriver. But similarly to Finlay, Sanada’s getting a push because of the big change in allegiance, and now they’re both in this great match for the finals that honestly could go either way.
Gedo as booker does love to push the guys he backs as a manager, but Finlay’s story could be more about controlling Bullet Club than getting the title. And Sanada has openly stated he sees Okada as a rival and Okada reciprocated, so revisiting that now, with Sanada and Okada both having changed ever so slightly, we could get an awesome match for the world title.
My Score: 9/10
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Mitchell’s NJPW New Japan Cup Results & Report! (3/18/23)
It’s lights out, but for who?
Who rounds out the Final Four?
The New Japan Cup is getting closer to the end! Shota VS Finlay, Goto VS Tama, who will join Mark Davis and Sanada in the semifinals?
- Zack Sabre Jr. & Kosei Fujita VS Oskar Leube & Ryohei Oiwa; ZSJ & Fujita win.
- YOSHI-HASHI & Tomoaki Honma VS Aaron Henare & Kyle Fletcher; Henare & Fletcher win.
- Six Man Tag: Team Strong Style VS Bullet Club; Team Strong Style wins, by disqualification.
- Six Man Tag: The United Empire VS The House of Torture; The United Empire wins.
- 8 Man Tag: Chaos VS Los Ingobernables de Japon; Chaos wins.
- New Japan Cup 2023, Quarterfinals: Shota Umino VS David Finlay; Finlay wins and advances.
- New Japan Cup 2023, Quarterfinals: Hirooki Goto VS Tama Tonga; Tama wins and advances.
PLAY BY PLAY
New Japan Cup 2023, Quarterfinals: Shota Umino VS David Finlay w/ Gedo!
The Roughneck took The Mighty’s Front Man to the limit and then won, but now he funs into Bullet Club’s newest leader. Will #SHOOTER be the one shot down? Or will another one bite the dust as Shota brings about a paradigm shift?
The two get face to face and start shoving. Red Shoes backs them off, the bell rings and the forearms start flying! Fans fire up as they go faster and faster, and Shota gets the edge! Shota fires off in the corner, but Finlay turns things around, only to miss! Shota fires off more, and even shoves his dad aside! Shota fires off knees and he CLUBS Finlay, then ROCKS him with a forearm! Fans fire up with Shota, and he brings Finlay up. Finlay throws forearms in return, whips, but Shota reverses to ELBOW Finlay down! Shota keeps moving to BASEMENT DROPKICK! Fans fire up again while Finlay checks his chin.
Shota kicks at Finlay, stomps him, but Finlay eggs him on. Shota stomps, Finlay throws a body shot, but Shota just BOOTS Finlay into the corner! Finlay kicks back from below, and even SPITS at Shota! Shota doesn’t flinch, so Finlay steps to him. Shota DECKS Finlay, then digs his boots in! Red Shoes reprimands and counts, Shota lets off at 4 and talks trash. Shota stomps Finlay, stands him up and CLUBS him! Finlay goes to ropes, Shota ROCKS him with another forearm. Fans rally, Shota ROCKS Finlay again, and then whips Finlay to ropes. Finlay reverses to TACKLE Shota to the apron! And then all the way into railing!
Gedo likes that as Finlay RAMS Shota in again! Finlay taunts Red Shoes, then throws hands on Shota. Finlay smacks Shota off the apron, follows him around the way, and claws at Shota’s face! Finlay ELBOWS Shota down, Red Shoes reprimands, but Finlay claims it was just the nose. Finlay stomps Shota around on the ramp, going after the limbs. The ring count starts and Finlay drags Shota up at 6 of 20 to put in at 8. Fans applaud and Finlay paces. Finlay stomps Shota down, gives him toying kicks, but Shota sits up with a frown. Finlay UPPERCUTS Shota in the back, but Shota doesn’t budge!
Finlay gets in Shota’s face, then DECKS him! Finlay stands Shota up to UPPERCUT! Shota goes to a corner, Finlay HEADBUTTS then stomps away! Red Shoes reprimands as Finlay digs a knee in. Red Shoes counts, Finlay lets off at 4 and talks more trash. Fans rally up as Finlay brings Shota out. Finlay taunts the fans, “This is your boy?” Shota stands to ROCK Finlay! Shota hits back! Finlay CLUBS Shota down! Shota writhes but Finlay covers, ONE! Finlay clamps onto Shota with a cobra clutch to grind him down. Fans rally and Shota endures. Finlay shakes his head and pulls harder on the hold, but Shota still endures.
Shota fights up, Finlay knees him low and then again, and again. Finlay whips, Shota reverses to scoop, TOSS and UPPERCUT! Fans fire up while Finlay sits up in a daze. Shota storms up on Finlay, whips him to a corner, then runs in to UPPERCUT! Shota FISHERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO! Not quite perfect so Finlay escapes, but Shota keeps his cool. Shota kicks Finlay but Finlay gives a body shot. Shota kicks and kicks and CLUBS Finlay, then brings him up. Finlay fights the clinch with elbow after elbow after elbow! Finlay runs, into a DROPKICK! Fans fire up and Finlay bails out!
Shota hurries out to the apron, Finlay stands and Shota CANNONBALLS onto him! Fans fire up with Shota again as he shakes the railing! Shota drags Finlay back up, puts him in the ring, and fans rally behind Shota. Shota aims, to slingshot DDT! Finlay writhes but Shota wants him to stand. Fans rally, but Finlay blocks the kick, and he spins Shota around, only to swing into Shota’s clinch. Finlay fights free, then he clinches back, IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Shota is still in this and the fans rally but Gedo argues the count. Red Shoes says that was a fair count, so Finlay drags Shota up.
Finlay makes Red Shoes watch as Finlay CROSSFACE FOREARMS Shota! And again! Gedo likes that so Finlay gives more CROSSFACE FOREARMS! Finlay then sits Shota up to BLINDSIDE LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Shota is still in this and the fans fire back up! Finlay argues the count but Red Shoes defends it was fair. Finlay kicks Shota around, waits on him to rise, and the fans rally. Shota stands, ducks the lariat, and EXPLODERS! Fans fire up again while both men are down! Red Shoes checks both guys and they slowly stir. They go forehead to forehead, and Shota throws a forearm! Finlay throws it back!
Finlay eggs Shota on, Shota ROCKS Finlay! Shota eggs Finlay on, so Finlay ROCKS Shota! Shota ROCKS Finlay again, so Finlay ROCKS Shota again! They go forearm for forearm, fans rally and the two stand. The forearms keep going, back and forth, faster and faster! Finlay UPPPERCUTS! And UPPERCUTS! And UPPERCUTS again! Shota roars and UPPERCUTS in return! And again! Finlay rebounds into another UPPERCUT! Shota UPPERCUTS, and UPPERCUTS! Fans fire up but Finlay throat chops! And throat chops again! Finlay fires off HEADBUTT after HEADBUTT, then he rains down fists!
Red Shoes reprimands, those are closed fists! Finlay lets off and claims palms but Red Shoes can tell. Fans rally for Red Shoes as he argues with Finlay. Finlay goes back to Shota, but Red Shoes has him stay back to check. Shota is still in this, but Finlay thinks he’s won by knockout. Shota grabs at Finlay’s foot, so Finlay gut wrenches to a Canadian rack! But Shota slips free to CROSS RHODES! Shota holds on, he drags Finlay up, CROSS RHODES! Shota drags Finlay up again, SAVING GRACE! Cover, TWO!! Finlay survives but fans are thunderous behind Shota! Shota aims from a corner, runs in, but Finlay LARIATS!
Shota stands, but into a SPEAR! Cover, TWO!! Shota survives and Finlay is shocked! Finlay drags Shota up to gut wrench, CLIFFHANGER DDT! Cover, TWO!!! Shota survives again and the fans are thunderous! Finlay scowls at Red Shoes and argues the count, but the count is still fair. Fans rally behind Shota, but Finlay brings down the kneepad. Finlay slashes his throat and he drags Shota back up. Suplex to- NO, Shota cradles! TWO!! Finlay escapes, and ROLLING ELBOWS! Shota staggers to a corner and Finlay hoists him up top. Finlay climbs up after Shota, fires off forearms, then brings Shota up.
Shota throws body shots to stop the superplex! Finlay fires forearms and HEADBUTTS! Finlay brings Shota up again, but Shota SUPER GOURD BUSTERS first! Shota then hurries down and runs in, SWINGING NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Shota roars and the fans are thunderous again! Shota picks Finlay up but Finlay fights free. Shota kicks low, underhooks, but Finlay powers him back. Shota sends Finlay into buckles! And then TORNADO DDTS! Roll through to the pick-up, SNAP BUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Finlay survives but Shota roars! Fans rally behind Shota and he aims from the corner again.
Gedo shouts at Finlay but the fans rally up. Finlay rises, Shota underhooks, but Finlay fights the lift! Finlay stomps the leg! And then HEADBUTTS Shota down! Gedo says Finlay’s got it! Suplex, but Shota fights free! ENZIGURI! Finlay rebounds, but swings into hooks! Finlay fights the backslide to backslide, but Shota rolls through! Finlay suplexes, Shota slips free, backslide and underhooks! Finlay spins Shota around, suplexes, TRASH PANDA!!! Cover, Finlay wins!!
Winner: David Finlay, by pinfall (advances to the semifinals)
Another hard-fought battle, and The Rebel comes out on top! Finlay stands on Shota to add insult to injury, then he throws Shota out to just add more insult! Gedo makes the official announcement that Finlay won, and then he says what Finlay did to Shota will happen to everyone else! “Okada! Okada! Are you listening? The Rebel’s coming for you! The Rebel is taking the eff over everything! I need the Rebel, the Bullet Club needs the Rebel, and the world needs the Rebel!” Will Finlay be unstoppable until he has taken everything?
New Japan Cup 2023, Quarterfinals: Hirooki Goto w/ Yoshi-Hashi VS Tama Tonga w/ Jado!
The Fierce Warrior and the Good Bad Guy have both had their run-ins with the United Empire, and they both came out on top to make it this far. But there’s only one spot left in the semifinals, who is the final of the final four?
The bell rings and fans rally up as the two circle. Goto and Tama tie up, Goto powers Tama back, but Tama breaks free. They reset, tie up again, and Tama powers Goto back. Goto turns things around to put Tama on the ropes, and Red Shoes calls the break. Goto lets off with pats on the shoulder and fans applaud. Tama and Goto circle again, tie up, and Tama headlocks. Tama grinds the hold, but Goto powers out. They RAM shoulders, but Tama keeps moving. They RAM shoulders again, both men egg each other on, so Goto runs. Goto dodges the lariat to run Tama over! Fans fire up while Tama staggers up.
Goto whips Tama corner to corner, runs in but into an elbow! Tama runs in but into a hip toss! Tama avoids the elbow drop, headlocks, but Goto powers out, only for Tama to FLYING SHOULDER TACKLE! But now Goto avoids an elbow drop and fans fire up for the standoff! Goto and Tama circle again and fans rally back up. They tie up, Goto headlocks, and Goto grinds the hold. Tama powers up but Goto holds on tighter. Tama fights up, powers up again, but still can’t power out as Goto just holds tighter! Goto grinds the headlock more, but Tama fights up to throw body shots. Tama powers out this time, and things speed up.
Tama hurdles, but Goto counter a hip toss with a hip toss! Tama goes to ropes, Goto runs in, but Tama dumps Goto out to the apron! Tama swings but Goto counter punches! But then Tama GUN STUN STUN GUNS Goto down! Goto falls to the floor and Tama waits on the ring count. Goto stirs at 5 of 20, fans rally and Hashi coaches Goto up. Goto sits up at 12 of 20, but we past 15 before he stands! Goto slides in at 18! Fans applaud, but Tama drags Goto up to COHP! Tama whips, DROPKICKS and covers, TWO! Tama keeps cool as he looms over Goto. Tama brings Goto up, then CLUBS him in the chest again and again!
Fans rally while Tama paces around. Tama drags Goto back up, snap suplexes and covers, TWO! Tama clamps onto Goto with a chinlock and grinds him back down. Fans rally as Goto endures, but Tama brings Goto down to the mat. Goto kicks and flails, fights his way back up, and he throws body shots. Tama CLUBS Goto on the back, then ROCKS him with a forearm! And then another! Goto scowls but Tama eggs him on. Tama ROCKS Goto again, but Goto snarls. Tama fires off forearm after forearm! Tama then runs, but Goto blocks the boot! Goto throws the foot down but Tama ROCKS him with another forearm!
Goto blocks another boot, waistlocks, but Tama elbows free! Tama runs, Goto follows and LARIATS Tama down! Fans fire up while both men are down! Tama crawls to a corner but Goto is right on him. Goto whips corner to corner and runs in to MURAMASA! Then SAIDO! Cover, TWO! Fans rally as Tama survives, and Jado coaches him up. Goto brings Tama up but Tama fires body shots and low headbutts! Tama whips, Goto reverses and he runs Tama over! Fans fire up as Tama bails out, and Goto hurries to PLANCHA! Direct hit and both men go down at the railing! Fans fire up as both men stir.
The ring count starts but Goto is already up at 2 of 20. He drags Tama up at 5, but Tama is deadweight so Goto stomps him. The count passes 10, Goto drags Tama back up at 13. Goto puts Tama back in at 15 and fans applaud. Goto fires up and fans rally behind him. Goto climbs up a corner, but Tama ROCKS him first! Tama throws another forearm, but Goto hits back! Goto ELBOWS Tama in the head, but Tama throws body shots. Tama ROCKS Goto, climbs up and CLUBS Goto on the back. But Goto throws body shots and forearms! Tama and Goto fire off back and forth, and Tama gets the edge! Tama stands Goto up for the SUPERPLEX!
Fans fire up while both men are down again! Red Shoes checks, both men stir, and the fans rally up again. Goto crawls to a corner but Tama runs in, STINGER SPLASH! And then EXPLODER! Cover, TWO! Goto hangs tough and the fans rally up. Tama drags himself up with the ropes, and he storms over to Goto. Tama stands Goto up but Goto throws a forearm! Tama throws a forearm right back! Goto drops to a knee, but he grits his teeth. Goto stands up to ROCK Tama with a forearm! Tama shakes that off to ROCK Goto right back! Goto ROCKS Tama! Tama ROCKS Goto! The forearms go back and forth again!
Fans fire up as Tama fires off a strike fest! Tama whips, Goto reverses, fireman’s carries and USHIGOROSHI! Both men are down and Tama clutches his neck. Goto roars and fans fire up with him! Goto drags Tama up, dragon sleepers, but Tama throws hands from below! Goto blocks that, spins Tama around, but Tama fireman’s carries! SRC! Tama flounders but finds his way over to the corner! Tama goes up, for the SUPREME FLOW! Cover, TWO!! Goto is still in this, but fans fire up with Tama! OFF COMES THE VEST! Tama watches Goto stir, and Tama pounds the mat. Fans clap along and build back up.
Goto rises, Tama runs in, GUN- NO, Goto blocks! Goto shoves, runs, Tama redirects but Goto follows! Tama dodges and runs, GUN- NO! Goto blocks, then deflects the boot! But Tama jumps, VELENO! Both men are down after the satellite DDT and the fans are thunderous! Tama rises first, the fans rally back up, and Tama takes aim from the corner. Goto flounders, rises, and Tama rushes in, GUN- NO, Goto puts him in the corner! DRAPING SHOUTO!! But Goto’s too tired to make the cover! Fans rally up again and Goto rises. Goto roars and Tama rises, BUZZSAW! Goto then drags Tama back up to fireman’s carry!
USHI- NO, Tama flips through! But Goto still blocks Gun Stun! Goto drags Tama back up, spins him around, but Tama SUPER FOREARMS! BLOODY SUNDAY!! Cover, TWO!?! Goto survives Tama’s shoutout to The Prince, but Tama roars! Tama drags Goto up, underhooks, but Goto fights the lift! Goto wrenches and HEADBUTTS! And then LARIATS!! Fans fire up as Tama goes flipping through the air! Goto roars and gathers all his strength! BUZZSAW!! And then another dragon sleeper! G T- NO!! Tama blocks to a backslide but Goto holds that off! Tama HEADBUTTS, and GUN STUNS!!! Cover, TAMA WINS!!
Winner: Tama Tonga, by pinfall (advances to the semifinals)
The NEVER Openweight Champion bests one half of the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions! The Fierce Warrior misses out on the final four, will he and Hashi simply regroup to focus on the tag titles for the Spring?
As for Tama, he shakes Goto’s hand to show respect, and the two hug it out. Goto raises Tama’s hand in victory, then lets him have the ring. Tama gets the mic to say, “HAMAMATSU~!” Fans cheer and Tama continues in Japanese,
“Really, thank you so much! Goto-san. That was amazing, thank you.” Fans cheer the respect shown, and Tama asks that everyone please keep supporting him! A short and sweet message from the Good Bad Guy, will he go all the way until he has his hands on the Cup?
Another really good night for the New Japan Cup, though not as shocking and wild as yesterday’s. Shota VS Finlay went about as expected in that Finlay goes over, but I am still impressed that Finlay is a Heel that doesn’t cheat to win. He didn’t need Gedo to do things for him here, Finlay just outdid Shota. And then we got a great main event where I was rather surprised that Tama won out. I thought Goto was going to go strong to the finals to put over the other side of the bracket. Instead, Tama gets a great win here and he’ll get to face Finlay next week, in a great rework of Tama taking on the Bullet Club.
My Score: 8.7/10
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